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Strobe lights
and blown speakers
Fireworks
and hurricanes
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These 2021 Blue Jays sure have made me want to disappear completely at times this year. It certainly is a Jekyll and Hyde group: very fun and exciting when they're playing well, grotesque and offensive to the sensibilities when they lose. There is some debate in these parts whether this is the year to go all in: personally I'm not interested in trading an Alejandro Kirk or a Jordan Groshans for a gosh dang reliever. The volatile nature of that job makes such an acquisition no sure improvement, plus I'm still holding hope that Nate Pearson can emerge as the 2015 Aaron Sanchez down the stretch. Anyways, as usual with these off day articles, here are some thoughts.


Top of the Fourth


Starters, Starters, Starters

Congratulations to Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Marcus Semien and Teoscar Hernandez for being voting in as starters for the All-Star game. All three are having excellent seasons worthy of selections, are all first time All-Stars, and each took a fairly different road to get here. Guerrero Jr. of course has been long been anointed the next big superstar of the franchise, and while he's clearly been an above average hitter since arriving in the majors... I know some were pretty disappointed (trade Vlad! He's too out of shape!) that he didn't destroy the league instantly upon arriving. Well I think he might have figured it out, folks. Just maybe.

Hernandez was just a young spare outfield part in Houston when Toronto traded Francisco Liriano for him (and Nori Aoki... remember him?). He proceeded to mash for half a season, be a roughly overall average bat for a year while striking out a zillion million times, struggle so much in 2019 that he got sent down to AAA, come back and now become this version of himself. Really his biggest change has been making more contact: batting average can be an overrated stat but going from a .230 hitter to a .285 one is a significant difference. Teo still isn't a very good outfielder at all (Sunday was a rough one for him) but at least the blunders seem less frequent.

Semien sure looks like he's been on a mission to prove his 2019 year was no fluke. A middle infielder who gives you a roughly .290/.345/.540 line is a pretty damn valuable player to have on your side. What has impressed me most is just how steady he is defensively: there's rarely a bobbling of the ball (*cough* Bo *cough*), he gets to everything he should and 99 out of 100 times makes a perfect throw. Remember he hadn't played second base in half a decade, and while 2B is much less demanding than shortstop sure, there is still a different kind of mobility and athleticism required when comparing those two positions. He's gonna get paid this winter, but that's a conversation I'm much less eager to have than other people apparently. For now, enjoy this stud ballplayer playing for your ball club. I know I do.


The YouTube Broadcast

It was definitely a different experience watching this compared to the usual Sportsnet crew (Shulman is still so, so good and elevates whichever of Martinez or Tabler he's paired with). What I liked most were not just the use of advanced stats but actually explaining in a helpful way what they actually mean or why they are such indicators of particular skill (for people watching who may not know). The occasional graphic of what pitch a pitcher had thrown in that at-bat was also a very nice touch, and I'd much much prefer that over the stupid strike box every broadcast now superimposes over home plate. What? No you get off my lawn!


High Time... Cimber-line

The Blue Jays were really Up The Khyber with their bullpen, so they went off and spent some cash (Green Is The Colour after all) by absorbing Corey Dickerson's contract along with reliever Adam Cimber in hopes that their Crying Song with the relief core would end.

(yeah... I recently wrote an article about Pink Floyd).

Cimber is pretty interesting though, a useful pitcher and a fun one to watch with that funky arm angle stuff. I have a soft spot for knuckleballers and submariners (that aren't Darren O'Day) just because they do something unconventional and are slowly disappearing from a modern game so obsessed with velocity. Plus he wears #90. Is he the first Blue Jay to ever do that? Mags help me out!


The Little League That Could

As it is about to begin again this upcoming Saturday, it feels a good time to mention the Toronto Men's Baseball League is about to kick off its sixteenth season this summer. The TMBL of course can trace its beginnings to this very website, when back in 2006 poster/contributor Jobu asked if anybody was interested in playing some pickup hardball. There was enough interest (eighteen year old me among them) to form the then TBBL (Toronto Bauxite Baseball League) and eventually play an entire season at Smythe Park, where the league still plays to this day. The league has rapidly improved in quality over the years, from being basically a "bring your friends for casual baseball" to having multiple serious ballplayers who have played High Park, East York programs, Ontario college ball. We even had a guy who played in the Intercounty League one year. I'm certainly no ringer, but I've settled in as a pesky hitting utility player as my wonky shoulder has lessened my once blazing 52 mph junk fastball (heh).

Only myself and original White Sox coach during that inaugural year, Mike K, have played every season. So here's to another good one, and a shout out to the many other readers and contributors on here who have also played in the league over the years. This one is for all of you as well. 


Bottom of the Fourth


Ryu Versus Guile

There's no question the ace of the Blue Jays pitching staff has been struggling the past month. A lot of this has aligned with the departure of Danny Jansen to the injured list, and Magpie I think recently made a good point about Ryu being a rhythm pitcher: somebody who prefers a catcher who can think along with him and thus there won't be many instances where he shakes off his catcher. There is something to that, and for a pitcher like Ryu who has to be so precise and fine with hitting corners and changing speeds... just adding another challenge to all of that can be problematic. I recently read a Twitter thread with some interesting statistical insight: basically that Ryu's biggest issue in his bad June wasn't decreased spin rate or a drop in velocity... it was that he was just throwing bad pitches over the heart of the plate, especially his cutter... while his off speed stuff was missing those valuable corners. Jansen is now back, and it will be curious to see how Ryu does throwing again to his preferred backstop.


The YouTube Broadcast

I do like roundtable discussion-like shows... I've semi-recently become a fan of Red Letter Media and their hilariously boozy insights into what makes terrible movies so terrible. That format is a little bit different when broadcasting a live baseball game, and harder to capture that type of off the cuff comradery. RLM videos usually feature a bunch of dudes who are filmmaking friends and have long established on screen chemistry, heck even Mystery Science Theatre 3000 back in the day would watch a movie a few times to come up with interesting jokes. Trying to capture that type of discourse, with a bunch of random commenters who haven't worked together nearly as much, while live... it's no surprise the conversations constantly seemed directionless, random complaints of the 2021 game, or just dumb. It's also irritating that the female commentator, Sarah Land, seemed stuck in the Hazel Mae role of giving on-field reporter/various updates because Mark DeRosa and Brian Kenny talked endlessly about nonsense over each other. Kenny by the way is bloody terrible: we give Buck and Tabby a lot of (well deserved) grief about not following the game when going off on vague tangents... Kenny though just would not shut the heck up at any moment, like he was in the movie Speed and he'd explode if he stopped talking obnoxiously for five seconds. Let the game breathe, dude.  


