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Jesus just left Chicago
And he's bound for New Orleans
Workin' from one end to the other
and all points in between

So you won more than 90 games a year ago. And despite your ace left-hander heading off to the west coast in free agency, you still thought you were in a fine position to compete for the division title.


But what happens if one of your pitchers goes right off the cliff? And soon has to be thrown over the side? Metaphors are literally (figuratively?) colliding as we attempt to describe the disaster. But we're not done. What if another of your starting pitchers suffers a spring training injury that keeps him off the mound for the first two months? Then whatcha gonna do?

You just might find yourself in third place, with a 32-34 record.

Hey, it's a hard game.

What's happened to the White Sox this season seems so simple, so obvious, that even a child could figure it out. Taking no chances, I found a nearby child and asked him to explain. "It's the pitching, dummy! Now go away!" the youngster snapped.

Just last season, no team in the AL gave up fewer runs than the White Sox. This season, only the traditionally hapless Royals get scored on more often. Last year's White Sox featured four starters who were all having outstanding seasons, plus a former Cy Young winner who wasn't exactly chopped liver. (Sounds like the 2022 Yankees, so far.) But ace southpaw Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37) signed with San Francisco as a free agent, veteran ace Lance Lynn (11-6, 2.69) injured his knee and needed surgery at the beginning of April, and 2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel posted a 7.88 ERA in eight starts and was Designated For Assignment.

The Sox have not been able to fill all of those holes. The replacement for Rodon has actually gone more or less as planned - Michael Kopech, from last season's bullpen, has stepped into the rotation and pitched very well. And Dylan Cease has picked up right where he left off last season. But Lucas Giolito has been scuffling and Vince Velasquez went 2-3, 5.79 in seven starts before being banished to long relief about a month ago.

Furthermore Kopech's promotion and Garrett Crochet's Tommy John surgery have taken a big chunk out of the team's bullpen depth, which this week is also missing closer Liam Hendriks and LOOGY Aaron Bummer. Still standing amid the carnage are Kendall Graveman and Reynaldo Lopez - and not much else at all.

But things may be looking up. The White Sox picked up 36 year old Johnny Cueto off the scrap heap, and the old rascal has looked quite like the Cueto of old. Lynn finally made his season debut last week. Shortstop Tim Anderson, the beating heart and soul of this team, has finished his rehab assignment and should be back in the lineup tonight.

The Sox will be missing at least one, and possibly two regulars, when the Blue Jays visit. Whether that actually hurts the ball club is another matter entirely, because catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoan Moncada have both been utterly dreadful this season. Grandal is definitely out of the lineup, so old chum Reese McGuire and veteran minor leaguer Seby Zavala will be doing the catching. Rookie Jake Burger has been gradually taking the third base job away from Moncada, who is questionable these days with a tender hamstring.

The offense is led by Anderson, 2020 MVP Jose Abreu, and sophomore Andrew Vaughn, who seems to have taken a large step towards fulfilling the promise that made him the third overall pick in the 2019 draft. Vaughn starts games at both outfield corners, DH, and first base on occasion. LaRussa doesn't have anything resembling a regular DH, rotating various regulars through the spot.

One of the odd facts about the 2022 White Sox is they've played much better ball on the road. Sure, they got swept when they came up to Toronto three weeks ago - they've still gone 18-16 on the road, whilst posting a downright puzzling 13-17 in their own digs. On second thought, it's not that puzzling at all. Their pitchers have been getting absolutely pummelled at (looks it up) Guaranteed Rate Field (what kind of name is that for a ball park?), where they've been allowing a grisly 5.77 runs per game. (On the road, they allow a much more reasonable 3.91 per game.)

SO who's pitching? These guys.

Mon 20 June - Berrios (5-2, 4.65) vs Lynn (0-0, 6.23)
Tue 21 June - Gausman (5-6, 3.21) vs Cease (5-3, 2.91)
Wed 22 June - Stripling (3-2, 3.28) vs Giolito (4-3, 4.78)

Toronto at Chicago, June 20-22 | 187 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#415842) #
"So you won more than 90 games a year ago. And despite your ace left-hander heading off to the west coast in free agency, you still thought you were in a fine position to compete for the division title."

Oh, you trickster, Magpie.
Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#415843) #
I could never pass up an opportunity like that!

The best one of those I ever did was after Anthopoulos moved on. I had an opening paragraph that was obviously about to rehash his story... but no, it was all about Bing Devine and the 1960s Cardinals. Head fake!
scottt - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#415844) #
White Sox fans have gone into "Fire Tony" chants more than once.

An intentional walk on a 1-2 count that lead to a loss has been questioned and the answer was found wanting.

Tim Anderson is coming off the 10 day IL.
He's the heart of this team.

We missed Graveman the first time.
He's the closer now.

We also missed Joe Kelly who is setting him up.
Reynaldo Lopez has been pitching well.

Grandal is down with back spasms.

Hot hitters include Abreu, Roberts, Vaughn and Moncada.

Mike Green - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#415845) #
Guaranteed Rate Field (what kind of name is that for a ball park?)

Appropriate that the punishment for the name of the ballpark is a a guarantee that the team's pitchers will allow more than 5 runs per game at home. 

Nothing is freaking guaranteed in this game, nitwits. Ignore that and the great commissioner in the sky will send all their forces- umpires, weather changes, unfortunate and calamitous injuries- upon you.
mathesond - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#415847) #
"It's the pitching, dummy! Now go away!"

That seems very rude of Eephus.
John Northey - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#415848) #
Just goes to show how much worse this year easily could've been with poor management. Luckily we have a manager who is within a generation of his players instead of being old enough to be their grandfather.

Should be a good series for the Jays to do a rebound on - Berrios-Gausman-Stripling for this series then a day off before going to Milwaukee.
greenfrog - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#415849) #
Further to Magpie's trade proposal (4.5 seasons of Kirk for 2.5 seasons of Pablo Lopez), Fangraphs has just posted a piece on Kirk. The author includes a table that lists the five hitters (200+ PA) who most resemble Kirk this season. They are:

Freddie Freeman
Jose Ramirez
Alex Verdugo
Mookie Betts
Michael Brantley

Here's the last para.:

"The thing about regression to the mean, though, is it assumes we know what a playerís true talent level is. In Kirkís case, Iím not sure thatís been defined. Heís not the best catcher in baseball just yet Ė that throne currently belongs to Wilson Contreras, who has an edge in terms of both offensive production and playing time. Over the past few years, it belongs to the steady Will Smith. But Kirk is the likeliest heir around. Itís hard to believe, but heís still only 23 years old, with plenty of time to refine his already potent bat and demonstrate that his newfound pitch-framing capabilities are real. True, there isnít a ton of precedent for Kirkís teapot frame in professional sports, which does raise questions about how heíll age. But does that mean Iím going to ignore how much heís been raking this season? Nope! So for now, letís admire just how much Kirk stands out in the catcher landscape, and appreciate how heís realizing his All-Star ceiling, one double down the line at a time."
uglyone - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#415851) #
For the record I would much much much rather use our financial heft to trade for a good but overpaid player with term instead of a good cheaper player that will cost us a top young asset.
uglyone - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#415852) #
Kirk will always always be undervalued cuz short and fat.
92-93 - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#415854) #
It's surprising that Castillo is still around for tonight's game. Maybe they don't want to burn Beasley's 5 option trips too quickly, but with Ryu not on the 60-day yet there's room on the 40-man roster for a new arm.
Nigel - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#415855) #
I have said for some time now that the biggest reason to hold onto Kirk is that his offensive upside is unknown and could in fact top out at "generational talent" for a C. I wouldn't for a moment suggest that that is his likeliest high water mark. But when you comb through his hitting stats since he joined the system you see: consistent ability to hit for a high average; extraordinary strike zone control; mid range pop. That's a recipe for elite offence from the C position. I think you have to hold on to him just to see.
greenfrog - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#415859) #
ď Kirk will always always be undervalued cuz short and fatĒ

I think there is probably some truth to this. If he had a classic athletic build, he would likely generate more interest as a cheap and controllable 4-5 WAR catcher who can hit in the middle of a lineup.
Mike Green - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#415860) #
Good news! Yesterday's hitting star Raimel Tapia gets the start for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who has been scuffing. Tapia bats 5th.
greenfrog - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#415861) #
Think of it as stress-testing the team. Can the Jays overcome the adversity of its manager repeatedly making suboptimal decisions? By building character now, the team will be tougher in the postseason.
hypobole - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#415862) #
Did you see Lourdes foul the ball off the top of foot yesterday? Dan thought they were going to pull him. It was bad, but once you take the shoe off, often it's worse. Kudos to Gurriel for toughing it out to hit the slam.

