Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
It's the other half of 2021's six games with the Tigers, all happening within ten days with only the four games with the White Sox in between.

I didn't see those first three games, which were played at the Dome last week. As some of you know, I was in Winnipeg visiting family for the first time in several years (pesky pandemic!) While I'm informed that they do indeed have televisions in Manitoba I didn't actually see any in the entire week I was there. I was staying in an empty, unfurnished condo that my sister is in the process of selling. No television there, obviously. I did spend time visiting both her and my ancient father, but I don't know if either of them even own televisions. And being out of province, I could not avail myself of my own access to ways of watching the Jays.

I did use up more than my entire monthly allotment of smartphone data following the play-by-play, which is how I know that the Jays received brilliant performances from all three of their starting pitchers. Robbie Ray, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Steven Matz allowed a total of 2 runs in 22 innings, and when your starters have an ERA of 0.82 over a series you expect to do better than win once in three tries. Alas, the Tigers got pretty good pitching as well. Two games eventually went to extra innings, and that's never been a good thing for the 2021 Jays. One also gets the feeling that Jobu badly needs to come and take the fear from the bats.

NAME              GP  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI   TB   BB   SO  SB   AVG    OBP    SLG   OPS  
George Springer   15  57  14  16   5   1   5   14   38    8   16   0   .281  .373   .667  1.040 
Teoscar Hernandez 25  94  18  32   4   0   6   21   54    3   24   2   .340  .367   .574   .942  
Marcus Semien 25  99  15  25   8   0   8   13   57    8   19   3   .253  .312   .576   .888  
Lourdes Gurriel 20  63   6  20   4   0   3   12   33    4   11   0   .317  .358   .524   .882  
Corey Dickerson 20  57   9  15   2   2   3   11   30    3    8   1   .263  .300   .526   .826  
Alejandro Kirk 15  42   3  13   5   0   0    7   18    2    7   0   .310  .354   .429   .783 
Vladimir Guerrero 24  95  13  23   1   0   3    7   33   12   18   2   .242  .333   .347   .681 
Santiago Espinal 22  56   5  14   1   0   1    4   18    8    8   2   .250  .354   .321   .675  
Reese McGuire 17  41   5   9   4   0   0    2   13    7    5   0   .220  .347   .317   .664  
Randal Grichuk 23  65   8  12   4   0   2    9   22    9   21   0   .185  .293   .338   .632  
Breyvic Valera 15  38   5   9   1   0   0    3   10    2    0   0   .237  .275   .263   .538  
Bo Bichette 22  88  12  19   2   0   1    7   24    5   21   3   .216  .255   .273   .528  
Kevin Smith 5  11   0   1   0   0   0    0    1    1    4   0   .091  .167   .091   .258  
Cavan Biggio 2   6   0   0   0   0   0    0    0    2    2   0   .000  .250   .000   .250   
Josh Palacios 2   4   0   0   0   0   0    0    0    0    4   0   .000  .000   .000   .000   
Otto Lopez 1   1   0   0   0   0   0    0    0    0    1   0   .000  .000   .000   .000   

I guess these would be the Duds of August? Or maybe this team isn't quite the offensive juggernaut they appeared to be when they were playing half their games in Dunedin or Buffalo?

This time around the Jays should see catcher Eric Haase, outfielder Akil Baddoo, and pitcher Matt Boyd, all of whom were out with injury just last week. As for the Jays, it sound like returns of Nate Pearson, Danny Jansen, and (surprise!) George Springer may be imminent. I just don't expect to see any of them this weekend.

Hey, I got Matchups!

Fri 27 Aug - Matz (10-7, 3.94) vs Manning (3-5, 5.91)
Sat 28 Aug - Manoah (5-2, 3.18) vs Alexander (2-2, 4.25)
Sun 29 Aug - Berrios (8-7, 3.70) vs Boyd (3-6, 3.44)
Toronto at Detroit, August 27-29 | 146 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Chuck - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#405725) #
I could not avail myself of my own access to ways of watching the Jays.

I fear for poor Eephus and the demands to be placed on him as you continue your age-related decline. My son's browser search history includes the words pillow and smothering, so I am personally counting on minimal filial sympathy.

Magpie - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#405726) #
Hey, access to Rogers cable services was of little use in a province without Rogers cable!
Magpie - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#405728) #
It's pretty easy to miss unless you give those numbers a particularly intense scrute, but surely this is the strangest tidbit buried in the Jays' hitting stats for August:

Randal Grichuk is second on the team in walks.
Mike Green - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#405729) #
My son's browser search history includes the words pillow and smothering, so I am personally counting on minimal filial sympathy.

Serves you right for streaming Amour and letting him watch before he reached the age of majority. Thanks to movies like this, a generation will grow up thinking "a man needs a maid" was the sequel to "old man". 
Chuck - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#405735) #
streaming Amour

I have long been planning a thorough exploration of Haneke's filmography. When I do, I will surely the feel the sting of your remark!

Gerry - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#405736) #
Smith and Palacios in the lineup tonight. No Grichuk.

Palacios gets one last chance to impress before Dyson and Springer return.
Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#405738) #
I'm in favour of letting Palacios play - since a great first month, Grichuk has been pretty awful (negative WAR) and he's losing his range in CF. I doubt that Palacios has a place in the 2022 OF but I'd try and find a bit more about him as they play out the string.
Gerry - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#405739) #
Brad Hand has gone on the bereavement list. Connor Overton is back.
scottt - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#405740) #
So eventually the release of Luciano leads to the claim of Dyson.

Dyson could never really hit, nor quite get on base.
He can probably play better defense than Grichuk, but his real talent is his ability to lay down the bunt.
He's got 8 bunts for the year. The Jays have 9 total, including 3 by pitchers.

scottt - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#405741) #
Mets are done, despite spending like drunken sailors.

Padres are in a worse spot than the Jays. Who would have thought that the Giants would outplay them?
Technically, they are only 2 games behind the Reds, but their schedule is way harder.

greenfrog - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#405742) #
So, now we're focused on who's winning the race to the bottom? Exciting.
scottt - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#405743) #
Lots of folks were interested in trading for Arenado.
How many of those have followed him with the Cards?

At his peak, he had a 126 wRC+ that looked better than it was because of ballpark factor.
(Something like .300 .360 .570)

His line this year is .255 .313 .495 good for a 114 wRC+.
His xwOBA is .315, good for 175th in baseball, tied with Matt Duffy, suggesting he's been lucky despite a lot of weak contact.
Defensively? UZR/DRS numbers are still good, but no longer elite.
So far that's good for 3.3 bWAR, a far cry from the 6~7 bWAR figures he produced at Coors.
He's owned 35M for the next 3 years, then 32M and then 27M.

scottt - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#405744) #
mlbtraderumors has a power ranking feature for the best free agents this winter.
It has fluctuated quite a bit over the year.
The most recent update looks like this.

1. Correa
2. Corey Seager (probably 300M+ up to here)
3. Kris Bryant
4. Trevor Story
5. Freddie Freeman
6. Kevin Gausman
7. Marcus Semien
8. Marcus Stroman
9. Robbie Ray
10. Nick Castellanos

Other top guys:
Max Scherzer, Carlos Rodon, Chris Taylor, Javier Baez, Michael Conforto and Starling Marte.

It's unclear how much other teams will offer for Ray who probably looks too risky for a long contract.
Stroman is described as a candidate for a 5 year deal. Probably a stretch for Ray.
I really like Castellanos' bat. Here's a guy who can hit those pesky lefties.
Braves should really extend Freeman but they haven't. Is that classic AA?
Yankees should probably go after a shortstop, but both they and Boston will be looking for starting pitching.
Not sure who replaces Dickerson as the Jays' DH/LF.
Is there an obvious experienced left bat I'm missing? I kinda like Schwarber, but I doubt he fancies himself as a DH.

scottt - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#405745) #
The race to the bottom is something else.
Both Mets and Padres are competitive teams with huge payrolls and they'll try to rebound next year.
Perhaps fire the managers? I believe that's what the crowds chant at Shea.

grjas - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#405746) #
No one seems to want the second wild card in the AL. Boston cratered first and has bounced back somewhat, the A’s are in free fall and we all know the Jays challenges. It would be funny if the worst team, Seattle, snuck through. They’re only 3 back in the loss column.

