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"I spent 90% of the money I ever made on booze, women, and drugs. The rest of it I wasted."
---- Ronnie Hawkins

The Jays kick off a six-game homestand that will see them playing the Class of the AL Central. First up are the second-place White Sox, who have been spinning their wheels a bit this season.

The Pallid Hose got off to a pretty decent start (6-2) and then lost eight in a row. They appeared to right themselves at the beginning of May with a six-game winning streak - on the road, for the most part - but since then they've developed an alarming habit of giving up runs in bunches. Enormous bunches. 10 runs here, 12 runs there, 15 runs there, 16 runs there, another 16 runs over there. That all happened in the last three weeks. The 2021 White Sox had the best pitching in the American League. They were the only AL team to hold the opposition to less than 4 runs per game. This time around, only the Royals get scored upon more often.

There's a pretty obvious reason for this. The Sox two best pitchers last season were Carlos Rodon and Lance Lynn, and they've combined to throw 0 innings for the Pasty Hose this season. Rodon now works for the San Francisco Giants and Lynntore a tendon in his knee and needed surgery in early April. He's set to make his first rehab start this weekend. Meanwhile Dallas Keuchel, who had been the weakest link a year ago, pitched badly enough to get Designated For Assignment. Dylan Cease and Lucas Giolito are the only holdovers from last year's rotation and they've both been fine. They just need some help. Which may be arriving. Michael Kopech, a mainstay of last year's bullpen, has moved very smoothly into the rotation. Jonny Cueto, signed to a minor league deal in early April, spent the first month shaking off the rust down in AAA - he has since come up to the big team and made three starts. Holy resurrection, Batman - he hasn't been this effective since 2016. (Ah, but will it last? We can't help but wonder.) And Lynn will be back. The bullpen, however, hasn't been nearly as good either. Kopech is in the rotation, Garrett Crochet is out for the year, Aaron Bummer has been ordinary, and Jose Ruiz has been bad. They did add Kendall Graveman, who's been fine, but he can't cross the border.

The offense has fallen off considerably as well. The obvious culprit is catcher Yasmani Grandal, who hit .240/.420/.520 with 23 HRs in 2021. This year - .169/.279/.225 with 2 HRs in 41 games. Third baseman Yoan Moncada also seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, and there's only so much Tim Anderson can do to make up for it. They should at least have CF Luis Robert back for the games with the Blue Jays.

We were talking to (and past!) one another yesterday about the lineup. All I want to do here is forecast how I expect the playing time to be allotted over the final 115 games.  The pattern for the catchers is already pretty well established. Jansen catches Ryu, Gausman, Kikuchi; Kirk catches Berrios and Manoah. SO Jansen should catch another 69 games, Kirk another 46. That's assuming there are no injuries, of course (pause whilst I double over in hysterical laughter.) Catchers do get hurt. They work too hard - everybody nowadays works very hard, but catchers work much harder than that - and catchers just take too much of a beating, much of it before the nightly broadcast even begins. Superheroes like Russell Martin are the exception.

There are also 115 DH games to account for, and it says here that Springer gets 30 and Guerrero gets 20. That would give them 42 and 27 all told over the course of the season, which is similar to last year's usage, when they were the DH in 38 and 28 games respectively. I also foresee about 25 DH games going to Hernandez, Gurriel, and Bichette, which would give those three a total of 31 DH games on the season. Last year that trio had 36 DH games. And that would leave 40 DH games for Kirk, who finishes with 120 starts, 71 at catcher and 49 at DH. The 75 upcoming DH games for the regulars creates playing opportunities for the other fellows, and I think we're all hoping Cavan Biggio takes advantage and gets at least 60 of them, along with random appearances when Chapman or Espinal need a day. Tapia can play once a week, to keep him interested while they remake his swing. Zimmer can pinch-run and play some defense.

All this, of course, assumes that there are no serious injuries. How can I imagine such a thing? Well, I could be on drugs. Rompin' Ronnie was a role model to many.


Tue 31 May - Giolito (3-1, 2.63) vs Gausman (4-3, 2.25)
Wed 1 Jun - Kopech (1-1, 1.29) vs Ryu (2-0, 5.48)
Thu 2 Jun - Cueto (0-1, 2.41) vs Manoah (5-1, 1.77)

Chicago at Toronto, May 31-June 2 | 217 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#414565) #
Tug McGraw said almost the same thing as Ronnie Hawkins, but referred to Irish whiskey as the drink.  Alas, McGraw did not have the staying power of Hawkins perhaps on account of all that money he spend wisely. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#414566) #
Can't resist the DH issue, eh Magpie?  If Danny Jansen is limited to 60% of games (less time lost when injured) given where he is now as a hitter, the club would be making a mistake.  What happened last year proceeded on the basis that Jansen was the 7th or 8th best hitter on the club (which was reasonable then).  He isn't that now.  So when other players need to rest- give them a day off more of the time or move them to a less demanding position for the day (in the case of Springer). 
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#414569) #
Fine, give Gurriel's share of those 25 DH games to Jansen. But it's also possible he's not really one of the team's best hitters. He's still a .216 career hitter who's had one good month over the last three seasons. Maybe this is real. Maybe he's just a guy on a hot streak.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#414570) #
I have found that belittling Jansen, doubting his abilities as a hitter, and generally mocking him spurs him to greater deeds. He lives to make me look bad.
85bluejay - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#414571) #
Have been reading the great Raimel Tapia bashing by everyone - can't comment since I've only watched game highlights but I will say that in principal I'm very happy that the Jays are giving their position players regular rest - I think it's going to pay dividends in the stretch drive - I especially like how Manager Montoyo is handling Springer and Kirk's usage.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#414572) #
Borucki DFA.

Thornton recalled.

I assume some team will pick up Borucki, a team that has time to get him right.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#414573) #
There was also an article on Sportsnet by Shi, outlining how the Jays are deliberately trying to space out their days off as much as possible due to the compressed season and short spring. I felt like it was almost directly targetted at us. Is Shi a Boxite?!?!

Important tidbits from the article: Guerrero has shirt wrist, Hernandez and Janson have sore hips.

So, as much as some of us would like to seen them field their best line up everyday, the team has obviously decided they would prefer to give rest days and try what they can to prevent injuries. A consistent 90% is better than drops from 100-60%.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#414574) #
It's good that Thornton is back, the team needs a reliever that can consistently give them more than one inning really badly. Borucki aside, Thornton is a better fit on this roster than this version of Merryweather who can't get any big outs but the manager still trusts his stuff. The Jays obviously need to find another lefty who can get outs.

Phelps, Cimber, and Garcia have each pitched in 3 of 4 days before yesterday's break, so ideally the Jays can get through tonight's game without needing them.

Tonight is a prescribed Jansen start behind the plate, so it's a good day to DH Kirk and give Biggio a look at 2B and give Espinal the back-to-back rest. He could likely use it.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#414575) #
"the team has obviously decided they would prefer to give rest days and try what they can to prevent injuries"

Is it preventing injuries tho.
JohnL - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#414576) #
(Non-baseball warning) As someone who saw Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins often in the early 70s at the Nickelodeon, I thought I'd pass on...

- A few more Hawkins gems in the Globe & Mail today:

-A more detailed (accuracy not verified) version of the Rolls Royce story here:
I'm particularly fond of the story, because that dealership (anyone remember owner Curly Morrison, ex-Argo & CBC sportscaster?) was located on the block where I live now.

- For those who don't know Hawkins in his prime, I'd recommend his original recording of "Who Do You Love" with the Hawks. Both his vocals/screams, and Robertson's guitar were pretty unique at the time.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#414577) #
One thing for sure. Players that don't play seem to get injured a lot less than those who do :)

The training staff doesn't know everything, but their judgement is far better than ours. But it's also OK to complain about it. That is part of our job.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#414579) #
Jansen's "hot streak" has come with a .192 BABIP.  Maybe he needs to start polishing his horseshoes.  Anyways, if he keeps hitting like he is, he'll get more time. 
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#414580) #
As I said yesterday, I don't think it's about preventing injuries so much as it's about keeping players fresh. The only way to prevent injuries is by not playing them at all. But Montoyo does seem to think that running players out to their defensive positions 162 times a year is Old School Silliness. I would assume that the Bichette DH days will be coming shortly, now that he's actually got another infielder on the active roster.

It's hard to see Borucki passing through the waiver process. He's had flashes when he's looked really good and he's going to be left-handed for a long time.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#414581) #
if [Jansen] keeps hitting like he is, he'll get more time.

