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So how will our lineup do this year vs last? Lets dig into ZiPS (publicly available) projections to get an idea.

The player changes are fairly simple - 3B will be Chapman, 2B lost Semien, old 3B moves back to 2B (Biggio/Espinal), hopefully a full year of Springer, no Tellez, hopefully Kirk/Jansen will be healthy so we don't see McGuire as the regular again (he had the most playing time at catcher in 2021 despite being removed from the 40 man pre-season).

So a straight compare of 2021 real wRC+ vs 2022 expected wRC+ for each position (2021/2022)
  • C: Jansen (105/103) - Kirk (106/105) - McGuire (78/74)
  • 1B: Vlad (166/158)
  • 2B: Semien (131) vs Biggio (84/99) & Espinal (115/77)
  • 3B: Biggio (84/99) & Espinal (115/77) vs Chapman (101/116)
  • SS: Bo (122/124)
  • LF: Gurriel (107/111)
  • CF: Grichuk (85/96) & Springer (140/131)
  • RF: Hernandez (132/119)
  • DH: Assorted (90) vs assorted (who knows)
  • Backups (10+ PA): Dickerson (107), Valera (81), Panik (73), Tellez (62), Davis (42), Lamb (48), Smith (6), Adams (-11), Dyson (28) - weigh all subs (non-pitchers) hitting by PA and you get an average of 63 wRC+. The big 3 catchers I didn't include as they were all fairly equal in PA (189/205/217)
So what does that work out to? By position with 2021 actual stats vs projected 2022 starters (Biggio/Espinal I'm splitting 3-2 due to how LH vs RH plate appearances tend to go, for catcher I'm going 6-4 Jansen/Kirk but keep in mind Moreno is projected with a 100 but if he forces his way up odds are he'll be a LOT better)
  • C:   90 vs 104 Jansen/Kirk
  • 1B: 147 vs 158 Vlad
  • 2B: 118 vs 90 3-2 Biggio/Espinal split
  • 3B:  86 vs 116 Chapman
  • SS: 122 vs 124 Bo
  • LF: 116 vs 111 Gurriel
  • CF: 100 vs 131 Springer for 2022, if 50-50 Springer/Grichuk you get 114
  • RF: 107 vs 119 Hernandez
  • DH: 116 vs ??? should be a mix and match of Vlad/Springer/Bo/Hernandez/Gurriel/Kirk often giving Grichuk playing time so vs 96
So an improvement at 5 positions, drop at 2, unknown for DH but net effect will be a drop (more playing time for Grichuk or other backups)

A challenge to say for sure what will happen, especially with the Jays still looking for an improvement or two. Rumors of Ramirez for 2B (137/142), Votto for DH (140/116), and lord knows what else is out there for rumors - 99% of them are crap, but fun to imagine. It is nuts right now. You'd think no one trusts Atkins when he says things are pretty much set. Jays payroll currently projected for a record $181 mil for 2022. Like most here I expect one more hitter to be brought in, although they could be fine as is. I have 11 guys listed there for 2022, 2 more are needed. 3 man catching crew is possible, Otto Lopez and Josh Palacios are both on the 40 man and will try to make it but I doubt either will, and Leo Jimenez is on the 40 man but is far too low in the minors to get a call up. A few NRI's have shots - Mallex Smith is a speed demon but not much else, Nathan Lukes is a decent LH hitter in AAA, Gosuke Katoh is another AAAA guy (infielder) who hit well in AAA last year. Greg Bird a 1B who is destined for AAA. Jordan Groshans & Orelvis Martinez are prospects but not up unless there is an injury or they tears apart the minors to a crazy degree. The 3 catchers (Chris Bec, Kellin Deglan, Tyler Heineman) are fighting for backup to Moreno in AAA and possible callup if someone gets hurt in the majors. IMO the Jays will get a decent backup guy before opening day, but lord knows who - if he has a good bat he'll get a lot of DH time, if he is a top fielder then not much hitting time, but lots of 9th innings to give an OF or IF time off. So unless it is a big bat I don't see him affecting the offensive much.
2022 Jays lineup vs 2021 | 133 comments | Create New Account
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Ryan Day - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#411373) #
I'd like to see another proper centre fielder on the roster. Springer's not going to play 162 games in CF, and I'd really prefer not to see Grichuk in centre on anything other than an emergency basis.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#411376) #
Someone like Kiermaier would be ideal (Grichuk could then be traded). That could translate into an extra win or two for the team.
Cracka - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#411382) #
Mallex Smith, perhaps? He's also an LH bat. I think he's got a shot to make this roster with a good spring, particularly if rosters are expanded for a period of time to begin the season (not yet decided).

John Northey - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#411383) #
Right now with 2 bench slots open I figure Mallex Smith is a near lock. His speed, especially if they use the ghost runner (players want it as they hate long extra inning games, owners want it as 15+ inning games only cost them money for support staff with no benefit to them), will be very helpful indeed. So the battles this spring are for the last 2 bench slots and for who backs up Jansen (Kirk or McGuire or both).
grjas - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#411385) #
I thought they’d pick up Dickerson or Pederson who are cheap LH bats a la last trade deadline. Presumably They’re either hoping for something bigger or holding budget dollars for this years deadline.
John Northey - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#411387) #
Ryan Tepera just signed with the Angels for $14 mil over 2 years. Wow. I think of him as one of those marginal, 5th and beyond relievers in the pen - useful, but not critical. Guess the Angels see more in him that I did.

Rumors are that Cedric Mullins is available from Baltimore (starts arbitration after next year), while he'd be nice as a LH CF with speed (30-8 SB-CS last year) and hitting skills (135 OPS+) I figure Baltimore will be demanding a lot for him and it really would be dumb for them to trade him unless they ripped off someone. Not a free agent until after the 2025 season, entering his age 27 season so he is someone any sane team would want. However, this is Baltimore, so who knows?

Brad Miller got a 2 year deal from the Rangers ($10 mil) - he'd have been nice, a super-sub who bats left and has a 104 OPS+ lifetime, played 1B/RF/2B/3B/LF last year, most games in his career have been at SS, so he is a guy you can put anywhere except catcher or pitcher. For $10 mil over 2 years that is a great deal for the Rangers.

Jonathan Villar went to the Cubs for $6 mil plus incentives. Phew. Did not want him back.

Corey Dickerson signed with St Louis for $5 mil plus incentives. Ah well, he was on my 'nice to have' list.

Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are both hunting for the best deal still - the last of the premium free agents. Correa has his old team, Houston, going nuts trying to figure out how to fit him into their budget. Seems they are debating an insane one year deal to draw him back. Cubs and Tigers still in it too. The Twins are one of the few teams rumored to be after Story who refuses to move positions. The Red Sox are chasing them both, but for some reason Boston has come up short all winter it seems with James Paxton being their only significant free agent signing so far (and not that big if he gets hurt yet again).

