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Home, sweet home. That was one crummy road trip.


Cavan Biggio played both games in yesterday's double-header - he went 2-2 with a double and a stolen base in the night cap. Vinny Capra, the clock is ticking. Unless it's ticking for Bradley Zimmer...

The Mariners were off to a pretty decent start until they suddenly lost 10 of 11 games. Things have not gone according to plan in the outfield. Off-season acquisition Jesse Winker has underwhelmed in his first taste of AL action, hot prospect Jarred Kelenic has once more forced his way back to the minors, and right fielder Mitch Haniger is out for the long term with a Grade 2 High Ankle sprain. Rookie centre fielder Julio Rodriguez, just 21 years old, might have made it back to the minors himself were it for Kelenic being even worse and Haniger getting hurt. So after hitting just .205/.284/.260 in April young Rodriguez has started treating American League pitchers rather like he did AA pitchers when he made it there for 46 games last season and abused them to the tune of .362/.461/.546, which is the sort of thing that will get your attention.

We won't be seeing our old chum Robbie Ray, who beat the Mets on Sunday. He hasn't been the ace anyway - that would be Tuesday's starter, Logan Gilbert who the Mariners drafted with the 18th pick in 2018 (the Jays took Jordan Groshans with the 12th pick.) Gilbert arrived in the majors almost exactly a year ago and his first five starts this season were disturbingly impressive. He's looked slightly more human his last two times out. The Mariners will get to renew their acquaintance with Yusei Kikuchi, who made 70 starts for Seattle over the last three years and went 15-24, 4.97 - the Jays clearly believe that, as with Robbie Ray, there's more there to be unlocked.

Matchups!

Mon 16 May - Flexen (1-5, 4.24) vs Kikuchi (1-1, 4.15)
Tue 17 May - Gilbert (4-1, 2.13) vs Berrios (2-2, 5.82)
Wed 18 May - Gonzales (1-4, 3.38) vs Gausman (3-2, 2.40)
Seattle at Toronto, May 16-18 | 137 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Chuck - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#413745) #
George Springer starts in CF tonight. Entering tonight's game, he is on pace to start 88 games in CF. While this would be a career high, it still screams out the serious need for a competent CF caddy. Neither Tapia nor Zimmer appear to be quite that. Zimmer wouldn't have to do much to claim the job, even just perform at his career level, but that seems unlikely.

Tapia is on pace for 500+ PA but that is artificially inflated due to Hernandez's injury. Still, he's the team's 4th OF and will rack up plenty of PA this season unless the front office intervenes.

Kikuchi does seem to present with a similar skill set to Robbie Ray's so hopefully Walker can squeeze some utility out of him. No guarantees, of course. The Robbie Ray one-year transmogrification (prior to possibly having turned back into a pumpkin) is an awfully high bar.

Scanning the Mariner roster, I have two observations. It appears that Enrique Romo is still kicking. And there is a fellow named Penn Murfee. I'd like to ask him, as I would Maple Leaf Morgan Rielly, just what in the hell happened to the spelling of your last name? My father's surname endured some butchery as he landed upon Canadian soil and I wonder if these fellows have a similar story.

Magpie - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#413746) #
Robbie Ray didn't make the trip but because he pitched yesterday he's actually not eligible to go on the restricted list for the non-vaccinated; it's a measure to prevent teams from manipulating the list to add an extra player for a few days.
Chuck - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#413747) #
Under the heading "I had no idea" (and yes, the list is long), it would appear that the variations Murfee and Rielly, of the more commonly seen Murphy and Reilly, actually go back centuries. I would think that in the years since, many -- though clearly not all -- of the variations have been modified to conform to the more common forms.
Chuck - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#413748) #
Pat Tabler is back, just in time to misinform the loyal viewers. "The major league average OPS is 750." In preparation for his opening segment, a couple of clicks would have told him it's actually 683, and in the AL just 669.
BlueJayWay - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#413749) #
I'm impressed by how consistently Tabler gets stuff wrong.
Nigel - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#413750) #
But guys, you're forgetting about rampant inflation. League average OPS will soon be .750:)
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#413751) #
The major league average OPS is 750

Prior to this season, it had generally been around .730 in the AL for the last decade, although it did jump over .750 a couple of times. But everything is very different in 2022. So far anyway.
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#413752) #
Zach Collins is hitting .067 in May (1-15) and is 1-22 including his last two April appearances. When Biggio returns Collins days might be numbered. (written after his first AB in case the gods, or Collins, are out to get me)
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#413753) #
I have just seen that Biggio has been optioned to Buffalo.
Polite Nate - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#413754) #
Surprisingly, Biggio was optioned to Buffalo rather than returned immediately to Toronto. I would agree that Collins might be counting the days down.

I think Collins has great at-bats in terms of swing decisions for the most part, picking good pitches to swing at and when he makes contact it seems fairly solid. But you can see why the White Sox were apparently endlessly fiddling with his mechanics, because there is a lot of whiffing on hittable pitches. I can see how it's an approach that probably does really well at AAA but might not carry water in the majors.
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#413755) #
One more...Jordan Romano is not available tonight and is being assessed by the medical team...whatever that means.
Nigel - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#413756) #
Collins looks like he can hit in the same way that Tapia looks like he can play defence. The news on Romano is concerning but perhaps not surprising. In his last outing, his velocity was down noticeably (along with location on the FB).
uglyone - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#413757) #
Wait so we're healthy now and our DH is still a AAA catcher?
lexomatic - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#413758) #
<br>I wonder if he gets the same stats package the media does. Because that would make it worse.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#413759) #
a fellow named Penn Murfee

And here he is, a 33rd round pick who posted a 6.55 ERA at age 24 in his first pro season, A ball in Everett. Never give up, kids!
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#413760) #
Murfee's destiny was written earlier than most by his parents. No wonder he persevered!
lexomatic - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#413761) #
France does not look much bigger than Kirk at 1b.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#413762) #
France does not look much bigger than Kirk at 1b.

A little unusual to see a 5'11 first baseman.
Kelekin - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#413764) #
Chuck - the CF situation is definitely concerning. In AAA, both Lukes and Lopez have played CF, and of course, there is Mallex Smith but no one wants that. Lopez only recently came back from injury, but he deserves a chance soon. His ability to play almost every position while having a high contact rate is something we could use and creates additional lineup opportunities (and we need to not have Zack Collins in a starting lineup).

