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And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill


Two games on Tuesday, Shohei Ohtani on Thursday... this week will be lit, as the kids say.

If that's what the kids say. Come on, how would I know?


The Angels are puttering along at .500, in fourth place, ten games behind the Astros. They shouldn't feel too bad about this. Mike Trout - you know, the best baseball player in the world - has missed 76 of the team's 112 games. Third baseman Anthony Rendon, signed for roughly a quarter of a billion dollars two years ago has missed half of this season and will miss all of the rest. Alex Cobb, one of their two best pitchers (the other one will probably be DHing today) is out with an inflamed wrist, and first baseman Jared Walsh has been out with an intercostal strain (which I had to Google.) I think you have to be impressed that they've been able to stay more or less above water.

So... there was this moment in yesterday's game that I'm sure you all remember. It was the bottom of the eighth, there were two out, the team was down by two runs. And with one man on base, Reese McGuire went up to hit, and Charlie Montoyo didn't stop him. Mike Green commented on it immediately. The at bat went well, of course - McGuire fouled off a bunch of tough pitches and eventually worked a nine pitch walk, bringing Springer to the plate. Both myself and SK in NJ admitted afterwards that we were also surprised not to see Kirk or Bichette batting in McGuire's stead. (One can only imagine what the uglyone thought. Someone probably should check on him, in case his head actually did explode.)

One forms the impression that Montoyo prefers not to use his second catcher in the game if it's at all possible. It's as if the presence of a second catcher on his active roster is something to be saved for unlikely contingencies and otherwise not to be used at all. Normally, however, it's kept locked behind glass, to be broken only in an emergency.

Two things come to my mind. As you all know, I am older than the hills and likewise alive with the sound of music. And I have a distinct memory of a Blue Jays manager (Bobby Cox) freely pinch hitting for his catchers (Ernie Whitt and Buck Martinez) whenever he could get a platoon advantage out of the exchange. So how did that work, and how often did it happen. And the other thing I wondered - how often does it actually happen that a team needs to use three catchers in a game? It's one of those things that's theoretically possible. Catchers will get hurt - just this season we've seen Jansen (twice) and Kirk forced to leave games with injury. But to see two catchers get hurt in the same game? That's really got to be a little unusual.

I addressed these questions in my usual way - by spending far too much time on bb-ref.com. Let's start with the second question, because it's easier. The fielding breakdowns at bb-ref tell us how many games each player appeared in plate, how often they started, and - crucial to our purposes here - how often they finished what they started, which makes it very easy to discover if a third catcher was ever needed. For example, in 110 games this season, the four catchers have completed 86 of those games. Their appearances behind the plate add up to 134, which is 24 more appearances than the games played. And 86 plus 24 is 110 and Hey PRESTO! No third catcher has been used. This is the sort of thing that my Excel skills exist to accomplish.

Over 45 seasons, over 7,014 games, the Blue Jays have used three catchers in a game exactly 15 times. That's all. Fifteen. On average, once every three years.

Finding those appearances was not nearly as easy and not nearly as much fun, but I have located 14 of the 15. On every one of those occasions, the team happened to have three catchers on the active roster.

Bobby Mattick used three catchers in a game twice in 1980, Bobby Cox once in 1984, Jimy Williams once in 1987. I believe Cito Gaston did it twice in 1989 although I've only found one of them. He definitely did it twice more in 1990 and once in 1995. Tim Johnson did it in 1998, Jim Fregosi in 2000, and then we have to wait patiently through the Tosca and Gibbons years, until Gaston comes back and does it again in September 2008. John Farrell did it in 2012 (Yan Gomes came in to catch after Jeff Mathis, who had replaced Arencibia behind the plate, moved to the pitcher's mound in a blowout loss.)

Finally, John Gibbons used three catchers in game once in 2017 and once in 2018. The first of those occasions came when Miguel Montero pinch hit for John Donaldson in the eighteenth inning. Rafael Lopez, who had taken over behind the plate for Luke Maile in the twelfth inning,  moved to third base to replace Donaldson and Montero stayed in to catch. I don't know if Donaldson was hurt or tired or cranky - the game story, our comments at the time on the Box make no such mention, although it would be wonderfully ironic if a third catcher had to be used because a position player got hurt. And the last time this happened at all in a Jays game was in September 2018 when Gibbons had Reese McGuire replace Danny Jansen in a game started by Luke Maile after both Maile and Jansen had been pinch hit for.

Just once has a manager been forced to use a non-catcher behind the plate. This was that notorious game in July 1989, when Cito Gaston was presumably lulled into a false sense of security by the presence on his active roster of no less than four catchers (and just three outfielders, one of whom was too injured to take the field.) Gaston started Whitt behind the plate and Myers at DH. Borders would pinch hit for Whitt and stay in to catch, Brenly would pinch hit for Myers. But after Mulliniks pinch hit for Borders and Moseby (his injured outfielder) pinch hit for Brenly, he had to send Tom Lawless out to catch Tom Henke in the ninth inning.

An here's an Update from The Future! I append an actual list of those 15 (now 16!) occasions. The unknown 1989 case still baffles me...

26 May 1980 - Davis (pinch-hitter), Whitt (pinch-hitter), Macha
3 June 1980 - Davis (pinch-runner), Whitt (pinch-hitter), Kelly

18 Sep 1984 - Whitt (pinch-hitter), B.Martinez (8 run lead), T.Hernandez

29 Sep 1987 - Whitt (injured), Moore (pinch-hitter), Myers

??? 1989 - CAN'T FIND IT
5 Jul 1989 - Whitt (pinch-hitter), Borders (pinch-hitter), Lawless

16 Sep 1990 - Myers (pinch-hitter), Borders (pinch-runner), Diaz
28 Sep 1990 - Borders (pinch-hitter), Myers (pinch-runner), Diaz

30 Aug 1995 - Knorr (pinch-runner), S.Martinez (pinch-hitter), Parrish

19 Aug 1998 - Fletcher (12 run lead), Dalesandro (moved to 3b), Brown

6 June 2000 - A.Castillo (replaced 5th), T.Greene (replaced 8th), Fletcher

3 Sep 2008 - Barajas (pinch-runner), Zaun (pinch-runner), Thigpen

25 July 2012 - Arencibia (pinch-hitter), Mathis (moved to p), Gomes

5 Sep 2017 - Maile (pinch-hitter), Lopez (moved to 3b), Montero

7 Sep 2018 -  Maile (pinch-hitter), Jansen (pinch-runner), McGuire

26 Apr 2022: Collins (defense), Heinemen (pinch-hitter), Kirk

The fact that it has happened so seldom is, I think, a testament to two things: a) catchers are tough guys and it takes a lot to knock them out of a game, b) managers are generally pretty cautious about pressing their luck with the first item.

Some managers don't like to change their catchers at all in the course of a game. Over the course of this franchise's history, the starting catcher has finished the game 83.3% of the time. But in Roy Hartsfield's three seasons at the helm, the man who started the game behind the plate finished the game 95% of the time, at least 150 times in each season. In 1979, he used two catchers in a game just six times. John Farrell used two catchers just 8 times in 2011, as did Cito Gaston in 1997 (it was his last season, he may have given up by then. Same with Gibbons using two catchers just 12 times in 2018.)

At the other extremes are the well-known platoon combinations of Whitt-Martinez and Myers-Borders, in the years from 1982 through 1991. In 1984 and 1986, the starting catcher finished just 107 of 162 games, less than two-thirds of the time. More than half of those relief appearances were precipitated by one catcher pinch hitting for the other. (I didn't track how often some other player pinch hit for the catcher.)

Tim Johnson in 1998 and Buck Martinez in 2001 both brought in a second catcher quite often - what those teams had in common was a LH starter behind the plate (Darrin Fletcher) for whom you would prefer to pinch hit against a southpaw if it was late and you were losing. But it generally wasn't the other catcher who was being sent up to pinch hit.

While my memory tells me that Cox, Williams, and Gaston would cheerfully send their second catcher up to pinch hit whenever the possibility was there, in actual fact it didn't often happen before the sixth inning. Maybe once a year, Cox would pinch hit one catcher for another in the third inning (and Cito Gaston once had Borders hit for Myers in the second inning) - but as a rule, this particular type of pinch hitting begins in the sixth and happens most often in the eighth inning.

As you might expect, the catchers who make the relief appearances and pinch hit for the other catcher most often are the right-handed half of the platoon tandems. Martinez in 1984 and Borders in 1990 both relieved the starter 32 times; Martinez pinch hit for Whitt 19 times, Borders for Myers 23 times.

Montoyo hardly used a second catcher at all in his first season (just 16 times in 162 games.) He was slightly more willing in the short season last year (11 times, but just 60 games). He's already used two catchers in a game 24 times this year. His starter has finished the game 78% of the time, somewhat lower than the historical average. Three times he had no choice - his starter (Jansen twice, Kirk once) came out of the game with an injury. Kirk has been replaced by McGuire for defense three times, and Kirk replaced Jansen twice late in games for no pressing reason (maybe Jansen needed a break, maybe he wanted to get Kirk some reps.) He's pinch hit for one of his catchers with another one eight times, always to gain a platoon advantage (McGuire for Jansen twice, McGuire for Adams once, Adams for McGuire three times, Jansen for McGuire twice.)  He's also pinch run one catcher for another twice (once - McGuire for Jansen - was forced by injury, the other was McGuire for Kirk.)

In addition to the eight times when a catcher pinch hit for the other and stayed in to catch, there have been five more games when a catcher pinch hit for the other with the team losing in the final inning but didn't have to come in to catch because there would be no bottom half of the inning. These were Kirk for McGuire (once), Jansen for McGuire (once), and McGuire for Jansen (three times.)

