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After splitting two games with the Rays down in Tampa, and then splitting four games with the Twins over in Minneapolis, whether or not the Jays come home with a winning record on this road trip come down to three games with the Orioles in Bal'mer.


When the Yankees left the Jays (and everyone else) in the dust early on, we told ourselves - well, all right. We see all those games they've played with the Orioles. The Yankees took 4 of 6 from them in April. They took another 5 of 7 from them in May. The Jays didn't play a single game with the Orioles those first two months. Baltimore was a tasty morsel we thought we were saving for the last two months of the season, when the Orioles would provide the opposition no less than 15 times in Toronto's final 54 games.

Except these don't seem to be the Orioles we were promised, the Orioles we looked forward to. Oh, they started out true to form. They went 7-14 in April, a pace that matches almost perfectly their 2021 form, when they lost 110 games.

But then they went 14-16 in May - were it not for their problems with the Yankees, something the entire league was going through that month, they'd have posted a winning record. The Orioles hadn't had a winning month since August 2017.

They promptly got themselves that long overdue winning month, their first in almost five years, by going 14-12 in June. The Blue Jays finally showed up on their schedule, and the two teams split a four game set at the Rogers Centre.

And then came July, and it appears that merely playing better than .500 was no longer good enough for them. They'd had a taste of success, and thought it would be even more fun to play really well. What would you say to a month of .640 (16-9) baseball, highlighted by a ten game winning streak, that actually inserted them into the hunt for the three AL Wild Card spots?

I'd say what on earth is going on? And, incredibly, we were all obliged to wonder - what would Orioles management do at the deadline? As if it actually mattered! Because it did!

So... would they bring in reinforcements, to aid their sudden charge towards a completely unexpected chance at post-season play?
 
They would not. Instead they would trade both their all-stars, beloved veteran DH Trey Mancini and closer Jorge Lopez for packages of prospects. Young GM Mike Elias was saying, as plainly as possible, that his team's time was coming. It just wasn't coming quite yet.

Clearly shattered by this development, the young Orioles... won their first five games in August.

They just don't know any better. They don't know they're not supposed to be here. They don't know they're not supposed to be contending for anything yet.

But here they are, with the same record as the Cleveland Guardians, just two games behind Tampa Bay and Seattle, who hold down the final two Wild Card berths.

 While Camden Yards is definitely home run friendly, it's a fairly neutral park overall, offense increases there just a little. This has been a team with about an average offense. But they're probably a little better than that. The Orioles best hitter is their hotshot rookie catcher, Adley Rutschman, who only came up in May, took a few weeks to get comfortable, and then decided to show the world that he was the best hitting catcher in all of baseball. Since the 4th of July, Rutschman is hitting .329/.477/.529 which is a pretty decent way to make your case  (he's getting DH action on the days he's not behind the plate.) And while both Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander got off to horrible starts, which are still dragging down their season numbers - they've both been much more like themselves these last couple of months. Which is pretty good, as you may recall. This is a deeper and more dangerous bunch of hitters than they had in April, although they will miss Trey Mancini, of course, (the Astros probably asked themselves - who could we get that no one anywhere could possibly boo?) But they have lots and lots of young prospects that they'd like to see in action.

But the really shocking development is on the other side of the ball. Their pitching is pretty good. I repeat - Baltimore's pitching is pretty good. Only four AL staffs have a better ERA. Only four teams give up fewer runs. This is stunning, amazing, mind-boggling. Inconceivable, and I know what that word means.  It's the Baltimore Orioles! How can this even be? What laws of man and nature have been overturned to make such wonders possible?

I bid you to remind yourself that it wasn't that long ago (2019) that the Orioles became the only team in the history of baseball to allow more than 300 home runs in a single season. It was just last year that their staff allowed 258 homers. Only four teams in history have allowed more - and of course one of those four was the 2019 Orioles. Only 22 teams in the history of baseball have allowed more runs than the Orioles did just last season, in a data set of 2,790 team seasons going back to 1893. (I maintain my Big Honking Database so I can pass along such astonishing tidbits!) When you rank 2,768th out of 2,790, success is not an option. But here they are. Succeeding. Waiting for Toronto to come to town.

This was not what the Blue Jays, and those of us who follow them, were expecting to encounter when August came around.

Well, as the poet says:

In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes oí Mice aní Men
          Gang aft agley,
Aní leaíe us nought but grief aní pain


Matchups!

Mon 8 Aug - Kikuchi (4-5, 4.86) vs Lyles (8-8, 4.40)
Tue 9 Aug - Manoah (12-5, 2.45) vs Bradish (1-4, 6.55)
Wed 10  Aug - Berrios (8-4, 5.19) vs Kremer (4-3, 3.43)

All three games are 7:05 starts.  Do not take these guys lightly.

Toronto at Baltimore, August 8-10 | 243 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#419341) #
On the other hand, the Statcast data on the Orioles' starters the Blue Jays are facing is a little promising.  Dean Kremer has posted a 3.43 ERA but a 5.04 ERA, identical to Jordan Lyles.  Kyle Bradish has been better than his 6.55 ERA, but only to the extent of 5.52.  With the departure of Lopez, the Orioles bullpen is shorter.  If the Blue Jay hitters take what is given, they have a good chance to wear out the Orioles bullpen by the end of the series. 
budgell - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#419342) #
Great stuff as always Magpie!
#windylore
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#419343) #
I could have sworn our traditional positions were for you to talk up the Orioles potential and me to scoff. The modern world is so confusing.
92-93 - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#419345) #
Baltimore has been playing well, but it has come against weak competition. They won 9 straight against TEX, LAA, and @CHC, and then went 5-5 @TB, NYY, and TB. Their last 9 (6-3) were @CIN, @TEX, and PIT. Impressive stretch nonetheless.

Rutschman started 8/56, but since June 10th he has hit .297/.409/.529 with 28 walks and 27 strikeouts. The only catchers with a higher wRC+ this season are Kirk, Will Smith, and Wilson Contreras.

Mancini is a career .298/.357/.546 hitter against the Jays in 308 PA, so at least they shipped him out of town.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#419349) #
You guys and your logic! - the StatsCast data says this, the quality of the competition says that...

I come at these things differently! Cheering for a sports team is to make an emotional investment in something one has absolutely no control over, and or even any influence upon. Which is an absurd way to pass the time, but there you go. (Luckily, it seems that the older I get the smaller that investment seems to be, but it's still there!) Logic, basic common sense - these things do not help me. I find anticipating the worst outcome is always the better policy. I either get to remind myself of my own cleverness, or bask in the joy of my team winning.

That's a win-win for me!
Joe - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#419350) #
Meanwhile, Mountcastle is hitting .348/.400/.696 vs the Jays, good for a cool 196 wRC+ in 125 PA. Pretty good for a career 110 wRC+ player!
Joe - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#419352) #
I definitely identify with that, Magpie! Baseball's a thing to care deeply about, to feel lots of feelings about, that ultimately doesn't matter to your life at all. I'm too much of an optimist to anticipate the worst outcome, although I definitely do feel the energy of a game, being less hopeful when things seem to be going in the wrong direction; that's what makes their triumphs taste all the better.

I also learned that you should always keep the faith alive, at least a little, when I went grocery shopping after the disastrous top of the 7th inning of the 2015 ALDS.

jerjapan - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#419353) #
Gang aft agley
okay, what the heck does that mean?
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#419354) #
Yin and yang, Magpie, makes the world go round.  Optimistic realism or realistic optimism.  Taking turns dreaming and sounding the alarm seems only fair to me.  Sounding the alarm all the time gets draining (and lord knows, we've had almost 2 and 1/2 years so far of doing a lot of that).  Dreaming all the time, whether with or without the aid of little helpers, is disorienting. 
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#419355) #
what the heck does that mean?

It's Scottish, of course - Robert Burns! - and the most literal translation would be "go often askew."

Al Swearingen would have said something about making plans if you want to make the gods laugh.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#419356) #
Optimistic realism or realistic optimism.

I also find that worrying about maintaining any kind of consistency in one's approach is not something I can be bothered with . Let me point proudly to what I wrote just a few days past - I introduced the series with the Twins by crowing about the Jays fabulous history of success at Target Field.

Consistency is not the hobgoblin of my little mind.
85bluejay - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#419357) #
The Orioles are only 4 games back of the Jays, the top WC team - I'm sure the Orioles and their fans see these upcoming games against the Jays as a golden opportunity to get into a WC slot, maybe even overtake the Jays - a sweep of this series would really galvanize excitement in Baltimore.
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#419358) #
I predict this is the series the Jays shut down Mountcastle at the plate (or at least render him merely human).
85bluejay - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#419359) #
If the Jays allow Mountcastle to beat them again, then they deserve ridicule - walk him everytime if need be.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#419361) #
I predict this is the series the Jays shut down Mountcastle

Spoken like a plucky little amphibian, possibly one with more heart than brains!

Mountcastle         G    PA   AB    R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI SB CS  BB  SO   BAVG   OBP   SLG    OPS GDP  HBP
vs Toronto    29  125  115   21   40   4  0  12   23  0  1  10   26  .348  .400  .696  1.096   0   0
vs Everybody Else  244  999  914  110  231  46  1  40  141  8  4  65  266  .253  .302  .437   .739  25   6

He's even 2-5 with a homer against Kikuchi, having clearly even anticipated him eventually becoming a Blue Jay.  The one thing the Jays have done well with this guy is eliminating his running game, such as it is, so 85bluejay may be on to something.
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#419362) #
On the bright side, he's hitting 1.000/1.000/1.000 against Gausman, who isn't pitching in the series. Take that, Mountcastle!
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#419364) #
Meanwhile, Raimel Tapia gets the start in LF tonight while Lourdes Gurriel Jr. sits.  It's totally understandable because Gurriel Jr. has been struggling and could definitely use a day off! Seriously, Tapia has the platoon advantage and is hitting .277/.298/.395 against RHP while Gurriel Jr. has limped to a .315/.373/.435 mark. 

