Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Itís awfully considerate of you
to think of me here
And Iím most obliged to you for making it clear
that Iím not here

Because I'm not, you know. My body is elsewhere, probably up to no good.

Four games with the White Sox, the mighty White Sox.

The Jays and White Sox hooked up for three games back in June. Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodon hooked up in a dandy pitching duel in the opener. Ray took a 1-0 lead into the seventh, but an Andrew Vaughn homer tied the score. Trent Thornton took over in the eighth. He loaded the bases and gave up a sac fly. Carl Edwards relieved him. Hits from Eaton and Garcia cleared the bases and more, and Anderson hit the inning's second sac fly. Which I would expect ties the team record for most sacrifice flies hit in one inning.

Alek Manoah and Lance Lynn, the 2021 AL Cy Young front-runner (in my mind anyway) provided another good pitcher's duel the next day. This time it was the Jays scoring late after Lynn handed a 2-1 lead over to his bullpen, thanks largely to three Chicago errors in the final two innings. The Jays received fine bullpen work from Castro, Chatwood, Romano, and Mayza... I'll pause for a moment and let you recover your wits.

The White Sox took the finale when Ryu got roughed up for three runs in the first inning. Here's a thing about Ryu - if he's going to get hit, he's going to get hit right away. Sometimes he's able to self-correct, sometimes not. But generally, when he struggles, it's from the very start. Anyway, on this occasion the Jays closed to 3-2 and threatened to tie but Keuchel retired Riley Adams with two on and two out in the sixth. The Sox added some insurance in the later innings to win 5-2.

Matchups? I have no idea. As I told you, my body is elsewhere. My spirit is adrift. I'm not here.

But this is when they're playing the games. Scheduled starters? I'm just guessing. Carlos Rodon hopes to be back in time to pitch in this series. Let's all hope he decides he needs another day or two.

Mon Aug 23 - Lynn vs Manoah
Tue Aug 24 - Cease vs Berrios
Wed Aug 25 - Giolito vs Ray
Thur Aug 26 - Keuchel vs Ryu
Chicago at Toronto, August 23-26 | 195 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#405511) #
Jugband blues for Chicago@Toronto?  I wondered how many musicians who played Chicago blues were born there.  Answer: very few.  Almost all of the famous ones were African-Americans who migrated from the South.  Which got me to wondering about Taj Mahal's story; I believed that he too had migrated from the South.  That was wrong. 

Lynn is an interesting pitcher.  Against RHB, he throws essentially nothing but 4 seamers, cutters and sinkers.  It's not about velocity, but movement.  His 4-seam spin rate is off modestly since the changes to the rules about the sticky stuff.  So far in August, he's thrown more sinkers than 4-seamers and almost as many cutters, and that may be related to the spin-rate decline.  With a line-up that lists right, I'd be ready for lots of cutters and sinkers. 
92-93 - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#405512) #
Clearly you can't have more than two sac flies in an inning, but has any team ever driven in 3 runs in an inning via the SF? There have definitely been 2-RBI flies.

Chicago went 35-25 last year and made the playoffs for the first time since '08 and then fired their manager, Rick Renteria, and replaced him with Tony LaRussa. Just sayin.
Chuck - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#405513) #
Clearly you can't have more than two sac flies in an inning

A sacrifice fly does not necessarily need to require an out be made. Runner at third, the batter hits a deep fly ball to the outfield that is dropped. The batter gets credit with a SF. His at-bat is treated as if the ball were caught, so he is awarded an RBI and not charged an AB. He is on base due to the error.

Petey Baseball - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#405515) #
92-93, I mentioned Renteria yesterday in the previous post.
It was/is a similar situation to the one here. A rebuilding organization needed a solid baseball person with good communication skills to steer them through some lean years with journeymen and young players. Suddenly the young talent blossoms, the team becomes competitive, and they decide (to the surprise of many) to make a change at manager.

Extra tough for Renteria, who lost his job with the Cubs because Joe Maddon became avaiable.

The bigger surprise was probably who the White Sox had in mind (all along, apparently) to be the guy (La Russa).

Hey Cito is the same age as TLR, why not?

All jokes aside, would Atkins and Shapiro pull the plug on Charlie? In Cleveland, Shapiro fired Manny Acta (similar coaching/managerial profile as Montoyo) after a bad 2nd half in 2012, and went with Francona who led them to 4 playoff appearances in 7 years. They've been publicly effusive in their praise of Montoyo's handling of their pandemic circumstances last season. Would they axe him one year later?

Well, there's nobody on the Jays staff (or in their organization for that matter) that would be an obvious replacement. It's not like Joe Torre is the bench coach waiting in the wings for one last kick of the can. It would be a gamble, no doubt, which this organization under Shapiro and Atkins, have started to show they aren't adverse to making.

It's worth debating

Chuck - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#405516) #
Clearly you can't have more than two sac flies in an inning

Via some googling I learned that the record for SF in an inning by one team is 3, done four times. The third inning of this game is one example.

Somewhat in the same vein, the record for strikeouts in an inning in the majors is 4, done about 100 times. In the minors, the record is 5.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#405518) #
White Sox LF Andrew Vaughn was born in 1998 and P Garrett Crochet in 1999. I wonder if La Russa was managing Chicago even before their parents were born.
92-93 - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#405519) #
Interesting Chuck, thanks.

The Red Sox made their 3rd error today in the 9th and just gave up a game-tying double so there's now runners at second and third and one down. Sink that ship!
Chuck - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#405520) #
It's worth debating

My guess is that were Montoyo to be replaced, it would be in the off-season and only after a replacement were already found. I believe, though am not sure, that when Montoyo was hired one of the job requirements was that the manager be bilingual, important on a team with many young Hispanic players including the team's key asset. I'm not sure if that would be a requirement moving forward. Perhaps?

Were Montoyo to be turfed in-season, I wonder if that wouldn't send an odd message. The hope was that the team had enough talent to nibble at the edges of the wild card race, almost exactly where it can currently be found. It's not like this was seen as a playoff team and that Montoyo is failing to shepherd them accordingly. While there are legitimate criticisms to be made of Montoyo's in-game decisions, most notably the recent Valera pinch-hitting assignment, do the executives of this organization want to risk being seen as volatile with a frustration firing? I'd think they'd want to lay out a smoother narrative for the transition away from Montoyo.

Just my guess, I could be wrong. Those out there wanting to see a head on a pike PDQ may see their wish come true, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Gerry - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#405521) #
Cavan Biggio injured himself diving for a ball in AAA. He is going for testing but will be out for a while.
92-93 - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#405522) #
Ozzie Guillen would be entertaining.

Travis Shaw walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 11th at Fenway.
Mike Green - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#405523) #
The Red Sox won.  Garrett Whitlock came on in the ninth after Matt Barnes had given up 2 runs to tie the game.  Runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.  He got out of it with 2 strikeouts and pitched the 10th and 11th for the win.  He did surrender a run in the 10th.   He's been great all year- a terrific Rule 5 pick.  The Red Sox apparently intend to make him a starter, but thought that it wouldn't hurt him to spend a year in the pen.  It certainly hasn't hurt them. 
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#405524) #
Chuck, all good points as usual. I wasn't suggesting a move this season. It would be unfair to turf him (unless there is a complete collapse, which they are nowhere close to now) without seeing if they can get hot and make things interesting before the end of the season.

And it's not an issue of wanting to see a head on a pike. The team has only had George Springer for about a quarter of their games. That is significant, and likely the main reason (if his is indeed back next year) they give him another year. I'm aware blaming the manager is often reductive and reactionary.

There is a good faith argument, and precedent, which goes toward finding a manager with more pedigree.
scottt - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#405525) #
Whitlock threw 120 innings in 2018, but only 70 in 2019.
Can't have thrown that much last year.
He throws hard, so always a prime candidate for the IL.

The Jays were going for something similar with Elvis Luciano.
Whitlock is 25. Luciano is still only 21.

Whitlock was drafted in the 18th round by the Yankees.
Easy come, easy go.

scottt - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#405526) #
Farrell was terrible.
Gibbons always seemed so unqualified.
Doesn't really speak English.
I image a lot of players who don't speak English that well were just nodding to everything he was saying.
Montoyo even talked about having to learned English twice after moving down south.

scottt - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#405529) #
Palacios up, Snead down.
Elvis Luciano released.