Fun fact on Capra - now that he's played 5 innings at RF in the majors, he has played every position in his journey through professional ball (yes, including pitcher and catcher).
lexomatic - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#413766) #
<br>Bichette needed that game. Hope it really kickatarts things for him. But his numbers suggests the effects of the new offensive environment. his expected woba is 336, worse than his normal 350ish totals. But not that much worse. He's hitting significantly worse though. He was at 280 before today when normally he's about even with his expected totals.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#413767) #
That was  fun to watch. Only one starter didn't get on base.

Losing Mayza and Romano seems like a big problem.
8 relievers, but really 7 if Romano is not available.
They needed 5 of those. That only leaves Andrew Vasquez and David Phelps as fully rested guys for tonight.
Richards combines fastball command and a great changeup, but the strikezone was really tight and he walked a couple. Garcia was good. Borucki's stuff was not unlike Kikuchi's. 96mph fastball and 87mph slider.
If he can stay healthy, this stuff might be good enough. Stripling couldn't manage a 5 runs lead. Nothing he threw looked sharp. He didn't look happy in the mop up role. Cimber only needed a handful of pitches, so we're probably OK if we can get 6 from Berrios.

On the other side, there is a team of hot bats.
The pitching was a bit weak, with 2 soft tossers coming up in relief or a soft tossing starter.
That is not the Yankees.

It sure looks like Ray is not vaccinated. It's interesting. I don't think it changed anything but maybe Gaus over Rays was a super easy choice to make.

Kikuchi looks better right now than Ray did last year. Fingers crossed.

scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#413768) #
Lukes is really considered a corner outfielder, but he's been the number 1 CF for Buffalo this year.
Warmoth has been the regular right fielder, whith Lukes backing him up.
They each have one error for the year.
Biggio played first base, it seems.


Thomas - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#413769) #
Tyler Heineman has been claimed on waivers by Pittsburgh.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#413771) #
Quiz time, if anyone interested. With Mayza on the DL, only 6 players on the current 26 man were drafted and signed by the Jays. Three other teams have at least 3 on their current roster. Which teams?

Bonus question. I'll be impressed if anyone gets this without looking it up. Who is the only current Mariner that was a Jays draft pick?
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#413772) #
Good for Heineman. He was not going to block Moreno.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#413773) #
I'll guess Milwaukee, Oakland and (hmm- wild guess) LAA as the teams with 3 Blue Jay draft and signs.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#413774) #
Bichette, Guerrero, Gurriel, Jansen, Kirk, Capra and Manoah makes 7.

Not a lot of position players.
Tellez is with the Brewers. Olivares is with KC. Marisnick is with the Pirates. Locastro with the Yanks.  Barreto is in Houson's minor system.

Tepera and Thor are with the Halos, but I can't think of a third one.

Musgrove is with the Padres but that's it.

We sent 3 guys to the Mets for Matz but Diaz didn't stick, the prospect didn't graduate and SRF is on the IL.

The Yankees have Castro and Locastro.

BTW, is there a team out there with more homegrown players than KC?

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#413775) #
Well, two out of three aint...never mind.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#413776) #
Oh, yeah, there's the Chapman trade.  So Oakland has Kevin Smith, Zague Logue and Kirby Snead.
They also have Dany Jimenez (free agent) and Zach Jackson (AAA rule 5 draft).

hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#413777) #
IFA's (Vlad, Dany Jimenez etc) weren't drafted.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#413778) #
Graveman is with the White Sox. Stroman is with the Cubs. Aaron Sanchez is with the Nats and I did miss Riley Adams. So maybe there is a third guy there?
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#413779) #
Neither was Gurriel, so only 5 Jays?
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#413780) #
Yup, A's have the 3 from the Chapman trade plus Jackson.
Angels have Loup, Tepera and Thor.
Cubs would have had 3, with Gomes and Norris but Stro is on the IL.

So one more team ( your'e on the right track, scottt)plus the Mariner to go.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#413781) #
Neither was Gurriel, so only 5 Jays?

Romano.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#413782) #
Take Kirk out as well, add Romano and Borucki. (Pearson, Mayza and Saucedo on the IL).
92-93 - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#413783) #
Montoyo handled the pitching staff really well yesterday, pushing the right buttons at the right times. It was a curious move to let Tapia run for himself and then remove him for defense. Is it better to move two guys (Springer, Hernandez) to different outfield positions to accommodate Zimmer, or to leave guys in their spots and just plug Zimmer into the vacated position?

It wouldn't be surprising to see them add a fresh reliever for the next couple of games. It would require optioning Collins or dumping Tapia/Zimmer though, so they may just roll with the current group unless Romano hits the IL.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#413784) #
Zimmer is the superior defender in centre, so that's where he went. The accommodation was for Springer who hasn't played LF since 3 innings 4 years ago. So he went to his customary RF spot. Teoscar, who has plenty of LF experience and actually played very well there last year moved into Tapia's spot.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#413785) #
Maybe it will be Adrian Hernandez.  He has been dominant in the high minors, but they may or may not feel he is ready. 
uglyone - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#413786) #
Now that we're pretty healthy I would enjoy it if Montoyo played what he actually thinks are our best 9 hitters for a bunch of games in a row without his usual overthinking of it, even if some of them are not hitting well at the moment.

It is actually possible to field a lineup without any of Collins Tapia Zimmer in it, for the record.
Polite Nate - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#413787) #
Aaron Loup is also on the Angels.
Polite Nate - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#413788) #
Whoops, hyperbole said that already, my bad.
Cracka - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#413789) #
It sounds like Nate Pearson is still weeks away - not encouraging news - however, it opens the door for someone to be added to the 40-man roster once Pearson moves to the 60-day IL. Vinny Capra was officially added yesterday, taking Heineman's spot - he had been occupying Biggio's spot, but needed his own spot once Biggio was optioned off the COVID list.

