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The Yankees ran into a couple of days of rainouts, which backed up their rotation by a couple of days. They ended up starting Cole and Montgomery in Sunday's double-header, and Cortes yesterday. The Jays will see the other two starters, Severino and Taillon, and the Bombers will have to improvise on Thursday against the White Sox.

It looks like the roster should soon be assuming the form it was expected to take, with the imminent return of Jansen, Biggio, and Ryu (and the subsequent reduction to 13 hitters and 13 pitchers.) The hitters will be the nine RH batters who will start the most games: Jansen, Guerrero, Espinal, Bichette, Chapman, Gurriel, Springer, Hernandez with Kirk getting the most DH starts. They're supported by four LH batters (Collins, Biggio, Tapia, Zimmer) who will spell them off.   It does seems like strange roster construction to me, but I guess an extra outfielder is no more redundant than an extra infielder would be.  I suppose it should be noted that both Tapia and Zimmer are better hitters than they've demonstrated since coming here, I said the other day that Zimmer was a Jonathan Davis type, but better than Davis at everything but hitting. My bad - Zimmer is actually better than Davis at everything, including hitting. It's just that he's hit even worse than Davis since coming to Toronto.

Here was something I suggested about the manager at the end of last season, that I'm basically going to repeat (with stylistic improvements, natch!)

Montoyo seems to like trying out stuff, just to see what might happen. Maybe it won't work, but maybe it will and we'll save it for future reference. He's managed almost 3,000 professional games - he knows how the game works - but he doesn't seem to have developed all of the fall-back, automatic in-game policies that most major league managers develop; all those things that they do automatically, both to make the job simpler and to fend off the relentless second-guessing that comes with the gig, (which is something that I think took Montoyo a little bit by surprise last year.) I think managers develop these automatic policies to spare themselves the burden and the trouble of thinking. "We pulled the pitcher because we always pull this pitcher after this many hitters." "We did this because that's just how we do it." It makes the decision for the manager - and every manager already has more than enough on his plate - and it also gives him something with which to answer any questions. But as late as 2021, Montoyo was still winging it, still just trying stuff, the way you can in the minors or with a non-contender because no one is paying all that much attention anyway. I think he likes doing it that way, and it's one of the things I like about him. But no, that might not be what you need to be doing if you're trying to compete in the AL East. In baseball, with great power comes great responsibility - it also comes with great pressure. It's going to be interesting to see how he responds to it. Will he back down a bit and be a little more more cautious and conventional, and manage by whatever book they've decided to use?

The return of Ryu will bump Stripling into the bullpen role currently being filled by Thornton. That will surely send Thornton to that same land where Merryweather, Saucedo, and Lawrence already reside. And I think we can already answer my question about game management when it comes to Montoyo's use of relief pitchers. Montoyo has definitely developed a set of policies for running his bullpen, and - you know you want it - it's Data Table Time! What's the Game Situation when a reliever enters the fray?

Pitcher      Games Ahead Tied  Behind
Romano    14   13    1    0
Cimber    13    8    5    0
Mayza    12    8    2    2
Garcia    12    7    5    0
Richards    12    5    2    5
Merryweather    12    4    2    6
Phelps    12    3    3    6
Thornton    9    1    3    5
Saucedo    4    0    0    4
Borucki    3    1    0    2
Vasquez    3    0    0    3
Stripling    2    0    0    2
Lawrence    2    0    0    2
Kay    1    0    0    1
Francis    1    0    0    1

Well, that's extremely straight-forward. Romano is the Closer. Cimber, Garcia, and Mayza are the guys who get the ball to him, and usually enter when the team is leading. (The four of them combined have made just two appearances, both by Mayza, when the team was trailing.) Phelps and Stripling will be called on when the team is behind - the Stripling role (filled by Thornton when Stripling is needed in the rotation) is for the guy who may have to work multiple innings. And the last two guys, Richards and Borucki, are Montoyo's flexible options, suitable for either situation, and most likely in response to who's available to work on a given day. I think, for example, that he's going to be reluctant to use Phelps - an older guy, with an injury history (who's actually returning from a season mostly lost to injury) - on consecutive days. Montoyo tried it just once so far this year and Phelps promptly coughed up the lead. We already know that Montoyo definitely doesn't like to use relievers three days in a row, which ought to create some opportunities when the team is ahead.

