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We know we have not been forsaken.


We know we have spent three days in a House of Evil. We have visited a world where the normal laws of Space and Time, of Good and Evil itself, have fallen into disrepair.

We are not dismayed. Our faith is not shaken.

And so, as always, we offer the finest cigars and the tastiest rum... but this time, we hope that the bounty of our offering touches you. Let it not be said that we are stingy with our gifts. Our munificence, like our gratitude, knows no bounds,

Does this not please you?


We offer our praise, Jobu...


Confound our enemies!

Make their curveballs hang!

Make their changeups bounce!

We've got the fastballs.

It's been about two and a half years since the Jays visited the Target Centre in the Twin Cities. It was a four game set on that occasion, against a Twins team that was slightly more impressive - they won 101 games that year - than this year's model. The Jays starters were Matt Shoemaker, Aaron Sanchez, Trent Thornton, and Clay Buchholz. The Jays took three of four anyway. Go figure.

Matchups!

Thursday 23 September 7:30 PM - Matz (13-7, 3.84) vs Pineda (7-8, 3.74)
Friday 24 September 8:10 PM - Berrios (12-8, 3.45) vs Ober (2-3, 4.34)
Saturday 25 September 7:10 PM - Ray (12-6, 2.72) vs Who Knows (?-?, ?.??)
Sunday 26 September 2:10 PM - Manoah (7-2, 3.36) vs Jax (3-4, 6.75)


Toronto at Minnesota, September 23-26 | 250 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#407424) #
Actually feeling good about things despite the standings. I think we're in a very good position given our schedule.

Hopefully at least Montoyo stops putting out delibteratey crappy lineups in important games, though.

But as long as we take care of business against Minny and Balty, we'll be fine. I wouldn't even mind seeing the yanks beat up on the Sox this series, to get the sox back in reach.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#407425) #
Agreed, UO, we're still in good shape. Every game now is important but if the Jays can win tonight they will have the same record as the Yankees with a seemingly easier schedule. Winning at least 3/4 against the Twins is imperative, though.
Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#407426) #
But as long as we take care of business against Minny and Balty, we'll be fine.

If the Jays get swept by the Yankees, I'm not nearly as confident that they'll be fine as you are.

uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#407429) #
Mike Green - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#407430) #
Four cigars! 
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#407431) #
dalimon5 - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#407432) #
ďButÖthereís no ESPN.Ē
SK in NJ - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#407433) #
Agreed that the team is in a good spot. They just finished the toughest remaining part of their schedule (6 of their last 9 against the best team in the AL), while the Yankees just finished the easiest remaining part of their schedule. It is still going to come down to the head to head series next week, though. The Jays do have the easier road (MIN/BAL versus BOS/TAM for the Yankees), but that doesn't mean anything. Still have to take care of business.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#407434) #
Distilling Rum is Hitting a Baseball. 'Barrel it, Boys.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#407435) #
Three things that would help a lot over the next ten games:

1. Springer start hitting again (his wRC+ this month is 49)
2. Espinal returns to the lineup
3. Ryu makes his next start and pitches competently
The_Game - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#407436) #
4. Stop starting Jarrod Dyson and Reese McGuire in must win games.
John Northey - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#407438) #
Agreed 100% on McGuire and Dyson not starting a game again this year unless/unless the Jays clinch and want to give the regulars a rest.
John Northey - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#407439) #
I think for Semien a big thing is being away from the cheapskates in Oakland. Oakland and Tampa must be frustrating to play for - both teams are always pinching pennies in a desperate effort to keep costs down. The Jays, on the other hand, have the cash so they spend it on smart things to keep players around. They know to draw players to Toronto you need to do more so high end facilities are a must. Especially with the nightmare of playing part of the year in Dunedin/Buffalo. There are advantages to signing guys from teams with worse facilities. Semien has never played for a team other than Oakland before this year so he has little to compare it to - the kids on the team are the same. Ray had been with Detroit and Arizona, Springer - Houston, Dickerson all over (Pittsburgh, Colorado, Tampa, Philly, Miami), Lamb Arizona/Oakland/ChiSox, Ryu & Stripling the Dodgers, Berrios the Twins, and a few relievers have been around too.

Bottom line for Semien & Ray is a mix of money and comfort. The Jays have done all they can in the comfort area and should be able to match any deals they get from elsewhere. Hopefully the other guys on the team have negative things to say about other teams facilities/care for players. No idea on most of them. No one currently on the team has played for NYY or Boston or the Mets (all possible suitors for the big 2 free agents) so no one here to tell them 'they suck' or 'they rule'. Phelps was a Yankee early in his career but the fact he resigned here should help a bit to show the grass isn't greener elsewhere unless it comes with tons of green.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#407441) #
Bottom line for Semien & Ray is a mix of money and comfort.

The big thing for me is keeping both of them away from the Yankees and the Red Sox.

I assume Ray will go for the money - he's a pitcher, he turns 30 next week, he needs to get paid.

I assume Semien would prefer to play shortstop, and he'd prefer to go home to California. But he doesn't have a whole lot of good choices there. Oakland is out, obviously. The Giants have Crawford, the Padres have Tatis. Maybe the Dodgers will decide he'd be an upgrade on Seager. (Which he would be, of course.) There's also the Angels, if persistently underachieving franchises appeal to you.
Michael - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#407442) #
Traditionally Boston is a mix bag in terms of player comfort. It is a good city to live in, and an organization that can afford to spend; however, the media is not always player friendly there and the facilities are somewhat limited due to the historic old ball park. Not necessarily a slam dunk.
scottt - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#407443) #
The money might factor more to Semien than to Ray.

The Yankees have their own pitching philosophy.
They don't like the fastballs in Yankee Park.

Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#407444) #
I think Ray will go for length of contract (arguably that's the same as what you meant, but I just meant I think he'd prioritize that over AAV).

For whatever reason (maybe Semien's desire to go back to California), I feel like the odds of resigning Ray are noticeably higher than Semien.
grjas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#407445) #
It would be great to keep Semien and Ray but they will both attract long term contracts, and itís unknown if the Jays would have the financial resources to hang on to them as well as the Bichetteís and Guerreroís and lesser lights as they head towards FA. Iím sure there will be a lot of spreadsheets cranked out over the winter to assess their options given this team wants a long competitive window.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#407446) #
I love what Ray has done this year but I think he would be a risky add on a high AAV, long-term contract. Heís a two-pitch power pitcher who has had some control issues in the past. There are a lot of things that could go wrong for him over the next half-dozen years.
John Northey - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#407447) #
An interesting article on 3000 hits at FanGraphs. Vlad is at 11% right now, Bo at 0% for 3000 but 57% for 2000 based on ZiPS (Vlad 70% for 2000). If those are to be believed then a 10 year deal for each of them is a reasonable risk I'd think.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#407448) #
Montoyo suspended for one game, Schneider manages tonight. Borucki suspended for three games, he's appealing.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#407449) #
A "veteran" Blue Jay told Madani "I'm glad Borucki did that. It had to be done."

Naturally, I'm wondering who that veteran might be. There aren't a whole lot of them on this team.
grjas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#407450) #
Time for the Hatch release!
scottt - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#407451) #
I think Ray goes for AAV. He's a machine.

The danger with Ray is probably the loss of velo and what that means on his effectiveness.
I'm not sure what kind of adjustments he'll have to make with age.

Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#407452) #
Roster Moves!

Valera activated from COVID IL
Hatch recalled from Triple A
Saucedo optioned to Triple A
Lamb Designated For Assignment
SK in NJ - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#407453) #
Trying to replicate the success of Semien/Ray is going to be very difficult but I wonder if thatís the direction the FO goes in. Canít re-sign both, extend Berrios, and then deal with the massive arb raises to Vlad and others in the coming years without seeing a crunch at some point.

Maybe they try to find the next undervalued vets coming off down years that have big, possibly untapped, upside. The only one that comes to mind off hand is Noah Syndergaard who hasnít pitched at all in 2021 so heís likely a one year deal somewhere next year (Mets would be foolish not to offer the QO). The infielder to replace Semien is a lot harder to find. Might require a trade, and my guess is the Aís are going to unload heavily this winter due to their stadium situation so a buy low of Matt Chapman could fit that same mold while moving Biggio back to his normal position.
Gerry - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#407455) #
In the off-season there is usually a pattern to free agent signings. The biggest target goes first and teams wait to see who gets him before moving on to the next best player.

Carlos Correa seems to be the number one target this year with Corey Seager and Trevor Story next in line. Semien might be better than the others and will he want to wait for those other three to go before he gets his chance? Could the Jays make a big offer early and get him before other teams turn to him?

Of course this off-season is complicated by labour negotiations. That's another reason why a big early offer might work.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#407456) #
The Jays shouldn't take the Twins for granted. Pineda is pitching tonight and he's an experienced SP who has had a decent season. At home he has a very good K:BB ratio (1.5 BB per 9 IP) and strong numbers against RHB.
Chuck - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#407457) #
Has Andrelton Simmons always been this scrawny? He looks like he could use a good meal and some sleep.
John Northey - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#407458) #
My gut says the new agreement will lead to higher salaries (as it normally does). I think the smart move is the minute Ray is ready for an offer the Jays should come in high and hard. I think he could be resigned easier than Semien. Semien I suspect wants to move closer to home. The Jays can't counter that.