And so he should, but he's hit more home runs than singles. Pardon my skepticism but that seems unlikely to continue.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#414582) #
The favourite musical memory my wife has is the night her and her friend were at the Queensbury Arms watching Ronnie Hawkins. Between sets Hawkins and Robbie Robertson sat down at their table and chatted with them a bit. My wife is still impressed with how decent people they seemed to be.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#414583) #
Espinal gets the night off, Kirk is the DH. They didn't need to clear a spot on the 40-man for Thornton but they DFA'd Borucki anyway. Another move coming?
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#414584) #
OH, right. Out of options.
scottt - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#414585) #
Borucki is out of options and makes 825K.
ZIPS projections are still 4.4+ ERA.

It seems to me the thing to fix is simply throwing the fastball more and the slider less.
He's been 43% fastball and 52% slider this year. Not great when you're facing right handed bats.
Too much contact (7 hits over less than 7 innings) and too many walks (5 vs 8 strikeouts) might just be the result of this pitch mix.
Walker did not seem very happy with what he was doing the last time he went to the mound to talk to him.

scottt - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#414586) #
Thornton hasn't been better in the walks vs strikeouts department, 8/10, but he's kept the ball in the park.

In Buffalo, 3.1 innings over 3 games, not really a long relief guy there either.
1 BB, 3 Ks. 0 ERA and a 1 win/1 loss record.

hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#414587) #
Borucki's 2 seamer hasn't been a plus pitch since 2018. His slider was plus the past 2 seasons, but it's been hit hard this year.

That said, it's been a whole lotta SSS because he's pitched so little due to injuries.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#414589) #
If someone else claims Borucki it won't be a major loss by any stretch. He is in his age 28 season, 151 ML innings, 4.0 BB/9 vs 7.3 K/9 isn't anything to write home about. The last 3 years he has been exclusively in the pen, 46 2/3 IP in 56 games, 5.4 BB/9 vs 9.6 K/9 and 1.5 HR/9 (yikes). He may have lots of talent, but he hasn't really shown it to us. His 2020 had a shiny ERA (2.70) but he walked 6.5 per 9.

Hopefully the Jays make a trade for a high end setup guy. Ideally a LH but effective is what I care about most. Odds are Atikins is hunting far and wide for a diamond in the rough. Worked well last year with Cimber & Richardson, not so well with Hand. Plus, of course, the COVID vaccination status is a massive deal breaker.
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#414590) #
if [Jansen] keeps hitting like he is, he'll get more time.

And so he should, but he's hit more home runs than singles. Pardon my skepticism but that seems unlikely to continue.
I did a quick bit of math.. current 30% HR/FB  gives 54 HRs roughly over 2019 playing time with 17%of his past 2 seasons that's 33 HRs with 15% career HR/FB that's 30 total HR. I expect he won't get pitches to hit, but at least his performance is supported by the stats. He's smoking the ball.
I'm hoping he walks more and K rate doesn't increase too much and hits close to 30 HRs
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#414591) #
more home runs than singles.

It can be done, of course. Joey Gallo's done that a couple of times. Mark McGwire.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#414592) #
From Mitch Bannon at SI

Some #Bluejays pitching injury updates:
- Nate Pearson will join the AAA Bisons tomorrow
- Tim Mayza is pitching a bullpen today (undecided if he’ll need rehab stint)
- Taylor Saucedo is pitching a bullpen tomorrow
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#414593) #
Cavan Biggio doesn't look good at all. His swing decisions have been uncharacteristically poor.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#414594) #
Gausman is not pitching as well recently. He might need to alter his patterns as the league adjusts to him.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#414595) #
Kirk still has fewer PA than Tapia btw.
mathesond - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#414596) #
I can't believe they benched a natural CF like Kirk for Tapia.
grjas - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#414597) #
Hernandez hitting for power is great to see not only to extend the lineup but so Vlad sees more half decent pitches. And after being a dead zone for catching prospects……
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#414598) #
You really want to see Kirk playing the outfield, don't you. Don't worry. That will probably have changed before the week is over.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#414599) #
[Biggio's] swing decisions have been uncharacteristically poor.

He looks like he's guessing, which is fine to a point. But not with two strikes.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#414600) #
Why do you guys keep suggesting there hasn't been enough C and DH pa for Kirk to have more PA than Tapia?

Or ignoring that OF has been healthier than C?

Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#414601) #
Or ignoring that OF has been healthier than C?

Marginally - Jansen missed 31 games, Hernandez and Gurriel missed 27. But you don't really think Kirk could have played every game Jansen was out. Unless you hate him, and want to see him broken.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#414602) #
And the DH games you want to take away from Kirk, you're mostly taking away from Springer and Guerrero. I wouldn't do that.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#414604) #
Kirk's been the DH in 10 of the 23 games he wasn't catching. You want to take DH games away from Springer and Guerrero and give them to Kirk.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#414605) #
Kirk went 0 for 7 in the 1st 2 games vs Tampa mid-month. Since then 12 games, 14 for 33, 5 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 1 K.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#414606) #
Holy crap Gurriel. What a throw!
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#414607) #
Big time BaseRunner Kill.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#414609) #
One side benefit of Kirk’s surge is that his trade value is going way up. I don’t think he’s getting traded during the season, though.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#414610) #
I’m not getting into this discussion again. What I would say is that I wouldn’t be trading Kirk under almost any circumstances. Until you know what his offensive ceiling is, it would be a big risk. It’s not impossible that he’s an elite (not just good) hitting C with average to slightly above average defence. That would make him an immensely valuable asset given age, salary etc.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#414611) #
What on earth was Mendick thinking there? Once you draw the throw, the job is done. Go back to first.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#414612) #
I agree and I also think he’s an important piece for the Jays’ 2022 push for a championship. So I would hold on to him for that reason as well.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#414613) #
You want to take DH games away from Springer and Guerrero and give them to Kirk.

I wouldn't complain if they gave Vlad a day off if it means Kirk gets to DH.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#414614) #
I'm with you Nigel 100%.

Incredible how much even jays fans (and seemingly the jays themselves) underrated this kid.

P.s. vlad is the only younger player than Kirk on the Jays. By 4 months.

P.p.s. Kirk has outhit Moreno at every level they've both played at, with better peripherals too.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#414615) #
My point about trade value is that *if* the Jays are going to trade Kirk at some point, it would be better for the organization if he’s performing at a high level (resulting in a better return).

However, it may be that he will always be the type of player who is somewhat undervalued by other teams.

He’s now hitting .304/.382/.432.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#414616) #
There have been plenty of games this year where Kirk was on the bench while the other two catchers played or Gurriel was the DH, so let’s not pretend it’s just about giving Guerrero and Springer half days off. The mocking about Kirk playing in the outfield is off base.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#414617) #
He's now appeared in 42 of 48 games, 35 of them starts. If that's on the bench for "plenty" what adjective do you have for Zimmer?

I must admit, I'm leaning more and more to the idea of making Kirk more or less a full time DH, on the scale of 130 games a year, and once Moreno gets here it'll be much easier to do. I'm sure he'll develop much more as a hitter that way. And he gives you a third catcher in case of emergency.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#414618) #
Normally I would say we're getting lucky in one run games....but I feel like montoyo has played a big role in making those one run games closer than they should have I'll call it even.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#414619) #
I find Kirk to be a pretty good defensive catcher.  It's a tough but pleasant problem.

The Jays' defence came to the rescue a few times tonight.  That's how you build a winning streak. 
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#414620) #
After the last, oh, 20 years or so, I'll take some luck in one run games. It's due.

4 straight one run wins. 15-7 on the season...
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#414621) #
I’d trade Kirk before I trade Moreno or Groshans. I’d trade Kirk for an equal value player who better fills a hole. So find another major league player his age with his numbers who hits from the left side or a top young pitcher. When you have 3 strong catchers you trade from that surplus.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#414622) #
Zimmer is “underused”, perhaps like tonight. There were two different spots he could’ve appeared, either as a PR for Kirk in the 7th or as a defensive replacement in the 9th. Montoyo must have been worried their bats would still be needed.

Salvador Perez played in 161 games last year. The notion that Kirk can’t handle more DH work is silly. He was out of those lineups because the team liked what they saw in Collins and believed they could uncover something in Tapia.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#414623) #
Alejandro Kirk for Corbin Carrol anyone?
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#414624) #
If trading the sexier prospect (Moreno) nets the team an elite player/prospect (I’ve suggested that Corbin Carroll might fit that description), I would be fine with making that move and running with Jansen/Kirk. But it has to be the right move. I hope the Jays don’t trade one of their high-quality catchers for a so-so return just because they have a “surplus” at the position.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#414625) #
"Salvador Perez played in 161 games last year. The notion that Kirk can’t handle more DH work is silly. He was out of those lineups because the team liked what they saw in Collins and believed they could uncover something in Tapia."

Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#414626) #
I don't want to trade anybody. I never want to trade anybody. But if there's something the team really needs, I guess we have to talk.

