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 California, here we come. Who's ready to stay up late?

Though it says Los Angeles Angels on the schedule, the Jays will not be playing in the City of Angels this weekend. They won't even be playing in Los Angeles County. The Angels moved out of there almost fifty years ago. We're all off to Anaheim, in Orange County. We'll be just across the way from Disneyland. Anaheim was an agricultural community (as if the name of the county wasn't enough of a hint) until Walt Disney built his famous amusement park. I should warn you - it's a little pricier than Canada's Wonderland.

It's a franchise that has had some trouble making up their minds about just who they are. They came into existence as the Los Angeles Angels, which was fine. After all, they spent their first season at Wrigley Field in South-Central L.A. and their next four seasons as tenants in Dodger Stadium. Then they moved to Anaheim, having cheekily taken on the "California Angels" moniker. As if the Giants and Dodgers played somewhere else. But after some thirty years of that, they finally embraced the basic facts of geography and accepted that they were, in fact, the Anaheim Angels. This, I submit, was a good thing. It's a fine name, with pleasing alliteration. Even better, the team soon enough won a championship. How do you mess with that?

Mess with it they did. They took on the ungainly name "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" for a decade, and these last five years they've reverted back to their original name of Los Angeles Angels. Even though they play in a different city. In a different county.

I don't really know why the team that plays in Phoenix calls itself the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nor do I get why the team that plays in Denver calls itself the Colorado Rockies. I guess they're both pretending to represent the entire state rather than just the place where the people actually live. I mean, Arizona? - outside of Phoenix it's mostly like the moon on a hot day, all rocks and desert and rattlesnakes. I kind of understand why the team that plays in Arlington calls itself the Texas Rangers - while Arlington is itself a substantial city, it sits smack-dab in between a pair of even bigger ones in Dallas and Fort Worth. I also understand the Minnesota Twins - in the beginning, the team belonged to neither of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul but to both instead. Conveniently they played their games in Bloomington -  neither Minneapolis nor St.Paul but adjacent to both. Sure, they've been playing in Minneapolis for the last forty years now, but they got off to a different kind of start and got the other identity established. But the Angels? Who change their name as often as they change their uniform designs. Who now play their games in one city while using the name of a different city? In a different county?

Up with this I will not put. It is wrong, I say. It calls for punishment, I say. And punishment there has been, I suppose. They've employed the best baseball player in the world for the last ten years or so and Mike Trout is still looking for the first post-season win of his magnificent career. His next one gets him even with Dalton Pompey. Sheesh. Well, maybe Year Twelve will be the charm.

Mike Trout has, of course, punished many pitchers over the course of his brilliant career, and few have taken more of those lumps than our own Ross Stripling. Well, maybe Felix Hernandez. Or Bartolo Colon. Or Tajuan Walker. (You will note that two of those guys are now Out of the Game entirely, and the other has fled to the National League.) After being roughed up by Trout for a couple of hits and a homer last April, our man Ross lamented to Kaitlyn McGrath that there were really just two things Stripling did well as a pitcher - unfortunately they were both things that Trout generally feasted on (as his career mark vs Stripling of .700/.727/1.700 with 3 HRs in 10 ABs might suggest.) Stripling did note that you can have success against him working up in the zone with high 90s heat, something of no use to him whatsoever. "But I throw 91!" was his plaintive cry. Trout is 3-9 with a homer against Kikuchi, 3-5 (all singles) against Berrios - and 0-10 with 4 Ks against the unfrightening offerings of Hyun-Jin Ryu. No one in the galaxy, from here to eternity, has faced Trout so many times without allowing a hit. Or even a walk. Trout's line against Ryu is a positively pristine .000/.000/.000, so tonight should be interesting for that matchup alone.

Trout's lost quite a few games to injury these last few years, and he doesn't steal bases anymore, but otherwise he's the same awesome offensive force he's always been, proceeding from a baseline of .300/.400/.600 and building from there. Shohei Ohtani isn't having quite the same type of historic performance that earned him last year's MVP, but all that's really different is that he hasn't had the same home run stroke, being on pace to hit only - only - about 30 of them this season. He's on the hill tonight, and that part of his game has actually been slightly better than it was last season, when he went 9-2, 3.18. The Angels have made the brave (because no one else does it) decision to go with a six-man starting rotation. This was prompted by the unusual nature of Ohtani's double duty as a pitcher and a hitter and the assumed fragility of Noah Syndergaard. The mighty Thor had managed to work just two (that's a-one,and a-two) innings since 2019. Nevertheless, it's a pretty good time to be a Viking. They were the subject of a surprisingly entertaining television show (well, I was surprised, I didn't think much of The Tudors which was Michael Hirst's previous project.) And of course the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made too many films to count by now that feature their 1960s remodel (lose the beard, lose the red hair) of the old Norse thunderer.

We won't see Syndergaard or the rookie Reid Detmers this weekend. We should see Chase Silseth, who is another 22 year old rookie. Silseth was promoted when Jose Suarez was weighed in the balance and found to be wanting something, mainly some kind of an idea of where home plate was located. Silseth blanked the toothless A's on a single hit in his MLB debut - those same A's beat him in the rematch, and he'll make MLB start number three this weekend. Both Silseth and southpaw Patrick Sandoval were 11th round draft picks, which is not normally the best indicator that one is Bound For Glory. But here they are. Sandoval was drafted by Houston back in 2015 and worked his way up through many stops at many minor league levels. Chase Silseth is here in The Show exactly 11 months after being drafted. In the 11th round. This is unusual, I believe. Silseth worked just 5.1 IP last season, so this is really his first year as a professional. After being drafted in the 11th round. (Yes, I'm having a lot of trouble getting my head around this, folks. But look - he was the 321st player chosen in June 2021 and he's the first and only one to have appeared in the majors. Come on, that's just wild.). Silseth got here by tearing apart AA Rocket City in his five starts earlier this season. And by Suarez being bad.

The Angels other starter this weekend is Michael Lorenzen, and he's a story. Lorenzen was an outfielder-relief pitcher in college. He was drafted by the Reds in 2013 and he spent nine years in the Cincinnati organization, almost all of them as a relief pitcher. They did make him into a starter back in 2014, and he made it to the majors in 2015 - but he went 4-9, 5.40 and it was basically back to the bullpen for the rest of his days in Ohio. The Reds had used him occasionally - like a few times a year -  as a pinch hitter in those first few seasons, but in 2018 his bat attracted a bit more attention. He hit .290/.333/.710 (yes, he slugged .710) with 4 HR (2 as a pitcher, two as a pinch-hitter.) He even made his major league outfield debut in the outfield that August, finishing a game in RF. So the Reds decided that in 2019 he would become a pitcher-outfielder. He pitched in 73 games, and played the outfield in 29 and while the pitching part went well, he didn't hit much at all. As a hitter, Lorenzen does seem to have real power but there do appear to be some pretty gaping holes in his swing, and he's probably past the point of being able to address these issues.

After six solid seasons in the Cincinnati bullpen (19-14, 3.65 in 268 games, all but five in relief, with an ERA+ of 123) Lorenzen signed with the Angels as a free agent last November. They put him in the rotation and left him alone and it's going rather nicely so far.

So the Angels are puttering along, playing .600 ball. That's only good enough for second place in the AL West, but it will surely get Mike Trout some October baseball. The pitching has been pretty good, mainly thanks to that six-man rotation (the bullpen is nothing to write anywhere about) and they have the best offense in the American League, despite the pitcher's park they call home and despite the two black holes in their lineup who comprise their double-play combination. Fans of the bunt should be in for a good weekend, as Joe Maddon bunts more often than any other manager in the American League. Of course there's not much else you can do with those two non-hitters in the middle of his infield. Anthony Rendon, who like Trout lost most of 2021 to injury, has shaken off a slow start and begun to look much more like himself in recent weeks. As noted, Ohtani has been perfectly fine. So too have first baseman Jared Walsh and left fielder Brandon Marsh. Mike Trout has merely been Trout-like - you know, freaking awesome (.319/.425/.674) and right fielder Taylor Ward has somehow been even better than Trout, although a neck stinger after crashing into the wall against Oakland last Friday has had him on the shelf all week. He's having issues with his shoulder and hasn't been cleared to play in the field although he is available to hit.

The Angels may have finally assembled a good team. There may be a sticky wicket, or two, or several, upcoming.


Thu 26 May - Ryu (1-0, 6.00) vs Ohtani (3-2, 2.82)
Fri 27 May - Manoah (5-1, 1.62) vs Silseth (1-1, 2.61)
Sat 28 May - Kikuchi (2-1, 3.47) vs Lorenzen (5-2, 3.05)
Sun 29 May - Berrios (3-2, 4.75) vs Sandoval (3-1, 1.79)
Toronto at Los Angeles*, May 26-29 | 287 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#414210) #
The advantage of the planned pitching is hopefully the games are quick, low scoring affairs thus letting me get to sleep at a reasonable hour each night. I can dream right?

Love that the Angels middle infield has 2 guys with a 64 OPS+ heading into tonight's game (Tyler Wade & Andrew Velazquez) but what the heck with Taylor Ward? 247 OPS+ over 131 PA when he peaked at 109 last year, 89 lifetime before 2022. Age 28 might be a normal age for a peak season, but this isn't peak this is insane. Might be lucky for the Jays that Ward is out as when a guy is that hot you'd rather not face him.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#414212) #
Thu 26 May - Ryu (1-0, 6.00) vs Ohtani (3-2, 2.82)
Fri 27 May - Manoah (5-1, 1.62) vs Silseth (1-1, 2.61)
Sat 28 May - Kikuchi (2-1, 3.47) vs Lorenzen (5-2, 3.05)
Sun 29 May - Berrios (3-2, 4.75) vs Sandoval (3-1, 1.79)

My choices for catcher/DH/CF follow-
Thursday- Jansen 2, Kirk 0, Springer 8
Friday- Kirk 2, Jansen 0, Springer 8
Saturday- Jansen 2, Springer 0, Zimmer 8
Sunday- Kirk 2, Jansen 0, Springer 8

The day off yesterday and Monday make this a  reasonable approach to the C/DH situation, in my view, while giving Springer a little break from day game following night game. 
grjas - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#414213) #
Nice write up.

In the era of the dead ball, you’d think Trout might slow down a bit. Nada. Tonight’s pitching looks like a mismatch but if Ryu can keep goose egging MT, you never know.
scottt - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#414215) #
One of the top feature on is "the book on Guerrero Jr."
Breaking stuff low and away and get ready for the hard hit ground  balls.

lexomatic - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#414216) #
<br>I'm sure having so many blown calls doesn't help with his swinging. But if so it'll be a good thing to see if he adjusts.
Nigel - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#414217) #
Mike that is how I would handle this weekend too. Right now, the line up needs both Jansen and Kirk in the line-up as much as possible (while giving them the necessary C rest). This is a stretch to ride both over the 4 game series. I'd also try and give Zimmer two starts (over using Tapia) this weekend if there is a need/desire to sit one of Gurriel or Hernandez.
Lylemcr - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#414218) #
Look at those ERAs! Wow!
Four Seamer - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#414220) #
2 out of 3, Mike Green - Jansen at 2 and Springer at 8, but you’re getting Guerrero at 0, and drum roll please, Tapia at 9 in place of Teoscar.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#414221) #
Montoyo has the bottom of the order as Tapia, Jansen, Gurriel Jr and Biggio.  Just super to split up the LHH.  Brother.

If Charlie wanted to get Biggio in the lineup, it would have made sense to give Espinal or Bichette the day off tonight, and if you want to give Biggio two days in a row to get his feet wet, then give the other of Espinal and Bichette the day off tomorrow night.  Guerrero's already had 6 DH days and 1 total off day.  Bichette has played shortstop in every game and every inning of all but 1 game.  Espinal has played in 38 complete games at second base, 1 complete game at third base and four part games.  He looked a little draggy in St. Louis.  Or you could use Biggio in right-field instead of Tapia.  There were lots of ways to accomplish some good things and give Kirk the PAs at DH. 
Gerry - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#414222) #
Vinny Capra is off to AAA, Cavan Biggio is recalled.
Nigel - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#414223) #
Today's line-up is Exhibit A in the point I was making the other day - Montoyo just isn't very thoughtful about rest days and bench usage (to their best effect). That isn't a criticism of either the usage of everyone or the resting of regulars. It's a marginal point but unnecessary
92-93 - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#414224) #
At this point the usage of Tapia is on Atkins, not Montoyo. If the FO doesn’t want him in the lineup he should be released.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#414225) #
I agree, 92-93.  The organization pretty clearly believes that (in the words of Frog and Toad), spring is just around the corner for Tapia. 
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#414226) #
Just super to split up the LHH.