While Montoyo currently has the elements of a classic L-R platoon, his deployment of his catchers seems more determined by the name of his starting pitcher. It appears that Kirk will be catching Robbie Ray and Alek Manoah; McGuire will catch the other three (for tomorrow's double-header, I predict Kirk will catch Matz - they did well together last time - and McGuire will catch Stripling). Sunday's game suggests he's not going to have Kirk pinch hit for McGuire if it means giving up the platoon advantage. What we really need to see is a game situation when McGuire is due up with a southpaw on the mound and the team trailing. Would he let McGuire hit in such a situation? I don't believe so. Besides the three RH catchers who have pinch hit for him, Montoyo has also had Randal Grichuk, Santiago Espinal, and Rowdy Tellez (twice) pinch hit for McGuire. He did leave him in to bat against the LHP Taylor the other day with men on base - but the game was tied and it was only the fourth inning.

Okay, Jays-Angels. Matchups!

Tue Aug 10 (1) - Matz (9-6, 4.30) vs Rodriguez (2-1, 3.86)
Tue Aug 10 (2) - Stripling (5-6, 4.43) vs Suarez (5-4, 3.60)
Wed Aug 11 - Manoah (4-1, 2.58) vs Bundy (2-8, 6.14)
Thu Aug 12 - Berrios (8-5, 3.23) vs Ohtani (6-1, 2.93)
Blue Jays at Angels, August 10-12 (Three Catchers) | 232 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#404643) #
For his career against LHP, Reese McGuire is hitting .145/.188/.263 with 4 walks and 26 strikeouts in 82 PAs.  He's been totally overmatched. 

Against RHP, McGuire is hitting .293/.338/.458 with 16 walks and 44 strikeouts in 267 PAs.  He's more than holding his own, and seen in this light, the decision to not pinch-hit for him makes some sense.  I hadn't realized that his platoon splits were that extreme. 
scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#404645) #
I see this as the AL MVP game. I imagine both teams will do everything they can to make the other star player look bad.
Before you ask, Japan is on the Barrio Jacket. 

They have Ohtani plus Stassi in 3 of the games. I wouldn't give Othani anything good to hit.

Rodriguez is 22. He's had 1 start and pitched in 13 other games. It seems to me like they are keeping him in AAA to extend his control.  I suppose they sent him down to stretch him, but they could have done that in Anaheim.
 A fair number of strike outs, but a fair number of walks as well.
His start was against Texas--a putrid team lately--and he allowed 3 runs in 6 innings on 86 pitches. Maybe he runs out of bullets after 4 here?

Suarez is a lefty who sits around 93mph. Fastball, curve, changeup.
If that sounds like a recipe for reverse split, than the .552/.969 OPS makes sense.
I hope Montoyo doesn't go all right bats here.


John Northey - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#404646) #
McGuire has some crazy splits...
When swinging at first pitch:.324/351/451 but just a 750 OPS when he makes contact on it
When taking the first pitch: 179/235/260

Bases Empty: .275/308/441
RISP: .169/258/254

Team Behind: 305/350/534
Tie Game: 073/150/127

Low Leverage: .329/366/480
High Leverage: 157/259/314

What does it mean?  For one thing, he hasn't had a lot of PA yet just 322 in the majors.  So if the team is losing, bases empty, low leverage situation - let him hit.  But in a tie, high leverage, RISP don't let him hit.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#404647) #
I predict Kirk will catch Matz - they did well together last time - and McGuire will catch Stripling

What do I know? It's McGuire catching Matz in game one, because game two starter Suarez is a southpaw and Charlie can read a platoon split.
scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#404648) #
I've always advocated for a straight platoon of Jansen/McGuire instead of playing pitcher match up.
scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#404649) #
It's a starter with a curve and a changeup who kills right handed bats.
Against a lefty, he's a 2 pitch guy no better than Murphy.

scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#404650) #
Barrio means neighborhood, but it's often use like "the Hood".
East Harlem is known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio.

Eephus - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#404652) #
I was listening to the air conditioner hum....

Lets go fellas, stay in the race.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#404653) #
1989 3 catcher situation: 
May 31: same thing - Whitt started, Borders PH but didn't hit, Ducey hit for him, Brenley came in to finish the game so 3 catchers used but one never got into the field.
Jun 5: same sorta - Whitt started, Brenley PH and stayed in, Borders PH for the DH but never actually did anything as Ducey hit for him, then later Lawless hit for Ducey.  Cito did firmly believe in the platoon advantage.
Jul 5: covered above, 3 used including Lawless
Jul 17 Game 2 of a double header - 3 catchers used sorta: Whitt started, Border PH for him, but before he could hit Myers PH for him and caught the rest of the game.  Not exactly what you were looking for but jumped out at me.  1 run win in a pennant race.
Sep 16: could've easily been a 3rd catcher situation - Whitt started, Borders came in 6th to 11th, Infante PH (sac bunt, reached by error) followed by a sac fly from Tony Fernandez to win the game.  But if the Jays failed to score that inning then a 3rd catcher would've been needed.

1989 was a bit odd for catching - 6 catchers used - Ozzie Virgil was here for September only and caught just once for 1 inning (in relief of Whitt), while Lawless also caught just that one time, also for 1 inning.  that is the Jays record.  1985, 1987, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005,  had 5 catchers.  1979 the opposite with just 2 catchers used all year (Rick Cerone, Bob Davis) and 2011 as well (J.P. Arencibia, Jose Molina), 1993 was close with just 3 catchers barely (Delgado caught 1 game for 3 innings) as was 1994 (Delgado again 1 game, 2 innings this time).  6 were used also in 2017 (Russell Martin, Luke Maile, Miguel Montero, Rafael Lopez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Mike Ohlman) to tie the 1989 record.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#404654) #
Ooops - i resorted by date when Sept 16th was on top, then moved to the bottom.  Doh.  So May 31, June 5th both look weird now with wording.  All 3 saw Borders used as a PH but he didn't catch, so 3 catchers used in the game but one didn't catch.
scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#404655) #
McGuire is a bad choice to face a lefty.
Valera is a switch hitter.
That only leaves Dickerson as an option against Suarez.
He's a decent left on left guy.
But, Grichuk is 1 for 3, Lourdes is 3 for 3 with a homerun , Hernandez is 1 for 3 with a homerun and Springer is 3 for 7 with a homerun.

I'd probably sit Grichuk and DH Dickerson.
Lourdes, Kirk and Espinal are the guys on the bench for the first game.
McGuire and Valera will probably sit the second one and I'm expecting Dickerson to sit too.

scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#404656) #
Arozarena is back from the Covid-IL but Yarbrough his taking is spot there.
Paul D - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#404657) #
Anyone have any experience buying tickets for this season? I'm not sure if most of September is sold out, or if the Jays are only selling the tickets one month out.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#404658) #
I woke up Saturday morning and bought tickets for the 3pm game no problem. Just googled Jays tickets and hit the first add that popped up - think it was boxofficeticketsales.com. it seems like they were selling pairs only but there were plenty available, and two tickets 30 rows up behind home plate came to less than $150CAN all in. That site redirected back to ticketmaster to get the actual ticket.

But it was no fuss. I tried to get another pair but it wouldn't let me - not sure if that was some kind of security feature or what.
scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#404659) #
Are you checking Yankees games? Weekend games?

If I check any game at mlb.gameday there's a "buy tickets" button that redirects to ticketmaster.
There's a huge disclamer... and the capacity is limited...

scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#404663) #
Stassi hitting 7th?
The 2 hottest hitters hitting 8 and 9?
Are they trying to win or just have guys on base to give Othani more RBIs?

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#404664) #
" I was listening to the air conditioner hum..."

Doesn't it know the words?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#404666) #
Doesn't it know the words?

I don't know. But it went:

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm-hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm
Paul D - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#404667) #
I read little closer - they haven't opened up tickets for the games starting September 13th and later yet
Polite Nate - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#404669) #
Valera shuffling in the box like he's playing slo-pitch out there.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#404670) #
Ouch. That was a missed opportunity.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#404671) #
That was way way way too casual for Vlad
scottt - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#404672) #
Could not find the ball in the sun.
Nothing to do with casual or hustle.

blu-j - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#404673) #
"That was way way way too casual for Vlad"

I think (hope?) he lost it in the sun--Not that he was being casual with the catch. Killer time for the error though.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#404674) #
Grichuk has been a pretty horrible hitter since May. Heís overdue for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#404675) #
It wasnít just the dropped ball he also didnít hustle after it, which is what allowed the second run to score
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#404676) #
Wait what the hell is Thornton doing on the team again.
mathesond - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#404677) #
Giving up soft contact to fielders that can't handle it?
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#404678) #
Might be a good idea to just give Ohtani the IBB.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#404679) #
I dislike west coast road trips.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#404680) #
Can someone break down why after an off day we just followed up our #5 SP with 2 relievers that don't even have a spot on our healthy roster?
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#404681) #
Pretty sure Dolis has a spot on a healthy roster. Thornton likely should have been pulled after five since he hasnít been good multi innings this year but in that inning he did what you wanted just Vlad didnít.

This stretch is also going to be a bit harder if Vlad is going to keep chasing like he has recently.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#404682) #
Romano
Hand
Soria
Mayza
Cimber
Richards
Stripling

That's 7.

Dolis in a battle with Pearson and Merryweather for 8th slot.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#404683) #
Sure this team has like 8-9 relievers. I trust Dolis more than Hand in that list as well. Stripling I think is a better pitcher than Matz and think itís a mistake if he loses the rotation spot. Regardless Iíd trust Dolis more than Matz or Stripling in a bullpen situation.

Anyway defence lost us this game a bunch of questionable plays. Big problem with the team is even if the defence isnít making errors theyíre still leaving makable plays on the field.
christaylor - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#404684) #
Vlad looks tired and in a slump. A half an MVP calibre season from 22 year old is amazing. A down August and a good but not first half Vlad great is fine. Now his hand probably aches from taking a pitch flush even with the padding. Without the padding that would have been an IL stint and probably a lengthy one. I rather not fall back into the trap of inflated expectations for him. I hope he can still have fun even going through the grind. He doesn't need to carry this offense. Odds are the Jays don't make the playoffs and that's OK.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#404685) #
Iím also amused by using Mayza as some proof of a guy who is really trustworthy. Sure he is lately but he wasnít good before this year and had a spell in June worse than any others reliever on the team. I draw a difference between Thornton and Murphy because I donít think Murphy is a good pitcher. He is literally AAAA guy.