Mike Green - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#405530) #
I'm  following this part of the game via Gameday. They've hit the ball at over 100 mph enough times to have more than one hit. Hit 'em where they are is not much of a plan.
BlueJayWay - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#405532) #
As bad as the offence has been lately, the Jays are essentially a passed ball and a little league error away from being on a 4 game winning streak, and things would feel a lot different.
Mike Green - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#405533) #
Not so wee Reese McGuire got the memo. Hit it elsewhere. The Jays get a unicorn come-from-behind one run win.
scottt - Monday, August 23 2021 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#405534) #
The White Sox are a playoffs team and Lance Lynn is their ace, but this looked exactly the same as the Tigers games.

Good call by Montoyo to use the pinch runner.
That was a pretty close play at the plate and Valera got bruised.
He pushed Manoah as far as he could and that might have cost a run, but at least that saved an arm for tomorrow.

Weird play with Bo striking out twice.
The base is occupied and Bo runs to first when he's automatically out.
Nobody says anything to him and he does it again and almost injures himself.
Maybe the ump should have caught on that if Bo is running he must have whiffed?
In cases like this, it would probably be faster if the ump could get a video review.

Guerrero could not be more motivated.
That is not the problem.
Not sure abusing the catcher was such a great move.
He's got 27 games this year and 4 last year.
You'd think Lynn is the one who'd be responsible for the pitches.

greenfrog - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#405536) #
Great job by the Jays to scrape out a win against a good team.

The Mariners have tied it in the 9th against the A's. They're still batting. Runner on first, none out.
Jonny German - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 05:29 AM EDT (#405537) #
Pinch-running for McGuire in the 8th was a blindingly obvious move, I don't think Montoyo deserves praise for that. On the contrary, I think it was odd that he went with the 3rd-fastest runner he had on the bench.
scottt - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 07:00 AM EDT (#405538) #
Padres are now 13 games behind the Giants and 1 game behind the Reds for the last wild card.
So they fired their pitching coach.

Not a great result for a team that really went all in.

For the Jays, the last wild card spot should be around 90-91 wins.
39 games left, so they need to go at least 25-14 the rest of the way.

Michael - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#405539) #
I haven't been a fan of some of Montoyo's in game pitching decisions or some of the playing time decisions (like nit playing Kirk enough or like playing other AAAA, 5th OF, last infielders too much); however, I expect decisions on the manager will be made primarily on what we don't see. Instructions on who to play more or when to change pitchers can be given from GM and/or analytics department, and what likely matters more is the intangible "culture" stuff that is hard to measure especially by outsiders. That's just my prediction. At least outside the usual thing that causes managers to "need" to be fired like massive losing streaks to start the season or historic collapses that need a scape goat.

But that sort of scape goat firing is related to expectations and even if the Jays crash and burn from here out (which I hope they don't), that wouldn't be enough to lead to a need to fire the manager. In contrast, even if the Jays make the playoffs if there are fights between the manager and key players (less likely on winning teams), that could be a reason to fire the manager.
scottt - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#405540) #
Playing time is mostly based on split results.
It's really hard to find time for right handed bench player on this team.
It's difficult to pinch hit/pinch run for the catcher, it's not unlike DHing the catcher.
In the 8th, maybe, in the 9th sure, but that's about it.
It's mostly Gurriel that has sit for Dickerson but he's hitting .300 in August.
Not sure Palacios is an answer.

Right now, they want the best players on the field, unless they are not 100%.

Scapegoating has to start with the coaches, not the manager.
It's not Montoyo's job to tell them not to chase bad pitches.

I don't remember starting pitching being this good.
I loathed the days of "Halladay and then pray for rain".
I wouldn't mind a second go at it with this rotation.

92-93 - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#405541) #
What was more embarrassing last night - that Bo Bichette doesn't know a basic rule of baseball and that he can't run to first base on a strikeout with first base occupied, or that he did it twice in a row and almost got hurt because nobody on the Jays bench pointed out to him his folly?
Thomas - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#405542) #
Yeah, it was also a pretty obvious move to me to pinch-run for a catcher with none out in the bottom of the eighth inning. I felt the same way about John's comment about the batting order in another thread. These are so obvious things that I don't think any major league manager deserves any real credit for them.

I think we have to give a lot of credit to McGuire on his hit. It would have been so easy to run a grounder like that, even with the deep-lying second baseman, at three-quarters speed.

And if he had done that, it would have looked to the viewer like a routine play to second, since the White Sox fielded it cleanly and made the throw. Instead, he hustled right out of the box and stole a single and it led to the winning run. And for a player who is less demonstrative than others on the team, you could see what it meant to him.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#405544) #
What was more embarrassing last night - that Bo Bichette doesn't know a basic rule of baseball and that he can't run to first base on a strikeout with first base occupied, or that he did it twice in a row and almost got hurt because nobody on the Jays bench pointed out to him his folly?

It was pretty embarrassing all the way around.  Kimbrel in fact threw 3 wild pitches in the inning and two in succession.  I guess the players and coaches on the bench figured that it wouldn't happen twice in a row and they would tell him when he got back to the bench so as to not embarrass him. 

The rule of course is different with two out, as everybody here likely knows.  
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#405545) #
The English have a great word for the way McGuire looked after his infield hit.  Chuffed.  He looked more proud of that than he has after hitting a homer.  And rightly so. 
Steve02 - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#405546) #
I thought that Bo's running to 1st base and actually drawing an unnecessary throw from the Catcher may have been his intent. Perhaps embarrassing was swinging at pitches that far out of the zone.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#405548) #
I imagine that the return of Grandal cannot come a moment too soon for TLR.  Neither Bo nor the catcher knew the rule.  It's surprising to me because the situation comes up often enough. 
christaylor - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#405549) #
If you asked Bo or the C off the field I suspect they know the rule when asked to talk through the situation.

That said, there is very little downside in training the reflexes of a player to run on any dropped third strike. The extra ms of waste decision time could turn the out into getting to first. It was odd that it happened twice in a row, but I have no problem with a reflex taking over. I'd rather see this than lollygagging in a situation where it would matter.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#405550) #
I don't know, christaylor.  I cannot imagine being confused whether there was no outs or two outs in an inning while playing the game.  The fact that happened twice in a row suggests to me that they actually don't know the rule. 
James W - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#405551) #
How many times have outfielders tossed a live ball to a fan after a flyout, thinking there are now 3 outs? Not often, but also not never.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#405552) #
I don't think that I've ever seen that, JamesW, on the first out of the inning.  And I've never seen it happen twice in a row in the same inning. 

Same thing with pitchers.  I've seen them walk off the mound with two outs quite a few times, but never with one. 
bpoz - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#405553) #
I absolutely knew (strongly felt) that we would develop 2 V good SPs. Manoah and ??? Stieb/Key, Hentgen/Guzman, Halladay/Carpenter. That covers the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

Clancy was also good, D Wells. Maybe K Escobar, A Sanchez, Synderggard.

The 2010s had Stroman. A Sanchez, Syndergaard, Osuna, Musgrove, A DeSclafani.

FAs and trades Clemens, Cone, Morris, Stewart, Berrios, Flannagin, Ray (FA & trade) a few more too I am sure.

Not as good but still good, Marcum, M Boyd, K Graveman,
Stottlemyre. Maybe a few others.

So that is a long list of mainly home grown good SPs. I am anxious to see who will join Manoah.

Spifficus - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#405554) #

If I had to guess, I'd say the forgetting outs ball toss happens once or twice a year. Larry Walker had one where he gave the ball to a fan, realized how many outs there were, grabbed the ball back and threw it.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#405555) #
Charlie Watts died today at 80.  Somehow 4 score seems fitting.    I didn't know the story of his start at Blues Incorporated with Jack Bruce and Brian Jones until reading the obit.  There's a 1962 recording from the BBC Jazz club on Youtube; it's pretty tame until they cover Muddy Waters.  Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ended up playing with the group a little while later, and then formed their own group and asked Watts to join in 1963.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#405557) #
Danny Jansen has joined Buffalo on a rehab assignment.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#405558) #
Charlie Watts died today at 80.

Ginger Baker in 2019. Neal Peart in 2020. Charlie Watts in 2021. Ringo better lay low in 2022.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#405559) #
The Grim Reaper counting 4? Martin Chambers and Stewart Copeland also better watch their backs. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#405560) #
Interesting lineup today with the right-hander going for Chicago with 5-9 in the order looking like this: Dickerson 0, Kirk 2, Gurriel 7, Palacios 8, Espinal 5. 
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#405561) #
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ended up playing with the group a little while later, and then formed their own group and asked Watts to join in 1963

Wonder what happened to that group....
92-93 - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#405562) #
Grichuk has looked pretty bad in CF the last little while (zero range), so it makes a lot of sense to see what Palacios can do and add some left-handedness to the lineup.
Jonny German - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#405563) #
Is Dickerson not completely over his injury? Heís theoretically a better fielder than Gurriel, right?
Chuck - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#405564) #
Wonder what happened to that group....

