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I'm going to sing that song again, folks. Be ready.

In the meantime, is it time to start arguing about the All-Star Game and who gets to go? The initial ballot was released yesterday and one would certainly think that Guerrero and Semien have a very decent chance at being voted in to the lineup, and Ryu could find himself making the trip to Denver as well.

The Astros have been playing .600 ball for about a month now (16-10) and they're now a game behind that streaky Oakland outfit in the AL West. They score more runs than any team in the AL (5.21 per game) and they do a decent job of keeping the other team from scoring. The rotation has been much more impressive than the bullpen, even if Jake Odorizzi has been a pile of hot garbage so far (and probably bound for the bullpen once Lance McCullers is back.) Left fielder Michael Brantley has been out with hamstring tightness but he was expected to return to the lineup tonight.

Now Dusty Baker is the one who manages this crew
He's older than the game itself, he's seen a thing or two
But that toothpick in his mouth
What the hell is that about?
It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro

I warned you.

The Jays and Astros hooked up for three games down in Houston in early May, with the home team taking two of them. Yuli Gurriel had 4 hits and 4 RBIs and Jose Urquidy pitched seven strong innings to beat Stripling in the opener; homers by Biggio, Jansen, and Semien helped Matz win the middle game; and in the finale, the Astros opened up a 7-0 lead against Nate Pearson, which apparently bored Zack Greinke sufficiently that he couldn't retire a man in the fifth inning. The Astros won anyway.

Zack Greinke is our pitching ace, he's not like you and me
Sometimes he sits down on the grass and ponders destiny
Then he tells you what's the pitch
And he makes you swing and miss
It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro

There was a time when Jose Altuve looked like the active player most likely to make it to 3,000 hits. He was 27 years old, he'd had four consecutive seasons with more than 200 hits. Then he started missing games - 25 of them in 2018, 38 of them in 2019. Then he stopped hitting (.219 last year.) He's hitting again, if not quite at the level he reached from 2014 through 2017. He missed 11 games back in April, but he's played all but one of them since. He's just turned 31 and he's more than halfway to 3,000. He's still got a shot, and if he wasn't a second baseman I'd like his chances a lot better.

Bregman and Correa, they were drafted number one
They helped us win a lot of games, we all had lots of fun
But when you bang on garbage cans
Something nasty hits the fans
Sometimes I'm not so proud to be an Astro


Fri June 4 - Greinke (5-2, 3.67) vs Ryu (5-2, 2.62)
Sat June 5 - Urquidy (4-2, 3.02) vs Stripling (1-3, 5.11)
Sun June 6 - Garcia (4-3, 2.89) vs Matz (6-2, 4.22)

Astros at Blue Jays, June 4-6 | 92 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#399301) #
Brantley is taking batting practices, but he was put on the 10IL on May 28.
I don't think he can return already. He'd probably just pinch hit if he could anyway.

Jason Castro is also on the IL, so the backup catcher is a fellow named Garrett Stubbs.

Andre Scrubb, who had 2 clean outing against the Jays in Houston has struggled since and was demoted.
Bryan Abreu is on the IL, so, there goes another reliever who put zeroes against the Jays last time. Twice.
Getting to the bullpen could be a good thing this time around.

85bluejay - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#399305) #
The next 13 games - Astros/White Sox/Red Sox/ Yankees - all AL playoff contenders should give us a good sense of where the Jays are.
Magpie - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#399307) #
[Brantley] was put on the 10IL on May 28.

Yup, but it was retroactive (he last played on the 23rd.) He can be activated today if he's ready.
Gerry - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#399308) #
Farewell Ty Tice. The Braves have picked him up off waivers for cash.
hypobole - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#399309) #
Astros have lost starting pitching talent over the past couple of years, but they've transitioned rather seamlessly thanks to Urquidy, Valdez, Garcia and Javier. Where did they get those guys I wondered.

Turns out, they are all their own IFA signings, but none the typical July 2 16 yr olds. They were signed at ages 18, 19, 20 and 21 between 2015-2017.
John Northey - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#399310) #
For All-Stars I like to look at leaderboards...

