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Road Trip!

It's the Steven Matz homecoming trip - tonight's starter for the Jays spent his first six MLB seasons in the other team's dugout and hails from nearby Long Island. He's probably been hitting on his teammates all week for tickets for tonight's game. He will be motivated!

Matz's former squad sits atop the NL East with a fairly impressive 50-43 record, achieved mainly by playing .667 ball right here at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom, their awesome ace, the Best Pitcher on Planet Earth, is on the IL and so is their big off-season acquisition, shortstop Francisco Lindor. Second baseman Robinson Cano, of course, was suspended for the entire season last November. But here they are.

Luis Rojas is the man who manages this crew - he was something of an emergency hire, in the wake of the Astros scandal that led to the Mets cutting ties with Carlos Beltran before he'd managed a single game. Rojas is an organization man with baseball bloodlines - his father is Felipe Alou, Moises is his half-brother. Rojas spent 13 seasons as a coach and manager in the Mets system before joining the major league team as a coach in 2019 and he's still a few months shy of his 40th birthday.

The Jays won't face their old chum Marcus Stroman this weekend, although knowing Stroman he's probably furiously lobbying Rojas for a chance to pitch on Sunday with three days rest (and his manager is probably saying "I understand, but we need to beat the Braves more than we need to beat these guys. You're pitching on Monday, Marcus.")

There will still be plenty of former Jays to say hello to, although Billy McKinney has just been dispatched to the Dodgers, Brandon Drury is down in AAA, and Sean Reid-Foley is on the IL. Tajuan Walker will start tomorrow night. He's coming off an unfortunate outing that saw him give up 6 runs in a third of an inning, thanks largely to his own spectacular error - still, retiring just one of nine batters is never a key to success. Slow rollers up the line notwithstanding, Walker's pitching just as well as everyone expected him to and he's managed to remain healthy so far, never a sure thing with him. Aaron Loup has been having an outstanding season, and has somehow hit just 2 batters in 31 IP so far this season. Miguel Castro has settled in as a competent back of the bullpen piece and somehow is still just 26 years old. Yennsy Diaz is also out in the Mets bullpen - he had his MLB debut with the Jays back in 2019, walked 4 of the 7 batters he faced, and went to the Mets (along with Reid-Foley) in the Matz trade. And Jonathan Villar is more or less the regular third baseman.

Do we care about any of these guys? Not that much. But we surely remember Kevin Pillar with great fondness. We had some times, didn't we? Not to be forgotten. Pillar seems to be slipping into a role as the fourth outfielder, as Brandon Nimmo has returned from almost two months on the IL to take over in centre field. Nimmo and home run derby king Pete Alonso are really the only dangerous hitters on this team - everyone else is pretty average, although no one is actually terrible.

The Mets may need to make a roster move - Jerad Eickhoff, currently listed as Sunday's starter, was actually Designated For Assignment last Tuesday - but the guy who took his spot (Robert Stock) and started against Cincinnati on Tuesday hurt his hamstring,† had to leave the game, and is now on the IL.

We haven't heard yet if the Jays need to make a roster move - Danny Jansen went limping off the field Wednesday night and Alejandro Kirk was pulled from Buffalo's game shortly thereafter. Nothing official yet. Jansen has "right hamstring tightness" and the team was waiting to see how he felt the next day. To Be Updated As Necesary!

And welcome to the world, Cleveland Guardians.

But seriously - is this the best they could do? It's a missed opportunity. They could have been the Cleveland Rocks, and made Ian Hunter fans everywhere proud. They could have been the Spiders, although it should be understood that this team was never called the Spiders and it might have been a case of tempting fate to bring that name back. The Spiders were a different franchise, in the National League, who folded after their infamous 20-134 season in 1899 (the team's owners also owned the St. Louis franchise, and had sent all Cleveland's good players to Missouri. You know, guys like Cy Young, Jesse Burkett, and Bobby Wallace, all of whom have plaques in Cooperstown.)

This team started out in the Western League as the Grand Rapids Rustlers in 1894. They moved to Cleveland in 1900, where they called themselves the Cleveland Lake Shores. In 1901, the Western League remade itself as the American League, and the Cleveland team started calling themselves the Bluebirds (the press called them the Blues.) The players tried to adopt the name Broncos, but it didn't catch on. They then became the Naps, short for Napoleons after their great second baseman Napoleon Lajoie. When Lajoie moved on in 1915, upon the suggestion of the local press they went with Indians, which had been a nickname for the Spiders when Lou Sockalexis of the Penobscot tribe had played for them. And now this.

It's still an improvement.


Fri July 23 - Matz (8-4, 4.43) vs Megill (0-0, 2.63)
Sat July 24 - Ryu (9-5, 3.32) vs Walker (7-3, 2.99)
Sun July 25 - Stripling (3-6, 5.04) vs Eickhoff (0-1, 4.96)
Blue Jays at Mets, July 23-25 | 220 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Polite Nate - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#403183) #
Feels like the Jays, Mets and Brewers are all on the same wavelength or using the same player models. So many names that seem to float between the three of them over the past decade.
scottt - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#403185) #
This continue the tradition of naming teams after newspaper.
What's no to like?

By the way, the main newspaper in Cleveland is The Plain Dealer.
No, seriously.

92-93 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#403186) #
Mets just got Rich Hill from TB, so the Jays will likely face him in one of these games.
pooks137 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#403189) #
The Jays connection with Atlanta is obvious with AA running the front office.

The pipeline to the Mets is less clear, as IIRC, JP Ricciardi hasn't been employed by the Mets since the Sandy Alderson days.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#403191) #
Hill was supposed to start for the Rays tonight, so once the trade's official he gets himself from Cleveland to New York. Probably in time for the Sunday game.
pooks137 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#403192) #
Tampa trades are often confusing.

My original thought was that the Rays needed to clear some salary to take on Nelson Cruz, but Hill is only making 2.5 million.

Then I thought maybe they had to clear a roster spot, but that doesn't work either since they took Tommy Hunter back in the trade.
Nigel - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#403194) #
I think Hunter is done for the season. I suspect that thereís a decent (not a great) prospect coming back. If so, the Cruz and Hill deals are just a smart sequence of deals to reallocate assets to strengthen the TB offence at the expense of some pitching depth.
John Northey - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#403195) #
That's the Rays for you - getting a 4th round 2020 pick in Matt Dyer (CA/1B/RF), Tommy Hunter, currently on the IL, for a 41 year old starter having a great comeback year.  Not bad for Tampa, turning an older free agent who had a solid season in 2020 singed to a deal worth less than he made in 2020, then flipping him mid-season for a kid and cheap vet reliever.  Saves them around $1 million I'd guess (always important down there) while weakening the team a bit but knowing Tampa they have someone lined up to replace Hill.  So weird how they operate almost like a kid playing a video game - flipping pieces constantly and somehow always ending up on top.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#403196) #
Tampa trades are often confusing.

I suppose the immediate question there is who take's Hill's spot in the rotation. Glasnow's probably at least a month away. They just traded two of their Durham starters to get Cruz - they've generally called on Luis Patino when they needed a starter, but he is a 21 year old with 5 MLB starts and a 5.26 ERA. Chris Archer just started a rehab assignment but I doubt they're counting on him. I'd stay tuned.
hypobole - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#403198) #
for a 41 year old starter having a great comeback year

Not so. His ERA is the highest since 2013 and his last 7 starts it's 5.40 with an .876 OPS. He's been showing his age and Tampa will get something back from a team that's desperate for starting pitching.
hypobole - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#403199) #
Might want to look at what Shane Baz has been doing in AA and AAA. There's a reason Law has him as the #4 prospect in the minors.
Thomas - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#403200) #
I wouldn't be surprised if Tampa bandaged it over in the next few weeks until Glasnow's returned from the IL using guys like Collin McHugh and Dietrich Enns.

I suspect they won't want to call up Baz and it looks like McKay and Honeywell Jr. aren't healthy/stretched out.
Thomas - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#403202) #
Fangraphs has just finished it's annual Trade Value Series. Bo finished inside the top 20 and Vladdy placed second to Fernando Tatis Jr.
Gerry - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#403204) #

MLB to test electronic device for catchers to give signals to pitchers

Interesting experiment to start in the minor leagues

hypobole - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#403205) #
Yeah, Tampa most likely doesn't want to call Baz up, but if the multiple options for Hill's spot don't work out, he's very much an ace in the hole.
Polite Nate - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#403206) #
The Fangraphs trade value series is always interesting to read, but it's sort of strange because a better name for it would be "Top 50 Players Who Absolutely Won't Be Traded This Season".
dalimon5 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#403208) #
Steve Philips and Scott Mitchel today:

Max Scherzer and German Marquez are ideal targets for FO

Pearson - trade him because his injuries are a concern and he hasn't developed due to lots of missed time.

Austin Martin - trade him as he is trending away from "Star top 5 draft pick"

Alejandro Kirk - trade him he is very attractive

Moreno - keep he is a stud

Orelvis Martinez - keep he is a stud
85bluejay - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#403209) #
I've been wondering for some time why MLB did not adopt an electronic signal system to cut out the allegations of sign stealing - no more man in white - of course I wouldn't be surprised if some team hacked into the system.
bpoz - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#403210) #
The Brewers are quite comfortably in 1st place in the NLC at the moment.

They are not rebuilding right now IMO. BUT they acquired W Adames and R Tellez recently for non essential pitching. Adames is doing great as the regular SS and Tellez is a PH at the moment. A cheap and interesting retooling/youth movement.

