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What's made Milwaukee famous has made a loser out of... better men than me.

Way back in the Olden Days, the Milwaukee Brewers were division rivals. Troublesome ones, too, despite the fact that the teams were rarely in actual competition for divisional supremacy. The Brewers best run when they were an AL team came in the years while the Blue Jays were just getting started - the years from 1978 to 1982, ending in their seven game loss to the Cardinals in the 1982 World Series. The Brewers did bolt out of the gate in 1987, starting the season 20-3 and opening up a five game lead by early May. They then lost 18 of their next 20 and never sniffed first place again. But they made a complete nuisance of themselves in that fateful final week, sweeping three from the Jays in advance of the doomed showdown with Detroit.

And in 1992, the Brewers made a late season charge, winning 12 of 14 to go into the final weekend two games back of Toronto and needing a little help from the Tigers. They didn't get it. Both teams won on Friday, but the Jays would sweep the Tigers that final weekend and it didn't even matter what the Brewers did. Dave Stieb, in the miserable final season (4-6, 5.04) of his long run with the Jays, had started twice against the Brewers back in May and beaten them both times. The Jays would need them both as it turned out. Stieb's May 3 three-hitter was the 103rd, and last, complete game of his career.

But the Brewers moved on, first to the AL Central in 1994, and then to the National League in 1998. We haven't seen much of them since. Which may be just as well - they hold a rather commanding 163-121 lead in the all-time rivalry. The teams have met five times since the Brewers changed leagues and the Brewers have generally had their way with them. The last time they matched up was back in 2017 - they split the series, both teams winning a pair of games in the other team's ball park. That was back when the Brewers played at Miller Park. It's American Family Field now. An insurance company now has the naming rights. That seems wrong - a brewery made so much more sense. What made Milwaukee famous, and all that.

This year's Milwaukee team is tied for first place in the NL Central. On the one hand, that's not too surprising - they did win 95 games last year. They lost to the Braves in the Division Series, scoring just 6 runs in the four games, and getting shut out twice.  But when you look more closely at this year's team, you begin to wonder how this is even happening. Last year's team succeeded in large part because of the outstanding work turned by all five starting pitchers - Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer. They went 47-31, with ERAs ranging from 2.43 to 3.22. Only Burnes has managed to duplicate that performance. Lauer and Houser have been ordinary inning-eaters, Woodruff and Peralta are on the IL. Even the bullpen hasn't been quite as good, although Josh Hader continues to be some kind of cheat code.

They weren't winning with their bats last season, when their offense was a little better than league average. And they're not winning with them this year, either. They score runs at a decidedly below average rate. Christian Yelich has been just an ordinary guy for three years now. Their best hitters are Willy Adames, Hunter Renfroe, and our old chum Rowdy Tellez - they're all solid enough regulars, but it's hard to see how they would be the best hitters on a first place team that also has some major issues with their starting pitching.

It is certainly nice to see Rowdy doing well, happy to be in Milwaukee, grateful for the opportunity ("I wasn't going to beat out Vlad. He's better than me.") and looking forward to seeing his old mates (who all speak very highly and very fondly of him.)

So who's pitching?

Fri 24 June - Manoah (8-2, 2.00) vs Houser (4-7, 4.24)
Sat 25 June - Kikuchi (2-3, 4.94) vs Burnes (5-4, 2.31) - Guaranteed Win Day!
Sun 26 June - Berrios (5-3, 5.11) vs Gonzalez (0-1, 7.36)

Toronto at Milwaukee, June 24-26 | 188 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#416074) #
The Orioles with Rutschman are likely an average major league team at this point, and might have a shot at the division championship in the NL Central.

What the Yankees have achieved is really quite remarkable.  It's not so much the 52-18 record; it's achieving that in the toughest division in baseball by a long-shot. 

hypobole - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#416075) #
With the walkoff last night, Yankees have a winning record against every team they've played so far.
hypobole - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#416076) #
vs Burres (5-4, 2.31) - Guaranteed Win Day!

If this is the guy, I'd have to agree since he's 41 yrs old now.
hypobole - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#416077) #
Hey, how the heck did you know I caught that? Fixed before I hit submit.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#416078) #
Genoa City, Wisconsin is the setting for The Young and the Restless. Adam Newman is played by Mark Grossman, who resembles Cavan Biggio.

I think Grossman is the most handsome actor on the show. Is Biggio the most handsome player on the team? Actually, I've got someone else in mind...

92-93 - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#416079) #
It's a shame the Brewers lost 2 of their last 3 against the Cardinals, because Josh Hader and Devin Williams are unhittable and should now be available for 2 of 3 games this series. The Jays will have to get to the starters early or at least drive up the pitch counts so the ball can't be handed straight to their elite relievers.

What the heck happened to Christian Yelich? He posted OPSs of 1.000 and 1.100 in two straight monster seasons and hasn't sniffed being an elite hitter since. He's now the Brewers leadoff hitter. The Jays dodged a bullet when Miami reportedly wouldn't take Bichette for him.

Hopefully Yimi Garcia's side discomfort isn't major, because the Jays really can't afford to lose him right now.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#416081) #
Hey, how the heck did you know I caught that?

A miracle of timing. And pure, dumb luck.

In my old age, I often have trouble distinguishing between an "r" and an "n" - I actually thought tomorrow's pitcher's name really was "Burres" for the longest time. I went to his bb-ref page today to be sure.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#416082) #
Is Biggio the most handsome player on the team?

Now there's a question!

I scrolled down the roster going "No, not him" and before I knew it, I was out of guys. I should probably solicit an opinion from someone of the feminine persuasion.
92-93 - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#416083) #
The answer, of course, is George Springer. Bo Bichette is a real cutie too. To each their own, though.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#416084) #
krose - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#416085) #
Is Biggio the most handsome player on the team?

Had the same problem Mags. The lineup as a whole just doesn’t seem to have anyone who matches my type.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#416086) #
Bo Bichette is a real cutie too.

Oh, I love his hair. Desperately. I had hair like that, once. It was long ago, in the Before Times. I miss it so much...

I was thinking that if Raimel Tapia would just lose the fright wig that he pulled off some child's doll and attached to his scalp, and really went with that Jimmy Butler look, something he could definitely pull off... and then I thought - Jimmy Butler's not that handsome.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#416087) #
Is Biggio the most handsome player on the team?

If he looked just a little more like Mark Grossman, yeah. But Cavan is kind of the nerdy version.

Eephus comments that Springer does look like he could be in a boy band.
Mike Green - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#416088) #
Espinal in the BLM shirt. Excellent choice.
lexomatic - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#416089) #
What the heck happened to Christian Yelich? He posted OPSs of 1.000 and 1.100 in two straight monster seasons and hasn't sniffed being an elite hitter since. He's now the Brewers leadoff hitter. The Jays dodged a bullet when Miami reportedly wouldn't take Bichette for him.Back injuries

Kelekin - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#416090) #
We're all talking about who is the most handsome current Blue Jay, but what about former?

To this day I am certain the only reason my dearly departed mother ever put up with me watching baseball was so she could watch shortstop Alex Gonzalez (the first, not the second).
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#416091) #
Back in the day, Mother of Eephus was enthralled by Jose Cruz Jr, which totally mystified me at the time. (Women, who can understand?) Except I just looked at some pictures of him, and whoa... now I get it.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#416092) #
Guillermo Martinez suspended for five games and fined an "undisclosed amount" (the hitters should pass the hat) for his pre-game exchange of views with Doug Eddings on Wednesday.
electric carrot - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#416093) #
Is Biggio the most handsome player on the team?

Uh --- no.

I'm no expert but to me think Espinal by a mile or two.
John Northey - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#416094) #
Just for fun - the ultimate trade - getting Ohtani from the Angels - The Trade Simulator says it could happen for Moreno, Groshans, and Otto Lopez. Would you do that? Ohtani is 27 and has 2 years of control. He'd fill in a starter role and the LH power bat we want. Thus solving 2 problems at once. Of course that would mean Kirk couldn't DH often, so it is arguable how much it would help the offense overall.

Hmm... the more I think about that the less I like the idea with the limits it would put on the lineup. Especially give the high cost it would require.