They disbanded shortly thereafter since they couldn't see themselves doing the rock star thing after 30. Keith Richards is employed as a laboratory test subject and Mick Jagger is a professional sperm donor.

Nigel - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#405565) #
Are you sure that Richards wasn't taxidermied and somehow brought back to life a decade ago?

Dickerson doesn't appear to have great range but I agree that I'd rather have him in the OF than Gurriel. I do think that Palacios in CF is a decent roll of the dice by Montoyo.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#405566) #
Are you sure that Richards wasn't taxidermied and somehow brought back to life a decade ago?

I was thinking similar things about LaRussa last night. He has a constant expression on his face, equal parts anger and confusion.

Nigel - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#405567) #
I used to strongly dislike La Russa when he was at the helm of the steroid fueled, Bash Brothers, A's teams. I now think of that as the "peak likeability" period of La Russa's career. Ugh.
scottt - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#405568) #
I don't see anything about Jansen, but it looks like Merryweather was moved from the D-Jays to the FSL Blue Jays.
Also, apparently Soria is over his finger injury and could be activated soon, does not think he needs a rehab assignment.

Gerry - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#405569) #
Springer is likely to come off the IL tomorrow, or shortly thereafter. I assume Palacios will be sent back down when that happens.

I see Charlie often gives a player, or a pitcher, a chance to play just before they get sent down.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#405570) #
It will be interesting what happens when Springer returns, Gerry.  They've got Valera, Espinal and Smith to cover third base and IF backup.  Valera doesn't have options left, but I'm not sure that this will mean that he's a lock to stay. 
Gerry - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#405571) #
Yes Mike, the question is when does the front office look to 2022? September call-ups are limited now so players who are not relevant to 2022 will be pushed aside. Valera will be front of the line there.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#405572) #
I have a very strong dislike of LaRussa and was 100% disgusted by his getting a 100% vote to the HOF. Here is a guy who was managing 2 teams with steroid guys who everyone knew were on it at the time (it was a very open secret - Canseco was obvious in the 80's and McGuire in the 90's was caught with drugs in his locker during the HR race but the media covered it up mostly - the guy who reported it was treated like scum by other reporters as I recall). Yet somehow LaRussa is in the HOF while Bonds & Clemens are out. Disgusting.

I'd love to see the White Sox go on a horrible slump that becomes a legend to miss the playoffs. Or if not that then they get swept in round 1 of the playoffs.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#405573) #
Rough start for Berriosí Blue Jays career. He is not the 1B I was expecting based on the price they paid. Hopefully an off-season and ST with the team will change that
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#405574) #
Overton has done a nice job tonight. Reminds me of Marco Estrada, getting swings and misses on 92/93mph fastball and being primarily a fastball/changeup pitcher. Hopefully he keeps up the good work.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#405575) #
Argh. That is the Jays this year - load the bases, pitcher wild, and double play hit into no runs. Grrrr.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#405576) #
Guerrero Jr. didn't run it out.  It's not the first time and it's not good.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#405577) #
Kimbrel looked terrible yesterday. Hendricks looks terrible today.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#405578) #

Well, there's nobody on the Jays staff (or in their organization for that matter) that would be an obvious replacement. It's not like Joe Torre is the bench coach waiting in the wings for one last kick of the can. It would be a gamble, no doubt, which this organization under Shapiro and Atkins, have started to show they aren't adverse to making.

The manager in waiting is John Schneider. This season he has supplanted Dave Hudgins as Charlie's right hand man. Schneider had a very successful minor league managing career, including managing a lot of the young players on this team. He seems to have been groomed for the top job.

The question for the Blue Jays is, if they fire Montoyo, is Schneider the man now, or do they need an old hand now and tell Schneider to wait for the next time around.

Nigel - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#405579) #
Not suggesting that this explains his problems, but I have zero idea why they havenít broken up Berrios and Mannoah as back to back starters, they are as close to the same pitcher as you can get. Theyíve had several chances to do it and passed. The team isnít looking as fresh, engaged or enthusiastic as they were. No one does in the Dog Days, but it will be interesting to see how they finish the year. I suspect Montoyo only walks the plank if the team ďmails it inĒ for the rest of the year. There are one or two troubling signs in that direction.
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, August 24 2021 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#405580) #
Clutch and luck are clearly related, as many have mentioned. Vladdy hit that GIDP at 105mph. Pretty unlucky, Jays just arenít getting breaks that winning teams need here or there to succeed.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#405581) #
The thing is, people donít care weather winners win due to luck or not. Winners win, simple as that. If youíve been unlucky then find a way to be lucky. If you play 162 games and youíre unlucky while the other winning teams are lucky, at what point is it save to assume that youíre the loser and their the winner fair and square? Game 163? How many times does the team with the best underlying numbers in baseball win the Championship?

This idea that the numbers should determine everything is silly. Clearly, it has its limits and there are many more important aspects to determining a winner beyond a white paper with predicted numbers.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#405582) #
Joe Torre is 81 years old and last managed in 2010. I am skeptical that he would come out of retirement. Still, stranger things have happened.

I would go for Terry Francona, except for his health problems. I doubt Joe Maddon would leave Los Angeles. Dusty Baker seemed like he was done after Washington, but was called upon to serve a role in Houston and has flourished.

Is a big-name manager the missing ingredient? Maybe not. My thought is only that the Blue Jays should flex some muscle and bring in the best possible candidate. Money talks.

Meanwhile, I am also fine with John Schneider taking the helm. Sorry, Charlie.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#405583) #
Last night's game was not an example of bad luck.  The White Sox hit line drive after line drive, on good pitches and bad.  Thanks to some poor baserunning and situational hitting, they only scored 5 runs.  As a result, they ended up using their high leverage relievers more than one would like. This may very well cost them in the last two games of the series. 
Ryan Day - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#405584) #
The question for the Blue Jays is, if they fire Montoyo, is Schneider the man now, or do they need an old hand now and tell Schneider to wait for the next time around.

It seems weird to fire your not-great-but-not-disastrous manager only to replace him with someone else who's never managed in the majors. And stranger if the replacement is someone who's contributing, to some extent, to the bad decisions that make you want to replace your manager in the first place.

Obviously we don't know what happens in the clubhouse. Maybe the general sentiment is that if Charlie just listened to Schneider more often, the team would be better off. On the other hand, maybe Schneider's been the guy saying "I really think Dolis has it all figured out now" all season...
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#405585) #
2yr Stats

CF Springer 152
1B Guerrero 150
DH Teoscar 137
C Kirk 126
2B Semien 118
SS Bichette 116
LF Gurriel 111
3B Biggio 102
RF Grichuk 100

IF Espinal 99
DH Dickerson 97
C Jansen 74
OF Palacios 57

C McGuire 65
UT Valera 42

Will I ever get over pinch hitting for Kirk with Valera with the winning run on 2nd in the late innings of a playoffs race game?


uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#405586) #
Bring back the Gibber imo.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#405588) #
Do numbers determine everything?  Nope.  But to say 'winners win' is silly.  They win until they lose.  Losers lose until they win.  For example, Jack Morris was a 'proven winner' until he sucked royally in the 1992 playoffs and 1993 regular season then he was benched for the playoffs.  Dave Winfield was 'Mr May' until he drove in the winning run in the final game of the 1992 World Series.  Two examples from the same team of guys who flipped from 'winner' to 'loser' or the reverse in one playoff run.

The future for the Jays depends on what one sees going forwards.  Is Montoyo the right guy to lead them?  My gut says 'no' but the only proof is some poor choices made (not resting regulars for most of the season (124 games played, Semien in all of them, Vlad in all but 1, Bo all but 3, Grichuk all but 4), now they are drained as you hit the late stages of August, some very odd choices for PH duties, for which reliever to trust, etc.).  

