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The Jays will be making just their third visit to PNC Park in Pittsburgh. They lost two of three in 2014, when the Pirates were pretty good. They lost two of three in 2008, when the Pirates were pretty awful. I have my own reasons for worrying about the 2022 Pirates. But later for that.


The big news around here are the roster reinforcements. Casey Lawrence (huh?)† adds another arm to the bullpen, and Bradley Zimmer gives the team a seventh outfielder. That's surely one of those pressing needs we had all overlooked somehow. But as the reboot of the Bradley Zimmer Era commences, let us set aside the mockery for the moment. Consider this instead, the team's record with everybody in the starting lineup:

Danny Jansen       26-13† .667
Bradley Zimmer 14- 7† .667
Alejandro Kirk 57-44† .564
Lourdes Gurriel 65-51† .560
Bo Bichette 70-56† .556
Matt Chapman 66-54† .550
Santiago Espinal 58-48† .547
BLUE JAYS 70-59† .543
Raimel Tapia† 45-38† .542
George Springer 52-44† .542
Teoscar Hernandez 54-46† .540
Vladimir Guerrero 68-58† .540
Cavan Biggio 31-29† .517
Jackie Bradley 4- 4† .500
Zack Collins 8-11† .421†
Gabriel Moreno 4-11† .267
Whit Merrifield† 4-11† .267
Tyler Heineman 1- 5† .167
Just the facts, ma'am. Just the facts. Do not expect me to explain the impact of Bradley Zimmer. There are mysteries that shall forever resist being understood. I do have a couple of theories. Is it not likely that the other hitters feel the need to make the most of every at bat, knowing that the Zim lurks below them in the lineup, as close to an automatic out as we've seen in many a year. It seems likely to me. Or perhaps the pitchers are reassured and full of confidence, knowing that the Zim is patrolling the outfield. Who can tell?

The real question is whether John Schneider is aware of this, and whether he will fully unleash the Power of Zim. I think we're all pretty sure he won't. I suspect we're all pretty happy that he won't. I know I am. But even so... 14-7 is not to be sneered at.

Incidentally, these numbers do suggest that perhaps the most significant misfortune to befall the 2022 Jays were the two injuries to Danny Jansen. It didn't help losing Hernandez for three weeks, especially as Tapia played badly while he was out. But then Hernandez came back and played just as badly for three weeks himself.† And it's not so much the gaudy W-L record with Jansen in the lineup, which is probably almost as flukey as what we see when Zimmer plays. No, it's the dreadful record when Jansen doesn't play. And that's not when Kirk is catching - the team did just fine (36-27, .571, a 93 win pace) when Kirk was catching. The problem was the 8-20 record when the likes of Collins, Moreno, and Heineman strapped on the catcher's gear.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a bad team, and they've been a bad team for most of the last 30 years. They made three straight trips to the NLCS at the beginning of the 1990s, they came up short each time, and each loss was more agonizing than the one before. After that last defeat, ace starter Doug Drabek and superstar left fielder Barry Bonds left as free agents and the losing began. From 1993 through 2012, the Pirates had no winning seasons. None. Zero. The best record in those twenty years was 79-83. They had a brief burst of goodness, three seasons during the Prime of Andrew McCutchen (ably supported by Starling Marte and Russell Martin) - but they lost in the NLDS once and the lost the Wild Card game twice. They resumed their losing ways in 2016 and have been losing ever since. Only three teams in the majors - Cincinnati, Washington, and (naturally) Colorado - allow more runs. Only two teams, the A's and the Tigers, score fewer. This is not a combination that leads to success - they're the sort of things that lead to a 49-81 record.

Three winning seasons. In thirty years. Three.

Because the Pirates are so very bad... I worry. I worry about over-confidence. I worry that I may detect it amongst some of you. Let me see if I can discourage that, just a little. Here's a charming split, courtesy of the 2022 Blue Jays:

Split†††   G†† PA†† AB†† R†† H††2B†3B††HR†RBI†SB†CS††BB††SO††BAVG†††OBP†††SLG†† OPS††† 

Springer††47††197††174††22††39†† 8††0†† 9††13††3† 1††18††39††.224††.301††.425††.726
Guerrero††59††252††226††20††54††11††0†† 8† 25† 2† 2††22††44††.239††.314††.394††.707
Kirk††† 52††187††165††15††38†† 4††0†† 6† 15† 0† 0††19††22††.230††.316††.364††.679
Chapman†††55††212††194††26††40†† 5††0††11† 23† 0† 0††14††65††.206††.259††.402††.662
Espinal†††53††188††178†† 9††42††13††0†† 2† 12† 1† 2††10††37††.236††.277††.343††.619
Tapia††† 48††158††153†† 9††37†† 6††0†† 3† 11† 1† 0†† 3††31††.242††.256††.340††.596
Bichette††57††244††231††18††51†† 9††0†† 5† 19† 3† 2††13††64††.221††.262††.325††.587
Gurriel†††51††207††192††15††43††10††1†† 1†† 8† 2† 0†† 8††50††.224††.277††.302††.579
Biggio††† 36††109†† 94†† 8††14†† 3††0†† 3†† 8† 0† 0††13††36††.149††.259††.277††.536
Jansen††† 14†† 49†† 43†† 2†† 7†† 2††0†† 1†† 2† 0† 0†† 5†† 7††.163††.245††.279††.524
Hernandez†48††186††175††11††31†† 7††0†† 3† 12† 4† 1††11††64††.177††.226††.269††.495

If they play like that, it's going to be a long and dreary weekend and they're more than capable of playing like this. There's a whole group of games when this is what they did. We must assume nothing. Nothing, I tell you.

Oh, I have The Fear. I generally have The Fear. It's baseball. On any given day, anything can happen. Not only can a bad team beat a good team - they can do it again on the very next day. The mighty Dodgers came to pretty PNC Park in May, doubtless feeling good about their 19-7 record. But Jose Quintana tossed a four-hitter at them in the opener. This irritated the Dodgers sufficiently that they pounded out an 11-1 victory the very next day. But the Pirates took the rubber match with a couple of late runs against the LA bullpen. The Dodgers were so shocked that they lost their next three as well, to the Phillies, before recollecting that they were in fact the Los Angeles Dodgers. And so they won 13 of the next 15, that being How They Roll most of the time.

But then the lowly Pirates came to Dodger Stadium, and in the immortal words of Spike, the not-quite-immortal vampire - wackiness ensued. In the Monday opener, the Pirates scored twice in the ninth inning - walk, wild pitch, single, error - to beat Craig Kimbrel 6-5. Mitch Keller beat Julio Urias the next day, which also wasn't on anyone's bingo card. In the finale the Pirates pounded on Mitch White and a couple of relievers for eight runs and there you are. This was, and will remain, by far the most stunning, the most unlikely series sweep of the 2022 season. The Dodgers were knocked so thoroughly off balance that they coughed up two more three game losing streaks over the next two weeks. They then righted the ship, of course, if the 53-16 streak they've been on since can be regarded as Righting the Ship. It might be better described as Blowing Everyone Out of the Water.

Let us divert ourselves for a moment and note that we've already made passing reference to the great and terrible Dodgers getting swept, twice, within the span of a few weeks. Is it common for teams playing .600 ball to get swept? Not this year - the Braves and the Mets haven't been swept once. The Yankees got swept once, in St.Louis, the Astros got swept once, in Oakland. The Dodgers didn't merely get swept twice - they got swept at home, by one of the worst teams in the league. And they didn't merely get swept twice, now that you mention it - they got swept three times (because besides the series in Philadelphia, they would also get swept in San Francisco, This is why they're only 10-3 against the Giants this year.)

But you see what can happen. Anything can happen! Anything! It's baseball, folks! It's weird!† Nothing is easy. And nothing is given, ever.

The Pirates have rethought things since originally pencilling in Beede to open and Wilson to close this series. September callup Johan Oviedo kicks things off tonight. He'll be making his Pirates debut - he went 0-8 over two seasons as a starter with the Cardinals but was more effective working out of their bullpen this year.† He came over in the Quintana trade. Roansy Contreras is a young RH from the Dominican who seems to be emerging as the Pirates best starter, now that Jose Quintana has been donated to the Cardinals. Contreras seems to be getting better as his rookie season moves along. JT Brubaker now gets the call in the finale.

Aside from centre fielder Bryan Reynolds, the Pirates don't really have any good baseball players. But there are some players with a lot of talent and some very impressive tools - they just haven't quite put the talent and the tools together in any really productive fashion. Yet. Third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes is an outstanding defender and shortstop Oneil Cruz can apparently throw a baseball harder than peak Aroldis Chapman. I'm sure that's made his first baseman as happy as a kid on Christmas morning.

It's been so long since the Blue Jays played in Pittsburgh that half the roster has never played in this ballpark, and the others - being, with one exception, career AL players - have just a few games there. And even Raimel Tapia, the one ex-National Leaguer among the position players, has only played in seven games at PNC (he went 8-25, .320.)† Matt Chapman did seem to like it, though, on his one visit - he went 5-15 with a homer.† Ross Stripling is the only one of the three starters who has pitched here before - he's 1-0, 2.25 in four appearances, one of them a start, at PNC Park. Jose Berrios has faced the Pirates twice, both times in Minnesota (1-0, 3.72) and Alek Manoah has never pitched against Pittsburgh.

Matchups

Fri 2 Sep - Manoah (12-7, 2.60)† vs Oviedo (2-1, 3.20)
Sat 3 Sep - Stripling (6-4, 2.94) † vs Contreras (4-4, 3.57)
Sun 4 Sep - Berrios (9-5, 5.32)† vs Brubaker (3-11, 4.39)
Toronto at Pittsburgh, September 2-4 | 226 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#421156) #
Ummm yeah, I'm going to have to ask you guys to go ahead and give me a sweep this weekend, mmmkay?

Tha-anks.
92-93 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#421157) #
What are those splits?

Gurriel is hitting .221/.277/.284 in 138PA since the Fenway drubbing. The Jays need to recognize this and get him out of the #3 spot.

With them facing 3 RHP, Biggio should start each game.
Chuck - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#421158) #
Who can tell?

Or maybe it's just the vagaries of chance? Seems likelier than anyone's behaviour changing specifically because Zimmer is in the lineup.

Chuck - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#421159) #
The Pirates have been awful for a very long time now, but were not so in my youth. To get an understanding of just how much the role of narrative used to impact MVP voting, consider that Stargell was co-winner of the award in 1979. His mug barely makes it onto the BBRef team page for that season. He might get an honorary 10th place vote these days, nothing more.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#421160) #
" Seems likelier than anyone's behavior changing specifically because Zimmer is in the lineup."

Zimmer coming up to bat always puts my blood pressure up and I make unintelligible moans of frustration as he swings at the baseball like someone trying to knock a fly out of midair with a swatter. The next time I see him at bat, it will be like a bad nightmare -- I'll stare at the screen at gasp out," But-- but, I thought he was GONE!"
Chuck - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#421161) #
Yeah, I meant any player's behaviour. The fan experience is something entirely different!
Ducey - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#421162) #
There can only be some much suck on a team.

