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The first place Boston group is coming to Dunedin.

The Jays and Red Sox split a pair of games at Fenway last month. The Bostons are tied with Toronto in the loss column, but they've played three more games and won them all. What's different about this year's team?

It's mostly the pitching. The Red Sox had a decent offense last year, fifth best in the AL. They've been better this time around, mostly because J.D. Martinez has resumed being J.D. Martinez. Evidently his 2020 season was just a random blimp and not the herald of Inevitable Decline. The Sox have basically a three man offense: Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers. Bogaerts and Devers were pretty good last year, but this season they've been really, really good. Most everyone else has been... uh, close to average. And while Frenchy Cordero has been awful, he's actually been an upgrade over the 2020 version of Andrew Benintendi.

The real improvement is on the mound. The Red Sox have been comfortably above average in preventing the other team from scoring and this is a huge, huge improvement. Because last year they were all kinds of awful. No AL team allowed more runs. Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez have returned from last year's rotation: Eovaldi hasn't been as effective but he's been giving them league average work. Perez, however, has never pitched this well in his life. Last year he suddenly reduced the number of hits he allowed; this year he's also cut his homers allowed in half. The other three starters weren't part of last year's staff at all. Eduardo Rodriguez missed the season,  Garrett Richards, signed as a free agent, has generally been a quality pitcher when he was healthy enough to take the mound. He just hasn't been able to do that on a regular basis since 2015, which was six years ago. And Nick Pivetta has gone 7-0, 2.91 since arriving in a trade with the Phillies last August - he went 19-30, 5.50 in what was almost four years in Philadelphia. Go figure.If Perez and Pivetta have undergone some disturbing metamorphosis, if Richards can actually stay healthy, these guys could be a problem.

There Be Matchups!

Mon 18 May - Rodriguez (5-1, 4.15) vs Ryu (3-2, 2.95)
Tue 19 May - Richards (3-2, 3.89) vs Stripling (0-2, 5.91)
Wed 20 May - Pivetta (5-0, 3.16) vs Matz (5-2, 4.29)

So I'm watching a game last week, and the Jays are getting hosed by an umpire and I thought - Charlie, sometimes you have to go out there and cast some serious aspersions on that umpire's character,. Perhaps you might insult his mother, or suggest something about an unnatural fondness for farmyard creatures. Get yourself kicked out of the game! Sometimes it's what the team needs you to do! And then I wondered - gosh. Has Charlie Montoyo ever been ejected from a game? Because I couldn't remember it happening.

He has, it turns out, been ejected 3 times in the 261 games he's managed for Toronto. Exactly once every 87 games.

Everyone knows, I trust, that Bobby Cox has been ejected from more games than any manager who ever walked the earth. Cox was ejected 162 times in his 29 seasons as a manager - and there's the thing. Bobby Cox managed a lot of games - 4508 of them, and only three men managed more. Cox did get himself ejected once every 27.8 games, which does seem excessive. But how does that stand up, on a per game basis, against such legendary hotheads as Weaver or Durocher?

Pretty darn good. I took the 100 men with the most games managed. The 100th man is Jerry Manuel, who managed 1390 games in the majors. It appears that 19th century managers didn't argue with the umpires: Frank Selee and Harry Wright have zero recorded ejections, Charlie Comiskey and Connie Mack just 2 and 1 respectively, and those came during their days as player-managers (Mack, apparently, was a notable trash talker when he was a player. The mind reels...)

And the manager most likely to get kicked out of a game was....

Paul Richards? You're kidding?

Richards managed the White Sox for four years (1951-54) and the Orioles for seven (1955-1961) and he apparently led the AL in ejections every year. He came back to manage the White Sox for a year in the 1970s and managed to go the whole year without being kicked out once,  But overall he accumulated 82 early showers over 1837 games in those twelve seasons.That's one ejection every 22.4 games. This is just weird, because Richards' baseball reputation was always that of an innovator, an intellectual, a tactician. He wrote an instructional book Modern Baseball Strategy, prepared an early version of the manual that was later developed into the celebrated Oriole Way, insisted that players be taught the same techniques at all levels of the system. But one umpire says he had "the foulest mouth in the major leagues", he was known to be an inveterate cheater at golf, and everyone who knew him says he was basically a con man.

I'm not going to print out the whole top 100 - too much formatting. (I will, of course, respond to any inquiries!) But here's the top fifteen - managers most likely to get ejected:

    MGR    Games Ejected Games/Ejection
1    Richards    1837    82    22.4
2    Frisch    2246    88    25.5
3    Weaver    2541    96    26.5
4    Cox    4508   162    27.8
5    Gardenhire    2480    84    29.5
6    Gibbons    1582    53    29.8
7    C. Manuel 1826    52    35.1
8    Hutchinson    1666    45    37.0
9    Durocher    3739   100    37.4
10    Bristol    1424    37    38.5
11    McGraw    4769   121    39.4
12    Griffith    2917    73    40.0
13    Rigney    2561    64    40.0
14    Hurdle    2615    64    40.9
15    Maddon    2417    57    42.4
I'm sure we all expected to see Cox, Weaver, Durocher, McGraw, Hutchinson on this list- their reputation, it turns out, was well earned. But Gibby! Who knew? And Ron Gardenhire?

You're wondering - where's Billy Martin! Up there, in 20th place with 48 ejections in 2267 games (every 47.2 games.)

The median, by the way, is roughly 1 ejection every 70 games or so. Notables in this range are Sparky Anderson, Chuck Tanner, Gene Mauch.

Men like Joe Torre, Cito Gaston, Tony LaRussa, Tom Lasorda got ejected a little more often than that median.

Getting ejected less frequently than that median were such folk as  Don Zimmer, Buck Showalter, Casey Stengel, Dusty Baker.

As for the guys who practically never got themselves removed: well KIndly Old Burt Shotton got ejected 2 times in 1469 games. Tom Kelly and Bill Terry generally went more than 400 games between ejections.

And the greatest manager of them all, Joe McCarthy? Just 13 times in 3487 games, or once every 268 games. Well, why would you argue when you're winning. And no one won more often.

FOOTNOTE #1 - He's not on my list because he's only managed 707 games in the majors. But he's just 59 years old and he could certainly get another opportunity. And if he does... Rick Renteria has already been ejected 30 times - that's once every 23.6, more frequently than any of the top 100 except Richards.

FOOTNOTE #2 - The greatest hothead of all-time, a man notorious all his life for fighting with umpires, was probably the great 19th century shortstop, Bill Dahlen. He was kicked out of 29 games as a player and another 36 as a manager. Dahlen only managed for four years, and was ejected once every 17 games.
Red Sox at Blue Jays, May 18-20 (Manager Ejections) | 199 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#398184) #
I am extremely gratified to see Gibby on that list. He did seem to always have his players' backs.
mathesond - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#398186) #
Evidently his 2020 season was just a random blimp

So, not the Hindenburg, then. Perhaps it was the Badyear blimp?
scottt - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#398187) #
I don't think getting ejected improves the outcome.
I remember the Canada Day game that lasted 19 innings.
Would have been more fun to put a position player in there right away and go with the emergency catcher.
Like, if I was you I wouldn't stand behind home plate.

Often, the manager gets ejected to prevent a hot head player from being ejected and we don't have guys like that.

Yeah, the offense is mostly just Martinez, Bogaerts and Devers.
They've benefited from a very easy schedule.
Also the pen hasn't been great.
Jays are 4th in OPS, 8th in run scored second in HR.
RS are 1st in OPS, 1st in run scored, 6th in HR.
Jays are 19th in starter ERA (6th in walks per 9, 11th in Ks per 9, 25th in hits allowed and 29th in HR allowed) and 4th in relief ERA.
Sox are 12th in starter ERA (13th in walks per 9, 18th in Ks per 9, 17th in Hits) and they're the team who has allowed the fewest HR. Relief ERA is 12th.

The lower BABIP could indicate a fantastic defense, but the huge difference in home runs allowed tends to indicate they've faced bad teams. Or they're just lucky.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#398188) #
NYY has a 3-0 vs. Detroit on their resume, and Boston has a 2-1.. We don't get the play the hapless Tigers until August.. I'm sure they'll take 5/6 from us that month, as they seem to be improving.
Wait what - the Tigers passed the Twins? Boston is also 3-1 against the Twins. So, 5-1 vs. teams below .400 - neither of which we've played yet. No wonder they're so hot. Of course, we get to play the Twins SEVEN times in September, when they'll have totally traded their veterans, called up hot-shot rookies, etc..

Meanwhile, Kansas, the 3rd place team, is barely better than Baltimore - our 5th place team. And the White Sox get to play these guys 19 times each. While we get a steady diet of NYY, TBR and BOS..
AL Beast indeed!
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#398190) #
Evidently his 2020 season was just a random blimp

A typo, obviously. But such a delicious one that I think I'll let it stand. And figure out how to work the phrase "random blimp" into conversation.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#398191) #
Gibby also liked to be the first to the post-game spread when they had Texas BBQ.

