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Ah, the poor Jays. The bats are struggling. Could they be afraid? Is it time to summon the spirit of Mighty Jobu, with appropriate offerings of cigar and rum, to take the fear from the bats?

Or should we first see how they do against a bunch of pitchers who really don't have a whole lot of business being on a major league roster?


That's right - it's the Baltimore Orioles, coming to a Dome near you.

The Orioles will be making their first visit to Toronto since September 2019. That series featured a 15th inning walkoff homer from Anthony Alford and Jacob Waguespack's last major league start (and win.) We were all so much younger then.

The two teams have already hooked up three times in 2021, with Toronto winning six of the nine games. Baltimore drew first blood, however, as Thomas Eshelman held the Jays to a single run in the first start of the season. Robbie Ray left trailing 2-1 after seven innings and the Orioles piled on five more against Patrick Murphy and Jeremy Beasley. As for Eshelman, he posted a 10.65 ERA over his next four starts and was back in the minors by the end of July. And the Jays bounced back the next day with what was possibly their most memorable victory of the season. Alek Manoah got roughed up for back-to-back homers to fall behind 5-2; he hit the next batter and was ejected. The Jays were down 7-4 heading into the ninth, when they mounted a stunning six run rally. With two outs, Bo Bichette fouled off five two-strike pitches before blooping a game-tying single just out of Santander's reach in right field. Guerrero and Grichuk followed with RBI doubles and that was that. And then Hyun-Jin Ryu outpitched Matt Harvey in the finale, as Reese McGuire knocked out four hits, three of them doubles.

Later that same week, the two teams met up for four games in Buffalo. Orioles starter Dean Kremer walked four of the first six Jays to come to the plate, gave up a grand slam to Lourdes Gurriel, and walked yet another before being removed from the game. He was immediately sent back to AAA, where he remains, leaving naught behind but his 0-7, 7.25 record in the majors. Anthony Kay was the lucky beneficiary of this largesse, and stuck around long enough to collect his only W of 2021. (After this, Kay would pitch well in three relief outings - 1 ER in 6.1 IP - but get bombed by the Red Sox on a day the Bostons were scoring 13 runs and find himself banished to AAA as well.) The Orioles would win the next day when Tyler Chatwood and Tayler Saucedo couldn't hold a 5-1 lead - it's hard to decide which of the two was worse that day - and Baltimore got the win in extras when Trent Thornton issued three walks in his inning of work, which was sufficient to cash the Zombie Runner. The Jays got some revenge the next day, making Ryu's life easy by roaring out to a 12-0 lead thanks to homers from Guerrero, Hernandez, and Grichuk, and winning 12-4. They took the finale 5-2 behind Ross Stripling, with a pair of two run doubles from Guerrero and Biggio accounting for most of the scoring.

And barely two weeks after that, the teams met up for a couple of games at Old Camden Yards. Steven Matz continued to scuffle in his second start since returning from the COVID list - a Mullins homer knocked him out in the fifth, trailing 4-1; Trent Thornton instantly gave up three more runs and late homers from Guerrero, Grichuk, and Gurriel (the Killer Gees) just made the score close. But the Jays abused Matt Harvey in all sorts of ways the following evening - Bichette, Guerrero, Hernandez each had three hits, Biggio had a pair of doubles, and Ryu had another nice easy night at work.

So here we are. The Jays still have 10 games left against the team that just happens to be the very worst team in all of the majors at a) winning baseball games in general, and b) keeping the other team from scoring in particular. The Orioles have an ERA of 5.81, which speaks for itself. Baltimore has one really good starting pitcher - LH John Means - and the Jays have somehow managed not to see him yet this season. Naturally, Means pitched on Saturday, and will miss the Jays yet again. You may remember LH reliever Paul Fry, who was generally seen as a potential trade target for teams looking to fortify their bullpens at the deadline. The Orioles chose to keep Fry around, and you could say that their faith was not rewarded. In his last 10 outings Fry has allowed 11 hits and 19 runs in just 5.2 innings, while striking out 3 and walking 15 - that's right, 15 walks in 5.2 innings, and somewhere Tyler Chatwood (just DFA'd by the Giants) is saying "Dude, you gotta throw some strikes once in a while." Fry has just been optioned to AAA Norfolk in hopes of re-establishing some kind of acquaintance with the strike zone. Matt Harvey has actually been fairly decent since the Break (2-4, 4.10) - but Harvey is still tied with teammate Jorge Lopez (who's been moved to the bullpen) for most Losses by any pitcher in the majors this season.

So I think it's clear that if ever circumstances were arranging themselves to help a group of struggling hitters sort out their problems - the appearance on the schedule of this bunch of ne'er-do-wells is exactly the remedy you're looking for.

Naturally all of this has me extremely worried. Be careful what you wish for, and that sort of thing.

But at least I've concluded that it is indeed the actor Harold Perrineau whom Cedric Mullins so closely resembles.
Separated at birth, I'm sure of it.

There be Matchups

Mon Aug 30 - Ellis (0-0, 9.00) vs Ray (9-5, 2.72)
Tue Aug 31 - Akin (1-8, 7.26) vs Ryu (12-7, 3.88)
Wed Sep 1 - Harvey (6-14, 6.18) vs Matz (10-7, 3.81)


Baltimore at Toronto, August 30-September 1 | 204 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Chuck - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#405883) #
Tampa Bay finished 18-1 against Baltimore, so +17 against Baltimore and +17 against everyone else.
Chuck - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#405884) #
it is indeed the actor Harold Perrineau whom Cedric Mullins so closely resembles

Apt, because playing in Baltimore must feel like being incarcerated in Oz, and not the good Oz with witches and monkey and phoney baloneys behind curtains, and not the other good Oz with shrimps on barbies and kangaroos and dingoes.

Or maybe he feels Lost on an island where nothing makes sense and escape seems impossible.

Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#405886) #
Tampa outscored Baltimore 150-71 in their 19 games.  They scored just under 8 runs a game and gave up significantly under 4.  Ouch.  Tampa is 17-17 in one-run games and 30-12 in blowouts (8-1 vs. Baltimore and 22-11 against everybody else).  By the way, it's possible that Tampa will end up winning 100 games without having any one player with 5 bWAR.  I wonder if that has been done before.  I haven't found any team yet- the 1986 Mets (Keith Hernandez 5.2 bWAR) and the 1979 Orioles (Ken Singleton 5.3 bWAR) come closest.  Joey Wendle leads the Rays with 3.5 bWAR to date. 

Three games with Baltimore, with the rosters expanding for the last one and a day off following, should be a relatively straightforward time for bullpen optimization should it be necessary. 
John Northey - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#405887) #
Funny, looking at those starter ERA's I see the 3 Jays COMBINED = 10.41 which isn't that much higher than any of those 3.