Thornton though has had a strong season in MLB as a starter and is capable of throwing more than two pitches. I think he could be a very good reliever if given a chance and I suspect if we let him go someone else would pick him up and he would be a very good reliever for multiple years. Anyway he pitched well enough today but defence let him down multiple times.

Thatís kinda a problem with the team. Offence and starting pitching can steal games. Even the relievers can. But defence itís very rare (that Springer catch, the Reese throws, Semien sometimes, Gurriels throws) but most of the time we are just happy that the defence is competent. Competent as the high water mark is an issue.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#404686) #
Oh hey look I finally got Kasi to criticize the buppen!
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#404687) #
[Mayza] wasnít good before this year and had a spell in June worse than any others reliever on the team.

It was, quite literally, 10 days in May when he allowed 9 ER in 2 IP over 4 awful innings. The rest of the season, "lights out" probably describes it best.

Split   W  L   W-L%    ERA    G    IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB  SO    BF    WHIP    SO9    SO/W
April   1  0  1.000    0.00  10    6.1   7   0   0   0   0   7    26    1.105   9.9    -.--
May    0  0   .000   14.73   9    7.1  11  12  12   2   5   7    37    2.182   8.6    1.40
June    1  1   .500    0.82  14   11.0   7   2   1   0   1   9    40    0.727   7.4    9.00
July    0  0   .000    1.04   9    8.2   3   1   1   0   2  10    31    0.577  10.4    5.00
August  0  0   .000    3.38   2    2.2   1   1   1   1   1   3    10    0.750  10.1    3.00
Pretty decent comeback season.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#404688) #
I said during the game the other day that I didnít want Murphy in because to me he is bad. I do think there are some valid criticisms of the bullpen and Montoyos usage but most of it came down to ďbullpen has massive injuries and has 3 decent to good guys and we canít use them all the timeĒ. Now the team does have more but with Mayza and Soria out and others injured we arenít that deep and canít be using Cimber or Richards every game.

Hopefully soon we get Merryweather, Pearson, Soria and Mayza back and we can add those 4 to Romano, Cimber, Richards and I guess Hand/Dolis if theyíre going nine.

I donít think they should sit Stripling in favor of Matz. Stripling is more consistent and heís going to be here next year. I donít know if Matz has the mentality to relieve but he certainly has the stuff. If he comes in to fresh innings I would put him above Hand/Dolis.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#404689) #
The Jays may have made a mistake in not giving Vlad some days off here and there over the course of the season. Next year they may need to pace him a bit more.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#404690) #
2yr stats as RP

Romano 55.0ip, 52era-, 84fip-, 1.5awar/65
Cimber 60.2ip, 61era-, 75fip-, 1.0awar/65
Soria 52.2ip, 85era-, 79fip-, 1.0awar/65
Hand 68.0ip, 74era-, 80fip-, 0.9awar/65
Dolis 55.0ip, 70era-, 86fip-, 0.9awar/65
Mayza 36.0ip, 85era-, 77fip-, 0.8awar/65
Richards 58.1ip, 99era-, 82fip-, 0.5awar/65
Thornton 34.0ip, 108era-, 120fip-, -0.3awar/65

Merryweather 12.1ip, 64era-, 38fip-, 3.2awar/65
Pearson 1.2ip, 0era-, 61fip-, 2.0awar/65
Stripling 15.0ip, 66era-, 63fip-, 1.3awar/65
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#404691) #
Not including today's game of course.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#404692) #
Oh yeah certainly agree heís been very good, but the reason is is because they gave a guy with a poor track record a chance and then he went with it. Then he sucked badly and they went back to him.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#404693) #
Kasi - I no longer know who "he" is. I am easily confused, I admit.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#404694) #
He is the Eggman.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#404695) #
Sorry I meant Mayza. They showed a good who before this year hadnít been good and now heís done well.

Iím just saying that I still have faith that Thornton could be a good reliever and donít blame him for the game today. Obv heís not going to get much of a chance to show it this year ofc given his learning curve but I think if he could get a bit more oomph out of his fastball (more 96s like today) he could be a good option for the pen in the future.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#404696) #
That didn't help!

I suppose it's true that young Vlad has been scuffling a bit - .262/.340/.548 since the break (not counting today). It's not awful, and 7 HRs in 22 games is a 51 HR pace for a full season. Semien's hit .264/.301/.529 with 4 HRs since the break and no one says a word. How quickly we have raised the bar!
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#404697) #
All tied up:

Oakland 3, Cleveland 3
NYY 4, KC 4
TB 4, Boston 4
Seattle 0, Texas 0

Let's hope the good guys win those games. And we all know who the good guys are (with the possible exception of the TB/Boston game).
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#404698) #
I wish this forum had an edit sometimes. I meant to say they showed faith to a guy who wasnít good before this year and heís done well. Including going back to him after he had a run of awful appearances. I donít think it was a given that he was a bullpen guy for us before this year and I think Thornton could do similar next year.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#404699) #
Vladdy is right there with EE as the best Jays base runner of recent memory. Not fastest (of course), but smartest, best judgment etc. That bloop read was all Vladdy.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#404700) #
Sorry magpie this is what I get from mostly posting on my phone. It tends to autocorrect some weird things if I donít notice it. Hope itís more clear now.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#404701) #
EE couldn't do this tho:

Vlad Jr sprint speed scoring from 2nd on that single: 28.8 ft/sec

Vlad 2021 avg = 26.9 ft/sec
MLB avg = 27 ft/sec
Elite = 30 ft/sec

— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 11, 2021
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#404702) #
Vlad's wRC+ by month:

March/April 211
May 162
June 224
July 152
August 82

I suspect something's up. He's either banged up, fatigued, or both. He himself has mentioned at least once that he's not 100% right now.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#404703) #
Ah, Mayza. Well, I liked him when he got here. I really liked the 27-4 K/W ratio and figured all the hits allowed (24 in 17 IP) was mostly bad luck. I thought he gave a very good account of himself in 2018 - they sent him back to AAA six times, and he just kept coming back and pitching well. He was not very good in 2019, and wrapped it up by blowing out his elbow. But I like his comeback season. There's nothing to dislike. He keeps the hits to a minimum, he keeps the ball in the yard, he doesn't walk people.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#404704) #
Dolis was fine there, but it made little sense to use the 27th man/9th RP the day after an off-day with 2 men on in what was essentially the 7th inning of a 2-1 game. And if Thornton IS someone you want in that spot, what the heck is he doing in Buffalo?

Felt like Game 1 wouldíve been much different if Springer came through with the bases loaded and one out instead of the killer DP.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#404705) #
Good points magpie. Perhaps my opinion of Thornton is influenced by the game I saw him pitch live. I got to see the Jays four times when I lived in Texas, two in Dallas and two in Houston. The last game I saw in Houston was the Jays winning 12-0 back in 2019 and Thornton pitched a very good game. I think that initial starting season showed a lot of promise and while maybe his time as a starter has done I think he could be a good reliever.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#404706) #
Uglyone - true. Although a younger EE was somewhat similar to Vladdy in that once he got underway he probably got up to something like league average speed. You can be an excellent base runner and be slow. You can be a terrible base runner (Gurriel) and be fast.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#404707) #
"He's either banged up, fatigued, or both."

Kiley McDaniel was asked what surprised him most when he got a job with Atlanta. He replied that near the end of the season, almost everybody was playing with some sort of injury.

Goldstein around the allstar break guessed a third to a half of players were playing while injured.

By now I'm guessing pretty well every regular is playing with something not right.

Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#404708) #
You can be a terrible base runner (Gurriel) and be fast.

I don't think Gurriel is fast at all, if that's what you're saying. I think Vlad's at least as fast as him.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#404709) #
Gurriel's one of those guys who looks like he should be fast, but just isn't. Like Yunel Escobar.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#404710) #
Vladdy is allowed a slump imo.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#404711) #
Perhaps my opinion of Thornton is influenced by the game I saw him pitch live.

Hey, I was in the house for Brandon Lyon's major league debut and I thought I was watching Greg Freaking Maddux.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#404712) #
I read that too, hypobole. I was wondering whether Vlad might be a little more banged up than the average player. The other day he winced in pain after a swing and was shaking out his hand. And then he got hit by a pitch on the hand (albeit on the padded part of his gear).

The Yankees are losing 7-4 in the 8th. Boston lost to TB 8-4. So the Jays could pick up ground against some of their WC competitors if they win this game.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#404713) #
Buck is obviously wrong, of course - strikeouts are on average HARDER outs for the pitcher than any other outs are.

uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#404714) #
2 slumpbusting hits in a row for vladdy now.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#404715) #
Nope
Nigel - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#404717) #
Thatís true. Gurriel is probably league average on speed. Bush was probably a better example of a legitimately fast runner who was a terrible base runner.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#404718) #
Oh hey just noticed Kirk in the 6 hole. Well done manager.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#404719) #
Yanks lose Sox lose.
ayjackson - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#404720) #
I too have some left abdominal discomfort. I am blaming the dairy I had for desert and will be back in 20-30 minutes.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#404721) #
Any word on Stripling injury?
Thomas - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#404722) #
Just saw these stats, which are impressive, if accurate:
Ross Stripling vs Boston:
3 GS, 9 2/3 IP, 14.90 ERA, 18.0 K%, 8.0 BB%

Ross Stripling vs everybody else:
16 G/15 GS, 81 2/3 IP, 3.20 ERA, 24.6 K%, 6.9 BB%

Just don't ever start him against Boston.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#404723) #
Maybe Hatch to replace Stripling if an IL stint is necessary?
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#404724) #
Don't really need an SP replacement for him given the doubleheaders are done.

