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The road trip continues. Or not. I am deeply confused. Well, that would explain why it's a 7:00 PM start.


We've got roughly a week of the 2022 season in the books. No one has burst from the gate with their hair on fire, no one has stumbled and now rolls around piteously. Everyone's won a couple, everyone's lost a couple. Well, everyone but Baltimore. Half the teams in the AL have won four games, including the Jays and the A's.

As is generally known, in the interval between the World Series and Opening Day the A's decided that after three straight years of post-season activity last season's 86-76 log was a harbinger of Bad Times to come. They decided to get a jump on the badness by getting rid of their best players. Accordingly, they traded away both of their corner infielders, the Matts Olson and Chapman, who were also their top two power hitters a year ago. Not being ones for half-measures; they also traded away two of their better starting pitchers, Sean Manaea and Chris Bassitt, who combined to go 23-14 in 59 starts in 2021. Longtime manager Bob Melvin read the tea leaves and decided the time was right to seek out pastures greener and golder.

The new man in charge is Mark Kotsay, who was an active player not so long ago and has now managed exactly seven games in the majors, even if he looks like a guy who's been doing the job for years. The Jays will see the two men taking the place of Manaea and Bassitt in the Oakland rotation. How's it going? Well, neither Blackburn nor Jefferies allowed a run in their season debut. It's going okay. Sunday's starter, Adam Oller, is filling in for James Kaprielian, who has just started a rehab assignment and should be back in action by the end of the month.

Matchups?

Fri 15 Apr - Stripling (0-0, 9.00) vs Jefferies (1-0, 0.00)
Sat 16 Apr - Ryu (0-0, 16.20) vs Blackburn (1-0, 0.00)
Sun 17 Apr - Manoah (1-0, 0.00) vs Oller (0-0, 33.75)
Oakland at Toronto, Apr 15-17 | 158 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#412383) #
Gonna start this thread with something a bit more fun than the last 50 or so posts in the previous. Take a guess time.

5 players drafted and signed by the Jays in 2009 have played in the majors this year. How many drafted and signed by the other 4 AL East teams combined?
92-93 - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#412384) #
The good guys are at dome this weekend.

At least its Oakland, because Stripling and Thornton are the fresh arms.
scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#412385) #
Twins at Red Sox. Buxton seems to have injured himself while jugging to second. Verdugo is wearing some very dark sunglasses and has missed the first 2 plays.
greenfrog - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#412386) #
The Nationals have claimed Palacios off waivers.
hypobole - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#412387) #
Any A's not make the trip to Canada?
Glevin - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#412388) #
Allen, Puk, and our old friend Snead all unvaxed and put on restricted list for series.
scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#412389) #
Yeah, I was surprised to see Kirby Snead.

Stephen Piscotty was also placed on the Covid IL, meaning that he's vaccinated but couldn't produce a negative test.

scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#412390) #
Also, the substitute are catcher Christian Bethancourt, outfielder Drew Jackson and our other friend Zach Logue.
Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#412391) #
I was surprised to see Kirby Snead.

Not if you'd seen his Twitter feed.
scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#412392) #
Right. I don't stalk or follow people.
Qanon, eh?

Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#412393) #
Qanon, eh?

Apparently. I haven't seen it, and he's apparently wiped it, but it's been described as a cesspool of homophobic, MAGA, QAnon stuff.
scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#412394) #
Everybody needs a hobby, I guess.
hypobole - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#412396) #
Not surprised at Snead. Remember a poster here bringing up his twitter feed a few times last year.
Mike Green - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#412397) #
Tapia batting 6th and Collins batting 8th and catching tonight. Stripling needs a catcher who will help him get the low strike. That would be Kirk.
Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#412398) #
Collins batting 8th and catching tonight

I assume Montoyo thinks Kirk is the best of the candidates to catch Ryu tomorrow, which he wouldn't want him to do if he was catching tonight.
Nigel - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#412399) #
I dont mind the Collins decision for the reason Magpie mentions. As for Tapia . Lets just say Charlie has demonstrated having some challenges in this area before. Id like to see Vladdy batting 2nd soon.
Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#412400) #
Montoyo seems to like the idea of hitting Biggio ninth, that old second leadoff hitter business. (Seems a bit of a luxury to me, what with two regulars missing.) And if he sticks with it and then hits Tapia and Collins 7th and 8th where they belong, he's making things awfully simple for Kotsay.
scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#412401) #
I think it's Vlad who prefers to hit 3rd.
Springer wants to lead and they would like Bo in the clean up spot.
The best protection for Vlad is to have guys who gets on base in front of him.

scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#412402) #
Jefferies doesn't strike out a lot of guys.

scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#412403) #
Twins have a reliever who throws 101/102mph fastballs and 97/98mph splitters.

Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#412404) #
they would like Bo in the clean up spot.

I would like Bo in the clean-up spot, but he's hit second in every game so far. Last year he started out hitting third, hit second for quite a while, and finished up hitting fourth.