The O's OPS+ is 93, their active roster is... 144-144-118-108-101-97-96-89-35-18--19, yes negative 19.
The Jays OPS+ is 110, the active roster is... 167-130-129-119-114-99-92-90-61 (Smith)- 47 (Valera) - 39 (Palacios who might be down if Springer is healthy enough to play with his 159) and Dyson (-100 due to his 0 for 1)

So pretty clear which is more powerful. If they take advantage of the weak staff the O's have then those numbers should spread out even more.

Baltimore's pen is no relief - 5.42 ERA, 32 relievers used so far. Jays is 4.02 ERA over 30 relievers so their pen won't help much most likely.

This is a must sweep series if the Jays want to slip back into the playoff picture. 2 of 3 is nice but not enough. 5 1/2 behind the Red Sox who are playing the Rays - with luck the Jays sweep and the Rays do too then the Jays are right in the thick of it. The A's play the Tigers (hope the Tigers are hot) starting tomorrow, Mariners play Houston. So this is the time for the Jays to look alive. All 3 teams between them and the playoffs have a harder week ahead, then the Jays play the A's this weekend with a shot to catch the Red Sox on the line for both teams (Sox play Cleveland, Mariners vs Diamondbacks).
Chuck - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#405888) #
it's possible that Tampa will end up winning 100 games without having any one player with 5 bWAR

Starting next year, Wander Franco should reliably start bettering that threshold pretty consistently. He started slowly this year but has seemed to "figure things out", performing at a 7-WAR pace. As a 20-year old! And unless I am missing all the hullabaloo, he seems to be doing this without much fanfare.

Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#405889) #
Wander Franco has not hit into any double plays in 229 PAs.  I like everything about him but his last name.  Sorry, Julio, that goes for you too. 
John Northey - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#405890) #
The Rays are a crazy balanced team on offense...
Of the top 12 in PA (over 150 PA) only 1 has an OPS+ under 100 (Kiermaier at 88). Their highest OPS+ is Zunino at 136 (catcher). 110 OPS+ overall.
The Jays top 3 are over 100, then Grichuk (92). The Jays are far more top heavy - 120+ for Vlad, Springer, Semien, Dickerson, Hernandez, with Kirk at 119, Bo at 114, Espinal 101, the rest sub 100. 110 OPS+ overall.

Pitching not so much - top 2 and 3 of top 5 are sub 90 for ERA+, yet they still have a 106 ERA+ as a team. Jays have a 115 ERA+ with the top 8 pitchers in IP having a 100+ ERA+ (110+ for the top 3, Ray, Ryu, Matz).

So by ERA+ and OPS+ the Jays should be ahead of the Rays as the Jays have better pitching and a more top heavy lineup which normally should result in more runs (put a handful of really good hitters one after the other and they should make life hard on opponents).
85bluejay - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#405891) #
3 games Jays/Orioles and 4 games Red Sox/Rays could go a long way to deciding if the Jays play relevant games in September.
scottt - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#405892) #
It seems the Rays like hitters who can field and run.
Smith could turn into something along those lines if he can be more selective at the plate.

That's the last series of August and the end of the easier schedule.
Boston has series against the Orioles and the Mets in September.
Oakland plays a bunch of central and west division teams.

Gerry - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#405893) #
Springer has been activated. He will DH tonight. Palacios optioned.
SK in NJ - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#405895) #
With 33 games to go, the Jays need to go 22-11 to get to 90 wins, and I'm not sure that even wins the WC2 spot. They could probably win 90 games and still finish behind the Red Sox and A's. They'd have to go on a pretty ridiculous run to close out the season. Something like 25-8 to have a real shot. My guess is they end with about 85 wins, which obviously wouldn't be anywhere near enough, but let's see what happens. They can't afford to lose many games to the O's and Twins, and they'll have to win the series against the A's + at least go .500 against the Yankees and Rays.

All those games lost by a bad bullpen are going to be excruciating to look back on.
grjas - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#405896) #
Springerís arrival will hopefully give the offence some juice. And Pearson and perhaps Merryweather might give the BP a spring in their step- though theyíve been better lately.

I hope they go on a good run over the month even if they donít win the WC2. It would give the team more confidence and experience going into next year and improve the mood in the fan base (including mine!). We could use it as a Delta takes hold.
bpoz - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#405897) #
Agreed SK, the pen has been very bad.

Hope 1 of Borucki, Pearson and Merryweather stays healthy for the rest of the year once they are back.

B Hard will be back soon I expect.
92-93 - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#405899) #
Nice looking lineup tonight. Surprised Dickerson isnít in front of Kirk to separate the LHB.
Thomas - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#405901) #
B Hard will be back soon I expect.

We can hope that isn't the case.

I agree that even if the Jays play at a .667 clip, it probably doesn't get them to the second Wild Card spot.

uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#405903) #
Dyson saves us from an ignominious first 3 ups in a must-sweep series.

Let's see if he can spark us on the basepaths too.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#405904) #
And he does.

All for naught tho.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#405905) #
When's the last throwing error for Bo?
92-93 - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#405906) #
Yesterday.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#405907) #
Ha
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#405908) #
Don't fail us now, vladito.
Chuck - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#405909) #
Lot of meatballs from Tate.
Eephus - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#405910) #
Usually I tune in just in time to see these guys blow a lead. Very nice to witness the opposite for a change.
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#405911) #
Brandon Hyde: So you wanted to be a big league manager?

Eephus - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#405912) #
Whoa... I think Vlad Jr squared that one up.
Magpie - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#405913) #
It's not often I find my mind in sync with Tabler, but I had the exact same thought - three straight curveballs? To a good, smart hitter?
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#405914) #
Not that it actually matters, but I'm guessing we see Vladdy stick in the 3 hole for a while now.

I really hope this is our top-6 batting order pretty much game in game out the rest of the way.
Magpie - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#405915) #
So this is what it looks like out of your hand. And this is the way it breaks. And this is how hard it comes in. Okay, got it. Throw me that thing.
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#405916) #
There's Soria in the 8th again.

So I guess now it's Cimber 7th, Soria 8th, and a Romano/Mayza matchup thing as the closer?
BlueJayWay - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#405917) #
I think the Orioles might not make the playoffs
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#405918) #
And because he's still on the team for some reason, Trent Thornton.

I swear I had this typed in as he was warming.
krose - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#405919) #
This team!
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#405920) #
Lol Trent Zombie Thornton never dies. He always comes back.

bpoz - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#405921) #
Thornton could make it a close game.
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#405922) #
Yes Charlie. Please dress him down in front of the entire infield and yank him. Well played.

uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#405923) #
Trent Thornton. Still somehow on the team. And still somehow pitching the 9th.

