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That was a fine road trip, but there's no rest for the wicked or the Blue Jays. A ten game homestand kicks off tonight.


Boston provides the first visitors, and we just saw these guys last week. Of course, they're coming to town minus manager Alex Cora (recovering from COVID), starting pitcher Tanner Houck (not vaccinated) and I know not yet who else. (RP Kutter Crawford is also going on the ineligible list.) Right now I expect Garrett Whitlock to start on Thursday afternoon, but there's nothing official yet. (It's official now.)

Matchups

Mon 25 Apr -† Eovaldi (1-0, 3.68) Berrios (1-0, 6.35)
Tue 26 Apr - Pivetta (0-3, 10.03) vs Gausman (1-1, 2.89)
Wed 27 Apr - Wacha (1-0, 1.88) vs Stripling (0-0, 4.50)
Thu 28 Apr - Whitlock (1-0, 0.66) vs Manoah (3-0, 2.00)

Boston at Toronto, Apr. 25-28 | 196 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#412867) #
Gotta give the Sox FO some credit. Snatching Whitlock from the Yankees in the Rule 5 looks like it's turning out to be a masterstroke.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#412870) #
Looks like J. D. Martinez is back in their lineup. Hasn't played since he tweaked whatever in our last series.
greenfrog - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#412871) #
This series would be a good time for Bichette to break out.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#412872) #
Didn't realize the RC has a humidor, but they put one in late last year.

per Mike Petriello, on pulled fly balls and line drives:

In the stadiums that already had humidors installed, offense in those parks is barely down: .003 of OBP, .005 of SLG

In the parks where they put in humidors, OBP is down 35 points, SLG down 107


AWeb - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#412873) #
Wow. That's a ridiculous thing to do on purpose, and even worse to do accidentally. MLB really wears the clownshoes a lot.
Nigel - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#412874) #
Eovoldi looks like heís going to throw a Maddux. In fact, if he threw a complete game in under 80 pitches would that be a Double Maddux?
Magpie - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#412875) #
My sweet Lourdes!
Dr. Zarco - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#412876) #
Wow this game is flying along. Now 3 first pitch DPís will help. So Aldi and Berrios have both been good, Eovaldi better despite being on the wrong end of the score through 6 2/3.
Dr. Zarco - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#412877) #
Chapman helping prove me wrong. HRs on 0-2 and 1-2 pitches. Only mistakes Eovaldi has made.
greenfrog - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#412878) #
Worth trying a double steal here in the right count?
greenfrog - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#412879) #
Moment of truth for Bo here.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#412880) #
This series would be a good time for Bichette to break out.

greenfrog, you were so very wrong, until you became so very right.
greenfrog - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#412881) #
Oh yeah ó that must have felt great for Bichette.

Didnít he have a late-inning clutch home run to right (maybe right-centre) against the Red Sox last year as well?
Gerry - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#412882) #
Other than a walk off grand slam, an eighth inning grand slam in a tied game is pretty sweet.
greenfrog - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#412883) #
Another ho-hum start for 37-year-old Max Scherzer tonight. 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. Heíll be 38 in July.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#412885) #
GM Ross Atkins said, per ESPN:

OF Teoscar HernŠndez (strained left oblique) has been hitting off a tee and will face live pitching later this week

LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm) will throw live batting practice later this week
StephenT - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#412888) #
I heard some of the Red Sox radio broadcast Monday night (Joe Castiglione and Will Flemming).
It sounded like they were in Toronto for their first time in 3 years.
They saw Chapman in batting practice and noticed the Jays could see their launch angles and exit velocities reported after each BP swing.
They think the ball is "de-juiced" this year (not carrying) (I guess they haven't heard the "humidor" theory above, which I think they would embrace).
They thought there might have been more Red Sox on the restricted list if Sale and Taylor weren't already on the IL.
They didn't like their current late-inning bullpen options, especially with Crawford unavailable, Jays lineup "terrifying" for them to navigate.
Michael - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:26 AM EDT (#412889) #
Looked like another night of fine defense for the Jays based on the condensed game. It is pretty nice when the team can play this well even with some guys injured and all.
Jonny German - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:29 AM EDT (#412890) #
They didn't like their current late-inning bullpen options, especially with Crawford unavailable

For real. I was very amused that the guy who gave up the bomb to Bichette was the guy fresh up from AAA to take Crawford's spot.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:56 AM EDT (#412891) #
They would have had Whitlock in the pen for the late inning situation, but he's transitioning back to starting as Magpie noted in the OP.c
scottt - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#412894) #
Is Whitlock really starting or is this just a planned bullpen day?
hypobole - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#412895) #
Both maybe, scottt. Read somewhere Whitlock was a starter until his TJ and then rule 5. Used in relief to ensure he stayed all year. I think between Houck's status, Pivetta's struggles and Whitlock's dominance, they've decided to stretch him out. He went 4 IP, 48 pitches vs Tampa last game. So he's not fully stretched out yet, so not sure how long he'll go Thursday.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#412896) #
Here's a WOW! from Chris Black on twitter:

Highest Strike Rate
#BlueJays Since 1988

1. Kevin Gausman (Last Thursday) 80.7%
2. Kevin Gausman (Yesterday) 79.5%
3. Roy Halladay (6/22/03) 78.8%
4. David Wells (6/28/00) 78.7%
5. Roy Halladay (4/4/02) 78.1%
*min 80 pitches



John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#412899) #
Cool stat there hypobole. Sure makes it look good signing Gausman. BR has him at 77% for strike rate this year so far, 68.1% last year, with a peak on May 30th at LAD of 86.1% (72 pitches, 62 strikes). His worst was June 29th vs LAD 54.4% strikes. So yes, he can do better. I'm amazed Halladay never cracked 80% here. In the playoffs with the Phillies he never cracked 80 even in the no-hitter (76.0%). His perfect game was 'just' 62.6% strikes somehow. Couldn't find a 80% for him in Philly. Weird. I would've assumed he would've done that at some point given how he was always in the strike zone it seemed but I guess Gausman is at another level for that. Cool.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#412900) #
That is cool, hypobole.  The strike % is all the more impressive when you look at the quality of the pitches- 4 seamers at 95 up to both upper corners and sliders to both lower corners and splits at the bottom of the zone and lower.  Just devastating. 
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#412901) #
Way too early to mean much but holy crap this feels like the first time in aeons the Jays have actually got off to a hot start in a season.

Quick double check.....yeah it looks like the only time we've had a similar start in at least the last decade was in 2018....but that year we had a super soft early sked and fell apart as soon as we played the AL East whereas this year we're beating up on the AL East and some other decent teams too.

Feels good, man.


hypobole - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#412902) #
MLB tweet today:

"By agreement between @MLB and the @MLBPA

as the parties monitor player health, the maximum of 13-pitchers on Active Rosters set to begin on May 2nd will instead go into effect on May 30th; a 14-pitcher maximum will be in place from May 2nd-29th."

Sounds like May 2 cutback to 26 man roster still in effect, unless I'm missing something

Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#412903) #
Have you noticed on the broadcasts that everyone is using the phrase "strike-thrower" this year?

Gausman certainly qualifies, and he's thrown 77% of his pitches for strikes so far. He's obviously not going to keep that up. I'm pretty sure no Jays pitcher has thrown 70% of his pitches for strikes in a single season. Gausman himself threw a career best 68.1% last season, and his career average is 65.1%

Which Blue Jays pitcher threw the most strikes?

