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The slumping (losers of four in a row, seven of their last nine) Blue Jays clearly need a friendly spot on the schedule to get themselves turned around.

Oh, crap.

I mean, when was the last time the Blue Jays won a series at the Trop, that haunted House of Horrible?

Well, it was last April to be honest. The Jays roughed up Tyler Glasnow for four first inning runs, capped by Marcus Semien's three-run HR (he was batting sixth, it was early days). Steven Matz and four relievers (Chatwood, Phelps, Mayza, Dolis) held the Rays to three runs. The Rays won the next day, breaking up a 3-3 tie on a couple of Romano walks and a Biggio error, but Toronto took the rubber match 1-0 - Ryu had to leave in the fourth with a pain in the glute, but Mayza, Chatwood, Borucki, Phelps, and Dolis allowed just two hits while shutting out those Devil Fishies the rest of the way. (Remember when the 2021 bullpen looked good?)

SO it can be done, kids. Honest and true.


Fri 13 Apr - Gausman (3-1, 2.13) vs Rasmussen (3-1, 2.89)
Sat 14 Apr - Ryu (0-0, 13.50) vs Yarbrough (0-0, 6.14)
Sun 15 Apr - Manoah (4-0, 1.75) vs Kluber (1-2, 4.55)
Toronto at Tampa Bay, May 13-15 | 87 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#413623) #
Danny Jansen is with the team in Tampa and is likely to be activated tomorrow to catch Ryu.
Eephus - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#413624) #
When people who don't like baseball explain to me why, I always envision these games at the Trop.

See ya all Monday. Hope we win at least one. 
Nigel - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#413625) #
This is a enjoyable team to watch on the run prevention side of things. Great infield defence first and foremost. Offensively, itís not so fun. It feels so one dimensional right now.
lexomatic - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#413626) #
I'm glad they tied it. The thought of Gaussman losing on a 2 hit, 3 baserunner start is upsetting.
hypobole - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#413627) #
Thank goodness for Tapia that we've managed to tie the game. Probably the first positive comment about him for quite some time and quite possibly the last.
lexomatic - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#413628) #
Sorry. I started watching just in time for Bichette to screw things up.
And apparently Springer got injured? I hate Tampa.
Gerry - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#413629) #
Jays defense had a role to play in all Tampa's runs tonight. Springer misplayed the ball where he was injured. Gausman made an error. Bo made the wrong choice to try for a play at home. Bo misfielded a ball in the ninth although no error was given and Tapia misplayed a ball in the ninth.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#413630) #
The Jays were 33-35 on June 17th last season after being swept in Buffalo by the Yankees.

Maybe getting the everyday catcher back in the lineup starting tomorrow gets them going? Very tough sledding right now, though.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#413631) #
And also, perhaps it's time for Bo to ditch the Tulowitzki-style circling the ground ball. He's alternating messing up the catch and the across the body toss.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#413632) #
A Jason Adam sighting..and of course he's absolutely shoving for the Rays.

I thought he was great for the Jays during a very bad season.
Magpie - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#413633) #
Bo made the wrong choice to try for a play at home.

I'm pretty sure the run would have scored if he hadn't tried to make the play at home...
Gerry - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#413634) #
Yes, but was it the right play? I don't think he had much of a chance to make the play.
John Northey - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#413635) #
As always a frustrating game in Tampa. Very glad to see Capra get his first hit as he could be sent down at any time. With Jansen likely back tomorrow who do you send down? At one time it was a lock to be Heineman but he has played decently when given a shot, so I'm wondering if the slumping Collins might be sent down (1 hit in his last 21 AB's, plus 3 walks and a HBP) instead. Montoyo seems to be in love with Tapia so he could DH or put him in the field (ugly) so others can DH (like Hernandez who looked uninterested on defense today). Biggio is probably back soon so do you send Capra down or do you give up the ghost on either Tapia (fast and has a manager who loves him) or Zimmer (field and nothing else)?

To me one of Tapia or Zimmer needs to be let go as neither has shown much with the bat and at least one is redundant on this team (both LH OF who can't hit, have good speed, while Zimmer is by far the better fielder Tapia has shown 'more' with the bat), Tapia hasn't shown anything in the field either. Yeah, Tapia did good today but that doesn't erase the other 27 games he has played (-0.5 WAR over those).
hypobole - Friday, May 13 2022 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#413636) #
Tapia/Capra were 3 for 3. The starters were 3 for 29. Vlad with his 6th and 7th GIDP's. Only 3 players in baseball have more. Teoscar since his return is 2 for 19, both singles and 10 K's. Gurriel has 3 hits the past 10 games.
scottt - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 05:50 AM EDT (#413637) #
Jansen and Kirk will get the bulk of the catching.
Collins gives you a left bat, which is very good.
Capra got a hit because they brought a lefty for Collins.