But he probably just has the runs.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#404725) #
Or just roll 5 starters and keep Hatch stretched out in Buffalo in case a 2nd SP goes down.
ayjackson - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#404726) #
I feel a visit from Dewey may be imminent after my last post.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#404727) #
Just saw these stats, which are impressive, if accurate: Ross Stripling vs Boston:

They are accurate - and one of the Boston starts was actually pretty decent. He took a 5-1 lead into the sixth, but then he gave up a run and a couple of hits. And then came Chatwood.... Hit by Pitch, Walk, Wild Pitch, Hit by Pitch. One of a kind.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#404728) #
Eichorn reborn.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#404729) #
Fabulous job by the Jays pitchers so far tonight.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#404730) #
If the Ďpen pitches well in the 6th and 7th, they could close out the game without having to face Ohtani again.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#404731) #
It would be cool if Cimber could pitch the 7th here. Please donít use Romano for the 3rd time in 4 days up 4-0.
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#404732) #
Is this cool?
Polite Nate - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#404733) #
These days I'm not comfortable pitching Romano with anything less than a 4 run lead.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#404734) #
1-2Ötime to make a pitch.
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#404735) #
Definitely cool.
blu-j - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#404736) #
Had 'em all the way....
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#404737) #
A little too exciting there.
Spifficus - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#404738) #
If that's how they draw it up, it looks awfully like The Scream. But hey, whatever works.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 01:45 AM EDT (#404740) #
Montoyo says Stripling has an oblique strain, will definitely miss his next start.
Glevin - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#404748) #
Richards and Cimber were pretty small moves but they has such a massive impact on the bullpen. First game was so frustrating because Jays should have won it, just everything seemed to go wrong.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#404757) #


Alejandro Kirk

MLB (21-22): 101pa, 8.9b%/15.8k%, .325bip/.300avg, .200iso, 135wrc+, 2.6war/650
AAA (22-22): 56pa, 8.9b%/16.1k%, .375bip/.347avg, .184iso, 142wrc+
AA (-----): ---
A+ (20-20): 276pa, 13.8b%/11.2k%, .317bip/.288avg, .159iso, 153wrc+
A (20-20): 96pa, 18.8b%/8.3k%, .299bip/.299avg, .221iso, 173wrc+


Last 2 seasons:

1. Guerrero 154wrc+
2. Springer 153wrc+
3. Kirk 135wrc+
4. Teoscar 134wrc+
5. Bichette 122wrc+
6. Semien 121wrc+
7. Gurriel 107wrc+
8. Biggio 102wrc+
9. Grichuk 100wrc+
10. Dickerson 97wrc+
11. Espinal 96wrc+
12. Jansen 75wrc+
13. McGuire 64wrc+
uglyone - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#404758) #
6-1 in Kirk's last 7gms as catcher, 9-3 in his last 12.

In 3 of those last 7gms with him at catcher we've posted shutouts. 14 runs against total in those 7.


bpoz - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#404759) #
Due to injury this year to Kirk and Jansen, Kirk has not burned an option. So he still has 3 left.

If his weight becomes a problem that results in him playing below his expected level, the options could be very valuable. We will see his off season fitness improvements when ST starts next year. I expect him to be a bit slimmer.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#404760) #
Managers and teams have usually favoured defense over offense at catcher. That creates a bit of a conundrum for the Jays, do they choose offense (Kirk) or defense (McGuire/Jansen)?
92-93 - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#404762) #
The Jays face only one lefty in their next 9 games, which means McGuire and Dickerson are going to play a lot. With Gurriel and Grichuk struggling it would be smart to use Kirk at DH for say 4 of the 8 vs. RHP to get his bat into the lineup. Hopefully there won't be too much Valera, because Espinal's glove is worth more to this team than Valera's bat.

Tonight's Angels SP Dylan Bundy has held these Jays hitters to a .246/.291/.395 line in 98 AB with Springer and Semien having the most success.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#404763) #
Agree on all counts, 92-93.   It would be a pretty decent use of a young catcher's development time in the circumstances 1 or 2 games catching, 4 games DHing (with the obvious ability to "shadow catch" and learn) and 2 or 3 games on the bench.  Who's the emergency catcher in case you have to pinch-run for Kirk late in the game and then McGuire gets injured?  I'd guess Espinal, who could probably play any position on the diamond capably a la Tovar. 
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#404764) #
Agree on all points 92-93. The thing with Kirk is that his bat might be so good that the traditional C offence/defence conundrum is close to meaningless. I know all about the "hidden" defensive C metrics, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that Kirk is unplayable currently at C. For example, his arm clearly isn't that strong but he was quick and with good mechanics on the throw to second last night that Semien couldn't hold. He certainly doesn't have the receiving problems that Sanchez does. However, they manage it, I think he should be in the line-up a minimum of 60% of the games these days.
scottt - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#404770) #
Matz got squeezed in the first game. Had a lot of close calls going the other way.
If Guerrero doesn't lose that ball, they end up on top 3-2, but then they probably use some of the guys who pitched in the second game and that might have turned into a split anyway.
The key to sweeping those double headers is long outings from the starters which didn't happen here.

And all those Matz or Stripling discussions turn into nothing.

scottt - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#404771) #
I'm hearing that the only reason McGuire passed through waivers was the famous misdemeanor incident.

An oblique is what has been ailing Merryweather for most of the year.
He said that they've tweaked his delivery to reduce the stress.
Not a lot and just on the breaking balls, no effect on the fastball and change.

Pearson about to go on rehab assignment. Sitting high nineties and feeling good.

scottt - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#404772) #
Catching is hard. Splitting duties evenly is probably best.

There's a 2 game series coming up in Washington, sandwiched by off days.
I expect everybody will get into one of those games.
The Nats are like a AAA lineup now, anyway.

No reason to panic and increase the load on some guys.
Valera has probably earned more playing time.
Eight of the hitters have OPS over .800 the last 7 days.
Everyone is able to produce at that level, but not for an extended period of time.

christaylor - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#404773) #
"The thing with Kirk is that his bat might be so good that the traditional C offence/defence conundrum is close to meaningless."

Let's not go wild here. He's not Piazza or Posada for whom the conundrum was truly meaningless. No power. Bad body. I like Kirk as much as the next fan but he's not an upper-echelon offensive catcher and likely never will be.
blu-j - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#404774) #
Fun little read on mlb.com about Bo's quest to become part of the surprisingly small group of players with 20+ steals in a season without getting caught:
https://www.mlb.com/news/bo-bichette-rare-stolen-base-mark
It will be a miracle if that link works, but I tried!
blu-j - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#404775) #
As predicted, it did not work.  I won't try to link this time, but folks can cut/paste the link:
https://www.mlb.com/news/bo-bichette-rare-stolen-base-mark
Gerry - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#404776) #
Stripling to IL

Murphy DFA

Thornton recalled

Connor Overton promoted
Gerry - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#404777) #
Overton is 28 years old and this is his first call up to the major leagues.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#404779) #
As predicted, it did not work.  I won't try to link this time, but folks can cut/paste the link:

Random nternet skillz. I haz them.

Voila! A working link.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#404780) #
Bo gets another day off to rest his aching shins. Just a day to day issue per Montoyo.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#404781) #
Not surprised to see the Murphy/Thornton decisions. I just donít think Murphy has good enough pitches right now to make it in the majors.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#404782) #
christaylor, Alejandro Kirk has no power?  He's 22 and his career major league slugging percentage is .500 and his IsoP is .200.  At age 22, Mike Piazza posted a nice .277/.344/.540 line in the California League.  At age 22, Jorge Posada posted a pretty good .259/.366/.459 in the Carolina League.  Or if you prefer batted ball info, his average exit velocity of 90.6 this year ranks him 4th on the Blue Jays between Bichette and Springer. 

Thank you, though.  My risk of being banned for anti-Beatles sentiment has gone down.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#404783) #
Kirk is catching today with a RHP going.  Guerrero Jr. is DHing again today. 
John Northey - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#404784) #
Gotta feel good for Overton - 15th round pick in 2014, got 1 game in AAA in 2015, but just 1 game in 2016 in organized ball, then to indy leagues where he did quite well (1.96 ERA in 36 2/3 IP of relief). Missed 2017 (no idea why), came back in 2018 A+/AA/AAA, 2019 was in AA and indy leagues again (9 starts 4.02 ERA), missed all of 2020. Now in AAA he has a 2.03 ERA in 21 games (7 starts) over 57 2/3 IP 8.1 H/9, 0.5 HR/9 1.6 BB/9 7.8 K/9 - solid numbers. As a starter he threw as many as 6 innings this year, hasn't had a game with under 1 IP in 2021, 17 times more than 1 IP. So he will be a solid long man potentially. I love guys like this who struggle for years then get their chance. One hopes he does well now that he finally has that shot.
Cracka - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#404785) #
Overton has defied a lot of odds to make it to the majors. Four MLB organizations. Three full seasons completely missed in his career due to injury/COVID (2013, 2017, 2020). Two separate stints in Independent leagues. Throws mid-90s with good downward movement, which makes him a viable big league bullpen candidate. He has a 1-2 week window of opportunity before Pearson & Merryweather are ready, so this is a great chance to get a look at him.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#404786) #
Just was thinking about this upcoming offseason and who was available last one.  The big free agents...
  • Trevor Bauer: now on ineligable list due to various legal issue - 2.6 WAR might be all the Dodgers get for $102 mil.
  • George Springer: 1.7 WAR so far in an injury shorted season, but boy is he picking up as time goes by.
  • J.T. Realmuto: 2.6 WAR so far, critical in their attempt to win the NL East
  • Marcus Stroman: 1.9 WAR, but despite a 139 ERA+ has a losing record (shows how bad W-L is as an indicator of pitchers)
  • Kevin Gausman: 4.8 WAR for the surprising SF Giants. Will be a free agent with no compensation this winter.
  • Liam Hendriks: 1.6 WAR, 26-5 in saves-blown this year to lead the AL in saves. 
  • Marcus Semien: 5.3 WAR (who knew?) to help our Jays do so well this year.  If only he signed a 2 or 3 year deal.
  • Justin Turner: 3.3 WAR at 3B for the Dodgers.  Really hoped the Jays could get him somehow.  Ah well.
  • Marcell Ozuna: -0.3 WAR for Atlanta.  Ouch.  Only 48 games with a 67 OPS+, with a positive contribution on defense somehow.  But he signed for 4 years.  Ouch again.
  • Michael Brantley: 3.2 WAR - we all thought he was signed here, but at the last second he went to Houston instead.  Sigh.
  • Charlie Morton: 3.1 WAR - so Atlanta got a good one signed, but he is a free agent after the season.
  • DJ LeMahieu: 1.4 WAR - no injuries, just not having a great year.  And the Yankees have him for 5 more years at $15 per.
So that is everyone who signed for $15+ mil a year.  I think the Jays did OK with Springer - better than LeMahieu who many wanted.  Slaughters Ozuna (the one flop).  Who knew Semien would have the most WAR of any of the top free agents last season at this point?  Or that Gausman would be #2?
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#404787) #
Vlad's wRC+ by month:

March/April 211
May 162
June 224
July 152
August 82

I suspect something's up. He's either banged up, fatigued, or both. He himself has mentioned at least once that he's not 100% right now.

