Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Jordan Groshans drove in six runs with two home runs as New Hampshire won. Vancouver cored nine in a win. Buffalo scored eight and lost as their bullpen for once was of no help. Dunedin, who were on a tear, lost both ends of a doubleheader.

Buffalo 8 Syracuse 9

New Hampshire 10 Bowie 8

Vancouver 9 Eugene 1

Dunedin 0 St Lucie 5 - game 1

Dunedin 2 St Lucie 3 - game 2

This is what I noted from yesterday's games.

The Bisons bullpen has been a strong point this season but on Friday four relievers all conceded runs. There is a pattern developing this season where promoted starting pitchers are great in their first start at the new level, followed by a bad second outing. Zach Logue followed this pattern. In five innings he gave up six hits and three walks leading to four runs.

Christian Colon had two hits, one a bases loaded double. Dilson Herrera homered. Jonathan Davis and Rowdy Tellez had one hit each.

Jordan Groshans hit a grand slam in the third and a two run shot in the fifth. Thats his second six base game in his last three. Vinny Capra also picked up two hits. Otto Lopez hit a solo home run, a 432 foot shot. LJ Talley also homered.

Maximo Castillo pitched shutout ball for four innings, gave up a run in the fifth on a home run, and three in the sixth, two on another home run. C

Ronny Brito and Luis De Los Santos each went 2-5 with a home run and three RBI. Tanner Morris and DJ Neal also had two hits each.

Luis Quinones went five strong innings striking out ten. However he also walked five showing how his control issues from recent starts are not totally behind him.

The D Jays have been piling on the runs but that came to an end in game one. The Jays had just four hits, Leo Jimenez had two of them. Sem Robberse had been pitching well but on this day he gave up five runs in 4.1 innings.

In game 2, Wilgenis Alvarado filled the Trent Thornton role. He walked four in the sixth inning which brought in the winning run. Alejandro Melean started and pitched well. Both runs he conceded were unearned. Leo Jimenez had two more hits. PK Morris was 2-2 with a walk.

Three Stars

Third Star - Ronny Brito and Luis De Los Santos

Second Star - Luis Quinones

First Star - Jordan Groshans


Jordan Groshans Digs the Long Ball | 32 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#400951) #
I still have high hopes for Groshans. He's only 21 and his AA slash line is now .275/.351/.801 (.300/.364/.529 in June, showing the ability to make adjustments). In total, he has hit .298/.368/.823 in the minors in his career.

Depending on his defensive ability, he could emerge as a very valuable player in the majors. Assuming he can stay healthy, of course.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#400954) #
It was old friend Brandon Drury who hit that go ahead HR off Hobie Harris in the 8th.

I agree with you on Groshans, Greenfrog.  It's easy to forget how young he is, and how much of a wildcard variable the last season was - clearly, some players actually benefited from the different season - working at the alternate site, working on things themselves - fitness, approach, etc- and just getting healthy.  Groshans might be in that camp. 

Frankly, Groshans is the type of player I think we should be building a trade around.  Our top prospects either are super early in their careers or injury prone, or like a Woods-Richardson, too important to the future. 

But we've got several advanced hitters.  Kevin Smith is another.  Heck, if the org truly thinks the window is open, Gabe Moreno has as much helium as any prospect in the game right now. 
scottt - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#400959) #
The window is open as they have another 5 years with this core.
Springer will have to move off center, so a good center will be required during this window.
Semien is just holding a spot for someone. Probably Groshans. Maybe Smith.
They still need good bench players and backup when someone hits the IL.
It's hard to break in prospects during a competitive window.
You can look at what happened with Pompey for an example.
You can't just keep one guy for a position and wish it works out, like J.P. Arencibia, for example.

John Northey - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#400964) #
Breaking in new guys during a competitive window can and does happen. The '83-93 teams did it often. Best examples are John Olerud with 0 minor league time starting as DH in 1990 (1.7 WAR in 111 games), 1989 Junior Felix came up and took over RF to help push into the playoffs, in 1991 Juan Guzman came up and became the staff ace for a playoff team, 1992 saw Jeff Kent play a lot before being traded for David Cone, 1993 saw Ed Sprague take over 3B, and Pat Hentgen (not a rookie but 2nd year guy) win 19 for a WS team - lined up to start game 7 if Carter hadn't hit that home run, 1985 had a key rookie in Tom Henke make it possible to make the playoffs. 2015 had Roberto Osuna closing (after trying fellow 20 year old Miguel Castro is that role), 2015 was Aaron Sanchez & Marcus Stroman's 2nd seasons, and we all know the 2020 team was a kiddie corps for offense.