#1 is to figure out alternatives (front office is obviously focused on the season right now). 3B there are multiple trade opportunities out there, 2B there are probably a few options. Espinal/Biggio are plan B for 3B or 2B depending what happens. Mix in prospects and the Jays can mix and match to fill those 2 spots. The rotation is a LOT harder. Ryu/Berrios/Manoah/Stripling are locks - then you have a cast of many 'meh' options for 5/6/7/8 - Pearson, Kay, Thornton, Hatch, etc. The Jays need to either keep Matz or Ray. Matz will be a lot cheaper, and might be better in 2022 than 2021 (Walker still working on him I suspect).
vw_fan17 - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#407459) #
I assume Semien would prefer to play shortstop, and he'd prefer to go home to California. But he doesn't have a whole lot of good choices there. Oakland is out, obviously. The Giants have Crawford, the Padres have Tatis. Maybe the Dodgers will decide he'd be an upgrade on Seager. (Which he would be, of course.) There's also the Angels, if persistently underachieving franchises appeal to you.
IIRC, the Dodgers traded for Trea Turner, who is arb eligible for one year and I think they're supposedly trying to extend him, so I can't see them breaking the bank to sign Semien this off-season.
Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#407460) #
Connor Overton got the start for the Pirates today and allowed his first major league runs after 17.1 scoreless innings. Although he surrendered four runs in 2.2 innings, he went 1-for-1 with 2 RBIs.

For some reason, my first reaction was Dickerson.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#407461) #
"Combinations that will be avoided are things like Kirk-Berrios, Jansen-Matz, McGuire-Ryu."

I probably should have said should be avoided.
Eephus - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#407462) #
Good job by Matz to escape that despite clearly not having it tonight, and a better job by Teo to get a run right back.

Curious to see if Hatch starts the 4th. I'd be tempted.
92-93 - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#407463) #
Hatch is a no-brainer here, Buxton should not face Matz again.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#407464) #
I'm ready for Bad Ryu to return.
85bluejay - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#407465) #
I assume that Semien wants to get paid, everything else dressing.
92-93 - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#407466) #
Semien is one of 8 players who serve on the MLBPA Executive Subcommittee and will go to the highest bidder, as does pretty much every FA.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#407467) #
Christ we are dropping horshoes all over the place tonight.

Better not waste them.
Eephus - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#407468) #
One of the bigger double plays turned of the year, surely.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#407469) #
Run out of horseshoes looks like.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#407470) #
Why is Dickerson taking over in LF?
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#407471) #
Why is Dickerson taking over in LF?

Grichuk landed on his hand while throwing the ball in on the Garver double. Looks like he got spiked.
Kasi - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#407472) #
Jays offence has cooled down a bit now theyíre not facing awful pitching. They need to come out of this weekend tied with the Yankees.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#407473) #
Bad injury or minor injury?
Gerry - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#407474) #
Everything going wrong right now.
Gerry - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#407475) #
Obviously John Schneider is to blame for all this.
Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#407476) #
Now you can say everything is going wrong.
Gerry - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#407477) #
Gurriel left with his hand wrapped in a towel, hard to say if its a small cut or something more serious.
Eephus - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#407478) #
Rough inning for Blue Jays wearing both numerals "1" and "3". Ecccch.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#407479) #
So maybe Merryweather isn't actually good after all.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#407480) #
Any particular reason why we didn't bother using any of our good relievers today?
Chuck - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#407481) #
The change-up to Gordon was a gift. He was being overmatched by the fastballs.
The_Game - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#407482) #
Merryweather doesn't have a single strikeout since returning from injury 2 weeks ago. He's been bad. The choice to use him there was almost as puzzling as the choice to throw a 2-2 changeup to Gordon.
Kasi - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#407483) #
Well canít blame Montoyo for this one. :p
John Northey - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#407484) #
The lack of using good relievers in that situation seemed odd to me as well. You are down 1 and it is still close, why give the ball to a guy who hasn't shown he is fully here yet? If Merryweather was pitching like he did in his first few games before getting hurt then yeah, he'd have been a good choice. But, sigh, what can you do? The offense needs to come to life already.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#407485) #
Dickerson ignores the clear signal.
grjas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#407486) #
Like everyone, I have a lot of time for Springer. But clearly the guy is not right. An OPS in the 5ís for the last few weeks and in the 3ís in the last week. Why are they so stubborn? At least sit him till the Yankees series and see if that helps.
uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#407487) #
Now we get to use the good relievers when the game is out of hand.

Sweet.
Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#407488) #
I don't really blame Schneider for that, although I think he should have sent Borucki out for another inning. My guess is he didn't warn to burn him in case he's needed tomorrow.

The rest of the bullpen was Romano, Mayza and Richards, all of whom had pitched more recently than Cimber; Castro, who was presumably unavailable after 2.1 innings yesterday; and Pearson, who pitched yesterday and can't do back-to-backs. Schenider's hands were tied when Matz and Hatch didn't get through five.

His mistake was obviously bringing in Merryweather for the key at-bat.
Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#407489) #
I didn't include Stripling in the above, because I presume they are saving him to be the long man in the next bullpen game (and I assume they don't know yet if Ryu will be back). And he was probably unavailable anyway after throwing 42 pitches yesterday.
Kasi - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#407490) #
Well two stitches and no break I guess thatís ok. Hopefully back in lineup tomorrow.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#407491) #
My guess is he didn't warn to burn [Borucki] in case he's needed tomorrow.

Nah - he wouldn't be pitching tomorrow after pitching an inning (and a batter) yesterday as well. He'll now withdraw his appeal and sit the rest of the Minnesota series. Saucedo will be able to come back with Hatch going on the IL to be the second LH in the pen.
Michael - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#407492) #
You have to actually beat the bad teams in order for strength of schedule to matter down the stretch.

The Jays can afford to sign both Ray and Semien long term if they want. I know the odds are they sign neither more likely than 1 more likely than both. I personally think Semien is higher risk than Ray.

Semien has been great this year, legit down ballot MVP candidate, but if you look at his career he's been this good in his 28 year old season in 2019 and the 2021 season at age 30. At no other season from 22 in 2013 through 29 in 2020 has he even hit 100 OPS+. He is consistently high 90s OPS+ other than these two outlier 139 (2019) and 135 (2021) years. Sure those two great years are 2 of the most recent 3 years, and the 2020 year was the weird COVID impacted one when he only had a 89 OPS+ in the limited season, but for someone that is already in his 30s I think there is a fair amount of risk if you go long term contract with him. Obviously a 1 year deal or a qualifying offer would be low risk, but a 5 year deal I think has a fair bit of risk.

Ray has some similarities where this outstanding year is the second time he's been really good with this years ERA+ of 161 similar to his 2017 163. But Ray is only 29 and in many of his non-outsanding years he's been above average (117 in 2015, 107 in 2018, 103 in 2019) and the only really bad year was the odd covid 2020 (68 ERA+). The thing he's been elite in is the strikeout rate where his career 11.2 K/9 is really strong for a starting pitcher. This year by far is a career best in BB/9 with only 2.2 compared to a career 3.9 rate, but even if Ray takes steps back in BB/9 to closer to career average he is still an above average starting pitcher with elite strikeout rates. Ray gets the strikeout not so much with FB velocity, where he isn't elite, but with the speed of his other pitches being more impressive. According to baseball Savant his 4-seam average speed is 94.8 this year, sinker 95.5, slider 88.6, changeup 88.2, and curve 82.5 (60% 4-seam, 30% slider). And he is middle of the pack with spin rate. That is to say he is successful with the strikeouts already without relying on superior velocity or superior spin rate so I'm not sure there is as much worry that if he loses a bit he becomes terrible, that isn't what he's succeeding based on.

It is always harder to bet on pitchers over hitters, but my guess is Ray will be more valuable over the next 5 years than Semien will be. If I could only pick one, I'd pick Ray, and that goes beyond the fact that Ray fits the Jays gaps more than Semien. But if you don't need to pick only 1, I'd be happy to choose both of the above.
scottt - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:00 AM EDT (#407493) #
Hatch tops at 93 instead of the 96-97mph he was showing last year.
That makes a huge difference.

Springer doesn't look 100% but there are a lot of pitchers up right now who don't look quite right either.

lexomatic - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#407494) #
So, Michael, re Semien. There was an article on Fangraphs  in  the 20-21 off-season aboit Semien, showing that after a slow start caused by injury,  that Semien was performing at the same level in 20 as in 19, and likely it would have been apparent with a full season.
Chuck - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#407495) #
I have a lot of time for Springer.

I don't for a minute doubt that Springer wants to be healthy and playing CF on a regular basis. And I am sure he honestly believes he can contribute in his currently compromised physical state and is going to give it his best rather than beg off during a push for the playoffs. The optics would look bad, to him most of all.

Will Springer be able to take the field again this season? Is he really the team's CF going forward, or do we expect one injury after another to simply make that a pipe dream? He's awfully expensive for a thirty-something DH.

Springer has logged 20% of the team's defensive innings in CF with that to drop to 18% if he doesn't take the field again in the next week and a half. Grichuk, the team's de facto CF, and at worst caddy with lots of playing time ahead of him in 2022, has logged 55%. Jonathan Davis logged 15% but I don't anticipate that type of player finding a roster spot next season.

Springer has never started even half his team's games in CF but much of that is due to the Astros employing Marisnick in platoons that allowed Springer to slide to RF against LHP. My guess is the organization will just hope for the best in 2022, playing him in CF whenever possible, cognizant that much of his playing time could again come as a DH. I don't envision him leading the team in defensive innings at CF in 2022.

Gerry - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#407496) #
It's interesting to me that the clubs two biggest recent investments have had a mixed record. Ryu was excellent last year but has the fourth best ERA among the starters this year and there are doubts over the balance of the contract. Meanwhile Springer has missed half of this years games and not been at his best for some number of the games that he has played. Is he injury prone, should we expect him to miss time over the balance of his contract and as he ages?

There is always a risk with being the highest bidder on a player. But I wonder if this record will cause the team to be more cautious in the next off-season.
smyttysmullet94 - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#407497) #
I absolutely love that part of the appeal for him is the ability to walk to work. Millionaire baseball superstars - they're just like us!
Mike Green - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#407498) #
It's too early to tell in my view about the Ryu and Springer contracts.  I will say this though.  The Ryu contract of $80 million over 4 years is probably going to work out OK, despite the shortened season in 2020.  He's already been worth more than 1/2 the contract.  Springer's contract was a much bigger gamble on health.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#407499) #
Free agent contracts almost always end up being bad by the last few years of the deal. Maybe you get lucky and end up with a Max Scherzer, but just due to how baseball is structured where players become free agents towards the end of their prime years (in Springer's case probably right at the end of it), the probability of the deal looking good as the years go on is very low. The Jays signed Ryu and Springer likely knowing the back end was going to be diminishing returns.