Vlad did hit second for a few weeks last year, when Springer went back to hitting leadoff, Semien third and Bo fourth. He wasn't bad (.260/.317/.425), he just wasn't great.
John Northey - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#412405) #
There is an old rule in baseball - the batting order is secondary to who  you put into it.  I know I ran simulations in best and worst OPS order (IE: lowest OPS first, to highest last) and the spread over 162 wasn't that much - I think 10 or 20 runs total.  So it makes a difference but not as big as most think it would.  So to me if a guy likes batting 3rd, you put him 3rd unless there is a heck of a good reason not to (IE: He is hitting with a 50 OPS+).  #1 keep your stars happy, #2 put the best guys in that you can while keeping everyone healthy, #3 keep the bench happy with regular playing time as otherwise they can become a problem in multiple ways (not ready to play when needed, start leaking bad stuff to the press, etc.)  I think that is part of why Cito was so popular with players - they knew everyone would get a chance to play, and everyone knew their role.  He figured out quickly that Devon White had a thing about leading off while Alomar was comfortable batting 2nd and Carter had to be cleanup.  I'd say it worked out well.
Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#412406) #
Tapia has spent most of his career leading off, so all this is doubtless very new to him!
grjas - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#412407) #
Well, if its a tight game, two out and a man or two on, Id certainly be pitching around VG to face Gurriel. At this point, Id rather have Bichette behind him till Hernandez comes back.
John Northey - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#412411) #
Vlad keeps this up and he'll be getting the Bonds treatment soon - walk, walk, walk, walk.
grjas - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#412412) #
Good for Gurriel. Make him pay.

Nowearth to Biggio. Anyone home?

hypobole - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#412413) #
Great to see Tapia and Collins validating Montoyo's decision to pencil them into the lineup tonight.
grjas - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#412414) #
16 base runners and only 4 runs. Hmm. Seems to be a trend.
uglyone - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#412416) #
Nice closer we have here.
scottt - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#412417) #
Good enough.

Those left bats aren't the greatest, but they can do the job against average pitching.

Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#412418) #
Can Adam Cimber really break Old Hoss Radbourn's record for Wins in a season....

Probably not.
greenfrog - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#412419) #
Nice win, and the three divisional rivals all lost (the Yankees just lost to the Os in the 11th when Chapman walked in a run).
Magpie - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#412420) #
Joe Maddon did what?
Thomas - Friday, April 15 2022 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#412421) #
Sometimes Joe Maddon needs to remind everyone he's the smartest man in the room.
hypobole - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#412422) #
People who think they're the smartest in the room usually aren't.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 12:53 AM EDT (#412423) #
That is a common refrain. But there is always one person thinking that who is right. Even if they don't broadcast it.
85bluejay - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:15 AM EDT (#412424) #
I will kindly note that guys that fans like to moan about - Tapia, Collins, Stripling and Montoyo all had productive nights - it seems may fans will spend the season complaining instead of enjoying what should be a wonderful season.
scottt - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#412425) #
I was thinking that the A's were missing something...
Laureano started the year with 27 games left with a PED suspension for nandrolone.



Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#412430) #
I missed the game, sharing a familiar story about slavery, plagues and leaving town. 

I'm glad that I was entirely wrong about the Stripling-Collins battery (that sounds like some cool engineering invention that will help us avoid planet overheating). I still don't like the batting order, but it sort of worked (they got hits of Tapia and Collins including against a lefty). 
scottt - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#412432) #
It doesn't look like Collins can hit a slider breaking away from him but they tried to slip a fastball over the plate.
His game calling was fine. He missed a third strike but chased it and still got the out at first.
There was a stolen base but he had no play on that at all.

If anything, I would have liked the Jays to run more.
With Kirk at the plate, I'd try to steal second.

It's a bit tough for Zimmer if he comes in as a defensive replacement and then gets to face a lefty reliever for his only AB.

Biggio's abilities to get on base are slowly returning, including the hit by pitch skills.
Hopefully, that's a good sign.

hypobole - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#412433) #
The end of the Yankees thread could convince someone that we have an incompetent FO, incompetent manager and an incompetent training staff.

One game later we're at 5-3, which may not sound great, but over a full season is 100 wins.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#412434) #
The team underperformed its talent last year. 5-3 after 4 games at home with the Rangers and As is about par.

Today Charlie sends out a lineup with Tapia leading off and Collins DHing. It feels to me like he's trying to make up for the shorter spring training by experimenting when the games count.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#412435) #
Setting aside the issue of lineup construction, I like that the team is resting and DHing Springer and others on a regular basis.
hypobole - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#412436) #
Don't think this has been posted, so here's an interesting youtube video on the best bad player in baseball. That would be today's leadoff hitter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkyjc6CzFyc
Cracka - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#412439) #
That's a great video that helps explain why the FO targeted Tapia. This is also Tapia's first time with a Spanish-speaking hitting coach. In fact, the Rockies coaching staff hasn't had any Latinos or native Spanish speakers for the last few seasons. I'm not sure if this matters or not, but everyone has good things to say about Guillermo Martinez, and this is obviously a very welcoming atmosphere for Latino players. And they are certainly giving him a chance early in the season to show his stuff...
John Northey - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#412440) #
Well, today's lineup is probably as weak as it could be. Collins, Zimmer, Tapia all playing, Springer not. Makes sense to do it vs the A's (probably the weakest opponent we'll see for awhile).

