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We don't see these guys very often.

Back in the day, when I was a working man, I'd get a nice, shiny Blue Jays Media Guide handed to me for free every April. Now I have to download a PDF just like everybody else. But I did, and if you'll all turn to page 342 you'll see that the Jays have done rather well (12-6) against this Cincinnati outfit over the years, on the six separate occasions that they've hooked up for a three game set.

It was almost five years ago when the Reds most recently provided the opposition. The last time they played here was on the final day of May 2017. Mike Bolsinger was on the hill for the home side - he'd spent the entire month in the rotation as those were strange and disturbing times- and a two run homer by hometown hero Joey Votto had staked the visitors to a lead just three batters in. But Bolsinger, in what would be his last start in the majors, kept the game under control and worked into the sixth inning. The Jays had tied it up by then, on a two run homer by Luke Maile (honest!) Yet another two run homer, this one by Devon Travis, put the home side ahead to stay. Jason Grilli got credit for what would be his last win in the majors. It completed a series sweep for the Jays, and the Reds - whose season had gotten off to a decent enough start (they'd been in second place with a 19-15 record just three weeks earlier) fell to 24-28.They would lose 94 games by the time it was over.

The Reds have won just twice in nine games in Toronto, and the last time was thirteen years ago. The Reds got to Brett Cecil early and took a 5-1 lead, but the Jays chipped away and tied the game against Johnny Cueto. But Joey Votto, who already had three hits and had driven in two, hit a solo HR against Shawn Camp (in his fourth inning of relief) and Coco Cordero closed it out. June 25, 2009.

Everyone's mileage will vary, but for me the most memorable game between these two teams came on a Friday night in June 2014. I was downtown, at Dundas Square, where St Vincent was putting on a free concert. I was quite enraptured with her eponymous fourth album at the time. (I'm somewhat bored with it now, but I like the one after it - both versions - much better anyway!) Meanwhile one of the various large screens in the neighbourhood had the Jays game on, but as they fell behind 8-0 almost instantly, Annie Clark had my full attention. But the Jays were chipping away. Encarnacion hit a three run homer to make it 8-3. They scored two more in the sixth, to close to 9-5. In the seventh, a solo shot by Brett Lawrie and a two run homer by Juan Francisco brought the Jays to within a run. They tied it in the eighth on a Dioner Navarro double and with the game tied Aroldis Chapman came out to work the ninth. He issued a walk to Rasmus, allowed an RBI double to Kratz, an RBI single from Cabrera, and walked Bautista. Sam LeCure was summoned, and instantly gave up a three run homer to Encarnacion - yup, another one - and we all went home happy.

The Reds have had an interesting time of it so far in 2022. They started out on the road, splitting four games with the World Champion Atlanta team. A decent start. They then proceeded to lose their next eleven games. They finally arrested that slide by beating the Cardinals - and promptly lost their next nine. When you lose 20 out of 21, it will put you in a hole, and by 6 May the Reds sported a 3-22 record and were already 14.5 games off the division lead. They've been playing better since - they've gone 8-4 since hitting absolute rock bottom, and just swept a two game mini-series against their cross-state rivals in Cleveland.

The Reds' pitching has been a disaster. No major league team has been allowing more runs, not even the one that plays way above sea level. The bullpen has been very bad and the rotation has been a dumpster fire (5-23, 6.75). Changes have already been made. Two of the three men starting against the Jays this weekend did not open the season with the team. One of them is Luis Castillo, who gets tonight's start. He was on the IL with shoulder problems, and returned to the rotation just ten days ago. Castillo has been a dependable, reliable presence in the Reds rotation since 2017. It is in fact a little mysterious how he managed to go 8-16 last year with an ERA+ of 120 for a team with a winning record. It probably had something to do with those 14 starts when he was supported by two runs or less (he went 0-12) although he did manage to lead the NL in bases on balls.

Next up will be Hunter Greene, the second overall pick from 2017. He was part of the rotation that opened the season - in fact, he won his major league debut in that season-opening series in Atlanta. Things have not gone so great since. He's taken the L in each of his following six starts, even the one in which he threw 7.1 innings of no-hit ball. Which was certainly a step in the right direction, one must admit.  In his 33.1 innings, Greene has struck out 44, which is certainly impressive. But he's walked 20, which is alarming and he's allowed 11 home runs which is that same alarm routed through a stack of Marshalls.

Finally, on Sunday, we'll see our old - well, he wasn't around long enough to make friends, let's call him an old acquaintance - Connor Overton. Remember him? Ah Connor, we hardly knew ye. Drafted by Miami and released, signed by Washington, signed by the Giants and released.  He lost a year to injury, he found himself pitching in an independent league, and no one anywhere seemed to think he could be a starting pitcher - in all his years in the minors, he started just 11 games. He was  finally signed by the Blue Jays a little over a year ago, and it was for the Jays that Overton finally got to make his major league debut last August. He actually did a very nice job while he was here only to be Designated For Assignment after three weeks (the team just had to take a chance on Jake Lamb) and subsequently claimed on waivers by the Pirates. He continued to pitch well in relief until the final week, when he made two starts for Pittsburgh and got shelled both times.Cincinnati signed him as a free agent this off-season and he began the year at AAA Louisville. He was called up after three weeks and has made four starts, all of them quite good - he's pitched into the sixth inning or deeper every time, he's never allowed more than two runs, and he has yet to allow a home run. He's only struck out 10 batters in 24.2 innings, and the opposition's .208 BABiP seems unlikely to last forever. Midnight comes for Cinderella, pretty well every time. But he's hung in there, hasn't he? While it seems to me unlikely that the good times are bound to last, it's kind of nice to see that perseverance rewarded.

Sophomore catcher Tyler Stephenson has been the Reds best hitter so far (.325/.384/.545) which isn't enormously surprising - he had a fine rookie campaign last year. What is surprising is Brandon Drury being the next best hitter. Brandon Drury? He's been alternating between second and third, and he's still hitting just .245 but he's drawn some walks and leads the team with 7 home runs - you know, as many homers as Vladimir Guerrero has. Where is the great Joey Votto, you ask? Joey has been on a rehab assignment at Louisville and Dayton this week after spending a week "on the couch or in bed" with COVID. He was planning to return to the Reds' lineup for the series in Toronto. His season got off to a dreadul, appalling, disastrous start (.122/.278/.135), but he's coming off an excellent bounce-back year in 2021, his best season since 2017. He's played in all nine games the Reds have ever played in Toronto, and done all right  (.242/.342/.576) with three homers.