I hope Springer’s return and Pearson’s bullets can light a fire. They seem to be clutching the bats and balls too tightly.
bpoz - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#405747) #
It is always a good time to go on a long winning streak. NYY has done that. Time for the Jays to do it.

From the CWS thread it mentioned the needs for 2022. I agree with 1 or 2 SPs and 3/4 relievers.

Recent history has both failures and successes with SPs and relievers.

Failures: Buchholz, Shoemaker, C Richard, Roark, C Anderson and Hand. Easy acquisitions, with only Roark being expensive.

Successes: Ryu (expensive contract), Berrios (high prospect capital). Cheap Stripling, T Walker, Ray, Matz, Cimber and T Richards.

Doubt exists about Ray returning. His contract will be expensive.

Ryu, Manoah, Berrios and Stripling are part of 2022's top 6 SPs. We will need 8 SPs. I really don't know how much Matz would cost. T Walker got $10 mil per year for 2 years, so something comparable IMO. He may want to come back.

I have no idea where we get the good relievers. 4 is a lot to hope for. Maybe 2 to go with Romano, Cimber, T Richard and Mayza.

Borucki, Merryweather and Pearson are just extras. Depth until they start producing. Their potential injuries should not cost us the same as they have in 2021. Kay, Hatch, Thornton and others can join Saucedo, Snead etc... as hopefuls. Hopefully some will succeed next year for the whole season.

John Northey - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#405748) #
Any race is fun to watch. Even pathetic ones. The O's have a 4 win 'lead' on everyone else for last overall (fewest wins is the goal there). 2 1/2 game's behind Arizona, 3 1/2 behind Texas. Those 3 are guaranteed sub 500 records already, Pittsburgh has 81 losses. Those are the contenders for worst.

If MLB would just put in place my recommendation - have the worst non-playoff team get the #1 overall pick, the worst team gets the last pick before playoff teams. Then there would be no race for the bottom, instead everyone would want as good a record as possible.

If we had 8 teams per league in the playoffs then the Jays would be holding that precious 8th slot right now, 2 1/2 ahead of Cleveland. 4 1/2 ahead of the Angels. Bet that would've made the trade deadline a bit different.

If the 8 teams was ala last year - 2 per division plus 2 wild cards, then the last 2 slots would be Boston/Seattle with Toronto just 2 back of Seattle. Cleveland would be in a playoff slot (yes the AL Central is that weak), as would the sub 500 Phillies in the NL. SD and St Louis would have the 2 wild card slots in the NL with the Mets trying to catch Philly for the 2nd playoff slot in the NL East and the loser of that trying to be up with St Louis (64-62).

If it was 1 wild card then the Jays would be 8 1/2 behind the Yankees now for that, the NL Dodgers by over 10 games.

The 1969-1993 playoff system - 2 teams per league - leads to Tampa/Houston with ChiSox 2 games out in the west. Milwaukee & Giants in NL (assuming Milwaukee in East like they were in the AL back in the day).

No matter how you cut it though the Jays would be well served by some realignment putting them in a new division without the Yankees/Red Sox/Rays.
mathesond - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#405749) #
"No matter how you cut it though the Jays would be well served by some realignment putting them in a new division without the Yankees/Red Sox/Rays"

Maybe they could petition to join the NL West!
Magpie - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#405750) #
Matz is supposed to be one of the best athletes on the team. I suppose that's what they were talking about. Remarkable play.
Eephus - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#405751) #
A few more bats, more development from the young pitchers... it's not hard to see the Tigers making the playoffs in a couple of seasons.

Certainly helps when you play in a dumpster fire of a division though.
Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#405752) #
That was a remarkable play in about 3 different ways (Matz’s recovery after the contact, the Guerrero throw, the Matz catch and tag).

The Matz FA contract might be the widest range of outcomes I can think of. You can construct a wide range of reasonable contracts depending on which version of Matz you see. If Ray has priced himself out of town, I’d be ok with Matz as plan B.
Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#405753) #
Valera needs to be taken away from Montoyo as an option ASAP.
greenfrog - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#405754) #
As I've mentioned before, there is a fair chance that Matz could end up receiving a QO this off-season, notwithstanding that MLBTR recently gave him no consideration in their review of potential QO candidates.

The QO to Estrada after the 2015 season is a rough comp (Matz 2021 has arguably been better than Estrada was in 2015). Three extra draft picks would be somewhat of a salve after this season (assuming all three players test free agency).
krose - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#405755) #
Was someone removed from the 40 man to make room for Dyson.
greenfrog - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#405756) #
For some reason, "Cimber" makes me think of "cipher" and "ember" combined. (That is purely wordplay; I actually think he's a useful RP to have on the staff.)
Gerry - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#405757) #

Was someone removed from the 40 man to make room for Dyson.

Elvis Luciano, earlier this week.

Magpie - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#405758) #
That was very, very dumb.
Eephus - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#405759) #
This team, man.

I still don't want Montoyo back, but geez it just seems like every reasonable choice he makes explodes in his face.

Palacios has to be smarter than that though. Know the situation, young fella.
Petey Baseball - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#405760) #
I guess Dyson got here one day too late.
greenfrog - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#405761) #
The unreasonable ones have often exploded, too.
greenfrog - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#405762) #
The 2021 Blue Jays:

- 4th in the AL in run differential (there is about a 50-run differential between the Jays (+113) and the 5th-best team (Oakland at +64)). Only Houston, TB, and Chicago have a better run differential

- 8th in the AL standings, behind Seattle (-58 run differential) and ahead of Cleveland (-14 run differential)
Eephus - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#405763) #
Also put me in the camp that McGuire's defense is vastly overrated. He throws well, can frame a pitch now and again... in terms of calling a game I'm not overly impressed. A lefty hitting Russ Martin he is not.

Not that I think Kirk will ever be a gold glover back there, but he seems to have a fairly decent idea of how to work with pitchers (even if it is two pitch guys like Ray) when you consider his extreme lack of experience. Jansen is still the best defensive C on the team in my opinion, but man I'm not sure he'll ever even hit .215 for his career at this point.

Come on boys, lets not make this one another classic 2021 Blue Jays loss (we've had way too much of that flavour).
dalimon5 - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#405764) #
Fire Montoyo.
Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#405765) #
Incredibly dumb. But that’s what you use these playing out the string games for - to find out about your marginal pieces.
Eephus - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#405766) #
...... yeah so much for that. I am endlessly impressed by this team's ability to invent ways to lose. Historians will study these games and marvel at the sheer creativity of this enterprise.

It's a young team. As long as they learn from these consistently dreadful mistakes, we'll be a problem for the next few years.

92-93 - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#405767) #
The Jays might want Matz back on a two or three-year deal, but they should not be offering him over 19MM for one.

It's easy to blame Palacios for this loss, but one run aint gonna win many baseball games. The offense has really buried them.
Petey Baseball - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#405768) #
With so many deflating losses because of the bullpen blowups or stupid managerial decisions, or a gold glove infielder booting a routine play in a critical late season series, I'm not surprised they're out of gas.