Great teams mix in rookies all the time. 1 or 2 a year as you need to replenish your team or you stagnate. In 2022 3B or 2B should be a rookie (hopefully some kid comes up and dominates), CA could be too in Moreno. Samad Taylor will try to make the team in 2022, as will Kevin Smith, Otto Lopez, Groshans, and Martin. Martin has the lowest OPS of that group at 785 so I like the gang of them. One should be able to handle 3B or 2B in 2022 (assuming Semien leaves or Biggio is moved to super-utility where he plays everyday but all over the place).

2022 should see...
CA: 2 of Jansen/McGuire/Kirk/Adams/Moreno
1B: Vlad
2B: Biggio or Semien or a kid
SS: Bo
3B: Biggio or a kid
LF: Hernandez (and RF/DH)
CF: Springer
RF: Grichuk (and CF)
OF: Gurriel (LF/DH)
UT: Biggio (everyday) and/or Espinal (entire IF) and/or Panik (2B/3B) and/or Davis (OF/PR)

Should be an interesting winter/trade season this year. Do you spend a lot to keep Semien or do you let him go so Biggio can go back to 2B and put a kid at 3B? The options are there. Do you keep all 4 OF's or do you trade one? Do you resign Ray and/or Matz? All of this has to be factored in when debating trades for the Jays GM as he needs to plan not just for this year but next and for years afterwards. Getting a guy who is signed only for 2021 or is signed long term can change plans significantly and changes who is/isn't available for said trade. Gurriel and Grichuk are the OF'ers most available but Hernandez might be the most valuable depending on what the other teams needs are. Which kid in the infield minors is most likely to be star quality and which is least as far as the Jays are concerned and as far as other clubs are? Which 3 catchers do you want to hold onto the most, and which might be useful in trades? Gut says Kirk is best to trade (perceived value vs value to Jays) but I could be wrong.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#400969) #
Nice breakdown John. 

Smith is the guy who could help now, but clearly the FO wants to continue to develop him at SS.  Unlike, say, Samad Taylor, who is playing all over the diamond, Smith is playing mostly SS, with 7 games only at 3B.
Interesting that Moreno is getting reps at 3B.  Honestly, if he can also play 3B at Biggio's level, he might be able to contribute in the bigs this year, as Kirk did last year. 

But how many 40 man spots do you want to give up? 

Long term, I'm not worried about CF - Taylor or Martin seem like good possibilities for the role.  Martin is splitting his time evenly between SS and CF, and while the org seems loathe to push guys down the defensive spectrum, we have so many elite hitting prospects up the middle, it's going to happen eventually.  Same with the pen - Hatch or Kay may be fringey starters, but they could be bullpen weapons. 
hypobole - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#400972) #
Great test for the Fisher Cat batters. Grayson Rodriguez scheduled for Bowie this evening. Top 100 #18 Pipeline, #28 FG.
Spifficus - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#401000) #
I just turned on the NH game, and oh boy did I make a mistake. The announcer is really emphasizing the minor league nature of his talents, with the over-emphasis dialed to 11, and some really cheesy crap from the wastepaper bin of a university dropout trying to become a writer. "It's like you're crawling in a desert landscape, and you get over the dune, and there's the oasis, on the horizon, it's there." I... excuse me, I need to borrow that wastepaper basket...
bpoz - Saturday, June 26 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#401007) #
SWR was terrible tonight. 7bb, 6 ER, 1 Hr in 2.2IP.
Cynicalguy - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 01:43 AM EDT (#401012) #
I have a feeling playing Moreno at 3B might not be because of positional flexibility, but because organization believes his bat might be too elite to be wasted at catcher.

I was hoping one of Martin or Groshans would tear through AA (i.e hit like Moreno) and be ready for the majors by next year to take over at 3B with Biggio moving back to 2B...but looks like those two might take this year and all of next year before they are ready for the Majors.

There was some who thought Martinez would end up being the no.1 prospect by mid-season, that didn't pan out. I guess Moreno might be our top prospect right now.

The starting pitching prospects have mostly been a disappointment due to injuries and bad performance, aside from Manoah. Pearson, Hatch, Joey Murray, Zulueta, Pardhino have been mostly injured. Kloffenstein has been bad....SWR has been so so.