Based on what we have seen so far, I actually think the Jays have hurt themselves a bit. Ryu is a major health risk and does better with more rest, but other than going with a 6 man rotation for a little bit, they haven't done much to rest him more than a typical SP. You could argue that they couldn't afford to do that based on their circumstances, but then you're left with a pitcher who has an ERA over 5 since June. Pick your poison.

With Springer, he's clearly not healthy, yet they have handicapped the DH spot for the stretch run just to get him into the lineup and he's not performing, thereby hurting the team and also risking further injury. An IL stint for him while Kirk played everyday at DH probably would have been better for the team over the last few weeks but due to his contract (and likely his own willingness to keep playing) it's lead to this situation (42 wRC+ in 89 PA since coming off the IL).

My guess is Ryu, even in his declining phase, might have a 2015 Buehrle/2016 Dickey type of value over the next two seasons as long as he stays healthy and is adequately rested throughout the season. Springer's decline is a little more scary to me because lower body injuries in his 30's are probably not something that's going to go away. Adding a CF and moving him to RF is probably something they need to consider as early as 2022.
grjas - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#407500) #
Their schedule vs NYYís still gives then a good shot. But yikes. Ryu down. Ray and Matz looking tired, their hottest hitter injured, their lead-off hitter batting half his weight, the catchers in a funk, and none of Pearson, Merryweather or Hatch stepping up in the pen so far. They do have their challenges.

The Jays have shown very good resilience a number of times through the year as times got tough. Hopefully we see it again over the last 9 games.
bpoz - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#407501) #
I think the Jays signed Springer for his bat so he will be used defensively in a way that keeps his bat in the lineup.

The amount of playing Kirk gets at DH/C was unknown at the Springer signing.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#407502) #
" An IL stint for him while Kirk played everyday at DH would have been better for the team over the last few weeks"

Maybe it would have but kirk hasn't been hitting much lately either. It's been Semien, Vlad, Bo, Teoscar and Gurriel doing most of the damage, Valera doing a bit but the rest contributing precious little.
Polite Nate - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#407503) #
I think Semien is a safer bet than Ray, but I think the Jays need stability in the rotation more than they need Semien. If you can do both, do both, but if it's an either/or situation I'd go for Ray (assuming a similar cost).
My fears for Ryu is that he seems to have a very precipitous dropoff in performance, usually based on that fastball velocity/command. It's a very fine line for him between 6 shutout innings and getting knocked out in the 3rd or 4th and I feel like you can tell whether it's going to be one or the other based on the first inning, seems like. I can live with a Ryu ending his contract at the back end of a rotation, but my fears are he'll become unusable. That said, like every pitcher, he's been through bad stretches before so it's too early to give up on him yet.
christaylor - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#407504) #
I think Ray is a decent bet because he'd play as a shutdown reliever if he falters in a few years as a starter. He reminds me of Andrew Miller -- he could be used for two at the back end of games and his stuff could play up out of the bullpen in the back end of a long term contract.
John Northey - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#407505) #
Geez, didn't notice how poorly Kirk has hit when playing lately - last 14 days Kirk 29 PA 125/276/250 vs Springer 59 PA 151/237/245. Only guys doing worse are McGwire 167/286/167 over 7 PA, and Dyson 0-7 with 2 walks. Lamb is the only other guy sub 700 for OPS over those 14 days (167/222/375) while Kevin Smith got into a game but didn't bat. Guys in the 700's (Dickerson, Valera, Semien, Grichuk) are OK, 800 (Bo & Jansen), 1100+ (Vlad, Hernandez, Gurriel). The team is 8-6 over those 14 games. Ryu's 24.92 ERA over 2 starts didn't help, nor Striplings 13.5 ERA in 3 games (6 IP), Merryweather (who the Jays were really hoping would be a quality setup guy) has an 8.44 ERA in 6 games (5 1/3 IP 5 ER, 3 BB 3 HR vs 1 SO). Matz somehow won 2 of 3 of his starts despite allowing 9 runs in 14 2/3 IP. Manoah & Berrios both are lights out thankfully 2 starts each, 1 out away from averaging 7 IP each, 6 ER in 27 2/3 IP between them. Sweet. Glad both will be here in 2022. FYI: in the Twins system Martin is hitting 254/399/381 - a tiny bit worse than here - I'm getting the feeling he might become a draft disappointment in the long run with that low power output. SWR has a 6.75 ERA there with 8 BB in 8 IP. Looks like the Jays sold high on those 2.
bpoz - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#407506) #
Looking ahead to the 2 WC winners: TB probably does not care which of Toronto/Boston/NYY are in. They may worry about Oakland/Seattle as their 1st round opponent because West coast trips are exhausting.

They only play NYY from the WC contenders and may or may not care to play hard.

NYY could be knocked out before they play TB because Boston & Toronto are in the WC battle to survive. For NYY to make it they have to play the remaining 9 games against Boston/Toronto and TB. NYY earning a WC spot would be impressive by them. I also fully expect bullpens to be depleted.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#407509) #
Springer's back in CF tonight. Dickerson in LF, Kirk the DH.
Mike Green - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#407510) #
Phew.  My confidence level is rising. 
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#407511) #
I'm still rattled from last night not gonna lie.

Jobu help us.
92-93 - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#407512) #
Yay? Springer hasnít hit at all since returning from the IL, so itís hard to see how starting him in CF with Grichuk on the bench makes them a better team tonight. Hopefully he feels great though and mashes two bombs.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#407513) #
Springer hasnít hit at all since returning from the IL

This is true. But Springer didn't hit a lick for two weeks or so when he originally came off the IL back in June, either. I think he might be just about ready to shake off the rust and hurt some pitchers.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#407514) #
If I were to complain about Grichuk on the bench, it would be while Kirk was in the lineup, with his .217/.300/.387 line against RHP and his 3 for 32 over his last 12 games. But I'll just chalk it up to Charlie playing One of His Hunches.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#407515) #
ROSTER MOVES!

Espinal activated from IL.
Soria activated from family medical emergency list.
Smith optioned to AAA.
Hatch to IL.
92-93 - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#407516) #
The team would be better off with Kirk catching, Grichuk in CF, and Springer at DH. The Jays pitching has been better with Kirk behind the plate lately, even if he doesnít pass their eye test.

Montoyoís hunches do tend to work, though.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#407517) #
The one time Kirk caught Berrios it went very badly (four first inning runs, nine hits in three innings.)
cascando - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#407518) #
Grichuk has been pretty good since he has moved into a more traditional bench role. Maybe that's the job for him.
scottt - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#407519) #
Can a platoon hitter be a star?
Can a pitcher be a star if he only makes a handful of starts?

The Rays are good at developing good role players.
Franco will be something else, of course.

uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#407520) #
Yanks-Sox has me rattled.
greenfrog - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#407521) #
Final nine games of the season. A few weeks ago we would have been thrilled to be in this situation. Nowhere to hide now. Time to see what this team is made of.
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#407522) #
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#407523) #
Cavan Biggio hits a sac fly to tie the game up for Buffalo.

That's a two run sac fly, by the way.
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#407524) #
Oh no.
Eephus - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#407525) #
Seems possible we're catching the Twins at an extremely inopportune time...
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#407526) #
OK stop being losers beat this shitty team already.
grjas - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#407527) #
Memo to Jays batters- wake up before itís too late.
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#407528) #
Jays motto "when in trouble swing at everything"
Kasi - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#407529) #
Yeah still not convinced this lineup has what it takes when chips are down. Pretty good at running the score up on bad pitchers but I think itís been shown pretty well this year how they can struggle at times. Now for sure pitching has not been great lately but hitting is giving them no wiggle room because they just arenít producing when it matters. I sadly expect more games like last night where they get runners on every inning but then flub on getting them in. I just hope they can find an extra gear to sneak in but itís not looking good right now.
grjas - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#407530) #
This story has repeated over and over throughout the season. When the Jays havenít seen a pitcher before, they seem totally stumped. May be itís their aggressive, swing early an pd often mentality. Who knows. But this has happened repeatedly all season long.
BlueJayWay - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#407531) #
They saw Ober just last week.
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#407532) #
Life.
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#407533) #
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#407534) #
Bo knows swinging.
dalimon5 - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#407535) #
ď Yeah still not convinced this lineup has what it takes when chips are down. Pretty good at running the score up on bad pitchers but I think itís been shown pretty well this year how they can struggle at times. Now for sure pitching has not been great lately but hitting is giving them no wiggle room because they just arenít producing when it matters. I sadly expect more games like last night where they get runners on every inning but then flub on getting them in. I just hope they can find an extra gear to sneak in but itís not looking good right now.Ē

Please post this in advance next time, not in hindsight. Nobody is convinced after watching this team the last 5 gamesÖ
greenfrog - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#407536) #
The Jays hitters are good at throttling up (for example, being aggressive early in the count or sometimes expanding the zone to hit a tough pitch). They arenít very good at throttling down (slowing the game down, making the opposing pitcher work, drawing walks to add pressure, etc).
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#407537) #
Berrios pulled on 90 pitches while dealing. Why.
Dr. Zarco - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#407538) #
The Jays offense hasnít looked great. But they have 6 balls hit with exit velocity over 100mph to the Twins 1 (only the HR). A bit of tough luck this evening. Berrios has been outstanding. 6 outs to play with to get it back. Top of the order will get its chance. Pretty important 2 innings
greenfrog - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#407539) #
Six outs left in a massively important game and no decent bench bat to hit for McGuire? Yikes.
92-93 - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#407540) #
McGuire has been useless at the plate for 3 months. It's ridiculous he is getting starts in must-win games, and asinine he hit for himself down 2 runs in the 8th.
Kasi - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#407541) #
Yet heís still been better than the other catchers lately. Itís seeming to pass now that we either need to sweep the Yankees or hope the Rays beat the Yankees in order to make the playoffs now.
greenfrog - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#407542) #
There are minor things to criticize about the last five games but the biggest problem for the team is that Springer has been pretty much hopeless since his injury. Heís the straw that stirs the drink, and while the rest of the hitters were able to carry him for a while, right now the glass is empty.

