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Road trip! It's the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Cleveland Guardians! For the first time ever!


Guardians, eh. Obviously an improvement, but still - couldn't they have done better? I seem to recollect that one of the popular options suggested while the Great Name Search was going on was Cleveland Rocks. Or Rockers. This both invoked a well known song by the great Ian Hunter - maybe he'd come round and play it on Opening Day - while nodding at the presence in Cleveland of the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. It was not to be, and anyway Ian's been struggling with tinnitus these last couple of years. And don't get me started on the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. Its very existence grinds my gears.

What's in a name, anyway? It seemed to me that the nicknames of sports teams fell into four broad categories: a) birds b) beasts c) local reference d) something random. But I looked around at some of the major professional leagues to see if this was the case. And I thought teams named after birds were far more common than they turn out to be. There's just three in baseball. I was surely led astray by the fact that two of them are in the AL East and the other is a famous old franchise that plays in October at regular intervals. There's just two birds in both the NHL and the NBA. The NFL is the league most fond of avian nicknames, with five bird names.

I also looked at the English Premier League, for obvious reasons. Besides Newcastle (that dirty Saudi money does seem to have put the Magpies on the right foot), three other current teams carry bird names. Sadly, Norwich is surely looking at relegation, which seems a shame. We'll miss having the Canaries to kick around. In general, English football fans don't seem to take team nicknames that seriously. It doesn't seem to be part of the marketing. It often seems to have nothing to do with anything (a team's crest might show a roaring lion, and the team is known as the Reds). They just don't seem to get it. You have a team with the official name of Wolverhampton Wanderers, which is wonderful. They're known as the Wolves, which is such a missed opportunity. They just don't seem to have given it much thought. Multiple teams are known by the colour of their kit. And I'll bet I don't even have to tell you what West Ham's nickname might be (that's pretty good, though!)

Back in North America, beasts are always more popular than birds, preferably some mighty and menacing creature that should strike terror into the hearts of the opposition. Baseball teams don't seem to have quite grasped that part - baseball's beasts include a reptile, two sea creatures, and a baby. The NHL has a mythical beast and the NBA has an extinct one, both signs of originality, I suppose. But the NFL really likes large, intimidating beasts. The team names include lots of creatures that could really mess you up, and several that would happily eat you for dinner.

Names with some kind of local reference are also a common enough choice, and as NBA teams usually keep their. nicknames even after the franchise moves to a new city, we all get to contemplate the idea that† Salt Lake City, Utah is the true home of jazz. We are also obliged to consider the many lakes that Los Angeles is known for (or how the residents had to dodge all those trolley cars, Los Angeles being world famous for its public transit.)† And sometimes it seems like they're stretching the point. I assume that the Vikings are so named because Minnesota was settled by a lot of Scandinavian immigrants, not because of a local fondness for rape and pillage. And Philadelphia's baseball team sounds like they ran out of ideas entirely and gave up.† No less than three hockey teams have a nickname that basically says "we're Canadian, eh."

But most team names are just random things, neither beast nor fowl nor connected with the city. Two of them, in the NBA, I find especially† irritating. How can you name a team the Heat? Or the Magic? What is that? And I think the NHL's Avalanche is almost as bad. If you play for that team, what can you say? I'm a Heat? I'm an Avalanche? That can't be much fun. Football teams do like names that suggest trouble, bad dudes like Raiders or Chargers or Buccaneers. Much better, to my mind.

And here in Toronto we've got a bird, we've got a beast (extinct, but scary), we've got a kind of local reference (and Leafs is certainly better than Leaves.) But I think the best local name, by a mile, is Argonauts. It's different, it's unusual, it's classical, it has a handy short form.... maybe I'm just remembering my youth, and the ghostly wail of "ARRR-GOES" rising up from the crowd like some immense sigh of despair, as the hometown crew got pasted, yet again.

I spent far too much time thinking about this, didn't I? I blame Eephus, who texted me wondering what I thought of Trash Pandas as a team name.

I liked it.

Matchups!

Thu 5 May - Berrios (2-0, 4.13) vs Civale (0-2, 10.67)
Fri 6 May - Gausman (2-1, 2.27) vs Bieber (1-1, 2.45)
Sat 7 May - Stripling (0-0, 3.79) vs McKenzie (1-2, 2.70)
Sun 8 May - Manoah (4-0, 1.45) vs Some Guy (---,-.--)
Toronto at Cleveland, May 5-8 | 123 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#413384) #
Marquee pitching match up tomorrow night.

All New York clubs should be named the Roaches or the Rats.


hypobole - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#413385) #
I figuratively held a gun to my head and literally googled both Trash Pandas and Sod Poodles last year. My life felt much more complete afterward.

On the subject or bird names, March Madness had a surprise David knocking off 3 Goliaths. Had never heard of any team named the Peacocks. Also, lends itself well to elementary school humour.
Nigel - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#413386) #
As someone who spent part of a childhood in the UK and next to a park that kept peacocks, I can verify that, like geese, they fit into the NFL, terrifying, despicable act, genre once riled.
hypobole - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#413387) #
New York Pizza Rats would be iconic.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#413393) #
Magpie, besides the Ducks, who are you counting as a bird franchise in the NHL?

Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#413394) #
Leeds United were known as the Peacocks, after a pub across the way, but now they seem to be known mainly as the Whites.

They seem to take their songs far more seriously. Everybody's got a song. And it's a little more intense than "OK, Blue Jays."
Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#413395) #
besides the Ducks

Why, Penguins! Although I'm not sure they've got the colour scheme right.
Chuck - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#413396) #
who are you counting as a bird franchise in the NHL?

Penguins.

Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#413397) #
geese... terrifying, despicable

I saw a tale told on the Twitter about a soldier who was new to this country having his first encounter with a Canada goose. He returned to his mates and said "I do not like that cobra chicken." I've thought of them as cobra chickens ever since.
Bid - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#413398) #
Cleveland Spiders...a missed opportunity.
Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#413399) #
Cleveland Spiders...

I believe it was seriously suggested. Probably thought it best to let the Spiders rest in peace, forever.

I am having a bit of a fandom quandry. I am, of course, a supporter of Newcastle United, to the extent that I actually follow English football (I was raised on hockey, I can't actually watch an entire football match.) They're the Magpies! I got myself a kit when they had "Northern Rock" emblazoned on their chests, a very happy choice of sponsors. (Had I waited a year, I would have been stuck with "Virgin.") And now they've been purchased by the investment arm of the Saudi government. Wicked billionaires and evil corporations... I'm resigned to that. But I'm not sure about this. I worry that this may be crossing the line.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#413400) #
Tapia leads off tonight with Zimmer and Collins also in the lineup. No Teoscar unfortunately.
Nigel - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#413401) #
Charlie's punking us now:) How else could you come up with that?

For the record, swans are actually the most violent birds of all, contrary to their place in lore.
Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#413403) #
swans are actually the most violent birds of all

No kidding.

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?


Be afraid.
hypobole - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#413404) #
I always check Australia first for most dangerous. Cassowaries are maybe the champ. They'd rather run, but 5 inch blades on their feet will cause major damage once a fight is on.