It's all obviously a lot more ordered and coherent than what was going on last year. I'm not sure if this is because Montoyo has decided to assign roles and stick with them, or if it's because he simply has a much better idea of what it is that he has to work with. Last year's bullpen began as a mystery and soon descended into chaos and disorder. As you surely recall, the year began with two guys (Dolis and Borucki) who had been effective parts of the 2020 bullpen; two guys (Mayza and Thornton) who had lost most of the 2020 season to injury; two guys (Romano and Merryweather) who hadn't yet established themselves as major leaguers; and two veterans (Phelps and Chatwood) brought in from outside. Despite a raft of injuries (Merryweather, Borucki, Dolis, Phelps, Chatwood) those guys and their replacements were pretty effective for about six weeks. But by the end of May, all was a shambles, save for Romano at the end of the game. (Even Mayza, who would have a very fine season, got kicked around some in May.) Romano settled into the Closer role, and Thornton was used mostly as Long Guy When We're Losing, but most of the other roles changed or evolved or mutated as the season went on: Chatwood, for example, was mostly used when the team was winning until he personally began seeing to it that the team was no longer winning. The same thing happened  with  Dolis.  Cimber upon his arrival was mostly used when the team was trailing, but fairly quickly  earned his manager's trust, and settled into the role he still has (get the game to the Closer.) Montoyo eventually concluded that he could generally count on Mayza and Richards as well. Most of the troops from the Buffalo Shuffle (or the Waiver Wire Wonders)  were more likely to be used when the team was trailing, although the shortage of options often required even some of these non-entities to try to hold a lead.

John Northey documented some of this last July; I've got the entire season, and the usual nicely formatted columns, though I'm not going to bother with the guys who made 5 appearances or less::

Pitcher       Games  Ahead Tied Behind
Romano    62    43   13    6
Mayza    61    35    9    17
Cimber    39    18    8    13
Dolis    39    19    8    12
Thornton    34    7    5    22
Richards    32    15    6    11
Chatwood    30    19    4    7
Saucedo    29    12    0    17
Castro    25    8    7    10
Borucki    24    11    2    11
Payamps    22    6    3    13
Merryweather    12    5    2    5
Pearson    11     3    0     8
Phelps    11     6    2     3
Hand    11    5    3     3
Barnes    10    5    1    4
Soria    10     6    2    2
Bergen    9     6    1     2
Murphy    8     2    1     5
Beasley    8    2    1     5
Snead    7    1    1    5
Kay    6     1    0    5
Cole    6     3    0    3
Edwards    6    1    1    4


Tue 10 May - Kikuchi (1-1, 4.35) vs Severino (2-0, 3.75)
Wed 11 May - Berrios (2-1, 5.34) vs Taillon (2-1, 2.84)
Toronto at New York, May 10-11 | 68 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#413535) #
So we go with
Kikuchi vs Severino and Berrios vs Taillon.

Last time around, they had Kikuchi merge his 83mph slider and his 90mph cutter into an 88mph hard slider which mirrors what Robbie Ray was throwing last year. His 95-96mph 4-seamer is harder than Ray's and he still has a split-change in his back pocket.

Ray was a strike out machine that gave up a fair amount of solo homeruns.
This is what Kikuchi looked like in that outing.

Right back in there against the same hitters.
Will he be able to stick with the plan?

scottt - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 07:26 AM EDT (#413536) #
Kinda weird that Biggio is still on the Covid19 List.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#413538) #
Ex-Jay Rowdy made news with his huge 8 RBI game and has been one of the best position players on the Brewers this year. But there is another ex-Jay who has been even better, and sits atop his team's position players on both BRef and FG.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#413539) #
Mayza is the 2nd best of the relievers, in my opinion, but has been used in somewhat lower leverage situations than Cimber or Garcia.  There is a logic to it though- Mayza has been absolutely unhittable against LHHs and Montoyo is more likely to use him in medium leverage situations with LHHs scheduled. 
Nigel - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#413541) #
I'm not sure that Mayza isn't the best of the relievers (he's certainly the most irreplaceable) but I agree with his usage based upon Mike's point. Hence, a second LH reliever who could take on some medium leverage situations would make a big difference to the pen in general. Whether that can be Borucki is an open question.