It's hard to hit when you're playing little.
Rasmussen has a good fastball, he's easier for a lefty but he's not easy to hit.
We're close to the point at which Heineman gets DFAed and Moreno becomes the next man up.

It seemed obvious to me that Springer had a light sprain.
That's when you go ice it and maybe miss a day or two.
Instead they let him play on it. That was dumb.
He didn't help anyone in that last AB.

Lukes could be an interesting guy if Springer go on the IL.
I'm guessing at least 2 weeks.
How is Capra in CF? Maybe it's time to find out.

Once Bo and Vlad made 3 outs with 2 runners it started to look like an extra inning affair but when Zunino hit that near homerun, it was going to be hard to keep Tampa from playing for 1 run with the speed they have. They played another aggressive shift which didn't really helped. Even if Bo gloves that ground ball, there is probably no play at third.

uglyone - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#413639) #
In 1/3 of our games the starting DH has been an AAA catcher or infielder.

Still can't wrap my head around that.
bpoz - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#413641) #
UO, with a 28 man roster so far our paltry DH options may have to do with needing extra pitchers. Therefore 12 position players. In 2 weeks the roster is reduced to 26 but 13 pitchers max so we definitely have a 13th position player.

We are finding ways to lose. Mainly the fault of a weak offense I think.
grjas - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#413642) #
We got too fixated on getting a left handed bat IMHO. We had the second best OPS in the league vs righties last year so I donít think it was that big a deal. Would rather have an RH 4th outfielder who can actually hit rather than the LH scrubs we ended up with.
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#413644) #
On the subject of being fixated, Tapia seems the lightning rod. Yeah, he's been awful, but he's way down the list of reasons why were in this slump. The past 2 weeks he's batting a pathetic .188. But that's better than Gurriel .140, Chapman .111 and Teoscar .105. Zimmer and Collins have 32 PA's total and hit .067 and .071 respectively.

Vlad has 4 RBI's in that span, exactly same as Tapia. Kirk, Chapman, Teoscar 3, Collins 2 and Gurriel 1.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#413645) #
Ok, it feels like it's a major dropoff from last year. Then, WOW, is it put in context:2021 - Vlad had an OPS of 1.002 for an OPS+ of 1672022 - Vlad has an OPS of 0.861 for an OPS+ of 155.

Bo's OPS of 645 is OPS+ of 92 - not great, but not that bad. Heck, Kirk's 655 is OPS+ 98. Strangely, Heineman's 667 is OPS+ 97, so due to different ballparks, I guess? But still - league average seems to be around 675?

The worst starter, by a mile, is Tapia - but he's hitting about twice as well as Zimmer. With Springer hurt AGAIN, I can't see Tapia leaving - but wouldn't Grichuk look good right now? Come on, Atkins - we need ONE MORE BIG BAT. More than pitching, IMHO.
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#413646) #
but wouldn't Grichuk look good right now

Better than Tapia, yes. But good? No. He had a torrid start but cooled off big time. Past 2 weeks he's hit worse than Tapia. They are both among the worst defensive OF's this year. BRef "likes" him at 0.2 WAR, FG less so at -0.1 WAR.

OAA has Tapia a bit better than Grichuk. DRS, Grichuk a bit better than Tapia.

Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#413648) #
How is Capra in CF? Maybe it's time to find out.

Well, he's an infielder by trade who's played exactly 4 games in CF and it was three years ago. It's likely they already know.
christaylor - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#413649) #
The movie this far; sorry for any spoilers.

The writers decided to lead with a twist; the powerful hitters on the Jays and across the league were humbled by the whims of Idunn and Persephone. Meanwhile, cut to a scene where Loki met up with Pythagoras and decided that he could mess with him and Jays fans.

The first bit of the second act takes us to NY, where the Empire is its powerful self. Cut back to Loki, true to form, ramping up his mischief and messing with the offense, and Pythogaras is playing in the sand, drawing triangles. A subtle dig is he has the O's playing .600 ball while the Jays play .200 ball.