Feels much better now that I have met my shame quota. 
92-93 - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#419366) #
It's hard to complain about the occasional day off, especially with Biggio and Merrifield in the lineup as well.

Danny Jansen is 4/32 with 6 Ks and 0 XBH since the 28-5 game at Fenway to open the 2nd half.
scottt - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#419367) #
3 RHP, but Lyles has big normal splits whereas the others have small/reverse splits.
This is clearly the day to use the left bats.

The biggest difference is Cadmen Yards itself.
They've move the right wall back so much that it's now the 3rd best pitcher's park according to MLB.
3rd in run allowed. 3rd in in home runs, 3rd in doubles... All according to park factors.
Tonight's starter is perhaps the biggest beneficiary. 15 HR on the road and only 1 at home.
I think it's fair to say that the home park has make their offense looks worse and their pitching looks better.

Now, the pitching.
The starting pitching has still be terrible. Clearly bottom of the leagues, but they have a lot of young arm.
Were they have shined is the pen. Maybe the 3rd best pen in MLB.
Might want to cash in those runs early.

greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#419368) #
Since June 1, in home games against RHP, Tapia is hitting .333.
John Northey - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#419370) #
I do wonder about the decisions on the lineup at times - why would you play Tapia over Gurriel outside of Gurriel needing rest? Gurriel has a 124 OPS+, a 365 OBP (only Kirk is higher), yet has played just 98 out of 108 games. Tapia with his 94 OPS+ and nightmare defense has played 87 games. No way the two of them should be so close in games played. Gurriel last sat on July 27th and is on an 8 game hitting streak. Just bizarre. Tapia has gone 3 for 23 in his last 8 games - a 130/130/130 line. Tapia is an acceptable 4th/5th OF (marginally) but he plays waaaaay too much - I was hoping with Montoyo gone he'd sit more, and now with Merrifield there really isn't a reason to play Tapia more than once a week roughly and only when a guy is wearing down. Now, maybe Gurriel isn't 100% and we just don't see it, but that is the only reason I can see for this (beyond a Monty Burns type move).

Rant, rant, rant. I just hope this offseason the Jays dump Tapia and sign almost anyone for that 4th OF slot. I still hope for a Moreno for Carroll deal.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#419371) #
"Since June 1, Tapia is hitting .333 against RHP at home"

So, they're telling Raimel that the plane did definitely turn left at Scranton and the game is taking place at the RC. I just don't know if it will work!
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#419372) #
They've moved the right wall back so much that it's now the 3rd best pitcher's park according to MLB.

Very, very interesting. You see, I am - even as we speak! - in the midst of a piece on the 30 ball parks currently in use; their impact on offense in general, home runs in particular, are things I'd obviously be looking at. But I'm just covering the seasons from 2000 through 2021.

When you're looking at ballpark effects like this, you need at least ten years of data. In one season, literally anything can happen. And frequently does. The Orioles have played just 52 games in the Modified Camden Yards. If I had 1,000 games of data that said the Orioles scored 91.4% as often at home as they did on the road, and hit 73% as many home runs - which is what they've done this season - I'd say this was the fifth best pitcher's park and the absolute worst home run park in the game. (Remember, I'm comparing 52 games at Camden to more than 1700 games in most of the other parks.)

It will be extremely interesting to follow this in the years to come, if they actually keep these changes in place.
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#419373) #
My mistake! This is a road series -- of course. Tapia is hitting .305 over the same span (61 PA) against RHP on the road. In classic Tapia fashion, he walked zero times in those 61 PA. On the other hand, he has two doubles, a triple, and three home runs in those plate appearances.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#419374) #
Tapia with his 94 OPS+ and nightmare defense

You know, I don't really see the nightmare defense. There are no Gold Gloves in his future, but he generally catches the balls he's supposed to catch.

And if anybody refers to bb-ref's DefWAR numbers, just go away. I couldn't possibly get by without bb-ref, but if they printed this part of their work it would only be useful for wrapping fish.
John Northey - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#419376) #
Well, Fangraphs has Tapia as -8.1 on defense, either 0 or negative in all measures at all positions for all Fielding Bible stats (rARM, rGFP, rPM, DRS). For OOA/RAA he is as mildly positive as possible in CF (1 OOA, 1 RAA) and negative in LF/RF for both measures. I am sure if I checked other sources I'd hit negatives as well. Basically he is endurable at best on defense. Nightmare might have been exaggerating (nightmare is Vlad at 3B)
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#419377) #
Yeah, I see a guy with a weak arm (not Dickerson weak, but definitely not good) - and not much in the way of defensive instincts who luckily has enough speed to make up for much of that.
Nigel - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#419378) #
Yeah, in Tapia I see someone of about Gurriel's ability in LF (albeit with a totally different skillset) and the 2021 level of ability of Grichuk in CF (again with a different skillset). None of the above are good, but none of them are killers. He might even fight LF to a draw on most days. There are some bad routes though:(
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#419379) #
Yep, that's a good description. For what it's worth, I have found that his instincts in left and center have improved as the season has worn on. He seems totally out of sorts in right.

My shame index is sinking. Sorry to all I have let down.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#419380) #
Incidentally, the changes to Camden that scottt described affected one of Camden's two notorious HR areas - right field, but away from the line (where the big wall has been in place.)

He said nothing about Camden's other HR spot of choice - the left-centre power alley. On a night when the Jays start a southpaw vulnerable to the HR against a team with Ryan Mountcastle hitting cleanup.

Hold me.
uglyone - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#419381) #
the only reason we're not all still angry at Tapia is because he's been legit "clutch" this year.

now let the clutchskill debate begin!
hypobole - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#419382) #
After that RF fiasco on June 8, including his 3rd error, Tapia was -9 DRS. His defence had been nightmarish.

Since then he's been +3 DRS and hasn't had another error.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#419383) #
According to BBRef, Tapia has gone .246/.243/.391 in high leverage situations with 4 GIDPs in 73 PAs.  For comparison, Gurriel Jr. has gone .333/.373/.485 in high leverage situations, but also with 4 GIDPs in 74 PAs.  I've got it, it's bait and switch; start Tapia and get them to bring in a lefty with the game on the line and boom, you bring in Gurriel Jr. to pinch-hit.  Too bad Gurriel Jr. hasn't hit lefties as well as righties this year.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#419385) #
I just figure Tapia's been better than the guy he replaced. And they haven't had to use him nearly as often.

I'm a simple man!
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#419386) #
Both Tapia and Grichuk have posted -0.2 fWAR this year. They are very different players, but their overall value may be pretty similar.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#419387) #
And here they are on TV saying it was the left field fence that they moved back. Take that!, Mr Mountcastle.
scottt - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#419388) #
Left is bigger. Right is still small.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#419389) #
their overall value may be pretty similar.

Indeed, but last year Grichuk played 149 games and batted 545 times. The Jays won't need Tapia nearly as often. And handsome Randal's probably playing a little better this year than last.
scottt - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#419390) #
What's lost in the right bat versus left bat is that the pitcher will throw something different.
We'll see how that goes.

Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#419391) #
Last year Mountcastle hit 22 HRs at Camden, and 11 HRs on the road. This season - 6 HRs at Camden, 8 HRs on the road.

Of course, the Blue Jays haven't come to town yet.
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#419392) #
Coupla walks to bring up Mountcastle. What could go wrong?
Nigel - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#419393) #
I didn't enjoy watching Kikuchi last year while watching M's games, I like it far less this year.
hypobole - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#419394) #
Whoever thought signing Kikuchi for 3 years was a good idea should be fired.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#419395) #
Gosh, I can't imagine why.

Just as I'm thinking they were this close to finally getting a GDP from Mountcastle....
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#419396) #
Whoever thought signing Kikuchi for 3 years was a good idea should be fired.

It's probably the same guy who traded Francisco Liriano for Teoscar Hernandez.
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#419397) #
Thereís always the chance that heís bad this year and good in a future year. Kind of likeÖBrandon Drury.
Nigel - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#419398) #
It's possible that Kikuchi has better days in him but the reality is that what you are seeing is entirely consistent with his time in Seattle (with more walks thrown in). A crazy high HR/FB% and a 5 or worse FIP is the norm not the exception here.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#419399) #
Thereís always the chance that heís bad this year and good in a future year.

Even if he isn't, you just get someone else instead. It's only someone else's money. But if you trade a future all-star for two months of a LOOGY... you don't get the guy back if it doesn't work out for you.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#419400) #
Guerrero Jr. is jumping at the ball.  It looks to me like his hot streak is over.  Very bad sign.
Hodgie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#419401) #
Orioles first time through the order, .130 xBA. So naturally they are winning 3-1 as I type this(Go Cavan!).
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#419402) #
Hitting and running with Kirk/Merrifield makes sense to me.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#419403) #
I thought so too, but Lyle immediately got ahead 0-2.
hypobole - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#419404) #
I was about the only one here who thought the Drury trade was fair value.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#419405) #
With Lyles throwing and Kirk hitting, I would have total confidence in hitting and running on the first pitch or 0-1. 
Hodgie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#419406) #
I miss the Vladdy that walked more than he struck out in the minors. Chasing more and making more contact outside the zone is not a good combination.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#419407) #
I miss that Vladdy too.  The exuberance is great, but sometimes it leads him to an unhelpful place. 

Kikuchi is going to have just absorb this one...
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#419408) #
Kikuchi's WHIP this year is a disappointing 1.473.

On the other hand, his WHRIP (walks plus home runs) is a much lower 0.844. Only 18 HR and 45 walks in 76.2 innings*

* stats updated in real time
Dr. Zarco - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#419409) #
I thought it was supposed to be hard to hit home runs for righties in this park?
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#419410) #
I thought it was supposed to be hard to hit home runs for righties in this park?

Well, Kikuchi had never pitched here before.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#419411) #
Well, at least that was better from Vladdy.  Less chase. 
Hodgie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#419413) #
The five saddest words in Jays' baseball? "Trent Thornton replaces Yusei Kikuchi".
92-93 - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#419414) #
At least Kikuchi was able to soak up a couple more innings. Good move by Schneider to let him start the 6th.
Nigel - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#419415) #
Yeah, I really thought that the one definable upside of the deadline deals was an end to the Time of the Thornton.
uglyone - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#419416) #
it's pretty funny that the jays are more wont to push a starter deep when he's sucking than when he's cruising.