I'm not sure that Garcia's the answer as the second highest leverage RH but there's probably enough quality to do the medium leverage work between Cimber, Garcia and Richards.
smyttysmullet94 - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#413543) #
Our old friend Olivares? It'll be interesting to see how he does in a full MLB season. The path to playing time is certainly available for him in KC.
Cracka - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#413544) #
Brandon Drury?!? I only know this because I started playing in a fantasy league this season, and when you look at "best available players", Drury is near the top of the list. And it's increasingly looking like it's not just a freak hot streak - Drury has been above average in ~200 PAs over the past two seasons (ie. just after he left Toronto). He's a versatile defender and free agent to be... likely someone that will be an attractive addition to a contender later this summer.

ncreasingly looking
hypobole - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#413545) #
Yeah, it's Drury. scott's comment on Biggio got me thinking. Drury was bad as a Jay and when he became worse in 2020, nobody really delved as to why, they just wanted him gone. I remembered he missed a chunk of training camp for an unspecified reason, which I assumed was covid. The effects seemed to linger, 82 EV in 2020, 87/88 the years prior.

Last year was 89.7 and 90 EV this year. His HR last night off Woodruff was 414 to centre. Hadn't heard of "long covid" back then, but I'm guessing he had that in addition to his other issues.

Now Biggio. Was symptom free a week ago and was supposed to start a rehab last Thursday, but didn't. I hope he's not going through was Drury seemed to a couple of years ago.
Cracka - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#413546) #
The Bisons just tweeted a few minutes ago that Biggio is starting tonight for them on a rehab assignment. So that's some good injury news. I also think Nate Pearson is close to an assignment after throwing a couple of successful bullpen sessions.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#413547) #
So I checked into Olivares. Yeah he's ahead of Benintendi for the team lead at FG and just behind him at BRef, all in only 38 PA's. (A .433 BABIP kinda helps). The other 2 guys I mentioned, Rowdy and Drury are at .273 and .309 BABIP's respectively.

Of course, now that the Royals give him a real shot, he strains a quad and is gone for 6 weeks.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#413548) #
I'm not sure that Garcia's the answer as the second highest leverage RH

That mystifies me - from the moment they signed him, the team seemed to be talking about him as the eighth-inning guy, and that was certainly how Montoyo was using him in April. I don't understand what it was in his history that said he was The Guy.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#413550) #
I'm not sure either, but Statcast says that Garcia's been doing a great job of obtaining weak contact so far this year. The biggest improvement so far is with his four-seam fastball- he's given up 1.5 mph in velocity for 1.7 inches of horizontal break and the hitters have not been on it.  It looks like he throws quite a few curveballs (in addition to many sliders), but the curveball has not been as effective over the last 2 years as his other pitches. 
Gerry - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#413551) #
Danny Jansen is catching for Dunedin tonight.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#413553) #
Frankly, I don't know that there's much to choose between Cimber, Richards, Garcia and Phelps. Other than Phelps has to be used more sparingly and Cimber is a real challenge for RHs. So, it probably doesn't matter right now if Charlie thinks Garcia's the guy. Ideally, there's a second LHH to take some of the medium leverage LHHs and then I think you could make Mayza the guy.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#413554) #
Boy is this ump terrible - the summary from umpscorecards should be interesting. But Kikuchi is doing well which is great to watch.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#413555) #
Every last umpire in this miserable league should be fired and MLB should start again. 13 year olds in their first year little league do a better job than each and every one of these unprofessional clowns.
James W - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#413556) #
I'm here for the "Dan Shulman scolds the umpiring crew" show. It's more entertaining than the #umpshow
Nigel - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#413557) #
It’s the Yankees in Yankee stadium - ever it was thus. Remember the back door cutter “strike” to LHHs that Mariano Rivera used to get called in his later years?
James W - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#413558) #
Rules for thee, but not for me.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#413559) #
Bad stadium, bad umpiring, whatever...time to start swinging the bats.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#413560) #
When a home run is what the opposition needs... Richards frightens me. That's about all he gives up.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#413561) #
When your closer walks the number nine hitter so that Aaron Judge comes to the plate as the tying or winning run, that is not optimal strategy.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#413562) #
No kidding.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#413563) #
I don't know if "strategy" quite captures it, but walking Trevino there was a bad sign.
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#413564) #
<br>what a terrible ending.
Clearly Romano needs to not have long breaks
Gerry - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#413565) #
Romano is the closer because he has a great fastball. When you are unwilling to challenge a good hitter with your best pitch, how can you be elite? Romano threw six pitches to Judge, five of them sliders. Apart from the fact it was a bad pitch, when the hitter sees too many of the same pitch, they learn to hit it.