Fri 20 May - Castillo (0-1, 5.59) vs Ryu (0-0, 9.00)
Sat 21 May - Greene (1-6, 6.21) vs Manoah (4-1, 1.71)
Sun 22 May - Overton (1-0, 1.82) vs Kikuchi (2-1, 3.38)
Cincinnati at Toronto, May 20-22 | 127 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#413916) #
It is still early but our offense needs to start clicking.
hypobole - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#413919) #
AT BBB, Tom was thinking of renaming his suckage award, which prompted a question. By WAR, who's had the worst Blue Jays career ever?

At FG, Alfredo Griffin seems to be the front-runner. Had a really good 2.2 fWAR 1979 season, then 5 seasons each with negative value. Brought back in 1992 and 93 for 2 more negative value seasons. So 2.2 WAR his 1st year here, -5.4 thereafter for an impressive -3.2 fWAR career as a Jay.

bWAR leaders found were a tie between the 3 years of Danny Ainge and Carlos Garcia's impressive 1997, both with a -2.0 bWAR Jays tenure.

On a rate basis though, hard to top the Edwin Jackson Experience. 8 games, 28.1 IP, -1.6 bWAR was amazing.
Nigel - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#413920) #
I'm actually a little surprised by Griffen being the leader. I would have guessed someone from the 1977-78 teams would have outdone that modest total. Off the top of my head, Rick Bosetti would have been a likely candidate but I'd forgotten that he was actually a pretty decent defender, so his offensive offence didn't hurt him as much as I thought.
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#413921) #
[Griffin was] Brought back in 1992 and 93 for 2 more negative value seasons.

I actually have fond memories of Alfredo in his final season. In the entire month of April, he got into three games without once coming to the plate. He made two appearances as a pinch-runner and I've actually written before about one of them, when he scored from second on an infield groundout in the ninth inning (never change, Alfredo!) By mid-May, he'd appeared in four games and had one plate appearance (and drawn a walk!)

Then Dick Schofield got hurt, Griffin was thrust into the lineup at short- and by gosh, he held the fort, for a couple of weeks anyway. Ten days later, he was hitting .308/.341/.359 - which was pretty good for Alfredo! Of course he was 35 years old and running on fumes, and then he got hurt. He was out for a month. In his stead, the team tried Dominogo Cedeno, then Luis Sojo, and then they finally brought back Tony Fernandez. Griffin returned in July - he started 8 games over the final three months and got into another 15 or so as a pinch-runner. He hit .157 the rest of the way in his 47 PApps. But for those two weeks in May, he was crucial. Honest!
dalimon5 - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#413922) #
Last year was a trailer. Now you guys will see the movie.”

That’s what I expected from Vlad.
Cracka - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#413923) #
Brandon Drury (128 OPS+, their best hitter) & Albert Almora (starting CF) aren't coming to Toronto, as well as two pitchers. We gotta take advantage of this sad lineup this weekend and try to win all three.
Gerry - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#413924) #
Cincinnati have placed four players — Tyler Mahle, Albert Almora Jr., Joel Kuhnel and Brandon Drury — on the restricted list. Covid vaccine reasons apparently.
jerjapan - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#413925) #
magpie, your memory is impressive.  I was at that gig at Dundas square and barely remember it, much less the game that was playing at the same time.  I do recall thinking Annie Clark can shred though.
But Conor Overton I remember well.  He reinvented himself over the offseason, posted video of his improved velo, and got signed based on that.  to my knowledge, one of the first to get his chance at the bigs via social media, but doubtless not the last. 

Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#413929) #
Cincinnati have placed four players — Tyler Mahle, Albert Almora Jr., Joel Kuhnel and Brandon Drury

They shouldn't be able to put Mahle on the list. The guy pitched yesterday. It's like Robbie Ray over the weekend, and it was Mariners writer Daniel Kramer who explained that "unvaccinated starting pitchers who've pitched within four days of their team entering Canada are not eligible to be placed on the restricted list..." It's supposed to prevent what seems to be happening, as the Reds get to replace a starter - who wouldn't pitch in this series anyway - with another pitcher without requiring a roster move.
mathesond - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#413930) #
Eight home runs at Wrigley this afternoon. What are the chances the wind was blowing out?
mathesond - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#413931) #
And I just saw that Roger Angell passed away, at age 101. Probably my favourite baseball writer (apologies to Magpie).
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#413932) #
Ah-ha. They can place Mahle on the restricted list if they want; they just can't replace him on the active roster with someone else. What this actually achieves is it saves the Reds from paying him for the three days he's going to miss.
James W - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#413933) #
That seems like something the union should be upset about.
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#413934) #
Roger Angell passed away, at age 101. Probably my favourite baseball writer

Aw crap. Mine too. He lived to be 101, he certainly wasn't short-changed. But even so... aw, crap.

Angell was hopelessly romantic about the game - someone once said Angell sees two players talking down on the field and he assumes they're discussing the hit and run when they're really deciding where they're getting laid that night - but he brought a whole range of skills to writing about the game. He was an extraordinary observer - no one has ever written better about the ways players move and act on the field, the distinctive characteristics that make indivduals unique. He had a sense of history, a love for all that had come before and all that was before him in the moment. And he could really write.
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#413935) #
“It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team... What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring — caring deeply and passionately, really caring — which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives.”

Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#413936) #
For all the old people here, this is from the New Yorker remembrance of him:

Roger was married for forty-eight years to Carol Rogge Angell, but when she was dying she told him, “If you haven’t found someone else by a year after I’m gone I’ll come back and haunt you.” After Carol died, Roger followed her instructions, and his heart. He began a long and wonderful love affair with Peggy Moorman, whom he married in 2014, and who was by his side until the end.