As for aggression, Australian magpies are possibly the champs. Side note - they are not really a magpie, like we have on this board. They are most closely related to butcherbirds.
Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#413405) #
they are not really a magpie, like we have on this board.

Shhh. They think I'm human.
Chuck - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#413406) #
They think I'm human.

Thus quoth the magpie: windy lore.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#413407) #
Civale has significant reverse platoon splits over his career. Strange to put in the lesser LHH; I guess Hernandez isn't ready and Springer needs a day off.
Magpie - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#413408) #
Hernandez batting second and playing RF for Dunedin tonight, but they apparently have a locker ready for him in Cleveland.
Polite Nate - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#413409) #
I always liked how Pittsburgh keeps the black and gold colour scheme with their major teams (Pirates, Penguins, Steelers). Toronto almost has the same thing going with the Jays, Leafs and Argos, but the Raptors and TFC kind of spoil the fun. Are there other cities like that?
Nigel - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#413410) #
Uh oh, the pitching and defence have given up 2 runs, this could be a problem.
grjas - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#413411) #
Based on the last inning.,,,yeah
Glevin - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#413412) #
This lineup is so bad. Why not wait a day or two until Teoscar is back to sit Springer?
mathesond - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#413413) #
The Jays have a man on 3rd with no one out, so naturally Cleveland scores multiple runs.
uglyone - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#413414) #
Not gonna lie didn't expect a AAA catcher was gonna be our main DH this year.
Nigel - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#413415) #
There are more problems with the line-up than will be fixed by a return of Teoscar (and even Jansen). They are going to have to go out an get a LH bat of some ability before the year is out.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#413416) #
Seattle teams wear green. Washington. The Evergreen State.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#413417) #
Zimmer and Tapia are almost two automatic outs so it doesn't make sense to me that they are following each other in the lineup. I don't know how Zimmer ever hit a home run, maybe swung hard with his eyes closed and happened to connect?
Polite Nate - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#413418) #
Well, they've scored at least 5 runs. After this week, I'm gonna count that as a victory.
Nigel - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#413419) #
Gurriel raises a theoretical player evaluation question that has rolled around in my brain for a while now - is 1.5 WAR player that essentially produces all of that value in a 4-6 week stretch more or less valuable than a 1.5 WAR player that provides that value fairly evenly over the year? We now have multiple years of Gurriel being a replacement level player for vast stretches of the year only to have him go nuclear for a burst at some point during the season. I honestly don't know the answer. It feels like its less valuable but I think that is likely a reflection of the proportion of the time during the year in which he's bad versus superman.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#413420) #
To me, a player that is capable of carrying a team, even for a stretch, is much more valuable that a player who canít.

To me, peak is always more valuable than floor
SK in NJ - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#413421) #
The game ending with Vlad on deck, and Tapia ending up with the most PA's in the game is beyond frustrating. I don't expect anything less from Montoyo as far as lineup decisions. I can't imagine any analytics team suggesting he bat the worst hitter on the team 1st, so I think it's safe to put this on the manager.

Either way, all it took was two injuries (Hernandez/Jansen) to expose how bad the position player depth on this team is. I think we all knew they needed to add another bat, but depth is also a huge issue. This is probably going to sound like a broken record until there is a trade(s) made to fix it.
Nigel - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#413422) #
And lineup balance. Itís been a problem for a while now and the one major offseason addition, Chapman, doubled down on what the team already had. Itís early and itís fixable but the solution will cost some prospects.
grjas - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#413423) #
The Grichuk for Tapia trade looks like a poor one. Grichuk was normally around league average in OPS and could play passably In all 3 outfield positions. He provided some depth. Other than being a LH bat, Tapia has provided nothing to date.
John Northey - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#413424) #
IMO the Jays need to accept Tapia is what he is, which is a sub replacement level player. Release him and call up anyone from AAA.
The_Game - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#413425) #
To continue on my list of Montoyo games from last season: https://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20211001001815366

April 16 (7-5 loss to the Athletics): The Jays start both Tapia and Zimmer in the outfield for this one leaving Springer on the bench (and not for the last time). Which, fine, if Springer has to be load managed like Kawhi this season to keep him healthy, that's fair enough. What is not understandable is batting an atrocious hitter in Tapia leadoff in his absence over Bichette, Guerrero, Gurriel and literally anybody else on the team. It gets worse, though. With Springer holding a bat in the dugout, Montoyo allows Bradley Zimmer to hit in a tied 5-5 game in the 6th with two runners on and two out. Zimmer, who was in one of the worst slumps of his career at the time, ends up striking out. The Jays later go on to lose in the 9th inning after Montoyo chooses to go with Merryweather over an available Romano in a tie game. Merryweather, who has not been good since April 2021, allows a two run HR to lose.

April 27 (7-1 loss to the Red Sox): Stripling pitches five great innings of one run ball in Fenway. Time for a high leverage reliever to keep it close, right? No. For Charlie it's time for Trent Thornton in high leverage against Bogaerts, Devers, and JD Martinez (see the May 14, June 8, and June 25 games in 2021 to see why this is a bad idea). Thornton goes on to allow a game deciding two runs in the 6th. Trevor Richards is oddly brought in to pitch a clean 7th inning immediately after Thornton in a two run deficit, but the Jays go on to lose.

April 29 (11-7 loss of the Astros): Kikuchi has a terrible start to the Astros, allowing 4 runs in 2.2 IP. Thornton is brought in to stop the damage in the 3rd in a 4-1 deficit. The Jays, however, tie the game immediately on a Vlad 3 run HR. Not having learned from his experience two days before, Thornton stays in the game, allows a run, and the Jays go on to lose.

May 5 (6-5 loss to the Guardians): Not having learned from the failure of the April 16 game, the Jays start Tapia again at leadoff on a Springer load management day. Tapia has a 54 wRC+ going into the game, which is quite easily the worst mark on the team for anyone not named Bradley Zimmer. Tapia ends up going 0 for 5 on the game in a one run loss, with Vlad (of the current 163 wRC+ mark) left on deck in the 9th having only batted four times (during which he got on base 3 times with a HR).
lexomatic - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#413426) #
Re Tapia leadoff.
I heard during the last of thr game I watched/listened to until 6-2 that Tapia hit 357 in leadoff. I have nonidea how many at bats that is, but surely not meaningful in any way. He's fast and that's probably all there was to it. Hopefully the average wasn't used for a decision.
dalimon5 - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#413427) #
Circling back to some of the Tapia and Grichuk trade questions from other threads. According to Rob Longley, part of the reason Grichuk was traded is because he asked for a trade.
John Northey - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#413428) #
Grichuk this year is at 0.6 bWAR while Tapia is at -0.2 but, always remember Grichuk follows a hot streak with an ice cold one so while he would've been nice right now during Teoscar's injury, odds are he'd have made the Jays think 'maybe he has finally turned the corner' as he does every year at some point, then turns right back into a pumpkin. What blows my mind is how much the Jays seem to be in love with Tapia, or at least Montoyo is. I mean, what kind of nut puts a 300 OBP guy leadoff in 2022? I get it in the 80's and 70's, but today everyone with half a brain knows you want OBP out of your leadoff guy and Tapia has NEVER been that (peak OBP of 369 once in freak show 2020, 329 next best, 321 lifetime, 300 before today's mess). Yeah, today's lineup sucked no matter what, but why not try Espinal in leadoff for a change (yeah, his OBP sucks too at 319 after today 311 before the game, but at least it isn't a lost cause).