Bo Bichette: #2 in MLB in runs scored, among SS #1 in R, #4 in hits, #4 in doubles, #5 in HR (#1 in AL), #4 in RBI (#1 in AL). 7-0 in SB-CS doesn't hurt either.

Vlad: he is going. #1 in OPS for the majors, #1 in Slg, #1 in OBP, #3 in Avg (#1 in AL), #1 in HR, #2 in RBI, #4 in R, #5 in H (#2 in AL).

Randal Grichuk: surprise - for AL OF's he has a shot - position is vs AL OF: #8 in OPS, #5 in HR, #2 in RBI, #3 in 2B, #2 in H, #11 in R, #5 in Slg (just behind Judge), #6 in Avg. Weird - knew he was doing good, just not THAT good.

Marcus Semien: he is going - #1 in AL for 2B in Avg, OBP, Slg, OPS, HR, RBI, H, R, #2 for BB, #2 for SB. I mean, c'mon, who else would you take?

Ryu: #5 in AL ERA is likely going.
Ray: #14 (no I don't see Ray going but he has a shot)
Romano: slight chance, but very low when so many others are locks or near locks for the Jays, 1.83 ERA, but just 3 saves is too low for ASG, 26 K's are nice in 19 2/3 IP but not a wow anymore, I'd put his odds as very low.

Anyone else on the Jays I'm not thinking of for ASG this year? I thought about Hernandez but his time off due to injury hurts a lot here. an 845 OPS is as good as Grichuk's (he didn't qualify for leaderboards yet) but he needs to get on a tear if he wants to be there - to make up for his numbers being hurt due to his time off.
John Northey - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#399311) #
hypobole - sounds like the Astros were being smart, keep on scouting IFA's after age 16 to find hidden gems - guys who developed late, or who just were missed for whatever reason at 15/16. Hopefully the Jays jump into that market too. Cheaper, lots of years of control, what isn't to like?
92-93 - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#399312) #
Statistically speaking Bichette deserves the backup nod to Bogaerts at SS right now. Grichuk's best chance is if they select a backup CF to Trout and Garcia.

Panik has 34 unsuccessful career PA vs. Greinke and shouldn't be batting 6th in the lineup. Tellez has looked better at the plate the last handful of games.

Aledmys Diaz bats 3rd tonight for the Astros. It's amazing to see these guys the Jays got rid of playing key roles on teams at the top of their division.
GabrielSyme - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#399314) #
Interesting look at the All-Star scene, John.

I'd be very happy for Randal if he makes it - it would probably end up as a career highlight for him. Both he and Teoscar probably need to have a pretty stong June for either to actually make it. Mike Trout being injured opens up an extra spot.

A lot does depend on June, especially for the pitchers. A couple good outings could put Ray onto the team; a couple rough ones might leave Ryu in the cold.

Steven Matz has the peripherals to make a case for the all-star team, but doesn't have the ERA.
Thomas - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#399315) #
I didn't see it reported in another thread, but the Jays have dealt Ty Tice to Atlanta for cash. The 40-man roster crunch has claimed its first victim.
Magpie - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#399316) #
Panik has 34 unsuccessful career PA vs. Greinke

Well, strictly speaking, he's got 34 career PApps against Greinke and 27 of them have been unsuccessful. But point taken and I'd probably flip him and Rowdy if they put me in charge (the Box community collectively heaves a gigantic Sigh of Relief.) Not that I think it matters a whole lot.
scottt - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#399317) #
Not in another thread, but the Tice deal was already reported.

The Braves have DFAed Victor Arano to make room and the Jays DFAed Tice to make room for Carl Edwards Jr. who had been released by the Braves.

Montoyo had used Tice only for mop up duties and he had not been great (4 earned runs in 7 innings).

scottt - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#399318) #
Panik being the hero of the last game, I can let it fly.
I think Panik is holding Biggio's spot. 

The one I don't like is Davis hitting 8th, in front of Jansen.
I'd rather go Jansen, Davis, to reduce the odds of a double play before getting to Semien.

As expected, no Brantley. No Bregman is a shock though.