Re Vlad https://twitter.com/twitchejnave/status/1425531647252963340"Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has had 20 instances of a barrel or solid contact (as deemed by Statcast) that have resulted in a field out. 12 have come in the past 32 games. Here is a 106.2mph, 409ft bullet off of Matt Barnes"Apparently unlucky?
christaylor - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#404788) #
The "no power" was bait. IIRC Buck said, "He has no power." Personally, I don't know the sample size in the majors for Kirk is too small. I also wouldn't bet on the body to generate more than gap power, which is great. I will stand by (and be wrong hopefully) that he's not in the offense first class Catcher mold of the two names I mentioned. All the best to him but I'm firmly in the enjoy it while it lasts camp. There will be answer...
92-93 - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#404789) #
Overton was being used in Buffalo every few days typically for 30-60 pitches over 2-3 innings. Nice arm to have around if he can do that at the MLB level.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#404790) #
I really have no idea about where Kirkís offence levels out. I prefaced my comment with ďmightĒ, after all:). But, the reality is that Kirk might actually have Posada offensive upside. His minor and MLB stats suggest that that is possible. How many C prospects can actually say that? The sample size is small but I would say, subjectively, that the per AB approach is unusually good. I think you have to invest the ABs with Kirk to find out exactly what you have there.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#404791) #
For all the (well-deserved) hype about Ohtani, you know whose slash line is almost identical to his this year? George Springer.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#404792) #
Iím really hoping Springer isnít our Sunday starter:)

Returning to Kirk and the ďbad bodyĒ thought, leaving the Babe aside for a moment, how different is Kirk from Thurman Munson? I have a visual of Munson imprinted on my brain and itís not THAT different from Kirk.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#404793) #
I could see one future scenario where Kirk commits to a conditioning program like Vladís and then becomes an excellent major-league hitter for a while, maybe even with adequate (slightly below average?) defense for several years.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#404794) #
how different is Kirk from Thurman Munson? I

Very. At 5-11, 190 Munson was three inches taller and 75 pounds lighter. (I remember Thurman, no resemblance at all. )
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#404795) #
Kirk looks a lot more like late career or early retirement Kirby Puckett than anyone else I can think of.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#404796) #
In the absence of Trout, rule #1 of playing the Angels would seem to be ďdonít let Ohtani beat you.Ē As a hitter, that is. Harder to apply that rule when heís pitching.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#404797) #
Thurman Munson was one of those players who seemed like a stocky, burly guy - that face and that mustache sure helped - but if you look at video, he wasn't like that at all. He was one of those guys who looked taller than he really was and he was as quick and as mobile as any catcher you could see. (He didn't have much of an arm, but his release was so quick that he could throw people out anyway.)
christaylor - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#404798) #
Entirely fair he deserves to play given what he's done to date. I'll be over the moon if Kirk has anything like the career Posada had. One or two good Posada seasons and that'd also be great. It's not impossible but I'd be shocked. Part of Posada is that he played a ton of games at C. IIRC throw a dart at his long peak years he played more games at C than any Blue Jay ever has.

I don't think anyone ought to be surprised if he's up and down to Buffalo in the next few years. I want him to succeed but let's not set the bar too high. If he's a league average regular on the Jays for a few years he's the best C the team has ever developed. That's a win.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#404799) #
Fair enough. Understanding the fabrication of height in baseball, Otto Lopez being but one example, I would guess that Munson was 5í9Ē ish or less and probably over 200 lbs. Iím not sure Kirk is 260 any more FWIW.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#404800) #
I would guess that Munson was 5í9Ē ish or less and probably over 200 lbs.

Munson lookedlike he was about 6-1, 210. He definitely didn't look short.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#404801) #
Magpie, I value your view of history more than you can say but look at Munson in the videos relative to his peers and he looked stubby. He and Cey looked of a height.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#404802) #
Munson did call himself "The Fat Kid." But I don't think he was anywhere nearly as stocky as Vlad, never mind Kirk. He never seemed particularly short or stubby to me at the time. But I suppose I'm mostly remembering him at bat. He stood very straight and tall waiting for the pitch.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#404803) #
I don't have a live memory to draw on for Munson but 4 inches taller is a lot. I doubt he was ever as heavy even when older.

Kirk, body wise, is Willians Astudillo but shorter. The bad body comp is interesting because while it's a reason to doubt him as a major league regular, but now that he's shown promise it's a reason to be amazed.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#404804) #
If I had money on it, I would have Munson at about 5í9Ē and 200-210 and Kirk at 5í6Ē and 230-240. Not exactly the same, and Puckett might be the better comp.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#404805) #
He and Cey looked of a height.

Cey was listed at 5-10, but he was very oddly shaped. From knee to ankle, he had the legs of a 5-3 person. The rest of him should have been about 6-1. And 5-10 is what you ended up with.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#404806) #
If Cey was listed as 5í10Ē I would guess he was 5í8Ē. The bias towards inflating or deflating size and weight for prospects and players to the norm is real. I was at Logan Warmothís first few games in Vancouver. His listed height and weight was a joke relative to reality. Again, he was 2 inches shorter and 15-20 lbs less than listed.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#404807) #
Manoah on the mound is a lot like Dave Stieb - super confident, feels he can get anyone out at any time.  Outside of that aspect though he is nothing like Stieb - he has fun, is a great teammate - Stieb was the opposite of that - his glares at teammates who screwed up were infamous.

Still, I love seeing a guy who is confident, learning (was watching the last game with Ryu and constantly talking/listening it seemed), and a part of this team through at least 2027 should the Jays want him that long. 
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#404808) #
Here's a nice video of Munson in the 1977 World Series. He doesn't look like a short person to me - I'll accept the 5-11 he's listed at and add about 15 pounds to his official weight.  He was, of course, a great post-season player. I had forgotten about his strange three-quarter throws from behind the plate. Didn't look like much, but got the job done.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#404809) #
The bias towards inflating or deflating size and weight for prospects and players to the norm is real.

What, you don't think Boomer Wells really weighed 185 pounds?
Nigel - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#404810) #
Iíll cede the field here. I didnít start this discussion to infer that Kirk was or could be the defensive C that Munson was.

That was probably the best defensive play Iíve ever see from Gurriel (that didnít involve a throw).
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#404811) #
Aw. I was having fun looking at old videos!

One of the things that did strike me looking at those clips from the 77 World Series is that all the position players seem roughly the same size. No one's as tall as Gurriel, no one's as short as Kirk. They all look strikingly similar to one another.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 11 2021 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#404812) #
Manoah on the mound is a lot like Dave Stieb

But without the sense of inevitable, impending doom.
uglyone - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#404813) #
"Let's not go wild here. He's not Piazza or Posada for whom the conundrum was truly meaningless. No power. Bad body. I like Kirk as much as the next fan but he's not an upper-echelon offensive catcher and likely never will be."

Age 20

Kirk (A+): 276pa, .288avg, .395obp, .158iso, .841ops
Kirk (A): 96pa, .299avg, .427obp, .220iso, .947ops
Piazza (A-): 224pa, .268avg, .318obp, .176iso, .762ops
Posada (A-): 280pa, .235avg, .388obp, .124iso, .748ops

Age 21

Kirk (MLB): 25pa, .375avg, .400obp, .208iso, .983ops
Posada (A): 406pa, .277avg, .389obp, .195iso, .861ops
Piazza (A): 285pa, .250avg, .281obp, .140iso, .670ops

Age 22

Kirk (MLB): 76pa, .273avg, .354obp, .197iso, .825ops
Kirk (AAA): 56pa, .347avg, .393obp, .184iso, .923ops
Piazza (A+): 506pa, .277avg, .344obp, .263iso, .884ops
Posada (A+): 490pa, .259avg, .366obp, .200iso, .825ops
Posada (AA): 27pa, .280avg, .333obp, .000iso, .613ops
John Northey - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#404814) #
Funny, never felt that doom feeling with Stieb.  Well, at least until the pen came in and blew his lead.  Or if he had a no-no in the 9th.  How can one guy have 2 outs in the 9th of a no-no 3 times and lose it each time?  So glad he finally got it in his last good year.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#404815) #
A traditional Survivor Series match is a 10-man elimination tag-team contest. I will take 5 Blue Jays against the field. Vlad, Kirk, Manoah, Ryu, Dolis.
scottt - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#404816) #
Great night for Gurriel.
Henderson's first grand slam.

Murphy ran out of options and wasn't sticking in the pen.
He has a good curve. He just need to pitch like Glasnow/Ray.
High fastballs, low breaking balls, everything out of the same slot.
I think he likes his sinker too much.
It does work very well for Saucedo, but he's a totally different type of pitcher.

I don't know about Overton. I guess he's a guy who can get a shot and be dropped later.
He was the third best bullpen arm in AAA after Baker and Harris.
We should see Pearson and Merryweather in time for the tougher teams in September.
The best AAA starter has been Waguespack who will probably get another shot at it at some point.
Next is the guy they got in the Tellez trade.
The best AA starter has been Luciano who is still only 21 and has still 2 more option years.
The best starter in Vancouver (or about) has been Paxton Shultz.
Sem Robberse and Pardinho still look interesting but still years away.