Down in AAA Logan Warmoth is hitting 307/434/532 while mostly in RF but also time in CF and LF. He has also played SS and 2B in the minors so he can be a super-utility guy who is mostly in the OF. As a RH bat he could platoon with Zimmer in the OF as a defense/offense mix. I just don't get it with Tapia. If he showed any promise I would, but I don't see it - I did approve of the trade, but saw it as 'lets see what he has, if it doesn't play dump him and save some money vs keeping Grichuk', but right now he is a sunk cost - accept the $4 mil lost and move on rather than losing more games with him in the lineup.
Dr. Zarco - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#413429) #
ďZimmer and Tapia are almost two automatic outs so it doesn't make sense to me that they are following each other in the lineup. I don't know how Zimmer ever hit a home run, maybe swung hard with his eyes closed and happened to connect?Ē

In one of the most remarkable predictions Iíve ever seen, as Zimmer was due up after Espinalís HR my 10yr old son said ďin-play runs.Ē We were at the Reds/Cards game but watching the Jays gamecast on the mlb app. I told him he was crazy, Zimmer has no hits and certainly wonít hit a homer. After it showed his HR my son made it even more unbelievable by saying ď97mph exit velocity.Ē I again laughed, thinking thatís too low for a homer. He was dead on again. A exact prediction that will not be soon replicated.

Weíve since regularly played that prediction game, including exit velo. Fun, but impossible.
Polite Nate - Thursday, May 05 2022 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#413430) #
Even I wouldn't bat Tapia leadoff, and he rewarded the team giving him a showcase by turning in an especially ugly night at the plate even by his own standards.

There was definitely hints between the lines around the Grichuk trade that he didn't want to be a fourth outfielder, and I approve of a team accommodating players when it comes to this sort of thing to keep up a good reputation. Reminds me a bit of Freddy Galvis a while back. Plus, you could do a lot worse for a lottery ticket thrown in than this Pinto kid.

When the Jays traded for Zimmer, I thought at first they must have soured on Tapia in spring training (which would make sense based on how he's played but would be a bit of a surprise for how soon they were giving up). Then I thought, more likely they really liked Zimmer internally and pounced on an opportunity when he couldn't make Cleveland's roster (itself maybe a hint). Based on usage, they certainly haven't given up on Tapia. And based on performance, if they saw anything in Zimmer to like, I sure haven't. Zimmer now has a grand total of 2 bunt singles and a Crawford box homerun that was an out in every other ballpark in the league. I don't care how good your defence is, that is just unplayable, or at the very least un-startable. If there's evidence this is just a slump instead of the fizzling remains of an already terrible hitter, then fine, and if that's the way the Jays go when it comes time to make a cut then I would have to assume that's the reason why.

Should have hung on to Palacios.

Teo coming back, Biggio has to be on his way back too, and so I guess we'll get some answers soon.
Waveburner - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#413431) #
Second terrible start by Berrios out of 6. Not a great beginning to the season for him, though there is no real reason to worry about him. Glad I skipped this game though.

Tapia is just not an MLB player. Sucks that Montoyo keeps putting him high in the lineup. One can only hope that it truly is Montoyo's call, otherwise the analytics department needs to be turfed.

Front office deserves blame for not getting a good lefty bat. It was such an obvious need.

At least Bichette and Kirk seem to be coming out of their slump finally. If that continues and Teoscar comes back, the offense should at least be decent moving forward.
Jonny German - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#413434) #
Looking forward to happier times in July, when Hyun-Jin Ryu will have his command back, Julian Merryweather will thrive with the introduction of MLB Standard Tack, Raimel Tapia will regress up to his expected rates per Statcast, Josh Bell will bat 5th as the regular Toronto DH, Samad Taylor will endear himself to the fanbase in a super-utility and pinch-running menace role, and the team will roll along winning at a .600 clip.
smyttysmullet94 - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#413435) #
Ottawa teams are red and black (and the football team helpfully underlines this trend).
scottt - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#413436) #
Miserable stretch of 4 games in Cleveland.
They got there after 3AM and the game started at 6PM.
It's supposed to rain for 3 straight days there.
No wonder they are in no rush to bring Teoscar back and decided to rest Springer.

Zimmer is a defensive replacement/4th outfielder/pinch runner.
The bat will come around somewhat eventually.

It's unfortunate that Berrios had a bad night but those are not good conditions to try and rediscover his missing changeup.



SK in NJ - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#413437) #
I have no issues with trading Grichuk. He's been barely above replacement level in his last two full seasons and he was redundant from a roster standpoint being RH. Getting what could be an interesting prospect and 2023 money savings was fine. The issue is that he was traded for one of the worst players in baseball, and instead of just calling it what it was (accommodating a player who wanted out) and subsequently trying to get a better player than Grichuk to replace him, they decided to keep that bad player on the roster and let him be the primary outfield backup. Montoyo batting him 1st (or 5th or 6th or 7th) is bad enough, but the only OF alternative he has is Zimmer, who might be worse offensively, so it's just as much a roster problem as it is a manager who doesn't know how to set lineups.

I don't understand the logic behind losing someone like Palacios while giving OF reps to Tapia/Zimmer. Palacios turning into anything is probably a long shot, but at least there would have been some upside there. Call up Samad Taylor and give him some run in the OF. Really anything is better than having an entire bench comprised of players who will be lucky to be on big league rosters again if/when they are gone from this team. I'm not expecting 4 starting caliber players to be on the bench, that's not realistic, but what the Jays have now is clearly not it.
bpoz - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#413438) #
As we all know, especially Atkins good depth is a major asset.

8 SPs are often needed to get through a season due to injuries and poor performance. Ryu is injured. Given enough time T Roark proved the "poor performance" test.

Our position players were supposed to be fairly deep. Prior to the acquisition of Chapman we had a strong lineup except for C, 2B and 3B.

Last year C was weak due to injury and poor performance. 3B Biggio and Espinal are weak compared to the other part of the lineup. Semien at 2B was great.

When Semien was lost the Jays tried to trade for J Ramirez it seemed, especially if the rumor of Shapiro and Atkins travelling to Cleveland was true. Chapman was a good get when the Ramirez trade did not happen.

I objected to the Grichuk trade because I expected injury and poor performance. Teoscar got injured. Bo was "poor performance" (slump) which happens. Grichuk can catch and throw quite well and I always liked his offense. If the rumor is true that Grichuk asked for a trade because he did not want to be the 4th OF then Atkins had to deal with that issue. Last year he was considered the 4th OF and got 511 ABs. If no injuries happen to our OFs Grichuck can still share DH and play in the OF as others rotate into DH and get days off.

You cannot hope for good/elite farm position callups. Moreno qualifies as a player that could take the #1C job but health stopped him this year and he may still be compensating for missing ST.



grjas - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#413440) #
While Berrios was off last night- a slippery mound not helping- he was also somewhat unlucky with several fluky hits that led to runs, particularly the double down the 3rd base line which was little more than throw the bat at the outside pitch.