Too often over the years Romano has gone away from using his fastball. Earlier in the season he was using his fastball most of the time and having success.

Trying to understand the mind of Romano is impossible.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#413566) #
Romano was throwing fastballs to Trevino but couldn't locate them and was missing 1-3 mph on them. He just didn't have I.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#413567) #
*he just didn't have it.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 10 2022 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#413568) #
The one fastball he threw to Judge was a good one, down and away. It was 95 mph, but was that so bad that yet another slider was the only option?
scottt - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 05:53 AM EDT (#413569) #
Romano had been the second best reliever in baseball to that point.
He's done that with some weird pitching patterns, sometimes throwing all fastballs to one hitter and all sliders to the next. Not having pitched since May 4th, he was not sharp. A closer shouldn't walk the 9th hitter. Throw something down the middle before it gets to 3 balls, then the hitter will start swinging. 

Garcia was just unlucky. He generated some weak contact against Stanton that just happened to land outside the park because of the shape of Yankees Stadium. This ejection is the same thing that happened to Manoah against Baltimore last year. Apparently you can't hit someone in the back after giving up a homerun.

It's tough to bring a reliever with 2 men on. That also was because of bad luck as Chapman got the ball but couldn't get it out of his glove.

Impressive stuff from Kikuchi.

Joe - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#413570) #
Romano had been the second best reliever in baseball to that point.
Weirdly, he'd been great despite giving up extremely loud contact. He's in the 2nd percentile for average exit velocity and hard hit %, and his xwOBA is like 20th percentile. There's been a lot of "the Jays are extremely efficient on defense" """luck""" behind Romano's success lately.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#413573) #
The ump was bad, but not as bad as it seemed on ball-strike calls.

We've certainly seen worse. Some were way off though as shown above.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#413574) #
In ex-Jay news: Drew Hutchinson has been (or will be?) DFAed. Sean Reid-Foley is scheduled for Tommy John surgery today..
scottt - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#413576) #
Number 1 is a borderline call. It missed the strike zone by a hair. It was with 2 strikes, so the hitter should have swung at that.

There are 3 balls several inches away which were called strikes. Those are not listed in the top 3 but they led to hitters chasing bat pitches. There was one to Guerrero and one to Springer that I remember.
Totally killed the AB in both cases.

So, the +0.03 doesn't mean anything.

scottt - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#413577) #
Tonight's game between Cleveland and the White Sox has been postpone due to Covid-19.

Cleveland is dealing with multiple positive cases.

Eephus - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#413578) #
I know everyone continues to say "this team is too good to keep struggling so mightily with RISP" and I do believe it... but maybe some haste in turning that around would be nice?

If this is how the Yankees are gonna play this year though, it might not matter. The division could be wrapped up by July. Excuse me I need to go barf now after writing that.

scottt - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#413579) #
Bichette is coming around, but this might be as good as Chapman gets offensively.

Tapia will have to start earning his playing time eventually.
It's still very early.