More generally, it may be that the team is just running out of gas. Unlike Tampa, which can mix and match players, the Jays have had to run all their key players out there pretty much every single day.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#407543) #
Duffey is so tough on RH batters that Valera was the only real option to pinch hit. I dunno. Hardly seems worth it.
greenfrog - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#407544) #
Itís go time.
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#407545) #
They're doing it again. Trying to hit three run homers. When there's no one on base.
uglyone - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#407546) #
Haven't taken 1 pitch this inning.
greenfrog - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#407547) #
This season makes roller coasters look like a tranquil garden path.
Kasi - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#407548) #
Yeah just no. Five pitches and the ninth is done through the heart of the lineup. Just feels theyíre not ready yet.
92-93 - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#407549) #
The last guy who was just not ready went on to lead for 6+ years.
Eephus - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#407550) #
Wondering if even a 6-2 run to end the season will be enough. Winning the Yankees series is imperative, but the biggest problem with these losses is how less control of their own destiny the team has even with such a run. Seattle (seriously these goddamn guys) could be tied with them in a few hours.

The emotional twists of this season have been a lot. I'm certainly gonna need a break thinking about this team and especially this year if they don't make it.

(So just go make it, fellas.)
Magpie - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#407551) #
I dunno. I think this is fun. I really do.

But I think I should make it clear to Jobu that I can make all the cigars and all the rum disappear just like that.

Consider yourself warned. Do not mess with me.
Eephus - Friday, September 24 2021 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#407552) #
Bah, I'm personally just semi-grouchy the Reds got essentially eliminated today with the Cardinals winning both games of a doubleheader. Going 7-16 while starting that ghastly stretch in playoff position is without a doubt significantly less fun.
John Northey - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#407554) #
No matter what this is what we have to hope for - a team in contention. Sure beats what Minny fans have this year, or Baltimore, KC, Detroit, Cleveland, Texas, Angels fans have seen this year. None even pretending to be in contention for months. Much like the 2017-2019 Jays. Or the 1994-2014 Jays. I just hope for a good run at the end to keep it close so those final 3 against Baltimore have meaning.
Kasi - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 02:00 AM EDT (#407555) #
Down to 25% chance of playoffs now from 70+ a few days ago. It really is going to come to this Yankees series provided they win these next two days.
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 06:58 AM EDT (#407556) #
The Mariners have caught the Jays in the standings, so now it's not only hoping the Yankees lose but also the Mariners as well. If the Jays can win the next two and the Yankees/Red Sox split the next two, then the Jays head into that Yankees series 1 game back. That's probably a reasonable position to be in. If they are more than 1 game back and require a sweep to stay in it, then it becomes a lot less likely that this season ends in a WC berth. They need to be in a position where winning 2/3 from the Yankees either gets them in a tie or ahead. Obviously, the Jays winning the next two and the Red Sox winning the next two would be the absolute best case scenario, but I think at this rate I'm more concerned with the "Jays win the next 2" part of that sentence. They have looked really bad the last 3 nights.
Glevin - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#407557) #
I really wish they'd stop playing McGuire. He isn't a major league catcher and one very lucky BABIP month seems to have fooled everyone.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#407558) #
I wish they would address the real issue which is not McGuire, but losing winnable games all season long. Iím not going to gripe about a player when weíre down 3-1 in the bottom innings.

How many games have we given up that we were leading this year which were completely winnable games? 10? 15? Now we are paying the price for not closing out games which the Rays and Red Sox did.

I agree this team ran out of gas and the numbers show that without a healthy Springer itís a completely different team. This is a 95 win team without its best player for half the season and with no bullpen for long portions of the season. For all the depth that the FO brags about, it ends up being the undoing.

bpoz - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#407559) #
The FO liked the young core well enough. 4 years of Ryu (Korean) was a nice start. Ray wanted to return to build up his value. He succeeded beyond his hopes. Nobody was very serious about wanting Semien. He took a short term deal to play 2B but wanted SS. Springer only signed after all his preferred choices were exhausted.

Our opening pen provided nothing except Romano. Veterans like Yates and Phelps provided basically nothing. Ready to help young players like Borucki, Zeuch, Kay and Hatch also provided practically nothing. Only Mayza turned out ok. Trading for Cimber, Richards, Soria was valuable. Berrios and Manoah were unlikely to play for the team. We are very lucky to have them.

So a lot could go wrong but a lot went right. The pen hurt way too much. We probably had 20 pitchers get a chance to play for the pen.
grjas - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#407560) #
With the remaining schedule, they can make it, particularly with the Jays playing Baltimore while the Yankees are playing Tampa. But it all depends which Jays team shows up.

This is an incredibly streaky team with a lot of streaky players. They claim to have a lot of confidence in each other. Ok then guys. just do it.

bpoz - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#407561) #
IMO every year we will be battling down to the wire for a playoff spot. The AL East is strong and in 3 years Baltimore should also compete.

Will be hard for the AL East to get both WC spots.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#407562) #
Tampa's position player WAR leaders:

Zunino (103 games)
Lowe (143 games)
Arozarena (134 games)

Toronto's position player WAR leaders:

Vladdy (153 games)
Semien (154 games)
Bichette (151 games)

The lack of depth means that the Jays players don't get to rest. I think the model of position players aiming to play all 162 games is outdated and counterproductive, and I think Tampa gets that.
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#407563) #
Jays players don't get to rest.

It's not just Semien, Guerrero, and Bichette. You'll recall Hernandez missed 16 games in April on the COVID list. He's played every other game this year except three in June when he was on paternity leave. And I think Grichuk had actually worn down after playing in all but three games through late August.
bpoz - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#407564) #
I still think it was a very bad pen that sunk this team. Those tired stars did very well IMO.
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#407565) #
The Jays might end up with four players appearing in 150 games. It's a lot, though it does depend on whether Grichuk gets into six of the remaining eight. (Seeing as how many of his September appearances have been as a Defensive Replacement When the Team is Winning - it's something to hope for!)

Anyway, here's the number of 150 game players we can probably count on seeing from all the Contenders and Pretenders:

Atlanta: 4 (Freeman, Albies, Swanson, Riley)
Seattle: 4 (Crawford, Seager, Haniger, France)
Toronto: 3 (Semien, Guerrero, Bichette)
St. Louis: 3 (Edman, Goldschmidt, Arenado)
Oakland: 3 (Olson, Andrus, Chapman)
Los Angeles: 1 (J.Turner)
Tampa Bay: 1 (Lowe)
Yankees: 1 (LeMahieu)
Boston: 1 (Devers)
Milwaukee: 1 (Urias)
Houston: 1 (Correa)
Chicago: 1 (Abreu)
San Francisco: 0
Philadelphia: 0
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#407566) #
Did anyone else know this? The old Jays centre fielder actually spells his name Devon Whyte. That's how it was spelled when he was born, that's how he spells it now. For some reason, it was spelled like the colour during his baseball career.

I honestly feel I should be making a mental note, and resolve to use his preferred spelling going forward!
Chuck - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#407567) #
here's the number of 150 game players we can probably count on

In fairness, how much "rest" by players on those teams has come in the form of time lost to injury and not to some grand design to keep them fresh?

The Yankees would surely love to play Judge and Stanton 150 times a year. The Red Sox, Boegarts and Martinez. The Dodgers, Betts and Bellinger. The Astros, Bregman and Altuve. The Phillies, Harper and Hoskins. Etc.

The argument that the Jays should have rested their core more often is certainly defensible, but of course if they had, we'd probably not even be having this discussion since they'd likely not be making a playoff push. Also, their batting lines don't actually seem any the worse for their everyday play. The player fading most poorly, Springer, has had ample "rest" this season.

Perhaps the team should celebrate its good fortune to have had their core players stay healthy all season. Maybe next year injuries will preclude the rash of 150-game players.

I will concede that this organization has generally been poor at finding back-up players, though Espinal turned out to be an exception. The likes of Panik, Drury, Fisher, McKinney, Brito, Hanson, etc. give the impression that they desperately grab everyone and anyone with no actual discernment. Tampa seems much better skilled at wading through the island of misfit toys to find those that can contribute. The Jays' brass seems content to simply be able to find a pulse.

Chuck - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#407568) #
The old Jays centre fielder actually spells his name Devon Whyte.

I think that came out quite a while ago. Ismael Valdes is another example. Turns out he's really Ismael Valdez (though a real name of Shecky Feinman would have made for a better story).

A variation on this are the impostors like Roberto Hernandez who went through life for a while as Fausto Carmona, and Juan Carlos Oveido who pretended to be Leo Nunez. Not sure what the rationale was in either case.

Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#407569) #
how much "rest" by players on those teams has come in the form of time lost to injury and not to some grand design to keep them fresh?

Most of it, I would think. (Although Kevin Cash does seem to give Lowe two games off every month!)

I went down a BB-Ref rabbit hole (the 1993 Jays had 5 guys play more than 150 games - it would have been 6 but Devon Whyte missed 9 games in April. Probably a hammy, I can't remember everything.)

And I got distracted by the pictures on every page. When did Garth Iorg have a mustache? Why is Ron Fairly (1300 games with the Dodgers) wearing an Expos cap? Someone must really hate Willie Upshaw, because that's a horrible shot of him. Will I ever see Alfredo Griffin, ever? And a great many "Who the hell is that guy?"
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#407570) #
Hernandez and Oviedo both used false documents to get visas (that conveniently made them younger than their actual ages). Dominican players always needed to get entry visas in order to leave the island, and every spring some of them would be late reporting to spring training because of "visa problems." Both Hernandez and Oviedo played in the majors under their phony names. They both ended up getting busted for identity theft.