Yelich was bad in 2020 and bad this year. He probably does not get a big contract when he is a FA unless he rebounds.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#403212) #
"Alejandro Kirk - trade him he is very attractive "

I only consider him mildly handsome.

scottt - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#403213) #
I don't follow the logic.
Pearson could be the best reliever the Jays have over the last 2 months, so instead trade him while his value is low?
Martin trended away from "Star top 1 draft pick" the day of the draft. He's only 22, can play positions of need and gets on base at a high click.
Why is Kirk more attractive to another team than to the Jays?

Scherzer can block any deal and gets to decide where he goes.
Marquez will be pricey. It would be better for the Jays to get him now than over the winter, but it works the other way for the Rockies who will have more suitors if they wait until the offseason.

Kasi - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#403215) #
I like Phillips, but like Bowden I don't pay his opinion all that much when it comes to trades and the like. I somewhat agree that it would be better to trade a helium prospect than one who is down atm. Who though is our helium prospects? You could have said earlier this season it was SWR. Are Moreno and Orelvis that or are they just that good?

Maybe Kirk and Smith are the only ones who are projecting better than what you think they are. Clearly Pearson and Martin are not quite performing as much as expected so I think trading them would be selling low unless you think they're just going to continue getting worse and this is the only value you can get from them.
JohnL - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#403216) #
Hazel Mae tweets:
Alejandro Kirk expected to be back with the big club tonight, and make the start behind the plate for LHP Steven Matz.
bpoz - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#403218) #
Something to remember is that we are speculating as a fun thing to do. The writers are speculating for viewership. They have ways to calculate their success at generating viewership which matters more than being right or wrong. For us the speculating is fun but I want to be reasonably right.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#403219) #
Alejandro Kirk expected to be back with the big club tonight

Waiting to hear from the Not-So-Handsome-One. Expecting something like "free at last, free at last, thank God almighty..."

You know what frightens me about Kirk and Moreno? It's not them. It's the utter inability of this franchise, over more than 40 freaking years, to produce a good major league catcher. It's positively spooky by now. And spooky is scary!
dalimon5 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#403220) #
BREAKING NEWS: 30 teams interested in Max Scherzer.

Kidding, but these MLB Trade Rumour posts are terrible.

"Pearson could be the best reliever the Jays have over the last 2 months, so instead trade him while his value is low?"

Because some team may still view him as a big time starting pitching prospect with Ace upside.

"Martin trended away from "Star top 1 draft pick" the day of the draft. He's only 22, can play positions of need and gets on base at a high click."

Their point was that he lacks a lot of power with I think only 2 home runs this year and looks more like a very strong utility player than a star or very good player like Bichette, Martinez, Groshans who all have that potential

"Why is Kirk more attractive to another team than to the Jays?"

He is just very attractive to have (as a commodity) to other teams because he is very very good and can play catcher. Most teams would not be including that type of prospect in a trade package but the Jays have Moreno who is even better.
uglyone - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#403221) #
The beauty of these two Mike is that their bats are so good they don't need to stick at C.
John Northey - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#403222) #
Well, 40 years is a bit much.
  • 1987: Greg Myers* (7.3 WAR lifetime, played regularly a lot,over 1100 games in the majors)
  • 1988: Pat Borders (3.6 WAR lifeime, but a WS MVP, over 1000 games in the majors - remember older stats are very limited on defensive measures, no framing stats exist)
  • 2010: J.P. Arencibia (1.9 WAR lifetime, regular for 3 years)
  • 2012: Yan Gomes (yeah, given away but developed here, 16.5 WAR so far, 2.0 this year, all-star and silver slugger, over 800 games in majors)
So 1 star, 2 regulars (one a WS MVP), and a guy who was a brief regular.  Poor quality stats I suspect drag down Borders especially (they were just starting to figure out how to track pitches automatically then, I loved the shot from the roof of the dome over the plate).

OK< that really isn't too impressive.  But don't forget catchers who were switched over such as Carlos Delgado (416 games behind the plate in the minors, 2 in majors)  and Ed Sprague.(72 in minors, 18 in majors).  More because they were more valuable elsewhere (Delgado's bat just too good to risk injuries from catching - why they left him there as long as they did is beyond me).
scottt - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#403223) #
I think you need to phrase it the other way. Pearson has not been been able to stay on the mound and didn't pitched well when he has, so maybe this is the right time for a GM to try to get him for basically nothing. Pearson for Berrios  would be interesting, but they want 1 player with MLB experience and 2 top 100 prospects.

The point is that Martin was drafted 5th overall, so somebody will offer "something" for him. Since he's a 22 year old prospect, it would be a team selling its older players at the deadline.

What team needs offense from the catching position more than the Jays and would overpay for Kirk?
A commodity is a player that can be traded. Moreno will not play in the MLB this year. He's not part of the same conversation.

The Jays have to trade none of these players. Some teams have players to sell. They'll go to the best offer.
It doesn't have to be a high offer. There are not many buyers. Most of the buyers have no money to spend.
The Jays have Hatch, Pearson, Axford and maybe Merryweather who might actually be all Toronto needs.

Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#403225) #
Myers and Borders both had long careers, but even so, if they're the best we've got, we ain't got much! Myers was his team's number one catcher 3 times in his 18 seasons (Toronto 1991 and 2003, Minnesota 1996.) Borders had 5 of his 17 seasons as the top guy, all in Toronto. Borders, of course, was Delgado in reverse. He became a catcher after four years in the Jays' system failing as an infielder.

It's a franchise that's almost always imported their catchers from other organizations: Cerone, Ashby, Whitt, Martinez, Santiago, O'Brien, Fletcher, Zaun, Barajas, Martin. Even Ken Huckaby.
Thomas - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#403226) #
I only consider him mildly handsome.

Depends if you like a poor man's version of the Dad Bod.

JohnL - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#403227) #
Robinzon Diaz may have only played one game for the Blue Jays, and didnít have much of a ML career, but he sure contributed to the Jays!
Mike Green - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#403228) #
How many teams have produced (and kept) a good major league catcher over the last 20 years?  The Giants (Posey), the Dodgers (Russ Martin), the Cardinals (Molina),Atlanta (McCann), Texas (Rodriguez), Pittsburgh (Kendall), Kansas City (Perez), Minnesota (Mauer), the Phillies (Ruiz), , and the Brewers (Lucroy).  The Blue Jays would have had one of the same general quality as Lucroy had they held on to Yan Gomes.
Mike Green - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#403230) #
If you go back to 1977, you can include the Expos (Carter),  the Yankees (Posada), the Tigers (Parrish), the A's (Steinbach), the Padres (Santiago), the Orioles (Hoiles), the Marlins (Johnson), the Cubs (Jody Davis), the White Sox (Karkovice) and the Mets (Stearns).  Teams that have not really produced and kept a catcher would be the Mariners (Dave Valle/Zunino/Johjima), Tampa (Chirinos?), Cleveland (Hassey?), the Angels (Bengie Molina?), the Reds (so many have come through since Bench but not much good). 

I guess the Snakes had Monteiro between 2000 and 2020. 

It's a hard position.  Quiroz would likely have been very good had he not been injured. 
bpoz - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#403231) #
Completely agree with Magpie. The Jays cannot develop catchers. Developing SPs is their strength. H Danner had better odds (historically) as a pitcher. Max Pentecost failed. Pentecost an AA draft pick and Danner an Atkins draft pick.

Kirk and Moreno were both signed by this FO. 2016. Maybe our luck has changed.
greenfrog - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#403232) #
I wouldn't have an issue with the Jays keeping all their catching prospects and seeing which one (if any) emerges as a star.

These situations always remind me of the Nicolino/Sanchez/Syndergaard predicament that the Jays had a few years ago. Do you keep one, two, or all three of your "big three" prospects? People often think, well, keep two and trade one (i.e., trade from an area of strength to bolster an area of weakness). The problem is that (despite a lot of big opinions on the subject) no one really knows which of your prospects will turn out to be successful -- and stay healthy.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#403233) #
So Yan Gomes is the best catcher produced by the system - ever- and they gave him away. I suppose the same is true of the Mariners, but at least the guy they gave away was Jason Varitek.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#403234) #
Robinzon Diaz may have only played one game for the Blue Jays

Rick Cerone can't match that but Damaso Garcia and Chris Chambliss (who was instantly flipped for Bonnell and McLaughlin) wasn't bad. Too bad about the Ashby deal.
BlueJayWay - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#403235) #
You know what frightens me about Kirk and Moreno? It's not them. It's the utter inability of this franchise, over more than 40 freaking years, to produce a good major league catcher. It's positively spooky by now. And spooky is scary!

Seriously this. 'Catcher of the future' seems to be a cursed tag to put on anyone in the Jays system.
jerjapan - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#403236) #
This FO places a priority on up the middle talent though.  I could easily see 2 or 3 of our current catchers on the 40 man outperforming yan gomes, the one that got away.  gone are the days of the slow, chunky guy playing catcher.  these young guys are super athletic. 
Kasi - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#403237) #
Uhh we do have Kirk who is the definition of the slow chunky guy playing catcher.
vw_fan17 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#403240) #
Any thoughts on a Rafael Montero for Tyler Chatwood swap? Two guys needing a change of scenery, both on relatively inexpensive contracts?
scottt - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#403241) #
Jansen to the IL, Kirk up.
Valera off the Bereavement List, Murphy down.