Eephus - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#413580) #
Wow. They're just completely out of sorts right now. Bo has got to be more aware than that. Vlad meanwhile is just pressing and trying to do way too much. Another off-day hopefully can do them some good.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#413581) #
Montoyo has shown himself to be resistant to moving the line-up around but, conceptually, I'd be moving Kirk and Espinal up in the line-up and Gurriel and Chapman down. Getting Kirk's OBP higher in the line-up has some long term value.
Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#413582) #
Just getting Yankee stadiumed to death here. Last night with Stanton’s HR, today with Torres. Chapman’s sac fly, which would have been a 3r HR, went 30 feet further than Torres’s HR. Blah. Need the bats to come back today, would be a big win to avoid a real down slide here.
scottt - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#413583) #
April numbers don't mean anything. Jansen will be back before long and he's not going to be hitting high in the order.
Also, Kirk loses a lot of value on the basepath as just seen.

Ideally, a top left bat would hit in Bo's spot and Bichette would hit before or after Teoscar.

John Northey - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#413584) #
Why on Earth is Tapia out there?  What does he have on Montoyo to keep getting into the lineup?  He can't hit (50 OPS+ coming into today), he can't field  (-3.4 on defense via FanGraphs, and his terrible footwork helped that run score just now).  He can run, but that isn't useful if you aren't on base.  Zimmer also sucks with the bat (-20 OPS+ which is quite the achievement), but at least on defense he is a +1.0 so far.  I figure if Zimmer was in CF today then the Yankees would have 1 less run (at least).  Tapia has no value but he has been in 27 of the Jays 32 games.  Has that playing time helped?  Nope, coming into today he is hitting 125 for Avg/OBP and Slg for May.  So of course, while I type this he gets a hit so he is 1 for 3 today.

Meanwhile in AAA  Lukes (bats left) is hitting 324/385/407 with 7 SB vs 1 CS.  Just a corner OF, but at least he might hit vs the Tapia mess.  Warmoth (bats right) doing even better at 307/441/507 in the corners plus a bit of CF (16 innings).   Otto Lopez isn't terrible at 238/370/524 (OBP helped by 3 HBP in 6 games) and can play the IF as well as the OF.  Heck, Dexter Fowler was hitting well in his 3 games before he asked to be released (probably after seeing the Jays have some bizarre fixation on Tapia).
Eephus - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#413585) #
That "throw" by Tapia was pretty pathetic. He was playing shallow and still unleashed a four hopper to the plate. There are five-tool players... is he a "no-tool" player? Even his speed isn't very useful if he's playing the outfield so timidly. I think I've seen more than enough of this guy.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#413586) #
Both of these games fell into the category of ones that the club could just as easily have won.  I've had enough of the "maybe" 3 run-homer for a while. 
grjas - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#413587) #
I agree with Eephus. The mirage of “it’s simply the Yankees easy schedule” is gone. Their starters, relievers and lineup are all better than the Jays. May be that will change with injuries and performance, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Fortunately the Bosox stink and there’s one more playoff spot than last year. But they better wake up soon. Or they’ll be below 500 and looking uphill again.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#413588) #
I don't think the run differential is a mirage. Now, its early and its partially a function of a difficult schedule and some slumping bats. I still think this is a playoff team but I don't see it as the best team in the AL (I didn't think so before the year started either). It needs a middle order LH bat and an additional high leverage arm in the pen. Those have been issues for over a year now.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#413589) #
I still think this is the best team in the AL, and that it won't be close when the season is done.  I'll grant that it's a subjective opinion.  Objectively, they're as good as anyone in the AL (Fangraphs has their rest of season win percentage at .566, just a smidge better than the Yankees).  But the Yankees haven't had the injuries that the Jays have had and I think that they are even more vulnerable.  Time will tell. 
Chuck - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#413590) #
In anticipation of tomorrow's off-day, I have checked in on the ex-Jays still floating around MLB. There are only a handful of starting position players -- Vellez, Grichuk, Donaldson -- but lots of relief pitchers. How fungible is pitching in MLB? Consider the following names, all having logged decent innings in the abbreviated 2020 season. Where are they now? Roark, Anderson, Shoemaker, Dolis, Cole, Font, Yamaguchi, Waguespack.

Here is my list, though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that I am missing a reliever or two.