I think it depends on the players as much as the manager. We don't seem to have hotheads, definitely not like Gibby did. Maybe the primary objective for Gibby was getting tossed rather than a Bautista or Donaldson getting tossed.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#398192) #
This is it. The first series of the year I'm going to make sure I actually watch.

Make a statement, boys.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#398193) #
Yeah gibby definitely fought simply for the benefit of his players and often argued clearly good calls just to have their backs and/or stop them from getting ejected.
scottt - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#398195) #
Boston has not played the Yankees.
They've gone 1-1 against Toronto in Boston.
They've gone 3-0 against Tampa, but that was with Archer and Hill imploding on the mound and in Boston.
They've gone 6-4 against Baltimore.

April results can only carry you so far.

GabrielSyme - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#398196) #
I seem to recall that Gibby also chirped a fair bit when he thought the plate umpire was giving a bad zone to his guys; but definitely most of his ejections were when he was backing up touchy guys like Lawrie, Bautista and Donaldson.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#398198) #
Gibby's three biggest seasons for getting the boot were 2005 and 2016 (8 times) and 2018 (7 times.) Cox shares the Jays record with him (8 times in 1984). As best as I can tell, Cox also shares the all-time single season record with 11 - Cox (2001), McGraw (1905 and 1906), Richards (1952), and Dahlen (1910).
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#398199) #
I think it depends on the players as much as the manager.

I have to disagree. Cox managed roughly the same number of games as Torre or Bochy and got thrown out twice as often. (And Torre and Bochy both got the heave more than the average themselves.) Durocher managed as many games as Stengel and got thrown out twice as often. Same with the guys who managed as many games as Weaver. Some deliberately used it as a tactic, to fire up their players (or to try to intimidate the umpires.) But mostly some managers are just hotheads.

I wish I could remember who was the manager who when asked why he argued with the umpires so often answered "Because there's nothing else you can do."
Gerry - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#398200) #
Rafael Dolis has been activated for tonights game.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#398201) #
Unless there is some statistical proof or other measure that being a hothead as a manager actually buys the team a competitive advantage I'll have to file this under "play the game the right way", "unwritten rules" and "good ol boys" like a lot of things in baseball. My main judgement on how a manager does is if he puts the players in the best position to succeed and grow.
Cracka - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#398202) #
Breyvic Valera missing from the Bisons lineup tonight. I wonder if he is in Florida in case Rowdy needs an IL stint.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#398203) #
Tellez has 2 HR in 3 career AB vs. Rodriguez but sits out tonight without being moved to the IL. Perhaps there is hope he could return soon, or there's no one ready to replace him.

Good spot for Espinal to flash some leather with Ryu on the mound.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#398204) #
Unless there is some statistical proof or other measure that being a hothead as a manager actually buys the team a competitive advantage

There is - obviously - none whatsoever. It's no more an advantage than having blue eyes. Cito Gaston got ejected more times in one season than Tom Kelly did in his entire 16 year career and they both have a couple of nice, shiny rings. McGraw and Cox were two of the greatest ever and each got thrown out almost as many times in one year as Joe McCarthy did in 24 years. There's simply more than one way to do the job.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#398205) #
or to try to intimidate the umpires

Would any umpire get intimidated by some old guy acting like a 3 yr old who ain't getting jujubes at the grocery store?

Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#398206) #
Charlie does far too much mollycoddling.
pooks137 - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#398207) #
Tellez has 2 HR in 3 career AB vs. Rodriguez but sits out tonight without being moved to the IL.

If teams like the Jays and Phillies are choosing long-term to run short benches and long bullpens, it's imperative that this philosophy is coupled with a ruthlessly reactionary approach to immediately place any potential day-to-day injuries to position players on the IL at the earliest opportunity to cycle in an able-bodied bench player for the next game.

The past few years of watching the Jays play with a 0-to-1 man bench whenever someone gets banged up shows their FO isn't up to the task and sits on the fence all too often.

Watching Bryce Harper called in as a defensive sub who tries to bunt for a hit with runners on and then suddenly can take full hacks again a few innings later in the 9th, potentially risking a 330 million dollar asset, shows how risky the obsession-with-endless-middle-relievers strategy can be.

Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#398208) #
or to try to intimidate the umpires

I'm not suggesting it ever actually worked, with the possible exception of when Rogers Hornsby simply hauled off and slugged one, explaining that "I wasn't getting anywhere talking to him."
pooks137 - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#398209) #
There's simply more than one way to do the job.

It would be interesting to poll the players anonymously to see how they feel about manager ejections.

The pro-ejection argument seems to be that it shows the players that the "manager has their back"

Does the average player actually feel that way? Do they care? Are they just going along with tradition? Do they actually get fired up about it? How long does it last? Do they find it stupid/pointless/embarrassing/theatrical?

Do manager's scream at umpires in Japan? In Cuba? In Winter Leagues? If no, how do manager's then express their displeasure with the officiating?

Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#398210) #
Weaver did - sometimes - deliberately throw tantrums with a purpose, mostly to take the heat off his players. He'd put on one of his wild acts of futile protest and for once no one would be bugging his players about how lousy the team was hitting or why the pitchers couldn't get anyone out. They'd be asking the players about Earl instead. Which always amused them.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#398211) #
Do manager's scream at umpires in Japan?

I have no idea how it works in other countries. But in the majors, it appears that back in the 19th century most of the arguing with the umpires was done by the players. It was when some of those players started managing - in particular, John McGraw - that this changed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#398212) #
He wasn't called Bad Bill Dahlen for nothing.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#398213) #

Rowdy Tellez did a series of drills in the outfield earlier today to test his left hamstring. The LHH remains available on the bench tonight. There was concern after slipping on home plate Sunday afternoon. #bluejays

— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) May 18, 2021
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#398214) #
hypobole - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#398215) #
Charlie does far too much mollycoddling.

Better than doing far too much codpiece modelling.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#398216) #
Sounds like Rowdy may be available to pinch-hit?
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#398217) #
the obsession-with-endless-middle-relievers strategy can be.

I feel your pain. I've been thinking about this very thing, and crunching some numbers.

There's a problem and the endless parade of middle relievers - I once called it "weaponizing mediocrity" - is an attempt to deal with it. Chicks dig the long ball, we're told, and that's all anyone tries to do these days. Hitters work the count and look for something they can uppercut.

We've got more than 30 years of pitch count data now and here's what's changed. In 1988, there was an average of 3.62 pitches per plate appearance. And in 2021, there's an average of 3.93 pitches per plate appearance.

Doesn't seem like much. But over the course of a season, it means you need to get another 2,500 pitches out of your staff. (In 1988, the average AL team threw 22,143 pitches; in 2019 the average AL team threw 24,547 pitches.)

That's about the number of pitches a back of the rotation starter might throw in a season (Drew Hutchison threw 2,456 pitches in 2015). You need to account for this workload somehow.

This is happening while every manager in the game is reducing the workload of his regular starters. In 1998, the Jays' starting pitcher threw 120 pitches or more in 40 games. No Toronto starter has thrown 120 pitches in a game since 2015.

So all these pitches - the extra ones required by the changing game, the ones no longer being thrown by your starters - have to come from somewhere. Hence the endless parade of middle relievers.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#398218) #
Buck and Pat are super upset that red Sox players don't get enough attention and hype.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#398219) #
Maybe a tiny bit of luck on that last pitch but that's some gorgeous pitching from Ryu there.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#398220) #
....and the boys immediately respond and break through with some runs.

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#398221) #
There's a problem and the endless parade of middle relievers - I once called it "weaponizing mediocrity" - is an attempt to deal with it. Chicks dig the long ball, we're told, and that's all anyone tries to do these days. Hitters work the count and look for something they can uppercut.

We've got more than 30 years of pitch count data now and here's what's changed. In 1988, there was an average of 3.62 pitches per plate appearance. And in 2021, there's an average of 3.93 pitches per plate appearance.

Doesn't seem like much. But over the course of a season, it means you need to get another 2,500 pitches out of your staff. (In 1988, the average AL team threw 22,143 pitches; in 2019 the average AL team threw 24,547 pitches.)

Yep. This is another reason for the increase in game length over this period of time. Instead of taking 262 pitches to get through a game it takes 297 or whatever. I've looked at this issue before to figure out where all those extra pitches are coming from, and it's almost entirely due to two things: some more foul balls, and a lot more swings and misses. It's not so much hitters working the count as it is them not hitting the ball into play when they swing.
pooks137 - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#398222) #
But over the course of a season, it means you need to get another 2,500 pitches out of your staff. (In 1988, the average AL team threw 22,143 pitches; in 2019 the average AL team threw 24,547 pitches.)

That's fascinating Magpie. This is a new revelation for me that I hadn't come across previously.