Who do you bring in?  Schneider is tempting as he was in line for the job I thought when they hired Montoyo.  This is a team ready to win, they need a leader who has won imo.  Older ones with titles are Bruce Bochy (67 next year, but 3 WS wins, just over 2000 wins overall) 2 years not managing so the bug might be back into him.  Ned Yost  won for KC in 2015 but is now 2 years away from managing.  John Farrell is out there again (not managing since 2017) - wouldn't that be a funny one.  Not many proven WS winners out there who aren't employed as managers.  For good reason.  Cito of course is out there but I can't imagine a 3rd go around.  If Bochy want to come out of retirement, great.  But otherwise the 'proven winners' don't do much for me.  No Billy Martin types anymore who are great for 1 or 2 years then you replace them before they burn out your team.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#405589) #
For the benefit of those who didn't see the game, Josh Palacios demonstrated that a) he's a solid 4th outfielder able to play all three positions capably and b) can't hit a telegraphed 98 mph fastball down the middle from a RHP.   He looked totally out of his depth against the hard-throwers the White Sox sent out.  If you're going to send him out there, it needs to be against soft-tossing righties. I think Gerry's right though and that Palacios will be sent down when Springer returns.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#405590) #
It would be interesting to know if Palacios has historically had trouble with velocity or whether that is in any way related to his recovery from a back break on the back of his hand.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#405591) #
Instead of nostalgically trying to roll back the clock in favour of a John Gibbons or a Joe Torre, the Jays probably would be better served by trying to find the next Kevin Cash.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#405592) #
Palacios replaces Davis as the teams 5th OF I guess now so he'll yo-yo between majors and AAA for the next year when needed.  Valera I see as a cut if needed.  Springer coming back will send Palacios down, Valera here until Biggio is back.  By then though it will be September and expanded rosters hit.  Jansen will return then to give the Jays 3 catchers, with Biggio getting the last slot (I think it is just a 28 man max) although I'd expect Valera to be cut instead to make room for another pitcher (10 man pen).  It'll be interesting to see how the Jays manoeuver this winter with few wasted slots right now, but a fair number of Free Agents (Soria, Phelps , Ray, Matz, Semien, Dickerson).

2022 has big battles for CA (3 guys plus super-prospect), 3B (assuming Biggio goes back to 2B and Semien is gone), the pen, #5 rotation slot (assuming neither Matz or Ray are resigned so Ryu, Manoah, Berrios locks, Stripling a near lock with Kay, Pearson, Thornton, Hatch all fighting for that last slot Pearson #1 ranked, Hatch #2, Kay & Thornton more fighting for a pen slot), plus the pen of course (Romano, Borucki, Mayza, Cimber, Richards locks leaving up to 3 slots for everyone else - Overton getting some attention now, Saucedo in the mix, Castro, Snead, Kay, Thornton plus probably a batch of free agents - AAA kind and major league ones - plus I'm sure there are prospects who'll fight for a slot).
Paul D - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#405593) #
Dave Martinez has a World Series, experience with Tampa and Maddon, speaks Spanish, and might be looking for a job at the end of the year. He also played for both Canadian teams.
Thomas - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#405594) #
John, I'm just curious, why do you use "CA" for catcher instead of "C"?

You are the only person I know who does this, and all major sites that I'm aware of use C, including in boxscores. I'm sure there must be a reason, but I just don't know what it is.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#405596) #
the Jays probably would be better served by trying to find the next Kevin Cash.

How about the man himself? Call the Rays and offer 10 sheets for Kevin Cash.

Mike Babcock is sitting at home and collecting double that amount.

92-93 - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#405597) #
At least it's not BC for back-catcher, which is a strange word only Canadians use.

It was indeed a really bad AB that Palacios had with a runner on third and less than two outs. Espinal, on the other hand, continues to impress with his ABs.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#405598) #
Many old folks call the position bat-catcher or back-catcher for whatever reason. No clue, but is that a Canadian thing?

When I was a kid playing ball in Scarborough, our coach used to write Heinz Catcher or HC on the lineup. (I was usually the catcher.) Having asked random people over the years, nobody else has ever heard of that. Very strange... It occurs to me, only now, maybe it was a joke about a ketchup catcher!

Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#405599) #
Made in Canada, I see.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#405600) #
It was indeed a really bad AB that Palacios had with a runner on third and less than two outs. Espinal, on the other hand, continues to impress with his ABs.

Yes, exactly.  You can tell that Espinal comes to the plate with an idea of what he wants to do and has the ability to execute the plan on a regular basis.  There was nothing in his minor league record that suggested this level of competence; I'm inclined to ascribe it to hard work. 
bpoz - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#405601) #
Berrios is the 1st and maybe only big trade this FO has made. We gave up the value of 2 very good prospects that don't need 40 man protection until 2022 & 2023. Both are doing quite well in AA (not sending a message to go down a level).

Referring to John N's C battle. Very correct. Nobody needs to be added to the 40 man roster. Only McGuire cannot get optioned. Jansen with 673 ML ABs needs to hit or else rely on his defense to stay on the ML roster. McGuire with 341 ABs (172 this year) is getting a good enough audition to determine his ML future with the team. His D is good and his hitting is good. Kirk 114 ML ABs is hitting very well. He has his fans (UO). He hits V well so the C spot is not a weak spot in the batting order. Moreno is a super prospect. V athletic and destroyed AA in 126 ABs. He should get to AAA this year (playoffs?). Can he hit AAA pitching, there are some veteran AAAA types.

Our minor league pitching being ML ready is uncertain now.

Quinoses in AA "is dominating". I have no problem removing his 1st outing 6 ER in 3.1 IP. What is left is 24.2 IP, 13 H, 14 bb 35 K and 2 ER. Looks very dominating to me stats wise.

Adrian Hernandez is also impressive. Dominated at 3 levels. I will not go into details. He has gone 2 innings quite often and 3 sometimes. I don't know why our ML pen has no/few 2-4 inning outings. Signed Nov 23,2017 so only 4 minor league seasons to date which means he does not need rule 5 protection this year as far as I understand.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#405602) #
Agreed about Espinal. You could also say exactly the same things about McGuire.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#405604) #
Many old folks call the position bat-catcher or back-catcher for whatever reason.

The term back-catcher is a shibboleth. You hear that word and you can pretty comfortably dismiss anything baseball-related coming from the speaker's mouth.

Bat-catcher is a malapropism for back-catcher. You heard that word and you can pretty comfortably dismiss anything on any subject coming from the speaker's mouth.

A similar such butchering is pitch-hitter. I guess it's better than pitch-non-hitter, which I suppose would dismiss you as a viable pinch-hitter. And someone could ask of a pitch-hitter what else he might be tasked to hit, other than just pitches.

Gerry - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#405605) #
Joakim Soria is active tonight. Connor Overton and his three innings last night are on their way to Buffalo.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#405606) #
Springer wont be active until Friday at the earliest.

Cavan Biggio has an elbow sprain and is shut down for a week.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#405607) #
And someone could ask of a pitch-hitter what else he might be tasked to hit, other than just pitches.

You didn't hear about the latest extra-inning proposal, Chuck?  After 14 innings, if the game is still tied, the thrower is no longer given a ball to throw but a bat to chuck to the "bat-catcher".  They are no longer called pitches but "chucks", and teams have an extra man on the roster to act as a "chuck-hitter".  Extra-innings are like a cross between wrestling and the decathlon; maybe they'll next try a tag-team thing with the batter and the runner at second base.  
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#405608) #
The baseball slide is a professional wrestling move!
Chuck - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#405609) #
Extra-innings are like a cross between wrestling and the decathlon

Sub in cabers for bats and you've got something.

Polite Nate - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#405610) #
I always thought of back-catcher as like when you were out playing pickup and didn't have any catcher's gear so the catcher would go stand back towards the backstop.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#405611) #
I'm disappointed to learn that there is absolutely 0% historical background to the fake word Backcatcher. I thought there would at least be SOMETHING interesting about how it came to be.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#405612) #
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#405613) #
Semien and Vlad are now tied in fWAR (5.2) on the season.

It's going to be tough to lose Semien, Ray (2.8 WAR) and Matz (1.7 WAR). That's close to 10 WAR (without which the Jays would be below .500), and there is still over a month of baseball left in the regular season. So perhaps 11-12 WAR total from those three players.

On the other hand, the team should be able to replace at least some of that production with free agents, Moreno, and a full season of Springer and Kirk.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#405614) #
I am curious why so many posters on this site take it as given that Ray will not return next year (I agree that Semien is as good as gone). Maybe I've missed something, but the Jays have not been shy about spending money in free agency the last two off-seasons and with no obvious internal candidates to replace him, I am sure they will be competitive bidders for him. Whether that is enough to retain him or not I have no idea, but I am a bit surprised that so many consider it a foregone conclusion that he won't be here after this season.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#405615) #
It sure would be sad to see them let all those free agents walk, that's for sure.

As far as their willingness to spend money? Well....