It's good to have extra bats in a NL park series.

John Northey - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#403242) #
Agreed Magpie, but the Jays have developed something there.
  • Pitching the Jays have done reasonably well in, with a HOF'er and many All-Stars. Stieb, Key, Leal, David Wells, Stottlemyre, Cerutti, Hentgen, Carpenter,
  • 1B has the motherload: McGriff, Olerud, Vlad. Plus Cecil Fielder, Lind, and Upshaw.
  • 2B has been a problem at times, but Aaron Hill and Craig Biggio both looked good. Hill more so (over 20 WAR) at this point in time.
  • 3B Sprague was the only one fully developed here, I don't count Vlad or Biggio as 3B. Ainge was a basketball player at 3B.
  • SS Fernandez, Alex Gonzalez, Bo. Also a ML manager in Woodward
  • LF Shannon Stewart, Reed Johnson, Snider, Thames, Gurriel
  • CF Moseby, Wells, Pillar
  • RF Barfield, Felix, Whiten, Green, Rios, Teoscar Hernandez (still can't believe he was the most used CF in 2019)
Note: I skipped rule 5 guys, and most traded for guys unless they were low minors
christaylor - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#403243) #
The lack of catcher is spooky. Also, probably they ought not to trade infield prospects...

Is Aaron Hill the one and only 2B the Jays have drafted and developed to the play a season with Jays in the majors?

It's not zero but it's pretty thin there too. (Yes, I'm ignoring Yan Gomes to not have to include Michael Young and Jeff Kent as Jays products).

Chuck - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#403244) #
Orlando Hudson?
mathesond - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#403245) #
Orlando Hudson? Didn't he last a year as a Jays 2B?
uglyone - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#403246) #
Looks like we gonna need more clutch hitting.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#403247) #
1B has the motherlode: McGriff, Olerud, Vlad. Plus Cecil Fielder, Lind, and Upshaw.

Upshaw was a Rule 5 guy as well. And while McGriff was in the low minors - he had just turned 19, and never played above Rookie Ball - even so, he was the point of the trade for the Dale Murray trade, and was described as such from day one. They were already talking about him the way we've talked about Vlad these last few years.
christaylor - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#403248) #
Ah! I apologize to the O-dawg. For some reason I thought it was him and not Homer Bush that was in the Wells deal.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#403249) #
Orlando Hudson? Didn't he last a year as a Jays 2B?

Three seasons, won a Gold Glove, went to Arizona in the Troy Glaus deal.

Glenallen Hill also played 1000 games in the majors, most of them after being traded away. But I suppose Mitch Webster shouldn't count.
92-93 - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#403250) #
As much as many would like to forget 2020, Cavan Biggio was drafted and developed by your Toronto Blue Jays, and was the starting 2B for most of 2019 as well.

Kirk sure hustles for a short and fat dude.
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#403251) #
I'm sure there are more outfielders from Latin America who came up in the Jays system, never could fight their way into the Toronto lineup, and made it somewhere else. Oakland had one whose name I just can't quite recall. So did the Twins. Names? Anyone? Not Robert Perez, but that sort of vintage.
christaylor - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#403252) #
I still see enough in Biggio that he'd be a name not to forget in a few years. I do wonder if he'll do 162 at 2B for the Jays either through position change or trade.

Also, please let me forget 2020. :)
Spifficus - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#403254) #
Berroa (Braves and As) and Munoz (Twins), Magpie? They had a year or two of decency.
greenfrog - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#403255) #
Nelson Cruz has homered, and the Rays are up 4-3 on Cleveland.
Chuck - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#403256) #
Oakland had one whose name I just can't quite recall.

Felix Jose?

Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#403257) #
Yes, Geronimo Berroa and Pedro Munoz are the guys I was trying to remember.

Jayson Werth (started as a catcher) and Derek Bell both had long MLB careers in the outfield. So did Casey Blake at 3b and Luis Sojo everywhere.

Mike Sharperson should have had a better career (and a longer life) but he did make it to an All-Star game and get a World Series ring with the Dodgers. And I don't know what happened to Brent Abernathy. He went to Tampa Bay, had a good year, and they cut him loose. Did he get hurt? Could he not handle 2b?
Magpie - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#403259) #
That was a weirdly impressive AB from Matz, who it turns out is .172/.203/.253 lifetime with 3 HRs - not quite Danny Jansen, but disturbingly close.
Thomas - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#403260) #
It's funny, as soon as I read John's list and his comment, Orlando Hudson was the first name that sprung to mind, and then i saw the same thing had occurred for about three other posters.

Matz looked like he just decided to pump a fastball right down the middle for the pitcher and it didn't quite work.

The Mets broadcasters have been waxing nostalgic about the Jays World Series teams. It's nice to hear other teams' crews speak so fondly of those teams.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#403261) #
" 1b has the motherlode: McGriff, Olerud, Vlad. Plus Cecil Fielder, Lind and Upshaw."

John, how could you forget Carlos Delgado?
Spifficus - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#403262) #
These guys must be an insular group, because they're playing like they don't want any new teammates at the deadline.

And yes, Kasi, this one's on the offense.
hypobole - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#403263) #
That game was like one of those science fiction creatures that sucks the life out of a person, leaving a dry empty husk.
tercet - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#403264) #
Expert job by Montoyo leaving loggy Borucki in vs Alonso.
hypobole - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#403265) #
Kasi - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#403266) #
Borucki is a loogy now? Thatís news to me. Anyway maybe that Elite offense shows up soon.
Nigel - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#403268) #
Iíll say what I said about 6 weeks ago. What to do with Semien is the most interesting personnel decision that this management team has had to face. Keeping, selling and attempting to extend all have pluses and minuses. The team has now moved to the fringes of the playoff race. If they were obviously in or obviously out the choices would be narrowed, but the current situation is the hardest/most interesting of all.
hypobole - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#403269) #
Montoyo couldn't pull Borucki because of the 3 batter rule.
tercet - Friday, July 23 2021 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#403270) #
Yep, his splits as a reliever are not pretty
Kasi - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 02:32 AM EDT (#403271) #
So? With the 3 batter rule you canít think of pitchers in terms of LOOGY or ROOGY. Almost all pitchers have splits you just have to manage them well with the team you face and what part of the lineup it is. Plenty of the other relievers on the team have splits as well and you just have to manage the best with them.
scottt - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#403274) #
Semien is the easiest decision this management has to make. QO at the end of the year.

The interesting decision is figuring out the move to make to get back into serious contention.

scottt - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#403275) #
Borucki's best pitch was his change up.
He breaking ball was always a question and he didn't have enough velo on his fastball to challenge hitters.

Moved to the pen he throws hard and he's found a breaking pitch that works, but he doesn't throw the change anymore since he's facing lefties most of the time. He'd be terrific if he could bring back the change against right bats. He throws harder, so he's got a bigger margin but he doesn't have the time to get a good feel in a single inning, so the control is down.

The Mets were throwing outside and the Jays were hitting long fly balls. 

92-93 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#403276) #
Five games back in July (and only 2 in the loss column) is not the fringes of the playoff race, even if it's just for a one game wild card.

As for Semien, the Jays are not in a spot where outspending the market on a long term deal for a 31 year old middle infielder makes much sense. They need pitching, pitching, and then more pitching. After that they need a 3B and could benefit from adding a little more left-handedness to the lineup. If Semien is open to a reasonable 3 year extension right now that's a different story, but the Jays should not get involved in an open bidding process. Take the one year contract win, pick up a draft pick, and move on.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#403277) #
If that is what they plan to do then they will need to trade a kings ransom of prospects to get the pitching. I don't see anything interesting available other than Scherzer and Syndergaard becoming available as free agents.

If you think Semien will be an over pay then what do you think it will take to land one of those two pitchers? I'd rather the resign Semien and trade prospects for elite pitching which is controllable. It seems everybody wants this but it isn't yet happening.

If you're gonna let Semien walk and you're not able to add this deadline then I would trade him. As a matter of fact, I would trade him and resign him.

To be clear, this is only if they find the prices too high for SP additions this deadline and if they fall too far back, which, about that...
tercet - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#403278) #
Boruckis problem vs RHB has mostly been his fastball, using his change up might help?
He has a 850~ OPS in 20, and 950~ vs in 21 vs RHB
Magpie - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#403279) #
I assume Semien has two priorities this off-season. First, he needs to get paid. He bet on himself, it paid off in a major way, he'll be 31 years old and looking for his first multi-year deal.

And he'll be looking for someone who needs a shortstop. The, uh, Yankees come to mind. I think the Twins will want to build back quickly, they've already shed Cruz's salary, Happ and Pineda are coming off the books, Simmons will be gone at the end of the year. There will be other openings around the majors. I expect he's going to get paid, and be someone else's shortstop next year.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#403280) #
To be fair, the checkered draft record is also a product of the Blue Jays' sustained success. Despite the playoff drought from 1995 to 2014, the team had winning seasons and rarely finished near the bottom of the standings. As a result, Toronto has only had 7 top ten overall draft picks since 1985:

1 - Billy Koch ('96); 2 - Vernon Wells ('97); 3 - Felipe Lůpez ('98); 4 - Ricky Romero ('05); 5 - Jeff Hoffman ('14); 6 - Austin Martin ('20);
7 - Phil Bickford was drafted 10th overall in 2013, but did not sign.