Link In The Lost (Chat)woods

I'm pretty done with this guy. Those 1/3 appearances where he looks like he'll never figure out how to throw a strike again, and doesn't... that's just not gonna fly. It'd be nice if he didn't get so upset when he gets pulled in those instances also. I get the competitiveness but... come on man. 


Around The League In 80 Days!


Schwarber's Shots -- In 21 games as the Nationals leadoff hitter this season, a position he only assumed in early June... Kyle Schwarber has hit 16 home runs and has a batting line of .338/.416/.974. Small sample size rules apply, sure, but that's one heck of a sample. It's helped Washington sneak back into the playoff race and probably means we won't be seeing Max Scherzer drop his pants elsewhere in 2021 (sorry, I just find that whole thing hilarious).

Miracle By The Bay --  With a record of 53-30, the best team in baseball right now is... the San Francisco Giants? Who on Earth saw that coming.

The Giants surprising success has been fueled by two major factors. First, a bunch of mid 30s veteran hitters rediscovering their prime form (Longoria, Posey, Crawford, Belt) while supported by a strong... um supporting cast. San Francisco is second in the National League in runs scored. Their other ticket has been starting pitchers who likewise seemed washed up, only now to reach heights their former organizations couldn't have even dreamed of. Kevin Gausman might start the all-star game (I mean, if Jacob deGrom didn't exist)... Anthony DeScalfani is 8-3 with a sub 3 ERA... Alex Wood has been healthy and basically slightly worse than Robbie Ray... Jake McGee is a lights out closer... Johnny Cueto has given them good innings... it's insane how much lightning they've caught in this bottle.

Will it last? Maybe. Depends on the pitching (as most of these things do): they're also second in the NL in ERA at 3.26, thanks to that strong rotation and steady bullpen. It's a heck of a division though with the Dodgers and Padres breathing down your neck, but at the very least... barring catastrophe... I'm pretty confident the two NL wildcard teams will be the silver and bronze winners of the NL West. Which doesn't bode well for the...

Cincinnati Reds -- As Da Box's resident Reds fan, well it seems like they're in that dreaded middle ground. They've won as many games as the Mets (with three more losses) but instead of leading a division they're seven back of the first place Milwaukee Brewers. They score lots of runs, headlined by two elite hitters in Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, but give up a whole lot of them too (12th in NL ERA) thanks to a very questionable bullpen. Huh, sounds familiar.

Hard to say what they're going to do, since with the NL West so strong at the top three, the Reds likely need to win the Central to make the playoffs. They've been flirting with .500 most of the season (also familiar) but in this case they're going to have to win some games in these next few weeks before the trade deadline, chisel away at the Brewers lead, to perhaps be a buyer at the deadline instead of a seller. Though to be honest, it's kinda hard to think what they'd sell anyway beyond starters Sonny Gray or Wade Miley. Starter Luis Castillo has had a horrible year, Mike Moustakas is on the 60 day IL, Eugenio Suarez is batting .176/.258/.369 with such dreadful defense they moved him back to third base, Joey Votto makes a zillion dollars a year (I'd still take him though) and their bullpen (outside of Tejay Antone and Brad Brach) might be worse than Toronto's. And like Toronto, July will be a critical month in deciding the fortunes of their 2021 season.


All right everybody, enjoy the off day.


Off Day Blues Vol. 4 | 98 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#401667) #
Mentioned teams than can fix pitchers in the other thread. SF seems to be one of those teams. What Canadian-born Zaidi has pulled off in SF is rather masterful. A team that outsiders knew should rebuild didn't and seems to have succeeded, even if it may only be for a short time until those crazy good vet hitters either reach FA or go back to showing their age.
Chuck - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#401668) #
I'd much much prefer that over the stupid strike box every broadcast now superimposes over home plate.

I am guessing you are among a small minority on this front. I enjoy the box. I trust the box about a jillion times more than I do the announcers and the umpires. I spent most of my viewing life with no box and found that the box revealed what I suspected all along: the umpires are wrong a lot.

Speaking of the box, I find it humorous when Buck casually says a pitch caught the corner, or missed the plate or... whatever, when the box clearly says otherwise. I find it humorous when Tabler says the umpires are squeezing the pitchers when pitches not in the box are actually called balls. I find it humourous when Buck clearly cannot be bothered paying attention, sometimes asserting that a ball was outside when it clearly was down the middle, just low. I find it humourous when a developing play is not quite clear, but Buck nonetheless jumps in with an incredible confidence about what has just happened: Zunino dropped the ball on the plate at home in his haste to turn a doubleplay (truth: the throw to Zunino was in the dirt and he couldn't pick it cleanly); the baserunner slid into Jose Abreu, no the man on deck collided with Jose Abreu (truth: the umpire threw a bat into Jose Abreu).

All these things that I claim to find humourous, I don't. I find them sad and pathetic and a hindrance to enjoying the broadcasts. The only thing that could make them worse would be to add Brian Kenny.

krose - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#401672) #
Thanks for this Eephus. Enjoyable Monday read to accompany coffee. I do like the box.
Chuck - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#401673) #
Let the game breathe, dude.

Nice to hear a young 'un talking like this. Pappy taught you well.