If itís raining for a few days, hopefully no one gets hurt, especially since injuries seem to hit our stars more than the Zimmers and Tapias
John Northey - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#413441) #
I find the talk of why didn't the Jays get a good LH bat funny. Which bat did people want them to get? Ramirez made it clear he didn't want to be traded and Cleveland was probably asking for a mint to get him. Freddie Freeman is a 1B/DH so wasn't a fit with Vlad here (yeah, yeah, one could DH while the other was in the field but odds were high Freeman wouldn't sign under that type of arrangement). Corey Seager is a SS (we have Bo) who signed for over $300 million (massive risk for a guy with 100+ games only 3 times in his career). Anthony Rizzo, like Freeman, is a 1B/DH who might have signed but would've taken probably 2-3 years at $20 mil per to get him out of NY (lifetime 128 OPS+, 111 last year). Afer that for free agents we get to a lot of floatasm (Jonathan Villar is next for WAR over the past 3 years for LH/switch hitters). So what guy could they have traded for realistically? Without giving up the teams future? Not a lot of options. If anyone can think of any I'd love to hear them so we can keep an eye open for a mid-season trade.

Tanner Morris in AA has the best OPS in the Jays minors with a 329/467/521 line while playing 3B/2B/DH. 5th round 2019 pick - this could be a breakout year for him. Lets hope.
jerjapan - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#413443) #
logan Warmoth hasn't played a pro inning in the infield since 2019.  corner outfield or bust for him, although it is nice to see him looking good at the dish. 

i don't really get the frustration around the grichuk trade.  sure, if it was a straight up deal, it's a bad one, but we got a prospect and $5 million in savings for a redundant player who may have wanted out. 

palacios is no loss, tbh.  it's the roster spot that has value for guys who require protecting on the 40 man who aren't top prospects.  maybe we shave have kept him over say, haggen Danner or anthony kay or someone like that, but there will often be a palacios type on waivers if we need one. 
Magpie - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#413444) #
Gosh. Two regulars have been out since the first week. The schedule has been brutal. They're not playing particularly well. And at their current pace they'd finish with... 96 wins?

I'll take it.
John Northey - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#413445) #
Magpie has it right - the Jays have had a brutal schedule so far, 3 vs Texas to start (spent a fortune upgrading this winter) went 2-1, 7 vs Yankees (3-4), 3 vs Oakland (2-1), 7 vs Boston (5-2), 6 vs Houston (4-2). April 18th was their only off-day in all of that time. Now 4 vs Cleveland (1 loss so far) before they get a day off. Then 2 vs the Yankees and 3 vs the Rays. Then the schedule gets more normal and a lot easier.

As stated they have done this with their cleanup hitter on the IL (Hernandez), and their #1 catcher on it as well (Jansen). Not to mention Ryu (#1 starter 2 years ago), Biggio (led all team hitters in WAR in 2019 and 2020), Borucki (counted on to be a useful part of the pen), and Pearson (IL all year so far). That is a lot of talent to be missing and still play at a 95+ win pace against the best in the AL. Yeah, the Rangers have played poor and the Red Sox have stunk up the joint (in part thanks to the Jays) but it still is a killer schedule so far.

My biggest concern is they are counting on 1 run wins so far (an oddity in Jays history) which is counting a lot on luck. They have been outscored 110-102. Still doing that with the injuries is impressive, especially with Tapia playing every bloody game (yeah I'm still on that until he hits or is released).
Magpie - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#413446) #
Indeed, they have been lucky. It's why they're 16-11. On merit, they should probably be something like 13-14. If they had been especially unlucky, they could be 10-17. And apparently if someone else was managing they could be 20-7.

The good luck probably won't hold. Be nice if it did. It held all year for the 2016 Rangers and the 2012 Orioles. But they'll probably just start playing better instead.
Mike Green - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#413447) #
Excellent time for a rainout. They can catch their breath after a long stretch of games, maybe play a DH on the weekend and then have another day off on Monday.

It has me thinking again about Bull Durham's rainout scene and the music of Los Lobos that accompanies it.

Cracka - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#413448) #
Tomorrow will be the Jays' first "traditional" doubleheader in over four years -- the last one (May 3rd 2018) was also in Cleveland and took nearly 8 hours to complete. Tim Mayza got the win in relief in the 11-inning opener; Joe Biagini took the loss in the nightcap. Like past years, teams are allowed to add a 27th player for both games.
John Northey - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#413449) #
With the unexpected off-day today lets see where the Jays offense is vs the majors... sOPS+ is OPS+ vs all others at the same position. Stats only at that position so for example, when Kirk DH's that doesn't count towards catcher numbers.
  • C: #1 with a 180 sOPS+. Jansen 595, Collins 163, Kirk 141, Heineman 130. Collectively as catchers they are hitting 308/370/495. Wow.
  • 1B: 13th with a 111 sOPS+. Vlad just at 130, Katoh at 1, Biggio -13. Should be a LOT better for Vlad.
  • 2B: 4th with a 131 sOPS+. Katoh 266, Espinal 133, Biggio -2
  • 3B: 20th with a 81 sOPS+. Chapman 84, Espinal -23 for his one game there (0-3 with a walk).
  • SS: 16th with a 94 sOPS+. 100% Bo. FYI: Seattle is #1 with J.P. Crawford (sure didn't see that coming)
  • LF: 25th with a 72 sOPS+. Gurriel Jr 85, Tapia 31, Capra -100
  • CF: 24th with a 65 sOPS+. Springer 125, Tapia -16, Zimmer -23
  • RF: 19th with a 91 sOPS+. Springer 179, Hernandez 181, Zimmer 97, Tapia 61, Capra 64, Biggio -64
  • DH: #2 with a 161 sOPS+. Vlad 274, Springer 224, Gurriel 173, Collins 122, Kirk -16, Biggio -100.
  • Infield: 10th 116, Outfield: 23rd 76, PH: 16th 84.
So our catchers and DH's are doing their jobs, but geez is the outfield falling apart. Springer doing his job, Hernandez will be a massive plus, then comes the mess in left with Gurriel who is more unpredictable than the weather. The outfield backups have all sucked and sucked hard - Zimmer, Tapia, Biggio, Capra all sucked out there when "hitting". Hopefully Teoscar is back for the doubleheader Saturday - the team could really use him.
scottt - Friday, May 06 2022 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#413450) #
Day off + Doubleheader isn't really rest.
They might feel rested Saturday morning, but they won't feel any better at the end of the day.
Teoscar will probably play in only one of the 2 games.

The good news is that with Monday off, they won't need a 6th starter.