Whereas your Victor Cruz and your Junior Felix were just shaving years and years off their real ages....
Chuck - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#407571) #
your Junior Felix were just shaving years and years off their real ages.

I remember being excited that he was so good at 21. What, he's probably really 29? Yeah, never mind.

Then there's Adrian Beltre, who was actually younger than he was going by, just so he could sign at age 15 or thereabout.

Prevaricators abound! I get the reasoning. As the Freaknomics guys always say, look for the incentives. That will drive the behaviour.

Chuck - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#407572) #
Although Kevin Cash does seem to give Lowe two games off every month!

For his career, and especially this season, Lowe has shown a large L/R OPS split. This kind of player is "easy" to rest since you can just do it against LHP and not suffer a penalty.

scottt - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#407573) #
Zunino is a catcher. He's not going to play everyday.
Arozarena is not being rested. They sit him against tough right handed pitchers.
Chuck - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#407574) #
On the subject of Lowe and the Rays' front office, I recall making snarky remarks when the team signed him to a 6/24 contract after his brief rookie season (this is a guy you lock up?). It is certainly obvious why I write snarky remarks at a baseball forum and not work in a major league front office. The first three seasons of the contract have cost the team 8M and earned them 9 WAR.
John Northey - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#407575) #
Good ol' Junior Felix - I was so excited by this 21 year old playing so well, I got a stack of his rookie cards and even minor league ones. Bill James previous said a kid doing that type of stuff at 21 is probably a HOF'er so I was excited. Then we learned he wasn't close to 21. Sigh. There goes $10.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#407576) #
"I went down a BB-Ref rabbit hole (the 1993 Jays had 5 guys play more than 150 games"

The fact that this can be done (or could be done in 1993 -- a very different era in the sport) doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea, either in the context of a specific season or over the longer term for the team and the individual player's career. Starting pitchers used to sometimes pitch 300+ innings a season. Should teams start doing that again?
bpoz - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#407577) #
I was wondering if B Lowe is kind of like D Pedroia?
John Northey - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#407578) #
In the past week (the "slump") OPS over 1000 for Gurriel, Semien, Dickerson, Espinal (1 game), Vlad in the 900's, Hernandez 800's, Bo slumping at 646, Jansen back to normal at 397, Springer nightmarish at 295, Grichuck and Dyson at 200 each, McGwire & Kirk sub 200, Lamb 0 for 7 and released. Doesn't appear the guys playing everyday are hurting. Bo a tiny bit of a slump but a 3 for 4 day would fix that quickly.

Sept/Oct line for the offense is a very healthy 279/354/523 but last week was bad at 219/294/386. To make the playoffs the offense needs to get back in gear. Namely Springer, Kirk, Jansen and hopefully Espinal plays most games at 3B now.
grjas - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#407579) #
It will be an interesting offseason for the Jays. Iíd like to see Biggio and Espinal as bench players who can sub in across the infield for the reasons raised above, while continuing with 4 solid outfielders. But that would call for a second basemen (Semien?) to be signed and either another signing or a rookie to step up at third, the latter likely a year early. And then they need a quality starter or two and better relievers. A lot on the wish list.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#407580) #
There is always resistance to new ideas in baseball. It used to be that batting average was the key measure of a hitter's value, and wins and saves were important ways of assessing the merit of a pitcher.

Wouldn't it make sense to think critically about the optimal amount of playing time for position players, instead of assuming that having a core of regulars gut it out for 160 or so games is always the best approach? I'm guessing that teams like the Rays are already doing this.
Nigel - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#407581) #
Iím in the camp that we should be celebrating the fact that the key players other than Springer have all been able to get on the field as much as they have. Itís a major part of why I consider this season to be the one in which the team has had more good fortune than any in its history. Frankly, the health of the key starters and core position players for the team, in this day and age, has been remarkable.
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#407582) #
Doesn't appear the guys playing everyday are hurting.

These are close to being eight hour days - baseball players, they're just like you and me! - no matter what happens. When a player gets a "day off", he still has to go to work. He still takes infield, he still takes BP, he still shags balls in the outfield, he still works out, he still looks at video. All that stuff.
Chuck - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#407583) #
I'm guessing that teams like the Rays are already doing this.

The Rays are obviously a very well run organization, but I'd suggest that the nature of their roster doesn't allow us to discern where they stand on the playing time issue. They have so many platoon-type players that days off will just come naturally. An interesting test on this front will be to watch how Wander Franco gets used next season.

Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#407584) #
Wouldn't it make sense to think critically about the optimal amount of playing time for position players

Sure, if they were all the same. But what a manager really needs to know is what works best for the particular individuals on his team. Some players will wear down if they have to play every day. But some players don't. Marcus Semien a) prefers playing every single day, b) has his best career numbers in September.

That's just the way it is. Joe Morgan was one of the greatest players we will ever see - and he wore down every September and stopped hitting. Steve Garvey was merely a good player who never missed a game - and every September Garvey turned into the hottest hitter in the league. The manager needs to know which of his guys are like Morgan and which of his guys are like Garvey.
pooks137 - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#407585) #
Like Magpie's comment that "days off" aren't really days of full rest for the players, I'm somewhat skeptical on scheduled days off for hitters who are otherwise healthy, unless there's another compelling reason - platoon match-up, slumps, nagging injuries, defensive considerations.

I think the question about how to optimally handle playable day-to-day injuries is a more important consideration than days off.

IL stints deny you from a player's services for 10 days but returns you a free roster spot. Sitting day-to-day injuries hampers your in-game flexibility for using bench options and tempts a manager to use an injured player off the bench at risk of worsening injury.

Playing players with day-to-day injuries saves some short-term production at the risk of prolonging recoveries, aggravating injuries and reduced performance.
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#407586) #
I started wondering - how old are those 24 guys who are going to play 150 games this season?

Their average age - exactly 28. Which is perfectly average! Vlad is the youngest, of course. The oldest is Justin Turner of the Dodgers, who turns 37 in a couple of months. He's not having a good second half, by the way (though it may simply be a matter of bad luck on the Balls In Play.)
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#407587) #
I also started wondering what the hell's going on in St.Louis, now that the Cardinals have overtaken the Jays as the best September 2021 team in all of baseball. Did Jon Lester and J.A.Happ make that much of a difference?

No, although Lester's been their best starter in September, him and ancient Adam Wainwright. It's their hitters who have suddenly caught fire. The Cardinals have scored a below average number of runs this year, just 4.37 per game. But this month, they've scored 136 runs in 24 games, which is 5.67 per game. Bader, Arenado, even old Yadi have all hit well, and two guys have just gone berserk:

Paul Goldschmidt: .353/.434/.718 with 8 HRs
Tyler O'Neill: .310/.366/.692 with 10 HRs
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#407588) #
We stick up for you, Jobu!
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#407590) #
Joakim Soria to the COVID list, which means he's done for the rest of the regular season. Kirby Snead summoned to replace him.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#407591) #
It's starting to feel as though the season is hanging by a thread. A loss today might be enough to effectively end it.
Kasi - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#407592) #
I think Ray has worn out from the season. Heís clearly down 1-2 ticks on his fastball the last 2-3 starts. Changes his outlook quite a bit. I donít expect him to go too deep this game.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#407593) #
It's great that Grichuk managed to drive in Espinal, but why try to extend the double into a triple with two outs? Seems like a dubious baserunning decision.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#407594) #
Iím not sure Iíve ever seen that happen (Springer not attempting to score from third on the first-and-third none out ground ball DP).
christaylor - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#407595) #
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#407596) #
I've had that clip ready. And Jobu knows I've had it ready.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#407597) #
Win today and tomorrow, take two of three from the Yankees, then take the Oís out to the woodshed during the final series of the season. Got it.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#407598) #
Before the series began, with 4 possible outcomes:

A) Red Sox sweep.
B) Red Sox win 2 of 3.
C) Yankees win 2 of 3.
D) Yankees sweep.

I had thought C) was the outcome to avoid. Now, not sure.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#407599) #
If the Jays win today and tomorrow, there are two potential outcomes entering the Jays-Yankees series:

1. Yankees win on Sunday. This would leave the Jays 2 games behind NY and one game behind Boston with six to play.

2. Red Sox win on Sunday. This would leave the Jays one game behind NY and two games behind Boston with six to play.

Which outcome is preferable? In part, the answer depends on how aggressively Tampa tries to beat the Yankees in the final series of the season. Assuming Tampa actually makes a complete effort to win those games, then I think the Jays should hope for a Boston win tomorrow. At that point, the Jays would be pretty much placing all their chips on the goal of catching the Yankees in the final six games. If the Jays won 2 of 3 against them in the upcoming series, they would be tied heading into the final series of the season -- with New York playing Tampa and the Jays playing Baltimore.

Gotta beat Minnesota first, though.
Magpie - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#407600) #
The three batter rule was huge at Fenway. With two men on and two out, Alex Cora brought in a LH to pitch to Rizzo and get the third out. But he hits Rizzo with a pitch and has to pitch to Stanton.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 25 2021 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#407601) #
One other point. I know the Yankees are playing reasonably well right now. And they have Cole pitching against the Jays (on Wednesday, I think). But the Jays generally play well at home and they could potentially have Gurriel back by then, Espinal is back at third base, Jansen and Valera are back, and Springer seems to be playing better. I think the Jays would have a good chance of winning at least two of those games.

If the Jays and Yankees both win tomorrow, and the Jays then win two of three in the Jays-Yankees series, that would leave the Jays one game behind New York entering the final series of the season, with the Yankees having to play three against Tampa and the Jays having to play three against Baltimore. That is not ideal, but it would still give the Jays a decent shot at finishing the regular season at least tied with the Yankees.
electric carrot - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 06:24 AM EDT (#407602) #
Despite some frustrating results I have some faith in this team over the next 7 games. I think they win today and win the series against the Yanks and their final series against the Os and at least tie for a wildcard spot.
dalimon5 - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#407603) #
Why is everyone so sure that the Red Sox are finishing in a WC spot? They go against Baltimore and Washington, both teams with tons of offense. I see the Red Sox going into a tail spin.