Jordan Romano actually warmed up in the bullpen (in full uniform) during the 7th inning last night. I don't expect his illness is very serious... otherwise, that wouldn't have happened. However, it wouldn't be surprising to see another arm added to the bullpen. Jeremy Beasley has quietly had an outstanding season in Buffalo as a multi-inning reliever, so maybe him? Seems a little early for Adrian Hernandez, but no doubt he's on the radar. Merryweather probably gets another shot soon, but he's running out of chances.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#413790) #
Washington has Adams, Sanchez, Patrick Murphy. I wouldn't have got the other two.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#413791) #
Oops, Murphy's in the minors. Never mind.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#413792) #
You guys keep getting the right team, but missing the 3rd player. Anyone remember the Vancouver 2nd base experiment?
Joe - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#413794) #
100% definitely not. Not only could I not come up with the name Lane Thomas unaided, I didn't even recognize it when I clicked on literally every single Nationals 26-player name on MLB.com to look at transactions.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#413795) #
Past Calendar Year Stats

1B Guerrero 682pa, 159wrc+, 5.2war/650
CF Springer 464pa, 140wrc+, 4.6war/650
RF Hernandez 557pa, 128wrc+, 4.6war/650
SS Bichette 681pa, 117wrc+, 4.0war/650
3B Chapman 598pa, 98wrc+, 3.9war/650
LF Gurriel 540pa, 119wrc+, 3.0war/650

C Jansen 138pa, 200wrc+, 11.8war/650
2B Espinal 348pa, 121wrc+, 5.8war/650
DH Kirk 251pa, 99wrc+, 1.8war/650


OF Zimmer 390pa, 76wrc+, 1.7war/650
OF Tapia 492pa, 66wrc+, -0.4war/650
IF Biggio 186pa, 69wrc+, -1.4war/650
C Collins 236pa, 90wrc+, -1.4war/650
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#413796) #
Lane Thomas it is. Athletic outfielder Jays tried to convert to 2B in 2015. Later traded to the Cards for IFA bonus slot money.

Was looking at that Vancouver team. Pitchers included Borucki, Saucedo, wild-man Angel Perdomo and the answer to the Seattle bonus quiz question.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#413798) #
Dany Jimenez is doing very well for Oakland this year. He was signed Aug 2015 by the Jays. So he took his time, but is only 28 years old. I don't know what he throws but I expect 2 pitches, one being a high velo FB.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#413801) #
Thanks, UO.  In the Zimmer/Tapia discussion, you can look at the longer time frame of their careers. Zimmer is at 2.4 WAR over 900 PAs, while Tapia is at 0.8 WAR over 1500 PAs.  The choice seems pretty clear to me.  You want one as your 4th OF, and that's Zimmer.

The rest-of-season projections for Danny Jansen on fangraphs are pretty awesome.  wRC+ of 123-131 and good defence leads to 2-3 WAR in part-time play (about 60% of games).  He hits enough that he is worthy of DH time when Kirk catches, and he should get into the great majority of games.    So far in his career, he has reverse platoon splits. 

Magpie - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#413802) #
Lane Thomas?

I swear I'd never even heard of Lane Thomas until last October when the Nats were playing Boston in that three game series to end the season that we all watched so very, very closely. It's the only reason his name rings any bells at all. I don't remember why.

Well, let's have a look. He doesn't seem to have done anything. Did we notice him at all? Why yes, someone helpfully pointed out that when Washington ran out of infielders, they had outfielder Lane Thomas available who had played some second base in the Blue Jays system. That was... uh, it was me. There's no chance I knew that, none whatsoever. I had to have looked it up in the moment, and quickly deleted it from my mental hard drive when the weekend was over.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#413804) #
I knew Lane Thomas, but haven't followed his career closely in recent years.  Old favourite of mine from the time he was drafted. 
John Northey - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#413805) #
Lane Thomas was traded for IFA money for the 2017 year. The Jays used that plus what they had to sign...
  • Eric Pardinho, rhp, Brazil (No. 14 prospect), $1.4 million. Currently on IL (Tommy John, should be back soon)
  • Miguel Hiraldo, ss, Dominican Republic (No. 23 prospect), $750,000. In A+ "hitting" 167/219/267
  • Alejandro Melean, rhp, Venezuela (No. 32 prospect). In A+ with a 2.79 ERA in 3 games, 9 2/3 IP 6 H 4 BB 11 SO
  • Leonardo Jimenez, ss, Panama (No. 36 prospect), $825,000. A+: 250/402/413 mostly at SS
  • Alberto Rodriguez, of, Dominican Republic (No. 38 prospect), $500,000. Traded for Taijuan Walker in 2020.
  • and sub $500k guys... Rainer Diaz, ss, Dominican Republic; Jose Rivas, ss, Venezuela (A+ 467 OPS); Geyber Jimenez, c, Venezuela (hasn't played since 2019); Jhon Solarte, of, Venezuela (hasn't played this year after a 591 OPS in 2021); Ronald Govea, rhp, Venezuela (last pitched in 2019); Alexis Carmona, rhp, Venezuela (last pitched in 2019); Williams Moreno, rhp, Venezuela (last pitched in 2019); Erick Teran, lhp, Venezuela (last pitched in 2018); Miguel Olivo, rhp, Venezuela (last pitched in 2019); Alexis Carmona, rhp, Venezuela (another last seen in 2019); Luis Pena, rhp, Venezuela (just 4 2/3 IP in 2017)
So that year's IFA was a flop I'd say. Trading Alberto Rodriguez for Walker was a great move, but otherwise it seems a lot of nothing unless Pardinho recovers soon and strongly.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#413806) #
I remember Lane Thomas well. He played in Vancouver in a year when I was at the Nat often. The Jays tried to make him a 2B and it was obvious very early (and often) that he wasn't cut out for that. But they kept at it for no reason that I could see. He just didn't have the necessary quickness or instincts for it. He was then promoted before his strike zone control warranted. I remember him as a development failure (rather than a draft failure). What he did have was one of those batting practice swings that you notice (positively) at a minor league park by its sound.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#413807) #
Danny Young was the Mariner drafted by the Jays in 2015. I thought that was who it was when I looked at their roster and checked to make sure.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#413808) #
The reserve pitchers in AAA are
Casey Lawrence
Bowden Francis
Anthony Kay
Thomas Hatch
Merryweather
Thornton

They're pretty much all being stretched in Buffalo and none has been that good.
Lawrence being the best.

And then you got Hagen Danner pitching in relief in AA, but has thrown less than 4 innings with poor results.

They do have Derek Holland pitching for Buffalo, but he hasn't done anything to deserve a promotion.

hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#413809) #
Yeah, Nigel, I remembered you posting about it back in the day.

It's also something I keep in mind each time we have some prospect who could be our new 3B or 2B or CF, because "he played there in the minors". Much like Homer's t-shirt, there's a difference between could and should.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr--_i0JZbs

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#413810) #
John, I wouldn't pronounce the 2017 IFA year a flop.  The players involved are 20 or 21, including Leo Jimenez whose birthday is today.  Jimenez is on track to be a very good player, although like anybody else, it will take some good fortune and good health for him to be all that he can be...
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#413811) #
Taking a centerfielder and making him into a second baseman is ordinarily a much more risky proposition than the other way around.  The second basemen who clearly shouldn't be centerfielders are pretty obvious from their lack of speed.  The other way round is more subtle. Indeed, almost all outfield to infield transitions are more fraught than the other way round.  
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#413812) #
Inexplicably, Raimel Tapia gets another start today.  This will be his 32nd game, and 28th start, out of 37 games.  Meanwhile, Danny Jansen sits instead of DHing. 
Nigel - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#413813) #
I was going to write a follow-up post about OF to INF transitions and Mike beat me to it.