“Getting old is the second-biggest surprise of my life, but the first, by a mile, is our unceasing need for deep attachment and intimate love,” he wrote in “This Old Man.” “I believe that everyone in the world wants to be with someone else tonight, together in the dark, with the sweet warmth of a hip or a foot or a bare expanse of shoulder within reach.”

Somehow I think that he might have understood the ballplayers talking about longing in the night.  What a writer. 

Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#413937) #
Angell was romantic about baseball, but he had no use for that Field of Dreams ("I hated that movie") type of sentimentality about baseball's place in American life, or fathers playing catch with sons. He was romantic about hitting the cutoff man.
92-93 - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#413938) #
It's cute that Montoyo thinks he needs to break up the lefties and bat Tapia 6th, considering that neither lefty can actually hit righties.
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#413939) #
Angell had to be one of the last people to have actually seen Babe Ruth play baseball, down at the ballpark, in person. The Babe played his last game 87 years ago, he's been gone for 74 years.

I had this idea once - someday Angell is going to be gone. I should prepare a collection of some of his best observations about people and players. Never did it, I must have assumed he was going to outlive me. But I've never forgotten and I never will forget his description of Billy Martin in the dugout:

Under the cap, his face is pale and tight, and he looks almost ill with concentration and hostility. His eyes are cold, moving constantly about the field and across the dark inner edges of stratagem and intuition, in search of the sudden edge, the flicker of advantage, that will win again. It is the face of a man in a street fight, a man up an alley when the knives have just come out.

If you never saw Billy... that's exactly what you missed.
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#413940) #
A stack of Marshalls

Amplifiers, if you're wondering. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#413941) #
It is a thing of beauty when the outfielder hits the cutoff man just so and the relay is on the money at the plate.  And Chapman to Espinal to Guerrero Jr. has been a source of considerable pleasure in the first quarter of the year. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#413942) #
The Blue Jay offence meets Cincinnati pitching.  The resistible force meets the movable object. 
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#413943) #
Chapman is pretty fast for a guy with 5 career stolen bases, isn't he? I thought that was a single all the way once it didn't get past the outfielder.
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#413944) #
Yep.  According to Statcast, Chapman has been a little faster than Tapia this year.  I don't think that will hold over a season, but yes, Chapman is somewhat better than league average. 
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#413945) #
Angell sees two players talking down on the field...

I fondly remember Adam Dunn (285 lbs.) chatting with John McDonald (185 lbs.) behind second base during warmup.

June 25th, 2009: David Weathers returns to SkyDome and pitches a scoreless 8th inning. Cincinnati wins 7-5. (Also the day The King of Pop passed away.)

Officially, Mr. Redlegs and Mr. Met serve as Commissioner Manfred's primary henchmen.

Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#413947) #
Also the day The King of Pop passed away.

Oh really? In which case, I was actually in the house. (There was a great deal of talk and speculation in the press box on the occasion.)
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#413948) #
The ball-strike calls have been atrocious tonight, but affecting both teams pretty much equally.
James W - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#413949) #
The Castillo missed calls, he was missing his spot by a lot, which at least would explain the umpire not giving those calls. These ones on Cimber and Garcia have just been bad.
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#413950) #
Espinal was shifted around to the shortstop side for Motter. They actually had a specific defense for a guy with 26 major league at bats since 2018. I'm kind of impressed.
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#413951) #
Presumably they know what he has done with what pitches in the high minors, and it does translate well.  The data wouldn't have been available 10 years ago.
grjas - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#413952) #
Well done Ryu.

Certainly lucky our starters have been good, otherwise we’d be fighting the Sox and the Orioles for the basement. Six weeks in, and little has changed with this lineup. Two hitters playing to or above expectations and the rest…not.

Might be time to rehire Bichette as nothing else has worked.
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#413953) #
I wouldn't mind Dante getting another crack at this group. They're too talented to keep doing this.
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#413954) #
Ryu and the Jays were lucky tonight.  The Reds could have easily scored 3 runs or more, given how hard they hit the ball.
Magpie - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#413955) #
The Reds could have easily scored 3 runs or more, given how hard they hit the ball.

And a startling number of those hard-hit balls flew straight into a fielder's glove, something which I'm beginning to think is not entirely a coincidence.

We've complained that the hitters are not living up to expectations, which is true - but it's also true that we need to drastically revise our expectations. Everything is very, very different. Offense this year is just 85% of what it was last year, an historic and unprecedented fall from one year to the next. Home runs are down, but so are strikeouts - there are more balls in play and more of them are being turned into outs (BABiP was .291 last season, it's .279 so far this year.) This is an enormously different offensive context, and we absolutely must revise our expectations accordingly.

Oh yeah, the Jays have fallen off more than most teams. But this year's highest scoring team (KC) would have been middle of the pack (well, sixth place) in 2021.
hypobole - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#413956) #
Dante quit the team so he would be allowed to work with Bo during the lockout. Thanks to that offseason work Bo had, he proceeded to hit .213/.237/.298 in April.

Not saying it was Dante's fault, but he may not be the "Annie Sullivan" of hitting coaches some people seem to think he is.
John Northey - Friday, May 20 2022 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#413957) #
Angell at 101 would've been an adult by the time Superman first appeared in comic books. Think about that. When he was born Ty Cobb was still a star with an OPS+ over 160 and played until shortly after Angell's 8th birthday so it is possible he saw Cobb play too. He was born in 1920, when the world was recovering from the Spanish Flu epidemic. Cleveland won the World Series the year he was born, 1 year after the Black Sox scandal.

It is always amazing to think of what someone who cracks 100 has seen in their lives isn't it? Someday some of us older people here will be shocking our grandkids and great grandkids about our going to games at Exhibition Stadium and later seeing Roy Halladay pitch for the Blue Jays, and the first 2 World Series wins of the Jays (and hopefully a lot more). Glad I got to see a few games at old Tiger Stadium so I'll always have that on the 'resume' along with going to Fenway. Been outside of Wrigley but never inside it (Cubs on the road when I've been in town). Regret not finding a way to get to Shea when I was in NY and the Mets were too, but that is life. I did get to see the Twin Towers though.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 03:35 AM EDT (#413958) #
In remembering seeing the Jays win the World Series twice, it was almost surreal to see the team you cheer for actually win a championship. I started being a fan of the Leafs in 1968, the year after they won the Stanley Cup and always hoped I'd see them win one. Now I just hope to live long enough to see them win a playoff round.
scottt - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:57 AM EDT (#413959) #
Both Espinal and Tapia went 2 for 4 but all 4 hits where in different innings.
Chapman hit a double with Tapia on first and somehow he didn't scored.
Sometimes you have to run through Rivera's stop signs--something Guerrero likes doing.