Hilarious.
Dr. Zarco - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#405924) #
Woh. Romano shaved. Weird.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#405925) #
Montgomery Burns was a wise man and a helluva manager.
bpoz - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#405926) #
IMO using Thornton for 1 inning with a 5 run lead seems ok to me. But he messed it up.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#405927) #
I am perfectly OK with the way that played out.  Thornton was a reasonable choice with a 5 run lead and he probably would have got out of it had it not been for the pop-up hit.  Using Romano for 2 batters means that he's fine for Wednesday if needed and Thursday is a day off. 
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#405928) #
Yeah nothing wrong with the managing. Just with Thornton.
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#405929) #
I don't understand how you can be watching this season with the Blue Jays and think Thornton should be here. Sorry!
92-93 - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#405930) #
The Thornton hate is a bit over the top, and it was a good spot for him tonight. Since the All-Star break he's thrown 9ip 10h 3r 3bb 7k. Nothing special, but it's fine for your 6th RP. It's not like he's taking somebody's spot. He's a fungible arm up here while the team's other options try to get healthy and make their way back.

BAL has a lefty on the bump tomorrow night, so Grichuk and Gurriel will replace Dickerson and Dyson. Hopefully Kirk gets the start again and McGuire on Wednesday.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#405931) #
Ah come on he's legit terrible.
Magpie - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#405932) #
Legit below average, but if Bo doesn't trip over the rubber he probably does get out of it.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#405933) #
Season stats for all our relievers that pitched at least 20 innings this year:

Romano 49.0ip, 50era-, 76fip-, 77xfip-, 1.6awar/65
Cimber 57.0ip, 62era-, 76fip-, 104xfip-, 1.0awar/65
Mayza 42.0ip, 82era-, 78fip-, 69xfip-, 0.9awar/65
Payamps 30.0ip, 61era-, 104fip-, 118xfip-, 0.8awar/65
Soria 33.0ip, 91era-, 85fip-, 96xfip-, 0.7awar/65
Stripling 93.1ip, 98era-, 119fip-, 105xfip-, 0.6awar/65
Saucedo 20.0ip, 102era-, 78fip-, 90xfip-, 0.5awar/65
Richards 51.0ip, 87era-, 103fip-, 87xfip-, 0.4awar/65
Chatwood 28.0ip, 123era-, 94fip-, 99xfip-, 0.0awar/65
Castro 20.1ip, 120era-, 94fip-, 83xfip-, 0.0awar/65
Kay 33.2ip, 127era-, 133fip-, 96xfip-, -0.1awar/65
Dolis 32.0ip, 127era-, 107fip-, 124xfip-, -0.3awar/65
Hand 51.1ip, 98era-, 116fip-, 118xfip-, -0.4awar/65
Thornton 47.0ip, 104era-, 132fip-, 102xfip-, -0.5awar/65





Magpie - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#405934) #
Hopefully Kirk gets the start again and McGuire on Wednesday.

Not likely. If Ryu pitches, McGuire catches.
Petey Baseball - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#405935) #
He's fine for a 6th reliever if you don't plan to put together a roster that can get to 90 wins before the season ends.

I realize there are things we don't know as fans, I get it. As a high school teacher, I understand the value of patience and letting a long semester...I mean season...play out.

But Trent Thornton has does nothing in the last two seasons in a Blue Jays uniform to make me confident he will have a good outing. As I've mentioned before, I thought the Jays brass did him a disservice by making him a reliever.

In that bullpen right now, Saucedo clearly has better stuff right now, and in the aforementioned situation (needing to get real hot, real fast) you need the guys in short relief to get the job done.

Now Romano might not be available when we need him later in the season. It's a roster construction/managerial oversight in my opinion.
John Northey - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#405936) #
I think most didn't know Thornton actually had a 100 ERA+ before tonight - league average. He is what he is, a league average or a bit below pitcher. The fact he is #2 in innings from the pen is scary, but understandable given some of the nightmares we've seen out there. I think the setup is 6/7/8 to be Soria/Mayza/Cimber/Richards depending on matchups - with trust in that order. Romano is the closer (now 14-1 in saves-blown) with Mayza #2 closer (1 save, 2 blown, 14 holds - means he has blown 1 out of 9 chances). 9 guys have had a save this year, but just Romano has more than 3, Dolis had 3, Merryweather 2.

Before today most high leverage: Romano 23, Mayza 16, Dolis 13, Chatwood 12, Cimber 11, Richards 8.
Low Leverage: Dolis 20, Thornton 17 (vs 14 mid/high), Saucedo 17 (5 others), Mayza 16 (16 H-17 mid-16 low), Romano 15

Interesting to see how the guys are used and how many low leverage games there have been where Romano and Mayza got in. But clearly Montoyo has no faith in Thornton (for good reason) or Saucedo (3 high leverage he has 2 blown saves, and one good game but just 2 outs that game). I suspect Saucedo has hope for 2022, but for now is a garbage time guy.

FYI: Soria is 2 high, 1 low before today (which I suspect was a low, but he was already warm so it made sense to use him).

WPA Clutch: an attempt to measure 'clutch' ability - Romano leads (duh) with 1.6, Kay at 0.8 is 2nd (weird), Ray 0.8, Ryu 0.6, ... all the way to -1.9 Jacob Barnes. Saucedo is -0.8, Richards -0.6. Interesting. Kay kinda kills my faith in it but his 2 worst games were starts, 3rd worst a game he came into down 6 and he left down 11 so maybe there is hope for him in the pen. Guess we'll see next year as I doubt he gets up again this year.

Overall tonight was what the Jays needed - Vlad getting his power back, 7 runs scored via both home runs and some crazy baserunning.
uglyone - Monday, August 30 2021 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#405937) #
Agreed he is what he is - a terrible pitcher.
Eephus - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 02:28 AM EDT (#405938) #
Thornton has, to my eye, definitely looked worse than the numbers would suggest. He strikes me as a dude who was born to throw strikes (pardon my pun) and since I also really like his curveball when he locates it... I'd write this off as a tough season, maybe see if he can refine his command on the corners of the strikezone next year. He's coming off an injury and adapting to a new role in 2021 after all.
Jonny German - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:18 AM EDT (#405939) #
Besides getting his 200th strikeout on the season, Robbie Ray just cleared 1000 IP for his career which means he now qualifies for the all time K/9 list on BB-Ref. He debuts at... #1!

Not surprisingly, the top 5 are all active players: Ray, Chris Sale, Yu Darvish, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer.
scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:41 AM EDT (#405940) #
That's a reminder that I never understood dropping Payamps.
A guy with a solid 96+mph fastball is exactly what the pen has been missing.
They traded him to make room for Patrick Murphy who was awful and got dumped shortly after.

scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#405942) #
Kirk could pinch hit late in the game, if there are runners in scoring positions with 2 outs.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#405943) #
Someone mentioned Romano's facial hair. The last time out his beard seemed trimmed from the longer one he had, and now he's almost hairless from the nose down. Also, I noticed a few weeks ago that he's dropped the deep knee bends before every pitch and now just twists his body a bit.