  • (CHC) Daniel Norris: Now bouncing from team to team, dreams of being a SP are long past.
  • (CHC) Marcus Stroman: The FIPs are more consistent than the ERAs. Not sure what his 30s will look like. Keen to find out.
  • (CHW) Reese McGuire: Has teased with modest offensive skills in the past. Is not doing so this year.
  • (CHW) Liam Hendricks: I saw Wade Davis potential in him and is now among the game's highest paid relievers. The gopherball continues to be his achilles' heel.
  • (CIN) Brandon Drury: His near-200 post-Jay PAs have been quite good. It could mean something, but I'd be reluctant to bet on it.
  • (COL) Randal Grichuk: Doing okay in Colorado, but we've seen quick starts from him before. Tapia has managed to induce nostalgia for the Grichuk days.
  • (DET) Drew Hutchison: Just released, perhaps now done for good.
  • (HOU) Aledmyz Diaz: Hopes to hang on as a serviceable role player. His days at shortstop are long behind him.
  • (KCR) Joel Payamps: Ho-hum.
  • (LAA) Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera: Both 34, they could easily have been flushed out of MLB by now. Instead, they are both important late-inning relievers.
  • (LAD) David Price: Jays did the right thing not spending wildly to bring him back. It did seem like a good idea at the time, though.
  • (MIA) Anthony Bass: Your standard issue fungible reliever.
  • (MIN) Gio Urshela: Performed at star level in 650 post-Jays PAs, but has reverted since.
  • (MIN) Joe Smith: 10 scoreless IP thus far this year. Now 38, I imagine he'll be doing this til 45.
  • (MIL) Rowdy Tellez: Getting an opportunity and taking advantage. Good for him. Toronto's ideal DH is a LHB who can play a corner outfield, not a back-up 1B.
  • (NYM) Taijuan Walker: Has not done much since leaving the Jays.
  • (NYY) Miguel Castro: Remember when he was the Jays' closer for about ten minutes? The stuff has not yet turned into results.
  • (NYY) Josh Donaldson: The tank doesn't seem empty yet.
  • (OAK) Kevin Smith: Unlikely to ever be thought of as the one that got away.
  • (OAK) Kirby Snead: Will someday be the answer to trivia questions about vile tweets.
  • (PIT) Anthony Alford: Baseball is difficult. Being athletic is not enough. Showed a little life last year but may soon be out of chances.
  • (SEA) Robbie Ray: Walks are up, strikeouts are down. He could probably use Pete Walker back in his corner. The Gausman "swap" looks good so far.
  • (SFG) Dominic Leone: The price for Grichuk. Just your garden variety middle reliever.
  • (TEX) Marcus Semien: Remember him? He used to hit homeruns. He doesn't any more.
  • (WAS) Aaron Sanchez: It's been pretty much downhill since age 23. The sketchy K/BB ratios didn't greatly interfere with talks of future greatness.
scottt - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#413591) #
Toronto's ideal DH is a platoon LHB. The position doesn't matter.
Guerrero and Springer needs some DH time and that can be against a lefty.
Kirk can also DH a bit against a lefty.

The Bench used to be all right bats, now it's mostly left bats.
Collins has been OK. Zimmer is a glove and a pair of shoes.
Biggio should be back before long.

They're not giving Capra much play time.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#413592) #
Capra and Heineman aren't long for the roster. Biggio DHed last night (2-2, 2b) and he's DHing again tonight. Jansen caught last night (2-3, 2b) and he's DHing tonight. Tapia and Zimmer should survive, for the moment.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#413593) #
I'd be perfectly happy if Tapia and Zimmer went bye bye. Capra can cover anywhere on the diamond pretty much, but yeah I don't see Heineman sticking around unless the Jays feel Collins needs PA's in AAA now that he is slumping (Apr 21 to now - 114/205/229 over 39 PA/10 games after hitting 400/429/800 over his first 6 games).

For a LH bat Biggio might be it starting when he comes back (ugh). Wonder if Detroit would trade us Austin Meadows for a reasonable price - 137 OPS+ for a LH corner OF sounds fine to me (in arbitration years now - free agent after 2024 so won't be cheap with 3 years of control). Another potential LH target is Andrew Benintendi from KC - free agent after this season hitting for a 128 OPS+ so far (327/370/398) - a LF who can play CF in a pinch. I'm sure there are others.