The decreasing pitch counts for starters and the increased use of one-inning middle relievers earlier into the game are well-known trends. I hadn't considered that total pitches a game in aggregate is also contributing to the trend.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#398223) #
OK boys now eat up their pen for the series here.
Eephus - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#398224) #
This offense has been different since Teo Hernández came back. I don’t ever expect him to be a guy who draws a ton of walks but his swing selection this year and last has been a seriously impressive improvement.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#398225) #
Stellar performance by Ryu against the division leader. 7 4 0 0 0 7 (100 pitches). Basically flawless.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#398226) #
He may not get walks Eephus but I saw a chart of his rolling K rate and it's been plummeting.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#398227) #
I get it's an important win....but did you really have to use chatwood in a 6 run game, Charlie?
electric carrot - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#398228) #
This team is for real -- this year. I think we should make a move for a difference making starting pitcher at the deadline.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#398229) #
I’m good with Chatwood there against JD. With how Bergen was pitching someone had to be warming up and I’d rather bring them in before the big hit than after it. Now the heart of their lineup is done and it should be lower stress to finish it. Plus they almost blew an 8-0 lead in their last game.
electric carrot - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#398230) #
We need to find this years "David Cone." And if we give up Jeff Kent -- so be it.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#398231) #
I just don’t see them giving up a top prospect for a rental. The key thing is if they can get someone with a couple years of control. Like Clevinger last year or something minus the season ending injury. Might be costlier but it will help the team for 2-3 years. I’m curious what young pitchers that are moving in to their more costly pre FA years are available from the bottom teams.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#398232) #
Bergen is holding down a 0.00 ERA, while Romano has a 2.84 ERA. With all the pitching injuries, it's helpful that the Jays were able to reclaim those Rule 5 picks. Overall the team has done a superb job of assembling a functional bullpen this year (including depth arms).
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#398233) #
Buck signs off by once again telling us how good the red Sox are.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#398234) #
Not the biggest fan of bringing in Dolis here but it looks like this was planned whatever the score was to get him some game action. I think the thing is that we think there is a closer or something but it’s clear the Jays don’t seem to operate on that. Payamps seems to get low leverage stuff but other than that it’s like anyone’s game.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#398235) #
it’s clear the Jays don’t seem to operate on that.

We saw that against Houston when Montoyo brought in Chatwood to pitch to the heart of the order in the 8th and had Bergen to work against the bottom of the order. Slave to the Save may finally be dying - and Charlie Montoyo is the man killing it?

Magpie - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#398236) #
We need to find this years "David Cone."

Jon Gray.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#398237) #
Berrios I think has one more year of control after this. Could be a reasonable get.
jerjapan - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#398238) #
Pat's worst moment tonight was asking Buck if there had been any HRs.  You know what would be good?  An alternative to listen to, on, say, the radio.
Are any of you guys pissed about the lack of radio?  This is shaping up to be an exciting season.  the pandemic is crap.  baseball radio would make my pandemic experience less crap, at the very least, and perhaps lots of people feel this way. 

rogers has long been tone-deaf, but this radio garbage is just gross corporate greed. 

on a positive side, everyone on the radio keeps saying what a 'joy' it is to watch Ryu pitch, and I agree completely.  I can't recall a more fun Jays pitcher to watch since Doc?

greenfrog - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#398239) #
Depending on how Manoah, Pearson and SWR progress, the Jays might not need to make a big splash for a veteran SP at the deadline. The team is built to contend for at least the next few years. It might be better to rely mainly on internal talent rather than trading high-quality prospects for external talent. Of course, a trade remains a possibility if a favourable deal can be engineered.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#398240) #
Yeah signing a free agent in the offseason is preferable. But that requires a willingness to overpay. Bauer is overpaid, but very very good.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#398241) #
I think with Ryu and Springer (and even Semien considering the reports they offered him up to a 4 year contract) they've shown a willingness to pay big. And pretty smart too with how Ryu and Semien look so far. Would I rather have Cole than Ryu? Sure but I'd also rather have 200 more million for other players rather than paying for Cole's decline.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#398242) #
If Colorado actually decides to blow like they should, yes, they have Gray and Story as pending FA's, but the trade chip that would really get them a haul is 26 yr old German Marquez.

2 more years after this at $13.3 Million AAV, plus a $16 Million team option for 2024.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#398243) #
Meant to say blow it up like they should.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 18 2021 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#398244) #
Marquez has walked a lot of batters this year (about 5.4 per 9 IP). Do we know why that is?
Spifficus - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#398245) #
Hmm. Maybe the Tigers have some pitching to move. Also, congrats to Spencer Turnbull.
Jonny German - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 05:01 AM EDT (#398246) #
Do manager's scream at umpires in Japan?

I can only tell you what I've learned from watching Japanese TV commercials: it seems the answer is Yes, absolutely.
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#398247) #
That was fun.
Too bad we didn't really get into Boston's bullpen.
Many teams will use a long man in the first game of a series to protect the pen.

In this game, they suppressed the homerun by staying away.
Staying away and playing the shift makes you vulnerable to hitters who can go the other way.
I have no problem with that.

Feels pretty good after that Fangraphs statement that Judge was carrying the Yankees and Guerrero was carrying the Blue Jays. 16 hit game followed by an 18 hit game.

Was using Chatwood for 7 pitches a bad move? I think not.
Also, Dolis is a guy who took a long time to find it in the beginning.
No problem with getting him easy work.

Beasley and Mayza are question marks in my book.
That leaves Romano, Cole, Payamps and Thornton.
Castro might be the next guy to come back, but not in this series.

They are lining up Manoah to take over Stripling's spot.
Allgeyer will line up to cover up Kay.

hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#398248) #
MLB bats are heating up as they always do. April is always a tough month to hit, but it was historic - .232/.309/.389. May now at .243/.318/.400.

Lots of injuries league-wide, but there seems to be be more pitcher attrition than hitter attrition at play as well.

Jays season line now .252./.317/.343 - 105 wRC+, 7th in MLB. But how they've done it is impressive. Slow start and then just hitting better and better.

April - .233/.307/.398 - 96 wRC+
Past 30 days - .266/.330/.453 - 116 wRC+
May - 278/.333/.457 - 118 wRC+
Last 14 days - .291/.345/.490 wRC+ - 131 wRC+
last 7 days - .311/.369/.514 - 144 wRC+

Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#398249) #
Jon Gray would be terrific. Meanwhile, Doctor John Gray could help with Charlie and the mollycoddling.
mathesond - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#398250) #
Charlie and the mollycoddling sounds like a band that would open for Mumford & Sons.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#398251) #
Since Hernandez has come back from Covid, he has a 10.8 BB% and 13.5 K% in 74 PA. The BB rate will likely always fluctuate with him, but the improvement in Whiff% and Chase Rate is significant, especially since he's still making hard contact at a high level. Once Springer and Kirk come back, this lineup will be ridiculous.

As far as trade targets, I concur with Jon Gray. This FO has shown that they prefer free agency for their big pickups and want to hold on to prospects, so a trade for a rental where the acquisition cost should be lower is likely more realistic. I would also expect picking up a SP who is having a bad season but has a strong strike out rate. Atkins has had some luck with those types of mid-season pickups (Liriano, Ray).
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#398252) #
The baseball season is a marathon. Starting pitchers traditionally approach an individual game as a marathon of its own, with the intention to complete all nine innings. Now, every pitcher throws hard for shorter segments of the game, that is, more like a sprint. The size of the bullpen has bulged, the bench is shorter, and the overall power game puts pressure on players' durability.

The seven-inning doubleheaders and extra-inning baserunners are positive developments for the game. The three batter rule is acceptable. The automatic intentional walk is fine. The six mound visits sounds about right. The replay process has marginally improved. All these things will hopefully prevent the games from lengthening any further. And more afternoon baseball is desirable.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#398253) #
Charlie and the mollycoddling sounds like a band that would open for Mumford & Sons

Or a deep cut from Willy and the Poor Boys.

Danny Jansen's return from the depths is most welcome.  He is hitting the ball harder (and has sacrificed some plate discipline to do so) and his luck has not been atrocious.  He's still not in top form yet, but he doesn't have to be in order to be a valuable contributor.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#398255) #
Jansen is hitting .256/.310/.487 in his last 42 PA since May 2nd. Add in McGuire's results and the Jays have actually been getting above average C production for a few weeks.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#398256) #
Maybe the best thing about this site, other than the posters,,,,,wait, no offence, but better than the posters, are the archives.

What were we saying 2 years ago? Well, we weren't thinking 100 losses yet, that was about a month or so later, 90 was the number at the time. A couple of nameless posters quotes.

"A front office should not be rewarded for gutting a team and replacing it with filler, it’s just a lazy and irresponsible way to rebuild or retool.....Teoscar - exposed as filler.... Literally every prospect these guys develop or acquire does not pan out unless we’re expected to wait for waves of their special drafts which should be 2016-2022 drafts...graduating 2020-2026...just in time for when Vlad leaves."

"I've been resigned to waiting on the actual young core for a while now.
Which would mean any hopes of contending are at least 4-5yrs away.
The only way I see that timeone changing much is if vlad can hit well enough quickly enough that we start winning game a right now before we sell off all the good prime talent we have left."(sic)

That said, kudos to Mike Green and a few others for rays of positivity and seeing the big picture at the time.
grjas - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#398257) #
everyone on the radio keeps saying what a 'joy' it is to watch Ryu pitch,

He is terrific. A craftsman who rarely gets rattled. Great example for the youngsters.