27th player? Francis and Vasquez haven't been down long enough for a recall. Hatch or Kay?

vw_fan17 - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#413458) #
Teoscar activated off the IL!
John Northey - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#413461) #
Interesting on the Jays site - Hernandez is the 27th man for today, guess that makes it easier to send him back down for more rehab if needed. Borucki listed as possibly back this weekend, Biggio within a week, Pearson late May (I suspect lands under the 'lets keep hoping' category), Jansen by mid-May, same for Ryu. Saucedo unknown - for him this works well as otherwise he'd be in the minors but this way he gets a ML salary/service time (helpful for future MLB player pension). Get 10 years service time and you get a full pension ($63k to $220k a year for life depending on when you start it) plus lifetime medical benefits after just one game (critical for Americans) and a partial pension starting after just 43 games. Brett Cecil finished just shy by about 20 days of 10 years as an example of how hard that is to reach, but the more service time you get the more money you get in the pension. Obviously not an issue to guys like Bo and Vlad, but for guys like Saucedo every day of service time is critical. I'll guarantee Capra is hoping to get to that magical 43 days (I figure it would take until mid-June). Katoh got 19 days I think, so he needs another call up to get to the magic number. Heineman had 121 days before this year, so I suspect his big goal is cracking the 1 year mark (173 days) right now which would require another month.

I suspect most teams will try to get players those extra days where possible - hold them up for a day or two of offdays before demotion for example - as the marginals guys are the ones who need every minute they can get. It would help a lot when signing AAAA guys to fill in the AAA team.
Gerry - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#413463) #
Katoh has been claimed by the Mets.
hypobole - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#413465) #
Well that Tapia hit was unexpected.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#413466) #
Obviously, the return of Teoscar has improved the offense.
Kasi - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#413467) #
That Tapia actually gets contact is likely the reason heís on the team. His defence is worse than Zimmer as is his base running but this lineup already has too many swing and miss guys. Bichette, Chapman and Gurriel mainly. I donít think the Jays want to have those 3 plus Zimmer since that means 4 guys who will likely at best get on base 1/3 of the time.
scottt - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#413468) #
That was a really bad spot to try to steal 3rd base. And get spiked in the process.

hypobole - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#413469) #
That second Tapia "hit" was hilarious. YES a line drive, NO right at Kwan, YES Kwan stumbles, NO in his glove, YES he dropped it. All in a couple of seconds.
Polite Nate - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#413470) #
All the Jays needed to do to wake their bats up was finally get a game against some scrub pitcher like... Shane Bieber?
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#413471) #
too many swing and miss guys. Bichette, Chapman and Gurriel mainly.

Valkid point, except for including Gurriel who both swings and misses and strikes out less frequently than the rest of the team, Tapia included, with the exception of Kirk.
Kasi - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#413472) #
Sure but Gurriel is a hot and cold guy. When heís hot heís amazing and will carry a team. When heís not which is rather often it doesnít matter what his walk rate is because heíll be hitting .100 and is a guaranteed out. So yeah Iím wrong in that he wonít strike out but he also wonít be getting on base at all either.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#413473) #
When heís not which is rather often it doesnít matter what his walk rate is because heíll be hitting .100 and is a guaranteed out.

You exaggerate to make your point just a little too much, methinks! When Gurriel is not hot - like so far this year - this is what you get: .263/.299/.384, which is pretty well what he did all last season before he finally went berserk, as he always does. It was in September last year, who knows when it will be this year. But he's not useless in the meantime.
Nigel - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#413474) #
Youíre right heís not useless but he struggles to be replacement level. Itís a pain to watch for 75-80% of the season.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#413475) #
Yeah, it's frustrating. You put up with five months of a corner outfielder with an OPS+ of about 100, which is not quite you want - all because you're waiting for that one month when he mysteriously turns into peak Miguel Cabrera. If he could just manage it for two months...
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#413476) #
But maybe he can (hit like a hero for two months) - 2021 was the first time he'd actually been in major league lineup for all six months (five meh, one wonderful.) Injuries and pandemics had prevented him before.
Nigel - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#413477) #
Collins is weird guy to watch. He looks terrible defensively but I actually think heís better, when all is said and done, than how he looks. He looks like he could be a good hitter (excellent patience and a pretty swing) but heís worse than how he looks. Odd.
scottt - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#413478) #
He gunned down a runner who was 6 for 6 on the year.
Maybe his framing isn't top notch, but his defense behind the plate is not remarkable either  way.

He takes his walks while he waits for his pitch. The right handed pitchers try to work around him and he will often bring out a lefty reliever.

His swing is very quiet. The bat path is questionable but he makes hard contact.

Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#413479) #
This is the first time Thornton has been on the mound with the team ahead in a game this season. Kind of tells you what his role on the team is.
hypobole - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#413480) #
This is the first time Thornton has been on the mound with the team ahead in a game this season.

And the top of the 8th is showing the reason why.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#413481) #
There's no way that I would leave Thornton in after walking the bases full.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#413482) #
Once more... throw strikes! Babe Ruth is dead.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#413483) #
I've never been able to stand Thornton. And that's why.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#413484) #
Never mind. Gameday was slow. The Merryweather Experience is somewhat psychedelic though.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#413485) #
Merryweather's 12th appearance, 4th with a lead. (I've been researching this, mainly to compare it with last year!)
lexomatic - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#413486) #
More games with 10 walks from the hitters, please.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#413487) #
Hyun-Jin Ryu went four innings for Buffalo, gave up 5H, 5R, 2ER, 6K, 0BB. A two out error by Fuentes allowed a run to score, and Ryu allowed a two-run homer to the next batter. I'm betting he makes another rehab start.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#413488) #
I remember this McKenzie dude from last year. About as skinny as a human could possibly be (listed at 6-5, 165). Couldn't possibly pull a muscle, I suppose.
Nigel - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#413489) #
Three unearned runs that will go as earned. Ouch
lexomatic - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#413490) #
The pen is gonna get destroyed today. Ugh. Such a great start and then...
Gerry - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#413491) #
Before game 2, Merryweather was optioned and Borucki reinstated.
Magpie - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#413492) #
Luke Maile? That's just embarrassing, Ryan
lexomatic - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#413493) #
Ugh I called that. Sorry, folks.
Outside of the big guns thr pen feels very unreliable. A lot of similar options. Amd just zero offense after that first inning. At least Espinal had a good night.
John Northey - Saturday, May 07 2022 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#413494) #
The good thing is with 8-3 and 8-2 games mostly the scrubs were used in the pen.

Game 1: Thornton, Merryweather (demoted)
Game 2: Phelps, Borucki, and Lawrence

Of those 5 only Phelps has any trust from the team right now I suspect.
Thornton: 3 times brought into a tie, 5 times when the Jays were down, only today was he trusted with a lead, then he walked 3 so he might be waiting a long time for another chance like that.
Merryweather: 4 times given a lead (including today), blew it once. 2 ties, blew it once. 6 times when down.
Phelps: 3 times with a lead, blew it once. 3 times with a tie - left all 3 still tied, 6 times when down (inc today).
Borucki: once ahead, once down, plus today (down again).
Lawrence: only used when down to eat innings (2 times).

Wouldn't be shocked if Lawrence is sent down after today just to get another live arm up for tomorrow in case innings are needed. Wonder who goes down to make space for Hernandez (as he was the 27th man today)? I'd love to see Tapia released or Zimmer (neither impresses me, Tapia a good baserunner, Zimmer a great fielder, but that is all either gives despite Tapia having those hits today - I put that under 'blind squirrel finds nut').
scottt - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#413495) #
1-2 in 3 games against Cleveland when none of their starters looked good?