Payroll (CB Tax from 2012 onward, Year end 40 man from 01-11 courtesy of baseball prospectus) rank:

2021: 15th
2020: 19th
2019: 21st
2018: 11th
2017: 14th
2016: 14th
2015: 16th
2014: 13th
2013: 9th
2012: 20th
2011: 21st
2010: 18th
2009: 17th
2008: 13th
2007: 15th
2006: 18th
2005: 24th
2004: 22nd
2003: 22nd
2002: 13th
2001: 12th
Kasi - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#405616) #
Due to tougher restrictions I think on fans attending the stadium I expect the Jays to be more restricted than normal on free agent spending. I think it also explains a bit their reasoning to go for Berrios. When you can only get 15k in your stadium but your competitors can sell out a full stadium. I hope they can keep one but who knows at this point. Free market is free market.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#405617) #
I think your chart proves my point, since they leapfrogged six teams or a good 20% of the league in just two years, without extending significant sums of money to players already on the roster (meaning all that money went to upgrading the roster, in the form of big-ticket free agents Ryu, Springer and Semien). Maybe that will take the form of extensions to Guerrero and Bichette (which I think we would all like to see) and that will lead to more selective dips into the free agent pool, but we will have to wait and see.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#405618) #
Always an excuse for the richest owners in the league not to spend.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#405619) #
Itís funny, I was just thinking that Ray was giving me serious Steve Carlton vibes tonight and lo and behold Buck brought him up.

The Ryu contract represents the upper end of what the Jays have ever spent on a pitcher. That contract was pretty unusual in and of itself for the Jays and pitchers. I donít think itís a foregone conclusion that Ray is gone, but given the thin FA market this year, I think itís looking more and more like heís moving into a different rent bracket than the Jays will play in.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#405620) #
Well, they have the young core that everyone said was the prerequisite for spending, the fans have proven they would show up if they spent.

If they use covid as an excuse that's hilarious. Especially given how much Rogers has made in subscriptions and add-ons during these lockdowns.

I don't think quite that poorly of them - I'd be shocked if they let all those guys walk.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#405621) #
This is why I argued that the Jays should make a serious effort to extend Ray around the All-Star break (they may well have tried to extend him and failed). Once he hits free agency, Ray is likely gone.

While Ray could end up being very good over the next few years, he does come with some risk. His control this year has been far better than at any point in his career to date. It's possible that 2021 will end up being the high-water mark of his career.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#405622) #
Ray may get out of the 7th but his velocity has disappeared
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#405623) #
Don't pull him Montoya.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#405624) #

Trust your aces.

Let's go bats get this one.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#405625) #
ďTrust your aces.Ē

Grady Little is glad someone finally agrees with his handling of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Polite Nate - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#405626) #
Ray still has more bad season than good ones in the bank, and I'm always nervous about a pure fastball/slider pitcher as a starter. Every subsequent start makes me a bigger believer though. I imagine whether he ends up with the Jays depends more on how much the league has bought in on this year's performance. If there's a huge bidding war out there for him and he's looking at 5+ years or something, I'd bet they let him go. But with a QO around his neck and depending on how the CBO goes, if he can be had for something 4 years or less then I'll be miffed if the Jays don't pay up to keep him.

Matz is someone I would be quite happy to give an Estrada/Happ like modest deal to, if he'd take it.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#405627) #
Of All the SP with spotty track records we brought in this season, it was Ray that was always the only one that the analytics thought could be good.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#405628) #
I could see Ray getting close to 5/$100m if he keeps this up. Zack Wheeler got 5/$118m last off-season and elite starting pitching will be hard to come by this off-season.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#405629) #
Is the team is trying to improve its record in one-run games by getting into more of them?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#405630) #
Robo Umps ffs
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#405631) #
Valera again?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#405632) #
Kirk deserves a hit here. He's stung the ball a bunch tonight.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#405633) #
Thought he was gonna be unlucky again but a good hitter is a good hitter.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#405634) #
Kirk is a hitter.
I don't know where he ends up in the lineup regularly though.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#405635) #
Thats a good win.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 25 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#405636) #
Kirk and Espinal had good ABs throughout the game.
Chuck - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 06:58 AM EDT (#405637) #
Unless something dramatically changes, Biggio and Espinal would seem to be the front-runners for the 2B and 3B jobs next season. Perhaps Smith enters the discussion. I am expecting the team to spend FA dollars on pitching and pursue a low-cost solution for the infield. I am taking it as a given that Semien moves on.
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 07:04 AM EDT (#405638) #
I stole someone's notes from Atkins' interview with Bobcat yesterday:

"- Thinks payroll can go to 200 mil, but may be a gradual process.
- Will focus more on the bullpen in the offseason
- All in-game decisions are made from the bench...said they'd be breaking the rules otherwise
- Thinks Biggio struggled offensively because of his troubles at third. Sounds like that experiment is over.
- Thinks Espinal and Smith are a great complement to eachother at 3rd. While they hit from the same side, they each excel against different types of pitchers. Said Valera is not as good of a complement to Espinal.
- Feels Trent Thorton is atm their best long relief candidate (for those who were wondering why he replaced Berrios the other night)"
bpoz - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#405639) #
Good to hear about payroll going up. Most likely through the life of our window of contention.
Jonny German - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#405640) #
I don't get the pessimism on re-signing Ray. The Jays have demonstarted a willingness to spend on premium free agents and they need a good starter, Ray has demonstrated that he likes the organization and he's thrived as a Blue Jay... what more do you want?
scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#405641) #
It probably comes down to the Jays willingness to offer an extra year.
Shapiro and Atkins have been true to their words but they've been silent--and reasonably so in the middle of a competitive race--so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#405642) #
Focus on the pen.
Biggio back to second.
Smith/Espinal competing for 3B.
Keep Dickerson or find anther platoon bat to DH.

Would be nice to have Stripling back as the long man.
Give 2 or 3 QOs to the Ray, Semien and maybe Matz.

uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#405643) #
Of course, the team finishing the season strong makes returning all the more attractive.
scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#405644) #
Kirk went 1 for 4 with 2 ground outs.
That's more or less what one could expect on any given night.
He'll hit closer to .250 than to .500 and anything on the ground is one or two outs.
Yesterday he left 3 runners on base and cashed 1.
That's a good result.
His best spot is with runners on scoring position and 2 outs.
No fear of the double play or of having him making an out on the bases.

The Valera hit was critical.
He's 4 for 8 against lefties.
Just a freak thing, but Montoyo prefers to go with the more experience guy in those spots.

It was a very fun game and I couldn't see one guy who wasn't screaming, jumping up and down or hugging someone. I don't think anyone could have the clubhouse is a better spirit than that.
Bummer, who took the loss, looked almost suicidal on the bench.

Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#405645) #
Biggio had neck symptoms at the end of last year, and he tailed off in September and in the playoffs.  He began having trouble hitting 95 mph fastballs which formerly had not been a problem for him.  It may be that playing third base made things worse because of the long throws, but I doubt that it's the origin of his struggles. 
Thomas - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#405646) #
I think my pessimism on Ray stems from the fact that I feel like some other team will offer him comparable money with longer length than Atkins feels comfortable with.

I agree that if the Jays make a competitive offer, I've seen nothing that suggests Ray wouldn't be open to returning. He obviously works really well with Pete Walker and it's a young team that is hopefully at the beginning of its competitive window.

However, I could see one team going to 5 years on him and I doubt the Jays would. And, if that's the case, Ray would get exactly what he wanted out of his one-year pillow contract, which was to re-establish his value by working with someone he gets along well with and then go get his guaranteed big money contract.
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#405647) #
There's no doubt that at a gut level Atkins would be eager to find the NEXT robbie ray rather than pay bigtime for Ray's huge year. But at the same time that's balanced by maybe wanting to keep a guy who made you look like a genius in the first place.

Next year is Ray's age 30 season. A 5yr deal takes him to age 34. Not sure that those are usually steep decline years. But of course the bigger concern is simply Ray's inconsistent track record, not really his aging curve.
mathesond - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#405648) #
"He'll hit closer to .250 than to .500"

Doesn't that apply to everybody?
Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#405649) #
I ran a Stathead search to try to find age 29 comps for Robbie Ray.  I used a career ERA+ between 105 and 115 (Ray's is currently 109), a K rate of greater than 23% (Ray's is 29 but you have to use a low figure in order to capture adjustments for the current high K era) and IP between 1000 and 1200.  Ray is currently at 994 but will be over 1000 by the end of the year and I thought that some adjustment should be made for the loss of innings due to COVID in 2020.   Stathead spit out 3 names- Trevor Bauer, Chris Archer and Randy Johnson. 

