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The Blue Jays are setting out on their seventh road trip of 2021 and their last stretch of games before the All-Star Break. They've got three games in Baltimore followed by three in Tampa Bay. At which point Vladimir Guerrero, Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez, and Bo Bichette are off to Denver for the All-Star Game. Everyone else gets to rest and recharge.

Sportsnet is reporting that the Blue Jays have made a request to return to the Rogers Centre for the homestand beginning on July 30. The request has already been approved by the city and the province. As the team has said they'll need three weeks to prepare for actual games, they will need a response from the feds this week if it's going to happen. I think the homestand after, the one beginning August 20, is more likely to happen. Barring another wave of evil, of course.

The road has been good to Toronto - they have a 24-19 mark as the visiting team, which is better than both their 9-10 record in Dunedin and the 10-10 record they've so far put up in Buffalo. They took two of three from the Orioles on their visit to Camden Yards, which was just two weeks ago. As you'll recall, in the opener of that set, Robbie Ray came out of the game trailing 2-1 and the opposition piled on additional runs against the bullpen (gosh, that sounds familiar.) But the Jays rallied with 6 ninth-inning runs the next afternoon, keyed by Bo Bichette's fouling off multiple two strike pitches before dropping in a two run single to tie the game. Vlad Guerrero and Randal Grichuk delivered run scoring doubles to complete the rally. Hyun Jin Ryu was dominant in the series finale, although Trent Thornton gave up enough runs late to make the game closer than it should have been.

At this point, the 2021 Orioles have grown reasonably familiar to one and all. They're not very good. They're bad on the road, and they're worse at home. They're bad in the blowouts, and they're worse in the close games. They're bad against the West, they're worse against the East, and they're godawful against the Central. They've been outscored by 114 runs, and only one team has been outscored by more runs - the historically awful Arizona Diamondbacks (since May 4, the D'Backs have gone 8-50. That's right - eight and fifty. That's Cleveland Spiders territory. Historically awful.)

The Orioles are not without talent. Not enough to make them good, or even mediocre, but more than enough to win some games along the way. Cedric Mullins has been Baltimore's best player - he's their all-star, he's thoroughly deserving, and I expect he'll take Mike Trout's place in the starting lineup (Trout and Adolis Garcia are the only centrefielders on the AL roster.) Trey Mancini's comeback season is one of the year's better stories, and the young outfielders Ryan Montcastle and Austin Hays have shown some promise. The starting rotation has generally been a dumpster fire with John Means on the IL. Means has just begun a rehab assignment. They do have a few relief pitchers having decent seasons - Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott, Paul Fry (despite his disastrous outing against the Jays.) 

The Baltimores are coming off an 11 game road trip, which was not without interest. After losing three of four to the Jays, the Orioles ventured into Houston to meet up with the mighty Astros. You'll never guess what happened. The team with the worst record in the AL - that would be the Orioles - swept the team with the best record in the AL. That would be the Astros, who didn't have the best record in the AL anymore, not after the Orioles were done with them.  Baltimore abused what had been the league's stingiest pitching staff for 27 runs in the three games. Baseball. Go figure. And then the Orioles took this momentum into Anaheim... and got swept themselves by the not-so-mighty Angels, enduring a pair of walk-off losses along the way.

Earl Weaver, asked about momentum, snorted that there was no such thing in baseball. "Momentum is the next day's starting pitcher," he scoffed.

I have always thought it prudent to avoid arguing with Earl whenever possible, so here are the matchups:

Tue July 6 - Matz (7-3, 4.60) vs Watkins (0-0, 0.00)
Wed July 7 - Ryu (7-5, 3.65) vs Harvey (3-9, 7.34)
Thu July 8 - Manoah (2-0, 2.70) vs Akin (0-4, 7.46)
Blue Jays at Orioles, July 6-8 | 208 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
christaylor - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#401778) #
OFFICIAL: We've acquired RHP Trevor Richards and RHP Bowden Francis from the Brewers in exchange for 1B Rowdy Tellez.

Welcome to the #BlueJays, @trevrchrds and @Bowdenpoint0!

...seems like a good move to address the pen. Tellez was not in the plans and likely the Brewers view him as fixable.
ae_scott - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#401781) #
It will be interesting to see if they put Jansen at catcher for Ryu's start.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#401789) #
More trades like this please. He's good as an RP.

Still want one big one for an SP tho.
85bluejay - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#401791) #
Solid trade and happy that Tellez gets a chance in the NL - while he was easy to cheer for, I was never a believer as most scouts (including our friend Keith Law) said he couldn't hit a quality FB - when Tellez had his breakout in AA a few years ago I suggest the Jays should market him (I always expected Vlad to be a 1B) and after the nice run last year should have worked harder to find a taker especially with the decision to move Vlad to 1B.
ayjackson - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#401797) #
Getting back to catcher chatter a bit, I'd like to see Kirk/McGuire next year, with Adams on the farm. Janssen traded in the offseason (or deadline); Moreno moved out from behind the plate.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#401803) #
It's pretty cool that our team is SOOO good that we don't have to maximize our lineup and can just use the DH as a FunSpot in the order.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#401805) #
I have seen enough Trent Thornton to last a lifetime. Three lifetimes, even.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#401806) #
Yeah don’t mind raising the floor of the pen to get guys like him out. He can look good but his stuff didn’t play up as much in the bullpen as I’d thought. Did he even gain any velocity?
uglyone - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#401807) #
Find you someone who loves you as unconditionally as the Jays love Trent Thornton.
hypobole - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#401808) #
Thornton does have all 3 options. He can also be DFA'd. Don't care much which of those they go with now, as long as it's one of those 2.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#401809) #
I would agree Thornton's days as a Jay are numbered.

I feel for him a little bit, because I thought Jays made the wrong call turning him into a reliever. He really did nothing to warrant being taken out of the rotation, other than getting injured last year. A FIP of 4.59 in 160 innings, in the AL East of all places, with a crappy team behind him in '19 should have earned him another season in the rotation. In hindsight Tanner Roark should have been released after Spring Training, and Thornton taken the #5 spot.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#401810) #
Yeah I feel a bit sad about it. Not that he can’t turn it around but it’s just been ugly recently. Anyway in 2019 I went to Houston for two games with my family and in game two the Jays won like 12-0 behind a fairly dominant start by Thornton. I wish we had that guy back. Just curious what the statistical difference is for him then vs now.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#401811) #
Thornton '19 (as SP): 4.8ip/gs, 109era-, 104fip-, 111xfip-

The jays had every reason to take him out of the rotation.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#401813) #
I always rooted for Rowdy and hope he does well in MIlwakee, he just didn’t have a place here anymore.

I don’t really like Trevor Richards that much, but the Jays did do a good job at taking a high chase rate guy in Robbie Ray and making him something. Hopefully Richards is a similar story.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#401814) #
0 bats worth pinch hitting for McGuire there.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#401815) #
So uglyone, you would have had Roark start as the 5 starter over Thornton?
scottt - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#401816) #
League average is OK for a 5th starter, unless you're a contender.
Thornton could be the 6th or 7th starter for a couple of years.
If they had really converted him to a reliever, he'd have narrowed his arsenal.
He's the kind of guy who gets roughed up in the first inning and settle down.
Not the guy I want to bring in with runners on.

Spifficus - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#401817) #
Wasn't Thorton not built up due to injury? Assuming I'm remembering right (always a big if), it makes that a non-choice.

As for Thorton as a whole, I thought there was enough there in 2019 to hope for a decent 4th starter going forward. His 2020 injury was really poorly timed, and combined with his slow start this spring, the boat on him as a starter has sailed in this org. At this point, I'd option him and get him focused on pitching like a reliever, as opposed to a starter in the bullpen.
jerjapan - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#401820) #
Trent Thorton is a Trent Thorton.
So, we took a flier on him for Diaz, he's had his moments, good and bad, and he's sort of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.  maybe he makes himself a decent middle reliever, maybe he makes himself a decent 5th starter, and maybe this is it for him.
nobody would be talking about trent thorton if not for the way he's being deployed. 

This is what we have right now - a cautious FO that has done a great job amassing 'years of control' but is not ready to go all in right now. 

if you like your conservative prospect accumulation, you get seasons like this.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#401821) #
Jays spend more than anyone in baseball the last two off seasons and they get labelled as conservative. Somehow I don’t think that’s quite fair. Then again every team with success in baseball lately has done this. Houston, LAD, Chicago, Cleveland, etc. When was the last time the Dodgers traded a prospect even in their top ten?
John Northey - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#401823) #
Thornton is who he is - a #6/7 guy who you stash in AAA unless you are a bad team desperate for pitching (ala the 2019 Jays). He might have a tiny bit of value in a trade, but very little, for a team doing poorly which is desperate for anyone who might eat some innings. Ideally in a Central division (both are weak).

I'd much rather see Kay used as the long man - more effective right now although not by a lot. Both are 6/7 starters who you'd ideally leave in AAA except for emergencies. But days like today happen. That's baseball. You win 60, you lose 60, it is the other 42 that matter most.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#401824) #
I think that's looking a bit narrow, Kasi - the Dodgers traded a pretty good young controllable position player (Verdugo) with 5 years of service left, some good performance, and good prospect pedigree. That plus a top-100 Jeter Downs (and an extra prospect, Connor Wong) netted them Mookie Betts and about half the remainder of Price's contract. They then spent three hojillianty dollars to sign Betts up to an extension.

I'm not saying that to take away what Toronto did the past two off-seasons. Just wanted to clarify that the Dodgers at least did spend both youth and money to improve.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#401825) #
As for what is acceptable for a 5th starter - league average is amazing for a 5th.

Jay playoff years: ignoring 2020 as that was a freakshow year.
2016: Dickey ERA+ 96, Stroman only had a 97 that year so both were slightly below league average
2015: Hutchison had 28 starts with a 74 ERA+
1993: 3 guys with 25+ starts sub 100 ERA+, Morris 70 was the worst, Stewart 98, Stottlemyre 90. Heck, the whole staff had a 103 ERA+ and they won the World Series.
1992: Stottlemyre had 27 starts with a 91 ERA+, Stieb was a disaster in his 14 with a 81 ERA+, David Wells was in double digits for starts and had a 76. Easy to see why we were so excited to get David Cone that year.
1991: The 6 more used starters all had ERA+'s of 112 or better. Yet they were knocked out fast in the playoffs.
1989: 2 guys with 30+ starts (Key & Flannagan) had 95 and 93 ERA+'s. Stottlemyre was #5 in starts with a 95 as well.
1985: Leal had the 5th most starts (14) with an ERA+ of 74.

So yeah, you certainly can contend with a 5th starter who is below league average, or even multiple starters like that. Just checking the Jays we find tons of those examples. The only playoff team that had all 5 above average (plus the 6th) was the 1991 team. But they went 1-4 in the playoffs and were 'just' 91-71 in the regular season, which might not be enough to make the playoffs this year. So lets all be a bit more realistic on rotation expectations. Matz is our #5 guy with an ERA+ in the 90's. The other 4 are 109 or better with #6 being Kay with his 99. Guys like Kay and Thornton are very serviceable #6 starters, and could be #5's on contenders. Luckily the Jays don't need them to be #5, and once Pearson is healthy and Hatch is ready they'll be #8/9 which is A-OK by any standard.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 06 2021 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#401826) #
Annnd I just noticed my reading comprehension fail. Ah well. The prospect part added something to the point, at least.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#401827) #
Sure you trade a prospect or any number of them or a young good player to get a superstar. That’s duh but the Dodgers knew Betts was resigning with them when they made the deal. I’d hope if something like that came up with the Jays they’d do it. Most teams aren’t dumb enough to do what Boston did then, although looking at it this year it’s not like it seems to be hurting them much.

Anyway Jays have amassed prospects. So do all good teams. And those teams tend to hoard their best while trading from positions of strength. Like SD to get Darvish didn’t even trade their top prospects. But I just don’t accept that the Jays have been conservative lately. They signed Ryu, they signed Springer, they signed other guys. They’ve spent quite a lot. Not all has worked out perfectly but I wouldn’t call them conservative.