Speaking of significant signings what is the AL East leaderboard for free agents? Deals of $10+ million
  • Jays: 3 over $10 mil - Yimi Garcia ($11), Kevin Gausman ($110), Yusei Kikuchi ($36)
  • Yankees: Anthony Rizzo $32 mil
  • Red Sox: Paxton $10 mil
  • Orioles: none - biggest is Jordan Lyles for $7 mil
  • Rays: Brooks Raley $10 mil over 2 years, biggest per year is Corey Kluber for $8 mil for this year.
For nuts you get the Rangers (Corey Seager $325, Marcus Semien $175, Jon Gray $56, Brad Miller $10). Tigers were big (Javier Baez $140, Eduardo Rodriguez $77, Andrew Chafin $13), Mets were massive (Max Scherzer $130, Starling Marte $78, Mark Canha $26.5, Eduardo Escobar $20), Dodgers were their usual (Freddie Freeman $162, Chris Taylor $60, Clayton Kershaw $17), Cubs weren't cheap (Seiya Suzuki $85, Marcus Stroman $71, Yan Gomes $13). Gives you an idea of the company the Jays were in this winter, and how the rest of the division wasn't unless someone jumps on Story or Correa.
uglyone - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#411390) #
All in all I don't think the returning players project all that much differently from last year. Probably get a similar performance and similar health overall. Projection systems think a guy like Springer will regress down a but and Kirk a bit up. Also Espinal down and Biggio up.

Imo it comes down to the new guys vs ex guys.

Semien and his 131wRC+ is the one starter gone with Rowdy/Dickerson combining for around an 85wrc+ in bench duty.

That bench production shouldn't be tough to replace, even if it's kids like Moreno stepping up.

So really it comes down to whether Chapman can replace Semien. He projects to run behind Semien by a good amount - fangrapns depth chart combined projections has him around 112wrc+ which is good but not near the impact bat Semien was.

But, he has hit like that in the past and the move to skydive may give him a boost back up there, so it's not too hard to see.

But I just don't know why we would take that gamble - especially when we have the easiest defensive slots wide open for upgrades, with all the key defensive slots filled.

One more legit good bat even with no defensive value could jump us right up to an expected elite lineup.

scottt - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#411392) #
The knock on Chavez Young is that he can't hit lefties.
He should be the Bisons CF.
Defense is supposed to be fine.

There's really nobody stopping Greg Bird to earn a platoon DH job.
Other than that,  Spencer Horwitz will be in AA.
He looked really good in the AFL. A left bat with a high OBP would work too.

greenfrog - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#411393) #
I think Gurriel Jr. is one to watch this year. He had a terrific second half last year. If he can carry some of that productivity into 2022, he could really help anchor the #5-7 part of the lineup.
scottt - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#411394) #
Tepera has pitched a lot of high leverage innings.
Nothing wrong with the velo or the repertoire.

grjas - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#411396) #
You never know which hitters will come through in a given year. Semien had an OPS+ under 100 for 7 of the preceding 8 years, whereas Chapman’s never had one under 100. Both Gurriel and Jansen finished very strong and could continue into the new year. Biggio has upside.

Overall I’m not worried about the offence. Another big bat would be good, but options are running out unless they blow through more prospects which is not ideal.
Waveburner - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#411398) #
Can Tyler Naquin handle CF? On the off chance Votto is willing to be traded, maybe he can be included in the deal as well? Shouldn't cost much of anything in terms of assets if the Jays are willing to eat all of Votto's salary. Grichuk could be part of the trade.

Not getting my hopes up as I assume Votto wants to stay in Cincinnati, but maybe his age and their recent sell off will change his mind.
Gerry - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#411400) #
Baseball starts tomorrow, 1.05pm versus the Orioles.
Lylemcr - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#411401) #
One thing is for sure. There was a lot of money spent this year... and still to be spent
John Northey - Thursday, March 17 2022 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#411403) #
Top 50 free agents (via MLBTR) left on the board are...

Correa (#1-QO), Story (#8-QO), Nick Castellanos (#10-QO), Jorge Soler (#25), Kenley Jansen (#29), Michael Conforto (#32-QO), with honorable mentions for Tyler Anderson, Johnny Cueto, Tommy Pham, and Michael Pineda. Of those only Jansen seems remotely possible right now. Conforto (LH RF) might have been tempting but with that QO I can't see the Jays chasing him. Soler doesn't fill any role here really (RH RF/DH), Castellanos same (RH RF/DH), Story and Correa are both super-expensive and won't move from SS thus making them imperfect fits plus both hit right handed.

So at this point, all free agency is likely to add is one more top notch reliever or backup players. I doubt the Jays will bother spending on Jansen at this stage but one never knows. He would make the pen super-lockdown (moving Romano to setup with Mayza, Cimber/Richards/Garcia for the 6th/7th, 7th man is Stripling for long relief and Borucki for last man due to no options left). Merryweather, Castro, and the rest sit in AAA waiting for injuries to happen) to go with a great starting rotation and killer offense. I like the idea, but is it worth $10+ mil per year for the Jays to do it?

A LH power bat for DH will need to come from a trade then, or an upgrade to 2B/LF/RF (no projection system likes our options at any of those positions it seems). Possible, but unlikely until mid-season I suspect. 1B/SS/3B/CF are set in stone, Catcher has 3 ML ready options and 1 super-prospect so that ain't changing. LF/RF/2B seem set right now, but upgrades aren't impossible. DH is wide open but we all know the Jays want Vlad & Springer & Bo to get time there, especially Springer who hates days off and is injury prone.
John Northey - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#411405) #
Love this from the Jays Facebook...

Last year was the trailer, now you guys are going to see the movie
Jonny German - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#411406) #
First lineup of 2022 is up:

2B Espinal
SS Bichette
1B Bird
C Jansen
RF Palacios
3B Groshans
CF Smith
DH Lopez
LF Lukes

P Berrios

Pretty sure this group could beat the Orioles in a regular season game.
grjas - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#411407) #
Kirk is the only redundant asset if they want to protect their farm system. Grichuk is redundant too but not much of an asset. Could they get Votto for Grichuk and Kirk to reduce the financial cost? Would Votto wave his no-trade clause to return to his home town? He seems fairly miffed at the state of the franchise. I’d be surprised if the Jays aren’t at least discussing something along these lines.

I expect the Reds would want something of value in return- other than just saving payroll- to partially appease their fans.
greenfrog - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#411408) #
Other than Gurriel Jr., Jansen is a bit of a sleeper this year I think. ZIPS projects him for 399 PA, a 103 wRC+, and 2.2 fWAR.
Cynicalguy - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#411409) #
Rob Longley tweeted out that as much as 16 of 18 Jays Spring Training games would be televised. The schedule on my cable TV box seem to confirm it.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#411410) #
Wow that has to be the best quote I've seen from a Jays player since Donaldson's media quote after he arrived at the Jays and saw the complacent attitude of his peers after another tough loss...

"It's really just about going out there. You're either getting the job done or you know...This isn't the try league, you know, this is the get it done league and um you know, eventually they're going to find people who are going to get it done."

David Price and Troy Tuloqitzki eventually came in as reinforcements and J Bau and EE saw their game elevated.
bpoz - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#411411) #
Very happy that we kept our best prospects.

Looks like we are "going for it" so we would field our best lineup. Which means McGuire has to win a job unless 3 Cs are kept.

Chapman for 2 seasons allows Groshans and O Martinez to not be rushed. This FO has not rushed any prospects IMO. They all earned their promotions. Both Groshans and O Martinez need to be added to the 40 man roster at the end of this season.
electric carrot - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#411412) #
I don't think anyone else has mentioned this but I am a fan of the Greg Bird pickup. I remember well when he was considered a very good Yankees prospect and batted well his first year up (871 OPS) with them. Then injuries seem to throw him off his game and he kind of disappeared. Not someone you can rely on but if he got back to where he was he would be an excellent left handed bat. I have my eye on him.
Lylemcr - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#411413) #
This is what is sounds like what happened for Jose Rameriz

1. The Jays brass flew to Cleveland to see what they could do to get him.
2. Cleveland said they weren't going to trade him.
3. The Jays flew home.