For fun I checked the 1993 World Series champs - game 9 had a lineup of Turner Ward leading off (Devon White getting a day off), Darrin Jackson in CF (ugh...best thing he did was be traded for Tony Fernandez), and Dick Schofield at SS (44 OPS+ that year after an 'amazing' 72 the year before). Yeah, the Jays lost that game 13-1 mainly due to Jack Morris being unable to get the ball past anyone.

So yeah, today's lineup sucks, but even teams that went all the way had games like this where they used backups/subs to fill the lineup so regulars could rest, even early on.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#412441) #
Personally, I would have been inclined to give more rest in the 20 games in 20 day stretch which starts Tuesday. I think a fair bit of it is Montoyo's preference to play his bench guys a lot early to see what he has.
uglyone - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#412443) #
I just see it as being overconfident and cocky.

Hope it doesn't burn us.
Four Seamer - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#412444) #
I am just here to make a perfunctory complaint about this lineup (Montoyo must have been a magician in an earlier life, since he enjoys trying to win with his hands tied behind his back), in the hopes of setting up a reverse jinx.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#412445) #
Perfect.  I don't need to atone just yet; but I will happily eat crow if Tapia goes 4-4.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#412446) #
Tapia with a double to start the game. Very Springer-esque:)
uglyone - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#412448) #
Genius manager.
Dr B - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#412449) #
I've seen that video too, and it does make a convincing argument that he should at least try to hit the ball in the air a bit more. But the analysis is optimistic. Here's a quote.

"If Raimel Tapia hits line drives at the same rate he hits ground balls he becomes maybe one of the best hitters in MLB."

Well...I'm not sure I need to dwell too much on what's wrong with that. If he hit home runs as much as he hit ground balls he  also becomes maybe one of the best hitters in MLB...  I don't want to be too harsh here, because there is some optimism he can do a little better. (And he's giving Guerrero a lesson today). But he doesn't hit the ball hard. Statcast has has EV average of 85.6, That's comparable with Espinal at 85.4 and below Zimmer at 89.4. I am cherry picking stats here, for sure, so call me out for being lazy. I'm coolly confident though...


lexomatic - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#412450) #
I dunno the steal looked good to me. If anything it was him being tagged while popping up and no longer being in contact with the base. But the steal itself seemed good.
But obviously not enough to overturn.
James W - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#412451) #
I've seen enough terrible ball-strike calls for an entire season.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#412452) #
Me too, James W.  The umpires seem to be in early spring training form.
Four Seamer - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#412453) #
Rye is nice toasted, Ryu less so.
hypobole - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#412454) #
Jays have grounded into 6 double plays so far. 3 of the 6 by Kirk.
lexomatic - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#412455) #
So is the command a mechanical issue, a mental issue, a game calling issue, or a physical issue?
But it's gone on long enough that maybe Ryu is nearing #5 starter level. Which is certainly earlier than anyone hoped.
Magpie - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#412456) #
The pitchers are about a month behind where they would normally be at this time of year. I'm not taking anything too seriously for a while yet. They're in mid-March form.
Four Seamer - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#412457) #
Ryus been in this form since last August, unfortunately.
uglyone - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#412459) #
Little frustrating how buck keeps going on about our great offense being able to come back from any deficit when we trot out lineups like these.
uglyone - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#412460) #
I meant to say best lineup ever of course.
hypobole - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#412461) #
Didn't take long to come back. Good call, Buck.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#412462) #
Its great for Collins to have some early success with his new team.
grjas - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#412463) #
Good to see Chapman and Gurriel get going as well as some of the newbies. Now the Bs need to get rolling
grjas - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#412464) #
Right on Charlie. This guy is awful.
James W - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#412465) #
Shock of all shocks: the umpiring hasn't improved since 3:46pm
Michael - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#412466) #
So could we please get the roboumps soon?
James W - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#412467) #
It managed to get even worse in the last minute.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#412468) #
This is undoubtedly one of the worst umpired games I've ever seen.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#412469) #
For those of us unable to watch the game today, can someone summarize the umpiring problem?
John Northey - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#412470) #
Well, yesterday's Ump Scorecard...


Not bad. Today's will be a LOT worse guaranteed.
Magpie - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#412471) #
can someone summarize the umpiring problem?

