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We're almost done with Dunedin.

Charlie Montoyo was taking some heat last night for sending Dolis out to close against the Red Sox. It was further evidence, in fact, that Montoyo has abandoned the traditional Slave to the Save approach of running a bullpen. The man who has been his best reliever (Chatwood) was called on to face the heart of the Boston lineup, the 2-3-4 hitters. His second best reliever (Romano) got the next shift, the 5-6-7 hitters. Both pitchers did their jobs perfectly, leaving the bottom of the order for Dolis, who's generally been as effective and as reliable as Chatwood and Romano.

Four games with the Devil Fishies, Friday and Saturday night, Sunday afternoon, and then a finale on Monday afternoon on the Queen Victoria holiday. The 24th isn't just Victoria's birthday - it was my mother's as well. And it will also be the 80th birthday of a Duluth-born singer who'd still be wandering the world like a rolling stone were it not for this pesky pandemic. How does it feel?


Fri 21 May - Glasnow (4-2, 2.35) vs Kay (0-2, 7.24)
Sat 22 May - McClanahan (1-0, 4.67) vs Ray (2-1, 3.79)
Sat 23 May - Fleming (3-3, 2.34) vs Ryu (4-2, 2.51)
Mon 24 May - Yarbrough (2-3, 4.24) vs Stripling (0-3, 7.20)
Rays at Jays, May 21-24 | 207 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#398467) #
The Rays are extremely happy to play a road series 20 miles from their stadium.
Hopefully, that spoils their preparation.
Coming to Dunedin, the Rays seems hot as hell.
OPS last 7 days
Wendle 1.700
Choi 1.493
Arozarena 1.375
Adames 1.2750
Meadows 1.187
Diaz .976
Phillips .889

But that's coming from  a series against Baltimore in which they score 13, 9 and 10 runs, a series against the Mets in which they scored 3, 12, and 7 runs and a game against the Yankees in which they scored 9.

They only scored 1, 3, and 4 runs in Oakland,  1 and 0 runs in the other Yankees games.

So, I suggest pitching well.
Cracka - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#398468) #
The Rays have just traded Willy Adames to the Brewers. This feels like a huge gift on the eve of the four-game series, even though they are getting a couple of arms in return. Adames has owned us throughout his career: .338/.414/.541 in 42 games against the Jays.

Mike Green - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#398469) #
When will Wander Franco arrive in town?  Tomorrow?
Magpie - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#398470) #
It's certainly true that Stripling and Kay have not exactly run with the fourth and fifth starter jobs, but it's not true that that was ever the plan. I think Pearson, Hatch, and a hoped-for bounce-back from Roark were all in line ahead of them. None out of three is bad, and hence Stripling and Kay.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#398471) #
Don't expect Franco before the super-two deadline.

The Rays have 3 infield prospects tearing it up in AAA.

Taylor Walls .327/.468/.490 and Vidal Brujan .333/.429/.650 are Tampa's prospects number 7 and 2.

scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#398472) #
Tampa had been trying to trade Adames and Austin Meadows since last fall.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#398474) #
Taylor Walls it is.

He's Tampa's best defensive player and a switch hitter.

Dr B - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#398475) #
None out of three is bad, and hence Stripling and Kay.

Iíd call that none for two. I am sure they _hoped_ for a bounce-back from Roark, but that would have been a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. It is hard to imagine it was ever part of a plan. But you are absolutely right, Stripling and Kay are not plan A.

Is it time to put Borucki into the rotation? OhÖwaitÖ
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#398478) #
*Admittedly apprehensive to belabour the topic...

The radio audience is being strained by the television audio feed. †It creates the onerous burden of highly active listening awareness. †The charm and enjoyment of baseball on the radio is how it blends into the ambience, yet does not require a scorecard to keep track of things. †The summary interjections by Rob Wong are helpful, but insufficient.

I have access to Sportsnet Ontario/East/West/Pacific. †I do not have access to Sportsnet One. †All games are now unavailable during the week until July 16th, post All-Star Break. †(Except Thursday, July 1st.)

No television during the week. †No real radio anytime. †(But why? †I did my chores and homework.) †Rogers is not a widget-maker and this whole thing is diabolical for a telecommunications megacorporation.
scottt - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#398479) #
I have Sportsnet One along with the others.

Can you stream  with Sportsnet Now?

Magpie - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#398480) #
The radio audience is being strained by the television audio feed.

I haven't listened, but I'd imagine it's awful. Especially when Shulman is absent. I don't know if Martinez and Tabler have ever worked radio, and this would be a weird way to have them start.
John Northey - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#398482) #
I have Sportsnet Now and stream every game without issue - I don't pay one iota of attention to which individual channel it is on, as long as it is on a Sportsnet one. Same for hockey & basketball & whatever else is on. I get very annoyed if I want to watch something and it is on TSN instead. Just glad the Jays are exclusive to Sportsnet. Just logged in and see that the Jays are on Sportsnet One tonight and it is working.
Nigel - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#398483) #
I've tried twice to listen to them on the radio. Forget all of the real issues that people have posted about how annoying Buck and Pat are, their biggest problem for radio is that they don't actually, you know, call the game. They will simply ignore calling balls and strikes. They will say "so and so" is coming to the plate then one of them will launch into a story, you can literally hear crowd noise associated with pitches being thrown, and then the first mention of action with the batter will be "just outside for ball 3" - they simply ignored calling balls 1 and 2. I gave up and had to go to Gameday.
grjas - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#398484) #
None out of three is bad, and hence Stripling and Kay.

Iím teams of hopes, it was actually 5 including hoping for bounce backs by Matz and Ray. So they are actually 2 for 5 since those two have been reasonably good though inconsistent.

The reality is it could have been much worseÖ

Regardless the future is still bright given the starter depth in the minors. This still is a bridge year,in my mind, till their arrival along with a proper 3rd baseman. If they make the playoffs, itís gravy.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#398485) #
Tampa Bay Rays (nee Devils)
Home ballpark - Tropicana Field (condemned)

2 pennants - 6 playoff berths - 3 division titles - 3 wild cards

Previous era of five regular starters:
1 - 2008 - five pitchers - 153 starts
2 - 2009 - five pitchers - 154 starts
3 - 2011 - five pitchers - 148 starts
4 - 2013 - six pitchers - 154 starts

New era of the opener:
5 - 2019 - five pitchers averaged 136 innings
5 - 2019 - eleven others averaged 55 innings

6 - 2020 - six pitchers averaged 44 innings (on pace for 119)
6 - 2020 - eight others averaged 23 innings (on pace for 63)
[regular season - 60 games]
Magpie - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#398487) #
they don't actually, you know, call the game. They will simply ignore calling balls and strikes

They ignore the radio audience so completely, so absolutely, that I could actually suspect that they're doing it on purpose, to prove what a stupid idea this was.
Magpie - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#398488) #
I don't think that's what they're really doing. It just seems that way. I think it's just two veteran TV guys who have never worked on radio and probably haven't listened to a baseball game on the radio since they were kids.

A really good radio play-by=play guy - and I know a lot of people found Jerry Howarth's personality grating, but he took care of this part of the job as well as anyone - will tell you, pitch after pitch after pitch, what the pitch was, where the pitch was, what the umpire said it was, and what the hitter did with it. And then all of that again on the next pitch. And the next one.
uglyone - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#398489) #
Buck makes a unique and interesting point yet again - sometimes the shift....doesn't work!

Gerry - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#398490) #
Kay tonight, through 3 innings, 69 pitches, 39 strikes, 30 balls

Pearson in AAA tonight, 58 pitches, 35 strikes, 23 balls.