Still a pretty decent year for our prospects overall, just not at the sky high level expectations I was hoping for.
scottt - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#401013) #
That they keep players at SS mean next to nothing.
Gurriel played mostly short and ended up in left field.
Guerrero played mostly 3B even though it was clear he wasn't going to stick there.
Shortstop is regarded as the hardest position and that's where there is the most plays.
A guy who can play short might be more valuable in a trade than a guy who has been siloed into 3B.
Players love to play short. It challenges and rewards them.
They need someone to play short when Bichette is on the IL.

John Northey - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#401023) #
Checking Moreno's stats I can see why the Jays might leave him behind the plate - a 44% CS rate this year. 18 steals, 14 caught. 36% lifetime. Just the one game at 3B so far vs 3 at DH and 27 behind the plate. Might have just been a one game experiment. Still, I remember Delgado, Ed Sprague, and others who were catchers in the minors (both Sprague & Delgado caught a few in the majors too). But in the end the Jays figured out neither was best there. If Moreno can play 3B well it would be well worth it to move him there if Kirk can handle catching. then the lineup could be without any holes, leading to many 10+ run games. The big blue machine (the story for the big Red Machine in the 70's was that other teams would say to pitch around all 8 hitters and then face the pitcher - the Reds of Bench/Morgan/Perez/Rose/Griffey/Foster - all great hitters in their primes plus solid guys in CF (Cesar Geronimo with a 102 OPS+ from 72-76 with GG defense in CF and decent speed) and SS (Dave Concepcion who from 73 to 79 had a 102 OPS+ while playing GG defense at short, lifetime over 300 SB) - those guys were the worst hitters in the lineup, guys who for the core period were 100+ OPS+ guys. No wonder from 72-76 they won 95+ a year with 2 WS titles.
Hodgie - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#401026) #
Why on earth would the Jays move Moreno to another position? They are the ones that converted him to catcher in the first place, a move that looks brilliant as Moreno is quickly becoming one of the best prospects in baseball. Now, as that decision begins to bear fruit they should move him again? Great hitting catchers are unicorns, there is no way I move him unless injuries start to become a problem.
uglyone - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#401027) #
Moves don't have to be permanent.

There is a chance Moreno could help us in the 2nd half of this year as a 3B, if we don't quite trust his receiving skills right now.
hypobole - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#401028) #
I remember Delgado as being thought of as a pretty bad catcher. One more - Francisco Cabrera. Remember him because I only called Jays Talk one time. Kinda argued with McCowan who felt Cabrera was not catcher material. I was even stupider then than I am now.

As far as Moreno, he's now caught 237 innings vs 461 in 2019, so about half as many.
2019 - 3 errors, 11 passed balls. This year - zero and zero. As opposed to guys like Delgado, Cabrera, and I assume Sprague, Moreno is thought of as a good catcher.
scottt - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#401029) #
Biggio needs to play. If you just want a DH, Kirk is the man.

Jays should offer Urena back to Baltimore for considerations.

92-93 - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#401030) #
Moreno can even help at 3B if the Jays DO trust his receiving skills right now. Missing a few weeks of the minor league season to help the big club isn't going to ruin his chances of sticking long term at C. If the club is contending in late August and the front office believes he can help fill the 3B hole, he should be called up.
Hodgie - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#401031) #
What is it about Moreno's 9 innings of professional experience at 3B, in AA, that makes people think he would be able to help the big club at that position?
uglyone - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#401032) #
It's the fact that, out of nowhere, the jays suddenly played him at 3B right when a) the Jays had a need at 3B and b) Moreno's bat started knocking on the callup door.

And that his natural skillset likely includes good hands and a strong arm.
uglyone - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#401033) #
"Biggio needs to play. If you just want a DH, Kirk is the man."

Other option would be Biggio in LF.
92-93 - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#401035) #
Moreno is a converted SS, and the Jays continue to give starts to Joe Panik at 3B. Nuff said.
uglyone - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#401036) #
"Moreno can even help at 3B if the Jays DO trust his receiving skills right now"

Well...if they do trust his receiving skills already then he should probably fill the hole at C first then.