Zimmer is such on offensive black hole that his gravitational pull absorbs most of the suckiness from his teammates.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#421163) #
Transitioning from suckage to brilliance, I must admit I had never heard of Spencer Strider of the Braves until watching the highlights of his 16 strikeout performance last night. Some of his stats- age 23, 115 innings pitched, 74 hits allowed, 174 strikeouts. Wow! And he looks more like a used car salesman or a physics teacher than a baseball player.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#421164) #
So, I was curious about Zimmer's starts.  The team scored 80 runs and allowed 82 runs when he started, but he somehow "inspired" terrific performance in 1 run games and they weren't cheapies.  He started for 3 one-run wins against the Astros, 1 against the Yankees, 1 against the Reds, 2 against the Red Sox and 2 against the Angels.  The Phillies went 2-1 when he started too.

As for Jansen, it's easy to understand why the club has done well when he starts.  Many times that he starts, Kirk DHs, Springer is in CF and Guerrero Jr. is at first base.  Jansen has played at a 4 win pace over 2021 and 2022.  He's a very good player, and Moreno unfortunately doesn't yet have the refined skills to be a good defensive catcher, and is only a backup catcher level hitter minus the power that he had.  He will be better next year, I am confident. 
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#421166) #
Gurriel has been a better hitter than Biggio against RH pitching each year of the past three (since Biggio's injury).  If you are going to give Gurriel Jr a rest, it's better to put Biggio in there than Tapia.  But Gurriel Jr. doesn't need one; he's already sat on the bench too often in favour of Tapia.  Biggio's line against RHP- .225/.328/.396- is a good one for a backup, but that's it.  Now there are some doubleheaders coming up, and putting Biggio in for Gurriel Jr. in one of the games makes all kinds of sense. 
hypobole - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#421167) #
Talk yesterday about the teamwide offensive decline.

Here's one reason:
2021 GB% 40.4% (26th) FB% 38.8 (5th)
2022 GB% 44.8% (8th) FB% 35.6% (21st)

Springer has a huge jump, but Vlad and Kirk with big upticks in their GB's as well.
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#421169) #
Thanks for that stat, Hypobole.

It seems like this off-season will require a big ďback to the drawing boardĒ approach. What theyíre doing isnít working, and itís not trending in the right direction either.
John Northey - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#421170) #
Won-lost for guys in a lineup I tend to ignore, although it can be fun to look at for oddities like Zimmer. Starting pitchers I care a LOT more about...
  • Manoah: 13-12 - 0-4 allowing 4/5 runs, 0-1 runs 7-2, 2-3 runs 6-6. That is horrid luck. Allowing 2-3 runs should be well over 500, not 6-6 (see Berrios). Under 6 IP 0-6, 7+ IP 4-3 (2 of those losses he allowed just 1 run in).
  • Gausman: 14-11 - 0-1 runs: 8-1, 2-3 runs: 5-5, 4+: 1-5
  • Berrios: 19-7 - OK, what? When he allows 4 runs or less the team is 18-1 (wow!), 5 runs or more 1-6. That is insane, clearly he needs to allow 4 or fewer runs.
  • Stripling: 11-7 - 3-4 runs allowed 1-3, 0-2 runs 10-4. 6+ IP 5-1, 5IP 2-2, under 5 IP 4-4. Key is him getting 6 innings I guess.
  • Kikuchi: 6-14 - Ugh. 4+ runs: 0-8, 3 runs: 1-2, 0-2 runs: 5-4. 6+ IP: 3-0, 5 IP: 1-2, under 5 IP: 2-12. Obviously when he is on the team wins (6+ IP) but if he gives up 3+ the game is over and he is out of the game quickly.
  • White: 2-3, 1 run allowed in each of the 2 wins (pen got the win), 3-6-7 runs in the 3 losses.
FYI: Kikuchi's 5 bullpen games he has 5 IP total, 4 H 5 R/ER 5 BB 10 SO - clearly he needs to work on control - if he gets it watch out, he could be vey good. He has 6 starts with 0 or 1 walk - in those 6 he threw 32 2/3 IP, 34 H, 16 R 13 ER 6 BB 40 SO 8 HR 2 HBP 3.58 ERA 5.4 IP per start. That would work fine for a 5th starter or even a 4th. 3+ walks 11 starts 40 IP 34 H 35 R 30 ER 39 BB 44 SO 8 HR 3 HBP 6.75 ERA 3.6 IP per start - not qualified for the majors.

Biggest thing that jumps out at me is Berrios when he allows 4 runs or less - 18-1 team record in that situation is crazy. Gausman/Manaoh (twin aces) allow 0-1 runs 15-3, 2-3 runs 11-11, 4+ 1-9. Those 2 have terrible run support obviously. Wonder why?
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#421171) #
The Blue Jays HR/FB rate went from 15.8% in 2021 (#1 in majors) to 12.9% (#5 in majors).  And it's the real no-doubters that have disappeared almost entirely.  How many 440 foot homers have they hit this year compared with last?  I am sure that there have been a few, but I don't remember any.  And I remember quite a few "just enoughs" this year.  So the dynamics change; unless you're Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who would really profit from an increase in launch angle.  For Teoscar, it's much more subtle.  The sweet spot seems to be a GB/FB ratio of about 1- plenty of line drives seems to flow from that.  He's at 1.2 which isn't bad and if he's at .8 or less, it probably means he's uppercutting and he strikes out more.  Given his injury and the timing issues earlier in the season, I wouldn't change a thing with him. 
greenfrog - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#421173) #
In the deja vu department, on Wednesday Mike Green had an interesting post about the Jays SB:CS rate as being a factor in the team's offensive underperformance this year.

Today there is a Nick Ashbourne article on Sportsnet on that very same issue ("One under-the-radar reason the Blue Jays' offence feels less dynamic").

I'm pretty sure the beat writers sometimes get their ideas from this site.
92-93 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#421174) #
Biggio should be starting at 2B, not taking Gurriel's spot. Gurriel should merely be moved down in the order to the 7 or 8 spot.

Also, it's unfair to compare their stats when one guy gets to be in the lineup everyday and the other has to fight for playing time despite consistently giving good ABs and leading the team in BB%. Since Biggio returned from the minors on May 26th he has the same WAR as Gurriel (1.3/1.4) despite 125 fewer PA. You would think that a team that is starving for a LH bat could figure out a way to get Biggio's bat into the lineup more often.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#421175) #
It's a wash against RHP- Biggio a better hitter than Espinal; Espinal a better defender. 

They could certainly give Espinal and Bichette a day off each during the weekend series, and (if they want) give Chapman a day off for one of the doubleheader games. All totally justifiable, and it would get Biggio into a stretch of games against RHP. 

I am a Biggio fan, but you can tell that he's not quite the player he was before his injury.  He's had to adjust his swing to get to 95 mph fastballs and he just can't slap the ball the other way.    Good on him for doing it though; as always, he's making the most of what he has.  What they do need to do is give Tapia and Merrifield less time (if you're going to give Espinal some time off against RHP, you definitely want him playing every time against a LH starter). 
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#421176) #
What are those splits?

Batting line in games the team loses. Hernandez got my attention, when I was looking for something else.
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#421177) #
Another thing I looked at last night was the top 10 lists in MLB for hitting stats.
Only 2 Jays make it on the positive side:
Guerrero for hits and Kirk for OBP.

Bichette is in the top 10 in caught stealing and strike outs.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#421178) #
Berrios: 19-7 - OK, what?

Which is why I've been beating on this particular drum for the last six weeks, wondering just how much his struggles have actually hurt the team.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#421179) #
Won-lost for guys in a lineup I tend to ignore, although it can be fun to look at for oddities like Zimmer.

Spoken like a sensible person. I'm not always so sensible, and the question that immediately comes to my mind is - "how much has playing Zimmer hurt the team?" It certainly should have hurt the team. But... 14-7. Do not mock the power of Zim.

Consider the possibilities. Tapia has been in the lineup for two-thirds of the games. Substitute Zimmer and his .667 winning percentage for Tapia in those 83 games, and presto! Rather than the pedestrian .542 level they've played at all year with Tapia in (or out) of the lineup. - the team goes 55-28 in those games and they're scrapping with the Yankees for first place. Do not mock the power of Zim.

There, I've had my cheap fun.

The 8-20 record with the third string catchers actually does seem slightly more real. If they had just split those 28 games, we'd all be in a different mood. Some of it, as Mike suggests, is the falling off from Jansen and Kirk, who are both really good. I can't imagine anyone plays well with their third string catcher in the lineup. But I'm tempted to go wandering through the rest of the league and see for myself.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#421180) #
Here's an update on the quality of the leagues.  The NL leads the AL 133-131, but the AL has outscored them by 16 runs (1144-1128) in those games.  Safe to call it even.  The big differences are between the divisions with the Easts and Wests in both leagues being good and the Centrals being bad.  The best division in baseball remains the AL East.  Of course. 


Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#421181) #
The Red Sox are the poorest club in the AL East.  They are 5-7 against Baltimore, 6-7 against the Yankees, 4-9 against Tampa, 3-13 against your Toronto Blue Jays and 41-32 against the rest of MLB.
85bluejay - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#421182) #
I find this edition of the Jays very hard to get emotionally attached and root for - it's very easy to root for the Orioles and their FO have done a wonderful job with the rebuild - a reminder that the Orioles sold at the deadline and still are very much in the WC race - Also, even if the Jays win a WC spot I have very low expectations for the post-season.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#421183) #
With Kirk catching Manoah, Guerrero Jr. DHs again tonight with Biggio at first base.  JBJ is in RF and Teoscar in LF, with Gurriel Jr. on the bench. 

Subjectively, JBJ has looked better to me than the results he has got.  In the last 2 weeks, he's hit .143/.250/.238 with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts in 24 PAs.  He's hit the ball quite hard I felt and not had much to show for it.  Still, it's a small sample and I'd rather see Gurriel Jr. out there. 
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#421184) #
So actually BBRef will give you exit velocities and batted ball data for JBJ's time in Toronto.  It's not my imagination.  His average exit velocity is 89 mph, which is above league average.  He's had a 23% line drive rate, a 50% ground ball rate and an 18% fly ball rate.  He's pulled 45%, hit 36% up the middle and 19% the opposite way.  He's managed a BABIP of .182 here, and it should be at least 100 points higher with those kinds of numbers. 
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#421185) #
Fangraphs has Gunnar Henderson's 10 year ZIPS projection and it is quite beautiful.  In recognition of the career of Matt Wieters, no inscription of his Hall of Fame plaque will begin for at least 5 years. 
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#421186) #
I'm tempted to go wandering through the rest of the league and see for myself.

I'm home from my wanderings! Here's what I learned.

