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Next up is a six game road trip. Are we ready?


If it be now, ítis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.

The Phillies are trying to lock down their berth in the post-season - they hold the third NL Wild Card spot at the moment, which would set them up to play St.Louis in the first round. They're just half a game behind San Diego, but the NL's second Wild Card team has to play the first one. That will be either Atlanta and the Mets, and neither prospect is very appealing. The Phillies would probably be happy to stay where they are. But they can't take their foot off the gas - the Brewers are just 2.5 games in back of them.

The Phillies came to Toronto just before the All-Star Break, as you will all doubtless remember:

Jul 12: Philadelphia 3 Toronto 4 - The Jays had come staggering home froma 1-6 West Coast road trip, and had lost 9 of their last 10 games. Jose Berrios struck out 13 without walking anyone, but the game was tied 3-3 when Gurriel doubled home Kirk in the sixth. Mayza, Garcia, and Romano closed it out. The following afternoon, the Blue Jays fired their manager.

Jul 13: Philadelphia 2 Toronto 8 - The John Schneider era got off to a roaring start, as Ross Stripling pitched seven innings of two-hitter, allowing just a pair of unearned runs. The Jays had staked him to a 6-0 lead by then, with Guerrero (HR, RBI single) and Hernandez (two HRs) leading the offense.

A number of Phillies were out of the lineup when the Phillies made their Toronto visit. Bryce Harper was out with a broken thumb - he's been back for 20 games and hasn't quite rounded into mid-season form yet (.222/.341/.375). Four players hadn't been vaccinated - Kyle Gibson has other medical issues that make him vaccine reluctant and Alec Bohm, Aaron Nola and J.P. Realmuto were just being stubborn about it. Gibson will pitch tonight.

The Phillies picked up Brandon Marsh from the Angels at the deadline, and he's taken over in CF. They will probably be without RF Nick Castellanos, out with tightness in his oblique. He's eligible to return, but is probably a few days away. But Zack Wheeler, their best pitcher, should be back to start the Wednesday game. They've been considering moving Noah Syndergaard to the bullpen as a result. The Phillies lost closer Corey Knebel for the season back in July - closing duties have been shared by Seranthony Dominguez, former Blue Jay great Brad Hand, and the timeless David Robertson, acquired at the deadline from the Cubs.

Matchups
Tue 20 Sep - Stripling (8-4, 2.94) vs Gibson (10-6, 4.45)
Wed 21 Sep - Gausman (12-10, 3.45) vs Wheeler (11-7, 3.07)
Toronto at Philadelphia, September 20-21 | 119 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#422606) #
David Robertson's pitch mix this year is interesting- 52% cutters, 23% sliders, 25% curveballs.  He uses all three against both lefties and righties, with a few more cutters against righties.  Everything breaks down more than average and the cutter a lot more than average. 
grjas - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#422613) #
Would be nice to see Hernandez turn it around. Itís not been a good month and the last week was dreadful. Itís a different lineup when heís slugging.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#422614) #
Jansen now has the best OPS on the team.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#422615) #
Philadelphia should have kept Zimmer to shore up the outfield defense.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#422616) #
Somebody needs to stop feeding Tabler stats on fielding percentage ("the Phillies are second in fielding percentage; this team can field the ball"). This isn't 1970, Pat. It's time to move on.

The Phillies are not a good fielding team, near the bottom of the NL in Total Zone fielding runs above average. Per BRef's DWAR, and the eyeball test, Bohm, Castellanos and Schwarber have all been awful. FG cites the worst offenders as Castellanos, Schwarber, and Hoskins. Both agree that Harper and Vierling have not been good.

AWeb - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#422617) #
A lot of pitches for Gibson so far, hopefully can wear out the philly pen.

The Phillies are well known as a bad fielding team. It was expected and has been true. Is tabby so old school he doesn't pay attention to nl teams? It's also true the defense/offense tradeoff has worked well enough for them. 5-0 is nice, but more please. Focus on hitting weak flyballs to left apparently?
Chuck - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#422618) #
It's also true the defense/offense tradeoff has worked well enough for them.

That's at least up for debate. They are paying Schwarber and Castellanos 20M each for a combined 1 WAR (per both BRef and FG).