The strike zone to RH batters extends roughly six inches off home plate.
Joe - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#412473) #
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#412474) #
The strike zone regularly was expanded 4" to the outside on RH batters (on off-speed pitches breaking away and less than that on fastballs) and 1" on the inside. 
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#412475) #
The tweet captures it with more detail than I could.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#412476) #
Ah.  3" inside for variety. RH hitters have no idea what the strike zone is.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#412477) #
Thank you. I *want* to be in favour of human umpires (I like the human element), but theyve made it near-impossible to support that position. They are just so damn bad at calling pitches (and plays).
grjas - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#412478) #
As pitchers seemed to do a better job of leveraging umpire incompetence.
Glevin - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#412479) #
Umpiring just gets worse. Cannot get robot umps soon enough. I don't mind borderline calls, large or small strike zones but too many games are being decided because umpires have random strike zones. Today's was awful but it feels like the 3rd or 4th game the Jays have played where they've had just atrocious umpiring.
lexomatic - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#412480) #
<br>yup these games are awful. I don't remember umpiring being so consistently brutal.
scottt - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#412481) #
Ryu got squeezed in the first inning. The ump signaled that his curve was going around the plate.
It looked like it was exactly on the outside corner.

Jays pitchers got some good calls and some bad calls, but the A's pitcher got most  balls outside called strikes.

Generally, the umps have not been giving up low and high calls but have been generous with the outside corner.
Opposing pitchers have dealt with it by throwing outside constantly, but the Jays don't have a lot of walks to show for it.

It's not only affecting the outcome of the games, but it slows the games and distract from the players.

Today, none of the catchers looked like they were framing anything and the slow pitches were misjudged more frequently than the ones over 95mph.

To me, it just looks like the umpire had a lot of money on the A's winning today.
Giving the widespread of betting now, it would make a lot of sense to have robo-umps ASAP.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#412482) #
Ryu with forearm soreness. Sigh...

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu had a sore forearm after allowing five runs and six hits, including four extra-base hits, in four innings.

"Of course we're concerned," Montoyo said. "We're going to see how he feels."

Ryu could be sent for further tests if he still feels sore Sunday, Montoyo said.
Cracka - Saturday, April 16 2022 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#412484) #
If Ryu needs some IL time, now is a pretty good time. We have six starters and Stripling can easily slide in Ryu's spot for a few turns. Ryan Borucki is seemingly ready to go, so that's likely the corresponding roster move.
SK in NJ - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#412489) #
From what I recall, the players were against robo umps, and Im not exactly sure why. The league wanted to implement it in 2023 with their other changes (pitch clock, bigger bases, banning shift) but the players rejected it. I dont see a downside of an automated strike zone from a player standpoint. Games like yesterday where an umpire decided an outcome, or was at least a big part of it, is not good for the sport or the fans.
hypobole - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#412490) #
Last night I googled the Charlotte ABS system to see first impressions now that it's 5 games in. Found nothing.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#412491) #
Tao of Stieb on Twitter reminds us that Jeff Nelson was responsible for the Wade Davis/Ben Revere pivotal blown call in the 2015 ALCS. Maybe a little South Park bias there?
hypobole - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#412492) #
At the start of this thread, mentioned 5 players signed from the last Ricciardi/Lalonde draft in 2009 have played this year. Loup, Tepera, Gomes, Marisnick and Hutch.

The other 4 AL East teams combined? O's 2nd round pick Mychal Givens is the last man standing.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#412493) #
I am proud of you, Charlie. Now, let's have it all the time. Get those players running through brick walls.
uglyone - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#412494) #
"I like the human element"

The players are the human element.
hypobole - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#412495) #
All the best to Buck. Today will be his last game for a while.

https://twitter.com/SportsnetPR/status/1515729298342166528?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#412496) #
I'm sorry to hear of Buck's cancer diagnosis. I hope it is treatable and he returns to the broadcast booth. I always thought he was more suited to doing the color commentary with Dan Shulman and that they were good together. Buck and Tabby together are just annoying.

Yesterday's umpire, Jeff Nelson, had an overall accuracy on pitches to Blue Jay hitters of 68%.
John Northey - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#412497) #
Well, yesterday was as ugly as it seemed.
Four Seamer - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#412498) #
This is not a golden age of umpiring, to say the least.
lexomatic - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#412499) #
Well that would take over for worst game of the season so far. Both against the Jays.
I do not get the interference call.
I'm surprised they didn't put a protest yesterday. This series has had some garbage umpiring. Just making stuff unwatchable.
Polite Nate - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#412500) #
Earlier this series, the umps got on Hernandez for sitting too close to the field. A's got called on a pretty sketchy balk. I remember some small fight between Montoyo and the umps while Garcia (?) was warming up, something about the commercial clock or something? That never got an explanation. And now this flaky interference call... Even aside from that butchered strike zone, I can't wait to get away from this crew who seem to want to be the stars of the show.
James W - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#412501) #
Wait, everyone in attendance and watching on TV didn't pay just to see the umpires?
hypobole - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#412503) #
19 teams, including the Jays, had not issued an intentional walk before today. The IBB to Kirk was the 3rd Kotsay has issued this series.
scottt - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#412504) #
18 balls called strikes, 12 of those were against the Jays.
68% percent strike call accuracy? If you figure that half the strikes are obvious to everyone, that's pretty extreme.

4 strikes called  ball, including an outside strike by Ryu that the ump claimed curved around the strike zone.

scottt - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#412505) #
At least the strike calling was pretty decent today.
Just a handful of questionable calls.