Seems the biggest issue with Tapia is that he is much too insufficiently injury prone. Tweak a hammy or something.
uglyone - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#415863) #
I still say Gurriel is the trade bait to move IF we are thinking of moving a regular.
greenfrog - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#415864) #
Tapia (-0.7) has the third-lowest WAR total in the majors (190+ PA). Odd choice to hit fifth in a supposedly powerful lineup.
scottt - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#415865) #
Guerrero is the DH after taking that awkward dive and Biggio is playing first.

I guess Tapia his hitting 5th so that Kirk can pitch him for him if a big spot comes up.

99BlueJaysWay - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#415867) #
I for one hope that we donít resort to using Kirk as a pitcher ;)
Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#415868) #
Further to Magpie's trade proposal

Hey, if Kim Ng calls me with that proposal, I'm going to say - well, first I'm going to tell her she's got the wrong number - no, it's not enough. Not for the captain.

I have to get a quality relief pitcher, too.
hypobole - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#415869) #
Had to check. Last time we used a position player was in 2020. Espinal pitched an inning in 2 games.

Fun fact. Cards have done it 3 times this year. Yadier Molina an IP twice and Albert Pujols once. Not going to post their ERA's but Espinal's 9.00 ERA is way better than both.
Cracka - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#415870) #
Last week, the Tigers used three position players as pitchers in one game - a 13-0 blowout to the White Sox. I expect we will see this more and more this summer as teams are now limited to 8 bullpen arms.
bpoz - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#415871) #
Thanks Cracka. So 13/13 is now in effect? A move by the Jays?
Mike Green - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#415872) #
What did I tell you?  He's hot!
Dr. Zarco - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#415873) #
Tapia oppo power? That was a good looking stroke.
Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#415874) #
Raimel Tapia feeds on your scorn.
Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#415875) #
Mike, do you remember - it was just last year - how I mocked Danny Jansen without mercy, or even good taste. And he started hitting, just to make me look bad?

A torch has been passed, I feel.
Mike Green - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#415876) #
Raimie and I are proud and promise to stay within ourselves.  I mock, he hits. It's better that way.
lexomatic - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#415877) #
<br>Did Tapia hit to left? Cuz I just turned stuff on and it's carrying.
Those Southside black unis are UGLY. I think the White Sox have a large number of unia on the historically ugly list.
Berries doesn't look good
Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#415878) #
Did Tapia hit to left?

He surely did, and I may have hit my head on something as I keeled over in shock.
lexomatic - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#415879) #
<br>you can (my phone autocorrected to unbleached and I have no idea what I was trying to say) your head though because of the wind.
And I'm feeling much less good about the Berrios signing than I did when it happened. Not unhappy,but I was stoked about it.
greenfrog - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#415880) #
Tapia is actually hitting well in June (despite zero walks). Montoyo may be riding the hot hand. Or maybe Raimel is figuring something out.
lexomatic - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#415881) #
<br>those yellow Boston jerseys with green hats are also hideous.
uglyone - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#415882) #
$50m in dead SP money could be a problem.
lexomatic - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#415883) #
<br> that blow high and tight ball 3 call cost a walk that shohkda been a K for Phelps
Lynn should've had an earlier K. Haven't been paying attention but seems like a lot of blown close calls.
Haven't checked the scorecard recently whether Jays are still getting a raw ump deal.
John Northey - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#415884) #
This is very frustrating. Berrios $120 mil over the next 6 years seemed like a good idea at the time ($130 net over 7). 11.3 bWAR over 6 years made that deal make sense. 15 fWAR makes it even more logical to do. FanGraphs has him as +0.5 WAR before today, and theirs is better for projecting forward than BR's is traditionally. The 3 HR given up will hurt that big time. Gotta hope he figures out the problem and gets back to the pre-2022 model he was.
Four Seamer - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#415885) #
I do think they ought to add another starter, but man does Berrios demonstrate the limits of one's confidence in knowing what it is you're getting back in a deal. He is simultaneously making me think the Jays need to add TWO starters, and that trying making a deal for one is futile.
Chuck - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#415886) #
Yes, those black White Sox uniforms are ugly. And yes, so are those yellow Red Sox uniforms.

But, more importantly, what in the holy MAGA-inspired hell is this?

Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#415887) #
A bad acid trip, I'm thinking.
uglyone - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#415888) #
I like the jerseys!
John Northey - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#415889) #
And another gift hit from Tapia. Sigh. Why is he in there while Gurriel is on the bench? I just don't get it. Yeah, he hit that home run today which was nice but he gives it back with the glove and his bat is nowhere near enough to make up for it normally.
Magpie - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#415890) #
I don't think Gurriel catches that on the fly.
Gerry - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#415891) #
Berrios is struggling to be consistent.

Gausman is struggling to be consistent.

Kikuchi is struggling to be consistent.

Stripling is a twice through the order pitcher.

Thats a lot of things for Pete Walker to fix and it's a lot of innings that you can't be sure you are going to get pitched.
Dr. Zarco - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#415892) #
The zone has beenÖpoor. The walk to Vladdy was particularly poor. Followed by a couple strike calls well below that. The Sox have been smoking the ball all over the yard tonight. Lucky to be down 3.
Nigel - Monday, June 20 2022 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#415893) #
Tough night. It hasnít always produced results, but Biggio has produced some consistently better contact since coming back up. Silver linings and all.
Michael - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#415894) #
I liked the black white sox uniforms. I thought they looked interesting.

It would be nice to win more games than we have of late, but I still believe in this team as long as most players can stay healthy, even if we don't add anyone and Tapia plays too much and hits too early in the order (even after today's HR).
John Northey - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 02:24 AM EDT (#415895) #
Yeah, that ump today was terrible - guess umpires are human, and can have bad days and this guy had one of those days where no one knew what he'd call a ball or strike all night. It'll be interesting to see the scoresheet for it from Umpire Scorecards around noonhour.
scottt - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#415896) #
White Sox just played Detroit who also have fugly uniforms.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#415897) #
Chuck, the cap celebrates global warming. Inspired by Warhol, it's called Some Like It Hot. The rare Marilyn version will be going up for auction.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#415898) #
I wonder if Kirk might have been able to coax a better performance out of Berrios last night. No disrespect to Moreno, who simply has less experience at the MLB level.