Look at a team like the Cubs and what they’ve done with a strong team and a weak division. They sold off Darvish. Or what Cleveland and Oakland and Tampa have all done recently in selling off players while trying to compete. Jays are by no means perfect and many things haven’t worked out but conservative is not what is call them.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#401828) #

#1 Price 6.8ip/gs, 57era-, 54fip-
#2 Stroman 6.8ip/gs, 41era-, 87fip-
#3 Dickey 6.5ip/gs, 96era-, 110fip-
#2 Buehrle 6.2ip/gs, 94era-, 105fip-
#5 Estrada 6.1ip/gs, 81era-, 109fip-
#6 Hutchison 5.3ip/gs, 135era-, 107fip-


#1 Ray 5.9ip/gs, 76era-, 104fip-
#2 Ryu 5.9ip/gs, 82era-, 104fip-
#3 Manoah 5.2ip/gs, 61era-, 110fip-
#4 Matz 5.1ip/gs, 106era-, 101fip-
#5 Stripling 4.9ip/gs, 101era-, 116fip-
#6 Kay 4.1ip/gs, 100era-, 93fip-

Maybe 2 of our current guys beat out that team's #5. Maybe.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#401829) #
uglyone - nice joke there. Ray, Ryu, and Manoah obviously beat out Hutch, Dickey, and Buehrle. Also, Stroman was over 4 starts. 4. Over his first 4 Matz was a Cy contender (23 IP, 14 H 8 BB 25 SO 2.31 ERA) then the wheels fell off. 5.69 ERA not counting todays mess. Price was over 11 starts - 4 more than Manoah has so far. By years end things will be different. At this point in 2015 Price was with Detroit and guys like Daniel Norris, Felix Doubront, and Scott Copeland were getting starts. Then the trade for Price and eventually Stroman got healthy enough to pitch a few games. Listing them as #1/2 for that team and comparing them to our first half is very apples to oranges.
Dr B - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#401830) #
I have always found Thornton to be frustratingly inconsistent. Sometimes
there’s an n in the middle of his name, and sometimes there isn’t...
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 01:20 AM EDT (#401831) #
He has to earn that N back.
Jonny German - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 06:24 AM EDT (#401832) #
Ideally Thornton is sent down today with Trevor Richards arriving, but with just 5 games left before the break it probably doesn't make much difference.

Coming out of the break, on the other hand, it'll be a bad sign if Thornton isn't in AAA. I expect it'll be more like this:



Axford or Castro or Chatwood

dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#401835) #
Jays have spent a lot of money and they have been conservative with the bullpen. Relying on internal options, a guy from Japan and another guy who’s arm is about to explode would be considered a conservative approach.

Their trade for relief help over the past 10 days would be classified as conservative. You could also call it logical. I love that I don’t have to worry about this front office emptying the farm to make a temporary statement, and I am still confident they will make a run and be competitive for years to come.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#401836) #
I was a big fan of Rowdy but I can see the logic in trading him. He really raked for a while last year until he got hurt and just couldn't seem to get untracked this year.

Totally unrelated but there is a good story in The Athletic about Ichiro Suzuki. According to every teammate that ever played with him , he was totally hilarious. Mike Sweeney was playing first base for the Royals and Ichiro roped a single to the outfield. Sweeney remarked to him," Nice hit, Ichiro." Ichiro replies," Nice ass, Mike Sweeney."

Another story was his first all-star game. Joe Torre came in the room and gave a short, monotone speech and then said," Have you got anything to add, Ichiro?" Ichiro jumped up and screamed," Let's go and beat their f'ing fat asses!" and then sat down quietly like nothing had happened. Everybody broke up laughing.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#401837) #
He has to earn that N back.

Is Thornton Wilder than he was earlier in the season?

uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#401840) #
John - no joke whatsoever.

Throwing an extra inning per start is huge, as we are / should be realizing this year.

Putting up similar stats in a full inning less per start is a much worse performance.
Glevin - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#401843) #
Was thinking about how odd it is the Jays' 1Bman in the last 5 years or so always seem to go to Milwaukee: Thames, Lind, Smoak, Vogelbach, and now Tellez.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#401845) #
Is Thornton Wilder than he was earlier in the season?

Does the Trent River grow wilder every day?
Glevin - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#401846) #
I'll be happy when Dolis is gone. He just isn't a good pitcher and really never has been because he has awful control so walks a ton of guys and I don't trust him at all. If Merryweather comes back healthy, the Jays pen is pretty good but I don't trust that so I think another 7-8 inning guy would be great. I wouldn't want to give up elite prospects for Kimbrel or anything so I'd prefer Scott Barlow, Tyler Duffey, Graveman sort of guy who would go as a setup guy and push everyone else down a notch (Cimber and Richards as middle relievers rather than late inning guys).

mathesond - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#401847) #
Is Thornton Wilder than he was earlier in the season?

Hey man, this is Our Town!
92-93 - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#401848) #
What's an elite prospect? Was Jansen one when he was ranked #42 by Baseball America in the '19 rankings? How about Pardinho that same year at #84, or Smith at #91?

Kimbrel has been insanely dominant this year. If the Jays front office believes that will continue over the next year and a half, they should absolutely be in on him.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#401850) #
Trying to figure out what our best bullpen actually is right now.

Let's try the fangraphs projections:

Romano: 32.0ip, 3.62era, 3.70fip
Mayza: 33.0ip, 3.65era, 3.81fip

Only two relievers project as actual "good" relievers, and neither as an elite one.

Saucedo: 17.0ip, 3.94era, 4.12fip
Dolis: 29.0ip, 4.03era, 4.14fip
Borucki: 10.0ip, 4.20era, 4.15fip
Merryweather: 12.0ip, 4.33era, 4.24fip

These 4 project as decent.

Chatwood: 20.0ip, 4.38era, 4.41fip
Barnes: 27.0ip, 4.50era, 4.40fip
Richards: 24.0ip, 4.53era, 4.48fip
Cimber: 30.0ip, 4.73era, 4.46fip
Murphy: 8.0ip, 4.57era, 4.50fip
Thornton: 19.0ip, 4.65era, 4.50fip
Payamps: 3.0ip, 4.55era, 4.59fip
Castro: 22.0ip, 4.75era, 4.77fip
Kay: 22.0ip, 4.77era, 4.77fip

None of these guys projects as a guy you want to keep on the team, really.

Hopefully we can give the FO the benefit of the doubt and their internals like Cimber and Richards much more than this, though. That would leave us with a bullpen of:


adding a legit elite RP to the top of that would really make it look better. as would adding a good SP and bumping a Matz/Manoah/Stripling to the pen.
Glevin - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#401851) #
"Kimbrel has been insanely dominant this year. If the Jays front office believes that will continue over the next year and a half, they should absolutely be in on him."

Kimbrel is 33, making $16M a year, and had 3 straight mediocre to poor years before this one. (2018-2021, Kimbrel is 43rd in qualified reliever WAR) I don't want to give up a top-100 prospect because someone has looked great in 30 innings. You're just as likely to get 2018-2020 Kimbrel as the 2021 version of Kimbrel and that means a lot of walks and a decent ERA. If you're going to pay for an elite reliever, they need to be Josh Hadar elite. For example, I vastly prefer Taylor Rogers who doesn't have walk issues, makes $10M a year less than Kimbrel, is 3 years younger, and probably costs less.
scottt - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#401852) #
Cimber has a 2.63 ERA and a 3.64 career ERA in 174 innings over 4 years.
Is Fangraphs any better than a coin toss at predicting reliever performance?
How do they project the Boston pen which includes a dominant rule 5 pick?

hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#401853) #
No way Taylor Rogers will cost less in prospect capital. Even if the Cubs cover much of Kimbrel's salary, which definitely hasn't been their MO lately.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#401854) #
yeah the cimber projection does seem weird ill admit.
Paul D - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#401855) #
Kimbrel was elite from 2010 through 2018. In 2019 and 2020 he pitched a total of 36 innings. This year he's back to being elite. I'd trust him to hold onto elite status as much as any reliever. (Which is to say, not all that much, but more than most). Given his salary I can't imagine he'd actually cost all that much, but who knows.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#401856) #
remember that fangraphs doesn't actually do the projections, they just combine the projections from Zips, Steamer, and a couple others.
cascando - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#401857) #
I thought Kimbrel pitched through injuries (both knee and elbow) in 2019. That was after missing the first three months of the season. I'm not sure what happened last year, but he is as dominant as ever right now.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#401858) #
I think that the systems bucket players in addition to the past few years of their performance. So while Cimber's past performance would yield a lower ERA than projected, Cimber is in the 5.50 K/9 bucket, which usually leads to much higher ERA's.
Glevin - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#401859) #
"Kimbrel was elite from 2010 through 2018. In 2019 and 2020 he pitched a total of 36 innings."

No, he wasn't. He was elite until around 2015. From 2015-2020 he had one great season (2017). His last fully healthy season was 2018 where he had a 3.13 XFIP and walked 4.48/9 IP. And yes, he had a total of 26 bad innings last 2 years but he only has a total of 30 innings this year. His career BABIP against .259 and this year it's 1.84. Maybe he's found a different level at 33 but there is a ton of regression risk there.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#401860) #
Throwing an extra inning per start is huge, as we are / should be realizing this year. Ugly, you simply can't compare starters to their contemporaries on one measure (ERA+) and to starters in a different year on another measure (IP per start). IP/S was at 5.8 in 2015, and it's 5.1 this year (and had been declining significantly before the opener began, so that's not a significant part of the shift). So, Ray and Ryu are actually going deeper into games relative to their peers than Dickey and Buehrle did in 2015. Manoah is light on the innings even adjusting for era, but he's allowing far fewer runs than Buehrle or Dickey did. More generally, John is right that you can't pad out the 1/2 starters on the 2015 team with guys who had 15 starts between the two of them.
Glevin - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#401861) #
McGuire reverting back to who he is. His success was dependent on a .417 BABIP. (Never trust brief, BABIP driven success when there's a long track record of something else). Maybe Jays can trade him for something rather than trying to pass him through waivers again. Jansen has BABIP of .193 so has opposite problem. I believe he still has a lot more upside than McGuire but Kirk is best bet at starting catcher right now IMO.
Paul D - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#401862) #
I guess we disagree on the definition of elite. In 2018 Kimbrel had an ERA+ of 161 and struck out 96 batters in 62.1 innings. In 2017 he had an ERA less than 2 (ERA+ of 319). I don't see a reasonable case that he wasn't elite in those years.
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#401863) #
One thing to keep in mind about Kimbrel's 2020 was that he was a mess for the first 4 outings, had a week off, and then was dominant over his last 12.2 innings. Heck, he didn't walk anybody that Sept. Heck, he was someone I was thinking might have made a good buy low opportunity over the offseason. If the price is reasonable, I'd be interested. If they're asking for a top-100 prospect and full freight for a maybe 20 innings, I'd let someone else pay the Chapman Price.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#401864) #
Ummm... 2015-2018 Kimbrell was 174 ERA with 3.6 BB/9 vs 13.5 K/9, 147 saves vs 15 blown (90.7% success rate), making 3 of 4 all-star teams. If that ain't elite I suspect nothing short of Mariano Rivera is by your definition. Yes, 2017 was the strongest year of those 4, but given he never threw more than 70 innings in any of those years you really need to merge them to get rid of randomness. His worst ERA+ was 132, 2016 he was wild with 5.1 BB/9 but that was pushed by the 2 times he walked more than 2 guys (3 and 4 walks over 2/3 IP). Take those 2 games out and he is down to 4.0 BB/9 that year.