Collins is kinda like a version of Tellez that can catch.
He has a good eye and can take a walk, but there are some holes in his swing that he's worked on the last few years.
I wonder if that involves mostly left handed pitching.
For now he just wants to swing hard and forget about the mechanics.
 

StephenT - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 02:29 AM EDT (#412510) #
fyi, I heard Ben Wagner say on the radio that the Sunday home start times were moved to 1:37pm because the Peacock network now has exclusivity before 1:30pm on most Sundays this year (found online it's May 8-Sept 4).

Looks like 3 Jays games have been moved to noon starts (Sun July 17, Sun July 31, Sun Sept 4).

Ref: https://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2022/04/06/peacock-becomes-exclusive-home-of-new-sunday-morning-major-league-baseball-game-package-to-be-produced-by-nbc-sports-beginning-in-may/
Waveburner - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 04:52 AM EDT (#412511) #
Tanner Houck will not be making the trip to Toronto a week from now with the Red Sox due to his vaccination status. It sounds like a few other Red Sox players are also ineligible.
scottt - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#412512) #
First 10. 6-4, good for first place.

OPS+
Jansen 520
Collins 216
Guerrero 194
Hernandez 181
Springer 139
Chapman 128
Gurriel 117
Espinal 106
Bichette 61
Kirk 53
Tapia 53
Biggio -4 (Slugging 0, but .294 OBP)
Zimmer -100
Heineman -100

The idea of Kirk DHing should be forgotten by now.
I still like him hitting against lefties, but only if first base is open.
There could be some opportunities for Moreno down the road. Or maybe Otto Lopez--who doesn't seem to have played yet.

Manoah 2-1 ERA 1.50
Gausman 0-1 ERA 4.22
Ryu 0-0 13.50
Berrios 0-0 11.81
Kikuchi 0-1 5.4
Stripling 0-0 3.00

Romano 6 saves ERA 0
Cimber 3-0 ERA 3.00
Richards 1-0 ERA 2.70
Garcia 0-0 ERA 0
Mayza 0-0 ERA 2.25
Phelps 0-0 ERA 2.25
Tornthon 0-0 ERA 1.50
Merryweather 0-2 ERA 7.71
Saucedo 0-0 ERA 15.43
Kay 0-0 ERA 4.50

Merrweather should be able to do better, otherwise, the pen looks pretty good.
Maybe not Yankees good.

Defense has been more fun to watch than last year.

grjas - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#412514) #
Presumably theyll run with Collins at DH for a while to see what he can do. Had some very good years in the minors. the BP so far has been the most consistent part of the lineup which is good to see. Thornton in particular has been a pleasant surprise so far. The starters need to go deep consistently with Long man Stripling moving up.
grjas - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#412516) #
BTW- does anyone knowcan foreign baseball players who are unvaccinated travel to America..eg Canadian, Caribbean players. Are there exemptions for them? If not why isnt the press shutting down the complaints about unvaccinated coming to Canada if non-American unvaccinated players de facto cant play at all?
scottt - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#412517) #
I think it's more about having to isolate--with no pro-sport exceptions--than not being able to travel, although having to enter the US by sea or land could be annoying too.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#412518) #
In the early going, the NL leads the AL 13-7 and have outscored them 86-66.  San Francisco and Cleveland entered the weekend both at 4-2, but the Giants swept the Guardians in Cleveland.  Carlos Rodon set the tone in the opener, allowing a run on 2 hits and 2 walks over 7 innings.  It would be good to have an accounting of 2021 WAR which moved from AL to NL and NL to AL.  Joey Bart has put up a cool .273/.385/.591 line with 13 strikeouts in 26 PAs; in his case, the slash line is going to take on new meaning.

Zack Collins is a strange case. He was a 10th overall pick and hit well in the minors. Over his major league career, he's hit the ball hard and in the air, but has less than 11% HR/FB.  He's 27 years old and maybe the power that seems to be within him will be unlocked. 


grjas - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#412519) #
Hmmm... According to the US embassy website "All non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States." Exemptions are few and when I scanned them professional athletes did not appear to be exempt.

If true, it's ridiculous hypocrisy..whining about American players who can't play a few games in Canada if unvaccinated, while the same rules apply to non-Americans trying to play in the US ....and there are more than a few foreign players.
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#412520) #
As opposed to the "freedom" convoy group, pro athletes have done very little whining, at least publicly.
92-93 - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#412521) #
Pro athletes haven't lost their livelihood due to a medical choice. The ones who have, like Kyrie Irving and Novak Djokovic, have made plenty of noise.

Unvaccinated players are on non-immigrant visas and are exempt from the US vaccine requirement.
John Northey - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#412522) #
I get a laugh out of these 'freedum' fighters. If you don't want a vaccine, fine don't get one. Just be aware there are these funny things called 'consequences' for not getting it which include travel across borders and the like.

I wonder if Snead (I keep thinking about The Lorax and Thneedville which I keep thinking of as Sneadville) was traded in part due to his anti-vaxx attitude. Obviously he'd have been useless to the Jays if he couldn't play at home. Wonder if that applies to any other players traded recently. Guess we'll learn as the season rolls along.
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#412523) #
Kyrie Irving has made very little noise.