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#422619) #
Tabler loves fielding percentage
Chuck - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#422620) #
On Sep 13, Jansen was sitting on 2 doubles for the season. Since Sep 14 he has 7 hits: 5 doubles, 1 HR, 1 single.
grjas - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#422621) #
Stripling is a pleasure to watch. Pitches quickly, moves the ball around the zone and never panics. He may in fact be the second best starter on the team right now.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#422622) #
Shulman from time to time will throw in a DRS number.

The club looks sharp today. Solid defense and a good approach at the plate.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#422623) #
Jansen's BABIP is up from a ghastly .190ish to a still-low .244. According to Statcast, he been maybe a bit unlucky.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#422624) #
Lately, I've been on the John Kruk diet.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#422625) #
This felt like a leverage situation for a leverage reliever. Pop seems like a weird choice
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#422626) #
The Phillies look just terrible defensively.  Bohm played Springer's double badly before Stott's 2nd error. 
Kasi - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#422630) #
Nice inning by the Tapman there. Would be nice if he could get back to those June/July numbers.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#422631) #
Bohm played Springer's double badly

Yes, he intentionally moved his body from taking the ball squarely to doing the matador thing, stabbing at it with his backhand. I used to see kids do that in little league when they were afraid of the ball.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#422632) #
Exactly. It was more of a white flag than a red flag though.

I completely understand Philly fans booing. It's been a poor effort.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#422633) #
Up 14-5, it would have been a safe time to pinch-hit Zimmer for Springer.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#422634) #
I am not sure Merryweather knows where any of his pitches are going.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#422635) #
Maybe Schneider knew something- dangerous to pinch-hit Zimmer for Springer only up 9 runs in the eighth.
grjas - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#422636) #
I hope itís Pop not Merryweather in the playoff pen.
Kasi - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#422637) #
Yeah I think Iíd rather have Thornton than Merryweather. He needs to develop some movement on his fastball.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#422638) #
Merryweather is a month away from being 31yrs old.

Time for the team to stop dreaming.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#422639) #
I used to see kids do that in little league when they were afraid of the ball.

I didn't do that in little league. And I still remember the bad hop that came up and got me square in the eye.

I didn't cry, though. No crying in baseball.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#422640) #
That's the Brad Hand I remember.

I know this is one of the best HR parks in the majors. I still don't know why, but when Jackie Bradley's hitting them out...
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#422641) #
I got it in the chin. You play third base and you take your lumps.

This one does nit have the intensity if a playoff game.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#422642) #
That was just the second HR hit off Phelps this season. Mike Trout had the other.

Is this the game that would not end?
James W - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#422643) #
And the Pirates could not hold an 8-4 lead in the 9th.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#422644) #
The Pirates should be relegated. Their $70m man taking his glove off to munch seeds mid play is an all timer of ďI donít give a crapĒ. So we shouldnít either and punt the team and itís players to AAA.
Eephus - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#422645) #
I was watching a high level softball finals tonightÖ seems I missed a thing or two.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#422646) #
I was watching a high level softball finals tonight

So better baseball than we were subjected to.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 20 2022 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#422647) #
Games like today make one wonder how the Jays and Phillies are both in playoff positions at the moment. The Phillies are in danger though 2 1/2 up on the Brewers, while the Jays are in excellent shape, 1st WC by 2 over Tampa & Seattle, 7 1/2 ahead of the closest non-playoff teams (Baltimore & ChiSox), all others are 11+ games behind the Jays. Boston's tragic number (total elimination from playoffs) is now 7, same for Minnesota, while ChiSox & Baltimore are at 11. ChiSox playing (tied with Cleveland at the moment), as is Seattle (A's winning 4-1 after 5).

Basically the Jays would need to do a 1987 level swoon to blow it now. Top WC is still a crapshoot (2 games isn't much this time of year) and are 5 1/2 behind the Yankees for top spot (bloody Pirates blowing a 4 run lead in the 9th).

FYI: for Run differential the Yankees & Astros are both over +200, leading the AL by a mile there. Jays are 3rd at +76, then Seattle at +71, Rays +64, Cleveland +36, Twins +10, ChiSox 0, rest are negative (none at -200 but Oakland is close at -191). The Dodgers lead the majors though at +333, no other NL team at +200.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#422648) #
The Pirates should be relegated.

I love the whole concept of relegation. (It would surely discourage tanking.) The four worst teams every year go down to AAA, the four best AAA teams get to play in the Show. If they'd only thought of it a hundred years ago, when the minor leagues were free and independent.
Eephus - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 12:38 AM EDT (#422649) #

So better baseball than we were subjected to.