Spifficus - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#399319) #
I think hitting those two back-to-back already limits the likelihood of a double-play quite a bit on its own.
Magpie - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#399320) #
The one I don't like is Davis hitting 8th

Davis should hit 10th.
scottt - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#399322) #
I've seen it happen.
Still, Jansen has hit into a double play 3 times in 104 AB.
Davis, once in 58 AB.
It's not a huge difference, but one guy has clearly a better shot at beating a throw than the other.
Lots of team put a speedy guy in the 9 hole.

mathesond - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#399323) #
Of course, the double play requires someone getting on base in the first place...
Magpie - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#399325) #
Get it all out of your system, boys. All the bad stuff. Get rid of it tonight.
hypobole - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#399326) #
Our Pythagorean should get closer to our actual after tonight.
pooks137 - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#399327) #
The loss of Ty Tice, while likely of marginal value overall, shows the folly of loading your 40-man in December with low value Rule 5 eligible prospects in order to "protect" them.

By doing so, you commit a 40-man roster to them in perpetuity where the only way to get them off the 40-man (other than temporary inseason IL stints) is to expose them to waivers, which have much less strenuous requirements for opposing teams to claim and retain your players.

The likelihood that Tice would have been selected in the Rule 5 AND survived an entire season on a 26-man roster is slim-to-none. But instead the Jays "protected" him, got 7 innings out of him after taking up a 40-man spot all winter and then traded him for whatever cash considerations amounts to,

I've posted this before, but I would just point out again that the last prospect that the Jays lost permanently to the Rule 5 was Matt Ford in 2002, who pitched all of 2003 for the Brewers, only to never appear in the majors again.

scottt - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#399328) #
That was the first thing that crossed my mind.

The second was that maybe my idea of getting Greinke to throw and get into the bullpen was better than being aggressive early in the count. Of course, no game plan is going to give you 14 runs.

John Northey - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#399329) #
Well, on the bright side, Chatwood faced 6 hitters and didn't walk any. Of course all 6 had hits one of which was a home run, but at least no walks this time. Grichuk got his 12th home run matching last years total in exactly the same number of games played (55). If the season ended today the Jays would be in the 8th slot (maybe tied with KC depending on their game), so similar to last year. OK, not very bright, but something. Now imagine if we get a few of those injured guys back.
John Northey - Friday, June 04 2021 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#399330) #
Looks like Team Canada doesn't get to the Olympics. Made the super round but lost to Venezuela 5-0, now losing to the USA 10-1, one more game vs the Dominican - not sure if a win there would get them to the next qualifier or not. Can't find the tie break rules - if Canada wins then they'd have the same record as the Dominican (1-2) and I'd think head to head would be the tie breaker but doubt they'll beat the Dominican anyways (lots of ex-ML'ers on that team including Jose Bautista). If the US beats Venezuela and Canada beats the Dominican then the US has a perfect record and gets the Olympic slot, while 2 of the other 3 go to a qualifier vs other teams. Nuts that Israel is there but Cuba won't be.
hypobole - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#399331) #
Mediocre IFA signings, mediocre drafting and mediocre player development meant year after year of thin systems. If the system is a mass of drek beyond the 40, you ain't gonna lose players in the Rule 5.
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#399332) #
In actuality, they've picked up Castro and Payamps whom are both better than Tice.
Even Beasley is comparable to Tice, both have 3 options left.
They chose to have Edwards Jr. over Tice, he wasn't going to be pitch for the Jays again this year and they could have a chance to get him back before next year.

We'll get into the real crunch when players come off the 60IL.

Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#399335) #
Not a fan of Greinke's grunting.
Thomas - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#399336) #
John, just to confirm, I read somewhere if Canada beats the Dominican, they finish ahead of them and make it.

The odds of that.....
bpoz - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#399337) #
P Murphy may come off the 60 day IL in 2 weeks. Hatch and Merryweather maybe by the end of the month. When Merryweather is ready he makes it up fast based on his outstanding ML play. Hatch will have to earn his way back up, may be easy or not. I don't know what will happen when Milone is healthy. Kirk maybe mid July.

So 4 players will be moved off the 40 man roster. Most likely there will be enough candidates who earn their removal.
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#399338) #
When healthy, Milone gets DFAed. That's an easy call.
Borucki might end up on the 60IL.
Same for Palacios, once he's healthy, Davis could be DFAed.