All of this tee'd up my "old guy" rant for the day (to follow-up on several that have been posted recently). I really miss being able to listen to batting practice (yes, listen). I've been going early to batting practice at games since I was a little kid and some of my fondest sensory recollections of the ball park come from the sounds of batting practice. These days you have no chance in a major league park with the volume of the music and commercials that are being blasted. Its a challenge in most minor league parks these days even when you can be right behind home plate. I know I'm in the vast minority on this one so rant over.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#413814) #
More old man rants please.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#413815) #
"Inexplicably, Raimel Tapia gets another start today. This will be his 32nd game, and 28th start, out of 37 games. Meanwhile, Danny Jansen sits instead of DHing. "

I'm actually tempted to do a deep dive into how many times the Montoyo Jays have actually fielded their best lineup.

Not sure i care enough tho.
grjas - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#413816) #
Great to see that cross-border Covid restrictions helped us get the better starting pitcher in Gausman. Ciao Robbie.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#413817) #
Tapia batting 9th and giving a regular a day at DH is fine, assuming Biggio is actually not MLB-ready and needs everyday ABs in Buffalo. Jansen is fresh off a non-contact injury where he hurt his oblique swinging and missing, so you probably don't want to be rolling him out there as the DH just yet. It would be fine to see Zimmer in the lineup too.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#413818) #
I'm actually tempted to do a deep dive into how many times the Montoyo Jays have actually fielded their best lineup.

This season? Well if that lineup has Jansen catching, Kirk at dh, Vlad, Espinal, Bichette, Chapman in the infield and Teoscar, Springer, Gurriel in the outfield.... next time will be the first time.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#413819) #
More old man rants please.

And I thought that was my job...
Magpie - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#413820) #
Biggio 1-2 with a double so far tonight, which is worth noting because he now has the most wonderfully symmetrical slash line in Buffalo: .400/.500/.600, which is much too good to be true.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#413821) #
More old man rants please.

If I may thump the old rulebook:

Rule 5.05 (b) - "The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base...(2) [If he] is touched by a pitched ball...

unless... (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;"

Chuck - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#413822) #
unless... (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball

This rule always struck me as ridiculous. What responsibility should the batter have to get the hell out of the way? Batters just fake moving out of the way now, if they bother doing anything at all. Umpires don't seem particularly motivated to read a batter's mind and gauge his pitch-juking sincerity.

Nigel - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#413823) #
I understand that judging C defence is hard and subjective, but it seems to my subjective eye that Kirk has been at least average this year and maybe even moving into the modestly above average tier. If his bat ticks back up to projections, he becomes a pretty valuable piece.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#413824) #
More old man rants please.
And I thought that was my job...

Big club. Take a number.

Chuck - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#413825) #
I'm actually tempted to do a deep dive into how many times the Montoyo Jays have actually fielded their best lineup.

That best lineup features, justifiably, exactly zero LHB. Anyone know if a team's best lineup has ever been all right-handed? That strikes me as likely unprecedented. I recall some 1990's era Rockies team, in the Galarraga/Bichette/Castilla/Burks days, that were mainly right-handed.

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#413826) #
Berrios' command has been there.  Not only the fastball as Tabler mentioned, but also the slider and curveball.  It makes all the difference.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#413827) #
"Kirk has been at least average this year and maybe even moving into the modestly above average tier. If his bat ticks back up to projections,"

He's only a tick below league average (96wrc+) despite no power showing up yet at all. It'll come.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#413828) #
"This season? "

I was actually thinking about the entire Montoya tenure.
grjas - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#413829) #
Nice to see a Big Jay bloop hit drop in for a change, rather than the competitionís
christaylor - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#413830) #
This rule is lousy -- with the way some pitches move, especially in this era, the best way to not get hit might just be to stand still.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#413831) #
Anyone remember this game?

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA202009170.shtml

Late in the 2020 shortened season, we were playing the Yankees. Chase Anderson came in after an opener. Got through his first 2 innings unscathed, but in the fourth inning was torched for 7 runs including 5 HR's. Became only the 2nd pitcher ever to give up 5 HR's in one inning.

Well there's a 3rd now after the Astros bopped 5 off Nate Eovaldi in the 2nd inning tonight.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#413832) #
It is funny, I've been as anti-Tapia as anyone but he actually hasn't been terrible lately.  His last 7 games (including tonight) he has hit 313/421/313 - zero power but getting his butt on base.  Wonder what finally hit him to stop swinging for the fences?  If he can hit near 300 with a fair number of walks he has value.  But anything less and he doesn't.  Sadly I am sure this is just one of those small sample size things, but lets enjoy it while it lasts and maybe some other team will think it is for real and offer the Jays something for him (a low A backup infielder would be fine).

Actually the last 7 days (via MLB.com) is kind of funny to look at.
700+ OPS (thus above league average): Capra, Jansen, Bo, Tapia, Kirk, Espinal
Sub 650 OPS (below league average): Vlad, Chapman, Springer, Hernandez, Gurriel, Collins, Heineman, Zimmer

So the Jays are starting to play better and Vlad and Springer have gone cold.  Go figure.  Hernandez makes sense coming off his injury.  Gurriel has just been blah all year.  Collins really should've been sent down as his bat has died off - first 6 games he was at 400/429/800, since 100/200/200 in 45 PA.  I think the Jays need to accept he can have hot streaks but that is all it was - a hot streak.  Another week or two and his OPS+ will be looking pretty ugly (just sub 100 now).
Dr B - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#413833) #
unless... (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball

Well you do need something to discourage players deliberately taking one for the team, or from taking the inner half of the plate away from the pitcher.

Magpie - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#413834) #
I was actually thinking about the entire Montoya tenure.

Well, I've got no life! It hasn't happened yet this year, thanks mainly to the injury to Jansen. What about last year?

For 2021, I suppose the best lineup is Jansen catching, Kirk at dh, Vlad, Semien, Bichette, Espinal in the infield, Teoscar, Springer, Gurriel in the outfield. That was never the starting lineup, not even once, thanks to the more or less sequential injuries to Springer, Kirk, and Jansen.