Montoyo overall is 218-214, and in one-run games the team is 61-55. The sample is way, way too small to mean anything.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#414627) #
I don’t believe Arizona would trade Carroll for Kirk. They probably wouldn’t trade him for Moreno, either (but it’s worth making the phone call if the Jays think that Carroll is all that).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#414628) #
Tapia’s games in the OF should not count towards games in which Kirk could have been used instead. That’s my only issue, is suggesting Tapia is in some way stealing st bats or blocking Kirk. It’s been Collins, Jansen and a cold April which have contributed to Kirks “limited,” playing time.

Regarding Tapia, he has received more playing time due to injuries to Hernandez, Rest for Springer, a cold spell for Gurriel and no faith in Bradley.

There you go, all cleared up.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#414629) #
I’ve learned more about Kevin Pillar in 3 minutes of the Dodgers telecast than I did in however many seasons worth of radio and TV Blue Jays broadcasts…
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#414630) #
One thing trade partners may be wary of is how long Kirk can be a solid defensive catcher. He may age out of the position earlier than most. Of course, he may still be a good DH candidate at that point.
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#414631) #
I, too, would trade Kirk for the best CF prospect in baseball (and not just because he was my pick in our 2019 draft thread, but at least 15% because of that).

The last thing the Jays need right now is to give up a 23-year-old at a premium position with an elite hit tool, eye, and plate discipline.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#414632) #
"suggesting Tapia is in some way stealing st bats or blocking Kirk."

That was neve4 suggested.

I merely pointed out the hilarity of Rameil Tapia getting more playing time than Alejandro Kirk, period.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#414633) #
Well, it's good that you acknowledge it's a false equivalency.

Hey, could be worse. Could be Jonathan Davis getting those ABs.
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#414634) #
Socrates Brito, anyone?
Magpie - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#414635) #
You rotten swine. I had succeeded in forgetting him.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#414636) #
Alek Thomas might be a more realistic return for Moreno, although I'm still not sure Arizona would be interested. Anyway, this is likely nothing more than a thought experiment, as these types of challenge trades seem to be rare these days.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#414637) #
It's no false equivalency.

It's objectively funny that any team for any reason played Tapia more than Kirk.

The fact that Kirk's position has actually been more injured than Tapia's position makes it even funnier.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#414638) #
The comparison of Kirk to Perez is silly, and I think illustrates the point of Davidi’s column.

Kirk’s career high in games played is 91. Expecting him to play everyday this year, a season after he was out for months last year with a hip flexor tear and only played in 60 games.

Perez is held up as the Ironman of catching. He’s had 6 consecutive seasons playing 128+ games. That’s before he did 161 last year.
slitheringslider - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#414639) #
Moreno is ranked higher than carroll or thomas on every prospect list and plays a more scarce position, don't see why Arizona would say no.

Given the defensive improvements of Kirk I would be more inclined to trade Jansen, who has fewer years of team control and good amount of trade value although I don't fully trust his bat long term. From what I have seen Kirk's bat is pretty special, 300 hitter with great plate control and decent pop. That'll play at any position.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#414640) #
I think AZ would probably say no because (1) challenge trades of top prospects are very rare, (2) teams hardly ever trade an elite prospect like Carroll or Moreno, especially when they're performing extremely well and are on the cusp of the majors, (3) Carroll is six months younger than Moreno and would likely be a top 10 prospect next year (if he qualified), and (4) Moreno is a catcher and the tools of ignorance exact a heavy toll that often includes injuries (such as fractured thumbs) that can pose a risk to performance and career longevity.
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#414641) #
Being that the majority of prospect lists move slowly through the season, it isn't really a fair comparison. Carroll moved up in to the top 20 *after* a season he had less than 30 PAs, and multiple BA staff have said he'd be top 3 right now. Moreno is an amazing prospect, but no, he isn't going to get us the top 5 tool prospect in baseball.
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, May 31 2022 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#414642) #
Carroll for Moreno is an intriguing idea, but we hardly see any pure prospect for prospect deals...not sure why that is.

The most impressive Kirk stat is having more walks than strikeouts....17 walks and 12 strike outs for the season. For his MLB career he has 38 strike outs and 37 walks...that is a rare skill.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#414643) #
Not sure that Carroll would move ahead of Gabe. After all Carroll's hitting at AA is a bit below what Gabe did there last year at the same age (well, 6mos younger actually).

greenfrog - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#414644) #
Moreno for Thomas? Moreno plus a prospect (Tiedemann?) for Thomas? He would give the Jays a strong LHB and he would be cheap and controllable for the coming seasons. Plus he can play center field or a corner outfield position. Major upgrade over Tapia/Zimmer.
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#414645) #
Kirk was a good match because Giolito has severe reverse splits. 500 OPS vs lefties but 800 vs righties.

Kopech tomorrow calls for as many lefties as possible. OPS 550 vs lefties but an absurd 260 vs right handed bats.
So, should find a way to get Biggio and Tapia in there until they bring a lefty in relief.

That base running blunder was something else.

It seems to me that Gausman doesn't do as well with Jansen.
It's been said that Jansen is good at framing the corners but Kirk does a better job in the bottom of the zone where Gausman works.  Getting only 5 innings from Gaus and then needing 5 relievers is pretty bad.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#414646) #
Kirk has a 107wrc+ vs RHP so far in his career btw.

Biggio at 103.

Tapia at 77.
Michael - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#414647) #
The Jays offense seemed a bit more potent today.

In totally completely unrelated news Tapia didn't start today and Kirk did.

Also, at least one K of Biggio was on a "strike" that looked a good 4+ inches outside. I imagine he'd be a much more valuable player if we ever got the robo umpires for balls and strikes.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#414648) #
I’ve read and heard that Moreno is held in the same regard as Adley Rutschman by many in baseball. Orelvis is going to be a better comparable to Corbin Carroll imho.

tercet - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 01:55 AM EDT (#414649) #
Uglyone, you are crazy like me, you have no problem talking bad about prospects, when everyone else just day dreams.
What do you think about Moreno + Pearson for Pittsburgh reliever David Bednar (who has 4.5 years of control left).
Jonny German - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#414650) #
Did Moreno suffer a career-ending injury I didn't hear about?
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#414651) #
I'll be a little clearer about my problem with Biggio's approach.  Since 2020, he hasn't seen results when hitting the 4 seamer at all.  His wOBAs are .288, .275, .213.  In fairness, his xwOBA this year has been better at .390.  But until opposing pitchers actually see it, they're not going to believe it.  So when he takes a 3-1 93 mph fastball right down the middle, it just adds to the impression that he feels he can't handle the fastball.  And when he gets called out on an obvious strike on a fastball likely because he was guessing something off-speed, that adds to it. 

At this point, he needs to hit a few more fastballs hard (and see some results) and to adjust to the off-speed stuff as required. 
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#414652) #
Tercet you butter me up so nicely....and then suggest trading our top prospect for a reliever!?!?!?

scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#414653) #
Borucki's 2 seamer hasn't been a plus pitch since 2018. His slider was plus the past 2 seasons, but it's been hit hard this year.

On the broadcast, they said "A lefty who throws 96mph? somebody will pick him up!"
They didn't talk about his plus slider.

Where you throw the pitch and in which count matters a lot.
Hitters rarely swing at a first pitch slider out of the zone.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#414654) #
D Bednar plays in the NL Central. Romano in the AL East. How do they compare? Also NYY traded (reliever) A Chapman for a good package I presume and then resigned him.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#414655) #
Kirk should be the everyday DH and backup catcher. They should structure the Springer/Vlad DH days with the catching schedule. For example, Jansen is likely catching Ryu tonight since he always catches Ryu. That means Jansen will get a day off tomorrow. In that scenario, Jansen and Kirk should both be in the lineup tonight, and Kirk should catch on Thursday, so Thursday is the open DH day to use for Springer or Vlad. On the days Kirk gets a full day off (rest), then obviously the DH spot is open again.

It doesn't appear Montoyo is a fan of using two catchers in the lineup at the same time, at least not on a consistent basis, and his tendency to want to play everyone (a minor league managerial trait that seems to have carried over) and use the DH spot to rest regulars is putting them in a situation where Tapia plays way more than he should.

If the team prefers using DH in a rotation to rest regulars, then they don't need two good/very good catchers (never mind Moreno in the minors) because in this case it leads to more PA's for negative WAR talent. So either use the DH spot to get your best lineup out there consistently, or trade one of the catchers for a LH CF that can balance the lineup out better short and long term.
tercet - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#414656) #
Everyone once up a time was a 'top prospect', uglyone like me has no problem talking down on prospects/being realistic, they aren't invincible, they are no different lots of the time from crappy 20 something AAAA guys.
Moreno is just a swing first catcher, who likely will never be good as Kirk, I see no problem in trading him now for a top 5~ reliever with 4.5 years of control left.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#414657) #
First mock daft at ESPN. Some Jays stuff:

"(Zach) Neto is in play as high as the seventh pick to the Cubs and figures to go by the Jays at 23."