92-93 - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#401675) #
Love Da Box, but can't stand the box. It doesn't appear to be an accurate representation of the strike zone, unless it is actually being adjusted for each and every hitter. In Ray's start last week there were a few balls that were clearly outside to lefty hitters according to the TV strike zone, but they appeared to catch the corner as they crossed the plate from Ray's left-handed delivery. We used to get great overhead views of pitches as they crossed, and really that's the only way to tell if a pitch is in/out or not. The box also shows the true strike zone at around the batter's letters, but umpires tend not to have strike zones that expand above a player's belt.
bpoz - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#401677) #
Thanks Eephus for this Monday gift. I will add stick stuff as a factor. A Chapman seems to be bad lately.
Chuck - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#401678) #
unless it is actually being adjusted for each and every hitter

That's a fair dispute with regards to top and bottom of the strike zone. Surely the left and right edges are identical for all hitters since those edges are meant to coincide with the edges of the plate. I had raised it earlier as highly implausible (but not something I could prove) that a pitch could miss the front of the strike zone but cross the plate thereafter. I believe that it sometimes appears plausible because of an illusion. The catcher catches the ball in the middle of the plate, though of course he is a good piece behind it. Truthfully, if a pitch were thrown that could bypass the front of the plate and yet cross the plate, the catcher would have to receive it far to one side because of the pronounced angle at which it crosses the plate.

But I could be wrong.

hypobole - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#401681) #
As for Chatwood, there is little worse than a guy who gets hot early in the season and stinks thereafter. Managers keep trotting them out, because it may come back at any time.. Solarte seemed to get a gajillion chances after his April magic wore off. If a player plans to stink, do it early and often, like Reese last year. That's the way to do it, Reese.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#401684) #
I like the strike zone box, too, and really miss it if it's not on a broadcast. If nothing else you can see the consistency of an umpire with it as a pitch slightly outside the zone may be called a ball and then, a few pitches later, a pitch in the exact same spot will be called a strike.

Chatwood is lucky there's been a lot of injuries or he'd be DFA'd by now. Nothing drives me crazier than a reliever who comes in and gives up walks.
Magpie - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#401687) #
Adam Cimber is the only player to wear #90 for all of the four teams that have employed him (Cleveland, San Diego, and Miami preceding the Jays.) Only two other guys anywhere have worn the number - Thairo Estrada and Estevan Florial, who both spent about five minutes with the Yankees last year.

I can't help but wonder if Cimber became an especially appealing target with the game about to crack down on the sticky stuff. He's quite obviously someone who's not interested in spinning the baseball. Is Ross Atkins really that clever?
ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#401689) #
Gerrit Cole has been less than superhuman his last couple of starts. Does that have anything to do with the sticky stuff?
Magpie - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#401690) #
I think I'm somewhat indifferent about the strike zone box. I don't think I trust it all that much - but I would second Island Boy's point that it does help you see how consistent an umpire is being in applying his own personal interpretation of the strike zone. Most important (to me, anyway!) - I don't find it intrusive.
greenfrog - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#401691) #
Former Jays prospect Harold Ramirez got a mention on Fangraphs Waiver Wire Report yesterday:

"Harold Ramirez: While heís been playing every day, heís just not differentiating himself with his bland profile (.275 AVG, 6 HR, 2 SB). Bench outfielder."

His loss doesn't sting much.
Magpie - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#401694) #
Nice to hear a young 'un talking like this. Pappy taught you well.

I'd like to take all the credit for it, but I don't think I can, to be honest. As I recollect, he spent most of his childhood far more interested in video games than sports.

Of course, by now he's played far, far more real baseball than I did in my entire life. And played it quite a bit better, too.

Still, what does he know about the 1912 World Series?
scottt - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#401696) #
I like the box.
I wouldn't mind to be told that the "strike" missed the plate by 6 inches and 3 quarter.

The ump does not have the depth perception to differentiate between the front and the middle of the plate. A ball cannot catch the back of the plate because there isn't one, it's a pentagon.
 
The ump is behind the catcher. The ump can't see through the catcher or through his glove.  The catcher swipes towards the middle of the plate so that the ump has no idea where the pitch actually was.

We used to do something like that in taekwondo, Olympic rules. You score a point with a kick over the belt but punches have to be between the belt and the shoulders and they don't score anything. If you punch-kick-punch fast enough, the referee cannot tell if it was a punch or a kick that landed on the chin.

What I hate is the automatic strike on a 3-0 count and the automatic ball on a 0-2 count.
The first one is the ump giving a free one to the pitcher but then the hitter has no idea what is ball and what is a strike.
The second one is the pitcher trying to get the hitter to chase, but it's mostly a waste of time because the ump will give the hitter a free one there too.

"I don't know how you can take a pitch so close."

That wasn't Scherzer who dropped his pants.
That was Sergio Romo.


Gerry - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#401697) #
Bergen and Beasley cleared waivers and have been assigned to AAA.
Glevin - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#401698) #
Draft coming up soon. MLB.com has Jays very strongly ("almost locked") tied in to lefty high school pitcher Anthony Solometo. I don't like taking high school pitchers in the first few rounds as they have extremely high failure rate but I guess at pick 19, it's a big risk no matter what.
GabrielSyme - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#401700) #
Returning to the catching conversation, I'm largely with John Northey & Magpie that Kirk should be getting a lot of catching reps in AAA for the next while to work on his defence. If we're in contention come August, however, there's a point where it becomes foolish to keep him in AAA given his bat. You'd rather him as DH than most other options. It's utter drivel to say that there's no way the Jays should carry three catchers - even if you see Kirk as a catcher rather than DH/PH. How often have we used the last man in the bullpen this past month? Those guys haven't even gotten into blowouts sometimes.

As I may have said before, McGuire as a defence-first left-handed hitter is the guy best-suited to be the backup to whoever ends up on top among Adams, Jansen, Kirk and Moreno; I'd be willing to trade him, but I don't think the market is going to value him appropriately. The most obvious surplus guy is Adams: he's not likely to be better offensively than Moreno or Kirk, and it's hard to see him displacing Jansen/McGuire defensively. There's a good argument not to move Jansen during the season, but I'd like to find a way to get Moreno into the starting role next season, so I think it'll make sense to trade Jansen this offseason.

Long-term, I like the idea of Moreno/Kirk/McGuire. Kirk can be a modern-day Mike Napoli, DHing and catching once or twice a week - even if he doesn't establish himself as a strong enough defender to be a starting catcher. That's valuable, and I'd hate to trade him when he hasn't really had a chance to either establish himself as a major-league hitter or show he's got the defensive tools to stay at catcher.