I was watching the MLB network and Jon Heyman confirmed it. The next guest confirmed that there is no way Cleveland is trading him right now.

Heyman also picked the top offenses.
1. LA
2. Toronto (distant 2nd)
3. Atlanta (distant 3rd)

I also saw somewhere where they picked Toronto as one of the top pitching staffs. But... shortly after, they picked NY ahead of Toronto in the division.

NY biased... Blah!
Gerry - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#411414) #
Jays win 9-5. Good pitching by Adrian Hernandez who threw 2.1 innings with three K's. He pitched in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
hypobole - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#411415) #
Brandon Eisert came into the 9th with the bases loaded and nobody out. Struck out the side. He's going to be my first dark horse follow this year.
scottt - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#411417) #
Rubber arm?
scottt - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#411418) #
I don't think anyone else has mentioned this but I am a fan of the Greg Bird pickup.

I doubt anyone else could have mentioned that.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#411419) #
Actually no am also a fan of Greg Bird.
mathesond - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#411420) #
Yes dalimon5, but did you mention that electric carrot was a fan of the pickup?
electric carrot - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#411421) #
I doubt anyone else could have mentioned that

Aha -- good one scottt. Maybe I should have said: I don't think anyone else mentioned the Greg Bird acquisition. Put me down as a fan of the idea.

And now -- go Greg! Slugging a thousand.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#411422) #
I could reference a famous Billy Madison quote here, but I’ll instead just say that I thought Dewey with his grammatical check ups and Mike with his birthday lists were the only two posters who would side track the conversation.
mathesond - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#411423) #
In the spirit of Dewey (but without any Dewar's spirits), side track, or sidetrack?
dalimon5 - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#411424) #
Face palm.
Waveburner - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#411425) #

Interesting explanation of the entire Freddie Freeman contract negotiations. What I find most intriguing is the Rays made a legit 6 year contract offer to him. Never thought I'd see the day the Rays tried to sign a big money older FA. I mean it makes plenty of sense, they have oodles of payroll room, but they are just so cheap all the time.

In theory they could pivot to offering the money to Correa. I highly doubt it but they could shift Franco to 2B and be the envy of MLB for the middle infield.

With their payroll so low and possibly the deepest farm system in baseball they have so many options available, but they will probably still choose the cheapest one.
Waveburner - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#411426) #
Kenley Jansen signed with the Braves, 1 year $16 million.

He was about it for proven high leverage guys to sign from what I can see. Trevor Rosenthal is out there but is coming off a torn hip labrum. If the Jays want another big arm it may need to come via trade.
John Northey - Friday, March 18 2022 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#411427) #
Interesting to see the Rays did get serious although their per year figures were low still at $140 over 6 and $150 over 7 for Freeman. No way they sign Correa though - that would be double what they offered Freeman at a position they already are set at for a decade+. Freeman fit their situation perfectly - that is the only way I see Tampa blowing a fortune.

Kenley Jansen signed with Atlanta for $16 mil for 1 year. Can't blame the Jays for saying 'no' to that one. Conforto is the last significant free agent I can see the Jays realistically going after now, and that is marginal due to his QO and coming off a poor year (101 OPS+, 0.8 bWAR). Still, if the Jays scouts feel he is likely to make a comeback he might be worth it. ZiPS has him at 119 wRC+ and 2.4 fWAR which would be nice, but not 'wow'. Teoscar they have at 119 and 2.0, Gurriel 111 1.8. He'd have to be in RF, Teoscar and Gurriel sharing LF/DH. Grichuk purely an injury insurance policy for Springer. Like I said, a poor fit but he does hit left which fits the Jays goals. I just don't see it happening at $20 mil per for 2-3 years and losing a draft pick. Carlos Correa and Trevor Story of course are always tempting but again, poor fits (both hit right and are shortstops, forcing a move of Bo) but have strong enough bats and defense to make it damn tempting. Should be interesting to see how it all ends up, but I think outside of a potential trade the Jays are done with significant moves.
Magpie - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#411428) #
I am a fan of the Greg Bird pickup.

Nothng to lose, certainly. I'm a fan of how he hit in... uh, 2015? He seems to have some trouble staying on the field.
John Northey - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:09 AM EDT (#411429) #
Nick Castellanos off the board now - 5 years $100 million. Seems rumors are Story will sign shortly and it might be short term involving a position change. Hmmm. Could he be trying the Semien path?

Now that would be interesting eh? The Giants, Red Sox, and 2 mystery teams are in the mix.
Waveburner - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:47 AM EDT (#411430) #
John I agree that there is probably no chance the Rays consider Correa, I was more just marveling that they could easily do it and still have one of the cheaper payrolls in MLB. Crazy how loaded that organization always seems to be. Selfishly after Friedman left I kinda hoped they wouldn't be run as smartly anymore, but it has just continued. They really should be relocated somewhere else.

With the Phillies adding Castellanos it is going to be hilarious watching that team put on gloves and take the field. Even the Jays the first couple of seasons under Shapiro/Atkins didn't have a defense that looks this awful.
Waveburner - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 02:11 AM EDT (#411431) #
WOW, talk about a surprise! Carlos Correa signs a 3 year, $105.3 million contract with the Minnesota Twins. No one saw that coming.

Has an opt out after year one and two. Good for the Twins, nice to see them land a superstar free agent.

Been pretty wild for baseball news since the lockout ended.
StephenT - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 02:53 AM EDT (#411432) #
fyi, the best printable Jays spring schedule I've found is the photo at .

To print it, in Firefox I clicked on the image to enlarge it, then right-clicked to pick Copy Image, then on Windows I started Paint, then I pasted the photo into Paint, which let me print it (not sure if there's a better way).

Basically the games in Dunedin are produced by Sportsnet, and the others are opponents broadcasts picked up by Sportsnet, with just the very first and very last games not televised.
scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#411433) #
Pillow contract with opt out.
Best case scenario for the Twins, he has a great year and opts out, he gets paid the highest rate after Trout for a position player and cost a draft pick.

Worst case scenario, he's hurt and doesn't produce, cost is the same as above and he's back the following year for another try at the same rate.

It's basically betting on himself for Correa instead of taking something like 7 years 180M.
Worse case scenario, he still makes bank for 3 years, can try another short deal at a lower rate like Semien did.

Twins pitching is questionable, but this the American Leagues Central, what Donaldson called the Try Leagues.

scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#411434) #
I imagine Castellanos and Schwarber will split time between LF and DH.
That's not terrible.
scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#411435) #
Garcia was the Marlins closer.
He gives you a right handed setup option.

Phelps is apparently healthy and should grab one of the 40 roster spot available.

Stripling will be the long relief guy.

They have some options for a second lefty, with Borucki being the default and Saucedo/Vasquez  having options.

Full years of Richards and Cimber should make a big difference.