23. Toronto Blue Jays
Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond HS (S.C.), LSU commit

"The Jays seem like a floor for Neto and are also on one of my favorite players in the class in Toman. As with most teams in this range, their mix isn't set and includes lots of the players I'm projecting to go around their pick."

And one comment I found interesting:

"(Chase) DeLauter has three of the most important characteristics to more model-focused teams (strong exit velos, young for his class and excellent Cape Cod League production) but had some weaker data points for more scouting-focused teams (multiple injuries, weak competition, inconsistent swing mechanics) this spring."
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#414658) #
SK in NJ's approach is one good and simple way of maximizing the talent on hand.  Montoyo has preferred to pair Kirk with Berrios and Manoah, however over their careers, those pitchers have done about the same with both catchers (fwiw, Berrios did a lot better with Reese McGuire than either of the other two).  It's possible to accommodate that preference with getting significant DH time for Kirk and Jansen, but it's a little trickier.

Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#414659) #
The top barrel rate in the major leagues with 25+ batted balls belongs to Danny Jansen at 19.6%.  Next up is Aaron Judge at 16.3% and then Evan Longoria at 15.5%.  Unsurprisingly, Jansen has the highest xwOBA in the major leagues also.  Jansen is killing fastballs, and did that last year to a somewhat lesser degree (actual slug .556 and expected .587).  Naturally, he's seeing more breaking balls, almost 40% this year, and hasn't been struggling too much against them (xwOBA .316). 
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#414660) #
" Everyone once upon a time was a 'top prospect'

C'mon, tercet, there's got to be a difference in a "top prospect' coming out of college compared to a guy who has blazed through the minors and is ranked a top 10 prospect on most baseball sites. I agree that fans tend to overvalue our team's prospects and I advocate that trading them isn't a bad thing a lot of the time.

However, I'd like to see Moreno in the majors first before I'd consider trading him a good idea. I worry that Kirk's portly body type might lead to injury and/or wearing down by the end of the season.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#414661) #
Tercet I don't actually disagree with your Moreno assessment too much - I have concerns with his mediocre bb/k rate and babip-reliant overall line and have some reservations about his ability to hit for much above average power too.

BUT...he's still an elite prospect and elite prospects are gold in trade value. Height actually be the best one to trade because his trade value is sky high while you're right heat not even be as good as Kirk in the end.....but if you trade him he's the centerpiece of a deal for a big time stud player imo, and no relievers fit that bill imo.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#414662) #
Why are prospects so valuable?  It's all about both the chance of making it and the underpayment in the first 5 years of  the contract.  Heading into the 2019 season, Bo Bichette was rated about as highly as Gabriel Moreno is now.  He's produced 10 WAR from 2019-22 so far and the Blue Jays have paid under 3 million.  For comparison, Mike Trout has produced 14.5 WAR and the Angels have paid $148 million for this.  Even if a prospect like Moreno has a 20-40% chance of turning into what Bo Bichette has become, he's actually more valuable to the Blue Jays than what Mike Trout has been the last 4 years to the Angels. 

hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#414663) #
Tuesday attendances going backwards:
vs Chicago 25,424
@ St.Louis 33,797
vs Seattle 22,988
@ New York 41,522
vs New York 22,491
vs Boston 22,611
@ Boston 31,640
@ New York 25,068

Had a denigrating comment, but I'll just let the facts speak for themselves.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#414664) #
IMO just call Collins back up. He's fine as an emergency catcher and pinch hitter. Just stop starting him as a DH. Be fine with him as a permanent bench guy.

Ideally my Bench would look like:

XX Biggio - primary pinch hitting option
OF Zimmer - legit defensive CF
IF XXXXXX - legit defensive SS
C Collins - playable C defense with decent bat vs RHP

The backup SS issue may be less necessary because Espinal is a legit SS and Biggio can fill in at 2B.

Now it may be that Biggio stinks now. I don't know. But I do think he's worth trying to resuscitate. Especially since he can play a bit of IF in a pinch.

Collins is kind of a perfect backup C given that in this set up he's really a 3rd C....except in this case he actually has a useful pinch hitting bat too.

Zimmer isn't ideal but at least he gives us very good defense all over the OF.

I actually don't mind Tapia getting the last spot for now if they think he has untapped potential, especially since we have Espinal to back up SS defensively and Biggio to back up 2B defensively.....but mostly because we don't have any clear candidate to replace him anyways. But none of the bench guys should be playing very much, and all should be forced to earn every second of playing time they get.

And really, unless Biggio suddenly comes back to life, we really should have a higher quality bench bat in general, if not two, if we want to be able to deal with injuries effectively.....not to mention that there's always a worry that Espinal's recent slump isn't actually a slump, but simply MLB pitchers finally having a book on him and making his offense legitimately fall back down to only bench quality going forward. We may need a Biggio bounceback more than we think.

But again, the key here is that Jansen and Kirk should be in the lineup most every game, while all four of the bench bats should be pure bench bats, getting very little playing time.

greenfrog - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#414665) #
Prospects are also valuable because the period of team control sometimes allows the team to negotiate a favourable contract extension (like the Halladay extension and the initial Trout and Pujols extensions). During those contracts, the player may no longer be cheap, but they may still provide good (below market) value to the team.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#414666) #
P.S. it was a good idea when we were struggling but we should send Espinal back down to the bottom of the batting order ASAP. His time up at the top has been a disaster - he's 3 for 31 with 3 walks and no extra base hits since being moved up into the 2 hole. A -11wrc+. Hopefully we haven't killed a golden goose here. Hide him down at the bottom of the order again and see if he can start getting overlooked by pitchers again.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#414667) #
Hmm, now that I look at it, Biggio has been quite solid since his recall. Only 5gms, but a 108wrc+ based mostly on him getting his patience back.

Not impossible that we end up back with Biggio at 2B and Espinal the bench IF, like the projections thought might be the case coming into the year.
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#414668) #
Maybe they'll go to 13 players in a couple of weeks and maybe they won't.
I am not sure who takes those decisions.

92-93 - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#414669) #
Yesterday's day off for Espinal was likely a recognition of his recent struggles. With the team at full strength we will probably see the 2B batting 9th going forward, be it Biggio or Espinal.

Last night the ChiSox had two groundballs in the 5-6 hole go for doubles, one of which barely made it to the wall while the other did not. It's weird to see groundballs that were simple singles even last year turn into easy doubles because Gurriel is way over pinching the gap. There was also McGuire's big hit that landed between a tentative Springer and Hernandez despite the closed gap.

Kirk's first HR was really fun to see live. It hung up forever and it felt like the crowd willed it out. The 2nd was a no-doubter off the crack of the bat.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#414670) #
I said about a week ago that Espinal looked tired. It was strange to me that time off for Guerrero Jr. and Springer was a greater priority.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#414671) #
Good point about the OF positioning. They've had the same issue on occasion with a GB between 3 and 4. Most notably in the Reds series. I think its been a pretty clear defensive choice to narrow the gaps in the power alleys (not all the time) and I will be interested to see how the cost/benefit shakes out as the year goes along.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#414672) #
Yep. The first time I saw a routine ground ball through the 5-6 hole go for a double, I indicated my doubt that the outfield alignment made sense. It was just a matter of a few feet closer to the line for Gurriel Jr. that would make the difference. Most balls that get past Chapman are considerably off the line in the hole
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#414673) #
Espinal might be tired, but Guerrero has a sore wrist and I would be surprised if Springer's ankle isn' t sore as well.
Other teams rest key players too.
Franco just hit the IL with a sore quad.

scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#414674) #
They put guys in the center of heat maps that shows were batted balls land.
They don't care how big the gaps are.

Chuck - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#414675) #
I said about a week ago that Espinal looked tired.

It's important for Biggio to return to something resembling his old self, even if his peak has passed, to serve as a viable caddy for the four infielders (leveraging Espinal's ability to slide to SS or 3B). Absent that, who else is there? Chapman, Bichette and Espinal have played in every game so far. Guerrero has missed just one.

I am growing increasingly less confident that Biggio can find his mojo back, though I am certainly rooting for him. Tony Phillips blossomed in his 30s. Biggo won't be given that long to sort himself out, I don't think.

Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#414676) #
There are many great players born on June 1, but we'll always have a soft spot here for Brad Wilkerson.

Your love is like Brad Wilkerson
Brad Wilkerson is what I need
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#414678) #
For what it's worth, I don't feel that resting Guerrero Jr. by giving him regular DH days is a good strategy.  He looks antsy when DHing and has hit .260/.360/.457 in that role over his career.  I think that it would be better for him if he were given a day off per month and played first base at other times.