With the three batter minimum though, it's very much worth considering. With Aaron Loup as their LHP in the pen, I wouldn't want the LH batters anywhere near each other
Mike Green - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#414227) #
And you wouldn't pinch-hit for Tapia if they brought on a left-hander to face him?
scottt - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#414228) #
Tapia has played 3 games in Angel Stadium, 7 hits, 2 doubles and a walk.
It's probably the product of bad Angels pitching, but the Jays always seem to fare horribly here, so who knows.
scottt - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#414229) #
You can't pinch hit for Tapia if you don't start him.

Gerry - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#414230) #
Nate Pearson just came out of the bullpen for Dunedin. First pitch turned into a double. That was followed with a ground ball moving the runner and a sac fly. Final hitter struck out. 10 pitches, 8 strikes.
scottt - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#414231) #
Bichette doesn't want off days and doesn't need one right now.
He's one of the few hitters not currently slumping.

Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#414232) #
Apparently, the organization regards Tapia as a project, which is why they've been willing to put up with the lack of results. From the day he got here, the idea has been to remake him as a hitter. They don't want him to hit the ball on the ground and run like hell, which is what he did in Colorado all these years. They think there's some real pop potential there if they can figure out how to unlock it. Tapia appears to have been remarkably open and willing to go with the whole process, although there haven't been any shiny ponies for anyone yet.

It's the kind of project that spring training was made for, but of course the team acquired him in late March.
SK in NJ - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#414233) #
I really don't understand why Montoyo does not want to play the most optimal lineup for this roster, which has both Kirk and Jansen in it as much as possible. Initially I thought the logic behind carrying a 3rd catcher was because they envisioned playing the two catchers at the same time, but that lineup is barely used. Which means Collins' existence on the bench is meaningless, and the DH spot is essentially being used to get Tapia into the lineup. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

I'm also in the camp that blames the FO at this point. I don't trust Montoyo, and don't think he's a big league manager on a team looking to contend, but as long as the FO keeps him around, then they deserve whatever consequences that come out of it.
Thomas - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#414234) #
You can't pinch hit for Tapia if you don't start him.

I laughed.

Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#414235) #
And you wouldn't pinch-hit for Tapia if they brought on a left-hander to face him?

Tapia actually doesn't have a platoon split to speak of, but I would think that the presence of Kirk on the bench and two more RH batters coming up immediately afterward will keep the LOOGY sitting on his butt.
Nigel - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#414236) #
Tapia is also 28 not 23. I'm not against development flyers of this type, but the rope for this should be short when you are actually trying to win something this year. While I agree that the FO deserves some of the blame for not taking the toy away from him, Montoyo has a better option on the bench right now and does not want to play him. Montoyo wears some of this.
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#414237) #
I suspect that the fact that Tapia has been willing to go along with the changes they're trying to make to his game, even though it isn't working for him, has bought him a good deal of credit with the organization. Most players by now would be saying "just let me be what I was before."
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#414238) #
Collins' existence on the bench is meaningless

Good thing he's not there.
Polite Nate - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#414239) #
Tapia's batted ball indicators are all pretty much up across the board, if there's anything to dream on that's it. I think they picked a bad year to deaden the ball though. I'm a believer that if this season were using last year's balls then Tapia might have look serviceable, Chapman would look Semien-like in his bounce back, and Espinal would be setting hearts aflutter even moreso than he already is.
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#414241) #
It will obviously become a lot harder to continue giving this amount of rope to the Tapia experiment if Gurriel and Hernandez ever start hitting. Which they will. At some point. I trust. I hope.
Cracka - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#414242) #
The upcoming "13 pitcher maximum" roster rule has been delayed again until June 20th... and you gotta wonder if the rule isn't scrapped entirely for the season. As we've seen with Vinny Capra, there's not much added excitement from carrying a 4th bench player vs. a 9th reliever. I think teams should be able to choose which way they go -- indeed the Jays have gone both ways this year depending on off-days and bullpen health.

Speaking of Capra - his 29 days of MLB service was worth ~$112k of salary, a big payday for a guy who got a $1k signing bonus and has been making a minor league pittance since.
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#414243) #
[Capra's] 29 days of MLB service was worth ~$112k of salary, a big payday for a guy who got a $1k signing bonus and has been making a minor league pittance since.

And good for him, I say!

Capra's not really an outfielder - not yet, anyway - but the differences between him and a guy like Zimmer represent an interesting choice in roster construction. Capra might very well be a better all-around player. But Zimmer has a couple of things he does at a pretty elite level - play the outfield, run the bases. What makes more sense on the modern bench?
hypobole - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#414244) #
Didn't see this mentioned, but Nate Pearson pitched for Dunedin tonight. 1.2 IP, 1 hit (double to the first batter faced), 1 run, 1 BB, 1 K. 30 pitches, 18 strikes.
Ryan Day - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#414245) #
There was an article today talking about why the Jays are still optimistic about Tapia.
Maybe they're right and there's a better hitter in there somewhere, but it's a weird project to take on at the major league level when you're trying to contend. And at least short-term, they've actually made him worse, taking a fast guy who makes contact & hits the ball on the ground, and making him hit more balls in the air & strike out more.
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#414247) #
Summer of George!
Chuck - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#414248) #
Summer of George!

Not til he's draped in velvet.

99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#414249) #
What are all these hits with RISP? Is this allowed?!!?
Kasi - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#414250) #
They need to get Ryu out of there. He’s smoke and mirroring his way through things and it would be nice to get out of his innings with a lead.
Magpie - Thursday, May 26 2022 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#414251) #
I dunno. Smoke and mirrors is kind of his style.

Ohtani's been weird tonight. He's either making utterly perfect, unhittable pitches or mistakes over the heart of the plate. Nothing in between.
John Northey - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#414252) #
Well, that went well. Sucks game 2 is on Apple+ - who the heck has that? Getting to be too many streaming services imo.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 04:47 AM EDT (#414254) #
Charlie is back to .500 for his (regular season) managerial career.
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#414255) #
<br>I know Jansen is still small dample size, but it's such weird season. I can't tell what might be a shift in approach and continue. His expected numbers support his ridiculous stats so far. He's hitting an unreal 31% hr/FB, but he's regularly been at 18. His launch angle has gone up to 25 and he's hitting an also unreal 60+% FB and 4 %LD when he's normally around 20" he's also spreading his contact around the field. I expect at some point pitchers are going to try something that trips the approach up and I expect the numbers to shift a bit but I'm very curious to see how stuff works out. Juat very weordbtyatbit has continued after 1 month off. So far his defense has been below par, so I'm curious to look further and see where that goes too.
bpoz - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#414256) #
D Jansen is thriving on the dead ball.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#414257) #
Sucks game 2 is on Apple+ - who the heck has that?

Free 7 day trial. Hmmm. Thinking about it.
SK in NJ - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#414258) #
I believe all Apple TV games are free until some time in June. So if you have an Apple phone then just use your Apple ID to log in to the service and you should be able to watch it. If you don’t have an Apple phone then my guess is you’ll have to make an account but tonight’s game should still be free either way. From the little I have seen of the Apple broadcasts, the picture quality is excellent but the commentary is hard to sit through.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#414259) #
I believe all Apple TV games are free until some time in June.

I have an Apple account and I was trying to remember how long ago I got my last device... screw it, went for the free 7 days. I definitely wanted to watch Slow Horses anyway.
grjas - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#414260) #
Slow horses is quite good. Ted Lasso is outstanding. Get a 7 day freebie of Apple+ and binge.

This game should be a confidence builder for the lineup(other than poor Biggio). With the starters going well, may be there is a run percolating. And is Ryu Mike Trout’s kryptonite?
mathesond - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#414262) #
Apple TV does have some good shows. Along with the aforementioned Ted Lasso, my wife and I enjoyed Severance, Dickinson, Schmigadoon, and The After Party. It may not have the volume of Netflix, but it also doesn't have as much filler as Netflix, and at $6/month, it's barely noticeable.

That being said, I don't see me going out of my way to watch baseball on it, when I still have 40+ movies on my DVR.
scottt - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#414263) #
Not sure what the pull to put games on streaming services is. Just another way to try to inflate their subscriber total?

With Jansen, the pitchers have been slow to update their approach.
That shouldn't take long.

Othani didn't have his slider.
Honestly, what surprised me was the relief pitcher going 3 innings and having such a low ERA.

Not a great outing from Romano. Bottom of the lineup, not even a save situation and he probably needs a day off now.

John Northey - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#414264) #
Romano needed the work - he doesn't do well if he has too much time off. Same is true for most closers - I remember that being an issue for both Henke and Ward way back when. 2 times Romano had 5 days of rest - 1 1/3 IP 1 H 3 R/ER 2 BB 1 SO 1 HR 1 save, 1 blown save and loss. Last night was his first with 4 days rest, twice on 3 days (1 save, 2 H 1 R/ER 1 BB 1 SO).

For easier terms lets us sOPS+ (OPS+ against vs the OPS+ in that split for the league) - 0 days rest 30, 1 day rest 53, 2 days 181, 3 days 108, 4 days 82, 5 days 300. This doesn't factor in his first appearance (listed as 99 days rest).

Looking at that I see why Montoyo didn't want Romano sitting any longer. He should be fine if needed tonight, or if not on Saturday. By Sunday he will need to be in a game for sure. For his career (tOPS+ - OPS+ vs his own career, not vs league - for career that is how they measure it) it goes 66-109-63-128-157-288 for 0-1-2-3-4-5 days rest. Basically on 2 days or less of rest he is deadly but more than that and he sucks. Henke, the gold standard for Jays relievers, was 96-105-111-94-107-70 so far better with rest than I ever thought, but also a 43 when he pitches in the 2nd game of a double header after pitching in the first game (did that 4 times) which is a 'WOW'.

So imo this is the right way to handle Romano - if he has had 3 days rest, get him into the next game even if it is 20-1 or something insane. He needs his work to stay sharp. He seems best on 0-1 days rest and Montoyo has been careful to only use him in 2 days in a row so far - for example, games 1/2 of the season, then he was in game/day off after that until April 17th - 5 games, 5 saves, 5 IP 3 H 0 R 1 BB 4 SO. Sweet. Then he had 3 days off and allowed a run but got a save, then 6 games with 0 or 1 day off going 5 1/3 IP 5 H 2 R 1 ER 0 BB 8 SO 1 HR 4 saves 1 blown 1 win 1 loss (blown save was the loss, all runs scored that game). Since then he has been on 0 or 1 day just once, the rest 2+ days of rest going over 6 games 5 1/3 IP 5 H 4 R 3 ER 3 BB 7 SO 1 HR 3 saves 1 blown 0 wins 1 loss (the blown save game). No question, get that guy in there. Rest is for November to March.
Cracka - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#414265) #
Romano's volume of work so far - 19 appearances in 44 games - seems to be the ideal amount for a closer. This works out to ~70 games pitched during the season, which is the upper limit these days for a closer (and for most relievers in general). Last season, Romano pitched 62 times, but also sat out for 10 days in both April and July.
hypobole - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#414267) #
For anyone who will watch the game, there is an article on FG discussing the broadcast probability feature Apple hired some tech company to produce. The conclusion? It's not good.

However, the weirdest part is in the comments section, where an anonymous company spokesperson actively defends their product (without saying they work for the company) and argues with posters. Shades of Brian Colangelo's wife.
Mike Green - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#414268) #
The major league leader in IsoP, wRC+ and xwOBA (30+ PAs) is Danny Jansen.  His xwOBA is .523, 3 points higher than his actual wOBA.  In other words, no luck at all is involved in his scorching hot start.  With ordinary luck, he might have one home run less but he'd hit .330 to more than make up for it.

As for the comment that Ryu has always pitched like this, it's not true in one important respect.  His K rate over his career is 8.03/9IP; this year it's 4.7/9IP.  He's having much more trouble missing bats- with swinging strike rates down from a career 10% to 7.5% and contact rates up over 5%.  Worse yet, he's giving up the hardest contact of his career.  I guess the most interesting and promising possibility for him is that while his fastball and changeup (which he uses the most often) have become much less effective, the cutter and curve remain very effective despite not being used much.  It looks to me like he needs to reduce the number of 4 seamers and increase the number of cutters.  In 2020 when he was most effective, he was using an almost equal number of cutters, 4 seamers and changeups and 1/2 of that number of curveballs. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#414269) #
Arizona? - outside of Phoenix it's mostly like the moon on a hot day, all rocks and desert and rattlesnakes

Spent a lot of time there, and that's true only to a degree.  The desert is lusher than most and once you head north from Phoenix you are at greater altitude and get all kinds of landscapes including regular snow in Flagstaff and a canyon or two.  South of Phoenix, Tucson is quite beautiful and actually has a happy tradition of well-maintained public services, a cool university and much else to recommend it. 