In the last scene, The ever frustrating Devil Ray lurks. She licks her chops and aims at Springer's Achilles from the catwalks. It seems like she missed it. Here's hoping a few heroes emerge in the back half of this second act, and it starts tonight.

Looking at the running time of this movie -- there is plenty left for the writers to flip the script.

I just got a text from a friend (I am a terrible moviegoer):

"Be glad you picked the Birdmen film instead of this local film at the Fenway Cineplex. Hate this Dirty Laundry."

Reply: "What are we going to do? Watch hockey?"
Gerry - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#413650) #
Ryu and Jansen activated. Heineman and Thornton sent to Buffalo.
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#413651) #
We're not at "George Costanza seeing smoke at a kids birthday party" level of panic, but we seem to be inching toward that. Not long ago, Jays beat Houston 3-2 and were 15-8. Houston were scuffling at 11-11. We know how the Jays have done since, but Houston hasn't lost another game, winning 11 in a row. Good teams can turn around quickly and the Jays are still a good team.
grjas - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#413652) #
Matt Chapman, he of the 268 OBP is batting lead off. Hilarious. Oh well throw the lineup against the wall and see what falls out. Nothing else has worked so far so what the heck.
dalimon5 - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#413653) #
Vlad and Bo are way to protected around here when it comes to pointing fingers. They have both been massive disappointments and Bo looks utterly lost out there.

Blaming bench players is off the mark imho.
John Northey - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#413654) #
No shock on the choices. Heineman and Thornton were the logical chocies to be sent down, although Collins has forgotten how to hit after his hot start and Thornton has actually been decent in the pen lately.

No panic yet by any stretch - every team has stretches of 500 ball and the Jays after that rough schedule and then NYY and Tampa being near 500 is a good thing. The next homestand is where panic comes into play if they keep slumping (Seattle & Cincinnati). I'm hoping they are checking into every team that might be trading a good hitting left handed hitting OF. Don't see panic as likely (IE: trading the farm for a meh guy), but we'll see.
John Northey - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#413655) #
Very odd lineup - clearly trying the old 'why not' method tonight. Chapman, Vlad, Hernandez, Bo, Espinal, Kirk, Gurriel, Jansen, Tapia. Very glad Tapia is #9.
dalimon5 - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#413656) #
Without Springer, I love this line up. Loving Vlad up to #2 is great. Iíd move BP down further once Springer comes back. Consider moving Espinal ahead of Bo also.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#413657) #
it feels like it's a major dropoff from last year. Then, WOW, is it put in context

Precisely. This is a massive change in offensive context. It can't be said loudly enough. AL teams averaged 4.6 runs per game last season. This season? 3.94, which is easily the lowest figure since the DH was introduced in 1973 (it's never before been less than 4 runs per game.) And the drop from one year to the next is equally unprecedented - offense in 2022 is at 85.7% of 2021 levels. The only season that approaches that large a one year swing is 1987 to 1988, when offense was 89.0% of the year before.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#413658) #
Vlad and Bo are way to protected around here when it comes to pointing fingers. They have both been massive disappointments

Vlad is hitting .284/.361/.500; at his current pace he'd end up with 35 HR and 100 RBI. This although offense all around is down by historic levels. The hell are you expecting?
lexomatic - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#413660) #
<br>I'm also not liking Chapman 1st. I get why, and it's more defensive le than his numbers, because he WILL walk. He just isn't getting on base well right now. There's also thr possibility that he'll get protection theory hitting in front of Guerrero. I'd much rather Espinal lead off, but I guess he's needed for balance at the back.
The ghost psot was referring g that I DO think Bo amd Guerrwro are pressing. I think the change in context isn't helping. Bos had the rough start, and seems to mess up at really bad times. Guerrero may be feeling the hand injury still, but I think there's the frustration of so many bad pitches called against him, and everyone's slumps he's trying to do too much

Definitely not wild about pushing Springer with his history. Way better to get him out ND rest instead of a more serious injury for no benefit.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#413662) #
Nice to see Jansen and Ryu both looking good.  Sure would be a relief to see the home nine hit one of those 450 foot jobs.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#413663) #
Not quite 450, but I'll take them.
Polite Nate - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#413664) #
This season, 420 is the new 450.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#413666) #
OK Blue Jays.