One team (Texas) promoted their third catcher to cover a season ending injury.
One team (Orioles) kept their top prospect in the minors for six weeks.
One team (Red Sox) swapped one in, one out.
Two teams (White Sox, Royals) promoted their third catcher and traded one of the guys ahead of him.
Two teams (Mariners, A's) began with three active catchers, but that didn't last much past the end of May.
Three teams (Rays, Twins, Astros) acquired a catcher to cover a season ending injury to one of the top two.
Five teams (Yankees, Guardians, Tigers, Angels, Blue Jays) called on a third catcher when circumstances required.

The same information, with more detail, and the team's WL record with their true third catcher. You will notice only Texas has played more games with the third catcher than Toronto, and for the same reason: injury to one of the top two.

NYY 0-1 (Brantly)
TBR 9-11 (Pinto) -- They acquired Bethancourt (10-9) to replace the injured Zunino.
BAL 4-11 (Bemboom) -- Opened the year as the backup, because Rutschman hadn't finished seeing the sights in Aberdeen, Bowie, and Norfolk.
BOS 1-1 (Wong) -- They swapped (not with the same teams) Vazquez for McGuire
TOR 8-20 (Heineman, Collins, Moreno) -- Two trips to the IL for Jansen: 4-9 with Heinemen/Collins the first time, 4-11 with Moreno the second time.

CLE 5-5 (Lavastida 2-2, Leon 3-3)
MIN 1-1 (Hamilton, Godoy) -- They acquired Leon to replace the injured Jeffers.
CWS 0-1 (Perez) -- Zavala was promoted to fill in for an injured Grandal, but has taken over the job. The other catcher (McGuire) was traded away.
KCR 2-6 (Rivero, Fermin) -- Melendez began the year as the third catcher but was promoted when Gallagher was injured and then traded
DET 1-3 (Garneau)

HOU 4-3 (Lee) -- They acquired Vazquez to replace the injured Castro.
SEA 3-4 (Casali, Knapp) -- They began the year with a three catcher rotation (Torrens would DH occasionally) but Murphy suffered a season ending injury at the beginning of May.
TEX 9-21 (Viloria, Huff) -- Viloria was promoted to replace the injured Mitch Garver, out for the year.
LAA 8-6 (Thaiss, Wallach, Romine)
OAK 8-12 (Allen, Bethancourt, Langeliers) -- Bethancourt began the year as a third catcher on the active roster, while playing much more at first base or DH, before they traded him.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#421187) #
Inauspicious start.  Same pattern for all three hitters, and you'd think that you would get the idea by the third time. 
grjas - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#421188) #
The Jays are 11 games over 500, and 10 of that overage is from playing Boston. Against the rest of the league, they are barely over 500.

Chisholm summarized it well-

https://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/opinion/2022/09/01/time-for-blue-jays-to-put-up-or-shut-up-september-baseball-is-about-to-begin.html

The next 30 days will show what the players are made of.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#421189) #
By eerie coincidence (cue Twilight Zone music) the Jays had 70 wins on this day last year. (They had three more losses a year ago.) They went 21-9 the rest of the way, and going 6-0 against the Orioles had a lot to do with it.

It's going to be tricky doing all of that again.
greenfrog - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#421190) #
I'm of a similar mind to 85bluejay. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I find it hard to root for the 2022 version of the Blue Jays. As much as I admire some individual players on the team (Chapman, Manoah, Gausman, Stripling, Kirk, to name a few), I'm guess I'm just not a big fan of their brand of baseball (big on flash, low on fundamentals).

I'll continue to root for them, but I won't be entirely disappointed if the overachieving O's surpass them for the final WC spot.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#421191) #
Same pattern for all three hitters, and you'd think that you would get the idea by the third time.

Similar pattern - Springer and Guerrero struck out on curveballs, Hernandez on a slider - but even when you think he's going to try to finish the at bat with a breaking ball, you still need to be able to recognize it out of his hand. And you may need to see it more than twice to be able to do that. Springer saw three different pitches with two strikes, Hernandez saw all four, and Guerrero got his first look at the guy's curveball.

Hitting is hard.
electric carrot - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#421192) #
I'm not sure why, exactly, but I find it hard to root for the 2022 version of the Blue Jays

I find this to be a very odd statement: Guerrero, Kirk, Hernandez -- I find these guys to be the most interesting Jays in years.
Chuck - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#421193) #
Has everyone attended the Franmil Reyes baserunning school?
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#421194) #
Revenge for choosing Vanderbilt over the Blue Jays?
Nigel - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#421195) #
The base running just hasnít been smart post managerial change.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#421197) #
I didn't mind Bichette trying for the double so much - it took a perfect throw and 49-81 teams don't always make that play. But Espinal isn't a base stealer.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#421198) #
The insights have been flowing fast and furious on this broadcast. 
lexomatic - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#421199) #
The Jays need to stop missing opportunities like that. They need to score at least once with bases loaded and 1 out.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#421200) #
It took an online throw to get Bichette.  The throw bounced high, but Bichette was still out.  He probably makes it 60-75% of the time.  I figure his odds were somewhat better than Espinal's. 
Glevin - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#421201) #
How do you not PH for Bradley there? He is literally the second worst hitter in all of baseball over the last two seasons 396/397). I remain very confused as to why he's even on the team and even more so as to why he is getting starts.
lexomatic - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#421202) #
I'm not sure why, exactly, but I find it hard to root for the 2022 version of the Blue Jays

I find this to be a very odd statement: Guerrero, Kirk, Hernandez -- I find these guys to be the most interesting Jays in years.


This team is less than the sum of its parts. It is very frustrating to thr point of unlikability. Even though I really like some of the individual players. I get it. I just wouldn't go so far as to cheer for an in-division opponent... even though I find their team narrative more compelling (but don't like any of their players).
92-93 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#421203) #
If Schneider had his mind set on Mayza for Cruz, he should have told Manoah that before the inning started.
92-93 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#421204) #
"Insights" is one way to put it. The broadcast has a gigantic drop-off when Shulman is off.
Chuck - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#421205) #
The insights have been flowing fast and furious on this broadcast.

The nonsense wrangler has the night off.

92-93 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#421206) #
LOL
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#421207) #
How do you not PH for Bradley there?

Well... I'm guessing it's because he already had a two run lead, he'd already decided Zimmer would replace Springer, and he didn't want Tapia replacing Bradley in the outfield. Maybe he was just afraid of the howling that would have ensured if Tapia got into the game.

Just guessing.
92-93 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#421208) #
Who would PH anyway, Tapia? No thanks. As Mike has pointed out, Bradley has actually looked decent at the plate lately sans results.
dalimon5 - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#421209) #
ďI'm of a similar mind to 85bluejay. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I find it hard to root for the 2022 version of the Blue Jays. As much as I admire some individual players on the team (Chapman, Manoah, Gausman, Stripling, Kirk, to name a few), I'm guess I'm just not a big fan of their brand of baseball (big on flash, low on fundamentals). ď

I couldnít agree with this more.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#421210) #
If you're behind in the game, Tapia pinch hits. He's simply a better hitter. (It's a very low bar.) But with a two run lead, not as necessary.

Encouraging to see that Mayza seems to be shaking off the rust.
James W - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#421211) #
Who would PH anyway, Tapia?

Gurriel, Jr.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#421212) #
One reason Gurriel's sitting is because of a bad wrist.
Eephus - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#421213) #
Weird amount of negative vibes for a shutout victory. I get itís the terrible Pirates and all, and this Jays team is impressively frustratingÖ. Still cant take any MLB team lightly though. Even the truly terrible teams win 1/3 up here.
Eephus - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#421214) #
Perhaps a better rephrasing would be" a weird absence of positivity" would be more poignant. What do I know, anyway.... everything about this 2022 team is weird and confusing.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#421215) #
(big on flash, low on fundamentals).

I'm not really sure what is meant by "flash" and I probably wouldn't care much either way - but I do know that practically every Blue Jays team I've ever paid attention to, since 1982, has been criticized for their poor fundamentals. It's practically a tradition. Their own managers would promise to address it every spring. Which all managers do - it's one of the few things you can actually improve by simply paying attention and being alert. Still, it's something only older players ever seem to have much of a grip on.

I think this team is too emotional. They get too excited and happy when they succeed, they get too depressed and disappointed when they fail. And you will run into so much of both over the season that I think it's best to be a little more matter-of-fact, a little more business-like about the whole enterprise. This isn't hockey.
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#421216) #
I get itís the terrible Pirates and all

The terrible Pirates who took 5 of 6 from the mighty Dodgers this year. I'll put 4-0 win in my pocket quite happily, thank you very much.
Mike Green - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#421217) #
Hey,they took 6 out of 7 from the Yankees and Red Sox on the road. It should be no sweat for them to take 4 out of 3 from the Pirates at PNC. It's just a matter if taking into account quality of the opposition.

Nice win. Memo to Pat and Buck: it's old friend Chase de Jong.
electric carrot - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#421218) #
I think this team is too emotional.

You guys are killjoys. Let's make everything buttoned up and corporate. Yeech! I get enough of that during the day.

Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#421219) #
You guys are killjoys.

Oh, it makes absolutely no difference to me either way! But I think the team would be better off (i.e. more successful) if they were a little more cold blooded.
Eephus - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#421220) #
would be" a weird absence of positivity" would be more poignant.

Damn it! The Would Be's got me! Save yourselves! Run for cover!

I think this team is too emotional. They get too excited and happy when they succeed, they get too depressed and disappointed when they fail. And you will run into so much of both over the season that I think it's best to be a little more matter-of-fact, a little more business-like about the whole enterprise.

This is an interesting point. Not only in how it reminds me of teams I've played for that could rapidly traverse from one emotional extreme to the other in the span of two innings (I'm too old a player for that ride, now)... but also in how the most "steady guys" (for lack of a better term) seem to reside amongst the pitching staff.

Even when the team is deep in one of its funks, you don't really see a notable change in demeanor from Kevin Gausman, Yimi Garcia, Ross Stripling etc. Those veteran guys... the ones who have seen this before and appreciate the importance of the big games and moments without getting caught in the emotions of them. Gausman will certainly look visibly irritated when his defense keeps giving up extra bases (who wouldn't), but that never translates into affecting his poise out there.

The hitters though... even Alejandro Kirk (who seems as quiet and even-keel as a 23 year old player can be) can be guilty of coming out of his swing on many an occasion (although his 9th inning AB tonight was truly excellent). Hey, it makes sense... dude went multiple weeks without an extra base hit... you probably start swinging just a tiny bit harder to try ending that drought (especially when the team is scuffling to score runs).
       
Magpie - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#421221) #
Also - I like winning. I really, really like it.

I mentioned the other night that I was re-watching the end of the 1992 series, for some reason or another. The Jays the other night got far more excited over a big hit that got them to within one run in an August game than the 1992 team got excited over a tie-breaking hit in extra innings of a World Series game. Way more excited.
electric carrot - Friday, September 02 2022 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#421222) #
Dead people are even less excited when their team scores.
pooks137 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#421223) #
They talked a lot on the broadcast that tomorrow is expected to be a bullpen day.