Also, don't look now, but the Red Sox are close behind the Jays in the AL East standings, with the Rays right behind them. Time for the Jays to step it up.
Jonny German - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#415899) #
Using the arbitrary endpoint of May 26, aka Cavan Biggio's Triumphant Return from Buffalo, I present to you a team hitting on all cylinders:
Player	PA	AVG	OBP	SLG	K%	B%
Kirk	79	.373	.468	.672	11%	13%
Herndez	94	.345	.394	.609	23%	7%
Guerr'o	106	.269	.359	.602	19%	11%
Gurriel	84	.355	.417	.526	19%	10%
Tapia	61	.317	.328	.567	16%	2%
Biggio	68	.250	.382	.446	28%	18%
Bichtte	108	.293	.352	.475	24%	8%
Chapman	78	.271	.346	.457	21%	8%
Springr	96	.247	.316	.471	18%	9%
Espinal	98	.258	.296	.409	17%	5%

That's been good for 6.25 runs per game and a record of 15-9, a 101-win pace.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#415900) #
AL East team records (June 2022):

NYY 16-2 (.889)
Bos 14-4 (.778)
Bal 9-8 (.529)
Tor 10-9 (.526)
TB 8-10 (.444)
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#415901) #
The ball has been flying with the warmer weather, and the competition has been weak generally.  It is true now, as it was earlier in the season that the position players on the club have been quite a bit better than the pitchers.  It was masked by balls not traveling well earlier exemplified best by Matt Chapman's experience.

Berrios' curve wasn't biting last night, perhaps in part because of the weather.  The Harrison home run was a classic example of a very juicy hanger.  He has always given up quite a few home runs but when he's going well he strikes out many and walks few- he has the Ferguson Jenkins profile.  Would Alejandro Kirk have helped?  Probably not much, but perhaps better pitch framing or calling might have led to one run less scoring and that would have been important.  Berrios had a game like that in Los Angeles 3 weeks ago with Kirk catching.  The ball was flying and his curve wasn't biting in hot humid weather.  I think he benefits from the temperature-controlled environment indoors at the RC.  He had a bad outing Opening Day at the RC, but since then, he's aces at home and erratic on the road, to say the least. 

Kirk is likely the best of the three defensively catchers now.  He doesn't have the best arm or the most agility, but he receives and calls very well.  He's actually the one I'd be least inclined to trade unless you are dealing with a club prepared to value him as a 20-25 WAR player at low cost over the next 5 years. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#415902) #
the best of the three defensively catchers now

*catchers defensively...what's a word switch among friends?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#415903) #
Since May 11, Tapia has a 126 wRC+ (.301/.337/.462) in 98 plate appearances, yet is a negative base runner and (very) negative defensive player over that span (0.1 WAR total). His profile doesn't really scream sustainable long-term offensive force, especially given his lack of walks and BABIP driven bat. I really don't see what the upside is here. Even if he turns out to be a +100 wRC+ player through whatever mechanical changes the Jays are making with him, he is likely still a poor defensive player and even his base running isn't that good this season. If he was an average defensive CF and the team thought they could fix his bat, then I could see the logic in how they are using him right now. As is, I don't get it, and it's disappointing that an otherwise smartly run organization is doing this in a year they plan on contending for a World Series.

This point has been made before I'm sure, but if the Jays plan on using the DH spot in the way they are currently using it (resting regulars), rather than putting the best lineup on the field, then hoarding 3 good/very good catchers is a really bad use of assets when the manager doesn't want to play more than 1 at a time. I'm not even sure keeping Kirk and Moreno together makes any long term sense with this approach to lineup construction. It seems like an easy fix next year and beyond (Moreno starts, Kirk is the backup and starting DH) but I don't think they will operate that way.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#415904) #
Losing a one run game last night was an uncomfortable reminder of a our one run luck this year.

Hopefully regression to that mean only means 50/50 luck the rest of the way rather than an extreme reversal
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#415905) #
Mike makes a good point about whether other teams are properly valuing Kirk / Moreno / Jansen. A lot of the focus has been on whether the Jays should trade from a surplus by moving one of those three players. But it takes two to tango in a trade, and it may be preferable to hold on to all three catchers for now (even if it results in a somewhat unwieldy roster construction) rather than trading one of them for an insufficient return.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#415906) #
Also, having good players on the bench is a good thing.

The issue is only that bad players like Tapia are playing far too much.
scottt - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#415907) #
Tapia is like the opposite of Grichuk.
Grichuk is a decent defender, hits right, has power but makes poor contact. He usually starts hot but fades quickly.

Mike Green - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#415909) #
Grichuk and Tapia have been pretty comparable this year so far.  Grichuk is hitting .259/.297/.390 for a wRC+ of 79 and he's -3 in the outfield for a total of -0.7 fWAR.  Tapia is hitting .257/.282/.369 for a wRC+ of 81 and he's -4 in the outfield for a total of -0.7 fWAR.  Even trade of below replacement level players. 
hypobole - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#415911) #
Tapia is far from the biggest problem on the team, even though that's where our fixations keep leading back to.

The biggest are the ones Gerry pointed out. Team ERA is 4.02 on the year, 19th place. It's 4.74 in June, 24th. If this doesn't get straightened around, doesn't matter if Tapia plays every day or is DFA'd.
Nigel - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#415915) #
Totally agree. And for all the angst about Kikuchi, they really need their big money starters Berrios and Gausman to start pitching better and more consistently.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#415916) #
By fWAR, Tapia is actually the trailer on the club.  The pitchers who have contributed the most negatively are Berrios, Ryu, Kikuchi, Richards and a host of low leverage relievers.  They need to get Berrios turned around for good, get another starter and put Kikuchi in a long role in the pen until he shows some semblance of control (his walk rate of 5.60/9 has to be brought down to his career norm of 3.55/9).
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#415918) #
At least the Jays received a prospect (Pinto) in the Tapia trade, rather than relinquishing one.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#415919) #
"Tapia is far from the biggest problem on the team,"

Disagree.

It is a safe bet that Berrios and Gausman will be fine, and likely that Kikuchi will be better. You expect gppd players to have slumps during the year.

The fact that we need to play a player of the caliber of Tapia this much, though, is a legit problem that needs to be addressed.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#415921) #
The demand for good SPs this summer is going to be high. GMs should expect to pay a heavy price to acquire a pitcher that he/she would like to use in the postseason.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#415922) #
You're allowed to think whatever you want, but Tapia in June has a 145 wRC+ and +0.2 fWAR. I already posted the pitching.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#415923) #
it may be preferable to hold on to all three catchers for now (even if it results in a somewhat unwieldy roster construction) rather than trading one of them for an insufficient return.

While I lust shamelessly after Pablo Lopez, I think Kim Ng will want more than Kirk in exchange. ("He's fat! How long is he going to last? I'd need a lot more for Lopez.") And I likewise think Ross Atkins will want more than just Lopez in return ("That's one of my best hitters, and my other catchers are a kid who's been in the majors for two weeks and another guy who spends half his days on the IL. I'd need a lot more for Kirk.")

We were talking about relief pitching last week, and my search for an answer to a question that Reared Up in my mind has sent me spiralling down year after year of bb-ref pages (including an actual inquiry to bb-ref itself to clarify certain issues), and endless copying and pasting into Excel spreadsheets. I rise, I gasp for air, I prepare to re-submerge (I want to have something ready for the next off-day!)

But I have been struck yet again by the wild Blue Jays saga of Kelvim Escobar. He was a Jay for six and half years and pitched for six different managers in that time. He came up from AA Knoxville at age 21 and within two weeks he was the Closer. And over the next six years he went from Closer to Setup Guy to Starter to Setup Guy to Starter to Closer to Starter.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#415924) #
I don't know why you think 2 weeks splits are any way to measure players.

Tapia is on pace for 500+pa of very negative value - and that's not due to unusual injuries, but due to how we built this team.