The Jays are pushing the shift to its limit.
Having Chapman helps quite a bit, but sometimes he has to play shallow to defend the bunt.

Still, against hitters who have little power, shifting while pitching outside is a risky strategy.

Magpie - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#413497) #
Tapia a good baserunner, Zimmer a great fielder, but that is all either

I think I've been a bit wrong about both of those guys. When everyone has been lamenting Tapia's general ineptitude with the stick - well, I may have said nothing but I was thinking "come on, the guy's not really a .212 hitter. It's just a blip. He ain't great, but he's hit .280 over 400 games in the majors, give him some time." And then I looked at his Home/Road splits in Colorado and I'm glad I didn't say that out loud, and I'm only confessing my sins and my general wrongness because it's good for the soul. But the guy's really pretty terrible, a Coors Field creation.

As for Zimmer - I did say he's like Jonathan Davis. Better with the glove and on the bases, but even worse with the bat. And while Zimmer's certainly been worse than Davis with the bat (shudder!) since coming here, he's actually been a much better hitter than Davis in the majors coming into this season. (That's a very low bar indeed, and it by no means makes Zimmer adequate with the bat, never mind good.)
grjas - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#413498) #
I remember looking at Tapiaís splits when the deal was done and grimacing. I think the FO got too focused on getting a LH bat when not much of interest was available.

Meanwhile BP depth continues to be a worry past the top 5 guys, especially if there are injuries. Fortunately our starters going deep in games has helped mitigate the impact of the others. Now with luck, Ryu will come back as some semblance of his old self, Stripling will add depth to the BP and Pearson will eventually add more.
John Northey - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#413499) #
Yeah, I was wrong on both - I figured both were adequate 4/5 outfielders, in fact good ones. With speed/defense on their side we could ignore weak bats. I just didn't guess how weak.

Zimmer has a -20 OPS+ right now, but his career is a 73, with an 85 last year. An 80's OPS+ would be acceptable for a backup speedy/high end defense CF, while we'd have lived with it in the 70's.

Tapia: 56 OPS+ right now vs lifetime 79 (includes yesterday). His speed is there, but the fielding has been an adventure with negative dWAR which a backup with no bat cannot afford. I really thought the Jays might be able to sneak some of that 2020 magic he had when he had an OPS+ of 98 but as Magpie said his non-Coors numbers are ugly - on road: 240/280/317 vs 2022's 222/237/289 - so his road numbers are actually better than his actual 2022 numbers. Yikes!
grjas - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#413500) #
Well you never know. I was surprised they didnít resign Dickerson if they really wanted an LH bat, but heís been bad this year as well.
Nigel - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#413501) #
Tapia and Gurriel are classic examples of Beaneís ďlooks good in jeansĒ comment (no, Iím not saying Gurriel is terrible like Tapia). You have to challenge what your eyes tell you. They both look fast and look like they will add value on the bases but they donít. They both have what appear to be loud defensive tools but are poor defenders. Their hitting issues have been documented above. I can understand why both were viewed as top prospects coming up.
scottt - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#413502) #
Not completely.

He's hit well in 3 games in Angel Stadium. Eh.
He hit .330 in 38 games in Chase Field.
.300 in 5 games in Butsch Stadium.
.412 in 6 games in GreatAmerican BP.
.280 in 7 games in Miller Park
.500 in 2 games in Oakland Colliseum
.320 in 7 games in PNC Park. Everybody should hit well there.

His line in the RC is .239 .265 .304 which isn't good.

scottt - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#413503) #
Gurriel does not look fast. He's a slow runner. Also, he was never a prospect, he was signed in his 20s.
His brother, Yuli, debuted at 32 with an 86 OPS+, but has been a top hitter in his 33-37 years. He's currently hitting under .200 but won the batting title last year, so no telling how he'll finish.
Gurriel might end at first base as well, but with the bat, the best might yet be to come.

vw_fan17 - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#413504) #
Did anyone else notice the crazy commentary yesterday in the first game? Ben Wagner and Pat Tabler. My wife says windy days often lead to loopy 1st/2nd graders (she's a teacher) - maybe it's not just children?

I often use Kodi to watch the replay instead of watching live, because of the excellent mlb.tv plugin that lets me skip around, set up hotkeys for +-5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 2 minutes, etc. So - skip a commercial? Just hit "c" to skip 115 seconds. Etc. They just added new "skip nothing, skip breaks, skip idle time, only show action pitches" modes, which I tried out, and they are quite good. The "only show action modes" essentially shows the last pitch of every AB, except if something else happens like a stolen base, pickoff attempt, etc..
All that to say I didn't watch the entire game, but just snippets of it. Here are 3 things I picked up on that, maybe I'm the crazy one, but did anyone else hear these?BW: And it's 2-1 on Gausman. ... .. Er, I mean, it's 2-1 for Gausman on <the hitter>BW: (grounder to Ramirez at 3rd, throws to first for the out) And he throws to third! (emphatically)
PT: (after Vladdy's hit) And that's the last pitch Bieber will throw this year.
I am losing a bit of hearing as I age, but am I going insane?
vw_fan17 - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#413505) #
Let's try that formatting again. Sorry, forgot to use preview:
Did anyone else notice the crazy commentary yesterday in the first game? Ben Wagner and Pat Tabler. My wife says windy days often lead to loopy 1st/2nd graders (she's a teacher) - maybe it's not just children?

I often use Kodi to watch the replay instead of watching live, because of the excellent mlb.tv plugin that lets me skip around, set up hotkeys for +-5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 2 minutes, etc. So - skip a commercial? Just hit "c" to skip 115 seconds. Etc. They just added new "skip nothing, skip breaks, skip idle time, only show action pitches" modes, which I tried out, and they are quite good. The "only show action modes" essentially shows the last pitch of every AB, except if something else happens like a stolen base, pickoff attempt, etc..
All that to say I didn't watch the entire game, but just snippets of it.

Here are 3 things I picked up on that, maybe I'm the crazy one, but did anyone else hear these?
BW: And it's 2-1 on Gausman. ... .. Er, I mean, it's 2-1 for Gausman on <the hitter>
BW: (grounder to Ramirez at 3rd, throws to first for the out) And he throws to third! (emphatically)
PT: (after Vladdy's hit) And that's the last pitch Bieber will throw this year.

I am losing a bit of hearing as I age, but am I going insane?
hypobole - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#413506) #
Something I found interesting:

2 players, both 10th round picks, both about 21 1/2 yrs old when drafted. Here are their lines their draft year.

Player A: GCL/Appy: 369/.511/.523
Player B: GCL: .244/.330/.267

Player A is Cal Stevenson. Hitting .259/.434/.328 in AAA.

Player B, drafted 2 years earlier, had a line showing he should be out of baseball by now. But he 's still around. Any guesses?

Magpie - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#413507) #
And that's the last pitch Bieber will throw this year.

I noticed that one. You mean this afternoon, I thought.
Magpie - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#413508) #
Any guesses?