You look at a team like the Tigers, with clearly inferior talent to the Jays, even considering the weaker division, have actually had a better record than the Jays since May. I'd imagine that sticks in the craw of the Jays front office.
Nigel - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#405769) #
I’ll repeat something I said 6 weeks ago and took heat for. This is a good offence, not elite, made look better by Dunedin and Buffalo. They could work on improving the offence in the offseason.
grjas - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#405770) #
Yeah I’m not convinced that this offence is elite. They folded last year in the playoffs, this year in the pennant race, and can’t hit high heat in the late innings. May be it’s the challenges of youth, may be Springer will give them a lift, maybe, maybe, maybe. But they’ve been making almost every pitcher look like an ace for weeks.
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#405771) #
The past few weeks have been excruciating to watch. The offence has collapsed and they keep just screwing up on defence. It sucks to see so many great seasons wasted, hopefully next year will have better results.

On the other hand, they played really well against the awful NL East and they’re below .500 against everyone else. Am I misevaluating the team?
greenfrog - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#405772) #
“The Jays might want Matz back on a two or three-year deal, but they should not be offering him over 19MM for one”

The cost of a win in free agency will probably be $8m+ this off-season. If Matz finishes with 2-2.5 WAR, wouldn’t $19m be about right for him? All without the risk of a multiyear deal?

In any event, this is exactly the approach the Jays took with Estrada, who signed a 2/$26m deal with the Jays in 2015 after receiving a $15.8m QO from them.
Petey Baseball - Friday, August 27 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#405773) #
Who is ready for Yankees-Red Sox wildcard game. A healthy Chris Sale vs Garrett Cole. As much as I hate it, Baseball needs it.
John Northey - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#405774) #
Yeah, Matz has pushed himself up to QO level I'd say, assuming he doesn't collapse in September. But I wouldn't go over $20 mil a year for 3 years.

The offense is killing this team lately. Now 500 in August, 13-13 after a 12-11 July. Huh, May and June were both 2 games over 500. Dang, this is a 500 team every month. No hot months, no cold ones, just 500 or 1 or 2 games over each month. Weird. Outscored opponents every month including this one. 4.4 runs per game is the lowest scored in any month this year. April is 2nd at 4.5, July 5.2, May & June both 5.5 (May a tiny bit higher if you go to 1 more decimal). In blowouts the Jays are amazing 23-12 = 106 win pace. But in one run games they are on a 63 win pace (99 losses), and in extras even worse at a 29 win pace (133 losses, worse than the '62 Mets, but better than the 1899 Cleveland Spiders at least.

Now, 1 run and extras are traditionally viewed as dumb luck wins/losses and if so then this is a very, very good team that has horrid luck. Easy to see that with the loss today on an inside the park error ... er ... home run after the loss last weekend on an easy ground out to 2B that was screwed up. Not to mention stuff like throwing low strikes to Adams when we knew that was all he could hit (doh!). Just checked and was shocked to see that, not counting today, the Jays relievers are #14 in the majors for relief ERA at 4.07 from the 30 (yikes!) relievers used. Only 5 times in Jays history have 30 pitchers been used overall (starter & relievers) before 2021. 2021 has a total of 37 pitchers used which is 2 below 2019's total still. With 66 wins we are 1 win below the 2019 team's season total.
Parker - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:55 AM EDT (#405775) #
Where did you guys think this team was going to be after 130 games? 90-40?
Michael - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 04:04 AM EDT (#405776) #
Anyone close is deserving of a QO. 1-year deals are never that bad, Matz on a 1-year QO next year is a fine outcome, and draft picks if he signs elsewhere is the more likely outcome if all the Jays do is the QO. So that is win-win either way and even if he signs the QO and in the worst possible case blows out his arm in spring training and doesn't pitch next year a 1-year QO deal doesn't break the bank or sink the team even if they don't get anything from Matz (and not getting anything is a low probability event).

@John by "If MLB would just put in place my recommendation - have the worst non-playoff team get the #1 overall pick, the worst team gets the last pick before playoff teams." I think you mean have the *best* non-playoff team get the #1 overall pick, in which case yes, this is what I've been arguing for for a long time too (you could also lottery it where the best non-playoff team is the team with the best chance in the lottery). It makes sense in all sports, but especially baseball where draft picks take a long time to develop and even #1 overall have some risk and aren't good enough to build a team around - combined with a playoff system that is more random in outcome than many sports. For instance, compared to something like NBA where some years the #1 draft pick, if guaranteed with no lottery, would clearly be much more valuable than the last playoff spot - both because a franchise player could be available #1 and because the last playoff spot is very unlikely to advance too far in the playoffs.

Vlad in August this year seems more run down than the start of the year. I think if he is to be MVP caliber all year he needs to basically improve almost as much fitness wise this offseason as he did last offseason (and/or the Jays need to give him more days off or somehow figure out how to get him mid-season recovery). Of course an out of gas Vlad is still a productive regular, just not an MVP caliber player. It is odd that in many ways his baserunning and defense has looked better than his bat in August (and todays scrambling play with Matz was another example of that).
grjas - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#405777) #
Where did you guys think this team was going to be after 130 games? 90-40?

The Jays were only expected to be fringe wild card competitors because of the starters. Ray, Roark and Matz were coming off dreadful years, and Pearson was an unknown. Instead, Ray, Matz and Manoah have been excellent and now Berrios has been added. If we’d known this at the beginning of the year, yeah we would have expected big things.

Instead the offence and defence have been uneven and the BP dreadful. So yeah, it’s been pretty darn frustrating.
scottt - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#405779) #
It's not just Vlad. Most of the hitters have gone cold.

This is not hockey. The best non-playoffs team is a team with a winning record.
It takes years and years for tanking teams to improve even with top draft picks.
Without them, they'd probably be caught in decade long droughts, declining revenues and maybe having to relocate.
You think the bottom teams would start handing out those 100M contracts so that they can come close and draft better?

The draft system is fine. Top teams drafting last are still able to compete every year.
What's the problem with bottom teams with no attendance competing for draft picks?
Ideally you want fans of all 30 teams to have something to look forward the next year.

GabrielSyme - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#405781) #
But in one run games they are on a 63 win pace (99 losses), and in extras even worse at a 29 win pace (133 losses, worse than the '62 Mets, but better than the 1899 Cleveland Spiders at least.

Now, 1 run and extras are traditionally viewed as dumb luck wins/losses and if so then this is a very, very good team that has horrid luck.
Since one-run games and extras are non-exclusive, it's helpful to look at the combined record of one-run games plus extras settled by more than one run. The Jays are 9-22 in those games (a 47-win pace). But is it entirely poor luck? At some point Montoyo has to bear some responsibility for these outcomes, especially when the bullpen has actually been pretty decent (10th in MLB in ERA-) but his consistently erratic and at times inexplicable bullpen management have been witnessed in quite a number of those losses.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#405782) #
A team of this quality would be expected to go 14-10 in their one-run games. They've gone 9-15. So what happens if you assume normal luck in the close games and turn five losses into wins? An overall record of 71-56. Not in the post-season, just closer.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#405783) #
Another way to think about it - if you played 24 games, scored 84 runs and allowed 90, you'd expect to go 11-13, not 9-15. Toronto's problem in close games, far more than the bullpen, has been the 84 runs scored. They're allowing 3.75 runs per game in the one-run games, which is pretty average. Here's the runs allowed per game in one-run games for all the AL contenders.
Tampa Bay 3.58
Houston   3.61
Boston    3.67
Toronto   3.75
Oakland   3.75
New York  3.79
Seattle   3.83
Chicago   3.88

There's not a great deal of difference there. There's a broader range when it comes to Runs Scored in one-run games:
Seattle   4.10
New York  4.09
Boston    3.89
Chicago   3.67
Oakland   3.63
Houston   3.61
Tampa Bay 3.55
Toronto   3.50

Seattle is 26-15 in one-run games, the Yankees are 22-12, the Red Sox 22-14. Meanwhile, the White Sox are 13-20 and the A's are 18-23.