We'll never know for sure, as we only have data from 1988 onwards. But every Toronto pitcher who walked fewer than 2 batters per 9 IP did it after 1988, so we can probably make a pretty good guess. I looked at the pitch data for all of those guys, plus the career leaders (as Blue Jays) in fewest BB/9 IP (which tossed a couple of relief pitchers into the mix) and set the bar at 1,000 pitches. I probably caught all the contenders in the net, and I think I have a Top 10!

Pitcher        Year Strike%

Josh Towers    2004  69.1
Josh Towers    2005  68.7
Roy Halladay   2003  68.6
Roy Halladay   2009  68.6
David Wells    2000  68.4
Tom Henke      1989  67.5
Josh Towers    2005  67.4
Roy Halladay   2005  67.3
Paul Quantrill 2001  66.8
Roy Halladay   2008  66.7

They're followed by Esteban Loaiza (2001), Henke (1990), four Halladay seasons, and one from Mark Buehrle.

At the other end of the spectrum would be someone like Al Leiter, who was around 58.0% as a Blue Jay, and never would clear 60% in a season until he got to pitch to Mike Piazza in New York.

Towers is the Jays career leader in fewest BB/9 and Halladay's 2003 season is the best single season. It figures that they would top these lists. Be aware though that the correlation between percentage of strikes thrown and walks allowed isn't all that close. It never has been and it never will be - there are too many other factors, especially how hittable those strikes happen to be. You will note that Towers threw a greater percentage of strikes in 2004 than Doc did in 2003, and walked almost twice as many per 9.

Towers did have one Jays start when he hit 80%, but I assume Chris Black had some kind of pitch or innings minimum required (Towers only lasted 4.2, gave up 11 hits and 6 runs. A stinker, but he threw 60 pitches, 48 for strikes, and hit 80% on the nose!)

I have noticed exactly one season from all of these guys where a pitcher threw at least 70% of his pitches for strikes in a season, and that was a 40 year old David Wells at 70.7% in 2003, when he walked 20 hitters in 213 IP for the Yankees.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#412904) #
Thanks, Magpie. It's surprising to see Tom Henke on the list, but not Jimmy Key. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#412905) #
To elaborate, in 1989, Tom Henke walked 25 in 89 innings while Key walked 27 in 216 innings.  As you say, the relationship between strike % and walk % isn't as close to inverse as you would expect, although all the leaders in strike % had low walk rates. 
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#412906) #
And now that it's in front of me, I see Chris Black set his minimum at 80 pitches.

For what it's worth Tom Henke averaged 21 pitches per game in 1989, and that season does show why the correlation between percentage of strikes and walks allowed isn't all that precise. Henke and Jimmy Key posted almost identical K/W numbers in 1989 - Henke struck out 118 and walked 25, Key struck out 116 and walked 27. It's just that Henke did that in 89 IP, Key in 216 IP. Key's 1.1 BB/9 was the lowest figure in the AL that year, yet Henke (who walked 2.5 per 9, which is still very good but more than double Key's rate) actually threw a higher percentage of his pitches for strikes - 67.5% to Key's 64.8%. But Henke, of course, got far more swings and misses and the at bat would continue (when it didn't end.)
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#412907) #
Ah, we both zoomed in on the wonderful coincidence of those 1989 numbers!
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#412908) #
There was a guy in the mid 80s - was his name Driscoll? - who actually did some pitch-by-pitch logs, on his own, for a couple of Blue Jays seasons and self-published them. He discovered that Dave Stieb, who walked far more batters than Key, threw a greater percentage of his pitches for strikes as well. But Stieb, like Henke, was much harder to hit than Key was. It's an odd little paradox - the harder the stuff is to hit, the more necessary it is to throw it for strikes.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#412909) #
I ran a Stathead search (Blue Jay pitchers with 1000+ pitches and a strike percentage higher than 65).  The leaders from 2000 to 2022:

1. David Price 2015           70.35
2. Roberto Osuna 2016   69.66
3. Liam Hendriks 2015    69.15
(and then the Halladay and Towers and Wells seasons that Magpie has).
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#412910) #
David Driscoll from London, Ontario.  Funny the things you remember from books you read almost 40 years ago (in this case, the Bill James Annual Abstracts). 
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#412911) #
although all the leaders in strike % had low walk rates.

To be fair though, a low walk rate was the actual criteria for looking at the guy in the first place. I didn't even consider Stieb, never mind guys like Juan Guzman. (I only checked out Al Leiter because he seemed about as far away from that ideal as humanly possible. Well, Al and Robbie Ray I suppose. Challenged by the strike zone and really hard to hit? Going to be some long at bats...)
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#412912) #
I actually had the David Driscoll book back in the day - I remember a blue cover and that kind of plastic binding you would get done at a place like Kinko's. I would surely have got it at This Ain't the Rosedale Library on Church Street - best selection of baseball books anywhere, evert! - back when I was living in the gay ghetto.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#412913) #
The Stathead search revealed a couple of somewhat unexpected names among the top 30 in strike%.  Robbie Ray was 20th with a 66% strike percentage in 2021.  R.A. Dickey had two seasons with K rates of 65%+ in 2013 and 2014. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#412914) #
Of course you had the Driscoll book, Magpie.  Data Tables!
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#412916) #
a couple of somewhat unexpected names

Unexpected, counter-intuitive - but for pitchers like Ray and Dickey to be effective they have to throw more strikes than most pitchers. It's precisely because they're so hard to hit.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#412917) #
the Driscoll book

I think there were two of them, but I lost most of my old baseball library some twenty years ago. All I actually remember was the Stieb-Key paradox on strike throwing, and an explanation of why Buck Martinez' bat had died, not that it was all that alive to start with. (You take a slow 37 year old catcher, who pulls everything to the left side. You then break his leg in two places. When he comes back, you just set up your infielders in shallow left field. They can relay the ball to first and still get the batter.)
John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#412918) #
Just looking through BR and no pitch counts for Stieb in the pre-88 days which is sad given Driscoll's efforts - you'd think they'd put those in given he had a solid reputation.

Well, the 1986 Bill James Baseball Abstract does have some totals for Key & Stieb at least.
                 Key  Stieb
Balls           1139  1413
Called Strikes   460   626
Foul Strikes     535   655
Swinging Strikes 216   327
Put In Play      719   816
Total Strikes   1930  2424
Total Pitches   3069  3837
% Strikes      62.9% 63.2%
I'll have to look back at other editions to see if I can find more info.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#412919) #
Those figures would have been for the 1985 season, when Stieb walked 96 in 265 IP (3.3 per 9) and Key walked 50 in 212.2 IP (2.1 per 9).
scottt - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#412920) #
Yeah, the new roster rule is a bit backwards.
It seems like the Jays will cut a position player so that they can keep the extra pitcher until June.
It's either Katoh or Heineman.
Obviously, Saucedo should go down on May 2.
Then you have Borucki who is out of options, Merryweather who they'd like to get going and Thornton who they seem to like in middle innings.

bpoz - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#412921) #
Most teams expect to compete this year. Maybe not Baltimore, Cincinnati, Arizona and Washington, so logically the others would want to put the strongest team on the field.

The Jays may remove more to get to 26. Maybe 4 players but add 2. Does adding Moreno make sense? He has 35 ABs so far, so 50 to get ready or maybe 100/150 is what he needs. I cannot think of any other player/pitcher that is a great addition.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#412922) #
the Driscoll book

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Do I have my copy tucked away somewhere in my baseball library? I do! Jays Jazz, produced on his Apple Macintosh computer in 1986, the followup to his 1985 Blue Book (which I do not have).