You now have our undivided attention.
John Northey - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#413667) #
Heh. Wonder when the Leafs will win a playoff round. My teenager is old enough to drive, but the Leafs have not won a single playoff round in her lifetime. Last time they made the Conference Finals (1 step from the finals) was 2001-02 led by Mats Sundin with Curtis Joseph in the net. Their last playoff win was with Ed Belfour as the goalie. Last time they made the finals I wasn't born yet, nor had my parents gotten married even (1966-1967) - Tim Horton was on defense, not selling coffee and donuts.

Yeah, that is a slump. Jays not being in the playoffs since 2020, not winning a round since 2016, not winning it all since 1993 seems wonderful in comparison.

Good time for the Jays to get hot now - Jansen looked good, as did Ryu. I think the jays were smart to limit Ryu big time tonight (71 pitches in 4 2/3 IP) as he wears down each year it seems so keep him on a tight leash.
mathesond - Saturday, May 14 2022 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#413669) #
"Tim Horton was on defense, not selling coffee and donuts."

The first Tim Horton's restaurant opened in 1964...
scottt - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#413670) #
Teoscar admiring his long shot looked a lot like Bautista for a bit.

Nice to have Ryu and Jansen back and performing.

Hitting second is probably the best spot for Vlad.
He'll see more pitches to hit there. In the first inning at least.
Bo can hit for average but doesn't walk a ton, so fits well cleanup or 5th.
Espinal has earned hitting higher in the order.
And one can hope that Chapman might get untracked lead up and just focusing on having a good AB, one pitch at a time.

bpoz - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#413671) #
Most teams are near the 35 game mark. The extra playoff spot should mean playoff eliminations will take longer.

The long baseball season is still a marathon with a sprint happening with maybe 40 games left and teams have to qualify for the sprint. I wonder how this will affect the July 31 trade deadline? I am suggesting that there will be reduced sellers. IMO supply and demand will be a factor.

LAD will most likely know (because of positioning) that they are buyers before anyone else because they will have solidified a claim to one of the 6 playoff spots earlier than most teams. They will then be able to use player/prospect capital and $ to get elite players for short & long term possible commitments. Last year Scherzer and this year they may target J Soto.

grjas - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#413672) #
The third period looked of the Leaf game looked looked like a Stanley Cup final. They have nothing to hang their head about. It was terrific hockey.

Ryu looking good is a great omen for the team. Once Berrios settles down they could have a dominating set of starters. And if they can get Pearson added to the BP along with Stripling, their pitching will get stronger and stronger
hypobole - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#413679) #
Long post, but he DESERVES it.

"Espinal is a multi-positional infielder with below-average power. He might be a 25th or 26th man, but I think the lack of offensive impact means heís closer to replacement level than above it."

That was from the "Others of Note-Bench/Role Players" at FG prior to the 2020 season, since he couldn't crack the Top 38.

We're now over 20% done the season and both FG (1.2 WAR) and BRef (1.6 WAR) agree he's been the Jays best position player. Offensively he doesn't seem elite at anything, but has been better than average at pretty well everything - BB%, K%, ISO, Baserunning.

His above average power is what has really surprised many. He only has 2 HR's, but just 3 players have more than his 12 doubles. The dead ball this year has affected him much less than many others, because of his swing and added strength. His 26.4 LD% is 87th percentile of qualified. His 33.3% HardHit% is 83rd percentile, tied with Nick Castellanos and just ahead of Mookie Betts and Nelson Cruz.

Then there's his 2nd base defence. 5 OAA, behind only Jonathan Schoop. 4 DRS behind only Tommy Edman.

Espinal has been the Jays MVP thus far.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#413681) #
The Blue Jay xwOBAs of their expected starting nine players:

Jansen           .731
Guerrero Jr.   .379
Espinal          .358
Springer        .351
Chapman     .340
Bichette         .340
Gurriel Jr.      .329
Hernandez   .315
Kirk                .308

The same thing for the front six starting pitchers and the front five relievers:

Manoah      .269
Gausman  .270
Stripling     .312
Ryu             .358
Kikuchi      .390
Berrios      .432

Mayza        .281
Garcia      .306
Phelps     .309
Cimber    .314
Romano  .365

League average xwOBA is .329.

My comments on these numbers.  The only players who have beat reasonable expectations in a significant number of PAs are Espinal and Stripling.  The players who are short of reasonable expectations in a significant number of PAs are Kirk, Ryu (arguably), Kikuchi, Berrios and Romano.  Chapman and Bichette appear to have been significantly dinged more than average due to some combination of bad luck and the changed environment. 