Not to corroborate the wisdom of tanking, but having the highest draft picks generally reduces an organization's margin for error. Then again, over 1200 players were drafted every year, until recently. So, the explanation is only partial.

hypobole - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#403281) #
By FG and 538, we have about a 25% chance at the playoffs. What you choose to call those odds is just semantics.
Chuck - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#403282) #
[re Semien] I expect he's going to get paid, and be someone else's shortstop next year.

I agree with all you have said, but Semien may not get ALL the cash he wants given the price-lowering glut of shortstops that will be on the market: Baez, Correa, Story, Seager and, less coveted, an aging Brandon Crawford and a middling Miguel Rojas.

Correa and Seager have careers littered with IL time and that will impact their desirability. A betting man might suggest that each is destined to return to their existing team anyway. A flashy Baez might seek out the bright lights of Gotham, and he'd be a switch-hitter on a very right-handed Yankee team. His fellow flashy countryman seems content in that same city.

There will surely be a home for Semien, but he won't be the only belle of the off-season ball.

SK in NJ - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#403283) #
I think we are closing in on the point where the team adding rentals at the deadline is a fruitless endeavor. Right now they are 5 games back of a 2nd Wild Card. The next few games are against the Mets and then a series at Fenway. If they find themselves still 5 back, or even more than that, by the end of the Red Sox series, then trading prospects for 2 months of a veteran doesn't make much sense. They'll have to focus on deals similar to the Stripling one where they are acquiring a player with multiple years of control.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Semien and Ray if they happen to fall further back in the next few days. This FO has already shown that their hands could be tied due to either ownership or optics (2017), so selling right before heading back home for the first time in two years probably isn't happening.
Chuck - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#403284) #
[re Baez] he'd be a switch-hitter

I retract this. Baez is a RHB. Not sure why I thought he was a switch-hitter. Just more dying brain cells, I guess.

Glevin - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#403285) #
Jays are a bit stuck in between now. Don't see going for a rental and don't see trading anyone key either. The thing with Ray and Semien is that you can give them both QO and then get two picks in the 65-75 range which seems like probably almost as good as you'd get in a trade anyway.
Magpie - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#403286) #
Baez is a RHB. Not sure why I thought he was a switch-hitter. Just more dying brain cells, I guess.

It's probably the dying brain cells. That's my go-to explanation.

On the other hand, this happened three months ago.
Nigel - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#403287) #
I think the bad optics of a sale just as they head home will be the determinant. I donít agree that the return for Ray or Semien would be no better than a low 2nd round/high third round pick.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#403288) #
Something to remember about the current draft format is that extra picks allow for more creative allotment of pool money. It gives a team flexibility to move money around by going underslot on some picks to (hopefully) get better prospects in the draft as a whole.
johnny was - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#403289) #
If this road trip is a catastrophe and the front office decides to sell, it will be time to show Charlie the door at the end of the season.
John Northey - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#403290) #
The state the Jays are in (young, well within budget, dancing on the edge of the playoffs) suggests to me they will be either doing bargain bin shopping (relievers) or looking for a longer term high end piece (2 1/2+ years of control).  That cuts out guys like Gallo who have 1 1/2 years of control, along with guys like Trevor Story who has only a few months of control (I could imagine a situation where they get Story and put him at 3B but only if much cheaper than he should be).

That is why I see them chasing guys like German Marquez (3 years of control after this year) and Jose Ramirez (2 years of control after this year) as they cover key positions of need, are reasonably priced (dollar wise) and are star level players.  Either would cost an arm and a leg from the minors (I'm talking 3 high end prospects) and/or taking on payroll from those teams (Cleveland has no bad contracts right now, while Colorado would love to dump Charlie Blackmon and Scott Oberg on someone).  I'm sure there are other quality high end players who might be available if the price is right for the other team.  If a big deal like that is done the Jays will have had multliple scouts look very, very closely at the players involved and will debate the heck out of it interernally.

Big questions are - do they have the horses needed to make this year good enough to draw fans to watch games and sell season tickets for 2022?  If a player is brought in will he be a net asset vs the guys given away to get him?  Will he be a big improvement over what is here?

3B: Cavan Biggio age 26  92 OPS+, defense meh at best, can play almost anywhere and has done so, had a short hot streak but last 2 weeks just a 571 OPS
Santiago Espinal age 26 120 OPS+, defense very nice, I'd be playing him a LOT more now than he has.  OPS by month: 800-485-981-1.280, bad May which was the month he had the most PA's sadly.
Smith: AAA age 24 289/385/582 13-3 SB-CS - mostly at SS, decent prospect, really should be talked about more one would think, but for some reason is always an afterthought.
Lopez: AA age 22 339/402/472 6-3 - 2B/CF/LF/RF/SS - one would think he could handle 3B given how much he has moved around this year.  On the 40 man roster already, will be given a shot at some point.
Martin: AA age 22 276/415/378 7-3 - SS/CF - more likely to go to CF than 3B, but possible.  hand injury slowed his power this year so far.
Taylor: AA age 22 301/387/546 18-4 - 2B/LF/3B/CF - jumped his status drastically this year
Groshans: AA age 21 294/375/453 0 SB - SS/3B - was dropping a bit but has recovered and now is hitting nicely, was the favorite coming into 2021 to become the 3B replacement and now looks like it again imo. 
Capra: AA age 24 370/439/638 3-1 - 3B/LF/SS - an unknown but look at that 370 average, counting on a sky high BABIP but having a heck of a year.  Has to be added to the depth chart imo.

So 3B has TONS of options who should be ready for 2022 with 2 not horrible choices right now.  Must be a fun challenge for the manager in AA to find time for all 5 of those guys.

The OF has our current 4 regulars plus Dickerson once he is healthy.  Not to mention used in 2021 Palacios, Davis, and Valera. AAA has Warmoth who has been decent (261/366/422 13-2) but not much else.  The stats get worse in AA.  The real OF prospects are low level right now (rookie and low A) outside of Martin  and Lopez (listed in infield).  But with Springer here for 5 more years and Grichuk & Gurriel signed for a few more, plus a few years until Hernandez and Biggio are free agents there are no worries here.  Thus why I see Gallo as a major luxury item only to be taken if a too good to be true deal is made.

CA we've talked a lot about, Jansen, McGuire, Kirk here in the majors or IL.  Adams hitting a combined 217/343/442 between AAA/majors, Moreno the new super-prospect at age 21 in AA hitting 373/441/651.  Looking good I'd say.

SS is Bo with Espinal backup and all those kids trying to stick there.  2B is the gang for 3B plus Semien.  1B is Vlad, nuff said.  DH a rotation.

Yeah, pitching, pitching, pitching.  The best prospect is here in Manoah, Pearson can't stay healthy, Woods Richardson at 20 has had a challenge in AA (5.76 ERA 5.2 BB/9 vs 13.3 K/9) but that might be a good thing - teach him how to adapt before he gets here.  Luciano looking better with a 3.51 ERA in AA but 4.3 BB/9 is a bit high.  Logue in AA/AAA has a net 4.55 ERA 2.3 BB/9 10.88 K/9 so I'd put him on the short list for a shot in 2022.  But mostly we need more pitching everywhere.  Majors, AAA, AA, you name it.  With 9 man bullpens this was inevitable. 
PeterG - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#403291) #
Bowden Francis could be a sleeper. I would bet heavily that he is added to the 40 man roster in the off season and possibly before should then should there be a need at the major league level or team is not contending for anything in September.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#403292) #
Ray and Semien...give them both QO and then get two picks in the 65-75 range

Those would come in handy considering this year's draft class, where the 1st round pick will be delayed due to injury and the 2nd round pick was lost as compensation. Plus, it would offset the Blue Jays losing another early pick if a qualified free agent is signed this winter.

...extra picks allow for more creative allotment of pool money.

This point deserves some emphasis, too. Toronto had the 3rd smallest(?) pool in the draft this year, but maneuvered fairly well despite that.

hypobole - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#403293) #
Jose Ramirez will not be traded unless the Guardians decide to blow up the whole team. They won't. With Bieber, Civale and Plesac they still can try to contend next year. But they need Ramirez to do that.

Bud Black publicly announced Marquez won't be traded. That makes much less sense than the Ramirez situation because the Rockies look far from contention. But doing things that make sense has not been the hallmark of the Rockies. They march to the beat of their own drummer. And Dick Monfort is the drummiest owner this side of Artie Moreno.
Nigel - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#403294) #
Given the division etc, Cleveland probably has almost the same chance of making the playoffs this year as the Jays.
bpoz - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#403295) #
Currently Oakland is on pace for 92 wins and get the 2nd WC. The jays on pace for 83 wins. It does not look good for the Jays to win 90 games let alone a WC berth.

The Jays cannot seem to beat the good teams. This is not likely their year to make the playoffs. Still a valuable year for the young position core to gaining experience.

The overall pitching has failed to show promise of improvement. Manoah has been tremendous and should gain a lot of ML experience over the rest of the year. Romano has proven that he is a V good reliever. Stripling is making a case for a decent SP. Everyone else has not improved. Kay, Hatch, Zeuch etc. Even Borucki is only ok or a bit better.

Fortunately Atkins knows how to patch up a pitching staff. By getting Walker, Ray and Stripling at last years deadline he improved our playoff chances. This year Ray, Matz and Stripling have provided great to well based on expectations. Shapiro said before the season that Stripling is the swing man. I think that means #6. Roark and Pearson were ahead of him. Atkins has added veterans Cimber & T Richards. Saucedo has been good and Mayza has been ok.

pooks137 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#403296) #
It's interesting looking at Cavan Biggio's 2020 vs 2021 given he now has 265 PAs in both seasons.