Ryu was mixing all 4 pitches and hitting the corners. Mostly.
Some guys hit him hard but others got no hits.
Lead off hitters, 3 for 3 but no hits for the next 2 guys.
Too bad that 4 Reds are unvaccinated, including Drury.

What on earth was Borucki doing?
He threw mostly sliders--and with poor accuracy.
Walker seems to be wondering the same thing but the discussion on the mound   seemed to veer about the poor quality of the balls. The fastball was hurting his blister?

bpoz - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#413960) #
With a modest winning streak we can be in 3rd place.
grjas - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#413961) #
Nice article on Hazel Mae in the globe today. Always liked her folksy style of interviews. Not much meat to them, but there never is for in game ones, but she does a good job of opening up players a bit.

Flashback- Fergie Oliver. Not sure how he ever got the job..
scottt - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#413963) #
Orioles beat the Rays 8-6. Decided to promote their top prospect.

Mike Green - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#413965) #
Home runs are down, but so are strikeouts - there are more balls in play and more of them are being turned into outs (BABiP was .291 last season, it's .279 so far this year.)

Per BBRef- BABIP is off in 2022 from 2021 at the following from rates from: .622 to .618 on line drives, from .098 to .096 on fly balls and from .239 to .229 on ground balls, but up from .383 to .417 on bunts.  It looks to me like the major thing affecting BABIP is the emphasis on shifting. It's surprising to me that BABIP would be down so much on ground balls given the increased use of the 4 man outfield. 

Anyways, Cincinnati was hitting  many line drives at the outfielders.  They managed to distribute the ones not hit at outfielders evenly through the innings.   That was bad luck, despite the slightly less favourable outcome for the average line drive in 2022 compared with 2021.

For what it's worth, BABIP on line drives was .599 in the shortened 2020 season and .616 in 2019.  All in all, I wouldn't suggest changing expectation on what to expect as outcomes from a line drive, but ground balls are probably a different story.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#413966) #
Tapia in today again with Gurriel at first base and Guerrero Jr. DHing.  It's pretty clear that the organization has decided to give Tapia a long look.  Zimmer appears to be the better and more useful player, and if they wanted to give Guerrero Jr. a DH day (not really necessary in light of the 3 recent days off), they could have given Zimmer a day in centerfield after yesterday's good game. 
scottt - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#413967) #
As I mentioned, Tapia appears to be a project for the two hitting coaches, just like Walker's main project right now is Kikuchi. Zimmer is the late inning defensive replacement, pinch runner who can steal a base guy, bench guy.
Tapia was 2 for 4 with a double yesterday and one of his outs reached the warning tracks. 

Defensively, I don't think they want to play Zimmer in left much.
They're facing a right handed hitter who throws very hard.
Manoah is facing 5 left bats plus a switch hitter today.

John Northey - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#413971) #
A side note: I really hate it when the league decides to force US holidays on us with dumb things like the hats this weekend. It is Victoria Day weekend, not Memorial Day. Screw US holidays.
mathesond - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#413972) #
Especially since Memorial Day is May 30 this year, not the 23rd
James W - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#413973) #
It's not even Memorial Day. That's May 30.
James W - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#413974) #
Mathesond wins...

Some quick research says today is Armed Forces Day. I don't know how many more camouflaged hats MLB will sell instead of normal hats, but it's enough to do this.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#413978) #
I would leave Manoah in, for the simple reason that I would prefer Manoah on 82 pitches to Romano on 0.  And Romano pitched yesterday. 
mathesond - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#413979) #
Agreed, Mike. Why not save Romano for tomorrow?
Magpie - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#413980) #
I'd have left him in if they had another run. I wouldn't want Manoah to put someone on and have to bring in Romano to face the tying run. If he's coming in at all, I'd rather he have a clean inning to work with.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#413981) #
In fairness, that was as good as Romano has looked all season.
Magpie - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#413982) #
Of course, Montoyo is very reluctant to use a reliever three days in a row, so Romano probably isn't available tomorrow. Well, he wasn't available earlier in the week and Cimber did just fine.
lexomatic - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#413983) #
I would also leave Manoah in 82 pitches is not a lot

Glad Donaldson is gone. Apparently called Tim Anderson " Jackie" ( as in Robinson).

Wonder if there's clubhouse stuff we didn't hear about?
hypobole - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#413984) #
After that horrible 52 wRC+ April, Bo is now at exactly league average 100wRC+ on the season.
Magpie - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#413985) #
Some quick research says today is Armed Forces Day.

Do sailors and airmen wear camo?
grjas - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#413986) #
And Bo credits his turnaround to tuteledge from his Dad. May be Dante has some tips for VG and Hernandez as they are both looking out of sorts.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#413987) #
Manoah is 5-1 this year despite having less than 2.5 runs support/game.  He has faced the Yankees and Rays 9 times over his 28 major league starts. 
John Northey - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#413988) #
Manoah is a wonder. 5+ innings every start, 2 or fewer earned runs every start, just once 3 runs (2 unearned) leading to his one loss (a rare error by Chapman). 82-95 pitches per start. IMO they should've let him do the 9th today.
Nigel - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#413989) #
If I’m a Reds fan, which I’m not, I would be pretty unhappy with this series to date. They’ve been incredibly unlucky. They could/should have won both games. As a Jays fan, I’m a happy camper but you do need to recognize that this is some positive karma after a week or so of bad luck.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#413990) #
Manoah pulled early? Well, it was his 4th time through the batting order, with 3-4-5 due up in the 9th inning. Fears of bloop-and-a-blast? Anyway, Romano slammed the door.

Do sailors and airmen wear camo?

Regarding the Padres' traditional Sunday camouflage:

"From 2006 through 2010, the Padres donned the Navy Seals, “Desert Version,” camo... In 2011... an authentic replica of the MARPAT (Marine Pattern) digital camo... personally approved by the [Commandant of the Marine Corps] James Conway..."