Whatever became of him? A google search finds a David Driscoll heading up an investment company, and would have been a recent graduate of Western at the time the books came out. Seems plausible that this is him. If he has a pseudonymous handle at this site, he should introduce himself!

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#412923) #
Lourdes Gurriel and Alejandro Kirk are out of the lineup today.  It's a bit odd.  Collins is catching today and will probably catch Thursday (day game after night game).  Guerrero Jr. DHs and Katoh at first base.    Pivetta has a miniscule platoon split over his career, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to load the lineup with less than ideal left-handed choices.  You'd think that you would choose another day to give Guerrero Jr. a DH break and let one of Kirk or Gurriel Jr. DH. 
John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#412924) #
Right now the Jays are (via sOPS+ - OPS+ vs others at the same position so a 100 is league average for that position)

Below Average: 3B (96, 17th) SS (75, 23rd) LF (91, 19th) CF (82, 16th, Springer fine, the others are sub 0 for sOPS+)
Above Average: 1B (117, 12th) 2B (112, 13th) RF (118, 10th) DH (198, 2nd) PH (103, 11th)
Best in MLB: C (182)

Was surprised at how good our catchers have been given it feels like Kirk is struggling, but the big 3 all have sOPS+ of 120+
So by sOPS+ we go...
DH (198), C (182), RF (118), 1B (117), 2B (112), 3B (96), LF (91), CF (92), SS (75).

This makes it clear we need a new SS ... OK, not really, just Bo is off to a terrible start (yesterday notwithstanding). More on offense the issue is our backups, Tapia (61 OPS+) and Zimmer (5 OPS+). Clearly the most important thing for the Jays offense is to get Hernandez back and Bo going. Get Zimmer and Tapia back onto the bench. Collins and Kirk can share C/DH duties until Jansen is back (then they can split DH and backup Jansen). Heineman is the security blanket for the manager so he can put both Kirk and Collins in at the same time (only used twice so far). Katoh is also a security blanket for defense anywhere and pinch running (5 games, 3 PA). Either Zimmer or Tapia needs to be let go once everyone is healthy - they are pretty much filling the same role, and Hernandez being hurt gave them both a stack of playing time but neither has really run with it. Tapia keeps looking like he might but never does, Zimmer is great on defense but no offense (so far).

Then comes the sad one - Cavan Biggio. Led the teams hitter in WAR in both 2019 & 2020 but now can't do anything with the bat. I suspect once roboumps are in play he'll do much better as his great eye will be rewarded then but that won't be until next year at the earliest (I'd be very happy if MLB would just do it already). A -18 OPS+ is a killer though. Given he has options a demotion could be done to get him some playing time once he recovers from COVID.

So Kirk/Vlad/Espinal/Bo/Chapman/Gurriel/Springer/Hernandez/Collins as the starting 9 if all healthy, Jansen in there once he is healthy with Kirk/Collins sharing DH-backup C. Backup 4 would be (until Jansen back) Zimmer/Tapia/Biggio/Heineman. Katoh going down once Biggio healthy. If the Jays go with 12 hitters though then who do you cut from that group? Has to be one of Tapia or Zimmer. I love Zimmer's defense, but Tapia at least has looked good now and then with the bat. Guess it depends if someone out there would take one in a trade for a minor piece (even an A ball reliever).
Gerry - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#412925) #
Gurriel has some hamstring tightness.
JohnL - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#412926) #

This Ain't the Rosedale Library

It was my all-time favourite bookstore in Toronto. Not only because of their excellent baseball collection. Writers & Co. on Yonge near Davisville used to have a decent, but much smaller collection. I ended up with a lot of BB books, which I finally donated to the Canadian Baseball HOF.

I only learned of the origin of TATRL's name a couple of years ago. Charlie had worked in a bookstore near Yonge & St Clair (either Lichtman's or the Book Cellar), and some businessman used to spend his lunch hour browsing the magazines, but not buying. Charlie complained about the guy to one of his co-workers, "This Ain't The Rosedale Library..." RIP, TATRL.

Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#412927) #
Whatever became of [Driscoll]?

Seems obvious to me. His reward for his Herculean labours on the 1985 and 1986 seasons? How about the final week of the 1987 season?

Spirit, broken.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#412928) #
This Ain't the Rosedale Library

It's even got a Wikipedia page! I wondered what became of it (I had moved out of the neighbourhood around 1992). Eventually on to Kensington Market before closing its doors forever some ten years ago. I think I actually remember a couple of visits to the original location on Queen East - I used to haunt second-hand bookstores and Queen Street (east and west) and the Spadina-Harbord areas were ground zero back in the nday.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#412929) #
Lichtman's or the Book Cellar

I worked at both of them! This was during my university days. Charlie probably meant Lichtman's - it was a chain with muyltiple outletys (I was at the one in the Atrium.) The Book Cellar was on Yorkville, near Avenue Road. That was where I got to know the late, great Paul Quarrington.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#412930) #
I am really struggling with the new keyboard. I think the keys are slightly bigger, which you think might reduce the number of typos. But no....
budgell - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#412931) #
Loving this discourse on Driscoll, the TATRL and historical strike throwers. Name me another site that provides better, more knowledgable/interesting free baseball/Jays content than da box... I'll wait.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#412932) #
Why is Springer starting in RF tonight with Zimmer in CF (likely the optimal alignment) when they were flipped last night?
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#412933) #
Why is Springer starting in RF tonight with Zimmer in CF (likely the optimal alignment) when they were flipped last night?

The fifth question. 
JohnL - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#412934) #
The Book Cellar. The Yorkville store was my first neighbourhood store when I first moved out on my own, right around the time the location opened. So sad to see in the last couple of weeks York Square totally demolished.

I was pretty sure they had a location at Yonge & St Clair for a while, but I havenít spent much time around there. Mr Google however confirmed it, and in fact that was where Charlie worked, and the Library story was born, tho not exactly as I recalled. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/booking-it-west-of-yonge-street/article17983950/

I still have a large collection of bookmarks from many of Torontoís departed bookstores. TATRL (now a Craigís Cookies outlet) I donít think ever printed any.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#412935) #
Yorkville store was my first neighbourhood store

My first Toronto neighbourhood was the Annex, so my stores were About Books and Book City, both long gone now. About Books was all dark wood shelving and corners, and I still have a now 40 year old copy of The Kierkegaard Anthology what I purchased from that very boutique. (My general introduction to the European philosophers came via the work of Python, Monty - particularly their Cambridge connection, from which most modern British comedy springs, from Fry and Laurie to Webb and Mitchell,)
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#412937) #
Matt Chapman plays third base like an instructional video. Someone invoke Scott Rolen the other day, and it's a valid comp. The Jays have had a lot of partially outstanding third basemen - Gruber had great athleticisw, Glaus had a great arm, Batista had lightning hands - but Rolen was and Chapman is utterly complete. Does everything perfectly.

Now he'll probably boot a grounder or throw a ball away, just for me.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#412938) #
I wouldn't be surprised if Chapman has better range than Rolen, who was a much stockier guy.
Nigel - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#412939) #
I think we are seeing tonight a few of Collinsí defensive issues. He tries to backhand scoop balls in the dirt even with runners on base. Looks great when it works, not so much when it doesnít. And the less said about the footwork and arm strength on that throw the better. Of course, all will be forgotten if he can hit a bit.