My impression of Kirk's scouting reports have been that he's not regarded as a long-shot to stay at catcher. As others have noted, he just hasn't had the game time the last two years to develop defensively, and he remains very young.
Alex Obal - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#401701) #
Go Reds! I adopted the them as my NL team for the season early on and they've been a tremendously entertaining walkoff machine. Keep the faith, man. The division is going to be tougher now that Milwaukee somehow convinced the Rays to trade their heart and soul for two relievers. But who else is gonna take them down? The Cubs are mad and the Cardinals are sad. That leaves the Reds. Cincinnati's rotation is rounding into shape, their offense is much better than Milwaukee's, and after two red-hot weeks from their hilariously bad bullpen I'm ready to upgrade them from "Phillies-level horrible" to "slightly below average." They seem to have figured out who the least flammable guys are. I'm going "Let Art Warren pitch you fools!" on a nightly basis the same way I expect to be yelling about Anthony Kay for the next month.

I don't think they would even consider trading Castillo, but if they do, the Blue Jays need to be on that and the sooner the better. He didn't have the release point on his change for the first two months. He found it a month ago and since then he's been great. (Gray strikes me as someone who is very happy in Cincinnati, Mahle I'd avoid for potential sticky reasons, Miley belongs in the NL.)

Winker-Naquin-Castellanos in Kauffman Stadium this week is going to be awesome. On the one hand, the only defensive outfield worse than Toronto's meets the biggest playing surface in MLB. On the other hand, two all-star starters get to face the Royals' pitching...
Gerry - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#401703) #
Good article Eephus.

Regarding Semien, when Bo gets a day off, Semien looks so good at short, dare I say it, better than Bo. I am not advocating a move of any kind but I recall when Semien joined the league he was bad at short and there were many calls for him to be moved off the position. But the A's stuck with him and he got better, just like Bo will.

Thanks Chuck for the Buck Martinez discussion. I too have noticed it and I note how confident Buck sounds in his call despite the camera showing something different. Broadcasters hardly ever admit mistakes, they just keep on keeping on.
hypobole - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#401704) #
Hey, Eephus, enjoyable read. I've never written an article on Pink Floyd, although I did almost wear out my Meddle album in the early 70's. And I'm no Dewey.

By "relief core", did you mean "relief corps"? Or is it a play on words I'm missing? Although "relief corpse" would probably have been more suitable if it was a play on words, I'm guessing.
Eephus - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#401706) #
"relief corpse" would probably have been more suitable if it was a play on words, I'm guessing.

I so, so wish I'd thought of that... ha ha.
Chuck - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#401708) #
I did almost wear out my Meddle album in the early 70's.

As a fellow oldie and connoisseur, this may not come as new information to you. Here is the last time that David Gilmour ever performed Echoes which he got to do with Rick Wright shortly before he passed away. I believe this is true. I think he said he would never perform it with anyone else.

Alex Obal - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#401709) #
I can't help but wonder if Cimber became an especially appealing target with the game about to crack down on the sticky stuff. He's quite obviously someone who's not interested in spinning the baseball. Is Ross Atkins really that clever?

I think he is. None of this is a secret. Four-seamers are down in value. So, I know this is oversimplifying it to some degree, but one would have to assume that in general, sinkers are up. Changeups are up. Breaking balls are down. And guys who throw high-spin four seamers without doctoring the ball are way up. This last is a category that appears to include Trent Thornton, if you're looking for a reason why they believe so strongly in him.

The really smart teams are going to be the ones who take advantage of the over-reaction. There might be some pitcher types who might look like lemons on the surface but are actually able to survive or even thrive after losing 150 rpm. Guys who were totally overpowering to begin with. Soft-tossing lefties who never should have been trying to whistle four-seamers past everybody anyway. Maybe some others. Maybe there is in fact a lasting effect on command that hurts some pitchers worse than others, but is easier to cash in on because it's less obvious on the surface than the spin rate drops. Who knows?
hypobole - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#401711) #
"Here is the last time that David Gilmour ever performed Echoes."

Thanks Chuck, listening to it right now. Sadly, I'm more oldie than connoisseur, although I do have a Pink Floyd connoisseur bit for you or anyone else interested.

Magpie, Mike Green and I had a brief discussion about Django Reinhardt the other day. It was 1934 when Django and jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli formed the iconic Quintette du Hot Club de France.

Here is Pink Floyd with Grappelli playing Wish You Were Here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p98UZxdlKRM

scottt - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#401712) #
The Jays have the second smallest draft pool.
College pitchers are more risky this year because they didn't play last year, so there is not enough data on them.
Taking a lefty seems like a sensible move when you figure all of that out.

They're most likely going to pick later next year, but they might be able to get an extra draft pick or two.
I'd QO Semien, Ray and Matz.

Chuck - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#401713) #
Here is Pink Floyd with Grappelli playing Wish You Were Here.

Thanks. The very existence of this somehow eluded me.

dalimon5 - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#401714) #
ďdare I say it, better than BoĒ

Gerry, youíre kidding, right? Since when has Bo been elevated to a SS with strong defensive chops? Iíd rank him next to last out of the last 5 or 10 short stops who have played the position, defensively.

Bo Bichette
Goins
Tulowitzki
Reyes
Izturis
Yunel Escobar
John McDonald
Omar Vizquel




Gerry - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#401715) #
All I said was Semien was better than Bo. I wasn't referencing any historical shortstops. I said "dare to say" because I thought there might be some Bo defenders on here.
greenfrog - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#401716) #
The Jays have a lot of quality infield prospects (to name a few, Martin, Groshans, Orelvis, Smith, Lopez, Taylor, Jimenez, Beltre, Machado, De Castro). It will be interesting to see what the Jays infield looks like in, say, 2024 and 2025. Infielders and catchers ó the strength of the Jays farm system. I expect at least one or two to be traded this month.
Magpie - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#401717) #
A notable Bo defender would be Marcus Semien, who says Bo reminds him of himself as a young shortstop. By which, he meant (among other things) that Bichette makes the same kind of mistakes - attempts plays he can't make, rushes when he doesn't need to. (In his first full season at short, Semien was making even more errors than Bichette and his range wasn't anything to write home about either.)
Magpie - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#401718) #
I've never written an article on Pink Floyd

He's been promising to do one on Radiohead for... seems like forever.