Kloff has not looked great. Neither has Kendall Williams by the way.

bpoz - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#404817) #
6 of Manoah's starts have been against teams higher than us in the standings. He is doing V well and has passed the prospect barrier.

Pitchers like Murphy, Y Diaz and SRF are taking a long time to establish themselves. Until they can do that they will be passed around from team to team.

Saucedo is doing ok which is a big accomplishment in this years pen.
Parker - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#404818) #
"From knee to ankle, he had the legs of a 5-3 person. The rest of him should have been about 6-1."

Maybe he got his shins blown off in Korea.

Kirk looks like Pablo Sandoval to me, except Kirk is 23 and Sandoval is 35. If Kirk finishes his career as an above-average-hitting catcher (catcher, not hitter) then I will be very impressed. I really doubt that any of the Jays' current three catchers is going to earn an MLB pension.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#404819) #
The novel Shoeless Joe was published in 1982. At that time, the Governor of the State of Iowa was named Robert Ray.

Players born in Iowa inducted into Cooperstown: 1B Cap Anson, P Bob Feller, P Dazzy Vance, LF Fred Clarke, SS Dave Bancroft.

Pitcher Red Faber is also a Hall of Famer. He played for the White Sox from 1914 to 1933. Faber won 3 games in the 1917 World Series, where Chicago defeated the New York Giants. However, he did not play in the 1919 World Series vs. Cincinnati due to illness. Faber pitched 669 games, a team record.

Billy Sunday & Bobby Mattick were also born in Iowa.

hypobole - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#404820) #
He only has 74 PA's on the season, but his 147 OPS+ is the highest of all Mets position players.

Care to guess?
92-93 - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#404821) #
Probably Drury, he was red hot last week. The Mets really pissed away a glorious opportunity this season.
Thomas - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#404822) #
If I recall the stat correctly, Drury batted 1.000 in July in games he didn't start.

(Very) Old friend Sean Nolin starts tonight the Nationals. It's his first big league appearance since 2015. The Nationals are playing the Mets. His mound opponent? Marcus Stroman.

Nolin's time here didn't overlap with Stroman, but both were developed in Toronto's farm system.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#404823) #
Drury BABIP:

2019 (Tor): .259
2020 (Tor): .184
2021 (NYM): .360
Thomas - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#404824) #
The "very" in my comment was meant to refer to the length of time that has passed since Nolin was in Toronto's system, as opposed to his age. :)
Mike Green - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#404825) #
Speaking of Very Old Friends, does everyone remember the deal that brought Mark Buehrle to Toronto in 2012?  He arrived with Jose Reyes, John Buck, Josh Johnson and Emilio Bonifacio.  The players going to Miami were Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechevarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jake Marisnick, Jeff Mathis, Justin Nicolino and Anthony deSclafani.    The player who has delivered the most WAR after the trade so far is Jake Marisnick, but hot on his heels in second place is "Disco" Anthony deSclafani.  Joaquin Andujar was right- youneverknow.
hypobole - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#404826) #
Marisnick is about 4 WAR behind DeSclafani at FG.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#404827) #
Thanks, hypo.  I used BBRef.  Evidently DRS likes Marisnick's defence more than UZR.
hypobole - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#404828) #
Nolin's batterymate today looks to be Riley Adams, so ex-Jays galore in this one.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#404829) #
Emilio Bonifacio was on the Dominican Olympic team that won the baseball bronze medal along with other ex-jays Juan Francisco, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista.

" I really doubt that any of the Jay's current three catchers is going to earn a MLB pension."

Actually they already have as it takes only 43 days service time to earn a $9000 a year pension. It's the ten years of service time that really pays off for players as they can receive $68,000 a year at age 45. The average major league player's career is only 3 3/4 years and less than 10% of players in MLB history have reached the 10 year's of service time mark.
uglyone - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#404830) #
So the Kirk Skeptic scouting report is:

1. Kirk is short and fat
earlweaverfan - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#404831) #
Scottt, do you have any explanation for why Bryan Baker never gets chosen by the Jays for a look see? He He has excelled consistently. Do people think his skills wouldnít translate well to the majors?
lexomatic - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#404832) #
This site is hilariously mobile unfriendly.  I wad trying to post a response tip ugly for context and ed editing sad lost between flipping tabs everything got lost.
There's a reason i don't comment much because this board is impossible on phone and i ferry on a compost once a week for a few hours and don't have time fo catch up.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#404833) #
Kirk is short and fat

Deny it if you can!

I don't know if he's actually fat - certainly not like 2020 Vlad was fat. I think he's just very strangely shaped.

The Kirk Conundrum. He certainly looks like a major league hitter, and he definitely looks like the best hitter of the Toronto catchers. Alas, his game calling skills are about what you'd expect of a 22 year old who's caught roughly 50 games above A ball. Well, they learn by doing. It's not that big a problem, you live with it, you let him learn. Unless you're trying to win games this year. Then it gets a little more complicated.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#404834) #
Chris Davisí retirement is such a boon for the Oriolesí budget. I wonder if players negotiate a buy out, like in basketball, or if he really left $50M on the table.
uglyone - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#404835) #
Kirk's game calling looked pretty good last night!
christaylor - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#404836) #
I take from this you would bet that Kirk will have a great MLB career? Personally, I'd wait for more than 100-ish plate appearances just as I'd wait on any 22-year-old catcher.
Can Kirk even manage the grind of 406 PA a year at any level?
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#404837) #
Kirk's game calling looked pretty good last night!

With one pretty glaring exception.
hypobole - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#404839) #
Why is Kirk's height a problem?
Michael - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#404840) #
So I guess that makes it for Kirk:

Cons:
1. Short and Fat
2. Small Sample Size in majors

Pros:
1. Numbers of hitting across all levels show super success
2. Young age to be doing so at each level
3. The pitchers ERA with Kirk is generally better than with other catchers
4. Hasn't shown any flaws yet
5. Hits well enough to be a good/best DH option when he isn't catching, and seems to catch well enough to possibly be the best catching option

I mean I understand why you don't yet put him in the Hall Of Fame or declare him the next Mike Piazza, but I don't see why you don't have him in 75+% of the games (generally default DH when not C).
John Northey - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#404841) #
Love BR. In pitching splits they have by catcher.
  • Kirk: 221/296/393 - Ray 165 PA, Manoah 74, Zeuch 57
  • McGuire: 235/307/402 - Stripling 249, Manoah 168, Ryu 167
  • Jansen: 242/312/410 - Ryu 305, Matz 270, Ray 146
  • Adams: 233/296/437 - Ray 94, Ryu 49, Thornton 26
Interesting to see who each catcher has been used for. Ray is probably the easiest to catch, Ryu the hardest. Didn't notice McGuire was used for Stripling so much. Ray OPS with Kirk 629, McGuire 656, Jansen 765, Adams 630. Manoah with Kirk 471, McGuire 649, not caught by the other 2. Zeuch with Kirk 1.104, McGuire 1.012, no one else.
hypobole - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#404842) #
Why does FG have Kirk's 80 PA's of 113 wRC+ worth 0.2 WAR. but McGuire's 169 PA's of 96 wRC+ worth 1.4 WAR?
uglyone - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#404843) #
"Why is Kirk's height a problem?"

Cuz he's short! (And fat)
lexomatic - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#404844) #

Age 20

Kirk (A+): 276pa, .288avg, .395obp, .158iso, .841ops
lg ops .666 Dunedin leads league team ops .710
Kirk (A): 96pa, .299avg, .427obp, .220iso, .947ops
lg ops .678 Lansing 2nd with .722
Piazza (A-): 224pa, .268avg, .318obp, .176iso, .762ops 1989 NWL lg ops .690 Salem 4th .693
Posada (A-): 280pa, .235avg, .388obp, .124iso, .748ops 1991 NYP lg ops .679 Oneonta 2nd with .731
Age 21

Kirk (MLB): 25pa, .375avg, .400obp, .208iso, .983ops lg ops .733 Jays 4th with .766
Posada (A): 406pa, .277avg, .389obp, .195iso, .861ops 1992 SAL lg ops .668 Greensboro 1st with .724
Piazza (A): 285pa, .250avg, .281obp, .140iso, .670ops 1990 FSL lg ops .656 Vero Beach 1st with .721
Age 22

Kirk (MLB): 76pa, .273avg, .354obp, .197iso, .825ops lg ops .724 Jays 1st with .788
Kirk (AAA): 56pa, .347avg, .393obp, .184iso, .923ops lg ops.749 Buffalo 4th with .789
Piazza (A+): 506pa, .277avg, .344obp, .263iso, .884ops 1991 CAL lg ops.721 Bakersfield 2nd .761
Posada (A+): 490pa, .259avg, .366obp, .200iso, .825ops 1993 CAR lg ops .714 Prince William 6th .698
Posada (AA): 27pa, .280avg, .333obp, .000iso, .613ops 1993 EL lg ops .716 Albany 3rd .724

Context added in bold it's a shame Kirk's samples are so small, but the level has to mean something. And age 20 is pretty comparable. I really had no idea how impressive Kirk had been to date.
uglyone - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#404845) #
"I take from this you would bet that Kirk will have a great MLB career? Personally, I'd wait for more than 100-ish plate appearances just as I'd wait on any 22-year-old catcher.
Can Kirk even manage the grind of 406 PA a year at any level?"

I mean every kid is a risk and can bust and is no guarantee.... but I don't think people realize quite how spectacular his performance has been so far at all levels for his age. And across the board in all areas, showing zero glaring weaknesses or worry spots.

And aside from his short&fatitude, the kid imo passes the eye test spectacularly - preternaturally calm and composed at the plate, great plate coverage, easy pop, fluid and comfortable behind the plate, and I think he even looks very confident in game calling and pitcher-whispering.

And he had near 400pa in 2019 in a super elite year before covid hit.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#404846) #
Kirk is taller than Yogi Berra. His height isn't a problem.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#404847) #
Of course, what happened in last night's game came from the combination of the young catcher and the young pitcher. If Kirk had called for that slider with Ray on the mound, Ray would have just shaken him off - the guy's scuffling, his swing's gotten long, why would I help him out - and that would be that. But rookie pitchers generally aren't supposed to shake off the catcher.
92-93 - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#404848) #
Was the exception a poorly called pitch by Kirk, or a poorly executed one by Manoah? His fastball was looking good but a 1-2 slider buried down and in might have been fine.