So what about what we think the Jays need? A starting pitcher, a reliever, and maybe a LH hitting OF.
  • Luis Castillo: RHP Cincinnati - 128 ERA+ over 51 IP/9 starts, 123 lifetime ERA+, 2 years of control (arbitration). Very available as everyone in Cincinnati is, Groshans & Martinez would probably get it done, or Jansen & Groshans. If the Jays take on Votto's contract then the cost would be near 0 (a few minor minor leaguers). They also have Alexis Diaz in the pen (10.8 K/9 vs 4.8 BB/9 age 25 in his first ML season so probably not available) who would fit nicely in the pen as long as those walks don't go any higher.
  • KC: Andrew Benintendi LH LF - 114 OPS+, gold glove last year, free agent after 2022, might be very cheap depending on what KC wants - The trade tool says it could be as cheap as Otto Lopez but I'm sure it would be more.
  • Oakland: Frankie Montas RHP - 114 ERA+, 90 IP 15 starts, 9.2 K/9 2.2 BB/9. Free agent after 2023. He will be expensive - site suggests Jansen & Groshans could do it. I'd do that in a second.
  • Cubs: David Robertson RH closer - 8 saves, 3 blown, 12.2 K/9 vs 4.4 BB/9, free agent post 2022. Looks like a near perfect fit in the pen with Romano as co-closers so no more closing 2 days in a row. The short control window should equal a low cost.
That is a few who jumped out to me. Safe to say there are probably a dozen or more relievers who'd fit in nicely, plus a few starters but odds are they'll be very expense (at least one of our 3 catchers plus more). I like Benintendi to replace Tapia (he can cover CF at least as well as Tapia - of course at times I wonder if Kirk could do as well in CF as Tapia [not really]).
ISLAND BOY - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#416095) #
Guillermo Martinez waved a finger beside the umpire's face but Edding misjudged it and said it caught the corner of his face. Martinez then threw a mild profanity at him which Edding again misjudged and said it was a violent curse word. Martinez then mentioned something about Edding's mother and Edding replied, " I didn't see that coming!" Martinez said," That happened a lot in the game last night!" and was promptly ejected.
92-93 - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#416097) #
Espinal should not be leading off vs. a RHP. It would be much better to just bump everybody up a spot, or lead off Biggio.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#416098) #
That happened a lot in the game last night!" and was promptly ejected.

He'd already been ejected, by crew chief Lance Barrett before he started getting into it with Eddings. From the video, it looks like they exchange lineup cards and hands are shaken all around. Then Martinez says something and Barrett instantly gives him the heave. And it's then that Martinez goes toe-to-toe with Eddings, with a lot of finger pointing and waving.
mathesond - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#416099) #
Heh Magpie, I believe Island Boy was commenting on Edding's calls from the previous night.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#416100) #
Oh, I get it!
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#416101) #
You would think that there might have been a little voice saying to me "Hey, he's making this up, he didn't hear the conversation, he's just having some fun with it all."

You would think.
Dr B - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#416102) #
When it comes to trades you have to ask yourself whether it is going to be cheaper to make a trade at the deadline rather than now. Realistically, the Jays are highly likely to make the playoffs and highly unlikely to destroy the Death Star (during the regular season at least). So, obtaining a player a few weeks early isn’t going to make much difference. If you make a trade for playoff purposes an elite reliever would seem A Good Idea (tm).

Mike Green - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#416103) #
It's amusing to imagine what Earl Weaver or Billy Martin might have said to Eddings. I can see Earl saying "there's a lot you don't seeing coming", but Earl wouldn't have said anything about Edding's mother. Both might have given George Carlin profanity material for a decade.
scottt - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#416104) #
From the posted umpscorecard, the blind ump was Ramon de Jesus. No?
scottt - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#416105) #
Way back in the Olden Days, the Milwaukee Brewers were division rivals.

Can a single team be rivals by themselves?
Or were things really that different in the Olden Days?
ISLAND BOY - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#416107) #
Sorry, Magpie. I should have posted a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#416108) #
Or were things really that different in the Olden Days?

Things were so very different. How can I ever explain? I once saw a pitcher begin the game in the first inning - and he was still out there, pitching, when the ninth inning came along.

Such wonders did we see.
dalimon5 - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#416109) #
I would make a trade now. In a month there are going to be bidding wars and higher prices. Remember that this year there will be less sellers and more buyers.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#416110) #
I should have posted a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer.

Naah. That would have deprived us of the Unintentional Comedy of me missing the joke!
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#416111) #
the blind ump was Ramon de Jesus

We don't talk like that around here. We saw de Jesus work on Monday. He was visually challenged. Differently sighted. (Insert the euphemism of your choice.)

Eddings on Tuesday? He was f*cking blind.
Gerry - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#416112) #
Jimi Garcia to the IL, Beasley back up.
Magpie - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#416113) #
I would make a trade now. In a month there are going to be bidding wars

Back in the Olden Days, we would have said the phone lines are already burning up. Today.... I guess the signals are already bouncing off the satellites. Last year, Atkins made the trade for Cimber on June 29, the one for Richards a week later.
James W - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#416114) #
These Milwaukee uniforms are both mediocre, and infinitely better than Chicago's "City Connect" uniforms.
uglyone - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#416115) #
Kirk has now entered the top-10 MLB and top-5 AL in wRC+, with an entirely unfluky batting line.

I promise I won't mention that just a couple weeks ago he was getting less playing time than Ramiel Tapia.
BlueJayWay - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#416116) #
Kirk out of the game after being hit on the hand with a bat follow through. Fingers crossed...
greenfrog - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#416118) #
Alejandro Kirk was removed from tonight’s Blue Jas game with a left hand contusion after getting clipped with a backswing. X-Rays came back negative.
greenfrog - Friday, June 24 2022 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#416119) #
Biggio has quietly raised his season slash line to .220/.373/.390 (wRC+ 123).
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#416120) #
Biggio should be the leadoff hitter, definitely against RHP's.
uglyone - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#416121) #
Good timing by Biggio because there's a non-zeeo chance that Espinal's bad slump is actually him regressing back to expectations.
tercet - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#416122) #
UO are you crazy like me.
Thoughts on Moreno? He was below average vs RHP in the AAA/MLB, with high GB%, he won't be able to sustain a 400 BABIP forever.
Do you think ultimately he is a swing/contact hitter somewhere in between Espinal and Pillar?
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#416123) #
At the very same age as Moreno is facing major league pitching, Espinal hadn't played a game above rookie ball and Pillar hadn't even been drafted.
lexomatic - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#416124) #
What If game:
What do we know about past trade offers for Pearson?
Anybody that could still be with the team and useful?

Giving up on the dream of Pearson being useful to the Jays, maybe ever in MLB. Hope he gets healthy and doesn't have chronic pain for any of his ouchies.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#416125) #
Moreno hit for power in Lansing and New Hampshire prior to his significant thumb injury last year.  It was anticipated that it would take a while for him to regain his power; his ability to adapt is a terrific sign.  He looks absolutely great at everything save for handling pitchers. This is entirely typical- every great catcher takes a while to learn the refined skills and the psychological aspect.  Moreno's ceiling is Hall of Fame catcher, something like Mickey Cochrane (a .300 hitter with medium range pop and good defence behind the plate).  I'm not saying he'll get there, but it sure would be fun to have a front-row seat while we see whether it happens.  Cochrane's teams in Philadelphia and Detroit played in 5 World Series in 7 years of his prime, winning 3 of them. 

There are so many ways that the Blue Jays could play their catcher situation.  Jansen has the skills to play a corner outfield position well and hit enough to make it work.  Moreno could probably play six positions well.  Kirk hits well enough that he could be a full-time DH.  And all of them are capable behind the plate.  They are probably the three best catchers the organization has ever developed.  When it rains, it pours.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#416126) #
It looks like Yordan Alvarez is now the best hitter in baseball.  He's taken a step forward with his plate control and he's devastating in all aspects of hitting.  There's never been a DH like him- Ortiz came up as a first baseman and didn't really become a complete hitter until age 29.  Edgar Martinez was a third baseman who came up at 27 and didn't become primarily a DH until his 30s. 
Nigel - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#416127) #
They may be the three best C’s in the AL.
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#416128) #
Rest of the top 10 wRC+ is littered with hitters with great track records, more than a few looking like future HOFers. Trout, Goldschmidt, Judge, Ramirez, Devers, Harper, Machado, Kirk, JD Martinez.