Glevin - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#411436) #
I find it hilarious that the Yankees took on salary so the Twins could sign Correa. Most likely, it's a one year deal (and probably was always going to be one to get Boras paid) but it's really surprising no better team could match the Twins. I understand why Yankee fans would be pissed off with their small tinkering moves.
grjas - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#411437) #
I don’t see the QO for Conforto being an issue if they are desperate for a Lefthand bat. They would have surplus outfielders and could trade Gurriel or Hernandez for prospects and/or draft picks.

The question is… Conforto really worth 20mm per year for 3 years given 2021, how desperate are they for a lefty, and are the added dollars worth the difference between him and Gurriel?

You have to cheer for Bird. The guy’s medical record makes Pearson look like the picture of health. He did have a good year in 2021 in AAA, so I guess you never know.
Glevin - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#411438) #
I think Conforto is an anti-vax guy so wouldn't make sense for the Jays unless something has changed.
scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#411439) #
Conforto is not really my idea of a bench bat. It's getting late to trade contributors and expect meaningful return.
Also, part of the penalty for signing a QO is a second round pick but the other part is 500K in free agent money which they might already have spent on handshake deals.

So, I think I'll just cheer for Bird. And Chavez Young. And Spencer Horwitz.
scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#411440) #
Yankees fans are expecting a catcher, mostly Contreras since the Cubs have Yan Gomes as a backup.

I mostly see random fans complaining that the Twins should have done a full tear down.
I don't see that. They just extended Buxton. Polanco has been productive.
They already have a decent farm.  Balazovic, Duran, Strotman, Winder are all AAA startera in the top 10.
And they have SWR and Canterino starting at AA.

Not that I think it's a good idea to bring up starting prospects to work with Gary Sanchez.
Glevin - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#411442) #
Twins have good hitting but pitching is atrocious. I see Correa as likely to be traded in July for prospect package if he's doing well so think it's still good for them.
bpoz - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#411444) #
39 players on the 40 man roster.

With the season starting in 3 weeks I don't think the pitchers will be stretched out enough.
Waveburner - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#411446) #
bpoz, I see Spencer Horwitz's name on the 40 man to bring it to 39 players, but I think that must be an error. He wouldn't need to be added to the 40 until after the 2022 season, and that's only likely to happen if he absolutely crushes AAA.

So still should be 2 spots open, with David Phelps taking one of those spots when the season starts.
bpoz - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#411448) #
Phelps most likely. He has had a nice long ST to prepare. I was worried that 40 man rosters would not be stretched out enough.

I will wait 3 weeks. Maybe a minor league pitcher will be added to prevent the pitching staff from being over worked.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#411449) #
Twins have good hitting but pitching is atrocious. I see Correa as likely to be traded in July for prospect package if he's doing well so think it's still good for them.

I guess they heard you, Glevin. Per MLBTR: Twins sign Joe Smith, trying to acquire Frankie Montas.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#411450) #
Heh, Vlad hits a rocket home run off Aaron Nola in his first at bat of spring training. If he stays healthy, I predict a monster year for him.
scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#411451) #
And Guerrero takes Nola deep in his first Spring AB.
Good stuff.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#411452) #
And now Orelvis has left the building.
slitheringslider - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#411453) #
Shocked that's all it took to sign Correa. Feel like either the big money teams or Boras really botched the negotiations. Good for the twins to get him.
scottt - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#411454) #
There was a lot of shortstops available this year and Correa is still very young, so he can still try for max money next time.
That makes things interesting for Judge who is also injury prone
Correa is  27. Judge will be 30 next year.

85bluejay - Saturday, March 19 2022 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#411455) #
I don't think Boras botched the negotiations - Correa changed agents recently and if he had signed a longterm deal his previous agents would apparently have had a strong claim to a significant portion of the agents commission - Next year, Correa will only be 28, there will be no QO attached, no glut of premier shortstops and Boras will get the entire commission.
Glevin - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#411463) #
6/$140 seems like a lot for Story.
scottt - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#411464) #
Watch the news and the reader said that it's nothing for Guerrero to start the season with a homerun but the game went all south from there while the footage shown Martinez's linedrive over the left wall and him rounding the bases.
bpoz - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#411465) #
Story to Boston. Very interesting.
John Northey - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#411466) #
Sigh. I was hoping Boston and NYY would be avoiding expensive free agents all winter but if a big one had to go at least it is Story who has the most warts on his record. Forced to move to 2B but unwillingly it seems. Might also annoy Bogaerts who also wants to be a SS. IMO any internal division there is good. Plus of course the old Colorado effect. He does make the Sox better but at least as a Jays fan I can see lots of ways this could go south for Boston.
Cracka - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#411467) #
Seems like a bit of a panic move by Boston - they watched as others improved their lineups, and Story was the last chance to add a big upgrade. And now they have two shortstops, though Story will likely move to 2B for this season and Bogaerts will likely opt-out after 2022.

For his career, Story has a .972 OPS at Coors and a .752 OPS on the road -- $140M over 6 years is a big commitment for a guy who hits like Santiago Espinal for half his games.
scottt - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#411468) #
Story will play 2B. Cost a draft pick. Had an OPS of .800 in Coors.
Red Sox fans are not very impressed.

scottt - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#411470) #
Bogaerts probably taking his opt out.
Also, they're down on Jeter Downs after he had an OPS .600 in AAA.

For this year, he's certainly an upgrade over Arroyo.

Waveburner - Sunday, March 20 2022 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#411473) #
I thought the most encouraging part of today's game was Merryweather's outing. He pounded the zone with strikes and looked overpowering. If he can regain the form he showed at the beginning of last season before that freak injury it would give the Jays another dominant late inning arm.

It also got me to look closer at the bullpen. I'm assuming they will go with an 8 man bullpen for most of the season, I believe the league is probably going put the pitcher limits back in this season, so only 13 of the 26 active roster spots can be pitchers. Maybe they relax that rule for April because of the abbreviated Spring, but I doubt that lasts all season. Even if they could carry 9 relievers, it would likely be a waste with a strong rotation.

There are a lot of names right now for those 8 spots, and they might still be exploring options for another dominant arm. But assuming no one else is acquired before the season starts, the competition will be tight.

Locks: Jordan Romano, Tim Mayza, Trevor Richards, Yimi Garcia (assuming his visa issues get sorted), Adam Cimber and Ross Stripling.

That's already 6 spots spoken for. David Phelps probably deserves to be on that list as well, which would be 7 spots.

If they want a second lefty, that would be the 8th and final spot. Borucki might have a slight edge for that spot, but he's battling Saucedo, Vasquez and probably Kay for that spot. I believe Borucki is the only one out of options.

Then you have Nate Pearson, who I can't imagine the Jays want to send back to AAA. He's a potential dominant weapon, I'd like to see them use him like Yankees used Betances, a high leverage reliever who generally gets used for 2 innings instead of just one. I'd put him at least 90% likely to start in the MLB pen instead of AAA rotation. That's now 9 arms in the pen, one more than ideal.

Then you have Merryweather as a possible dominant arm. Trent Thornton is also in contention for a spot. Anthony Castro is around as well but he seems squeezed out and probably serves as injury depth.

It will be interesting how it shakes out. Knowing pitchers though, the issue will likely be made irrelevant by injuries. The depth looks pretty good right now.
dalimon5 - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 01:18 AM EDT (#411474) #
Merryweather will make the team if healthy. MLB may still expand rosters to help alleviate the shortened spring training so it's plausible all of these guys make the team.
Gerry - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#411475) #

Then you have Nate Pearson, who I can't imagine the Jays want to send back to AAA.