2020-250/375/432, .807, OPS+ 123, 16 2Bs, 8 HRs, 41/61 BB/K
2021-224/327/372, .699, OPS+ 92, 10 2B,1 3B,7 HR, 35/71 BB/K

- 2B 281 innings - DRS +2, UZR/150 +4.6
- 3B 81 innings - DRS -2, UZR/150 -13.4
- RF 103 innings - DRS +1, UZR/150 -18.6

- 2B 30 innings - DRS -1, UZR/150 -23.8
- 3B 389 innings - DRS -1, UZR/150 -11.8
- RF 117 innings - DRS +1, UZR/150 +1.1

2020 bWAR 2.0, fWAR 1.4
2021 bWAR 0.3, fWAR 0.1

In summary, the difference between Cavan Biggio as an above average regular/borderline all-star vs close to replacement level bench utility player is:

6 walks, ten strikeouts, five extra doubles, one double turned into a single, one HR becoming a triple, 3 or 4 successful SB attempts while playing out of position 2/3 of the time.

Or put another way, Biggio contributing roughly 24 less total bases (including baserunning) while playing out of position over a half season of PAs (265), essentially turns him from a 3-4 win player to a hovering close to replacement bench bat.

Baseball is fickle.

Chuck - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#403297) #
The great lineup fliperoo has happened. Springer has now reassumed his coveted leadoff spot. Not quite a swap between Springer and Semien, but close enough. Charlie was surely waiting for a shutout to pull the trigger.
pooks137 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#403298) #
Or to break it down even further, the difference between a borderline all-star (3-4 win player) and a replacement level utility player for a player of Biggio's defensive skill level is contributing less than one extra total base in some way every 10 PAs (a SB, a walk, stretching a single into a double, etc).

Chuck - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#403299) #
Baseball is fickle.

Crash Davis opined on this very thing.

uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#403300) #
Not that it makes a huge difference but I'm still glad to see the order changed to what I wanted to see in the first place.

Vladdy should have been #2 from the start imo. Springer leadoff was also the right choice.....hopefully his bat gets back to its usual level.

After those 2 it doesn't really matter but semien next makes sense given how well he's hit.

Kirk should be hitting at least 6th behind Semien/Bo/Teoscar tho.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#403301) #
Jays are a bit stuck in between now. Don't see going for a rental and don't see trading anyone key either. The thing with Ray and Semien is that you can give them both QO and then get two picks in the 65-75 range which seems like probably almost as good as you'd get in a trade anyway.

I would be curious to see what Semien could fetch in a trade. He's been a top 10 performer in WAR for the past two full seasons. He's a legit difference maker. My guess is a return for him would be of greater value than a compensation pick (even with teams shying away from trading good young prospects for rentals nowadays), but impossible to determine that without knowing what is being offered. I would agree that they won't trade for rentals or trade anyone significant. If there is a trade out there for an arb eligible SP with 2+ years of control left (like Stripling last year), then I think that's the direction they go.

Of course, if it's Thursday July 29 and they are suddenly 2 games back of the 2nd WC, then we are having a different conversation. The next 5-6 days will tell a lot.
pooks137 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#403302) #
I love that scene and that movie.

I did have it in my mind when I was making the post.

I still find it amazing that the difference statistically between elite success and total failure (at least offensively) seems to be only about 50 total bases of any type over the course of a season.

Or roughly two bases a week.
pooks137 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#403303) #
Of course, if it's Thursday July 29 and they are suddenly 2 games back of the 2nd WC, then we are having a different conversation. The next 5-6 days will tell a lot.

Nothing personal, but I hate this line of reasoning.

It's the ultimate example of emotional and reactionary decision-making.

If a front office has paralysis by analysis and is unable or unwilling to have already set their trade deadline strategy based on the first 93 games of data, it's a really bad idea to let the next 5-6 games tip the scales on your plan of action.

It's like the trade deadline equivalent of trading for a player or signing a free agent based on sample sizes as irrelevant as hitter vs pitcher matchups.

SK in NJ - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#403304) #
It's not my reasoning, it's the reasoning I expect the front office to have.
hypobole - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#403305) #
SK's point much more aligns with the way FO's think.
John Northey - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#403306) #
I switch day to day, but as a fan that is to be expected. Right now it is either a reliever who is cheap (in prospect cost) or a really, really good long term piece. Given the depth in the minors at 3B/2B/SS I can't see the Jays doing the big move I'd love to see, just too much cost for not enough incremental movement unless it was a 2015 situation (aging team that needs to win now). Right now this is a young team with a 3-4 year window wide open right now. So no trading big prospects unless you get someone who will be here for that window.

That said, my big bet now is to get a closer - Ian Kennedy from Texas is my bet right now. Shouldn't cost much, just a B level prospect or two, but Texas is likely to lose him for nothing this winter (no way he gets a QO) so unless there is a big market for him the Jays should get a good deal. I'd keep chasing Pittsburgh's Richard Rodriguez as Plan A though, with the Cub's Craig Kimbrel as plan B (more expensive and a team with unrealistic expectations I suspect based on what I've read) but if neither is likely to work then go to Kennedy. Or even get Kennedy if you can, but keep the door open for the others. Never can have too much pitching after all.
Kasi - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#403307) #
Why wouldnít the record matter? All sorts of people in media and bloggers and even on this site have used run differential to compare this team to the 2015 team. And I agree that just like that team this team is better than itís record. But in 2015 the Jays were basically tied for second in the division and only a few games out in both division and wild card. This year theyíre like 7-8 games behind two teams and in fourth in the division and further back in the wild card. The record absolutely matters to any decisions made to make trades.

I do agree that results over a 5-6 game span shouldnít matter that much, but the result of those games in regards to absolute record and games out of playoff spots do. And when four of those games are against a team you are trying to catch it really matters. So yeah in the end losing a series shouldnít change much on evaluation of the team at the point the Jays are at a bad series pretty much knocks them out of the playoffs no matter how much potential we think they have.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#403308) #
How much should the teamís plans (or lack of them) to sign VGJ and Bo long-term affect its approach to the trade deadline? If this is a four-year window then the team needs to plan (and trade) accordingly. If itís more likely to be an eight-year window then that would seem to require a different approach.
John Northey - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#403309) #
The record matters, of course, as does expected record going forward. 2015 was a different situation - the team hadn't made the playoffs in decades and no one knew if the fans would pack the place if the Jays started winning again. AA rolled the dice and took a few big risks to push the team into the playoffs despite a 500 record thanks to having an older team and knowing he probably would be gone at years end. That isn't the situation this time. This time we have a GM who has to feel safe in his job, the team made the playoffs last year and the crowds returned (on TV at least, as they can't fill the park until after the trade deadline). A very young lineup with key parts outside of the rotation locked to be here until 2023 at least, and even the rotation has a young gun itself in Manoah.

So very, very different from 2015, more like 1983 when Pat Gillick did 0 trades despite a pen that makes this one look like the Henke/Ward one of 92. Thus why I expect only minor deals for relievers unless a big fish lands in Atkins's lap.
Glevin - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#403310) #
Of course this week should matter a lot because the playoff odds can change enormously. Saying they shouldn't matter is like saying a team with a 40% chance to make the playoffs and a team with a 20% chance should behave the same.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#403311) #
SP will be more important and have more of an impact on winning than Vlad or Bo in my opinion.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#403312) #
Apparently Rodriguez has seen a significant dropoff in his spin rates since the substance crackdown.
Kasi - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#403313) #
So has Romano. Some pitchers have been hurt by it but others were apparently not relying on it or have compensated by gripping harder or changing their repertoire.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#403314) #
"SK's point much more aligns with the way FO's think."

Don't think I agree there. I don't like our FO much but I respect them more than to think the next 5gms will make any difference to what they do at the deadline.

This seems more like an attempt to lower expectations tbh.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#403315) #
That would have been a stupid send even on a bad throwing LF.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#403316) #
Playoffs batting order confirmed.
Kasi - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#403317) #
Yay offense. And while sure I think a Walker or Stroman would be fine on the team I donít think either would have anywhere close to the record they currently have. The NLE might be the worst division in baseball this year and Iíve looked at both pitchers game logs and theyíve played a ton of bad teams from the nl east and central. I think theyíd be better than Matz and more consistent than Stripling but thatís about it and Iím sure the Sox and Rays not to mention the Yankees would carve them up.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#403318) #
Spifficus - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#403319) #
That was worth $150M to me. I've missed good plays in CF. Even the Mets crew was impressed (I wisened up today), calling it the best play they've seen all year.
Eephus - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#403320) #
Spring Shoes, baby.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#403321) #

When they cut to Pillar in the dugout

— Drew F (@DrewGROF) July 25, 2021

John Northey - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#403323) #
Interesting to check how divisions are for competitiveness. Best is NL West - SF #1 overall, Dodgers #6, SD #8. Wow. AL East Boston #2, Tampa #4, Yankees #12, Jays #13.

Overall division records...
AL East: +17, AL Central -14, AL West 9, NL East -16, NL Central -5, NL West +10.

Boy those bottom feeders (Arizona, Colorado) in the NL West drag it down.

SRS on BR (Measure a team vs schedule, etc.) has the Jays with a 1.0, 2nd best in AL, 4th in ML's tied with the Padres. Dodgers, Houston, SF ahead of them.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#403324) #
Season turning point.