Kikuchi goes 84 pitches pitching like crap after Gausman pulled on 84 pitches while dominating, and jays bring in a crappy reliever for kikuchi because well they need the good ones even when the starters pitch well.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#419417) #
they need the good ones even when the starters pitch well.

What better time? No need to waste them when the starters pitch badly.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#419418) #
The five saddest words in Jay's baseball? " Yusei Kikuchi is starting tonight".
Hodgie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#419419) #
And now Richards. John Schneider is either trolling me or really wants to do something else tonight.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#419420) #
Other sad five words: "another leadoff walk from Kikuchi" or "another leadoff walk from Richards".
uglyone - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#419421) #
"What better time? No need to waste them when the starters pitch badly."

ah a world in which starters pitching well kept pitching and starters pitching poorly were pulled and replaced by good pitchers not bad ones.

i can dream.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#419422) #
Alas, the complete game has vanished from the universe.
greenfrog - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#419423) #
The Kikuchi-Richards combo (with Springer and Mayza on the IL) in this game pretty clearly demonstrates that Atkins didnít do enough at the trade deadline. The Jays are a good team but they have some weaknesses. It remains to be seen how much those weaknesses impact the team in the important games that remain this year.
Mike Green - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#419424) #
I wouldn't pinch-run there. 
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#419425) #
You know, there was a moment, a brief shining moment, when I thought we might have seen the last of Richards, never mind Thornton. They added three pitchers, Bass, Pop, and White at the deadline. Obviously Romano, Garcia, Cimber, Phelps, Mayza weren't going anywhere. They had the five starters. That's all you get!

Naturally Stripling and Mayza immediately hit the IL. We can't have nice things.
Magpie - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#419426) #
When Stripling returns - which shouldn't be long, he's apparently either a live bullpen or a rehab start away - what next? White to the rotation and Kikuchi to the pen? White to the rotation and Kikuchi to Buffalo to work on some things? Kikuchi fired into the sun?
hypobole - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#419427) #
Pulling Gausman was puzzling. Leaving Kikuchi in was not.
uglyone - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#419428) #
Why is it that one of those "the good rp needed the work!" days never comes when kikuchi starts?
Nigel - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#419429) #
Stripling has to start - heís been too good not to back to that role. Kikutchi has sunblock $36m. So Iím assuming Kikutchi is either starting or on the phantom IL.
tercet - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#419430) #
Having Carlos Rodon would have been nice, but Ross Atkins is a clueless hoarder who wants to hold onto Kevin Pillar, I mean Gabriel Moreno.
dalimon5 - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#419431) #
The only guy in the world who hates the #1 prospect in baseball. Letís see who is right in time, Tercet or everyone else. Slight advantage to everyone else who reference real world stats and factsÖ
hypobole - Monday, August 08 2022 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#419432) #
Why can't Kikuchi be optioned to Buffalo?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#419433) #
Kikuchi can be optioned, and I think it's an actual possibility.

Does anyone think it would have been a good idea to trade Moreno for two months of Carlos Rodon?
LouisvilleJayFan - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#419434) #
Not at all...but, that brings up a good question. What's up with Gabriel Moreno? Hasn't played since being lifted from the game Friday night and there's been zero news as to why that happened. I hope it's not another injury.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 06:29 AM EDT (#419435) #
Kikuchi fired into the sun?

No point. He'd miss to the left.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#419436) #
What to do about Kikuchi? 

Green's diagnosis.  He's an anxious man.  As a pitcher, he's very good on left-handed hitters but extremely variable against right-handed hitters. If he starts and looks out at a lineup with 8 right-handed hitters, the anxiety is primed to take over unless he happens to have it that day (in which case he will probably be fine).  The other thing about him is that he gets stronger (i.e. in his case, more relaxed) as the game goes on.  There aren't very many pitchers who are a lot better after pitch 75 in an outing, but Kikuchi is one.

I'd try him as the main event in a tandem.  Throw out Trent Thornton for 2 innings, and then put in Kikuchi.  Make sure that you have another right-handed pitcher ready to go long (Stripling or White).  If Kikuchi has got it that day, let him go 6-7 innings and either finish the game or bring in Romano at the end.  If not, then pull him for Stripling or White before things get too far out of hand. 

I wonder if there's a sports psychologist guru like Dr. Harvey Dorfman now.  There must be. 




electric carrot - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#419437) #
I agree with Mike about Kikuchi.
mathesond - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#419438) #
"I wonder if there's a sports psychologist guru like Dr. Harvey Dorfman now. There must be. "

Oddly enough, I had a similar thought last night. I couldn't remember Dr. Dorfman's name, just that Roy Halladay had seen a sports psychologist, and wondered if it was the same one that John Smoltz worked with.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#419439) #
For Moreno I wouldn't worry - Saturday might have been a scheduled off day for him, Sunday was rained out (could see the Jays saying 'no, not playing our top prospect in this crap'), no game Monday. Now, if he misses today in Syracuse then I'd start to wonder.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#419441) #
Mike that may be the best solution for the Kikutchi problem - however, itís a solution that is bound to cause other problems. Iím pretty sure my TV wouldnít survive that game, for one.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#419442) #
Personally, Nigel, I'd find it very satisfying if the organization found a way to address a difficult pitching issue.  The Joe McCarthy Yankees were famous for inventive ways of dealing with these issues, and the Rays have followed on it. 

Incidentally, I'd try having Kirk catch Kikuchi regularly.  Kirk is preternaturally calm, and I think that might help.  In some ways, Kirk is the exact opposite of Yogi and in other ways, he's very similar.  Mentioning Joe McCarthy's Yankees and remembering Berra's success with Ryne Duren, Johnny Kucks etc had me thinking about that. 
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#419443) #
No point. He'd miss to the left.
nice one Chuck
92-93 - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#419444) #
Count me in on this theoretical Rodon+ for Moreno trade. The Jays have been able to pick up prospects in deals like the Grichuk and White trades. The best chance this team has at a championship is the 2022-2023 window with Hernandez, Chapman, and Gurriel manning the corners and Guerrero/Bichette/Manoah still relatively cheap in arbitration. They should have been putting their best foot forward, and rolling with a post-deadline rotation that includes two spots for Stripling, White, and Kikuchi with Manoah already at a career high for innings leaves them in a precarious position. They're a solid squad if everybody stays healthy, but the chances of that happening were always slim and it didn't take long for Springer and Mayza to hit the IL after the deadline. The arm the Jays get for Jansen this winter will have more control, but he will not be as good as Rodon.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#419445) #
The arm the Jays get for Jansen this winter will have more control, but he will not be as good as Rodon.

Well, Rodon will actually be a free agent this winter after he opts out of year two of his deal.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#419446) #
The Giants didn't end up trading Rodon and could still reasonably get into the playoffs.  So they may not have been very motivated to trade him.  It's in the realm of the hypothetical at this point. 

The Jays acquired White, Bass and Pop at the deadline.  They apparently were a finalist in the Castillo sweepstakes, but apparently didn't match the Mariners package which would be something like equivalent to Moreno and Tiedemann and a couple of lesser prospects.  I don't think that I would go for that- my assessment of the Jay prospects after 2023 differs considerably.  In 2024, the club will have the following player pool -  Berrios, Gausman, Kikuchi, Manoah, Tiedemann,  White, Romano, Garcia,  Mayza, Cimber, Pop, Jansen, Kirk, Moreno, Guerrero Jr., Espinal, Biggio, Bichette, Orelvis/Barger,  Springer, Gurriel Jr (apparently arb eligible per BBRef), That will cost $80 million for the contracts and Garcia's option, and then 5 first year arb cases (Romano, Espinal, Bichette, Pop, Kirk), Guerrero Jr., Biggio and relievers in later arb (Mayza and Cimber).,  That looks to me to be under $150 million, with a good talent base. 
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#419447) #
* Merrifield 19pa, 76wrc+
* White 4.2ip, 143era-, 72fip-, 121xfip-
* Bass 2.2ip, 83era-, 174fip-, 91xfip-
* Pop 2.0ip, 0era-, 52fip-, 109xfip-
92-93 - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#419448) #
It was reported this winter that Gurriel will be a free agent in '24 despite not having 6 years of MLB service time.

Romano, Espinal, and Bichette's first year of arbitration is actually '23. Bringing back just the current squad will cost more.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#419449) #
Zach Pop's statistics for the year: ERA 3.27, xERA 3.13, FIP 2.75, xFIP 3.24.  He's been good this year.  Mitch White has been perfectly fine this year and over his career.

Obviously, Rodon and Castillo are better and more valuable players.  But the question is always what you are prepared to give up for them.  If you're willing to part with Moreno and Tiedemann, then fine.  But personally, I wouldn't trade Tiedemann.  I think he has a decent chance to join Manoah as the pitching backbone of a club that could be very good for years, and I don't think that you'll get that kind of value for him. 


Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#419450) #
Fair enough, 92-93.  I see that Sportrac has different arb dates than BBRef.  I have the figures at about $160M, but I still like the talent, and particularly so much prime age talent, at that price. 
Nigel - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#419451) #
I'm pretty sure that Gurriel is a free agent after next year.

As I said at the deadline, I would have invested more into the current club as I see the contention window as now (and the next couple of years). The idea that the success curve doesn't apply to the Jays and that you can play for now and for later is just hogwash. Having said that, I wouldn't have done Moreno for Rodon - there is a limit to what you should invest in a pure 3 month rental.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#419452) #
I should be more precise - its hogwash unless you are prepared to spend you way out of the success curve (like the Yankees and Dodgers) which the Jays aren't, or have the systemic advantage of playing against crap a la the Cardinals.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#419453) #
[the Giants] may not have been very motivated to trade [Rodon]

Apparently, the Giants also figured that they'll make a Qualifying Offer and get a draft pick if (when) he moves on. (A team that acquired him in a trade wouldn't be able to do that, which became a complication at the deadline.)