Actually how many of these don't have a chance of making the HOF? Martinez and ????
Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#416129) #
Only Martinez. 
bpoz - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#416131) #
Back in the 80s the Jays had 2 good young Cs. Myers was traded and Borders was kept. In the 70s Cerone, Whitt, Ashby and possibly 1 or 2 more. We also added Buck M in a minor deal.

Since Borders we have had a drought in developing Cs. Now we seem to be rich in Cs again.

I keep looking for a back up C after Jansen, Kirk and Moreno that provides good D. Z Collins I know for now is our last ranked C. But is his D good?
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#416132) #
There's never been a DH like [Alvarez]

He's not fully committed to it yet! He's playing a lot more LF this season - he and Brantley are sharing both jobs (LF and DH) on about a 50-50 basis. Brantley being an old guy, and all.
John Northey - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#416133) #
Age is a massive factor with prospects - you reach the majors at a young age and your odds of a great career are massive. Doing a fast check using the Lahman database - Average age of guys on their debut who played in 10+ All-Star Games is 21.4, 5-9 is 22.2, but just 1 ASG is an average age of 23.5. For guys who made the HOF the average age is 21.9, those on the ballot but didn't make it is 22.7. Cut down to guys who debuted in 1950 or later and it is similar - 21.7 vs 22.6, 1970 or later 21.8 vs 22.9, 1980: 22.2 vs 23.0 You get the idea. A single year earlier jumps your odds of making the HOF vs just being on the ballot, same for making the ballot at all, or getting to multiple All-Star games, or even getting to an ASG.

Kirk reaching at 21 and now staring at 23 is a massive, massive plus when projecting his career vs a guy who does the same at an older age. The ultimate hitting catcher, Mike Piazza, reached at 23, and was a star at 24 (ROY, all-star for 10 straight years, top 10 MVP for 5 straight beginning at 24). Kirk didn't get a ROY but could have the 10 straight all-stars starting a year younger. Carlton Fisk reached at 21 but didn't play regularly until 24 (again a ROY). I-Rod reached at 19 (!) and was immediately a regular (4th in ROY) but his best OPS+ was a 156, Fisk 162, Piazza 185. Kirk is at 162 right now after an April where his OPS was just 584. Kirk could have the best bat of that group potentially. Scary thought eh? Piazza had 3 seasons of 160+ OPS+, this would be Kirk's 2nd (his 9 games in 2020 was a 166 but all of Piazza's were over 100 games apiece). The best hitting catcher in Jays history was Carlos Delgado (moved to 1B fairly quickly) - he reached at 21, but wasn't a regular until 24, and finished 27 HR shy of 500. Just 3 seasons of 160+ OPS+ surprisingly (2 with the Jays, 1 with Florida).

Oh so much fun to dream isn't it? And the Jays have Kirk through 2026 unless they trade him. And Moreno for 7 years. FYI: Moreno now has 9 games just like Kirk in 2020 with a 135 OPS+ at age 22. So he is behind Kirk for speed to majors and for first 9 games, but that is a big standard to reach. He is the 22,701st ML'er in history. Kirk is the 22,263rd, Delgado 16,457th (wow, lots of guys from 1993 to now eh?).
bpoz - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#416134) #
Excellent digging John N.

Hanging on to Kirk sounds good. His cheap signing bonus suggests that he could be eager to sign an extension. Moreno makes good contact and can dominate the SB part of the game. Also cheap bonus means an extension is very possible. Saving and wise $ spending is great but Kendry Morales and Ryu have not worked out in good $ spending. That is baseball for any team willing to spend to improve.
John Northey - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#416135) #
In the 80's Myers and Borders looked like a killer combo, but it didn't work out - Borders lifetime 3.6 WAR (but that WS MVP...oh yeah), Myers 7.3 - net 10.9. Jansen is at 4.5, Kirk 4.2, Moreno 0.4 = 9.1 between them already and growing fast. Cerone had already been called up twice by Cleveland before the Jays existed, 8.1 WAR lifetime, Ashby already had 4 seasons under his belt, net 11.1 WAR, Whitt 1 year with Boston, 18.3 WAR. JP Arencibia was hyped, but just 1.9 WAR in the end, Travis d'Arnaud was super hyped (key part of the Halladay trade) but just at 5.3 WAR, not one game here. As I mentioned elsewhere Carlos Delgado was a super-hyped catcher in the late 80's/early 90's who after a few games in the majors was moved to LF (ugh) then 1B (44.4 WAR), Ed Sprague is another catcher converted elsewhere (3B) 5.7 WAR who was developed here. And of course the guy the Jays dumped Yan Gomes, up to 16.9 WAR and still playing.

So for best Jays catcher developed here (thus skipping the 70's guys) you get...

10+ WAR: Delgado (44.4), Gomes (16.9), (Whitt 18.3, Ashby 11.1)
5-9 WAR: d'Arnaud, Sprague, Myers, (Cerone)
0-4 WAR: Jansen, Kirk, Moreno, JPA, Borders

There were many, many others who did nothing significant as players (Kevin Cash for example) but those are the majors I can think of. Lots of others spent time here (Lance Parrish the best but he just got a final paycheque here).
James W - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#416136) #
Carlos Delgado was 0-for-1 as a catcher. So I think he might the worst hitting catcher in franchise history (or at least close to it.
James W - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#416137) #
Also, happy 50th birthday to Carlos Delgado.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#416138) #
I think he might the worst hitting catcher in franchise history (or at least close to it.

The best hitting catcher in franchise history? Obviously it was Brian Milner. I mean .444/.444/.667? An OPS+ of 208? And you think Kirk and Moreno are young - Milner was 18 years old.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#416139) #
One wonders what on earth Milner was doing in the majors. It's just weird. The Jays had just drafted him out of a Texas high school that very same month. Was he a high pick, like Bob Horner, taken first overall, who went straight to majors from the Arizona campus? He was not. The Jays took Lloyd Moseby with the second overall pick, an Illinois outfielder named Stieb in the fifth round, a few guys named Mike who never made the majors - and Milner, in the seventh round. Did they have an emergency with their major league catchers? Hard to see one - Ashby caught on Wednesday, Milner on Friday, Cerone on Saturday, Cerone and Ashby in the Sunday DH, Milner again on Monday.

And then they sent him to rookie ball at Medicine Hat, where he had a nice first pro season. Injuries destroyed his career, he never made it back to the majors, and was done by age 22. Just bizarre. But he got his two games, went 1-4 in the first one and 3-5 with a 3b and 2 RBI in the second one. That was the famous 24-10 game, but the kid's three hits came against Mike Flanagan, Joe Kerrigan, and Tippy Martinez, before Weaver started sending position players to the mound.

And a hearty happy birthday to King Carlos.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#416140) #
He's a long ways off, but the Jays have another well-regarded C prospect in 17-year-old Luis Meza.

Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#416141) #
Raimel Tapia is 4 for 7 against Corbin Burnes in his career. I rest my case.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#416142) #
Yes, many happy returns to Carlos Delgado. I have a theory that a great hitter with a platoon advantage will do well against a great pitcher- for his birthday let's check Delgado vs. Pedro Martinez. The envelope: .254/.368/.524 in 76 PAs.
92-93 - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#416143) #
Montoyo is a couple games late with it but it's nice to see Espinal finally getting a day off, and that Kirk isn't too sore from last night.

Tough game to win today vs. Burnes and a fresh bullpen. In the event of an ugly affair, hopefully Castillo can be effective and finish the game.

Since returning from Buffalo on May 26th, Cavan Biggio is hitting .288/.432/.525 in 75 PA with 15 walks and 19 strikeouts.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#416144) #
Since returning from Buffalo on May 26th, Cavan Biggio is hitting .288/.432/.525 in 75 PA with 15 walks and 19 strikeouts.

Since May 26, Raimel Tapia is hitting .306/.315/.514. He knows when the bar has been raised!

Hey, it's never been easy for Raimel Tapia. He comes from the famous Cradle of Shortstops - and he's left-handed. He has to feed on our scorn.
scottt - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#416146) #
It's often our old buddies that come back to hurt us.
Bullet dodged it seems, but probably lower usage for Kirk.