There are 20 pitchers who have thrown more than 500 innings with a K rate greater than 27%, in order by innings pitched: Kershaw, Pedro, Sale, Strasburg, Cole, Kerry Wood, Robbie Ray, Nola, Snell (670 innings), Prior.  Of all of the names here, Ray's career path is closest to Randy Johnson's.  Johnson got a late start and had been so-so through age 28 but had a breakthough year at age 29 when he developed better control.

I'd go 5 years with Ray...
greenfrog - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#405650) #
There is a good chance some team offers Ray six years.
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#405651) #
I go 6yrs then.
bpoz - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#405652) #
We are currently on pace to win 86 games. 90 or 91 would be nice. So most likely no playoffs. But you never know. Still a good season.
John Northey - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#405653) #
I suspect Atkins offers up to 5 years but no more.  $25 mil a year being the max dollars. 
Of note: this isn't Ray's first good year - at 23 he had a 117 ERA+ over 23 starts163 at age 25 over 28 starts (162 IP) and was 107/104 the next 2 years.  So his 161 this year isn't even his best year for ERA+.    Last year was a disaster with the 68 ERA+.  But before this year his BB/9 was 4.3 vs the 2.2 so far this year so I think this time it can be held onto.

He reminds me of another power LH pitcher - Randy Johnson.  Before age 29 he had a 101 ERA+ 5.7 BB/9 vs 9.0 K/9, then he had a long talk with Nolan Ryan and something clicked.  Age 29 he dropped his walks to 3.5/9 and his ERA+ jumped to 135, 2nd in Cy Young voting, and almost became a Blue Jay mid-season ( close!).  Over the next 5 years (age 30-34) he had a 162 ERA+ over 905 IP and a Cy Young.  That is the best case scenario for Ray.  Expand to 7 years and it gets better - 169 ERA+ and a total of 3 Cy's.   Forgot he won 4 in a row ages 35-38.  Then he slowed down a bit for age 39 to the end (just a 115 ERA+ over 1127 IP).  Man that guy was a horse.

Ray is actually in better shape than Johnson at the same age.  Like Johnson a clear reason for the improvement exists (pitching coach in Ray's case).  Of course, every pitcher is one pitch away from their career ending.  You just have no idea which pitch it will be.  But I figure he is worth a 5 year risk.  7 is not something I'd do for any pitcher, even Roy Halladay broke down eventually (after his age 34 season) and he did everything to be at 100% it seemed. 

Yeah, 5 years $125 would be an fairly easy number to work with in my opinion.  But someone might offer more years or more money depending.  San Diego might as they seem desperate right now.  But there are other older more established pitchers out there this winter so it'll be interesting to see what happens.  Others are Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Marcus Stroman and many others (Syndergaard among them).  This winter might be like last - go in fast to get him on the dotted line and the Jays might be able to get him at a good deal.  We all know every team will be asking Greinke and Kershaw and Scherzer in an attempt to get an ace on a short term (2 or 3 year) deal.  Stroman and Ray both will be wanting 5+ years I figure and Kershaw will be hard to get out of LA (I figure you'd need to go stupid money and years).  Greinke, Verlander, Scherzer will be the 3 most likely to go to whoever has the bucks and years they want.
bpoz - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#405654) #
SD is an interesting team. Very active in trades for sure. I don't think they signed an expensive (good) FA last off season.

They are fighting for a playoff spot rather than being the 2nd best NL team as predicted in the off season. They could be in trouble if any current good players are arb eligible or are FAs good enough to get a QO. Luxury tax implications are important to try to avoid. FAs leaving would weaken them in their future playoff hunting.

The Jays may have similar troubles. Vlad etc... will get arb soon that should be costly. Expensive FAs may destroy their very valued financial flexibility.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#405659) #
Carlos Rodon gets the start for Cicago this afternoon.
92-93 - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#405660) #
Kudos to Montoyo for getting more out of his SP the last couple of times it made sense to do so (Manoah and Ray). Both guys had two runners on base in their last inning but Charlie stuck with them and they delivered. When your bullpen consistently blows games you have to adjust and be willing to let guys work their way out of their own mess or fail trying. It also helps save bullets; Richards got warm yesterday but had his 3rd day off because Ray was able to finish his inning.

It is very nice to see Kirk pencilled in as the DH and #5 today. It's the first time since his return from injury and he has hit .315/.350/.426 with an 8:3 K:BB in 60 PA.
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#405661) #
Oh my lord Kirk is at DH today.
Michael - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#405662) #
By pitching standards I'm not sure Ray's been that inconsistent. If you look at fangraph's dollar value for Ray in his season (ignoring the cup of coffee in 2014) he's produced:

2015 $18.8
2016 $26.2
2017 $26.4
2018 $7.7
2019 $19.5
2020 -$3.5
2021 $25.4 (so far)

For a pitcher, this seems relatively consistent, especially if you can forgive the oddness of the COVID interrupted 2020 season with the stop and start non-spring training and shortened season.

So imagining a decent likelihood of between $18M and $27M of value in most of the next 5 or 6 seasons seems like a reasonably safe bet (as safe as any be about pitchers can be, who always have health risks).

And for free agents you always have to pay a little more, since the non-FA are salary depressed while the FA are salary rewarded, and the chance of getting a that much better than average starting pitcher (I.e., #1/#2 pitcher quality) are hard in general, so I'd be willing to pay for that.

It wouldn't surprise me if Ray is closer to $30/year contract than to $25/year in the end. But I hope we do re-sign him.
Polite Nate - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#405663) #
Ray's an interesting case for contrasting the two major WAR models. By Baseball Reference his history is filled with thoroughly mediocre years outside of 2017, where his history on Fangraphs looks more like a steadily solid pitcher than I expected, with some recent struggles. Heck, fWAR didn't even see much difference between his all star 2017 and 2016 (both at 3.3 fWAR).

Archer is who I think of when I worry about a two pitch starter, but Ray does have his left handedness working for him. Y'all are talking me into 5+ years with him but it just doesn't feel like something the Jays would do unless internally they agree that he's the next Randy Johnson.
clark - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#405664) #
Buckís take on Kirk and his ceiling the other night was an odd one. He acknowledged that there may be some hitting ability, but seemed concerned that Kirk might not be a power bat, and that this was very important for a bench bat. And of course heís a base clogger.

I think Buck and Siddall both will never warm up to a catcher who catches with a knee down.

Honestly, Kirkís performance is so remarkable it defies belief. The walk to strikeout ratios in the low minors were fantastic. Then to go from High A to the majors as a catcher is unheard of. Granted he had the alt site experience, but that is still a staggering jump in levels. Now he is having success as a 22 year old catcher in the majors which is also a rare phenomenon.

To me he is one of the most remarkable Jays prospects ever. Clearly a notch behind Vlad, but from a pure hitting perspective, and with the rapid rise to the bigs, who has been more impressive?

I have 3 young kids, and so have watched all the Kung Fu Panda movies. At the end of one of them, he says to a defeated foe, Iím not a big fat panda, Iím THE big fat panda. Kind of how I now think of Kirk. Not a big fat catcher, heís THE big fat catcher.

Iím fascinated to see where his career goes.
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#405665) #
The lack of power critique is a strange one for sure.

He's very young, and a catcher, and in the minors had a .185iso with 19hr in 675pa, and in the majors so far has a .178iso with a 20hr/650pa rate.

Exit Velocity last 2yrs min 100pa:

1. Guerrero 94.0
2. Kirk 92.6
3. Teoscar 92.5
4. Bichette 90.8
6. Grichuk 89.8
7. Springer 89.7
8. Gurriel 89.2
9. Semien 89.0
10. Biggio 88.0
11. Jansen 86.8
12. Dickerson 86.7
13. McGuire 86.5
14. Espinal 85.3

His power is an an asset, not a liability.

The more you analyze any critique of Kirk the more you realize that it's all BS trying to obfuscate their actual scouting report - that he is short and fat.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#405666) #
Kung Fu Panda won World Series MVP.
Nigel - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#405667) #
It will be interesting to see the impact of the constant criticism of Kirk from Buck and Siddall in the local marketplace. Those two are the source of C knowledge for many local "casual" baseball fans. While I agree that Kirk needs to work on some of his defensive skills, I can't help but wonder if those two, as no hitting but good defensive C's, are simply criticizing the player that they were not.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#405668) #
Kirk batting 5th and Espinal 6th today.  The times they are a-changin'.