By the sounds of it, what I saw were fewer errors (although a few misplays in the outfield) and significantly more strikes thrown... which is saying something in the context of a trio of 21-20, 16-15 and 13-7 games. 

I did see a dude rope a ball at least 400 feet into some unfortunate person's backyard. This was at the Kew Park diamond for those familiar with Toronto's east end parks. Very few diamonds in Toronto proper have fences... he found one.

Oh... Blue Jays give up 11 runs and win? I'll shrug and take it.   
John Northey - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#422650) #
WIth relegation the Jays would've been sent down every year from 1977-1981 (1980 they were 2nd worst in AL, tied with the Angels and ahead of Seattle, 1978 they were 2nd worst with 102 losses while Seattle had 104). 1995 they were tied for dead last with Minnesota. 2019 they were clear by losing 95 but KC lost 103, Baltimore lost 108, Detroit 114.

Instead of relegation I think the incentive to lose needs to be removed. Either by a shift in the draft (all non-playoff teams in a lottery with equal odds at the top picks - any weighting keeps an incentive to lose in there) or financial penalties (less revenue sharing money if you lose 90+ 2 years in a row, significantly less if 3 years or more in a row - that'd hit Baltimore big time for losing over 100 3 of the past 4 years, they were half decent in 2020 - pace for 95 losses so under this plan they'd have been hit that year too). Perhaps ala the luxury tax - lose 90+ and get a minor 'so what' penalty, lose 100 and it goes up, 110 and it goes up further. Do it in consecutive years and it goes higher, 3+ years in a row and it really hurts. So Baltimore would be in a LOT of pain going into this year, by 3rd year you lose draft picks or they get shifted down a LOT. If a team keeps doing it for 5+ years then you need to look at revoking the franchise from the owner.

Detroit would've reset its clock last year with 85 losses, same for KC (over 100 in 18 & 19 but just 88 last year, at 89 now so safe to say they'll crack 90 losses again). Washington would be in penalty status this year with 97 losses after 97 last year, Oakland just starting a new cycle after being over 90 in 15/16. This might have stopped Houston from growing like they did - from 2011-2014 they lost 92-111 games each year (over 100 3 years in a row) - very clearly tanking to get better draft picks, they had TV ratings of literally 0 at times they were so bad. Those bad years helped them get Carlos Correa (2012), wasted 2013, on Mark Appel, and blew 2014 on Brady Aiken (never reached, didn't sign), but in 2015 they got Alex Bregman (2nd overall - compensation for failing to sign Aiken) and Kyle Tucker (5th overall). Note: in 2011 they were 11th for draft position and got George Springer (a good draft year - Gerrit Cole, Bauer, Rendon, Lindor, and Baez all went before Springer and the top 29 picks all reached the majors... Jays took Tyler Beede who didn't sign but replaced him the next year using the replacement pick on Marcus Stroman).
John Northey - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#422651) #
Ugly ugly win, but a win is a win is a win. Jays playoff odds at Fangraphs now at 99.9%, but AL East title down to 3.1% (time running out). 6 teams over 96% odds of making the playoffs, only the White Sox (6.3%), Orioles (0.2%), and Twins (0.1%) have a shot at a big upset. So we are down to who has which slot. Jays projected to get the top WC by 2 over the Mariners, 3 over the Rays. That would probably be the best playoff setup possible - Round 1 at home vs Seattle, Round 2 vs Houston, Round 3 an AL East battle vs the Yankees or Rays, then a WS vs the Dodgers (highest odds). It'll be fun.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#422652) #
Thanks for sharing John, but please stop tempting fate with those 1987 references!
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#422653) #
RIP Maury Wills.  There aren't too many players who come up at age 26 and enjoy a long and productive career.  It's funny about his MVP year (1962) when he also won a Gold Glove.  He led the league in caught stealing that year with 13, but with 104 steals was a very, very effective base-stealer.  Impressive for a 29 year old, and a much better base-stealing season than Lou Brock's year when he surpassed Wills' record for steals in a year.  But Wills deserved neither the MVP (Willie Mays) nor the GG (Roy McMillan). It was still a damn good year.   For what it's worth, Mays' greatness from 1962  to 1965 is under-appreciated- he was the best player in baseball by a country mile and during the period when he was 31-34.  Long live Willie, the last great player of his time still standing. 

