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Strange stuff is going on in the Motor City, I tell ya.


I mentioned a couple of weeks back that the dropoff in offense in the AL this year was well-nigh unprecedented. Historic, in fact! At the time, AL teams were scoring about 85% as many runs as they scored last season. That would represent the biggest single season decrease in offense since they added the DH in 1973. It's even larger than the decrease between 1962 and 1963, when they basically expanded the strike zone so that it went from the shoes to the caps. How did this happen? Was it a bad batch of baseballs? Who knows.

It may even prove to simply be a Cold Days of Spring phenomena - AL offense has been increasing in recent weeks, and overall has now risen to about 89% of last season's figure. And here's the thing - all of this is strictly an AL phenomenon. Offense hasn't declined like this in the Other League. Au contraire, mon frere. NL offense has actually been slightly higher than it was in 2021.

No comprende. It's a riddle.

But it brings us to the Detroit Tigers. Almost all of the AL teams are scoring fewer runs than they did last season (everyone but the Yankees and Rangers, in fact) but no team's offense has cratered as much as Detroit's. They are the only team in the majors scoring fewer than 3 runs per game. The Tigers are scoring just 65% as often as they did last season. In other words, their hitting has absolutely collapsed.

This was not supposed to happen. The Tigers were supposed to be a team on the upswing. After successive 64-98 seasons, Detroit hit rock bottom in 2019, losing 114 games, the second worst mark in their long history. They had bounced back to the same old 64-98 pace in the shortened 2020 season. And then they showed signs of actual progress a year ago, winning 77 games. So for 2022, they opened their wallets for some free agents - shortstop Javier Baez, pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Pineda. They hoped to see their prized prospect Spencer Torkelson, the first player chosen in the 2020 draft, step into the lineup. And just before the season began, they were able to get RF Austin Meadows (eligible for arbitration next off-season) from Tampa Bay in exchange for a utility infielder. All of this should† surely get the Detroiters back above .500 for the first time since 2016.

What's gone wrong? Many, many things. Some of it's been on the mound. Rodriguez and Pineda are both on the IL - the good news is that neither suffered an arm injury (Rodriguez had a rib cage sprain, Pineda broke a finger) and both should be back within the next couple of weeks. There is no date for the return of Casey Mize, who has been shut down with a sprained elbow after making just 2 starts. Still, the pitching is the least of their worries right now, and Tarik Skubal and Alex Faedo are two young starters who seem to have taken a significant step forward.

But mostly, it's the bats! Torkelson is hitting .190/.295/.310, with 4 HRs after hitting 30 of them a year ago as he shot through three levels of minor league ball. His arrival moved Jonathan Schoop over to second base. Schoop, who hit .278/.320/.435 with 22 HRs a year ago† is hitting .198/.237/329 this time around. Also stuck below the Mendoza Line is third baseman Jeimer Candelario (.181/.236/.319) - last year he hit .271/.351/.443. Candelario has just gone on the IL; at least RF Robbie Grossman is almost ready to return (he's started a rehab assignment.) Unfortunately, Grossman too has caught whatever is going around (.199/.311/.241) while also suffering a total power outage - he's still looking for his first homer of 2022 after leading the team in dingers a year ago. Meadows is still looking for his first HR as a Tiger as well, and while he's been hitting just fine despite his power outage, he also just missed three weeks with a case of vertigo. Baez himself is hitting just .200/.235/.309. The arrival of Tucker Barnhart pushed Eric Haase and his 22 HRs to the bench, where his hitting has dried up completely. Young centre fielder Akil Baddoo got off to a poor start (.140/.218/.220) and was banished to Toledo. The Tigers recently called up Kody Clemens, son of the Rocket, to see if he could help out in the outfield. Kody is already 26 years old, and after his first 15 at bats in the majors is still looking for his first hit. So he probably won't.

You know who's been okay? Miguel Cabrera. The power seems to have disappeared (there's an awful lot of that going around in Detroit) but the old fellow is hitting .297/.339/.384 - yeah, it's probably not worth $32 million but does make him one of the better hitters on the team.