As for the rattlesnakes, they aint called the Diamondbacks for nothing. 
Paul D - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#414270) #
Hypobole and others, yesterday's effectively wild podcast was an interview with the ceo of the company providing the stats. They did a good job of pushing her without being jsrksw, and I recommend it.
hypobole - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#414271) #
What the heck is jsrksw?
scottt - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#414272) #
The key thing for Ryu is hitting the corners and being unpredictable.
The pitch mix changes from game to game.
The cutter and curve could be most effective because they are not used as much.
I didn't watch that game but in the previous one, the curve was mostly used as the first pitch in the AB to get a strike.
I think he's one guy that follows his own game plan.

You probably need to discount the stats from his first starts.

Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#414274) #
that's true only to a degree.

Fair enough, but once a phrase like "rocks and desert and rattlesnakes" forms in my head, there's no stopping me.
scottt - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#414275) #
Silseth being a rookie, you can still go look at his scouting report at places like pipeline.

So, he went to University of Tennessee in 2019, but because they wouldn't let him start he moved to the College of Southern Nevada which got shutdown by the pandemic after 5 starts. So last year he moved to the University of Arizona to be the Friday night starter.

Incidentally, the halos are on a 6 man rotation which has been working really well for them.
The bullpen has been pretty deep too. Imagine if the worse guy on the Blue Jays pen was Richards.
Mike Green - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#414277) #
Mookie Betts is off to quite a start, leading the National League in home runs with 12 and runs scored with 47 (in 42 games).  I think Betts is going to run off a 5 year string of greatness.  Sorry that he's going to do it for the Dodgers- like the other man, no one is rooting for the overdog. 
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#414278) #
Sorry that he's going to do it for the Dodgers

Could be worse. He could be doing it for the Red Sox. Or - angels and ministers of grace defend us - for the Yankees.
Mike Green - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#414279) #
angels and ministers of grace defend us

They seem to have their hands full at the moment.

scottt - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#414281) #
Anaheim was an agricultural community (as if the name of the county wasn't enough of a hint) until Walt Disney built his famous amusement park.

First it was a Spanish mission. Then came the grapes. Anaheim was founded in 1857 by German-Americans looking to grow grapes. Within 20 years it had over 50 wineries producing over a million gallons a year, but droughts and diseases mostly put an end to that.   A county named "Orange" to attract immigrant was split off in 1889. There were ranchers such as Irvine who has a city named after him and a silver rush.

After WWII, it became a bedroom county for those working in the aerospace and manufacturing. It helped that the interstate and Disneyland opened at the same time, but most of the 3 million who live there have little to do with Disney.

It is the second most populous county in California with large Vietnamese and Latino communities. 
hypobole - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#414283) #
I was looking at statcast this morning. Stanton and Ohtani are the max EV leaders, both over 119 mph. Vlad is 3rd at 117.9. Espinal the lowest Jays regular at 106.9.

Way down, 158th of the 169 qualified with a "puny" 105.9 max EV - Mookie Betts.

vw_fan17 - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#414285) #
I guess it's time to fire up the 'ole VPN (thankfully, our 2+ day home internet outage got fixed!) and visit sports urge dot net.. That's if I have time to watch it tonight. 6:30 local time is so *LATE* for a game to start :-)
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#414289) #
The Rams used to play at Angels Stadium, under the moniker of Los Angeles.  Looking out beyond the centre field rock formation, you can also see a rather large Duck Pond.

Silseth... went to University of Tennessee in 2019

Here come the Volunteers! The fight song Rocky Top is second to none.

Mookie Betts is off to quite a start...

I had thought that contract was a gigantic mistake, despite the talent. I may well be mistaken.


If you visit the nearby McDonald's, you can enjoy a Happy Meal at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Mike Green - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#414292) #
Tonight's lineup features Raimel Tapia batting 6th in centerfield and eight losers around him flailing around hopelessly trying to put bat to ball.

Tapia was brilliant last night and of course you have to ride the hot hand into the California sunset.
Four Seamer - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#414293) #
Pure insanity. Like a grizzled veteran grinding away on the 4th line, Tapia must have some “intangibles” that are invisible in his stat line.
scottt - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#414295) #
Tapia is in center so Springer can DH.
If all goes well, Zimmer will finish the game.

Chapman is on the bench, so that Espinal can play third and Biggio second.

Ward is the DH today and didn't play yesterday. Not 100%?

The Angels are resting Rendon and starting Wade (left bat) in 3rd and Rengifo at second (switch hitter).
That makes 3 left bats and 2 switch hitters against Manoah because of his slider. No Othani.

John Northey - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#414296) #
While waiting and avoiding work...

New data on time for pitchers from 2010 to now. Pitch tempo measures the median time between pitches (in other words pitch release to pitch release). Only pitches that follow a take (called strike or called ball) and are thrown to the same batter are considered for this metric. I used a 100 pitch minimum for everything.
  • Fasted in MLB: Mark Buehrle (also fastest Jay..duh): 11.9 seconds bases empty/18.2 someone on
  • Dickey was 16th (BE), Halladay 20th, Matz 34th
  • 100 pitch minimum for Jays only: Buehrle (12.4) to Dolis (26.7/31.5 - yes, he was that painful), Kikuchi is the slowest current Jay (21.3/25.3), Borucki the fastest current Jay (15.7/21.8), Berrios the fastest starter (16.6/21.8)
  • In 2022 fastest: Berrios (15.9/21.1), slowest Romano (22.1/23.6)
  • With men on in 2022 it is Richards speeding up (20.1) with Thornton and Cimber also under 21 seconds with men on. Phelps is the rain delay at 26.4 seconds per pitch with Yimi Garcia far behind at 25.6
  • For hitters the spread isn't as big. In 2022 Kirk is the fastest (17.2/24.1) - not a thing I thought I'd ever type. Vlad is the slowest (19.7/24.6).
  • 2010-now fastest hitter at the plate purely as a Blue Jay is Ben Francisco (13.4/18.9), slowest Chris Colabello (22.1/27.8).
  • 2010-now all MLB fastest hitter: Yusmeiro Petit (12.3/18.6), slowest Jorge Alfaro (22.1/27.0)
Fun thing to look at - right away I'd say it is obvious pitchers control the tempo far more than hitters. Also we need more Mark Buehrle's and fewer Dolis'.
John Northey - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#414297) #
Weird I have Apple TV on now but it keeps stuttering every few seconds during their review of games from today. Very frustrating. Hopefully it doesn't do that during the actual game.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#414299) #
it keeps stuttering every few seconds

It's been fine for me. Did you have any power issues after the big storm this week?
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#414300) #
I don't know if this is going to work, but I've got the AppleTV running on the computer with the sound muted, and the radio broadcast running on an app on my phone. And we'll see what happens...
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#414301) #
Did you have any power issues after the big storm this week?

Hey, it was a big storm. It may have had a long, long reach.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#414302) #
Italics, begone.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#414304) #
I don't know if this is going to work

It's not going to work. I think I'd need an actual radio (I don't have one.) During the game, the radio broadcast of the game is blacked out on the phone app - presumably some MLB rights thing - and here's someone's talking about the Lakers.
John Northey - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#414305) #
Very frustrating as I pay for Sportsnet Now and I can't listen to Jays games on the radio with it. Not signing up again for that app unless the price drops significantly ($200 for a year last time I signed up iirc). I watched Sportsnet now for the Yankee game a bit before the Jays started with zero issues, same for Netflix and Disney+ (Obi-Wan today). Apple though I have issues with. I do like their having 'on base probability' after each pitch, strikeout probability when it gets to 2 strikes.
uglyone - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#414306) #
greenfrog - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#414307) #
Why start Talia in CF over Zimmer? That seems like a net loss of overall value.
dalimon5 - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#414308) #
Game nowhere to be found in the Apple TV+ app on my smart TV…
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#414309) #
The AppleTV app is running but there's no Friday Night Baseball?
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#414310) #
<br>I kinda felt like Manoah 's K rate was a Halladay like choice. Tonight is pretty wild first 3 innings
dalimon5 - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#414311) #
Correct, Apple TV+ running and open but no Friday Night Baseball option. Works fine through mlb link on cell phone. Using an LG OLED.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#414312) #
So you can watch Shing Girls but not the game? Makes no sense. Well, the modern world frightens and confuses me.

The thing I'm finding strange and disturbing about the whole thing is the two minute Muzak thing that plays between innings. A lifetime of television has tuned to a fine pitch an automatic capacity to tune out completely when the show breaks and the commercials begin. But this weird pointless music distracts me...
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#414313) #
<br>I'm watching succesfully. Scrolled down and it was right there on a big icon.
So far not a pleasant experience. Annoying commentary, cluttered screen, and really annoying commercial breaks.
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#414314) #
<br>I should mention I have roku
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#414315) #
<br>Biggio's liner sounded like a broken bat, with a weird squishy sound. But it looked like he ripped it. Then slow mo replay not so much. I dunno.

I miss commercials.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#414316) #
But it looked like he ripped it.

It was in the fielder's glove before he got out of the box, so probably.

Couldn't they at least mix up the between innings muzak?
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#414317) #

Pure insanity. Like a grizzled veteran grinding away on the 4th line, Tapia must have some “intangibles” that are invisible in his stat line. Apparently the site doesn't want me to post my joke aboit Tapia laughing off liners hitting him. 3rd try? Edit 5th?
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#414318) #
<br>ugh Gurriel. And the HR. Can the Jays stop giving up leads immediately?
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#414319) #
<br>that was supposed to be immediately after they've tied it
Seems to often.
Anyways this inning is enough. I don't think I'll watch another of these awake and annoyed now.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#414320) #
I think that last one was probably more on Vlad, but it's one of those things where the the radical shift messes up normal defensive assignments. The left fielder has to come up throwing. Normally the first baseman would follow the runner to second on the play - but if the second baseman is in the outfield, he needs to beat the runner to the bag.
lexomatic - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#414321) #
<br>I seem to have missed a challenge on the Trout run. Swear I saw him called safe, turned off the TV, and posted. No mention in the log I'm looking at.
Magpie - Friday, May 27 2022 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#414322) #
Yup, they challenged, call was overturned, out at the plate.
John Northey - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#414323) #
Nice win.  Gurriel getting 3 hits is a big plus.  If he gets hot while Bo is then things will be a LOT of fun.
uglyone - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#414324) #
Totally bizarre that Tapia has played more than Kirk this year.
Nigel - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:05 AM EDT (#414325) #
One of them looks good in jeans the other, decidedly, does not:)
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#414326) #
Totally bizarre that Tapia has played more than Kirk this year.

Of course, if Kirk could play the outfield that wouldn't be true.
Michael - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 04:05 AM EDT (#414327) #
Well you can sort of understand them deciding to keep giving more playing time to the 23 year old who's had less than a seasons of big league games spread over 3 partial seasons - but yet is above 100 OPS+ in all 3 partial season - and thus is both a better player and has much more upside, than run out the 28 year old who's got 3 seasons worth of games over the past 7 years - while never cracking 100 OPS+ in any of the 7 seasons - and clearly has much, much less current ability AND much, much less upside. Oh, what's that, they are playing Tapia *more* than Kirk? That's pretty much malpractice absent hidden information (like injuries or what not).

Selected current and former Jays Career OPS+ (one of these is very much not like the others):
Kirk 112
Rajai Davis 86
JP Arencibia 80
Tapia 79
Homer Bush 76
Zimmer 74
Josh Thole 73
Kawasaki 72
Cesar Izturis 64
McDonald 59

Note that the distance from Kirk to Rajai Davis is about the same as the distance from Rajai Davis to McDonald. But Zimmer and Tapia are very close together and you wouldn't really want to play either of them for the bat, and you certainly wouldn't play the one of them that was worse at fielding and worse at baserunning due to the small difference in hitting! Also note that Zimmer (29) and Tapia (28) are fairly similarly aged and in the "prime" of their career while the other career numbers (other than Kirk) are generally through their decline phases.

FWIW Randal Grichuk is 30 with a career 102 OPS+.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 04:25 AM EDT (#414328) #
I still think Kirk in the outfield is a bad idea.
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 06:08 AM EDT (#414329) #
I checked Kirk's usage.

He was tied for 9th in PA among all catchers, 5th in batting average, 15th in slugging.
That doesn't sound bad for the second catcher.

Sean Murphy in Oakland caught my eye, though.
#1 in PA by a huge margin. He played in 43 of 47 games.
97 OPS+, 0.1 bWAR for the year.
The team is in last place by far.

Looking at it again, he's now played in 44 games, his OPS+ is up to 102 and his WAR to .2.

uglyone - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#414330) #
Jansen has been injured all year and they were starting Collins at DH.

I repeat, it's hilarious that Tapia has played more than Kirk this year.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#414331) #
They probably don’t think Kirk can hold up under a bigger load. He’s never played a full season, and to me building in rest and recovery is how you overcome that
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#414332) #
Tapia and Kirk have nothing to do with one another. It is simply not the case that one of them is taking playing time from the other. Tapia does not DH, he does not catch. Kirk does not play the outfield. And Springer especially and Gurriel as well will DH from time to time. And I'm sorry but Alejandro Kirk can't take their place in the field when they do.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#414333) #
Jansen has been injured all year and they were starting Collins at DH.