Kirk on the other hand is a perfect fit for DHing.  He has good focus generally and doesn't have to split his attention between the defensive aspect/calling the game/etc. and batting.  Over Kirk's career, he's hitting .294/.359/.500 while a DH. 
hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#414679) #
Any indications on what the Jays are going to do with the open 40 man spot? Guessing they're on a hunt for a lefty reliever in trade.

As for Ryan Borucki, he's at a point I don't think any team will give up anything for him, even a bit of cash. He will probably get claimed, but also probably end up getting DFA'd again. However, that's pure speculation. Sad, because I really had hopes for him.
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#414681) #
It's meant to rest him from running the bases as well, so if he's hitting a bit less than it's working fine.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#414682) #
Maybe antsy is the reason, but it could also be that Vlad is DH'd when he's a bit dinged up or in need of a break from the field. Stands to reason he wouldn't hit as well as when he's close to 100%.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#414683) #
You're quite right, hypobole.  But.  If he's a bit dinged up such that he needs a rest from the field, why not take him out entirely?  Point being that while he's an asset as a dinged-up DH, he's not a great asset and there is a risk of making it worse. 
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#414684) #
An OPS over 800 is a pretty good asset.
How many MVP votes has Kirk gathered so far?

Nigel - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#414685) #
Injuries probably tell most of the tale, but I also think Borucki is a cautionary tale about the search for velocity, particularly in one inning relievers. It's not beneficial for everyone. Not unusually, he picked up several ticks on his FB when he moved to the pen but that seemed to be at the cost of some movement on his FB and his useful CH.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#414686) #
That line you posted is still the line of a great asset, around 130 wRC+ last year, 135 this year.
That said, I already agreed earlier. I responded to Magpie that I would give Vlad a day off to DH Kirk.

Wouldn't give Vlad the day off to DH Tapia however :)
hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#414687) #
How many MVP votes has Kirk gathered so far?

A least one. I voted for him.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#414688) #
Raimel Tapia gets the start in centerfield tonight.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#414689) #
Springer has a "non-COVID illness."
Nigel - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#414691) #
With Springer out, I'd bat Kirk in the leadoff spot. No joke. Not much risk of him hitting into a double play as the first hitter of the game and then later with Tapia hitting in front of him:) Get his .380 OBP at the front of the line.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#414692) #
Ryu's ground ball rate is falling but still high. It's a good night to keep the Sox on the ground and damn the spousal consequences.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#414694) #
I guess in the end we’re all just rooting for laundry.
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#414695) #
Right handed hitters haven't even managed .100 against Kopech this year.
No home runs. Not even a double.
Better take your walk, steal a base and try to score on a ball in play.
Or like Ji-Man Choi, try to hit left handed.

grjas - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#414696) #
Given kopech’s splits, might have been a good time for Biggio to spell Gurriel. Of course you’re trading a hot hitter then for a frigid one. Good day for patience as his walk rate is high and they might wear him out early.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#414697) #
Since returning Biggio has hit 231/375/308 - not great, but not horrid either. Kind of surprised they didn't play him at 2B today vs the RHP.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#414698) #
Wow, right after I type that Espinal cranks one. Maybe Biggio should've played for Bo. :)
Nigel - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#414699) #
Man, Guerrero is struggling.

Full credit to all the batters in that inning though. They made Kopech throw 39 pitches in that inning alone and most were under duress. Some really good ABs. That has to limit what else he can do tonight.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#414700) #
First two home runs Kopech has allowed all year. Yesterday the Jays got to Giolito. Today they’re doing the same to Kopech. Impressive. And how about Jansen, who’s now hitting .295/.354/.795.
scottt - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#414701) #
They did take their walks. That's how you do it. Lineup feels deep now.

Nice game from Tapia so far. Told you lefties have a better chance against Kopech.

Still 2 third of the game to go.

Gerry - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#414702) #
On the Abreu home run, there was a sign draped over the second deck that said "Schneider 4 skipper". I am surprised the Jays left that sign up and visible.
grjas - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#414703) #
Man, Guerrero is struggling.

I wonder if his wrist is hurting more than he lets on and has been bugging him for a bit. Can have a significant impact on his swing, and he's looked much more tentative to me than usual.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#414704) #
Vlad has a 35.7% O-Swing% this year.
Previous high 31.6% his rookie year.
28.3% last year.
Saw it tonight when he swung at ball 4 and ball 5.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#414705) #
This year is the full movie. He should of just kept quiet.
mathesond - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#414706) #
Should of? Really?
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#414707) #
grjas - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#414708) #
I love it when the players read our posts here between innings.
christaylor - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#414709) #
That kid will be alright.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#414710) #
He should have kept quiet because the media has blown it up and it’s put an unnatural amount of extra pressure on himself. So yes, really.
Kelekin - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#414711) #
Kids be kids, man. He was trying to "hype" things up. It's not a big deal, media narrative be damned.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#414712) #
The team is 29-20 after weathering some significant injuries. The movie has been pretty good quality so far.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#414713) #
Not sure they've been more injured than average tbh.
grjas - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#414714) #
The Yanks have a much tougher schedule over the next few weeks than us. Would be nice to close the gap, which once looked difficult to surmount.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#414715) #
Hard to say. There are the obvious injuries (Teo, Jansen, Ryu, Pearson) and the less obvious ones. There seems to have been a lot of load management going on among the position players.

Bottom line, the team is in good position to make a run. And there should be better depth in the minors as some prospects like Moreno / Groshans / Hernandez edge closer to the majors. The FO will no doubt add a couple of players before the trade deadline as well.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 01 2022 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#414716) #
They’ve been extremely lucky to have the record they have but they can play so much better than they have to date. So, take the banked wins and run with it.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 03:40 AM EDT (#414719) #
I don't know if anybody saw this stat but before the game there was an interview with Adam Cimber, and there was a list shown that had him as having the lowest ERA of any reliever in Jay's history after 60 games pitched. Tom Henke was second.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 06:35 AM EDT (#414720) #
Keegan Matheson in an article points out that Jansen ended last year the same way after tapping into his pull power. Over the last calendar year, Jansen has hit 14 homers in 133 PAs and is slugging .746. He has a wRC+ of 200, by far the best on the club. Power is the first thing to show up over smaller sample sizes.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#414721) #
Actually that data did not include yesterday's game. Now 15 homers in 137 PAs over the last calendar year and a slugging percentage of .749 with a wRC+ of 201. It's not the same is doing that playing every day but it is a powerful indicator that he has developed more power.
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#414722) #
Nigel pointed out the good PA's last night. It's actually been trending in the right direction for a while.

Past 14 days Jays 11.8% BB% is the best in baseball. That's been fueled in large part by cutting down on hacking. O-Swing at 28.5% in that span, 2nd best in AL and tied for 3rd in MLB.

What bodes well is that it's not passivity, it's more selectivity. Jays 71.6% Z-Swing% is 7th in MLB the past 2 weeks. Compare that to the D-Backs and Twins who have the lowest O-Swing% in that span, but aren't swinging at strikes either. Zona dead last in Z-Swing% and Twins 26th.

Mike Green - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#414723) #
Definitely. Gurriel Jr., Bichette and Hernandez have all been much more selective over the last two weeks.

They scored 7 runs last night despite going 1-6 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 men on. That's what happens with 8 walks, 10 strikeouts and 3 home runs. In other words, it's a sustainable path. On days with the top 9 hitters in the lineup, it's a fearsome offence much as it didn't look that way over the first 6 weeks of the year.
scottt - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#414724) #
The White Sox don't have the Yankees pen.
At some point they had to use some of the guys with ERAs over 6 at the back of the pen.
In a winning game, that lefty never faces the top of the order.

Several strike calls went the Jays way.
Some pretty awful ones too.

Defensively, they're an upgrade over last year.

uglyone - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#414725) #
Yeah the quality of at bats has taken a clear step up. Very noticeable. Could always be easier pitching but I'm not sure that's the case.

And Danny now has a remarkable line somehow hitting .283 with only a .194babip. Not sure I've ever seen something like that before.

His Career line now sits at 92 wrc+. But his career is still a relatively small sample - so much so that one major slump may be skewing those numbers down - his first few months in 2019, where he posted a 33wrc+ over 195 plate appearances. Before that he was at 116wrc+ and since then - June 25 2019 - he's at 108wrc+.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#414726) #
Danny now has a remarkable line somehow hitting .283 with only a .194babip. Not sure I've ever seen something like that before.