But I doubt a recently converted 21yr old would be ready to catch at the MLB level already, especially for a team trying to make the playoffs.
John Northey - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#401037) #
All depends how one rates Kirk I guess. You can't play both behind the plate at the same time, and Kirk only has CA and DH as options due to his body type. If Moreno can handle 3B then doing a mix/match of catching and 3B is ideal. Then DH is left open for rotation. Have a 3rd catcher (McGuire or Jansen or Adams) so you can freely use both Kirk and Moreno in 2022 at the same time. If we still have the 4 man OF then it could be a real mix/match time. Potential 2022 lineup...

CA: Kirk/Moreno/McGuire (or Jansen or Adams)
1B: Vlad/whoever
2B: Biggio/Espinal/Semien if resigned/many kid prospects
3B: Biggio/Moreno/Espinal
SS: Bo/Espinal/many kid prospects
OF: Gurriel/Springer/Hernandez/Grichuk/assorted kids/Biggio
DH: massive rotation

Rotation: Ryu/Ray (I expect him to be resigned)/Stripling/Manoah/Pearson or Hatch - if no Ray then some other free agent or trade
Pen: Romano/Thornton/Mayza/Dolis/Payamps/Castro/etc. Chatwood & Phelps & Yates are free agents.

Lots of flexibility there. Ray or someone else has to be signed for the rotation for 2022, hopefully Manoah keeps his 6IP with under 3 runs thing going (4 games with 0 or 1 run 5/6 IP vs 2 short games of 3 1/3 IP 4/5 runs). Could be a solid rotation, especially if Hatch or Pearson come through.
Hodgie - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#401040) #
So there is doubt that he is ready to catch for a MLB playoff contender with just 4 years professional experience behind the plate, but the fact that he was a shortstop when he was 16, along with 1 ground ball worth of experience in AA and he is a completely rational option to play 3B for that same contender? Iím a huge fan of the kid, but if he can pull that off then he will make Ohtani blush with his versatility.
Cynicalguy - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#401041) #
That looks really good John, something to dream on, yet not much far from reality. Always having Moreno or Kirk as a bench bat would be amazing (assuming they reach their offensive ceiling).

Ideally you have Smith/Groshans/Martin/Free agent at 3B rather than Espinal.

Dasan Brown is in the lineup for Dunedin today. If he figures out hitting, watch out.
uglyone - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#401044) #
Hodgie yes - C is far far more demanding than 3B. A lack of experience at 3B is not a big deal, at C its everything.
Spifficus - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#401047) #
So, the thought process is to skip Moreno by AAA (either basically or literally), at a new position, with 4 other prospects who have played the position a decent amount before at his level or higher, two who are arguably performing as well offensively (Taylor, Smith). I'm trying to think of what I'd add to this unnecessary recipe of failure, but I'm drawing a bit of a blank.
92-93 - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#401052) #
There isn't any argument to be made that Taylor and Smith are performing as well offensively as Moreno, even if you ignore age and experience. Strikeouts matter, a lot. That being said, either one of them would more than welcome as a replacement for Panik if they can play good defense at 3B.
Cynicalguy - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#401054) #
If the Jays re-sign Semien, they should sign him as a 3B and put Biggio back at 2B.
Spifficus - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#401055) #
I was playing horseshoes/hand-grenades on this one but in this scenario you would be dismissing age and experience (at least moreso than you would for normal prospecting). If you're calling someone up now, then it matters less what they project to be. It only matters what you think they are now.

Either way, Moreno at 3B is an unnecessary desperation move.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#401059) #
Cash is always an important consideration for the Jays. If they can competently address third base (Moreno), shortstop (Bo), center field (Martin), second base (Biggio), catcher (Jansen/Kirk/McGuire) and the utility role (Taylor/Smith/Espinal) with relatively inexpensive in-house options, they will consider ways to do it.
Spifficus - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#401065) #
Since he made his only appearance at 3B, he hasn't been back there and has caught 3 times. I'm gonna guess this is more of a "What can you do when you're not catching? This way we can keep the bat in the lineup." thing as opposed to any actual conversion.
John Northey - Sunday, June 27 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#401071) #
Yeah, at this point Moreno is a CA with 3B as a 'to make room for others' situation. I expect a 2023 and beyond tandem of Kirk/Moreno behind the plate with someone else as the #3 guy ideally someone who can cover 3B or 1B sometimes too. Flexibility is everything here. For 3B I'm hopeful for Groshans or Martin or Smith or someone but right now Biggio and/or Espinal is going to get the bulk of the time for 2022 unless one of those guys really steps up in the 2nd half.
Jordan Groshans Digs the Long Ball | 32 comments | Create New Account
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