I was trying to figure out what's wrong with Berrios.  The movement on, and velocity of, his pitches are very comparable to 2021.  The location is not.  The heat maps for each of his pitches were much tighter last year.  For instance, he uses his sinker boring in on right handed hitters a lot.  He had a strong heat map in 2021 with the ball located on the inside corner and off the plate inside.  In 2022, the red zones are scattered throughout the strike zone including down the middle.  Similarly, he uses the curveball to target the corner low and away.  In 2021, his curveball ranged from the middle of the plate (where he was hit pretty hard of course) to a spot just in the chase area off the low and away corner.  It was an effective pitch overall.  This year, the heat map is extremely diffuse with many pitches hanging on the inside part of the plate and many pitches in the waste zone low and outside.  Regaining command is the name of the game for him.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#413682) #
And, of course, I second everything hypobole wrote there. 
Nigel - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#413683) #
All interesting stuff as usual Mike and hypobole. With the changed ball and run scoring environment, I think thereís value in bunching the players who are likely to contribute to a long sequence offence. That should mean batting Espinal near the top of the lineup near Vladdy. All the guys making (and likely to make) a boatload of outs (Chapman, Gurriel, Tapia) should make up the bottom third of the lineup. If this keeps up, multi dimensional offensive players like Espinal become even more valuable as the ďgrip it and rip itĒ types wane.
Nigel - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#413685) #
I did write that before I looked at the posted lineup today:). Iíd move Kirk to bat 6th in todayís set up but, otherwise, itís hard to complain. Iíd have put Espinal in the lead off spot if Springer hadnít been available today.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#413686) #
FWIW, I don't think the lineup matters much when you have the top 9 hitters in it- I think Jansen will come down to earth (obviously) and Kirk and Hernandez will improve.  That would leave you with 9 average or better hitters with Guerrero Jr. likely to be one of the best hitters in the league.  Obviously you ought to place Collins, Tapia, Zimmer, Heinemann  and whoever else at the bottom of the order and work really hard to have only one of them (maximum) in the starting lineup at a time.  The club obviously could benefit from having a LH corner outfield/DH type who would be an above-average hitter on the bench and could slip in to the regular lineup in the event of injury to one of the players on the right side of the defensive spectrum plus C/DH.  These guys used to be available at a reasonable price.  Maybe Ben Gamel is in that category now.  He's probably a better choice than Tapia. 
92-93 - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#413689) #
Nice looking lineup today. It's much easier to stomach Tapia's presence when he's batting 9th and not taking ABs away from a player with a higher ceiling. May the Jays stay healthy so we never have to see him starting in the 1/4/5 spot in the order again.

The Rays LH starter today is tougher on RHB than LHB over his career, which is probably why Capra isn't getting the start with him or Teo manning CF.
hypobole - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#413691) #
One sidenote from what I saw at FG's defensive values. Statcast-based OAA has Schoop, Espinal, and Jazz as the 3 best at 2nd base. FG lists them in that order for value as well, since OAA is now it's primary component.

DRS is a bit different (Edman must do miraculous things Statcast isn't capturing) but has the OAA leaders listed above as +3, +4. +4.

Now UZR/150, which FG is still showing but only makes up a minimal component of their value.

Schoop +13.0
Espinal -0.4
Jazz -21.8

Don't watch Miami, but there is no way Espinal is a minus defender

One longstanding issue with UZR is that it doesn't handle shifts and teams are doing a ton of it now. It's pretty well useless in the current environment.

John Northey - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#413694) #
Looks like Tapia is trying to win us over. A hit today, 3 in the past 3 games before today. This is what he needs to do if he is going to keep his job. I'm not betting on it, but I won't complain if he makes me look like I complained too much about him.
StephenT - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#413695) #
The Rays are wearing 'Columbia blue' tops today, while the Jays' tops are 'royal blue', according to the Rays' radio announcer.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#413696) #
I miss Dan Shulman. The mangled Yogi Berra quote on the broadcast hurt my ears.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#413697) #
<br>sorry I seem to have the curse this season. I qas watching the boxscore until this inning and bloop single error broken bat bad luck. Manoah was cruising. Hope the bats wake up.
Nigel - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#413698) #
Ugly all around. Three feels like two too many today.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#413699) #
I'm not sure they would have gotten Franco even if the throw from Chapman was on target.  He had an awfully big lead.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#413700) #