Relievers are a tough group to judge. Kimbrel's 2022 option is not guaranteed unless he finishes 110 games total between last year and this (last year counts as 30 when you adjust to 162 vs 60 games) so he needs 80 completed which is not going to happen (his best is 64 and getting a reliever into 80 games, let along finishing 80 is unheard of today). So the cost of his contract is $6 mil plus $1 mil buyout of 2022 option unless it is picked up ($16 mil). I doubt the Cubs are desperate to dump his roughly $8 mil remaining this year but might be willing to trade for less due to the disaster their year is quickly becoming. Their 3 regular OF'ers are sub 100 in OPS+ so Bryant has been out there often and former Jay prospect Jake Marisnick has played well in limited action (122 OPS+) but no sane GM would bet on that continuing. Their rotation (all with more than 1 start) outside of Kyle Hendricks has sub 100 ERA+'s as well. So even guys like Thornton and Zeuch and Kay would be tempting to a team sinking fast (all of whom would love to pitch in the NL Central I'm sure). No idea how good the guy running the Cubs is (no GM, Jed Hoyer is president of Baseball Operations) but there is opportunity there I suspect. If cheap enough I'd grab Kimbrel in a second. No top 100 prospects, but any of those 3 pitchers (heck, take all of them), Riley Adams (their backup catcher is weak) - options to give up that wouldn't hurt the Jays but might help a sinking Cubs team. Still, I bet they will chase quality prospects up until the last moment if they can but that risks a Ken Giles type situation for them (remember the talk of trading him then he got hurt just before the deadline - now in the Mariners sick bay).
jerjapan - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#401865) #
McGuire has had a rough few games, but if we are talking about 'who he is', he is also a guy with .715 OPS in 273 career ABs, with first round pedigree.  He was drafted as a young 18 year old, and some of his minor league totals are dragged down by that.  with his quality D, he's amassed  1.5 fWAR in his 102 big league games - so, he's an above average backup just entering his prime.  The one drawback is the lack of options.  Maybe we can swap him for a reliever or something, but I don't see us risking losing him via demotion. 

Long story short, I think Jansen gets time in AAA to see if he can get his bat going, and Kirk, who's raking in his 6 games back in AAA, getting run as the starter. 

When I call this FO conservative, this would be an example.  Promoting Kirk last year would be a counter example, and no way do they start burning those options if they don't think he's ready to start in the bigs, with the bat at least.  And that bat is good enough to carry the glove.  If he hits like I think he can, our lineup is dangerous top to bottom. 
John Northey - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#401866) #
I'd be careful with the catchers. Offense is always secondary from catchers...
Lets check McGuire (M) vs Jansen (J) vs Kirk (K) with different pitchers by ERA...
  • Robbie Ray: 3.49 (J) 3.66 (K) 3.62 (M) - about the same
  • Ryu: 3.00 (J) 3.97 (M) - Kirk hasn't caught him, clear advantage Jansen, FYI: 1.52 in over 130 IP with Russell Martin (!!!)
  • Matz: 4.62 (J), 3.27 (M over 11 IP), Kirk was just 1 IP, Adams 2 2/3
  • Stripling: 5.70 (J) 3.51 (M), Kirk just 2/3 IP
  • Manoah: only McGuire has caught him
Innings are few but it gives an idea. Ryu likes Jansen, Matz did best with McGuire but too few innings to know, Stripling was great with McGuire, horrid with Jansen but that might be a timing thing. Kirk didn't have enough time with anyone to really tell, same with Adams. Heck, using catcher ERA we should get Russell Martin out of retirement and get him to catch Ryu. Still another element to consider. I'd love to see what the Jays use to judge catchers. I'd be checking how often the pitcher shakes off a catcher, how effective pitches are that the catcher asks for and are thrown, how effective the pitcher is on shaken off pitches (IE: did the pitcher make the wrong choice), stuff like that which we can't know as no public data is available that I know of on it.

For traditional measures, McGuire is #1 by a mile - 36% caught stealing vs 15% for Jansen and 11% for Kirk, 0% for Adams. BP & WP = 7 for Jansen (1 per 42.6 innings), 11 for McGuire (1 per 24.5 innings), 5 for Kirk (1 per 18.8 innings), 4 for Adams (1 per 15.8 innings). Catcher framing gives 0 runs to Jansen, 1 to McGuire, -1 to Kirk. Defensive Runs per year (Rdrs/yr) based on BR - 4 Jansen, 9 McGuire, -13 Kirk, -38 Adams. So on defense only McGuire over a full season is worth about 2 wins a year over Kirk right now, Kirk's offense might cover that.

Right now I think the best idea for the Jays is to let Kirk learn more about catching in AAA and mix/match Jansen/McGuire - maybe give Jansen Ryu, McGuire Stripling & Matz, alternate them for Manoah and Ray depending on other factors (rest, who is pitching for the other team).
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#401868) #
"Ugly, you simply can't compare starters to their contemporaries on one measure (ERA+) and to starters in a different year on another measure (IP per start). IP/S was at 5.8 in 2015, and it's 5.1 this year (and had been declining significantly before the opener began, so that's not a significant part of the shift). So, Ray and Ryu are actually going deeper into games relative to their peers than Dickey and Buehrle did in 2015. "

disagree entirely, of course.

firstly, 6yrs ago is not a different era.

secondly, you make our current guys go an inning+ more each start and all of their stats tank.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#401869) #
Good thoughts on the catching situation, John. I'd be a little wary of using such small samples to judge the way catchers handle a pitching staff, though.

I'd add that Adams definitely looks like the odd man out - he isn't likely to displace Jansen or McGuire defensively, and it would be a big surprise if he outhit Kirk or Moreno.

I think there's a case for trading Jansen at the deadline if Kirk is looking capable in AAA. It may be time to roll the dice on Kirk - while we have played well as a whole, we are far behind the division leaders. A big offensive upgrade at catcher would be the kind of thing that might let us catch up, and we'll cross our fingers that the impact on run prevention won't be that significant. And we'd still have McGuire on hand as a defensively-minded backup.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#401870) #
firstly, 6yrs ago is not a different era.

secondly, you make our current guys go an inning+ more each start and all of their stats tank.

I fear we are disagreeing entirely. Six years ago was a pretty different era in terms of starter/reliever usage. Losing an average of 2/3rds of an inning (not more than an inning) is very significant.

In 2015, you are comparing Jays starters' ERAs to their 2015 peers, who also went longer on average. In 2021, you're comparing the Jays starters to their 2021 peers, who are also averaging shorter outings. If starters league-wide all had to go an extra 2/3rds of an inning, their stats would fall concomitantly with those of the Jays starters.

More generally, listing Estrada as the Jays' 5th starter in 2015 isn't quite right. Estrada was easily the best of the four starters who were in the rotation through the season. Hutchison was the worst, got 28 starts, and was pretty clearly the 5th starter by any reasonable definition.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#401871) #
uglyone - actually 6 years ago is a different era when it comes to pitching. on average starters are going more than 3/4 of an inning less today than then. Openers were not a thing in 2015, nor were 9 man bullpens. Stroman's 4 starts were 5/7/7/8 innings. To compare what he did to anyone on this year staff is laughable on the surface. This year that same pitcher is averaging 5.5 innings a start over 17 starts and has finished the 7th inning as often as he has failed to reach the 4th - twice each.

I know I get caught with the massive changes to pitching that have occurred during my lifetime. I'm old enough to remember the Jays having a 4 man rotation with a 24 year old starting 38 games and throwing 288 innings - imagine that today. Or a guy getting 9 complete games in a year (Halladay 2009). Heck, a 20 year old rookie in 68 games in relief (talk about risking his arm) 2015 Roberto Osuna. Things change quickly in baseball. In 2016 you'll find lots of threads where people are saying the Jays should be down to a 6 man pen. Can you picture a 6 man pen today? That is all I'd trust with a lead right now, maybe, but the other 3 are needed to eat innings on days like yesterday. Right now the leader in complete games in the majors is 3 for German Márquez - but despite that he still averages under 6 innings a start. Zack Wheeler leads in innings with 114 over 17 starts = 6.7 innings a start in the NL (doesn't see a DH most games) and has a crazy low 2.05 ERA. #2 in innings is averaging 6.26 innings a start (Sandy Alcantara). Zack Greinke is 3rd in innings averages 6.18 a start. You are demanding Jay pitchers match these guys to be considered equals to a staff where 1 guy had 4 starts, another 11. One had an ERA+ of 74 (ugh) and 2 others were under 110. Yes, eating innings is nice but you might as well say no one on this staff would've started ahead of the big 3 on the 1982 Jays as those guys averaged 7.6, 6.7, 6.6 innings a start (the big 3 who started 116 of 162 games) and had 38-40 starts each that year. Lets compare how they did relative to their leagues - that is what ERA+ and ERA- are for, and see that they started regularly (not just 4 times).
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#401872) #
Naturally, I had to take a look at the 2015 rotation. For most of the season, Hutchison was the fourth starter if he was anything. Here's how it all played out:

On Opening Day, the rotation was Dickey, Buehrle, Sanchez, Hutchison, Norris.

Norris was sent down at the end of April. Estrada came out of the bullpen to take his spot.

In early June, Sanchez made his last start of the season and soon went on the DL for six weeks. (By this time, uglyone was raising the alarm about the state of the rotation and I would shortly join the chorus. The Tulowitzki rumours were already flowing, but we were so not interested. We wanted pitching!)

With Sanchez out, auditions began for the fifth starter. Scott Copeland got the first crack. Then Felix Doubront.

With two months remaining, the GM came through and traded for David Price, who was a serious upgrade on the aforementioned fifth starters, who were never heard from again.

In September, Stroman made his unexpected return, bumping Hutchison from the picture.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#401873) #
The next year was fun too when they were rolling with a 6-man rotation because they couldn't make up their minds about transitioning Sanchez to a bullpen role. It wouldn't be surprising if the front office decides this club would be better off with a 6th SP instead of a 9th RP.
scottt - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#401874) #
Ray gets roughed up 3rd time through the order.
It's funny because the velo does not drop at all.
Having a guy with a 4.5 ERA pitch the 7th is a huge improvement over letting the starter continue.
I'd guess that Stripling and Matz have the same problem.
Sometimes, the other team just run up the pitch count and the starter can only go 5.
So, I'm not interested in the 6 man rotation idea.

John Northey - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#401875) #
6 man rotation seems silly to me. We have a very solid 5 who all go 5-7 innings depending on pitch count. 2-4 innings a game for a 9 man pen should be manageable even with a 1 inning limit for most. When needed you can send one of them down and call up a replacement if the rotation has a bad few days in a row. I'm surprised teams don't try to get one inning out of starters now and then on their side session day like they used to in the very old days. Especially if they were knocked out early their previous start. That would add a 10th man to the pen somedays. Have the guy do his side session warm ups in the 5th inning so he can come out in the 6th or 7th if needed. If not needed then he finishes his session and rests. Ah well. Probably too worried about them getting hurt if called in.
cascando - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#401877) #
I don't think I'd say that 2015 was a different "era" in most senses, but SP usage certainty has changed. I personally very much lament that the additional roster spot has made the 8th man in the bullpen an absolute certainty and the 9th man all but guaranteed. I remember the debate in 2015 being whether they really needed 8 RP or if 7 was sufficient if managed well. So long to those days.

In terms of average IP/start, while the average is down overall, the three current Jays SP who were also active in 2015 (Ryu, Matz, Ray) have never been good at going deep into games. It seems that the main shift in the game is the realization that SP perform much worse the 3rd or 4th time through the order and the belief/hope that throwing any old middle reliever out there instead improves the team's chances.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#401878) #
I'm not surprised at the lack of starters moonlighting as relievers on their side session days - it must be a concern that they're not going to perform well out of their ordinary routine, and that it might mess them up for their next start. Given the absurd risk aversion we see with even things like using your catcher as a DH, I imagine most managers would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do something like this. That being said, surely there's a way to study this and figure out what the advantages & disadvantages are.

Not sure that it'd suit Ryu or Stripling, but I'd love to have Ray or Manoah available for an inning on their side day late in the season.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#401881) #
"I fear we are disagreeing entirely. Six years ago was a pretty different era in terms of starter/reliever usage. Losing an average of 2/3rds of an inning (not more than an inning) is very significant."

Leagye usage is irrelevant. The fact is that those 2015 SP's stats would look much better if they pitched an inning less per game, and the current crew's would look much worse eith the reverse.