We all blame the bullpen, but the Jays aren't hitting much in close games, as someone else around here has been yelling until he's blue in the face.
krose - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#405784) #
Thanks Mags. That’s clear as the nose on one’s face. The Jays looked like an hitting juggernaut during the first part of the season. Is there data to explain a part of that being associated with playing in minor league ballparks?
Chuck - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#405785) #
Is there data to explain a part of that being associated with playing in minor league ballparks?

MLB park factors 2021. Dunedin #1. Buffalo #3.

Chuck - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#405786) #
Captain Kirk will helm the SS Blue Jay today from the captain's chair, in the #4 slot.
krose - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#405787) #
Did the Jays hit about the same, in major league ballparks, during the first part of the season, as they are now hitting?
grjas - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#405788) #
Home and away splits are interesting though the home numbers are skewed down by the last month. Regardless, Semien and Guerrero’s numbers are worse on the road, Bichette’s are similar and Hernandez are better. VG’s differences are dramatic. Slugging percentage at home is .699 and on the road .489.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#405789) #
Did the Jays hit about the same, in major league ballparks, during the first part of the season, as they are now hitting?

That's a split I don't have, but the Jays have hit better on the road than they've hit so far at the Rogers Centre.
Split	           G	PA	AB	R	H	2B     3B   HR	RBI	SB   CS	  BB	SO	BA	OBP	SLG	OPS	TB	GDP	HBP	SH	SF	IBB	ROE	BAbip	tOPS+	sOPS+
Home	           62	2329	2103	335	567	109    10  100	320	27    5	 191	478	.270	.334	.474	.807	996	51	19	0	15	10	19	.303	108	117
Away	           65	2397	2173	302	555	108	1   89	291	34   11	 185	508	.255	.318	.429	.746	932	46	18	9	11	4	12	.294	93	111
TOR-Rogers Ctr	   18	 641	 581	 79	145	 29	3   21	 76	 9    1	  48	120	.250	.312	.418	.730	243	16	7	0	5	3	6	.279	88	114
TOR-Sahlen Field   23	 847	 769	132	214	 39	3   41	127	 5    4	  68	170	.278	.336	.497	.833	382	16	3	0	7	2	6	.306	113	111
TOR-TD Ballpark	   21	 841	 753	124	208	 41	4   38	117	13    0	  75	188	.276	.348	.493	.840	371	19	9	0	3	5	7	.321	116	108

The number that leaps out at me is the BABiP at the Rogers Centre. And that suggests - well, it suggests that they've been hitting in a bit of bad luck since they finally came back to Toronto.
Thomas - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#405790) #
Captain Kirk will helm the SS Blue Jay today from the captain's chair, in the #4 slot.

Breyvic Valera must be happy. I imagine he's never pinch-hit for the cleanup hitter before.

Nigel - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#405791) #
Good chance we’ll get to see the extremely rare cleanup hitter sac bunt today!!!!
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#405792) #
Good chance we’ll get to see the extremely rare cleanup hitter sac bunt today!!!!

Extremely rare indeed. The last Blue Jays cleanup hitter to put down a sac bunt was Yunel Escobar on 23 May 2011.
92-93 - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#405793) #
Teams don't pay for WAR like that. After Bauer's mega deal and Stroman/Gausman who had much better track records and accepted qualifying offers, the highest paid SP this offseason was Morton at 15MM. He has posted 3+ WAR seasons for 2 different teams, Houston and TB, but neither of them gave him the QO. Matz at 19MM would be a large overpay, perhaps even over 2 years based on last year's FA SP landscape. Odorizzi and Walker got 3/23 and Minor got 2/18, but after that it was one year deals at 11MM or less.

With Estrada the Jays wanted him at that price and would have gotten a pick in the 30s if he left. With Matz the Jays won't want him at that price and the pick they would get is in the 75 range. Estrada was also a better pitcher, not a 5 inning/4 ERA guy.

The current Jays team projects to around 105MM in 2022 without their FAs. Matz at 20MM is not a "win".
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#405794) #
The last Blue Jays cleanup hitter to put down a sac bunt was Yunel Escobar on 23 May 2011.

And I have now identified all 25 occasions in franchise history when the Blue Jays cleanup hitter laid down a sac bunt, including that one memorable time when the cleanup hitter put down two sac bunts in the same game.

That was Year One of course, and Ron Fairly was the man. That season Fairly had 3 sac hits and Otto Velez had 2 while batting cleanup. And here are all the others!

1978 - Rico Carty
1979 - Ted Wilborn (had come in earlier to run for Carty)
1980 - Roy Howell 2, John Mayberry
1981 - Otto Velez, Barry Bonnell, Lloyd Moseby, Al Woods
1982 - Willie Upshaw, Jesse Barfield
1983 - Cliff Johnson
1984 - Willie Upshaw

1990 - Fred McGriff
1991 - John Olerud, Pat Tabler
1992 - Dave Winfield

1999 - Brian McRae (pinch hitting for Segui)

2007 - John McDonald (had come in to run for Glaus)

2011 - Yunel Escobar

Typical bunt situations for quality LH batters like McGriff or Upshaw would be in the 9th inning of a tie game after the leadoff hitter had reached and a tough LH was on the mound.

I really need a life.
92-93 - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#405795) #
It's amazing that the Jays used a pinch hitter thrice last night and none of them were Kirk and yet he bats cleanup today. Kirk should have PH for Palacios instead of Espinal.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#405796) #
Just watching the Little League World Series. The pitcher for Michigan (Taylor) is named Jakob Furkas, and he looks like a young Tom Henke.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#405797) #
And the young Terminator just notched the save!
92-93 - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#405798) #
The tint of his glasses is rad. Hawaii's unis are cool, especially the yellow helmets.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#405800) #
Last week's musical selection piqued my curiosity about Syd Barrett. As a Blue Jays fan, I can identify with his gradual descent into madness.

And perhaps The Wall represents the manager's paradox: to have players run through it, yet also insulate and protect them.

krose - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#405801) #
Thanks for the spreadsheet Mags. Glad to see there is not a strong indication that the early season hitting was strictly related to park affect. Still, looks like those minor league parks had a positive affect on team stats.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#405802) #
There's a reason Corey Dickerson had started exactly two games in RF in his entire career before last night - the man can't throw, as we all saw last night. Palacios played a single into a triple but it was Dickerson's noodle arm that made it an inside-the-parker.
Nigel - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#405803) #
Thank you Magpie. I knew it was rare but it’s even more rare than I thought.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#405804) #
I knew it was rare but it’s even more rare than I thought.

Especially recently. Of the 25, 14 of them came during the five Hartsfield-Mattick years, with just 11 in the 40 seasons since. I know for a fact that Winfield was bunting on his own initiative - he said as much afterwards, and Gaston never would have ordered him to bunt anyway - and Escobar was probably bunting for a hit and settled for the sacrifice.
mathesond - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#405805) #
Barry Bonnell, cleanup hitter...probably sounded better when I was 11 than it does now.
92-93 - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#405806) #
Sal Perez has missed one game this year. Kirk should be in the lineup everyday, it needs him.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#405807) #
Barry Bonnell, cleanup hitter...

That was Bonnell's one start as the cleanup hitter in 1981. Moseby's bunt also came in his only start as the cleanup hitter. He came up in the bottom of the 8th against the LH Ken Brett with George Bell pinch-running on second. Moseby bunted him to third, from where he scored the game's only run on a passed ball. Just like they drew it up.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#405808) #
The winning run, not the only run.
Nigel - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#405809) #
Kirk can’t play every day. He’s got no power and he’s too short and fat.
Magpie - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#405810) #
Sal Perez has missed one game this year.