And this isn't a poor performance for him, it's an expected performance.




uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#415925) #
So early allstar votes are in and Kirk leads the rest of the catchers by a country mile.

Jays are in the top 3 of every position i think.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#415926) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith
Alejandro Kirk is one of three AL players with over 1 million votes along with fellow superstars Mike Trout & Aaron Judge
Magpie - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#415927) #
Tapia is on pace for 500+pa

Don't worry. He won't get there.
scottt - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#415928) #
Guerrero leading at first, by a huge lead over Ty France.
Espinal is second to Altuve at 2B.
Devers is barely leading Jose Ramirez at 3B. Chapman far behind.
Bo Bichette is surprisingly leading Tim Anderson who might have been on the shelf too long. It is tight.
Springer is third behind Judge and Trout. They do take 3 outfielders. 4th is Stanton. Gurriel is 7th and Teoscar is 8th.
Kirk is leading catcher by a ton. Second place is Trevino. Perez is 3rd, Maldonado 4th and Vasquez 5th.
Kirk has 35% of the vote.
Danny Jansen is 4th in the DH ranking, in front of Miguel Cabrera. Yordan Alvarez is first, Othani is second and D. J. Martinez is third. 

scottt - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#415929) #
Trout and Judge are both outfielders, so it's not a fair comparison as they compet against one another in a way and not because everybody votes for 3 outfielders.
Dr B - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#415931) #
I don't know why you think 2 weeks splits are any way to measure players.

Itís easy. Just take a small sample and extrapolate.

Tapia is on pace for 500+pa

See, it's not so hard.
Nigel - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#415932) #
I think that there's a decent shot that, as the roster is currently constructed and Montoyo is currently wired, Tapia would reach something close to 500 PAs. Expecting Springer, Hernandez and Gurriel to remain injury free for the remainder of the year is an expectation too tempting to destroy by the injury gods. Now, an alternative may be sought at some point.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#415933) #
"See, it's not so hard."

1. 200pa is different than 2 weeks

2. There is no reason to think Tapia's role has been increased due to temporary circumstances. Like i said, the deliberate structure of the team dictates that he plays this much.
Eephus - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#415934) #
"It's the pitching, dummy! Now go away!"

That seems very rude of Eephus.

Something said! Not good... slow? Slow! They called me Slow!!! HOW DARE THEY CALL ME TH ah whatever.

Slow is an apt description of my pitching ability. My shoulder blew up a few seasons back, and in the great TMBL I've pitched a few innings since and the joke is that nobody can notice the injury. Yeah, there isn't a greater level of slower I can find. Only difference post-injury is how my arm is way more sore.

As to be relevant towards the current Jays conversation: I get the appeal to trade a catcher (place of depth and all that) but there's a huge BUT with trading any of the three. Not only are all three potentially crucial to the success of the current team, what with Moreno clearly having the tools we drool over... Jansen's well rounded reliability (when healthy) and Kirk being just the best pure hitter on the squad... sorry Vlad... but additionally considering how often catchers get hurt (and it's not like Jansen and Moreno have pristine health records) this seems an area of depth the Blue Jays will need to rely upon, not weaken.

It is envious depth, no doubt, but they definitely cannot trade Kirk. He's at worst their third best hitter, and he's coming along behind the plate (those backdoor pickoffs at first are finger licking good). I'd expect some kind of trade involving Groshans (who is obviously blocked for a while) for a moderately useful piece, whatever it is.
  
85bluejay - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#415936) #
All this hand wringing about Tapia and little discussion about the pitching woes and maybe the pitching coach is not a genius or is otherwise distracted.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#415937) #
Eephus - good point there. Lets look at 2021/2022 (2020 will forever be a nightmare). 2021/2022 = 162+67 = 229 games potentially.
  • Kirk: 118 G, 398 PA, AAA: 14 G 56 PA = 132 G 454 PA
  • Jansen: 89 G, 267 PA, Minors: 10 G 37 PA = 99 G 304 PA
  • Moreno: 6 G, 24 PA, Minors: 73 G 275 PA = 79 G 299 PA
  • Net between the 3 of them including minors: 310 G 1057 PA, or 81 games more than needed from the catching position.
So over nearly a year and a half the 3 of them have barely combined for an extra 81 games. Despite the Jays trying to get all 3 of them into every game if possible. I can see a 5 day setup of 1 day Kirk, 2 days each for Moreno & Jansen, with Kirk DHing 2 times and Moreno & Jansen each DHing once with the 5th day being a day for Vlad or Springer or whoever needs it that week. That would lead to, over 162 games, 32 games at catcher for Kirk, 65 each for Jansen & Moreno, plus 65 DH days for Kirk and 32 each for Jansen & Moreno = 97 games each plus pinch hitting and defensive replacement (after someone runs for one of them) cases. So lets round up to 100 games per year each. That is hardly making full use of them, but Kirk has played the most of the 3 over the past 2 seasons, and his pace over that stretch is for 93 games, while the other 2 played less than that. So it would be a net increase in playing time for all 3 if it actually happened without injuries. Thus the 3 headed catcher can work for the Jays. Ideally they'd get Jansen or Moreno trained at 1B or 3B or LF (depending on their skills) so they can fill in at those spots instead of DH on their non-catching days thus opening up time at DH for Vlad or whoever.

Actually that worked a lot better than I expected when I started figuring it out. Just a shame I can't see Kirk playing anywhere but DH or catcher. In the olden days he might have been tried at 3B (reaction time key) but not today (still have nightmares from Cecil Fielder being played there). So given their health issues it might work out, but if say, Washington offers Soto for a packing involving one of them it would be hard to say no.

Now, if you want to trade one of them which contender would need him badly enough to overpay? Mets have 3 catchers with OPS+ of 48-59-48 - one is being paid $12.5 mil a year for 2 more years (James McCann) but at this point the Mets are contenders and need a bit more behind the plate. Their 3 OF'ers are doing well (Mark Canha 125, Brandon Nimmo 123, Starling Marte 120) but their backups aren't as good (Nick Plummer 60). Their staff is deep, but injuries are testing that right now so they wouldn't trade from there. Pen the same. It would need to be a 3 team deal as I don't see where the Mets have ML talent they can spare. The Cardinals have a poor catching situation (Molina has a 49 OPS+ but has to be played when healthy, backups are at 64 and 0 for 3). So they might be a target too - except they don't have spare ML parts either. Houston could really use a catcher but they are a team the Jays could face in the playoffs so I doubt they'd do a deal to help each other. Cleveland is another contender weak behind the plate, but zero offense anywhere it seems other than Ramirez & their 1B and 2B. Their pen is deep but I wouldn't trade any of our 3 catchers for a reliever unless more was coming back.

Dang, tough to find a match isn't it? Lots need catchers, but few have what the Jays need (a #1 starter, a top notch setup man, or a LH hitting OF). A 3 team trade is certainly possible here where whoever gets the Jays catcher sends prospects to a poor team that has a killer LH hitting OF or starting pitcher or reliever package.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#415938) #
If our 4th OF was our biggest problem, we should have a parade. I think the fact that our 2nd and 3rd OF haven't hit full stride is a bigger concern. (I do think Tapia should see Gurriel's stylist, it might not make him seem so angry..) With Kirk and Espinal coming out this year, the Jays offense is absolutely loaded. The other bats are underperforming right now. Imagine if all bats came alive.

Three words.
Pitching,
Pitching,
Pitching
I am with most other people. If it wasn't for Manoah and Romano, it would be a complete bust this year.

I am wondering if Pete Walker is not focused this year. Has anyone heard that latest on his DUI? Maybe he needs a little time off to sort whatever issues he has.