Well, they couldn't start Kirk as the DH if he was the starting catcher. You would have preferred Tapia DHing? This is just silly.

It's certainly true that Jansen's injury didn't much increase Kirk's playing time - certainly not as much as the Hernandez injury increased Tapia's. But this was because Kirk was already going to be in the lineup for a lot of those games already. Half the time, the Jansen injury just moved Kirk from DH to catcher. The Hernandez injury took Tapia off the bench and into the lineup. Kirk and Tapia have nothing to do with each other.
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#414334) #
Jansen was on track to start 60% of the games behind the dish and Kirk 40%.
I like Kirk to DH against lefties, but you can also keep him to pinch hit.

If they start Zimmer yesterday, they can't use Jansen to pinch hit.
That worked out nicely.

Kirk is already playing more than he's ever done and the real limiting factor is his health.

Kirk keeps hitting infield singles. It's a funny game at times.

bpoz - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#414335) #
To have a weak offense the available players have to hit poorly. This means that when a player does hit a non Hr with nobody on base he cannot have an RBI and unless driven in he does not get credit for scoring a run. Obvious I know.

So looking at our team and prospects I am over/under valuing them based on RBI & RS. For RS Kirk is doing ok/well but for RBIs not as well.

uglyone - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#414336) #
No catcher or worthy DH ahead of Kirk almost all season.

There's no reason Tapia should have played more.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#414338) #
That's exactly like saying there's no reason Matt Chapman should have played more often. Kirk and Tapia play different positions. How much one plays has nothing to do with how often the other one plays. This isn't complicated.

Kirk caught 18 of 30 games while Jansen was out, which is a normal enough workload for the team's top catcher, especially during a stretch when off-days were scarce. He didn't DH as often as usual precisely because he was catching. And if Montoyo is being cautious with the workload of his two catchers - well, remember 2021? Not so long ago. Jansen and Kirk combined to miss more than 130 games last season without once hurting themselves catching. A little prudence might not be out of line.

And none of it has anything to do with what goes on in the outfield. If Kirk is on the bench and Tapia is in the field it's usually because Springer never plays more than three consecutive games in the outfield. And then he's the DH, every fourth game. Again, remember 2021? Some prudence with Springer probably isn't a bad idea either. One of Guerrero or Gurriel gets a DH day about as often. I'm sorry too, but there's no getting around it - Kirk can't fill those particular spots in the field. He really can't. This isn't complicated.
Nigel - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#414340) #
Both of you are right. There isn’t a direct Tapia v Kirk playing time trade off. But the amount of playing time Tapia has received is inexcusable (notwithstanding the OF injuries).
uglyone - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#414341) #
The very idea that a manager/front office would feel more urgency to get Tapia in the lineup than Kirk is offensive.

One is an actual very good young quality MLB starter and the other is borderline MLB fodder.
hypobole - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#414342) #
I'm with Magpie. The main issue is much less how much playing time our 4th outfielder gets, it's who is our 4th outfielder.

I think we can all agree it shouldn't be Tapia. Neither is it Zimmer who's a perfectly fine 5th outfielder. So now the question becomes what can the FO do about this situation and how quickly they will do something. The end of May has been my prediction.

uglyone - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#414343) #
And if you thought Kirk couldn't be a full time player even in the stretches when the starting catcher was injured and with the DH spot wide open for rest days then that makes the FO's offseason performance with the offense look even worse.
tercet - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#414344) #
Zimmer in a platoon role (VS RHP) is much better then Tapia vs RHP. But for reasons unknown whether it be the FO or Montoyo, Tapia is gonna get 400+ AB it seems this year.
hypobole - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#414345) #
One more thing I've noticed is that we really get OCD at times.

That was a great win last night. 5 hits with RISP. Another solid from Manoah. Great work from our pen including Romano striking out the side. But the conversation centres on Tapia for what seems like the 50th straight day.
lexomatic - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#414346) #
<br>maybe if there was Carl Crawford upside for Tapia I could understand playing him so much. But I'm not sure there's anything to support that, though I clearly don't have the scouting skill to back up my hunch.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#414347) #
Indeed the 5-12 with RISP was a welcome change, even if it is a little weird to have five hits with runners in scoring position and get just three runs out of it.
hypobole - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#414348) #
Was looking at the boxscore of the O's huge comeback win over the BoSox last night when something caught my eye. The last 5 relievers the O's used gave up 1 hit and 0 runs over their 4.1 IP. The highest ERA of those 5 is 1.88.

Just checked FG for the best bullpen ERA's in MLB so far. Astro's have been best at 2.58. But the next 2 have been the Tigers 2.84 and the O's 3.04, which totally surprised me.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#414349) #
Instead of snark, I'll give data on why Montoyo's use of Tapia and lack of use of Jansen and Kirk is misguided and will cost the team about a game over a season if it continues.

First, the difference in quality between Jansen and Kirk on one hand and Tapia on the other is very large.  I'll take an average of bWAR and fWAR as WAR and use wRC+ to describe the offensive side.  Jansen has produced 4.6 WAR with a wRC+ of 93 over his 868 PA career.  However his power has spiked and projection systems have his wRC+ between 120 and 129 over the rest of the season.  This results in current projections for the rest of the season at 6 WAR/650 PA. Kirk has produced 1.8 WAR with a wRC+ of 111 over his 348 career PAs.  There is no meaningful change forescast for him over the rest of the season so he is roughly at 3.5 WAR/650 PAs. Tapia is at 0.2 WAR over his 1566 career PAs, essentially replacement level. Projection systems do forecast some improvement to a 0.8 WAR/650 PAs over the remainder of the season. For what it's worth, Zimmer's career performance is much better (1.8 WAR/650 PAs), but his projections very from 0.8 to 2.5 WAR/650. 

Kirk and Jansen are projected to be the 4th and 5th best hitters on the club, sliding halfway between Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman.  The one is who not catching is the best bet to be the DH when George Springer and Vlad Guerrero are not in that role.

Second, how much have Kirk and Jansen (C/DH) been used compared with Tapia and Zimmer (the 4th and 5th OF)?  So far, Tapia leads with 141 PAs, Kirk with 134, Zimmer with 51 and Jansen 37.  Of course, Jansen was hurt, so let's limit it to the period from when he returned on May 14.  Tapia again leads with 37 PAs, Kirk has 33, Jansen, 29 and Zimmer 9. 

Why has Tapia received more PAs than either Kirk or Jansen since Jansen returned from injury?  Tapia has gotten work replacing Gurriel or Hernandez when briefly injured or to give a day off (and more of these than you would expect given the player's pedigree) and when Springer has been DHing (4 times in the last 2 weeks) or has the day off (once in the last 2 weeks).  It makes sense to give Springer that much time out of centerfield when the club has a 30 game in 31 day period, but the schedule the last 2 weeks has had regular off-days.  The pattern strongly suggests that the organization is doing this to test out Tapia and that has a present cost.

Tapia is on course for about 500 PAs, and that's 150-300 more than necessary (depending on usage of Zimmer).  The loss there, given the difference between Jansen/Kirk and Tapia, amounts to about 10 runs or 1 win.  Some of that is baked in already, but ZiPS projects Tapia over the rest of the season to get 344 PAs and 38 runs created; Kirk to get 211 PAs and 32 runs created and Jansen to get 181 PAs and 30 runs created.  If you redistribute half of Tapia's PAs evenly to Kirk and Jansen, he has 172 PAs and 19 runs created, Jansen would have 267 PAs and 44 runs created and Kirk would have have 297 PAs and 45 runs created.  There would be a net gain of 8 runs offensively, plus you have the advantage of Tapia not in the outfield. 

Mike Green - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#414350) #
OCD from me, hypobole?  That would be a first.  I just get bothered by needless costly stupidity, and I hate it when it's my home team doing it.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#414351) #
Well, Tapia's started 34 of the 45 games - which is obviously more than anyone would like. But 23 of them were because one of the three regular outfielders was hurt and 8 of them were what we might think of as Scheduled DH Days for an everyday player. I don't think it reflects a lot of urgency to get Tapia into the lineup, unless it's to keep Zimmer out. I doubt he's getting 400 at bats unless there are more injuries in the outfield. Which is always a possibility, alas.

Scheduled DH Days are a reality, though. One of Springer or Guerrero was the DH 66 times last season, and they'll probably be slightly above that in 2022. Gurriel and Hernandez were the DH 25 times; I doubt they'll get quite as many this time, and I'm certain Grichuk won't get 12. But it's still going to be half the games on the schedule.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#414352) #
I just get bothered by needless costly stupidity, and I hate it when it's my home team doing it.

Well, if Jansen or Kirk could play the outfield, it wouldn't be necessary.
John Northey - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#414353) #
I'm guessing the Tapia love is due to his 2020 season when he hit 321/369/402 over 51 games. If he was doing that then I'd be happy as that is a very good OBP even if playing in Colorado. His best Slg% was in 2018 when he hit 200/259/480 over 27 games. In AAA lifetime he has hit 330/367/507 (Albuquerque where a team OPS of 800+ is normal). In AA 323/363/451 (most of 1 season), throughout the minors he has hit 300+ at every level for a net line of 320/364/461 so there is some talent there. The big question is why hasn't it shown in the majors outside of the tiny 2020 season? His OPS+ has never been 100, even in his peak season. His defense has been poor by any measure throughout too.

I wonder if Tapia is exhibit A of a player who is too good for the minors but just isn't good enough for the majors (classic AAAA player)? He is making nearly $4 million this year and playing every single game. I wonder if his scouting reports are still based on his minor league accomplishments while ignoring his major league ones. Over the past 28 days his sOPS+ (OPS+ vs league for that time) is an ugly 34, down to 12 for the past 7 days. So he isn't getting better.

Could his splits tell us why the love? His best splits (sOPS+ basis) are as a LH hitter vs LH pitching (90), as a CF (97 over 19 AB's hitting 316/350/316), batting 7th (333/333/375 over 24 PA, 120 sOPS+), first pitch (116), 2-0 count (168 over 7 PA), 2-1 count (1-1 with a double), 1-2 count (259 over 26 PA), after 0-2 (152 over 29 PA), after 1-2 (162), but if it gets to 2-2 he is helpless (12). With 0 outs he has a 103 (277/320/383), runner on first (26 PA) he has hit 286/375/476 good for a 136. When the team is losing he really comes to life (342/342/474 143) but 2 out RISP he falls apart (-33 sOPS+ 2 for 17) and when the team is ahead he sucks big time (12 sOPS+, 54 PA). Maybe he needs to be traded to Cincinnati where being behind is normal. Medium leverage is his wheelhouse though - 311/354/378 111, high leverage he crumbles (-2 sOPS+ over 39 PA).

Medium is his career - mid-level leverage he has a lifetime 110 sOPS+ but high leverage is his kryptonite with a 63 sOPS+.

So in trying to figure out the love he gets all I can figure is the Jays sucking in RISP has helped hide his biggest weakness (high leverage) while the 1 run games have enhanced his strength (medium leverage). I'm guessing the Jays think they can get him to not fold under pressure, and that his 2 strike success is a sign that with some better judgement he can perform at a higher level. Mixed with his strong minor league results it implies there is more there and it might be fixable. That is my best guess.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#414354) #
The pattern [Springer's regular DH days] strongly suggests that the organization is doing this to test out Tapia and that has a present cost.

Except that they persisted with it during the whole time that Hernandez was out of the lineup and Tapia was already playing. Springer has never started more than three consecutive games in centre this season. In fact, he's only done that three times and on one of those occasions there was an off-day already baked into the schedule. That's his usage pattern. Three in the outfield, one at DH.
Nigel - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#414355) #
There’s zero evidence that Tapia’s the 4th best OF on the team. Both Zimmer and Biggio (when healthy) should have played and should play the OF ahead of him. I agree it’s marginal inefficiency but it does add up over time.
hypobole - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#414356) #
White Sox just DFA'd Dallas Keuchel.

And the Cards released Zeuch after he went unclaimed through waivers.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#414358) #
I expect - and like the rest of you, I also hope! - that the return of Biggio, in particular, means less Tapia in the lineup. (Guerrero's Scheduled DH Days have until now been filled by an outfielder.) It is exceedingly gruesome to contemplate, but Tapia has been the third best hitter among the team's outfielders this season. This can not, will not, continue.

Or they're... uh, doomed. (Not the word I actually had in mind, but it'll do.)
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#414359) #
Zimmer has not swung the bat very well. He's there as a pinch runner, defensive replacement.