As for the airmen... Paratroopers?

John Northey - Saturday, May 21 2022 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#413991) #
For those who were so worried about Bo in April - feeling better yet? Advantage of being old is you have seen that story 1001 times. Guy gets off to a slow start, then something clicks as it always does for the stars. And in the end they are who they are. April: 213/237/298; May: 296/351/549 so far including today.
Vlad: April: 286/352/545; May: 246/347/323

Mix Vlad May with Bo April and you have a bad player. Mix Vlad April with Bo May and you have a star. June will be very telling for both I suspect. Killing Vlad is going 3-21 vs LHP with no extra base hits. Bo makes more sense (261/370/478 vs LH, 246/272/394 vs RH). I expect Vlad's numbers vs LHP to get a lot better as the season wears on.

Bigger worries right now need to be with Gurriel as a 145/190/182 May is not just a slump but horrid. His April was fine at 288/330/438. But with him we all have seen those insane hot stretches he gets on where he is a Ruth at the plate for a bit - last year it was June, August, and September (over 130 sOPS+ each month) but inbetween he had July with an 86 sOPS+, plus a 64 in April, 89 in May. Must drive the Jays nuts as if he could just keep it together he could be a superstar, but as is he is just another player.

Speaking of guys who go great-slump-great-slump... Grichuk has had an ugly May after a strong April. April: 333/388/483 May: 204/235/388
John Northey - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#413992) #
Good point Leaside Cowboy. IF it was the bottom of the order they'd have probably let him go ahead, but 3-4-5? Too risky. The Jays want wins, not egos. 20 years ago he'd have been given the shot, heck 10 years. 100 pitches was the rule then. Now it is twice through the order, 3 times if you are a Manoah. But 4 times? Only if you are an established horse (ala Verlander for example but he hasn't seen a guy 4th time in a game since 2019, and then only 10 PA, 559 PA lifetime). Greinke is another vet but no 4th times this year, 12 PA last year. Only 99 PA's for 4th time through in the majors this year total - the Dodgers Michael Lorenzen had 1 game where he faced 7 batters a 4th time. Washington had Michael Lorenzen face 8 batters a 4th time once (0 for 8). Before today the Jays only had it happen 3 times in 2022 - Gausman twice (2-2), and Berrios once (0 for 1), and now a 4th time where Manoah had them go 0-2 throwing just 5 pitches. I suspect if it was a big lead, or a shutout, then they might have let him go out for the 9th but in a 2 run game the margin of error is very small and Romano has been extremely good this year when used a lot (just don't give him too many days off - his worst game was on 5 days rest, but 3 times on 0 days rest he is 3 IP 3 H 0 R 0 BB 4 K on 49 pitches). Romano had 5 days off before Friday's game, threw just 10 pitches so he was in perfect shape to come out today (16 pitches, 3 up 3 K'd).

FYI: with 14 saves now, Romano's 2022 is the 34th best season for the Jays in saves (tied with Caudill 1985, Escobar 1997, Giles 2018, and Aquilino Lopez 2003). His next save will tie him at #32 with Duane Ward 1988 & 1989. 28 times the Jays have had someone save 20+, 18 times 30+, but just once 40+ (45 Duane Ward 1993). Romano had 23 last year (tied for 23rd all time). The ML record is 62 by Francisco Rodriguez in 2008 with 17 seasons of 50+ in ML history. So there are the goals for Romano. 14 in 40 games = pace for 57 saves so it is possible, but hard. I'd love to see Ward's record broken though.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#413993) #
As for the airmen... Paratroopers?

I don't know how the Americans do it, but Canadian paratroopers (prior to the unification of the armed forces in the 1960s) were part of the army. (My uncle was one.)
Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#413994) #
Rules are for the weak of heart.  Manoah had at least 20 and probably 30 pitches left in the tank.  In the 7th inning with Stephenson on 3rd and 1 out and needing a K against a LHB in a tie game, he dialed it up to 97 with excellent control at the top of the zone.  It was a better job than anything I had seen from Romano this season (although Romano was able to do that regularly last year).  Romano did better yesterday, but did benefit from a couple of marginal but incorrect calls.

Bichette has been unlucky to some degree, and if it turns in his favour, he should return to his career norms.  The one who has most suffered from bad luck is Chapman.  His xwOBA of .358 is quite good.  He and Espinal have actually been the best position players on the team by quite a margin. 

Camo at a ballgame seems discordant.  I know that there is nuance to it, but it calls to mind tension and violence.  I watch baseball to forget about all that for a couple of hours. 

hypobole - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#413995) #
No Connor Overton today due to back issues. Graham Ashcraft will make his MLB debut vs the Jays in his stead. #8 prospect at MLB, #17 at FG.
1.65 ERA (6 ER in 32.2 IP) due to 0 HR allowed and a massive 71.4% GB rate. On the other hand he's allowed 10 unearned runs, walked 17 and 3 HPB vs 30 K's.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#413997) #
<i>For those who were so worried about Bo in April - feeling better yet? </i>
Not worried about his ability, but worried he'll get in his head and press and blow out the whole season before the hits start falling. His approach isn't great re getting on base. And clearly the bad luck and changed offense was getting to him.
April was reasonable to be concerned, but not worried yet. He turnd it around, so it's a relief.
bpoz - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#413999) #
I remember M Wilner hosting an after game phone in show. He answered complaints about V Wells slow starts to a season by saying "by the end of the year he will have his usual numbers". Wilner was correct.
bpoz - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#414000) #
Manoah and Gausman have been fantastic this year. Kikuchi's results have been excellent in 4 of his 6 starts. There is hope for Berrios since 4 of his 8 starts have been very good. Ryu is doing very well since his return. All 5 return next year.

The mainstays of the pen are doing a good enough job. They are all signed for next year except Stripling. So overall very good pitching.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#414003) #
Here's a You Be The General Manager question.  It's pretty obvious that Moreno is ready or extremely close to it.  What do you do about Jansen, Kirk and Moreno? The options seem to be:

- wait until the deadline and consider the situation (health, further progress) then, and maybe wait until the end of the 2022 season
-trade one and if so, which one (presumably the return for each would influence which one you might be willing to trade)
92-93 - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#414004) #
It would be a mistake to trade a catcher when the Jays have a wide open spot in their everyday lineup. Moreno should be called up when his bat can help the team, and the rest will sort itself out. There is plenty of room for him.