So what's going on with Jordan? He's slowly transforming from the wild hermit look with odd mannerisms into a blander yuppie appearance. Frankly, as long as he's pitching well, and he is, I don't care.
Parker - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#405945) #
He looks like kind of like Sugar Ray Leonard. ;)

"I suppose we all look alike to you, right Costanza?"

Also, watch out Javy Lopez, here comes Sal Perez!
pooks137 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#405946) #
I found Payamps' departure shocking as well.

I think it really came to the fact that Payamps was striking out less than 7 per nine as a reliever with the Jays, without any obvious secret sauce tricks like Cimber, as his GB rate looks pretty pedestrian at 44%.

It's really hard to succeed as a reliever when you allow that many balls in play without another elite skill to balance it out.
grjas - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#405947) #
Great to see Springer steal a base last night. Good sign his legs are coming around. He is clearly a spark plug and difference maker
92-93 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#405948) #
Springer was pretty close to getting thrown out on the back end of a double steal with a huge lead, but it's definitely great having him back.

Ryu has the highest ERA of his career and has given up 7, 4, 0, and 7 runs in his last 4 starts with McGuire behind the plate. Personal catchers are a luxury this team shouldn't be able to afford right now with the offense mired in a slump. McGuire has a .488 OPS vs. LHP this year, .455 for his career. It's time to start paying attention to the results with Kirk behind the plate.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#405949) #
Personal catchers are a luxury this team shouldn't be able to afford right now with the offense mired in a slump.

I know Kirk's your boy, but no one catches every game. The Ryu job will shortly be passed to Danny Jansen, who he has an outstanding history with.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#405950) #
It's unfortunate because McGuire can't hit lefthanders at all, and has faced more than would be optimal in Ryu starts.  Ryu has an ERA of 5.17 this year with McGuire starting...

Ryu is doing a lot of talking to Manoah, and maybe they'll chat about the catchers...
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#405951) #
Ryu is a challenge because he's a finesse guy who needs a catcher who can think along with him or else he gets out of rhythm. Danny Jansen has that job figured out - only Russell Martin was better with Ryu and Russell behind the plate was about as good as it gets. This is exactly how Greg Maddux was, by the way, and Maddux famously had a personal catcher for much of his career. The reduction in runs allowed was more than worth losing Javy Lopez's bat, which was at least as impressive as Kirk's.

Kirk isn't just young - he's very inexperienced for a major league catcher. The team clearly thinks, and I don't disagree, that both he and the ballclub are much better off if he's learing the trade while working with the straightforward power pitchers, Ray especially who just keeps pounding one hard pitch after another.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#405952) #
I'm no scout but man Kirk looks like a good receiver and gamecaller to me.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#405953) #
It's hardly every game when McGuire has started 3 of the last 5 and the suggestion is to deploy a platoon over personal catchers, giving Kirk two days off before the weekend.

Cole is currently -160 to win the AL CY, with Lynn at +175 and Ray at +450. Ray is 1st in Ks and IP/GS and 2nd in ERA and WHIP. Cole might be the favourite now because of a mixture of his market, record, and xFIPpiness, but those are pretty good odds on Ray if you are a betting man. Lots can change over 6 starts; he's scheduled to face OAK, @BAL, TB, @TB, @MIN, and BAL if the rotation stays in its current order.

Wander Franco is +2500 for RoY. He'll probably pass the favourite, Randy Arozarena, in WAR. Could he pull it off with the fewest games played of any rookie to win the award?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#405954) #
It's unfortunate because McGuire can't hit lefthanders at all

Especially unfortunate because Kirk has absolutely destroyed southpaws so far. (McGuire has actually outhit Kirk vs RH pitchers, although I can't believe that's going to hold up, unless the End Times are truly upon us.)

Something Kirk has done very well behind the plate, according to the team itself, is simply do a very good job of following the game plan. Which is a good idea if you're as inexperienced as he is (and I think it shows a good degree of self-awareness - the kid knows how much he still needs to know.) You don't need much of a plan catching Ray - here's something hard, good luck hitting it - but you do with Matz and Manoah.

But Ryu's different. He will always have his own plan, and it's the sort of thing that changes from pitch to pitch as he sees how it's all working - what his pitches are doing, how the hitters are reacting, how the umpire sees it.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#405955) #
the fewest games played of any rookie to win the award?

Willie McCovey, 1959. That was the Other League, of course. But those were 52 mighty impressive games.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#405956) #
Wild card & games remaining

New York +2.0 (31)
Boston -- (29)
Oakland -2.0 (31)
Toronto -4.5 (32)
Seattle -4.5 (30)
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#405957) #
Kirk looks like a good receiver and gamecaller to me.

I don't know if any of them look good to me - they all look like varying shades of adequate. Jansen is the best as keeping the ball from skipping to the backstop, McGuire's the best at throwing at baserunners. Kirk's not as good as either in either respect, but those are all small things anyway. Going forward, I think Jansen has to catch Ryu and I don't know what to do with Berrios yet - but I'm certainly fine with Kirk catching the other three guys.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#405958) #
Very interesting points about the catchers. I would wholeheartedly support going with three catchers if it means getting Ryu right, and keeping the rest of the rotation every opportunity to keep rolling along like it has been.

The Jays have moved ahead of Seattle in the standings by a percentage point, and Oakland should be in for a tough series in Detroit. As crazy as it sounds, there's a decent chance the Red Sox could be the only team ahead of Toronto by this time next week.


uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#405959) #
I guess what I see with Kirk back there is the same thing I see at the plate - confident, relaxed, calm, and...just kinda exuding intelligence.

I don't know if we'll ever know exactly what makes a good catcher but I'm not surprised to see that pitchers seem pretty comfortable on the mound when Kirk is back there.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#405960) #
Another issue with Ryu - neither he nor Kirk speak English well enough to chance speaking it in public and that makes me wonder just how well they could communicate with each other. Probably well enough, I suppose, although I like the idea of a mound conference with two translators helping out, although the rules probably don't allow it. But by the same token, it does seem like a good reason to see how Kirk fares catching Berrios.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#405961) #
At the moment it looks like Arozarena and Franco are the best TB position players. But they are winning a lot. TB may not want to pay Yarbrough next year because of budget but S McClanahan and Patino seem ready to contribute a lot.

Last year they lost Snell and Morton and Glasnow was lost early this year. At least the C Archer gamble did not work out.

So other than Baltimore the other 4 AL East teams will compete hard for the playoffs. Need to see how Atkins figures things out next year.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#405962) #
Charlie definitely needs a more stylish pair of sunglasses. And occasional mound visits, without making a pitching change, might be helpful.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#405963) #
And occasional mound visits, without making a pitching change, might be helpful.