Seems weird with Thursday just being an off day.

Is someone hurt?

Is there a doubleheader imminent?

Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#421224) #
Dead people are even less excited when their team scores.

The fans are the ones who are supposed to get excited and emotional about it. For that to happen, the players have to take care of business.

Double-header on Monday.
Michael - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#421225) #
Call me confused at why so many here don't seem to want to cheer for this team. IMHO there are so many great fun players and good success stories. Here's 5 sets of 3:

Manoah, Kirk, Stripling.
Vlad, Bo, Biggio.
Chapman, Springer, Gausman.
Jansen, Espinal, Teoscar.
Romano, Mayza, Cimber.

What's not to like?

I mean I get that it can be frustrating to have the up and downs of streaks (although the up of beating up the Yankees and Red Sox was very fun), and I know it can be confusing when we seem to often start people outside our best 9-11 position players, or when a couple of our starting pitchers end up injured, ineffective, or both; but, this is still a great team to cheer for IMHO.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#421226) #
I agree with a lot of your points, Michael. I think most people here, including myself, expected more of the Jays this year. They go from looking like world beaters one week to looking like they couldn't beat a Little League team the next. I think they have too many of the same type of player, guys that are too nice. I think they need a talented, crusty, slightly sour ( personality not smell) veteran who tell them to get their heads out of their butts when it's needed. I have many years of self-punishment watching the Leafs, so I'll never stop cheering for the Jays, and I certainly won't support any other team, even the frggin' " feel good" Orioles.

By the way, did anybody notice that the Rays are only 5 games behind the Yankees who are leaking oil badly?
scottt - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#421227) #
I'd rather play a 3 set in New York than in Tampa, but I don't often get my wishes.

The personality thing is overblown. I'd love to see more guys run to first on any ball in play.
However, doing so doesn't get one playing time, it seems.

I think Walker is trying to remake everybody into Robbie Ray.
Stripling is having success by mixing things up, that's what White should be copying.

The lineup as constructed is vulnerable to righty on righty sliders outside.
Hitters have to be patient and take their walk until they get a pitch to hit, but the ump sometimes doesn't have that patience and call the players out on those outside pitches. Frustrating is what it is.

The Espinal AB was terrible. It looks like they need to practice those plays once in a while or just let the guy hit.
The Espinal steal was also very bad. Often they have guys who can steal and they don't send them because they are higher in the order.

electric carrot - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#421228) #
The fans are the ones who are supposed to get excited and emotional about it. For that to happen, the players have to take care of business.

Magpie, normally I'm with you 100% but in my view this idea of excitement is a tired 1950's era model of masculinity that I don't buy.

I think enjoying yourself is actually a wonderful stress release and that holding in emotion all the time gets toxic.
The Jays are not a perfect team but I don't think their emotional nature is the source of the problem. If anything, I think it's probably a key to some of the successes that they've enjoyed.
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#421229) #
The Jays have been a .500 team in general for the past 3 months. They are 41-39 in their last 80 games (8-1 against the Red Sox over that span). If you remove the 28-5 game, then the run differential over that span doesn't really point to a team that is grossly underachieving either. I think expectations need to adjust. This team, for whatever reason, is not as good as we expected them to be (and we weren't alone in expecting big things). I guess we should be happy that they added an extra playoff spot because this team is likely closer to a mid-80's win team than a 90+ one, so that additional WC spot might end up saving the season, although that is no where near a certainty with the Orioles right behind.

I share some of the apathy about this season as others have pointed out. Hopefully they get hot in September and go on a real run to change my mind, but this has resembled an average team way too long this season. Of course, a 3 game WC series with Manoah and Gausman starting 2 of the games gives the Jays as good a chance as anyone else, so just have to get in and hope for the best.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#421230) #
If anything, I think it's probably a key to some of the successes that they've enjoyed.

Maybe, but I don't think they deal very well with failure, and this game involves a lot of failure. I think they get depressed and disappointed and down on themselves. You need to be able to dismiss it, instantly. You need to not believe it. You need to have no doubt that you'll get 'em tomorrow.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#421231) #
This team, for whatever reason, is not as good as we expected them to be

I agree with that. They're not as good as we thought they were, not as good as they thought they were, not as good as Ross Atkins thought they were.

That said, they are playing .595 ball since the managerial change. That's a 96 win pace. Sure doesn't feel like it, does it?
electric carrot - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#421232) #
I think they get depressed and disappointed and down on themselves. You need to be able to dismiss it

Ok, maybe this is true. But who can know really? As a counter argument, one of the most disappointing players this season has to be Bo Bichette -- who is quite stoic. And btw we know there must be some emotional turmoil in his life given the allegations about his father. Maybe if he was just a little less tight and rigid all the time he's be able to let go of some of that tension?

I'm not saying this is true. I'm just saying that once you make an assumption about what's healthy regulation of emotion there are always a million examples to prove your assumptions are true. My experience is that statements like this say more about the speaker than anyone they're talking about.

Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#421233) #
one of the most disappointing players this season has to be Bo Bichette -- who is quite stoic

And Bo's not the only one. Cavan Biggio. Or Yusei Kikuchi (although I suspect I'm not quite as disappointed in Bichette as everyone else seems to be.)

Just to be clear - I don't think they it's good for them (or for anyone, except maybe me) to repress their emotions, to hold them in. You have to be what you are. But this game is a grind, it's day after day after day after day after day. I think riding that emotional roller-coaster would simply get exhausting after a while.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#421234) #
Yup, I really do seem to be saying it's not that they should control their emotions - they shouldn't have so many. Good luck with that, right?
lexomatic - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#421236) #
The fans are the ones who are supposed to get excited and emotional about it. For that to happen, the players have to take care of business.

Magpie, normally I'm with you 100% but in my view this idea of excitement is a tired 1950's era model of masculinity that I don't buy.

I think enjoying yourself is actually a wonderful stress release and that holding in emotion all the time gets toxic.
The Jays are not a perfect team but I don't think their emotional nature is the source of the problem. If anything, I think it's probably a key to some of the successes that they've enjoyed.
I totally agree with EC (? I think) on this.

I DO think a lot of the players on this team are prone to trying too hard, and trying to win the game all by themselves - we've seen injury, bad umpiring, bad luck and bad play by teammates ,sometimes all together as reasons this season - and getting away from their strengths and plans. I'm not sure what the solution to that is - a lack of trust in some of the other players (need better bench?), frustration at umps and league? Maybe it's just the confidence when Springer's healthy and in the lineup that let's people relax.  These are harder issues to address because they aren't mechanical and outside the clubhouse we won't hear about it unless someone talks. 
I also think the extreme shifting results in a bunch of the dinky hits that sometimes blow up on the Jays. I think it's been a positive overall, but sometimes leads to a bunch of cheap hits and runs that if the Jays aren't hitting well make a difference. I could definitely see that being discouraging too, "here we go again."
 I'd love it if someone had the ability to look and see if Berrios and Kikuchi might be harmed by those hits, with Kikuchi in particular prone to unravelling.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#421237) #
I don't think the group dynamics have settled in.

The club's players in order of importance this year: Chapman, Kirk, Manoah, Gausman, Springer, Guerrero Jr., Espinal, Stripling, Teoscar, Bichette, Jansen, Romano, Biggio, Garcia, Gurriel Jr., Cimber, Phelps, Berrios.  This is a club with a mixture of personalities, and not particularly emotional as a whole.  But Vladdy is perceived to be the face of the club and it's really out of sync with the reality- he's not the most important player on the club and his temperament is not really suited to being a leader on the club.  What he is suited to be is the big bopper which is always a good thing to have. 
electric carrot - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#421238) #
The club's players in order of importance this year ...

Wha?

Temperament suited to being a leader ...

Hunh?

Are you in the clubhouse Mike? I feel like the assumptions here are unearned.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#421239) #
I don't think the group dynamics have settled in.

Probably true, and they'll probably be mostly a mystery to anyone who's not in the room with them. But I know every team takes their cues from and looks to their best player. That's just how it works. And on this team, it's Guerrero. Who's still a bit of a kid in many ways.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#421240) #
If you read and listen to the media who is always around the team and players, Mike Greenís list is pretty accurate with the exception of Berrios who holds a lot of sway in the locker room apparently with Springer and Gausman.

If you look at Manoah and Vlad one seems a natural leader. If you compare Bo and Chapman, one seems fundamentally sound and grounded. Bo and Vlad are still searching for their identities in my opinion and it. Itís be extremely difficult to do while they are made the faces of the franchise by the in house media team, even though they lack the experience and in my opinion, the personality type to lead a team.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#421241) #
ď But I know every team takes their cues from and looks to their best player. That's just how it works. And on this team, it's Guerrero. Who's still a bit of a kid in many ways.Ē

I just donít think this is true these days. With the shift to younger players it is often the case that your best player athletically and stats wise is not the leader of your team.

Atlanta had leaders like Freeman and Morton, not Ronald Acuna Jr.

San Diego has Manny Machado and not Fernando Tatis Jr.

Los Angeles has Kershaw, Justin Turner and Freddie freeman, not Urias, Gonsolin or Trea Turner.

Baltimore had Trey Mancini and now has Adley RutchsmannÖnot Gunnar Henderson who is better in almost every way.

Tampa Bay has Kevin Kiermaier not any of their top young players.

NYY have Stanton and Rizzo not Gerrit Cole, Aroldis Chapman or Aaron Judge (though that can be changing now that heís Babe Ruth lite).

LAA donít have Trout or Ohtani as a leader.

Vlad is not a leader at this point. Letís be real he doesnít even speak English. Bo is not a leader at this point, heís still trying to establish himself in the league.

Springer, Gausman and Chapman would be the most suitable to lead based on performance and history. Manoah strikes me as the most likely young player to step into that role next.

Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#421242) #
There's also a difference between what goes on in the clubhouse and what goes on in the dugout. For all we know, they all sit around doing crosswords in the clubhouse. But accomplished veterans will always have Accomplished Veteran respect. Winners will have their own version of it. And everybody, without exception, respects money. That's just how it is.

But during the actual games, things can be different. Mostly because the dugout features a different cast of characters. Half the roster may consist of pitchers, but during the games most of them are sitting 400 feet away. In the dugout, one of the five pitchers still around will have his Game Face on and no one's even going to bother him except his catcher and his coach or manager. The more exuberant outgoing personalities - Guerrero and Springer, Manoah and Gurriel - form a much larger piece of the picture. For whatever it's worth.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#421243) #
It isn't only some fans who think that the talent on this club is the best in the American League.  Fangraphs' current depth charts list the clubs rest of season WAR as: Dodgers 10.5, Blue Jays 10, Mets 9.5, Yankees 9.0, Braves 9.0, Astros 9.0.  They obviously haven't performed at that level.
One idle question:  has the club hit-and-run with Kirk at the plate this year?  I don't think I have seen it, and you'd think that he was the perfect candidate.  I remember a hit-and-run with Tapia, which frankly makes a lot less sense than with Kirk. 