Since his last HR on April 24th, Collins has struck out 16 times in 32 PA. He gets the start at DH today batting 8th, with Gurriel again nailed to the bench and Tapia in LF.
bpoz - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#414005) #
Last year we had to use Riley Adams at C due to injuries to Jansen, McGuire and Kirk. This year injuries forced us to use Z Collins at C. Collins may not have a future as a Jays C. With Jansen, Kirk and Moreno we have 3 Cs in case of injury. We don't know how successful Moreno can be in the ML. 200 ML ABs for Moreno should tell us something.

After 2023 Ryu may be gone who performs well with Jansen. Moreno's D has been excellent in Buffalo. Jansen gets a lot of credit for his D. Kirk's D may be better than people think.

Both Kirk and Jansen have very good bb/k ratios. Moreno probably does not match them.

I will keep all 3 Cs until I know who grabs the #1 job.

I don't know what we need to improve this years team. Our position player stars are unlikely to be traded so they will have to step up. Our 4th OF (Tapia) is not a star but he will get a lot of playing time the rest of the year I suspect. He has had to take up the slack for injuries and poor offense from our stars. That should not be his job.

hypobole - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#414006) #
Here's the Sunday quiz. The answer seems obvious, but then it wouldn't be much of a quiz.

"Who has the highest on-base percentage in San Diego Padres franchise history (minimum 2,000 plate appearances)"
Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#414007) #
I don't have a firm answer to the question, but I do know that having 3 players on the 26 man, all of whom could assume the role of the regular catcher and manage the position well defensively, is not an optimal use of resources.  It might be the best of all possible options.  Maybe the club will use Moreno in left-field some when he arrives.  He's a more natural fit than Delgado was. 
hypobole - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#414008) #
And a fun fact:

Aroldis Chapman has 315 saves, 40 wins, and 20.4 fWAR.
Tom Henke had 311 saves, 41 wins, and 20.6 fWAR.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#414009) #
Gurriel again nailed to the bench

The sore hamstring that's been bothering since last Wednesday may still be an issue.
John Northey - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#414010) #
Matz came out of his game today with an injury. A 63 ERA+ so far this year, in 8 starts, just 37 1/3 IP (4 2/3 per start) with 1.9 BB/9 vs 10.3 K/9 but 1.9 HR/9 is killing him. Seems starters leaving Toronto fall apart. Ray has 9 starts, 54 2/3 IP (league leading in both) 75 ERA+ with 3.3 BB/9 vs 9.5 K/9 - so getting better but still a ways to go to earn that massive deal he signed. Right now I definitely feel the Jays did the right thing going Gausman/Kikuchi instead of Ray/Matz for similar years/dollars.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#414011) #
My non-obvious guess was Bip Roberts.  I doubt it's him though.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#414012) #
Roberts isn't in the top 10.  I would have never guessed the leader. 
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#414013) #
highest on-base percentage in San Diego Padres franchise history

Surely a trick question, since it so obviously ought to be Tony Gwynn but clearly isn't. Was McGriff there long enough to get to 2,000 PApps?
hypobole - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#414014) #
The quiz answer was someone I 100% associated with a different west coast team.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#414015) #
It's not McGriff (tied for second with Tony Gwynn) and I would have had the same question about the leader - he was in San Diego that long?
mathesond - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#414016) #
Judging by the west coast comments, I'll guess Steve Garvey.
hypobole - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#414017) #
McGriff wasn't there long enough, but did end up with the very same OBP as Gwynn as a Padre.
92-93 - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#414018) #
Kikuchi just got beat by the Reds’ Zimmer. What an awful start to the game. Hopefully the bats choose today to awaken.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#414019) #
Hudson missed a couple of obvious strike calls on high sliders.  Kikuchi had enough control issues on his own account, but he didn't need that.
Chuck - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#414020) #
Marvin Hudson is imposing the human element onto this game, turning two strike threes into ball fours, leading to a loud first inning.

I am guessing that the not-yet-named Padre has a Blue Jay connection having been a bench coach. He played at the wrong time to be properly recognized for his on-base skills.

Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#414021) #
Hudson missed a couple of obvious strike calls on high sliders.

Which always happens when a pitcher is wild and the catcher's glove is moving all over the place. Even the good ones look bad.
hypobole - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#414022) #
The only positive I can say about that inning was it could have been worse.
Chuck - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#414023) #
Which always happens when a pitcher is wild and the catcher's glove is moving all over the place.

Thankfully the robots will not so easily be fooled.

lexomatic - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#414024) #
<br>the Padre is someone who walked and hit home runs but did not hit for average. I knew the answer but also heard thr broadcast question before the post.

This Ashcraft guy is exactly who the Jays fail against repeatedly ( weird because of thr time frame).

Hope Kikuchi recovers. This feels like his worst start he was going good for a few starts.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#414025) #
the Padre is someone

who was a World Series MVP.
Chuck - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#414026) #
who was a World Series MVP

And was paid to grow a moustache.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#414027) #
Jansen's glove was steady on both sliders, except on the 3-2 with the runner going he got up to throw to second.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#414028) #
who was a World Series MVP And was paid to grow a moustache.

And I don't know which of those two things is more uncommon.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#414029) #
<br>looks like the hesitation leg kick is back 2nd inning and better location with it. Maybe the delivery mods haven't taken yet.
92-93 - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#414030) #
Nice bounce back from Kikuchi after that shaky first inning. He's been exactly what you're looking for from your back-end starter, and his numbers are pretty good considering he has already faced the Yankees thrice, the Astros twice, and the Red Sox once.

The Jays bullpen is pretty fresh for the rest of this game, other than Romano. As per usual, their 8th RP hasn't pitched since being called up on Monday.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#414031) #
You all saw this up above! The last time the Reds won in Toronto happened when Joey Votto broke up a tie game in the later innings with a solo homer. Some things just don't change.
Gerry - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#414032) #
Who would you rather play DH against a RHP, Kirk or Collins. Kirk all day for me.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#414033) #
Me too, Gerry.
budgell - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#414034) #
Here's the Sunday quiz. The answer seems obvious, but then it wouldn't be much of a quiz.