How about 2020? A short season, not as much opportunity. We'll go with Jansen catching and Tellez at DH; Vlad, Biggio, Bichette, Shaw in the infield, Teoscar, Grichuk, Gurriel in the outfield. And Bichette missed half the games. Even so, we have a winner! That was the lineup, once! It was Aug 7, 2020 and the Jays lost 5-3 to Boston in Fenway.

I don't know if we should even bother with 2019. They did lose 95 games - well, maybe not using the best lineup would help explain it! And truthfully the best lineup would have featured Reese McGuire catching, who outhit Danny Jansen by an order of magnitude (an OPS+ of 130 being better than 70.) But McGuire only started 26 games. And it would have included Bichette at short rather than Freddy Galvis. The others would be Smoak, Biggio, Vlad, Grichuk, Teoscar, Gurriel, Tellez. But Bichette was only there for the last two months, and Gurriel was injured for most of that period. So, needless to say, that group never once formed the starting lineup.

But there's your answer. Since becoming manager, Montoyo has fielded his best lineup once in more than 400 games. This has most often been because his best lineup wasn't actually available most of the time, but we do know he's a guy who wants to use his entire roster and doesn't seem to mind writing a new lineup every day. He's not like Gaston, who rode his starters, or Cox who had platoon arrangements that were carved in stone.
mathesond - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#413835) #
Ken Rosenthal has a really good column up at the Athletic this morning, about the drafting of one Alek Manoah.
scottt - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#413837) #
It's been mentioned that the Jays hitting coaches (Guillermo Martinez and Dave Hudgens) are asking Tapia to hit more balls in the air. That explains the lower walk rate, the higher strikeout rate and the easy flyballs.

They don't see 1 month of results in April as a meaningful sample.

92-93 - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#413838) #
The whole exercise is pretty unfair to Montoyo, because it ignores what players were supposed to be and retroactively uses what they were. For example, Biggio had much better career numbers than Jansen heading into 2022, and much higher projections than Espinal. Did Montoyo not field his best lineup on opening day this year because Espinal wasn't in it? That's a stretch.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#413839) #
It seems entirely possible to me that Alek Manoah ends up as a lifetime Blue Jay.  We'll see what the next couple of years brings. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#413841) #
The whole exercise is pretty unfair to Montoyo, because it ignores what players were supposed to be and retroactively uses what they were. For example, Biggio had much better career numbers than Jansen heading into 2022, and much higher projections than Espinal. Did Montoyo not field his best lineup on opening day this year because Espinal wasn't in it? That's a stretch.

It's a matter of opinion. Biggio had the better career numbers; Espinal had the better numbers in 2021.  Espinal also had a much better spring in 2022 and looked a lot better.  It's true that the projections would place greater weight on the career numbers.  There was also the whole question of how Espinal's increased muscle mass over the winter would translate to his exit velocities.  It was a matter of judgment, and in fairness of Montoyo, he changed his opinion fairly quickly once he saw how it looked in a few games. 

Montoyo has given Tapia an extremely long look despite his below replacement level performance and inconsistent effort.  It's true that you can see a decent player there if you look hard (he's had bad batted ball luck so far this year). If Tapia put in a more consistent effort, you could see why he might do that. 
uglyone - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#413843) #
Hah Magpie I'd like to say I'm surprised but I'm not.

I'm sure we could argue that there are many other games where he was plausibly starting his best lineup but its hard to see the number rising anywhere close to even half the time.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#413847) #
Montoyo clearly has a style that leans towards using everyone which is going to significantly impact how often the "best lineup" will be put on the field. There are likely benefits to this style that don't meet the eye (on an individual game basis). So, on balance, I can't really argue with the overall strategy. My only criticism of this is that the timing of off days for regulars etc. is often less that ideal when you look at various factors. As an extreme example - if you wanted to give Springer a day off from CF and use Zimmer, the ideal scenario would be for Zimmer to start on (either or both) a day where the opposing team starts a RH and the Jays have one of their FB heavy starters. There are quite a few examples where that scenario presents itself but the day off isn't chosen then but rather on the next day (with less favourable factors at play). These are all marginal inefficiencies but they just don't have to be. Throwing pennies off boat eventually leads to throwing dollar bills.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#413848) #
Agreed, Nigel.  More intention on the choice of off-days would be a very good development for Montoyo. 
hypobole - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#413849) #
Extension suggestions using ZIPS for young stars. Vlad 8/174.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/which-young-players-should-be-next-to-sign-long-term-deals/
hypobole - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#413850) #
And Jays stuff from Buster Olney at ESPN

Will Juan Soto be traded?

Front-office types point to two teams that might be really motivated to move on Soto: The hyper aggressive San Diego Padres, who could dangle infielder C.J. Abrams and pitcher MacKenzie Gore; and the Blue Jays, who can dream on a left-handed star to complement the right-handed hitting Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

and

How will the Blue Jays fill their left-handed-hitter hole?

The lineup is very right-handed, with a clear need for left-handed hitting for balance. It seems a sure thing that the Jays' aggressive front office will do something to address that. Could that be Josh Bell? Andrew Benintendi? Ian Happ?
John Northey - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#413851) #
I suspect if Vlad would take 8/$174 million (just shy of $22 mil a year) the Jays would jump on it. Projection is 2023-2030 of 29.2 WAR which is half a HOF career (I put 60 WAR as HOF) and worth nearly $300 million on the free agent market.

I've been going on an assumption Vlad wants a $300-$400 million 10+ year deal.

Now, imo, if the Jays were really into 'lets take a risk' mode then talk with Washington about Soto who doesn't want to sign long term it seems right now - 3 years of control, but what would you pay for that? My guess was it would cost something like Bo, Moreno, and another top quality prospect. The Jays could afford it as Kirk/Jansen is a damn fine catcher combo, Espinal could move back to shortstop, and Biggio could take back 2B splitting time with Capra (far from ideal, but might do the job as Biggio has hit in AAA since coming back from COVID). Plus we'd still have super-prospect Orelvis Martinez coming soon to play 3B or 2B or even SS and Groshans too. It'd be risky but damn would that scare people for the next 3 years. If possible to do it without giving up Bo would be ideal though.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#413852) #
Yeah, I don't really have any complaints - as I noted, much of the time injury made the best lineup unavailable, and as has also been noted, quite often it was not yet clear who the best option was. And I'm generally in favour of using everybody you've got. There are very few players who can still play well when they hardly ever play.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#413853) #
Gotta disagree there - when you have predictably terrible bench players, you shouldn't just keep using them regularly.


dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#413854) #
John,

That's an incredible trade idea you proposed. Certainly enough to get Soto out of Washington. Wow, Vlad and Soto would be unbelievable, and I would spend big bucks to sign those two unlike Vlad and Bo.


Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#413855) #
To take a concrete example.  Let's say your backup OFers are less than 1 WAR players on a full-time basis.  First of all, there's no need for two of them.  Second of all, I would suggest that the one you have should start once a week when all three regular outfielders are healthy and as needed, when one is injured.  Montoyo is inclined to play Tapia more often that even when all the regulars are healthy.   In the result, he's going to get 150 PAs more than he needs to. 

This may not necessarily be Montoyo's inclination.  The development staff may have a role in this decision, believing that Tapia has important untapped potential. 
uglyone - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#413856) #
Yeah I would do John's deal too. But i don't think much of an add on would be needed on Bo + Moreno.

92-93 - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#413858) #
It would be weird for Washington to be interested in Bichette if they are trading Soto, there's only one extra year of control there. The conversation probably starts with Moreno and Martinez, unless the Nats are more interested in saving $ while pretending to not take a step back.

Nigel - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#413859) #
Agreed that Montoyo is inclined to over use someone like Tapia. However, I'm not sure that it matters in that particular case in that for the 5/6 ths of the season that Gurriel isn't going supernova there isn't much to choose between Tapia and Gurriel. The real headscratcher for me is why Montoyo is playing the demonstrably worse bench LHH OF (Tapia over Zimmer)?
scottt - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#413860) #
The plan has always been to rest Vlad and the outfielders through the DH.
Bichette does not want to DH. Same with Chapman.
No reason to DH Espinal either.

Just need to pick up a real DH at the deadline along with an extra reliever.

Kelekin - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#413864) #
Why do we need to trade for a DH? We could use a Dickerson replacement, but going after a player who could only DH seems like a poor idea.

Going after a good reliever could make sense; it'd be nice if we actually let some of our farmhands get an opportunity though. Most of the best bullpens have been built internally. We tend to call up guys for one inning and DFA them or lose the best ones to FA and they find success elsewhere.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#413866) #
Ironically we have your top 9 position players all in the starting lineup tonight. 
christaylor - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#413867) #
Being a regular DH is a skill. If I recall correctly most position players pay a DH penalty when rotated into the position.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#413869) #
Yes, there is a DH penalty which was documented well in The Book, if I recall right.  I believe it is less than the PH penalty, but I could be wrong about that. 
hypobole - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#413870) #
How many teams have a dedicated DH? Don't most just rotate their regulars like the Jays?
lexomatic - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#413871) #
<br>I posted in an older series thread but Washington has a top prospect catcher who's starting they don't need Moreno and Kirk it's a bad fit
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#413872) #
It's a mixed bag in terms of DH usage.  A few teams in the AL have a definite regular DH (J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Shohei Ohtani) and quite a few more have one whose major job is DH (Stanton, Mancini, Franmil Reyes, Yordan Alvarez, and Jed Lowrie).  The Blue Jay situation of a true rotation through (Zack Collins leads the club with 10 starts as DH) is about as common as the definite regular situation. 
uglyone - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#413873) #
"Designated DH" is a misnomer. The player can play other positions if capable. But DH is the easiest place to upgrade your offense.

Having no DH just for the purpose of near guaranteeing you have one of Tapia Zimmer Collins in the lineup wvery day just doesn't make sense.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#413874) #
"The conversation probably starts with Moreno and Martinez,"

Done.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#413875) #
I just don't see Bo,Moreno and Martinez getting Juan Soto.
grjas - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#413876) #
I still find it odd we didnít sign Dickerson when there was no better alternative. His numbers werenít too bad last year with an OPS+ of 109. I wonder if he is not vaccinated. (But then he has been dreadful this year anyway)

Yes I would do the Soto deal as well; frankly Iím less fussed about losing Bo then Moreno but the deal is still fine with the organizational strength at their two positions.
grjas - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#413877) #
A Soto trade like the one proposed brings back memories of the Carter and Alomar trade Ö dealing from organizational strength to fill in holes. Still would leave the question of whether the FO could convince Rogers to pony up and extend two very expensive players.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#413878) #
Dedicated DH may not be what you're talking about, but it's not a misnomer either. Nelson Cruz has played 7 innings in the field the past 4 seasons total. Cabrera hasn't worn a glove this year, didn't in 2020 either. Ohtani occupies the DH slot. Hasn't played the field when not pitching.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#413879) #
Montoyo has given Tapia an extremely long look despite his below replacement level performance and inconsistent effort.

I do think it's not entirely surprising that Tapia has started 28 games in the outfield when you remember that Hernandez was unavailable for 22 of them. For much of this season, Tapia hasn't really been part of "the bench." It seems to me that this year Montoyo really isn't playing his bench guys that much.

Well, he's probably taken stock of what he's got...
John Northey - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#413880) #
For Juan Soto you are chasing a generational talent who is Vlad+ - plays RF and hits even better than Vlad.  But just 3 years of control and seems to want to become a free agent.  So that right away cuts his price significantly as no small market team, regardless of prospects available, would trade for him (IE: Tampa).  The only teams interested would be ones who could/would pay out $300-400 million and those are few and far between.  The Jays are one of those teams.  Checking FanGraphs the Nationals have a thin minor league system with just 22 35+ prospects pre-2021 (their 2022 list isn't on FG yet) but just 3 top 100's on the 2022 list suggests it isn't much better - the 3 are #74 (starting pitcher), #82 (reliever, but might be starter), and #98 (a 3B).  On MLB.com their top catching prospect is #20 in a weak system.  Yikes. Their #2 and #9 are both shortstops.  Their current #1 catcher is a 23 year old with a lifetime 102 OPS+ - Keibert Ruiz - who isn't a free agent until after the 2027 season.  He peaked at #11 for prospect rating before this season (BA).  So yeah, our top 2 are not perfect fits, nor is Kirk.  They made the mistake of signing Nelson Cruz as their DH for this year (67 OPS+ at age 41 so he might be toast).  Thus Kirk might be a fit as a C/DH for them going forward.  Their current SS (Alcides Escobar) has a 54 OPS+.  Yikes. At 1B they have switch hitting Josh Bell tearing the cover off with a 165 OPS+ (he is a free agent post-2022).  So talks there could be fruitful with Bell being a decent fit at DH/1B with Vlad for this year only (Bell can play LF/RF in a pinch but really is a 1B/DH).  Their pitching is a total disaster though.  Thus Pearson and any warm bodies might be something they would want.