Both need to work on command.
Nigel - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#398491) #
I agree. I donít think itís intentional I just think itís obliviousness. I also agree that calling a game by radio is an art not a science. Thereís a reason that so many of us have an emotional connection with one of the legendary radio voices. But, basic play by play should be mandated.
Cracka - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#398492) #
Gruber, Frye, Biggio... is tonight the night for a fourth member of the cycle club?
greenfrog - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#398493) #
Semien is currently having a star-level season ó maybe even an MVP-calibre one. Fantastic acquisition by the front office.
grjas - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#398494) #
Semien is certainly proving his all star season was not a fluke.
greenfrog - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#398495) #
Hitting a double, triple and home run in 3 PA, propelling the Jays to a 5-3 lead, and effectively knocking the Rays ace (who is himself having a terrific season) out of the game is quite an accomplishment. After tonight's game, Semien might be on pace for close to 8 WAR/162 games.

He will cool off at some point, but I still think he'll finish with 4+ WAR.
grjas - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#398496) #
Meanwhile Jansen is about to pass Tellez in OPS. What on earth happened to Rowdy?
krose - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#398497) #
Tellez, Espinal, McGuire, Davis. That is just too much ďdead zoneĒ in the lineup to win many games.
greenfrog - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#398499) #
If the Jays can get Springer back fully healthy and Gurriel Jr. can start hitting (he's having an atrocious season), they will be in much better shape. Same for Biggio -- he needs to get it going.

Austin Martin went 3/4 today. Maybe he'll force his way into the lineup sometime during the second half of the season.

I could see a possible eventual lineup of:

Springer CF
Bichette SS
Guerrero Jr. 1B
Hernandez RF
Semien 2B
Grichuk DH
Gurriel Jr. LF
Martin 3B
Jansen/Kirk C

You can see why the Jays wanted the left-handed bat of Michael Brantley in the off-season.

Depending on how the playoff races shape up, Kris Bryant could be someone for the Jays to target at the trade deadline. Then the Jays could run out a championship-calibre lineup of:

Springer CF
Bichette SS
Guerrero Jr. 1B
Bryant 3B
Hernandez RF
Semien 2B
Grichuk DH
Gurriel Jr. LF
Jansen/Kirk C

With Martin/Bichette taking over 3B/SS in 2022.
greenfrog - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#398500) #
* In those proposed lineups, Grichuk should probably play RF with Hernandez DHing.
krose - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#398501) #
Ballzie 3-2 curveball with the bases loaded in extra innings. Looks great when it works.
greenfrog - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#398502) #
Three bunts and youíre out. Again. I hope Montoyo stops calling for the bunt in that situation.
Polite Nate - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#398503) #
Complaining about the bunt is almost cliche at this point and I'm more bunt friendly than a lot of people these days, but especially with that defensive alignment I really hate that call.
Spifficus - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#398504) #
It's not the bunting that was the major issue for me (though I was not a fan). It's the 2-strike bunting with someone who was all jabby on their first two attempts. That's just begging for a bunting K.
Four Seamer - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#398505) #
This is such tedious baseball. I have no idea why Iím still watching at this point (my wife is about ready to file for divorce).
krose - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#398506) #
Looked like the Rays intimidated Espinal on that bunt play. Looked as though the Rays were willing to give the runners 2nd and 3rd. Just donít understand the thinking.
greenfrog - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#398507) #
Well managed game by Cash (pinch-hitting Choi, bullpen usage).
krose - Friday, May 21 2021 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#398508) #
Agreed Greenfrog. But Cash also has a few more horses than Montoyo.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#398509) #
Interesting way to lose a couple of games.
uglyone - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#398510) #
From a chance to take 1st all the way down to 4th place.

Thank god we have Vladdy.
John Northey - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#398511) #
I keep thinking the manager is doing a 'Cito' here with the bunting - if you are asked to do something then you do it or else. If you fail, then you can expect to have it drilled into you until you get it right. Then, if the team makes the playoffs he will know what each player can and cannot be asked to do. Espinal, as a backup infielder, really needs to get bunting down. You can't be a backup and be unable to do that, unless you are a power hitting backup which he obviously isn't. Davis & Espinal both need to be 100% on sac bunts and should work hard on bunting for hits too as neither is in line for a full-time job here, just backup jobs.

I think Cito's theory way back was that he needed to know what each player could/could not do when asked. He'd give backups 3-4 games in a row to see if they could play when handed a chance and if not then they know they were given a chance to show their stuff and they'd accept the bench role. I don't recall him ever using the bunt though, but I suspect he'd have done the same as Montoyo does where if asked you must do it or you will be asked to K via it. Might cost you a game or two early, but later in the season it might win you a game or two. Something to think about. You need buy-in from the players to get them to do the work sometimes and Montoyo is a teaching manager.
StephenT - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 03:06 AM EDT (#398512) #
The Rays radio announcers were at the game in Dunedin.  
They weren't given monitors in their booth but they could see replays on their iPads that were picking up a TV broadcast.
They liked being closer to the action than is possible in the big major league parks.
They said most of the Rays players drove their own vehicles to the game.

(The Red Sox radio announcers were in Fenway this week when the Red Sox were in Dunedin.
They said the Red Sox stayed at the same St. Petersburg hotel they would when playing the Rays, from which it was a 45-minute bus ride to Dunedin.)

(I get the radio feeds from .  Just $20US for all the teams' radio broadcasts all season.)
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#398513) #
The Rays play Gulf Coast Moneyball with Cash. The Blue Jays play Vladdyball with Charlie.
grjas - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#398514) #
Thank god we have Vladdy.

Heís now the OPS leader in the majors.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#398515) #
I love what Vlad is doing but I find I prefer wins over individual stats (magnificent as his are). The last couple of losses against the Rays and Red Sox sting. It burns me up that Espinal wasnít permitted to swing for a base hit with two on and none out in a tie game in extra innings. Really, this isnít A ball or spring training. This isnít the try league.
krose - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#398516) #
Thank god we have Vladdy.

Yes. Vladdy is really, really good. (Black crow feather protrudes from lips.)
scottt - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#398517) #
The Jays had many chances. Grichuk and Hernandez both had terrible AB in high pressure situation.
Bichette chased too much.

I didn't like the high number of balls Kay keep throwing.

The worst part was the pitch that became the 2 run homer on Cole.
Consecutive cutters inside.
I'm OK with repeating a missed curveball outside.
It's rarely swung at and it's hard to hit out of the bark.
I never want to see a repeated cutter inside.
It's a pitch with middling velocity and middling movement.
Any hitter can time that.
It's like those pitches Guerrero was hammering at the home run derby.
Same speed, same location.

I like that Davis seems to be choking on his bat and putting the ball in play more.
I like that Payamps was able to throw 2 shot down innings.
I don't like that they need to use the entire pen to cover 2 of the 3 starters.

That was a gut punch, but losing behind Kay is not unexpected.
Hopefully they have enough pen left to support Ryu and Ray.
bpoz - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#398518) #
Good analysis scottt.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#398520) #
Having Espinal bunt with 2 strikes is something a little league coach would do to force kids to learn how to bunt. The fact that it was done on a MLB field by a MLB manager in an extra inning game against a division rival boggles my mind. I don't think any other manager in the league would have done that, and Montoyo has done in multiple times already. I don't follow Toronto media very closely, but I'm surprised more media isn't calling him out for stuff like this. It's really bad.
hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#398524) #
"The Rays play Gulf Coast Moneyball with Cash. The Blue Jays play Vladdyball with Charlie."

Cheap shot at Charlie. Cash has a lot of options that Charlie doesn't. His bullpen is crazy deep and his team has been much healthier than the Jays.Nick Anderson is injured, but who else? We've lost Yates, Merryweather, Phelps, and Borucki, plus Hatch from last years pen and Castro who's not better than the guys listed above, but been better than Beasley and Cole..