Magpie - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#415939) #
There is no reason to think Tapia's role has been increased due to temporary circumstances.

Call me slow, but I don't think he's batted more often than Teoscar because that's how they drew it up. I don't think that was the plan.

But making plans is generally a surefire way to provoke Laughter from the Whatever, high atop the thing. And maybe it'll all work out. Maybe Tapia will get injured. Stand by for Zimmer Time!
uglyone - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#415940) #
The Jays OF has not suffered an unusual amount of injuries, and will likely suffer a similar amount of injuries going forward.
Chuck - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#415941) #
Gausman has a reverse split, 581/739, which will be met well by 9 RH Chicago batters.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#415942) #
Actually the position player side has been fairly healthy. Teoscar and Danny had oblique issues, but since then it's been getting banged up rather than soft tissues, unless my memory fails.

On the White Sox, Moncada had an oblique, then a quad and now a hamstring, Anderson groin, Jimenez hamstring, Robert groin, Pollock hamstring. I'm guessing that's more soft tissue than most teams, but I also guess almost all other teams have had more than the Jays as well.
scottt - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#415943) #
Tapia is playing so that the other can rest.
The Jays play on turf. It's hard on the legs.
Springer has been quite healthy this year.
Hernandez got injured while swinging.
Gurriel's latest injury is from a foul ball.
It seems the Jays have protected their outfielders from injury as well as they could.

In the playoffs, it's quite possible Tapia doesn't play.
Or he might start against a tough right handed starter and get lifted as soon as the starter is gone.

I don't see them getting a top starter.
That would cost too much.
They could be out after 2 games and I would think Manoah and Gaus would start those.
The 3rd start would be a bullpen game and a third starter would just bump Berrios from one start in a 4 out of 7 series, if they go that far.
Maybe a top left bat to DH, although the Rays did that last year and it didn't go well for them.
Probably a top reliever or two. Those are relatively cheap.

Polite Nate - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#415944) #
Among my various personal quirks is a very high degree of skepticism on all public defensive metrics out there, and therefore their impact on the various forms of WAR in the world. That said, one of the ways that skepticism manifests is that I think "baseline competence" -- making the routine plays, throwing to the right base, hitting the cutoff, etc. -- is *under* rated. This is where I think Grichuk was (is?) accordingly underrated by the metrics - maybe not a ton of range or a shutdown arm but always seemed to me to be "adventure free" and didn't make misguided attempts to throw out runners allowing others to advance. So even though I think I like Tapia more than most on here, I paradoxically probably rate his defence as even worse than most?

I do think his approach at the plate has been improving as well, FWIW, but that's just a gut feeling from my eyeballs, nothing in the Statcast to confirm or deny that I can see. Given the dramatic change in approach and the continued faith put in him ("Montoyo gives everyone playing time" is a myth, this is clearly a coaching staff that considers him the best option for the role he is filling) I actually wonder if he's behind the scenes a very "coachable" player -- it would fit with the typical "makeup" and "get better every day" PR speak that the Atkins era FO has emphasized so often. Either way, it's clear the team is not sorting these guys by fWAR and pasting in the lineup each day.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#415945) #
For how the Jays are hitting, lets check AL sOPS+ (OPS+ vs the split in question - in this case by position). Remember, this is out of 15 - I did AL only as the Jays only have to beat the AL teams.
CA: #1 164, by a mile (#2 is at 135, Texas)
1B: #3 122, just 7 points behind Seattle for #1
2B: #2 120, but 21 behind NYY (Biggio's early days drags it down)
3B: #9 83
SS: #7, 109 - really good offensive SS's this year
LF: #3, 99 - weird to have such a low # as #3, but #1/2 are both 139 (Houston/Baltimore)
CF: #3 124 - LAA #1 at 188 (Trout is that good), then Twins #2 151
RF: #11, 88 - Tapia drags this down drastically vs Springer 151 and Hernandez 108.
DH: #3, 119 - well back of Boston & Houston 147 each, Springer doing poorly there (96, 158 avg), Kirk doing well (147, 894 OPS).
PH: #8, 110: 41 PA with Kirk the most used (9 PA) but 13 different guys used as pinch hitters this year already.
OF: as a group, #6 103
IF: as a group, #1 118, 1 point ahead of the Yankees.

Clearly the OF is the weak link in our offense, especially RF due to Tapia. LF is freaky due to a lot of teams being about equal with us, even though the Jays are below average on offense there despite being #3. Finding a good hitter who can play everyday in the OF would be a massive asset right now.

FanGraphs WAR by position and rank in the AL only... CA: #1 3.3, 1B: #4 2.0, 2B: #4 2.1, 3B: #8 1.0, SS: #9 1.2, LF: #13 -0.2, CF: #8 1.6, RF: #14 0.0, OF: #10 2.1 (not sure how that works given the #'s for LF/CF/RF add up to 1.4), DH: #4 2.4; Pitching WAR: #4 6.5, starting: #2 6.0, relief: #12 0.4.

FanGraphs suggests the OF is worse than it seems once defense is factored in (LF/RF basically replacement level) and our pen is in dire need of improvement. But our rotation is as strong as anyone outside of the Yankees. Huh. Good to look at something that compares the Jays to others I find.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#415946) #
Clearly the OF is the weak link in our offense

I dunno. I look at those numbers and third base jumps out at me with even more vigour.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#415947) #
On Tapia's defence and base-running, let's not draw too strong conclusions based on small samples. On base-running, he's actually been fine according to both Fangraphs and B-R - it's just that he's hit into too many double plays. I don't think his skill set has really changed with respect to grounding into double plays.

As for his defence, while he's been atrocious this season, he's been about average for the rest of his career. Maybe there's some component of skill erosion, but I'd expect him to be closer to his career norms than his terrible start to 2022 from this point on.
Nigel - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#415949) #
This isn't a criticism of Montoyo given how well Espinal has played this year, but I would have started Biggio over Espinal tonight given Biggio's HR last night, tonight's starter and that Espinal has been scuffling a little lately.
electric carrot - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#415950) #
So far this guy D. Cease is living up to his name.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#415951) #
It isn't going to be Tapia who breaks up the Cease no hitter. Is it?
John Northey - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#415952) #
FYI: Last nights ump...


I suspect tonights will be pretty bad for accuracy - he is calling pitches outsize the zone strikes a LOT.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#415953) #
Two plays that could end up hurting the Jays tonight:

- Bichette's attempted steal of third base (thrown out by a mile) with one out and Vladdy and Kirk up next

- Gausman walking the #9 hitter to lead off B5
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#415954) #
Jesus. Robo umps. Please. Just cause youíre consistently bad doesnít make it ok. Sox guys (I happen to like Steve stone a lot) are saying heís been calling it all game as if that makes it ok. Brutal.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#415955) #
Would love to see the ump scorecard on this one
Nigel - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#415956) #
Man, horseshoes for the Jays. Take it and run.
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#415957) #
EVís of 66, 42 (bunt), 61 and 92 paired with a walk and the Jays have 2 runs. Fortunate, to say the least.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#415958) #
Davis Martin looks just like... why, it's Max Verstappen? Weird.
Nigel - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#415959) #
The last two ABs by Kirk were crazy good. As days pass I no longer find the idea of Kirk as the best position player an odd concept.

Tapia, every day player, coming to a city near you.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#415960) #
Among the many reasons I would not trade Kirk is that he sets a good example in the lineup. He is calm, focused, disciplined. Controlled aggression. The Jays hitters could use more of that.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#415961) #
Among the many reasons I would not trade Kirk is that he sets a good example in the lineup.