"In 2015, you are comparing Jays starters' ERAs to their 2015 peers, who also went longer on average. In 2021, you're comparing the Jays starters to their 2021 peers, who are also averaging shorter outings. If starters league-wide all had to go an extra 2/3rds of an inning, their stats would fall concomitantly with those of the Jays starters."

ERA- and FIP- don't compare to "other starters", they just compare to overall league ERA and FIP by both starters and relievers.

"More generally, listing Estrada as the Jays' 5th starter in 2015 isn't quite right. Estrada was easily the best of the four starters who were in the rotation through the season. Hutchison was the worst, got 28 starts, and was pretty clearly the 5th starter by any reasonable definition."

The starters come Playoffs were Price Stroman Buehrle Dickey, with Estrada in the pen. Estrada was also the only SP to spend time in the pen in the regular season.

Hutch was upgraded on. And it was only after this upgrade that the jays shot up the standings into playoffs contention. Hutch was not a #5 on a contender, he was a #6 and a bad one at that.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#401882) #
Merryweather injured again.
Hodgie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#401883) #
"Merryweather injured again."

In other news the sun came up today.

Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#401884) #
The starters come Playoffs were Price Stroman Buehrle Dickey, with Estrada in the pen.

Whoa there, partner. Buehrle was left off the post-season roster. The starters against Texas were Price, Stroman, Estrada, Dickey, Stroman. And against KC, it was Estrada, Price, Stroman, Dickey, Estrada, Price.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#401885) #
Ah crap you got me. Damn.

Forgot about buehrle. Could sworn Estrada came out of the pen tho.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#401886) #
I should note as well that Aaron Sanchez, who was certainly a bigger part of the 2015 rotation than Stroman (11 starts being more than 4), also made 30 appearances out of the bullpen.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#401887) #
Could sworn Estrada came out of the pen tho.

Just in April, before they sent Norris down. David Price made a post-season relief appearance, for reasons that still surpasseth all understanding.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#401888) #
Look at the 2015 rotation this way:

Buehrle (6 months)
Dickey (6 months)
Norris (1 month) Estrada (5 months)
Hutchison (5 months) Stroman (1 month)
Sanchez (2 months), Copeland/Doubront (2 months) Price (2 months)

Which is actually how it all happened! Fairly neat and tidy, rotations are usually messier than that!
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#401889) #
Let's try a different way.

Avg of fWAR/32gs and ra9WAR/32gs

Price 7.9
Stroman 6.8
Ray 3.8
Estrada 3.4
Manoah 3.2
Ryu 3.0
Dickey 2.5
Buehrle 2.1
Matz 1.8
Stripling 1.6
Hutchison 0.3

OK so Ray makes the rotation. Ryu and Manoah battle it out with Dickey for the 5th spot.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#401890) #
Once again fails because of the very small sample sizes of Stroman and Price. I'm confused what this discussion is about anyway. Don't we have better things to do than make convoluted comparisons against old rosters?
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#401891) #
The problem, though, is that what Stroman and Price did in their limited time with the 2015 Jays would never have been duplicated by either man over an entire season. Stroman had an ERA+ of 249 in those four starts. Needless to say, he's never came anywhere close to that in any of his actual seasons. And Price put up an ERA+ of 179 in his two months as a Jay, which itself came during the best season of his career. He's never done that in any of his full seasons, not even 2015, not even his Cy Young year.

It's simply not reasonable to posit that as the standard to be met by someone actually working a full season.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#401892) #
We're trying to examine how our rotation measures up to playoff rotations, stemming from an argument as to what an adequate #5sp should be for a team that wants to contend.

Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#401893) #
Or what Kasi said. Let's all just be glad Matt Harvey works for the Orioles.

(Yikes. If he goes and throws six hitless innings right now... I'll never forgive myself. Well, not for a couple of hours at least.)
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#401894) #

Actually price pretty much did do that over the full season that year.

Avg war/32


2014 4.5
2015 7.1
2016 4.0
2017 5.0


2014 4.8
2015 6.8
2016 2.7
2017 4.1

Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#401895) #
We're trying to examine how our rotation measures up to playoff rotations

Ah, but you need to more closely define what the argument is really about. Is it a rotation that gets you to the playoffs, or a rotation to be used in the playoffs. Because those can be two very, very different things. Marcus Stroman had very little to do with the rotation that took the 2015 Jays into the playoffs. But he was a crucial part of the rotation they used in the playoffs.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#401896) #
And while Price is good to get you to the playoffs he is nowhere near the top of my list of pitchers I want pitching in the playoffs. Certainly not tops on that combined 2015/2021 list.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#401897) #

Sanchez 4.8
Happ 3.9
Estrada 3.5
Liriano 3.4
Stroman 2.7
Dickey 0.9
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#401898) #
2021 vs 2016

Ray 3.8 ---- Sanchez 4.8
Ryu 3.0 ---- Happ 3.9
Manoah 3.2 - Estrada 3.5
Matz 1.8 --- Liriano 3.4
Stripling 1.6 - Stroman 2.7
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#401899) #
Liriano started 8 games during the season, and spent the playoffs in the bullpen. Why is he even there?
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#401900) #
One can help but suspect it's so a one-to-one comparison of Dickey to anyone can be avoided.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#401901) #
It sure looked to me like Bichette came off the base well before he took the throw. I can't believe the Orioles didn't want to look at it.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#401902) #
Because without him we don't make the playoffs?
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#401903) #
Because without him we don't make the playoffs?

Well, we'll never actually know about that, not without access to some parallel universe in which Liriano never comes to town.

His arrival did prompt them to use a six-man rotation for a month and a half, which was unusual. Liriano himself started 8 games, and the team went 4-4 in them. It's better than how they did when Stroman (3-8) or Estrada (5-6) were on the mound, so it may indeed have helped. Alas, the guy who finally ended up losing starts was Dickey, who wasn't having a good season but actually pitched pretty well down the stretch in 2016 (and the team went 5-2 in his starts.)

What's more interesting to me about the 2016 rotation is what happened in the ALCS. The two teams had reasonably similar looking rotations - three good starters (Happ, Sanchez, Stroman for the Jays, Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar for Cleveland) and two league average guys (Stroman and Dickey for the Jays, Bauer and Tomlin for Cleveland.) The Jays, naturally, dropped one of their average guys (Dickey.) But Cleveland was without two of their good starters - they were left with Kluber, their two average guys, and some kid with one major league to his name. But which team got shut down?

When it comes to the rotation, I guess I'm much more interested in the one that gets you into the playoffs, the guys you hope you can start around 30 games for you. I tend to believe that when it comes to the playoffs, starting pitchers are like goaltenders. The differences between one good guy and another is always marginal, and basically irrelevant. The only difference that matters is the difference between the truly elite and the truly ordinary.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#401904) #
Typo - the good starters for the Jays in 2016 were Happ, Sanchez, Estrada.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#401905) #
It is nice to see Ryu striking out more than he has in a while. Then again it might just be that its the O's.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#401906) #
Borucki pitching for Buffalo right now.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#401907) #
Then again it might just be that its the O's.

Could be, but the Orioles actually strike out a little less than the average AL team.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#401908) #
Against LHP, only 4 teams have a lower K% than the O's.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#401909) #
"When it comes to the rotation, I guess I'm much more interested in the one that gets you into the playoffs, the guys you hope you can start around 30 games for you. I tend to believe that when it comes to the playoffs, starting pitchers are like goaltenders. The differences between one good guy and another is always marginal, and basically irrelevant. "

And as such, you must be concerned that our rotation in no way matches up with the rotations of our playoffs Teams
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#401910) #
Well, I'm always concerned. But mainly - I don't know yet what they have. I think they have two good pitchers (Ryu, Ray), one roughly average guy (Matz.) The jury is still out on the other two guys as far as I'm concerned. They might have four good pitchers, which is A Lot. But I'm not willing to go there yet.

They made the playoffs in 2016, as I said, with three good starters and two average guys. And in 2015, with what amounted to two good starters, two better than average guys, and one pretty bad starter. I think they've got a fighting chance of being able to match up well enough with either of those teams.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#401911) #
How old is Trevor Richards? He looks like a damn coach.
Polite Nate - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#401912) #
I'd definitely give the edge to the 2015 rotation, and it's a maybe for me on the 2016 rotation so far but I think this year has the *potential* to be better if Matz can get back on track and Stripling stays performing the way he has. But any methodology that has me picking 2016 Liriano (actual 2016 fWAR of 0.5, bWAR of 0.2?) over 2021 Ryu, even with his struggles lately, has me scratching my head.

Trevor Richards is all of 28 apparently! Some go bald early, some go grey early, I suppose.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#401913) #

Good read.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#401914) #
Oh, this year's group has its work cut out matching the rotation that went into the playoffs, with three good starters. But Price and Stroman started just 15 games during the season. It was really more like 1 and a half good starters during the season. (I was rounding up!)

Did Biggio make a nice play to end the seventh, or did I imagine it?
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#401915) #
Here's the biggest difference between this years and the 2015 team that nobody mentions.

Ryan Goins 85 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR/650
Santiago Espinal 108 wRC+, 4.7 wRC+/650
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#401916) #
That didn't go well

Ryan Goins 85 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR/650
Santiago Espinal 108 wRC+, 4.7 fWAR/650
mathesond - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#401917) #
That's the biggest difference? I figured catching might show up as well.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#401918) #
There is no good reason for Mayza to be in this game right now with a 9 man bullpen. If he needs the work that badly, drop an arm already and have an actual bench.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#401919) #
Valencia 127wrc+ 4.9war650
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#401920) #
There is no good reason for Mayza to be in this game right now with a 9 man bullpen

Seniority? If he feels like pitching... he gets to pitch? (And yes, Tim Mayza has the most seniority on this roster. He beats Hernandez by two weeks. I know, it's weird.)
Magpie - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#401921) #
If he needs the work that badly, drop an arm already and have an actual bench.

Can't argue with that. But Mayza did need some work - he's pitched just once since the calendar turned to July, and that was last Saturday. He's pitched on consecutive days seven times, he'll be available if needed tomorrow.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#401922) #
I thought Cleveland and KC had offenses that were far better suited to playoff baseball than that Toronto team. The Blue Jays had a one-dimensional lineup of powerful RH mistake hitters. No diversity. Easy to gameplan for. Easy to manage against. Some of those powerful RH mistake hitters were more disciplined than others, but there was precious little bad-ball hitting skill (Ben Revere!) unless you count Kevin Pillar whose ability to hit bad balls was neutralized by his inability to lay off terrible balls. Against the best pitchers, when every pitch is life or death, against bullpens that are all hands on deck all game, sometimes you need the hackers. It's one reason I'm hesitant to trade Gurriel.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#401923) #
Read this a couple of times now, but the only stat that actually has a somewhat strong relationship with playoff success is batters K%.

2015 Jays were actually quite good, 5th in MLB at 18.5%. Unfortunately they ran into the Royals with their MLB best 15.9%.

The 2016 Jays were far worse 21.9%, Cleveland 20.2%.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#401924) #
Rowdy batted cleanup for the Brewers in game 2 today. Single in 4 AB's.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 07 2021 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#401925) #
mathesond, the Goins/Espinal thing was meant as bit of a joke.
dalimon5 - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#401926) #
“ Morosi: The way in which Alek Manoah has surpassed Nate Pearson on the organizational depth chart means that Pearson could be in play. I have doubts about Pearson's durability and consistency, but GMs might see enough there to make him a priority acquisition.”
Michael - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#401927) #
Another way to look at playoff 5th starter quality is to go back to 2019 (the last full year) and look at the 5 playoff teams from the AL (to avoid the pitcher/DH issue of the NL) and look at their #5 from a retrospective performance perspective (ranking the rotation primarily from ERA+ among the top 5 starters in GS).