Atkins said that they want Pearson to start so he is headed for Buffalo. Pearson needs starter level innings due to his injuries over the last couple of years.

The Buffalo rotation will likely be Pearson, Francis, Kay, Hatch and Allgeyer with Maximo Castillo hanging around.

Gerry - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#411476) #
Tampa are testing an electronic pitch calling device. Sounds interesting!
earlweaverfan - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#411477) #
For the AAA rotation, what about Murray, Thornton, Anderson and Biagini? All have been talked about in that context. Of these, I think Murray is the keeper. If the Jays agree, sounds like you see Castillo as the one who would get bumped down to AA and the others would get let go? (There are even fewer openings in the AAA pen).
Cynicalguy - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#411478) #
Orelvis and Kirk in the lineup again today, I wonder if both are being showcased for a trade.
Mike Green - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#411479) #
The approach of sending Pearson down to Buffalo to start means presumably that they want him to get the starting experience for the long-term, but intend to call him in mid-season as a reliever (as they have done before in his career).  The likelihood of him throwing 180 innings in Buffalo and Toronto as a starter this year is very low, as he has thrown 165 innings total over the last 3 years.  A couple of other random notes below.

When comparing 2022 lineups vs. 2021, it is important to remember that the 2021 was very inefficient.  By BaseRuns, they had a 97-65 record in 2021.  That doesn't help a club in the season, but is a more realistic account of where they were.  As of today,  this is a 95 win club by my reckoning and easily the best in the American League. 

Reese McGuire over his career has hit .278/.329/.431 against RHP, with a balance of medium-range power, many line drives all over the yard and passable W/K numbers.  Against LHP, he has hit .151/.189/.256, i.e. worse than most pitchers, with a 4/29 W/K in 92 PAs.  If you use him exclusively against RHP, he's a terrific backup catcher.  If you use Jansen as your everyday catcher, McGuire as your backup (against RH pitchers only) and Kirk as an everyday DH, save for days off for Springer and Guerrero Jr., you have an ideal setup.  You can even match your McGuire games with your Springer/Guerrero DH games, so if the opposing manager comes on with a lefty to face McGuire, you can bring on Kirk to pinch-hit for him and catch.  This setup would get more at-bats for Kirk and fewer for Grichuk, which makes sense given their hitting ability. 

Several people here have expressed approval for the Greg Bird signing, and I agree with that.  The odds are against him given his injury history, but there's obvious talent there if he can stay healthy. 

John Northey - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#411480) #
My bet for the pen at the moment is...

Romano, Mayza, Richards, Garcia, Cimber, Stripling, Phelps, Borucki (Jays hate losing depth)

AAA: Merryweather closing, Castro, Saucedo, Vasquez, Kay, Andrew Vasquez, Shaun Anderson, Jeremy Beasley, Joe Biagini, José De León, Matt Gage, Graham Spraker then whoever is left that isn't in the rotation down there.
Rotation: Pearson, Francis, Hatch, Kay, Allgeyer, and Maximo Castillo (I'm betting on him being in AA) with Adrian Hernandez, Kyle Johnston (might be in the pen - he had 9 starts last year), Casey Lawrence, Fitz Stadler (could be pen or starter - his innings suggest the Jays want to stretch him out but he has mainly been in the pen so far plus super-wild so I expect AA for him).

Phew. So just going by 40 man and spring invitees you get 10 starters for AAA and 12 relievers. Basically enough to fill AAA and AA before factoring in non-invited to ML spring guys. I suspect a few will be released before April and others will ask to be let go after being assigned to AA. Nice situation to be in. I figure part of the reason for so many is the fear that 40 man guys wouldn't be allowed to be used in AAA if the lockout had continued, so now the Jays have a crazy number of guys around.
bpoz - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#411481) #
Very pleased with the Jays depth.

Jansen has to be better this year. He could be the regular catcher.

Most likely Stripling is the 6th SP. Unsure who would be the #7 & #8.
Cynicalguy - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#411482) #
I think for Pearson getting 120IP would be a be achievement this year. From what the beat writers been saying, seems like they want Pearson to make the team. Likely some 2-3IP relief stints early on and covering for any injury to starters to get to 5IP by mid season, then by late season 1 inning stints. But hardly see anyone being deployed consistently in 2-3IP stints anymore by the Jays despite a lot of talk every spring, just like cycling different ppl through DH, never seems to happen consistently.
greenfrog - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#411483) #
At this point, the Jays best option regarding a lefty bat might be to wait to see who's available around June-August. For the first half of the season, the team could deploy a starting lineup of Springer / Bichette / Vlad / Teoscar / Chapman / Kirk / Gurriel / Biggio / Jansen. Although that lineup is heavily right-handed, it should be very effective against RHP and LHP and keep the team squarely in the race to the postseason. The Jays could then target one or more left-handed bats in the summer when there is more choice available.
hypobole - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#411484) #
Saw today's lineup. Still no Springer, who I heard is on his own schedule. But no Moreno or Biggio so far. Are either injured?
Waveburner - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#411485) #
Gerry, I had not heard that about Pearson. If that is the case, then I think John N is probably right about the 8 man bullpen. Does Merryweather have an option left? If he continues to dominate during Spring I doubt the Jays want to lose him for nothing.

I think Anthony Kay is done as a starting pitcher. He will be in the AAA bullpen most likely, he has good velocity just needs to throw more strikes. I think this is his last option year so the Jays will want to try and salvage something. Plus if Pearson is in the AAA rotation then that is looking pretty full as well.

To me the AAA rotation locks would then be Pearson, Francis, Hatch and hopefully Joey Murray if he's healthy. Allgeyer also appears to be stretched out for starting duty, and I recently read the Jays are coverting Shaun Anderson back to a starting role. I assume Castillo will begin in AA.

The AAA bullpen is jam packed with arms but I think others are right and at least a couple will get released and picked up by other teams, depending on health.
92-93 - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#411486) #
Scott Mitchell tweeted the other day that Moreno and Yimi Garcia are still working through visa issues. It's always odd that guys who have American jobs and know months in advance they will be traveling experience visa issues. What is it exactly that can't get done all winter?
Cracka - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#411487) #
Moreno has not arrived at camp yet due to visa issues. I believe he's still in Venezuela where US consular services are essentially non-existent. My guess is he's waiting for his visa/travel authorization to arrive by courier/mail - and this was unavoidable as the visa process could not begin without a CBA agreement in place, given that Moreno is part of the MLBPA as he's on the 40-man roster.