"Who has the highest on-base percentage in San Diego Padres franchise history (minimum 2,000 plate appearances)"

Haven't looked it up but since the obvious (wrong) answer is Tony Gwynn I'll go with Adrian Gonzalez?
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#414035) #
Chuck already nailed the quiz. He was just too shy to Say His Name.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#414036) #
Another pretty pathetic offensive performance. Cincinnati came in with a staff era of 6, and they can’t even get a comfortable few wins out of it.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#414037) #
The cleanup hitter is hitting exactly .100 (5-50) since returning to the lineup. We've complained about Bichette and Gurriel and even Guerrero. Let's talk about Teoscar!
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#414038) #
That was not good.
Magpie - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#414039) #
Not that good, but not exactly bad. Two out of three against a team that's actually been playing quite well since they bottomed out a couple of weeks ago.
Nigel - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#414040) #
This offence really can’t afford to have Kirk’s OBP on the bench too often. Kirk has a role in long sequence offence. They got a lucky 40 ABs of gold from Collins. Take your blessings and move on.

For one reason or another (some good and sensible, some less so) history says the Jays 4th OF under Montoyo is going to get about 2/3rds of a regular’s ABs. Given that, management really needs to go find someone better than Tapia (they already have a marginal upgrade on the roster but Montoyo won’t play him). Tapia’s 28, the team is in win now mode and he really doesn’t do anything well - the development team needs to find a different project. On the flip side Kikuchi really is starting to look better.
grjas - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#414041) #
"Not that good, but not exactly bad."

Huh? It was another terrible game for supposedly talented batters. Worst RISP in the MLB and after this game it worsened. Again.

I feel sorry for their pitchers watching one underperformer after another at the plate. Hopefully they will eventually turn it around. But in week 7, excuses about dead balls, injuries, poor LH batters and a short spring are long gone.

So let's call a spade a spade... We get enough polyanna stuff from Montoyo and Atkins.
John Northey - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#414042) #
Boy, hate to imagine how people would be here if the Jays weren't in a playoff slot right now. 1 1/2 up on the ChiSox right now (who are no hitting the Yankees through 3), 3 games over 500.

A reminder - the Jays are in a playoff slot despite the hitters having a terrible time. Right now it is Gurriel & Hernandez who are killing the team, plus of course Tapia (he had a few good games, and I was hopeful, but now I'm sure that was just a few good games). A _GOOD_ LH hitting OF is a desperate need for this team, there is no doubt. Tapia ain't it. Lets hope for a trade soon (unlikely but can hope). The problem is there are very few good LH hitting OF available. Andrew Benintendi seems a good target - LH hitting LF (gold glove last year, 108 OPS+ lifetime, 132 so far this year, free agent after 2022). Ian Happ for the Cubs could be available (switch hitter, LF/CF/2B/3B/RF, 112 lifetime OPS+, 122 this year, free agent after 2023). Ben Gamel Pirates LF (bats left, can play CF/RF/1B) 125 OPS+ this year, 98 lifetime (free agent post 2022).

So there are a few potential targets. But it is hard to find decent players on teams sucking who aren't so young that team won't deal them. I really think an OF is needed as a 1B/DH type would be a nightmare for juggling that the Jays love to do.
92-93 - Sunday, May 22 2022 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#414044) #
The above highlights the exact issue with an expanded playoff format. These Jays certainly do not deserve to be a playoff team; they are lucky to be .500. MLB has rendered the regular season basically pointless, just like the NBA and NHL before them.
Dr B - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 12:27 AM EDT (#414045) #
Chuck already nailed the quiz. He was just too shy to Say His Name.

Really? It was Voldemort? Hmm, interesting. It's not the franchise I associate him with.
Magpie - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#414046) #
It was Voldemort?

Fury. Fury.
hypobole - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 02:33 AM EDT (#414047) #
I posted the quiz, so for anyone who didn't get the cryptic answers, it's Gene Tenace. I always associated him with the A's, but he played another 7 seasons. His 4 yrs with the Padres he slashed .237/.403/.432 in 2094 PA's. Tony Gwynn finished his Padre career with a .388 OBP.

Magpie - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 04:23 AM EDT (#414048) #
I'm probably not the only one around here rereading some of Angell's rich, vast writings on the game. Sometimes it was a kind of Year In Review, but there was much more besides, such as truly remarkable portraits of fascinating people (Bob Gibson, Dan Quisenberry.) Sometimes he would just get interested in a specific facet of the game and devote an enormous amount of attention to it: playing infield, what catchers do, the science of hitting. From the latter, and appropriate for this year's Blue Jays, here is Reggie Jackson on Slumps:

You wake up in the morning with the feeling 'I'm in a slump,' and it stays with you all through the day. Everyone knows it, wherever you go - you can see it in their faces - and you know it. You know that no matter how well you've played, no matter what you've done in the past, your numbers for this week and last week are all that matter now. You're in trouble, and it won't go away of its own accord. You get quiet. You lose that intensity, that bounce, that's necessary to do things well in sports. You're fatigued, so you try to compensate mentally, but some of the compensations can make you worse. Then you begin to understand how many little things there are that might be wrong with what you're doing. If you know you're dragging the bat through the hitting zone, say, it might be because you're lowering your hands, which causes them not to get back in the right hitting position, or you might be wrapping the bat back around your neck, which causes the swing to get a little longer, or you could be dropping the head of the bat, which causes you to top the ball, or you could be pulling off the ball, which causes your front shoulder to fly out. Those are just a few of the possibilities. Anything that changes your regular swing is going to mess up your natural feeling at the plate, and if you're not natural you're nothing: you're in a slump. And so it goes on.
Mike Green - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#414049) #
Teoscar Hernandez' slump coincides with his oblique injury.  He was hitting .316/.435/.526 in his first 6 games prior to the injury.  He returned on May 7 after a brief minor league rehab stint.  At the time, he said that his timing wasn't quite right for major league pitching, but that it would get there.  He's hit .100/.135/.180 since. 