And most of the convoy protesters did not lose their livelihood. A lot were just anti-vax, anti-maskers.
Chuck - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#412524) #
pro athletes have done very little whining, at least publicly.

Agreed. In anticipation of inevitable backlash, they have done the opposite and tried to skate by without attention, or used intentionally misleading language (like Aaron Rodgers). It's only international travel -- and in the case of NYC for a stretch, their own specific bylaws -- that have made it possible to identify the unvaxxed athletes. Every road tip to Toronto will reveal more and more MLBers who will cite an "it should be my choice" stance (like Tanner Houk). Rumours have swirled around Judge and Rizzo's status, and we'll find out soon enough.

Chuck - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#412525) #
it's ridiculous hypocrisy..whining about American players who can't play a few games in Canada if unvaccinated

I have not encountered this. Where are you seeing these complaints?

92-93 - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#412526) #
Right hypobole, those employed protesters just lost their freedom of mobility. It's only a Charter right, no big deal.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#412527) #
As opposed to the "freedom" convoy group, pro athletes have done very little whining, at least publicly.

But have congratulated politicians on their "leadership" by making exceptions for them.
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#412528) #
On the Jays front, the next 25 game stretch is brutal:
@ Boston
@ Houston
Boston
Houston
NYY
@ Cleveland
@ NYY
@ Tampa

Will be interesting to say the least.
grjas - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#412529) #
Unvaccinated players are on non-immigrant visas and are exempt from the US vaccine requirement.


Thanks 92-93. It had seemed odd that none of the foreign players had raised the issue... but now your post explains it.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#412530) #
I don't get a laugh out of the anti-vax, anti-mask crowd.  What gets to me is the effect on the very young.  There's no vaccine for under 5s, and (in Canada) half of 5-11s are unvaccinated.  This isn't their responsibility.  And when a bunch of people takes steps that lead to increased public spread, inevitably that leads to increased risk of death and (at a much higher level) disability among the very young.  The disabilities include Type 1 diabetes and a variety of neurological conditions

The only thing that I can say in their "favour" is that the single easiest and most effective thing that can be done to protect the young is universal masking when indoors and in public. Nonetheless politicians around the world of all stripes have given up on requiring it.  But athletes are supposed to be heroes for the young (I know, it dates me); standing up for the young and the vulnerable used to be part of the job but I guess that too has gone the way of the dodo. 
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#412531) #
On the Jays front, the next 25 game stretch is brutal:
@ Boston
@ Houston
Boston
Houston
NYY
@ Cleveland
@ NYY
@ Tampa

The first 6 series are without any days off.  The last 2 series have days off before each, and then there are two more off-days in May.  It is tough because of the strange distribution of off-days, but the opponents are good but not great.  14-11 would be pretty decent in the circumstances, and I think they can do that. 
John Northey - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#412532) #
Yeah, the next 25 games are the killer stretch. Ever since the schedule came out the Jays had to be looking at this as the 'make or break' stretch.

Basically if they go 13-12 over those 25 the Jays are in solid shape. Better and move to great shape, worse and move to 'need to put a push on' status.

2021 vs...
  • Boston: 9-10; 110 runs for, 81 against - ouch there is the playoffs right there, the Jays should've been 11-8, so there are 2 wins turned to losses. That would've put the Jays ahead of both Boston and NY. Sigh.
  • Houston: 2-4; 26-42 runs for-against
  • NYY: 11-8; 79-68 runs for-against
  • Cleveland: 5-2; 40-22 runs for-against
  • Tampa: 8-11; 76-83 runs for-against
Looking closer one can see why Boston was so far off - 4 games, Jays won by 12-4, 13-1, 8-0, and 18-4 = 51-9. Wow. That does kind of explain it mixed with 1 run games between them going 2-5 against the Jays. Others where the score was reasonable the Jays went 3-5 vs Boston.

Of course, each of those teams has tried to improve since last year as all are contenders. Cleveland and Tampa in their own weird way (cutting payroll but still finding ways to get better). But if we take last years records vs each team and adjust for games in this stretch we get, over those 25 games, a record of 12-13 with 122 runs scored vs 115 allowed (thanks to that crazy spread in Boston last year). So this killer stretch, as long as we don't get a worn out pitching staff, shouldn't be as bad as many fear. One hopes.

Current records are...
Boston: 5-4; Houston: 5-4; NYY: 5-5; Cleveland: 4-5; Tampa: 5-5. None off to a great start or a terrible one. Fun times ahead!
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#412533) #
Projected rank/wins AL FG:
#1 Jays 92
#2 Yankees 91
#3 Astros 89
#4 Tie Red Sox 87
#4 Tie White Sox 87
#6 Tie Rays 84
#6 Tie Angels 84
#10 Guardians 77

Projected rank/wins AL 538:
#1 Tie Jays 92
#1 Tie Astros 92
#1 Tie White Sox 92
#4 Yankees 91
#5 Red Sox 87
#6 Tie Rays 85
#6 Tie Angels 85
#10 Guardians 79