Either of those guys would fill in as the DH quite nicely, and cover LF when needed (Gurriel a day off, maybe to RF for Hernandez). Benintendi won the gold glove in LF last year so you might put Gurriel at DH more often then.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#413594) #
I bet the Jays are regretting swapping Grichuk for Tapia instead of another bullpen arm, for which a trade was surely out there. The shortened spring training likely lead to the team not having enough runway to see Merryweather and Thornton's stuff not be up to par.

What is frustrating to me about the Grichuk trade was that Handsome Randal covered them in center when Springer DH'd or needed a day off, thus you add a guy in Tapia who presumably is an upgrade defensively over that. Then, inexplicably, we find out Tapia isn't a good defensive outfielder and gets basically no time in center. It's not that Grichuk could have brought back Mike Trout, but if you're just going to trade for Zimmer, why not trade Grichuk for a reliever...or even a backup catcher. Strange.
DavidtheDeuce - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#413595) #
Through 32 games:

2021 17-15
2022 17-15

Would like to see VGJ get back on track in TB this weekend.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#413596) #
To cut the fear down... playoff years record after 32 games...
2020: 18-14
2016: 16-16
2015: 16-16
1993: 16-16 (fell below 500 the next day)
1992: 21-11
1991: 19-13
1989: 11-21
1985: 20-12

So 3 times the Jays were just 500 at this point then went on to win the division or get the wild card. Once they were 10 games under 500 (only needed 89 wins that year). A 17-15 record hardly is a problem. The question is the underlying strength. The rotation has been strong (Manoah & Gausman Cy contender level so far, Berrios up and down, Kikuchi shows signs of taking off, Stripling is who he is, Ryu...ugh but was hurt). The pen... not as good - lots of decent guys but only Romano has looked elite (before that horrid game yesterday), Mayza very solid. But the next 4 are 'meh' so far (Phelps, Cimber, Richards, Garcia). Thornton far better than expected but still just a bounce up and down to AAA guy. Borucki has to stay healthy for us to know anything. The rest are AAA guys (Merryweather has a great arm but lord knows if he will be effective game to game, Vasquez & Saucedo are nice to have on the flip AAA/ML rotation, Lawrence & Kay are AAA starters as is Francis). So right now the big gain would be a solid arm in the pen who can be elite and counted on day to day. Pearson was supposed to be that but he is hurt (as always). In AAA we see Matt Gage (2 BB [1 intentional] vs 15 K in 10 IP at age 29) and Adrian Hernandez (22 years old with 16-5 K-BB in 10 IP between AA/AAA after having 15.6 K/9 last year in A/AA - I expect him to get a shot at some point - the Tom Henke 1985 for this years team?)
Eephus - Wednesday, May 11 2022 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#413597) #
I understand the reasoning of trading for Tapia: toolsy former prospect, potential "change of scenery" guy, and in theory he adds something different to the team even if he's exactly who he's always been. Which the last point unfortunately seems to be the case: he's always been this guy outside of the spacious hitting real estate of Coors Field. No, I don't think Zimmer can hit a lick either but as many others have said at least he gives you something (exceptional OF defense) and as a runner I don't think he's noticeably slower than Tapia either.

It's possible Zimmer is somebody they've wanted for a while, but for whatever reason wasn't available at the time they acquired Tapia, and so now we've awkwardly got both and Montoyo will keep playing the guy who is a terrible hitter over the one who can't hit a beach ball thus far. I guess I can't blame him too much for that... but please please no more Tapia in CF. I'm not even certain Teo would be worse defensively out there.  
Mike Green - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#413598) #
Random ballplayer for today.  Bob Thurman's birthday is on the weekend, and I looked up his BBRef career line.  Those 16 homers in 206 PAs at age 40 in 1957 captured my attention, as did the 6 year gap between leaving the Negro Leagues in 1948 and joining MLB in 1955.  Here's a brief biography.  I wonder what his career would have looked like had he grown up in a time without a World War and a colour bar; I look at his late career line and I imagine a fine fielding right-fielder hitting .280 with 35-40 homers in his prime. 
SK in NJ - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#413599) #
I think the Jays have a run in them, and we will look back on April and be thankful that they overachieved (kept their heads above water). With that said, I don't think that run is going to come with the current roster. It's going to come when they start stripping the junk off of it and making significant improvement. That means moving on from Tapia and Zimmer. That means adding an impact reliever, or maybe using Pearson in that role. That means adding a legit middle of the order LH bat for the DH spot. The latter two will probably have to come via trade as there's not much in the minors to fill those gaps, but getting rid of Tapia/Zimmer seems like an easy fix. Or at least Tapia if they want to keep Zimmer for his defense. Hopefully they start playing Biggio when he gets back, rather than watching him sit on the bench.
bpoz - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#413600) #
It was probably impossible to replace CY Young Ray and top 5 MVP Semien. Most likely both had career years.