Biggio is recovering from an offseason elbow injury but should play tomorrow.

krose - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#411488) #
Just watched Pearson pitch an inning. Lots of wild fastballs. Hope he can improve that control. Great curveball to get out of the third inning. Kirk threw out a base runner. He looks good behind the plate.
krose - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#411491) #
Pearson starts the 4th with 2 great fastballs and then drops an incredible curveball for strike 3. Wow! Strikes out Candellaria for the 2nd out, again with that curveball.
electric carrot - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#411492) #
"The Jays could then target one or more left-handed bats"

Worth noting: Greg Bird OPS near 2000. Could our left-handed bat be a straight-up steal from the Yanks. Sounds delicious!
krose - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#411493) #
Bird is 2 for 2 today, and just took a walk with the bases loaded for an RBI to break a 1-1 tie.
92-93 - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#411494) #
Against a lefty, no less. With the way the Jays are currently constructed, Bird probably has to play/injure himself off the roster, not on to it.
hypobole - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#411495) #
Thanks Cracka. So the team is in pretty good health so far.

greenfrog - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#411496) #
I remember Bird's first year in the majors. He was a very impressive young hitter at the time.
grjas - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#411497) #
CBS sports ranked MLB infields by projected WAR and showed LAD and Jays tied for first, despite Biggio having the worst WAR in those two teams.
Gerry - Monday, March 21 2022 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#411499) #
Some Pearson quotes from Pete Walker via Scott Mitchell....

Asked Pete Walker about Nate Pearson’s ideal role this year:

"Right now, we’re planning on stretching him out and keeping him as a starter, but that bulk role is interesting this year to kind of control his innings and be able to utilize him at the major-league level.”

Walker on objectives with Pearson:

“Get out of predictable counts where he’s just pumping heaters in 2-0, 2-1 counts. I think we’re trying to make him a little bit more unpredictable as a pitcher, utilize the zone better, get more consistency out of his delivery.”
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#411501) #
Springer and Biggio make their debuts today against the Yankees.  Reese McGuire gets the start as a DH against the lefty Jordan Montgomery. Spring training fun. 
Cracka - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#411502) #
Today is the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures with teams -- hearings will take place in April, during the season, which is very unusual and awkward. As a result, some players are agreeing to terms now - like Ross Stripling, who settled on a $3.7M deal in his final arb year. The rules are from the existing (old) agreement - and the salaries are not guaranteed until the season begins. An arbitration player released today (i.e. 16 days before season begins) gets 30 days termination pay, and after today would get 45 days termination pay (~25% of salary) if released before April 7th.

Stripling is likely safe - but guys like Barnes, Thornton, and Borucki don't have guaranteed contracts until they make the team... though all three are projected to have small salaries (~$1M) after arbitration. Stripling & Barnes have not pitched yet, and Borucki didn't pitch well in his one outing. So this is something to keep an eye on...
Jonny German - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#411503) #
Reese McGuire gets the start as a DH against the lefty Jordan Montgomery.

That’s Yankees #2 starter Jordan Montgomery.

That’s a fourth-place-looking team they’ve got there in New York.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#411504) #
The bullpen will be interesting to start the season - if limited to 8 then most is set with Romano (closer), Mayza/Cimber/Richards/Garcia all setup, & Stripling long relief all very safe bets, Phelps a near lock if healthy (always a big if with him), then a battle for the final slot with Pearson getting rave reviews again and needing regular 2-3 inning work (easiest to get in AAA, but good enough to be a solid ML part, I'd pair him with Kikuchi or Ryu and have Stripling with the other). But then you have Borucki (out of options), and assorted others (Saucedo, Castro, Biagini, Merryweather, etc.). The Jays have shown a hatred of losing depth (which would give Borucki the inside track), but also are trying to win this year (giving a strong Pearson the inside track instead). Merryweather has shown hints that he can be a good closer if needed - so he might be best in AAA until/unless Romano goes down with an injury. So many options.

For arbitration the list at Cot's is (estimated award in brackets): Chapman ($9.85), Hernandez ($9.25), Vlad ($8.75), Biggio ($1.5), Cimber ($1.25), Jansen ($1.25), Mayza ($1), Richards ($1), Borucki ($0.85). For CBT purposes the Jays payroll, if all that matches reality, would be $180,763,810 for 2022 (including an estimated 8 players at the ML minimum). The Jays highest payroll pre-2022 was $167,138,865 in 2018 (cleaning off the dead deals from the 2015/16 window). In 2020 they had a low one at $51,538,089 to start the season. Boy did they clean off the payroll quick eh?
JohnL - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#411505) #
$180,763,810: almost 26 times the original cost of the franchise.
mathesond - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#411506) #
Looks like the Jays avoid arbitration with Chapman both this year and next - $25M over 2 seasons to buy out his pre-FA years.
Magpie - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#411507) #
Before last April was over, the Blue Jays had placed ten pitchers (Hatch, Pearson, Ray, Yates, Chatwood, Borucki, Merryweather, Romano, Stipling, Ryu) on the Diabled List.

I'm not worried about having too many pitchers. The roster will sort itself.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#411509) #
Kikuchi and Pearson looked good yesterday and today.

I love beating the Yankees...
John Northey - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#411510) #
I'm amazed the Yankees have anyone left to use today. Montgomery got 1 inning in over 2 innings (got 1 out in first, 2 in 2nd - spring is funny). Krook saved the Yankees staff a bit with his 3 innings while skyrocketing his odds of making the team (3 IP 1 H 0 BB 5 SO). Stripling and Richards each gave up a run, but this is spring so not a big deal. The game was fun to watch - still going as I type this but 2 out in the 9th as the AAA/AA teams play. Grichuk getting a grand slam is kind of nice to see - maybe someone will make an offer for him and Stripling :)
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#411511) #
I don't know, Jonny.  Fangraphs projects the Yankees to be the second best team in the AL, with Cole, Montgomery and Severino making a pretty good front three in the projections.  They are projected to be 7 games better than the Rays, and I'll definitely take the under on that.  Mind you, both Baz and Patino are injured, so the Rays will have to scramble their pitching.  They've done that successfully before.
earlweaverfan - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#411512) #
As you say, it’s spring, so no biggie. Still, every one of the Jays starting hitters today has been hitting well so far this spring. I am especially pumped about how Biggio performed, and how Jansen and Kirk have been producing early. Yesterday, it was Espinal and Bird leading the way. Imagine a run-generating bottom third! A guy can dream, can’t he?
scottt - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#411513) #
Severino has thrown less than Pearson over the last 3 years.
Maybe they are upset about him getting 40M for 4 years and so little production that they let him pitch until his arm fall off, but that probably happens before July.
Nothing stopping them from acquiring starters at the deadline though.

At any rate, there was only 2 Yankees regular, Rizzo and Torres, and they both did well today.

Biggio is nursing an elbow bruise on his non-throwing arm.
Jose De Leon messed up his shoulder on 2 pitches yesterday.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 22 2022 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#411516) #
The Yankees counting heavily on Severino seems silly to me. 18 innings in the majors since 2018 is not much. Pearson with all his ills got 15 innings in last year in the majors, Montgomery is someone I suspect the Jays hitters will have a circle around for his starts (slump busting day) and has yet to throw 160 innings in the majors in one season (twice in the 150's, 3 times under 50 IP). Nestor Cortes appears to be their #4 (again, never 100 IP in the majors in one year over 4 seasons). Jameson Taillon in their 5 slot has one year where he got 190 IP, but all others are sub 150. The Yankees are really counting on a LOT of good luck with health for that rotation where Cole is the only proven inning eater. I get why Yankee fans are not happy. It would be like the Jays counting on Pearson and Stripling to be regular members of the rotation along with Manoah (as we feared it would be before Kikuchi and Gausman were signed).
bpoz - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#411522) #
I was impressed with Kyle Johnston last year (AA/AAA). Pitched well yesterday, 9th but against minor league players. His FB is 98mph. Then CH and cutter. No press about him.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#411523) #
With a left-hander starting for the Phillies today, the Jays run out as their top-of-the-lineup Biggio, Espinal, Kirk (DH), Bird, McGuire, Palacios.  In most years, by March 23, the starting lineups would  look a little more like what you would see during the season, but everything is off by over 2 weeks due to the lockout.  It's good for Bird and Biggio to get reps against LHP, but a bit of a waste for McGuire given his possible role and the RH catching talent in the big leagues and Moreno.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#411524) #
McGuire caught 8 of Berrios' 12 starts last year, and Jansen started yesterday.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#411528) #
I don't have a problem with it in spring, but with McGuire's splits, he is literally unplayable against a LHP and very, very good against a RHP.  If you're going to use him on the major league roster (and that is a question), you don't want to give him a role where he starts with a particular pitcher.  The other alternative is to try to send him down and have him play almost every day in Buffalo (or maybe New Hampshire given Moreno's rise) and hope that he develops into a hitter who can handle LHPs acceptably. 
Glevin - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#411535) #
"I don't have a problem with it in spring, but with McGuire's splits, he is literally unplayable against a LHP and very, very good against a RHP. "