That was a fantastic catch by Zimmer in CF. Having that kind of defense on the roster would be pretty useful.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#412940) #
The base hit by Collins is a nice way to somewhat offset some of his defensive issues in tonightís game.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#412941) #
No question that the minute Jansen is back Collins should not be seen behind the plate except in emergencies ala Heineman now. He'll be fine at DH/1B (so we don't see Katoh there except in rare cases). A bit of health and things will sort themselves out with this team.

My vote for bench (4 guys) once Jansen & Hernandez are healthy is to dump Tapia and keep Zimmer (defense), Collins sharing DH/backup C with Kirk, Biggio as the 'jack of all trades' if his bat comes to life, otherwise Katoh in that role. Then the final slot for either Tapia or Katoh. So Collins/Kirk (DH/C), Zimmer, Biggio, Katoh or Tapia (prefer Katoh as he plays everywhere). That gives the Jays 2 backup catchers who can hit (and L/R platoon), a great defensive OF with speed (although he sure slid terribly today), 2 super-utility guys who play everywhere. For May I expect the last slot to be dumped for more pitching (IE: Katoh in minors). Another factor though - on the TV they just covered that Katoh is the emergency pitcher and 4th string catcher. Gotta love it - the guy understands he needs to do everything if he is to stick around. I am cheering him on and hope he sticks somehow. Maybe Biggio send down for May to work on his bat and to get regular playing time thus leaving space for Katoh for the month until the batters need to go back to 13.

Bullpen is the other challenge - Romano-Cimber-Garcia-Mayza-Richards-Phelps the locks, 3 slots for Merryweather-Thornton-Borucki with Saucedo & whoever else is around as AAA backups. The big challenge is the end of May when it cuts back to 2 slots (in theory). If the rotation is lasting 6+ all the time then Thornton is an easy send down, if not then it might be Merryweather. Of course, once Ryu comes back then Stripling goes back to the pen and that would take away spots for both Merryweather and Thornton (both have options).
Eephus - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#412942) #
Did Katoh just Rick Roll us? That was some unique walk up music.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#412943) #
In all seriousness thoughÖ Kevin Gausman continues to prove my off-season skepticism about him as completely wild and unfounded. Dude is just throwing strikes, but theyíre good strikes dotting the edges of the zone, the fastball is hard enough to zip past ya and he can throw that or the splitter anywhere he wants at anytime. Batters so far have to just guess which one it is, thus explaining some of these off-balance whiffs you see them take. Itís mighty impressive.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#412944) #
The Jays are off to a great start this season, but they could make it a bit easier on themselves. Gausman gave them six innings, zero earned runs, zero walks, nine strikeouts, and Richards added another scoreless inning, and the Jays are up by only one run ó and the Red Sox have the go-ahead run on first base.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#412945) #
Garcia did not fool anyone tonight
Eephus - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#412946) #
Ah yes, thereís my old hatred for the Red Sox shaking my hand again. Canít walk on a wire forever.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#412947) #
The Jays have been winning a lot of close games but that is obscuring their offensive struggles. Looking at the lineup at the time of this post we have one hitter at .000 (Katoh); one under .100 (Zimmer); and three in the low .200's (Bichette .213, Tapia .222 and Chapman .234). That leaves four hitters carrying a heavy load.

The Jays are missing Teoscar, Gurriel and Jansen. The Jays don't have much hitting depth.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#412948) #
Gausman untouchable and on 88 pitches in a one run game.

By Gawd that's Charlie's music....
John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#412949) #
Once the hitters start coming back it'll help. Having 1/3rd of the lineup out with injuries and a guy counted on to be part of that on the COVID list (Biggio) doesn't help. Even though Biggio was hitting like he forgot which end of the bat to use. If Bichette can just get hot at long last it'll make a big difference.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#412950) #
No problem with the hook for Gausman. This is not a normal season, remember, and the starters are still getting ramped up. Gausman has thrown 44, 58, and 72 pitches in his three starts. He was at 88 and Montoyo figured he probably wasn't going to make it through the 7th without needing to crack 100. Which seemed like a bridge too far.
And even if he had stayed in, it would have only meant no need for Trevor Richards. Garcia is still the eighth inning guy.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#412951) #
UO, it likely still would have been Yimi in the eighth even if Gaus had pitched the seventh and ended up with 100 or so pitches.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#412952) #
Bold? I don't know why that happened. Bloody keybaord.
Cracka - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#412953) #
Magpie - it's a 3 catcher game! I just searched for your old research on this topic and this is only the 16th time that has happened in Jays history... and the first time in nearly four years. Last time was 2018 - Maile/Jansen/McGuire.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#412954) #
I like that Montoyo and the FO are pacing the team for late-season success. Days off for position players, using the whole roster, conservative pitch counts for SPs, bringing back injured players slowly, etc. You hate to lose games like this, but keeping the team relatively fresh and healthy over the long haul is a bigger priority.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#412955) #
I believe.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#412956) #
BOOM
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#412957) #
Looking forward to the Summer of George!
Eephus - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#412958) #
Spring is in the air
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#412959) #
Very impressed by Tapia's double, too. That's one nasty pitcher if you're a LH batter.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#412960) #
Amazing. Also, how about Tapia and Espinal to set that up. Well done.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#412961) #
it's a 3 catcher game! I just searched for your old research

Congrats on finding it, buried in a series thread! (I'm going to add explanatory titles from now on when I do something like that!) I wish I'd looked at the original instances in more detail now. Tonight we had a replacement for defensive purposes followed by pinch hit for when the team fell behind. And I'll bet that injuries were probably not involved that often.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#412962) #
What an inning by Romano. Dominant performance against the middle of the Boston lineup.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#412963) #
Oh, Chapman.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#412964) #
Did Chapman sleep through that at-bat? Get the lumber off your shoulder, my man.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#412965) #
Any chance of a bunt here? Risky, but might be better than a flailing K.
ae_scott - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#412966) #
Chapman looked like he was afraid to swing.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#412967) #
Kirk and Tapia with epic clutch at bats to sandwich that weird stinker by Chapman.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#412968) #
Another outstanding AB from Tapia against a nasty LH. Well done, son.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#412969) #
Tapia has taken a ton of heat since the trade. Really happy he managed to come through twice in the late innings.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#412970) #
Seconded. Tapia with some excellent ABs in this game. Kirk as well in that same inning off Barnes, just great discipline to lay off some damn good curveballs. That was darn fun.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#412971) #
<br>my sportsnet app decided to cut out during the Tapia at Barbara then restarted the whole broadcast instead of showing me the live at bat took me until checking here to find out the game was over. Another win for Rogers/sportsnet
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#412972) #
Those were two great PA by Tapia. What a season this has been already, and itís only April.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#412973) #
Kardiac Kids
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#412974) #
It's a different and better April, isn't it?
JohnL - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#412975) #
Great comeback, huge energy... and then another inane Arash Madani "interview." "How does it feel...", "What is it about this team...", "How is it you're so great..."

These on-field thingies are such a waste. They're all bad, but Arash is particularly embarrassing.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#412976) #
<br>I also love autocorrect that didn't use the word I picked. Barbara was supposed to be At Bat BTW

That was a fun e ding. I would have liked to have seen that live. Not sure why thr app likes to screw up in kate and close situations though. Except that time it didn't work at all
Polite Nate - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#412977) #
Seems to me that Tapia has been elevating his launch angle lately, wonder if that trend will continue.

I want to believe Zimmer has more to offer at the plate, but woof. Didn't matter in the end but I would have been tempted to let Katoh hit for himself and save Lourdes to PH for Zimmer.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 12:38 AM EDT (#412978) #
Tonight we had a replacement for defensive purposes followed by pinch hit for when the team fell behind. And I'll bet that injuries were probably not involved that often.