They do have a surplus of catching.
Can they take advantage of it?

They look set for many years with a tandem of Kirk and Moreno.
Two guys who are like brothers and complements one another.
What are the chances someone comes asking about Jansen and offers good value?
The return would probably be more prospects, assuming only a contender would be interested in Jano, but mind you, he'd probably be easy to extend. Prospects are what's needed to get another arm or two, in any case.

Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#416147) #
I have a theory that a great hitter with a platoon advantage will do well against a great pitcher

Oh, this is always fun (unlike most people, I believe in batter-pitcher matchups.)

The three greatest pitchers of our era would be Verlander, Scherzer, and Kershaw, no? Let's see... The guys who've given Verlander the most grief are Billy Butler (.402/.464/.540) and Sal Perez (.413/.418/.667)? Didn't stop him from beating KC more than any other team. Perez and Joe Mauer both had 26 hits and Carlos Santana had 8 HRs.

Scherzer had some big problems with Jose Bautista (.478/.538/.913) and Shin-Soo Choo (.583/.667/1.125) but it was just 23 and 24 ABs. Scherzer's career is split between the two leagues so no one faced him all that often. Adam Jones and Adam Dunn each hit 4 HRs, Nick Markakis had the most hits (23 for 68.)

The nearest Kershaw had to a nemesis was probably Albert Pujols (.361/.452/.500). Dexter Fowler (.392/.436/.490) also did well. Buster Posey had 25 hits but he needed 113 ABs. Dunn and Christian Walker (?!) managed 4 Hrs.
92-93 - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#416148) #
That fancy batting line for Tapia buoyed by many seeing-eye singles adds up to 11th in fWAR (0.2) among Jays hitters over the same time frame. Perfect performance from a bench player.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#416150) #
And half his hits went for extra bases, hence the slugging pct.
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#416151) #
That fancy batting line for Tapia buoyed by many seeing-eye singles adds up to 11th in fWAR (0.2)

Beg to differ. Exactly half of Tapia's 22 hits the past 30 days have been for extra bases - 9 doubles, 2 HR's. Why that has yielded only 0.2 fWAR is the worst defence on the team and an almost complete aversion to taking a walk (1 in 74 PA's). Yeah, he has seeing eye hits, but he's also hit the most ground balls. I would guess his BABIP on grounders hasn't been overly lucky.
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#416152) #
Tapia in Milwaukee makes me think of the famous baseball quote said to Phil Garner. Anyone?
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#416153) #
Houston no-hits the Yankees. Garcia for 7, Neris and Pressly finish it up.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#416154) #
Javier not Garcia
ae_scott - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#416155) #
Kikuchi just looks like a complete mess right now. Seems to have no ability to command his fastball.
How common is it for a pitcher to have (relatively) decent command of his breaking pitches but no idea where his fastball is going?
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#416156) #
Quite weird. He threw 19 fastballs and 19 sliders in that inning. And 17 of the sliders were strikes, just 7 of the fastballs.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#416157) #
When you go throw a first pitch fastball to the first 11 hitters - which is what they did - the veteran coming up next just might be sitting on a first pitch fastball.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#416158) #
That inning was 16 fastballs 8 strikes, and 9 sliders also 8 strikes.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#416159) #
This is a guy who needs to pitch backwards. He needs to start hitters off with his slider. That's the pitch he can command for strikes, it's the one he has to use to get ahead. Then he can use the fastball as a finishing pitch.
ae_scott - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#416160) #
I wonder if Kikuchi would benefit from having someone like Jansen behind the plate, rather than the rookie.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#416161) #
His two good starts against the Yankees at the beginning of May were with Heineman, which is no longer an option. Jansen caught his next four - a good one, a couple of okay ones, and a not-so-good one. Then Kirk caught a stinker and a bad one, and now Moreno's caught a couple of bad ones.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#416162) #
Guaranteed win day looks to be morphing into free pizza slice night.
Nigel - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#416163) #
It’s not the C. Sometime it’s a you problem not a them problem.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#416164) #
It's not the plane, it's the pilot.
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#416165) #
Don't think there are any Trent Thornton fans other than his immediate family, but outside of that one horrific meltdown against the Yankees, he's been pretty solid. This was his 21st appearance this year, including 11 of more than 1 IP.

That Yankee game he got 1 out and gave up 2 HR's and 5 runs. The other 20 games this year - 31 IP, 0 HR's, 2.03 ERA.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#416166) #
It’s not the C

It might be everybody. The young catchers are following a game plan. And I imagine everyone is telling Kikuchi "You have to establish your fastball. You have to command your fastball. And then can pitch off it." (It's all Siddall, who I generally like, can think of.) Because that's the modern theory of pitching. It's all anybody knows how to do now. No one has to learn how to contradict the counts, never mind reverse them, because no one has to get the same batter out three or four times in the same game. (I didn't actually say no one has to learn how to pitch anymore, but I'm getting close!) But what if Kikuchi isn't one of those guys? What if he has to do things differently?
Mike Green - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#416167) #
Siddall says that it is Pete Walker's mantra (which he agrees with).  Worked for Robbie goes the theory.  I'm with Magpie- not all pitchers are the same.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#416168) #
Anyone else thinking Castillo will be starting against Tampa Bay on Thursday?
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#416169) #
His first game Castillo looked more control over command, but not today.
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#416170) #
not all pitchers are the same.

And of course one pitcher who notably doesn't pitch like the other fellows is Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Jansen was the only Toronto catcher he was at all effective with.

But they'll probably send Kikuchi to the pen. Have him work on his fastball command.
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#416171) #
FG has Kikuchi as having 3 options. Can they option him?
Magpie - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#416172) #
Can they option him?

Can't imagine why not. He's never been in the minors.
Cracka - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#416173) #
They can definitely option him - it's part of the CBA and he doesn't have the service time (5 years) to block it. It's quite rare to option a big free-agent signing, but at this point, it may be the best option for both him and the team.
hypobole - Saturday, June 25 2022 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#416174) #
Thanks Cracka. Wasn't sure about the service time rule.
John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#416175) #
There might be special language in his contract that doesn't allow it though. Just like he had in his Seattle contract that required them to make him a free agent if the options weren't picked up rather than just going to arbitration.

Sending him to AAA might be the best option right now as he looks lost out there. If not then moving him to the pen might be best - use him in the mop up role mainly. I'd give his slot to Max Castillo - kid has potential, lets see what he does with a start or two. Can't be much worse (sub 5 innings 5 starts in a row now, with 3+ runs allowed each time). Who knows? Maybe we'll get another Manoah or he'll suck and Kikuchi comes on in relief and does what Stripling did last year (7 shutout innings followed by a killer stretch in the rotation). Sometimes being moved to the pen wakes a guy up, sometimes it crushes him. Might as well see how he responds.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 01:47 AM EDT (#416176) #
Guaranteed win day looks to be morphing into free pizza slice night.

It's always Guaranteed Win Day for someone.
scottt - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 06:12 AM EDT (#416177) #
Kikuchi has big splits:

vs R .275 .395 .550
vs L .170 .245 . 362

You normally want a lefty starter to have reverse splits or he won't face many left bats.

So far, Castillo has been killed by left bats. Tiny sample of course:

vs R .077 .143 .308
vs L .400 .500 1.000

So they  both might need an opener to avoid a lineup stacked against them.

lexomatic - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#416178) #
<br>And I imagine everyone is telling Kikuchi "You have to establish your fastball.

I like this Magpie post. Makes sense, though I wouldn't know how to look for evidence of it.
It would explain why he wouldn't trust the fastball as well, even if it's awesome.
Would be curious if there's available data for pitch use patterns outside of NA that could help confirm some things.

That would display a serious lack of flexibility with 2 MLB orgs, though. And maybe more that Walker is a confidence builder builder than pitcher whisperer.
Will be interesting.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#416179) #
They have a pretty extensive makeover mind - much more extensive than what happened with Robbie Ray - and much less time in which to do it. They're trying to change Kikuchi's repertoire, his mechanics, his approach, his tempo - and they're trying to do most it in the middle of the season. (Ray had a month at the end of the year before and a complete spring training.)