Pat Gillick did trade a future MVP and five time all-star for one month of David Cone in 1992, and that worked out pretty well. But the 1992 team needed Cone to get to the post-season - he replaced Doug Linton (1-3, 8.63) in the rotation. I think this year's Jays will be in the post-season even if Kikuchi is the fifth starter the rest of the way, and winning the division does seem like a stretch at this point. So you'd effectively be trading Moreno so Rodon could start game three in the Wild Card series, assuming you even went with him instead of Berrios.
Hodgie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#419454) #
Moreno for 3 months of Rodon definitely has a Bagwell for Anderson ring to it. What could possibly go wrong?
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#419455) #
Presumably Rodon would also help you finish 1st in the wild card standings which gives you the home field for the series.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#419456) #
In better news, the Jays now expect Mayza to return "near the end of the month."
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#419457) #
Rodon would also help you finish 1st in the wild card standings which gives you the home field for the series.

This is true. And if you do have home field, your three starters are Manoah, Berrios, Gausman. In that order.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#419458) #
One thing the team arguably should have done is what AA ended up doing: taking on elite RP Raisel Iglesias's contract at the trade deadline. His contract aligns well with the Jays apparent window of contention. But that would have required spending more money (the rest of his $10m salary this year and $16m per year from 2023-2025). The Jays' willingness to spend might not be quite as strong as they've suggested.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#419459) #
I think we traded 3 good prospects in Castillo, Frasso and Groshans. Frasso seems to have recovered from his injury and if healthy should continue to advance. Groshans gets injured every year it seems, yet he has advanced to AAA and is doing well except for the Hr power.

Stripling started as our #6 SP and the injury to Ryu gave him a rotation spot. Only Manoah and Gausman are pitching better than Stripling so maybe Stripling is #3. There is hope that Stripling is back very soon.

These were moves to help make the playoffs this year. The off season will address 2023.

White replaces Stripling as our #6 or #5 if no Stripling/Ryu in 2023. We could add a good SP for 2023 but I have doubts about that. 53 games to go before the playoffs so maybe someone becomes good. Bass, Pop, Merryweather, Pearson, Thornton etc... for 1 inning or bulk innings. Castillo was in the picture as a SP this year replacing Kikuchi now and then, but got traded.

Merrifield helps the OF/IF for this year and next. 3 Cs is a luxury now and maybe next year.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#419460) #
taking on elite RP Raisel Iglesias's contract at the trade deadline.

When one says, as often as I do, that useful relief pitchers grow on trees you can probably expect a bit of reluctance to invest $16 million per for the age 33-35 years of any member of the species. With regard to Iglesias in particular, I have some nagging worries - but he does have a good health record, he still gets his Ks, he still doesn't walk people. He's not as good as Romano, so you have to hope he's happy as a setup guy.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#419461) #
It is Rogers.  And there is the question of marketing over substance. 

So, when you call up Guerrero Jr. and Bichette at age 20 and 21 at a point when you are not ready to contend, what is the strategy?  If you figure that you're going to be out of your competitive window by the time they are 25, why would you do that?  Especially when you know that they are not like Wander Franco in the sense that they are legacy players and can wait and wait.  And when you sign George Springer to a 6 year/$150 million contract at age 31 in the middle of a pandemic knowing that you don't plan to try to contend for the last 3 years, what precisely are you doing?  Answer: marketing.  It's not clear to me that it is good marketing, but whatever.

Or you could actually really mean it when you say you intend to compete for the longer haul.  In which case you do have to spend.  Indeed, perhaps on players like Igleisias. 
bpoz - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#419462) #
For next year I only see Oakland and KC as not expecting to compete. Everyone else will try to add this off season.

Baltimore may be ready and Detroit should do better if injuries are not too bad.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#419463) #
"what is the strategy?"

as always - never go all-in on anything, always half-ass it.
Glevin - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#419464) #
I think trading elite prospects for rentals is a bit silly. Jays still have a lot of guys under contract for 3-4 more years. In this context as it forces your window shorter for very small upgrades. Let's say, the Jays went all-in and traded Moreno and took on Iglesias. How does that change Jays' WS odds? Maybe from like 6.3% to 7%? And you severely hamper your ability to contend next year and year after and down the road. If the jays trade Moreno and have Iglesias salary on the books, they can't really make any major upgrades next year and they have probably have little financial room to make free agent signings. For example, if the Jays want to replace corner OF long term, they can trade Moreno in the off-season for someone like Brian Reynolds (just an example). Or, maybe Moreno is just the Jays best option at catcher and starts for them for years and they can trade Jansen for a piece that can help them. I guess it depends on whether you think the team goal should be try to compete every year or to push all your pieces in for a very slightly better chance at winning in one season.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#419465) #
Good point Mike Green about marketing being the objective rather than contending.

But I disagree. Verlander himself, not media, said that the Jays made a competitive offer. So I lean towards contending. Near MVP Vlad, Manoah and exciting Bo provide a lot of potential marketing. My 2021 memory of Springer says that his 2022 may also be injury prone. He needs ABs OF/DH for marketing shine. He still has a chance to shine in the playoffs if we make it. Kirk, Teo and Gurriel may also provide marketing. Merrifield and Chapman also. Maybe even Danny.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#419466) #
The trading price for Iglesias was negligible - equivalent to what, Thornton and Kay? - so it's just a matter of paying him his money. I do think the amount it helps the team simply doesn't move the bar very much. He'd slot in as the team's fifth best reliever, no? Something like that.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#419467) #
I wouldn't have moved Moreno for anyone other than the true studs like Soto and Ohtani.
scottt - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#419468) #
Didn't Atlanta just lose 4 of 5 to the Mets?

Is the pen where you want to be spending money?

Romano has 3 years of arbitration left.
Garcia is back next year for 5.5M and has a 5M option next year.
Bass is back next year at 3M.
Cimber has 2 years of arbitration left.
Mayza has 3 years of arbitration left.
I am not sure about Pop.

They have several arms who can compete for work in the pen, Peason, Merryweather, and a bunch of younger guys.

92-93 - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#419469) #
160MM for 2023 seems like a light projection, it's closer to 180MM.

Springer 22.5
Chapman 12
Gurriel 5.4
Merrifield 2.75

Gausman 21
Ryu 20
Berrios 15
Kikuchi 10
Garcia 5
Bass 3

That's 116.65MM in guaranteed money if you assume they pickup the options on Garcia and Bass. Here are some arbitration guesses, the MLB minimum guys, and Grichuk:

Hernandez 14
Guerrero 13
Tapia 5
Bichette 4
Biggio 3.25
Jansen 3.25
Espinal 2
Zimmer 1.5

Romano 3.5
Cimber 2.25
Mayze 1.75
Richards 1.75

Kirk 0.7
Moreno 0.7
Manoah 0.7
White 0.7

Grichuk 4.33

Even if they non-tender Tapia and trade Jansen they will be over 170MM bringing back the same team.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#419470) #
Gillick made moves to win the WS in 1991,92/93. That team was old by 1994/95 so a youth movement was needed. The moves (many bad) by Ash did not work. Inter Brew was the owner as well which was a factor.

Shapiro made moves to get better and maybe contend after 2019. Not win the WS. Based on results we have contended "for the playoffs" in 2020 & 2021. This year looks good so far. 94 wins will be a successful season this year. I think Shapiro hopes to extend this window to 2030. In 1-2 years the AL East will have 5 contenders until 2030.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#419471) #
I do think its marketing and I do think uo is mostly right - only I don't think of it so pejoratively. I think Rogers is incented to get eyeballs on screens during the summer months when baseball is its most consistently appealing product on SN. Priority number 1 for the Jays from Rogers' perspective is "don't suck" - I have always viewed the management's number 1 priority as avoiding a bottom out on the success curve. That is vastly different from a number 1 priority of trying to win a WS. Avoiding being terrible does require you to preserve some assets (prospects and cash) to smooth out the success curve. While we all see the incentives (bigger gate receipts, huge ratings) of a WS contender, I'm just not sure that a public company will bite on big market payrolls year after year to achieve that end given the risks associated with actually achieving that goal. All of this leads to going only half in at the extremes of the success curve for the Jays.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#419472) #
I think this team's management philosophy basically amounts to simply trying to be there. Be in the thick of it. Be involved. Because you can never really be certain of much more than that, and it takes a fool to think otherwise. You never know what's actually going to happen when the action moves down to the field and they start playing the games and the random stuff begins to kick in. You can probably expect that for every bright idea that works out, another one won't. So just try to be there. Be a part of it. See what happens. Try not to be so arrogant as to think you actually know how the future will unfold, once it's out of your hands.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#419473) #
We were close in 2021.

Quite a few Bauxites like to make lineup rosters.

2021 Playoffs:

SPs: Manoah, Ray, Berrios. All good for the Jays in 2021.

Pen: Romano, Cimber, Mayza, Richards. Maybe ok. 2022 seems better.

Position players: Vlad, Semien, Bo, Teo, hot Gurriel and maybe Springer. Also maybe Kirk if healthy. Grichuk possibly. Dangerous lineup.

In 2022 only Manoah and Kirk are having better years than their 2021.

Anyone can get hot or cold.
Hodgie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#419474) #
I don't get the feeling that Shapiro and Atkins are averse to spending more, rather I think they suffer from some level of sunk-cost fallacy when it comes to personnel decisions. It seems clear to me now that they went into this season very much counting on (mostly) healthy and productive seasons from Ryu, Merryweather, and Pearson, that Walker would pitcher-whisper Kikuchi into an MLB-calibre starter, and that Trevor Richards' babip-driven performance last season was somehow sustainable. Each carried significant risk but are also players the front office has invested significant capital in, whether draft, trade, or monetary in nature. Given normal in-season attrition and overwhelming underperformance/injury of depth pieces in the high minors (Castillo excluded), pivoting obviously became extremely difficult and potentially cost-prohibitive once none of those desired outcomes were realized. This probably also explains the continued Trent Thornton experience we get to endure.