No pressure...
greenfrog - Monday, July 05 2021 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#401719) #
Bo is impressive in that over the years he resisted efforts to change his highly unorthodox swing, and he made it to the majors as a starting shortstop despite all the evaluators who said he would have to move off the position. And here he is, playing SS and on pace for a 5 WAR season at age 23. I wouldnít be surprised if he turns himself into a solid defensive shortstop over the next few seasons.
pooks137 - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#401720) #
Bergen and Beasley cleared waivers and have been assigned to AAA.

Did Bergen decline his option to declare free agency?

Wouldn't this be the second time he was DFAed as he would have been removed from the 40-man by the Giants when they returned him via the Rule 5?

John Northey - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#401721) #
The YouTube game had a few nice innovations - the corner diamond showing the defense was really nice with the crazy shifts going on nowadays for example.  The lack of commercials was a nice thing that surprised me.  As a once in a while thing I'm good with it.  It was weird when I listened on the radio though to hear Buck Martinez calling the game as I knew it wasn't on TV, but I guess the Jays didn't go 100% cheap by grabbing the other teams feed and got him to do it anyways.  I really hope the Jays figure out this was a bad experiment and go with a dedicated radio team next year.
hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#401722) #
I asked the same thing when Dany Jimenez was returned for the 2nd time, but apparently Rule 5 returnees don't work that way for some reason I can't remember.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 02:47 AM EDT (#401724) #
Interesting article by McGrath on athletic today. The Jays hitters are only slashing .218/.277/.347 in late and close games, (defined as plate appearances in the seventh inning or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck) The only two teams that are worse in those situations, per OPS, are the Tigers and Pirates.

Bullpen is kinda the reverse where overall since mid May numbers are middling overall but bottom five by LoB%. They can put together some scoreless innings but blow it in close games. Overall I just see a team that seemingly gets right everywhere when the game is close. Hitting craters, bullpen leaks, etc. Maybe itís a youth thing, maybe itís a manager thing or maybe just bad luck but itís really annoying how the Jays just donít perform when in those spots.
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:08 AM EDT (#401725) #
They seem to return to their former team without being outrighted.
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:23 AM EDT (#401726) #
It's usually a close game because the other team's pitching has been good.
Also, obviously you see better pitchers in close games.

Seems unfair to blame Vladdy if he has 2 walks and a double and a double play ball with 2 runners in scoring position.
They don't play small ball. I only trust Semien, Bichette and Biggio at stealing a base.
Only 4 players with OPS below .800 over the last 7 games.
Biggio .634
Grichuk .600
Hernandez .528
McGuire .250
Just platoon the catchers.

Boston keeps winning, but you can't worry about that.
We'll play them later.
Now they need to beat on Baltimore again.

smyttysmullet94 - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#401728) #
Thanks, Eephus, that was really enjoyable.
rpriske - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#401735) #
I would hate for them to get rid of the box, but I preferred when it was a graphic away from the actual plate. Now it is obtrusive, but better than no clear indication at all.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#401736) #
They should make it a 3D strike zone, obviously. Tech is just the same.

Interesting when you think of it there's no real reason the strike zone should be a square shake at all, if the idea of it is the "hittable pitches" zone. It should be circular/spherical.

It should look more like the circle here, not the square:

hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#401737) #
FG with an update mock for this weekends draft:

19. Toronto Blue Jays
Pick: Jay Allen, CF, John Carroll Catholic HS (FL)

Sources told us Allen was in for a private workout and he starts getting mentioned consistently in this range of the first round.
Eephus - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#401739) #
but I preferred when it was a graphic away from the actual plate.

Likewise. I actually liked that, and it would be interesting if they could show that and maybe flash a graphic of pitch location from that hitter's previous at-bat versus a starting pitcher. 
Chuck - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#401740) #
They should make it a 3D strike zone, obviously.

I have voiced my thoughts on this a couple of times, to minimal engagement, but I do not believe it is obvious that a 3D strike zone is required. A two-dimensional rectangle at the front of the plate should suffice, unless it is truly possible for a pitch to miss this plane and yet cross a portion of the plate that lies behind it. I would like to see evidence that this is possible because I have serious doubts.

Hodgie - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#401742) #
As I read the latest piece from Sheryl Ring, remembering how naive and ignorant I was for judging Bauer on his actions when anyone else could also be just as bad. Would be a competitive disadvantage not to want him I was told, and besides, he was just uninformed, mercurial and argumentative. Fun times.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#401744) #
Before I read Sheryl Ring's piece (I have been blissfully ignorant of the Bauer situation), I had a thought in response to Chuck's post. 

I would have thought that a 12 to 6 curveball thrown over the middle of the plate which was just above the strike zone at the front of the plate would fall into the strike zone by the back.  I would be interested to know how much the maximum recorded sink (inclusive of the effects of gravity) is over the depth of the plate. 
Chuck - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#401745) #
I would have thought that a 12 to 6 curveball thrown over the middle of the plate which was just above the strike zone at the front of the plate would fall into the strike zone.

This may well be theoretically possible, but right now, high likely would that be to be called a strike? Could an umpire even discern the ball travelling through the 3D "back" portion of the strike zone? I believe he would see the ball at its apex and disqualify it as a potential strike based on that alone.

scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#401746) #
A strike zone that looks like a sphere makes it harder for a hitter to track a strike.
Is that desirable? Are we looking for more strikeouts and fewer balls in play?

It seems to me that the hitters are usually pretty good at judging the strike zone.
It's the umps who are struggling. Maybe they should be standing in the opposite batter's box instead?