It's very, very weird. He's hit more home runs than singles, which is unusual - but it means that 7 of his 13 hits this season have not been BallsInPlay. But he's also not striking out, which means there have been a lot of balls in play. I mentioned the other day that Joey Gallo and Mark McGwire both had entire seasons when they hit more homers than singles. But they both struck out much more often than Jansen, Gallo so often that his BABiP was much higher than his actual BAVG. What Jansen is doing seems very strange indeed, and for that reason alone seems unlikely to continue quite like this.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#414727) #
I have managed to find a season where a hitter a) hit more HRs than singles, and b) had a BAVG significantly higher than his BABiP.

Barry Bonds, 2001.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#414728) #
a list shown that had [Cimber] as having the lowest ERA of any reliever in Jay's history after 60 games pitched.

It should probably be understood that such a list is a comparison of entire careers as Blue Jays, which places Cimber's 63 games alongside Henke's 446. B.J. Ryan certainly had a better ERA after his first 60 games as a Jay.
uglyone - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#414729) #
Jansen = Bonds 2.0

Agreed, Magpie.
Nigel - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#414730) #
Hopefully not for the same reasons.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#414731) #
fwiw, and as usual, Statcast thinks Jansen's been a little unlucky on balls in play: it gives him an expected batting average of .316

It's a bit of a mystery why Jansen's BABIP is so low over his career - he's actually faster than the MLB average, and while he pops up more than the average, he's not a big outlier there either.
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#414732) #
Took another look at our last 14 days batters fWAR. Kirk is the leader at 0.6. Vlad the only negative at -0.1. Even Tapia has 0.2 fWAR thanks to his 142 wRC+.

A while back Tapia had a -0.7 fWAR, among the 5-10 worst in baseball. He's now 45th at -0.4. So who's the worst of the worst now?

Eddie Rosario is #1, -1.0 fWAR in only 49 PA's. He had an excuse though - he couldn't see, which is not a positive for a ballplayer. He's out for the next few months after getting laser eye surgery.

Next is Robbie Cano, -0.9. Dumped by 2 teams already, is he cooked? Yeah, he's cooked.

3 other names in the 10 worst caught my eye, because I remember posters here wanting to acquire them - Robbie Grossman, Joey Votto and Corey Dickerson. Remember during the Cards series someone having the guts to fess up a mea culpa on Dickerson.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#414733) #
Jansen = Bonds 2.0

Yeah, we should probably just enjoy the moment.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#414734) #
It is delightfully weird, though. Last September, Jansen hit 5 1b, 8 2b, and 5 HR. So far this season, he's scrapped the doubles and hit them over the fence instead.

In 2001, roughly half of Bonds' hits were HRs, and his BAVG was about 70 points higher than his BABiP. Very Jansen-esque, except Barry walked quite a bit more often.
bpoz - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#414735) #
With about 50 games played we have a healthy won/lost record for getting into the playoffs. Last year Seattle was very close to making the playoffs with a -51 run difference. The Jays were +183.

I expect a long window for us so there will be fair and unfair playoff contenders. It seems nothing changes over time. Baseball can be unfair. I remember in the 80s we had to win 1 game against Detroit I think and we were in. Did not happen. Minnesota got in with 85 wins recently I believe. Washington got a WC in 2019. 93 wins and won the WS. Atlanta last year won the WS but SF and LAD were the class of the NL.

There is much I forget and get wrong. Then I forget and get it wrong again. Example 1) Nasty boys was Cincinnati and not NYM? 2) In next years schedule the AL East will play more games against the AL Central and AL West?

I expect us to be in the Playoffs this year and expect Manoah to be our #1 SP if healthy. Our 5th SP should be added to the pen I strongly suspect. May be a lefty like Ryu or Kikuchi balance the left/right mix in the pen.

greenfrog - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#414736) #
BA has done a full update ("gathering feedback from scouts, pro scouting directors, analysts, coaches and front office officials") to their top 100 prospects list. Carroll is now ranked #4 (one spot ahead of Moreno).
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#414737) #
Which means no way Carroll will be traded.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#414738) #
It's a bit of a mystery why Jansen's BABIP is so low over his career

I think some of it - I'm sure not all of it, maybe not even most of it - is because he hits more balls in the air. He hits about as many line drives as Vlad or Bo or Springer - but those three all hit twice as many ground balls as fly balls. Jansen's ratio is more like 5 groundballs to 4 flyballs. It makes a difference. Ground balls can go between fielders, while fly balls hang in the air and the fielders run underneath them.
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#414739) #
On prospect updates, mlb updated theirs as well. Ricky Tiedmann is now #100.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#414740) #
Springer still out, Gurriel gets the day off. Tapia in LF, Zimmer in CF, Biggo at 1b, Vlad's the DH.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#414741) #
Jays prospects on the BA list:

5. Moreno
89. Tiedemann
90. Orelvis

Tiedemann is "that rare lefthanded starter that sits mid 90s on his fastball with plus secondaries in his sweepy mid-80s slider and parachute changeup."
grjas - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#414742) #
Springer still out, Gurriel gets the day off. Tapia in LF, Zimmer in CF, Biggo at 1b, Vlad's the DH.

Doesn’t sound like a very scary lineup…which means they’ll probably score 10 runs. (Glad I don’t bet on players, scores and games, as I’d likely be bankrupt).
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#414743) #
Zimmer might as well go up to the plate with a whiffle bat for all the contact he makes. I get that he's an asset defensively but I'd rather see someone like Nathan Lukes or even Logan Warmoth get a few at bats instead.
92-93 - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#414745) #
Defense matters, a lot. The team is much better off with a good defensive CF. If Lukes or Warmoth are that, come on up.

Orelvis is 2nd in the Eastern League in HRs as a 20 year old and fell in BA's rankings. Must be the K rate.
Cracka - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#414746) #
Jeremy Beasley has been re-added to the active roster (and 40-man). He's quietly been lights out in Buffalo and most of his outings have been for multiple innings. Stripling is presumably moving to the rotation, so it's critical to have a couple of guys that can go longer than 20-25 pitches per outing. He was DFAed last season, but is still only 26.
Nigel - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#414747) #
I don't support the Warmoth love that has popped up from time to time on this site over the past year or so. He absolutely has had a decent start to this year (but has been cooling down) and has k'd at a much lower rate than historically. But his previous history of 1200 minor league ABs strongly suggest that he can't hit. He would have to hit at these 2022 levels for much longer to show that something is going on there other than a 6 week heater. Whatever he is, he isn't an elite defensive CF either. Unfortunately, there's no solution to the 4th OF problem lurking in the minors.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#414748) #
I checked - Stieb was 7-2 with his 1.16 ERA after 9 starts in '83. He'd lost 3-0 and 2-1. He lowered that ERA with a shutout in his 10th start.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#414749) #
Has there been any significant Warmoth love? My impression is that people were noting the good start and statistical improvement (for example, the improved BB:K ratio) he's had in a limited sample size in 2022. It's hard to ignore that he's almost 27 and has a track record of mediocrity in the minors.
uglyone - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#414750) #
knock on wood but Big Al might actually get Montoyo to let him go the distance today.
James W - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#414751) #
No controversy today.
grjas - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#414752) #
Chapman’s had better innings.
92-93 - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#414753) #
Big AB from Biggio. Good on Charlie for not asking for the automatic bunt from a guy who likely isn't comfortable laying them down, even if it was because Kirk was on 1B.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#414754) #
There was a chance of rain around 4 or 5 o'clock. So the roof was closed. That's OK. Though, it was not as hot today.
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#414755) #
Doesn’t sound like a very scary lineup…which means they’ll probably score 10 runs.

Only 8, grjas.
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#414756) #
Very different reaction from Manoah when he was pulled today. Gave Charlie a big grin as he walked off the mound.
grjas - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#414757) #
Only 8, grjas.

I was going to have good laugh if Hernandez singled home 2 in the last at bat.

I guess Montoyo was right. Hitting is contagious. Right now the lineup can do no wrong. Keep it up!
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#414758) #
2 sweeps in a row after going the first 14 series without one.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#414759) #
The Jays have a chance to make some hay against the Twins, who have been hurt by injuries of late.
Nigel - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#414760) #
It's early but one of the conclusions that I'm quickly coming to is that baseball's divisional imbalance problem may be at an all time high. The non Al East and NL West divisions, in a word, suck. Badly. Minnesota was extremely smart to recognize the they were competing against garbage teams and to invest in Correa.
hypobole - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#414761) #
Funny, I was just checking the standings for those exact facts as you were posting. W-L by division

AL East +28
AL Central -24
AL West -5
NL East -16
NL Central -8
NL West +25

As for the Twins, they have played 8 games vs teams with a winning record and are 2-6. Jays have played 24 and are 13-11.

Mike Green - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#414762) #
The next rough stretch for the club is from June 24 to July 10- they have 18 games in 17 days. 