In fact, I'm now pretty sure that only once was an injury involved. As I mentioned in the original piece, the Jays have only used three catchers in a game when they happened to have three catchers on the active roster (infielder Tommy Lawless was forced to catch, but on that occasion the team had four catchers active.) Almost half of these games came in September, as you might expect, and the replacement was almost always a matter of either hitting or running for the catcher.

A Data Table, of sorts! It just lists the catcher, followed by the reason he was replaced. It's almost always easy to see why.

26 May 1980 - Davis (pinch-hitter), Whitt (pinch-hitter), Macha
3 June 1980 - Davis (pinch-runner), Whitt (pinch-hitter), Kelly

18 Sep 1984 - Whitt (pinch-hitter), B.Martinez (8 run lead), T.Hernandez

29 Sep 1987 - Whitt (injured), Moore (pinch-hitter), Myers

??? 1989 - STILL CAN'T FIND IT. I've looked and looked. It's making me crazy, it's got to be there, but...
5 Jul 1989 - Whitt (pinch-hitter), Borders (pinch-hitter), Lawless

16 Sep 1990 - Myers (pinch-hitter), Borders (pinch-runner), Diaz
28 Sep 1990 - Borders (pinch-hitter), Myers (pinch-runner), Diaz

30 Aug 1995 - Knorr (pinch-runner), S.Martinez (pinch-hitter), Parrish

19 Aug 1998 - Fletcher (12 run lead), Dalesandro (moved to 3b), Brown

6 June 2000 - A.Castillo (unknown), T.Greene (unknown), Fletcher

3 Sep 2008 - Barajas (pinch-runner), Zaun (pinch-runner), Thigpen

25 July 2012 - Arencibia (pinch-hitter), Mathis (moved to p), Gomes

5 Sep 2017 - Maile (pinch-hitter), Lopez (moved to 3b), Montero

7 Sep 2018 -  Maile (pinch-hitter), Jansen (pinch-runner), McGuire

26 Apr 2022: Collins (defense), Heinemen (pinch-hitter), Kirk

Twice the game's second catcher moved to third base and once he moved to the mound and a third catcher came in. The only time an injury took a catcher out of the game was when Ernie Whitt hurt himself sliding into second base during that fateful final week in 1987.

The June 2000 game is a mystery - Alberto Castillo was replaced in the bottom of the fifth with a 5-3 lead. I suspect he was ejected - he was called out on strikes in the top of the inning and Tom Glavine was pitching. Todd Greene replaced him, but Greene could neither catch nor throw, and Fregosi eventually got Fletcher into the game. Presumably that was the one other occasion, beside tonight's game, that defensive considerations were a factor in a three catcher game.
electric carrot - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#412981) #
Last night was the best Jays game I can remember. I just love beating the Red Sox. At the end of the game one of the Red Sox radio announcers said "this one hurt." Now I feel evil -- but at the time I found that really satisfying.
grjas - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#412982) #
This team has an amazing balance across starters, bullpen, fielding and hitting. When one dimension goes south, the others pick it up. BP was great to start the year but has floundered recently so the other areas click in. Combine that with a never quit attitude and these guys are tough to beat.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#412983) #
one of the Red Sox radio announcers said "this one hurt."

Cool. Excellent!

Seriously, someone connected with the Red Sox said that? They who have known the pain of Bill Buckner and Bucky Dent, of Aaron Boone and Enos Slaughter? I feel positively proud, on behalf of the Blue Jays...

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#412984) #
Reading their fan blog " Over The Monster " is hilarious. Every poster is tearing the players and management apart, with one guy wondering why the GM wasn't smart enough to sign Gausman. Then again, last season when the bullpen was coughing up numerous leads, we were doing our own share of complaining, I guess.

I don't think there's any doubt that, when you see the number of clutch hits he gets, that a full season of George Springer would have been enough to get the Jays into the playoffs last year.
AWeb - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#412985) #
I almost gave up on the game last night when I saw it has gone from 2-1 to 2-5, glad I tuned in to see Springer touching home, and then the rest. The Boston fans will always have a loud "woe is me" group, no matter how many titles they win - at least for another 30-40 years or so. The Jays won their titles just in time to prevent that sort of attitude from really taking root, I think. Just need to win another (few?) now and make sure it doesn't happen for another 30 or 40 years, at least.

Also, I will recommend the "Secret Base" documentary on Dave Stieb again. 4 parts, about 4 hours of narrration, graphs, numbers, game footage (including an incredible breakdown of the Bad Hop). It doubles as a history of the franchise up to the WS wins as well. Also a sub-doc on the ludicrous Rickey postseason is in there too. Part 1 is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlviajJlctQ
hypobole - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#412986) #
They have problems, but I don't think the Red Sox are as bad as they seem. Tigers are the only team they've played with a losing record.
Bid - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#412987) #
Enjoyable ballgame. And the recap of some of the finest aspects of Toronto's bookstore community was equally a pleasure.

When TATRL was on Queen Buck signed his book for us there.

Spoke to Charlie a few months ago at Western Health where we were getting our third shots. My bookstore experience was largely centered on Harbord, and This Ain't would have been a very welcome addition, but we found ourselves shopping at Church and Wellesley often enough anyway.

John Northey - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#412988) #
Checking 1989...
Ozzie Virgil: September 3rd, only 2 used that day
Tom Lawless: already covered (July 5th a 3 catcher game)
Greg Myers: 11 games, 4 times only played a partial game, once was Whitt starting, Borders hit for Whitt, Myers hit for Borders (before Borders saw a pitch) in the 8th - so 3 catchers used, but only 2 in the field. Weird, and not allowed now I think. Once he was pulled mid-game, but only 2 used, part of 2 used twice, but just 2 used. Never part of a 3 catcher situation. Bob Brenly: the #3 catcher on the team used the most (13 times). 6 times started but didn't finish. On May 31st he came in purely for defense after Whitt started, Borders pinch hit but was pulled before seeing a pitch so Ducey could hit.

Bottom line? After checking game logs for all but the 2 regulars in 1989 there wasn't a 2nd game with 3 catchers used behind the plate. Twice we saw 3 catchers used in the catcher slot, but twice it involved Pat Borders coming up to hit, then pulled when the other team switched pitchers but never seeing a pitch at the plate or behind it. Sorry Magpie - I tried every method I could but can't find a second 3 catcher game in 1989.
Cracka - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#412990) #
The Red Sox used Garrett Whitlock - clearly their best pitcher this year - as their closer to beat us 8 days ago. Since then, they've moved him into the rotation, have lost 6 of the last 7, and now have watched their bullpen blow the last four games. It's the right move long-term, but had Whitlock been available in late innings, they would probably have 2-3 more wins right now.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#412991) #
Semien/Ray combined 2022 fWAR: 0.0

Chapman/Gausman combined 2022 fWAR: 1.7

Those are some strong early returns for the front office.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#412993) #
I tried every method I could but can't find a second 3 catcher game in 1989.

And I've tried twice now. Is it possible - just possible - that there's a mistake somewhere? I've found mistakes in bb-ref logs before, but they generally involved relief pitchers in games played 100 years ago...

The basis for the whole enterprise. There were 162 games, and the Games Played at catcher adds up to 209. One of the catchers is listed as playing a complete game 117 times. That means an additional catcher was required 45 times. But the difference between 209 and 162 is 47, meaning a third catcher must have been required twice. We know about one of those games, but our best efforts have failed to find the second. Could one of the basic numbers, probably for Whitt or Borders, be incorrect? Do I care enough to find out?