One longstanding issue with UZR is that it doesn't handle shifts and teams are doing a ton of it now. It's pretty well useless in the current environment. There's a Fangraphs article that shows the Jays are shifting WAY more than any other team. So especially bad for assessing their players defensem
Dr. Zarco - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#413701) #
Such a bad luck inning. Hardest hit ball was the final out with an exit velocity of 87mph. Rough break in a tie game.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#413702) #
I felt that there was no chance of a DP at all, and that both Chapman and Espinal made mistakes in approach.  Chapman should have gone to first and Espinal should have been prepared to receive the ball without trying to turn two. 
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#413704) #
Espinal should have been prepared to receive the ball

I think they were just too close. When you're that close, if the throw doesn't actually hit your glove trouble follows.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#413705) #
That's true.  But I think he would have had a chance had he been facing Chapman. 

Manoah pitched very, very well, but he's almost surely going to get stuck with an L.  He's a heck of a starting pitcher. 
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#413706) #
Tampa Bay no good for Toronto sports teams.

Well, it'll all be underwater some day.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#413707) #
Chapman has the yips now. Great.

This team thought they were so good they didn't even need a real DH.
92-93 - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#413708) #
It also might have helped if Tapia tried to catch that bloop hit. Tough luck inning, but the Jays bats are leaving no room for error.

The Reds no-hit the Pirates and lost today.
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#413709) #
The Reds no-hit the Pirates and lost today.

Always a neat trick, first accomplished by Ken Johnson of the Colt .45s in 1964 (scoreless into the ninth inning, two base error by Johnson, groundout, error by Nellie Fox).

The only other time this had been done involved Steve Barber and Stu Miller of the Orioles in 1967. This one was wild, in every sense of the word. Barber took a 1-0 lead to the ninth but walked the first two batters. That made nine walks off him to that point. A sac bunt and a popout gave him two outs, but he threw a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score and then issued his tenth walk of the afternoon. Stu Miller came out of the pen and got a nice inning ending grounder to Aparicio at short - he flipped it to Belanger at second, and Belanger dropped it, allowing the winning run to score.

And now Hunter Greene and Art Warren make three. The good news for the Reds is that Greene pitched very well, after a series of truly dreadful outings featuring baseballs flying over the fences at an astonishing rate. What's really interesting is the ongoing revival in Pittsburgh of Jose Quintana, who hadn't won a game since 2019 and is now 2-1, 2.19 after seven starts.
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#413710) #
Steve Barber is probably best remembered now for his minor part in Ball Four ("it's not sore, it's just a little stiff") but he had an interesting ride. In 1959, aged 21, he went 7-11 3.85 for Pensacola in D ball (minor league classifications included C ball and D ball instead of the various levels of A ball we have now.) Most impressively, he walked 143 in 159 innings. (Yes, the legendary Steve Dalkowski was a teammate.) The following spring, some people decided to clock some of the hardest throwers in the majors. Koufax was one, I forget the rest. They included Barber for some reason, and he topped them all at 95.5 mph on guns that were at least 5 mph slower than what they use now.

He eventually gained some sense of the strike zone, became the first Orioles 20 game winner, and was having his best season (10-5, 2.30) in 1966 when his elbow went bad. He missed that World Series, and was never very good for very long afterwards.
scottt - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#413711) #
That broadcast guy is terrible.
He's like the umps. He's wrong around 20% of the time.
Calling play by play is really not that hard.

dalimon5 - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#413712) #
ďVlad is hitting .284/.361/.500; at his current pace he'd end up with 35 HR and 100 RBI. This although offense all around is down by historic levels. The hell are you expecting?Ē

How about being the top offensive player on his own team? That would be a start. I included Vlad but the main culprit is Bo Bichette. I bull them together because everyone thinks theyíre both gonna get $300 million a piece for their first extensions.
Paul D - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#413713) #
Vlad remains one of the top hitters in baseball. Blaming him for anything is silly.

Bichette though is clearly struggling
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#413714) #
Hunter Greene and Art Warren make three.

Actually, they make six. (Wikipedia needs to update its no-hitters page.) There was the Andy Hawkins game in 1990, the Matt Young game in 1992, and the Jered Weaver game in 2008.
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#413715) #
Vlad remains one of the top hitters in baseball.