The project may be doomed anyway - they may just be trying to force a square peg into the round hole of their assumptions - but no one should ever have thought it would be simple and easy. If anyone did.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#416180) #
makeover in mind
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#416181) #
Kikuchi has a good fastball, hard to hit, but he doesn't have reliable command of it. He throws his slider - which is not a pitch that misses many bats - when he absolutely needs to throw a strike. Nevertheless, yesterday he threw first pitch fastballs to each of the first twelve hitters. Every single one of them. Which is pretty dumb to begin with, to my mind. It looked especially dumb when the twelfth guy - a 14 year veteran with 275 HRs in the major leagues - was smart enough to look for the fastball, get one, and hit #276.
scottt - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#416183) #
He has a good fastball but locating and changing speed is important.
No fastball is that good if it's in the middle of the plate.
Often the pitcher can command only one part of the plate. That's what Ray was doing.
Hitting the corners and moving the ball around is a lot harder.
A slider that is coming to you is a good pitch to hit, a lot easier to hit than one that is coming at you and curving just inside of the strike zone.
It's hard to throw the slider strike to ball if it's moving towards the hitter without hitting him.
It's OK if it's more like a slurve.
A hitter doesn't just sit fastball, he's looking for one in a particular part of the strike zone.

Maybe against a good high fastball hitter, you can start with a splitter in the strike zone or a backdoor slider, but it's not to you and me to figure that out. And I don't think they can improve on that at AAA.

jgadfly - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#416184) #
... Kikuchi ... would he benefit from a visit to the Dunedin pitching lab ? He could see spin rates, movement in relation to effort (90-92 plus location may equal or be better than 94-96 max-effort non-strikes), the pitch clock could speed up delivery (get him away from overthinking) creating better rhythm, build up confidence facing Low A hitters, tell him the story about Roy Halladay ... Hell, tell him anything you can think of to stop him from facing centre field while bouncing the ball up and down in his hand
John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#416185) #
scottt given those splits it might make sense to have one of Kikuchi or Castillo start (depending on the team/matchup) with the other lined up to come in around the 5th inning. Now, Castillo in the minors is quite different... 2022 - 2021

vs RH: 187/259/350 - 266/331/419
vs LH: 122/245/278 - 264/327.421

Sadly BR doesn't have career figures, but I figure the past 2 years are key. No real spread there, if anything a reverse split. So I put the ML numbers as a small sample size fluke.
John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#416187) #
Ah, a good lineup today. No Tapia (yay!). Springer-Bo-Vlad-Kirk-Hernandez-Espinal-Chapman-Gurriel-Biggio. Vlad DH Biggio 1B, otherwise where you expect them. I'd say this gives the Jays the best shot at winning possible.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#416188) #
To follow-up the other day:

Guillermo Martínez chewed out the entire umpire crew, but especially Doug Eddings.

In 2015, Doug Eddings had the altercation with Brook Jacoby, which led to a 14-game suspension for the coach.

Edwin Encarnación was an eyewitness:

"What happened isn’t supposed to be that many games, because they just yelled at each other. They had contact, but not like the way they say. What I heard is (the umpires) said Brook got the umpire against the wall. That never happened.”

"At some point Eddings, who had been walking up the stairway that leads out of the tunnel, heard something that caused him to turn back down and engage Jacoby... “The umpire came back and talked loud, in front of his face,” said Encarnacion."

John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#416189) #
Bats on the bench and current OPS+ - Collins 109 (yes, he is back), Moreno 106, Tapia 80, Zimmer 25
Lineup goes from 161 (Kirk) to 102 (Espinal). Chapman now above 100 at 103 to make it possible for an all 100+ lineup to happen. vs a guy with an ERA over 7 - now watch them get shutout.
John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#416190) #
Doug Eddings is one of the worst umps behind the plate (no idea on bases - might be nice to have a 'calls challenged/overturned' by umpire). 92.2% accurate, 10th worst. 91.9% consistency (6th worst), 8th biggest run impact (1.7 runs per game). Out of 92 umpires. Last year was similar. This guy is just a terrible umpire and clearly has self control issues too. Why he is allowed to be an umpire is beyond me.
hypobole - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#416192) #
vs a guy with an ERA over 7 - now watch them get shutout.

The shutout did last until our 4th batter.
John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#416193) #
Yep. Gotta love Kirk. Even if he ends up a DH from now I'd be happy with him. That bat is just sooooo good.
Four Seamer - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#416194) #
As bad as Kikuchi has been, I think Berrios has been even worse. At least Kikuchi is holding down the fifth spot in the rotation, which you expect to be uneven at best; relative to expectations Berrios has to be the most disappointing player on the team.
Chuck - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#416195) #
Gausman and Manoah
and pray for snow-a
scottt - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#416196) #
It's more like an handicapped lineup today.
They're taking the extra base on every ball to the outfield trying to get Springer to throw his arm out.
He should probably have been DHing.

99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#416197) #
I’m looking at the MLB Live Tracker on the Sportsnet app. Almost every single AB the Brewers are getting something centre cut. Every. Single. AB.

Hard to be successful that way
Chuck - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#416198) #
Yankees hitless through 5. May never get a hit again.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#416199) #
Yankees hitless through 5.

Make that 6.
scottt - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#416200) #
Berrios got pummeled and it's not like the strike zone is small or anything.
I wonder if it hasn't anything to do with the obsessive shifting and throwing inside too much.
Jays sure see tons of pitches away.

Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#416201) #
The 16 consecutive hitless innings by the Astros pitchers is the longest such streak since the Astros did likewise to the Dodgers in September 1981. That was Joe Sambito working a hitless ninth in the series opener, Nolan Ryan throwing a no-no, and Don Sutton holding his old mates hitless for the first six innings of what would end up as a two-hitter.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#416202) #
But Stanton goes yard to break it up.
uglyone - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#416203) #
Jays fall into a tie with TB for 10th MLB, 5th AL, and the final wild card.
John Northey - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#416204) #
Berrios is clearly a big issue. 15 games, 5 games where he allowed 5+ runs. Ugh. I think of 5+ runs being an uncompetitive start (5 runs in 9 innings would be a mid 70s ERA+ and in 5 innings would be an ERA+ in the 40's).

For comparison...
Manoah: 0 starts with 5+ runs
Gausman: 2 starts with 5+ runs
Kikuchi: 1(!) start with 5+ runs, but 4 more with 4 runs, and 9 of 14 under 5 IP.
Stripling: 0 starts with 5+ runs out of 9 starts

Kind of surprised only once Kikuchi has allowed 5+. I was sure it was more. Just a quick hook once it is clear he is losing it. Clearly there is a need to split Kikuchi and Berrios (ideally have Manoah between them). Stripling has earned that 4th slot (heck, the 3rd right now) for the time being.

So what to do with Berrios? He seems like the current team's Jim Clancy (a guy who can give amazing games, but also have ugly ones). For a 1985 comparison (the best Jays team ever with 99 wins) Manoah is today's Dave Stieb (but more fun on the bench), Gausman is Doyle Alexander (vet who you count on to be a #1/2 guy), Stripling = Tom Filer (guy no one counts on but is actually doing the job), Kikuchi we wish was Jimmy Key but instead is more Steve Davis (prospect who won 20 in the minors, but was a bust in the majors).

Another starter would be nice, but in truth it isn't a priority even if it feels like it. I'd like to have another solid guy (lets give Max Castillo the shot) but I think the Jays would be fine without. What is needed most is pen help. The pen is always such a big variable, I like Gage and hope the Jays keep giving him shots, and ignoring today Mayza is a solid guy out there, as are Garcia (when healthy), Cimber, and Romano. Phelps is good to have, but needs to be at the back end imo. Thornton has been very impressive so far (115 ERA+, who saw that coming?), while Beasley is a up and down guy who'll be back in AAA tonight I suspect so the Jays can have a fresh arm for the Boston series. Lawrence last pitched on the 22nd so he is perfectly lined up to be up for the Boston series and is already on the 40 man so I expect him to get another shot, but this would be his final shot - 5 times up then waivers needed and he has been up 4 times already. Now would be a GREAT time for the Jays to make a trade for a solid reliever thus being able to leave Lawrence down as an option for later.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#416205) #
Kirk is now hitting .322/.409/.523 (wRC+ 164) in 232 PA. That is an incredible slash line, even more so for a catcher and 23-year-old. And he can catch.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#416206) #
There was an interesting radio interview with Gausman a couple of days ago. He talked about how talented the Jays roster is, but he also emphasized the importance of “doing the small things” in order to win more ballgames. I think he said that two or three times in the interview. The point being that the Jays need to improve in that area.
scottt - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#416207) #
Personally, I think there is a lack of scouting.
They take great care in positioning the defenders where the hitters hit the ball normally, but they don't seem to attack the hitters in their weak zones. It looks more like "let's attack the right bats this way and pitch to the left ones that way".
So the hitters pretty much know what's coming.