His contract is looking awfully good right now.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#398258) #
This is a very good team, with a top 5 farm system. The state of the franchise is very good.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#398260) #
So much good out of the Ryu signing. That was the pivotal moment the FO proved to us they were moving from rebuilding to contending.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#398261) #
FiveThirtyEight now projects 3 AL East teams winning 90 games, none of the 3 being the Red Sox.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#398262) #
Fangraphs' Depth Charts projects the Blue Jay bullpen to be -0.7 WAR for the rest of the season.  I am going to go out on a limb and take the over on that. 

The prime culprits are Chatwood (-0.2) and Thornton (-0.2). They need to work on their conversions between starting and relief.  They project pitchers to have the same ERA in both roles and that creates problems. For example, they project Chatwood to walk 5 batters per 9 innings.  The last 3 years he's walked 4.34, 4.34 and 2.40 per 9 IP.  In the rotation, he had a terrible year in 2018 walking 8.25 per 9 IP, but at this point knowing that he's going to be used in a relief role, there's every reason to project him at 4.5 or less. 
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#398263) #
So much good out of the Ryu signing. That was the pivotal moment

Indeed. I noted in last year's Report Card that it was a rather gutsy move to make such an investment in this particular player (and saluted the Bauxites who had been calling for it.) What especially strikes me now is that it was a very powerful expression of faith, of belief that all the young talent was ready to take a big step forward right now, the team's 67-95 record notwithstanding. Which they were.
pooks137 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#398264) #
I can only tell you what I've learned from watching Japanese TV commercials: it seems the answer is Yes, absolutely.

Thanks for the link Jonny. That was a great watch.

I'm not a believer in the "everything is racist" trope so popular today, but I do find it interesting that they cast a Person of Colour actor to portray the citizen on the sidewalk arguing the umpire's call. From what I can tell, he was the only non-ethnically Japanese actor in the commercial.

My guess is that a POC actor was chosen to represent American expats who come over to manage teams in the NPB.

So the commercial does seem to confirm that their managers do in fact argue with umpires face-to-face in the NPB, but the casting choice leads me to believe that the Japanese still consider it to be an imported American trait/tradition.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#398265) #
Love me some passive aggressive nameless poster quotes!
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#398266) #
This was Boston's first shutout loss.
pooks137 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#398267) #
Danny Jansen's return from the depths is most welcome. He is hitting the ball harder (and has sacrificed some plate discipline to do so)

I'm hopeless with batted ball data, but by the eye test from the games I've watched since Jansen broke his O-fer streak, all his hits I've seen other than his 3 HRs have been weak seeing eye singles and bloop hits for singles.

I'm happy for Danny, but I can't help but think every time I see a weak hit fall in for him "Wow, that was lucky" and that it's less of an improved approach and finally some better batted ball luck.

Same for Santiago Espinal. The ball doesn't seem to come off his bat very hard when he does make contact.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#398268) #
"Fangraphs' Depth Charts projects the Blue Jay bullpen to be -0.7 WAR for the rest of the season. I am going to go out on a limb and take the over on that.

The prime culprits are Chatwood (-0.2) and Thornton (-0.2). They need to work on their conversions between starting and relief. They project pitchers to have the same ERA in both roles and that creates problems"

Yesh jt's the worst part of their projections and frankly I'm unimpressed they still haven't addressed it.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#398269) #
Jansen APR: 49pa, .063babip, -36wrc+
Jansen MAY: 44pa, .280babip, 115wrc+
92-93 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#398270) #
Espinal hit a line drive to SS with a runner on 3rd and 1 out yesterday in the 2nd. The broadcast of course raved about it being stung, but it seemed pretty routine with a lack of oomph. His defense looked really solid all night though, albeit with an error to boot. If Rowdy needs a DL stint (Montoyo comments aside), Espinal should get a lot of work at 3B.
Jonny German - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#398271) #
Looks like the broadcast had that one right, Baseball Savant says the expected batting average on that line drive was .750. His single had a .500 xBA.
rpriske - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#398272) #
Late to the party but... ejections should be rare.

With replays, what are you fighting about? Yelling at the Umps was pretty stupid before, now it is ridiculous.

(Fix the balls & strikes with robocall umps and it should drop to zero.)
John Northey - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#398273) #
So far so fun for the Jays this year. Easily an easy team to cheer on with how the kids are all together and clearly a great atmosphere even in losses. Vlad is clearly the heart of this team. Bo is an energizer bunny. Ryu Mr. Calm.

Now up to 5 guys with a 120+ OPS+ in the regular lineup - Vlad, Semien, Bo, Grichuk, Hernandez. Jansen still at 34 but climbing fast (remember, he was a negative OPS+ not long ago). Gurriel warming up to a 61 - on APril 23rd he was hitting 179/213/196 but since has hit 271/276/412 - now if he could just learn to take a walk it would do wonders. Jansen's basement appears to be the day Kirk went down (May 1st) 044/140/067 (ugh) but since 256/310/487 which is pretty much what Kirk was hitting (225/326/475). Meanwhile by some miracle McGuire figured out which end of the bat to use in 2021 (he forgot in 2020) hitting 333/429/333 so far. I wouldn't put much weight on that though (4 for 12) but it is one more hit than he had in 2020 (3 for 41).

The big nightmares are Biggio at 3B (terrible defense, 88 OPS+ isn't enough to compensate) and Tellez at DH/1B (42 OPS+ just a 551 OPS since returning, which is better than the 489 he went down with but not what is needed from a guy with such limited skills). Whenever Springer (or Panik or even Kirk maybe) returns Tellez goes back to AAA obviously.

Right now I like the bench with Davis & Espinal as both have strong defense and good speed - very useful off the bench with a team of sluggers who play 'meh' defense at best. McGuire is endurable as a backup catcher but I prefer him in AAA/travel squad.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#398274) #
You would think with things going pretty well and Semien showing everyone in the league that he can handle 2B well that he might be willing to give 3B a try and increase his versatility as a free agent.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#398275) #
For anyone interested in how teams are approaching this years MLB draft, Kevin Goldstein at FG

Found this interesting:

One of the most impactful innovations over the last decade has been that of the draft model. Nearly every team utilizes some kind of projection and/or scoring model that takes in historical performance and other, more advanced data sources and spits out some measure of draft value, but one American League evaluator worried that the lack of recent information will result in a garbage in/garbage out scenario. “We have guys who had a rough three weeks in 2020 but are playing well now,” he said, lamenting the incredibly small samples produced by the pandemic. “I think a lot of models are just going to have to be thrown out the window this year.”
92-93 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#398276) #
Speaking of the taxi squad, do the Jays have one right now? Who is the required C on it? Graterol caught on May 15th for Buffalo.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#398277) #
This from Kaitlyn McGrath at The Athletic

The Blue Jays’ average exit velocity in miles per hour, entering play on Tuesday. The Blue Jays have quite a few players who hit the ball very hard and, as a team, they have the highest average exit velocity."
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#398278) #
Big nightmares? Check the type of lineup the Yankees are putting out there.

Yesterday's lineup
LeMahieu 111 OPS+
Gardner 53
Judge 177
Urshela  122
Odor 86
Sanchez 101
Andujar -1
Ford 51
Lamarre -54

Taxi Squad rules:
Up to five players can be on the Taxi Squad and travel with the team.
If 3 players or more are on the Taxi Squad, one must be a catcher.
A catcher on the Taxi Squad can also be the bullpen catcher.
There is much less need for the Taxi Squad when playing at home.

Cracka - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#398279) #
The taxi squad rules are not well documented, but my understanding is:
- It's only in place for away games, not home games.
- It's not mandatory or formal - there are no announcements.
- If a team chooses to use a taxi squad for a road trip, it must START WITH at least one catcher and no more than five players. However, if the catcher joins the MLB team during the trip (like Riley Adams did), he doesn't need to be replaced.
- The taxi squad players have cleared COVID protocols and can join the active roster without any delays.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#398280) #
Taxi squad is only for road games.

From MLB:

Upon the conclusion of each road trip, players on the Taxi Squad will return to the Alternate Training Site.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#398281) #
By the trade deadline I see CWS, Cleveland, Houston, Oakland, Toronto, NYY, Boston and TB all in a tight playoff race.

Oakland and Boston are the worst at giving up runs.

Cleveland is low scoring and also about the best at not giving up runs. They seem to be in the weakest division so have a schedule advantage. They did recently trade Clevinger and Lindor so they probably don't pay to add much at the deadline. Retooling?

Everyone else will make a trade deadline move. TB makes things work somehow. W Franco may come up.

The Jays may add a position player rental at the deadline. They have depth which is Atkins special talent. Springer could come back to play the field.

Cracka - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#398282) #
Jansen, Kirk, and McGuire have done an outstanding job so far this season behind the plate, including a few things that don't often get noticed:
- 0 errors
- 1 passed ball
- 6 wild pitches (best in MLB)
- 19 steals allowed

That's a total of 26 "catcher bases allowed", which is best in the MLB. The league average is 42, with the Red Sox (57) and Dodgers (63) notably bad.