Here's Wills' bio courtesy of SABR.  How did I not know about the Doris Day story?  You still won't find it in her wikipedia entry...
scottt - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#422656) #
The Phillies are in a losing streak and they're playing their last home stand.
It's probably going to be a rough trip to end the season.

The Jays are up by 2 but they don't have the tie-breaker, so the margin is quite thin.
They have 4 games to play in the House of Horrors.
The Mariners still have the favourable schedule.

99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#422657) #
So all the machinations about border crossings are for not. Canada is changing the rules on the 30th.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-canada-to-drop-covid-19-vaccine-requirement-for-entering-country-on/
Nigel - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#422658) #
Wills' stats are remarkable to look at in the context of modern baseball. He was remarkable player. Off the field and post baseball he had many problems and there are quite a few people who didn't view Wills, the person, very kindly - Bill James being one of them if I remember correctly. RIP
hypobole - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#422659) #
So all the machinations about border crossings are for not.

Not not, not knot. Naught.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#422660) #
Wills deserved neither the MVP (Willie Mays)

His own teammate, Tommy Davis led the league with 153 RBIs, 230 hits, and a .346 BAVG. He was third in the voting. Aaron and Robinson had monstrous years as well. Mays was still the best player in the league - he was almost always the best player in the league - but Wills broke a record that had stood for a very long time and he did have a great season. A shortstop who scores 130 runs? Sign me up for some of that.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#422661) #
Danny and Kirky have the 2 best wRC+ on the Jays (min 200 PA's) at 138 and 137 respectively. Has any team had its catchers finish 1-2?
scottt - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#422662) #
Merryweather throws hard.
He's not particularly wild.
He just needs to make some adjustments--which isn't going to happen this year.

Personally, I think Hatch should go back to the pen and I'd have Thornton starting in AAA for depth.

The 40 roster is going to get crowdy before the rule 5 draft.

Nigel - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#422663) #
Over the past two seasons (just over 400 PA - about what you might be able to squeeze out of a full time, fist string, C in a full season) Jansen has put up 3.5 fWAR and 3.8 bWAR. The offseason is going to be very very interesting on the C front for the Jays.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#422664) #
The question is why Danny hasn't been DHing.

92-93 - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#422665) #
It's fine to suggest that Springer and Guerrero would benefit more from full days off than DH days, but Jansen has not passed them in terms of reasonable offensive expectations so he sits when he doesn't catch.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#422666) #
I'm actually ok with Jansen sitting but I'm not sure that one armed Springer has a higher reasonable offensive production profile than Jansen.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#422667) #
Plate Appearaces as DH

* Gurriel 53
* Collins 45
* Tapia 5
* Jansen 4
Cracka - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#422668) #
One of my all-time favourite baseball books is Maury Wills' autobiography "On the Run: The Never Dull and Often Shocking Life of Maury Wills". He went into graphic detail about his post-career crack cocaine usage -- it's really quite amazing that he lived to be 89. He was like Rickey Henderson, but 25 years earlier, revolutionizing the stolen base and constantly distracting pitchers. He would have absolutely loved the new 2023 rules re: pickoff throw limits.
Chuck - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#422669) #
In fairness, it wasn't clear that Jansen's offensive success wasn't due to more than a relatively small sample variation, even if we acknowledge a genuine underlying improvement. It's not clear where his true offensive level now stands. When Shulman pointed out that Jansen leads the team with an 850 OPS, Tabler weighed in: "what if he hadn't been injured so much this year?" To which I yelled at my TV: "his OPS would be less than 850!".

I said previously that he is too good to not be a starter and because of this, I assume he will be traded. I'm not sure that he's really an 800 OPS hitter, though who knows? His past 400 PA say otherwise. And he doesn't actually have to be to still be a valuable starting catcher. He's too much of a luxury to keep around as a backup. I am happy for him that his game has developed so much, but he is a chit that needs to be cashed.

Super Bluto - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#422670) #
Instead of relegation I think the incentive to lose needs to be removed. Relegation is a far better way to prevent season tanks. However, as we see in some European soccer leagues, it has consequences. Because of the massive financial penalties, the goal for mid-market teams becomes more about avoiding relegation than winning championships. They can't afford to rebuild from scratch and therefore bring in mid-level talent every year to plug holes that keep them above relegation but never allow them to become great like the A's or Orioles or Astros have done in the past. Still, I'd love to see the Yankees play a season of games against the likes of Toledo, Syracuse, and Gwinnett.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#422671) #
Chuck I agree with all of that, except that I would say the bigger surprise to me was Jansen's offence disappearing in his first full year in the league. I don't think he's an 850 OPS/135-140 wRC+ hitter either, but a wRC+ of 110-120 is entirely consistent with his upper minor league offensive profile. His power and patience are above average (rateably) - that gives his a ton of latitude in other respects to still be a productive offensive player.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#422672) #
The question is why Danny hasn't been DHing.