Mike Green - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#401747) #
I don't know, Chuck.  My instinct is that many but not all of those pitches are called strikes; umpires can interpolate between the height of the ball at the front of the plate and where the catcher catches it (particularly if the catcher does not move his glove at all).
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#401749) #
Jay Allen's profile reminds me a lot of Grichuk.

I'd be pretty disappointed if they targeted a right handed guy who projects as a right fielder.
Not enough speed to stick in center, but could develop some power.
Yeah, you get the "best player available" but by number 19, the lines are pretty blurry.
MLB has him at #33.

First rounders: shortstops, catcher, lefty batting outfielders, pitchers.

I'd much prefer a pitcher with plus control, particularly a lefty.



hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#401752) #
Getting a Grichuk at 19 is a pretty good outcome. He's at 11 bWAR so far. Only 2 players have been taken at 19 with 12 or more bWAR since Roger Clemens in 1983. Interestingly, both were Blue Jays picks.
Jonny German - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#401753) #
I trust the Jays internal evaluations a whole lot more than MLB.com.
Gerry - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#401754) #
Bergen and Beasley assigned to AAA.

They could have had the option to become free agents but might have declined because:

1. No great demand for their services
2. No major league offer, just other AAA teams.
3. Belief that the Jays will give them another shot
4. Comfort with Buffalo/Trenton and their teammates or coaches
5. They might have signed a lease for accommodation that could be lost money if they sign elsewhere

Both of them have played in other organizations so they might prefer something with the Jays setup.

Paul D - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#401756) #
A trade!

Brewers acquiring 1B Rowdy Tellez from Blue Jays, sources tell
@TheAthletic
. Return believed to include RHP Trevor Richards. Unclear if other pieces are in deal. Tellez has been in Triple A since June 22. Richards came from Rays in Adames trade.
Paul D - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#401757) #
More to the story:

@ShiDavidi
Blue Jays also getting RHP Bowden Francis, per source


I like Richards for Tellez, who I've never really believed in.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#401758) #
Works for me. This is neutral on the 40 man roster and its not like Tellez was someone I believed in much. I think he has a bit more value to a team that actually needs a 1b, but we don't need one of those here.
Glevin - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#401759) #
Wish Tellez all the luck. He seems like a good guy and he has overcome a ton but the writing was on the wall when he didn't perform this year. Jays gave him 760 PAs in the majors which is plenty but Tellez just never did anything more than just look good in spurts. Jays need the relief help more. Hope he does well in Milwaukee.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#401760) #
Milwaukee, however, is in desperate need of a first baseman with Vogelbach on the shelf. They've been playing Keston Hiura there - he's a backup second baseman who's hitting .161/.259/.295.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#401763) #
I'm sure we're all rooting for Tellez to succeed. Milwaukee should be a terrific opportunity, even once Vogelbach returns.
hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#401764) #
Richards was pretty awful through the end of May, but since has had only 1 bad outing of his last 12 - didn't give up a run in the other 11.

Here was FG's take on Francis:
Francis has had statistical success through the upper minors by relying on plus command of three fringe pitches. He added a slider for this year and now has four distinct offerings, of which the slider has quickly become the best. Itís also hard, which is important because Francisí curveball is a low-70s rainbow, averaging about 73 mph, while the slider has been up to 87 and sits a bit below that. He has a power pitcherís style with soft stuff, but Francis feel to pitch is excellent and I think he can stick toward the back of a rotation.
electric carrot - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#401765) #
yay, a reliever!
PeterG - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#401766) #
Can't argue with this move. May be a couple of other similar moves but nothing really significant at the deadline imo.
lexomatic - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#401767) #
To be fairbHiura was their star hitting prospect for a while who couldnt field well enough at 2b and was moved to 1b and forgot how to hit. I'm rooting for a tellez. Hope he gets the power boost from Milwaukee. Probably best upside for available 1b, butbthis says a lot about Hiiras future I think too.
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#401768) #
Francis is 7th rounder, 6' 5" soft tosser, according to Fangraphs.

Fastball 50,
slider 55 (up to 87mph but sits  below that),
Curve 45 (low 70s rainbow),
change 45/50.

"power pitcher's style with soft stuff, but Francis feel to pitch is excellent and I think he can stick toward the back of a rotation."

Richards started the year in the Rays bullpen.
Got tagged with earned runs in 4 of his 6 outings as a Rays, didn't face the Jays.
Only given up earned runs in 3 of his 15 outings as a Brewer.

Interesting.

Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#401769) #
NL really is a weaker conference offence wise. It is somewhat concerning a lot of his good performances are against teams like Colorado and Pittsburgh among others. But thats always going to be the case for any pitchers coming from other divisions to this one.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#401770) #
Well, a bit of a surprise. A deal with a first place team.

Trevor Richards: 3.4 BB/9 vs 11.7 K/9 this year, 3.7 & 9.0 lifetime. Former Ray & Marlin. 3.20 ERA this year in 19 2/3 IP was in Tampa's minors for part of the year.

Bowden Francis: hasn't reached the majors yet, 11 starts in AA/AAA this year. 3.62 ERA overall, lifetime 3.0 BB/9 vs 9.2 K/9 (2.6 9.8 this year). Has potential.

Not bad for a guy who had no where to play here in Tellez. Hate to see him go, but hope he tears the NL a new one. Funny, he will be replacing Daniel Vogelbach who the Jays had briefly last year but now is on the IL.
Jonny German - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#401771) #
Iíll join the chorus wishing Rowdy well. Ití feels likely that a change of scenery will be good for him.

First impression is thumbs up on the deal, but I think the next trade needs to be more significant. Cimber / Richards / Barnes / Axford may raise the floor for the pen, but the ceiling needs some help too. Craig Kimbrel?
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#401772) #
I don't know that we need that many similar guys.
Get a closer like Yimi Garcia and call it a day.

Richard is a 92mphs fastball/84mph change guy with the odd slider also around 84mph.
That's a bit different, I guess. 