And returning to the group dynamics question.  Teams sometimes don't take their cue from their best player.  Chase Utley was the best player on the Phillies' clubs of the late aughts, but he was more understated than the rest of the club.   And Utley performed a lot better than Guerrero Jr. has so far.  What it's about is hype and ego, and the intersection of the two. In Guerrero Jr.'s case, he needs to realize that he helps the club more by being the big bopper than anything else. If the pitch hits you with runners on base, take the damn base and park your ego.  My son's grade 4 teacher used to tell the kids: "Less talk, more rock".  Seems reasonable to me. 




Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#421244) #
Chase Utley was the best player on the Phillies' clubs of the late aughts

You believe that, and I believe it too. But did the Phillies? Maybe they thought it was Jimmy Rollins. Or Ryan Howard.
Bid - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#421245) #
I don't thinks there's much wrong with Vlad's English. The translator thing is just a buffer.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#421246) #
Gunnar Henderson who is better in almost every way.

His teammates probably want to see him play a dozen or so games first before they line up behind him. They'd probably like to see him get as established in the league as Bo Bichette, who's actually been an all-star.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#421247) #
I don't thinks there's much wrong with Vlad's English. The translator thing is just a buffer.

I think this is absolutely correct. The media is always hoping for A Story, and the player never wants to provide one. His priority is always to avoid making a mistake that might accidentally create one. Crash Davis wasn't kidding.
bpoz - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#421248) #
The Jays are 2nd in RS in the AL but middle in RA.

I see the problem as Berrios and Kikuchi having very bad games at times.

Berrios: 1) Sometimes he will give up a lot of runs and we lose. 2) He will get far behind early in the game which is hard to come back from. He gets pulled for high pitch count.

Kikuchi: 1) See #2 for Berrios except sometimes he may not give up that many runs (personal interpretation) but the high pitch count causes him to be pulled.

Both pitchers tax the pen for the above reasons.

I don't blame Atkins for these pitchers poor performance. Kikuchi was the #5 SP. Berrios was the #3 maybe higher.

A pitcher getting injured like Ryu is not unusual. So is poor performance not unusual.

The solution IMO is to get a strong and deep pen. But this solution may not really be possible but I don't know. TB does it on a low budget and NYY do it on a high budget.

In 2020,2021 and 2022 Atkins had to improve the pitching at the trade deadline. He made good moves then. But I question his off season pen improvements ie I am having a hard time to excuse him. Moves that don't work that I don't mind. 1) Trade for Hand. Can't win them all. 2) Off season Phelps and the good reliever that got injured. Both did not pitch.
grjas - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#421249) #
Good to see posters looking to the players for the teamís underperformance rather than always blaming the FO- though they have had their misstepsÖor the mediocre Tapia. Yes this team was widely picked to win 95 to 100 games and the division, so they have definitely underperformed to date.

Interestingly, IMHO the team doesnít look much different than the Sept Ď21 team that went on quite the run. They miss a credible 5th starter and Chapman, good as heís been, is not the 2021 version of Semien. But otherwise the two teams are pretty similar. So thereís hope.

Yet it seems somethingís not right and all we can do is guess what it is. Stripling had a quote recently (I canít find it) basically saying this is the most up and down team heís ever played on. And he doesnít seem to know why.

Weíll see over the next 30 days if they have figured it out.

Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#421250) #
Rollins was a very good player, but obviously not as good as Utley.  However he arrived in Philly before Utley and he was closer to the center of the club, so it was natural and workable that he be a leader. 

There's no one comparable on the 2022 Blue Jays.  So the team will have to rein in Guerrero Jr.; Bichette's little talk was a good start and Kirk, Chapman, Espinal and Hernandez can follow. 
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#421251) #
The players are obviously the ones on the field so you have to put most of the blame there, but I think coaching is likely an issue as well. It was not just Montoyo. It's the organization as a whole. There is a disconnect somewhere and it's trickling down to the field, whether it's lack of fundamentals (baserunning in particular) or not being able to effectively use their talent to their strengths enough.

Regardless of what happens this season (barring a deep ALCS/World Series run), I really hope the team does not just blindly extend Schneider this winter. They have three years to take advantage of Vlad's prime after this one. They already missed one year (2021) and look incredibly average in another (2022). They need to take this process seriously. Not just the manager, but the entire staff.
bpoz - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#421252) #
Agreed grjas.

Gurriel has just 5 HR so far this season. So lower than normal. The 2022 baseball?

Tapia is a regular because the 4th OF gets a lot of playing time because Springer is hurt a lot. Toescar's injury provided more playing time. I anticipated that for this year.

Espinal has improved. Biggio has not.

Collins & Zimmer have not really underperformed IMO. I did not expect much. Also I don't expect much from JBJ.

Injuries happen and players need off days. 1 or 2 good replacements sitting on the bench to cover off days is probably hard to achieve.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#421253) #
Is Vlad really the guy who's "prime" you need to take advantage of right now? I don't even think he's the most valuable on the team. I'd be more concerned with maximizing the seasons that Springer, Manoah, Kirk and Gausman are putting in more than Vlad.

Vlad is currently 58th in MLB in WAR. Even if you only look at offence, he's 39th overall. Yes he's good. Yes he's even incredible for a 23 year old, but he isn't Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani. He isn't going to put the Jays over the top on his own. I'd much prefer the Jays front office fix the holes on this team in general rather than fix the holes while Vlad is on the team. There's a difference there and the reality is that there are many other players in the league who could be in Vlad's position where if the FO fixed the holes the Jays would go deep into a championship run.

Stop with the overhype. Vlad is a top 50 player with the upside to be a top 5 offensive player, which isn't happening right now. If he repeated last year then I would agree with your comment.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#421254) #
Barring a repeat of last September's hot streak (what do you think? is it time for the rum and cigars?) this team looks likely to end up around 87-75 which may or may not allow them to keep playing. But September is here, and I have to start thinking about the Report Card because it takes me that long to come up with that many wisecracks.

So I'm way ahead of all of you. I've left denial, anger, bargaining, and depression behind. I have embraced acceptance - and I find I'm not blaming the players, or the coaching, or even the front office. I think two things went badly wrong this year. One was fairly minor but quite surprising in its impact. One was pretty significant but not to be anticipated. But as for the everyday players - I'm really only seriously disappointed with Gurriel, he's the only one whose season seems a surprise to me. And he could go and hit 10 HRs in the next three weeks because he's funny that way.
mathesond - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#421255) #
"but he isn't Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani. He isn't going to put the Jays over the top on his own."

But Trout and/or Ohtani are?
Nigel - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#421256) #
Interesting discussion all - as per usual:). Iím probably less surprised than some by this year. Prior to the season I thought that this was closer to a 90 win team than a 100 win team. But, to be truthful part of that was under-appreciating how good Chapman is. The pitching always felt light to me.

I donít understand how you could be disappointed in Gurriel. His overall value is the same as it ever was. Now, the composition of his offensive profile has changed dramatically but itís overall contribution remains the same. Gurriel just isnít a very good player. Heís a borderline regular/4th OF. Given his salary, thereís nothing wrong with that but expecting more from him is a fools errand.
Nigel - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#421257) #
Iíll repeat something I said a few weeks ago. I think the nuclear explosion of HRs in Dunedin and Buffalo had a negative impact on plate approach and offensive approach. I think it also distorted expectations of offensive output and maybe even front office player evaluation.
grjas - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#421258) #
Now for a total pipe dream. The Jays are only 6 back of the Yanks. If they sweep the 3 game NYY series and play like it was 2021Öweíd quickly forget the first 140.

Yeah I know. Flying pigs, competent politicians and world peace are more likely. But should rum and cigars appear, you never know.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#421259) #
I think the nuclear explosion of HRs in Dunedin and Buffalo ... distorted expectations of offensive output and maybe even front office player evaluation.

Absolutely. Oh my goodness yes. There was an awful lot of air that needed to be let out of the 2021 numbers, especially the first baseman's.

Of course I'm disappointed in Gurriel! Five HRs? Last one was two months ago? Usually, his hot streaks are worth waiting for and make living through the other five months tolerable. This year? He hit about the emptiest .394 in July as you could hope to hit.
Nigel - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#421260) #
Oh I understand the surprise at the lack of HRs. But when a lifetime 114 wRC+ hitter puts up a 113, I donít think you can be too surprised. Heís going to give the team about 1.5 WAR over a full season. That aligns almost right on with his career norms. He having the most Gurriel of Gurriel years at a top line level.. Itís just heís realigned his OPS components to get there (along with his normal below average defense and horrible base running). Which is odd, I admit.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#421261) #
As for Vlad, one possibility is that he's as talented as ever, but has been contending with a nagging wrist injury. He's said that it's something he'll need to manage for the rest of his career. If you think about how important strong/healthy wrists are to being an effective power hitter in the majors, it makes sense that his performance would be at least somewhat impacted by the injury.
Chuck - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#421262) #
Schneider gives the "start" to Richards, no doubt in anticipation of a bunch of LHB, like in yesterday's lineup.
bpoz - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#421263) #
I agree with dalimon5 that in the off season the Jays should try to fix the holes on this team.

I suspect that many of us will disagree what the holes are. That always make for an exciting off season.

I am more confident but not a lot that the hole I think needs fixing will be in play. That hole is long term expensive contracts on the payroll. Ryu for 2022 & 23 is $40 mil for 6 starts so far. Springer is playing more this year, but still hurt a lot and is the DH. Gausman probably will not be good for all 5 years. Berrios will also not be good for all 5/7 years. Fortunately the contract may be cheaper in the early years and then he opts out. So don't add any more expensive FAs like I mentioned in this paragraph.

Miami traded big contracts to us and NYY. AA traded V Wells to LAA. So trading big contracts is possible.

uglyone - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#421264) #
Various points in response to different points on this thread:

- imo Vladdy is clearly our best player. Yes war will never value a 1B as much but the guy is top 20 MLB in wRC+ in a "down" year at age 23. And given how bad his first month was and how good he's been since it's likely he gets back up to 150wrc+ and into the top 10 by the end.

- imo Vladdy is also obviously the leader on the team. Both talent wise and personality wise. And I think it's obvious how much his teammates look up to him on both fronts.

- imo the supposed lack of HR is a red herring. The jays are #3 MLB in wRC+ and the only real reason the runs lag that slightly is because they only rank 10th in wRC+ with RISP. I haven't checked but I'd wager that's because we've had the wrong hitters coming up with RISP.

- I always believe that the character of a team starts from the very top of the front office. And the fact is we have asset value guys in our front office not win-first guys. So we're a good team that never seems to be as good as they should be. And I think we've seen enough trade deadline reactions under 2 FO's now that it's clear that the FOs performance at the deadline can have a big impact on how much the team believes in itself the rest of the way.
Chuck - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#421265) #
And the fact is we have asset value guys in our front office not win-first guys.