John Northey - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#399339) #
Injury summary...
Minimal known about return dates, but dates in brackets are the earliest they can play a game (based on 10 or 60 days from last game played) No date means they can return today if healthy.
  • Kirk: Strained hip flexor (60 day, July 2nd)
  • Biggio: Sprained neck (10 day, anytime)
  • Springer: Strained quad (10 day, anytime)
  • Hatch: Elbow discomfort (60 day, anytime) - said to be not close.
  • Patrick Murphy: Sprained shoulder (on rehab 4 games done 5 1/3 IP 7 H but just 1 in the past 2 games, 3 runs in first 2 games, 0 since, 2 BB 7 K)
  • Bergen: Shoulder impingement (10 day, anytime)
  • Borucki: Strained forearm flexor (10 day, anytime)
  • Cole: Neck discomfort (10 day, June 8th)
  • Merryweather: Strained oblique (60 day, June 14th)
  • Milone: Shoulder inflammation (60 day, July 2nd)
  • Phelps: Lat surgery (out for season)
  • Yates: Tommy John surgery (out for season)
bpoz - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#399340) #
Some of the 10 day players that can return now probably get a minor league rehab.

Biggio probably means a move for Panik/Espinal.

Borucki and Cole will cause someone to be demoted but not lost. Beasley probably.

Chatwood is going to have to earn high leverage situations. 2-3 low leverage successes may get him more important work. I can see him getting traded or released.

P Murphy June 1 2IP 26 pitches 19 strikes. Hope he works today or tomorrow. Build up to 40+ pitches per outing.

Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#399341) #
By the way, I recently saw the 1949 picture "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" starring Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra. As the middle-infield tandem for the World Champions, the boys prefer to moonlight as players on-stage. (Kelly falls for the new lady owner of the team, but Sinatra has blue eyes for her.) Moderately recommended.
PeterG - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#399343) #
Why is Taylor Saucedo not being given an opportunity. He has been lights out in relief for Trenton so far this season.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#399346) #
A preliminary break down of the AL outfield all-star picture suggests there's a path for both Grichuk & Teoscar.

In 2019, both leagues carried nine outfielders. Right now, Randal & Teoscar are ranked 12th & 13th in Fangraphs WAR, and are in a similar spot by B-R's version.

Mike Trout is certain to be voted in, but might well still be injured, opening up a spot. It's hard to see Buxton not making the all-star roster somehow if he's back and healthy soon, given he's still the WAR leader in fewer than 100 PAs. But health is uncertain for him.

Jared Walsh is listed as an outfielder, but he's basically at 1B full-time now that Pujols was let go by the Astros.

So, if we assume that one of Buxton/Trout are healthy, and Walsh is out, that leaves Teoscar & Grichuk up against about a dozen other outfielders with reasonable cases for selection, for eight spots.

The strong point with Teoscar and Grichuk is that their traditional offensive stats match up pretty well. Grichuk with 12 HRs and an average in the high .200s, is actually a fairly unusual creature. Teoscar is in a similar position, albeit with only 8 HRs, in part because of his missed time.

Guys like Mark Canha and Austin Meadows, who have actually been substantially better than Grichuk, might lose out due to their averages hovering around .250.
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#399347) #
Small sample? It's his first year transitioning from starting where he was walking over 3/9 and striking out less than 7/9.
This year's 15 innings are much better than the previous 500+ innings.
If he keeps this up, he'll eventually get a chance.

scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#399348) #
The starters are selected by the fans. The backups are selected by players votes.
The manager (Kevin Cash) picks the final 8.
One more player is selected by fans--from a list submitted by the manager.
Then the managers gets to pick substitutes for injured (or unwilling to participate) players.

I think Meadows is in.