John Northey - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#401773) #
Hrm...
558 PA 243/308/472 108 OPS+ for a DH/1B then dumped by the Jays after his age 24 season. 0.3 bWAR
760 PA 241/301/458 102 OPS+ for a DH/1B then traded by the Jays in his age 26 season. 0.5 bWAR

I think most older fans will instantly know who I'm talking about there. Cecil Fielder vs Rowdy Tellez. Two guys who never looked to be in shape but could pound a ball a mile. Fielder was younger but both in eyeshot of each other on offense. Fielder went to Japan for his age 25 season and at 26 came back to Detroit and hit 51 HR in his first year back, coming in 2nd for MVP. 2 years in a row 2nd for MVP (HR & RBI leader both years, RBI leader year 3). 6.5 WAR the first year. I'd be happy for Tellez if he can duplicate Fielders post-Jays success.
hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#401774) #
Jonny, I was looking at Kimbrel yesterday. Cubs are in free fall, but their schedule to the deadline is soft. 3 games vs the Reds are only ones against teams over .500. Kimbrel has been great, though his contract is pricey and unusual. Will definitely take some cash strapped teams out of the running since I don't see the Cubs wanting to eat much of his salary. Or maybe they will for enough return.
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#401775) #
It makes sense to have an experience lefty instead of a guy like Tellez who really needs to play every day.

Not a kimbrel fan. Always had that dirty hat with the foreign substance on the bill.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#401776) #
Nice little roster cleanup move here. Tellez was not going to get a chance on this team anymore with Vlad firmly at 1B and the team smartly using the DH spot to rotate everyday players, so he was an expendable part. Richards is an interesting controllable arm out of the pen, and Francis is a filler depth piece. About what you would expect for Tellez at this point. It remains to be seen if Rowdy can be a starting 1B in this league, but it was never going to happen here, so at least he's going somewhere where he'll get a chance.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#401780) #
I'll be the dissenting voice here. This seems like a situational move dictated by Tellez's lack of role right now and our bullpen struggles, and I'm not particularly impressed with the return. Richards is useful, and probably a marginal upgrade on Barnes/Payamps, but more a depth piece than someone you'd want pitching in a close game. Francis simply doesn't look interesting to me.

There's no denying it's hard to see a role for Rowdy right now given the acquisition of Dickerson and the way the team likes to use the DH, but he's a guy who has seen some MLB success, and whose exit velocity and hard-hit numbers are around the 90th percentile. There's a pretty decent chance Rowdy is an above-average 1B for the next few years, and we aren't getting much more than the proverbial bag of balls in return
Cracka - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#401782) #
This is a terrific return for Tellez, who now has no options remaining after having spent 20+ days in the minors this season. He was a step away from being DFAed, so to get two pieces for him is a very solid.
pooks137 - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#401783) #
One of the reasons why Tellez has any trade value left is that he is on his final minor league option. The acquiring team isn't hamstrung by keeping him on their 26-man all year to see if Tellez can turn it around.

But for the Jays, the end of Tellez' value was coming very soon. He's way down the depth chart for MLB bench spots this season. Even if he hits well in the second half in the majors or minors, he'll be 27 next spring and out of options with the added downside that you have to use up a 40-man spot on him all winter just to try to see if he can win a bench spot in ST before likely losing him for nothing like Pompey and Alford.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#401784) #
The Jays get a legit relief pitcher (with some years of control) for a bat-only player who hasn't shown much bat for most of his MLB career and had no place on this roster going forward. Pretty good return for a marginal player like Tellez
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#401785) #
Also kind of hard to see a team who would have more of a need for a player like Tellez than Milwaukee. Now sure there is a couple other relievers on that team I would have liked slightly more than Richards. (obv Hader but a couple others too) Still raising the floor so we have more reliable options in the bullpen is nice, we need to have more than just 2-3 guys we can use.
Nigel - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#401786) #
I have no issues with the trade as Tellez isn't a valuable trade chip. But to call Richards a legit reliever seems a stretch to me. He's had a good month recently. He was in the minors earlier. I don't see a ton of difference between him and Barnes. That doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile trade because, well, the bullpen this year.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#401787) #
I wish Rowdy well.

Tellez was severely unlucky this year and hit the ball harder than ever.  But there was too much swing and miss.  I still think that there's a decent chance that his performance over the rest of the year makes the Jays look terrible (with him outhitting Grichuk and Gurriel by a wide margin).  The club apparently feels differently, and that is entirely reasonable objectively.  I concur with the consensus here on Richards' value.   I wonder how much the club could have got for Grichuk or Gurriel....
pooks137 - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#401788) #
Interesting to see Angel Perdomo, former Jay, in the Brewers pen.

Signed during the 2018-2019 offseason as a minor league free agent after peaking at A+ ball with the Jays.

Now 27, he's a lefty reliever with Milwaukee having walked 8.5 per 9 this year and 11.5 per 9 lifetime.

It's pretty rare to see a minor league free agent make the MLB.
PeterG - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#401790) #
I would be highly surprised if you could get anything for Grichuk. I think you could get a decent deal for Gurriel. I concur with those who feel we got an overpay for Tellez.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#401792) #
I love this trade for Milwaukee and at least see the logic for Toronto. A reliever for a high-upside lottery ticket at a position they badly need. The weird thing about Tellez is how he hits the ball so hard yet has had such a consistently low BABIP. First thought: maybe Milwaukee can teach him to bunt against the shift. Reality: in 2019 and 2020 he actually had a higher wOBA when facing the shift than not (though not this year). Very odd. He's still only come up to bat 760 times in the majors and there's still time for his luck to turn around. That said the 1B/DH spot is crowded here, I definitely believe there is value in using it as a rotation, and it's hard to picture Toronto getting a better return than Richards.

Richards is a righty with a wipeout changeup. That's a nice contrast to Romano and Cimber, if he sticks around. I don't think the bullpen is quite as severe a need as it was a month ago, but injuries happen, players can fall apart, you never have enough depth, it's true.

In case anyone missed it, Vogelbach's injury and subsequent hustle play were the crowning achievement of the 2021 Arizona Diamondbacks.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#401793) #
the crowning achievement of the 2021 Arizona Diamondbacks.

I'd forgotten that was how he hurt himself! I must have watched the play five times in utter amazement the day after it happened.