Someone mentioned the bottom of our order upthread. Struggling Rowdy, who would be on bench or in Buffalo with everyone healthy. Backup to the backup MI (although one can argue Espinal should play 3rd every day if everyone's healthy for his defence alone). Backup to the backup catcher. Backup to the backup OF.

Which team has more sacrifice bunts this year? Neither, both with 3. .
hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#398525) #
Charlie did not tell Espinal to bunt with 2 strikes.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#398527) #
Vladdyball & Charlie's Angels, sincerely meant to be endearing.

(The only real quibble with Charlie is the two-strike bunting.)
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#398529) #
(If the bunt play was signaled there.)
greenfrog - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#398530) #
I like Montoyo as a manager, but I donít think Espinal should have been bunting there at all, let alone with two strikes. Let him hit and try to win the game then and there.
hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#398531) #
Montoyo has been giving his players the option of hitting or bunting with 2 strikes. One can argue he shouldn't trust his players to decide on their own.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#398532) #
From Wilner's Twitter account:

Montoyo, asked if he thought about starting the runners or taking the bunt off in the 11th with the infielders crashing in on Espinal: ďNo. No. Heís got to get the bunt down. Just bunt it to third. We only needed one run."

That was clearly not Espinal's decision.
hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#398533) #
LaRussa's White Sox already have 10 sacrifice bunts.

I guess everyone has heard about him publicly calling out his own player Mercedes for the 3-0 HR in the blowout. Tyler Duffy threw behind Mercedes the next day and was suspended 3 games.

Got a chuckle from someone's comment that LaRussa will be appealing Duffy's suspension.
hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#398534) #
That was clearly not Espinal's decision.

No is is not clear. Taking the bunt off simply means Espinal would not have been allowed to decide.
John Northey - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#398535) #
Interesting to read that all tickets for the Jays first 8 games in Buffalo have been sold out. 6,600 tickets per game roughly available. It'll be nice to have crowds that actually cheer the Jays on.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#398539) #
In that situation (extra innings, none out, two runners on, tie game, facing a key division rival, rookie at the plate), Iím pretty sure Montoyo dictated what Espinal was supposed to do throughout the PA. That is, he called for Espinal to bunt and that remained the call for each of Espinalís three bunt attempts.
scottt - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#398540) #
The first was a fake bunt and a swing.
The other 2 were foul bunts.

scottt - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#398541) #
Montoyo was a UT infield himself.
I'm sure he knows how hard it is to bunt versus getting a hit.

Only 5 PA in 4 game for Montreal. Hitting .400 with a 1.000 OPS.
It doesn't look like he got lots of chances.

The thing that hit me when looking at his minor league numbers is the number of walks.
102 walks 40 strikeouts in A ball?
I guess he's the guy that moneyball forgot.

uglyone - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#398543) #
What's fun about vladdy this year is that he's satisfying both the old skool and the new skool:

Old Skool

#3 .338avg - .026 off lead but #1&2 have unsustainable babip
#2 14hr - 1 off lead
#5 36rbi - 3 off lead

New Skool

#2 .447obp - .019 off lead but #1 has unsustainable babip
#2 197wrc+ - 1 off lead
#1 2.9war - 0.4 ahead of #2
scottt - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#398544) #
Brewers DFAed McKinney as part of the moves they made to acquire Adames and Richards.
OPS .619.

hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#398545) #
Hard pass on McKinney, even though I assume that's not what you meant whatsoever. My only positive memory was his 80 grade hustle on his ground outs.

And on that note, Brandon Drury is up with the injury-riddled Mets. First game last night Went 0 for 4, with 2 K's. Might think twice about unpacking your bags,Brandon, seems like it's gonna be a short stay.
hypobole - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#398546) #
Was Kevin Cash totally maskless last night? Could have sworn he didn't even have one covering his chin. If so, assume Tampa is one of the 85% teams.
John Northey - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#398549) #
Interesting to look at Montoyo's minor league page at BR. lifetime 744 BB vs 459 SO. 266/404/357 - no power but did what he could obviously. 72-39 SB-CS so not a burner. 46 HBP, 47 Sac Bunts over 4202 PA's. SS/2B/3B over 150 games each, plus some 1B, OF, and 1 game as a pitcher (2 IP, faced 6 batters 0 H 0 BB 0 K's - maybe he missed his calling). Signed as a 6th round pick by Milwaukee (they also drafted him earlier in the 26th round out of high school). Nice he did get a shot in the majors and did all he could with it (2 for 5, scored a run, hit a double, 3 RBI) Expos were 3-1 with him playing, but it was 1993 when they were a really good team - 1994 they won the division but the (#&@@( strike screwed that up. According to WPA in his final game he had the 2nd biggest play of the game with that double to drive in 2 to make it a 4-0 game. He had one more PA flying out to RF, then was replaced by Oreste Marrero in the 7th for defense (Marrero to 1B, guy at 1B Randy Ready to 2B). Final score 7-1 and down to the minors for good.

I look at guys like Montoyo who get that brief chance and actually play well, but never get another shot and think what a shame he didn't get another shot, but also glad he has good memories from it. Beats being a Moonlight Graham and never hitting.
John Northey - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#398550) #
Agreed on McKinney - he was the everyday LF for Milwaukee more or less, 100 PA, but a 68 OPS+ with a 0.1 bWAR - he had 0.6 for the Jays over 407 PA. So basically the same guy - a replacement level player who is nice to have in AAA in case you need a backup but nothing more. He might catch on somewhere as a 4th or 5th OF but I'd take Davis (premium speed) ahead of him anyday.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#398552) #
Jays make a bunch of roster moves, including activating Anthony Castro and putting Biggio on the IL with a neck thing.
Most interestingly they optioned Kay to AAA. So there's an empty rotation spot...
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#398553) #
Charlie certainly checks all the boxes. He played in the Big Leagues, if only for a cup of coffee. Paid his dues as a manager in the minors. Got back to The Show as a coach. As a PuertorriqueŮo, he is bilingual. And he loyally served a top organization from its infancy. John Northey mentioned that Charlie is a teacher, which works well for these young Blue Jays.

All the praise is well deserved, only it feels like he may be missing an undefined X-factor. Perhaps there is something we never see, happening behind closed doors? (Not to suggest he should take a page from Gibby and pick a few fights...) I was only teasing about the mollycoddling, but he does almost seem too nice. No chip on his shoulder. I like Charlie a lot.
Kasi - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#398554) #
Some moves today.

Kay and Beasley optioned. Biggio to the IL.
Tice up from AAA. Panik and Castro off the IL.

Nice to have Castro back as he should slot in as third best guy in the pen and gives another elite arm. I wonder if this means weíll see Manoah for Monday.
Nigel - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#398555) #
Gurriel is Alvis Woodsí cosmic twin.
John Northey - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#398556) #
Could see that coming for Biggio. Sigh. Kay is one of those guys who makes you think they turned the corner then they walk into a brick wall. Beasley I'm not a fan of. Castro is nice to have back, Tice is likely just a placeholder for now. Panik I'm not a fan of but makes sense - he and Espinal will split time at 3B for now I figure in a semi-platoon.
krose - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#398557) #
Possibly Hatch will take that empty starterís slot.
uglyone - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#398558) #
I'm not sure anything is sweeter than buck's resignation when the shift works perfectly.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#398559) #
I donít like the Kay demotion, but itís nice to have Castro back.

The Jays have to be commended for working with Robbie Ray.
Kasi - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#398560) #
Good start by Ray looks like it is going to be spoiled by bats going cold. Still nice to see how heís done. Hatch is eligible to come off on the 28th so hopefully he comes off right on time.
uglyone - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#398562) #
The drunker I get the worse Pat Tabler gets.