Not sure why. But anyway - Perez has started 98 games behind the plate, 28 at DH. The most consecutive days he's been the starting catcher was 6, the last six games before the All-Star Break. Since the break he has never caught more than three days in a row. They've used off-days and DH days to keep him fresh.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#405811) #
Romano was used in a high leverage non-save situation for 2 innings on the road tonight. Two thumbs up.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#405812) #
Also two thumbs up on giving Soria the eighth; I was afraid Charlie would try and play matchups.

It would be nice if he could nail down some roles for the guys down there so they knew what to expect.
Nigel - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#405813) #
Agreed. I thought Montoyo had a good night and I thought Kirk (or whomever was calling the pitches tonight) had a good night behind the plate.
John Northey - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#405814) #
I admit, I wanted Manoah out there for the 7th, but clearly it was the wrong choice.  Good for Montoyo to try to push the kid, but also to recognize that it was too much before the game got out of hand.  Richards did OK.  Soria for the 8th was different, but if he can do it then fantastic.  Romano for 2 was surprising, but he only threw a total of 20 pitches over 2 innings.  Good to see some pushing of the limits of the pitchers to see what they can handle.  With 6 wins now Romano moves into 4th for the Jays in that old category, just ahead of Manoah (who has had a couple lost due to the dead offense lately) and Stripling (both with 5 wins).

I'm liking Dickerson more than I expected to.  His adjusting to the shift was fantastic and the other game he choaked up the bat big time to ensure he could advance a runner.  Smart hitter.  Kirk needs to be in there everyday.  Just 2 runs and also calmed down Monoah when he started to snap over the hit batter call (I suspect he also calmed down the ump afterwards).  Very important for a catcher to do that.  No question in my mind he should be the #1 catcher now - doing every other game at the least.

Hoping Espinal is OK as he has had a great year and losing him hurts the team a lot.  Valera should be dumped soon, Smith covers 3B/1B/SS/OF so he can be the super-utility guy and has some potential to grow (had a HR stolen yesterday, nearly had one tonight but just foul).  I can't see it from Valera. 

Tomorrow should be interesting - Berrios on the mound - will he have 'it' tomorrow?  Will Springer return?  Will Espinal be on the IL?  Who goes down if Espinal doesn't go on the IL?  Palacios I'm 99% confident goes down if Springer is healthy and Espinal doesn't go on the IL.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#405815) #
Rosters expand by 2 players on Wednesday. Can we expect the team will carry 3 catchers?
John Northey - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#405816) #
Seeing Ohtani get hit in the hand made me think about what a great year he has had so far, hoping it wasn't over. He is up to 7.9 bWAR before today's game (pace for 9.8). How good is that? Post 1945 (ie: from 1 year before the color barrier was broken, but after the weak competition of WWII) there have been 50 seasons of 10+ WAR. Most recent Jacob deGrom in 2018 (10.4 with a 1.70 ERA over 217 innings, a shame his season ended early with a 1.08 this year). Mookie Betts in 2018 also did it for the Red Sox (346/438/640 in CF winning a gold glove too). Then you get Mike Trout (2 times, 2012,16 plus a 9.9 in 2018).

Best bWAR is Dwight Gooden (1985) when he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA in 276 IP as a 20 year old (yikes!) - his final regular season game he faced the most batters (39) and allowed 2 runs in a complete game thus increasing his ERA slightly.

Best by a hitter is Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 with a 12.4 (triple crown)

Best Jay is Roger Clemens in 1997 at 12.1 WAR (4th best ever) - yeah he was that dominate. Had dreams of him staying here for a decade then going into the HOF as a Jay. Little did we know he'd only be here one more year, win a second pitchers triple crown, then be traded to the Yankees for a song.

Best Canadian is Fergie Jenkins in 1971 at 11.8 WAR for the Cubs. 325 innings with a 141 ERA+ plus a 102 OPS+ as a hitter in 132 PA will do that (1.7 WAR hitting/fielding, 10.1 pitching).

Others of note...
  • 3 20 year olds in the top 100 (Gooden, Trout 2012, and A-Rod in 1996)
  • 2 39 year olds - Barry Bonds 2004 (10.6*), and Phil Niekro 1978 (10.4)
  • Willie Mays makes the leaderboard (8.4 WAR and up) 10 times, no one else over 8 (Barry Bonds*). Trout the only active guy on the list with 5+ (exactly 5). Roger Clemens  with 5 is the only Jay on the list (1997 his best year and last time over 8.4).
  • Larry Walker peaked at 9.8 in 1997 - yes he did deserve that MVP award. Over 1 WAR over 2nd place Mike Piazza that year.
  • Craig Biggio is #99 on the list with a 9.4 in 1997 for Houston.
  • Halladay only reached the list as a Phillie with his 8.6 in 2011. Sigh.
  • Albert Pujols did it 7 times, all in a row from 2003-2009, he had 2 more St Louis seasons of 5+ WAR before flopping as an Angel (4.8 his first year, 2 more in the 3's, 4 more positive WAR years, and 3 negative including this year - this years -0.6 overall has pushed him sub 100 for WAR, the last 2 years cost him his 300 lifetime batting average).
Fun to dig into.
scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#405817) #
Cimber is not great with a runner on second.
Romano is clearly the best, but you can't really just save him for the 10th.
Pearson or Merryweather throwing heat would be nice.

Expecting Dyson up today, should replace Palacios.

There was a talk of a Smith/Espinal platoon for next year.
I guess they have an idea of what Smith can and cannot hit.
Perhaps he's more a low ball hitter?

Springer will probably start at DH for at least a game or two.
I'm not crazy about guys playing the outfield out of position in those larger ballparks.

scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 06:41 AM EDT (#405818) #
Merryweather was assigned to Buffalo yesterday.
bpoz - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#405819) #
Thanks for the financial info on FA SPS last off season 92-93.

This will help me not to get caught up in all the off season speculation by the media.
scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#405820) #
A pick in the 75 range is still valuable. There are always lots of good pitching prospects available in that range.

Estrada was very similar to Stripling. A guy who bounced between starting and the pen.
He was looking for a 3 year contract but settled for 2 before the QO deadline.
They eventually gave him the 3rd year, even though he was coming off a 4.98 ERA.

Matz is making 5M.
You can overpay for him without reaching QO levels but it might take 3 or 4 years. 
Ray was making 9.4M in his last year of arbitration.
Ryu is making 4/80M.
Ray likely gets more than that.

Mike Green - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#405824) #
I had a closer look at Steven Matz from a statistical point of view. This year, and over his career, he's been a slightly better than average pitcher.   I think that there is room for improvement there and it relates to his pitch usage against RHHs.  He uses his sinker about 50% of the time and more than that against RHHs, but it has been his 4th most effective pitch against RHHs, behind the change, curveball and slider over a period of years. Unusually, his slider has not been effective against LHHs for years and his sinker has been a significantly more effective pitch.  

His sinker % has gradually been getting lower over the years and I think that he could a throw few more off-speed pitches against RHHs and be more effective.  A transition around age 30 is common and Matz looks like the kind of pitcher who can do it. 
bpoz - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#405825) #
Thanks scottt for the financial info.

Ryu has played like a #1/2 in the past with 192 & 183 IP in 2 years. So far this year 144 IP but the ERA is just under 4 so maybe a #2. But likely #3. His ERA has never been above 4.

Ray is having his best season. Close to his best ERA and currently 152 IP. Ray gets a big contract.

Matz at 118 IP is going to come close to his all time high IP. He is having a fabulous Aug. Prior to that he had a lot of approximately 6 IP with 1ER. Then there were the stinkers. He may return to the Jays on 1 year to prove himself for a big payday or accept 2/3 years if he thinks it is fair.

Berrios is underperforming so far.

Stripling has mixed results.

scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#405826) #
Reaching free agency, players want to get the most guaranteed money.
Ray is a high risk because he's been wild in the past, but his health has been great.