And the Castro brothers have been very useful. Okay, they're not really brothers - one is from Puerto Rico and the other from Venezuela - but they both fill similar roles on the team, playing a whole bunch of different positions and chipping in with the bat. Harold (LH batter from Venezuela) is nominally a shortstop - he's appeared at every position this season except catcher and right field. (Yes, he's made 4 appearances on the mound in his career, and sports a pretty decent 2.45 ERA.) Harold has also been the team's best hitter this season, and will probably get most of the action at third base with Candelario out. Willi (switch-hitter from Puerto Rico) who also came up as a shortstop, was Detroit's main second baseman last season - this year he's been seen most often in the outfield, where he's appeared in all three positions, plus shortstop and third base. You're probably not too impressed with his hitting line - .258/.300/.333 for an OPS+ of 88, but that pretty clearly makes him the fourth best hitter on the team, behind Meadows, Miggy, and brother Harold.

Matchups

Fri 10 June - Berrios (4-2, 5.24) vs Elvin Rodriguez (0-1, 10.13)
Sat 11 June - Gausman (5-4, 2.78) vs Brieske (0-5, 4.93)
Sun 12 June - Stripling (2-1, 3.65) vs Skubal (5-2, 2.33)
Toronto at Detroit, June 10-12 | 84 comments | Create New Account
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Ryan Day - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#415266) #
Miguel Cabrera. The power seems to have disappeared (there's an awful lot of that going around in Detroit) but the old fellow is hitting .297/.339/.384 - yeah, it's probably not worth $32 million but does make him one of the better hitters on the team.

Cabrera's probably one of the few reasons for people to go to a Tigers game this year, so he may be worth a lot of that money as a promotional expense.

If you're going to have a bad team, "Come watch Miguel Cabrera cruise into the hall of fame & watch him pass some all-time greats on the leaderboards" isn't a bad reason to go to the park.

If he hits another 10 home runs, he'll pass Sheffield, Ott, Mathews, and Banks. If he gets hot, he can catch Ted Williams.
greenfrog - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#415267) #
It would be good for the Jays to win the first two games of the series. The starter for game three (Skubal) has been terrific this year. In four of his last six starts, he's allowed zero runs. In those six starts (39 IP), he has allowed a total of 23 hits and 7 walks and struck out 41.
greenfrog - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#415268) #
Also - he's allowed 1 HR in those six starts.
scottt - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#415271) #
They've had lots of injuries.

They have 6 starters on the shelf: Michael Pineda, Eduardo Rodriguez, Spencer Turnbull, Matt Manning, Tyler Alexander and Casey Mize.

Elvin Rodriguez came back from the Angels in the Justin Upton trade.
Beau Briske was a 27th round pick back in 2017.
Skubal was a 9th round pick in 2018.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#415276) #
Javier Baez signed as a free agent, 6 years for 140 million. So far he's hitting .200 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI's.
Gerry - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#415284) #
Vasquez has gone on the IL with that ankle sprain. The Jays have activated Gabriel, no thats wrong, Jeremy Beasley.
greenfrog - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#415285) #
There was discussion about the Baez contract in this thread after it was announced:

https://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20211128220416818
John Northey - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#415287) #
Thanks for the link greenfrog - I love looking back at how we reacted to things like this. The vast majority of us thought it was a bad signing by the Tigers, especially with the opt out after 2 years. 0.1 WAR so far for Baez with a 59 OPS+, on pace for 174 K's and 21 walks. Yikes. I think the Tigers already regret that deal and it will probably only get worse over the next 5 years.
Magpie - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#415288) #
Moreno will wear Russell Martin's old number. He'll probably be activated tomorrow to catch Gausman.
Mike Green - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#415292) #
Good karma with that uniform number.  I wonder what Russell Martin is planning to do in his retirement.  I guess he's going to spend some time with his family, but if he ever wants to get back into baseball, it sure would be nice if the Blue Jays offered him something. 
lexomatic - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#415294) #
<br>those Baez numbers are not good, but I'm also curious how he did in the 2nd half last year. I haven't looked but I'd be curious to see him compared to other SS and other notorious free swingers. I fully expect this to be part of the league offensive suppression. I'm glad thr Jays didn't sign him,
But how is his defense? Because he was apparently elite defensively so offense would be a bonus (though this is too much for Ozzie to overcome even)
johnny was - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#415295) #
Martin has recently launched Cruise Hard Seltzer, which you can get at the LCBO if you're so inclined. Best of luck to him in his second act as a booze baron.
Magpie - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#415296) #
Tim Mayza, still on the IL, is in Detroit with the team.
Magpie - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#415298) #
Rodriguez gave up 18 HR in 75.2 IP last year in AA.
hypobole - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#415299) #
Might today be the 1st time this year Jays batters will get to face a position player?
greenfrog - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#415301) #
Remember the old days (OK, 2021) when the manager thought Breyvic Valera would be a better choice than Alejandro Kirk to hit in a crucial situation against a divisional rival with runners on base?
John Northey - Friday, June 10 2022 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#415305) #
Team feels more like last years now - 3 blowout wins in the past 4 games. Playing the AL Central will do that.
hypobole - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#415316) #
So we didn't lose to the worst team in baseball the other day. KC has a little 3 game streak and is all the way up to 28th. They've passed Cinci. Oh, we lost a game to them too? Oakland is now last. And yeah, we lost a game to them too.