It's certainly true that most managers seldom visit the mound unless they plan to actually change pitchers, preferring to send their Pitching Expert out to talk to the guy when required. There's often a logic to this - the main thing most managers know about pitching is that it's hard to hit. But even Cito Gaston, who was far better at managing pitchers than he ever was at managing hitters, generally sent the coach out to visit.
mathesond - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#405964) #
The limitation on mound visits may play a role as well.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#405965) #
Danny Jansen is not in the Buffalo lineup for tonights game. Is he back in Toronto to be activated tomorrow?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#405966) #
Is he back in Toronto to be activated tomorrow?

I'm betting all the money in my pockets the answer to your query is "Yes." (Easy for me to say, I stopped carrying cash years ago.)
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#405967) #
I believe Ben Wagner mentioned on the radio broadcast that Jansen was present yesterday. And the Blue Jays spent Sunday night in Detroit, after 4 hours on the tarmac due to a pilot's medical situation.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#405968) #
And the pilot was OK.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#405969) #
Tabler also mentioned that Jansen was in town, and he added that Biggio was too which sounded weird and got no follow-up from Shulman, as he is wont to do.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#405970) #
Hand DFA. Jansen activated to catch Ryu.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#405971) #
Hand DFA.

Um, wow? I know he's been bad, but still.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#405972) #
Hand-me-down to the minors.
grjas - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#405973) #
Hand-off. Huh. Well they are being proactive with problem relievers.

I wish theyíd bring in Hatch to replace Thornton. I know thereís risk if an SP goes down, but with only a month left in the schedule it wouldnít take him long to get ramped up if starter is injured. before season end. (Real pity Striplingís injured.)
92-93 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#405974) #
Atkins better hope Riley Adams isn't for real. The Nats are going to start working him at 1B and LF, apparently.

If it's Saucedo or Overton getting cut for Jansen and not Valera then the Jays will have a 5-man bench for what must be the first time in forever (excluding September).
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#405975) #
Gosh. And I bet all the money in my pockets that Jansen would be activated tomorrow.

I suspect Valera is safe until, and if, Biggio makes it back. So I expect Jansen will bump Overton tonight.
scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#405976) #
Jansen was in Toronto dugout yesterday.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#405977) #
Awfully hard to do two thumbs up with one hand down, but I'll try my best. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#405978) #
I think the Jays activated Jansen today because Ryu is pitching tonight and the Jays think Jansen can help him right the ship and of course the jays can ill afford to any games.
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#405979) #
Of Course the Jays can ill afford to lose any games.
scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#405980) #
Maybe Hand accepted a demotion to work on his stuff.
It's lot like someone else will pick him up.

With respect to Ryu, the determining factor is usually the number of days of rest, but I'd take Jansen's bat against a lefty. The 2 bad outings were on regular rest. Tonight is also on regular rest. His next game will be on an extra day.

Nigel - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#405981) #
That was a massive fail from the pro scouting group. It was obvious from his first pitch in Toronto that Hand was toast. And Valera really needs to be taken away from Montoyo.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#405982) #
That was a massive fail from the pro scouting group. It was obvious from his first pitch in Toronto that Hand was toast.

I don't know. It's not that he saved 21 games for Washington - most anyone could do that if that's the role. It's that he allowed 31 hits and 14 unintentional walks in 42.2 innings. And that's perfectly fine. That doesn't scream TOAST.

But it does look like something very evil happened to him right at the All-Star break.
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#405983) #
I looked at Hands numbers when the trade was made and was unimpressed - felt Cleveland made a smart decision last winter -also was a fan of Riley Adams power.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#405984) #
Hatch last started on 8/27 so he is slated to pitch tomorrow, which leaves him perfectly on schedule for the Jays' double-header on September 11th. That game is more important than Hatch switching spots with a guy at the back of the bullpen right now. If Stripling is looking like he'll be ready for the DH, Hatch could get the call sooner.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#405985) #
But that is kind of my point Magpie - his stats may have looked ok but his stuff was awful (even to an uneducated eye such as mine). The pro scouts have to be able to look beyond the stats to determine the up to date status of a player involved in a trade.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#405986) #
Agreed, but I have to think he looked a whole lot better in Washington as well. He couldn't possibly get National League hitters out with that stuff.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#405987) #
The whole thing is just weird.

Split     W    L    W-L%   ERA    G  GF  SV    IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  WP  BF   WHIP    SO9    SO/W
1st Half  4    2    .667   2.43  35  30  19   37.0  26  14  10   4  12    3  36   4    0  151  1.027   8.8    3.00
2nd Half  1    5    .167   8.79  17  11   2   14.1  18  18  14   4   9    1  11   1    2   72  1.884   6.9    1.22

It looks, to me anyway, like something happened to the guy. And it happened over the break. He made six more appearances for Washington and they were even worse than his work as a Blue Jay. But when a quality player has 10 bad days, your first thought isn't that the guy has all of a sudden turned into walking, breathing garbage. You assume he's just having ten bad days.Something happened (cue creepy organ music.)
Nigel - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#405988) #
I would say that the most logical explanation is that he was pitching injured and the Jays didn't do their homework. Maybe there's another reason. If there were more reporters following the team that weren't also employed by Rogers I would hope that someone would put that question to Atkins.
scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#405989) #
And it's Thornton who goes down.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#405990) #
They should call up Pearson and Merryweather tomorrow and let them work on things with Walker for a month.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#405991) #
Nice.

Now ugly's statspac from last night is making some sense:

Romano 49.0ip, 50era-, 76fip-, 77xfip-, 1.6awar/65
Cimber 57.0ip, 62era-, 76fip-, 104xfip-, 1.0awar/65
Mayza 42.0ip, 82era-, 78fip-, 69xfip-, 0.9awar/65
Payamps 30.0ip, 61era-, 104fip-, 118xfip-, 0.8awar/65 ---> GONE
Soria 33.0ip, 91era-, 85fip-, 96xfip-, 0.7awar/65
Stripling 93.1ip, 98era-, 119fip-, 105xfip-, 0.6awar/65
Saucedo 20.0ip, 102era-, 78fip-, 90xfip-, 0.5awar/65
Richards 51.0ip, 87era-, 103fip-, 87xfip-, 0.4awar/65
Chatwood 28.0ip, 123era-, 94fip-, 99xfip-, 0.0awar/65 ---> GONE
Castro 20.1ip, 120era-, 94fip-, 83xfip-, 0.0awar/65 ---> GONE
Kay 33.2ip, 127era-, 133fip-, 96xfip-, -0.1awar/65 ---> GONE
Dolis 32.0ip, 127era-, 107fip-, 124xfip-, -0.3awar/65 ---> GONE
Hand 51.1ip, 98era-, 116fip-, 118xfip-, -0.4awar/65 ---> GONE
Thornton 47.0ip, 104era-, 132fip-, 102xfip-, -0.5awar/65 ---> GONE

And honestly even Payamps probably deserved to go since all his value there is derived from what looks a completely unsustainable ERA.


So it actually looks like we are down to the right 7 RP finally.