This shouldn't work this way.
grjas - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#398563) #
Yikes. Finding a different way to lose every day.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 22 2021 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#398564) #
The Jays are obviously going through a tough stretch. With Springer and Kirk on prolonged absences, Pearson/Manoah/SWR not quite ready, and the bullpen depleted, the team is starting to fall off the pace. Gotta keep grinding and fight for every win they can get. This is a talented team that should eventually hit its stride.

The Rays might be a better overall team, though (especially once Franco is promoted).
John Northey - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#398565) #
Couldn't resist sharing this when I saw it.... Softball stuck in facemask
guess those facemasks are useful. Who knew?
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 03:13 AM EDT (#398566) #
Wow. Scott Kazmir is back in the majors.

Never give up, kids.
bpoz - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#398568) #
9 game win streak for TB. 4 game losing streak for the Jays. Hope the "You are never as bad/good as you look" mantra holds true.

For most teams about 4 more games will make 50 played. So decent sample size. 8 teams seem to be competing (Jays #8).

Minnesota/Boston are surprising me.
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#398572) #
I was going to say that McGuire has covered nicely for Kirk, but OPS .583 in the last 7 games.
Biggio was struggling and now he's hurt and Espinal has not stepped up. OPS .412 in last 7 games.
Gurriel has started to hit, OPS .871 but managed to give himself up on the bases.
Grichuk has cooled off .708 but Davis is doing better now .800 while choking on the bat.
Bichette is chasing too much .762 and needs to take his walks in front of Guerrero.

As you would imagine, the mood has gone sour in the clubhouse.
They're reverting to the early April time when everybody was trying too hard.

They absolutely need another starter.
They're going to keep throwing Stripling in there and I'm not sure who get Kay's start.
Fangraphs is predicting Chatwood. Yikes. That would fall under panic move.

Still 2 games above .500. I don't think this is rock bottom.

Chuck - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#398576) #
TB's starter, Wacha, is a RHP who has, oddly, faced RHB in 55% of his career plate appearances. Or maybe not so oddly given his career 672/782 splits.

He'll be facing a lineup entirely made up RHB today.

scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#398578) #
55% RBH sounds like too little. The average team has 45% left bats?

Wacha throws mostly a fastball and a change that moves a lot like a cutter.
His third pitch is actually a real cutter. He used to throw a curve 10% of the time but that pitch is not very good.

With Tampa, he's been throwing fewer fastballs and a lot of cutters. Basically the same number of both pitches.
He's been throwing the change up a bit less. Let's say, 10 fastballs, 10 cutters, 6 changes per innings and a curve every 3 innings.

I expect a lot will depend on the goodwill of the plate umpire today.

greenfrog - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#398580) #
It looks as if the Dodgers correctly evaluated Bauer in the off-season. In 10 starts, he's pitched 63.2 innings. He has a 1.98 ERA, K:BB of 12.4:2.5, 1.5 WAR. He's been better than any Jays pitcher this year.

Credit LA for going the extra mile to land him. He more or less represents the difference between LA's record (28-18, T-2nd, 1 GB) and the Jays' record (23-21, fourth place, 4.5 GB).
mathesond - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#398582) #
" He more or less represents the difference between LA's record (28-18, T-2nd, 1 GB) and the Jays' record (23-21, fourth place, 4.5 GB)."

Yes, because they have played identical schedules in identical ballparks with identical rosters!
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#398583) #
Obviously, the Jays haven't gotten then money's worth out of Springer.
It's quite early.

scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#398584) #
Sending Choi to score from first? Now that makes Rivera look good.
grjas - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#398587) #
Boy the bullpen has looked terrible in the last two series. Injuries and overwork seems to have caught up to them. Not good news given the shortage of quality starters.
Eephus - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#398588) #
I hate Florida. I hate Tampa Bay. And I especially hate the F**ing Rays.

krose - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#398589) #
Self inflicted loss. Just not a smart team.
Eephus - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#398590) #
Tabler: "they're sending somebody out to the mound to calm Bergen down"

At this rate you should send somebody out to calm me down. It's just goddamn agony playing these guys.
grjas - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#398591) #
Why wouldnít they have put Romano in instead of Bergen. He hasnít pitched in a couple of days. I just rolled my eyes when Bergen arrived instead. A one pitch guy that doesnít strike many out. Unless Romano is hurting, itís tres bizarre.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#398592) #
Going to Bergen there is going to be crucified I'm sure, but it was absolutely the right move.
There's no doubt in my mind 3 of the top 4 teams in baseball, are the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. It's absolutely nuts how good the AL East is, but nothing new.
Four Seamer - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#398593) #
All those guys down in the bullpen and not one of them apparently able to observe that Bergen might be warm but nowhere near the strike zone.
Eephus - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#398594) #
This sucks.
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#398595) #
What pitchers do in the bullpen and what they do after they come into the game frequently bears no resemblance to one another. He very well could have been hitting the glove every time in the pen.
John Northey - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#398596) #
Had to turn it off after the Rays took the lead on a walk. That was ugly. Chatwood just didn't have it today, I suspect Romano wasn't available. This should've been an easy win at that point, but walk 5 guys in an inning and you'll lose most of the time.
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#398597) #
Might have been better to let Chatwood lose it on his own.
Results might have been the same, but I think he had pitched well enough up to earned that.

Bergen was coming off his first bad inning against the Rays on Friday. Threw 26 pitches gave up 2 runs via the HR.
I thought maybe Chatwood pitched around Diaz, a contact hitter, on purpose.
They have no idea on how to attack Walls since he was hitting everything in AAA.

BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#398598) #
Romano must not have been available, since he never even got up.
That's 5 straight losses where they really should have won 3 of them, and another one could have gone either way.

Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#398599) #
Memories. June 1, 2010. Kevin Gregg on in the 9th to close out a 5-3 game.

Stolen Base
Pickoff Error, runner to 3rd
Walk, runs scores
Double, 3 runs score
Wild Pitch

You want to guess who they were playing? And where?
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#398600) #
Not being able to throw strikes does not make the other team any good.
They can lose to Baltimore or Detroit just as well pitching like that.

Lowe is a good low ball hitter who struggles with high heat.
So, they went with low fastballs with him.

Bases loaded, the Jays are swinging at everything.
The Rays are being selective, only swinging at their pitch.
Eephus - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#398601) #
You want to guess who they were playing? And where?

As Homer Simpson would say I'm still too filled with murderous rage to give a solid guess, but seeing as 4 runs scored in a 5-3 game it must've been at the SkyDome at least. Was it Oakland? Random guess.

Bergen walking the bases loaded three times is still a notch below the Terry Adams Game at the Metrodome(?): losing the game on a wild pitch while intentionally walking somebody. 2004 was the Season From Hell indeed.
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#398602) #
The three batter rule was pretty obviously a huge deal just now. When Chatwood crapped the bed (he had to, sooner or later), Montoyo managed for the win - the LH reliever gets the LH batter and we all go home. But after the nine pitch walk, he's stuck with a wild LH on the mound, a tie game, bases loaded, two RH batters coming up and nothing he can do about it.
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#398603) #
Next time, maybe they'll go with Chatwood for the high leverage and Dolis for the easy save.
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#398604) #
it must've been at the SkyDome at least. Was it Oakland?

Yes, at the Dome. Here's a clue. The bases loaded double was struck by Evan Longoria.
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#398605) #
Bergen is not a LOOGY. He could have thrown a strike.  A grand slam would have been better.
The ball wasn't carrying today. You take you chance on a fly ball out.

Tomorrow is another day. They need to save to pen for the next series and let Stripling throw a 100 pitches.
Send Tice for 3 innings. That sort of thing.

Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#398606) #
[Bergen] could have thrown a strike.

Well, it's pretty clear that he couldn't. I'm sure he wanted to. He completely lost his release point and everything was coming in a foot above the strike zone.