JMO, but we should really try to stop losing games to really awful teams.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#415320) #
It's such a pleasure to watch Kirk and Espinal hit, pulling the inside pitch and hitting it hard and poking the ball away down the right field line.  I am hopeful that Gabriel Moreno will be another player like that. 
hypobole - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#415323) #
Couple of the strangest managerial decisions this year were the bases loaded intentional walk by Maddon and the 2 strike intentional walk by La Russa.

Schoenfield at ESPN weighs in.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34070350/was-tony-la-russa-intentional-walk-trea-turner-worst-mlb-history-rankingc
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#415324) #
Is it ironic that an A's manager would lead the major leagues in intentional walks?  Is it like rain on your wedding day?  Nah.
hypobole - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#415325) #
Kotsay with another IBB last night so now it's 14.

Astros and Padres have the fewest - 1 each. Jays and Twins next lowest with 2.
Gerry - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#415326) #
Moreno activated, Collins optioned.
bpoz - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#415327) #
Detroit has had many injuries as mentioned. If the Jays or any team were to have injuries like that to their pitching staff they too would be down in the standings.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#415328) #
It's a nice first step.  The roster is just three players away from being optimized, and two of the players are recovering from injury.  Good times.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#415329) #
Gabriel Moreno gets the start batting 8th between Raimel Tapia in centerfield and Cavan Biggio at second base.  George Springer is the DH, which Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk get the day off. 

I'm not fond of the decision to play Raimel Tapia in centerfield, least of all in Comerica. 
hypobole - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#415330) #
FG doesn't quite agree, but BRef has the worst position players on the Jays and Rockies as Tapia and Grichuk. Definitely not win-win but looking like a rather symmetrical trade.

hypobole - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#415331) #
The Tapia start almost seems a "Stop me before I kill again" message from Montoyo to Atkins.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#415332) #
Tapia has a 121 wRC+ in June, while Zimmer has a 45 wRC+. Probably the thinking is, start Tapia (hot hand theory) and then use Zimmer as a late-inning defensive replacement or pinch-runner.

I like that the Jays are giving Springer regular rest this year.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#415333) #
Tapia has been used a lot when he's hot, when he's cold and when he's tepid. 
grjas - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#415334) #
Whatís the prediction for Moreno today? I am going 1 for 4 and a SO.
hypobole - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#415335) #
Best Jays batters by wRC+ so far Kirk 155 and Springer 150
Vlad and Espinal next at 125.

Also noticed a couple of ex-Jays. Rowdy 2nd best at 121.

The best ex-Jay is tied with Freddie Freeman and Juan Soto at 130. He's somewhat of a overly belated validation for Atkins.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#415336) #
In the second inning, Moreno will hit a ground ball to shortstop that he bobbles for an error.  In the third inning, Moreno will hit a bloop to left for a single.  In the fifth inning, Moreno will pop up to the catcher in foul territory.  In the 7th inning, he will line a double to the right-centerfield gap.  In the 9th inning, he will strike out (but don't worry, the Jays will have the game in hand by then).  Is it really necessary to watch the game now that you know?
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#415338) #
It would be cool to see a Cs plus interview with Tiedemann, whose full name is Tariq Leni Tiedemann.  His elder brother Tai is in the Texas organization.  Here's a story from 2 years ago about the brothers.