The Jays are 7-1 in Kirk's last 8 starts behind the dish. In the ten games he's caught since being recalled from the minors the worst start the Jays have received was the 5 innings, 2 runs that Manoah gave up vs. the Red Sox. Internal metrics may argue but the results say he's earned continued looks at C until things change.

David Fletcher of the Angels is one of the hardest players in MLB to strike out. Hopefully Espinal was taking notes and can cut down on his K rate. Lost in the offensive explosion last night was Santiago's clutch single to put the Jays ahead 3-2, and with great hustle instincts he took 2nd on the throw home.

Only Semien and Springer have faced Ohtani before. Marcus is an empty 2/7 with 4 Ks, and George is 4/6 with 1 HR, 1 K, and 1 BB.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#404849) #
Was the exception a poorly called pitch by Kirk, or a poorly executed one by Manoah?

I can't remember where the target was. It wasn't a hanger and it was right at the bottom of the zone when Ohtani hit it, but it definitely caught too much of the centre of the plate. Of course, I wouldn't have wanted it down and in either. If you have to throw a breaking ball, I wouldn't have wanted it in the strike zone at all.
Nigel - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#404850) #
The way I think about Kirk is this. You'll find no bigger fan of Riley Adams than me, but if you bring him up and you're worried about his defence and ability to stay behind the plate he gets no benefit of the doubt. I say that because, while his minor league offensive numbers have shown some interesting attributes (patience and a bit of power), what's his upside? Maybe if everything breaks exactly right you end up with Yan Gomes 2.0 (maybe). But with Kirk, what's his upside? Well if absolutely everything breaks right you might have something like Piazza 2.0 (with less power). I'm not saying for a second that that should be expected, but don't you have to keep playing him to find out. And, he's sort of passing the eye test on all fronts (defensive issues acknowledged).
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#404851) #
I certainly have no problem with Kirk catching Ray and Manoah. So far so good, and he's actually caught more of Ray's innings than any of the other catchers. I'd be surprised if he can think along with Ryu at this point - McGuire is just now figuring it out - and he doesn't have a track record with Matz (just 6 IP) and Berrios (none at all.)
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#404852) #
Closely together: Boston, New York, and Toronto are 2nd, 3rd, 4th in the East and 5th, 6th, 7th in the American League. Tampa Bay is the team to chase.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#404853) #
Manoah sometimes has an extremely sharp slider.  I can understand trying a back-door slider, but if you miss, you miss outside with that count and that hitter.  The bottom of the zone middle-in is definitely a place you want to avoid with Ohtani. 
92-93 - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#404854) #
It would be nice if Oakland remembered how to lose. About to win their 11th game in their last 13. After Texas they have 7 vs. CHW & SF that should help.
Kasi - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#404855) #
I donít know how much of a difference there is between Kirk and the others defensively but I think something that should change is putting Kirk in as DH more when another is catching. I think the risk is pretty low and Vlad/Springer/Bo shouldnít need more than 3-4 DH spots a week which should leave 3-4 for Kirk. Like donít put Grichuk or Gurriel in as DH please thatís just a waste. Only four people should ever DH here.
John Northey - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#404856) #
The result based stats all say there is no Kirk problem behind the plate this year. The OPS against for him vs the others is in favor of Kirk or close enough to be within statistical error. The W-L record is impressive. 9-6 when he plays a full game behind the plate, 15-12 overall (2-2 when he DH's or PH's). Hard to see a problem there.

3 times the Jays pitchers had a shutout with Kirk catching (July 31 vs KC, Aug 7 vs Boston, Aug 10 @ LAA), 2 times 7 runs given up (Apr 6 @ Texas, Apr 9 vs LAA), 4 times 5 runs, 2 times 4 runs, 1 time 3 runs, 2 times 2 runs, 1 time 1 run (@ NYY Apr 4). 6 partial games he started (7+ innings each time) 3-3 record, 21 runs allowed (3.5 per game). Twice he came in late, 1-1 record, both in April. I really have trouble seeing the problem with him catching beyond 'short and fat'. Fangraphs rates him poorly on framing and basestealing. I really hope MLB brings in roboumps soon so framing is a thing of the past. McGuire's value is almost all framing. +3.5 for McGuire, -1.4 for Kirk. Jansen is -0.5 for framing.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#404857) #
Apart from Boston, the competition for the postseason has been tough of late. Last 10 games:

Jays 8-2
NYY 7-3
TB 7-3
Oak 8-2

As always, luck and health will be key variables going forward.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#404858) #
It would be nice if Oakland remembered how to lose. About to win their 11th game in their last 13. After Texas they have 7 vs. CHW & SF that should help.
Oakland always seems to have one of those 13-2 or 17-3 streaks every year.. It's really frustrating..
vw_fan17 - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#404859) #
Maybe it's the pants, but if anyone here reminds me of Stieb (mannerisms, general shape of the head/face, except for not being clean shaven), it's Robbie Ray..
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#404860) #
Oakland definitely beat the spread in today's 17-0 victory.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#404861) #
Kirk # 30... Firstly, Magpie's yeoman's work on the brief history of 3rd-catchers at the top of this thread is an important lesson. We can see that the fear of needing an emergency catcher appears mostly far-fetched.

Alejandro Kirk career MLB games as DH or PH:

Sept. 16th at NYY - 0 for 1 - (pinch hit for LF Gurriel Jr. in the 9th)
Sept. 24th vs. NYY - 1 for 4, double, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts - (DH starter)
^Sept. 29th at TB - 1 for 3, single - (DH starter, ^playoff game)

April 15th at KC - 1 for 1, single - (pinch hit for C Jansen in the 9th)
April 17th at KC - 1 for 3, single - (DH starter for game 1 of double-header)
April 20th at BOS - 0 for 2, strikeout - (DH starter, substituted by PH Palacios in the 8th)
April 21st at BOS - 1 for 1, single, RBI - (pinch hit for DH Tellez in the 9th, substituted by PR Espinal)

This short list demonstrates that Kirk's opportunities have been strictly limited.
John Northey - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#404862) #
Given the roster we have here (5 everyday OF, Espinal/Valera or Espinal/Biggio sorta/kinda platooning at 3B, 8 or 9 man pen, 6 man rotation) there isn't space for 3 catchers. But in 2022 I suspect the OF will be cleaned up a bit (down to 4) and 3B will be a more stable situation with 2B opening up most likely. We'll see. But to go to 3 catchers I suspect Jansen or McGuire has to learn 1B to go with catcher so they can be backups at more than 1 position. Kirk is seen as too short for 1B and given the throws Bo makes I'd have to agree. So I don't see 3 catchers in the Jays near future unless something weird happens.

2022 should be McGuire/Kirk to start then Moreno once the Jays feel he is ready forcing a trade. Jansen I have trouble seeing a spot for unless McGuire goes back to hitting for an average under 100.

Infield is purely a question of what happens with Semien. If he resigns then 3B is the only opening with Espinal and Biggio likely to semi-platoon unless one or the other takes over. If not resigned then Biggio slots into 2B with Espinal at 3B while the kids (Smith/Lopez/Capra (357/423/601 in AA at age 24)/ and Groshans) try to steal either the 2B or 3B job away. Capra as a 20th round pick sure came out of nowhere didn't he?
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#404865) #
Biggio is DHing tonight in Buffalo? (Two PApps, 2 walks, one with the bases loaded.) Didn't know he was that close.

The need for a third catcher may be extremely far-fetched - I'm pretty sure every last instance I found of one being used was completely voluntary - but the prospect still seems to scare the crap out of your average MLB manager.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#404866) #
It's the Field of Dreams game! Hmm. I didn't like the book, and I really didn't like the movie (I hate with the heat of a thousand suns the romanticizing of Joe Jackson) but I got to admit - that's a pretty cool looking field.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#404867) #
Has anyone heard anything about Morenoís health? How serious was his broken thumb? How did the surgery go? Is he close to resuming play? Itís been mostly radio silence since the injury.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#404868) #
Eloy Jimenez three-run home run. White Sox up 5-3 on the Yankees in the third inning.
mendocino - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#404869) #
Davidi writes Moreno should be back towards end of this month and playing in Buffalo

https://www.sportsnet.ca/article/blue-jays-farm-report-gunnar-hoglund-next-big-pitching-hope/

Moreno news in Buffalo report
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#404870) #
Thanks, Mendocino.

The report is a bit light on details, but good to hear that there is some expectation he'll return towards the end of August.
scottt - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#404871) #
I guess Costner was a big star back then.
The movie didn't do anything for me.

The Yankees winning this would be a big upset given the pitching matchup.

scottt - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#404872) #
Managers like having a third catcher in September.
Catching is hard. Guys are tired.
If a catcher goes down you don't bring up a replacement who doesn't know all the pitchers well.

scottt - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#404873) #
Semien should get a huge contract somewhere else, probably to play shortstop.
Let's just hope it's not the Yankees.

I'd be OK with Biggio at 2B, Smith at 3B, Espinal, Lopez and whoever manning the bench.
We're back to 13 position players and 13 pitchers next year.
I expect many teams will pick up position players in the rule 5.
It's going to be very hard to steal a pitcher.
Jays need to spend the money on Ray or his replacement and a couple of top bullpen guys.

scottt - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#404874) #
Chris Davis left no money on the table.
He's getting every last dollars on an agreed differed payment plan.
I imagine he'll save some taxes that way and the Orioles will sponge up the cost over a longer period.
They'll have to bring their prize catcher up at some point next year. Probably 3 weeks in.

scottt - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#404875) #
40 roster pressure, I guess.
I imagine Overton gets DFAed once Merryweather is healthy, but it could be someone else.
He's a multi inning guys whereas Baker is a closer who walks more guys than you would like.

christaylor - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#404876) #
Is it the romanticizing that's objectionable or his behavior? Personally, there's something valuable in the myth. As long as it is not too starry-eyed. There are lessons in this interview and the liquor store tale. If both narratives "ain't so" -- it doesn't really matter. Myths can teach as much or more than the truth sometimes.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#404877) #
I think it's the romanticizing that irritates me even more - Jackson's story is just kind of sad and squalid. Whereas Bob Feller actually did come out of an Iowa corn field, and is surely the man in history who struck out as many batters in a game as years that he'd lived on the planet.
mathesond - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#404878) #
and is surely the man in history who struck out as many batters in a game as years that he'd lived on the planet.