When Kirk catches, the pitchers have an ERA of 2.96, more than a run better than any of the other catchers.  Despite the 17-3 SB/CS by opposing baserunners and the 12 PB+WP in 230 innings.  Yes, Robbie Ray is a good part of it but Ray has pitched better with Kirk than any of the other catchers by a good margin.  Same with Manoah and Matz.  The pitchers who have not done well with Kirk catching: T.J. Zeuch, Tanner Roark, Tommy Milone and Ryan Borucki.  Personally, I think that Kirk's ability to get down low and set a target at the very bottom of the zone is both a good framing device and actually helps pitchers throw better. 

And as for his power, he's got an xSLG over .500 and an xIsoP over .200.  The suggestion that he doesn't have power is a joke.
Spifficus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#405669) #
The Short And Fat critique seems largely overblown, but it's probably not a zero. It wouldn't surprise me if it impacts his framing (along with his short arms), and his compensation - the one-knee style to get lower - impacts his throwing and blocking. It doesn't seem to do that to an extreme, though, or at least what I can see. He seems serviceable defensively by the numbers and eye test.

It does make me chuckle at the aesthetics of his swing - it always looks like he leads with his stomach and uses its inertia to bring the arms through quickly. As a Large And Fat, I can appreciate this. And he can hit, so apart from my own amusement I don't care.

Oh, and the critique on his power is just nutty. He's a hit over power sort, but it's still average power.
Spifficus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#405670) #
My fever dream theory on the Ray/Kirk matchup is that Ray benefits from not trying to be too fine, and Kirk's relative issues framing results in him attacking the strike zone more. This is based on a whole lot of nothing, though.
Chuck - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#405671) #
I can't help but wonder if those two, as no hitting but good defensive C's, are simply criticizing the player that they were not.

And how. "The only thing that a catcher must be able to do are those skills that I happened to have. Anything else is a bonus." Well, no. Sometimes a good bat can forgive some defensive deficiencies.

92-93 - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#405673) #
Since Kirk's return from injury on July 23rd the Jays have given up 6 or more runs 7 times. McGuire has been behind the plate for all of them.
Nigel - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#405674) #
The only defensive issue that I have seen so far with Kirk that is unfixable is that he has a weak arm (relatively speaking for a C). His throwing mechanics (relative to a quick release) are inconsistent right now. On some, he's been extremely quick and others not so much. I think he's always going to have some trouble with the SB against but I think that there's hope on that front if he can get his mechanics a bit more consistent.

Magpie - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#405675) #
I'm back, kids. Everyone been behaving themselves?

Here's a thought about Kirk. Catchers don't normally develop a whole lot as hitters. The position is too difficult, too demanding, takes too much of their time and attention. Kirk obviously can't play anywhere else. Is it best for him to stay behind the plate, or should he just become a full time DH and let's see just how good a hitter he can become?
greenfrog - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#405676) #
I actually like that idea. He can already hit and he's earning the minimum salary. He'll be a way better hitter than Kendrys Morales was for the Jays (better OBP) and much less expensive.

Alternatively, he could be a catcher for a few years (with a lot of DH time mixed in), then switch to full-time DH once wear and tear plus body size prevents him from being an adequate defensive catcher.

Either way, he should have decent value over the next four or five years. I don't think the Jays should trade him this off-season unless they receive a very strong offer. They're going to need Kirk's bat after Semien leaves.
cascando - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#405677) #
The Jays gave Ryu, a pitcher with serious injury concerns, 4/80 for his age 33-36 seasons. I can't see how Ray would sign for a similar term or AAV. The Wheeler contract (5/118) seems like a reasonable starting point for the team in negotiations, but I would expect to see another year and another $25 million added to that. I doubt the Jays will go nearly that high, but let's see.

In terms of comps, Cliff Lee is another lefty that had some early success, then some struggles, then a real breakthrough at 29. He was one of the best in baseball after that until injuries ended his career at 35.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#405678) #
Cliff Lee is an interesting one.  He wasn't a strikeout pitcher, but like Johnson and Ray significantly refined his control at age 29 from so-so to great. 

Hernandez' HR was 91 mph off the bat with a launch angle of 36 degrees.  There are going to be a few more homers today...
92-93 - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#405679) #
Pretty good pitch too, that curveball Cesar clubbed out was down.

Carlos Rodon feels like the type of pitcher the Jays are going to be in on this winter.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#405680) #
The humidex is 40C, and the ball is carrying.  Golf swings on low pitches will be rewarded. 
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#405681) #
I don't follow caught stealing numbers closely to know what's good or bad anymore, but for the record:


Kirk 68sb/44cs = 39cs%
McGuire 355sb/177cs = 33cs%
Jansen 266sb/93cs = 26cs%


Kirk 21sb/3cs = 13cs%
McGuire 49sb/22cs = 31cs%
Jansen 108sb/33cs = 23cs%

Obviously a terrible start in MLB for Kirk here but the milb numbers suggest he's not a lost cause there either.
Chuck - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#405682) #
Mike Green, home run whisperer.
Nigel - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#405683) #
While putting Kirk at DH semi permanently is an interesting idea, I think that idea is DOA before it ever gets off the ground. Between modern bullpen sizes, the astro turf (and need for days off for Springer etc.) and Montoyo's managerial style, there's no chance the Jays would carry a permanent DH type. Plus, DH's need to hit HR's and Kirk has no power:)
Mike Green - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#405684) #
It would be a good game to pull Ryu early and bring on a right-hander before the top of the order comes around again.  It's a tough environment for him. 
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#405685) #
If Bob Rae sold SkyDome for $150 million, then Bob Ray wants $150 million to pitch there!
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#405686) #
Now there's a disappointing response from the top of the order.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#405687) #
The 2021 Blue Jays: not quite legitimate.
Eephus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#405688) #
Looks like Ryu does end up getting pulled early, just not in as ideal circumstances as MG suggested.
mathesond - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#405689) #
Kudos to Grichuk for avoiding hitting a weak pop-up.
Eephus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#405690) #
Thornton has looked better lately. If he can consistently hit 95, there's a future there.
electric carrot - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#405691) #
I don't think Bichette should be leading off. I vote for switch Toescar and Bichette in the lineup. Higher OBP, pretty good speed. Anyway this team needs to shake something up. Maybe lead off Kirk for fun. That might lighten the mood.
Eephus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#405692) #
It is super weird to see so much rain coming down at the Dome.
scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#405693) #
It's a tough environment for the pen too.

This was Ryu on regular rest, also.

Eephus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#405694) #
Hate to say it, but Hand looks pretty washed. The breaking ball isn't fooling anybody.
Nigel - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#405695) #
I made that same comment about Hand on his first appearance for the team. He's toasty. I would love to know what the scouts saw in Hand to make them want to do that deal (that's a serious question - I know the scouts are knowledgeable baseball people - so it would be fascinating to understand the logic).
Chuck - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#405696) #
Interesting that Espinal swears in English.
scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#405697) #
McGuire spent 7 years in the minors versus only 3 for Kirk.
Caught stealing numbers are typically better at lower levels where there is a lot of attempts.
McGuire's numbers have always been better than Jansen's.
Kirk's numbers in Rookie/A-ball looked more like McGuire's than Jansen's.

I also think that a lot of it is on the pitcher.

Regarding catcher ERA, there's a lot of variables in there.
It shows, at least that Kirk can do the job, but I'd need several years of data to conclude that he's better or worst than somebody else.
Kirk needs to get off his knees on occasion with the runner on 3rd base.
He's shown he can do that. Good enough for me.
I don't know about the framing. That is mostly on the ump.
The game calling has 2 aspects.
Young pitchers might need some direction and experience pitchers might not like to shake 4 or 5 pitches to get to the one they want to throw.
Kirk was asked about calling the slider that got the double play groundball.
He said that Ray is an excellent pitcher and that all his pitches are great.
I think it's probably best to be random here so the hitter can't guess anything based on the shake.

scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#405698) #
It may be that only the Nats were interested in Adams and that they had a better offer for Hudson.
I sure would have preferred Hudson.

Petey Baseball - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#405699) #
My sabermetric analysis of the last inning:

Boy it's good to see the coaching staff showing some fire. Walker tossed yesterday and now Schenider. Would be nice to see the manager doing it, though.
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#405700) #
Let's do this.
Nigel - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#405701) #
If the Jays decide to spend only enough to resign one of their big ticket FA's - would you rather see them spend $22-25m per year over 5 years on Semien or Ray?
uglyone - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#405702) #
Agreed, Peter, agreed.