New Order, new life.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#403325) #
If the team is 7 games out of the 2nd WC next Thursday or they are 2 games out by next Thursday, itís definitely going to impact how the FO proceeds. The FO obviously believes the team is good but they canít logically add to the team if they are so far out that it wonít make a difference. Thatís where the week swing is going to determine how they proceed. It doesnít mean they are drawing conclusions based on a 5 game sample, itís how far back they are and how many teams they have to pass that will determine their moves. Clearly they want to add, and I donít think selling is even an option, so itís going to be the difference being standing pat or adding some rentals.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#403326) #
That PA was a thing of beauty.  Semien has had a few of them this year.
Spifficus - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#403327) #
New Order? Well, Springer, Guerrero and Semien do make a Bizarre Love Triange.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#403328) #
"If the team is 7 games out of the 2nd WC next Thursday or they are 2 games out by next Thursday, itís definitely going to impact how the FO proceeds."

And if they're 4 games out? Different approach again?
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#403329) #
No more blue mondays with this new order.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#403330) #
Not sure if I would mind seeing Ray and Semien traded for a ransom and then re-sign them as free agents in the off season :p
Eephus - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#403331) #
Letís just say I was well below the Age Of Consent when ďBlue MondayĒ hit the charts.

Nice to see the bats wake up a bit.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#403332) #
Iím glad Iím a dad now because otherwise these jokes would be tedious.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#403333) #
Love that DP.

Turning Point of the season.
uglyone - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#403334) #
You're up, Atkins.
Magpie - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#403335) #
I can see why Buck remembers a game from 2001. He sent Fernandez up to hit for Carpenter in the top of the seventh with one out and a man on second. Fernandez singled to right, but the runner (Chris Latham) couldn't score. Shannon Stewart then lined out to short and Fernandez was doubled off first to end the inning. In the ninth, still trailing 1-0, singles by Gonzalez and Fletcher put runners on the corners with no one out. Fullmer struck out, Frye pinch hit and fouled out, Stewart struck out.

If you ever wondered why so many managers end up as alcoholics!
BlueMonday - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#403336) #
No more blue mondays with this new order

You wouldn't want me in your batting order.
hypobole - Saturday, July 24 2021 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#403337) #
Same night Richards got some huge outs for the Jays, Rowdy with his best night of the season for Milwaukee.

He's gotten sporadic usage, only 2 games with more than 2 PA's before Friday. But he had a 2 hit game with a double yesterday, tonight 3 hits including his first 2 HR's as a Brewer.
John Northey - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#403338) #
Great to hear Rowdy had a good game. Really was no space for him here. With the 4 man OF, Bo needing days off, Vlad needing DH time as well, not much space for a DH/1B. Now hitting 350/462/700 for the Brewers, but to survive here he'd almost have to hit that well. He is a guy I've pulled for all along so I'm hoping it goes well there and today is just a sign of things to come.
hypobole - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#403339) #
Sometimes stridency seems to overcome common sense.

Yes, the Jays over-arching philosophy shouldn't change whether they are 2 games out or 7 games out. They should be adding in trade for more than the binary make/don't make playoffs reasons. But that would be for controllable pieces, like the Stripling trade last year. Maybe even a cheap rental.

But at 2 games out the Jays should be much more incentivised to pursue rentals that cost real prospect capital than if they are 7 games out. A Kris Bryant for example.
bpoz - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#403340) #
To help the team compete and keep the window open for 2018 Atkins acquired Grichuk, Solarte, A Diaz all at cheap prices. The FO knew that the team was getting old and would soon not compete.

I am not sure where on the rebuild curve this team is right now. In 2020 when the team struggled at times Atkins said he expects the team to believe in themselves eventually. Hope, expect and know that you can will every game. This years results show that we are not yet at the know you can win every game stage. We could still be in the hope to win stage.

Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#403341) #
Just in time for the triumphant return of the Blue Jays, Rogers Centre features a brand new menu!

Appetizers: Matzo Ball Soup, Chicken Striplings, Romano Cheese Pizza
Entrťes: Ground Chuck Montoyo Burgers, Pork Chops & Apple Saucedo, Peking Ducky Borucki
Beverages: Fountain Springer Water, Hyun Jin & Tonic (Club VIP)
Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#403342) #
No Springer Rolls?
scottt - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#403343) #
The team is on the spot of the rebuild curve where the position players are hitting their strides but the starting pitchers have not made an impact. The starters they do have now are pretty decent, but are just placeholders. They cannot win every game, but they have a pretty good shot a winning every game right now. Not quite at the point where they can expect to beat every team every day.

They are in 4th place, half a game behind the Yankees. Boston and Tampa are tied at the top with Boston having a much tougher schedule than the rest of the division.

hypobole - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#403344) #
I just checked Tankathon earlier this morning. Oakland has the only truly tough schedule .513 ROS.

The others are fairly even.

Tampa/Boston .498
Toronto .497
NYY/Seattle .495
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#403346) #
If Manfred's expanded playoff idea (7 teams in each league) was in effect today, the Jays would still be out of the playoffs based on today's standings. So if it were up to me, I wouldn't be adding any rentals that cost prospects with any real value even being 4 games out. I'd look to move expendable prospects for players with multiple years of control, see what's out there for Semien/Ray, and go from there. However, the FO might see things differently. Again, the overall point is not that they view this team any differently based on a week sample, it's how likely it is to make the playoffs that determines their strategy. Right now their odds are at 31.1% based on FG. If they find themselves 2 games back by next week, then that percentage likely improves, hence they can rationalize adding a few rentals. If it jumps to 6 or 7 games, then the % likely drops, in which case rentals become pointless. If it stays 4 games and 31%, then that's up to the FO. My guess is they'll probably add for the optics and returning home aspect of it, but who knows.
92-93 - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#403347) #
Espinal batting in front of Kirk is...interesting. Of course now he'll smash two homers today.

Has there been an update on Dickerson lately? They might need him soon if Gurriel is hurt.

If there's a team that would overpay for Semien it's the Mets across the diamond today. Or the Giants/WhiteSox. The other contenders are fairly set in the middle infield.
bpoz - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#403348) #
I can see the value of having a SP like Stripling and 2 more like Stripling. Shapiro called him a swing man. Matz is about the same as Stripling. Roark and Chase Anderson are not as good. Thornton and Zeuch, Kay, Hatch are better than C Anderson/Roark because they are cheaper but not really as good as Matz/Stripling who are a 4/5 type.

For 2022 we have Ryu, Manoah and Stripling. It will be hard to add Ryu/Manoah quality on multi years of control either by trade or FA. Stripling type additions should be easy, but this is just depth to avoid really bad SPs. Hoping for Pearson to join the rotation is good but it is just hope.
85bluejay - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#403349) #
Oakland is still running out Elvis Andrus at SS, I think they'd love Semien back especially if the Jays paid some salary - I'd set a high price and ask for Jesus Luzardo because you don't need to trade Semien - Of course, because Oakland is the team the Jays have the best chance of catching for a WC spot and because the Jays are returning home, the optics means no chance it happens.
uglyone - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#403350) #
The jays are in the part of the rebuilding curve where they are getting a legit 6-7 star performances, including an MVP one, and where all the underlying numbers say they're elite.
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#403351) #
Theyíre also in the midst of a season where through their poor play despite those underlying numbers that theyíve taken themselves out of the division race and really only have a chance to get a wild card spot. Thatís the difference between 2015 and today. (Well that and the fact that 2015 was an old team and this team isnít) The 2015 team was only 2-3 games back in the division and there wasnít three teams in front of them.
uglyone - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#403352) #
And the longer the FO waits to address problems that should have been addressed in the offseason, the more excuse they have never to do anything.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#403353) #
On July 28, 2015, the Blue Jays were in 4th place at 50-51, 8.5 games behind the league-leading Yankees.  In fairness, the 2nd and 3rd place teams were 1/2 and 1 game better than the Jays.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#403354) #
For what it's worth, I thought that the Jays of 2015 had a pretty decent chance of catching the Yankees because they were pretty clearly a better ballclub.  This year, the Jays are pretty clearly a better club than the Red Sox, but not the Rays.  Ergo, the odds are seriously against them winning the division at this point. 
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#403355) #
Yeah was looking at record a week or so earlier where it was 3-5. Anyway itís a different situation now. Point being there really isnít a difference maker starting pitcher out there who isnít incredibly expensive. They can and Iím sure will continue to improve the bullpen. They can also improve the lineup/defence which might be the most cost effective way to improve it.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#403356) #
The 2015 club, of course, went 14-1 in their next 15 games and were in first place by August 13.  Good role models.
92-93 - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#403357) #
So catch the Red Sox and beat them in the WC game.

And itís two MVP performances, uglyone.
Paul D - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#403358) #
Zeuch traded to the Cardinals. I'm guessing Chou for cash
Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#403359) #
Has Stripling never bunted in his whole life? He is a deer in the headlights.
Eephus - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#403360) #
I think I like my chances of getting a bunt down more than Stripling's, and I bat freaking lefty. What on Earth was he trying to do...
Mike Green - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#403361) #
Didn't Stripling pitch for the Dodgers for quite a few years, or are my brain cells also totally gone? 
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#403362) #
They need to minimum fire their hitting coach and get someone else. What the hell is it with this teams approach. Fire Montoyo too or demote him to bench coach/motivational guy. Something needs to shake this team up because even with decent starting pitching I have no faith this offence can sustain any run. (And yes hoping for reverse jinx today, go prove me wrong Jays)
greenfrog - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#403363) #
problems that should have been addressed in the offseason

Iím just thankful (in hindsight) they didnít drop $102m on Trevor Bauer.
Thomas - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#403364) #
Didn't Stripling pitch for the Dodgers for quite a few years, or are my brain cells also totally gone?