Of the Blue Jays 50 games so far, Springer has made 28 starts in CF, 12 at DH and 2 in RF.  Guerrero Jr. has made 40 starts at first base and 8 at DH.  Bichette has not a day off, and could use one.  With Biggio up and Espinal back in the groove, one of the games this weekend would make sense. 
Nigel - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#414763) #
The cumulative net run differential of the divisions underscores just how bad the AL Central is:

ALE +89
ALC -128
ALW +19

NLE +7
NLC -52
NLW +69

It cries out for relegation:)
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#414764) #
Bichette has not a day off, and could use one.

Agreed. I was actually expecting it this afternoon.
Cracka - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#414765) #
I learned today that Bichette has never played an inning as a substitute player in the MLB. 283 games, 283 starts... and from what I can gather he's only had one true "off day" where he wasn't injured or banged up -- and that was the 2nd last game of the 2020 season after the playoff picture had already been decided. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start 162 times this season.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#414766) #
The Central divisions (particularly the ALC) have been bad for years. I'm actually disgusted how bad the AL Central always is, because the Jays are stuck in the vicious East and have such a tougher schedule than the likes of the Twins, etc. Yet somebody has to win the division every year...and based on strength of schedule I can't shake the conviction that whoever it ends up being would get their ass handed to them in the Jays division.

The thing is, the heavily unbalanced schedule forces divisions closer to .500 (and run differentials closer to even). In other words, it makes bad divisions look better and good divisions look worse than they are.

Next year, with the sched being a bit more balanced, ALC teams will play fewer games against each other and more against other divisions. The disparity in record and run differential could look even more extreme.
grjas - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#414767) #
Bichette has said he wants to play every game. Fine to aspire. But I hope he doesn’t hide injuries. I remember watching cal Ripken play a few games like a broken fire hydrant.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#414768) #
Not sure they've been more injured than average tbh.

I took a quick peek at the other teams in the AL East, doing my best to ignore all the random, short-term stuff taking players out of the lineup a couple of days here or there. Yes, even the Orioles who have been without John Means, their best pitcher. But the Orioles are really conducting tryouts for the next good Baltimore team rather than competing in the division.

The Yankees have been disgustingly healthy until that week in May when their relief pitchers suddenly started falling over like bowling pins. Green, Loaisiga, and Chapman all hit the IL the same week and Green is done for the year. (So is Zack Britton, but they knew that coming in. Domingo German hasn't pitched yet, either. He should be back but who knows what to expect from him anyway.)

The Red Sox haven't suffered much since the season began - they lost rp Matt Barnes, but they may be addition by subtraction at this point. Another rp, Hansel Robles, is on the IL. Their biggest injury issue involves the two LH starters yet to make their season debut after long-term injuries: Chris Sale and James Paxton.

But Tampa Bay hasn't been so lucky. They lost sp Shane Baz in March, and sp Luis Patino in April. Both should be back by mid-summer, but they've had to get by without so far. 2b Brandon Lowe and rp Andrew Kitteredge have been out since mid-May,and ss Wander Boy Franco went on the IL last week. I would feel bad for them, but they named the team after a fish. So, tough.

As we know, the Jays have lost three significant players - rf Hernandez (22 games), c Jansen (30 games), sp Ryu (4 starts.) The usual division of labour behind the plate would have seen Jansen catch 18 of the 30 games, with Kirk catching 12 - as it happened, while Jansen was out it was Kirk who caught 18 games, with Collins/Heineman catching 12 (while also reducing Kirk's availability to DH.)

So when it comes to injuries, I'd say not as bad as Tampa Bay, not as lucky as the Yankees.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#414769) #
Bichette has said he wants to play every game... But I hope he doesn’t hide injuries.

He does seem to have completely adopted Marcus Semien as his professional role model. Bichette played all but 3 games last year (148 at ss, 11 at DH) - he missed 3 of 4 in mid-August with "shin contusions" (they can't just say "bruise," can they), apparently from fouling pitches off said body part. It's the kind of thing you probably could play through (it looks like he did once) if you had to, and likely would in October.
uglyone - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#414770) #
Baseball players should be able to play most every day tbh.
uglyone - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#414771) #
Yeah magpie I'd say middle of the pack health wise sounds right...especially since our injuries have been to mid lineup players not top r9ster players.

P.s. I still love Biggio's swing. I was never a huge fan of him as a prospect but I'm really rooting for a comeback from him now.
grjas - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#414772) #
I am cheering for Biggio too and the swing on his double today looked solid. But he has seemed so tentative at the plate in the last two years. Hopefully it’s just taking time to get back in the rhythm after a parade of injuries, but it’s still hard to tell IMHO.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#414773) #
Baseball players should be able to play most every day

I'm generally "most but not every." I'm especially keen to see at least a couple of days off every month for older players and outfielders who play on turf at home (still traumatized by Bell-Barfield-Moseby all breaking down so young!) One game off every two weeks leaves 149 games on the schedule.
Magpie - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#414774) #
our injuries have been to mid lineup players

I'd quibble with that a little bit, because Hernandez hits cleanup and should be one of their three best hitters and catcher is simply such a crucial position. While the number 2 guy is splendid it did mean a dozen games of Collins/Heineman back there.

I forgot about Mayza when I was citing the Jays' injuries. You'd think I'd take injured relievers more seriously after 2021.
Kelekin - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#414775) #
"BA has done a full update ("gathering feedback from scouts, pro scouting directors, analysts, coaches and front office officials") to their top 100 prospects list. Carroll is now ranked #4 (one spot ahead of Moreno)."

Well, I sure was vindicated quicker than expected. No insider info, I swear.

Great win today. Two years ago, Chicago looked like they were going to be a dominant team for years. A lot of top prospect capital and key pieces to build around. But every FA signing they have made has been awful, and most of those young stars have either regressed or been injured.

Things can change in a hurry.
Nigel - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#414776) #
While he’s the number 2 guy now, I’m not sure Kirk is that going forward. And that from a charter member of the Jansen and Riley Adams fan club.
John Northey - Thursday, June 02 2022 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#414777) #
Right now the Jays are blessed behind the plate: Jansen 283/340/761, Kirk 301/379/429, and Moreno in AAA 328/383/418 - basically Kirk is hitting just like Moreno except in the majors vs AAA while Jansen is hitting at an insane pace.

In MLB history only 18 seasons had a guy qualify for the slg% title and have a slg% of 761 or better - Josh Gibson 4 times, Ruth 4 times, Bonds 3 times, Mule Suttles 2 times, Oscar Charleston 2 times, and single seasons for Charlie Smith, Buck Leonard, and Lou Gehrig. Gibson was the only catcher in that group and he never did it over 70+ games.

What Jansen has been doing is historic level. Thus making it VERY unlikely to continue but who knows?

It'll be interesting to see what the Jays do about this going forward. It is a great problem to have as having 1 good hitting/good defense catcher is hard and rare, but having 3 of them? Unheard of outside of, say, the '61 Yankees with Elston Howard (153 OPS+), Johnny Blanchard (168 OPS+), and Yogi Berra (115 OPS+) - Berra only played 15 games behind the plate that year vs 81 in LF and 8 in RF. Blanchard was 48 catching, 8 LF, 7 RF and Howard 111 catching, 9 1B. The 3 of them played in 129/119/93 games (Howard/Berra/Blanchard respectively). No DH then of course. I suspect the Jays would want their 3 to get 100+ games each, ideally 120+ each. That requires 360 games total, DH and catcher combined = 324 games so one of them would need to play elsewhere - such as 3B (Moreno has done that) or 1B (I could see Jansen spelling Vlad time to time) or LF (Jansen seems athletic enough to do that, maybe Moreno). A shame I can't see Kirk playing anywhere but catcher.

Bottom line is one of the 3 at least will be traded at some point in the next 9 months I figure (leaving 2 for 2023) but who? Moreno is rated so high I can't see the Jays doing that unless it is for another high end prospect ala Carroll. Kirk has shown he can do the job in the majors and with his position limits (DH/C) he might be best to trade (although I'd hate to see him go). Jansen would be a good offseason trade (closest to free agency, could really help a team with a young quality underachieving staff I figure).
dalimon5 - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#414778) #
It just occurred to me that Alek Manoah is everything we hoped Pearson would be and more.
John Northey - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 12:25 AM EDT (#414779) #
So very true dalimon5. I see Manoah as the logical next great pitcher ala Stieb-Halladay. Hentgen and Key were both great home grown as well but a big step down from the Stieb-Halladay pair. I hope Manoah can spend 15+ years here, then retire to the HOF as a Blue Jay. Fun to be able to dream that this early in his career.
scottt - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#414781) #
The Rays don't play their guys every day.

The Yankees play Stanton in the outfield and have 4 guys for 3 infield position.
So they are fairly protected from injuries. Donaldson is on the IL right now, so LeMahieu starts at third.