How this ultimately impacts their success this season remains to be seen, but I am glad that they at least did not respond to those failing by trading a consensus top-5 prospect in baseball for a rental starting pitcher or high-leverage reliever that would only slightly move the needle now on their championship chances.

uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#419475) #
putting ages on 92-93's salary chart for next year:

Springer 33
Chapman 30
Gurriel 29
Merrifield 34

Gausman 32
Ryu 36
Berrios 29
Kikuchi 32
Garcia 32
Bass 35

Hernandez 30
Guerrero 24
Tapia 29
Bichette 25
Biggio 28
Jansen 28
Espinal 28
Zimmer 30

Romano 30
Cimber 32
Mayze 31
Richards 30

Kirk 24
Moreno 23
Manoah 25
White 28
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#419476) #
92-93, I was talking about 2024 payroll and personnel. Everyone agrees that they will be trying to win in 2023, no? The issue is whether and how much you sacrifice possibilities of winning 2024 and later for increased possibility of winning in 2022 and 2023.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#419477) #
"I think this team's management philosophy basically amounts to simply trying to be there. "

might fun to compare the chances of winning between a "being there" strategy vs an all-in contend then all-in rebuild cycling strategy.

"Priority number 1 for the Jays from Rogers' perspective is "don't suck""

I wonder if that's even the best way to draw eyeballs. It's possible that all in sell-the-farm contending followed by all-in blowitup rebuilds might draw even more fans.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#419478) #
we're signing Jackie Bradley.

guess that means bye bye Zimmer.

i've always hated the not-better-than-pillar bradley, btw.
Cracka - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#419479) #
Jackie Bradley Jr. is reportedly signing with the Jays. Not sure if this spells the end of Zimmer or adds another potential CF option while Springer recovers.
mathesond - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#419480) #
"might fun to compare the chances of winning between a "being there" strategy vs an all-in contend then all-in rebuild cycling strategy."

Would a valid comparison be St Louis vs. the Cubs?
92-93 - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#419481) #
Hopefully JBJ is taking Lopez's spot for now, not Zimmer's.
Polite Nate - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#419482) #
Is it confirmed as a major league deal yet?

I have little love for Zimmer but I don't think JBJ brings much more to the table at this point, I think I'd rather stick with continuity at this point.
lexomatic - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#419483) #
<br>I have little love for Zimmer but I don't think JBJ brings much more to the table at this point, I think I'd rather stick with continuity at this point.


This is exactly how I feel. I don't expect there is any meaningful difference in what is offered on the field. JBJ is older, may have been better defensively and hit better in the past, but they are both awful hitters. Would probably be the best defensive outfielders on the roster. Not sure about speed amd baserunning. I don't think that's going to make enough of a difference. I don't see playoff experience pixie dust as worth enough on the margins. Meh.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#419484) #
Evidently, I have upset someone at Blue Jay head office into acquiring JBJ for the sole purpose of embarrassing me.  I'm going to get out front of this.

I was horribly wrong about JBJ after 2020 when I wrote that he would be a decent platoon centerfielder.  Full stop.  End of story. 
Cracka - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#419485) #
It's a major league deal. I think Schneider has given up on Zimmer - his last plate appearance was in the 28-5 game, almost 3 weeks ago. JBJ isn't much better, but I'd be far more comfortable with him at the plate in a crucial AB than Zimmer. And I think there's something to be said for adding a respected veteran to the bench instead of a struggling fringe player. It's not much of an upgrade, but I can see why they are taking the change.
lexomatic - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#419486) #
<br>so Bradley is an upgrade kn thr bat... maybe.
Since July his LD has catered 2nd half its under 5%
Playing time isn't comparable, 4-1 for JBJ , but they're worth roughly the same defensively. JbJ is hitting 229 v R so that's a clear upgrade, though career they're comparable in value though jbj has a few big and horrible seasons while zimmer has been mostly mediocre.
Zimmer is fast 96% (29.4)and has an extra notch bolt rate.
Bradley is 48 % 27 with no bolt.
JBJ has good reads and jumps on defense but not the speed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#419487) #
Unfortunately, JBJ has been no better.  Well, OK.  He has struck out  a lot less.  And I guess, there's some hope in that, but I am prohibited from commenting further. 
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#419488) #
I think Schneider has given up on Zimmer - his last plate appearance was in the 28-5 game

That's a good thing. He's only being asked to do the things he can actually do. What worries me will be the temptation to say - hey, it's Jackie Bradley, let's give him some at bats.
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#419489) #
Desperation and acknowledging Mike Green's brilliant foresight! - will say I also opinioned that Bradley would be a solid option 2 years ago.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#419490) #
I read 'em, I weep.
Year       Tm       G   PA   AB   R    H  2B  3B  HR  RBI SB  CS  BB   SO  BAVG   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+    
2021-2022 CLE,TOR  174 434  374  55   76  13   1  10  38  17   4  35  155  .203  .303  .324  .626   74
2021-2022 MIL,BOS  225 718  658  60  120  33   4   9  58   9   4  45  190  .182  .244  .286  .530   44
Bradley is two and a half years older, so he's got that going for him.

Nigel - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#419491) #
There's always a requirement (more than a temptation) to give veteraness a run. Be prepared for far more JBJ than you will have ever wanted to see in the next week or two.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#419492) #
Unfortunately, JBJ has been no better.
wRC+
Zimmer 28
Jackie 58

Both awful, but 58 is better than 28.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#419493) #
Magpie's got it.  JBJ's defensive numbers are better over the two years though.

If you put Bradley into fangraphs search, the first entry is JBJ and the second is Bradley Zimmer.  Maybe we should make them a unit called Jackie Bradley Zimmer and hope that their wRC+ is the sum of their individual wRC+. 
Michael - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#419494) #
Perhaps it is all being done to distract any conversation from Tapia. Who can complain about Tapia when he's found another hitting gear in the past month, and Tapia is being played instead of JBJ?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#419495) #
all-in blowitup rebuilds might draw even more fans.

You can only get so many bums in the seats anyway, and in the meantime a lot of them will be very, very empty for a very long time. The Cubs won a championship, in year 7, after five seasons averaging 93 losses a season. The Astros won a championship, in year 9, after 6 seasons averaging 98 losses a season. The Blue Jays have lost 90 games once in 40 years and I remember considerable wailing and gnashing of teeth - five years of it, and they'd probably be in Memphis or Portland or somewhere.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#419496) #
Rest of Season Projection

Pillar (33): 99wrc+, 2.4fwar650
Bradley (32): 74wrc+, 0.5fwar650

Last 2yrs

* Pillar (33): 360pa, 87wrc+, 1.4fwar650, 0.5bwar650
* Bradley (33): 718pa, 45wrc+, -1.8fwar650, -0.9bwar650

Career

* Pillar (33): 3846pa, 87wrc+, 1.9fwar650, 2.8bwar650
* Bradley (32): 3999pa, 85wrc+, 2.4fwar650, 2.8bwar650

Career earnings:

* Pillar (33): $20m
* Bradley (32): $55m


It sure pays to be a red Sox baby, baby.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#419497) #
If it's any consolation, Myles Straw (whom the Guardians chose to play in centre field instead of Zimmer) has been pretty bad this year. Excellent defense, but he's hitting .217/.295/.275 (wRC+ 67).
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#419498) #
Tapia even got out of the box very quickly for him once last night.  I was impressed.
electric carrot - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#419499) #
Tapia is definitely reading Batters Box and taking names.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#419500) #
It's official JBJ takes Otto Lopez's slot on the 26 man, Matt Peacock off the 40 man (designated for assignment). Not a bad move. Can see if there is anything left in JBJ until Springer gets back - if so then keep him and dump Zimmer, if not then let him go and keep Zimmer. Wonder if the Red Sox regret trading Hunter Renfroe (1.8 WAR this year) for JBJ yet? The Red Sox got 2 minor leaguers - one has a 628 OPS in AA (after having a 851 in A+ but as a 1B/3B he needs to hit like he did in A+ to have value), the other has been in AA all year and is hitting 222/305/360 at 2B/SS so odds are they do regret that trade as neither prospect looks like anything and JBJ cost money and produced negative WAR while Renfroe has had significant value for Milwaukee.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#419501) #
Apparently Chris Sale was biking and fell off his bike and broke his hand. I guess the Sox are officially cursed this season.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#419502) #
For 2023 and beyond the Jays do have choices to make.
  • Starting rotation: the most obvious quick need with Stripling a free agent, Ryu done, that opens the #5 and swingman role. White covers swingman, but who gets the #5 and maybe the #4 given Kikuchi's issues? Hayden Juenger is the closest prospect (in AAA now) but only has 84 pro innings so far - of course Manoah only had 35 but he is a big exception to any rule. Trent Palmer (118 pro innings), Yosver Zulueta (46 pro innings), and Ricky Tiedemann (70 2/3 IP as a pro) are all also contenders to grab a slot but again, very low pro innings. Basically for any of them to start 2023 in the rotation they'd need to be 'wow' in spring to such a degree that they couldn't be ignored and even then they'd probably start in AAA for April. So for now I see White & Kikuchi as the 4/5 guys in April with the kids all in AAA banging hard on the door for a shot.
  • Bullpen: Always an issue - Romano-Garcia-Cimber-Mayza-Pop-Bass all locks to be back, but that leaves 2 open slots now manned by Richards-Phelps-Thornton with Gage-Saucedo-Pearson-Merryweather all hanging around still (mostly on the IL). I fully expect more dumpster diving as Phelps might be at the end and Merryweather will probably be let go and Richards is marginal at best. Can't see the Jays blowing serious money here, maybe $5-10 mil on a guy or two.
  • Lineup: A trade of Jansen or Moreno should happen this winter as Kirk is solidly established as an all-star now and the Jays would have trouble getting serious value for him in trade I think. 1B/2B/3B/SS all set (2B with Espinal/Biggio/Merryfield) in stone. The OF is set but shaky as Hernandez & Gurriel are both free agents post 2023, and you want to move Springer out of CF. A trade is the only practical solution unless the Jays go nuts and sign Judge to share CF/RF with Springer (can't see that happening). Gabriel Martinez is the best OF prospect the Jays have but he won't be ready until 2024 at the earliest (just promoted to A+) and he is a LF/RF so doesn't solve the Springer issue. I really hope the Jays and Arizona can make a deal. Sigh.
So the moves recently don't really address anything but 2022 which makes sense as the Jays could go all the way this year (just under a 1 in 10 shot it appears). But come November the Jays will be debating how to improve without skyrocketing payroll much more as they need to keep space for post 2023 when Gurriel & Hernandez are free agents and keep trying to do long term deals with Vlad & Bo (I doubt either will sign though until they reach free agency). I would think it would be smart to try to do a long one with Manoah before he starts making millions in arbitration (unlike Bo & Vlad he doesn't come from big money so might be easier to sign).
Chuck - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#419503) #
Can see if there is anything left in JBJ

... that the last 718 plate appearances have not already shown us.

Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#419504) #
Thatís gotta be a breach of contract for Sale, right? All these guys have clauses forbidding stuff like that. Not that I feel too horrible for either party involved.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#419505) #
All these guys have clauses forbidding stuff like that.

There are probably degrees to it. He wasn't biking cross-country back roads or anything - he'd finished his throwing and was cycling somewhere for lunch. The team doesn't sound upset with him, just at his ill luck this year.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#419506) #
I understand John N's points. Shapiro and Atkins are not going to gamble IMO.

Gambling means give a kid a rotation spot out of ST or after the time needed for service time. If Manoah was promoted before service time manipulation then my thinking is wrong. Again!! Actually they will try for a cheap but good SP I strongly believe. Matz type situation/deal.

Zulueta has to be added to the 40 man and a few others for rule 5 protection. I am hoping he becomes a starter.

The #4-#8 SPs are the question marks.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#419507) #
I listed Merrifield at 2.75MM for '23 above but it's actually closer to 6.75MM unless he gets injured. This same club in '23 will cost over 180MM.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#419509) #
Mandatory Tapia post. He's in right-field for Hernandez tonight. He has looked awful in right-field all season long and the metrics agree.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#419511) #
Tapia getting starting-level playing time even since the deadline (8th in pa). Who woulda thunk it?

rocking a 52wrc+ since the deadline, too.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#419513) #
So this gets me thinking - who are the free agent pitchers this winter? Spotrac has a list. Some big names are Jacob deGrom, Adam Wainwright, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Rodon, Sean Manaea, Nathan Eovaldi, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander (very big), Chris Sale, and many others.

Verlander is obviously the one everyone wants. If the Jays just want innings old guys like David Price, Zack Greinke are out there among many others. 1001 options depending on budget and goal - do you go for yet another #1 or do you get a one year placeholder until some kids are ready?
John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#419514) #
Well that sucks - didn't think it was obvious that the ball wasn't caught and that is the standard supposedly for that call.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#419515) #
Win some, lose some. 

Now, time for the hitters to wake up. 
Chuck - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#419516) #
The Orioles being non-terrible is greatly affecting my cosmic balance.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#419517) #
They are going to get better. Gunnar Henderson is a 21 year old shortstop/third baseman in triple A who looks fabulous, roughly as good as Rutschman. 
krose - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#419519) #
Jays are not inspiring to watch. Prime Video perhaps?
John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#419520) #
Days like today remind us all of how nuts the AL East is. I really, really want radical realignment with the Jays moving to a Central division vs Detroit & Cleveland (among others) and putting the Yankees/Red Sox in a killer division with the Mets/Phillies.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#419522) #
A lot of very poor swing decisions tonight - for an organization that says it values good swing decisions.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#419523) #
The Oís are playing to win.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#419524) #
The Jays needed this performance from Bo.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#419525) #
So are Bo's
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#419526) #
With the rains coming, that was a very productive popup from Raimel Tapia. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#419527) #
Tapia is always one step ahead, Mike. You should know that by now.
scottt - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#419529) #
Baltimore is getting good, but Boston is getting bad.

Tapia has been worth 0.1 bWAR, but check Boston:

Jaren Duran, -0.1.
Alex Verdugo, -0.3.
Jonathan Arauz, -0.3.
Franchy Cordero, -0.4.
Bobby Dalbec, -0.6.
Jeter Down, -0.6.
Yolmer Sanchez, -0.6.
Kevin Plawecki, -1.2.

And, I don't know about the Rays.
It's really hard to see what the team looks like with all the injuries.
They probably trade Franco before he makes 22M in 2027.
Their top prospects, Mead, Jones, Edwards are all infielders.
Margot would make 7M next year.
Glasnow has a final arb year in 23, but will they trade him instead?
Do they bring Zunino back again?
I see them as the type of teams that could go for a rebuild since it wouldn't affect the attendance.
Or just move.


John Northey - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#419530) #
By 2027 the Rays might be preparing to move - their nightmare deal ends in 2027 so after that they can move anywhere. There is a decent shot that they would become the Montreal Expos v2 for 2028. Safe to say a contender in Montreal would get far better attendance, and TV ratings, than a team in Tampa Bay will.
Super Bluto - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#419531) #
I'd love to see MLB back in Montreal but unless some seriously deep pocketed investor is in the mix (and so far, there hasn't been one to step up - the Bronfman's ain't what they used to be) I can't see MLB taking the risk that Montreal becomes a two-time failure. There are other major cities in the US - Vegas, Austin, Jacksonville - that could be more attractive.

Also, Odor's going to get plunked tomorrow.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#419532) #
3-5 since the deadline.



orioles 2gms back.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 09 2022 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#419533) #
The Orioles are who we thought they were, and we let em off the hook. If you wanna crown em, then crown their ass.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#419534) #
Felix Bautista begins his stride in from the pen with the Omar whistle from The Wire?

Well played.
Glevin - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 06:16 AM EDT (#419535) #
Schneider seems way too aggressive as a manager to me so far. That's twice where he's used Zimmer as a defensive replacement and then pinch hit for him. Same with Otto Lopez pinch running despite not even being tying run and a few other situations.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#419537) #
Schneider wasn't aggressive enough last night with his moves. He could have pinch ran for Kirk with Bradley and used Jansen as a PH for Tapia. Making a defensive substitution for Merrifield, who didn't look comfortable in CF on a couple plays earlier in the night, was a no-brainer.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#419538) #
I expect the Jays to have a winning streak soon.
85bluejay - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#419539) #
Yes the Jays are 3-5 since the deadline - the Padres who went all in are not doing better while the Orioles who sold have gained ground - all SSS, so let's relax and enjoy the race.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#419540) #
Gotta love when we use all of Merrifield Tapia Zimmer and Bradley in the same game.

And did we really add Bass just for middle relief?
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#419541) #
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#419542) #
<br>teoscar being a Judge backup if he leaves is a bad thought
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#419543) #
I like what Schneider is doing and agree with 92 that he could have been more aggressive.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#419544) #
the Padres who went all in are not doing better

Cut them slack. They had to play the Dodgers, whose intrasquad games feature the two best teams in the league.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#419545) #
Record since the trade deadline doesn't mean much since it's only a week. The fact that the Jays are 30-30 since June 2 is probably a more disturbing sample size.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#419546) #
The overall quality ranking of the team's outfielders is, I think, fairly clear:

Springer (CF/RF)
Hernandez (RF/LF)
Gurriel Jr. (LF)
Merrifield (CF/RF/LF)
Tapia (LF/CF)
Bradley Jr./Zimmer (CF/RF/LF)

With Springer out and the schedule-maker providing a day off every 10 in August, the starting lineup should feature Hernandez and Gurriel Jr. in the corners almost every day and Merrifield and Tapia sharing centerfield duties, unless you want to give Bradley Jr. or Zimmer a start with a RH pitching opponent and a flyball-heavy starter for the Blue Jays.  Hernandez and Gurriel Jr.  have started 83 and 99 of the team's 110 games so far; they need no more than the occasional day off. 

It looks to me like Schneider is trying to figure out how to get Merrifield and Tapia plenty of work, as if he was a manager in April working out his personnel.  It's August and there's no time for that approach.  The club may very well miss the playoffs entirely again this year by a game, and that would (like last year) be partially on the field manager. 


greenfrog - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#419547) #
From Atkins's comments after Montoyo was fired, it seemed like he was trying to send a "tough love" message. Good teams find a way to win. He isn't going to trade away the farm in a lopsided deal for a short-term rental or two, when the team is already talented and should be capable of figuring out a way of winning with the talent on hand.

Of course, adding someone like Iglesias wouldn't have required a lopsided transaction.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#419548) #
After going 5-5 last night, Randal Grichuk squeaked ahead of Raimel Tapia in the WAR race.  They've both been lousy and really quite similar- Tapia has walked less, struck out less and hit for less power, and it all adds up to a modest advantage for Grichuk.  Tapia has been a somewhat better baserunner and they both have been bad in the field. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#419549) #
So it all comes down to Adrian Pinto who unfortunately hasn't played in over a month - must be a significant injury.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#419550) #
Before his injury, Pinto had done very well as a 19 year old middle infielder in A ball- 12% W/PA, 16% K/PA, .121 ISO, 121 wRC+, 18-7 SB/CS.  He had 10 HBP in 194 PA; I hope he figures out the Ron Hunt body armor thing in order to stay healthy.  There's enough risk to second basemen on the pivot. 
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#419551) #
" Cut them slack. They had to play the Dodgers,"

During the Padres 5 game losing streak they played the Dodgers 3 times plus one loss was against Colorado and one was against San Francisco. That said, players who arrive at a new team via trade or free agency often struggle for a while as they try too hard to show their worth. Of the next 10 games for the Padres, 7 are against Washington and 3 are against the Marlins. That should right the ship and get everybody rowing in the same direction. ( Not that I care. C'mon, Jays! )
Nigel - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#419552) #
Mike I agree with that assessment of the OFs, generally. I think where Schneider is going to "make it or break it" is with the management of his pen and not OF playing time. Other than the obvious (Romano is the closer and first choice for highest leverage work and Thornton and Richards should be in the "break in case of emergency" and lowest leverage work), the rest of the relievers don't appear to be particularly distiguishable in terms of aptitude for a high leverage role (although I'd listen to arguments that Bass is next up). However, relievers run hot and cold - Schneider sorting out who is running hot and should move up the leverage scale (or vice versa) seems like his biggest task of the next two months.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#419553) #
Nigel, I don't think that it's about management of the bullpen time amongst themselves, but rather about using his starters wisely.  Take last night's game.  There was no reason to take Manoah out after 5 innings- he had righted the ship well enough to go 6.  Pop should not have been warming in the 5th.  If that had occurred, Manoah would have had to be pulled, but Pop would still be available. 