If you start Tapia, you can use a right handed batter off the bench when they bring a LOOGY and Zimmer ends the game. Most teams will do that because they don't want to sit their lefty relievers for the whole series.

The Jays are 20-14 when Tapia starts and 5-6 when he doesn't start.
They are 2-4 when he comes into the game as a replacement.

Biggio and Gurriel should be eating into Tapia's playing time as soon as they show some offense.   

dalimon5 - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#414360) #
You guys are making an issue out of nothing. If you look at how many games Tapia has played and you rely on WAR then yes, there is a narrative you can believe that this player is getting lots of playing time despite poor performance. If, on the other hand, you look at the reality of what has happened then it is a very different story.

Teoscar Hernandez was injured, Tapia and not Kirk steps in.

George Springer was injured and needs odd day off through the DH. Tapia and not Kirk steps in.

Lourdes Gurriel has been cold as ice and received bench time. Tapia and not Kirk stepped in.

Biggio was injured and was then sent to AAA to work on his hitting and fielding, Tapia and not Kirk stepped in.

The idea that the front office or manager needs to be reprimanded or that some people are offended because the 4th OF and best option was utilized instead of a catcher is simply a false narrative.

Playing Collins over Kirk - now that’s a real issue that happened for no apparent reason, but who knows - maybe they Jays tried to ride the hot hand early when Collins was performing and Kirk was ice cold.
dalimon5 - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#414361) #
Not sure why but Tapia seems to be a target for many frustrated fans. Here’s the most “targeted,” Blue Jays from recent years which I can remember:

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#414363) #
Other "targeted" players:

Tanner Roark
Brandon Drury
Derek Fisher

And I don't think he was here long enough to be targeted but contributed nothing : Socrates Brito
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#414364) #
Not sure why but Tapia seems to be a target for many frustrated fans.

Well, he really hasn't been very good. And he's got extremely silly hair. But there's no mystery about why he's played as much as he has, no unfathomable front office love to try to understand. It is standard practice in today's game to have three outfielders in each day's lineup. That's all.
christaylor - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#414365) #
Collabello and Tapia have in common that they were here when the expectations for the team were high and realistically high. Collabello did well in 2015 but he was caught w/PED and given a short leash. Tapia on the other hand has not done well hitting (aside from the Pesky Pole HR I saw in Fenway which made me think there could be something in that swing if deployed correctly) to fielding (I was half asleep but did a ball go through his legs last night?)... Tapia ought to be cut but using only the 40 man roster, who ought to get his playing time? Zimmer? Obviously, trades require two parties and anyone out there that can be just signed might be just as bad, if not worse.
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#414366) #
But that Tommy Pham suspension over a fantasy football issue?

"We've got too much money on the line, and I look at it like there's a code".

scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#414367) #
Collabello hit like he was on steroid but he couldn't catch a flyball.
Would have been fine at DH but that spot was not available.

scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#414368) #
My target would have been Ezequiel Carrera who had an OPS+ of 83-88 but was pretty bad defensively.
-1.0 bWAR in 2015.  +0.9 in 2016.

Once Zeke was a free agent, he was out of MLB.

Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#414369) #
Teoscar Hernandez was injured, Tapia and not Kirk steps in.

The idea of Kirk in the outfield - well, it's such a delicious concept that I dedicated a whole minute to trying to conjure up some scenario in which it could happen. No luck. If Kirk was the DH, say, and they ran out of players, and someone got hurt.... they'd put Jansen in the outfield.
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#414370) #
Collins was acquired after camp and they needed to evaluate him.
He learned the pitchers by catching bullpens.
The Jays were doing quite well in April, so there was no issue with having Collins around, especially when you consider than Moreno missed camp altogether and wasn't ready to step up.
Collins wasn't bad behind the dish either.

John Northey - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#414371) #
Well, my problem with Tapia is he is the worst on the team for defense and can't hit worth a darn. I'd rather see more time to Zimmer who can at least play strong defense, and lately has shown signs of starting to hit. If I was a AAA OF with the Jays I'd be pissed seeing Tapia get so much time. Logan Warmoth plays 2B/CF/LF/RF and is hitting 282/394/491 in AAA (132 PA), Vinny Capra is at 292/370/458 in AAA and only got 7 PA here while watching Tapia from the bench. Ugh. Gosuke Katoh did everything asked of him and was released (yeah he couldn't hit but at least he took walks which helps). Clearly the Jays think Tapia can be something more than he has shown in the majors. I don't see it and his stats don't show any signs of improvement. The Jays are contenders, stop wasting valuable playing time on a project that is unlikely to pan out. Give those PA to kids or guys who are hitting this year in AAA.
John Northey - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#414374) #
I am old enough to remember the Carlos Delgado in LF experiment - now THAT was ugly. Plus the Cecil Fielder at 3B (and 2B) experiment - even uglier. But I suspect Kirk in LF would be the ugliest of all. Depending on his reaction time (probably very good) he might be endurable at 3B but that is about it - being short is a big liability at 1B, his lack of speed would be a massive liability in the OF. What is funny is computer games might rank his speed highly due to the infield hits he has been getting this year.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#414376) #
In 2019, the Astros had a regular outfield of George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick.  Springer started 106 games, 67 in centerfield and 39 in right.  Josh Marisnick was Springer's other half and got 318 PAs over the season.  Derek Fisher had 60, and Kyle Tucker 72.  There's no reason (least of all with Zimmer present) for Tapia to get more PAs than the Astros 4th, 5th and 6th outfielders. 

I think I've exhausted this topic.  Let's hope that the club runs out the usual outfield today and tomorrow, with the off day on Monday. 
hypobole - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#414377) #
2 more ex-Jays notes.

A fond goodbye to Russ Martin who announced his retirement on Instagram.

And welcome back to the bigs, Kevin Pillar who had his contract selected by the Dodgers.
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#414378) #
Josh Marisnick was Springer's other half and got 318 PAs over the season. Derek Fisher had 60, and Kyle Tucker 72. There's no reason (least of all with Zimmer present) for Tapia to get more PAs than the Astros 4th, 5th and 6th outfielders.

And unless there's another freaking injury that takes one of the three regulars out of lineup, there's no way he will. It's by far the most important reason he's played as much as he has. I'm about done with the subject too.

You forgot Tony Kemp.
Kasi - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#414379) #
The issue isn’t with Tapia getting at bats. The OF with Teo and Springer having been hurt or put to DH and Gurriel sucking demands some one else will get in. People may love Zimmer but he’s not really had more than 1-2 okay games at the plate. And this team already has enough low OBP types out there that strike out a bunch. Tapia at least can get contact.

The comparison with Kirk is solely on the usage of DH. I think people argue that he should be much more used as DH on days he doesn’t catch but it’s clear the Jays despite using him a few times at DH are not comfy having him DH 3 days a week. I think people just want a lot of lineups with both Jansen and Kirk in there but for whatever reason the Jays don’t like doing that.
uglyone - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#414380) #
"And unless there's another freaking injury that takes one of the three regulars out of lineup"

The jays OF has not been especially injured this year. Not sure why you keep saying it has been.

The most significant injury this year has been to Danny Jansen, the guy who competes most with Kirk's potential playing time.
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#414381) #
Watching the day games.

The Yankees play by play is so... presumptuous.
Gerrit Cole misses inside but that's the young umpire's fault.
Cole is superman and Ji-Man Choi is Lex Luthor? Ok.
Totally emotionless expressions on the up-coming batter intros.
It's like they just picked them out of a police lineup.
3-1 Rays.

In Boston, Baltimore hitters are squaring up bad pitches.
Especially Odor.
Tough debut for Winckowski.
Feels like the play by play team would like to be somewhere else.

hypobole - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#414382) #
Lots of 95-96 for Winkowski early on, but by the 3rd mostly 92-93.
scottt - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#414383) #
Kirk was the #1 catcher when Jansen was down.

Fangraphs' power ranking has Kirk as the 168th best position player.
Tapia is 241st.

Springer is 24th.
Guerrero 36th.
Bichette 76th.
Espinal 101st.
Chapman 139th.
Gurriel 164th

Hernandez is 339th and Jansen 254th.

The Jays have one the of the worse outfield in baseball and the best production at catcher,  because Collins and Heineman produced when they played.

John Northey - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#414386) #
Weird lineup tonight - Zimmer in CF, Biggio in LF, Gurriel DH, otherwise normal. Springer getting a night off. Wonder if Biggio is now going to be the 'managers favorite' and get the playing time that has been going to Tapia. At least Biggio in 2019 (3.0 in 100 games so 4.9 over 162) and 2020 (2.0 - adjust to 162 from 60 and you get 5.4) was a 2+ WAR player (adjusted to full season both times and you get a 5 WAR guy aka an all-star) so the potential has been shown at the ML level with him. 2021 was a write off and so far 2022 has been too for him both due largely to injuries. If healthy he should be one of the better players on the team, so lets hope. He can cover LF/1B/2B and in a pinch RF/3B/CF. Thus pushing Tapia back to the bench mostly with Tapia & Zimmer sharing the days off for Springer in CF - the role they are best for.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#414388) #
I don't understand this lineup either.  You have a 4 game series bookended by days off.  Your outfielders are all reasonably healthy and your C/DH combination players have been underused given how good their bats are.  And yet, Springer DHs yesterday and Gurriel Jr. today.  At least today, the players being inserted have a track record of being more or less average rather than replacement level. 
Magpie - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#414390) #
The jays OF has not been especially injured this year.

Except for the guy who was out for 22 of the first 28 games.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#414391) #
The Chapman fly ball to the wall was a classic 2021 homer that isn't this year. 
Polite Nate - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#414392) #
I feel like Chapman in particular has been victim of the "screaming line drive to the warning track out" this year.
Eephus - Saturday, May 28 2022 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#414393) #
Feel like Chapman especially has had a (un)generous handful of those.
John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:33 AM EDT (#414394) #
Announcers said only 1 player has as many lost HR as Chapman in the respect of 375+ foot hit but making an out. 24 parks his one ball would've been out of, but not this one.
Chuck - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:39 AM EDT (#414395) #
Marcus Semien has homered for the first time this year... in the team's 45th game. That puts him on pace for 3.6 for the season. Let's be generous and call it 4.
John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#414396) #
Argh. You take the lead and you bring in your 8th best reliever to face the heart of the order. How predictable that 2 batters later the lead is gone.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#414397) #
So glad Kirk wasn't starting today. So we could squeeze all these other shit bats in.
Eephus - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#414398) #
Well… we’ll always have opening weekend in Yankee Stadium, Merryweather.
Kelekin - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:53 AM EDT (#414399) #
I don't think Merryweather was the right call (at all), but the only Jays reliever with a better FIP than him coming into the game is Mayza. You still don't put him on the mound in such a high leverage situation, though.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:54 AM EDT (#414400) #
Montoyo seems to do this at times in high-leverage situations. Bring in inferior reliever. Then when reliever stumbles and situation deteriorates, bring in better reliever to try to salvage the situation. Wouldn’t it be better just to go with the better reliever in the first place?
John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#414401) #
Sometimes I feel like the guys running the team are too much like me - optimistic that a guy who showed hope once will now be that all the time. That is OK for a fan, not for a team. Yeah, I hope Merryweather can be what he was at the start of 2021 but realistically that was just a good week or so. He is a lifetime 85 ERA+ (and now worse) guy with a good arm. Use him in blowouts until he stabilizes at a good level. When the pen is rested it is silly to use your 8th best guy in a pressure situation. Just Richards, Garcia, and Romano used yesterday so Cimber is well rested. Not having Mayza is probably why they tried to use Merryweather here. Sigh.
Eephus - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#414402) #
Vladdy…. I get it but… you gotta tag up on that one.
Eephus - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 01:10 AM EDT (#414403) #
Okay, this game is officially in bonkers territory.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 01:21 AM EDT (#414404) #
Tapia has been a well below-average hitter this season, but that was a nice hit for him against a LHP. He’s had a few big PA this season (like his game-winning sac fly a few weeks ago).
Eephus - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#414405) #
Ross Stripling, nicely done sir. Annnnd exhale.
John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#414406) #
Wow, Romano didn't have it, but Stripling did. Go figure. Who would've bet on this? Win is a win. Lets hope Romano is OK though. 3 days in a row shouldn't be a problem for a closer, but maybe that was a bit too much for him. You never know until you try.

So the Jays will win this series now (3 wins with 1 to go) despite some odd things going on. Wonder if the Jays will call up someone to give the pen some depth tomorrow. 6 relievers used tonight (Romano-Stripling-Richards-Cimber-Merryweather-Phelps). Stripling only 3 pitches, Merryweather 9 bad pitches, Cimber just 11 pitches so those 3 should be available tomorrow. Plus Garcia, Borucki, and Vasquez. So the Jays might be OK not calling anyone up but geez will it be tough to decide who to use if it is close in the 9th... if? When isn't it? 46 games, 20 1 run games, 5 2 run games, 7 3 run games, plus an extra inning game 4 runs. So 33 games that were within 3 (save situations) or that went extra innings = 71.7% of games that close. Sounds high. Last year 30 1 run games, 33 2 run games, 30 3 run games, 1 extra inning >3 spread (6 runs) = 94 games out of 162 = 58.0% so yeah, it has been a LOT more than normal.
Kelekin - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:38 AM EDT (#414407) #
Tomorrow is definitely the type of game you hope Berrios gets a good 8+ innings.