Rizzo has sat 1 game, Judge 2, Torres 3, IKF 4, LeMahieu 7, Gallo 8, Hicks 8, Stanton 11, Donaldson 14.

You can have regulars that play every day and a bench full of guys who never play, so when one (or more) is injured--which is most of the time--you have guys with negative WAR replacing them.
Or you can sit most players regularly and have a bench full of guys who are as good as the ones on the field.

scottt - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#414782) #
And that didn't include the games they came in as a pinch hitter.
uglyone - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#414783) #
The Rays not playing their guys every day isnt really about resting them - they build their team specifically to take advantage of platoons because they don't want to pay full freight for full time starters. They have a bench full of guys that project to be productive above average hitters in their roles/matchups.

hypobole - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#414784) #
Terrific article at Fangraphs that helps explain Cimber's success since joining the Jays. Upside-down sliders and using the George Costanza method of finding success by doing the opposite (vs lefties).
John Northey - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#414785) #
The Rays are a lot like the 80's Jays where platoons and mix-match were the rule of the day. Bobby Cox was too addicted to it though and was easily taken advantage of in the playoffs (thus why he was in the playoffs 16 times but only won 1 World Series title) where teams could have a RH starter go 3 innings and switch to a LH even with 10 man staffs (just 5 in the pen...hard to imagine now), then go back to a RH once all the best hitters were gone. The 1985 playoffs were a nightmare - he'd start his strong lineup, then pull them when the other team switched pitchers and then the team was dead in the water.

No question having a deep bench is valuable, but #1 is a strong starting 9 and rotation which the Jays have, then the pen, then the bench. The closer/setup is now strong so the bench is now an issue. Biggio helps if he can play like in 19/20 - his 235/350/353 line since coming back is not 'wow' but is an improvement - keep that 350 OBP and he is useful. Tapia is up to a 77 OPS+ from the 50's earlier. On May 11th he had a 503 OPS, but since has hit 327/389/408 over 54 PA. Maybe he is what the Jays hoped for. I'd be very, very happy if I end up being dead wrong on him.

So those 2 cover most positions, Zimmer is still hopeless (23 OPS+) but fits his role (late inning defense/pinch run) as long as they keep him away from the plate. Jansen/Kirk is a killer combo behind the plate (and at it). And that covers the Jays bench. Capra would be nice to have back up to mix with Biggio as super-utility guys (RH/LH combo). Right now the bench isn't as big a problem as it seems on the surface.

The pen... closer: Romano (solid), setup: Cimber-Garcia-Mayza (injured)-Phelps (all solid), Richards-Merryweather (not comfortable with either, but both have the ability), long: Stripling (very solid), Thornton (OK but not trustworthy), and mop up - Vasquez. Vasquez is gone the second Mayza is back. If the Jays get something in a trade then Thornton and Merryweather are next on the Buffalo shuttle.

I really like this team. If Berrios and Ryu can get back to their old form then the rotation is killer. The worst OPS+ among regulars is Hernandez at 86 (although one could argue that Tapia is a regular with his 77).

By sOPS+ the Jays are #1 at catcher (167), #17 at 1B (Vlad only at 106, the rest there have sucked), #5 at 2B, #24 at 3B (Chapman off to a slow start but the underlying numbers suggest he should start up soon), #12 at SS (and climbing), #25 in LF, #6 in CF (Zimmer drags it down a lot), #22 in RF, #5 at DH. Clearly the DH rotation isn't hurting that area, but LF/RF really need Hernandez and Gurriel to be hot. 3B shows hope (lots of line drives just right at people, with long flies dying), and I doubt Vlad will let 1B be that bad come seasons end. The potential to be top 10 at all positions exists but we need Hernandez and Gurriel to hit (which they are getting better at -over the past 7 days Hernandez hitting 429/520/762, Gurriel 389/500/556).

FYI: Last 7 days: Kirk an insane 476/522/905, Tapia a shocking 539/571/846. Plus solid #'s from Bo 308/400/539, and Chapman 350/435/400.
Hodgie - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#414786) #
I am not sure what is more surprising to me, to see Orelvis drop in BA's ranking or for Groshans to have fallen completely off the list. I understand the power still isn't there and the game has changed, but I would have figured his Wade Boggs impression to start the year as one of the youngest players in AAA would be worthy of inclusion still.
Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#414787) #
The Friday xwOBA report- batters 25+ Balls in Play.  League average xwOBA is .329.

Jansen- .493 (expected slugging is .842)
Guerrero Jr.- .384
Kirk- .369
Chapman- .355
Bichette- .353
Springer- .350
Hernandez- .346
Espinal- .340
Gurriel Jr.-.331
Tapia- .302
Collins- .284
Zimmer- .211

For fun, I checked on how many players had slugged .800 in a season with at least 50 PAs.  There were 20 such seasons- a few great MLB players (Barry Bonds, Ruth, Williams), Josh Gibson and Mule Suttles did it a bunch of times in the Negro Leagues, and then 4 randoms.  Those would be Jeff Baker, 2006 in Colorado, Taylor Teagarden 2008 for Texas, Walt Bond's famous 1962 season and Shane Spencer's almost-as-famous 1998 season (he slugged .910 in 73 PAs). 

The top 9 hitters are all above average.  Jansen is likely to come down from that height and Hernandez (at least) is likely to rise.  It's a perfect club for a long sequence offence, in a time that does not generally lend itself to that. 
scottt - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#414788) #
Dombrowski fired Girardi.

They are not good, but they shouldn't have signed all these defensively challenged players.
Their regular DH has been Bryce Harper. Because injuries happen.
The individual stats don't look that bad. Unless starting ERAs of 3.16, 3.83, 3.92, 4.60 and 4.69 are bad in today's game.

Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#414789) #
The pitcher xwOBA report- also 25+ Balls in Play minimum, .329 is league average:

Garcia- .258
Manoah- .266
Mayza- .280
Gausman- .286
Phelps- .286
Cimber- .304
Stripling- .305
Romano- .329
Thornton- .329
Kikuchi- .364
Richards- .370
Ryu- .374
Merryweather- .400
Berrios- .422

On average, Blue Jay pitchers have a wOBA .032 better than xwOBA.  League average difference is .020, which would suggest that Blue Jay pitchers have benefited from some combination of better environmental conditions and better defence than average for league pitchers. 
The surprise on the list is Yimi Garcia who has been very good and not lucky at all. 
hypobole - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#414791) #
With Groshans, he's been pretty scatter-armed defensively. As for the power, read my post in the minor league thread. Maybe a smaller, maybe a larger part of it may be just doing what the Jays want him to do.
bpoz - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#414792) #
Baseball is complicated or simple. I just believe in Cito. I think Cito's 2nd time around the hitting coach (fired) was Gary Denbo who preached patience and taking a walk. L Overbay was great at working the count and getting a walk.

I remember many times (probably just a few times it actually happened) with bases loaded and none out the outs were K and DP resulting in no runs. I think a strikeout pitcher was brought in for the 1st out and then a groundball pitcher for the double play.

Cito instructed his players to swing hard with scoring opportunities. Right or wrong Cito won many games.
uglyone - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#414793) #
That's actually pretty funny about Groshans.

To me, this is actually the first time since we drafted Groshans that I see a hitting line actually worth getting excited about.

He should be moving up rankings, not down.
hypobole - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#414794) #
Dombrowski trying to set himself up to look smart for canning Girardi. Phils are going to do better even if the next manager is the new Jimy Williams.

Phillies have had a horrific schedule, maybe even tougher than the Jays. Already played the Mets 12 times, the Dodgers 7, Brewers 3, Padres 3.

They have maybe the easiest schedule in baseball remaining. Haven't played even 1 of the 19 vs the Nats. Still have all games vs the Reds, Cubs and Pirates left.

Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#414799) #
I guess the lower ranking of Groshans reflects the view that some more power should be evident by age 22.  I don't buy the view either.  I am delighted that he has a positive W/K in triple A at that age, and if he can keep that up, I am confident that the power will come. 
grjas - Friday, June 03 2022 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#414804) #
“Cito instructed his players to swing hard with scoring opportunities. “

I think hitting coaches can have the same challenge as many office managers. They may be effective at helping some people but detrimental to others. I remember one hitting coach under Cito was Willie Upshaw who preached pull hitting to everyone… including poor John Olerud who always hit better when using the whole field.

Similarly, Jansen is hitting better now that he is pulling the ball more whereas Bo and VG hit better spraying to all fields. Ideally the hitting coaches can adapt their coaching to what works best for an individual player, but no doubt they all have their biases. It’s part of the reason I’d like to see Dante rehired in addition to the current coaches-as he provides another set of eyes and likely a different perspective. And they sure hit well last year so if it ain’t broke..
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