So after digging in a bit maybe Bo, Kirk, Pearson, and some pitching prospects we don't think of but Washington would grab.  I figure they'd want a replacement in RF like Hernandez to keep fans from going totally nuts, which could work. But I see the case that Moreno isn't a solid fit - I could see Groshans being part of it to fill in at SS/3B too.

Really, you'd have to feel no one is a no-go in a deal for Soto.  If the Jays could pull it off without losing Bo, Moreno, or Martinez I'd be 100% shocked and feel that Atkins deserves GM of the year for pulling it off.  A deal involving, say, 10 35+ to 45+ prospects so Washington has a full system again wouldn't be a bad idea either.  I always say quality over quantity.  But if your system is as bare as theirs seems to be then quantity might be needed.  Jays then would go even more nuts on the IFA front to re-fill the minors.

Realistically, it isn't going to happen.  Too much at stake for both teams when a big star is involved unless it is a cash to save a dying team deal.  But dang if Bell isn't tempting (and probably cheap).
John Northey - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#413881) #
To the dollars and cents issue - so far so good, the Jays clearly have shown Rogers that a winning team = big exposure for the name (via the stadium), and for SportsNet (worth more than the Jays) with literally millions watching key games (and even spring ones).  MLB clearly has money flowing in and I figure based on viewership numbers and what other teams get, the Jays are worth over $100-200 million a year in local TV revenue depending how they play.  When in the playoffs they easily would be worth $200+ given the strong viewership and deals other teams with lower potential viewership (virtually every ML team) get.  So having a payroll in the Yankee range is possible if they feel it is worth it.  I suspect that the Jays have that open to them if they need it.  Pay $70 mil a year for Vlad & Soto for 2023-20xx and the Jays are still under the Payroll Tax level before factoring in bullpen, Bo, Teoscar, Gurriel.  Even if you keep Chapman at $25 per you'd be fine.  So if you were GM would you roll the dice?  I would as 3 years of Vlad/Soto (and Bo if you can keep from making him part of the deal) would be insane mixed with Springer and whoever else.  Outfield is a clear need and Soto really covers that.

Although I still find it sad they couldn't sign Seiya Suzuki (133 OPS+ so far in RF for the Cubs) even if he does hit right.  The other IFA we all thought the Jays would sign pre-2021 - Ha-Seong Kim - is also hitting well this year (123 OPS+ at SS with high end defense and he wanted to sign here...grrrr). 
Magpie - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#413882) #
Kevin Gausman's K/W ratio is utterly hilarious, of course. Almost all of the career leaders in this category are modern pitchers, working in an era when strikeouts have doubled or tripled over the rates found in the Olden Days. Only four pitchers have managed to strike out ten times as many as they walked in a single season (Gausman's current ratio is 27-1), led by Phil Hughes (11.6 in 2014). The other three are Bret Saberhagen, Cliff Lee, and Jim Whitney.

I'm thinking that last name may not ring a bell - well, it probably shouldn't. He died of tuberculosis, just 33 years old, back in 1891. Seven years earlier he had fanned 270 while walking just 27 for the Boston Beaneaters.

Of course, it took nine balls to actually walk a hitter in 1884.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#413883) #
"Ironically we have your top 9 position players all in the starting lineup tonight."

And it lasted all of 5 innings.
grjas - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#413884) #
And it lasted all of 5 innings.

Matters little when none of them can hit.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 18 2022 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#413885) #
Just when I think I'm in, they push me back out.
hypobole - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#413887) #
Teoscar getting picked off second in a one run game was infuriating. That's the fourth time we've been picked off I can remember - Bo, Vlad and Kirk the others.

What I can't remember is the last time an opponent was picked off by anyone on our pitching staff, maybe one of our catchers did?
Cynicalguy - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#413888) #
I wonder if Moreno, Martinez and Tiedemann are enough to get Soto....assuming the Nats are going to move him.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 03:18 AM EDT (#413890) #
" That's the fourth time we've been picked off I can remember."

Per Shi Davidi's wrap-up, it is the sixth time a Blue Jay was picked off this season, which is second most in the majors.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#413893) #
I think Washington would be insane to trade Soto even for a premium set of prospects. The risk of losing a player of his caliber for lottery tickets is just beyond measure.

If one team were to pony up a package of perhaps one or two excellent prospects plus a pair of very good young players (on the Jays, that would be like Bichette and Manoah) that would be the only way I'd consider it.

I would think the Jays would have to part with both Martinez and Moreno plus Bo and Manoah.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#413894) #
Hypobole, according to BBRef's Blue Jay team page, the catchers haven't picked anybody off this year.  Is that right?  I thought Kirk had picked someone off, but maybe that was last year. 

The Blue Jays have been aggressive on the basepaths.  It naturally will tend to lead to more bases gained, and more outs.  How has it worked out in total?  Fangraphs' statistic has the Blue Jays as a team at 4.2 Baserunning runs, which ranks them tied for sixth in the major leagues. It seems that it has been working out pretty well overall and better than other aspects of the team's performance.

As for the Hernandez' pick-off, Tabler said that it resulted from Hernandez trying to get a bigger secondary lead so that he would have a better chance of scoring if Kirk hit a single.  With Hernandez' speed, I see the effort to get a large secondary lead as a very marginal proposition.  On the other hand, a straight steal of third base with one out is something I could see as a possibility at his discretion.  Teoscar is 19-5 stealing bases since 2020, and with the element of surprise, it's conceivable to me that it would work.  If that was the plan, the element of surprise was obviously not there. 
hypobole - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#413895) #
Disagree, Mike. Just because we have good baserunning numbers doesn't mean it's OK to be picked off 6 times. The correlation/causation thing.

In fact, I would guess the team picked off more than the Jays has worse baserunning numbers and the teams ahead of us have not been picked off as often.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#413896) #
I don't know, hypobole.  One factor that would lead to better baserunning numbers overall would be team speed.  The Blue Jay team speed is likely about average with Zimmer the only truly fast runner. In a strange note, Statcast has Chapman with better sprint speed than Tapia 27.8 to 27.4 feet/sec.  Nonetheless, Tapia is tied with Teoscar for 2nd on the team in baserunning runs behind Springer. 