He pitched. He apparently didn't hit.

Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#403365) #
Mets seem to be tempting fate asking more from Hill.
hypobole - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#403367) #
Found the decision not to pinch hit for Hill the last inning rather odd.
Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#403368) #
Hill had thrown 5 shutout innings. You don't pinch-hit for him with men on base and you do ask him to pitch to the Jays a third time. Not a banner pair of decisions.
Paul D - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#403369) #
Top offences do not need to fire their hitting coaches, and managers don't get demoted
greenfrog - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#403370) #
I would like to see Kirk bat after Teoscar. That would make an excellent top 6 in the lineup. I would also like to see an impact two-way player added to replace Grichuk, who would then become the fourth outfielder (this was always the best role for Grichuk).
Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#403371) #
Charlie with a double-switch to weaken his defense at 3B. What on earth? Just let Borucki pitch an inning and then pinch-hit for him.
Eephus - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#403372) #
Borucki probably shouldn't face Alonso anymore.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#403373) #
Giving up a home run to Alonso: acceptable. Walking the batter before Alonso in a 3-1 game: not okay.
Thomas - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#403374) #
Charlie with a double-switch to weaken his defense at 3B. What on earth? Just let Borucki pitch an inning and then pinch-hit for him.

That presupposes that Borucki isn't going to surrender a home run to Alonso.

Personally, I would have seriously debated running Stripling out for the sixth inning, until he surrendered a baserunner. Third time through the order and all that, though.

Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#403375) #
That presupposes that Borucki isn't going to surrender a home run to Alonso.

I'm assuming tongue was at least partly in cheek, but even now is when he could have decided on the double-switch, bringing in Biggio and Barnes at the same time, reckoning that Barnes would be needed for the next inning.

Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#403376) #
Does Barnes owe his old teammates money or something?
Eephus - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#403377) #
Worst.... episode... ever.
Thomas - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#403378) #
You go up 0-2 on McNeil and throw four straight changeups??
Spifficus - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#403379) #
This is a half-inning when, as a fan, you stay at arms' length from anything breakable.
Thomas - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#403380) #
I'm assuming tongue was at least partly in cheek, but even now is when he could have decided on the double-switch, bringing in Biggio and Barnes at the same time, reckoning that Barnes would be needed for the next inning.

I appreciate that point and I get your thinking. It's not uncommon to see NL managers do a mid-inning double-switch, for precisely those reasons (a forced pitching change and the fact that not doing the double switch might mean that the reliever in the game is burned after one batter). I don't hate the double-switch there - I think Montoyo's made much worse decisions and the end, the Jays would have always have made the double switch this inning - but your point's valid.

Eephus - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#403381) #
Does Barnes owe his old teammates money or something?

Here's hoping he returns the favour if he ever faces the Blue Jays in the future, as I suspect they will soon also be his former teammates...
greenfrog - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#403382) #
The Jays are a funny team. Theyíve managed to put together a core of stars (Guerrero Jr., Bichette, Springer, Semien, Ryu) and a few very good players, but they havenít been able to fill out the roster with enough solid players to put them over the top.
krose - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#403383) #
Jays continue to have the fatal flawÖbut a Robo ump would have helped in this one.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#403384) #
Loup?  Perfect.
Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#403385) #
A HBP and we're all tied.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#403386) #
There's no justice.  After all that Barnes did, the least Aaron could do was plunk Biggio gently. 
mathesond - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#403387) #
So, did anyone else feel any trepidation when Buck said the Jays were relying on Dolis to put up a zero?
greenfrog - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#403388) #
If you want to win, youíve got to be hungry like the Loup.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#403389) #
I've just been so happy that I remembered I could put on the away feed - thank you,! - and I'm just so happy to not have to put up with the Buckisms.

That said, that was the Good Dolis that can be tough to forget. He never did get to the Chatwood depths for me, because for some reason it always felt that he was closer to getting out of it.
Chuck - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#403390) #
hungry like the Loup

Someone far more clever than I could work the new Red Sox centerfielder into this jocularity.

greenfrog - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#403391) #
Win 10-3, lose 5-4. That about sums up the Blue Jays 2021 season.
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#403392) #
Yup. Bad bullpen inning plus failure to put up runs early and failure to get runs late. Then you see Boston being no hit and pull a five spot on the eighth and wonder why canít we ever have one of those. Unless the Jays take three from the Sox I donít see much being done.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#403394) #
12-24 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs.
scottt - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#403395) #
I get that Borucki was chosen to pitch to a bunch of lefties+ Alonzo, but there is no excuse for walking one guy and pitching to Alonzo. Borucki should have been to told that he's not facing Alonzo with runners on and Montoyo should have given him an automatic walk. Borucki has too much confidence in his ability to get a fastball inside to a right bat. Not going to work against everybody.

The more I see Barnes pitch, the less I like him.
Whatever that pitch is, it's not a splitter.
I've seen pitchers spike splitters, but hang them?
Breaking balls hang. Change ups are not supposed to hang.
Who misses the strike zone by a foot or two with a splitter?
He's a lot like Beasley. I liked Payamps better.

Biggio for Espinal?
There are only a couple of relief pitchers who might *really* benefit from the better defense.
Saucedo, for sure. Cimber or Richards, maybe.
Totally fine with the move.
Having Espinal bat in front of Kirk was more questionable.
Give it time and Kirk should be hitting 6th. 

Magpie - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#403396) #
I missed the first seven innings, so I don't know much of what happened today. But when it was over, there's Siddal complaining about the pitch selection to Alonso. And then I review the comments above - and Barnes threw four straight changeups until one of them got hit? Four? What the hell? Four straight changeups is BP.
The_Game - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#403397) #
It is absolutely baffling to me that Charlie Montoyo (a guy who willingly asks his players to bunt with two strikes while having no understanding of leverage in late game situations...see the usage of the 7th or 8th best reliever in Barnes on the team today in a tie game in the 6th) is still being allowed to manage a team as good as this one is. At least a half dozen losses this year can be attributed partially to him not using his roster optimally.

Now the 2021 Jays obviously have plenty of issues that are keeping them from being elite, but they can't be taken seriously as a contender until management admits that this guy is just a placeholder for a real manager. It's time to get real and move on.
tercet - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#403398) #
Letting Borucki face a RHB, let alone Alonso after Friday is more cringeworthy.
Does Montoyo not know that Borucki has a 1000 OPS vs RHB since last year? lol
scottt - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#403399) #
You have to understand that the bullpen usage is probably a selection by committee affair.
Montoyo is only executing what has been decided before the game.
They don't want to use all the guys that they used yesterday and there is a more important game against Boston tomorrow. Barnes was only warming up to come in if Borucki screwed up.

They do a double substitution, so Borucki can pitch more than 1 inning.
He gets a fly out, walks a lefty, give a game tying homerun to Alonso and gets Smith to ground out.
So Montoyo sends Barnes out to get a 1 single inning ending out with the bases empty instead of leaving Borucki to face 3 right bats.
Barnes walks Davis, gives a single to Villar. They pinch hit for Nido, but Barnes has to face at least another batter.
McNeil hits a doubles.

Barnes has an ERA of 6.18. Time to cut bait. Bring in Axford now.
Borucki should be kept out of high leverage for a little while.

SK in NJ - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#403400) #
While I would have kept Stripling in the game, bringing in Borucki with 2 of the next 3 (and 3 of the next 4) hitters being lefty was at least somewhat defensible. Bringing in Barnes right after that was not.

Like I said before, if Charlie is still managing this team in 2022, I'll be very disappointed. Not surprised, but disappointed.
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#403401) #
At the end of the day bringing in one guy to get a single out with no one on base just has to be executed. Itís about as low leverage as you can get and yes Barnes messed it up. I want Montoyo fired but I agree with scott that isnít the reason for it. I want him fired because this team is so inconsistent that I just want a manager who can maximize the team. I donít think Montoyo is that anymore despite being nice. I feel heís done a fine job of developing many of the players, but now we need someone to get more out of them on a game to game basis. Some of it sure is things like managerial moves and bullpen decisions, but letís be real every team in the majors goes through this. (Except Boston it seems) Montoyo is hardly the worst manager in baseball in that respect but he is certainly subpar.

But I want this team to cohesively play better. I want them to get that out when they need it or get that hit when they need it or make that defensive play when they need it and since I canít fire all the players I say replace Montoyo with someone who can better motivate/maximize this squad.
The_Game - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#403402) #
Ross Atkins and the management group is not advising the manager before the game to use Jacob Barnes (an entirely mediocre to bad pitcher who had allowed runs in two of his previous three outings and who had routinely been used in blowouts since his acquisition) in a tie game in the 6th. Even to get a single out.