The caught stealing % is 3rd worst at 17%, but the league average is only 23%.

Obviously, much of this (wild pitches, stolen bases) depends on the pitcher as much as the catcher, but it seems that our backstops are doing a fine job compared to their peers.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#398283) #
Can't remember where I heard this but google did. During the A's series a couple of weeks ago:

Former major league pitcher and current A’s television analyst Dallas Braden was effusive in his praise of struggling Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen : “Jansen is an excellent defensive catcher. The type of catcher any pitcher wants to throw to. Jansen has blocked 99.2% of the balls thrown in the dirt since the 2020 season. When you can do that, you really don’t worry about him going 2 for 35. You just want him to catch your pitchers.”
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#398284) #
And all the metrics have always loved Danny's defense.

IMO he has enough patience and pop to hit well enough to allow that defense to keep him contributing real positive value overall, but it might not be enough to keep him starting longterm.

Then again, with his hitting profile there's always the potential of a him putting up a legit elite year overall with a bit of babip luck.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#398285) #
Jansen is quite amazing in the respect that coming up he was a hitting catcher, but his first ML season, iirc, the Jays told him to focus purely on defense, not offense. Boy has that worked well it seems. Now if he can just keep an 80+ OPS+ going forward he will be valuable. 50 range would make him a good backup. McGuire is the same type. Kirk has the offense and doesn't look bad back there. FanGraphs has Jansen at 1.6 for defense which for guys with 10+ innings behind the plate is #22 (#1 is Jose Trevino in Texas at 5.8). McGuire is #44 at 0.4. Kirk is #73 out of 80 at -0.4. Worst is Pedro Severino at -1.8, closely followed by Kurt Suzuki at -1.6.

Based on that Kirk isn't so good. Maybe they need to do with him what they did with Jansen - tell him focus 100% on defense for a season. His bat is good enough that doing that he should still be productive. Hopefully during the injury break he is working on learning how to call games better, and any other items you can learn from a desk vs the field.
Kasi - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#398286) #
Goldstein said recently the biggest difference between public and private metrics is how they view catchers. There is presumably a bunch of data out there we just don't have access to. For example explain how Mathis with the bat he has has gotten the number of at bats he's had in his career. I think that is why they've been comfortable giving Jansen the at bats despite his bat. It probably doesn't hurt that he has a decent minor league track record and wasn't known as a glove first guy before he got to the majors.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#398287) #
Biggio's last 11 games: .303/.439/.455

Gurriel's last 5 games: .455/.435/.591

Gurriel is especially interesting. Small sample size, obviously, but in each of the last three seasons he's put together a solid month where he hits rather like that. He's as streaky as anyone I can think of. As always, now would be a good time.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#398288) #
I really don't think that publicly available info on C defence is reliable. Look at the public data on Gary Sanchez (for example). There's both a wide variance on the data and an overall suggestion that he isn't terrible. He's the Gurriel Jr. of C defence - he has a very good and flashy arm, but everything else he does on defence (particularly catching the baseball) is terrible.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#398289) #
If Gurriel is playing reasonable well and especially if someone like Forrest Wall is impressing in AAA, I expect Gurriel to be part of a July package.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#398290) #
Sanchez sounds like IRod in the 90's - everyone LOVED his arm, in an era of a lot of stealing that was of high value - but he called a lot of fastballs to improve his odds I remember reading at the time, and he wasn't viewed as a good receiver until much later in his career. Mike Piazza was the mirror opposite - was at all catcher/pitcher meetings, called what was right to throw regardless of base stealers, had a terrible rep due to the low CS% but was a catcher his entire career despite that.
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#398291) #
"Only in place for away games" mostly refer to the normal non-covid Taxi Squad which is used to put a backup player on standby while the team decide at the last minute if a regular is going to the IL or not.

The current form of the Taxi Squad exist so that replacement players can clear the Covid protocols in advance of moves.

Apparently, the latest version says that a catcher is required only if there are more than 2 players total on the Taxi Squad. Regardless, it says you can use the bullpen catcher to fill the catcher requirement.  As for being official, it's a lot like the emergency catcher.

scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#398292) #
Lindor is up to an OPS+ of 71. McCann, 49.
Ha-Seong Kim, 59.

Hodgie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#398293) #
His recent surge over the last two weeks notwithstanding, Jansen is simply getting eaten alive by four-seamers. It is a small sample size I know, but off of four-seamers he has 2 HR, 1 single, and that's it on the season. Outside of those three hits he either whiffs, drives the ball into the ground, or pops it up. His last four hits? Four singles off of changeups. Whatever the reason, he just can't seem to barrel up the fastball.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#398294) #
While its only a quarter of the way into the season, team run differentials suggest that (other than a couple of exceptions) all of MLB's good teams are in two divisions (AL East and the NL West). That obviously has many implications for playoffs etc. but, if this carries on, needs to be considered in individual player evaluations at year end.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#398296) #
Nigel for the record this year baseball savant has Jansen's framing in the 62nd percentile and Sanchez in the 32nd.
pooks137 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#398297) #
Jansen is simply getting eaten alive by four-seamers.

I would agree by the eye test. I seem to remember Jansen swinging through some dead centre fastballs in PAs recently.

Looking at Fangraphs Pitch Info values though, I don't see any unusual trends that would account for Jansen being worse than his previous norm.

His 2021 -2.39 runs per 100 4-seamers isn't the far off his career of -1.80.

He's seeing more 4 seamers this year (40.2%) compared to last year (29.8%). But his 2021 percentages aren't that far off from previous years (38.0% 2019, 36.1% 2018).

So Jansen always been a below-average fastball hitter, but there isn't a whole lot to suggest he's performing worse than usual against them or that pitchers are challenging him that much more.

John Northey - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#398299) #
scottt - hadn't checked on the 'guys the Jays should've got' vs who his here...
Lindor: 71 OPS+ (0.2 WAR) vs Semien 127 (1.6 WAR)
McCann: 49 OPS+ (-0.2 WAR) vs Jansen 34 OPS+ (-0.1 WAR)
Ha-Seong Kim 59 OPS+ (0.4 WAR) vs Biggio I guess (88 OPS+ -0.1 WAR)

I figure if McCann was signed Jansen would've been a backup or traded. If Lindor or Kim were signed then Semien wouldn't have been, but to keep it as a 1-1 ratio I benched Biggio for this comparison. Kim's value is all defense (0.6 bWAR) - at 3B & 2B his defense has been very good, at SS not so much.
pooks137 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#398300) #
IMO that James McCann contract was one of the worst of the offseason.

10 million a year isn't exactly an albatross, but 4 years is a long time for someone who's been good for all of a year and a half.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#398301) #
uglyone - fwiw, I don't think that pitch framing data meets the eye test. Even Yankees fans think Sanchez is a poor defender. But, really, to my overall point and KG's in first instance, what do I or they know?
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#398302) #
Nigel that's percentile not rank.

62nd percentile = good
50th percentile = average
32nd percentile = bad
Nigel - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#398303) #
oops - missed that. Thanks.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#398304) #
One more to factor in...
Big push to get DJ LeMahieu last winter - he is at 111 OPS+ with a 1.1 WAR. Not as nice as Semien but solid.

So the infield battle...
  1. Semien: 127 OPS+, 1.6 WAR
  2. LeMahieu: 111 OPS+, 1.1 WAR
  3. Kim: 59 OPS+, 0.4 WAR
  4. Lindor: 71 OPS+, -0.2 WAR
I think the Jays must feel good right now about not winning the Lindor battle. $22.3 mil this year and $34.1 mil every year until 2031. Could the curse of the Mets be hitting again? Roberto Alomar was a superstar, 150 OPS+ and a gold glove the year before going to the Mets, 85 OPS+ and no more gold gloves after getting there. Phew, could you imagine if Lindor does that? Of course, Alomar was 34 his first year with the Mets vs Lindor being 27 so that is a drastic difference, as is the fact Lindor's peak is a 132 OPS+, then 117 and down. Closer to Tony Fernandez than Alomar.
Kasi - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#398305) #
Nice article on Chatwood and his pitch usage this year.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#398311) #
Thanks for the link Kasi. Very informative. I love informative.

Oddly, I was just reading about another pitcher with Blue Jays ties that has become an elite reliever by also turning a formerly little used pitch into a weapon.