Romano
Cimber
Mayza
Soria
Stripling
Saucedo
Richards

With Pearson a wildcard and Matz the likely playoffs addition.
Thomas - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#405992) #
I hated the Hand move pretty much from the moment it was made (I think, I can't find the thread in order to confirm my memory).

I didn't understand it at the time and it looks so much worse in retrospect. Hand's underlying numbers in Washington were...not good and he was a disaster in his last few appearances there. I never saw a single glimpse of the old Brad Hand - or anything close that - and I'm not sure what the Jays were expecting based on the numbers or the scouting.
scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#405993) #
Not sure what happened to Payamps but he was better than average with KC as well.
If you got guys hitting .150 against good fastballs, it might make sense that you can get them out with fastball only,  one strikeout less every third outing or not.

Not looking like a great night for Ryu.
28 pitch first inning.
Missing a lot.

scottt - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#405994) #
It seems the expectation is that experience guys should be able to make adjustments.
grjas - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#405995) #
Had a premonition that Jansen was going to homer. May be I should buy a lottery ticket today
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#405997) #
Just a killer miscue by Semien.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#405999) #
Are these wild pickoffs vladdy's fault? I can't tell.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#406000) #
Breyvic Valera. Why.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#406001) #
The Jays have signed Gregory Polanco on a minor league deal.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#406002) #
Why? Because that option hasnít been taken away from Montoyo.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#406003) #
Hopefully Charlie was just being overly cautious thereÖ
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#406005) #
Not only is Boston losing 8-2, Xander Bogaerts just tested positive for COVID and had to come out of the game. The Red Sox are one of the few teams that still haven't hit the 85% vaccination threshold.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#406006) #
Are these wild pickoffs vladdy's fault? I can't tell.

They're bad throws, and they tend to leave the baserunner in between Vlad and the ball.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#406007) #
Now we will have the joy of watching Breyvic Valera lead off TWO key late innings in a playoffs race.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#406008) #

NEWS: John Smoltz & Al Leiter will not appear in-studio for MLBN after refusing to receive COVID-19 vaccine, The Post has learned.https://t.co/mFuEMAh7Qf

— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) September 1, 2021
SK in NJ - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#406009) #
I don't understand the logic behind pinch hitting Valera for Smith. More accurately, I don't understand why Valera would pinch hit for anybody, but he's done it more than once recently. At least Smith has power and upside. Valera is a career minor league journeyman who can't hit big league pitching. I really don't get it.

I can't stress enough, when a manager doesn't know who his best players are, it's going to be hard to justify keeping him around when the intention is to compete. Either way, this team is going to need some talent adjustments as well, so it's not all on the manager, but the manager is the place to start this winter.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#406010) #
Way too many of these losses. Way too many.
grjas - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#406011) #
SP with an ERA over 7. 1 run in 5 innings. 0 hits with RISP. At least we wonít hear the words ďelite offenceĒ and Blue Jays again in the same sentence this year. I hope.

Iím not a Montoyo fan, but heís not the one at the plate.
AWeb - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#406012) #
Did Valera and Dyson just bat in the bottom of the ninth inning trailing by two runs? I'm too tired to check if it was epic bench mismanagement (ran out of players) or epic bench mismanagement (didn't run out of players). Either way, wtfh. Also, 2 runs, again? C'mon man.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#406013) #
Nate Pearson and Julian Merryweather each pitched an inning for Buffalo tonight. Pearson threw 13 pitches nine strikes to get three K's. Merryweather needed 17 pitches, 11 strikes.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#406014) #
I think blame can be shared equally between the offense defense and manager in this one.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 31 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#406015) #
The offense is the #1 culpret tonight. Scoring just 2 runs against a team that has been averaging 10 against for the last bit, and has a team ERA+ at record breaking lows (79 - their whole team is pitching like Rafael Dolis) is pathetic. Of course it didn't help to have both Smith and Jansen in the lineup or to add in Valera, McGuire, and Dyson. But I won't get mad about pulling Springer when he did, and playing Jansen was a must tonight for Ryu. Of course, after using Dyson as the runner I'd be planning on using Kirk either as the catcher and saving McGuire to hit for Dyson or vice versa. You can't be letting Dyson hit unless it is a blowout one way or the other. I just hope Biggio is back soon so Valera can be taken away from Montoyo just like Panik had to be.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#406016) #
Rosenthal reporting that Nate Pearson and Bryan Baker will be joining the team tomorrow.

Whatever. I shall be preparing the cigars and rum.
StephenT - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 02:30 AM EDT (#406017) #
I believe Buck Martinez called the World Series last year from that New Jersey MLBN studio that now has a vaccine mandate (the MLB International broadcast carried on Sportsnet) while Smoltz called it on the U.S. Fox broadcast in-person from the Texas ballpark.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#406018) #
Sad to say, but you can expect the Orioles to score 4.5 runs per game against Ryu.  Two runs against Akin and the pen is just not going to cut it.  The Blue Jays didn't hit a single line drive in the 5 innings against Akin, which doesn't help.  And Teoscar's strikeout with Bichette on 2nd and nobody out was not good. 
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#406019) #
Yo, Bartender! Jobu needs a refill!
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#406020) #
In hindsight, the worst defensive play was Grichuk's overthrowing the cutoff man on Hayes' single in the sixth.  The play at the plate was not close and the extra base cost Ryu the opportunity to go after Santander and Urias, and also potentially to have a lower pitch count.  Not to mention that it's quite possible that Hayes would have made an out on the bases had the throw been cut. 
92-93 - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#406021) #
The worst defensive play was the ball hit right at Semien (scorched, albeit) that should have ended the 6th inning with 0 runs allowed. His defense is in a massive slump.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#406022) #
Yeah semien's was the worst. The failed pickoff was awful too.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#406023) #
That wasn't the way I saw the play, 92-93.  It was a ball hit very hard just off to the non-glove side, with not enough time for Semien to get in front of it.  It took a skidding hop, perhaps hitting a seam, and Semien couldn't catch it with the backhand swipe.

The scoring as a single reflects my understanding of the chances of success for a second baseman making that play, perhaps about 50-50.  It's probably true that a certain percentage of the time the second baseman won't catch the ball  (or will lose footing while attempting a difficult play) but will be able to keep the ball on the infield and the run from scoring.  Which would have been good. 
92-93 - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#406024) #
Watch it again. The ball was hit right at him with plenty of time to get in front of it. That he didn't even get leather on it was embarrassing, the ball basically went through him. Call it an error or not, that's up to a stupid scoring system that allows for plays that aren't made to be hits. Ordinary effort gets a glove on that ball.
scottt - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#406025) #
Pearson and Baker sounds good.
Walking the fine line of competing in possibly lost cause and preparing for next year.

Semien jabbed at the ball and missed.
He could have jumped and blocked it, but there was no time to think.

Not being able to cash a leading double stinks.
They need to have a better approach against lefties.