I don't know why the club hasn't used Matt Gage.  He was effective when here, and was absolutely devastating against LHBs in triple A (1 walk, 4 hits, 0 home runs, 25 strikeouts).
Glevin - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#419554) #
"With Springer out and the schedule-maker providing a day off every 10 in August, the starting lineup should feature Hernandez and Gurriel Jr. in the corners almost every day and Merrifield and Tapia sharing centerfield duties"

Agreed. If they need a day off, they can also DH once in a while. The lineup without Springer and Teoscar or Gurriel is pretty mediocre.
Michael - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#419555) #
In general I agree with allowing the starters to go longer, and that helping the full team a lot improving the bullpen. On last night I'm not sure if the rain delay might have been a factor too. I know it looks like they made a move right before the delay was officially called, but the rain may have influenced things, and it is more reasonable to not have the starter continue after a longish rain delay and/or if you are anticipating the delay in the next few minutes. So I'd give them somewhat of a pass on the Manoah decision, but I agree the general pattern has been way too fast of a hook, and that needs to be corrected (at least for the "good" starters and/or while the bullpen isn't full of lights out pitchers).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#419556) #
I haven't been impressed with Iglesias since the deadline. Watching him and then watching the Orioles bullpen it's night and day which I would prefer. Even Baker, finding out the Jays had him and let him go to the Orioles, wow. So many lively arms in the BAL bullpen I'd put it on par or better than DET.


Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#419557) #
There was no reason to take Manoah out after 5 innings-

There was every reason to take him out (even if there hadn't been a 78 minute delay between the fifth and the sixth.) He may have righted the ship, but he'd had to work like a dog in the process. And it was 93 Fahrenheit.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#419558) #
It's probably still too soon to say much about Schneider's traits as a manager besides the obvious ones - the overall aggressiveness, the Quick Hooks (last night might have been the first I didn't think "that was a quick hook.") He may have a real fondness for the hot hand. I was a little surprised Tapia started last night, but he'd had three hits the night before. That may matter more to Schneider than it did to Montoyo.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#419559) #
It wasn't 93 degrees. That's what it was when the game started, but fell modestly then quickly. By the fifth inning, it was 84 with a wind, and it fell further.

Manoah had thrown 77 pitches through 5, 15 in the 4th and 7 in the 5th.

Meanwhile, Yimi Garcia was obviously still feeling the effects of his heavy usage earlier. His fastball was off a couple of clicks.
85bluejay - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#419560) #
Cal Stevenson has been called up by the A's - should make a certain poster smile.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#419561) #
The Jays may be trying to protect Manoah by limiting his workload. He improved as the night went on, but he looked tired/flat at times in the game.

Not to overly dwell on the Iglesias issue, as it was just a passing thought, but in 3 IP with Atlanta he has six strikeouts and zero walks. He's allowed three hits (no home runs) and one run. ERA+ 156 and xFIP of 0.60. Maybe he looked unimpressive in that small sample?
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#419562) #
Thanks, 85bluejays.  Stevenson is now 25, and hit well this year in triple A- especially when he arrived in Las Vegas.  He's passed through three SABR-heavy organizations- Houston, Tampa and Oakland.  Maybe the third time's the charm. 

FWIW, Steamer projects him to post a 105 wRC+, and ZiPS projects him to be a decent back-up player for a few years (1 WAR in 400 PAs). 
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#419563) #
Manoah had thrown 77 pitches through 5

And every pitcher will tell you that pitches in a stressful situation - and the Orioles had people on base against him in every inning - are much more taxing than the rest. The delay would have made it automatic, if the decision hadn't been made already. I say he worked like a dog just getting through five! A dog!
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#419564) #
The casualty of the long delay, of course, was Zach Pop who got hot, was put into the game, took the mound, and didn't throw a pitch that counted. It's possible Garcia wasn't even supposed to work last night - Pop could have been followed by Bass, Cimber, Romano.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#419565) #
Gausman worked harder through 4 innings on July 22 in Boston, having thrown 85 pitches (the game-time temperature was 91F and it did not cool off the way it did in Baltimore).  But he had a 25-3 lead and it was essential to give him the opportunity to get the easy win.  They were willing to forgo that with Manoah, having signalled their intent to remove him long before the Jays took the lead in the top of the 6th.  
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#419566) #
If the club had not had Pop warming heavily in the fifth and ready to come in, the game might have turned out differently. 
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#419567) #
I'm suggesting that the pitches one throws with a 22 run lead are not quite as taxing as the ones you throw when you're down by a run and there's a runner on base. Now sit tight while I think of something snotty to say about Cal Stevenson. I'll be here all week.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#419568) #
Actually, the thing about guys like Stevenson - and it's not so much about the player as the way people in the game think - is that if you're an outfielder and you're not in the habit of making the ball fly over the fence, you need to hit .300 and you need to do it right away. It's a little like being a pitcher who doesn't sting the radar guns. Oakland Coliseum may not be what he needs.

Geez, that wasn't all that snotty at all. I can do better. Or worse.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#419569) #
Cal Stevenson. Joel Collins.  Raimel Tapia.  My list of wrong calls is long and varied.  As the great Pat Benatar sang...

FWIW, I think Schneider was surprised by the decision to roll out the tarps before it started raining.  Maybe I'm being a bit hard on him.  But I would have had Pop at most gentle tossing in the 5th and when Manoah got through it in 7 pitches (and looked good), I would have had him ready to go in the 6th.  A quick hook and no lefty in the pen is not a great combination. 
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#419570) #
One reason Pop was likely getting ready early is that Manoah had to get a little lucky escaping further damage in the fourth inning. When you give up three hits, runs normally cross the plate. Rough Ned was doing so much to help for so much of last night - run into an out here, throw this ball away, throw that ball away.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#419571) #
My list of wrong calls is long and varied.

Oh yeah? Did you ever anticipate Oliver Perez winning the NL Cy Young and actually put said thought in writing?

A little respect, please.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#419572) #
I think Schneider was surprised by the decision to roll out the tarps before it started raining.

After the game, he said:

Wasn't quite sure why they pulled the tarp when they did, to be honest with you. We burned a pitcher because of it.

I hope they didn't literally burn a pitcher. That seems unnecessary.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#419573) #
If Stevenson makes it, he'll hit .260 in Oakland with a lot of walks, and quite a few doubles and triples and some homers while stealing bases at an efficient rate. He probably won't do all of that, but youneverknow.
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#419574) #
"I hope they didn't literally burn a pitcher. That seems unnecessary."

Well that depends, did he weigh as much as a duck?

Nigel - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#419575) #
The idea of having Pop warming to potentially relieve Manoah in the 6th if he ran into problems (leaving the rain delay to the side for a moment), is one that seems logical to me but appears verboten to Jays managers. I'm not sure why and the Jays certainly aren't alone in that view.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#419576) #
For fun, I checked the batting lines of Oakland outfielders (Warning: the following contains disturbing numbers which may offend some readers):

Pinder: .242/.267/.411
Pache: .159/.203/.224
Laureano: .218/.297/.385
Piscotty: .197/.259/.352
Barrera: .234/.294/.338
McKinney: .096/.158/.173

The bar is low.  They might just let Stevenson have a full shot.  Huh.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#419577) #
The firm of Pinder, Pache & Piscotty has seen better days. Their clients feel they aren't going to bat for them the way they used to.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#419578) #
Tigers just fired Al Avila.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#419579) #
potentially relieve Manoah in the 6th if he ran into problems

I've been talking about this a lot lately, but the modern tendency is very much to pull the starter before he runs into problems. They really don't want to be forced to go to the bullpen with runners already on; they always want to give the reliever a clean inning.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#419580) #
Pache will be the major disappointment for the A's. I don't know whether you can say he was a consensus top 10 prospect (in all of baseball) but he certainly was a top 10 prospect at a number of sites. His minor league numbers never seemed to me to be that impressive but those numbers from this year are staggeringly bad. No amount of elite defensive contributions can make up for that.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#419581) #
Agreed Magpie - the Jays aren't alone in this. I'm not sure I agree with the thinking if applied generally. Sure, if you have an elite high leverage reliever then I think there is value in having that reliever given an inning over a tiring starter and to do so in optimal circumstances. But is a random middle leverage reliever (we'll, for argument sake, call the reliever "Pop") likely to do better than a tiring elite starter (we'll, for argument sake, call that starter "Manoah")? I have my doubts and I'm not sure the risk of having a reliever pitch mid-mess is sufficient to outweigh the downsides of an early starter pull. I think its a line of thinking that should be applied situationally not universally.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#419582) #
So the Tigers start on a new 5 year plan I guess. When the GM is fired often the new guy dismantles the team and builds anew. Given only 1 player on the team has an OPS+ of 100+ with 12+ PA's (Harold Castro a LH hitting super-utility guy with a 107, he has played at 1B/3B/SS often, plus at DH/P/LF/2B/CF as well as pinch hitting. The only position he has never played in the majors is catcher (hasn't played that in the minors or winter ball either). I could see teams trying to pry him out of Detroit this winter, would fit right in with the Jays. Their 5 most used starting pitchers are either on the IL or demoted. So the guy with the most starts who is healthy is Drew Hutchison, yes the ex-Jay. Their best asset for trades is Tarik Skubal easily. Gregory Soto would be next, followed by an assortment of relievers. Expect a fire sale of anyone who isn't a prospect there despite the big cash outlay they did for Javier Baez last winter.
scottt - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#419583) #
Replacing a tired starter after the 5th inning when trailing by 2 runs has nothing to do with the opportunity to earn the win.  Manoah started poorly and allowed 2 runs in the first inning. With a clean 1-2-3 inning, he might have pitched the 6th and the 7th.