I wish the guy hitting behind him could Watch and Learn. That was about as awful an AB from Teo as one could imagine.
James W - Tuesday, June 21 2022 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#415962) #
Boy, Doug Eddings has picked a fine time to change his interpretation of the strike zone. Also, good night for Romano and Mayza to not have it.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#415963) #
Time for Gage to make a pitch.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#415964) #
Bo failing to deliver in T11 with runners on second and third and one out really stings.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#415965) #
1 run loss eh
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:49 AM EDT (#415966) #
They had ample opportunities to win. Got lucky, too (Gurriel Jr.ís swinging bunt single, Biggioís soft liner falling in, Tapiaís well-placed grounder). Still lost.

Good to see Gausman have a solid start.
scottt - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 05:52 AM EDT (#415967) #
The umpire was horrible. He might have been picking on Espinal on purpose. Hard to tell.
Cease was gifted the game and that wasn't enough.

There is no excuse for Romano to walk the insurance run with 2 outs.
You just throw it down the middle and hope he hits something at someone.

Not sure how Hernandez ended up missing the extra innings.

Zimmer looked truly awful at the plate.
Hard to take him out when you hit first.

Bo had a bad AB. Teoscar had a worse one in a similar situation. Maybe that's why he was out.

Cracka - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#415970) #
~29 missed calls last night for Doug Eddings, including 6 missed strikeouts; it's the worst performance of any umpire in any game this season.

Montoyo substituted Zimmer for Hernandez (batting #5) because 7-8-9 were due up and he wanted both Gurriel and Tapia to hit in the 9th, even with a 2-run lead. But it ended up hurting us in each of the extra innings:

10th Inning - Zimmer had a completely non-competitive at-bat (weak swing, called strike, called strike). He looked like a pitcher trying to hit.
11th Inning - Sac Fly to RF, with Tapia playing instead of Teo.
12th Inning - Moreno hits for Zimmer; Otto Lopez plays CF. This was 100% the right move based on Zimmer's previous at-bat. But it's hard to fathom: 3 outfielders left, pinch-hit the backup catcher for one of them, then bring in a raw rookie middle infielder to play CF.

And now Springer is hurt - maybe not IL hurt - but not going to start today and his replacement is essentially unplayable because he's embarrassing himself so badly at the plate. So I guess Tapia will be back in there again today.
Chuck - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#415971) #
But it [the Zimmer substitution] ended up hurting us in each of the extra innings

Without Zimmer, there would have likely been no extra innings to begin with.

greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#415972) #
Ump Scorecards says that Eddings' performance last night had the largest Total Run Impact of any game this season. It appears that it also strongly favoured the home team.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#415973) #
64% (!) called strike accuracy by Eddings last night.

https://twitter.com/UmpScorecards/status/1539618326346960899/photo/1
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#415975) #
You have to overlay the correctly called balls to see how bad it was.  There were pitches near the 3-2 pitch to Espinal called strikes.  They were generally fastballs as the Espinal pitch was.  Eddings did have trouble with breaking stuff on the outside, but there was no excuse for getting fastballs clearly outside wrong and he did so much less frequently.  The Espinal at-bat in the 8th was a total umpiring disaster (an earlier pitch was even further outside than #1 and called a strike), and a gift to the home team.  \

I missed the top of the 9th.  Did Romano throw pitches in the zone of the 3-2 to Espinal which were called balls?  I have the sense that he did.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#415976) #
Obviously in any professional environment a performance like Eddings put in last night is absolutely unacceptable. But MLB absolutely has to make the move to robo-umps pronto, if only to keep the focus on the players and the game. Post-game conversations are increasingly about the home plate umpire and only incidentally the game itself; my 16 year old's first (and often only) commentary on any given game is the performance of the home plate umpire; I can't imagine why you would remain a fan of this game long-term when you are this consistently driven to distraction by the work of the officiating crew. Given how much better the experience of watching professional tennis has become since the advent of electronic line calling, this has to happen before the technological exposure of umpiring incompetency saps fan interest substantially. Mind you, at some point the betting industry might step in and demand it, even if MLB refuses to do the right thing by its product.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#415977) #
"Given how much better the experience of watching professional tennis has become since the advent of electronic line calling,"

And goals and offsides in soccer.

The idea that anyone actually wanted a "human element" in the calling of the rules of the game was always ridiculous.

The players are the human element.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#415978) #
Kirk had a great PA in the top of the eighth inning. Early in the PA an outside breaking ball was called a strike. Kirk coolly took a couple of balls after that and then fouled off several pitches at 98-99 MPH. The eighth and final pitch of the PA was a 99 MPH FB off the plate outside. Kirk laid off the pitch and immediately strode decisively across the plate (defying the umpire to make another bad call), bent over, took off his shin guard, and walked down to first base.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#415979) #
I agree 100% with the need to get ABS in MLB as soon as possible. But as much as we all complain, there seems to be almost no interest in how it's working in Triple A. The newest story I found on google was from SI on its May 18 PCL introduction.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#415980) #
Thats the best proof that its working.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#415981) #
There will also be very little interest in how strikes and balls are called in MLB once they start using robots, too.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#415982) #
Without Zimmer, there would have likely been no extra innings to begin with.

No "likely" about it. If anyone else is in CF, the game's over. And we all get to bed at a decent hour.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#415985) #
Thats the best proof that its working.

No, the best proof will be if it's approved for MLB.

And although the new competition committee will evaluate a pitch clock and limits on defensive shifts with Manfred hoping for a recommendation ahead of spring training, he doesn't see ABS for next year.
lexomatic - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#415986) #
<br>re umpiring. At what point is it so systemic that say Rogers decides to sue because of lost revenue, ianal butcould maybe make a case in us court. There's Def an appearance of bias.

Or even players union on behalf of some players really negatively impacted.

Those are headaches league should want to avoid.

Anyway i think the team should be officially protesting the horrifically bad umpiring games. They've had a ton.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#415987) #
Or even players union on behalf of some players really negatively impacted.

ABS was one of the asks by MLB during negotiations. The union counter proposal removed it.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#415988) #
"No, the best proof will be if it's approved for MLB."

I am curious to know what in your experience with MLB leads you to believe that it engages in rational and thoroughly optimal decision making.

In any event, the cat is out of the bag and unless the league leans on its broadcast partners (including its own Gamecast!) to stop using the strike zone box, the league is willingly permitting the quality and integrity of its product to be diminished on a daily basis. It is also exposing its employees to continual embarassment, which is a curious HR strategy.
Chuck - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#415989) #
unless the league leans on its broadcast partners (including its own Gamecast!) to stop using the strike zone box

It feels as if there has been pushback over the years, though these feelings would hardly stand up in court. Remember when the Jays' broadcasts would show a box with every pitch of a player's at-bat, so that you could, at any time in the at-bat, see how many wrong calls there were? That went away. Now you see a bad call and simply move on to the next pitch.

Further, broadcasters haven't historically beaten the umpires up over wrong calls though they seem to have started to do so more recently. Buck and Pat would always honour the umpire over the technology ("the pitch caught the corner" when the it most clearly didn't, "the pitch may have been low" when it almost certainly was, etc.). Shulman, always the diplomat, is still far more likely to call a spade a spade.

I also feel as though you hear much less talk of the sort "the players just want the umpires to be consistent", as if consistently wrong were some sort of virtue. Maybe this is a generational thing with the new generation (of players and broadcasters) valuing correct and consistent over the "charm" of personal strike zones.

hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#415990) #
My experience is actually at least somewhat following the negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA on this matter.

From what I've read, it's the union side more than MLB that's holding this back so far.