Ricky is represented by Scott Boras. 
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#415340) #
Kirk gets the day off again? That's two of the last three games with an off day thrown in between that the team's best hitter is on the bench. I guess it's a drawback that he can only catch or DH.
Magpie - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#415342) #
Mayza activated as well, Beasley optioned.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#415344) #
Mike, hereís a recent MILB interview with Tiedemann:

https://www.milb.com/news/prospect-q-a-toronto-blue-jays-left-hander-ricky-tiedemann
Gerry - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#415345) #
I heard that Kirk was showing signs of tiredness. I think it was either Shi Davidi or one of the team reporters.

That hasn't shown up in his bat yet.
85bluejay - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#415346) #
I am really impressed how the Jays are managing the workload of position players especially Springer & Kirk - I think it will pay off later this season - Also I don't mind sending the message to Kirk that if he wants more playing time, then get in better shape.
Nigel - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#415347) #
Tapia is a terrible defender. Full stop.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#415348) #
In the second inning, Moreno will hit a ground ball to shortstop that he bobbles for an error.

Sorry.  You may now resume watching the game.
Magpie - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#415349) #
About the last thing anyone could reasonably expect would be Kevin Gausman walking Javier Baez.

So he does it twice?
jerjapan - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#415350) #
'Cruise Hard Seltzer' sounds exactly what a healthy athlete might drink, so hard pass from me, but good luck to the guy.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#415351) #
According to the MLB app the Jays are 3/10 on balls 105+. Tigers 3/4 on balls above 100. Fastest at 105.

I amÖÖgreatly annoyed
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#415352) #
The broadcast has Moreno with a pop-time of 1.82 seconds and sprint speed of 29.7 feet/second going down to first base.  He's going to get some infield hits...
greenfrog - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#415353) #
Time for Summer of George?
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#415354) #
10 days early.  Spring of George not quite good enough today.  They did hit a lot of balls hard.
Nigel - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#415355) #
You canít really have three more different body types and levels of base athleticism than Jansen, Kirk and Moreno. Itís actually like watching a mad science experiment on Cís defense played out daily with the Jays.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#415356) #
Nice to see footage of Moreno (22) and Cabrera (39) hanging out a bit together.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, June 11 2022 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#415358) #
Comerica Park features a beautiful view of the city skyline. Like Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Still, not sure about the ballfield's quirks. That right-centre power alley?

"strangest managerial decisions... bases loaded intentional walk by Maddon..."

Maddon started that trend with Josh Hamilton and the strategy seems counter-intuitive.

Very cool to see Gabe Moreno and Miggy take a photo.

"As great as he is as a player... He's an even better person." - Best sports clichť of all time.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 06:54 AM EDT (#415360) #
" What's the prediction for Moreno today? I am going 1 for 4 and a SO."

Uh, grjas, any insights on future lottery numbers?


grjas - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#415361) #
Funnily enough I also predicted one base runner thrown out and forgot to add it in. Anyway thatís probably my only baseball prediction that will come true.
Magpie - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#415362) #
Alejandro Kirk has the best OBP (.404) on the team as we speak.

Cavan Biggio is second. Strange but true.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#415363) #
I wondered whether Chapman was unavailable yesterday.  I was puzzled why Montoyo didn't pinch-hit Chapman for Zimmer in the ninth.  It was entirely predictable that Zimmer would be overmatched by Soto and you really needed a base-runner there to have any kind of chance.

For what it's worth, if you pinch-hit for Chapman and it works and the club ties the game or takes the lead in the top of the ninth, the consequential defensive moves aren't difficult- Chapman to third, Espinal to second, Biggio to RF and Teoscar to CF. 
Mike Green - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#415364) #
*pinch-hit with Chapman...in the second paragraph.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#415365) #
Chapman is out of the lineup today so presumably it was a minor injury.
Gerry - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#415366) #
Sore wrist for Chapman.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#415367) #
David Laurilia over at Fangraphs ran a poll on who is having the better season so far- Kevin Gausman or Alek Manoah.  His readers favoured Gausman by 58% to 42%.  It's an interesting thing how much weight people attach to FIP (where Gausman leads), as opposed to ERA and xERA (where Manoah leads).  And if you're somewhat of a traditionalist, Gausman is 5-5 with an average of 4.04 runs per game of support while Manoah is 7-1 with 3.51 runs per game of support.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#415368) #
The Blue Jays now have 10 players with significant numbers of PAs with above average xwOBA- Jansen, Kirk, Guerrero Jr., Bichette, Chapman, Springer, Hernandez, Espinal, Gurriel Jr. and Biggio.  Moreno has a pretty good shot at being the 11th if he's here for the duration.  That's a very good situation to be in. 