Last time, Bauer got 4/128.
4 years seem like a reasonable target for a top pitcher.
Gausman, Lynn, Scharzer and Rodon will command lots of attention.

Matz is closer to guys like Odorizzi who got 3/23.5M.
Matz's ERA is now 3.81, so maybe 3/40M as a starting point.

Btw, Ha-Seong Kim has a line of .202 .270 .335 with the Padres. All his value has been defensively.
James McCann has hit .240 .303 .357.  The Mets could have signed Realmuto like everyone expected them to and they'd be in a much better spot.

Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#405827) #
I think that there is room for improvement there and it relates to his pitch usage against RHHs.

Pitch selection is always fun to think about. The Matz dilemma would be something like - my fastball's getting hit a bit too much, but I have to keep throwing it because if I don't throw the fastball I don't have a changeup anymore. (Along with my probably totally unfounded suspicion that even those pitchers who have both effective curves and sliders seldom have both working well on the same day, and one of them will generally get shelved fairly early.)
Nigel - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#405828) #
This is a purely subjective comment. It feels like those pitchers who are able to successfully transition to the pitcher sub species primus junkballius in their declining years do so on the back of a particularly dominant off speed pitch type or significantly better than average control. Matz doesn’t seem to fit that profile. However, I still think a contract extension built on the notion that Matz could give you 2-4 years of league average innings wouldn’t be a bad result for the Jays.
krose - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#405829) #

Particularly interesting for old guys.
Gerry - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#405830) #
Callups this year will be interesting. You can only expand to 28. Who gets called up and/or activated?

Among the hitters you have Jansen, Biggio and Lopez.

There are a host of pitchers: Stripling, Merryweather, Pearson, Cole, Castro, Borucki, Dolis, Edwards Jr., Kay and Hatch.

The minor league season runs longer this year so maybe the Jays will say to some of these players that they are better playing in the minors than sitting in the majors. I am not sure if the pitchers would agree.
92-93 - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#405831) #
Dyson has taken Espinal's spot, so Springer will take Palacios' when he's ready.

Jansen should definitely get one of the spots so Montoyo can deploy Kirk's bat more aggressively. The other spot should go to Pearson to work on his stuff at the MLB level in low-leverage until he proves he deserves otherwise. Stripling and Merryweather can replace Saucedo and Hand if they get healthy.
Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#405832) #
pitchers who are able to successfully transition to the pitcher sub species primus junkballius in their declining years

I think that sub species is actually rather rare, certainly more uncommon than we might assume. Off the top of my head, I really can't think of very many. The old, successful pitchers that come to my mind are guys who threw hard to start with and were still throwing hard as old pitchers - Ryan, Clemens, guys like that. Even guys like Glavine or Buehrle in their old age were still doing the same thing they'd always done, just 5 mph slower.
Chuck - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#405833) #
Aarghhhh.... Mute button enabled even before the first pitch.

Pat Tabler, paid professional colour man and "analyst", had oodles of time to prep for his opening comments. What did he manage to come up with?

"Matt Boyd has been hit hard by his old team with an ERA of 4.46." (This is, in fact, lower than Boyd's career ERA, so facing the Jays has served him well.)

"He has held the Jays to a .227 average but has given up his fair share of hits." (Honestly, WTF?)

This truly horrible broadcasting duo is simply unwatchable. Their blathering is inane.

Nigel - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#405834) #
I agree that it doesn’t happen successfully very often. Steib being an example of it that didn’t really work. Three examples that do come to mind are Frank Tanana, Tommy John and Al Leiter.
John Northey - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#405835) #
I hate that it only goes to 28, should be 30 at least.  2 more slots - one should be Jansen (3 catchers - Jansen for Ryu, Kirk for Manoah, the other 3 starters a mix/match).  The other will be a pitcher I suspect, whoever is healthy (Pearson #1).  Other moves will require someone going down.  Valera is high on my list to demote, Palacios obviously is going down when Springer returns, Overton is last guy in the pen, then Thornton, then Saucedo I figure.  I think order of return is Springer, Stripling, Biggio, Pearson, then who knows?  I don't see Kay coming back up, nor Hatch.
John Northey - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#405836) #
Doh, forgot to add newly hurt Espinal.  He'll be back soon hopefully and then more moves!  Ideal roster...
SP: Ray/Ryu/Manoah/Matz/Berrios (5)
RP: Romano/Mayza/Stripling/Cimber/Richards/Soria/Jansen/Merryweather/Borucki (what is going on with him?) (that's 9 with Saucedo/Thornton/Overton/and others left out)
CA: Kirk/McGuire/Jansen (3)
IF: Vlad/Semien/Bo/Espinal/Biggio (5)
OF: Springer/Hernandez/Gurriel/Grichuk/Dickerson (5)

Total of 13 hitters, 14 pitchers so 1 too many for 2022.  Safe to say Dickerson will be gone cutting the OF to 4 guys.  it'll be interesting to see who is cut free this winter and who they bring in.  I suspect the Jays want to keep Dickerson but then one of Gurriel or Grichuk has to go.  Smith kept for the infield too.
krose - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#405837) #
Agreed about the broadcast team Chuck. Can’t understand why Rogers would let those two blather on in such an inarticulate fashion. Pretty sure nobody in Rogers upper administration has ever sat and actually listened to them for any length of time.
scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#405838) #
As long as Springer is limited to DH, Jansen is less useful.
Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#405839) #
Frank Tanana, Tommy John and Al Leiter.

I don't think John and Leiter changed all that much - they just got old. But Leiter was still mostly a power pitcher when he was old, and John was always a groundball machine throwing nothing but sinkers when he was young.

Young Tanana and Old Tanana were definitely two completely different guys, although it was injury that made it happen. I end up having to go way, way back to guys like Early Wynn or Ted Lyons, who became knuckleballers when they were old. Or Warren Spahn, who came up with a screwball in his 30s and lived on it for another ten years.

We got some other old guys around here! Help us out!
scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#405840) #
The old good home team friendly rain delay.

It only rained a few minutes and Berrios might be out of it.

Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#405841) #
Their blathering is inane.

At this point, it's just like the background noise that always surrounds us. It flows over me without actually disturbing me all that much. I may have developed these skills in my youth working in record stores - Google it, kids - when for some eight hours every day loud music, much of which I didn't necessarily care for, was blasting away.

On the bright side, I thought Siddall and Romero were reasonably interesting on the pre-game show talking about pitchers and catchers. Ricky still seems a little shy for this gig.
Chuck - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#405842) #
We got some other old guys around here! Help us out!

Bill Gullickson is not exactly a true member of the group, but lives on the fringiest of fringes. He had an 18K* game as a rookie, with a high seasonal K rate, and then saw that K rate decline immediately, year over year. After missing two seasons entirely in his late 20s, he came back in his 30s with 900 innings of slop that wouldn't have looked of line with Kirk Rueter's career.

*Said game was watched on the French CBC broadcast with anglo friends who misunderstood the celebratory OUI from the answers as being a more childlike WHEE. Such was the nature of French language education in Ontario at that time in history.

Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#405843) #
Pretty sure nobody in Rogers upper administration has ever sat and actually listened to them for any length of time.

Nah, they probably sound like Certified Baseball Experts to pretty much anyone who isn't an obsessive lunatic who watches every pitch of every game. You know, like us.
Chuck - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#405844) #
the celebratory OUI from the answers

From the announcers. Sheesh.

Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#405845) #
With Martinez and Tabler, I sometimes feel like I'm panning for gold. That one worthwhile or interesting remark that they'll drop over the course of three hours, that makes it more or less worth whatever attention I give them.

That is one pretty low bar, I suppose.
Chuck - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#405846) #
While it's nice to see Kirk hitting, it's nice to see him walking as well (he has two today). He walked a good amount in the minors and hopefully will soon feel comfortable enough taking his walks in the majors, not having to try to impress with a hit in every at-bat.
Chuck - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#405847) #
With Martinez and Tabler, I sometimes feel like I'm panning for gold.