Yeah, he's been fine. I suppose you could argue that the guy they threw $150 million at has been better, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's probably why they threw all that money at him.
Thomas - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#413716) #
Maybe I completely missed that, but I had no idea that Robbie Ray was unvaccinated, but that explains the fact that the Jays displayed so little interest in getting him back this offseason.

(And I'm not saying that out of any complaints about Gausman, of course, but it seemed like the Jays never made any real effort to get Ray back.)
John Northey - Sunday, May 15 2022 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#413719) #
In truth as the year goes on I suspect the Jays not resigning Ray will look better and better - he has an 86 ERA+ so far with 3.2 BB/9 vs 8.6 K/9 - the BB/9 is better than his career but not anywhere near as good as last year and that K/9 is far, far below his 11.1 career rate. Lifetime not counting 2021/22 his ERA+ was 103. I suspect Seattle will regret that big deal. Gausman on the other hand has a 156 ERA+ so far (but just 100 career not counting 2021/22) and his BB/9 is an insane 0.4 vs 10.8 K/9. The big difference? Gausman started this in 2020 (118 ERA+) and now has Walker as his pitching coach while Ray only started this in 2021 and lost Walker.

The big question is Berrios now. His 64 ERA+ isn't matching his career at all. His K/9 has collapsed to 6.4 vs 9.0 lifetime. He needs some Walker magic I'd say.

Overall though I'd rank the rotation as the least of the Jays worries. Manoah is fantastic, Gausman also. Berrios and Ryu both have solid track records and in the end should be fine. Kikuchi I have a really good feeling about seeing drastic improvement as the year goes on. Romano is a solid closer, Cimber/Mayza are a solid 1/2 punch in setup, with Phelps/Richards/Garcia all reasonable options as well. Borucki with any luck will move back to a solid option and Stripling is an ideal #6/long man.

No question, the big worry is the offense. The dead ball has killed them it seems. Bo is showing signs of life - for May he has hit a very good 298/365/468 before today's 0-4. Chapman has to be a concern with that ugly 182/259/347 line and now 2 errors today - wonder if he is hiding an injury? Gurriel really needs one of his classic hot streaks - 230/277/341 just won't cut it in LF.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 03:04 AM EDT (#413720) #
In two of Bichette's at bats yesterday he swung at third strikes well outside the zone, one about 6 inches outside and the second even further out. I don't know if he's pressing too much or just stubbornly swinging at everything with two strikes, but he really needs better strike zone recognition.
Chuck - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#413724) #
Vlad remains one of the top hitters in baseball. Blaming him for anything is silly.

Agreed. On a team of struggling players, the guy with a 145 OPS+ is hardly your problem.

John Northey - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#413726) #
A reminder that this year there are 6 playoff teams and right now the Jays are in slot 6 despite...
A) Tapia playing everyday with his 60 OPS+
B) our 3rd catcher being a near everyday player with his 100 OPS+
C) OPS+ of 83 (Bo), 79 (Chapman), 83 (Gurriel), and 94 (Kirk), 88 (Hernandez) in the everyday lineup from guys who should all be well over 100.
D) Biggio before being hurt was at -18, Zimmer (expected to be the 4th OF) at -20

On the good side we have (2022 first, then in brackets career) Espinal 134 [113], Vlad 145 [137], Springer 144 [133], Jansen 506 [92] in just 13 PA.

So outside of Jansen (in minimal playing time) and Espinal the lineup has underperformed or is just barely over career levels so far. And the Jays are in a playoff position, 1 game up on Cleveland and the ChiSox. After playing 30 games in 31 days, after facing a very, very tough lineup of teams, after a series of key injuries. I'd say the Jays are in very good shape and just need to get a few guys going back towards their career norms. Yes, I'd love a trade for a power LH bat who can play the OF - if Washington is seriously considering trading Soto as is rumored then the Jays should be first in line (3 years of control including this year - could result in a crazy 2024/25 offseason with him/Vlad/Bo all free agents at the same time but oh what a 3 years it would be).

Looking at non-contenders (obvious ones at this point), Detroit has Austin Meadows - not a free agent until 2024/25 offseason, 116 OPS+ 124 career, plays LF/RF left handed hitter, could be a good fit. Also Robbie Grossman, a switch hitter with a 80 OPS+ so far but 103 lifetime and 128/114 the past 2 years, free agent after this year. A RF/LF so also fits what the Jays need. KC has Andrew Benintendi (LH LF) who is a free agent after this season hitting for a 135 OPS+ so far, 108 lifetime, won the Gold Glove in LF last year and has played CF at times in his career - making $8.5 mil (won his arb case) so KC might be wanting to dump him. Baltimore has a few good ones but none are free agents right away or super expensive so I doubt they would trade them right now. Boston has to be thinking about it by now (they are lower than Baltimore in the standings - see things could be a lot worse) but Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting like Tapia (61 OPS+) as is Alex Verdugo (68). Cincinnati is doing horribly and Votto is part of the reason (18 OPS+, yes, I'm not missing a digit there) and their best hitter right now is Brandon Drury, yes, that one.