That's very generous for McGuire who has been pretty lucky so far in the majors with BABIP and power. ( For example, his XWOBA was .280 last year and his actual OBA was .310 which is a significant difference. In fact, in 3/4 years, he's way outperferformed his expected OBA) ZIPS projects him for a 74 WRC+. His last year in AAA, he had a 73 WRC+. I think counting on him being anything other than a poor hitting, good D backup is setting expectations too high.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#411536) #
We don't have Statcast platoon splits for McGuire.  We do have Fangraphs platoon splits. The highlights of his career slash line of .278/.329/.431 slash line against RHP:

- a BABIP of .320 with 25% LD rate, 6.6% IFFB and 9.2 HR/FB rate, and 37% pulled, 38% centerfield and 25% opposite way
- a low 17.2% K rate

From Statcast, you can see that all of his career home runs are pulled and that his exit velocity while low is not very low.  Among his 9 career homers total (7 against RHP), there are 6 obvious ones and 3 closer to the margins. 

He hasn't been lucky with BABIP given the underlying profile, and if he has been lucky with homers, it's only to a small degree ( I don't know how many warning track shots he has hit to right-field).  With his defence, he's a very good catcher against a RHP. 

Against LHP, he's got a career .151/.189/.256 line with a high 31.2% K rate and a BABIP of .200 with a 19% LD rate and a 10.2 HR/FB rate.  You don't want him playing against major league left-handers at this stage. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#411537) #
And McGuire's line is pulled down by an atrocious 2020.  There were pretty understandable reasons why he may have been at his worst that year.  No jokes please.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#411539) #
If I made a joke, it would only be for self pleasure.
scottt - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#411540) #
Severino has hardly thrown in the minors either.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#411541) #
"And McGuire's line is pulled down by an atrocious 2020. There were pretty understandable reasons why he may have been at his worst that year. No jokes please."

That was 45 PAs where he had bad luck. He's had good luck in the 350 other ones and overall in his career by a lot. XOBA is around .280-.285 and his career actual OBA is .297. Last year, he was a 91 WRC+ against RHP with some good luck still. What is he if that normalizes? 80 WRC+ against righties? 85? With catchers, you also can't yank them as soon as a lefty appears so he'd also have to face lefties a fair bit. He's a 70-75 WRC+ guy with good D which is a decent D-first backup catcher but that's not very hard to find especially when he has no options left. Would much MUCH rather be running Kirk out there than McGuire.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#411543) #
The options come down to Grichuk vs. McGuire.  If you use the DH role with Hernandez, Gurriel Jr., Bichette, Guerrero Jr., Springer, Chapman all rotating through it, it means that Kirk can't be mostly a DH  and you end up using Grichuk a lot, and a lot against RHP.  If you use the DH role for Springer and Guerrero Jr. only as a resting spot, you can give 400 DH PAs to Kirk and some catching PAs for Jansen days off with a LHP starting for the opponent, and give McGuire the remaining Jansen days off with a RHP starting for the opponent. 

One of the things that Statcast does not take into account in xwOBA is the location of balls.  It ends up overestimating the abilities of players like Kendry Morales (who disproportionately pull the ball hard on the ground) and underestimating the abilities of players like McGuire (against RHP).  McGuire can turn on pitches and hit them hard enough to go out to right-field and can slap the ball on a line to left and center (but not that hard), all the while not striking out much.  That combination is difficult to defence and leads to players who overperform vs. xwOBA. 

I agree that Kirk needs to get 500-600 PAs, and is a significantly better player than McGuire (who is equally a significantly better player than Grichuk). 

Glevin - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#411545) #
McGuire has less than average exit velocities and is slow so he's not a good example of someone who should outperform XOBA. Jays will, I'm sure carry 3 catchers with expanded roster but once that's done, carrying a 3rd catcher is crazy IMO. You just can't cover injuries and have no pinch run/pinch hit!/defensive flexibility. I don't love Grichuk by any means but he can cover three defensive positions if needed and has a better bat than McGuire. I don't worry about it much because I think things kind of take care of themselves.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#411547) #
Kirk over McGuire is a no brainer for me. However, it will be a test of some long held baseball beliefs to choose Kirk over McGuire. LHH, good defense, C's, are back-up C/platoon partner C unicorns for old timey baseball types.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#411548) #
How many PAs for Kirk as DH, Nigel?  If he's your second catcher and he's DHing a lot, it restricts your options with both he and Jansen.  If he's not DHing a lot, it means giving him a lot of the catcher's job and Jansen is ready for a bigger role too.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#411549) #
The Dodgers just designated LH Matt Beaty (poor glove apparently) - wonder if the Jays have any interest - Disappointed the Jays have been unable to find a home for Randal Grichuk.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#411550) #
If Kirk puts up big numbers in AAA and shows improvement as a catcher, he'd be a tremendous trade asset.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#411551) #
Because of Springer's health etc., with the current roster, I actually think that the DH role is much more likely to be rotated through a variety of players for rest days etc. than to live mainly with Kirk. I could envision Kirk being the primary DH while they can carry three C's with expanded rosters and then have very few DH ABs after that. So maybe 100 DH ABs? I hope that the Jansen we saw at the end of the year is what we will see this year, but I still believe there's a good chance that Kirk is the primary C by year end.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 23 2022 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#411552) #
There are a lot of question marks. My own view is that one of Jansen and Moreno will be the primary catcher by year's end and that Kirk will get most of his PAs as a DH. We'll see.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 24 2022 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#411558) #
McGuire... No jokes please.

Indeed. No slapstick. (i.e.- Punch & Judy.)

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 24 2022 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#411560) #
I think the Jay's brass and coaching staff has a lot of respect for Danny Jansen and that he'll be the primary catcher until Mareno takes over. Kirk can really hit but I don't know how his knees will hold up carrying extra weight and with all that squatting at the catcher's position. If Moreno looks good at AAA then it's likely Kirk will be gone by the trade deadline, Then again, what do I know.
85bluejay - Friday, March 25 2022 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#411637) #
Interesting discussion about the Jays catching situation this year - that the Jays expect to be WS contenders this year, I don't see the team moving off of Jansen as their primary catcher unless his performance craters, injury or the team implodes leading to significant changes.
scottt - Friday, March 25 2022 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#411638) #
Jansen was worth 1.3 bWAR last year.  Moreno could be a 5+ WAR catcher.
I expect them to work Moreno in slowly. Gary Carter played in the outfield when he first came up.
The 13 position players rule should help here.