The pickoff attempt might be called from the bench.
That doesn't mean that the pitcher should try to pick the runner with a full effort throw, just that the bench is reminding the pitcher to keep the runner close to the bag or maybe catch him if he's going on first move.

Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#406026) #
I thought it was a play that should have been made at a much higher rate than 50/50 but it wasnít embarrassing and I didnít see it as a lack of effort either. I do agree that Semienís defence has slipped whether itís from lack
of time off or just a slump, who knows. The hitting is the problem and has been for most of the last month. I think Iíd start mixing in development goals and balance that with the faint playoff chase.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#406027) #
I had a look at the play again.  I've changed my mind.  Semien could and should have got in front of the ball in that situation.  It wasn't hit quite as hard as I thought it was.  Getting in front of the ball might have made the play slightly harder (more likely that you don't field it cleanly and Hayes is fast), but you do want to make sure to get a glove on it. With that hop, I still think making the play at first is very far from routine.  But overthrowing the cutoff man- that annoys me no end.  
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#406029) #
Fun fact: when Bryan Baker makes his MLB debut, he'll be the 38th different pitcher to appear in a game for the 2021 Blue Jays, which I regard as a franchise record. (39 different players pitched for the 2019 team, but two of them - Maile and Urena - were position players.)

I suppose it's because 23 different pitchers have gone on the Injured List since April 1, five of them twice.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#406030) #
I suppose it's because 23 different pitchers have gone on the Injured List since April 1, five of them twice.

With fun facts like these, that shrine for Jobu may get raided for the rum.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#406031) #
Is very bad to steal Jobu's rum.

Very bad.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#406034) #
Knew Baker's name rung a bell - he was one of the guys the Jays got for Seunghwan Oh from the Rockies in 2018. (also got Forest Wall [good spring, meh year though in AAA 267/339/369 25-4 SB-CS in CF mostly], and Chad Spanberger [1B/OF who had a 707 OPS in AA in 2019 and was let go, now in Milwaukee's system with a 669 OPS between AA/AAA]). Oh did good for the Rockies in 2018 (189 ERA+ in 25 games) but lousy in 2019 (56 ERA+) and is an effect reliever in Korea now.

Baker has had a good year in AAA - 1.32 ERA in 33 games (34 IP) 4.2 BB/9 10.6 K/9 9 saves, 4 wins, 1 loss, 2 blown saves. I'd say the Jays did OK on that minor trade way back in 2018, just by getting Baker into a game or two, even if just in mop up duty.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#406036) #
Mike you're not allowed to change your mind on the internets.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#406037) #
Thanks, UO.  I hear that if you do something that simple and human on Twitter, actual sharks will detect the blood in your veins without any break in your skin, emerge from your laptop and devour you.  Even the shrine to Jobu cannot save you.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#406038) #
Oh, and Breyvic Valera gets the start tonight at third base.
/ducks
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#406039) #
I have a hard time getting too angry at the offense when we continually choose to play guys who can't hit.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#406040) #
Iím surprised Montoyo is in favour of the VAT (Valera Added Tax). Perhaps he feels itís the least worst option with Espinal unavailable.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#406041) #
Valera in the lineup tonight is actually on the FO. Anyway, to my earlier point, we've reached the point in the year where a balance of development and chasing wins is appropriate. To me, that would mean that Smith would be in the line-up every day until Espinal returns and Kirk would be in at least 3/4 of the games (whether at DH or C). Unlike Montoyo, I think that promotes both goals in this particular case.
grjas - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#406042) #
It will be interesting to see what Baker can do. Tall strong guy with high heat that strikes out a tonne, keeps hits low, but issues a lot of walks.

scottt - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#406044) #
Smith hasn't look that great at the plate.
Stop chasing balls and you'll get more playing time.
At least, Valera gets the platoon advantage.

A bad throw from Kirk in the first.
The book on Santander is that he can't hit high fastballs.
For some reason they gave him only low fastballs and he punched the ball in the hole.

Not liking the way the Kirk sets in the middle of the plate.
I guess he's trying to frame pitches rather than helping the pitcher find the corners.

The missed double play from Dickerson?
He's looking at the ball and throwing home.
It's not like first where the fielder is standing on the base.
Do you scream to a fielder to throw at a base when nobody is on that base?
For a double play, a fielder would have had to rush to second as soon as Santander left and they he would have been in position to receive the ball.

Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#406045) #
Matz completely lost his fastball command in the second inning and kept yanking them inside off the plate to RH batters. He finally gave up on it and threw three changeups to get Hays and get out of it. And next inning - presto. Every fastball he threw was a strike. The game can make you crazy, especially if you're playing it.
scottt - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#406046) #
Great AB by Gurriel there.
I think he's sensing that they're working him outside too.

Good stuff from Dickerson.

Valera did get one double.
I think I'd take a double a game from the 9th hitter.

Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#406047) #
Very nice play from Kirk and Vlad. Very alert by Kirk, excellent tag at the other end.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#406048) #
Nice arm and quick ups by that short fat kid behind the plate.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#406049) #
Do you scream to a fielder to throw at a base when nobody is on that base?

No need. Bichette was actually standing on the second base bag before Dickerson threw the ball.
92-93 - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#406050) #
Did Montoyo just let Dickerson face a lefty and then substitute him for defense with Grichuk? Bizarre.
92-93 - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#406051) #
The move actually looked fine before the substitution because it was only the 6th and that spot could easily come up again in a big spot.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#406052) #
Kirk's D saving us from an embarrassing loss so far.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#406053) #
Leaving Dickerson in made lots of sense. What happened after that is really hard to understand. Kirk is having a nice night
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#406054) #
Did Montoyo just let Dickerson face a lefty and then substitute him for defense with Grichuk?

It accomplished two things: a) it told Grichuk exactly what his manager thinks of the way he's swinging the bat, and b) it got Dickerson out of the outfield before he could do any more damage.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#406055) #
Bunting with RISP kills me.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#406056) #
Pretty sure gurriel should have scored there. He trapped it and gurriel had a great view.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#406057) #
It did accomplish those two things (Iím still not sure the first is better that Dickerson vs a LH). But when you add that Dickersonís spot likely will come up in a high leverage spot, I canít make that math make sense.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#406058) #
gurriel had a great view.

Pretty sure I had a better view.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#406059) #
I will never get over Breyvic Valera being a regular player for us in a playoff race.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#406060) #
Tabler: ďYou see how he (Guerrero) took that pitch? He is locked in, baby.Ē (Guerrero then flies out to end the inning.)
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#406061) #
And he then subs Valera out defensively.

This man is driving me nuts.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#406062) #
After letting Valera hit against a LH. Montoyo in having a rough night.
92-93 - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#406063) #
Wait, what? Why would Smith come in defensively in a tie game? Valera must be hurt.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#406064) #
Montoyo seems to overcomplicate things. He should put his best players in his lineup, skip the bunts, use his best pitchers in the highest leverage situations, and just let his team perform. And give his players some rest from time to time over the course of the season before (not after) they get burned out or injured.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#406065) #
"Valera must be hurt."