If you don't think that it is aggressiveness that is leading to the overall positive baserunning numbers, what do you think it is?
hypobole - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#413897) #
Partially aggressiveness, partially lack of focus is my opinion.
hypobole - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#413898) #
In our win over Tampa Saturday, we did something that didn't seem out of the ordinary, but almost never happens. There's a story and it even has a Jimmy Key reference.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jalen-beeks-and-the-case-of-the-fun-fact/
Nigel - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#413899) #
Some of the base running value may come from the number of times the Jays have scored from 2nd and 1st on singles and doubles. They been aggressive in that area this year. As a compliment, the team has run the bases hard and generally in good situations where gambling made some sense. But, anecdotally it has felt like theyíve been somewhat lucky in this area to date. There have been a few times this year where Iíve said to myself that ďeven a decent throw/relay should have gotten the outĒ, but the play wasnít made. I think thereís been some luck in that area to date and small sample size may play a role here. This doesnít feel like much more than an a average team from a base running perspective. And last night just felt like a lack of focus. No good reason that I can think of to get picked off in that situation. None.
John Northey - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#413900) #
The Baseball Trade Values website has Soto at a value of 206.7 (they don't let you pick him for a trade). Jays have Bichette at 109.7, Manoah at 97.7, Vlad 73.1, Moreno 67.1, then a massive drop to Martinez at 34.4. They aren't a perfect site but it is useful for getting an idea on what these deals take.

That gives one an ideea of what it takes to get a 200 value player - you need a killer amount of value going back. So a package of Bo & Manoah = 207.4 which in theory would do the trick, but I can't imagine either team doing that deal. Washington is in rebuild mode, Jays in contention. So using that what prospects add up to 200+?

Suppose the Jays went nuts and sent a package of Moreno (67.1), Martinez (34.4), Groshans (14), Lopez (6), Tiedemann (11.7), and Pearson (9.1). We'd still be well short (142.3 so 64.4 shy). Basically it can't be done with just prospects. Kirk (28), Gurriel Jr (10.3), that gets you 38.3 more so a bit more than half of what is left (still need 26.1 or roughly another Kirk of value).

This shows why deals for guys like Soto are very, very hard. It can be done but it would hurt a LOT. The only way it would happen is if Washington feels they need to deal him and need to restock their minors while the guys running the Jays feel it is worth losing pretty much every premium prospect to take a big run the next 3 years, or feel that Bo won't resign and that he is on a decline now. It is a fun thought exercise though isn't it?
Michael - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#413901) #
If you use the trade simulator values and you want to make something work you package Soto with Strasburg (206.7-159.6=47.1) and then a package of Kirk, Groshans, and Jimenez (28+14+4.6=46.6) gets very close to equal value. Strasburg has 4 more years at $35M/year past the current year also at $35M and hasn't pitched yet this year (in theory he's supposed to start in the next month or so, after only 26.2 IP over the last 2 years combined). So if the Nationals are doing a rebuild style trade then adding the bad contract to make the trade work might be what you do.
dalimon5 - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#413902) #
They arenít hard. Just trade for him next year and the value comes down a ton. Itís harder for the Nationals to sign him to $400 million plus when youíre trying to sell your team.
hypobole - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#413903) #
Corbin is another contract they'd love to dump.
John Northey - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#413906) #
Strasburg would be a hard contract for the Jays to eat. He has a full no-trade clause which he might invoke, $35 mil a year through 2026 for possibly no production = 5 years of $35 mil = $175 million down the tubes. Corbin is owed 22:$23M, 23:$24M, 24:$35M with $10 mil of the 24 salary deferred without interest until 2026. 68 ERA+ last year, 61 this year. He'd be put into the pen for sure or straight out released if taken. Listed at -55.7 in the Trade Simulator.

In the end the questions are...
A) how desperate are the Nationals to avoid paying Soto what he is worth (IE: how cheap are the owners)? If they are super cheap then a trade is possible, especially given the Jays could eat Corbin's salary although I think Strasburg is a bridge too far.
B) Are the Nationals in for a full rebuild or a quick one? Quick would require ML ready talent, full longer term pieces. Full works better from a Jays POV as then they'd want prospects, prospects, prospects.
C) Who else might be in the picture - rumors are San Diego could be - they have the resources (cash and prospects) but it would hurt as they have cleared out a TON of their farm the past year in an effort to contend. Their highest minor leaguer is Hassell (OF) at 38.7 so they'd need to eat TONS of salary to make it work. The Dodgers/Yankees/Red Sox are all very close or over the luxury tax as is, Cubs/White Sox are also close (WS) or cheap (Cubs). The Rays have the farm needed but not the payroll. Baltimore is possible - they certainly are stocked with prospects but aren't close to contending so it wouldn't make sense for them unless they signed him right away. Detroit is an interesting possibility (have budget and prospects). The Mariners also are a 'lots of prospects, lots of cash' team with dreams of contending.

In the end there will be lots of teams knocking on Washington's door asking. But few are in the position of having cash/prospects/contention. Luckily for us the Jays are one of those. But this is a chips all in situation which doesn't seem like the current front office. AA would, but this front office... more likely to tinker and hope, then see if they can get him in a few years.
John Northey - Thursday, May 19 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#413907) #
Hmm... thinking it through for the nuttiest version possible to maximize Jays winning chances.
  1. Do a Soto (206.7) & Strasburg (-159.6) & Corbin (-55.7) for a bucket of balls (aka a low end prospect)
  2. Have $58-$59-$60-$35-$45 million added to the budget for the next 5 years for those guys.
  3. sign Soto & Vlad & Bo for 10 years ($1 billion+ between them or $100 mil a year) knowing the team will need to go cheap elsewhere quickly.
  4. Make those deals skyrocket once those ugly deals run out (so assuming they start in 2023 it'd be $41-40-65-55 then for the next 6 years you need to cover $133.5 per year for those 3.
  5. If you assume the Jays then have a $200 mil per year budget for 2023 to 2033 (as a contender that should be the case) then that leaves $66.5 mil per year for everyone else. Springer/Gausman/Berrios is $87.131 per year through 2026, Ryu $20 for this year and next, Kikuchi $16 per for 2023/24, and lord knows for the rest.
Now, that obviously doesn't work well. The Jays would need at least a $230 mil budget to do that, and more likely a $250-270 mil one (Dodger territory) which I suspect they could do but won't (Rogers wants to make a guaranteed profit, not a 'maybe' profit). But dang would that be amazing eh? Especially since this plan has the Jays keeping all their top prospects. So Moreno can take over in 2023 behind the plate, Martinez at 3B for 2024 (or earlier with Chapman traded), LF could become an issue but is one of the easiest positions to fill generally. Groshans and other prospects still kicking too to cover LF/2B/SS whatever. But this would make it so the Jays have very little margin for error.
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