Other teams throw most everything low and outside and get some calls out of the zones. 

Mike Green - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#416208) #
"Doing the small things"

It's really not nice of Kevin to attack Raimel so obviously, especially when Raimel's absence today guaranteed the loss.  Seriously, the small things have been pretty much a wash for the Jays.  The real problem is that Ryu (before he was injured), Kikuchi and Berrios have all pitched poorly.  They need a starter.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#416209) #
Raimel's absence today guaranteed the loss.

Oh, I wouldn't go that far. They're 11-9 when he starts on the bench, 29-23 when he's in the lineup, feeding on our scorn.

If there was one pitcher in baseball who seemed like a safe bet, who you could count on for a certain level of performance - there really aren't too many you'd have chosen ahead of Jose Berrios. As the great Joaquin always said, youneverknow. I sometimes think his pitches aren't doing what he expects them to do (as opposed to someone like Kikuchi, whose pitches aren't doing what he wants them to do.) It's often a symptom of the great Change of Life, but Berrios is certainly too young to be running into that now.

Tis a puzzlement.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#416210) #
The real problem is that Ryu (before he was injured), Kikuchi and Berrios have all pitched poorly.

Gausman knows that, but he's certainly not going to say it out loud to someone with a microphone. So it's the small things. You know, hitting behind the runner.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#416211) #
Having listened to the interview (which took place before the last two meltdowns by Kikuchi and Berrios), my less cynical take is that Gausman was actually saying what he meant -- that the team has outsized talent, but that it could be more consistent in doing the less flashy / more basic things you need to do to win.
Magpie - Sunday, June 26 2022 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#416213) #
Oh, I'm sure Gausman meant every word. The small things, for the most part, are something a player can actually control. You can make your best pitch, but you still can't control what the batter does with it. You can put a great swing on the ball, but you can't guarantee that it won't go straight to where a fielder is positioned. But being in correct relay position, throwing to the right base, even advancing a runner - you've got much more actual control over that part of the game. That's why they talk about it so much.

You can always do the small things better, and the players think about them a lot because it's hard. Not so much hard to do, as hard to maintain the focus and awareness and will to keep doing them, every time, every day, for six months. That's the really hard part. It's a big reason why everyone who ever played in the majors was in such awe of guys like Ripken and Jeter.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#416214) #
My acquaintance made the observation: Toronto may be on the same (roughly) win-pace as last season, but with fewer players having career years. I thought that was fairly astute. And encouraging? Indicative of a higher floor?

Berríos pressing. Yesterday was a disaster. I don't believe this will turn out like Barry Zito.
greenfrog - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#416215) #
On the other hand, there are some small things players and coaches can do that arguably *aren't* that hard. For example: having players wear sunglasses in appropriate weather so that they don't drop multiple fly balls in the same game.
Cracka - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#416216) #
The first notable trade of the 2021 season happened this week last year (June 29th) - Cimber & Dickerson for Joe Panik. If money isn't a major concern, I would target Luis Castillo of the Reds and offer to pick up Mike Moustakas' contract as part of the deal ($9 million left this season + $22 million next season + buyout). Moustakas is a bench player at best - but could easily be DFA'ed after the trade with the Jays swallowing his salary. Of course, there's also Joey Votto ($13M + $32M remaining)... but I don't think there's any chance of the Jays trading for him just to DFA him.
scottt - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#416217) #
Isn't Tapia the one that does the small things?
Like running every outs?

It seems to me like Espinal is jogging on double play ground balls.
Guerrero is overweight, Sringer is old, but the other guys should be running out every hits.
The Yankees seem to do it. The Rays sure do it.

Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#416218) #
None of the "small things" are hard to do, none of them. That's what makes them small things - anyone can do them. It's the every time, every day part that's hard.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#416219) #
I would target Luis Castillo of the Reds

That will probably require your top prospects, plural. The Reds don't have to do anything this year anyway, and they don't need a catcher. I'd love to have him too, but I think the Jays are going to have to set their sights elsewhere.

Pablo Lopez, obviously!
scottt - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#416220) #
It's very different for Berrios and Kikuchi.

Berrios is very similar to Manoah. He has a decent breaking ball and a fastball that moves the other way.
He's supposed to be painting both corners. In and out. To lefties and righties. Strike to ball and ball to strike.

Kikichi has a straight fastball and a slider with lots of lateral movement.
He was using a pause in his delivery to keep hitters away from the fastball.
He has a decent splitter for his out pitch but he only throws that with 2 strikes.
They make him throw the fastball inside, like Ray does, but for many hitters, that's their power zone.
Ideally, he would throw the first one in a spot where the hitter would rather look at it.
So it has to be a strike and many umps don't give you the high strikes.
Then you can throw it inside for a ball or a foul, but not for a strike.
And then he might be better working away from the batter even if that means less hits into the shift.

Ultimately, I think the shift is a big part of the problem.
They shift right handed batters more than any other teams and work the hitters away less than other teams. 
I think it's fine for the power relievers, but counterproductive for the starters who don't want to give easy opposite side hits.
When the ump gives an extra 4-5 inches away, it's like an handicapped game.

scottt - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#416221) #
Castillo and Montas are the big prizes this year.
This is just the start of the auction.
The Yankees are already in talks for Castillo.

92-93 - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#416223) #
All the small things,
true care, truth brings.
hypobole - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#416224) #
So anyone still think Tapia is the biggest problem on the team?

As for little things, remember Robert turning a double into a single by not running hard during the ChiSox series? Seems he was doing as he was told, due to their litany of soft tissue injuries.

ESPN: "Manager Tony La Russa on Saturday told reporters that several White Sox veterans "are playing under trainer instructions that if they make a routine out, they slow it down" running toward first base."
greenfrog - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#416225) #
Montas seems to be a good fit. The Jays have already been able to complete a trade with the A’s (Chapman) and the A’s are rebuilding, so they would presumably be satisfied with prospects as opposed to big-league pieces (like Kirk).

The question is whether the Jays can pry him away without giving up Moreno or Tiedemann. The Jays could try offering the A’s another four-prospect package (maybe Orelvis and Robberse and a couple of lesser prospects). In light of their catching depth, they could also dangle Luis Meza.
92-93 - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#416226) #
Did anyone ever think Tapia was the biggest problem on the team?
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#416227) #
Did anyone ever think Tapia was the biggest problem on the team?

I heard so many complaints about the horror of Tapia's presence in the lineup that I thought his playing position was Designated Scapegoat.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#416228) #
But once I figured out that He Feeds Upon Our Scorn, I decided not to worry about it.
92-93 - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#416229) #
The complaints were always legitimate, and it was ridiculous that Kirk (and Biggio) was losing playing time to Tapia. The few that were vocal about that have been proven very right.

The discussion here is always consumed by the bottom of the roster, whether it's the last reliever or bench spot. There is never too much of an appetite to discuss the actual games, probably because many of the posters don't watch too much of them.
bpoz - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#416230) #
Our playoff chances are getting tighter it seems.
greenfrog - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#416231) #
"many of the posters don't watch too much of them"

Especially in games where Kikuchi is the starting pitcher.
hypobole - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#416232) #
Did anyone ever think Tapia was the biggest problem on the team?

Yes and recently.
uglyone - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#416233) #
If Tapia isn't the biggest problem on the team then that's a huge indictment on the FO's performance this offseason. Because his 500pa -2.5war pace was entirely predictable.