I assume you intended to write 'surely the first man in history...". Kerry Wood was, I believe the second. I happened to be visiting Chicago in Wood's first start at Wrigley after his 20K game, and fortuitously had arranged for tickets to that game a month or so prior. Man, that was a pretty electric atmosphere for an early June game, but the crowd was there to see him pitch, and he struck out 13 Braves in 7 innings.
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#404879) #
And it was easier for Feller. He only had to strike out 17 guys.
Nigel - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#404880) #
Iíll repeat something I said a few days ago, but is really reinforced watching tonight, Manoah and Berrios are very similar. They could really use someone to take a turn between them.

Iíd have to think Grichuk only gets in right now on days when they want a backup CF?
Kasi - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#404881) #
Surprised they didnít do it after last start with the doubleheader they could have put Ray in tonight.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#404882) #
The Yankees just hit a pair of two-run home runs with two out in the ninth. They now lead the White Sox 8-7.
Kasi - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#404883) #
Thanks Hendriks for completely blowing that game!
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#404884) #
It's not over yet. Top of the order coming up for Chicago.

But yeah, that was a pretty dramatic meltdown by Hendriks (against some good hitters including Judge/Gallo/Stanton, it should be acknowledged).
92-93 - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#404885) #
Amaizing walk off!
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#404886) #
Nice work, Tim Anderson!
Magpie - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#404887) #
I saw the fireworks after the Anderson homer and started thinking - I hope the corn field doesn't catch fire.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#404888) #
Keep chipping away. Need at least a couple of good innings from Berrios here. Then Richards Cimber Romano etc. to hold the Halos while the Jays (hopefully) scrape their way back into it.
Spifficus - Thursday, August 12 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#404889) #
Does Thornton cross in front of a black cat before going to the mound? Perhaps he throws a salt shaker through a mirror hanging below a ladder 13 times...
uglyone - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#404890) #
More Kirk please.
uglyone - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:49 AM EDT (#404891) #
Love to know how many of our close losses come down to absolute horseshit late game calls.
scottt - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#404892) #
Green corn does not burn, but don't do this in a couple of months.
Magpie - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#404893) #
Green corn does not burn

I guess it goes to show that you can take the boy out of the city, and... he won't have a clue what's going on.

Honest, I saw those fireworks and the first thing through my head was "won't the corn catch fire?"
Magpie - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#404894) #
More Kirk please.

He'll be behind the plate tonight. Probably Sunday as well. Good enough?
bpoz - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#404895) #
Looking at the standings, I can make some reasonable predictions for next year. Texas and Baltimore will not compete. The AL Central should have KC not ready yet. They probably don't try hard for 2022. I don't know about Minnesota. They have had a bad 2021. Cleveland is rebuilding/retooling so they could be good or bad. Detroit has moved into 2nd place in the AL Central. They have good young pitching that is succeeding in the Majors now. CWS seem head and shoulders above the rest of the AL Central. They have made strong acquisitions to stay there. Playoff results will determine how well they can compete with the other V strong AL teams.

Predicting results can be very wrong. But predicting/reading opinions on who is strong/weak can be counted and ranked.

The Jays may make trades accordingly.
John Northey - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#404896) #
Don't know if anyone else noticed, but Vlad isn't #2 in the AL in WAR anymore. He is #2 on the Jays though. Semien has moved into the #2 slot in the AL with 5.4, Ohtani at 7.4 is unreachable, Vlad is tied for 4th with Mullins in Baltimore. #3 is Correa in Houston at 4.9. Small differences are meaningless in WAR, but it is interesting that what was a 2 man race for MVP has shifted with Vlad slumping. Normally a guy who is #2 in WAR and becoming a free agent would be seen as a priority to sign but instead we've all wrote him off for 2022 I think.
bpoz - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#404897) #
Ray and Semien should both be given QOs. If not accepted and they sign elsewhere we get a draft pick.

With Semien in the lineup this year, but not Springer, the Jays have still scored 0, 1, 2 and 3 runs. This has resulted in some losses.

Sometimes the SP has left after 3 IP due to inadequate pitching or injury. This has put strain on the pen. For example the recent poor outing by Ryu against Boston Aug 8. He lasted 3.2 innings. But the pen and offense did very well and we won.

So there are many ways to win or lose.

Ray may sign elsewhere. The rotation if healthy would be Ryu, Manoah and Berrios. Stripling could be guaranteed a spot in the rotation. 6 SPs at least are most like needed. Those chosen 6 would be in ST with 1 being designated the swing man. I don't count Pearson in those 6. But there always seems to be opportunity.

Money should not be a problem. Many players being paid this year will not be here in 2022.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#404900) #
" Many players being paid this year will not be here in 2022."

I don't agree with that, bpoz. Barring trade I think most of the starters will be back. There are no bad contracts with only Grichuk being overpaid for what he does and even then he provides good defense and some power. Unless Ray is shooting for the moon, I really think the Jays will try to resign him. I would like them to resign Semien, too, but he might be looking for too much money.

At this point the Jays are contending now and for the immediate future. The front office will be trying to add to what is already here and the ones leaving will be fringy, low-paid types.
uglyone - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#404901) #
Team saved plenty of money the past 5yrs. Letting stars like Semien and Ray leave while contending would be embarrassing.
bpoz - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#404902) #
Thanks for the response ISLAND BOY. We are paying Roark $12 mil this year. I would be shocked if he is back in 2022. Also disappointed.

I just reread the Phelps and Yates injury story. These stories are from May25. It seems Phelps will not be back this year BUT Yates may be back (I will believe it when I see it).

Yamaguchi gone but collecting from the Jays.

I can see us resigning Yates for 2022. Hope we don't resign Phelps because I fear a 3rd seasons of paying for him getting injured again.

I am reasonably sure you were not talking about any of the above players. You did say "regulars" so Roark and Yates, Phelps and Chatwood may be considered regulars.

So I was joining this good discussion about who would be back for 2022. I totally agree with you that the Jays would be interested in resigning Ray and Semien. I sort of doubt that they will beat the competition but you never know.
Mike Green - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#404903) #
Per Sportrac, the team's payroll for 2021 is $161 million, 5th in the AL behind the Yankees (204M), the Astros (192M), the Red Sox (182M) and the Angels (181M).  In addition to Semien and Ray who will be wanting contracts that extend past 2023, they have to decide what they want to do about Jose Berrios, Teoscar Hernandez, Steven Matz, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and, Bo Bichette.  That could get very expensive, and it looks like gate revenues will still not be at pre-COVID levels in 2022 and maybe after that.  
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#404904) #
I won't hold my breath, but Charlie is long overdue for a master's lesson of a tirade. I'm thinking Don Zimmer with the Cubs.
bpoz - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#404905) #
$161mil is very high for this year. Only Roark was wasted big money and possibly Springer. $161mil was too high to add expensive bullpen help.

I expect there is an upper limit to their payroll for 2022 and it is probably not much higher than the $161mil.
greenfrog - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#404906) #
You can see how the Jays get squeezed in trying to compete in the AL East. They have to spend more than other teams to attract free agents to Canada. They lack the payroll to retain or extend some of their best players. And because of those limitations, when it comes time to make a serious push for contention, they have to cash in more/better prospects to make the team competitive.

On the other hand, the Jays have fewer limitations than some teams (like TB, Oakland, Cleveland), and they've been more active in the free agent market in the last couple of off-seasons. The Jays are hardly the poor cousins of MLB.

I imagine the other teams in the NL West feel similarly about trying to compete with the Dodgers and their $250m+ payrolls.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#404907) #
Roarke has been gone so long I forgot about him, bpoz. Also Yates never played so the same for him. The balancing act for the Jays is determining how many big contracts to give out and still have room to sign Vlad and Bo in the future.
bpoz - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#404908) #
Agree fully with the forced balancing act for the Jays.

Boston responded to the Luxury tax. I don't know how NYY, LAA and Houston will respond.

Does anyone else think Springer signed with us because he was the last (maybe Bauer) of the 4 big FAs to sign and only we had the budget to afford him?

hypobole - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#404909) #
And on the subject of Blue Jays and free agency, this from Fangraphs. Congratulations, Mr. Atkins.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-blue-jays-made-baseballs-best-free-agent-acquisitions/
scottt - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#404917) #
Semien and Ray are two different animals.

Ray signed early with the Jays for 8M. Jays can probably offer an extra year.
I'm not sure if he's really happy with this team or not, but he must have liked something, maybe Walker.
Jays really need to sign 2 starters to replace Matz and Ray and Ray himself would be a great start.
The high minors pitching depth is pretty depleted now.

Semien signed for 18M after exhausting options anywhere else.
Sure, you could say the same about Springer, but Springer is committed for another 5 years and he's dancing with Vladdy in the dugout. Semien is all business and you can bet he won't leave much money on the table.
Geographically, Semien is from the west coast.
There are many teams who need a shortstop or a second baseman--and Semien would play 3rd in a heartbeat--but the Jays are not one of them. He'd fit really nicely with the Tigers.
Semien is at second to maximize his payback.
The Jays should obviously make him an offer, but not for 100M+ when they have guys like Smith, Groshans, Martinez, etc who will be able to play his position and earn the minimum for 3 years.
You buy low and you sell high.
Also, the team philosophy is to have a mix of rookies, players in their prime and vets.
Vlad and Bo are entering their prime. Where's the rookies?
They do have an opening for a vet. It's for a professional left bat who can play DH but sit against lefties.

Other than that, they need one or two elite relievers.
 

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