This year's D'Backs are as close as we're ever going to get to the legendary Cleveland Spiders.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#401794) #
The other day they were tied 1-1 against the Cardinals in the top of the sixth. They loaded the bases with two out and let a relief pitcher bat for himself. It was Alex Young, it was supposed to be a tandem start, he'd only pitched one inning. That tank is rolling.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#401795) #
Was that gold glover Nick Ahmed staring at Vogelbach like a deer in the headlights (with the announcer yelling "throw it in, throw it in")?
hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#401796) #
Rowdy even with a league average bat, has been worth all of 0.5 WAR career spanning 760 PA's. Rowdy's not good defensively and is a base clogger. He has to hit, and I hope he does. I like to see traded prospects succeed.

Everyone is talking about Richards, who does raise the BP's floor somewhat, but I'm a bit more intrigued by Francis. FG sees him as a backend starter, but I think his future is probably in the pen. Adding a few mph to his FB, the plus slider and at least average command seems a good recipe.
Glevin - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#401798) #
"I still think that there's a decent chance that his performance over the rest of the year makes the Jays look terrible (with him outhitting Grichuk and Gurriel by a wide margin)."

That still wouldn't make the Jays look terrible because Rowdy is only a DH and Springer is playing there a lot now. Grichuk is playing CF for the Jays. Gurriel plays OF. Comparing apples to pears. I don't understand the criticism because Tellez clearly had no spot on the team and the Jays gave Rowdy lots of chances and he never figured things out. If the Jays were rebuilding or in transition, sure, hold on to Tellez but contending teams can't just hold on to players for years and hope they figure things out.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#401799) #
I still think that there's a decent chance that his performance over the rest of the year makes the Jays look terrible (with him outhitting Grichuk and Gurriel by a wide margin).

I think there's a much better chance that Gurriel - who's also having a lousy year but has been the best hitter of the three by a pretty comfortable margin - outhits the other two the rest of the way. Reversion to the mean or established standards or whatever.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#401800) #
"I still think that there's a decent chance that his performance over the rest of the year makes the Jays look terrible (with him outhitting Grichuk and Gurriel by a wide margin)."

That still wouldn't make the Jays look terrible because Rowdy is only a DH and Springer is playing there a lot now. Grichuk is playing CF for the Jays. Gurriel plays OF. Comparing apples to pears.
This seems misconceived to me. Sure, there are going to be days you want Springer at DH. But if Tellez outhits Grichuk or Gurriel by a significant margin, your best lineup will include him (at least against RHP). Pivotal late September games you'll want your best lineup in place - no DH games for Bo or Springer. That goes double for the playoffs, if we get there.

If Tellez is hitting at a 120 OPS+ (what I take to be a minimum for Mike's hypothesis), you'll want him in at least 50% of your games, and he'd be a useful bench bat in the other 50%. The real question is how likely we are to see an offensive renaissance from Tellez. I, at least, agree with Mike that it's a decent possibility, and the chance it does come about is greater than the value of what I see as a pretty marginal upgrade to the bullpen.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#401801) #
If we really need a DH that can hit 120 OPS+ we already have one. His name is Kirk and we can call him up in September just as easily. Not quite as much power as Tellez but hugely better contact skills.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#401802) #
If Tellez is hitting at a 120 OPS+ (what I take to be a minimum for Mike's hypothesis)

I think there's a much better chance that you'll get that from Gurriel, who had a career OPS+ of 124 coming into this season.
jerjapan - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#401822) #
This trade just seems like a win-win.  Tellez plays only 1B, and you have to offer a lot offensively to be an asset at first. 

Milwaukee has a massive hole at first.  I always find it odd when teams struggle to find a 1B, but Milwaukee is betting on short term upside, and is the perfect team to give Tellez some run. 

this trade is a likely minor win for us, with an outside chance of being a homerun for Milwaukee. 

Seems like an ideal baseball trade. 
Chuck - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#401838) #
While Justin Smoak and Rowdy Tellez have different pedigrees (1st round college pick vs. 30th round high school pick), I kind of see the potential for a Smoak-like career for Tellez. The left handed power will be intriguing enough that he gets a couple more chances and there may be a good season or two in his future.

That said, Smoak's career WAR was a mere 7, which cost his employers 30M. The power fairy only granted him one wish, his 38 HR season. And the numbers never bore out his strong defensive reputation, grossly exaggerated by Buck and Pat for years. I don't think that Tellez will be making 30M or will get as many chances as Smoak got.

I think that this trade will ultimately prove to be an exchange of fringe calibre major leaguers with no real impact to anyone. Still, it makes sense for both sides to have rolled the dice, because youneverknow.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#401841) #
I've been the biggest Rowdy fan in the world since he was in A ball but I'm fine with moving him. He may even have some big years going forward but he could just as easily never be above average again. And it's always hard to tell from the cheap seats but I have concerns about his work ethic.

And Dickerson is at least a good a short term bet for this year as Rowdy.

Of course what makes trading him so obvious is the impending callups of bats like Kirk, Smith, Moreno.......right?.....right?


greenfrog - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#401842) #
Moreno is out for at least a month or two with a broken thumb.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#401844) #

I think there's a much better chance that Gurriel - who's also having a lousy year but has been the best hitter of the three by a pretty comfortable margin - outhits the other two the rest of the way. Reversion to the mean or established standards or whatever.

We'll see.  The batted ball data suggests that Gurriel's been luckier than Tellez and that they are in the same vicinity as hitters, and the X factor (i.e. motivation and discipline) is probably on Tellez' side. 
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#401849) #
for the record the fangraphs combined projections do like Rowdy's bat, though those projections are for Rowdy in a bench role which may mean they are based on him being mostly in a platoon role. (I'm not certain there - sometimes limited PA projections are just due to role / callup status, but whenever it's a lefty i think they probably project most PAs against RHP).

Combined projections:

Teoscar (314pa): 112wrc+
Kirk (78pa): 111wrc+
Rowdy (72pa): 108wrc+
Grichuk (235pa): 104wrc+
Gurriel (273pa): 103wrc+
(Moreno (1pa): 103wrc+ - Steamer Projection only)
Dickerson (135pa): 99wrc+
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