Tampa: There is the weird situation with opener's and Ryne Stanek who started 27 games but played in 41 and had only 55.2 IP. I don't count him, so the 5th starter not counting him is Brendan McKay with 11 GS, 49.0 IP, 85 ERA+, 4.03 FIP, 1.408 WHIP. Full rotation:
1. Glasnow 12 GS, 60.2 IP, 245 ERA+
2. Morton 33 GS, 194.2 IP, 142 ERA+
3. Chirinos 18 GS, 133.1 IP, 113 ERA+
4. Snell 23 GS, 107.0 IP, 102 ERA+
5. McKay 11 GS, 49.0 IP, 85 ERA+

Yankees: 5th starter was probably CC Sabathia with Happ the 4th (same ERA+ but Happ had better IP, FIP, and WHIP). Sabathia had 22 GS, 107.1 IP, 92 ERA+, 5.66 FIP, 1.407 WHIP. Full rotation:
1. Paxton 29 GS, 150.2 IP, 119 ERA+
2. German 24 GS, 143.0 IP, 113 ERA+
3. Tanaka 31 GS, 182.0 IP, 102 ERA+
4. Happ 30 GS, 161.1 IP, 92 ERA+
5. Sabathia 22 GS, 107.1 IP, 92 ERA+

Twins: A very healthy rotation overall with only 16 games not started by the top 5 (5 different players covered the 16 games). The #5 was Martin Perez with 29 GS, 165.1 IP, 88 ERA+, 4.66 FIP, 1.518 WHIP.
1. Odorizzi 30 GS, 159.0 IP, 128 ERA+
2. Berrios 32 GS, 200.1 IP, 122 ERA+
3. Pineda 26 GS, 146.0 IP, 112 ERA+
4. Gibson 29 GS, 160.0 IP, 93 ERA+
5. Perez 29 GS, 165.1 IP, 88 ERA+

Astros: It is harder to tell here as there are 3 clear starters full season, and then guys with 15 GS, 10 GS, 8 GS, 8 GS, 7 GS, 5 GS, 4 GS, etc. The two 8 GS guys had ERA+ of 99 and 79 so that took them below the 100 ERA+ league average line, but if you go only with their top 5 then their lowest is Brad Peacock with 15 GS, 91.2 IP, 112 ERA+, 4.42 FIP, 1.189 WHIP. Miley is a little worse in FIP and much worse in WHIP but has the better ERA+.
1. Cole 33 GS, 212.1 IP, 185 ERA+
2. Verlander 34 GS, 223.0 IP, 179 ERA+
3. Greinke 10 GS, 62.2 IP, 154 ERA+
4. Miley 33 GS, 167.1 IP, 116 ERA+
5. Peacock 15 GS, 91.2 IP, 112 ERA+

Oakland: Similar to Houston the #5 rotated through the season as they have a top 3 and then 16 GS, 13 GS, 10 GS, 9 GS, 6 GS, and 3 different 5 GS. Unlike Houston their long tail was generally worse than their top 5 by GS, except 1 of the 5 GS, so picking the #5 is clearer. So Homer Bailey is the #5 with 13 GS, 73.1 IP, 98 ERA+, 3.65 FIP, 1.200 WHIP. A couple of the others had worse FIP/WHIP but better ERA+.
1. Montas 16 GS, 96.0 IP, 161 ERA+
2. Bassit 25 GS, 144.0 IP, 110 ERA+
3. Fiers 33 GS, 184.2 IP, 108 ERA+
4. Anderson 31 GS, 176.0 IP, 108 ERA+
5. Bailey 13 GS, 73.1 IP, 98 ERA+.

So again if you focus just on the strength of the #5 starters from the AL playoff teams in 2019 this is the strength you are looking for:

5. Peacock 15 GS, 91.2 IP, 112 ERA+
5. Bailey 13 GS, 73.1 IP, 98 ERA+.
5. Perez 29 GS, 165.1 IP, 88 ERA+
5. Sabathia 22 GS, 107.1 IP, 92 ERA+
5. McKay 11 GS, 49.0 IP, 85 ERA+

Averaged together across the 5 playoff teams:
18 GS, 97.1 IP (~5.1 IP/start), 95 ERA+.

Only one of the playoff teams had a #5 that was league average or better, and that was Houston who clearly had the best pitching by far. Note also there were only 3 pitchers on these 5 playoff teams combined that hit 200 IP in the season. There were only 3 more that were between 180 IP and 200 IP (so only 6 total, or slightly more than 1 per playoff team that will pitch 180+ IP). Also note these 5 top rotations collectively started 622 Games or about 124 games a season. So even the playoff teams (some of whom likely made it because of good health of their top 5) were averaging 38 starts from pitchers outside the top 5. I.e., if you instead defined the #5 as the pitcher(s) that made the last 20% of the starts for the team you'd be outside this top 5 as these top 5 cover just over 75% of the starts from the playoff teams (although again the openers in Tampa might be skewing that slightly, but still you wouldn't hit 80% of starts even without Tampa's openers).

So nearly league average and just over 5 IP/start is a playoff caliber #5. FWIW the current year Jays at this point in the season are:

1. Manoah 7 GS, 36.2 IP, 166 ERA+
2. Ray 16 GS, 93.2 IP, 132 ERA+
3. Ryu 16 GS, 93.2 IP, 122 ERA+
4. Stripling 13 GS, 71.0 IP, 110 ERA+
5. Matz 15 GS, 76.1 IP, 94 ERA+

So Matz is about 3 starts away from exactly that average playoff #5 performance, and if the Jays can repeat that performance in the second half (especially Manoah in a full second half of starts) that is clearly a playoff caliber pitching rotation performance. Not that I am against adding a quality starting pitcher and bumping Matz or Stripling to the pen, but the starting pitching right now has been performing. The health is always a risk with pitching. Although Kay right now is #6 in GS with 5 and has a 100 ERA+ so far.
Alex Obal - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:28 AM EDT (#401928) #
the only stat that actually has a somewhat strong relationship with playoff success is batters K%

The only boxscore stat. I respect your skepticism.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:34 AM EDT (#401929) #
But Mayza did need some work

I agree it's not a problem that Mayza pitched today - he probably did need the work. But the choices when we've had winnable games have been atrocious. With only a 3-run deficit and four innings to go yesterday, we could apparently find nobody better than Thornton. I can't recall being more frustrated with our bullpen management than this year.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:56 AM EDT (#401930) #
"Leagye [sic] usage is irrelevant."

The 2021 team is competing against other 2021 teams, not a bunch of 2015 teams. The relevant measure for 2021 #5 starters is 2021 starters, not 2015 starters.

"ERA- and FIP- don't compare to "other starters", they just compare to overall league ERA and FIP by both starters and relievers."

Yeah, and ERA- has barely budged for starters league-wide from 2015 - down from 103 to 101 - and part of that is needing to get more innings from more & worse relievers. In any event, it's a trivial difference. If you want to give the 2015 starters a 2 pt "bonus" be my guest, it doesn't change the conclusion at all.

Hutchison was a starter on the 2015 team as it was in contention for over 5 months, making 28 starts. They didn't suddenly become contenders in mid-September. Taking him out of the comparison by describing him as the #6 is just manipulating the relevant comparison.
scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#401931) #
I mostly remember Price coming out of the pen to steal a W from Dickie.
scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#401932) #
It's the Rays who strike out like blind squirrels.
Baltimore has terrible starting pitching.
Their hitting is better than the NYY's on most night.

scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#401933) #
The 2016 team had Barney has well.
The 2021 team had Panik.

uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#401934) #
"Yeah, and ERA- has barely budged for starters league-wide from 2015"

scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#401935) #
Trevor Richards is interesting.
He went undrafted and was pitching for the Gateway Grizzlies when Miami picked him in 2016.
His real jobs were substitute teacher and brewery employee.
He uses a classic circle change that ranked up to the 11th best whiff per swing rate.
However his fastball was sitting 91mph as a starter and that got hit around.
The Rays got him from the Marlins last year and moved him to a bulk role.
They got him to drop the breaking balls and that reduced his walk rate.
They had better options in high leverage innings.
Yesterday the fastball was consistently at 93 mph and very well located.
He faced 3 right bats and barely used the change.

The hair is the most noticeable thing about him.
BP's annual comment has "Richards looks 47 and pitches like he's 37, but he'll be 27 until May."

hypobole - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#401936) #
Alex, that boxscore stat actually seems to agree with your basic premise.
On the other hand, the low K rate of the 15 team may be interpreted that they weren't quite as one dimensional as the 16 team.
Chuck - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#401937) #
The hair is the most noticeable thing about him.

It seems that everyone knows that one guy who went prematurely gray in his 20s.

scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#401938) #
Pearson for a reliever?
The Jays will need starters in a few months, maybe earlier.
The normal price for a reliever is much lower.

It depends how you read "GMs might see enough there to make him a priority acquisition."
You ask for a reliever and they say they need Pearson back?
You tell them the Jays still see him as an elite prospect and the price will be very high.

Paul D - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#401939) #
I wouldn't trade Pearson for a reliever before trying him as a reliever - if you're giving up on him as a starter, see if he can be an elite reliever.
mathesond - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#401940) #
if you're giving up on him as a starter, see if he can be an elite reliever.

Maybe he can be the next Julian Merryweather!
uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#401943) #
Pearson is still a very good prospect who should be able to be a foundation of a trade for a good SP, not RP, IMO.
uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#401945) #

Take this for what you will because of the source but Jon Heyman just said on MLB Central that the Jays have been in contact with the Twins about Nelson Cruz

— Guzman’s Jhericurls (@GuzmansJhercurl) July 8, 2021
add this to the mlb roundtable talk yesterday of Cruz + Berrios.
92-93 - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#401946) #
Cruz would be an excellent addition even without Berrios. He mashes lefties, and without compensation tied to a qualifying offer his value to the Twins takes a big hit so he shouldn't cost too much for a couple of months. Adding him would push one of Gurriel/Grichuk to the bench and make the team much deeper.
bpoz - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#401947) #
Analytics continue to confuse me. Also extrapolations are easy math but not so good in baseball IMO.

The following examples are probably ridiculous 1) Borucki ERA 4.05 13IP, 7H, 1 Hr, 5bb and 14Ks. The ERA makes him look worse than the other numbers. 2) Merryweather ERA 0.0 4.1 IP, 1H, 1 BB 7 Ks. Borucki's ERA should come down with a bigger sample IMO. Merryweather could stay 0.00 ERA But I would not bet on it. Respect the jinx.

Merryweather had 4 appearances with 2,3,4 days off between appearances. Borucki was pitching with 1 or 2 days off reasonably often. These are facts, but I don't know what they mean.

Before the off season Atkins listed the young pitchers and their roles as long or short relievers. He probably thought that was the correct thing in the sense that some were going to be limited to 1 inning per outing. I personally thought that many more should have used the off season to prepare as multi inning pitchers.
uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#401948) #

To MIN: N.Pearson, L.Gurriel, K.Smith, D.Jansen (and stuff?)
To TOR: J.Berrios, N.Cruz (and stuff?)


85bluejay - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#401949) #
In 1993 when Gillick couldn't land his preferred target Randy Johnson ( Seattle's GM apparently dithered),Gillick pivoted to strengthening an already potent lineup by adding Ricky Henderson - pitching is again going to be at a premium and expensive this July and maybe the Jays are better off strengthing the lineup - Nelson Cruz would be great and there's not a lot of competition for his services - I also wonder if the Indians continue to drift, Jose Ramirez may be in play (a package built around Gurriel/Biggio/Riley Adams?) or Eduardo Escobar.
bpoz - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#401950) #
J Berrios is a very good SP, but pitches in the AL Central. If he is on the trade block I think SD will try hard to get him.
jerjapan - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#401951) #
To MIN: N.Pearson, L.Gurriel, K.Smith, D.Jansen (and stuff?)
To TOR: J.Berrios, N.Cruz (and stuff?)

that might even be a slight overpay.  Obviously Pearson's value has taken a bit of a hit since the dude at FG first floated the Pearson / Berrios trade idea, but that upside was why the writer (sorry, can't remember which guy it was) thought it a fair deal straight up at the time. 

Gurriel's contract is great, and appealing to a team like MIN with a limited budget.  Jansen would be selling at lowest value.  Smith looks big-league ready and that has value as well. 

In Atkins-speak, 20+ years of control for 2? 