Warming him up to follow Borucki there never made any sense and that's on Montoyo.
85bluejay - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#403403) #
Given the mediocre record of this team and their poor play against winning teams, I don't see the merit of spending valuable assets trying to upgrade for a playoff run this year - I see a much more plausible arguement for selling and given some run to players like Smith,Hatch,Wall etc. and start preparing to upgrade this winter but I don't think the FO has the cahonas to go in that direction.
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#403404) #
Pirates just traded Frazier very good 2b with one more year of control and got a very poor package. (11 plus 2 fringe) Iíve read he might not even play 2b. Of course Semien can be traded as 2b or SS but I do wonder how much he would fetch. I am coming to that view as well that the Jays should sell. Theyíre not winning without a major managerial shakeup IMO.
85bluejay - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#403405) #
I bet you could get a bidding war going for Ray especially amongst the Dodgers/Padres/Giants.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#403406) #
Montoyo used Richards in a 3 run game in the 5th, yet he used Barnes in a tie game in the 6th. That's a head scratcher.

I suppose you could argue the game was worth saving in the 5th on Saturday, but then again, I didn't agree with taking Ryu out there.

We've had so many discussions on here about the manager's role in one run losses. Look back pre deadline in July 2015 when the team was hovering around. 500. Same discussion. Why doesn't Gibby do something, dammit?

I've already said I feel like Charlie isn't the best manager for them at this point in time, but undoubtedly, the front office wants to give him a chance with a truly contender level lineup, and the Jays don't have that yet.

I'm still crossing my fingers for a Ramirez for Teoscar swap, which solves the third base problem, because Biggio is just not a third baseman.

scottt - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#403407) #
Oakland has the only truly tough schedule .513 ROS.

Oakland's schedule is actually very similar to those of the ALE teams.
White Sox, Guardians, Yankees, Tigers, Royals and their division rivals, 9 against Seattle, 9 against Texas, 4 against the Angels and only 3 against Houston.
The difficult part is probably 2 short series against the Padres and 1 series against the Giants.
Truly tough? I'm not so sure.

John Northey - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#403408) #
A reminder that teams are never as bad as they seem during a slump, nor as good as they seem during a hot streak.

Is Montoyo an ideal manager for a contending team? IMO, no. But is he a nightmare? Again, no. He isn't breaking pitchers arms, nor is he playing the worst options (such as Davis for example). The big headache is the pen, where our top 2 options both are out for the season and the #3 guy for closing is also on the IL. Thus at best we have our 4th best option for closing finishing games and doing well, but then our #5 and beyond guys are pitching critical innings. This is a problem. Imagine the 92 team trying to do without Henke, Ward, and Timlin (Merryweather equivalent). I somehow doubt they'd have made it to the playoffs, let along won it all.

So the question is what can the Jays do? #1 is keep improving that pen, but don't spend top 10 prospects on it. Thus rentals are the most likely target, get Thornton back to AAA, along with Barnes via getting 2 decent relievers (closers or strong setup guys) allowing Romero to shift to 7th & 8th inning work while others are moved down a notch or two as well. That would help a LOT. Borucki just didn't have it today (it happens), but Barnes shouldn't be on the roster at all. Why was Stripling pulled so soon? Only 79 pitches through 5 so it seems very odd, wasn't hit for either. Was still going strong, and nothing in the game summary about it. If he got 1 more inning in then the Jays might have won this one. Very odd.
scottt - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#403410) #
If you look at the ERA of the guys in the pen before the game:

Cimber: 1.08, got 4 outs yesterday.
Saucedo: 1.54, but probably not really that good and got 2 outs yesterday.
Richards: 1.59, just used as well.
Romano: 2.41, but struggling to throw his slider without sticky substances.
Borucki: 3.86
Barnes: 4.00
Mayza: 4.06
Thornton: 4.78
Dolis: 5.33, returned to action recently, not exactly reliable.

That only leaves Hatch who is supposed to start tomorrow.

Can't really blame the manager for using a middle reliever to finish an inning after a setup guy implode.
You don't have guys warmed up and ready to go all the time.
If they kept Barnes over Payamps, it's because they think he can pitch in higher leverage. Looks like a bad call there, but we don't know whose bad call.
Ryu gave up 5 hits in a row yesterday. I don't know many managers who would keep a pitcher for a 4th round through the batting order after that. Not even the guy in Baltimore in the middle of a 15 game losing streak.

hypobole - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#403411) #
Montoyo used Richards in a 3 run game in the 5th

That was no head-scratcher whatsoever. Mets had 5 straight hits, cut a 6-0 lead to 6-3 and had 2 on with 1 out. No one argued against the move at the time, because it was perfectly defensible.
Kasi - Sunday, July 25 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#403412) #
My problem with Montoyo is not with the bullpen usage. (For the most part) itís not like he has great options out there. Certainly not to the point that he has an obvious go to guy after Romano. If they donít think Barnes canít get out one guy in the middle of the lineup going into the bottom of the lineup he shouldnít be on the team.

My problem is just the general mistakes and underperforming this team has done throughout the year. Like clearly theyíre not getting the most out of this team. When all parts work together this team looks unbeatable but too often multiple parts break down, always seemingly just enough to blow games or let them slip away. This team should be better than they are and while I think there are some construction issues with this team (too few reliable LHB, weak against sliders, not enough plate discipline, not the best defensive alignments) and some poor injury luck they should still be better than they are.
Spifficus - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 03:20 AM EDT (#403413) #
Welcome to the frustrations of youth, Kasi.
scottt - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#403415) #
Apart from Grichuk, most of the right bats struggle against breaking balls from lefties but hit the right handed ones.
The biggest frustration is losing close ballgames and the answer to that is not more offense, it's better run prevention.
Some days, they will show excellent plate discipline and strike out looking on bad calls.
They strike a fair bit on missed checked swing. Are they worse than the other teams? Probably not.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#403416) #
Friday is both Homecoming and the trade deadline. Speaking of optics, it would be in poor taste to dismiss the manager anytime soon.

My guess is that John Schneider will be the next manager.

hypobole - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#403418) #
If management believes Montoyo has lost the clubhouse, he should and probably would be replaced ASAP, optics be damned.

If management believes Montoyo is impeding success, he should and probably would be replaced ASAP, optics be damned.

What does management believe? I have no clue, other than the fact Montoyo still has the job.

Steve02 - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#403419) #
If the Jays would trade for a Starting-Pitcher-with-additional-team-control, I think they could trade Matz to a team looking for SP Depth. Probably looking at a Rich Hill like return but it's one way I think that could accommodate bringing in someone that can help you this year and next as pitching depth has to be their biggest concern going into 2022. While not really giving anything away for this year.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#403421) #
Thinking outside the box: could the Blue Jays trade for Terry Francona? He has a contract with Cleveland for 2022. Is he keen to manage the Guardians?

Francona is 62 years old and has health problems. He was absent again just this weekend with a head cold. (He tested negative for Covid.)

ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#403426) #
" If management believes Montoyo has lost the clubhouse ..."

I have never heard a whisper of that and actually I think the players, with the exception of Tyler Chatwood and who cares what he thinks, love Montoyo.

I think Montoyo's leadership is reflected in the team's performance -- good sometimes, mediocre the rest. No matter who is at the helm, it's no good just beating up the weak sisters in the league. If you can't beat the teams above you in the standings, and the Jays have been abysmal at that, then you aren't going anywhere. ( Thanks, Captain Obvious)
bpoz - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#403427) #
Last year we got T Walker signed by Seattle for $2.5 mil. A rental for us but at a low prospect price IMO.

Ray with his 7.84 ERA was worth T Bergen to Arizona.

K Williams may turn into a good SP or maybe nothing. Stripling seems a decent #4/5. Swingman accordingly to Shapiro.
bpoz - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#403428) #
Look at the RBIs Vlad 79, Teo 59 with Bo, Grichuk and Semien in between. Semien's best year was 2019 and he is repeating that this year.

Huge positives.
hypobole - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#403430) #
Three weeks back, Szymborski did a mid-point ZIPS team roundup. Only 2 teams W-L records were exactly where ZIPS had projected them pre-season. One was the Dodgers, the other the Blue Jays.
johnny was - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#403431) #
Russell Martin would be worth serious consideration as a managerial replacement IMO.
85bluejay - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#403432) #
If Jose Berrios ends up in the NL west, the other 2 teams are really going to try and keep pace and maybe overpay - You listening Ross!
dalimon5 - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#403433) #
Baseball America now grades Orelvis Martinez and Nate Pearson as about the same.

Groshans down.

Austin Martin down.

Moreno and Manoah up.

Hodgie - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#403436) #
Not a definitive evaluation of the team, but given all the trade talk and conjecture about the direction the FO should take I found this interesting today from Baseball Prospectus
scottt - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#403437) #
I don' t blame the manager for guys pitching poorly, not making plays, chasing or slumping.
There are coaches working specifically on all of these aspects of the game.
The manager is responsible for the matchups, the batting order, steal attempts, hit and runs, guys hustling, etc.

Beating the weak teams is just as important as beating the stronger teams.
When you win a game 10-3, the other team started resting its best relievers when the score was 6-0.
So you can't expect to score 10 runs the next day as you will face better relievers and probably a better starter.

scottt - Monday, July 26 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#403438) #
B-Ref playoffs odds.

Jays 47.1%. (43.8%) odds of scoring a wild card versus the A's at 44.4% (40.8%)
Mets at 41.6% (41% odds of winning the division and only 0.6% odds of a wild card spot.)
Yankees at 11.3%. Mariners at 6%.

I would hate to play a wild card game in Tampa.

The remaining games against Boston might have more impact on who wins the other wild card than on Toronto beating the A's or not.

Blue Jays at Mets, July 23-25 | 220 comments | Create New Account
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