Graveman is a long time favourite because of the story of how he instantly turned from a non-prospect into a major leaguer in the middle of a game.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#398312) #
Could the curse of the Mets be hitting again? Roberto Alomar was a superstar... Of course, Alomar was 34 his first year with the Mets

Then think of Carlos Baerga, who went from Cleveland to the Mets about five years before Alomar. He was 27 when he was traded, and through his age 26 season he'd hit .303/.345/.454, with a couple of 200 hit seasons.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#398314) #
Thanks Magpie - I knew there was another guy who crashed and burned with the Mets but my mind blanked on Baerga. Before the year he was traded to the Mets he was 305/345/454 115 OPS+ - 3 time All-Star by age 27, half a season in Cleveland where he wasn't doing well and they traded him to the Mets. After that split season he hit 276/319/378 for a 82 OPS+ (missed his age 31/32 seasons due to being in poor fitness from what I read). From the year of the trade to the end he only cracked a 90 OPS+ once, a 117 at age 34 for Arizona over 231 PA. Sad as he was a viewed as a leader early on - he did the player statement after that terrible boat crash that killed Tim Crews and Steve Olin in 1993 and almost killed Bob Ojeda as well. Impressive for a kid at age 25.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#398315) #
Stripling contrasting Manoah effectively tonight.
Kasi - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#398316) #
Poor start again for Stripling. Not a surprise since Dunedin is a bandbox but him and Ray need to get those HR tendencies under control. Perhaps Stripling should just be put in the bullpen to get some more oomph out of his FB so his stuff plays better. Thing was in LA his hr/9 rate wasn't that bad.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#398318) #
This is likely striplings last start as a Jay, long live Mt. Manoah
. I never liked the stripling trade from the start, but hopefully he will better in model relief.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#398319) #
Well that was a bad inning.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#398320) #
I think I have to agree about Stripling’s rotation spot not being long for this world. He’s strange to watch: seems like everything is either a rocket off the bat or a strikeout.

Them lining up Manoah on the same day seems too perfect to be a coincidence (even if I might be in the minority and prefer he get another AAA start or two).

Also geez that was one late stop sign from Rivera. Semien probably should’ve just committed and gone home once he was that far.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#398321) #
Unfortunate running by semien. But I don't think 3b coach had the stop sign up in time.

But the ball is flying tonight. Lots of runs coming.

And great slide by vladdy.
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#398322) #
Between Semien's out at 3rd and everything hit to left field being an automatic out because Gurriel can't see anything, this is like a handicap game.
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#398323) #
And why is Pat talking about confidence?
I can understand when the pitcher can't find the strike zone, but when he's hitting the glove and getting shelled?

92-93 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#398324) #
It's pretty amazing to see that Luis Rivera is in his 9th season as the Jays 3B coach. Those horrendous base-running decisions seem to happen far too often with this team.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#398326) #
Even their names make a perfect contrast: the Stripling versus the Man(oah).
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#398327) #
Stripling is the Rocky Balboa of pitching.
His strategy is to exhaust the hitters by letting them hit and run around the bases.

Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#398328) #
Those horrendous base-running decisions seem to happen far too often with this team.

We certainly notice them when they happen with this team. Nevertheless, during Rivera's tenure as third base coach, the Blue Jays have generally had fewer runners thrown out at the plate than the average AL team, sometimes far fewer, and they've never led the league in runners thrown out at home.
2013: Jays 11, Boston 25, Average 16
2014: Jays 16, Angels/Yankees 21, Average 16
2015: Jays 14, Detroit 25, Average 19
2016: Jays 14, Texas 23, Average 16
2017: Jays 19, Boston 29, Average 17
2018: Jays 21, Minnesota 25, Average 18
2019: Jays 7, Tampa Bay 22, Average 15
2020: Jays 9, Baltimore/Oakland 10, Average 6
2021: Jays 3, Boston/New York 7, Average 4

It's maddening every time it happens, but it does happen more often elsewhere.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#398329) #
Jason Bay also fizzled out with the Mets.
grjas - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#398330) #
Meanwhile Manoah has 10 strikeouts in 6 innings. 1ER from HR.

Methinks it’s time.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#398332) #
Maybe Stripling needs to do that old Jim Bouton move and warm up twice.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#398333) #
Interesting numbers Magpie, but devoid of context there isn't really a conclusion that can be drawn. It's possible that some teams are getting thrown out as a result of good coaching decisions, while others are not (like your team being down 5-0 in the bottom of the 1st with Vlad on deck, though there was a stop sign at some point). For Rivera to stick around for two managers and front offices he's obviously a good component of the clubhouse, and management doesn't think he costs them on the field.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#398334) #
Not to mention some teams have many more runners running around the bases. But I think it's fair to say that Rivera's not exactly "Wave-Em-In" Wendell Kim.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#398335) #
It goes without saying that the Jays misjudged how good Stripling was, at least stuff-wise. The numbers in LA were very good. The actual pitch quality is ordinary at best. Very fungible piece, but SP depth is SP depth, so he'll serve a purpose.

Manoah taking his next start would be a great development.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#398336) #
Time for a comeback starting now.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#398337) #
As exciting as it would be to see him, the timeline for a kid with as little experience as Manoah should never be influenced by a failure of the roll the dice starting rotation you assembled.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#398338) #
the timeline for a kid with as little experience as Manoah

What, 18 innings above A ball isn't enough?

I'm thinking I'd at least like to see him itch as many innings in AAA as Roger Clemens did (46.2).
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#398339) #
Manoah is 23.
Pearson is 24 and debuted at 23.
SWR is 20.

Sanchez were rushed up by failure to assemble a proper pitching staff. 
He was put in the pen at 21 and the conversion to starter was screwed up because he had only thrown 92 innings in 2015.
Stroman was up at 23 and threw 165 innings, including 35 in AAA with an ERA of 3.03.
Manoah is projected to be shut down after 130 innings. How many of those should be in AAA where he's striking out over 13 per 9 innings?
Is there a danger that he'll be worse than Stripling and sent back down like Pearson?
I don't think so.

Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#398340) #
Uh, I'd like to see him pitch....
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#398341) #
Stroman started 7 games in AAA and then was in the pen for 6 games and started 20 games for Toronto.
Manoah is good for another 19 starts.

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#398342) #
I actually support Manoah pitching in AAA for at least half a season. Two wrongs (not adding enough quality starting pitching in the off-season and prematurely promoting Manoah) don’t make a right.
scottt - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#398343) #
I support Pearson pitching in AAA the rest of the year.
It's not about spending time. It's about performing.
They want Manoah to throw more changeup when he's behind in the count. Whatever.
Pearson has changed his delivery and needs to make adjustments.
Then learn to repeat his new delivery.

With a win tonight they would have been in first place.
Instead they'll be in 3rd place half a game ahead of 4th place.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#398346) #
I'm thinking I'd at least like to see him itch as many innings in AAA as Roger Clemens did (46.2).

We want a pitcher not a belly itcher
Waveburner - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#398347) #
Corey Kluber just tossed a no hitter. I wonder if we will roughly one per week all season long.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#398348) #
Whoa. Another no-hitter?
Gerry - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#398349) #
Manoah poll posted.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#398351) #
So far, there have been 21 complete games pitched in MLB this season. Those include 15 shutouts, 6 no-hitters, and Bumgarner's seven-inning no-no.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#398353) #
As this has been the Year of the No Hitter thus far, it got me thinking what current Blue Jay could potentially become the second pitcher in franchise history to complete one (in a fair universe Dave Stieb should've had at least five from what I've been told, alas). The obvious first thought would be Ryu, since well... he's pretty clearly the best pitcher on the team, usually keeps a low pitch count and induces a ton of weak contact.

As far as Ray or Matz, I'd like Matz's chances significantly more. Ray even when dominating still gets into a lot of deep counts, and even if he took a no-no into the 7th he'd likely be over 100 pitches and they'd pull the plug. Then you've got the kids potentially, Manoah or Pearson. The same pitch restrictions would probably apply though, especially for Pearson and his injury history.

Naturally, if it did happen, it'd probably be somebody random like Anthony Kay doing it.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 19 2021 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#398357) #
"It goes without saying that the Jays misjudged how good Stripling was, at least stuff-wise"

Jays had reams of TrackMan data on Stripling. They knew the stuff he had. Teams think they can fix other teams players. Sometime they can, sometimes they can't.

Chase rate percentiles
2018 - 85th
2019 - 49th
2020 -7th
2021- 3rd

Michael - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 02:30 AM EDT (#398360) #
"the Blue Jays have generally had fewer runners thrown out at the plate than the average AL team"

While a more accurate picture could likely be had with a detailed study and review, my gut reaction is that is a *bad* indication, not a good one. In general, MLB team's (and 3b coaches in particular) are too conservative about trying for home. From a Run Expectation/Win Expectation you'd expect that you should risk outs more aggressively than they do, but this is a little like other "risky" plays (like going for it on 4th down in the NFL or doing 2 point converts etc.) where the downside for the coach of (correctly) going for it and it not working is much larger than the downside of (incorrectly) not going for it and far fewer people noticing.

If there's a runner on 2nd and 2 outs and there's a sharp hit single right to the left fielder on a bounce should the runner go for home challenging the throw? From a run expectations point of view if an "average" batter is coming up next the choice is 1st and 3rd with two outs or either score a run and runner on 1st (even assuming the runner can't advance to 2nd, which he might be able on a play at the plate) or else end the inning. 103 with 2 outs had a 0.54 RE in 2020. 100 with 2 outs had a 0.24 RE. So if you are p likely to make it, you should go for it when p*1.24 > 0.54 => go for home if the chance of scoring is at least 43.5% (and even lower if the runner on 1st will advance to 2nd on the play to the plate, then you need 40.6%). And if the next batter up is worse than average or the pitcher is better than average you should go on even lower chances. But if you told the 3rd base coach that the chance of success was 45% or even 50% would they send them in most games?