Though if we do end up going to the bullpen, I'm excited to see Ryan Borucki in his new Danny Jansen glasses. Hopefully, he'll now be able to see how to grip a baseball.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:41 AM EDT (#414408) #
Whole lotta clutch today. 6 hits with RISP. Biggio with his first extra base hit this season. Kirk, Chapman, Tapia. Another decent start from Kikuchi. Great work from Richards in the 8th.

6 over .500 for the 1st time since May 7th. 5th time Jays have a chance for a sweep.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:39 AM EDT (#414409) #
I remember Merryweather pitching against New York early in the season last year and the Yankee batters couldn't touch his stuff. What exactly has happened since? I know he was on the injured list after that. Did he lose velocity, or is his fastball too straight or what?
scottt - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#414410) #
Merryweather has had various health issues. He's currently pitching with a knee brace.
His issue right now is control.

scottt - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#414411) #
Romano should have had the day off. 22 pitches on Thursday, then 12 on Friday.

Merryweather had last thrown 7 pitches on Monday.
The team is missing Mayza.
Pearson has faced 7 batters in AAA. 1 hit, 1 one walk, one strike out.
Borucki and Vasquez have been worse than Merryweather, with FIP of 5.77 and 7.24.

Monday is an off day than Gausman pitches at home on Tuesday.

bpoz - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#414412) #
Maybe the Tapia talk will stop/decrease IDK. He is currently our 4th OF and the game has changed since the Jays started in 1977. Who were our good 4th OFs over our history. Reed Johnston was one? Bonnell/H Powell count as some kind of 4th OF but that was in the distant past.
scottt - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#414413) #
Sandoval has a nice ERA but he's had a relatively easy schedule.
4 innings against the Marlins, 1 unearned run.
4 innings against Houston, 1 unearned run.
7 shutdown innings against Cleveland.
3 runs in 6 innings against the White Sox.
3 runs in less than 6 against the Nats.
Then only 1 run a game against Oakland.

Against Berrios, Othani is 4 for 12 with a HR and Trout is 3 for 5.

grjas - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#414414) #
Good to see the lineup starting to click against strong pitching. Now if Hernandez can get going they could really turn it on. Had a better night at the plate, but the power is really slow coming back after the injury.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#414415) #
Jays hitters no longer the biggest chokes in baseball. Have gone 13 for 33 (.394) with RISP this series. Brings their average up to .198 on the season, and pulls them ahead of the new last place team, the .197 Pirates.
scottt - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#414416) #
I think it's just the way they pitch to him.
He's "trying to slow himself down".
That's not really how I describe someone looking for his power stroke.

There was a lot of non competitive pitches from the Angels yesterday.
Kinda like what happened to Suzuki.
Also, the fielding was pretty bad in the 8th inning.
If you miss the ball and Trout is backing the play, you're supposed to let him have it.

hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#414417) #
While were in Angels-land, here's one for Magpie or Magpie ilkers.

Nolan Ryan's 2.28 in 1972 is the 2nd best qualified single-season ERA in Angel's history. Who has the best?
Eephus - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#414418) #
My first thought was Jered Weaver, who really was quite a pitcher for a few years there. Don’t think it’s correct, however.
Cracka - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#414419) #
I wouldn't be surprised to see Casey Lawrence added today, probably in Merryweather's place, to give the bullpen a fresh arm capable of going multiple innings. Lawrence was due to start today for the Bisons in Columbus, OH but could make it to Anaheim in time assuming he left on an early flight (I checked). I also wonder if this is the last we'll see of Merryweather for a while - you have to wonder if someone like Adrian Hernandez is ready for a shot soon... he would need a spot on the 40-man roster, and I don't think Merryweather is too far from a DFA.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#414421) #
the 2nd best qualified single-season ERA in Angel's history. Who has the best?

I think Dean Chance in the mid 60s had an ERA of about 1.60 in one of those years, and I think he was still with the Angels.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#414422) #
Magpie was a clue - well before Weaver.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#414423) #
And Magpie aces it as I was typing.

Chance had a 1.85 ERA for the Angels in his 1964 Cy Young Award season. Chance’s 200 ERA+ that season is also a single-season franchise best.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#414424) #
Wow, Magpie!

Got this question from Sunday notes at FG. Copied his answer, which was wrong and you were right. Chance had a 1.65, not 1.85 ERA that season.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#414425) #
My first thought, oddly was, Clyde Wright. That was impossible. For some reason I was sure it wasn't Tanana. But then I remembered Chance - generally a good pitcher, who had that one ridiculously great season. He was also a key figure in the famous 67 pennant race, by which time he was with the Twins.

He lost much of his effectiveness when the strike zone returned to normal in 1969, which struck me as strange - he wasn't really one of those wild hard throwers who the enormous strike zone really helped. There were probably injuries involved.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#414426) #
I feel I should have remembered it better and quicker. I had the Strat-o-Matic set for the season. Other numbers from thatb year are permanently engraved on my consciousness.
Chuck - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#414429) #
Don't look now but the team with the best record in baseball is trotting out the husks of Miguel Andjuar and Lazarus impersonator Matt Carpenter, and batting them in the heart of the order. This does not feel like a sustainable plan for a success.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#414430) #
Went to bed right after the last pitch.. Some thoughts:

-more clutch from Tapia. I guess Joe Maddon hadn't read the reports he's actually hitting better against LHP.. 714 OPS against LHP - but 180 against STARTING LHP. Which means he's a LOOGY KILLER!

Seriously (BBRef stats): vs LHP: 24 PA, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 2B, 714 OPS. vs. LHP Starter: 17 PA, 1(!) H, 1 BB. This means, by subtraction, against LHP relievers, it's: 7 PA, 5 H, 2 2B, 1 BB. He has an sOPS+ of 122 as LHB vs. LHP, sOPS+ of 106 against LHP on the whole.

If I did the math right, here is his slash line against LHR. It's certifiably insane: 714 / 857 / 1000 for an OPS of 1.857! He's our secret weapon against LH relievers.

-I said to myself: pulling Phelps after a relatively easy inning to bring in Julian (*&@#$ Merryweather?!? Are you TRYING to give the game away? And we almost did.

-Thankfully, Joe M. repaid the favour in kind with Barraclough who gave the game back to us.

-I can't count how many times during the bottom of the 9th, after it was obvious that Romano didn't have it after about 3 pitches, I wondered aloud: "WHY IS NO ONE ELSE WARMING UP"? When they showed Stripling throwing, my blood pressure dropped a little. It was clear Romano was off 3-5 mph, couldn't locate, etc. Could have left Cimber in, maybe?
scottt - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#414432) #
It's hard to add people for a day game on the west coast.
Merryweather has an option. I'd be surprised if he's done.
Borucki and Vasquez have actually been worst.

The best way to deal with Trout is with high heat which is why they went with Merryweather.

Payamps has been the Royals best reliever this year.
I think the Jays gave up too early on him to try some struggling veterans with breaking stuff.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#414433) #
Today's lineup features Tapia at DH, Zimmer in RF and Biggio at 1B against the lefty Sandoval.  Jansen, Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez are all out of the lineup.  Does the organization believe that he's more vulnerable to LHB? If so, the evidence for that is weak. Theories anyone?
Kasi - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#414434) #
Who is he? I assume Vlad must have some niggling injury given tomorrow is an offday. Teo has done absolutely nothing since returning from the DL. (.118 avg) I do agree this would be a good day for a double catcher lineup with Jansen at DH.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#414435) #
Fangraphs has the Blue Jays as having a 92% chance of making the playoffs and 8.4% of winning the World Series using their projected performance.  But using season-to-date statistics, the club has a 49% chance of making the playoffs and a 1.4% chance of winning the World Series. 

Despite the winning streak, the team is not playing well given the talent on hand. 
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#414437) #
Hernandez has definitely been struggling, but he started on Friday night against the righty and went 1-4 and again last night against the righty and went 1-4 with a walk.  If you're going to give him those chances, why wouldn't you give him a shot against the lefty? Over his career, he has a significant platoon advantage.

Maybe Hernandez' oblique is a little tender or something.  I don't know.  It's just strange to run out three left-handed hitters against a left-handed pitcher when your nine best hitters all bat right-handed. 
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#414438) #
Thought I'd check after the Jays and Angels bullpens went back and forth trying to give away leads. Neither have been good this year on the whole, but they've been very similar.

18th/19th in ERA(3.89/3.90).
20th/22nd in FIP (4.06/4.08)

How they built the pen is quite different though. The only Jays major league signing was Yimi Garcia's 2-yr $11 million deal.

The Angels re-signed Iglesias for 4 yrs $58 million, gave 2-yr deals to Tepera (2/14) and Loup (2/17), and 1/3.75 to Archie Bradley.

Garcia's 3.50 is the best ERA of the bunch. Iglesias has saved 11 vs only 1 blown. Liked the Tepera and Loup deals at the time, but Tepera's ERA is over 4 and Loup's almost 5.

Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#414439) #
I assume Vlad must have some niggling injury given tomorrow is an offday.

It's possible, but I think it's more likely Montoyo just sees a chance to get him a couple days off. (It never hurts to assume the manager is thinking about all 162 just as much as the game in front of him.) He may have this notion that if his players get regular days off, there will be a reward come September. Gosh, I wonder where he got that idea.

Sandoval has an odd platoon split, a .688 OPS against RH batters and .659 against LH batters. That's not the strange part - it's how it got that way that's strange because LH batters are only hitting .188 against him while RH batters are hitting .241.

It's the home runs. LH batters hit literally twice as many - more than that, actually - against him as RH batters. Very strange.
John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#414440) #
Very odd lineup again. But with 3 straight wins vs the Angels maybe the feeling is they need to heal up the banged up guys and give them 2 days in a row off so they can be at 100% for the next series. For the past 7 days...
  • Vlad: 182/333/500
  • Jansen: 278/316/778
  • Hernandez: 143/217/143
  • Tapia: 200/250/267
  • Zimmer: 200/429/400
  • Biggio: 250/333/375
Springer & Kirk both over 1000 for OPS in that time frame, and Espinal finally slumping a bit (167/250/208).

IMO it seems Montoyo is a big time players manager - if the player says he can play he gets the shot. Thus Romano going 3 days in a row, and Espinal not taking days off. Hopefully he is using this time to figure out who tells the truth and who lies about how they are and to what degree so by July he doesn't just take their word for it anymore, and by September he knows for sure who needs rest and how much. Clearly they figured out Springer needs lots of it, and are trying to figure out other guys too. Better to risk a few losses now than to have the team collapse later. This was Cito's top skill - letting players have a ton of say in playing time and off days, then by the time the playoffs hit he knew exactly what each could and couldn't do.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#414442) #
LH batters hit literally twice as many - more than that, actually - against him as RH batters.

So the 3 lefty lineup would make some sense if the 3 LHB's were HR threats. They've hit a combined 2 HR's in 232 PA's thus far. I'd bet money it isn't going up to 3 today, no matter how homer prone Sandoval has been.
grjas - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#414444) #
Well I can see there could be reasons for giving VG and a Hernandez the day off but also leaving Jansen on the bench while playing a poor LH DH at the same time ……with a day off coming tomorrow….fans of course never have all the facts, but this just seems very odd.
Kasi - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#414445) #
I think they are fine with Jansen starting and Kirk DHing but not the opposite. Likely because in any late game scenario Kirk pretty much has to be PR for if he gets on base and they don’t want to be forced to bat a pitcher if Jansen slides over from DH.
grjas - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#414446) #
BTW the splits posted above for Sandoval are career splits. This year RHB hitters are at 601 OPS and LHH are at…..190. So sure. Put all your LHH hitters in today.
Jonny German - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#414447) #
That’s a really good point Kasi.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#414448) #
I need a moment for the Hawk. It turns out Ronnie Hawkins wasn't immortal. I had no idea.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#414449) #
All right, so those are the explanations.  Hernandez has generally been struggling.  VGJ has an ouch.  They don't want to DH Jansen because Kirk is slow and they don't have a third catcher on the roster.   Individually, each explanation is somewhat plausible.  Together, it's not a good thing.

There's a reason why Tampa seems to do better than their talent would suggest almost every year. 
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#414450) #
I love this quote from Ronnie Hawkins' wife: ""He went peacefully and he looked as handsome as ever".

vw_fan17 - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#414451) #
Has anything about this season made sense? Maybe Charlie's going with the Joaquin Andujar theory of management..