Optimist.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#406066) #
Itís part of a trend that Montoyo loses the plot in tight situations. He over manages. This is lining up badly for Montoyo but it looks like Dickersonís spot will be critical
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#406067) #
Just a bit too short and fat to get that one out of there.
92-93 - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#406068) #
Kirk just sent a message to Montoyo from all of us.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#406069) #
Sorry but Grichuk in the key AB was entirely predictable
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#406070) #
"Kirk just sent a message to Montoyo from all of us.
"

Ye Olde long bunt.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#406071) #
Grichuk = steal
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#406072) #
Grichuk is lucky that wasnít a popup on the infield (and that there was a speedy runner on third).
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#406073) #
Thank goodness that sometimes bad decisions still have good outcomes (and vice versa).
Magpie - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#406074) #
Another day, another one-run victory.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#406075) #
That was a must-win game. The Jays canít afford to lose many more games, especially against weak opponents.
Chuck - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#406076) #
Some brutal Oriole baserunning and a generous strike zone for Romano amount to a win by the narrowest of margins against a truly horrible team. When's the parade?
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#406077) #
Well, they won a game they absolutely had to win. By one run, no less. They didn't really hit much off a terrible Orioles staff so I don't know how they'll fare against better pitching. They're hanging on by the slimmest of threads.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#406078) #
Dear Charlie,

Please.  No more bunt signs from the bench.  The guys just can't execute it on demand. Let those who want to bunt on their own and can get one down (like McGuire) do it. 

It's painful to watch and counterproductive.

With affection,


Mike

electric carrot - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#406079) #
They're hanging on by the slimmest of threads.

I noticed that ESPN has the Jays at 9.7% for making the playoffs. Personally, I'd put the odds much lower, but who knows. My fear is that the end of the season will rhyme with what seems like a nearly a dozen games this year where they were down 4,5 or 6 runs and then came back to almost win, but then still lost by a run or two.

Boy that's negative. Forget I said that.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#406080) #
The bunt was the least of the issues tonight.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 01 2021 @ 11:48 PM EDT (#406081) #
I'm hoping that pathetic bunt attempt by Valera is finally the last straw and gets him dumped. He can't hit, is 'meh' on defense (a good 11.3 UZR/150 at 3B, but in 53 innings so very small sample size, slight negative at 2B), and can't bunt. What is left? Strange, no UZR/150 for Smith in his 47 innings for comparison. I'd have Valera next on the 'to be cut' list. Just put Biggio back and even if he can't play he might be more useful :)
scottt - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#406084) #
Velera was 4 for 8 against lefties before the game.
He had good ABs and picked up another double.

The bunt attempt didn't go well, but the pitcher was throwing power sliders at his ankles.
You can't really fake bunt, or surprise bunt against a guy who throws 98mph.
Gurriel is not a good runner.

Valera came up and had a bunch of key hits when they beat Boston.
Then he quickly got into a slump during which the Jays didn't have a winning record.

It's Valera and Smith at third base for now.
Smith' s defense seems better, but he's not having good ABs.
He looks like a good low ball hitter but he's chasing high balls and outside balls.
If you're swinging to protect the plate, you have to make contact.
If you can't reach a ball, you should not be swinging.

Playoffs odds are between 9 and 16% right now.

Rays are on track to win 100.
Yankees have cooled down and look 92/93 right now.
Boston, 90/91.
A's, 88/89.
Jays, 87.

So, the Jays need to win at least 3 games over the expectation. Maybe 4.
Winning series against Detroit and Baltimore is the expectation.
To improve the odds, they needed a sweep.

They have 8 remaining series. They need to win or sweep all of those. Just splitting a 4 game series is not good enough. And that's just to tie the Red Sox and force a tie-breaker game in Boston before a wild card game in New York. Or something like that.

Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#406086) #
finally the last straw and gets [Valera] dumped.

Which is not going to happen until Biggio or Espinal is healthy enough to play because you do need a backup middle infielder and he's it.
uglyone - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#406088) #
Just boggled by the fact that our manager thinks Valera is the guy you pinch hit WITH and not the guy you pinch hit FOR.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#406090) #
Valera is the type of player who really doesn't do a lot for the team except for the occasional good play or base hit, much like Brandon Drury or Derek Fisher used to be like.

Random trivia: Who is the only current player remaining from the 2018 opening day roster?
Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#406092) #
Who is the only current player remaining from the 2018 opening day roster?

It's not the player who's been with the team the longest.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#406095) #
Nope, the longest was in the minors. I just asked the question because it struck me how quickly a team's roster can change.
uglyone - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#406096) #
Teoscar?
92-93 - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#406097) #
Teoscar didn't make the team, so he wouldn't be ahead of Guerrero in time spent with the org.

Maybe it's Gift Ngoepe.
uglyone - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#406098) #
Mayza?
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#406099) #
Teoscar started 2018 in the minors,as did Mayza. I didn't think this question would stump anybody.
grjas - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#406100) #
Grichuk?
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#406101) #
Randal Grichuk?
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#406102) #
Yep, Grichuk it is.
Chuck - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#406103) #
it struck me how quickly a team's roster can change.

Yep, we are only ever just rooting for laundry.

Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#406104) #
Mayza and Hernandez are the senior Jays in terms of when they got here. Mayza made his debut in August 2017, two weeks after Hernandez arrived in the trade. But Teoscar had gone down to Buffalo for a month and didn't play for the Jays until the September call-ups.
Thomas - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#406106) #
Maybe it's Gift Ngoepe.

Do you know where Gift Ngoepe is now? I looked it up and I liked the answer.

92-93 - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#406107) #
Quebec, nice.

In other randomness, Travis Snider has played in 59 games for the Braves AAA this year at 33. Last in the bigs in 2015. Dude must love baseball.
pooks137 - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#406108) #
When Valera first was picked up by the organization pre-COVID, it was noted that his minor league profile showed an interesting profile of elite contact ability/ low walks / low strikeouts. Similar to Santiago Espinal and Reese McGuire's minor league resume.

Which was very different from the pre-2020 Jays "grip'em and rip'em" high power, low contact, high K approach.

With the 2021 Jays having more balance in the lineup with more contact ability and less Ks overall, Valera's profile is still interesting but likely less needed and unique than it was 2 years ago.

85bluejay - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#406109) #
Mets claim Hand so I guess that saves the Jays some money.
Magpie - Thursday, September 02 2021 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#406110) #
Travis Snider has played in 59 games for the Braves AAA this year at 33.

And in 59 games, he's hit .177/.310/.315 with 4 HRs. He's played more at first base than in the outfield. Ryan Goins is there, too (.238/.319/.342) and Tanner Roark has been pictching out of the bullpen.
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