If you don't believe Tapia is the biggest problem then you're saying that Berrios and Kikuchi are unfixably bad and that spending $170m on them this offseason is one of the most disastrous offseasons of all time.
John Northey - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#416234) #
I watch as many as I can. Very frustrating at times but often fun. Tapia drives me nuts as he is terrible on defense yet has all the tools to be good. Each has their own skills, pluses and minuses. I suspect the focus on the bottom of the roster is due to that being the easiest to fix. Rotation fixes are super expensive (Berrios cost 2 top prospects for example). Bullpen parts are all over the place and so variable it is hard to guess who'd help. The only real lineup weakness is the bench. Vlad having a meh year is still a 140s OPS+ player.
bpoz - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#416235) #
Kikuchi had a very good May and is having a very bad June. The worst part may be that in only 5 of his 14 starts has he gone 5 innings or better.

Berrios has made 15 starts. 6 very bad, 2 ok, 7 good. So overall he has not been good enough.
uglyone - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#416236) #
Season pace

Tapia 479pa, 75wrc+, -2.5war

Berrios 171.1ip, 147era-, -0.6war
Kikuchi 127.2ip, 128era-, -0.9war
Stripling 118.2ip, 77era-, 2.8war

So yes, Tapia remains the biggest problem on the team.

Of course, he's also an easier problem to fix than Berrios or Kikuchi given that Biggio ia good again and Tapia shoild never play CF anyways, but we don't seem interested in fixing it.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#416238) #
Oh please. If the fourth outfielder is your team's biggest problem, they're probably going to win 110 games and a championship.

There are much bigger problems. I think they're fixable, but until they actually get fixed, those are the problems.
uglyone - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#416239) #
It's disingenuous to call him a 4th OF when he's getting a starter-size role, just like our 4th OF had a starter-size role last year.

Michael - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#416241) #
Ranked by PA Tapia has 59th most PA for an outfielder in MLB. Since there are 30 teams and 3 OF positions the top 90 might be considered "regular" OF so at 59th he's in the top 2 per team. And he's in the top 3 for TO with:

27 George Springer 273 PA
35 Lourdes Gurriel 254 PA
59 Raimel Tapia 213 PA
67 Teoscar Hernandez 199 PA
128 Bradley Zimmer 73 PA

(And because it was only recently he started being allowed to play more regularly than Tapia even though many of us were calling for it much sooner: Alejandro Kirk 232 PA)
bpoz - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#416242) #
I suppose we can disagree who has been worse between Tapia, Kikuchi, Berrios and I will add Jansen because he got hurt twice.

In Jansen's case the harm from the 2nd injury is being diminished due to the good play of Kirk and Manoah.

It is possible that Tapia is getting playing time due to Teoscar's injury, Springer sometimes being unavailable to play the OF and Gurriel being given a day off now and then. Tapia has been filling in for those reasons IMO. Biggio may take some OF ABs which may or may not reduce the ABs of Tapia. Numbers in baseball are usually a mystery to me.
Mike Green - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#416243) #
If the players can be enjoined to handle the small things well, isn't it reasonable to expect the GM and manager to do the same?  Personally, I think the players are doing a better job of that than the GM and Manager are.  It's hard to find a starting pitcher when you need one, but better options for 4th OFer are already on the roster (Biggio and Zimmer), and if you're not convinced that Zimmer is any improvement, it's not that hard or costly to find a capable defensive centerfielder who can put an 80 wRC+. 
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#416244) #
One of the three outfielders missed almost a month and the season isn't three months old yet. It will put things out of proportion for a while. After all, at this time last month, Bradley Zimmer had more Plate Appearances than Biggio, and Montoyo would pretty clearly rather chew his own leg off than let Zimmer hit.

Within a week or so Hernandez will overtake Tapia in Plate Appearances and then - then - will our long national nightmare at last be over and we can stop hearing about this exceptionally minor issue? The only way Tapia will play as much as Grichuk did last season will be if one of the three outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart should sustain a major injury that takes him out of the lineup for two months or so. Which will itself be a bigger problem than the fact that the team's fourth outfielder isn't a freaking all-star, something which shouldn't be an enormous surprise anyway. They seldom are. This is fairly simple stuff, I would have thought.

There are far bigger fish to fry at this moment, in particular the two rotation starters struggling to achieve Replacement Level.
92-93 - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#416246) #
We will stop hearing about the issue when the Jays actually address their offseason need of a good left-handed hitter to balance out the lineup and stop playing a bad baseball player effectively every day, especially out of position. Hopefully the Yankees don't beat the Jays in the race to find a competent CF, because they play Judge there everyday and need one too.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#416247) #
a good left-handed hitter to balance out the lineup

Which of the regulars comes out so that this LH bat can balance the lineup? Espinal? Gurriel? Can't really see any other candidates.
uglyone - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#416248) #
"One of the three outfielders missed almost a month and the season isn't three months old yet."

The OF has been healthier this year than it was last year. The CF is currently fighting through an elbow issue.

There's no reason to think the role of the "4th OF" will change going forward.
92-93 - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#416249) #
Tapia. You know, the guy who has started around 3/4 of the games since Teoscar returned from injury. Also the same guy who has started 11 of the last 12 games.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#416250) #
I understand that Tapia has come to bat 203 times, which is an affront to common decency, and if they keep playing until Christmas, or someone breaks a leg, he could even bat more often than Grichuk did last year. I could protest in a small voice that 83 of those 203 came during the three weeks that Hernandez was on the IL. Biggio missed half those games as well, while also going 1 for April. But I know there's no way around those remaining 120 PApps over the team's other 50 games, for which I can offer up no defense whatsoever, beyond - at least it wasn't Zimmer.

One might cut management a little slack, though, if they were unable to meet any off-season needs this particular off-season. There were some issues. But I'm trying to focus here. Jose Berrios is pitching like Tanner Roark. I just can't worry too much about He Who Feeds On Our Scorn.
Mike Green - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#416251) #
A Jon Jay/Brett Gardner type would be a useful addition. Someone who can play centerfield while Springer gets the day off or slides over to right-field with Hernandez getting the day off or playing left with Gurriel getting the day off and filling in in case of injury. There's 450 PAs there and 2-3 wins difference between a guy of that quality and Tapia.
Mike Green - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#416252) #
Incidentally, if we are talking about players failing to do the small stuff, the prime offender is...(forgets).
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#416253) #
I'm going to hazard a wild guess and assume you're referring to He Who Feeds. etc. I must say, I'm shocked. You're not impressed by those 2 sac bunts? That's twice as many as anyone else on the team. Things don't get much smaller than that.

Actually, there is one small thing he's been pretty good at. He's clearly been the team's best baserunner, according to my simple criteria. Who takes the extra base most often? He Who Feeds. Who never makes an out on the bases? He Who Feeds.
John Northey - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#416255) #
Using simple fWAR we see the biggest problems thus far as...
  1. Tapia: -0.8 fWAR in 213 PA/62 G
  2. Trevor Richards: -0.6 fWAR in 28 2/3 IP, 29 G
  3. Yusei Kikuchi: -0.5 fWAR in 56 2/3 IP, 14 starts
  4. Tayler Saucedo: -0.4 fWAR in 2 2/3 IP, 4 G (wow did he stink)
  5. Ryan Borucki: -0.3 fWAR in 6 1/3 IP, 11 G
  6. Zimmer: -0.3 fWAR in 73 PA/51 G
  7. Jose Berrios: -0.2 fWAR in 15 starts 78 1/3 IP
  8. Lawrence/Castillo/Vasquez all at -0.1 fWAR over a total between them of 19 IP 14 G
So what can be done? Kikuchi and Berrios are signed for a few more years so they'll keep getting chances, especially Berrios. This lands under 'coaching' and might need a phantom IL stint for Kikuchi to get him straightened out.

The pen has a batch of them - Richards the only one counted on, Borucki is gone, Saucedo IL, Lawrence and Vasquez are cannon fodder. Castillo is a kid who hopefully if given a shot at a start or two would do better. Net of 28 IP by the non-Richards guys, mostly in low leverage situations for obvious reasons. Richards though was being counted on to be a solid guy in the pen so that is an issue. And that is a fixable one, as shown last year when the Jays got Cimber and Richards around this time.