Horrible decision by Cora to bring in the lefty.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#407604) #
Interesting - I hadn't noticed that Washington has hit pretty well recently. On the other hand, they've pitched very poorly. And Baltimore doesn't seem to have hit or pitched well, so I'm not confident those teams will be able to do much against Boston. It's easy to envision Boston winning at least four of those six games.

However, the Jays largely (not completely) control their fate at this point. Of course, they will have to play very well, starting with a win against Minnesota and Griffin Jax (ERA 6.75) today.
Nigel - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#407605) #
Thereís a significant risk that the Rays approach the last series of the year strategically and mail it in (for a variety of reasons).
85bluejay - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#407606) #
The Rays responsibility is to themselves only, so I would assume lots of rest, limits on pitch counts and they may prefer having teams play an extra game on Monday and the Yankees/Red Sox will be better for attendance at Rays home games.
85bluejay - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#407607) #
It would be Hilarious if the Orioles ended the Jays playoff hopes.
John Northey - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#407608) #
Of course, for the Rays players who will play it is audition time to make the post-season roster and to make the 2022 team so the players might be strongly into those games who aren't the regulars. Plus the Rays already said they want to face the Jays as there is a real rivalry emerging between the players on both teams which should grow if the team does start playing a lot in Montreal soon (as the team themselves has admitted will happen - bizarre time to do that right before the playoffs).
Thomas - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#407609) #
At this point I think Tampa is far more worried about getting players and pitchers strategic rest, while keeping them sharp, and preparing for the playoffs than being worried about tryouts for 2022. I believe Baz is pitching today because they're considering adding him to the playoff roster, not because they want to evaluate him for 2022 (that's just a side bonus). Plus, they only have two additional players on the roster due to September, so I'm not sure what they are evaluating from the other 26 that they wouldn't have seen during the season.

If I have Fangraphs numbers correct, the Jays playoff odds gained 4% as a result of yesterday's win. It didn't significantly move the needle due to the Yankees winning.

I still think I prefer the Yankees lose tonight. I do think Tampa will give them some tough games on the weekend and I don't think teams that are out of it are any better competition for Boston.
scottt - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#407610) #
Today's another must win game as starting the next series 2 game out of wild card or 3 games behind the Yankees would require a sweep of Boone's Goons.

Regardless, they probably need at least 2 games in the next series which would bring them to 90 wins.

The bottom line is 91 or 92 wins needed just to force a tie-breaker and 93 wins to get in without it.

I'm  particularly weary of the umps in the Yankees-Jays series.

grjas - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#407611) #
Regardless of the outcome in NYYís game, the yankee series in Rogers Centre will be exciting playoff level baseball which is great experience for the younger players regardless of outcome. A season of around 90 wins would have been a happy prediction for most fans at the beginning of the season, but it would have been a bit of surprise though that 4 teams in the ALE would be this strong given limited expectations for the Bosox. The unbalanced schedule does make things tougher for all 4 of them.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#407612) #
For me, the most plausible path to the postseason is (1) the Jays win today and Yankees lose, (2) the Jays win two of three against the Yankees, (3) the Jays win two of three against Baltimore, and (4) the Yankees lose two of three against Tampa.

That path doesn't require any sweeps, just good, consistent baseball (with a helping hand from the Red Sox today).
85bluejay - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#407613) #
I think it would be great fun if the Jays/Yankees/Red Sox finished with the same record.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#407614) #
Is Springer DHing because of that stumble he had past first base in the ninth inning last night? And was that an aggravation of his injury, or a non-issue?
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#407615) #
I think he's DHing because it's a day game after a night game.
Chuck - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#407616) #
With 22 HR in 74 innings, Griffin Jax is an honorary Minnesota Gopher.
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#407617) #
Manoah has now hit 15 batters in 105 IP. (He's now tied for the league lead with Jose Berrios.)

For comparison's sake - Aaron Loup has hit 40 batters in 406 IP. Large Alek makes him look like a trifler.
Chuck - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#407618) #
Austin Adams has been other worldly plunking guys, setting a modern day record of 24 in just 51 innings. But Manoah has been no slouch himself with 15 now in 105 innings.
Chuck - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#407619) #
Well that was eerie...
Chuck - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#407620) #
Large Alek makes him look like a trifler.

Manoah might be impressed to know that against LHB, Loup has hit 27 in 175 innings.

Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#407621) #
Adams is just bizarre. He hit batters at a Loupish (Loupy?) rate in the minors (one every ten innings) and in 42 MLB innings before this season he'd hit two batters.

The last man to hit more batters in a season than Adams was Charles Bender of the A's, who hit 25 of them. In 1903. In 270 innings.
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#407622) #
Oh, wait. Missed Jack Warhop hitting 26 batters for the 1909 Highlanders in 243 IP.
John Northey - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#407623) #
So 6 games left. 87 wins. All but one time the Jays have made the playoffs with 90+ wins (the infamous 1987 season). 89 got them there 2 times (89/16) and 2 times they didn't (83/84). I suspect it'll take 91 to make it but a week from now we'll know for sure.
John Northey - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#407624) #
Checking Mr. Warhop's 1909 season - twice 3 guys hit, 6 times 2 hit, 9 times 1 guy hit, 19 times 0 hit. Weird - game logs add up to 27, but listed with 26.

Manoah - 4 times 2 hit, 7 times 1 hit, 8 times 0 hit. (includes todays 2 HBP)

I think there is a good chance Manoah breaks that record at some point. Also a good chance he gets ejected more than any previous Jays pitcher due to it.
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#407626) #
I think there is a good chance Manoah breaks that record at some point. Also a good chance he gets ejected more than any previous Jays pitcher due to it.

Dave Stieb led the league five times and his 129 career HBP ranks 40th all-time - almost everyone ahead of him either worked in the 19th century, pitched far more innings or both (the exceptions? Pedro Martinez and Chan Ho Park.) I don't remember Stieb ever getting ejected for hitting a batter. (Maybe for arguing with an umpire...)
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#407627) #
Stieb was ejected once in his career - it was for arguing over a HBP call. He and Jimy Williams insisted that it should have been a foul ball. They continued the argument when the inning was over and both got tossed.

The Jays player ejected most often was - no, not Jose - George Bell, who got tossed ten times. Bautista was only ejected eight times.
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#407628) #
I've discovered that Retrosheet actually has a database of player ejections, some 18,000 of them, which can be imported into a speadsheet. This I have done, of course. After sorting by team and by player I can announce that prior to this year only one Jays pitcher had ever been ejected twice for throwing at hitters. That was Todd Stottlemyre, naturally. Pitchers who were ejected once were Aaron Sanchez, Aquilino Lopez, Balor Moore, Bob File, CHris Mihalak, Henderson Alvarez, Jim Acker, John Frascatore, Josh Towers, Paul Spoljaric, Roberto Osuna, Roy Halladay, Sean Douglass, Tom Buskey.

Tony Fernandez was ejected twice during his Blue Jays days - once for arguing balls and strikes (he threw his bat) and once for "insulting the umpire." He called Larry Barnett "fatso."

This looks like it's going to be hours of fun....
mathesond - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#407629) #
Wait, retrosheet actually lists the reason for Fernandez' ejection as calling the umpire Fatso?
SK in NJ - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#407630) #
Disappointing series. Should have taken 3/4. Either way, they have to win the series against the Yankees and sweep the Orioles. That gets them to 92 wins and gives them a good chance at nabbing a WC spot. Anything short of 5-1 and it's likely not happening this year.
Thomas - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#407631) #
There is a very odd end to John Frascatore's Wikipedia page.
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#407632) #
retrosheet actually lists the reason for Fernandez' ejection as calling the umpire Fatso?

Yup.
Chuck - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#407633) #
John Frascatore's Wikipedia page

Where to start? Why in the hell does such a wiki page exist? Why are you even reading it? Is Rock n Roll McDonalds a variant of Rickrolling that I was (mercifully) unaware of? Can we trust the veracity of a wiki entry where the word temper is misspelled (unless he was literally throwing a pillow during his tantrums)?

Time to return to the Yankees-Red Sox game where Joe West is proving yet again that maybe a 68-year old man does not have the visual acuity to call balls and strikes. The broadcasters are making no mention of the numerous missed calls but the producers are engaging in a form of passive aggressiveness that I fully endorse, showing a 3D presentation of most every missed call to at least give a nod to the viewers: "yeah, we are noticing these mistakes".

85bluejay - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#407634) #
Very disappointing series in Minnesota and if the Yankees win tonight it puts the Jays behind the eight ball as I can see the Red Sox running the table and a series win against the Yankees still leaves the Yankees with a game lead.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#407635) #
Pitching duel in Fenway. Rodriguez is stepping up for the Red Sox (as is Montgomery for New York).
Magpie - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#407636) #
Does it even matter? Clearly the Cardinals are never, ever going to lose again.
jerjapan - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#407637) #
There is a very odd end to John Frascatore's Wikipedia page.
Thomas, that was awesome. 

I like the song myself, but it is easy to imagine it highly annoying.  Wesley Willis is one unique dude. 
greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#407638) #
Incredible series of events in Boston. The Yankees (LeMahieu and then Gallo) dropped two consecutive popups (one foul, one fair) by Schwarber in the *same AB*, allowing the Red Sox to take the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh.
Chuck - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#407639) #
Incredible series of events in Boston.