BlueMonday - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#399350) #
Top of 8, Canada just went ahead of DR 5-4. Review of tournament tie breaker rules say if Canada wins, they finish 3rd to the DR 4th. That's important as the 2nd and 3rd place teams get to play in another qualifier tourney where the winner gets the last spot in the Olympics. 4th place is eliminated from the Olympics. Go Canada! Free stream here
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#399352) #
Campbell said the Jays need to beat the DR by 2 runs.
BlueMonday - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#399353) #
Thanks, scottt, the announcer's for the Canada-DR game also mentioned that run diff could play a factor. World tournament baseball always bewildering, as the rules on the website state "The team that won the game(s) between the teams tied shall be given the higher position.". Academic anyway, as Canada's bullpen (including Scott Mathieson, formerly of the Phillies, and old friend John Axford) couldn't hold the lead (along with a critical passed ball). DR win 6-5. No Olympics for Canada.
mathesond - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#399354) #
Not a bad throw by Gurriel. Nice that Straw didn't slide.
Magpie - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#399355) #
Straw had no reason to suspect that the play might even be close. A guy with his speed, on a ball hit to that spot? There's no chance he can be thrown out. I don't understand what happened either.
92-93 - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#399357) #
Absolutely hilarious HR call by Buck there, and great foresight from Tabler.

Panik has certainly earned himself some goodwill from the manager over the last few games.
Magpie - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#399358) #
Vlad was already having a good day with his arm, his legs, and his hustle.
krose - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#399359) #
Much better game today. Our guys look like their into this thing. Now Ö.. Robo umps please!
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#399360) #
The Stripling trade is starting to look better.
92-93 - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#399361) #
In the last week Thornton has had one appearance of 14 pitches. Give him the save today.
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#399362) #
Yesterday, Boston beat the Yankees in the Bronx.
So today, they called up Chris Gittens, a 27 year old non-prospect who hit 23 homers in AA Trenton 2 years ago.
He's got an OPS over 1 in Scranton, bats left and play first base/DH.
Fangraphs had Gittens at 46 in the Yankees system.

Boston also completed the Benintendi trade, receiving a big outfielder who hasn't pitched out of rookie ball from the Mets, who becomes Boston #21 prospect. They also got 2 young pitchers who didn't crack the rankings. I'm kinda surprised that Josh Winckowski does not make the Red Sox top 30.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#399363) #
Stripling has looked like a different pitcher ever since those mechanical changes.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#399364) #
Walking the leadoff hitter with a 5 run lead in the 9thinning is something I just cannot abide. Not a dude, I guess.
scottt - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#399365) #
Well, for the Olympics, it's basically the home country + 1 team from each continent.
Now, there's no real teams in Africa, so they use EMEA (Europe+Middle East+Africa) and they basically pool the Americas together. That leaves them short one team, so they have that extra tournament with the second best team of each "continent", second and third best for the Americas because they're pulled together.

Pretty tough nut to crack for us, still.

hypobole - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#399366) #

Wonder how this will affect the Jays. Can't see anything but helping the offence, but also curious which of our pitchers will suddenly become a lot more hittable.
uglyone - Saturday, June 05 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#399367) #
McGuire did a nice job faking out the runner making him think no throw was incoming.
uglyone - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 12:33 AM EDT (#399369) #

.338 AVG (#1 AL, #3 MLB)
18 HR (#1 AL, #1 MLB)
47 RBI (#2 AL, #2 MLB)

.439 OBP (#1 AL, #1 MLB)
.333 ISO (#1 AL, #1 MLB)
.672 SLG (#1 AL, #1 MLB)
199 wRC+ (#1 AL, #1 MLB)
3.6 WAR (#1 AL, #1 MLB)
Nigel - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 01:29 AM EDT (#399370) #
It will be interesting to see if they actually intend to police the rule on foreign substances or not. If itís like PEDís, weíll discover that only minor leaguers and a handful of major leaguers whom youíve never heard of are the only ones doctoring the ball:).
AWeb - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#399371) #
I really hope they do enforce the already existing rules on this. Some of the stories have been pretty comical. A problem is that the umps, as with pace of play rules going unenforced, have been letting this slide for decades.

One possible upside...getting every new ball properly worked up could only have contributed to how long it takes to throw a pitch. I've noticed an increasingly game killing break after foul balls, and suspiciously cameras tend not to focus on the pitcher during this dead air.