Yes, but in a septic tank, not in a pleasant babbling brook.

Eephus - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#405848) #
Man, for a fella as young as he is, Kirk just has good at bats... obviously if his glove can be semi-decent is the biggest concern, but I keep forgetting his guy is 22 when he's up to the plate.

We got some other old guys around here! Help us out!

I kinda think Greinke has become that wily junkballer guy. He was hitting 95-97 in his days as a Royal, now he tops out at 89 it seems. Though he always had excellent control and command to begin with...

Kershaw strikes me as somebody who could slowly evolve into that as well. His curveball alone could keep him as an effective pitcher well into his 40s.
Spifficus - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#405849) #
Wasn't Moyer a powerballer in his youth?
Eephus - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#405850) #
As for the Buck/Tabby duo, I think what bugs me most is how they don't let the game breathe. It was the same thing that annoyed me about the first YouTube broadcast. I watch a fair amount of Reds games (hey they're genuinely in the race now!) and the stark contrast in noisiness is undeniable. Fewer goofy sound effects, the commentary is often subdued and not talking over the action. I'm not even a particular fan of the Reds broadcast guys (it's very dry and old school) but it at least better captures the sensation of watching a baseball game and not just any entertainment product.
scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#405851) #
Looks like Guerrero touched that ball offside by at least a foot.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#405852) #
The old version of Bartolo Colon was rather distinct from his younger self. (Nevermind his private double-life.)
krose - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#405853) #
At this point, it's just like the background noise that always surrounds us.

Really! Damn it’s not just me! My kids and grandkids come downstairs to watch and I have the sound turned off. They ask why. When I tell them they look at me like I’m crazy. (Not the only time I get that look.)
Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#405854) #
Old Bartolo was weird, though. When he was old, all he threw was a fastball that was nowhere near as fast as the one he used to have. He just never, never missed his spot with it.
Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#405855) #
Wasn't Moyer a powerballer in his youth?

I think you could reasonably say that Moyer was trying to be a power pitcher in his youth. He just didn't have enough power to pull it off.
Eephus - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#405856) #
When he was old, all he threw was a fastball

That's right! I seem to recall during one of his tours as an A, that in a game he threw 46 straight fastballs or something. Maybe it was 40 straight strikes? (that sounds, um, hard to do). And he might've been pitching a 6 inning, one run type of performance. Old Bartolo always grazed those low corners just enough.
Eephus - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#405857) #
Ugh bases loaded nobody out, late innings in a one run game, with the middle of the order up and not scoring a run is very 2021 Blue Jays.

As much as I praised Kirk earlier, he might also be the slowest 22 year old catcher I've seen. I'd wager his career total of infield hits will be a single digit number. Ah well.
scottt - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#405858) #
Kirk is a double play machine.
Hopefully Springer does not take look to get going.

krose - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#405859) #
Disheartening to watch this team. Must be difficult to stay positive if you’re playing for them.
Nigel - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#405860) #
I guess you could say that Leiter was a power pitcher throughout but in two totally different ways. When he came up he threw mid nineties and predominately FBs (in part due to blisters and in part because he couldn’t throw anything with a bend in it for a strike). The later version of Leiter leaned heavily on cutters and sliders in on RHH’s.
Magpie - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#405861) #
[Kirk] might also be the slowest 22 year old catcher I've seen.

If he ever does become a full time DH, he will definitely end up with his picture on the BB-Ref page for most GDPs in a single season, along with all those other RH batters who hit the ball hard, didn't run that well, and didn't strike out all that often.

And the two strange fluke seasons from Ben Grieve and Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz especially. When he was 24, he hit into 30 DPs in 646 PApps. When he was 27, he hit into 5 in 680 PApps.
bpoz - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#405862) #
Jays win!!
Mike Green - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#405863) #
I was very pleased that Montoyo left Mayza in to close out the game, going 1.1 for the save after Romano went 2 yesterday.  In my view, Mayza is the 2nd best pitcher in the pen now and I'm happy to see him in there in high leverage roles. 
bpoz - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#405864) #
Berrios had a great game.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#405865) #
I wasn't thinking of a conversion to a junkballer.  Matz' pitch collection is strange.  His sinker doesn't sink much and he still throws it 95, and he very rarely throws it to the low outside corner to right-handed batters.   His slider has hardly any horizontal movement at all (hence its lack of effectiveness vs. lefties).  His curveball is a slow big-breaker and his changeup has lots of horizontal and vertical movement.  In the result, he works the inside of the plate very well against RHB, using the fastball and the slider, but it's all slow stuff on the outside.

It might simply be a matter of using his sinker less up and in against RHH and a little more down and away and a few more curveballs and changeups..  The result may be fewer Ks, more ground balls, somewhat fewer HRs and  Ws, and quicker outcomes leading to longer outings. 

Gerry - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#405866) #
Cross one off my list, CJ Edwards has been released.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#405867) #
John Tudor was a hard-thrower in his youth, who found success after he lost 5-8 mph off his fastball.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#405868) #
If I'm the Jays brass, it would be pretty tempting to call up Pearson and Merryweather as September re-enforcements in time for the Orioles series.

Yes they are both working things out in AAA, but is Baltimore's lineup much better than a minor league one?

Give them an appearance or two against the lowly O's to warm up for the A's and Yankees.

The fact they've managed to go 5-5 in the last 10 games with the god awful offense is a testament to the starting pitching.

A 22-10 finish to the season gets the Jays to 90 wins.

The way the ball was coming off of Vlad's bat this weekend against some pretty good Tiger pitching says to me he's not quite tired out yet. Same with Bo.

Who knows? If Montoyo can finally establish some defined roles down in the bullpen, and the offense returns, maybe we'll see that run differential find it's level the last month.

Petey Baseball - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#405869) #
Doug Smith's column in the Star touched on the Jays broadcast situation, and I thought it was an excellent summation. Basically, if Martinez can't find a way to get up to Toronto to do the games in person (whatever his situation is, whether he's not because he's vaxxed, whatever) then tough luck Buck...find someone else, because the remote broadcasts are abysmal.
grjas - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#405870) #
A 22-10 finish to the season gets the Jays to 90 wins.

That would be nice, but 13 games against NYY and TB will make it tough. Pity no games against Boston