3 series vs very good, 3 series vs good, 1 series vs mediocre IMO.


grjas - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#412534) #
I suspect Kikuchi and Stripling are going to have a sizeable impact on results over the next month, and predicting their performance is a challenge.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#412537) #
Hypobole, it looks to me like the AL/NL balance is off in the projections. I think the Jays are the only very good team in the AL and there are 3 or 4 in the NL. We'll see.
Thomas - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#412541) #
If you want a nice contrast to Saturday's debacle, look up Cory Blaser's ump scorecard from Baltimore's win yesterday over the Yankees.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#412543) #
Off-day trivia questions.  The single most impactful game by a player measured by wPA was recorded by Art Shamsky in 1966 (Shamsky would later play on the Miracle Mets).  Can you guess what his wPA was, to one decimal place?  And, there were two oddities about the performance.  Can you guess what they were? 
mathesond - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#412544) #
The Shamsky name sounds familiar, did he do something like hit game-tying and/or go-ahead home runs in the 9th inning and later? And perhaps entered the game as a pinch-hitter?
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#412545) #
He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning and hit 3 home runs.  That's one oddity.
scottt - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#412547) #
Astros are 5-4. Guardians are 4-5. Everyone else is 5-5.

There isn't much difference between good/bad teams in April.
Most teams have a good starter or two and a bad starter or two.
Bunches of hitters are off to slow starts.

hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#412548) #
From MLBTR

The As announced this evening theyve placed six players catcher Austin Allen, infielders Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder, and pitchers A.J. Puk, Lou Trivino and Kirby Snead on the COVID-19 injured list.

The 3 that couldn't cross the border and 3 others.
Magpie - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#412549) #
He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning and hit 3 home runs. That's one oddity.

He didn't, actually. What a wild game, though!
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#412550) #
Did they put the unvaccinated guys on for a second time, or did they not take them off after the Toronto series? There's no i in team, but there is one in covid.

Congratulations, mathesond.  You win the cuttlefish for the part answer.  Shamsky hit 3 home runs after being inserted as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning by the Reds; nonetheless, the Reds lost the game.  Shamsky's wPA was 1.5. 



greenfrog - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#412551) #
Shamsky's wPA was 1.5

So, a little less than Jeff Nelsons on Saturday?
Magpie - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#412552) #
Shamsky hit 3 home runs after being inserted as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning by the Reds;

Not quite. He came into the game in the top of the eighth inning to play LF, batting in the pitcher's spot, as part of a double switch!
scottt - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#412554) #
Unvaccinated players are put on the restricted list while their teams is in Canada.
They are not paid and accrue no service time.

Players who test positive or need to isolate are put on the Covid specific IL where they are paid normally.
They normally stay there for 10 days or until they pass 2 negative tests.

scottt - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#412555) #
There is a special MLB "CoViD-19 Related Injured List" in 2022 for players who are diagnosed with CoViD-19 during the MLB regular season, as well as for players who exhibit symptoms and/or have been exposed to the virus, or who are in a CoViD-19 "high risk" group. A player can only be placed on the CiViD-19 Related Injured List by consent of the CoViD-19 Joint Health & Safety Commitee. There is no minimum or maximum number of days a player must spend on this list, but a player may not be reinstated until he is symptom-free and tests negative for the virus twice where the tests are administered at least 24 hours apart. A player on the CoViD-19 Injured List does not count against his club's Reserve List or Active List. Also, the 15 day Injured List (for pitchers and two-way players) is suspended (there will be a 10-day Injured List for position players, pitchers, and two-way players).   
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#412556) #
Cuttlefish to Greenfrog and Magpie also.
92-93 - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#412557) #
The Jays drove across the border and flew from Buffalo to Boston to avoid having to take covid tests and potentially finding positive results. Oh, the humanity!
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#412558) #
They had the right and freedom to charter the bus.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 05:21 AM EDT (#412559) #
Infection rates are considerably higher in Massachusetts than in Ontario. Mutual PCR requirements prior to entry by air or by land would be a good idea and would protect Canadians more than Americans. It seems that neither country wants to do that.

Indeed, it appears that passengers on flights in the US have the option to wear a mask. I wonder whether Blue Jay players/staff are masked while flying.
Jonny German - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 05:59 AM EDT (#412560) #
It was convenient to pass through Buffalo to drop off Heineman...
scottt - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#412562) #
It's a little weird, but it seems there is little testing except for that required to board an international flight.
That's a big disadvantage for the Jays, so if they can dodge a bit of that, no problem.

I don't know why the A's who stayed in the US are on the covid IL.
Maybe they violated curfew or just traveled back to their respective homes.
There is a player committee that manages the COVID IL to prevent abuses.

A Trump judge who barely worked before being nominated invalidated the mask mandate on flights. 

92-93 - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#412563) #
The most recent test positivity rates per province/state:

Ontario 18.7%
Massachusetts 3.9%
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#412564) #
Test positivity is a weak indicator across jurisdictions because of different availability (although it is a fair indicator in the same jurisdiction over time when the testing rules have not changed).  Most people who get PCR tests here either have positive RAT or suspicious symptoms.