So if the Jays consistently have the fewest runners thrown out at home my initial suspicion is they are too cautious going for it.

As I said though there are a lot of factors and a relatively small sample size, so you'd have to study it more closely to be sure, but in general MLB teams don't try for home aggressively enough.
scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 04:33 AM EDT (#398361) #
Isn't that like saying the Jays should try to steal more bases because they're rarely getting caught stealing?
scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 04:49 AM EDT (#398364) #
Stripling looks like a guy who might be useful behind an opener.
Maybe Thornton first, Stripling second would have worked a lot better.
Stripling is a flyball pitcher, not a good fit for Dunedin.

scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 06:19 AM EDT (#398365) #
McGuire with 2 hits, now hitting .400.
Riley Adams is hitting .133 with 2 HR in AAA.

scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 06:29 AM EDT (#398366) #
Pivetta has not lost a game with Boston in 10 starts.
3 vs Baltimore
1 vs Detroit
1 vs the Angels
1 vs the Mets
1 vs Atlanta
1 vs Seattle
1 vs the White Sox
1 vs Tampa

Against the White Sox, he threw 83 pitches and didn't complete the 4th inning but only allowed 2 runs.

Bid - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#398379) #
Regarding Rivera:

Sometimes his faulty instructions are more troubling than mere outs at the plate. May the 2nd: Gurriel doubles to left, Grichuk with a good jump from first is waved home--based our announcers suggest by Ozuna's poor-arm rep although the great relay from the Braves shortstop was apparently ill-considered...Grichuk out, D'Arnaud to the 60-day with an injured thumb. The video replay shows Rivera muffling his very late stop sign.
scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#398382) #
Initially, the 3rd base coach waives the player while he follows the ball.
You want the runner to hurry up to 3rd otherwise there's no chance to score.
Ideally, the final decision should be made before the runner reaches 3rd, but as soon as the coach has reason to think the player won't make it he gives the stop.
It might take a long time for the fielder to get to the ball. Maybe it's rolling.
Whenever the fielder has the ball, it depends on how shallow he is, how good an arm he has and possibly on where the throw is headed.
It's easy to get hurt if you have to slam the breaks and go back to 3rd.
It would have been a lot worse had Semien pulled something on that play.
I remember Gurriel had a leg injury on a change do direction play at second 2 years ago.

In previous years, the Jays almost never scored from first.
That was not in the cards in the Encarnation, Bautista, Smoak, etc days.

uglyone - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#398384) #
Vladdy leads all position players with a 2.5fwar.

No mean feat for a 1B.
hypobole - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#398385) #
uo, what feed were you watching? I just watched the play on Sportsnet again and it's inconclusive to say the least, because the camera never went to third until Semien was well past the bag.

Does anyone have an angle on the play?
scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#398387) #
I bet staying on the field helps a bunch.
Cracka - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#398388) #
Rivera's stop sign was too late given the game situation: Down by 5 runs, no outs, #3 hitter coming up. Even if Semien had a good chance to score, I don't think you send him unless it's nearly certain. Once Bichette's double bounced off the wall cleanly to the CF - that's when the Stop Sign should go up. Instead, Rivera waited to see if the throw was going to hit the cutoff man, and by that time it was too late.

It didn't cost us the game, but it deflated a possible multi-run inning.
hypobole - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#398390) #
Is there is any video on this? I don't believe Pat any more than posters here, but he claimed to have watched the play all the way and Rivera's stop sign was up in plenty of time.

I don't really have an opinion on Rivera, but here is what I know is fact. AA hired him in 2010 and he became the 3rd base coach in 2012. He kept the job throughout AA's tenure. There has been a lot of turnover under the new FO. Only 2 coaches are left from AA's time - Rivera and Pete Walker. That to me is the most telling "statistic"
92-93 - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#398391) #
Bang on, Cracka. In between innings the broadcast showed a highlight of the play that led Siddall to throw Semien under the bus, but his analysis was missing your nuance. Rivera should have been yelling so loudly (take off the damn masks, they are pure hygiene theatre) and early that Semien couldn't have possibly made a baserunning mistake.

And it very well may have cost the Jays game. Richards was who we thought he was, and we let him off the hook. The inning and game would have looked very different if Vlad came up with 2nd and 3rd and no outs instead of having a runner on 2nd with one out.

The good news is the Jays have Matz on the bump tonight with a rested pen to win the series and move back into the division lead in the (fewest) loss column.
Polite Nate - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#398392) #
I don't have a link but I remember watching the replays at the time and it sure looked to me like Semien ran through the sign. I seem to recall his head was down rounding third and Rivera's hands were sky high. Memory's a funny thing though.

Either way, I don't really care if he muffs the odd call, they can't all be zingers. I am in one hundred percent agreement with hyperbole: Rivera and Walker have survived multiple changes in both on field staff and front offices -- there's something there that is well liked by the people on the inside, and I think that's the more important factor. Only recently I feel like we're starting to hear rumblings about Walker's reputation league wide, I'd be curious what other teams thought of Rivera as well.
Magpie - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#398394) #
I always figured that if the coach put up the stop sign before the runner had actually run past him, it was up in time.

Anyway, here's something that we should all find Extremely Useful. Those unwritten rules we're always hearing about. The indispendable and always delightful McSweeney's has taken the trouble to write them all down.
scottt - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#398395) #
Semien looks down to make sure he's not missing the bag, Rivera pulls the break at that moment.

Hodgie - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#398407) #
Given the discussion on the Semien play last night, I was curious how the Jays have faired on the bases this season. Hands up if you would have guessed the Jays as a top-5 team (4th) in MLB in Fangraphs BsR and that Vladdy, yes Vladdy, is 10th in MLB! Semien is 3rd by the way.
jgadfly - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#398408) #
RE: Pillar's photo ... I'm surprised that he doesn't look as bad as he should. A 95 mph fastball with explosive tail up and in and catching him flush with an audible smack could have done so much more damage. The video has been edited so that he appears to almost 'pop up' to his feet and make his way quickly to the dugout. The edit hides the minute or so that he was prostrate on the ground, face down, kicking his feet and then futilely crawling towards 3rd base. Every time he lifted his head another gusher of blood would rhythmically spout out in cadence with his pulse and fell in a torrent to the ground, while all around players gaped with open mouths in disbelief and stunned horror as the totally unprepared trainors frantically searched for towels, for gloves and for somebody who might know what to do. It was downright frightening. I honestly thought that his career was over and that his eye socket/orbital bone was shattered. The Braves pitcher sat in disbelief on the mound with his legs askew and glove to his face. It was then that I realized that he was the same pitcher who had thrown the same type of pitch, with the same explosive movement to Bo Bichette a couple of games before. Bichette, like Pillar was searching (as both Jays & Mets announcing teams noted) for a low and outside changeup and Bichette, unlike Pillar, reflexively straightened up and leaped both upwardly and backwards, his feet off the ground, to narrowly avoid Pillar's fate. It took the grounds crew about 4 minutes to sop up Pillar's blood from the dirt by home plate and a few minutes more for a replacement pitcher to get ready after the Brave's pitcher could not continue. It was very scary and it was a very close call, with varying results, for both Pillar and the Blue Jays
jgadfly - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#398409) #
an addendum to the above comment ... a heartfelt wish for a full and speedy recovery for Kevin and family
Eephus - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#398415) #
When Luis Rivera first became the third base coach way back when I seem to recall getting very frustrated with some of his aggressive sends, although a lot of that could've just been how bad the team was at that point (Moises Sierra for instance must be one of the worst baserunners I've ever seen as a Blue Jay).

Since then though I can't really think of any serious blunder on his part, even that play last night isn't entirely on him (with Semien running full speed rounding the bag, the "stop" signal should've been a bit sooner for him to see it and give him time to slow down, but also like I said once you've committed down the line that far Semien would've been better served just continuing home instead of stumbling back and being stuck inbetween. It happens).

Third base coaches might be somewhat like umpires in that it is so much easier to recognize their mistakes compared to their good calls. 
mathesond - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#398421) #
Are Buck and Tabler auditioning for jobs w/NESN? They seem awfully excited about all the Boston scoring.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#398424) #
I realize this wonderful site is here for more intellectually stimulating baseball discussion than television broadcaster critiques, but having been around since almost the beginning I feel comfortable talking about it.

Martinez has become insufferable this season. He's always been a culture warrior in baseball, but this year the constant whinging has reached epic levels. How many consecutive nights do we need to hear about catchers on one knee or pitchers throwing fastballs? Or about how new fangle baseball stats are hurting baseball.

I'm fine with a little editorializing, but Buck just seems to have an infinite supply of opinions, and they come across so pompous and arrogant. Not to mention that fact that when he calls PBP there is ZERO effort to appeal to radio listeners.

Just call the damn action on the field. It's embarrassing.
Spifficus - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#398426) #
Petey, I agree, and endorse the emphasis of the double-post.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#398427) #
I did not mean to do that...I don't know how to delete the first one.
Eephus - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#398428) #
or pitchers throwing fastballs?