Prove me wrong, please.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#415991) #
"No, the best proof will be if it's approved for MLB."

for me the fact that its working seamlessly without complaint in a top pro baseball lead is much more meaningful proof than MLB's decision making process to be honest.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#415992) #
There have been complaints.
scottt - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#415993) #
I figure it's a position players vs pitchers thing.
The executive committee is loaded with pitchers.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#415994) #
its bizzare the mlbpa would reject robot umps i can only guess that it's out of some sort of solidarity with the umps union.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#415995) #
I remember there were complaints in the lower leagues they ttried it in but the complaints sounded bizarre - players getting rung up on balls in the dirt and up at the shoulders. Things we just don't see with the automated strike zones at the MLB level we already have access to. Must have been just poor installation or incorrect usage.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#415996) #
Yeah, they lowered the top of the zone 3 inches and widened it 2 inches. Still complaints about balls in the dirt being strikes last I heard.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#415997) #
I am in a fantasy league full of people from Boston. The Jays have been looking pretty bad lately...Somebody said this to me.

"Nobody can $#!t away good talent like Toronto teams. Whether it is Auston Mathews or Vlad Jr. Send them to Boston so they can win a championship or two"

The good news for me is that I don't like the Leafs. :)

But.... nobody gets under my skin more that Boston and Yankee fans. Come on Jays! Don't let both of them get ahead of us!
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#415998) #
https://www.tankathon.com/mlb/remaining_schedule_strength
uglyone - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#415999) #
lol Guillermo Martinez gets tossed before a pitch is even thrown.

just the worst. they know they embarassed everyone last night and so get over-sensitive today and punish us without getting punished themselves.
Eephus - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#416000) #
Wow, now that's a double play.
Eephus - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#416001) #
Also, is it some kind of historical contractual obligation that the White Sox have to wear bizarre jerseys every so often? I mean, this is the same franchise that wore shorts so it isn't exactly surprising...
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#416002) #
Guillermo just asked last night's ump if he left his seeing eye dog at home today. Talk about touchy!
lexomatic - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#416003) #
MLB players union has been pretty bad about a lot historically.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#416004) #
Kirk up to .310/.399/.492.

That would place him roughly third in the AL in OBP (200+ PA) at the moment. His 154 wRC+ would place him about ninth in the AL.

scottt - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#416005) #
At least they don't have the Orioles homerun bling-bling.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#416006) #
Great job by Stripling so far. 4th start since Ryu's elbow blew out. Only the 3rd run he's allowed in 20.2 IP.

Oh, and that was a massive lack of hustle by Robert. Made real time look like slow-mo.

lexomatic - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#416007) #
<br>better to get even than mad,I guess
John Northey - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#416008) #
Here is the ump scorecard from yesterday...


Ugly. No other way to describe it. If it was remotely close he'd call it a strike it seems with one exception.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#416009) #
Kirk and Moreno are playing very well. This gives us a stronger everyday lineup. I also like the injury depth.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#416010) #
Great job by the much-maligned Thornton to get out of that 8th inning jam.
scottt - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#416011) #
Not quite. He didn't give strikes in the top of the zone and in the bottom of the outside corner.
A strike right on the corner was a ball, probably because it was too awkward for the catcher to bring it back into the middle of the zone, but a slider far outside was a strike if the catcher moved the mitt laterally 5 inches.
The strikezone is not supposed to be round.

With such a large strike zone, the pitchers still managed to throw 157 balls.

Magpie - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#416013) #
With such a large strike zone, the pitchers still managed to throw 157 balls.

Which means they threw 267 strikes, including all the strange ones Eddings said were strikes. That would be 63% of the 424 pitches thrown, which is indeed a little below the league average (64.2%).
John Northey - Wednesday, June 22 2022 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#416014) #
I suspect part of the balls thrown was due to pitchers going "if he is going to give me 2 inches outside I'm going to try for 3 inches".
Mike Green - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#416015) #
I ran a Play Index to find comparables for Alejandro Kirk, using at least 40% of games as catcher and minimum 400 PAs through age 23, at-bats per strikeout greater than 7 and OPS+ between 125 and 140 (Kirk's is at 132).  I got 5 names, two from the 19th century, Bill DeLancey who caught from 1932 to 1935 and two modern players- Buster Posey and Joe Mauer.  Both Posey and Mauer had lower OPS+ at this stage of their careers, but Mauer had many more PAs. 

The brief comparison so far: 
Kirk, 434 PAs, 132 OPS+, 4.0 bWAR,
Posey 460 PAs, 126 OPS+, 3.8 bWAR
Mauer  1284 PAs, 128 OPS+, 10.0 bWAR

Posey won the Rookie of the Year award and finished 11th in the MVP voting in his age 23 season, with a 133 OPS+ and 3.9 bWAR, and was a key figure in the Giants' first of 3 WS championships that year. 
bpoz - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#416016) #
SF had Posey and some great SPs for their championship window. I cannot remember the other SF players or their pen. Our hitters are good. Manoah, Gausman and hopefully Berrios are good SPs and the pen is good enough. We have youth. Some key short term lucky additions like Semen and Ray could get us a championship.
uglyone - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#416017) #
And there's not even a hint of unsustainability in Kirk's stats. Everything looks great the deeper you dive into the numbers. Nothing weird or unusual that you'd expect to regress or that indicates he'd getting lucky in any way.
Four Seamer - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#416018) #
"I cannot remember the other SF players or their pen."

It's not even been a full year since we closed the book on The Joe Panik Era, and forgotten already....
greenfrog - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#416019) #
The one thing that gives me pause about Kirk is his body. Hopefully heíll remain an elite player for at least the next five years.
Magpie - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#416020) #
Something that gives me pause is the workload being given to David Phelps, who might be a little gassed at the moment. He's one of the guys in the pen who's actually reliable and he's on pace to make 68 appearances. Which doesn't seem unreasonable and indeed might not be too much for some relievers, but it would set a new career high for someone who hasn't made it through a full season without injury since 2016.
hypobole - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#416021) #
As uo pointed out, there is no reason to think his bat won't remain elite.

His disdain for proper nutrition thus far will require kid glove treatment as to how much he plays to keep him healthy and available. The biggest impact for him will be when he reaches free agency.
Magpie - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#416022) #
Bill DeLancey who caught from 1932 to 1935

Oh, there's a sad story. He was a good one, the 22 year old catcher for the Gas House Gang in 1934. The LH half of the catching platoon, hit .316/.414/.565 that season. He came down with tuberculosis the next year. It ended his career and killed him when he was just 35 years old.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#416023) #
Branch Rickey thought the world of DeLancey, even after his playing days were over, not only for the stuff that you read about in the boxscore but for his mastery of the inner game involving pitcher, catcher and batter.  
uglyone - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#416024) #
one thing about his weight....with his tiny stature, i'm not sure losing the weight will actually help him hit better and could hurt him at the plate (though yes, it's probably better for health reasons).
scottt - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#416025) #
Yeah, I hope Phelps knows what he's doing.
I'm sure that if he thinks he needs a day of rest he'd get one.
He made an amazing recovery to play this year and he's been earning his pay.
He's by far the vet in the pen. Garcia and Cimber are about 4 years younger and he's got 9 years of service time, compared to 6 for Garcia and 3 for Cimber.

scottt - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#416026) #
Abreu is 34 but ran the bases like he's 54 and Roberts showed very little hustle, especially for a centerfielder.