I don't think this team has earned the right for a FO overpay right now, with the inconsistent play, but as others have noted, we have a vulnerable division and some huge seasons from players to take advantage of right now. 
Kasi - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#401952) #
I agree on huge seasons to take advantage of like Semien and Ray (not to mention Vlad) but I can't agree with a "vulnerable" division. This division is the opposite of vulnerable. Only the NL West imo is stronger. We're neck and neck with the Yankees for 3rd and both Tampa and Boston are considerably ahead. Tampa has tons of young talent to draw on and Boston could be getting Sale back soon. I would not call either of those teams vulnerable.

While I don't fully agree with the 10% chance to win the division that is being thrown around in various projections I don't think it is far off. It's gotten to the point where a good week by Boston and a bad week by Toronto might mean the division chance is gone.
bpoz - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#401953) #
Agree with jerjapan. When Atkins speaks he knows what he means. Berrios is under control for this year, 2022 & 2023? That is pretty good for a rotation this year, 2022 and 2023 with Ryu, Manoah, Stripling and Berrios. A decent #5 can be had from our #5-9 candidates. Something even better like a FA this off season makes for a very solid rotation.

Makes a lot of sense. Financial flexibility is maintained as well. Minnesota may be the wrong team for that top SP as they are probably going to try to win next year and beyond.
Kasi - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#401954) #
Berrios I think is only under control for next year. Not 2023.
jerjapan - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#401955) #
Hey Kasi, for sure, the division, to me, is only 'relatively vulnerable'.  The ALE has always been brutal, and given the markets, likely always will be. 

The Os are dreadful.  The Yanks feel dysfunctional.  Some of the 'D' I've seen from this year is amateur.  But both teams will be better next year.  

I never seem to predict the Sox right, but their offense is impressive.  The rotation makes me nervous though.  Sale coming back strong would be huge. 

Tampa isn't going anywhere.  Heck, if Franco takes off, they could be better than ever.  Of course there all star rep is hitting below the Mendoza line, because, Rays.  are they on the best run of small-market success this century?  It sure feels like it. 

It's gotten to the point where a good week by Boston and a bad week by Toronto might mean the division

Yeah, I agree with you.  to me, this season is not the right one to go all-in - but neither was 2015 to me at the time. 
scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#401956) #
Tampa is ahead mostly because they swept that 4 game series in Dunedin.
Their young prospects give them depth but not much else.

Boston's starting pitching has been a lot better than expected.
We'll see if they can sustain that, but the Jays will play them a lot in the second half.
Sale has not started his rehab yet. It looks like he'll go in the pen.

We've had several good weeks by Boston and several bad weeks by Toronto already.

uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#401957) #
the whole league is vulnerable. One big SP and RP add and we could realistically expect to be able to beat anyone.
hypobole - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#401958) #
Agree with Kasi, the vulnerability is not in the AL East. There is a vulnerability, though. Twins imploded early, Cleveland's in free fall. The Angels are Angel-ing, giving their fans a slim hope that gets crushed year after year. Seattle is the true smoke and mirrors.

Assuming, as projection systems do, that the Astros and White Sox are close to locks, that leaves Oakland as the only realistic WC contender outside the East.
Kasi - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#401959) #
Oh yeah wild card is definitely in play for sure. But you don't go all in for a wild card. 2015 was different because at around this same point Jays were basically tied for the division lead. There were 4 teams all at 1-6 games above .500. Jays were 2.5 out from the Yankees at this point and basically tied with Baltimore. Right now the Jays are 8 games back and 5.5 back of Tampa. Quite a bit different.
bpoz - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#401960) #
This trade deadline or the off season the Jays will have pretty good prospects to trade like K Smith, S Taylor, C Young and R Adams. One of those plus an ok minor league pitcher may get a Stripling like last year that is surplus because he is underperforming.

We don't need a Roark or Chase Anderson who are established as potential #4/5.
bpoz - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#401961) #
The reporters are talking about the Twins trading N Cruz and J Berrios. I think they make up a lot of stuff so I sort of believe Berrios will not be moved. We will know soon enough.
scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#401962) #
The Jays need a closer. A starter could be counterproductive since they can't just move the worse starter somewhere else.

The Twins need to move Cruz. He's a DH only, so his market is very limited.
What AL team does not have an establish DH?

I would say the Rays, but some people seem to think the Jays are DHing Guerrero, Springer, Semien, Grichuk and the like because they have no alternative. They already got Dickerson who is out of his boot. Gurriel has an OPS of .951 over the last 15 days. Cruz is a 41 year old free agent.
Where would Cruz hit in the lineup? Good problem to have or source of discord?

What if the Twins add a controllable starter to move Cruz?
Why would they? Cruz is a free agent, so off the books. Starting pitching will be hard to sign in free agency.

Just get a closer.

92-93 - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#401963) #
The Jays are 3 games back of the wild card, and only 1 in the loss column. They very obviously should be looking to add, whether that is in the cheaper form of a rental or the more expensive one of a controllable player that will help the team win in the future too. Just adding middle relievers is not enough, 2021 still matters.

They play BOS 10 times. Should they go 6-4 in those games they would have 68 games left to make up 6 in the standings. 7-3 and it's only 4 games. Plenty of baseball left.
Nigel - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#401965) #
Gallo is the player that I really think this team needs and that I would trade significant assets to acquire. The team needs some LH/RH balance and some additional on-base skills would also help.
John Northey - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#401966) #
2015 - Jays had not made the playoffs in literally decades. Owners and fans getting antsy and the GM on the hot seat.
2021 - Jays made playoffs last year, owners know TV ratings and ticket sales (once allowed) will be high for a winner.
2021: Pythagorean W-L: 50-34 vs real 44-40
2015: Pythagorean W-L: 50-34 vs real 44-42 (adjusted Pyth to this years games for ease of comparison)

2015 for July 8th to 31st was 9-9, then they took off (40-18 August/September), well, launch really started with 3 games to go in July winning those last 3 - right when Tulo joined.

2021 - where to improve? Weak on offense vs League at CA (82 sOPS+), 3B (89), LF (86), CF (88), DH (95). CF taken care of with Springer back, CA has an in house sub who could fix it (Kirk) at least on offense, that leaves LF and 3B.
LF: Gurriel: 116 OPS+ lifetime vs 93 this year - should improve and has - last 28 days: 294/307/541
3B: Panik had a 49 sOPS+ there so that is a big help dumping him. Biggio 92, Espinal 112. Biggio last 28 days: 280/371/493 so I think he is back.

So 3B and LF are maybe for improvement. The DH rotation should work better than Tellez who forgot how to hit in the majors this year (501 OPS at DH). Big issue is Grichuk stopping hitting (229/253/365 past 28 days). He is outhitting Davis but not by as much as he should (143/282/200). Of course, with Grichuk he could suddenly turn into a 900+ OPS guy tomorrow for 2 weeks or a month. Such a frustrating player.

So unlike 2015 or 1993 there isn't a painfully obvious hole to be fixed on offense, but boy is there in the pen right now, the rotation could use another top quality guy but the price would be insane most likely. Wonder if Miami would be willing to trade Sandy Alcantara? Entering arbitration years but has a few years of control so might not be willing to but would be a good target. I'd think he'd be well worth Kirk+ other prospects (probably would need 2 or 3 pitchers as part of the package). Trying to think outside the usual here - odds are the price would be sky high though. Would it be worth giving up SWR or Pearson as part of the deal? Maybe.
uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#401967) #
The thing about adding a legit top end SP and RP, is that it has a chain reaction down the pitching staff making every single other pitcher slightly better in a slightly reduced and less pressurized role.
greenfrog - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#401968) #
It will be interesting to see what it takes to land Gallo (if Texas decides to move him). I'm guessing it would take one top-10 prospect (Martin, Groshans, Moreno, Orelvis or Kirk) plus another prospect or two to get it done.

Gallo would obviously be a tremendous addition for this year and next year.

As I mentioned the other day, Marte (who has a reverse split) could be another way to upgrade the lineup against RHP. He would also add defensive versatility. He might be cheaper (and more available) than Gallo at the deadline.
scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#401973) #
Right now the worse starters are Ryu and Matz and they are not moving to the pen.
Manoah to the pen? Stripling pitching 3 or 4 innings a week?
I see a negative chain reaction here. This isn't fantasy baseball.

scottt - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#401974) #
They already got a left handed outfielder in Dickerson.

Tonight's game is rained out.

uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#401977) #
Why wouldn't Matz move to the pen? He's spent time in the pen both the last 2 seasons and hasn't been better than a #5 caliber starter since he broke into the league in 2015 and 2016, which I've been told was a different era for pitchers.
greenfrog - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#401978) #
It’s true that Dickerson (0.4 WAR) and Gallo (3.4 WAR) are both LHBs.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#401981) #
You stick with Matz because all his estimators (SIERA, xFIP, xERA, FIP) are in the high 3s or low 4s - highly respectable.

"hasn't been better than a #5 calibre starter since 2015 & 2016"

Matz's ERA- and FIP-

2018: 104, 116
2019: 101, 106
2021: 106, 102

Three seasons slightly below the average pitcher. That's in 3/4 starter territory, not 5th starter territory.
uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#401983) #

2017: 13gs, -0.4 avg war/32
2018: 30gs, 1.2 avg war/32
2019: 30gs, 1.8 avg war/32
2020: 6gs, -4.0 avg war/32
2021: 15gs, 1.8 avg war/32
John Northey - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#401984) #
For 2021 xFIP... (via FanGraphs)
Ryu: 3.94; Manoah: 4.05; Stripling: 4.29; Ray: 3.23; Matz: 3.74

Ryu: 4.17; Manoah: 3.65; Stripling: 4.10; Ray: 3.20; Matz: 3.81

So by xFIP you'd go Ray/Matz/Ryu/Manoah/Stripling
Siera: Ray/Manoah/Matz/Stripling/Ryu (weird to see Ryu at the bottom)

No system is perfect, and none catch that Stripling has drastically improved about half way through this season (7.20 ERA pre May 24 over 6 starts, 2.35 ERA since over 7 starts and a 7 IP relief game).

So who do you pull if a new guy added? Do you go to a 6 man rotation instead and hope the extra rest keeps them at 100% for the rest of the season? No way you pull Stripling right now with the way he has been going, Ryu is the ace, Ray has been great all year, Manoah has been all you could hope for from a rookie and is the future so you don't want to pull him while he is going well, so that leaves Matz who has slumped a bit.

Who knew in July we'd not really need rotation help? Given the cost of it unless someone goes down or becomes ineffective I'd not spend on it unless a deal you can't refuse shows up. Far better to work on the pen - cheaper and more bang for the buck.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#401985) #
Thanks John - yes, the very fact that it's difficult to know who is the weakest link in the starting rotation makes it difficult to upgrade.

The bullpen still has room for improvement, but with Borucki hopefully returning soon and Cimber and Richards already on board, there isn't nearly as much scope for improvement as a couple weeks ago.

I think the biggest potential upgrades are at 3B, LF and C. Hard to see them acquiring a C with the emphasis they put on Jansen's handling of the pitching staff though. Joey Gallo would be a great acquisition and nearly a perfect fit. You'd have to shift him or Teo over to left.
John Northey - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#401986) #
GabrielSyme: so true with the hard to upgrade when the holes aren't as glaring as they were a few weeks ago. Stripling looked like dead weight, Manoah was in AAA, and who trusted Ray to keep going? Then for hitting 3B was a disaster with Biggio playing poorly, Panik getting tons of time and doing poorly, Espinal fielding well but not hitting. Gurriel wasn't hitting, Springer still hurt. Tellez being used as the everyday DH and hitting like a backup infielder.

Biggio hitting decently now, Tellez gone, Springer healthy, Gurriel starting to hit, McGuire having a super-hot streak, Jansen hopefully figuring out which end of the bat to use. The rotation looks good and we have a bit of depth in the pen especially if guys start coming back from the IL. So where do you upgrade? Depends on what is available and at what price I guess.
uglyone - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#401987) #
Why are you guys choosing to deliberately ignore how deep SPs go in games?