I probably do.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#412994) #
Do I care enough to find out?

I do and I did, and it was remarkably easy and I'm kicking myself for not seeing it sooner. The GPL on the summary page for Blue Jays defensive appearances (which looks thorough enough) doesn't match the individual defensive Game Logs.

The team page has GPL as Whitt 115, Borders 68, Brenly 13, Myers 11, Lawless 1, Virgil 1 for a total of 209. The actual individual logs have Whitt 116, Borders 67, Brenly 13, Myers 10, Lawless 1, Virgil 1 for a total of 208. The second three catcher game was but a mirage, a snipe I hunted in vain.
Cracka - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#412996) #
The error is definitely with Borders - confirmed here:
https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.fcgi?id=bordepa01&t=f&year=1989 - There are 67 numbered rows for each game as a catcher - but the total at the bottom says 68 games. Not sure how this happened or if it's fixable, but that's gotta be it.



Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#412997) #
Not just Borders - Whitt and Myers as well.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#412998) #
Those things are definitely fixable, and I've already used the form to submit a note on the discrepancy. I've done this before and I'll get a response in the next few days.
92-93 - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#412999) #
Alex Cora tested positive for covid 6 days ago but Canada's border rules allowed him to enter our country today without even confirming that he is no longer positive. Unvaccinated players like Houck that actually test negative are not allowed in. Trust the science.
JohnL - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#413000) #
Echo the comments about the Stieb doc on YouTube. Amazing info, stories & graphics.

I'm expecting the whatever-Committee to get him in the HOF next chance. They can remove Jack Morris if they need the space.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#413001) #
So the letter the Yankees fought tooth and nail to keep hidden was published. They did a bit of cheating/attempted cheating in '15 and '16, but it only merited a pittance 100K fine. From ESPN:

"That the Yankees fought to keep the letter under court-ordered seal in recent years raised eyebrows and fed conspiracy theories about what's in it -- to the degree that some baseball officials have been befuddled by the team's handling of the issue, believing it would have been better to simply release the letter and move on."

Here's my guess. The Yankees wanted to keep the narrative of the honest innocent team having the pennant stolen by the filthy unscrupulous Astros. But the letter shows them more as Doyle Lonnegan's with 4 9's.
mathesond - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#413002) #
" The Yankees wanted to keep the narrative of the honest innocent team having the pennant stolen by the filthy unscrupulous Astros. But the letter shows them more as Doyle Lonnegan's with 4 9's."

And I bet it stings!
John Northey - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#413003) #
So can we call them the NY Cheaters now? :) Put an * beside any playoff appearances in those years, and beside any performance by their players too.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#413004) #
"And I bet it stings!"

He-he. You are The Entertainer.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#413005) #
The Yankees definitely don't look good but I think Manfred looks even worse.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#413006) #
Borucki back on the IL (blister). Andrew Vazquez up.
scottt - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#413007) #
The Houston cheating was driven by Beltran who imported it from the Yankees.
The Yankees defense is that using phones and video cameras was not spelled out as cheating anywhere in the rules.

Above the small fine, there are a lawsuit or two against the Yankees.

Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#413008) #
They can remove Jack Morris if they need the space.

Let's not go there. The distinction between Stieb and Morris is quite a bit less than Morris bashers will ever acknowledge. I also think Stieb was better in the 11 years (1980-1990) that they went head as full-time starters for Toronto and Detroit, but generally on grounds that are a) kind of marginaL or b) kind of irrelevant.
JohnL - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#413009) #
Iím OK with Jack Morris hanging in the Hall; I was probably a bit riled after watching the Stieb at just how much more recognition he always got than Stieb. Maybe they could hang Daveís plaque next to Jackís.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#413010) #
The Yankees were decoding signs in the video room, and calling the dugout to say what the code was. To actually use the information, they needed a runner on base who could see the signs in real time. Houston's scheme really was a little more egregious, and Manfred's reluctance to mess with the Yankees (and Red Sox) at the time may very well have encouraged the Astros to really push the envelope.

Get rid of it all, I say! No tablets in the dugout! No team reps in the replay room at all - make the managers and coaches decide whether or not to challenge based on what they just saw with their own eyes! And the dugout phone connects to the bullpen and nowhere else!

Call me a Luddite....
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#413011) #
Where did the bullpen phone come from?

"Naturally, Yogi Berra struggled a little with the phones. While managing the Yankees in 1964, Berra dialed 5-3 to reach the bullpen, but accidentally reached the grill cook in the pressbox. When the skipper told him to "warm up Stafford," the chef told him, "All I got here to warm up is hamburgers. You got the wrong number."

John Northey - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#413013) #
Stieb vs Morris is always fun.
  • Years of ERA+ over 130: Morris 1, Stieb 6
  • Years of 200+ IP: Morris 11, Stieb 9
  • Years of 200 K's: Morris 3, Stieb 0 (peak 198)
  • All Star Games: Morris 5, Stieb 7
  • Starts: Morris 527, Stieb 412
The 115 start difference is a very big reason why Morris is in and Stieb is not (beyond the raw wins - 254-176). Give Stieb 115 more starts and he'd probably win 40-50 of them thus getting him over 200 and probably into the HOF.

Sadly the #1 reason Morris got in was 'the ability to win' - a big thing for writers in the 80's as the stats revolution was just starting (Bill James Abstracts came out that decade and changed how people looked at baseball). Thus why Morris has 0.73 Cy Young shares, Stieb 0.29 (Stieb should've won in 1982, 1983, 1984 (#1 in WAR for pitchers) but instead came in 4th/no votes/7th).
hypobole - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#413015) #
I thought Story was a plus defender. That's 2 potential DP's he's botched
hypobole - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#413016) #
That was as good as I could have expected from Stripling. Looked scary in the 3rd, but 2 big K's and really settled down after that.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#413018) #
Yogi Berra struggled a little with the phones

Would anyone like some Yogi stories? (There are so many!) There was the time he was asked in spring training what his hat size might be, and he growled "I don't know, I'm not in shape yet."
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#413019) #
Would it have made more sense to use Richards in the sixth (against Bogaerts / Devers / Martinez)? That was an important inning in the game. I still donít really trust Thornton in those situations.
lexomatic - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#413020) #
Would it have made more sense to use Richards in the sixth (against Bogaerts / Devers / Martinez)? That was an important inning in the game. I still donít really trust Thornton in those situations.
If you don't trust Thornton in the 6th... ( I get it)All things considered it coulda been worse. But he's making a good case to get sent down when. Good start by Stripling though, so that's encouraging.
Now up to the offense to do something.
ae_scott - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#413021) #
Is this just a slump or has the league figured out how to pitch to Bichette?
Four Seamer - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#413022) #
Thornton and Merryweather are both doing their best to make the looming roster cut down decision a pretty easy one.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#413023) #
Espinal can jump too. I didn't realize it until he almost got to J.D. Martinez liner.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#413024) #
Sucks to give up back to back 5 run games against a team that went a week straight without doing it once. Oh well. Manoah tomorrow!
Glevin - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#413025) #
Bichette looks awful. His swing is so slow, he's late on absolutely everything and can't catch up to heat at all. Not sure what can be done, but he and the Jays needs to figure this out.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#413026) #
Bichette looks like he's overswinging, which will make you slow. On the other hand, he always looks like he's overswinging, even when he's going good. It's probably just a slump. He had three weeks exactly like this last August.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#413027) #
Thornton and Merryweather

I don't exactly trust Thornton either, but fair is fair. He's been really good so far. Even after tonight, he's allowed just 7H and 3R in 10 IP.