Are there any rules on the books that aren't enforced that are making the game better for fans? Maybe 2022's slogan should be 'this time we are playing by the rules!'.
AWeb - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#399372) #
I would also note that the high spin thanks to sticky stuff fastballs aren't a long-term concern, in that hitters will eventually adjust to a 'new normal' fastball behaviour, if most pitchers are doing it. Super breaking balls are probably not the same though. Throwing pitches without the superglue will make breaking balls less reliable and effective, and *maybe* therefore thrown less often. Mlb is scared of doing anything that could change things a lot all at once, so I don't think they'll do anything...
scottt - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#399374) #
The obvious cheaters are the guys with big stains on their uniform or hats that they keep rubbing.
Kimbrel, for example.
There was a Blue Jays pitcher with a blatant dirty hat a few years back.
Don't really remember who, but it was bugging me.

Organization wise, I'd look at clubs with really great starting pitching across the board.

hypobole - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#399375) #
Rambling disjointed thoughts time. Umps have been letting this slide because managers almost never complained about it. Managers didn't complain because they knew their own pitchers were doing the same thing.

The Farrell Pineda blob on his neck seemed less a case of "He's cheating" and more "Don't show the world that we're all cheating".

Reminds me of the Joe Kelly suspended for throwing at Astros episode where it turns out he didn't throw at them because they cheated, but because they ratted out his beloved Cora's involvement to save their own skins. Joe Kelly would make a good mobster or dirty cop.

As far as the PED's Nigel brought up, MLB dragged it's feet because PED's put money in the owners pockets. Many fans, especially casuals, loved the offensive explosion. On the other hand only a segment of the "purist" niche loves low scoring pitcher dominance, no matter how it's achieved. It doesn't attract the casual fans and their money. So MLB is much more incentivised to crack down on foreign substances than they were PED's.
Thomas - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#399376) #
I've always thought there was a good starter with Stripling (good #4 type - not an ace). It's really encouraging to see the mechanical changes have unlocked that. From hearing him talk about, it wasn't a bad habit that he picked up but a wholesale change, which is interesting given the success he had as a spot starter with the Dodgers. Credit to Walker/Buschmann and whomever else noticed this and made the changE.

While McGuire is hitting more like what we probably expected - I don't see any reason to believe he's as good as he was in 2019, nor as awful as he was in 2020 - I do think he's a strong defensive catcher. His tag on that play - from the decoy to the quick application - was an example of a play that I don't know if either of the other two catchers would have made.
John Northey - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#399377) #
Easiest way to find potential cheaters is to check spin rates on pitchers and see who had a big jump. I'm sure there is a site with that data but don't know which off hand. Might check later. A bit worried on Ray and any others who significantly improved this year.
hypobole - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#399380) #
Except this has been going for years, just the substances used have been getting more sophisticated. And there are pitchers who have used them for years, in the minors and even before they were drafted, so those pitchers' spin rates wouldn't jump much at all.

I'm sure there are teams where its use was actually encouraged (Astros would be a good guess) from the minors on up.

dalimon5 - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#399384) #
Gerrit Cole
Trevor Bauer

You will notice these starters cutting back on the glue and their numbers go from elite to just very good.

Ray is legit. It's release point for him not spin rate. He's dominating hitters with velocity and being a lefty. Reminds me a lot of Chapman this year.

Other glue guys you will see some drop but it won't be as noticeable. I think glue made good pitchers really good pitchers and elite pitchers just unhittable. Mediocre and above average pitchers will be the same because they all make mistake pitches and will still be making those same mistake pitches.
Gerry - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#399385) #
Cavan Biggio joins the Bisons today on a rehab assignment.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#399386) #
Aledmys Diaz is out for 6-8 weeks with a broken hand. Tough break for him. The 30-year-old has made a decent career for himself in the majors.
Gerry - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#399387) #
Home run to centre field for Biggio in his first at-bat.
hypobole - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#399388) #
Hatch 2 IP as the Bison's opener 0 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
krose - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#399389) #
Robo umps plllleeeease.
hypobole - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#399390) #
Over/Under 2023.
krose - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#399391) #
Garcia doing a good job of working with the ump.
Magpie - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#399392) #
Tellez sitting on the breaking ball. Lets two fastball strikes go by. Gets the breaking ball. Misses it.