Reporting generally is a major problem. The Ontario Science Table reported 24 cases/100K in Ontario (and essentially flat) and Massachusetts has been reporting 25 cases/100K and increasing.  It's true that there's a wide error bar on these estimates and the data is far from clear. 
Chuck - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#412565) #
A Trump judge who barely worked before being nominated invalidated the mask mandate on flights.

She was made a federal judge two years ago at age 33, 8 years out of law school. She has been empowered to override scientific consensus with partisan interests. Her husband worked as a lawyer in Homeland Security. Trump probably asked him if he knew any lawyers who wanted to be judges.

hypobole - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#412566) #
In a totally selfish take, the more mask mandates removed, the greater the positivity in the populace and the longer the current cross border rules stay in effect and the longer the Jays enjoy that competitive advantage.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#412567) #
Had a feeling that had to be a Trump judge as he appointed some of the least qualified in history from what I read.  There purely due to being willing to do whatever the Republicans wanted, not due to having skills.  A neutral (as neutral as possible) method needs to be in place for judges imo with the ability to fire them if they make idiotic decisions on a regular basis, or are shown to be incompetent. 
grjas - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#412568) #
"A Trump judge who barely worked before being nominated invalidated the mask mandate on flights."

The craziness never ends. I'm still "laughing" about the fact that foreign travelers flying to the US for a few days have to be vaccinated, but those with non-immigrant visas -ie. are actually sticking around for a while- don't have to be.

I'd hoped with Covid we would learn a lot before the next big pandemic strikes (when mortality %'s could be much worse), but the courts and politicians have different ideas.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#412569) #
I have to admit that when I see the players in the dugout getting very close and yelling, and see them in hockey arenas or other public spaces (maskless), I worry that the potential for a significant outbreak on the club is very high.  I also worry that a key player or two might get long COVID.  I suppose that this is true for every club in the league. 
scottt - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#412570) #
It's not  a visa thing. Landed immigrants are treated the same as citizens. That's just a product of immigration being slow and not always succeeding. 
Canadians don't need visas to enter the US.

Anyone can fly to Mexico and enter the US without a vaccine by land.

Paul D - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#412573) #
Didn't the Jays drive to Buffalo and fly to Boston for this very reason?
hypobole - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#412574) #
2 more Red Sox on the Covid list. Vasquez joins Plawecki, leaving Wong as their only catcher right now. Refsnyder recalled to replace Arauz.

Anyone remember who we traded for Refsnyder? I didn't, had to look it up.
scottt - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#412575) #
Yeah, a right handed platoon 1B. Not something we need right now.
StephenT - Wednesday, April 20 2022 @ 02:16 AM EDT (#412608) #
"same jurisdiction over time"

Massachusetts positivity peaked at about 23% Jan 9/22, more recently down to 3% Apr 13/22 (from https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/region/us/massachusetts ).

Ontario positivity peaked at about 34% Dec 31/21, lowest since then is 9% Feb 27/22, latest is 18% Apr 18/22 (from https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/data-and-analysis/infectious-disease/covid-19-data-surveillance/covid-19-data-tool ).
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 20 2022 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#412611) #
Thanks, StephenT. I dont have any idea what is going on in Massachusetts recently in relation to testing rules and practices. Cases are significantly up and testing positivity is significantly down.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 20 2022 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#412618) #
A lot of places seem to be using ICU admissions and wastewater testing as their key indicators from the little that I know.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 20 2022 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#412620) #
That's true, hypobole.  All of the data unfortunately comes with big asterisks.  ICU admissions are a (significantly) trailing indicator of spread.  Wastewater measurements are better, but representative distribution of sampling locations is regularly an issue.  Comparison between jurisdictions from wastewater data is also fraught.  There are significant sources of error in the data which are less important in tracing spread over time from the same testing location data than for comparison purposes with different testing location data.  For instance, in some parts of Toronto, sewers carry wastewater and stormwater to treatment plants which are testing locations (except during periods of heavy rainfall when the sewers overflow into water bodies).  It's difficult but not impossible to adjust for these issues when comparing Toronto in December of 2021 with Toronto in April 2022 (and the system does attempt to do this), but much more difficult to adjust to compare Toronto in April 2022 with Boston in April 2022 (I haven't see any attempt to do this). 

For what it's worth, Massachusetts wastewater data shows a similar pattern to Ontario's but with a somewhat different time line.  Viral signal was astronomical there (as here) during the holidays peaking just after New Year's Day.  It fell until mid-March.  In Massachusetts, it began rising slowly and has only in the last 2-3 weeks has the signal begun to increase rapidly and there is no sign that it had reached its peak when last reported 5 days ago.  In Ontario, the increase started a little earlier and the signal was in full bloom a month ago, and seems to have been driven by Eastern Ontario.  The signal appears to have reached a plateau. 

Of course, spread in general has been heavily correlated with numbers of marginalized people, and on that score, there is reason to believe that Massachusetts will have higher rates than Ontario on average on an ongoing basis, as has been true throughout the pandemic. 

Back to baseball. 
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