Now pulling a starter before 5 inning in an historical  blowout is something else entirely.
Gaus' poor efficiency had a lot to do with an extreme wait between each inning.
Those are super low stress pitches and Gaus isn't blowing through his inning record this year.

They are cases in which they warm up 2 pitchers, mostly for the 9th or the 8th depending on whether the game will be a save situation or not. They are "burning" one of those pitchers, although, it's probably a lighter degree burn.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#419584) #
Montoyo and Schneider have been forced to go out to the mound and hook their starter in the middle of the inning 44 times this season, in 110 games. The Jays have a roughly middle of the pack pitching staff overall, a little better then MLB average. What's life like if your pitchers are really good, or really bad?

The Nationals suck, and poor Dave Martinez has had to make that long walk 61 times in 112 games.

The Dodgers have enough starters for two teams, and Dave Roberts has an easy life. He's only had to get up 29 times in 109 games, and one of the three guys he went out for most often is now a Blue Jay. Still, I now regard the fact that Mitch White was good enough to even make that roster as a powerful endorsement.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#419585) #
Tonights game will be delayed and some think it might be cancelled.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#419586) #
As you might expect, it's Berrios and Kikuchi who have made their managers do the most walking, 23 times in 41 starts. Stripling, Ryu, Manoah, and Gausman have all been as reliable as the Dodgers guys (17 mid-inning hooks in 64 starts).

Hey, two of them actually were Dodgers once.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#419587) #
Might be best for the Jays if it is rained out after the last 2 days. Bass used 3 of the past 4 days, Cimber 19 pitches yesterday, Garcia 4 of the past 6 days (19+ pitches each time), Phelps has had 3 days off, Romano 2 days off so he is fully available, plus Richards and Thornton (ugh). Pop also should be fully available. But basically Romano is the only solid reliever the Jays have available today. A rainout means the Jays get 2 days off (no game tomorrow) before going home with a fully rested pen and Berrios going at home instead of on the road (a big plus).
John Northey - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#419588) #
Appears the game is officially postponed now.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#419590) #
Didn't expect to be in a position where I was relieved that a game against the orioles was canceled.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#419591) #
Hey, I warned you! I warned everybody! Did they listen? Do they ever?
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#419592) #
Statcast says that the Blue Jays won the second game! I kid.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#419593) #
The AL WC race is pretty close. The Mís have Castillo, the Oís have youthful energy and up-and-coming players, the Rays have mix-and-match players and Tropicana, Cleveland/Minnesota are underrated, the Jays are perhaps the most talented of the bunch but are playing meh baseball of late. Could go down to the wire.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#419594) #
I heard a stat on the radio earlier today. I canít remember it exactly but the gist is that from 2021-2022 the Jays have an excellent W-L record with Springer in the lineup, and theyíre barely over .500 without him in the lineup.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2022 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#419595) #
The exact numbers over the two seasons: 94-68 (.580) when Springer starts, 57-53 (.518) when he doesn't. It was much more pronounced in 2021 (.615 to .512) than it has been this season (.548 to .538), which we may surely attribute to the Tapia effect.
Magpie - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#419596) #
playing meh baseball of late.

You think? OK, it was a tough road trip - well, of course it was a tough road trip. They played three teams, all three of them fighting to make the post-season. They lost three games by a single run. They're still playing .636 ball since the managerial change.

That could, I realize, be the ricochet of a defunct feline, of course. It might not.
John Northey - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 02:18 AM EDT (#419597) #
So with 2 days off in a row what do the Jays do for the rotation? One priority for me is keeping someone (ideally weakest starter) between Manoah and Gausman just due to both of those guys being fairly reliable.
  • Manoah: 22 starts, all 5+ IP, 17 6+, 6 7+, 1 8+ - should go after the weakest possible starter so the pen gets a breather
  • Gausman: 21 starts, 4 under 5 IP (2 in July, 2 in June), 17 for 5+, 12 6+, 5 7+, 2 8+.
  • Berrios: 22 starts, 6 under 5 IP (1 Apr, 2 May, 2 June, 1 Aug), 16 5+, 11 6+, 6 7+, 1 8+. Just one under 5 IP at home (but really stunk, just 1 out 3 H 2 BB 1 HBP)
  • Kikuchi: 19 starts, 11 under 5 IP (yikes!), 8 5+ IP, 3 6+ - should start the game before Manoah as the pen will need a day off after his starts
  • White: 11 starts, 5 under 5 IP, 6 5+, 1 6+. His one Jay start was 1 out shy of 5 IP. I'd put him between Manoah and Gausman
  • Stripling: 15 starts, 8 under 5 IP, 7 5+, 3 6+, 1 7+. Hard to say where he fits best. Basically whichever of White/Kikuchi he replaces he should take that slot.
Now, with days off I'd propose going Berrios, Gausman, Kikuchi, Manoah, White - that sets up the rotation for the rest of the season with Stripling taking one of Kikuchi or White's slots when he returns. This way every one of the big 3 gets a bonus day off to help them be stronger for the final stretch, and you get Kikuchi between the 2 who eat innings the most.

So for Cleveland you get Berrios/Gausman/Kikuchi, and for Baltimore Manoah, White, Berrios. The NYY series in NY will see all but Berrios start, with Boston seeing Berrios-Gausman-Kikuchi, although the day off between the NYY and Boston series opens up the possibility of skipping a Kikuchi start. However, imo, you want to given Manoah and Gausman all the rest you can so they can be at maximum effectiveness vs everyone - I want their starts to be near automatic wins/6+ IP starts. If the Jays follow this you get 10 starts each, plus 2 for a #6 guy (double headers - either day of or day after). The doubleheader due to the rainout comes after a day off a few games earlier but regardless someone will need to be a 6th starter around that time (probably Stripling or whoever he bumps from the rotation), there is also a double header vs Tampa on Sept 13th. Now, go with a 'skip Kikuchi' plan and you get a dogs breakfast very quickly as I find you end up with Gausman/Manoah going back to back often and the double headers end up White/Kikuchi or one of them pitches the game before or after which would be a disaster. Under the 'everyone starts' plan you get Manoah/Kikuchi for the O's one (with #6 the next day), White & #6 for the 2nd.

With off-day on the 1st of September they could do a minor juggle - have White miss 2 starts during the final stretch (his slot works for it better than Kikuchi's) and you get Berrios an 11th start and cut one of White's. Then the final 3 vs Baltimore would be Manoah-Berrios-White. Go with my first plan and the final 3 are Kikuchi-Manoah-White. I'd rather have Manoah & Berrios for that final series if it matters, if it doesn't then both could do a couple of innings of 'stay ready' before the playoffs begin. Gausman lined up for game 1 of the playoffs either way given there is a day off between the end of the regular season and the start of the 3 game wild card series.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#419598) #
I'd like to see Kikuchi sent down to Buffalo when Stripling returns. It must be demoralizing to the team to be constantly down by multiple runs early in nearly every game he starts. As Joe Siddall said, the main problem is between Kikuchi's ears.

Random historical baseball fact: On this date in 1929, Babe Ruth became the first MLB player to hit 500 home runs in his career at League Park in Cleveland. A man outside the park retrieved the ball and returned it to Ruth in exchange for two signed baseballs and 20 dollars.
John Northey - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#419601) #
Agreed Island Boy - If Kikuchi doesn't get it going he has to be demoted as he is not useful right now - a max of 5 innings it seems (twice in May he went 6 - over 3 starts he went 17 1/3 IP allowing just 3 runs against the Yankees twice, and Seattle). In 19 starts he allowed 0 runs once. 4 times just 1 run, 4 times 2 runs. Given he can't go past 5 innings (with just 2 exceptions) he is only useful if he gives up 2 or fewer. So 9 times out of 19 starts he has been useful - the other 10 times he allowed 3+ runs and went 5 innings just once (his last start).

How much value does that bring? A guy who can't go over 5 innings who allows 3+ runs most of the time? At this point the Jays need to look at him as a sunk cost - they wasted $30+ million on him. If he can be sent to AAA then do it once Stripling is back and get him going every 5th day and at least twice through the order everytime no matter what - if he gives up 18 runs so be it. Work him hard until he gets straightened out. This is a guy who was an all-star last year, who has the raw talent to do what Ray did last year. Get him a dedicated pitching coach and send him to A ball if you have to ala Halladay.
dalimon5 - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#419604) #
Anyone think the Marlins would do a Moreno+ for Chisholm deal in the off season?

He just looks like the perfect match for this line up...
John Northey - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#419607) #
I'd think that would be a Chisholm+ for Moreno deal. Moreno is arguable the #1 prospect in MLB (top 5 by everyone), Chisholm is having his first great season (including minors) and has 'just' 4 years of control left. I see him as a high risk to regress. To me the ideal deal is Moreno for Carroll (Arizona) - both top 5 prospects, Carroll a CF in an organization with lots of OF talent (Arizona has an excellent one in his rookie season right now) but no catching talent, Moreno with a team that is buried in top catchers but has no CF beyond Springer (who really needs to move to RF more - although I fear him being near a second wall given how he plays). That catches me as an ideal trade.
bpoz - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#419613) #
Trading Corbin Carroll IMO would be a huge gamble by Arizona. This is a player that they can rebuild around. Moreno is a player that you can rebuild around around too IMO. But the Jays are not rebuilding.
dalimon5 - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#419615) #
I think if a team is trading away one of their top young players or prospects if not their best asset to the Blue Jays then they will be asking for Kirk before Moreno.
John Northey - Thursday, August 11 2022 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#419616) #
The reason this would make sense is both are top 5 prospects each rated #1 by one of the bigger groups. I'd consider Krik for Carroll as then the Jays have 2 super prospects for 6 years.
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