Swing at the fastball, son. They're easier to hit.
krose - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#399394) #
The inability to hit a curveball has been the demise of many.
hypobole - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#399395) #
Danny with a right hamstring strain. Adams or Moreno?
krose - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#399396) #
Uh! Letís just say, Jansen goes on the IL and Adams comes up as his replacement. Biggio comes back and Tellez is sent down (does he have an option?). Springer comes back and Davis is sent down. Those donít seem too far out. How much better would the lineup become?
scottt - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#399397) #
I think it's Espinal who would go down once Biggio is up.
Now, once Springer is back, Tellez would need to hit to stay up.

Sliders and curves outsides are called balls, but a straight fastball to the same location is a strike?
Strikeout on a 6 pitch AB in which only one curveball caught the strikezone--barely.

When an ump extends the outside corner by 6 inches, it's pretty hard to hit if you have mostly right handed bats.
Gotta wear your armor and crowd the plate, I guess.

Mike Green - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#399398) #
The second fastball in particular was a pitch Tellez can kill if he's not sitting on an off-speed pitch. The Astros probably study batter body positions when they are sitting on a pitch. It's easy to tell in many cases when a batter is sitting.
scottt - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#399399) #
Too early for Moreno, but Adams is red hot.
If McGuire becomes the primary, it's time to work the platoon advantage.

scottt - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#399400) #
Tellez loves to sit on breaking balls. It's not a secret.
Chuck - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#399401) #
Shades of Pillar/Tulo.
Chuck - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#399402) #
Maldonado runs like a Molina.
krose - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#399403) #
Espinal has good flexibility as a defender. Just seems to me that lengthening this lineup could help quite a bit. Biggio instead of Tellez is a fair offensive and defensive upgrade. Likewise, Adams could provide a good offensive upgrade without giving up a great deal of defence. Springer instead of DavisÖ All three moves combined to substantially improve the team.
John Northey - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#399404) #
I think Tellez has to go down soon. This is getting insane. His defense isn't good and at bat he looks uninterested in the game. Sad really as I have been cheering him on from when he was drafted. Hopefully he gets traded and can be productive somewhere in the NL
krose - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#399405) #
Biggio can play first if needed. His bat will likely play much better than Tellezís. And the move is a left batter for a left batter.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#399406) #
I would personally be aggressive and run Moreno out there but it will likely be Adams who currently has a hot bat.
scottt - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#399407) #
They don't need a right bat. They don't really need Biggio, Panik or Espinal in the outfield either.
Catchers are a bit special. They need to work with the pitchers. It's not just "framing" and blocking the plate.
They need Semien, Bichette and Guerrero in the lineup every day. That really limits the value of  a flexible defender.
Once Springer is up, outfielders will probably take over the DH spot most of the time.

John Northey - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#399409) #
I don't get this whole 'we need a left bat even if it is a poor one' stuff. Give me a 110 OPS+ right bat over a 90 left bat anyday. Even if the rest of the lineup is right. The obsession with left/right is crazy. If you have similar batters or guys with an obvious problem then it makes sense, but Tellez vs RHP lifetime is 236/299/465 - not good enough, and in 2021 is 194/257/312 - basically a backup infielder hitting (before today's 0-3 vs RHP, 0-1 vs LHP). You can't have that from a DH/1B. You just can't. I don't care one iota if he hits left, right, or with his butt. Before today the other LH bats forced into the lineup have OPS+ of 85 (Panik), 54 (McGuire), and 77 (Biggio IL), and 73 (Palacios on minor league IL). Meanwhile RH Christian Colon in AAA is hitting 346/429/590 and has played LF/SS/2B/3B so far this year. I think it is time to see if anyone out there will offer anything (low level prospect or even just cash) for Tellez and just call up someone like Colon. Or call up Adams (246/397/614) who can catch, or Juan Graterol (415/444/561 and also catches). Gotta figure any of those 3 would outhit Tellez right now, and all have FAR more defensive value.
scottt - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#399410) #
Did you watch the game? Did you see all those right handed hitters getting called out on balls outside?
That's why they need a few good left bats. So they don't get screwed by bad umpiring.
The Rays are cruising with a bunch of average left handed hitters and Boston has been able to win more than their share of games with Devers and Verdugo producing. They gambled on Cordero who has been terrible and added Gonzalez and Santana  to play off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Yankees, who are also leaning heavily on the right side are struggling despite quality pitching.