Which can't happen, not if you want to be a major league pitcher. Being able to hit the strike zone when it's absolutely necessary is not negotiable. You have to be able to do it.

I assume Montoyo would have preferred Mayza but didn't want to get him hot three days in a row.
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#398607) #
the Terry Adams Game at the Metrodome

Found it! I'd forgotten this one, being traumatized by another Adams meltdown against the Twins. It was at the Dome, I was in the house, he came on to close out a 5-2 game. Three singles and a LeCroy grand slam later...

Your memory is impeccable. It was the Metrodome on 28 April, 2004. The Jays had rallied from 5-1 down to tie the game in the 8th. The key blow was a bases clearing double by Kevin Cash. I kid you not! With the game tied, Frasor gave up a leadoff single, a sac bunt, and an intentional walk. On came Adams. RBI singles from Mike Ryan and Shannon Stewart to make the score 7-5 for the Twins. A groundout advanced the runners, and Tosca decided to intentionally walk Koskie. Adams wild pitched in a run while doing so. And then he threw another wild pitch to Hunter to make the score 9-5.

We didn't call it the Season From Hell for nothing.
grjas - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#398608) #
When Chatwood crapped the bed (he had to, sooner or later),

The unfortunate reality is sooner or later the whole BP was bound to implode. Merry weather, Borucki, Phelps, Yates and Hatch being injured for long periods of timeÖ thatís 5 of the top 7 pitchers in the pen. And then 4 and 5 SP slots have been dreadful at eating innings. There are not many (any?) teams that could stand that much misery in their pen.

Suspect this was bound to happen and it may go on for a while. The key now is to try to stay close to the leaders till reinforcements and an easier schedule arrive. Shanít be easy.
John Northey - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#398610) #
Good point grjas - this was inevitable, there are at least 5 relievers on the IL who should've been in the pen - Yates (closer), Borucki (high leverage), Phelps (High leverage), Merryweather (#2 closer), and Milone. 4 were high leverage guys who all would've been called on before the guys we saw in the 9th. Think about that, we are using #14/15 guys on the bullpen depth chart now. And we expect the Jays to keep winning with that? Of course, if the offense was doing what it should things would be better but Tellez has forgotten which end of the bat to use, Jansen has done well lately but his season numbers still suck, Biggio & Springer & Kirk were all to be big bats but are injured. The rotation is missing Pearson (injured, ineffective), and Roark (ineffective and gone), with backups Striping (horrid), Kay (66 ERA+ and in minors now), Zeuch (65 ERA+ and minors) all nightmares. Yet despite all that the Jays are over 500 and 4 1/2 out of first in the toughest division with 4 contenders and poor Baltimore. I need to remind myself that the Jays are a lot better than they seem - reinforcements are on their way once healthy.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#398611) #
I too remember the Terry Adams game. Was a 12:35 getaway day game on Wednesday or a Thursday. Roof open. It was still a time when the odd game wasn't televised. Either way I witnessed on MLB Gameday. Oof.

This was a painful week for the Jays. In the words of Tyler Chatwood, caught on camera, "that's probably our (effing) season right (effing) there."
scottt - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#398612) #
Let's go through the sequence.

Bases loaded. Lefty Meadows at bat.
High ball
High ball
Called strike
Swinging strike
Ball (trying to be too fine here)
Ball and Walk the tying run.

Margot,  right handed bat.
High ball
High ball
Strike right down the middle

Here's what I mean. Bergen could throw a strike if he wanted to as he did in the 2-0 count, but he didn't want to "give in" and "challenge" the hitter with a strike over the plate. He kept aiming for a corner.

Right handed Brosseau
4 balls

You think he's lost his release point or some such but not at all.
Here comes Choi, a left bat.
Called strike
Ball in play for an out.
All of a sudden, he's fine.

He was clearly willing to walk the right handed batters rather than let them hit a grand slam.
He could have given them something to hit rather than try to make great pitches.
For the year, Bergen has pronounced reversed splits.
.833 OPS vs lefties and .427 OPS versus right handed bats.
However, he was facing 2 power bats.

I think there was a miscommunication with Chatwood as well.
He was both surprised and upset when he got pulled.
Nobody told him that Diaz was his last batter.
He wanted to battle Meadows and later on the bench he said something like "I could have done that or I could have done better than that."

Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#398613) #
He was clearly willing to walk the right handed batters

If that's true, he's too stupid to be a major leaguer.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#398614) #
Is Ryu the second best left handed pitcher in Jays history after Jimmy Key? Have the Jays ever had a pair of lefties as good as Ray and Ryu in their rotation at the same time?
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#398615) #
Obviously, I don't think that's true. I think he was trying to throw strikes to the RH batters and simply couldn't do it. It's not the first time he's lost the strike zone.

Chatwood's right, of course, that he could have done that. Hell, I could have done that.
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#398616) #
Ryu the second best left handed pitcher in Jays history after Jimmy Key?

Ryu's probably better than Key.
Magpie - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#398617) #
Have the Jays ever had a pair of lefties as good as Ray and Ryu in their rotation at the same time?

It's only been about six weeks, so let's not get too carried away! Closest would be 1989. Cerutti over the whole year was about as effective as Ray has been, so far. The problem was, Key had an off-year and was nowhere near as good as Ryu has been so far.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#398618) #
Jimmy Keys 1987 Cy Young runner up season had a era+ of 164 compared to the 166 era+ or Ryu since he went to Toronto. However I would give it to Key for the 9 years of service. I guess David Prices 74 innings of 179 era+ is the only other comparable peak?
uglyone - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#398619) #
Nigel - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#398621) #
I wake up every day and itís 2015. Like 2015, itís a team with some elite talent and some obvious flaws.
uglyone - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#398622) #
what were the flaws on the 2015 team again?

was it that #5 SP was a solid workhorse like Dickey? or that Tulowitzki was our 8th best hitter?
Kasi - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#398623) #
That team was a .500 team at the halfway point when they went on a run. They were hardly elite from beginning to end.
uglyone - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#398624) #
mr.pythagorous begs to differ
Kasi - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#398625) #
So Toronto has one of the best this year too. Also the division is much stronger this year. 93 wins wonít even get close to sniffing the top of this division which likely has 3 of the top 4 teams in baseball right now.
uglyone - Sunday, May 23 2021 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#398626) #
They had the 2nd best record in the league.
hypobole - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#398627) #
Number of seasons Blue Jays have made the playoffs - 8

Number of seasons Blue Jays have made the playoffs when both Yankees and Red Sox have won 85 games - 0

scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#398628) #
Well, if you look at it, Chatwood took the loss with 4 earned runs.
Bergen actually improved his ERA to 1.69.

Selfish, but not stupid.
It's the way pitchers are.
They are drilled, over and again that a walk is better than a home run.

It's like pitchers who won't throw a strike in a 0-2 count.
They *have* to throw a ball to give the hitter a chance to chase.
Coaches used to get upset if the hitter got something to hit in that count.
Some still do.
The good hitters become selective in such a count.
That's why you see so few 3 pitch strikeouts.
But, it's just a bunch of extra pitches that prolong the game and get the pitcher out sooner.
Beasley was demoted after allowing the grand slam.
Will Bergen get demoted for walking 3 in a row with bases loaded?
Probably not.

Charlie understands that he was trying to make good pitches.
Nobody went to the mound to tell him to throw for contact.
Charlie has said that his job is not to make pitchers happy.
Same as Cash with Snell in the playoffs.
Bergen, as a reverse split pitcher, was probably not the guy for the job here.
So, I think it would have been better to make the pitcher happy.
I don't know that the odds of winning were that much better with Bergen.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#398629) #
Someday when the team's up against it... And the breaks are beating the boys, Ask 'em to go in there with all they've got, And win just one for the Skipper.