This is a bizarre way to pretend our SP are better than they are.
dalimon5 - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#401989) #
To MIN: N.Pearson, L.Gurriel, K.Smith, D.Jansen (and stuff?)
To TOR: J.Berrios, N.Cruz (and stuff?)


Not at all. I think Pearson and Kevin Smith get you Berrios.

Gurriel Jr will get you Berrios (controllable longer).

Smith or Jansen as centre piece with C prospects added will get you Nelson Cruz.

Your package proposal is stronger than the packages paid for Yu Darvish and Blake Snell and that was before the season started.

For Berrios, think Stroman for Kay and SWR deal.

It would be something like Kloffenstein and Pardino (if he was healthy).

Pearson has more value than Berrios if there is a team out there that views him as pre-season Pearson. Is he gonna be the next Casey Mize or Forest Whitley?
John Northey - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#401990) #
OK Uglyone lets check....
IP by starters... #1 Oakland 504
#23 Padres 419 (4 1/2 out of first in NL West)
#24 Jays 415 2/3
#25 Rays 415 (2 1/2 out of first in AL East)
#26 Mets 412 2/3 (first in NL East)

So yeah, that is a killer the few innings the Jays are getting isn't it?

How many innings? 6+ in a start is solid nowadays.
  • Ryu: 5.8 per game, 6+ 9 times out of 17 starts
  • Ray: 5.85 per game, 6+ 11 times out of 16 starts
  • Manoah: 5.2 per game, 6+ 4 out of 7 starts
  • Matz: 5.09 per game, 6+ 5 times out of 15 starts
  • Stripling: since his change 5.75 per game, 6+ 3 out of 8 games
Matz is the clear problem for inning eating. Manoah's a bit low due to being ejected that one game and one other poor start (too few starts to fix that).

Do innings matter? Yes, but if you are effective then most will overlook it to get those effective innings - I'd rather have 150 solid innings vs getting 30 more with a 6 ERA for example. So who are the inning eaters who are decent (100+ ERA+) you'd go for? Who are actually available? Would you give up SWR or another top prospect to get said pitcher? Remember, for 1/2 a season of Price it cost a few top quality arms. Daniel Norris was a top 20 MLB prospect (#1 Jays according to the Box), and Matthew Boyd (#24 prospect here) is now one of the rentals people are chasing. Jairo Labourt never developed but was a top 10 prospect for the Jays according to some (#13 here). The equivalent now would be Pearson, Adam Kloffenstein, and Nick Frasso. Would you give that up for a 2015 level David Price? Would you give up more to get a guy with more than a few months left on his contract? Say for Adam Wainwright (105 ERA+, 6.2 IP/start)? Jose Berrios would cost more (123 ERA+ 5.98 IP/start, free agent after 2022).

That is why I see more pen additions as having more value. They won't cost 2 top 10 prospects+, nor do they need to be a 3 month rental to be a reasonable price. Top starters cost top prospects - and anything less than a #1 is a waste of time imo as we have 4 guys who can easily be #3's or even #2's with a solid #1 in Ryu. So lets see what you think could be gained - where are your 6+ IP per game starters with above league average ERA's?
John Northey - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#401991) #
dalimon5 - nice on paper, but no way on earth Minnesota lets Berrios go with a full year after this of control for one top prospect with injury issues and a (maybe) solid cheap outfielder. As I just posted (after yours) it would be at least 2 top 10 prospects plus 2 more. Minimum. So Pearson, Kirk, and Kloffenstein I think is a starting point but they'd want more and with the likely bidding war would get it.
hypobole - Thursday, July 08 2021 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#401992) #
The Stroman comp is actually pretty good for Berrios. The key difference is that the Jays knew they were tanking the next season so they were more motivated to sell. Are the Twins going to try to contend next year? If so, they could set a higher price on Berrios and if no one meets it, they just hold on to him.
earlweaverfan - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 06:52 AM EDT (#401993) #
Given how many teams are vying for difference-makers at the deadline, will the price of a major upgrade be too high?

I strongly agree that SP is hard to upgrade via a trade without paying too high a price. My prediction is that they continue to build up Hatch in the minors and he is the reinforcement there. Matz would slide to the pen…

Now let’s look at the current bullpen candidates for the stretch drive. Dolis has to go and Chatwood too (once he returns from IL). I am assuming Merryweather just remains a mirage. What does that leave:
• Romano
• Cimber
• Richards
• Borucki
• Matz
• Kay
• Mayza
• Castro
• Saucedo
• Barnes

No disasters left and we have the quantity but could really use more quality, the higher up the list the better.

Can we find a really strong upgrade, say on a contending team like we just did with Milwaukee? Say a team that really needs a middle infield prospect or a back-up catcher? I would really be interested to learn what it would take to snag Gallegos from the Cards.

Still, I am wondering if the in-house answer might again be the most likely, say by adding Bryan Baker to the 40-man?
dalimon5 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#401994) #
“ So Pearson, Kirk, and Kloffenstein I think is a starting point but they'd want more and with the likely bidding war would get it.”

This sounds like what everyone was saying would be needed to get Stroman, then the opposite happened. Same thing with Darvish and Snell… those packages are more similar to your proposal but you got an extra year of control of Darvish and Snell. Oh yeah, and they were both better pitchers at time of trade than Berrrios.

I don’t like Pearson, he is highly likely to flame out and his pitchers are straight as an arrow which is why I would like for him to be traded. His stock has taken a hit but that doesn’t mean he still isn’t a grade A prospect. He was ranked top pitching prospect in baseball as recently at this year, up there with Luis Patino who was the centrepiece in the Snell trade and was shelled last week by the Jays. It’s normal. On paper Pearson is better than Manoah…we just need some team/manager to buy into that so we can trade him for a good pitcher.

Lourdes Gurriel is not a “cheap solid OF,” he is a young controllable above average OF with elite potential for power with Athleticism which makes teams drool, it’s why his name has been floated for years in rumours for pitching with the Cleveland’s…for Bauer and for Carrasco.

Quick primer of recent history of trades that actually happened:

Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco get you:

Yu Darvish gets you:

Blake Snell gets you:
Mejia (once highly ranked until MLB failure small sample size)

Stroman (one less year of control) gets you:

Berrios (one less season) gets you:

You’re crazy, I don’t care how much prices go up, they won’t double up top prospects for one less year of control for a pitcher not as good as Snell or Darvish.

pubster - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#401995) #
Who does Chris Archer get you?
dalimon5 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#401996) #

Pearson or Kirk as a centerpiece similar to Patino if you’re getting an ace with 2 years control.

Add a failed or “stock down” young player like Danny Jansen.

Add High upside low ball prospect for player 3 like Kloffenstein.

High upside low ball prospect for player 4.

For a player with one less year of control you just go:

1 centerpiece

2, 3, 4 high upside lottery picks

The Jays have an embarrassment of assets:

Centerpiece options:
Pearson, Kirk, Gurriel

Failed prospect/young MLB player:
Jansen, Pardinho, Merryweather

High ball high upside: Smith, Taylor

Low ball high upside: Kloffenstein, Van Eyk…so many to choose from

And that is not touching their core prospects like SWR, Martinez, Manoah, Groshans or Martin.

dalimon5 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#401997) #
“ Who does Chris Archer get you?”

Great community player with future coaching chops

Higher budget for back specialist in house

Great colour commentator.
scottt - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#401999) #
I don't think we mess up with the outfield, or the team chemistry by dealing Gurriel.
The lineup is fine. They can deal surplus pieces, but there is no reason to distract Guerrero by trading one of his bench buddies.

Right now starting pitching is fine and there is some depth with Hatch, Kay, Zeuch, Thornton and even SWR if it comes to that.

What relievers could they target?
Richard Rodriguez from the Pirates,
Kimbrel, Cubs,
Taylor Rogers, Twins (lefty, 12.5K/9, 2.52 ERA),
Michael Fulmer, Tigers,
Daniel Bard, Rockies,
Ian Kennedy, Rangers,
Yimi Garcia, Marlins,
Kendall Graveman, Mariners,
Raisel, Iglesias, Angels,
Steve Cishek, Angels,
Joakim Soria, Diamondbacks,
Paul Fry, Orioles,
Tanner Scott, Orioles,
Mychal Givens, Rockies.

bpoz - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#402000) #
In the NL SF (1st) is on pace for 101 wins. SD (2WC) on pace for 94 wins. In the AL Boston & Houston on pace for 99 wins and Oakland (2WC) on pace for 91 wins. Jays & Seattle on pace for 85 wins.

So the Jays have a shot at the 2WC if they can win 90+ games.

dalimon5 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#402001) #
Not so bold prediction from me:

Jays will finish 2nd ahead of the Red Sox and behind the Rays.
hypobole - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#402002) #
Last year's deadline didn't have a lot of sellers, but quite a few buyers. This year is shaping up very differently. I'm guessing the cost of the elite trade pieces will stay high, but the next tiers down, especially for impending FA's will be much more of a buyers market.
92-93 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#402003) #
Even bolder prediction - the Jays and the Marlins, pythag sluggers, win their divisions. I threw a few shekels down just in case.

The bullpen list is missing a name, earlweaverfan. Axford will probably join the big club after the break, veteran presence and all.

Keep up the good fight dalimon5. Trade deadline deals are never as costly as fans think, and nobody goes "all-in". Reasonable trades can and should be made.
hypobole - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#402005) #
Remember this comment from the Fangraphs Blue Jays Top 39 in January?

"This system will probably end up near the very bottom of the farm rankings"

Well, their pre-draft team rankings are up. Tampa is still 1st by a mile. Fangraphs' 2nd most valuable farm system? Take a look.,1&type=100&filter=&pos=&team=
bpoz - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#402006) #
I like your prediction dalimon5.

Most satisfying for me is a 19win-2loss run. I have always found our win streaks to be conservative. Rarely 10 in a row.

2nd most satisfying would be 93-95 wins this season.

Of course both could happen.

I have a lot of faith in this team and FO. A run of 90+ win seasons is expected from me. That is my optimism.
Mike Green - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#402007) #
I don't know, hypobole.  FG has Nate Pearson as the Blue Jays best prospect with a FV of 60, and Alek Manoah with a FV of 50.  They don't seem to have graduated Manoah yet, and the numbers for the two of them seem odd to me. 
hypobole - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#402009) #
92-93 is right in a sense. Baseball isn't poker with all-in.

But 2015 was close to unprecedented. By the time the dealing was done, Dwight Smith was the only top 20 prospect in the system that had played even half a season above A ball. That's about as all-in for an MLB team as you'll find.
scottt - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#402010) #
The Rays have a ton of top prospects who are currently on their MLB team.
They are the one who will fall by the end of the year and they draft fairly late.
Ignoring Pearson, Manoah, Kirk

Martin 28th overall
Moreno 46th overall
SWR 59th overall
Groshans 62nd overall
Martinez 74th overall

Rays have (Ignoring  Franco, Walls, McKay)
Vidal Brujan 15th overall (ready but nowhere to play him).
Lowe AAA 41th overall
Edwards AA 75th overall
Baz AAA 82nd overall
Johnson 108th overall
Hunt  111th overall

hypobole - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#402011) #
Manoah hasn't graduated because he hasn't quite reached the 50 IP/45 days on roster yet. He was raised from 45+ to 50, because Goldstein convinced Longo to split the difference between their valuations (Longo 45+/KG 55)

But that was pretty rare, there have been few changes for any team's prospect valuations. So what shows now is fairly close to what he was describing in January, although some prospects have graduated, been removed, and therefore lowered their team's rankings.

Nonetheless that's a huge difference between near the very bottom and 2nd place.
hypobole - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#402013) #
Crazy game in San Diego last night. Darvish vs Scherzer. Darvish gives up 6 runs, leaves after 3 with an injury. Rookie reliever gives up another 2, Nats up 8-0 going into the bottom of the 4th.

Scherzer gives back 2, then loads the bases with 2 outs. Rookie reliever is left in to hit. Grand slam. The first time a pitcher's first hit is a slam since 1898. Another double and Scherzer is gone.

Padres win it in the ninth, 9-8.
uglyone - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#402015) #
"OK Uglyone lets check...."