Mike Green - Friday, March 25 2022 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#411640) #
Jansen was worth 1.3 bWAR last year.  Moreno could be a 5+ WAR catcher.

Jansen was worth 1.3 bWAR in 205 PAs, or the equivalent of 4 WAR in full-time play.  He's been doing that with a BABIP of .230 and all the projection systems say that he has been unlucky so far and project him for a BABIP of .250-.260.  Moreno could indeed be somewhat better, but the bar is likely fairly high, and durability of both catchers will be the determining factor.  Personally, I'd put my durability money on Jansen and would be moving Moreno to another position, although I understand why the organization is keeping its options open. 
bpoz - Friday, March 25 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#411643) #
Many Bauxites seem to understand bWAR and WAR. I don't. Are these figures reasonably accurate or not really? For example "predicted before season bWAR and WAR vs actual end of season bWAR and WAR".

I have always understood and found Magpie's Pythagoras calculations very valuable and quite trustworthy to an extent. There is logic there I find.
John Northey - Friday, March 25 2022 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#411650) #
WAR can be - bWAR being Baseball-Reference and fWAR being FanGraphs (which MLB seems to want to use). I see it as a 'ballpark' figure. Useful in bulk - like when I'm checking if a draft class was good or not (ie: Jays 1990 not good 9.8 WAR total all good via Steve Karsay, 1993 good 32.3 WAR - all Chris Carpenter, 1995 wow with Halladay). 2015 ugly (1.6), 2016 nice (15.1 and growing fast with Bo & Biggio).

For individual seasons you get people arguing over decimals which WAR isn't really built for - last year Semien had 7.3 vs Vlad 6.8, Ray 6.7, Bo 5.9 but few ranked Semien as having the best year of that group. Bo the vast vast majority put below the big 3, but ahead of the rest. So WAR generally passes the sniff test, but can overvalue defense I find. For the Jays #1 is Stieb, #2 Halladay, then a big drop (over 10 WAR) to Bautista, Fernandez, Delgado, big drop, Key, Barfield, Vernon Wells, Hentgen, Moseby, Encarnacion. That covers the 25+ WAR guys in Jays history. Clemens 2 pitcher triple crown Cy Young years gets him 20 WAR here and ahead of McGriff & Donaldson. Vlad, Bo, and the rest of the current team have a ways to go to get up there as Vlad hasn't reached 10 WAR lifetime yet (by the end of April he should be there). A great year is 8+ (only 1 Jay hitter ever did that, Bautista in 2011). 10+ is legendary (Clemens first year here), other 8's are Hentgen Cy year, Clemens 2nd year, Halladay 2003. Stieb 1984 was just shy at 7.9. Again, that passes the sniff test although Hentgen's year I never think of being better than any of Halladay or Stieb's but I suspect that is because it was a one off, his only over 6. Stieb had 4 over 6, Halladay 4 here, 2 in Philly (both there were over 8 then negative over his last 2 injury filled years there).

Bottom line: WAR is a useful tool, but not a be-all and end-all. If a guy has a lifetime WAR under 5 he probably wasn't a great player but could've been a useful one (ala Pat Borders 3.6, just 1 of 17 seasons over 1 WAR). If he is around 10 he was probably an all-star for a year, or had other peak stuff (Ricky Romero at 9.9) but wasn't a long laster. 20+ a multi-all-star or long solid career (Aaron Hill 24.4), 30+ a very weak HOF case (Encarnación 35.5), 40+ a decent case but unlikely to get in (Devon White 47.3), 50+ a strong case (Stieb 56.4) but not a lock, 60+ should be in the HOF unless obvious warts (Halladay 64.2), ... 100+ legend (Clemens 139.2) who needs PEDS to be kept out of the HOF. Like I said, not perfect but a good divider.
bpoz - Friday, March 25 2022 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#411659) #
Thanks John N. I am going on record as saying I am SURE that both Semien's and Ray's actual WAR for 2021 outperformed the preseason WAR estimate

As I mentioned I don't understand WAR. However I do understand HRs. So Vlad hit 9 HRs in 221 ABs in 2020 So for 2021 I would estimate at approx 3X the ABs he will hit 27 HRs +/-2. By hitting 48 HRs he basically trashed my calculation which I believed I sensibly calculated. I would have still been wrong if I had factored in +/-10 Hr.
scottt - Saturday, March 26 2022 @ 05:56 AM EDT (#411677) #
Jansen has never had more than 384 PAs in a season. If he's healthy all year, he might produce 2 WAR.
Moreno receives and throws well, there is no high bar there.
Jansen might be better when working with young pitchers, however, the Jays don't have a lot of those.
It seems very likely that Moreno will develop into a better hitter than Jansen.
The defense might already be better.
The unknowns are the framing--which might go away--and the game calling.

John Northey - Saturday, March 26 2022 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#411694) #
With the new technology coming in (remotely calling pitches which the Jays used in spring already as have the Rays) you could see game calling reduced drastically as well as robo umps killing off framing.  Then catchers will be down to ability to throw out runners (a very big deal in the 80's) and ability to block pitches.  Still critical skills but a lot less than has been the rule so far. 

Jansen seems a lot like Ernie Whitt to me - a guy who is solid defensively but not recognized for it, and who is a good hitter but has a low average thus gets ignored again. Ernie had 400 PA for the first time at age 31 and ended up having that level 6 times in his career.  Checking Whitt I was suprised his highest WAR was just a 3.4.  Catchers have a hard time of it.  Having multiple good options behind the plate might let the Jays extend their careers vs playing a guy 130+ games in a year behind the plate.  I-Rod's long career was an oddity - over 2400 games behind the plate, just 57 at DH, 8 at 1B, and 2 innings at 2B at age 34 (weird - wonder why? - it was a 3-2 game and they pinch hit for their 2B with the backup catcher but only 2 spare players had been used to that point.  Hard to believe using a catcher at 2B was the ideal solution there.  Weird.  Jim Leyland  was the manager of those Tigers (won 95 games so he must have done stuff right). 

I figure in 2023 or by the end of 2022 we'll see a team with 4 quality catchers available, but who stays behind the plate is hard to say.  Jansen is a solid guy, Kirk has power up the wazoo, McGuire is strong on defense and hits LH which is always a plus, and Moreno has superstar potential.  At least 1 has to be traded at some point (or McGuire let go) one figures.  Jansen & Kirk have only caught, never played elsewhere but DH even in the minors.  Moreno has 3 games at 3B and 1 at 1B in the minors.  It isn't hard to imagine the Jays trying to keep him around via time at 3B/1B/DH and Kirk at DH while Jansen stays at C all the time with those 2 spelling him and McGuire being let go/traded.  I also expect the Jays to see if Jansen or Kirk can play anywhere on the field ala how the Jays did that with Cecil Fielder way back in the 80's (it was ugly).  In truth I expect Kirk to be traded at some point but lord knows when and for what.  Right now I'd say the biggest 'need' is a LH power hitter for DH/OF but with luck Bird will cover that need mostly (outside of the OF part) while the assorted prospects/infielders take over spare OF time.
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