I made no guess but I should have done, as it's the first guy whose numbers I looked up, the most obvious "who saw this coming?" I could think of.
John Northey - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#413509) #
Interesting question hypobole- I had a couple of guesses but wasn't right - I checked a few 10th round Jays like Yan Gomes and the most famous 10th rounder Albert Pujols (shot through the minors in 1 season, majors the next season day 1). No luck. Total blank on who it could be.
Magpie - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#413510) #
"who saw this coming?"

I was utterly baffled that people seemed to like him more than Richard Urena.
Magpie - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#413511) #
I believe Manoah had faced 89 consecutive hitters without drilling anyone, the longest such stretch of his young career.
scottt - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#413512) #
10th rounder in 2016 include Samad Taylor and Kirby Snead.
Magpie - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#413513) #
Maybe he wasn't drafted by the Blue Jays. Open your minds!
85bluejay - Sunday, May 08 2022 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#413514) #
That Espinal was a smart pick-up by the Jays.
StephenT - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 02:27 AM EDT (#413516) #
fyi, I dusted off some old scripts.  Stats are just through Saturday.
There might be glitches, but it looks reasonable at first glance.

A.L. Run Environment just 4.0 runs per 9 innings:

 Runs Scored Per 9 IP   Runs Allowed Per 9 IP        Winning Percentage
( 1)   Guardians 4.87 | ( 1)   NYYankees 2.81 | ( 1)   NYYankees  18- 7  .720
( 2)   NYYankees 4.77 | ( 2)   Minnesota 3.26 | ( 2)        Rays  18-10  .643
( 3)      Angels 4.69 | ( 3)      Astros 3.42 | ( 3)      Angels  18-11  .621
( 4)        Rays 4.68 | ( 4)      Angels 3.78 | ( 4)      Astros  17-11  .607
( 5)     Rangers 4.39 | ( 5)   White Sox 3.90 | ( 4)   Minnesota  17-11  .607
( 6)     Seattle 4.28 | ( 6)        Rays 4.10 | ( 6)    Bluejays  17-12  .586
( 7)   Minnesota 4.13 | ( 7)          As 4.13 | ( 7)   White Sox  13-13  .500
( 8)    Bluejays 3.92 | ( 8)        Rsox 4.13 | ( 8)   Guardians  13-14  .481
( 9)      Astros 3.82 | ( 9)      Tigers 4.19 | ( 9)     Seattle  12-16  .429
(10)     Orioles 3.53 | (10)    Bluejays 4.23 | (10)     Rangers  10-14  .417
(11)          As 3.52 | (11)     Seattle 4.28 | (11)     Orioles  10-16  .385
(12)   White Sox 3.35 | (12)     Orioles 4.32 | (12)          As  10-17  .370
(13)        Rsox 3.34 | (13)     Rangers 4.52 | (13)        Rsox  10-18  .357
(14)      Tigers 3.12 | (14)   Guardians 4.53 | (14)      Royals   8-15  .348
(15)      Royals 3.07 | (15)      Royals 4.79 | (15)      Tigers   8-18  .308
             Avg 3.98                Avg 4.02                    199-203     

Most of the hitters have higher EqAs than I'd have guessed:

                Age        EqA   BA  OBP  SLG  R27   ERP   R RBI HR  SB CS   PA
 Vladim Guerrero          .332 .287 .357 .535  6.99   20  14  19  7   0  1  115
 George Springer          .317 .282 .333 .515  6.26   18  18  15  6   2  1  111
 Santiag Espinal          .307 .267 .347 .433  5.75   15   9  12  2   3  0  101
  Alejandro Kirk          .277 .270 .353 .324  4.45    9   5   4  1   0  0   85
    Zack Collins          .276 .222 .276 .444  4.40    7   5   9  3   0  0   58
    Matt Chapman          .269 .208 .286 .406  4.15   13  10  14  5   0  0  112
 Lourdes Gurriel          .262 .250 .288 .375  3.88   12  12  10  2   1  0  111
     Bo Bichette          .247 .244 .268 .366  3.34   12  14  14  3   3  2  127
    Raimel Tapia          .210 .222 .237 .289  2.23    6  11   7  1   3  0   93

                Age        EqA   BA  OBP  SLG  R27   ERP   R RBI HR  SB CS   PA
    Danny Jansen          .656 .571 .6251.571 38.49    4   3   2  2   0  0    8
 Teosc Hernandez          .325 .273 .385 .455  6.64    4   3   3  1   0  0   26
    Gosuke Katoh          .298 .143 .400 .286  5.35    1   2   0  0   0  0   10
  Tyler Heineman          .292 .308 .308 .462  5.10    2   2   1  0   0  0   13
  Bradley Zimmer         -.108 .075 .119 .150  -.43    0   2   1  1   1  1   42
    Cavan Biggio         -.119 .043 .185 .043  -.54    0   2   0  0   0  0   27
     Vinny Capra         -.119 .000 .200 .000  -.54    0   0   0  0   0  0    5
         TORONTO          .273 .240 .300 .398  4.32  123 112 111 34  13  5 1045

Only 2 of the 6 starters seem to have realized that it's a low run environment
(REqA is based on runs allowed,
 CEqA is based on Component stats (H, BB, HR),
 DEqA is defense-independent (just K, BB, HR, rest normalized):

                Age    W  L  ERA   REqA CEqA DEqA  dH   IP   H/9 BB/9 HR/9  K/9
     Alek Manoah       4  0  1.45  .174 .202 .258  -7  31.0  5.2  2.3   .9  9.3
   Kevin Gausman       3  1  2.13  .212 .221 .173   7  38.0  8.8   .2   .0 10.9
  Ross Stripling       0  1  4.70  .278 .269 .264   1  23.0  9.4  2.0   .8  7.0
    Jose Berrios       2  1  5.34  .293 .325 .307   4  28.7 11.6  3.1  1.6  6.3
   Yusei Kikuchi       1  1  4.35  .300 .301 .322  -2  20.7  7.8  6.1  1.7  8.7
   Hyun_jin, Ryu       0  0 13.50  .425 .353 .327   1   7.3 13.5  2.5  2.5  6.1
         TORONTO      17 12  3.95  .267 .264 .269  -2 257.3  8.4  2.7   .9  8.3

                Age    W  L  ERA   REqA CEqA DEqA  dH   IP   H/9 BB/9 HR/9  K/9
       Tim Mayza       1  0   .93  .146 .177 .193   0   9.7  6.5   .9   .0  9.3
   Jordan Romano       1  1  1.35  .199 .235 .238   0  13.3  7.4  2.0   .7 10.1
    David Phelps       0  0  3.18  .238 .218 .257  -2  11.3  5.6  5.6   .0  7.9
     Adam Cimber       4  1  2.92  .252 .185 .258  -3  12.3  5.8   .0   .7  5.8
  Trent Thornton       0  2  3.95  .260 .235 .268  -2  13.7  6.6  5.3   .0  5.9
 Trevor Richards       1  0  4.15  .282 .299 .309   0  13.0  8.3  4.2  2.1 10.4
     Yimi Garcia       0  2  4.35  .291 .212 .241  -1  10.3  7.0  2.6   .0  6.1
 Ju Merryweather       0  2  6.94  .326 .256 .237   1  11.7  9.3   .8   .8  9.3