There's an easier way to look at this, as WAR factors in both performance and innings.

TOR ranks 25th in SP fWAR.

They do look better in ra9WAR AT 11th, which is encouraging if you think it's sustainable - but 11th still isn't good enough to contend.

If you average out the two the come in in the late teens somewhere, a below average staff, which is not nearly good enough for a contender.
uglyone - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#402016) #
"Lourdes Gurriel is not a “cheap solid OF,” he is a young controllable above average OF with elite potential for power with Athleticism which makes teams drool, it’s why his name has been floated for years in rumours for pitching with the Cleveland’s…for Bauer and for Carrasco."

I don't agree with this, but if you're right then imo we should definitely take advantage of that perception and try and use him as a centerpiece in a trade for a similar age SP.

For me he's a 27yr old with a poor approach with good but not great power, who's been above average offensively so far thanks to an above average babip, but who's below average defense has still made him only about a 2war type player so far. That's a passable starter but one you'd ideally upgrade on.

And his offense doesn't project to stay much above average longterm as his babip regressed.

If execs think he's a late breaking stud in the making I'd try to take advantage of it myself.
uglyone - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#402017) #
"Remember this comment from the Fangraphs Blue Jays Top 39 in January?"

It was such a strange comment given the scouting reports in that article indicated the opposite.
92-93 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#402018) #
If the Marlins can't extend Marte then Gurriel seems like a good fit for them, all things considered. Perhaps there's another trade to be made with the Fish.
greenfrog - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#402019) #
If Gurriel Jr. had some trade value in 2019-2020, that value has probably dropped significantly. He’s now almost 28 and his performance this year hasn’t been especially good (90 wRC+, 3% walk rate, 0.3 WAR in half a season). At some point, athleticism has to translate into performance.
hypobole - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#402021) #
Gurriel is also one of the worst flycatchers in baseball. Only Clint Frazier has cost his team more this year. To be fair there are a bunch of guys who've been worse so far (23 of 227 worse than Gurriel), but their teams don't keep playing them in the OF almost every day.

Got me thinking - I've never heard of a guy with bad reads and routes, especially at his age, ever becoming good. I'm sure it must have happened, but I've never heard of it. Maybe it's just a thing like the ability to spin a curveball that players either have or don't.
John Northey - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#402022) #
Ummm... Sorry uglyone but a #11 starting staff is more than adequate to contend if you have an above average offense. 10 teams make the post season so being #11 in any category puts that on the edge of being an asset to making the playoffs. On offense the Jays are 3rd (Houston at 78 then White Sox 44, Jays 41, everyone else below 36). By wRC+ the Jays are 2nd with 112 vs Houston 121, then a batch at 109. And that is with the black hole behind the plate and at 3B most of this season, a poor hitting LF, and DH having Tellez's 67 OPS+ there for too long while Springer was hurt. So if the staff is performing at a near top 10 level that is wonderful this year. If we had a bottom 10 offense, then it would be an issue.

Now, 25th sounds a lot worse, but that also has some * on it. Stripling is a completely different pitcher than he was in April/May and Manoah has only had half the starts for a #5 guy - mainly due to the Jays shuffling like mad trying to find a solid top 5. So I'd remember that in 2015 the Jays at this point didn't have 2 of their key guys yet (Price & Stroman) while a 3rd (Aaron Sanchez) was hurt and moved to the pen due to that.
scottt - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#402023) #
A few things here. Gurriel played mostly shortstop in the minors. Probably the same thing in Cuba.

It's not uncommon for corner infielders to play in LF. These guys are usually slow, so it's much less apparent if they take a bad route as they take longer to get going. I've seen shortstops play in center, because they have good wheels.

Left field can be tricky to judge because the ball is usually slicing when it gets there.
I don't think there is a left field fielding practice.
All the outfielders practice from center field.

Teoscar Hernandez was pretty bad in left field a few years back.
It seems he's improved, but he hardly plays there.

John Northey - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#402024) #
FYI: by raw ERA for starters in 1993 the Jays were #21 in the majors. Yet they won the world series. Guess that wasn't adequate to contend eh?
bpoz - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#402025) #
I personally think the 2015 trade deadline changed the team a lot. Better talent added at the deadline. Also good luck may have kicked in causing an incredible winning streak/record till the end of the year.
jerjapan - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#402026) #
WAMCO though.  93 was the pinnacle of the franchise. 

TBH, this offensive core of ours is going to need it's own nickname sooner or later.  It's genuinely exciting watching these young guys play.  Gurriel fits the team's loose, confident vibe, and if trading him is selling low, I'd sooner work with him.  I can't believe he doesn't improve in left, he's more than athletic enough, and he does work on it fairly often.  I also think he has more to offer at bat, but clock's been ticking for a while.  this may just be who he is.  still useful, given that great contract though. 

As for our rotation, I could easily see Ryu, Ray, Manoah, Stripling being more than competitive enough. 

scottt - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#402028) #
It seems that comment came because they scouted only 39 Blue Jays.
47 Red Sox, 45 Orioles, 48 Yankees, 62 Rays but only 39 Blue Jays.
Willful blindness.
So, of course, a bunch of guys they completely ignored have been really good so far.

I'm guessing that they are biased towards the teams with the most paying fans.
Maybe there's no money to be made in reminding the legions of Yankees fans that Aaron Judge will soon be on the wrong side of 30.

GabrielSyme - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#402030) #
On evaluating the starting rotation going forward, we should prefer xFIP to FIP as being more predictive. The Jays' starters are 10th in xFIP-.

It may be that some of the rather large gap between xFIP and FIP is due to the statistics not being able to properly account for the home run environments in Dunedin and Buffalo.

GabrielSyme - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#402031) #
I am surprised the team has never tried Gurriel out at 3B. He's athletic and quick-twitch, but not that fast, and has that great arm. You'd think it would be a good fit, when it's clear left field is not.
Michael - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#402032) #
The FG rankings has Tampa with the best prospect in Baseball at 80 ranking worth $180 million. And if you take away the best prospect in baseball from their team... they still have the best ranking farm system. That certainly is far and away 1st place.

Even if you somehow remove both Pearson and Manoah from the Jays, but don't adjust anyone else's farm system (which isn't fair as other teams similarly have people who have graduated but don't have the numbers yet to no longer be prospects) the Jays only fall from 2nd to 11th. And again that is unfair to do this to only the Jays. So the Jays rate to be easily a safely top 10 organization going in to this year's draft.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#402033) #
" As for our rotation, I could easily see Ryu, Ray, Manoah, being more than competitive enough."

Yes, they are competitive but I'd like to see the Jays with a true ace, a fireballer that, when he takes the mound, it's almost guaranteed win night. Ryu is really good some games but he's getting older and gets lit up more often, like the first game of the playoffs last year. The staff is certainly better than last year with Tanner Roark and Chase Anderson, and the forgettable 2019 staff that gave innings to Clay Buchholz, Clayton Richard and Edwin Jackson. There's being better and then there's " we got a good chance to do well in the playoffs" better. Of course, they have to get there first.

I kept wondering who the biker-type dude with the bushy beard and tatooed arms was in the Jay's dugout. His name was mentioned the other night as Vlad was goofing around behind him -- it's Scott Weberg, the strength and conditioning coach.
Nigel - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#402035) #
hypobole - the issue of route running as an innate skill is something that I have commented on before. I absolutely believe that to be the case. There was a study that I read a few years ago (I tried to find it online) that was done with football receivers. The gist of the test was to have football receivers, from various stationary points and angles, estimate the landing point of a football in flight (using a machine as a thrower (i.e. some standardization)). The results generally showed that there was a huge range in ability to judge the landing point and that over time, using the same participants, there was only limited improvement from those experiencing the most difficulty in judging.

I agree generally with uo on Gurriel. Having said that, there have been wild variations in Gurriel's performance over his time in Toronto and if there is a front office who "saw him good" they would be wise to cash in on that cache.
bpoz - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#402037) #
The sticky stuff will play a role. TB has lost Glasnow which should be a factor.

I think getting a bat like N Cruz or 1/2 relievers is easier than a good SP. However we did get T Walker last year. He pitched better for us than Seattle. I don't know what we gave up. Stripling with his years of control was lousy for us and LAD. We got Ray +cash for T Bergen. Salary dump because he was bad for Arizona and mediocre for us.

Ryu was great last year but just good this year.

Last year we were desperate for SPs this year we are in good shape. Matz was decent this April and got worse every following month.

In the end 8 playoff teams for 2020 is the biggest difference.
scottt - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#402038) #
Well, Tulo wasn't as good offensively as Reyes.
Colabello was a great hitter with no position.
Valencia was a good hitter but apparently a bad guy to hang around, so they dropped him.
Ezequiel Carrera was pretty limited.
Cliff Pennington was part of the deadline add, no?
Goins went 0-for-17 against Texas. Tulo, 2 for 21.

I always thought that dropping Buehrle was a weird move.
They were left exposed once they lost Cecil.
Hawkins couldn' t get 3 outs in the only game they use him in Texas.
Same thing happened against KC, 3 outs, 5 earned runs.
Dickey had a bad start and they had no long relief guy.
Lowe didn't pitch well for Toronto.
Pennington threw for one out.

92-93 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#402039) #
Since April 28th Gurriel is hitting .290/.308/.498 with 28r 10hr 31rbi in 57 games. 41:7 K:BB in 228 PA with a .314babip.

He's still relatively new to the outfield, it's not unreasonable to think he could improve.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#402042) #
I view Moreno, Martin, and Woods-Richardson as the untouchables.

Pearson is a tough call. Ready to move on, just not by July 31st. I might try him in the bullpen later this season, then consider a trade in the winter.

Kirk is another one. The catcher's box is crowded and somebody needs to go. It may be pure sentimentality, but Kirk is way too much fun.

Gurriel Jr. remains the best trade chip on the active roster. However, the potential disruption of moving him right now is not good for anyone.

So, who is left to barter with? (Herein lies the problem.) Smith, Groshans? Is trading Matz an idea? How about a creative three-way deal?

scottt - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#402044) #
Overall, it's kinda weird that he wasn't tried at third base.
That's where his brother mostly played before ending up at first.
They usually put Biggio in right even though he doesn't have the arm.

Nigel - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#402046) #
Leaside - if the Angels offered you Ohtani or Trout for those three, would they really be untouchable? :) Its a ridiculous example only to make that point that its ok to value certain prospects highly and to only want to exchange a prospect for your price but no prospect should ever be untouchable. Particularly not pitching prospects. Given the failure rate of prospects, I probably rate all prospects less highly than most, so maybe my perspective isn't in line with the crowd on this one.
uglyone - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#402048) #
"On evaluating the starting rotation going forward, we should prefer xFIP to FIP as being more predictive. The Jays' starters are 10th in xFIP-"

Unfortunately the homer-proneness of our SP doesn't seem to be fluke, but just a part of their skillset.
Nigel - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#402051) #
uo - I think the HR's are certainly part of the package with Ray. He has enough career innings to be able to draw that conclusion. Hence ERA and FIP are probably better predictors than xFIP for him. Matz is trending that way too, although it may be a bit early to say that definitively.
GabrielSyme - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#402053) #
"Unfortunately the homer-proneness of our SP doesn't seem to be fluke, but just a part of their skillset."

It's been a while since I've delved into this, I believe it takes a very long time before a pitcher outperforming their xFIP is predictive. So, while xFIP isn't the absolute answer, we should be heavily regressing any observed xFIP underperformance or overperformance.
dalimon5 - Friday, July 09 2021 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#402069) #
I think there are many people in baseball who think Gurriel is untapped. I am not one of them and see him exactly as Ugly describes, mostly because of his recent streaky performances and errors in the last 2 years as described by greenfrog.

Pearson is well on his way for me to filling this same trajectory. I’d focus on trying to unload both of these players as “elite” or “untapped potential” very good players if there are takers at those prices. So yeah… if it gets you a German Marquez or something real then yes do it.

The more I look into Pearson the less I like him. He’s had no durability or consistency for a lengthy time in the minors. He’s screaming “fluke” to me and apparently he’s completely obsessed with his velocity above all else.

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