Personally, I'd rather have Biggio playing a corner outfield position to give Hernandez and Gurriel Jr. a break than Tapia.  And as for centerfield, I am personally very content with giving Zimmer a start once a week against a RHP to give Springer a break. 
hypobole - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#415369) #
"Personally, I'd rather have Biggio playing a corner outfield position to give Hernandez and Gurriel Jr. a break than Tapia."

Just wondering, is there any here who doesn't agree with this?
Nigel - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#415370) #
Thatís how I would roll out the OFs. Biggio first up for all 4th OF duty other than on days Springer needs a day off, then Zimmer. In fact, Biggio circa 2019 fixes so many problems for this roster that Iíd keep him in the lineup almost daily to see if that guy is still in there.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#415371) #
Manoah has been consistently good all season, whereas Gausman went on a terrific run to start the season but has since fallen off a bit (by standard or advanced metrics).

Back in April I predicted a 2022 Cy Young award for Manoah, so Iím hoping he keeps it up (and banks some Wís along the way).
Chuck - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#415372) #
For what it's worth, Gausman has bested Manoah in BR's FIP and FG's xFIP.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#415374) #
The hit-and-run makes a lot of sense with Skubal pitching.
hypobole - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#415375) #
Vladdy doubled with one out in the 6th on Friday. Jays then went 15.2 innings without an extra base hit before Vladdy's HR. 3 more extra base hits before Skubal got out of the inning.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#415376) #
In terms of effectiveness, you could argue that the Jays rotation currently ranks something like:

Manoah
Gausman
Berrios
Stripling
Ryu (IL)

I'm sure the team will be searching for another competent (or better) SP before the trade deadline.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#415377) #
The Yankees are beating the Cubs 18-4. Matt Carpenter has played 10 games for them and is hitting .333/.467/1.125 with six home runs. Talk about the rich getting richer.
Magpie - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#415378) #
In his last 303 games for St.Louis, since 2019, Carpenter had hit .203/.325/.346, further proof that the Yankees have made some kind of deal with the Prince of Darkness.
hypobole - Sunday, June 12 2022 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#415379) #
I'm sure the team will be searching for another competent (or better) SP before the trade deadline.

Atkins may have to, but I think the last thing he wants is to pay market price at the deadline. Offseason, when it only costs money, would be the time to get one. As long as Manoah, Gausman and Berrios are healthy and effective, Jays only need one more starter for the playoffs.

Anyway, it's still 50 days away. Maybe Pete can get Kikuchi righted to competency. Or maybe it's from the farm if one of the 3 Gerry mentioned really steps up.
Mike Green - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#415384) #
It was very nice to see Biggio hitting a 95 mph fastball hard to right-center.  He's playing well defensively too, and as Magpie has mentioned, his presence addresses several issues on the club. 

Espinal has so much going for him defensively- a great arm, a quick first step, very good baseball instincts and good hands.  It's hard to believe that he may end up being the most valuable player on the club, but that's about where he stands right now.  He has been effectively at a 5 WAR/650 PA pace over his career (i.e. All-Star) and it looks to me like he'll get there this year in a single season.  He's the one player who has consistently beat my expectations for him- whether they have been low or high. 
SK in NJ - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#415385) #
Thatís how I would roll out the OFs. Biggio first up for all 4th OF duty other than on days Springer needs a day off, then Zimmer. In fact, Biggio circa 2019 fixes so many problems for this roster that Iíd keep him in the lineup almost daily to see if that guy is still in there.