One of the byproducts of six teams making the playoffs is that teams can now build for 88 wins, say, rather than 93. Outside of a handful of markets, the "asset value" approach may become even more pervasive. I can't see it changing in Toronto, not with corporate ownership and not with dutiful executives.

mathesond - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#421266) #
Building to win the bare minimum required to get into the playoffs doesn't seem like an approach that lends itself to continued success.
Chuck - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#421267) #
doesn't seem like an approach that lends itself to continued success

And there's the rub. What does success mean? Ever ask a corporation its definition of success?

John Northey - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#421268) #
uglyone - dang you had to get me thinking didn't you...
So who has been up with RISP the most?
  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 136 PA 272/368/439
  2. Matt Chapman 131 PA 236/359/406
  3. Bo Bichette 131 PA 219/275/378 - ouch
  4. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 116 PA 294/362/431
  5. Santiago Espinal 116 PA 226/287/304 - ugly
  6. Alejandro Kirk 114 PA 310/439/540
  7. Teoscar Hernandez 108 PA 283/343/566
  8. George Springer 101 PA 284/380/432
  9. Tapia 86 PA 671 OPS, Biggio 69 PA 768 OPS, Jansen 40 PA 925 OPS, Zimmer 25 PA 391 OPS, everyone else under 20 PA.
Nope, generally the guys you'd want up with RISP are getting there. Tapia a LOT lower than I expected, Biggio and Jansen both getting far fewer PA than I expected but both have missed a LOT of time this year (under 400 PA combined this year between them, or less than anyone in the regular lineup). Bo has sucked with RISP and so too Espinal which hurts a lot. Sub 600 OPS with RISP by Espinal is very ugly indeed, and we all expected more than a 650's OPS from Bo in that situation.
John Northey - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#421269) #
I like the build up assets idea - I want a team that contends year in-year out. No more chips all in year followed by years of 'lets hope the kids get here fast'. 1983-1993 was an amazing stretch where the Jays were contenders every year, favorites most years. Alfredo Griffin is the only guy who was on the 1983 and 1993 teams - but inbetween he wasn't here much (traded pre 1985, returned pre 1992). Mark Eichhorn was in the system in 1983 (reached in 1982 as a starter throwing overhand, returned in '86 as a sidearm reliever who threw 157 innings) but also was sold and returned via a trade.

Basically, if you want to be a long term contender you cannot grow too attached to your players as a GM, you have to be willing and able to deal anyone at anytime as needed. At some point I could imagine a 90/91 deal ala the Carter/Alomar for McGriff/Fernandez deal happening if the GM feels the clubhouse needs major changes (namely dealing Vlad and/or Bo) but it would require someone pushing the vets here from the minors and a trading partner who is willing to deal star level players. Not an easy thing to do at any time as a mistake will cost a GM their job in a very visible way. Easier to let guys become free agents and hope you are building the farm fast enough to replace them. Not easy, but Tampa has done it quite well.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#421270) #
1983-1993 was an amazing stretch where the Jays were contenders every year, favorites most years.

And it's remarkable how many of those years all ended the same way - various degrees of disappointment, shaking of heads, wondering what had gone screwy this time, just what was wrong with this team. Why did they always let us down? Over and over and over.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#421271) #
Espinal has improved.

Actually, Espinal's offense has fallen off about exactly as much as Bichette's. Espinal just doesn't catch as much grief about it. The world is still hostile to longhairs? Who knew.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#421272) #
Fred McGriff's wRC+ in his first four years here was 131 (a part year), 156, 156 and 157.  He was pretty clearly the best player on the team, and quite a bit better than Vladdy.  He just did his business and that was it.  His reward was getting traded for Roberto Alomar during the off-season. 

I wish that Vladdy would just focus on his craft and let his bat speak.  At this point, I am doubtful that he has that in him. 

Anyways, Tapia is in centerfield tonight and I need someone else to bring the scorn to help him perform at his best.  I can't manage it because I actually think it's the right move subjectively. 
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#421273) #
I need someone else to bring the scorn to help him perform at his best.

He might have been good in June and July, but that's over. His bat has given up the ghost and got to the great lumber boneyard in the sky. And he has the worst hair in the major leagues.

How'm I doing?
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#421274) #
Yeah sorry Iím not going to buy that this front office is value driven considering they overpay every year for a free agent. Berrios last offseason. Springer year before that with Semien (risk at the time). Ryu before that.

In what world are these contracts handed out by value driven front offices???

Vlad is put into every position to succeed and to argue that heís the best player and leader on this team just doesnít add up. Reminds me when AJ Burnet signed that big contract. Huge potential but nobody regarded him as the leader of the staff even though he was advertised as the next big thing to save the Jays.

I donít understand why posters canít accept that a top 20 offensive player in baseball with potential to be a hall of famer can also be a disappointment and not even the top player on his own team, all at the same time. This happens all the time season to season. Usually players that are as good as many posters WANT Vlad to be, they deliver year in and year out.

Vladdy like Iíve maintained is very good and a phenom for his age, but he isnít the superstar of the league everyone makes him out to be, at least not yet. More than anything right now he is a recognizable and bankable asset to the Toronto Blue Jays. If his name was Julio Verde he would be a charismatic top young player with upside, not the other worldly AL defeating predetermined hall of famer some people make him out to be. If you think he can reach that potential then at least give the kid the chance to live up to that.

Watching Vlad and Springer at the plate itís not even close who Iíd want in a keg at bat, NOT EVEN CLOSE. Iíd also put Kirky way ahead of him right now. You need home runs and good contact with potential to chase? Then go with Vlad. Like I said heís still too 3 player on a top 5 team in baseball. Dude needs to focus on improving.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#421275) #
1983-1993 was an amazing stretch

Remember the phrase "Blow Jays?" Amazing how often we heard that. I should probably have better memories, but no...

I comfort myself sometimes with the wisdom of Tao of Stieb, who sagely noted that:

Every young team needs to stare out on a field with long faces at some point before they win.

True? Who knows. Comforting? Oh yes.
uglyone - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#421276) #
Jays All Situations wRC+

1. V.Guerrero (23): 142wRC+

Jays High Leverage wRC+ (min 5pa)

1. V.Guerrero (23): 195wrc+
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#421277) #
Weíll finish it up and post the rest of the rosterÖ
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#421278) #
Magpie, the scorn directed at Tapia's hair proves that Blue Jay fans are indeed next-level.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#421279) #
I think his point was that Guerrero is the best on the team in those situations (hence the no. 1) and the other players on the team are not as good.

But it's an eternal characteristic of bad organizations (also known as losers) to blame their troubles on their best players, which usually requires finding something, anything that makes him less than perfect - a catcher's throwing arm, an outfielder's range. Whatever. I promise - I absolutely guarantee - that there are baseball fanatics in Anaheim complaining about Mike Trout.

I think there was one big thing and one smaller thing that went wrong with the 2022 Jays and the names Guerrero, Bichette, Berrios, Hernandez, Gurriel are not going to come up. No, not even Tapia.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#421280) #
I guess the big thing was Ryu.

Don't know what the small thing is, as there must be many of them...
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#421281) #
The big thing was Kikuchi. His job was to replace Steven Matz. And let's all pause a moment so that Nigel can take a victory lap, if he likes. He told us so!

But give us this, Nigel - in the spring of 2022, Kikuchi looked like a far better bet than Matz did in the spring of 2021, coming off his 0-5, 9.68 record in 2020. And we all assumed that Pete Walker would get his hands on Kikuchi and make him better. We had no idea Pete Walker would get his hands on him and make him far, far worse. The team went 6-14 in his starts. We'd be in a much better mood if they'd just played .500 ball...

The little thing was the disaster of the third catchers, and who would have anticipated that? WHich organization had the best catching prospect in all of baseball, ready to be called on if required? But the Jays went 5-16 in the games that Heineman and Moreno started, and the pitchers posted a 5.62 ERA with them behind the plate. We'd be in a better mood if they'd played .500 ball in those games,
uglyone - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#421282) #
Starting Pitchers

2021 vs 2022

* Ray '21: 32gs, 6.0ip/gs, 63era-
* Manoah '22: 6.3ip/gs, 64era-

* Matz '21: 29gs, 5.2ip/gs, 85era-
* Gausman '22: 25gs, 5.6ip/gs, 81era-

* Manoah '21: 20gs, 5.6ip/gs, 72era-
* Stripling '22: 18gs, 5.0ip/gs, 72era-

Pretty comparable so far.

But then it falls apart:

* Ryu '21: 31gs, 5.5ip/gs, 97era-
* Berrios '22: 26gs, 5.4ip/gs, 137era-

* Stripling '21: 19gs, 4.5ip/gs, 104era-
* Kikuchi '22: 20gs, 4.1ip/gs, 135era-

* Berrios '21: 12gs, 5.9ip/gs, 80era-
* White '22: 5gs, 4.6ip/gs, 182era-

* Kay '21: 6gs, 4.1ip/gs, 98era-
* Ryu '22: 6gs, 4.5ip/gs, 146era-
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#421283) #
Oh, it's a combination.  The starting pitcher depth chart was Gausman, Manoah, Berrios, Ryu, Kikuchi, Stripling, Pearson, (a whole whack of Buffalo starters).  It was, as Nigel said, light.  They needed one more pitcher at the start of the season or early on, once it was clear what the problems were.  It was not a shocker to me that Pete Walker would not be weaving magic this year. 

It's not over.  The Jays could go 25-7 the rest of the year and end up in first place with 92 wins.  It's not likely but lesser teams have gotten hot at the end of the year. 
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#421284) #
But then it falls apart:

And of course that's also where things went hugely right, where fortune smiled upon them in many incomprehensible ways. As bad as Berrios was, you would not expect the team to go 19-7 in his games. They got away with it, somehow - partially because Berrios concentrated so much of his awfulness in a smaller number of games, rather than generously spreading them out amongst them all. But mostly, they got away with something. Guy pitches like that, you'd expect the team to go 11-15 or something.
uglyone - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#421285) #
good point magpie - so that ryu '21 / berrios '22 comp is actually pretty even really.

so that's 4 deep in starters with similar effectiveness.

So it really comes down to Kikuchi being worse than Stripling was last year, and maybe even more hugely the trade deadline addition in '21 being awesome while the trade deadline addition in '22 has been pretty disastrous.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#421286) #
Gosh, imagine if the team really had gone 11-15 in Berrios' starts. They'd be sitting with a 63-67 record, and we'd be down in the streets with pitchforks and torches, yelling and stuff.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#421287) #
the trade deadline addition in '22 has been pretty disastrous.