                Age    W  L  ERA   REqA CEqA DEqA  dH   IP   H/9 BB/9 HR/9  K/9
  Bowden Francis       0  0   .00  .000 .295 .159   0    .7 13.5   .0   .0 13.5
  Casey Lawrence       0  0  2.70  .223 .279 .284   0   3.3 10.8  2.7   .0   .0
     Anthony Kay       0  0  4.50  .274 .268 .207   1   2.0  9.0  4.5   .0 13.5
    Ryan Borucki       0  0  7.71  .340 .306 .306   0   2.3  7.7 11.6   .0  7.7
  Tayler Saucedo       0  0 13.50  .425 .497 .516   0   2.7 20.3  3.4 10.1   .0
  Andrew Vasquez       0  0 15.43  .448 .433 .365   1   2.3 15.4  7.7  3.9 15.4

(Sorry to not provide a better glossary.)
StephenT - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 02:32 AM EDT (#413517) #
I meant to at least mention that  an EqA of .260 is supposed to be league average.
Chuck - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#413520) #
A.L. Run Environment just 4.0 runs per 9 innings
Most of the hitters have higher EqAs than I'd have guessed

This 10% drop in run-scoring from 4.5 to 4 runs per game is going to require that we rely less on our intuition when interpreting stats. Guerrero's OPS+ of 161 is virtually the same as last year's 167 but you wouldn't know it from the slash line: 311/401/611 to 286/358/524.

The average hitter this year is 232/306/370.

The annual trend in run scoring is interesting to observe. We have been seeing modest declines for a few years now, attributable as much to chance and the pandemic, I would think, as anything.

It is interesting to note that early on, walk and strikeout rates are in line with recent years, so there has been no increase in balls in play. If this suppressed run-scoring environment is not some illusion (due to weather, short spring training, small sample sizes), one would think that over time (how much?) there would be some strategic intentionality to increase the number of balls in play. With home runs more difficult to achieve, hitters should be motivated to adjust, if only a little, from grip-and-rip and pitchers should be walking fewer batters. But culture changes do not come swiftly and easily.

As always, when offense goes up or down, there will be talk about the baseball itself and I suppose that is always a contributing factor, whether changes are the random result of the vagaries of the construction process or the handiwork of a cabal with an agenda we cannot fathom (maybe Fauci is behind this).

hypobole - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#413522) #
Don't know if the trend has continued, but a couple of weeks back it was noted stadiums with new humidors had a significant drop in offence, pre-existing humidor stadiums like Coor's much less.

Balls are also intentionally a bit looser which causes drag IIRC and decreases FB distance.
Chuck - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#413523) #
Balls are also intentionally a bit looser

Has MLB actually confirmed this?

John Northey - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#413524) #
A good reminder of the value of stats that adjust to context like ERA+ and OPS+. A 4 ERA is great in 2021 (ERA+ above 100) but not so good in 2022 (about a 90).
hypobole - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#413525) #
Chuck, making me work:

In a memo sent to every team this offseason, MLB outlined a plan to change the ball in response to the soaring home run rates in recent seasons. A record 6,776 home runs were hit during the 2019 regular season, and the rate had fallen only slightly -- from 6.6% of plate appearances resulting in homers in 2019 to 6.5% last year.

In an effort to better center the ball, tension was loosened on the first of three wool windings within the ball. Rawlings' research ahead of the season estimated the adjustment would bring down the coefficient of restitution (a measurement of the bounciness) and also reduce the ball's weight by 2.8 grams without changing its size.

Those changes were designed to lose one to two feet of distance on balls hit more than 375 feet -- but a look at the batted balls most likely to leave the yard (hit with a 100 mph exit velocity and a 20- to 35-degree launch angle) compared to recent Aprils shows the impact goes beyond that.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33848888/what-heck-going-baseball-everything-need-know-mlb-scoring-drought
BlueJayWay - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#413526) #
Yes, MLB said they were deadening the balls. Apparently some of them got mixed into last year's games, and this year they're mostly the dead batch. Every team has a humidor now which apparently is also having an effect.

Statcast data shows flyballs aren't traveling nearly as far. Home runs are down more than 20% on a per-PA basis compared to last year.
We're in a dead ball era again right now.
Glevin - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#413527) #
Jays definitely need another hitter. I am fine with either Tapia or Zimmer but having both on roster is bad. Rather then getting a DH-type would much rather get a hitter who can play regularly in field as well. An ideal pickup for me would be someone like Robbie Grossman. 32, Switch hitter, on non contending team with, free agent after season, can really hit (great OBP) and can play both corner OF spots. Someone like Josh Bell is trapped at DH. I'd be fine with that but prefer some defensive versatility.
hypobole - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#413529) #
As a couple of posters alluded to, Player B in yesterdays question was Santiago Espinal. Amazing the strides he's made since that anemic debut. Here's something - Espinal has more XBH's that Vlad this season.
Cracka - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#413530) #
The Espinal story is even better when you consider what happened before he got drafted. Not only was 2016 his professional rookie season, but it was also his college "freshman" year (albeit as a 21-year-old) and he hit .432/.492/.562 with 0 HRs. Before that, he redshirted for a season (2015), had his scholarship withdrawn (2014), and spent two years catching up academically following his high school career-ending in 2012. Essentially, he didn't play competitive baseball during his age 18-20 seasons, arguably his three most important developmental years, and yet somehow didn't miss a beat by the time he got the chance to play again.
Mike Green - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#413532) #
Stathead story.  I tried to find comps for Espinal using his 2020-2022 statistics; I got five names- Geronimo Pena, Andy Carey,  Jimmy Esmond, Tommy Butts and Pee Wee Reese.  Reese was a very good comp, but only because he missed his age 25 and 26 seasons for WWII.   Pena  had more pop, but less overall offensive skill and less defensive ability.  Jimmy Esmond ran up his numbers in one year in the Federal League.  Tommy Butts was a fine Negro League shortstop whose career ended in 1948. 

Tony Phillips is the player I think of.  He hit .264/.345/.368 in 1215 PAs from age 25-27 (OPS+ of 103).  He had comparable defensive value.  Phillips broke out just after he left Oakland for Detroit at age 31. 


grjas - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#413533) #
Itís absurd to see MLB deaden the ball before they ban the shift and widen the bases. Now the game is deadly dull. They should have waited a year till the other changes come in.
John Northey - Monday, May 09 2022 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#413534) #
The killer with the ball was they did 2 things at once - each to deaden it but combined it was more of an effect than expected.  So now the challenge is can they adjust mid-season or just keep as is.  I figure best to just stick with it and fix in the next winter with bigger bases, robo ump, ban the shift, etc.  Then we get a batch of changes again that might cause unexpected problems.  Nice thing with RoboUmp is it can easily be adjusted mid-season without it being painfully obvious (IE: move zone up or down, left or right, wider, thinner, shorter, taller, whatever) if there are clear issues.  Adjusting the balls is a bit more tricky as I suspect they get most made pre-season thus shifting mid-way is a lot harder.  Plus, of course, what if they adjust too far the other way and we get a repeat of the 90's in the 2nd half after '68 in the first half?
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