In fact, it's a little weird that the coaches are losing it while the manager isn't.
Eephus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#405703) #
Nice to see the hitting "slump" isn't affecting Vlad Jr's glove today.
Eephus - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#405704) #
would you rather see them spend $22-25m per year over 5 years on Semien or Ray?

I'd pick Ray, but it is a tough choice. It's more of a preference for the really good lefty pitcher over the stud, potential perennial MVP middle infielder. My prediction is still that Semien goes off to play shortstop everyday somewhere. He's earned it and then some.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#405705) #
I'm surely not advocating screaming at officials, being a basketball one myself.

And the pitch to Vlady was a strike, but poorly received.

I just like managers to back their players in real time, shoot me.
lexomatic - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#405706) #
Could Kirk's issues with SB% in the makes have a lot to do with catching Ray a lot?
Magpie - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#405707) #
Could Kirk's issues with SB% in the makes have a lot to do with catching Ray a lot?

Just the opposite. This year the opposition is 18 for 20 - that's 90% - stealing against Ray this season. The most steals against him in any previous season was 11, back in 2015. Coming into this season opponents had gone 54 for 79 (69.6%).

It's 11 for 11 in 62.2 IP with Kirk catching, and 7 for 9 in 89.2 with the other three. C'est la vie.
scottt - Thursday, August 26 2021 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#405708) #
Bautista was quite outspoken about bad umpiring and that didn't help him one bit.
Guerrero takes the time to greet the officials.
It seems quite a contrast.
So far, that hasn't helped.
But it's clear that the umps are biased and often don't really know where the pitch was, so they just give the benefit of the doubt to one party.
The theory is that over time, the bias will improve.
It's kinda like earning respect.

I was just reading about the mound having been moved back one foot in the middle of the season in the Atlantic League.
It seems like it's harder to throw breaking balls but the fastballs aren't affected.
The results might be more balls put in play, but it mostly advantages power pitchers over finesse guys.
That basically means you want the hard throwing relievers in there and the starters out sooner.
Many pitchers resent being treated like guinea pigs and feel it might keep them from MLB opportunities.

Leaside Cowboy - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#405709) #
"My body is elsewhere, probably up to no good."

"I'm back, kids. Everyone been behaving themselves?"


Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#405714) #
Maybe this is a sobering thought or maybe a complement to the Tigers, but the Jays and Tigers have identical records since May 1 (or approximately the last 100 games).
GabrielSyme - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#405715) #
I'm not too worried about Kirk's defence. I don't expect it to be amazing, but he's definitely playable now, and most of the things he's weak on (consistent throwing mechanics, blocking) are the types of things I expect will improve over time. Most catchers have a lot more minor league experience than Kirk to work on those technical parts of the game, and he's only 22.

His framing numbers actually aren't particularly bad this year, and that's also a skill that I expect can be honed over time.

Controlling the running game is likely to remain a weakness, but that's probably the least important part of a catcher's defensive skill set.

With respect to resigning Ray, even if we do, it'll cost a lot more money, meaning fewer resources to improve the team elsewhere. It is a great pity that we found ourselves with an MVP candidate and a Cy Young candidate on one-year contracts, and haven't been able to convert a very strong team into a playoff position.
92-93 - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#405717) #
Jays claimed Jarrod Dyson on (off?) waivers. A solid defensive LH CF should be a priority for the team for 2022.
Petey Baseball - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#405718) #
Just seeing the chatter now about the new manager I started up with a again during the Tigers.

Somebody mentioned Bruce Bochy. My goodness how big of a coup would that be, and what a fabulous fit for a team ready to win now. He's Tony La Russa without the hubris. If they could somehow coax him out of retirement, keep Schneider for when Bochy is done and fire Montoyo, that'd be a wonderful start to the off-season.

Then again, Bochy's a national league guy who retired and from all accounts seems happy to stay retired. There's got to be some "opportunity" and "value" in adding a hall of fame manager, isn't there?
John Northey - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#405719) #
Yeah, I see Bochy as a case where if you could con him out of retirement via a shot at running a team that is young, talented, with tons of money available then you dump the current manager in a split second. If he won't come for that then he never would. The Jays are in an ideal situation to grab any manager they want. Every manager worth their salt would want to run this team.

Sadly I doubt there are any like we had a shot at in 1998. Gord Ash royally screwed up not signing Davy Johnson then (he wanted to come here, the need was there after Cito was dumped). Wonder if Cleveland might dump Terry Francona as they might be in a rebuild phase...nah. Hmm... Buck Showalter is out there - he was viewed as a really good manager at one time.
Chuck - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#405720) #
Jays claimed Jarrod Dyson

The Dyson of several years ago was an inexpensive 2-WAR player in part-time use and someone that a few in these parts coveted. At age 36, is there any reason to believe he brings more to the table than Jonathan Davis (which was not very much)?

Springer presents a challenge to the team both in the short term and the long term. At some point down the road, he'll need to slide to an outfield corner. But in the short term, he will continue needing a caddy to soak up at-bats lost to injury. Grichuk has assumed that role by default since no one else plays the position, but is he the best option over the next couple of years? I want to say no, but I don't have any better ideas. The 30-year old version of Dyson would be a terrific fit. Anyone have a time machine?

Jonny German - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#405721) #
A solid defensive LH CF should be a priority for the team for 2022.

Really? How many priorities are on your list? I think this team needs a starter, a reliever or two, and an infielder much more than an upgrade over Grichuk as the backup CF.

How many Ēsolid defensive LH CFĒ even exist, by the way? I wouldnít count Dyson as his bat is so anemic itís irrelevant that he stands in the LH batterís box.
92-93 - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#405722) #
That "caddy" really shouldn't be too difficult to find. Inciarte and Herrera have club options that might be declined. Bradley Jr. and Taylor will be cheap FAs. The Rays would probably be happy to dump the 14.5M they owe Keirmaeir in trade. Any good glove that keeps Springer out of CF half the time will work. What should be clear is that Grichuk is not that guy. Grichuk and/or Gurriel need to be traded this offseason if they are building a well-rounded team for 2022.
92-93 - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#405723) #
A LH CF should be 2nd on the Jays list behind a frontline SP to go along with Ryu/Berrios/Manoah. Springer has never made more than 79 starts out there, so calling the 4th OF a backup CF is a bit misleading. It's an important spot on the roster. An infielder like Semien would be a tremendous luxury, but there is enough infield depth in the system that it wouldn't be terrible if no big addition was made there. If they do spend on an infielder he needs to hit from the left side.
Mike Green - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#405727) #
Statcast has this to say about Berrios.  From 2017 to 2019, his xwOBA was .297 (.304, .284 and .284 by season) and his xERA was 3.86 (4.02, 3.42 and 4.11).  From 2020-2021, his xwOBA was .317 (.322 and .315) and his xERA was 4.33 (4.27 and 4.45).  His barrel % is up significantly as his exit velocity.  It's not an illusion. 

Do I believe that he can return to his 2017-19 performance level? Sure.  But doing so in the context of the AL East would amount to an improvement for him. 

For what it's worth, if I had to count on 2 starting pitchers right now on this club, it would be Ray and Manoah. 
grjas - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#405732) #
I think this team needs a starter, a reliever or two, and an infielder much more than an upgrade over Grichuk as the backup CF.

I agree with all that except for ď1or 2 relievers.Ē They need more. Did a quick scan of top teams and almost all had 6 or 7 relievers with 25+ appearances and ERA+ of 100 or better. For most of the year, the Jays had 2. They added Cimber and Richards so they now they have a potential of 4 going into next yearÖbefore injuries. The minors donít look like a source for that level of relief pitching next year so I think theyíll need 3 or 4 more with that type of potentialÖ.ie excluding any dumpster diving.
uglyone - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#405733) #
"t age 36, is there any reason to believe he brings more to the table than Jonathan Davis (which was not very much)?"

well...yeah, probably. still a great fielder, so probably about the same as Davis.

but even at his worst this year he seems to be a better hitter than Davis. also seems to still be a better base stealer.

and they probably figure that with all his experience he's better at the all important pinch-hit BUNT.
Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#405734) #
I'm with Greenfrog - I think this team is 3 or four relievers short of a full boat. It's just the way the game is played now. I think the relievers are a higher priority than another starter. I think the team could do worse than a Ryu, Mannoah, Berrios, Stripling, Hatch/cheap 5th starter type as starters next year if they are rationing resources.

A LHH OF who can play CF, with some OBP skills, would actually have been the single best position player add for this team for several years running. Rebalancing the LH/RH mix of the line-up would be next priority for me after the relievers but there are several ways that that rebalancing could be accomplished.
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