Danny Jansen's oblique injury was considered a little more serious.  He was hitting a ridiculous .571/.625/1.571 in his first 3 games prior to the injury.  He returned on May 14 after a longer minor rehab stint.  Since his return, he's hit .177/.263/.353.  Not great, but a lot better than Teoscar and he's looked pretty good at the plate since he returned.  While Teoscar looks lost.

Ordinarily it will take a little time for a player to get back in the groove after a return from injury, but Teoscar seems to be farther out of the groove than he need to be.  Another week of rehab might have made a big difference, if nothing else in his confidence level. 
Mike Green - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#414051) #
I re-read Angell's Boyhood Memories article in the New Yorker today.  Angell went to his first game in 1930 and the article chronicles the game and his relationship to it and his father during that decade.   I had forgotten Angell's fascination with baseball names- Eppa Rixey, Goose Goslin, Firpo Marberry and the rest; our own Mick Doherty was following the greatest in that. 

Angell also mentions that outfielders back then used to leave their gloves in the grass rather than bringing them back to the dugout.  Apparently a batted ball never struck a glove left in the outfield (I find that improbable, but what do I know?). 
tercet - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#414053) #
At some point the team needs to cut bait or stop playing Tapia 5 times a week?
He has a history of being bad, he continues to be bad, better options exist then playing Tapia 5 days week.
Can we really afford to give him 500AB this year?
hypobole - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#414054) #
Jay Jaffe at FG on Roger Angell:
hypobole - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#414055) #
wRC+ this vs last year (min 45 PA's)

Springer 138/140
Vlad 126/166
Espinal 125/115
Kirk 98/106
Bo 95/122
Collins 90/92
Chapman 85/101
Gurriel 74/107
Tapia 53/76
Teoscar 45/132
Zimmer 6/89

Espinal is the only one hitting better than last year.
Springer, Kirk and Collins only slightly worse.

Dewey - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#414056) #
I’m not sure when players stopped leaving their gloves on the field at inning’s end; but I remember that they still did so in the first games I saw at Wrigley Field (1947, 1948). (So, of course, we also did so on the sandlots.). Never once saw a glove get hit. Pretty remarkable.

Concur with all the Roger Angell accolades. He was the best. Absolutely splendid writer. (All you guys recently claiming to be ancient might read his essay “This Old Man: Life in the Nineties”, New Yorker, Feb. 9, 2014.)
John Northey - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#414057) #
Instead of wRC+ lets check xwOBA vs wOBA vs 2021 wOBA...

Name			wOBA	xwOBA	Spread	21 wOBA	Spread
Santiago Espinal	342	342	   0	344	-  2
George Springer		360	338	  22	381	- 21
Matt Chapman		286	352	- 66	311	- 25
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.	343	377	- 34	419	- 76
Danny Jansen		460	420	  40	329	 131
Alejandro Kirk		305	323	- 18	330	- 25
Bo Bichette		299	348	- 49	354	- 55
Zack Collins		296	281	  15	300	-  4
Teoscar Hernandez	230	284	- 54	369	-139
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.	271	319	- 48	333	- 62
Bradley Zimmer		175	170	   5	300	-125
Cavan Biggio		158	267	-109	298	-140
Raimel Tapia		241	300	- 59	305	- 64

An interesting table - biggest drop to Biggio in both columns (no shock). xwOBA is what they should be doing so Springer is due for a drop (no shock), but Biggio for a big, big gain, Chapman also heavy on the bad luck as is Hernandez. But by wOBA EVERYONE is down vs last year, even Espinal. Wow.
hypobole - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#414058) #
wOBA was .319 for non-pitchers last year, .306 this year, so the drop is league wide.
hypobole - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#414059) #
That said, Jays .341 wOBA was 1st in baseball last year. This years .299 is 21st.
John Northey - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#414060) #
Given a league wide drop of 13 points, then Espinal is doing better, but not a ton better, same for Collins. Kirk, Springer, and Chapman are in eyeshot (a 4-4 game could push them to the good side). Bo is working his way there after that horrid April. It'll take a LOT for Tapia, Gurriel, and Vlad to get to their 2021 levels, but not impossible. Teoscar, Zimmer and Biggio have a LOOONG way to go. Jansen is actually a net positive but coming back down now (1 for his last 10).
hypobole - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#414061) #
Espinal is doing better, but his usage has changed as well. He was platooned a lot early last season with Panik and Biggio when healthy. Over 40% of his PA's last season were vs LHP. This year, under 25%.
John Northey - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#414062) #
IMO Espinal showed he deserved a shot at full time play last year and this year he has proven he can play full-time and succeed. From everything I've seen and read he is a strong teammate and fits in perfectly with this team. Funny, at 21 in rookie ball for Boston he had a 597 OPS which suggested he wasn't anything special. Grew to 692 in A which was good. Then hit well in A+ for Boston (313/363/477) before being traded here (AA 286/354/395 and A+ 262/333/431). Then in 2019 in AA/AAA he hit 287/347/393. At 25 he got his shot with a 77 OPS+, 113 at 26, 129 this year at 27. He gets better with each year. Not bad for Steve Pearce's last few months of his career (worked for Boston as they won the WS with Pearce being WS MVP).

I love deals that work perfectly for both teams. A lot like the David Cone for Jeff Kent deal the Jays made in 1992 but at a lower level. I suspect most fans would trade a young players career, even a HOF one, for a WS title. Espinal isn't that level, but neither was Pearce. He just got hot at the perfect time for Boston.
Magpie - Monday, May 23 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#414063) #
I’m not sure when players stopped leaving their gloves on the field at inning’s end

I've always had the notion that they stopped doing that in the early 1950s, but I went back and looked at the video of Game 7 of the 1952 World Series (as far as I know, it's the oldest complete game broadcast on the YouTube.) I can definitely report that Dodgers first baseman Hodges and Yankees third baseman McDougald (gosh, did he look like Tony Batista in the batter's box!) both tossed their gloves on the ground by the coach's box in foul territory. In both cases, this was on the same side of the field as their dugout. It's hard to tell what the outfielders were doing.
Cincinnati at Toronto, May 20-22 | 127 comments | Create New Account
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