Chapman alone cannot replace Semien. Springer and Kirk are taking up the slack a bit. Grichuk is capable of having a usual Grichuk year and he may have been needed in case of injury.

Gausman is having a good year. 2022 Ray is not as good as 2021 Ray.

However there is an extra playoff spot this year.

electric carrot - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#413601) #
Generically, I think this team competes well this year and wins 90-95 games. I don't think the Yankees are as good as they've looked so far. I don't think the Red Sox are as bad. I think once the weather warms up we're going to see a lot more from our hitters. I think the defense is there. I think the relief corps looks very solid. For me the wildcard is the starting pitching. How good will Ryu, Berrios, Kikuchi and Stripling be? I think if two of these 4 are good, we're a playoff team. If three out of four, then we're right there with the Yanks and we're a good bet to win the division. If zero out of four? I fear another lost season. But that seems unlikely.
John Northey - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#413602) #
For those looking for an insane trade idea...

I had to check what it would take to get Juan Soto. Trade Values says basically (they won't let you pick Soto) that it would take Bichette, Kirk, and Moreno to make it work (204.8 value for Soto 206.7 - close enough that their system would take it I'd think).

Now, as a Jays fan, I can't imagine that happening, but if it did the Jays actually could make it work - Espinal is a natural SS (very good on defense to put it mildly) who is hitting half decently while at 2B, Biggio coming back to take over 2B, Jansen/Collins/Heineman as the 3 headed catcher for now.

It'd be a hell of a challenge trade for each to make, but it would give the Jays that power LH bat they want, improve defense overall (Bo is 'meh' at defense at best). But it would be a heck of a risk to trade Moreno before he reaches and Bichette can carry a team when he is on.

Btw, am I the only one who didn't notice Espinal has quietly become a really good hitter? 135 OPS+ so far after a 113 last year. I knew he was doing OK but that is damn fine - all-star quality.
Lylemcr - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#413603) #
I see Tyler Beede was a waiver wire claim.

I am curious, does anyone know who the suplemental pick was for Beede in 2012? Was it Stroman?
James W - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#413604) #
In 2012 Toronto drafted D.J. Davis with pick #17, their own pick. Marcus Stroman was pick #22, and he was the pick given to them for failing to sign Tyler Beede.
grjas - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#413605) #
The more I watch Espinal, the more I like him. Calm, consistent, spectacular at time, puts the ball in play, supports his team mates, doesn’t complain no matter if or where you play him. Hope he can keep his hitting going for the year.
Gerry - Thursday, May 12 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#413606) #
Cavan Biggio is not in the Bisons lineup tonight. He could be in Tampa.
scottt - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#413617) #
Rosenthal reports that the Jays offered Brett Gardner 6M but that he only wants to play for the Yankees.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#413619) #
And we only want him to play for the Yankees, too.
Gerry - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#413622) #
Biggio is back for Buffalo tonight so yesterday was just a day off.
lexomatic - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#413661) #
or those looking for an insane trade idea...

As fun as that is. Washington has an under 24 top prospect C already, so they don't need 2 more young catchers. For many teams it might be a good offer, but bad fit here. Keibert Ruiz was part of the return for Scherzer and Trea Turner
So far has good defense, good contact. Power hasn't shown up yet and may be due to MLB changes, and average hasn't shown up yet either. but holding his own with 700 OPS so far
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