Yeah, not much you can trade for - this will be a sellers market this summer but the Jays I'm sure are working on trades as I type this, unlikely to make a match but safe to say they are trying. There just isn't much available that would help. And last winters top free agents who would've fit the left handed bat/OF backup aren't really that good this year. Freddie Freeman never was a good fit (but that 147 OPS+ would be nice right now). Kris Bryant has a 91 OPS+ (better than Chapman, but not what I'd want for $100+ mil), Starling Marte is at 108 right now. I guess Nick Castellanos would've been sweet (133 OPS+ so far) but as a RH bat the Jays probably never seriously considered him (4 years $80 mil).
dalimon5 - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#413727) #
Guys, just ignore Vlad then. Youíre skirting the focus of my criticism which is Bo Bichette. When I look at a player Iím not looking to see if heís going to hit .300 and 30 home runs, Iím looking at what he does in the game when it counts - is he reliable enough? Too many times in his career I have seen Bo chase after awful pitches. I donít trust him in a key spot in the line up unless heís on a torrid tear. If he isnít then he just becomes a black hole in the top 4 spot in the line up.

Regarding defence he makes me even more nervous. He continues to make big errors on routine ground balls, usually in key moments when defender should be locked down. Even when he makes a nice place itís usually flashy and completely unnecessary, like ranging right and throwing a fade away Hail Mary missile to VladÖwhen Mike Zunino is running. These kinds of plays make me nervous and I wouldnít want to rely on him in a big game for defence or getting on base.

The team would be better right now if Bl played 2nd and Espinal short stop. Might even be better if Espinal was batting in the top 5, he just has less holes k his swing so far this year and doesnít get cheated much.

Matt Chapman can do as he pleases as far as Iím concerned. Heís our best defender since ever. Maybe Scott Rolen is as good with the glove. Only guy I can think of who is better defensively is Johnny Mac.

hypobole - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#413729) #
We had a very good April and Vlad was a huge part of that. He was great - 188 PA's, 154 wRC+, 6 HR, 16 RBI's.

We've hit the skids in May. Vlad's 118 wRC+ in 54 PA's is good and 3rd on the team in that span. So he hasn't been the problem really, but he hasn't been the solution either. He has 1 HR. He has 5 May GIDP's and 4 RBI's, which ties him with Tapia for the month.

Now Tapia has been a problem in May, 24 wRC+ in 35 PA's is awful. But the huge problem is that Chapman, Teoscar, Gurriel, Collins and Zimmer have combined 155 PA's and all have hit worse than Tapia this month. Can't win with so much baggage in the lineup.
uglyone - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#413731) #
Offense hasn't been great, having dipped to a tick below average on the year, but they're obviously in a slump and I never quite saw this team as so good offensively that dipping down to average-ish at their low ebbs would be any great shock.
hypobole - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#413733) #
April Jays hit 30 HR's, the best in baseball.

May we've hit 7, only Oakland has fewer. Anyone watching the games has seen flyball after flyball dying at the track.
uglyone - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#413734) #
I haven't been watching enough to notice - has the Homer Jacket celebration been more muted lately? or not enough homers to even notice?
92-93 - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#413735) #
Jansen couldn't wait to take off the jacket after his jack, but to be fair there were two outs and he has to don the tools of ignorance.
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#413736) #
Jansen couldn't wait to take off the jacket after his jack

It's been a rough May.  I can feel a Peter Piper contest coming on. 
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#413742) #
Mayza to the IL with forearm inflammation. Vasquez returns.

Tyler Heineman claimed by the Pirates.
92-93 - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#413743) #
Ugh, Mayza is a huge loss. He's clearly been the team's best reliever this season.
Nigel - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#413744) #
Best reliever and there isnít anyone on the roster or in Buffalo who is capable of replicating (even in a passing way) his role as the high leverage lefty. Really the most irreplaceable arm on the team. A major hit.
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