But Merryweather isn't fooling anyone. As Ron Gardenhire once said, "at this level, hard hard harder just gets hit hit hit."

Saucedo hasn't done himself too many favours either. Tonight was his first non-disaster.
electric carrot - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#413028) #
Down 7to 1 in ninth. Glad to see Tapia leading off.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#413029) #
To me it looks like Bo is just swinging and hoping now. Before tonight his BB% was 3.8%, his lowest yet. His K% is 27.5%, by far his worst (next was 23.6% in 2019). But on the good side, his xwOBA is 327 which isn't terrible, his lowest yet, but a LOT better than his wOBA of 248 suggesting the fundamentals aren't as bad as the results. Lets hope.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#413030) #
Actually, Thornton hasnít been all that good so far. His underlying stats arenít very impressive, even before tonightís game.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#413031) #
Bo has never been very selective at the plate and now that he is struggling he looks a lot worse. He is swinging at a lot of balls. He needs to be more selective to get back to his swing. He is over eager and over swinging.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#413032) #
Those things are definitely fixable, and I've already used the form to submit a note on the discrepancy.

And I've heard back! The figures on the team page represent the official stats from the league and no attempt has been made to reconcile them with the individual Game Logs for seasons prior to 1990.
lexomatic - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#413033) #
<br>that ended ugly.
Bichette looks especially bad, but imglad thrvstats seem to support my thoughts that he's been a bit jnlucky and is likely oressing. But his style of play was always going to be susceptible to it. Hopefully we get better swing decisions type discipline at least.
The offense really did nothing tonight, though
Waveburner - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#413034) #
It didn't matter in the end as you're not going to win many games scoring one run, but using Thornton in a tie game against Bogaerts-Devers-Martinez was a pretty terrible decision. His hot start has been all about riding the BABIP train, with a weak 6/4 K/W ratio in his prior 9 innings. And it's not because he was generating weak contact either. He's just not a good pitcher.

Merryweather had that awesome run at the beginning of '21, but was hit very hard when he came back at the end of '21, was hit hard through Spring and that has carried over to the season. For all the talk of him having good stuff, it doesn't show up when he pitches in the Majors. Easy cut at this point.

Too bad because Stripling was very good, even that bases loaded jam was mostly bad luck on weak contact.
Jonny German - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#413036) #
The good news is that the Jays hit Whitlock pretty well last year, .290 / .313 / .452 in 32 PA over 5 games. The bad news is that their 3 extra base hits came from Jansen (2B) and Semien (2B, HR).
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#413038) #
A stat shown on last night's game had the Jays batting .187 with runners in scoring position which is 14th in the AL. When you consider this, combined with not having Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen in the lineup, it's remarkable that the Jays have a 12 and 7 record.
grjas - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#413039) #
Teo will be a double win as along with his bat, VG will also start seeing better pitches. Bichette May feel less pressure to produce. I hope thereís no lingering effects of the injury though..

An effective Ryu would help too as we need Stripling in the BP for middle innings.
John Northey - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#413040) #
The old saying that pitching sorts itself out seems to be happening with Thornton looking like his old self (not good), and Merryweather having issues, Borucki hurt.
scottt - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#413041) #
Thornton has 2 options left. Merryweather still has 1.
Saucedo is behind those guys.
Vasquez is a question mark.

Merryweather's FIP is 2.70.
He has 3 plus pitches and he's made some good ones, but he's left too many balls over the heart of the plate.
He's pitching with a knee brace and I expect him to get knee surgery over the winter.

I don't think Vasquez will turn into anything.

hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#413043) #
Alek Manoah talks pitching with Dave Laurila

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/alek-manoah-is-here-to-tell-you-that-pitching-is-fun/
Mike Green - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#413045) #
Thanks, hypobole.  That's a fabulous interview. 
Chuck - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#413046) #
Evidence of a rupture in the space-time continuum: Tapia is today's cleanup hitter.
Magpie - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#413047) #
Seconded.
Magpie - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#413048) #
I was also referring to the Manoah interview, but something does indeed seem strange re time and space. What does it all portend?
hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#413051) #
No Vlad today because of that ball he fouled off his foot last night.

The hits just keep on coming.
John Northey - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#413052) #
WTF - putting Tapia in the lineup sucks enough, but cleanup? Geez... Chapman must feel very insulted. This looks like the weakest possible lineup the Jays could put out there with Zimmer CF, Katoh 1B, Tapia RF. The only way to make it weaker would be to start Heineman behind the plate or at DH. 8 of the 9 lowest OPS+ on the active roster are playing, Heineman the only one not. Vlad, Springer, Collins are the top 3. I'd put Collins in at 1B over Katoh myself but I get giving him a day off here and giving Katoh a reward for his hit and hard work (guy seems to be doing everything he can to stick around).
Ryan Day - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#413053) #
Montoyo's a bit fixated on "breaking up" the right-handed hitters, but I can't imagine any opposing manager changing his bullpen usage for Tapia, who's been equally mediocre against RHP & LHP over his career.
ae_scott - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#413054) #
Chapman must feel very insulted I hope not. He looks pretty helpless with the bat right now.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#413055) #
He struck out on a slider in the left handed batters box
hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#413056) #
That slider was the second swing of that PA that looked almost a foot outside.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#413058) #
He looks pretty helpless with the bat right now.

Well, in that he's joined by about 90% of MLB hitters this year
92-93 - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#413059) #
This is a spot where Manoah should get the 8th, but with Mayza, Cimber, and Romano fresh it's unlikely.
hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#413060) #
Great pitching and solid defence. Ump wasn't good, but not good both ways at least.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#413061) #
Iím calling it. Manoah AL Cy Young 2022.
Four Seamer - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#413062) #
Nice one-nil victory for FC over the New England Revolution.
hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#413063) #
"Iím calling it. Manoah AL Cy Young 2022."

Kevin Gausman wants to have a word with you.
Nigel - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#413064) #
It may be due to Collinsí most recent start but I really thought Kirk had a strong defensive game today. It was noticeable in a positive way.
hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#413065) #
Montoyo's a bit fixated on "breaking up" the right-handed hitters, but I can't imagine any opposing manager changing his bullpen usage for Tapia, who's been equally mediocre against RHP & LHP over his career.

May make no sense, but they have been bringing in a lefty for Tapia. He's second on the team with 13 PA's vs LHP. The guy most often batting behind Tapia is Espinal and he has 16 LHP PA's. It's doubly curious, because Espinal has torched LHP, 317 wRC+. Vlad still has only 4 PA's vs LHP.




hypobole - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#413066) #
From ESPN:

Manoah won his eighth in a row dating to last year. The Blue Jays have gone 20-4 in his 24 career starts.

Kirk went 2 for 4 in the matinee to extend his streak without a strikeout to 41 consecutive at-bats, the longest active streak in MLB.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#413067) #
What was Charlie thinking? Batting Tapia 4th without Espinal behind him for protection left him completely exposed!
greenfrog - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#413068) #
Grichuk certainly is off to a good start this year (161 wRC+ and 0.4 fWAR). Good for him. Weíll see where he is at the end of the season.