More of a mixed bag, I think. Bass has been really good, White has been mostly bad. Pop didn't hurt. Merrifield (and Bradley) have mainly taken playing time away from Tapia, which ought to make people pretty happy. If only they'd been better than Tapia.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#421288) #
Hit and run on a 3-0?  I'm a big fan of hit-and-run, but not with Guerrero Jr. at the plate and not on that count. 
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#421289) #
Or run-and-hit, or whatever that was.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#421290) #
That was very weird. Was a sign put on by accident, whilst shooing a fly? That didn't look like Guerrero's pitch on 3-0.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#421291) #
Did Cruz just hit a ball below the strike zone, at the end of the bat, basically with one hand, and get it to the wall? Did that happen? Can we blame Tapia?
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#421292) #
He did.  It looks like he's as strong as Vladdy.  And he's got the receipts for his EV.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#421293) #
Kikuchi pitched a fine inning, but sometimes you just don't get the results you deserve.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#421294) #
Cruz swung and I immediately thought - that could be trouble, one of those bloops in between the infield and the outfield. Not between the outfielders. Holy moley.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#421295) #
On the other hand, his footwork at shortstop is not impressive.  Hernandez' single would have been handled by a decent defensive shortstop. 
grjas - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#421296) #
We may grumble about the Jays, but yikes TB is beating the Yanks and could be 3 back at the end of the night. A total Yank collapse would be a sight to behold along with the sound of 10mm mashing teeth.

Enough to put a smile on your face.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#421297) #
Quite the at bat.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#421298) #
That was a thing of beauty.
scottt - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#421299) #
Yeah, really nice.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#421300) #
Thatís the Bo weíre been waiting for all year. Outstanding.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#421301) #
That was huge for Bo.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#421302) #
Two-way player.
uglyone - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#421303) #
https://twitter.com/johngibbons05/status/1566236179107921921
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#421304) #
Never change, Gibby!

Uh-oh.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#421305) #
Probably a broken handÖ? Looked bad.
scottt - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#421306) #
the trade deadline addition in '21 was completely disastrous.

Brad Hand for Riley Adams?
That was just to see Adams have that one big game in Washington.

Joakim Soria for 2 PTBNL? (8 innings, 7 runs).

Should have gone for Yimi Garcia instead.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#421307) #
Looked bad, but let's hope.  Who's the backup shortstop/third baseman if Espinal is out?  Chapman could play shortstop well (and plays it essentially in the shift all the time), and I guess Biggio could play third.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#421308) #
Tapia seems to have even less idea of the strike zone today than usual. 
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#421309) #
Dylan ďMiraclesĒ Cease lost a no-hit bid in the ninth.

(Sorry. Couldnít resist.)
Glevin - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#421310) #
If espinal is out, I assume Otto Lopez gets called up. He can play almost everywhere. Biggio isn't very good at 3B but he can back up there too.
Nigel - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#421311) #
You really donít want Lopez playing SS. He doesnít have the arm for it. He does bring flexibility though.
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#421312) #
Bass was a teammate of Shohei Ohtani with the 2016 Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters! Cool! (Sapporo is the city where they play, but Hokkaido is the island where it's located, and Nippon-Ham is the company that owns the team. It's such a wonderful name, sounding to my English ears as if there's a deep quarrel with a certain cut of pork involved somehow.) Ohtani went 10-4, 1.86 while hitting .322/.416/.588 with 22 HRs in 104 games. That was as close as he came in Japan to what he's done this year, becoming the first player ever to hit 30 HRs and win 10 games.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#421313) #
Any chance weíll find out tonight about Espinalís hand?
Magpie - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#421314) #
X-rays negative, so presumably day to day.
pooks137 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#421315) #
They already said x-rays were negative on the broadcast.

Just bruised.

greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#421316) #
Contusion. Wow. Thatís great.
pooks137 - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#421317) #
Obviously great it's not broken.

A bone bruise in theory could still take weeks to heal and stop being painful.

Not a whole lot of meat on the back of the hand.

Mike Green - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#421318) #
"Miracles" Cease is very good, given what happened.  Stieb's name didn't lend itself to that. 
greenfrog - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#421319) #
Thanks. Springer underscored that Chapman is ďgrindingĒ ó sounds like heís somewhat banged up as well.
soupman - Saturday, September 03 2022 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#421320) #
so you're saying that the no hit bid was...D.Cease'd ?
bpoz - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#421322) #
Mike Green your math was a little off. 25-7 is 96 wins.

I went with 20-10/11. That gives TB 94 wins, Seattle 95 wins, Jays 92, Baltimore 91, Cleveland 88 and Min/CWS 87. Not all the teams have played an equal number of games. 4 of those 6 teams get in.

Our chances are fairly good. This is exciting.

I will point out again that SF should go from 107 wins to below .500. I don't know why.

I will also point out that Houston has been good/V good since 2015. In 2020 they played under .500. In the off season we can analyze their player movements in that time frame. Springer and Correa have left and they are still winning.
Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#421323) #
Thumbs up to todayís lineup. In Espinalís absence, this nine plus Springer are the horses to ride in September.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#421324) #
Thanks for the correction, bpoz.  It wasn't my math though, but merely a typo. 

I agree with Nigel.  Today's lineup is pretty much optimal, given that Espinal is out and Springer could use a day off before the Baltimore series.  Installing Chapman as the leadoff hitter was a good creative idea. 
Chuck - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#421325) #
Jays will bat 8 RHB and 1 LHB, the latter due to injury. The Pirates will bat 9 LHB.
electric carrot - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#421326) #
Did anyone notice how my negative comments about Bichette really got him going yesterday? I don't really think he's good enough to continue to hit well today, however.
Magpie - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#421328) #
I saw what you did there!
uglyone - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#421329) #
Since deadline:

* 1.Springer 74pa, 151wrc+
* 2.Bichette 118pa, 133wrc+
* 3.Guerrero 133pa, 131wrc+
* 4.Teoscar 108pa, 114wrc+
* 5.Biggio 50pa, 112wrc+
* 6.Chapman 119pa, 104wrc+
* 7.Espinal 70pa, 98wrc+
* 8.Kirk 104pa, 96wrc+
* 9.Jansen 61pa, 82wrc+

* 10.Gurriel 113pa, 64wrc+
* 11.Merrifield 58pa, 58wrc+
* 12.Bradley 34pa, 15wrc+
* 13.Tapia 60pa, -1wrc+


Thankfully the Gurriel top of lineup experience is over.



Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#421333) #
Yeah, except if they want to play Merrifield or JBJ in CF or against a tough LH, the days of Biggio losing ABs to Merrifield, Tapia and JBJ should be over. I thought that that was obvious before the deadline but maybe Atkins and Schneider are experiential learners.
electric carrot - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#421335) #
This lineup looks good to me but honestly I would prefer it if they had swapped Kirk and Chapman. I love the idea of leading off Kirk.
pooks137 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#421336) #
Installing Chapman as the leadoff hitter was a good creative idea.

They showed a graphic last night that Chapman was leading the team in 2nd half OPS at over 900, even ahead of Vlad.

That being said, Chapman really struggled to make any contact at all last night.

I know Contreras the Pirates starter was someone the Jays had never seen before and supposedly had a great, hard slider.

But Chapman's PAs leading up to the 7th were really ugly. Mostly down 0-2 instantly, then hopelessly flailing at down and away sliders.

The broadcast cameras seem to capture Springer giving Chapman a pep talk after Bichette's base-clearing double, congratulating him for grinding out a walk to pass the baton to Bo.

92-93 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#421337) #
Biggio should lead off when Springer gets a blow. Let everybody have a good look at the pitcher's arsenal, and give the pitcher a different look ahead of Guerrero.
Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#421338) #
If there is such a thing, that was a professional HBP by Biggio. He wasnít that keen on having the ball miss him:)

Iíd bat Biggio lead off too, but Chapman hitting lead off isnít a terrible idea.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#421339) #
Sure, Biggio could bat leadoff too. I think that Chapman is a better hitter even against RHP but it's close. 
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#421340) #
The Pirates are likely making a mistake by keeping Oneil Cruz at shortstop.  He's going to need to hit wherever he plays and he has work to do with the bat.  He has even more work to do to play shortstop well.  If you have him trying to do both at once, he's likely to fail at both. 
krose - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#421341) #
Oh man! As someone who has struggled with weight, Iím thinking that Kirk is getting heavier. At some point heís to have to deal with that.
uglyone - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#421342) #
That girl in the red really gave it her all to try and catch that Biggio dinner.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#421343) #
It's really hard for pitchers to develop with a defence as bad as the Pirates' behind them.  They need a catcher, a shortstop and a second baseman. 
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#421344) #
try and catch that Biggio dinner.

Cool that Domino's delivers to the second deck.
92-93 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#421345) #
Keep the runs coming. The Jays should stay away from Romano today even in a save situation, unless he can actually pitch 3 days in a row.
Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#421346) #
Buck - Iíd sign him (Stripling) right now on a two year deal for $15-16 million. $8 million a year. Heís that valuableĒ.

Itís really hard to be that out of touch.
92-93 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#421347) #
It sounded reasonable until he specified he meant it over 2 years, not per year for 2 years.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#421349) #
In what year would $8 million AAV be about right for Stripling?  In 2012, the Pirates signed Russell Martin for 2/17. It was a very good deal, of course. 

OK, at least a decade out of date.
Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#421350) #
Iím with Stripling - why was that fly all a double? Both Gurriel and Merrifield looked like they got bad jumps.

Tabby clearly didnít think showing Stripling showing his displeasure was a good replay:)
John Northey - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#421351) #
Jumped out as nuts to me. I was thinking $50 mil is the minimum contract value for Stripling unless he gets hurt. I suspect the Jays will let him walk at that price but someone will sign him for 3-$60 or more. Starting pitching is always at a premium. I see the Jays chasing top end instead.
scottt - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#421352) #
Ball hit over the outfielders' head. They were probably playing shallow which would be a bench call.

The issue I have is with the 2 walks, obviously.

Blue Jays hitters looked lost on the next half-inning.

Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#421353) #
Zimmer would have had it!
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#421354) #
The 92 mph fastball up and away on the LH batters was predictably a good pitch in PNC against every hitter in the Pirate lineup but Cruz.  It came as no surprise that he was able to leave the yard easily.
92-93 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#421355) #
It was not a good route from Merrifield, who has no business starting in CF, but Stripling can't walk two batters and then blame the defense.
uglyone - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#421356) #
Not sure this Whit will be as beloved as the last one.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#421357) #
Nice spoonerism from Buck.  "It's a fly ball to Mitt Werrified."
Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#421358) #
Oh I agree that the walks were the main problem.

Leaving aside the sheer redundancy of it all, the $7m next year for Whit is looking bad. Merrifield looks toasty to me.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#421359) #
Actually I guess it was "Mitt, Where he field?"
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#421360) #
Guerrero Jr. didn't run that one out on the DP.  It would have been close after Cruz's double clutch.
Four Seamer - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#421361) #
Vladdy not running hard on a ground ball? Colour me shocked.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#421362) #
You'd think that runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out in a tie game in the 7th would have the juices flowing, but no. Also, there's a reason that double plays are not assumed for scoring on errors.