Great to see Berrios back on track both for the rest of the year and next.
John Northey - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#405871) #
So how are the Jay players doing on AL leaderboards?
  • Average: Vlad #2 with his 312 to Brantley 317 and Gurriel's big brother's 311, Teoscar at #7 with a 295, Bo #12 with his 286
  • OBP: Vlad #1 at 406, Judge #2 at 384
  • Slg: Vlad #2 at 587 to Ohtani's 623, Semien #10 at 527
  • OPS: Vlad #1 994 to Ohtani's 986, the a big drop to Judge 923.Semien #11 at 862
  • Stolen Bases: Bo #4 with his 20, Semien #14 with his 13.
  • Walks: Vlad #3 with 72 vs #1 Gallo with 96 (vs 173 K's)
  • RBI: Vald #4 with 91 vs #1 Abreu 101
  • HR: Vlad #3 with 36 vs Ohtani's 41, Semien #4 with 32
  • Doubles: Semien #2 with 34 vs #1 Candelario's 36
  • Hits: Vlad #3 with 148 to Mullins150
  • Runs Scored: Bo & Vlad tied for #1 with 95, Semien #3 with 91
  • Average Exit Velocity: Vlad #3 at 94.8, Judge #1 at 95.6, (vs ML, not just AL)
  • Average Distance Hit: Semien #4 at 204 vs #1 Ohtani 207 - Vlad is #28 at 167 just behind Grichuk's 167 (guessing decimals would show a difference) (vs ML, not just AL)
  • ERA: Ray #2 at 2.72 to Lynn with a 2.59, Berrios #6 with a 3.53, Ryu 14th with his 3.88
  • WIns: Ryu #2 with 12 to Cole's 13.  Matz #7 with his 10, Berrios & Ray #17 with 9
  • Saves: Romano #11 with his 13, Hendricks leads with 29.
  • Innings: Berrios #3 with 153, Ray #4 with 152 1/3, Ryu #11 with 143 2/3 so the Jays have pushed their starters more than we noticed.  #1 is Greinke with 159 2/3
  • HR given up: Ray #9 with 24 (it only feels like more)
  • HBP: Berrios #1 with 11, Manoah #6 with 9 (but determined to take it over it seems) - Manoah did it in 74 1/3 innings, everyone else in the top 10 needed over 100 innings.
  • K's: Ray #2 with 192 to Cole's 200.  Berrios #7 with 162,
  • WHIP: Ray #2 1.02 to Cole's 0.99, Berrios #6 with a 1.13, Ryu #9 with a 1.18
Fun to look at.  The innings leaderboard was the biggest surprise.  Interesting to see how Semien is all over the place.  Also that the batting champ could be sub 320 which is very low.
John Northey - Sunday, August 29 2021 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#405872) #
Just checked and the lowest to lead the American League in Avg was Carl Yastzemski with a 301 average in the  year of the pitcher 1968.  3 times sub 310 (1905 and 1945 as well), 2 more times in the 310's (1966 and 1972).  In 1960 it was dead on 320.  The NL has never been sub 310, 313 for Tony Gwynn in 1988 was the lowest (the year before he won with a 370 average), then 319 in 1991 (Terry Pendleton), and 2014 (Justin Morneau).

So yeah, this is a pitchers year.  I suspect we'll see the ball livened up next year along with some new rules on shifts (2 on each side of 2B, no more than 3 in the OF) and the like.  I'd love to see roboumps brought in, but I think that'll be another year or two.
Chuck - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#405873) #
So yeah, this is a pitchers year.

Is that a fair characterization when teams are averaging 4.5 runs per game? When Yaz won the batting title at .301, in 1968, teams were averaging just 3.4 runs per game.

The leaguewide batting average of .243 (versus .237 in 1968) seems a feature of the modern game and not a bug. Players are not trying to hit for average. It's all grip and rip all the time (except when Corey Dickerson has two strikes on him; bless you Corey for choking up, you may be the last guy alive who does that).

John Northey - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#405874) #
Interesting way to put it - runs up, but leaders way down.

OPS: Vlad at 994 would be the 3rd lowest figure to lead in OPS since 2000 (Trout 2015 and Victor Martinez 2014 [974] are the only ones lower).

Seems the big difference is we aren't getting the 'wow' figures now from leaders, but I suspect we also aren't getting the 'oh crap' figures from the bottom feeders. So few defensive experts who can't hit their weight.

Lets check my hypothesis ...
sub 600 OPS: 2 guys qualified for batting title, both SS (Newman for Pittsburgh, Andrus for Oakland)
2020 saw 4 of them
2019 saw 0 - worst was a 633 from Arcia for Milwaukee, a SS.
2018 saw 2.

Hrm. So much for that theory. Just seems odd to not have the 'wow' top guys. Vlad was for awhile early on but cooled off a lot - end of day July 18th he had a 1.107 OPS, but just 746 since.
92-93 - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#405875) #
It's a pleasure watching Dickerson hit these days. He's exactly what this lineup needs to break up the string of similar RH hitters. It would be nice if he walked a bit more, but just having someone who doesn't strike out that much and still has some pop is nice.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#405876) #
AL league average slash lines:
2021- .244/.315/.413
2000- .276/.349/.443
1975- .258/.328/.379
1967- .236/.303/.351

The IsoP now is higher than at the height of the steroid era, and the strikeout numbers are higher than either 2000 or 1967 (when the mound was high).  There is work to be done by the league to balance things out (like they had in 1975).  That year, teams averaged 4.3 runs per game, but the average team struck out 791 rather than 1200+ as will occur this year and hit 122 homers instead of 190 or so as they will this year.  More balls in play. 
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#405877) #
The Baltimore Orioles are officially eliminated from post-season contention.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#405878) #
Best lineup by current season performance (wrc+):

  • 1. CF Springer 157
  • 2. 1B Guerrero 166
  • 3. 2B Semien 130
  • 4. RF Teoscar 126
  • 5. C Kirk 119
  • 6. SS Bichette 115
  • 7. DH Dickerson 104
  • 8. 3B Espinal 103
  • 9. LF Gurriel 97
  • X. C McGuire 91
  • X. OF Grichuk 90
  • X. UT Biggio 82
  • X. IF Smith 65
  • X. C Jansen 62
  • X. OF Dyson 50
  • X. IF Valera 45
  • X. UT Palacios 44
  • Best lineup by projected performance:

  • 1. CF Springer 134
  • 2. 1B Guerrero 146
  • 3. 2B Semien 118
  • 4. SS Bichette 118
  • 5. RF Teoscar 116
  • 6. C Kirk 114
  • 7. LF Gurriel 106
  • 8. DH Dickerson 103
  • 9. 3B Biggio 100
  • X. OF Grichuk 101
  • X. C Jansen 95
  • X. UT Valera 92
  • X. IF Smith 83
  • X. IF Espinal 82
  • X. C McGuire 79
  • X. UT Palacios 72
  • X. OF Dyson 63
  • Magpie - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#405879) #
    So come Wednesday, they get to add two players to the current roster. Jansen and Pearson seems a reasonable guess. Any other moves will be players coming back from the various lists and bumping currently active players - Springer for Palacios, Espinal for Smith (I know, but Valera can bat LH), Hand for Overton. I think Biggio's season is over and I think Dyson's landed the old Jonathan Davis gig for another month. Something like that?

    I suppose that if Stripling or Merryweather are ever ready, Saucedo's days would be numbered. And if wishes were horses, there'd be a lot of crap in the streets.
    Nigel - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#405880) #
    I agree about Dickerson providing a nice change of pace. This will be the last time I mention the line-up's lack of balance but I think that it has to be a priority to change that up a bit in the offseason. Its not just the RH/LH imbalance its that so many of the RHH are similar hitters (good average, tend to be extremely aggressive hitters, lower BB%, more streaky than normal, etc.). I think there's some value, particularly against high leverage relievers, to some variety in batting style and approach.
    John Northey - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#405894) #
    I really didn't expect to like Dickerson but his adjusting of his style and being decent on defense has been nice.  I expect Gurriel or Grichuk to be traded this winter (for a bucket of balls) if the Jays think they can resign Dickerson.  Ideally clear out some of the AAAA level relievers and get more solid guys too.  3B will be an issue given we all assume Semien is gone with Biggio taking 2B back over.  Smith doesn't look ready but is close.  Espinal is a decent backup/semi-regular.  Groshans looks close (now 286/365/427 in AA, 304/380/483 the last 90 days).  Vinny Capra is forcing himself into the discussion (319/395/544 in AA/AAA) and box favorite Samad Taylor is up to 294/384/515 in AA (2B/LF/3B/CF/SS).  So lots of kids almost ready for the show. 
    Michael - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#405898) #
    I'm not sure why you give away Gurriel or Grichuk. Even if you think they aren't worthy of starting in an everyone healthy OF/DH situations it is useful to have bats off the bench, pinch hitters, pinch runners, and guys to rotate through for days off. Combined with the fact that "everyone healthy" for a full season is a low probability event. Just like you usually need at least 8 SP, you usually need at least 5 OF over the course of the season and having them all be some sort of quality would be useful.
    scottt - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#405900) #
    So far Dickerson has been played as a platoon guy.
    Toronto at Detroit, August 27-29 | 146 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.