Who would have thought that at this point (almost June):
-Danny Jansen is far and away our best offensive force, homering once every 7 PA.
-in 42 PA, he has 30 Total Bases - and in 37 PA, Biggio has 4!

The main difference between Tapia and Kirk at this point? Kirk will take a walk.
Kirk: 135 PA, 33 hits, 16 BB, 42 Total Bases
Tapia: 142 PA, 31 hits, 6 walks, 38 Total Bases.
No, I don't think Tapia is some phenom, but IMHO, he's been gotten more hate than he deserves, and isn't the worst player in our lineup, so far.

The only two players with a worse batting line than Teoscar are Zimmer and Biggio. And next are Tapia and Gurriel. Outside of Springer, our outfield is a dumpster fire right now. I can't imagine how bad it could get if Springer was out for half a season again..
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#414452) #
I love this quote from Ronnie Hawkins' wife

I have a couple from Ronnie himself permanently committed to my memory. Somehow, they are both philosophical words to live by and not really suitable to be repeated in polite company.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#414453) #
Past calendar year:

Guerrero 676pa, 147wrc+, 4.2war/650pa
Springer 504pa, 143wrc+, 4.9war/650pa
Bichette 674pa, 116wrc+, 4.0war/650pa
Teoscar 547pa, 115wrc+, 3.6war/650pa
Gurriel 527pa, 113wrc+, 2.5war/650pa
Chapman 593pa, 99wrc+, 4.0war/650pa

Espinal 355pa, 125wrc+, 5.9war/650pa
Jansen 136pa, 207wrc+, 12.0war/650pa
Kirk 278pa, 106wrc+, 2.8war/650pa

Collins 224pa, 94wrc+, -0.9war/650pa
Zimmer 397pa, 80wrc+, 2.0war/650pa
Biggio 180pa, 79wrc+, -0.4war/650pa
Tapia 480pa, 70wrc+, -0.2war/650pa

Bench guys....

- Collins getting some burn as a bat makes some sense
- Zimmer getting some burn for defense makes some sense
- Biggio getting some burn to maybe get back to what he's already shown in MLB makes sense

- Tapia makes no sense.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#414454) #
"they don’t want to be forced to bat a pitcher if Jansen slides over from DH."

Given that Montoyo runs through relievers like water the pitcher would never actually have to hit.
finch - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#414455) #
Is the Jays game not on Sportsnet?
finch - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#414456) #
Found it. Lol
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#414457) #
I don't care if he gets some hits Tapia as DH is inexcusable even if we're banged up, but we're not even banged up.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#414458) #
Berrios does not seem to have it today. At least tomorrow is an off-day.
Kelekin - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#414459) #
It just makes no sense to have both Tapia and Zimmer. They are basically the same offensively in their careers, but one can play defense. If we're going to waste so many at-bats every game, why not at least give one of the prospects a try?
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#414460) #
Really like those at bats from Kirk Chapman and Biggio to kind break Sandoval. And Gurriel seems to be starting one of his inevitae runs. Biggio rising from the dead would be a nice bonus.

Kasi - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#414461) #
What OF prospects? Do you really think Warmoth or Chavez Young would actually do anything at the major league level? We have some promising corner OF types but they aren’t close. I guess Groshans if you think he’s an OF instead of a 3b.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#414462) #
It's as much the FO's fault as Charlie's.

But if Charlie is too scared to start 2 catchers then Collins should never have been sent down. Of course, Charlie still wouldn't start Jansen and Kirk every day and would feel the need to keep playing Collins.

And there's no need to have 2 OFs on the bench anyways. Especially since Biggio can play there in a pinch anyways.

grjas - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#414463) #
Berrios isn’t fooling anyone. Certainly having a challenging year so far.
Kelekin - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#414464) #
I never said OF prospects Kasi - with Biggio back up, that is 6 on the roster who can slot into the OF right now.

Although yes, I'd certainly argue almost anyone on our AAA roster is unlikely to be worse than a .550 OPS from Tapia or .442 from Zimmer.
James W - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#414465) #
How many times this series have the Angels been overly aggressive with Rengifo on the bases? Every time, even a mediocre throw would result in a baserunner kill, but the Jays haven't even accomplished that much.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#414466) #
Of course, Charlie still wouldn't start Jansen and Kirk every day

Because that would be insane.
Chuck - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#414467) #
Somebody needs to make Ward pee into a cup.

Up until this year, he was, to me, just one indistinguishable member of the group of players with almost the same last name: Marsh/Walsh/Ward. Now that it appears that they are all major league caliber, it might be worth my time to learn to tell them apart.

Wade has joined this alliterative group, but I know his back story.

Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#414468) #
Trout must be in a serious slump if Stripling can get him out.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#414469) #
Because that would be insane.

Only if baseball players were real human beings and not just numbers.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#414470) #
Montoyo has started Kirk at DH with Jansen catching some of the time.

In the mea culpa department, I approved of the Grichuk-Tapia-Pinto trade and spoke somewhat approvingly of Tapia.  I still think the trade was a good one but...
grjas - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#414471) #
The top 4 in the Angels lineup are frightening. May well be better than ours even when our guys are producing.

Kudos to Jays pitchers in the games before this one.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#414472) #
"Because that would be insane"

Yeah two guys splitting the starting C/DH duties is totally loco.

You know what would be awesome? If all this "resting" that we do of our starters actually you know helped us be a notably healthy team.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#414473) #
These two guys? They wouldn't last two months. And then it would be way more Zack Collins than you and I would enjoy. This way, you're hoping to stagger the trips to the IL. Unless the whole point of the stratagem is to hasten the Moreno Era.

I don't think the point of resting regulars this much is to keep them healthy so much as it is to keep them fresh. The season is a grind. (That's literally what everyone involved calls it.) And modern players work much, much harder than players of past generations. This team did look pretty fresh compared to the competition last September.
Eephus - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#414474) #
Starting both Jansen and Kirk everyday, C and DH duties divided up as they might be, would be probably insane. Catching is a defensive position that batters the body so brutally more than any other on a baseball diamond no doubt, and I can understand the reasoning of just giving Jansen (who has a recent injury history don’t forget) and Kirk some days that are just a break from the rigours of being a starter in game action. Not everybody is Russell Martin and seemingly keen and capable of playing the infield on their ‘off’ days.

The Blue Jays do have an unusual situation in that two of their better hitters are catchers (not to mention their best prospect also) and neither has any useful experience at another spot. It’s very weird, to my comparably youthful recollection at least.

That being said, if you’re starting Tapia as a DH…. You are definitely missing some kind of point.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#414475) #
80 games at catcher and 50-60 games at DH should be fine. 

That was a poor PA from Biggio.  Taking a 2-2 fastball down the middle when the pitcher doesn't have anything else is a bad sign.

Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#414476) #
if you’re starting Tapia as a DH….

Raimel Tapia feeds on our scorn. It makes him stronger.

Having gone back and looked, pretty well everyone - except Nigel - was happy about the trade, but it was mostly happiness at seeing the last of Grichuk. (Party-pooper than I am, I called Tapia "Grichuk without the power.") And there was unanimity that the concept was sound, that the type of player he was made a much better fit.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#414477) #
The ball does seem to be carrying better than usual for Orange County but that alleged slider to Stassi did nothing at all. It might as well have been a BP fastball.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#414478) #
80 games at catcher and 50-60 games at DH should be fine.

I think the plan for Kirk was something quite like that, except it would have been 50-60 games at catcher and about 80 as the DH (with 40 for Springer, 25 for Vlad, 15 for Other Guys). Jansen would catch the other 110 or so.

Of course, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face, or pull an oblique.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#414479) #
Bo was locked in that whole at bat. That dinger didn't surprise me.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#414480) #
Did MLB get a new batch of baseballs?
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#414481) #
Jansen and Kirk each starting 75gms at each spot would have been fine. Plenty of rest.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#414482) #
Plenty of rest.

I don't think it's enough for these two, but Springer and Guerrero are going to get at least 60 of the DH games anyway. Probably more.

My sweet Lourdes!
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#414483) #
The gurriel heater has arrived.
92-93 - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#414484) #
I certainly was not happy about the trade and made that clear. Even pointed out how easy it would be to pick up a player like Zimmer.

And we spill all this ink about Tapia because his playing time is the obvious place where the Jays can improve. Obviously the offensive struggles of several key members of the team are far more important than Tapia, but there's nothing you can do when those guys are slumping other than run them out there and wait for things to turn around.

Huge hit from Gurriel, would be beautiful if they could complete this sweep.
Chuck - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#414485) #
My sweet Lourdes!

He's so fine.

Gerry - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#414486) #
Merryweather for the save?
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#414487) #
He's so fine.

Oh, that was very well played. I feel like I owe you money.

Bloody hell, they have to get six more outs? This is exhausting.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#414488) #
"I don't think it's enough for these two, but Springer and Guerrero are going to get at least 60 of the DH games anyway. Probably more."

Fair, but even better then - Danny and Kirk then each get 80 at C and 50 at DH.

But DH games going to Collins, Tapia....KATOH. yikes.

Gerry - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#414489) #
Thomas Hatch, Casey Lawrence and Trent Thornton must be sitting by their phones tonight.
grjas - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#414490) #
Anyone who would have predicted this lineup to score 11 runs would have been laughed off the site.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#414491) #
I choose to believe the bullpen will handle this just fine.

Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#414492) #
Danny and Kirk then each get 80 at C and 50 at DH.

In theory, but surely the idea that both of them will actually be available every day for six months is a pipe dream. It was last year, and it is this year - Jansen has already missed about half the games so far (hence Collins, Katoh and other ne'er-do-wells DHing.)
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#414493) #
I think Montoyo has already settled on his catcher rotation anyway. They don't admit to having personal catchers, but Kirk is catching Berrios and Manoah (two similar pitchers, conveniently separated from one another in the rotation) and Jansen is catching the other three. Kirk is the DH unless Springer or Vlad has a claim on it on a given day.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#414494) #
Well done, Yimi.

I’m sure Manoah could pitch the ninth.
Kelekin - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#414495) #
"Thomas Hatch, Casey Lawrence and Trent Thornton must be sitting by their phones tonight."

Ah yes, I too remember landlines.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#414496) #
Looks like it's going to be Phelps. He's pitched on consecutive days once this season. On the one hand, he coughed up a one-run lead on a double and a single. On the other hand, he struck out the side.
tercet - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#414497) #
Do you guys think Borucki will live to see another day or he is finally gonna get DFA'ed? (He is out of options)
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#414498) #
Do you guys think Borucki will live to see another day

When Mayza returns... I dunno. But I don't think they'd sacrifice him just so they can keep Vasquez. Or Merryweather.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#414499) #
Had 'em all the way.
uglyone - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#414500) #
A much needed series right there.

Who knows if it sticks but the overall team quality of At Bats seems to have taken a step up.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#414501) #
Just the 7th save of Phelps' career, his first since August 2019 when he was a Cub (he came on to retire Semien with the winning run on base.) He had 4 saves as a Marlin, 1 as a Yankee.

It's rather unusual for Phelps to finish a game - he'd finished just 36 of 256 relief appearances before today. Romano is 68 of 115. He's a closer, of course but Garcia has finished 89 of 259, Cimber 57 of 246.
Kelekin - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#414502) #
Start trying to find guys who might be able to stick around in this bullpen. Give Hernandez and Gage a shot.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#414503) #
Blue Jays pinch-hitters this weekend went 3-3 with 3 walks, 3 rbi.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#414504) #
The game reminded me of a Fenway Park special- with one team trying going for the short sequence offence and trying to avoid it when pitching (the Angels pitchers were generally afraid of throwing fastballs in the zone), and the other trying for a long sequence offence and trying to avoid when pitching.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#414505) #
It's a tough stadium for Santiago Espinal- 347 down the line in left going out to 370-380 around straight away left field and then 390 in left center, but only 396 to straight away centerfield.  It's 365-370 to right-center.  Bo Bichette can take advantage of that, but Espinal cannot. 
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#414506) #
Don't think RH relieving is a issue. From the left side though, Mayza was good, but is on the IL, Saucedo was atrocious, but also in the IL. Only others are Vazquez and Borucki. Neither seems MLB quality. But a pen can't be all righthanded can it?

Gage and Derek Holland are in Buffalo. Gage has been really good numbers wise. Holland is probably washed up, but may have a dead cat bounce in him.
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#414507) #
7-17 with RISP.

And the Jays first sweep of the year.
John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#414508) #
Love it when guys we blast go out and play well. I'd be very, very happy if Tapia goes out and makes me and all others who blast his being on the roster look foolish in the end. Sadly I still doubt it, good game or two aside.