As it happens, if he had reached, the Jays would likely have scored at least another 2 runs. 
uglyone - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#421363) #

Jays now up to 42 GIDP with runners in scoring position, 3rd in the league behind two teams that are each 21 games under .500.

— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) September 4, 2022
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#421364) #
Vladdy leads the league in GIDP with 22.  He's feared though, just like Jim Rice. 
greenfrog - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#421365) #
Is Vladdy getting proper hitting coaching? A lot of his underlying stats look more like 2019-2020 than 2021. I don't think this is all (or even mostly) attributable to the "Dunedin/Buffalo" effect.

Has anyone actually told him he needs to run out ground balls properly? Or is everyone (coaches and front office included) too afraid to say this?
Nigel - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#421366) #
Ugly OF defense today.
dalimon5 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#421367) #
Like Iíve been saying for years, Vladdy is not the player everyone thought he was. He came up as a phenom with the best rated hit tool of all time. Heís very good, like most top 2 or 3 guys on every team, heís just not a superstar yet as much as people want to pretend he is.

His work ethic has always been questioned.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#421368) #
Iíve never heard his work ethic questioned.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#421369) #
Work ethic isn't exactly it.  There was the fitness issue a few years ago.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#421370) #
Moment of truth for this series. Maybe even for the season.
Chuck - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#421371) #
Man these Pirates are pitiful.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#421372) #
Had 'em all the way.
92-93 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#421373) #
Not hitting into double plays is another feature of Biggio's game. He doesn't kill rallies like the rest of em.

If Zimmer is the better CF, why dd Bradley replace Tapia in CF yesterday?

Nice sweep, even if they didn't look all that impressive taking care of business. Hopefully they didn't just burn Romano for the double-header tomorrow. Potential rain in the Camden Yards forecast tomorrow.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#421374) #
Incidentally, Tabler said that catcher Henry Davis might be up next year.  Maybe he will, but he turns 23 in a couple of weeks and he's just made it to double A where he's hitting .190.  He did hit very well in high A ball...
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#421375) #
Kirk has grounded into 9 double plays and Vladdy 22.  Other than Vladdy, the #s are typical- with Chapman, Springer and Biggio at the low end and Bichette and Hernandez at the high end. 
uglyone - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#421376) #
important swweep, even if they aren't playing scintillating baseball. Tho getting a sweep when you aren't playing great could be the sign of a good team.

anyways they got the job done hopefully that juices them a bit heading into the stretch run.
scottt - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#421377) #
The sweep they needed, but it wasn't for the faint of heart.

They played some half-decent small ball. Better decisions at the plate.
Still lots of room left for improvement.

Romano was in one of his slider mood today.
Back door slider on a 0-2 count?
Not good when the first 2 strikes were with sliders.
If you throw a slider it has to be one that moves out of the strike zone.

Luckily this was the bottom of the order and they pulled Heineman for a right bat.

Guerrero with 22 GIDP. Just running throw the bag would bring that number down.
I don't understand how a guy who loves to steal bases can't run the full 90 feet.

pooks137 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#421378) #
Is Vladdy getting proper hitting coaching?

I doubt they are able to do much coaching for the players inseason, especially for the everyday guys.

They just play too many games.

They can likely make minor adjustments to correct some hitches.

But major overhauls really need the downtime of the offseason or ST to work on anything.

greenfrog - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#421379) #
The starting pitching is going to be key in the upcoming series. Good starting pitching might help the offense relax a bit and perform better. And, of course, it would be less taxing on the bullpen and more likely to result in some criticsl wins.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#421381) #
It would be huge for the Jays if Oakland could hold on and beat the O's today. 2.5 game lead instead of a 1.5 game lead over Baltimore in the WC race entering tomorrow.
Kasi - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#421382) #
I donít think Vlad is lazy or anything. I think heís just immature. Which means heís inconsistent. Not a surprise since heís known from very young heís taken care of because of his dads career. So heís a guy with immense physical gifts and also a guy who has known no matter success or fail heís taken care of. I had a much smaller version of this as a kid myself with a family that was fairly well off and it certainly led to immaturity for me through my 20s. I donít know what it would take for him to change but right now I just see a fun loving dude with immense physical gifts just going through things and just not being consistent in his approach and effort.
dalimon5 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#421383) #
Yes immaturity is probably it. At some point someone needs to call him out. The work ethic I referred to earlier was in reference to his lack of conditioning.

One thing that I find baffling and maybe it is just me, but I see Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette, in fact most players on the team review a poor at bat on the tablet when returning to the dug out. If Springer or Chapman strikeout they will often be seen analyzing what happened. Chapman redid his swing and speaks often with his hitting coaches after plate appearances.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr Iíve only ever seen looking at a tablet if heís hit a home run. Iíve only ever seen him talking about an at bat if said at bat was a home run.
John Northey - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#421385) #
Oakland did the Jays a favor - 5-0 over Baltimore. But Baltimore only used 2 relievers so their pen is mostly fresh for tomorrow. A rainout would help a lot.

Seattle winning 2-1 in the 4th over Cleveland, and NYY 2-0 over the Rays in the 8th. Judge has scored both runs and drove himself in with a double and a home run. Basically they are Judge and pitchers right now. So I see why they moved him to leadoff so he can get as many PA as possible.
Chuck - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#421386) #
Watching the NY-TB game, I am forced, as usual, to marvel at the season-long success of the Rays. It is surely a trick done with mirrors. Their two best players, Franco and Lowe, have recorded just 250 PA each. They are without Glasnow (recovering from TJ), Baz, Zunino and Kiermaier. They moved Wendle because he was getting too expensive. They manage to cobble together a competitive team, year in year out, on a shoestring budget. Whatever castoffs they take in, they seem to be able to squeeze whatever baseball skills that player has to offer.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#421387) #
It's not mirrors. Just excellent management from top to bottom.

I remember when I realized that they knew what they were doing- when they moved Bossman Jr. from SS to CF in 2007. You'll know that the Pirates have reached some level of understanding when they move Cruz to the outfield and get themselves a shortstop.
bpoz - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#421388) #
One thing that TB has is an incredibly deep and good pen. They trade for pitchers that they think can be successful. Make sure they can throw strikes and get outs. They must also be able to rest these players. Ok that is badly explained but if the manager, the team and the reliever all believe in him that probably works.

I liked the Groshans trade because we got 2 ML ready pen arms. We should do another 1 or 2 trades like that if we can and get 2-4 more ML ready pen arms. Some will fail and some will succeed. So the team is stronger and the payroll is still controlled.
Magpie - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#421391) #
Just excellent management from top to bottom.

Isn't it comforting to think that the same executive who set Tampa Bay on their present course now runs a franchise with a license to print money?
Mike Green - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#421392) #
Well, the medium-term results are predictable. They'll probably do as well over the next 20 years as the Yankees did over the last 25 years.

Unless Southern California gets a little unlucky with natural disasters.
pooks137 - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#421393) #
They manage to cobble together a competitive team, year in year out, on a shoestring budget. Whatever castoffs they take in, they seem to be able to squeeze whatever baseball skills that player has to offer.

Since the Rays first got good in the 00s, they've done a better Billy Beane/Moneyball impression than Oakland did themselves over the last two decades.

And their success and secret sauce has continued despite jettisoning both Andrew Friedman and Chaim Bloom.

John Northey - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#421394) #
It is weird how the Rays keep going. I thought it would be via defense - something that is still undervalued overall, but FanGraphs per team stats have them at 1.6 which is 13th, just below the Jays at 12th (2.6). #1 is the Yankees at 28.4. By RAA Arizona is 1st (26), Rays #12 (5), Jays #16 (1), Yankees #5 (14). By OAA Arizona #1 again (31), Yankees #5 (18), Rays #15 (3) Jays #16 (2). DRS Yankees #1 (92), Jays #6 (40), Rays #14 (19). So basically nothing on defense says the Rays are doing anything significant.

By FanGraphs defensive stat (which they use for WAR so I'm guessing they trust it) by position for the AL East... ML Rank-score
  • C: Yankees: #1/35.1 Jays: #5/17.8 Rays: #15/10.7 O's: #24/2.3 Red Sox: #16/10.5
  • 1B: Yankees: #11/-8.1 Jays: #15/-10.0 Rays: #12/-8.6 O's: #2/-4.2 Red Sox: #29/-17.1
  • 2B: Yankees: #14/2.0 Jays: #2/11.3 Rays: #25/-3.6 O's: #17/1.5 Red Sox: #5/7.2
  • 3B: Yankees: #2/13.8 Jays: #11/2.5 Rays: #17/0.6 O's: #14/1.7 Red Sox: #13/2.0
  • SS: Yankees: #18/4.4 Jays: #26/1.9 Rays: #29/-0.1 O's: #15/6.4 Red Sox: #9/8.5
  • LF: Yankees: #15/-4.7 Jays: #22/-8.1 Rays: #8/-2.8 O's: #19/-7.2 Red Sox: #23/-10.5
  • CF: Yankees: #17/1.5 Jays: #22/-1.5 Rays: #9/5.8 O's: #13/3.1 Red Sox: #20/-1.0
  • RF: Yankees: #7/0.3 Jays: #21/-8.5 Rays: #4/3.2 O's: #15/-5.7 Red Sox: #17/-7.1
I thought going position by position we'd see the Rays very stable, but nope, they are top 10 in LF/CF/RF, bottom 10 in 2B/SS, middle at C/1B/3B. So pretty spread out in quality of defense. Jays are top 10 at C/2B, middle 1B/3B, bottom SS/LF/CF/RF - no shock there although one would think CF would be better with Springer/Zimmer/JBJ but going in depth shows negatives for Springer, JBJ, and Merryfield (no shock with him), while Zimmer brings it up. Tapia surprisingly is at 0.0 in CF. LF is dragged way down by Tapia and Gurriel (everyone else a 0.0), while RF is helped a lot by Zimmer, a bit by Springer, but Tapia collapses here (-5.7) and Hernandez is nothing good (-1.9) nor is JBJ or Biggio.

Y'know the more I look at this the more I see why Zimmer is back. Especially after today when Merryfield added a run with the bat, then cost 2 with the glove. Maybe there is something to that great record with Zimmer starting in CF. With the terrible defense at all 3 OF positions maybe the Jays need to use Zimmer whenever Springer is out and just accept the lost spot in the batting order.
bpoz - Sunday, September 04 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#421395) #
John N. Corbin Carrol in CF. Better than Zimmer.

Just saying. Please don't analyze.
John Northey - Monday, September 05 2022 @ 02:49 AM EDT (#421398) #
Heh. I'd love that but it is noteworthy that Arizona seems to be using him in LF/RF so Alek Thomas can play CF.
Mike Green - Monday, September 05 2022 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#421400) #
Baltimore's forecast is for rain Monday to Wednesday. The Blue Jays and Orioles both have an off-day on Thursday and the long-range forecast is good. They may be playing two that day.
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