And Wade gets thrown out trying to steal second base without even sliding! Lots of little league antics by the Yankees in a very short period of time.

greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#407640) #
Now Dalbec drops a Judge popup in a key situation in the top of the eighth. And then Ottavino strikes out Judge, but the catcher fails to hold on to the foul tip ó or maybe he doesnít, but there is no challenge. And then Judge takes advantage of his two extra lives and drives in two.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#407641) #
Wild game indeed! Judge hits a 2 run double after a third strike foul tip looked like it was held long enough by the Sox catcher, then dropped. Stanton follow with a home run. I was hoping the Red Sox would win ( Yuck) so the Yankees would only be a game ahead of us but it's not looking good.

Also, Joe West made another bad call on a third strike to a Yankee batter the inning before. It was at least several inches outside.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#407642) #
Sorry, Greenfrog, for repeating what you said.
ayjackson - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#407643) #
Love that Mount Gay Black Barrel, as well as Mount Gay XO, but I believe neither are available any more. Crying shame. I have an ounce of XO left on my rum shelf and I never want to drink it.

(good chance it doesn't survive the week though)
greenfrog - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#407644) #
Not a problem ó Iíve done that many times myself.

No matter how this plays out, the Jays are almost certainly going to have to win at least two games against the Yankees. I hope Gurriel is available. The Jays are going to need every weapon in their arsenal to pull this out.
Eephus - Sunday, September 26 2021 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#407645) #
Does it even matter? Clearly the Cardinals are never, ever going to lose again.

I sure as hell hope they lose one certain game coming in early October.
bpoz - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#407646) #
Just checking the standings for the both NL & AL.

Oakland won 75 games in 2017. 97 in both 2018 & 19. 1st place, .600 ball in 2020. 85-71 so far in 2021, so just disappointing. I expect them to continue to try to compete next year.

Cleveland has definitely fallen this year. A short rebuild has sort of started. They have some good young SPs. Bieber got injured played only 15 games. deGrom NYM also only 15 games played.

Minnesota is a huge disappointment.

All the other preseason AL contenders, not Minnesota, did well with Seattle doing unexpectedly well.

Cannot really figure out the NL. SF was unexpectedly great. NYM, Washington very bad. SD very disappointing.
85bluejay - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#407647) #
Jays in a tough spot - even if the Jays win 2 of 3 from the Yankees, New York will still have a one game lead and the Red Sox have 6 easy games ahead.
christaylor - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#407648) #
I'm curious do you think the Jays going 4-2 over the next 6 is enough to make the playoffs?
Glevin - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#407649) #
Boston definitely didn't do the Jays any favours but the Jays still are in control of their own destiny. Red Sox have 6 games against easy teams but they're on the road and in baseball, even bad teams win sometimes. Jays just need to concentrate on their own games and just win.
Chuck - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#407650) #
Minnesota is a huge disappointment.

100 wins two years ago. .600 winning percentage last year, albeit against a bunch of weak sisters in the AL central. And totally into the crapper this season.

Key contributors Berrios and Cruz are gone. Sano and Kepler appear to be regressing in what should be their peak years. The highly talented Buxton cannot stay in the lineup.

I'm not sure how optimistic the locals are. None of Rooker, Cave and Gordon inspire a tremendous amount of confidence. And with Donaldson still owed 50M, I wonder if he might not be shopped this off-season. Is he much more than a 2-3 WAR player at this point?

greenfrog - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#407651) #
Chris, it could be, especially if two of those wins come against New York. I think the Jays should aim to win the next series ó that would be a good outcome. Then go from there.
92-93 - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#407652) #
4-2 is unlikely to get the Jays into the playoffs unless it comes with a sweep of New York, mostly because TB has nothing to play for in that final series vs. the Yankees.

Donaldson at 2/51.5 should be pretty close to negative trade value at this point. Imagine the lineup if the Jays could get him and Buxton in the offseason.
bpoz - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#407654) #
Maybe TB will want to win 100 games this year.
greenfrog - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#407655) #
Agreed that 5-1 would provide a much better chance of securing a postseason spot.

The first order of business is to win game 1 against the Yankees with Ryu starting. Ryu is going to have to bring his A game and the bullpen is going to have to be solid (Ryu being unlikely to pitch more than 4-6 innings). The offense is going to have to strike the right balance between aggressiveness and patience.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#407657) #
If the Jays go 5-1, then the Yankees would have to go 3-3 and/or the Red Sox would have to go 4-2 for the Jays to force a tiebreaker. I think the Yankees going 3-3 is possible depending on how seriously the Rays take the final series, but the Red Sox have the definition of a cupcake schedule in the final week. I could easily see them going 5-1 or 6-0, but as mentioned, baseball is funny some times, and we have to hope it's hysterical when the Sox face the Nats and O's.

Either way, the Jays have to take care of their own business. They failed in Minnesota. They can't fail this week.
92-93 - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#407658) #
On the bright side, the Rays apparently have McClanahan, Baz, and Rasmussen lined up for the Yankees, and with the ALDS starting on Thursday they have no reason to hold back with any of their pitching, and their best relievers will get work to tune up for the playoffs. The Rays don't really have a roster with which they can let up.

If the Jays do take 2 out of 3 in tight games that work the Yankees bullpen hard, they'll be in solid shape heading into the final series.
92-93 - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#407659) #
Boston is scheduled to face Bruce Zimmermann, Zac Lowther, Alexander Wells, Erick Fedde, Josh Rogers, and Josiah Gray. It would be stunning to see them miss the playoffs.
uglyone - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#407660) #
So little left to discuss.

Just win.
grjas - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#407662) #
On the positive side, all 3 teams have been streaky over the last two months. The Yankees have lost series to the Orioles, Mets, Indians and Angels in the 30 days, while the Sox have been steadier but still lost series to the Tigers and White Sox.

Plus a resurgent Springer and Espinal adds depth to our lineup especially if Gurriel can DH. So it's still a "you never know" moment. And it sure beats being fans of other recent big spenders like the Padres and Mets.
greenfrog - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#407663) #
Just a guess, but I doubt Gurriel will be able to play much, if at all, this series. It sounds like a pretty good cut right where he holds the bat.
Mike Green - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#407664) #
There are interesting playing time decisions in the outfield, at catcher and at DH over the next 6 games, with the health of Springer and Gurriel obviously a key factor.  The ideal situation for me is to have an OF of Gurriel, Springer and Teoscar, with Jansen catching and Kirk DHing (cold streak notwithstanding).  The club will surely have a different setup on Friday night and Saturday afternoon for the catchers. 

It's interesting because Ray and Manoah have pitched a lot better with Kirk than with any other catcher.  The main thing is many fewer home runs.  Kirk's short stature conceivably could be an advantage allowing him to set a better target and frame at the bottom of the zone better than a taller catcher.  With Ray scheduled to pitch on Thursday and Manoah on Friday (or Saturday). 

I know that Kirk has been cold the last little while, but a lot of that is bad luck.  His xwOBAs for the season against different pitches- fastball .371, breaking .379, .368.  I still think that he's one of the best hitters on the club. 
John Northey - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#407665) #
Funny thought... if Sunday's game is meaningless would you let Vlad pitch (as the starter) just for kicks? Just so he could say he pitched too? If Jays are out of the playoff sure, why not for an inning to start the game and make MVP voters go 'huh?' If in the playoffs then no way. But only if he wants to.

I just am hoping the final weekend matters. Sweep the Yankees and Fri-Sun matter, get swept and it is over. 2-1 or 1-2 and the weekend matters but to a different degree (Friday for sure, but Sat/Sun are crapshoots in that situation). Next year I figure the Jays will be in better shape as the kids will be a year older and hopefully we'll have Manoah healthy all year and getting 30+ starts, hopefully a solid 2B/3B situation will emerge, Springer will be healthier, Berrios gets 30 starts instead of a dozen. Romano will be day one closer, with Cimber/Mayza/Richards behind him. Merryweather, Pearson, Hatch, and the assorted free agents (Ray, Semien, Matz, Dickerson, etc.) we will have to wait and see on. Negatives will be Ryu (will he be effective or not?), which Stripling do we get - the one who was lights out pre-injury or the usual one who drives pitching coaches and managers nuts? What to do with the 3 CA, 4 starting OF situation?

Meh. For now lets just enjoy the contending Blue Jays. A day of rest before the final 6 days.
Glevin - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#407666) #
" The ideal situation for me is to have an OF of Gurriel, Springer and Teoscar, with Jansen catching and Kirk DHing (cold streak notwithstanding)."

They need to just to not play McGuire but I am sure Charlie will. Since beginning of 2020:
Jansen-92 WRC+. .216 BABIP
Kirk-115 WRC+. .260 BABIP
McGuire-57 WRC+,.282 BABIP.

McGuire's glove isn't good to enough to make up for that.
Mike Green - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#407667) #
Robbie Ray's birthday is October 1, the day after his scheduled start against the Yankees.  I had a quick look at the October 1 birthday team, and it's a good one. 

The backup first baseman on the October 1 birthday club is Bob Boyd, Oil Can's uncle.  His story is a fascinating one.  He was born in 1919 and fought in World War 2 during his early 20s, and then was in the Negro Leagues where he was very good until age 30. He was signed by the White Sox and was stuck there behind "established major leaguers".  He moved over to the Orioles where he was finally given a real shot in his late 30s and he made the most of it.  His best seasons were his age 37 and age 38 seasons where he produced 6.2 WAR total.  I wondered how many first baseman had ever done that, so I ran a Play Index using boundaries of 5.5 and 7 WAR total during those two age seasons combined.  There were five players within the boundary- Fred McGriff (5.8 WAR), Darrell Evans (5.5 WAR), Roger Connor (6.4 WAR), and Pete Rose (6.5 WAR).  You never know what would have happened had it not been for the War and the colour bar in MLB, but if you look at his skills as they appeared from where he was at the end of his career, it's not hard to imagine what he might have been.  He ran very well and hit line drives like clockwork.  He  was a poor defensive outfielder.  It's funny that his age 37 and 38 line most resembles that of Pete Rose...
Mike Green - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#407668) #
And if you like the minutiae of a pennant race, Dan Szymborski has ZiPS' take on all the remaining games.  Spoiler: the game with the highest chance of victory is the Jays and Alek Manoah over the Orioles and Chris Ellis on Friday.  The Jays have a 74.5% chance of winning that one.  And from a pure chaos perspective, who can beat the 2.7% chance of a four way tie for the Wild Card spots?