johnny was - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#399411) #
East Asia beckons for Tellez, and for him that could be a good thing. Eric Thames figured some things out, came back and performed pretty well in his second go at being a major leaguer, making about $20 million from 2017-20. He's currently OPS-ing about 1.800 for the Yomiuri Giants in his age 34 season.
John Northey - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#399413) #
Ummm... no disrespect but umpire calls are variable game to game, all LH or all RH makes zero difference. Just a dumb luck as to if the ump decides to screw one or the other or decides high pitches are or aren't strikes, or low are, or whatever. Making a lineup based on umpires is a path of failure.

Jays with their RH lineup is 5th in R/G right now. Rays and Red Sox are 3/4 but I think that is less due to L/R mix and more just hitters doing their jobs. Under 1 run over 57 games away from scoring more per game than those two. The 3 are that tight. 4.947 Jays, 4.949 Red Sox, 4.950 Rays. You don't get tighter.
pooks137 - Sunday, June 06 2021 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#399414) #
Espinal has good flexibility as a defender.

Amazingly, Espinal hasn't played an inning anywhere on the field this year other than at 3B - 16 starts, 25 games, 145.1 innings.

So while Espinal offers versatility in theory, Bichette and Semien's durability and lack of load management has made Espinal's main advantage redundant.

uglyone - Monday, June 07 2021 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#399415) #
It's always fun to plan around a healthy lineup even when you know it's almost never healthy.

CF Springer
SS Bichette
1B Guerrero
LF Teoscar
2B Semien
RF Grichuk
DH Kirk
3B Biggio
C Jansen

UT Gurriel
OF Davis
IF Panik
C McGuire

and again I keep thinking about the possibility of Gurriel at 3B.

John Northey - Monday, June 07 2021 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#399418) #
If you said that on June 6th the Jays would have the following guys with a sub 210 batting average would you expect them to still be above 500 1/2 a game ahead of the Yankees? Springer, Biggio, Tellez, Jansen all sub 200, as is Davis (no shock). Mix in the injuries galore and it is amazing the Jays have one of the best offenses in the majors (top 5 in R/G, 110 OPS+) and solid pitching (108 ERA+). Jays now 20th for starters ERA (4.35) and 8th for relief ERA (3.59)

For hope for the future... Jays are 5th in games started by hitters 25 and under (Atlanta, Cleveland, San Diego, and Seattle are ahead of the Jays). Boston 10th, Baltimore 14th, Tampa 18th, Yankees 22nd. Plus the Jays kid hitters are 2nd in sOPS+ to only the Cubs (who only have 23 games started by kids, Jays 136). So the Jays are hitting well and are younger than their opponents. Pitching not so much (24th in innings, Yankees 26th, Baltimore 23rd, Boston 18th, Tampa 12th.

Kid Hitters: Vlad, Bo, Kirk, with guys who turned 26 between July 1st last year and July 1st this year being Jansen, McGuire, Espinal, Biggio, and Tellez.

Kid Pitchers: Manoah (only win for them), Pearson, Tice (now gone), Beasley, Zeuch. With the age 26 crew being Castro, Kay.

No one has played for the Jays who is 35 this year (age 34 is Ryu, Roark, Phelps, Milone. Age 33 is Dolis, no others at 32 or higher which is generally considered the dividing line between 'prime' and 'decline').
scottt - Tuesday, June 08 2021 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#399478) #
92% accuracy, 92% consistency. 

Toronto -0.37 runs.
Houston +0.21 runs.

3 worst calls.
Matz to Correa, strike called a ball.
Garcia to Grichuk, ball called a strike.
Matz to Alvarez, strike called a ball.

It's quite bad, but it's to be expected.
Boston beat the Yankees 6-5 in a game in which the bad calls added up to almost 1 run for Boston.
Rays crushed Texas despite over +2 runs worth of bad calls in favor of the Rangers.

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