Tapia is at -0.3 WAR. He has had some big PAs lately, though.
Gerry - Thursday, April 28 2022 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#413069) #
Tapia and Zimmer need to look down to Buffalo. Dexter Fowler is 3-3 tonight in his first game.
scottt - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#413070) #
Fowler is 36 and hasn't hit in 5 years.
Next week, they'll probably cut one bench player to keep an extra reliever.
After May 29, they'll finally go down to 13 pitchers.
Fowler could get a shot then if he's still around.
Or it could be someone else.
mathesond - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#413071) #
"Fowler could get a shot then if he's still around.
Or it could be someone else."

Well, that narrows down the options :)
92-93 - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#413073) #
The Jays are carrying 16 pitchers, so they will be cutting two RP (and 0 bench players) after Sunday's game. Presumably Francis and Saucedo/Vazquez.

Among players with 50 PA, Kirk has the 8th best contact % in the league, while Tapia has the 3rd highest % of swings at pitches outside the zone.
lexomatic - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#413074) #
Re Tapia waste chasing, from a Fangraohs article on McNeil amd contact https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jeff-mcneil-secret-strike-zone-wizard/ <br>

"What about the other side, swings at chase and waste zone pitches? Raimel Tapia leads the league here, swinging at an unconscionable 41.5% of bad pitches. " <br>

That's brutal.
hypobole - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#413075) #
Almost a month in, Tapia seems the one miss so far by the FO.

Semien struggling big time in Texas. ISO worse than Tapia (.053 vs .081). Hasn't been good defensively either.

Robbie Ray looks OK to some. 2-1 record, 3.91 ERA. But his 4 seam velo and K/9 are way down from 94.6/11.5 last year to 92.9/6.4 so far. Maybe even more worrisome than Semien's struggles. Some may point to the short spring, but on the Jays, Gausman and Kikuchi are within 0.1 of last year and Manoah and Berrios velos are up.

McGuire has been decent defensively despite his 10th inning passed ball pretty well costing the game yesterday, but his offence has cratered again, below the Tapia line in all 3 triple slash categories.
Nigel - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#413077) #
And on Tapia the idea was a good one by the front office - swap out Grichuk for a LHH OF with some speed, defence and contact skills. It's just that Tapia, while he looks for all the world like that guy, isn't that guy.

The move that has me most concerned is the Kikuchi signing. So far, Kikuchi is exactly the guy he was for the better part of last year. Walker is going to have to work some magic here.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#413078) #
The announcers last game couldn't understand why Kikuchi didn't throw more fastballs. He has a good one, topping out at 95 or 96 and he seemed to be getting strikes with them. It will be interesting this game to see if he throws a higher percentage of them. To me, it's not a case of not having good stuff with Kikuchi, it's more how he uses it.
Chuck - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#413081) #
it's not a case of not having good stuff with Kikuchi, it's more how he uses it.

I wonder if Pete Walker doesn't see in Kikuchi a project similar to Robbie Ray, a guy who needs to prioritize his fastball. It will require a philosophical shift, to be sure, but at least there is a Cy Young award to hold up as evidence. "Yusei, you throw even harder than Robbie does! Trust me."

And speaking of Walker... has the DUI just magically disappeared?

John Northey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#413084) #
I was cleaning out some old stuff and found an old Jays ticket order form from pre-1993. Fun to look at - tickets ranged from $5 for the 5th deck can't see the screen seats to $19.50 for lower bowl and 2nd deck outfield. No pricing for the premium seats. By the time I got this sheet it marked some sections sold out already. 2 sections for a Tigers game in late July, and a Friday night vs the Angels in September (weird), plus 2 games vs Boston in June. Day 2 game had the $5 seats sold out (I suspect a few groups bought them out for some reason - school or something maybe).

Ah, old memories. Have a few of my old ticket stubs from the pre-internet days too.
Gerry - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#413085) #
Vinny Capra has been called up. He takes Cavan Biggio's spot on the 40 man roster as those on the Covid IL come off the 40 man.

Capra gives them a RHB and someone who is unlikely to be claimed when he comes off the 40 man.
Gerry - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#413086) #
Bowden Francis has been optioned.
grjas - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#413087) #
Two season suspension forBauer. Glad the FO tries to focus on character as well as skill. Plus as a sports fan, Iíd rather cheer for good guys like VG and Berrios rather than the Bauers and Odors of the world.
scottt - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#413088) #
I think players called to replace those on the Covid list don't have to waived anyway.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#413089) #
I have no trouble with the 2 years for Bauer. MLB has character clauses in their contracts which the Union has agreed to iirc. Bauer I'm sure is ready to spend millions on this lawsuit as is MLB - it will be very ugly. I feel for the poor woman in the middle of it all - go out with a pro athlete and things can get very ugly and from the sounds of it fairly violent as well. These are little boys in large bodies who have been told the world is theirs. Who have never been told 'no' in their lives.

I agree with grjas that I'm glad the Jays look into a players character before signing them. Springer fits in perfectly with this team, Bauer would've been a disaster. Even though at the time, given what we knew of him, he seemed like a good fit. Who'd have bet back then that Robbie Ray was a better choice to sign, even if they were at equal pay which they weren't.
Jonny German - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#413090) #
I think players called to replace those on the Covid list don't have to waived anyway.

Bit if thatís accurate it would apply to Bowden Francis, not Vinny Capra.

I assume Capra is getting the call here over Samad Taylor as they expect him to be up very briefly, and that theyíll quite possibly need to DFA him off the 40 man within a couple weeks.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#413092) #
Capra is a decent choice to call up - 304/377/478 so far this year, 316/390/531 last year, 25 years old, plays 3B/SS/2B (over 300 innings at each in his career), a bit in CF and LF, and has even 1 inning of catching and 1 out on the mound. So a real super-utility guy. He should mix well with Katoh as a L/R mix at whatever position is needed each day. I like it. 29-8 SB-CS lifetime but just 1-1 this year. Not bad for a 20th round 2018 pick $1k bonus.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#413093) #
Funny, just noticed that Capra is the 3rd guy drafted in the 20th round of 2018 to make the majors. Reiss Knehr and Kyle Tyler both did as well - both pitchers. The year before only 1 guy in the 20th made it, 4 guys from 2016's 20th, 2 for 2015, 2 from 2014, 1 in 2013 (plus 2 more who were drafted again later at higher rounds), 2012 3, 2011 saw 8 (but 4 were did not signs who were redrafted later including Trea Turner and Brian Anderson). The last significant one drafted in the 20th round who signed and did something was J.D. Martinez (27.1 WAR) in 2009, the next best WAR total was for Darin Ruf also 2009 who was at 2.6.

So the odds against Capra even getting this cup of coffee was high - 2012-2018 has seen just 22 make it who signed out of roughly 270 drafted of whom probably 200 signed. So around a 1 in 10 odds of reaching and far, far less of ever doing anything of note (0 had 3+ WAR, or what Biggio had in 2019, his pace in 2020 was for 5+ WAR). I hope things go well for him and he beats those odds.
Michael - Saturday, April 30 2022 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#413118) #
On the domestic violence front there have been 14 players suspended by mlb under their policy since 2016. And that doesn't count the players and former players in jail for rape or child sex assault.

It isn't necessarily a lot of people considering there's around 1000 people a year in the majors (and given prevalence in the general population of domestic violence is something like 1 in 35 / year) - but given very likely not all incidence in mlb are reported and punished, it does seem high. Not as high as NFL players, but higher than most other professional athletes.
Hodgie - Saturday, April 30 2022 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#413135) #
Even though at the time, given what we knew of him, he seemed like a good fit.

No, he really wasn't. It was more that way too many people were more than willing to look past all the flashing red warning signs about his character (he's not racist or misogynistic, he's just controversial) in order to chase wins.

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