Agreed. This team obviously wants to use the DH spot as more of rotation to rest certain players, which means the 4th OF is going to play a lot. It's bordering on irresponsible to still have Tapia on the roster given the way he's being used. This isn't a guy with a great track record having a bad season, this is him being him. Biggio taking Tapia's spot on the pecking order is the easiest fix for the short-term. The fact that Biggio can play 1B, 2B, etc, just adds to his utility. Play him as much as possible, and see if the 2019-20 version (or some variation of it) comes out. If there is an upgrade to be made at the deadline (hopefully) then make it.
hypobole - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#415387) #
ESPN has a piece up on each contenders biggest strength. Ours is hitting the ball hard. However what really caught my eye was the Dodgers controlling the strike zone. It referenced this recent Bill James article:

https://www.billjamesonline.com/control_of_the_strike_zone/

Here is the money quote from Bill James:

"My conclusion would be that, in most cases, the won-lost record of your team is essentially determined by their ability to control the strike zone. Other things are important, but nothing else is AS important, and everything else combined is not as important."

FWIW, I did some quick math using James' formula and the Jays are at .571 or a 92.5 win pace.
scottt - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#415388) #
I haven't watched the games, but maybe pitchers have been attacking Carpenter like an easy out in a tough lineup.
hypobole - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#415389) #
Red Sox have been hot. May 11th 11-20, 21-9 since. 9 series in that span, 7 wins including 2 sweeps, Split a 2 game with Cincy. The only series they lost? At home vs Baltimore.

Last time Tampa played the O's was late last month. O's won that series as well.

Much like the Tigers, have to get a lead against their starters, because the O's bullpen has been one of the best in baseball so far.
Mike Green - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#415390) #
When you combine quite good control of the strike zone, with way above average ability to hit the ball hard and significantly above average defence, you have a 97-100 win team.  And the strike zone control adds more to the picture than the other two pieces.  

Mike Green - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#415391) #
According to BBRef's SRS, the Yankees are MLB's best 1st place club, the Blue Jays are MLB's best 2nd place club, the Red Sox are tied for the best 3rd place club (by SRS) in a division, the Rays are the best 4th place club and the Orioles are the best 5th place club by a mile.  There is a greater distance between the Orioles and the other trailers than for each of the other clubs.  I suspect that they are right now close to an average major league team. 
scottt - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#415393) #
The Red Sox might be hot, but they have 2 starters on the IL  now in Eovaldi and Whitlock and it's not like they can make a trade since they already have Sale and Paxton scheduled to come back later. I'd be impressed if they went on a 15 game winning streak.

As far as hot goes, it's mostly Devers and Martinez, others seems to have cooled down.

hypobole - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#415394) #
Not saying the Sox will stay hot. My point was the only team in their last 9 series that came out on top was the Orioles - they shouldn't be taken lightly.
mathesond - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#415395) #
I'd be impressed if any team went on a 15 game winning streak, full health or not.
John Northey - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#415397) #
By SRS the Jays are better than all teams in the AL Central, NL Central, and AL West. Checks out. 4th best in baseball behind the Yankees, Dodgers, and Mets - all 3 spending well over $200 million this year. I'd say anyone at -1 or worse for SRS at this point should be a seller as the conditions suggest their team ain't gonna get better enough to sneak in even with luck. Those are Detroit, KC, Oakland, Washington, Pittsburgh, Cubs, Reds, Rockies. Oh to have the Jays in the NL Central eh? Jays now 4 games up in the playoff race.
bpoz - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#415400) #
We are at the 60 game mark. Trade deadline is Aug 2. Frankie Montas is very good for Oakland. I don't know if he is a FA at the end this year or next. There is no QO for any player. You get a pick for players that leave but qualify for draft pick compensation.
uglyone - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#415402) #
"4th best in baseball behind the Yankees, Dodgers, and Mets - all 3 spending well over $200 million this year."

Our FO says we could sustainably spend ~$200m too, for the record.
Mike Green - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#415405) #
With Alejandro Kirk catching and Chapman sore, I was pretty sure that Tapia would be in the lineup tonight.  I was not wrong.
bpoz - Monday, June 13 2022 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#415414) #
UO I am with you and the FO. Atkins said $200mil eventually is what I heard. So maybe this year or next or the year after. But we will get there.
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