So day off, then 3 vs White Sox, 3 vs Twins, 3 in KC before another day off. 9 games against weaker competition. Yeah, the White Sox and Twins are fighting for 1st in the AL Central but the White Sox dead on 500, and KC really sucks (16-30 - half a game ahead of the Reds in overall standings).
hypobole - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#414509) #
Don't know if the Jays had ever swept a 4 gamer from the Angels in California. Last time Jays swept 4 was at the Dome in 1992, with Key, Morris, Wells and Guzman getting the wins.

Lost in the offensive explosion today, Mike Trout went 0-5. For the 1st time this year. A crazy game got even crazier.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#414510) #
Don't know if the Jays had ever swept a 4 gamer from the Angels in California.

Happily, the Media Guide says they haven't and no one needs to look it up! The Jays swept a 4 gamer from the Angels in Toronto back in 1992. It was a very good year.
Magpie - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#414511) #
Will this cleanse the memory of that nightmarish weekend in Anaheim 20 years ago, when David Eckstein hit a grand slam on Saturday as the Angels cruised to victory. And then on the very next day, with the Jays clinging to a one-run lead in extra innings, Eckstein hit another grand-slam, a walkoff shot off Pedro Borbon.

Probably not. Some scars are permanent.
scottt - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#414512) #
That was a tough game to follow when you get interrupted.

Overall, the Angels defense sure looked sloppy to me.
I guess the pitchers can have amazing ERAs if all the runs are unearned.
This could be a fearsome team with a healthy Rendon.

John Northey - Sunday, May 29 2022 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#414513) #
Boy one things gets fixed (offense) and another goes down (pitching). Berrios last 2 starts = 9.35 ERA just 8 2/3 IP but 0-0 record. Over the past 7 days the other 4 starters did fine - 4 starts 22 IP 26 H 7 R 6 ER 2 HR (both via Manoah), 4 BB, 22 K - 2.45 ERA. Add in Berrios and you get a 4.40 ERA. Ah well. Can't have everything. I just hope Romano is OK and just needed a couple days off.

So the Jays needs are 1) LH DH/OF who can actually hit 2) solid middle reliever to join Garcia/Cimber/Richards/Mayza/Phelps with Stripling being the swing man. Ideally the new reliever would be left handed. Matt Gage is LH in AAA with 15 IP 7 Saves 4 BB vs 19 SO - he might have found something as the last 2 years his K/9 jumped to over 11 from the 7's. With pitchers sudden changes do happen.
bpoz - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#414520) #
Trade acquisitions seem to be a popular way mentioned to improve the team during the year. I think the farm may help too by adding to the teams talent. The Chapman and Berrios trades were 2 of the big trades league wide recently so the Jays are players.

The verdict is still out on how much value we gave up in those trades. Too soon to tell but the Jays were the team that considered themselves in a window of contending.
John Northey - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#414527) #
bpoz: good a time as any to check up on the prospects...
Simeon Woods Richardson: 3.02 ERA over 8 starts 5.2 IP per start, 3.0 BB/9 vs 9.1 K/9 so very solid numbers in AA for him. The K numbers are a bit low (their team gets 10.3 K/9) but the team ERA is 4.70 so he is doing well.
Austin Martin: 258/377/333 - has lost his power but is 20-2 in SB-CS which when mixed with that OBP could produce a solid leadoff hitter especially if he keeps at SS (26 games vs 6 at 2B, 5 CF, 1 each in LF and RF plus 3 DH games). Still in AA. I'd say a lot of the shine is off his star - if the power doesn't come he will need to hit 300 and take a ton of walks to be valuable unless his glove is fantastic (unlikely).

Chapman trade...
Gunnar Hoglund: hasn't pitched as a pro yet.
Zach Logue: 5.47 ERA in 6 games/5 starts 24 2/3 IP 3.6 BB/9 vs 7.7 K/9, 2.6 HR/9 - yikes.
Kevin Smith: 198/220/331 62 OPS+ ugh. Mostly at 3B for Oakland plus a bit of SS, but 0.5 dWAR so far so his defense is saving that ugly bat.
Kirby Snead: 8.74 ERA in 14 games over 11 1/3 IP 20 H 7 BB 8 SO 1 HR - ugly and unvaxxed so he'd have been stuck in Buffalo if still with the Jays.

So I'd say that so far there are no regrets from the Jays.
hypobole - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#414528) #
John, you might want to look at Austin Martin's fielding numbers at SS. It's not only his bat that has backed up at the same level.

Last year 366 innings - 16 errors
This year 211 innings - 11 errors
That's atrocious for a 23 yr old wanna-be SS.

He's looking like he might be on a Brett Lawrie type career trajectory, peaking at age 21, then a slow decline from there.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#414529) #
A lot of times, if you can get a solid big leaguer for prospects, you come out ahead. The proven player is a known commodity while prospects often don't pan out, or you're lucky to get equivalent value at best.
hypobole - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#414530) #
Prospects often don't pan out. But I read about a study a while back that traded prospects pan out even less than equivalent prospects that teams don't trade. Teams see flaws in players that are not visible to outside observers, even other teams.
Michael - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#414532) #
That makes sense. That is similar to resigned FA keep more of their value than FA that are leave to other teams. Again the teams that know them best, value them best.
uglyone - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#414533) #
Remember even his OBP only looks interesting thanks to the crazy amount of HBP he gets.

OBP without HBP:

2021 .357 (.342babip)
2022 .330 (.299babip)
uglyone - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#414534) #
I get the point about trajectories but Lawrie already had 1000 MLB pa by Austin's age and was an above average player while doing it.

It's actually funny how consistent Lawrie was in his career after his outlier 171pa debut.

21: 171pa, 157wrc+, 9.9war650
22: 536pa, 97wrc+, 2.3war650
23: 442pa, 95wrc+, 2.4war650
24: 282pa, 103wrc+, 3.7war650
25: 602pa, 94wrc+, 1.0war650
26: 384pa, 95wrc+, 1.9war650

Martin might be having a similar trajectory but in AA instead of MLB.
tercet - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#414536) #
Former Jay K Graveman and current CWS, not coming to Toronto due to his vaxx status.
Mike Green - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#414537) #
It should be noted that Lawrie posted a 163 wRC+ in 329 PAs at triple A at age 21 before doing the same thing in MLB.  I wouldn't describe it as an outlier exactly, but rather an early high-water mark never approached afterwards likely in large part due to his highly caffeinated nature and the injuries that ensued. 
Paul D - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#414538) #
D. Cease and Graveman ineligible
John Northey - Monday, May 30 2022 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#414539) #
hypobole: ouch, I hadn't checked Martin's basic fielding stats (as generally errors aren't a big thing vs range) but that is terrible. In 148 games Bo Bichette played 1271 innings last year with 24 errors. Adjust Martin to that many innings and you get 66 errors. Yikes. Last year's rate would work out to 56 errors. 100% unacceptable even if he has Ozzie Smith range, which he doesn't (no one does). Mix in that a big chunk of his OBP is HBP (thanks uglyone for the reminder) and one has to figure the Jays traded him at his peak value.

Over all the years the Jays have existed, which prospects would one say 'dang, wish they hadn't sent him away in that trade'?
  • Jeff Kent: for David Cone (so worth it) in 1992. 55.4 WAR career, just 1.3 here.
  • Noah Syndergaard: for Dickey (coming off a Cy Young). 15.5 WAR so far, missed most of his 3rd and part of his 4th season with injuries and his 6th year too and most of his 7th, so the Mets got value, but not as much as they should've from him.
  • Michael Young: for Esteban Loaiza (ugh) Young had 24.7 WAR for the Rangers and was a fan favorite.
  • Derek Bell: for Darrin Jackson. In 1993 (Jackson was later flipped for Tony Fernandez). Bell had 0.6 WAR here, then had 12.6 elsewhere before 'operation shutdown' which ended his career a bit early (he had attitude/ego problems to put it mildly). Maybe it was best he didn't stay.
  • Steve Karsay: for Rickey Henderson in 1993 - worked out, but Karsay was a very good middle reliever with 11.2 WAR lifetime, and if the Jays waited an hour could've been traded for Randy Johnson according to Pat Gillick. Sigh. But that 1993 WS will always be there.
  • Glenallen Hill & Mark Whiten: same trade for Tom Candiotti (others involved too). Got a division title, but Hill was a very solid hitter (9.7 WAR) and Whiten even better (14.0 WAR) with a 4 HR game.
  • Jose Mesa: traded for Mike Flannagan in '87 - a very solid closer for a long time, he got 11.4 WAR and 321 saves in his career after the deal
  • Mitch Webster: became a solid OF in Montreal after the Jays dumped him due to an overflowing OF in the '80s.
  • Jayson Werth: traded for Jason Frasor. Had 29.2 WAR lifetime. Same as Mitch Webster - a too crowded OF and someone had to go. But he only became something after he was a free agent.
Yeah, not much there. Jeff Kent really the only one who had a near HOF career, with Young, Syndergaard, and Werth hurting too. But given the Jays had many years of contention there and that is all I could find quickly or remember I'd say that works out well. Outside of Syndergaard's deal which would you reverse? The Karsay for Henderson I'd be tempted to just due to the Randy Johnson potential ... dang that would've been great to have him on the staff in his prime, but that 1993 WS...
Michael - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#414541) #
I'd add Yan Gomes to the list.

Nov 2012: Cleveland Indians traded RHP Esmil Rogers to Toronto Blue Jays for LF Mike Aviles and C Yan Gomes.

Yan Gomes was 24 when traded and had just finished his first half season in mlb (and wasn't good in it, but he had been good in the minors the past few years). He then had 13.7 WAR over the next 6 years in Cle (most of which was the 9.4 in the 2 years immediately following the trade). Certainly not a HOF or anything, but certainly something you wouldn't want to give up for Esmil Rogers (0.1 WAR first year, -0.2 in partial second year). Mike Aviles was also part of that deal but he wasn't worth as much and had just temporarily been here after an earlier trade with the Red Sox.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#414545) #
How about Joe Musgrove (traded away in the JA Happ trade)? He has 13.1 career fWAR and he's only 29. He might end up with a higher WAR total than Syndergaard.

Depending how he performs, Tellez could end up with 5-10 WAR (maybe more). His career has been uneven so far but he's having a decent year in 2022.
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#414546) #
hypobole: ouch, I hadn't checked Martin's basic fielding stats (as generally errors aren't a big thing vs range) but that is terrible. In 148 games Bo Bichette played 1271 innings last year with 24 errors. Adjust Martin to that many innings and you get 66 errors. Yikes. Last year's rate would work out to 56 errors. 100% unacceptable even if he has Ozzie Smith range, which he doesn't (no one does). Mix in that a big chunk of his OBP is HBP (thanks uglyone for the reminder) and one has to figure the Jays traded him at his peak value.

<br>re Martin errors. Highest in 21st century at SS is 35
30s are more common going back Jeffries had 40, a few 40 seasons in thr 80s and 70s (Griffin with a "great" 3 year run) but you have to go back to 1950 for 50!
It fits in with the 20s and teens.
Vern Stephen's is another profile player you MIGHT tolerate high errors from, but would likely move to 3rd 2nd or the OF.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#414556) #
One thing about trading prospects nowadays is that career WAR means little, it's what they produce in the 6 or so years of team control that really matters. For instance, Rowdy, who had graduated by the time of his trade has only 2 more years beyond this one under Brewers control.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#414560) #
Fair point, but control for a player's first 6-7 seasons may also allow the team to extract additional value by extending the player on favourable terms (see Trout, Pujols, Halladay, Ramirez, and numerous others) or trading him for significant future value (as the Mets did when they traded
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#414561) #
...David Cone for Jeff Kent).
Cracka - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#414562) #
Since Uglyone brought up Austin Martin's HBP stats several weeks ago, I've become interested by the topic. He has steadily maintained a >5% HBP/PA rate over his short minor league career (33 HBP in 609 PA) -- and no one except Ron Hunt has ever sustained that type of HBP rate across multiple seasons. Even with all of the body armor that modern hitters wear, there's still a significant chance of injury with each HBP and the underlying analytics are fascinating: Are the incremental 55 points of OBP worth the additional XX% chance of getting hurt?
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#414563) #
Fair point as well, but almost every favourable (to the team) term extension was signed by players who had spent their careers in one org. Traded player extensions are almost invariably fair market value.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#414568) #
Now, we need to look at trades that OTHER teams would like to undo.

Not sure we can include rule 5 picks in there, but, for example:
-Dale Murray + Tom Dodd for Mike Morgan, Dave Collins and Fred McGriff
-Robinson Diaz for Jose Bautista, etc..

Then count which one we have more of (trades we'd like to undo, or trades the other team would like to undo)...
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#414578) #
Nigel or #2JB might remember Tim Locastro. 32 HBP in 310 PA's with Vancouver in 2014. He's at 36 HBP's in 528 PA's in the majors.
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