Here are the rules in the event of a four way tie. FWIW,  in that event, the Blue Jays would likely be either Team A or Team B and host the first game of the tie-breaker.  Running up the victories against the Yankees would be a help unless the Yankees lost at least 5 of the last 6 games and the other four teams ended up in a tie (for instance Yankees 1-5, Red Sox 3-3, Jays 4-2, Mariners 5-1, A's 6-0)
Mike Green - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#407669) #
Ack.  The link for the ZiPS pennant race article is here.
Mike Green - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#407670) #
 Running up the victories against the Yankees would be a help unless the Yankees lost at least 5 of the last 6 games and the other four teams ended up in a tie (for instance Yankees 1-5, Red Sox 3-3, Jays 4-2, Mariners 5-1, A's 6-0)

With the Mariners facing the A's, the only way this can in fact happen is the Yankees go 0-6, the Red Sox go 2-4, the Jays 3-3, the Mariners 4-2 and the A's 5-1.  In other words, if there is a four-way tie, the Jays will almost surely be the home team for the first play-in game. 
electric carrot - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#407671) #
My favorite outcome would be the Jays go 6-0, Yanks and Sox go 0-6 and Seattle goes 4-2.
John Northey - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#407672) #
If the Yankees go 0-6 I'll be very happy as they'd end up 89-73, Jays 90 wins by the end of the 3 game set vs the Yankees. This is the time of year we all go nuts trying to figure out what it will take for a win. Always fun.

So what is the rotation going forward? Ryu tomorrow, Berrios Wednesday, Ray Thursday according to MLB.com, I'm guessing Friday is Manaoh, Saturday Matz, Sunday depends on situation - if it matters Ryu, if not then whoever wants to go. Wildcard game - Berrios or Ray depending who feels best that day, ALDS other of those 2, then Ryu, then Manoah, then it depends.
Michael - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#407673) #
I think if the Jays go 4-2 they are about 50% likely to be in a play-in game and 50% likely to miss the playoffs. If the Jays go 5-1 they are about 50% likely to be in a play-in game and 50% likely to make the playoffs. If they go 6-0 they are about 98% likely to be in the playoffs and 2% likely to be in a play-in game. If they go 3-3 they are about 98% likely out and 2% likely in a play-in game.

The good news is that the ZIPs summary article has the 6 most important games from a playoff drive perspective across all the teams as the 6 games that the Jays play and also the ZIPs list has that Jays as the favorites in all 6 games (sometimes only slightly).

If you take the probabilities for each game for each team in the ZIPs as independent events (not quite right because health of players and state of bullpen and the like means there is correlation between the events) then the probabilities for the Jays from most likely to least likely record is:

32.12% chance: 4-2
26.97% chance: 3-3
20.02% chance: 5-1
12.48% chance: 2-4
5.11% chance: 6-0
3.01% chance: 1-5
0.29% chance: 0-6

If I'm right in my estimates of 6-0, 5-1, 4-2, and 3-3 that would make a combined chance of about 15% on straight into the playoffs and 26% chance of a play-in game. ZIPs is more positive from that as it gives us 16.6% chance of WC1 and 24.7% WC2 (but doesn't break out how many of each of those are only through playing play-in games).
Thomas - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#407674) #
unny thought... if Sunday's game is meaningless would you let Vlad pitch (as the starter) just for kicks? Just so he could say he pitched too? If Jays are out of the playoff sure, why not for an inning to start the game and make MVP voters go 'huh?' If in the playoffs then no way. But only if he wants to. No. Simply no. 100% no. Absolutely not. Why not? Because of the risk of injury (however small it may be)!!! I think those figures with respect to the odds for what happens if the Jays finish 4-2 are heavily impacted by whether the Jays go 2-1 in each series or 1-2 vs. the Yankees and 3-0 vs. the Orioles. If it's the latter, they aren't making the playoffs.
Thomas - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#407675) #
Michael Feliz has been DFA'd by the Athletics. He's pitched in the majors for four different teams this year, all extremely briefly. You may remember Feliz was one of the four players traded for Gerrit Cole, in another Pittsburgh deal they would come to regret.

The best piece they received was Joe Musgrove, who had a solid three years for the Pirates before being traded to the Padres, for whom he has put up a 3.22 ERA in 30 starts. That one probably wound out being San Diego's best trade of the offseason.

Interestingly, for whatever reason, Musgrove never comes to mind when we think about players traded away under AA's go for broke period, but having his 3.22 ERA in 30 starts in the rotation this year would have been very nice.

Happ never pitched a playoff game for the Jays as a result of that trade. He was a good solid part of our rotation during those seasons, but his playoff appearances came after he was traded away and then subsequently signed back as a free agent.
Thomas - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#407676) #
Hahahaha....the paragraph that I accidentally deleted from that post was the paragraph that explained that the Astros had acquired Musgrove from the Jays. The Jays drafted Joe Musgrove in the supplemental first round and subsequently traded him to the Astros in the JA Happ deal.
Mike Green - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#407677) #
Thomas, I don't know.  The Red Sox are certainly capable of going 3-3 (or worse) in their remaining 6 games with individual game victory probabilities of .625, .684, .686, .527, .612 and .584.  The pitching matchups are obviously very good for them, but they are on the road...
Kasi - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#407678) #
Kinda annoyed Jays put themselves in this situation with a bad week. Even just one more win at 4-3 would make their chances much better today. But now theyíre home and have a decently favourable schedule. Hopefully Gurriel comes back and Vlad heats up again. If he does what we did against the Twins weíre missing the playoffs.
greenfrog - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#407679) #
I hear you, Kasi. But keep in mind that Boston and New York fans feel pretty much the same way. Both teams could have wrapped up a postseason spot by now, had they not gone into prolonged swoons with lots of blown games.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#407680) #
Essential to sign Vladdy to a long-term contract before he signs as a free agent in 2026 with the Montrťal Expos.
John Northey - Monday, September 27 2021 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#407683) #
I am hoping the Jays are looking at one of those 10 year+ deals for Vlad and Bo.  Might cost $300+ mil for Vlad, $200+ for Bo but the prices won't get lower if you wait unless a disaster strikes them.  Of course, I do fear those long term deals as the risk is high of something going horribly wrong, or of MLB finances changing poorly (very unlikely but could happen).  I could see putting an escalator clause that pushes Vlad's pay up if he is top 3 MVP - next years pay goes up to average of top 10 if that is higher than his current pay or something.  An ideal deal would also have a disaster clause which drops his pay if he is out for a full season (drops by 50% for each season missed after the first one or something, with the escalator clause being there if he suddenly comes back ala Winfield with the Jays).  Then you could push it out further and he'd be both betting on himself (via the escalator clause) and having a security blanket if he breaks a leg or something while the team has protection if he drops off or needs to be released (the disaster clause).  It would be a creative way to get him on the dotted line at least.  And if Bo signs too then you'd have your 2 young stars locked in until the 2030's.

It'd suck to have Vlad go the way of his dad, leaving Canada to play elsewhere once a free agent, then going into the HOF as being from that team instead of our team.
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 28 2021 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#407687) #
While I'd like the Jays to sign Vladdy to an extension, if the Choice is between signing Vladdy to a contract that extends into his late thirties or losing him to free agency, then I'd choose the latter option - I simply don't think that Vladdy will age well.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 28 2021 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#407690) #
I think Shapiro is a great executive. Glad the Jays have him.

Not all his (Atkins) trades will be winners. I expect that. I fully expect Shapiro to work very carefully with the budget parameters. His goal should be to compete every year for a playoff spot.

I really believe that he will not have many Tulo, R Martin contracts to eat. The K Morales contract was bad but not that bad. The Ryu contract will not hurt that much even if Ryu turns bad over the next 2 years. The Grichuk contract is ok I suppose even if it turns out he is a 4th OF over the next 2 seasons. Springer is the risky contract.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 28 2021 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#407701) #
The K Morales contract was bad but not that bad.

Cut to voiceover: It really was that bad.

The Jays got 0.8 WAR from a player essentially limited to DH over 2 years for the cost of $31 million (they paid $10 million to unload him in the offseason). It was a terrible contract from the day it was signed.

bpoz - Tuesday, September 28 2021 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#407708) #
I accept your opinion Thomas. Morales was about the 4th best offensive player on the 2017 Jays? Smoak was definitely better than Morales in both 2017 and 2018. In 2018 Smoak's offense was the best on the team, then you can lump Morales with Grichuk, A Diaz, Y Solarte, Teoscar and Pillar. For 2018 Smoaks 77 rbi was best on the team good but not elite.

I don't think Morales broke the budget while not being that great. The 2018 team was bad and sliding further. The current SF team is probably lucky in getting great years from declining players. Our 2018 Jays had ageing/declining players but they were unable to have a great year.

I tried not to cherry pick. Hope I did ok. If not then I am interested in knowing the reality.

Also flush the Morales 2019 salary down the toilet.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 28 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#407754) #
Even if Morales was roughly as good as those players, which I don't necessarily accept, Morales could not contribute defensively (he could only play a below-average first base) and had no speed. Morales was the definition of a station-to-station baseball player. He might have hit a few doubles and homers, but that was the sum total of his contribution to the team. As you said, even if he was the fourth best offensive player on those teams, they weren't great baseball teams.

For all people liked to rag on Pillar or Grichuk, while they weren't great offensive players, they had positive contributions on defense.

Furthermore, Morales clogged up the DH spot, meaning the Jays couldn't rotate through the spot like they did this year.

Finally, Morales was signed for three years. For such a limited player (and he wasn't even an outstanding hitter like Nelson Cruz) to sign him for three years and essentially clog your DH spot and the middle of your lineup for three years for a barely above average hitter was ridiculous.
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