Mike Green - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#416027) #
Perhaps a conditioning issue?  It was a day game after a 12 inning night game. 
Mike Green - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#416028) #
FWIW, the fWAR comparision isn't is as favourable to Kirk.  fWAR through 23:  Kirk 3.3, Posey 3.8, Mauer 10.4- both Mauer and Posey slightly better on a rate basis.  Overall combining fWAR and bWAR, all three are essentially at the same place but with Mauer having 3 times as many PAs. 
mathesond - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#416029) #
Regarding his disdain for proper nutrition, what exactly are his eating habits, anyway?
uglyone - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#416030) #
I think charlie's finally been realizing this but on those days you want to rest Springer you just....rest him. You don't take Kirk out of the lineup for him. Same thing should apply when resting Teoscar. Or anyone really. Vladdy's the only one its debatable. But the only reason Kirk should be out of the lineup is if HE needs the rest, not anyone else.
hypobole - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#416031) #
Kirk hates broccoli for one.
Jays nutritionist tried to get Kirk to eat healthy, but the finally compromised on Kirk just eating less of what he wants to eat. He would send pictures of his portions to the nutritionist.
Magpie - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#416032) #
Kirk hates broccoli for one.

A gentleman of discerning taste, clearly.
uglyone - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#416033) #
What's our ideal lineup btw?

* 1. Springer
* 2. Kirk
* 3. Guerrero
* 4. Teoscar
* 5. Bichette
* 6. Jansen
* 7. Gurriel
* 8. Chapman
* 9. Espinal

?
Magpie - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#416034) #
Roberts showed very little hustle

He's been on the limp with a sore leg.
uglyone - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#416035) #



This year:

Springer 269pa, 129wrc+, 4.1war650
Kirk 220pa, 150wrc+, 7.4war650
Guerrero 294pa, 139wrc+, 3.3war650
Teoscar 187pa, 112wrc+, 2.8war650
Bichette 307pa, 106wrc+, 2.8war650
Gurriel 243pa, 108wrc+, 1.6war650
Jansen 62pa, 149wrc+, 6.3war650
Chapman 253pa, 94wrc+, 2.6war650
Espinal 267pa, 103wrc+, 3.9war650

Collins 73pa, 107wrc+, 1.8war650
Zimmer 72pa, 24wrc+, -1.8war650
Biggio 99pa, 102wrc+, 2.6war650
Moreno 29pa, 143wrc+, 6.7war650

Tapia 206pa, 79wrc+, -2.2war650





Last Calendar Year

Springer 593pa, 135wrc+, 4.4war650
Kirk 363pa, 132wrc+, 5.2war650
Guerrero 692pa, 143wrc+, 3.9war650
Teoscar 563pa, 129wrc+, 4.3war650
Bichette 686pa, 118wrc+, 4.2war650
Gurriel 532pa, 123wrc+, 3.1war650
Jansen 145pa, 175wrc+, 9.0war650
Chapman 584pa, 98wrc+, 3.5war650
Espinal 415pa, 113wrc+, 4.9war650

Collins 195pa, 95wrc+, -0.7war650
Zimmer 353pa, 76wrc+, 1.7war650
Biggio 204pa, 80wrc+, 0.3war650
Moreno 29pa, 143wrc+, 6.7war650

Tapia 446pa, 64wrc+, -1.6war
Nigel - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#416036) #
The ideal line-up? I'd probably hit Kirk in the leadoff spot if Springer would go for it; but, assuming not, then that would be my line-up except that I would switch Chapman and Gurriel.
bpoz - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#416037) #
We had 1 hot streak. We need maybe 2 more to be a mid 90s winning team.

Max Castillo last pitched on Sunday. As the long man with too little ML experience Montoyo could not bring him in based on how the games unfolded. With today off the pen will be rested and Castillo will get more rusty.

Thornton did very well getting out of the bases loaded jam.
electric carrot - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#416039) #
I'm not crazy about Springer leading off but if it means a lot to him I defer to that. I would swap Kirk and Toescar in this lineup. To me it seems Vladdy's been getting better pitches since Kirk has been behind him.

* 1. Springer
* 2. Kirk
* 3. Guerrero
* 4. Teoscar
* 5. Bichette
* 6. Jansen
* 7. Gurriel
* 8. Chapman
* 9. Espinal
John Northey - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#416041) #
Well, right now the Jays are on pace for a 92 win season, and with Vlad not having a real hot streak (yet still with a 142 OPS+). Wow, the team's OPS+ figures are amazing right now....

150+: Jansen, Kirk
140's: Vlad, Moreno
110-139: Springer (132), Hernandez (114)
100-109: Gurriel, Collins (minors now), Bo, Espinal, Katoh (gone)
90s: Biggio (quite the climb from the negative OPS+ he had when he went on the IL iirc), Chapman
80's: Capra (minors IL), Heineman (now with Pittsburgh - 16 OPS+ for them), Tapia
25: Zimmer
N/A: Lopez (no PA)

Clearly there is only 1 guy dragging the team down on offense - Zimmer, but he has his value (that extra inning game would've been lost in the 9th without his defense). Overall the team is at 114. Last year it was 113 (114 if you exclude pitchers who were 0 for 17) and that led the league. Not often you see 3 catchers on a team with a 140+ OPS+ - not even the famous 1961 Yankees had that (Yogi Berra was 'just' 115 vs Elston Howard 153 and Johnny Blanchard 168)
uglyone - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#416042) #
I'm all good with Springer leading off tbh. He loves it and thrives on it and is still a legit elite hitter. And he can run. He's a pretty great fit there tbh.
92-93 - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#416043) #
It isn't even debatable with Vladdy, for now. He doesn't hit well as a DH (relatively speaking), and Kirk has been the better hitter all season long. This lineup, when at full strength, is deep enough to give guys a day off.

It was a bit surprising that Espinal, in the midst of an 0-25 with 8 Ks, wasn't given yesterday off so he could have a nice break until Friday night. Perhaps it was due to the splits of the opposing starters and he will get Friday night off instead. Giolito is getting hammered by righties, while the Brewers' probable SP Houser is much tougher on them.
scottt - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#416044) #
Also, Espinal made an out on a lack of hustle.
He hit a ground ball to third but throw was high and the first baseman had to jump, however, Espinal was a couple of step away from the bag and started to run hard too late.

dalimon5 - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#416045) #
Trade Gurriel for a LHH from SF
92-93 - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#416046) #
The Giants do have a nice assortment of LH OFs. Pederson on a one year deal for 6MM was a fantastic signing, and the Jays should have been in on him if he's vaccinated.
Magpie - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#416047) #
Pederson's a free agent when the season's over, but he's also their best hitter - quite a bit better than my sweet Lourdes - and I think the Giants still plan to play October baseball. It would be loads of fun taking a Yastrzemski into Fenway, but he's their only (not really adequate!) option in CF at the moment. Not sold on Gonzalez yet, and he just went on the IL anyway.
92-93 - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#416048) #
The Giants also just traded Duggar a few hours ago.

ZIPS actually has Pederson and Gurriel as near identical players the rest of the way.
scottt - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#416049) #
If they have to put Springer on the IL, they could give Lukes a look since Ryu has to go on the 60IL at some point.
hypobole - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#416050) #
More tough news for the White Sox. In the collision yesterday on Espinals pop-up, Mendick tore his ACL.

Last thought on Edding Tuesday, prompted by something Magpie wrote. Players sometimes get a day off for "flu-like symptoms". What happens when an ump has "flu-like symptoms? I'm guessing Tuesday.
Magpie - Thursday, June 23 2022 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#416051) #
Oh, I'm tired of the copying and the pasting and the endless lines of spreadsheet data. I'm posting the damn thing now, while it's still an off-day.

I'll proof read it later.
greenfrog - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#416069) #
Astros up 6-3 on the Yankees entering B9. Final score: Yankees 7, Astros 6.

Sigh...
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