OK, Charlie. It's a holiday and we need some fireworks!

(I don't know where I'll be then, but I'll know about it. I'll be happy.)

Gerry - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#398631) #
Trent Thornton will now start todays game. Not sure if Stripling will follow or move to a different day or role.

Stripling has been hit hard in his first inning recently so maybe the Jays are trying him after an opener.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#398633) #
Thornton deserves a shot - he has a 2.70 ERA (160 ERA+) over 23 1/3 IP so far. 6 games of 2+ IP, none of 3+, 42 pitches his max, also a 41, 2 38's and a 37. Is he great? No. But I think he has eared a shot as much as Stripling or Kay or anyone else not in the top 3 here right now. His 4.22 FIP is probably closer to his real ability than that 2.70 ERA but even at 4.22 that would be a drastic improvement from Stripling and Kay (FIP's in the 5's, ERA's over a run higher each).
grjas - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#398634) #
Thatís great to hear Thornton will be given a shotÖprovided it is more than a one inning opener role. I would hope at a minimum they give him once through the lineup, but ideally 3 or 4 innings if they feel is arm is ready to handle it. I think to date IIRC he hasnít exceeded 2 and a bit innings so no doubt they need to be careful after last yearís injury.
Mike Green - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#398636) #
Thornton starting today is good.  ZiPS projects him to have an ERA of 4.68 which would be pretty decent for a 5th starter.

The 2015 Blue Jays were 19-26 after 45 games, and looked like a pretty sorry lot until the offence really kicked it into gear in June.  Estrada over Scherzer in Game 2 of a doubleheader on June 2 started an 11 game winning streak, with the Jays scoring more than 10 runs three times and less than 6 runs only twice.  Their offence wasn't really that great after Donaldson, Encarnacion, Bautista and Colabello, but when the first three were healthy, which they were in 2015, things worked.  And only Estrada among the starters was truly good throughout 2015, but they didn't need anything beyond average to win. 
hypobole - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#398637) #
Couple of Manoah questions in Goldstein's chat today. Would a callup to start at Yankee stadium be a good idea. Better to have a start at home for the 1st game.

And this:
Can you give your opinion on Manoahís third pitch?
Kevin Goldstein: Does he absolutely need one?
hypobole - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#398638) #
Couple more interesting Q & A's:

RE: Manoah and a 3rd pitch... are you suggesting that the era of an SP needing a 3rd pitch is fading out?
Kevin Goldstein: It should be.

Are organizations preparing for the possibility of robo umps? (For example, drafting poor pitch framers higher.) Or will most wait until it's closer to happening?
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Many are preparing for automated strike zone. Over/under is probably 2023.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#398639) #
We need robo umps. Badly.
Chuck - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#398640) #
Umpire not having a good game. At least 4 blown calls in first half inning, all but one favouring Thornton.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#398641) #
5 runs on the ump. How annoying.
Eephus - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#398642) #
Watching these games is making me hate baseball.
Chuck - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#398643) #
Pete Walker ejected for arguing a correctly called ball.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#398644) #
Had to turn the game off - I'm stressed out over life in general and a horrid ump plus poor pitching means this game is bad for me to watch. Might try again in a few hours.
Nigel - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#398645) #
Yeah, tough inning for the ump but that wasnít all on the ump.
Chuck - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#398646) #
5 runs on the ump. How annoying.

I dunno. The final call on Choi was wrong, that's for sure. But the first pitch Choi saw was outside and called a strike (or "on the corner", as the broadcast team likes to characterize such pitches). And ball four on Walls was outside and, this time, correctly called a ball which angered Walker to the point of ejection.

Thornton's had more calls in his favour than not this inning.

greenfrog - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#398647) #
I know itís early, but does anyone else have the same feeling Iím having, namely that the season is starting to slip away from the Jays? The team appears to be in a very competitive division this year, and they may be in a situation of needing to pass multiple teams to make the postseason. If they can get (and stay) healthy, the Jays should have a big offense this year, but will they have the pitching and defense needed to surpass two or three (or more) elite teams?
scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#398648) #
32 pitches, but only 1 inning. 0 earned runs which is good for Thorton's ERA. Now 2.59.
Stripling seems to do well when pitching from behind. Six innings would be nice.

Erratic humps usually advantage the pitcher.

scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#398649) #
They really need to up the rotation.
The lineup is fine.
They need to have their own torrid streak, which is totally doable.

Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#398650) #
does anyone else have the same feeling Iím having, namely that the season is starting to slip away from the Jays?

I don't. It's May.

AL East Standings, 24 May 2015

Tm	W	L	W-L%	GB	RS	RA	pythW-L%
TBR	24	21	.533	--	172	158	.539
NYY	22	22	.500	1.5	194	197	.493
BOS	21	23	.477	2.5	176	208	.424
BAL	19	22	.463	3.0	182	178	.510
TOR	20	26	.435	4.5	236	216	.540

Lot of games to be played.
SK in NJ - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#398651) #
If the Red Sox are back to being a good team, then yes the Jays chances of making the post season are going to slip. The Yankees have predictably recovered from their bad start, and the Rays can field a team of single-A players and win 90 games, so once you add a competitive Red Sox team, it gets very tough. I don't think getting swept by the Rays buries them or anything as there is a LONG way to go in the season, but they can't get too deep into a hole.

It's pretty clear next winter's priorities have to be starting pitching, preferably front end. Not sure if Syndergaard would view the Jays as a FA destination, but money can change that.
Nigel - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#398652) #
Itís way too early. I do think this team is now reverting to who we thought they were before the year started - an excellent offensive team that struggles with run prevention. Overall, Iím actually more optimistic than I was prior to the start of the season. The strength of the division is definitely going to be an issue though.
grjas - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#398653) #
It's pretty clear next winter's priorities have to be starting pitching, preferably front end.

Agreed but the challenge is they only have one veteran SP under contract for next year... which is why I was surprised they seemed to have no interest in trying to sign Walker to a three year deal. So they need two of Pearson, Manoah, Hatch or SWR to step up into #3 and 4 territory as well as getting at least one top end starter.....or we may see more of the same.
greenfrog - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#398654) #
2015 may not be a good comparison, as only one AL East team other than the Jays (the Yankees with 87 wins) managed to finish above .500 that year. Right now three AL East teams other than the Jays are playing .600 ball, and the Rays have yet to promote Wander Franco to the majors.

Only two teams in the rest of the AL have a positive run differential. Itís remarkable how strong the AL East is compared to other divisions.
Nigel - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#398655) #
Espinalís bat may be writing his ticket back to Buffalo on Biggioís return.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#398656) #
EspaŮol is a lock to go down at some point just due to the numbers with a 9 man pen and Panik on the bench. Tellez is also a lock unless his bat comes to life big time before Springer comes back.
scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#398657) #
Couldn't a day to tell us how good the Yankees are.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#398658) #
Gotta love Vlad. Love how this team never gives up, even when I do. So nice to watch - glad I came back to it. Inconsistent ump doesn't help, but still fun.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#398659) #
These mugshots leave me unsettled.
ae_scott - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#398660) #
Watching these games is making me hate baseball. And yet...the Jays have Vlad Guerrero Jr. And all they need sometimes is to get him to the plate with runners on and suddenly it's a new ballgame.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#398661) #
Yeah, pitching is the big variable. If Manoah and Pearson can be what everyone hopes they can be then we've got a great top 3 with 2 kids and a vet. If Ray resigns (quite likely I think as the Jays can afford him and he likes it here I suspect) then it is a good situation. Stripling is here next year unless traded (today was nice to see, 7 IP 0 R). The pen and if the kid pitchers can come through are the big variables.
AWeb - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#398662) #
Awaiting the inevitable groin kick at the end of this game - today, the Jays lose when one of Guerrero's homers completes an orbit of the earth, once again clearing the OF wall as a TB batter is at the plate. Confused umps just call it a TB homer. In the bottom of the inning, Guerrero gets called out after his other homer lands in play after an orbit, and he is called out when the ball is thrown to 1B. This goes down as the 3rd worst loss to Tampa just this weekend.
uglyone - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#398663) #
Thank Vlad for Goddy
uglyone - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#398664) #
"I know itís early, but does anyone else have the same feeling Iím having, namely that the season is starting to slip away from the Jays?"