That brings us to the elephant in the room - the 4th OF slot which Zimmer and Tapia were supposed to fill, but as their combined fWAR is -1.1 shows they haven't. Meanwhile in AAA LH Nathan Lukes has a 114 wRC+, Chavez Young a 79 (after a 109 last year), RH hitting Logan Warmoth is at 97. Any of those 3 might produce as well as Tapia (and certainly hit better than Zimmer, but unlikely to field like he does). Yet we still see Tapia in the lineup more often than not. That is my problem. The guy who is costing the team wins with his horrid fielding and poor hitting could be replaced with internal options but the Jays refuse to cut bait and run. Last year was similar with Joe Panik who kept getting into the lineup even though he couldn't hit and wasn't that good with the glove (far better than Tapia, but not anything to write home about). Seems every manager grabs onto a guy who is a 'gamer', who fans can't see why the manager loves him so much but that guy keeps getting into the lineup despite not being a positive on the teams winning in any visible fashion. Cito Gaston had a few guys like that such as Alfredo Griffin - who was a fan favorite too but wasn't any good by 1992/1993 (he was in the on deck circle when Carter hit his home run - still blows my mind they didn't just walk Carter to face a guy who hit like a pitcher). Guess if you took away his Tapia we'd just see someone else take over the managers favorite pet role.
scottt - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#416256) #
fWAR is not a good measure of pitcher performance.
You win games by keeping the other teams from scoring, not by throwing low FIP 8 run games.

By  bWAR,

Richard -0.8
Berrios -0.7
Kikuchi -0.5
Gausman 1.1
Stripling 1.1
Manoah 3.1

Tapia is at -0.8.

Berrios is at 5-4 and Kikuchi is at 2-4.
Now, the funny thing about Kikuchi is that he's out of there so fast that his impact is mitigated.
There is nothing in WAR that attributes an exhausted bullpen to a starting pitcher but that is what bad performance from Berrios and Kikuchi cause and that is far more damaging that Tapia's occasional bad defense.

A HR by Kirk is just 1, 2 or 3, maybe even 4 runs. A bad outing by Berrios or Kikuchi  is at least 5 runs.
Not playing Tapia just means Springer might get hurt and Tapia might get to play even more.
So you play Tapia regularly to avoid playing him every day.

Tapia is at -1dWAR but was at +0.3 last year. Mostly in left field I suppose.

scottt - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#416257) #
fWAR is garbage. That's the only thing you can conclude if you use it.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#416258) #
You win games by keeping the other teams from scoring, not by throwing low FIP 8 run games

Word. As an indicator of how a pitcher how might perform in the future, FIP is quite useful. But as a measure of the quality of existing performance it's worse than useless. It's positively misleading.
greenfrog - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#416259) #
Maybe Gausman's notion of "small stuff" encompasses more than what some posters have in mind.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#416260) #
still blows my mind they didn't just walk Carter to face a guy who hit like a pitcher

It really shouldn't. Fregosi could see into the dugout, just like I could, where Darnell Coles was putting on his batting gloves and finding his helmet. Griffin was never going to hit. And you probably wouldn't want to walk the bases loaded if you had a one-run lead and a pitcher who issued 6.4 BB per 9 innings. And even if you get Coles, with the bases loaded, you've then got to deal with Alomar. One out, runners on first and second - Carter didn't hit into many DPs, but he hit a lot of popups and harmless fly balls.
Mike Green - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#416261) #
I agree that FIP is a poor measure of pitcher value.  The 2022 Blue Jays at replacement level or below by bWAR, which does not use FIP:

Zimmer 0.0
Beasley -0.1
Vazquez -0.2
Saucedo -0.3
Ryu -0.3
Borucki -0.4
Merryweather -0.4
Kikuchi -0.5
Berrios -0.7
Richards -0.8
Tapia -0.8

For Zimmer's career of 931 PAs, he's at 2.7 bWAR.  For Tapia's career of 1638 PAs, he's at -0.4 bWAR.  And yes, with Richards ineffective and out, and Garcia effective and out, the Blue Jays could use a medium leverage reliever.  I wonder what's up with Adrian Hernandez- he hasn't pitched in a week but he is listed as active. 
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#416262) #
I mean, the winning run was already on base. You didn't want to move him into scoring position. Fregosi made the best of a bouquet of awful choices, and lost.

The real mistake was ever believing a guy like Mitch Williams should be trusted in big game situations.
Mike Green - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#416263) #
I forget, Magpie, because my SIC (Scorn in Clutch)% is way down.  How does a guy like whatever his name is ground into 6 double plays in 213 PAs?  He doesn't run straight out of the box.  How does he have so few infield hits?  He doesn't run straight out of the box.  For this reason, he grades out as slower than Moreno, Chapman and Biggio by Statcast.  This is a small thing that annoys the heck out of me because a guy who can fly around the bases could be a lot better if he just paid attention to the game and ran.  When Vlad Jr. jogs to first base on a ground ball, it annoys me a little but at least it's not a signature part of his abilities; I do wish that he set a better example though. 
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#416264) #
Maybe Gausman's notion of "small stuff" encompasses more than what some posters have in mind.

Unless he tells us, we're just going to have to guess. I'm assuming he's talking about the position players. Pitchers mostly do one big thing - try to get hitters out - and the Jays pitchers are actually pretty good at things like fielding their position, getting over to cover first base.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#416265) #
This is a small thing that annoys the heck out of me

Honest, but I think he's actually a little surprised every time he hits the ball. I did that? Geez, I better run.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#416266) #
But I know what you're talking about. It's as if he has to finish his swing, and unwrap the bat from around his shoulders where it's ended up, before he can drop it and get moving. His swing almost never leads him into movement down the basepaths - it freezes him for a second instead.

Hey, maybe that's what they think they can fix!
Mike Green - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#416267) #
I don't think so. He also admires balls that may or may not be home runs.

He doesn't have a triple this season, and only 2 last year. I don't think that is an accident. A guy who goes 1st to home as fast as he does should have more than 2 triples over 750 PAs.
92-93 - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#416268) #
Hitting triples is hard when you don't hit the ball hard enough into the gaps and almost never pull the ball down the right field line.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#416269) #
Maybe, but he hits plenty of balls that he can't possibly be admiring and there's still this weird disconnect between the act of swinging and the act of running. It's as if they're discrete and separate activities that have nothing to do with each other. Once he gets running, he runs hard. Once he gets running. Strange player.
Gerry - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#416270) #
The bullpen problems are solved!! Jays are about to sign Sergio Romo.
Gerry - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#416272) #
And Shaun Anderson replaces Jeremy Beasley for the Red Sox series.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#416273) #
Jays are about to sign Sergio Romo.

Strangely enough - I am not reassured.

Actually the old fella was pitching pretty well, until the calendar changed to June. But then... avert your eyes, I urge you.
uglyone - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#416274) #
not sure what prompted this attack on fip, but just note that both fwar and ra9war for both Berrios and Kikuchi don't tell any different stories, not for the year so far nor for their projections ahead. fip and ra9 are right in alighnment on both pitchers.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#416275) #
Hitting triples is hard when you don't hit the ball hard enough into the gaps

No kidding, but I think that's what they have him trying to do. He's a completely different kind of hitter than he was just a year ago. Last year, he beat everything into the ground and basically never hit a line drive (hey, maybe that's part of the reason he only hit two triples.) This year he's totally different - almost twice as many line drives, and more hard-hit balls than he's hit in his life.

Different, of course, is not necessarily better. And he's also swinging at everything. He didn't used to do that.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#416276) #
not sure what prompted this attack on fip

I have no issue with FIP if it stays in its lane and remembers what it's supposed to be telling us - Fielding Independent, which among other things means that it values strikeouts and regards popups and groundouts as non-events. And indeed that's good to know about tomorrow's game - how likely a pitcher is to get outs and avoid trouble all by himself is very much worth knowing. But in yesterday's game, the idea that the strikeouts were more valuable than the popups is bonkers, at least until someone figures out how to strike out the side on three pitches.
uglyone - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#416277) #
its more bonkers to ignore it, actually. the idea that every ball that happens to fall between fielders is a result of worse pitching than every ball that is hit at a fielder is obviously nonsense and leads to very poor evaluation.

but we've been through this many times before so I digress.
Magpie - Monday, June 27 2022 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#416278) #
Oh, I absolutely don't think you should ignore it. It quite possibly is telling you something you want to know about the future.

But in the game played yesterday, the popups were almost certainly more valuable than the strikeouts. (I also believe that generating soft contact is itself a skill, I don't know if everyone's with me there.)
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