Funny enough I was watching a short portion of the Reds-Giants game this afternoon (lord knows why, Votto is hurt and the Reds are exceptionally mediocre yet again) and I saw a stat how Giants pitchers have the lowest fastball usage (47 percent I think) in all of MLB. San Francisco also has one of the best records in baseball right now and much of that is because their pitching staff has been so good. Not sure I'd buy heavily into that being sustainable... but when your best starting pitchers are crafty vets who rely on changing speeds (Cueto, Gausman, Alex Wood, DeScalfani)... what else can you do.

I still maintain Buck can be a good broadcaster when paired with somebody who actually calls the in-game action well. That is obviously not Pat Tabler, and while I love baseball on the radio I can't even imagine tuning in when it's just those two. At-bats go by without either of them commenting on anything actually currently happening. Meanwhile Ben Wagner, an genuine professionally qualified play-by-play broadcaster, is miscast running around doing reports in the stadium twice a game. It doesn't make any sense to me. What's wrong with a three person booth for these home games? Wagner (whom I like, but sometimes can get over excited in his calls) doing the necessary pitch by pitch stuff, while Buck and Tabby and their agreeable chemistry (too agreeable I'd argue) do their thing? It'd work better than this setup. Sigh....
Spifficus - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#398430) #
I figured, Petey. I just figured I'd play off it to mark my agreement.

Though Eephus does bring up a good point - Buck's not a bad Crotchity Old Vet Telling Stories color guy. He's just woefully miscast as a play-by-play guy because he gets caught in between trying to do both roles, and does them both poorly. Then, when he gets back to being a color guy with Shulman, he gets caught in between, just not as bad, and probably just from mixing the roles.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#398431) #
I came of age during the Shulman-Buck years on TSN. When he was named manager I was elated. These days, I even find Shulman-Buck 2.0 a little more opinionated than necessary. Buck still finds a way to come off as pompous in an analyst role these days, in my opinion.

Sadly, I find myself as an adult complaining about his complaining. The fourteen year old me couldn't imagine doing this.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#398432) #
Every time there is a runner on first I always eye roll the inevitable discussion about the hit and run. Buck doesn’t speak to somebody like myself who is more analytically inclined.

Tyler Chatwood has been a fabulous pickup and I hope they extend him. He has been elite in pretty much every category.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#398433) #
That's the thing, see. It's not so much he's not analytically inclined. Ken Singleton isn't/wasn't, for example. Martinez though...just speaks as if he has an agenda. I mean geez...this young exciting team is just starting to take off, and we're stuck with Coaches Corner lite.
Spifficus - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#398434) #
It's funny, my favorite announcers lean more towards the ones that sound like you're listening in to friends guys watching a game at the bar, where the game just weaves in and out of the conversation. the bay area teams have two crews that sound like this. Orsillo and Remy had this for the Sox (it's been 14 years, and I still lose it over "Here comes the pizza!").

Of course, it might not work as well over the radio...
Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 20 2021 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#398435) #
Yeah that's a great point Spif.
I also grew up with Ernie Harwell, George Kell and AL Kaline. Harwell is iconic, obviously, but Kaline and Kell were both boring as hell yet you loved listening to them.
Super Bluto - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#398436) #
"Every time he lifted his head another gusher of blood would rhythmically spout out in cadence with his pulse and fell in a torrent to the ground, while all around players gaped with open mouths in disbelief and stunned horror..."

I don't know. Was it really as bad as all that?

uglyone - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#398437) #
Petey you are 100% right.

And red Sox series make it all the worse as buck can't help but cheer for Boston in between beating the same dead horses that made him an horrific manager.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#398441) #
It doesn't look like the Jays ever reached the 85% vaccinated point.
That doesn't bode well for playing in Toronto this summer.

jgadfly - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#398443) #
Bluto ... unfortunately, yes
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#398448) #
They considered putting Tellez on the IL and brought Valera to the Taxi Squad.
Then they decided not to put Tellez on the IL. He pinch hit yesterday and walked.
Gurriel has some king of knee issue and is day-to-day.
Valera has been taking outfield drills.

bpoz - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#398449) #
I am upset that we blew last nights game.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#398451) #
Same thing happened twice.
The bottom of the order was able to string hits together.
Maybe they don't have a good scouting report on these guys.
The Boston offense was supposed to be just the 3-4-5 hitters.
It's the 6-8-9 guys who did the most damage.
It's hard to be too upset. They didn't walk those guys.
They got some hits, nothing hit that hard.

I'm more upset about the non-competitive starters in the rotation.

Petey Baseball - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#398452) #
As far as the actual games went, the series loss stings but overall this team is in good shape. Basically, with their bullpen 4-5 men down, and a patchwork rotation, plus missing Springer, they are neck and neck with the division leader. There's going to be more injuries, but with the talent they have returning, it's going to be a fun summer.
Mike Green - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#398455) #
Kudos to Charlie Montoyo (assist to Walker) for sticking with Matz for 6 innings. The shape of the pitching staff is becoming clearer. They are going to keep the team in the game enough while the offence kicks into gear.
John Northey - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#398456) #
If someone told you that on May 21st the Jays would have Tellez having 44 OPS+, Gurriel 56, Jansen 34 (massive improvement there), and 2 members of the rotation with ERA+ of 60 and Roark released while Merryweather, Borucki, Phelps, Hatch, and Yates on the IL with Pearson, and Zeuch both in the minors would you expect a 23-19 record just 2 1/2 games out? I know I'd have said 'no way' if you told me that pre-season. But here we are. No panic trades, no panic promotions, just a solid young team growing despite adversity. Enjoy it - these are the good old days for those who weren't alive for the 1983 team that stayed in contention for a decade. The 2015/16 team was more a 'lets dump everything into this one shot' team. But this - young kids becoming solid ML'ers and even star ML'ers is so much more fun to watch.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#398458) #
There was a panic promotion.
That game that Pearson started without going to AAA for 2 or 3 dominant starts first.

Matz has been better than I expected but not much.
Ray has been worse--mostly because of the time missed  because of the bruised elbow.
Ryu, Merryweather, Stripling, Romano, Dolis, Chatwood, Mayza, Borucki, Semien all performing as expected.
Kay, Zeuch, Roark have been worse than I hoped.
Phelps, Springer, Kirk, Hatch, Pearson, Murphy, Gurriel, Tellez have all done less than I expected.

Bergen has been better so far than I expected.
I was hoping Castro would be good, but I didn't count on it.
Grichuk has been a surprise, but he's still not a good as Springer would have been.
I didn't expect McGuire to play here at all.

grjas - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#398460) #
This is a good team, but the division is extremely tight with 4 strong teams and little to differentiate them. The Jays need another starter to get going as they are having to rely too much on hitters and the bullpen to cover the number 4 and 5 starters, as well as periodically some of the top 3 if they falter.

While the Jays can shore up at the deadline, they are playing with fire in the mean time if someone doesn't step up. It doesn't look to be Stripling so they need one of Hatch, Kay, Pearson or Manoah to come through...or may be Thorton...and ideally two of them.
uglyone - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#398461) #
This series loss was a measuring stick and we failed it pretty badly.

Bad enough that the Red Sox aren't actually even that good, but even worse that we lost this series due to issues more in line with what we expected coming into the season - plenty of offense, but unreliable pitching - both starters and relievers.

The rotation, IMO, has gone pretty much as expected so far:

Ryu: 8gs, 5.8ip/gs, 59era-, 76fip-, 75xfip-

One legit top rotation pitcher, though not a true workhorse type.

Ray: 9gs, 5.8ip/gs, 89era-, 133fip-, 84xfip-
Matz: 7gs, 5.3ip/gs, 110era-, 105fip-, 90xfip-

Two decent but inconsistent middle-to-back rotation types.

Other: 16gs, 3.5ip/gs 165era-, 152fip-, 121xfip-

I guess we maybe could have expected better than this from the lottery tickets at the back of the rotation, but relying on these types for two slots in the rotation was always too ambitious - this kind of competition for the 5 spot is ok, not so much for the 4 spot.

I guess the big point of contention in this last part is whether Stripling was realistically more than just a junk drawer guy.

scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#398463) #
You don't have to hit with every draft or trade, but you need to move on from the bad ones.
They've done that reasonably well, so I expect that Stripling's leach is shortening with every start.

Also, I think everyone is getting tired of Dunedin now.

Nigel - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#398464) #
I think the pitching, on the whole, has been better than could reasonably have been expected. That doesn't mean that it isn't also reasonable for it to be better as the year goes along (with promotions, return to health and trade deadline deals).
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#398465) #
Also, was Allgeyer a panic promotion or not?
I don't know how to qualify that move just yet.

Cracka - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#398466) #
Yes. They wanted a long-man in the pen on Saturday in case Kay struggled. Allgeyer had last pitched on Tuesday and was fully stretched out to ~90 pitches. He was the "longest" guy available and they like him. I don't they planned on adding him to the 40-man roster this soon, but now he's there and providing more competition to Manoah, Pearson and Zeuch for that "next starter up".
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