Eh imo their profile hasn't changed much at this point.

Pitching is coming back down to earth as expected but the roster should be bolstered eventually by the return of Springer and Kirk and the likely additions of Pearson and Manoah.

In fact I'd say the team profile has probably improved at this point- I'm a huge believer in the absolute necessity of star power at the top of the roster and Vladdy's emergence suddenly puts our star power in the same breath as pretty much any team.
uglyone - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#398665) #
I don't like Buck but that was great.

"Wind has changed just now....blowing out to right instead of left like earlier"

**semien gametying wind-aided oppo homer next pitch**
scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#398666) #
Pure agony.
rikley - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#398667) #
Death by a thousand paper cuts...
Four Seamer - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#398668) #
Castro, Payamps and Mayza are throwing some excellent batting practice out there today.
Eephus - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#398669) #
Classic. If there is a hell it would be watching these games against the Rays for eternity.
AWeb - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#398670) #
I'm sorry, the score is what now?
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#398671) #
Down by a converted touchdown.
Eephus - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#398672) #
I need a break from this, guys. Maybe Iíll see you in a few days but my already fragile sanity is taking a beating here
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#398673) #
I need a break from this, guys.

But next, it's on to Yankee Stadium!

Gotta take the long view when the short view is so horrible. Someday all these waiver wire guys won't be manning the bullpen. Someday Davis and Espinal won't be in the lineup every day. It will get better! I promise!
scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#398674) #
I thought the problem was the walks, actually.
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#398675) #
It's possible that my equilibrium is undisturbed because the rest of the sports world gave me so many happy outcomes possible yesterday. The Lakers lost. So did the Knicks. The Grizzlies won (I always root for Big Jonas.) The oldest guy walking won some big golf tournament (that's just Old Guy Solidarity there.) And now some other hockey team gets to hear "It was 4-1" until the crack of doom.

It greatly eased my baseball pain, I can tell you.
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#398676) #
At least we're done with Dunedin. The Jays went 10-11, despite scoring 124 runs (5.9 per game) and allowing 110. A place of ill repute. Well, it's Florida. Time to shuffle off to Buffalo.
uglyone - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#398677) #
Having a no name pen would be much more sustainable if we had some name starting pitching.
mathesond - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#398678) #
"Having a no name pen would be much more sustainable if we had some name starting pitching."

I suppose. But doesn't every team have a no name pen?
BlueJayWay - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#398679) #
That was a series against the Rays.
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#398680) #
I believe the bullpen was supposed to be:

1. Yates
2. Dolis
3. Romano
4. Chatwood
5. Phelps
6. Borucki
7. Mayza
8. Thornton

Followed by (in the order they were added to the active roster):

9. Merryweather
10. Payamps
11. Milone
12. Tice
13. Castro
14. Bergen
15. Cole
16. Beasley

Yikes. Any day now, I'm expecting a Waguespack sighting...
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#398681) #
I suppose Stripling was supposed to be in the pen as well, but Ray, Pearson, and Hatch all opened the season on the IL, which moved him (and Roark and Zeuch for a brief, not-so-shining moment) up the Starters Ladder.
Nigel - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#398682) #
Thereís no question that theyíve been unlucky with injuries but they were always thin on the pitching side of things. The baseball Gods have simply chosen the most painful way to expose that - as they almost always do over the course of 162. Itís why I like baseball more than any other sport - thereís no where to hide.
AWeb - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#398683) #
Tuned in late, and just really took in the boxscore now. Stripling has 7 scoreless innings? The Jays walked zero times? The Jays finally, scored the runner from second in extras, twice in a row, and still lost. Looking at other tidbits - Gurriel's line in the last 30 days is .261/.260/.395.   Not easy to do the AVG>OBP over 120 PAs.
grjas - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#398684) #
They say hitting is contagious. How about relief pitching? (last 10 games):

Bergen 8.18
Chatwood 10.59
Dolis 13.50
Thornton 3.40 *
Beasley 10.47
Cole 2.81
Romano -
Mayza 31.30
Payamps 6.59
Castro 15.00

Big asterisk of course on Thornton.

A tired and demoralized BP...heading for Yankee stadium. Hmm.A bit of good luck might help too.... An error by usually reliable Espinal leads to 5 runs...
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#398685) #
I wonder if a non-contender might be interested in Gurriel & Tellez plus a prospect or two for a decent starting pitcher? Would have to be sucking royally in LF and 1B I'd think.

Hrm... Detroit is sucking royally at 1B/2B/CF/RF - OPS+ of 60/54/30/69 respectively. DH is at 71 (Miguel Cabrera) but he isn't going anywhere. Akil Baddoo was called up and at 22 is hitting 127 OPS+ in all 3 OF slots. Harold Castro a backup age 27 who has a 117 playing all but catcher (yes, he pitched too). Matthew Boyd has been on their 'to be traded' list for awhile. Wonder if 3 young hitters (Tellez, Gurriel or Davis, and Espinal) might pry him loose as that would fill all their holes?) Not a free agent until after 2022, but with his 140 ERA+ over 52 2/3 IP this season he might be tempting to grab. It would take care of the roster crunch and get a starter here while giving Detroit young controllable assets in areas they have needs. Jays have lots of other guys who can fill in - Josh Palacios for OF, and once Biggio is back the infield is at overflow again. Kirk once healthy would take over DH/2nd or 3rd catcher depending how things go. A 3rd catcher who hits would be an upgrade in all respects on Tellez. Wouldn't be shocked if they wanted Kirk who the Jays could easily add into a package if needed.
hypobole - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#398686) #
The Red Sox starting pitching was pretty well as thin as ours, and their pen much thinner, but they've stayed about as healthy as any team in baseball. The Yankees starters other than Cole had question marks. Rays traded away Snell and let Morton walk. Their starters were Glasnow and a bunch of question marks.

Pointed out this 28 game stretch of Red Sox-Rays-Yankees-Cleveland-Astros-White Sox-Red Sox-Yankees was going to be brutal, with only 2 Marlins games as a respite.

hypobole - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#398687) #
One positive note, because I need one. Coming into today, Mike Trout's 198 wRC+ lead MLB. Vlad is now at 199.
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#398688) #
3 young hitters (Tellez, Gurriel or Davis, and Espinal)

If I'm running the Tigers, the only of those guys - I've got plenty, plenty of extremely marginal talent myself - who would tempt me at all would be Gurriel. But not enough to give up anything. For one thing, my best player this year has been my left fielder. So let's talk about your catching prospects. And your pitching prospects.
scottt - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#398689) #
Yates was never really there, that was just done with mirrors.
Dolis, Romano, Chatwood all here
Mayza and Thornton as well.

I don't know about Merryweather, but Murphy could be on his way back soon.
Borucki won't be gone for long, but he's not exactly the savior here.
Would Phelps really make that much of a difference?

Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#398690) #
Borucki and Phelps are actual major league pitchers, which would be a definite upgrade on the Waiver Wire Brigade (and Yates was pitching in the spring games, he was certainly part of the plan. Of course, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.)
AWeb - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#398691) #
Yeah, that's the classic home fanbase trade proposal - we have a couple of of replacement-level guys with either no positional flexibility (Tellez) or no defensive ability at multiple positions (Gurriel), could you give us a useful player for them? They both have occasional hot streaks and should be peaking now (but aren't so far this year, shrug!)! As a straight up salary dump, maybe you get a decent starter for those guys?
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#398692) #
I think that if you're looking for Matthew Boyd or Jon Gray you have to ask - which of my prospects are untouchable? Pearson and Manoah, probably. Kirk? Woods-Richardson? Moreno? Groshans? Because something like that is what it's going to take. And then you have to ask yourself - is this the year to go all-in like that, seeing as how Gray is a free agent when it's over.

Heaven knows, no one needs guys like Davis or Espinal. You can shake a tree and a dozen of them will fall to the ground.

I wouldn't expect these types of decisions to be made for at least another six weeks anyway.
greenfrog - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#398693) #
"I'm a huge believer in the absolute necessity of star power at the top of the roster"

Some teams have lacked individual star power and yet have been very good (some Rays and A's teams), while others have had star power but have been consistently ineffective (like the current version of the Angels with Trout and Ohtani).

Having one or more stars is definitely a good thing, but a good baseball roster usually needs more than this.
Magpie - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#398694) #
Rosenthal is reporting that Manoah is coming up to start on Wednesday.
grjas - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#398695) #

Confident guy, not that young, with college credentials and a hidden year in 2020 at the alternate siteÖ, that seems to have done him good. Worth a shot I think. Plus he can learn from the vets and Walker.

Hopefully better than another bullpen day of exhausted and marginal relievers.
Mike Green - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#398696) #
The darkest hour is before the mountain.
greenfrog - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#398697) #
Manoah from heaven? I guess weíre about to find out.
Spifficus - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#398698) #
Well, that's probably not how I'd draw up Manoah's timeline this year, but screw it - let's see if he can provide a jolt and stabilize things.
John Northey - Monday, May 24 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#398699) #
Yeah that was a weak offer, but also Detroit is a weak team.  I'd try a lowball to start and work from there.  Obviously Manoah and Pearson are no-gos, but Kirk I'd have dangling like a carrot given the teams depth behind the plate right now.  There has been lots of interest in Gurriel reported due to his cheap contract and high talent level (everyone thinks they can make a high talent guy better).  Those are 2 good pieces for a trade.  Guys like Davis & Espinal are cheap addins for a team with horrid holes to use (as Detroit is).  Tellez was a top prospect not long ago and had a 140 OPS+ last year - not hard to picture someone thinking 'there is my 1B for the next 5 years - and cheap too'.  A pitcher of some kind would be needed, but not sure who.  The two who are not available at any price, then comes a few really solid prospects.  Are any untouchable?  Obviously the Jays won't pay as much for a 1 year rental as they would for Boyd who is a 2 season guy.  But remember Boyd isn't a superstar and non-stars rarely get great packages in a trade.  All depends who is most desperate.  GM is Al Avila who has run the team since 2016 and has finished 2nd, 5/3/5/5/4th now with a terrible record.  4th manager so far running it now.  I figure he is getting to the end unless the team turns it around fast (ie: not last, showing hope for 2022 and beyond).  MLB has their farm as #2 ranked but what do they have to show for it so far?  Not a lot.  Akil Baddoo looks good, Casey Mize doing good but not 'wow' by any stretch.  Spencer Torkelson is ranked #3 by but isn't doing a 'wow' right now in the minors (220/377/305 in A+, at 3B/1B).

Detroit looks like a good team to work on.  A GM who is probably in danger is always a good target. 
uglyone - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#398700) #
Love seeing Manoah but hate the process leading up to this callup. Fingers crossed.

"Having one or more stars is definitely a good thing, but a good baseball roster usually needs more than this."

Absolutely....stars are a minimum qualification only.

Jonny German - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 04:57 AM EDT (#398702) #
If you calculate a Game Score for Stripling's outing (treating it as a normal start) he gets the highest score of any Blue Jay pitcher this year.

78 - Stripling vs Tampa May 24

76 - Ryu vs Boston May 18

73 - Matz @ Texas April 5

70 - Ray vs Tampa May 22

70 - Ryu vs New York April 13
scottt - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#398705) #
It's a better process than the one that brought a 20 year old with an ERA of 6.26 in A+ to become the closer for 4 years. AAA was delayed by a month, but late May is normally the right time for this type of move. 
Chuck - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#398713) #
The Dunedin park factor is virtually the same as that for Coors field. Shuffling off to Buffalo should see a reduction in runs scored and allowed. Buffalo was a neutral park last year.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#398715) #
Some posters are suggesting a fairly decent package of our non elite players like Tellez to non contenders for a decent young pitcher. Manning, Wentz and Faedo are injured or underperforming.

In 2 months there will be a lot of trade talk for all teams.

So 45-50 games for the Jays to basically know what they have and what they need. Injured Kirk and Springer should be back. Good reliever Borucki should be back but another good reliever may get injured. Maybe the Jays win 10 more games than they lose from now to then.

TB is adding pitchers 2 in the W Adames trade. They were the latest of maybe 4 or 5 new pitchers.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#398716) #
I'm not an optimist by nature, so this season is not looking good to me. The Jays are a very good, if injury-riddled at present team. But the Yankees and Rays are excellent. Will bet cuttlefish with anyone they are playoff teams. That leaves one spot for the Red Sox/Jays, Astros/A's and Cleveland, who's the weakest of the bunch but has a powder puff schedule.

People here have already been thinking of additions at the end of July, but if we lose more ground between now and then, we may have to become sellers. If Story continues scuffling, Semien and Bryant (possibly) could well be the best position player rentals available. Ray, Matz, Chatwood, maybe even Dolis could/should fetch something or more, of course depending on performance between now and July 30.

If we're in contention at the deadline, great. But if not, we'll be even better set up for contention the next few years.

bpoz - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#398717) #
Agreed hypobole. But I am considering playoff position around the trade deadline as the main factor. Sept 1 is another indicator towards the end of the season. I am not disagreeing with you.

Ray and Matz should fetch something nice at the deadline. Ray, Matz and Semien are serious QO candidates. Chatwood and Dolis may not be missed if injured pitchers return. They could be out competed by Romano, Merryweather, Borucki and Mayza. If healthy and good Manoah, Pearson, Thornton, Zeuch, Allgeyer and Stripling become a crowd on the pitching staff. This leaves, Castro, Payamps and others who have filled in so far this season as being optioned down for further development.

grjas - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#398720) #
I'm not an optimist by nature, so this season is not looking good to me.

I have always considered this a bridge season till they get more pitching...from the minors and trades/signings. I thought they might have a 50/50 chance of making it at the outset, but with the Sox hot and our injuries, odds are sinking.

It's a double whammy in our division. Because of the unbalanced schedule, we play more games against tough competition as well as having to better their records. I'd be surprised if more than two teams make it from our division, and with 4 good teams pounding on each other, it might only be the division champ who makes it.
scottt - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#398722) #
Only 5 games back. Sweep Baltimore--whom all the other teams have already played--a couple of times and they're right back in it. Can't  go for a 20 games losing streak though.

All those losses to the Rays were close games that could have gone the other way.
Might have to keep some relievers away from late innings.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#398730) #
Only 5 games back. Sweep Baltimore--whom all the other teams have already played--a couple of times and they're right back in it. Can't  go for a 20 games losing streak though.
We also have yet to play DET or MIN - I believe NYY and BOS each have at least 6 games against those already..
92-93 - Tuesday, May 25 2021 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#398731) #
On the other hand, if Magpie was running the first place Mets he might be interested in the Jays' marginal talent. Tonight they have Villar in the leadoff spot followed by Lindor and then Brandon Drury bats 3rd. Their starting C, McCann rounds out the top 4 playing 1B. The Jays could probably get a king's ransom for Grichuk.
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