Two weeks ago Jansen was hitting .218. That could be why. But the Bichette Mantle of Hotness has fallen upon him, and in his last 10 games he's hit .441/.500/.765, and at last - at long last! - he's hitting his weight!
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#422673) #
Enough already.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#422674) #
Foster Griffin has been called up from Buffalo and will wear number 60 according to BlueJays twitter. Julian Merryweather has been optioned to the Herd.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#422675) #
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a 23 year old healthy first baseman.  The idea that he's limited to 130 starts at first base is strange to me;  Frank Thomas was making 150 starts at first base at age 24-25.  Give Guerrero Jr. 145 starts at first base, 5-10 at DH and a day or two off per month.  Incidentally, when Guerrero Jr. DHs  he has hit .254/.344/.446 over his career, and when he plays first base he has hit .299/.370/.547.   This year, when Vladdy DHed he hit .242/.319/.433.  There is a "DH penalty", but it seems that his is higher than for most players. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#422676) #
Bichette Mantle of Hotness

The Flow of Hotness?  The Flow of Heat would probably be better from a syntax perspective and to keep it G rated. 
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#422677) #
a day or two off per month.

Every month? He's 23 years old! He had a day off in April. Whaddya want?

I do think that, especially since the managerial change, he's been Dhing a little in order to squeeze Biggio into the lineup.
Chuck - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#422678) #
Two weeks ago Jansen was hitting .218.

Yeah, but .218 is the new .250.

Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#422679) #
Y'know what gets me about the 1962 NL MVP vote, Magpie?  Mays was the best player in the league (WAR has it 10.5 to 8.7 for Frank Robinson and it can be wrong but not when comparing outfielders to that degree) and his team won the pennant.  Instead they gave it to a player who was an All-Star but didn't even have an MVP quality-year in fact and whose team did not win. 

In 1963, May did have more WAR than Sandy Koufax (10.6-9.9) but Koufax actually outperformed his runs allowed by hunkering down and winning games with 1 and 2 runs of support and completed 20 games.  It's fair to give him some extra credit for his 25-5 record and a decent share of the Dodgers' success that year.  In 1964, Mays had 11 WAR and no one was within 2 WAR of him.  The players who were closest- Santo and Allen were also not on pennant winning clubs.  Ken Boyer won with 6 WAR- it was a good year, but not the best of his career by a good margin- and about the only thing you can say in favour was the Cardinals won.  And if you're going to give Boyer that amount of credit for being on a winning team, why wouldn't you have given it to Mays in 1962? I guess Wills had the mantle of hotness back then that Doris Day found so irresistible. 
grjas - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#422680) #
I wonder if and when theyíll give a Pearson a shot. Heís up to 12 innings in 10 games. Be nice to know if he can help a bit in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, interesting game for Gausman tonight. Has had HR issues recently and these fellas can clearly hit.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#422681) #
Jansen got back in the lineup on July 12, and from there through the end of August he hit .210/.295/.370, which is probably more in line with his career performance than the last 10 games.

It's good enough for me, mind you. He's still my number one catcher with an OPS of .655. He's just not the first guy I look at to DH when Kirk is catching.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#422682) #
I agree.  The club wants to give Biggio extra work.  They could have taken some of the DH games Guerrero Jr. had and given them to Biggio and Jansen depending on handedness.  Combined with some work in corner OF work for Biggio and a few days of rest for Bichette and Chapman, there was enough to keep Biggio in the starting lineup 3-4 days per week.  And I'd rather have Biggio or Jansen DHing than Guerrero Jr.   Vladdy gets jumpy and that's not a good thing when you're DHing. 
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#422683) #
Wills had the mantle of hotness back then

It always helps to do something - in this case, steal more than 100 bases - that has never been done before. Willie Mays was just submitting another Willie Mays season. Ho. Hum.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#422684) #
Royals have finally fired Dayton Moore.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#422685) #
2yr Stats

*1.Guerrero 151
*2.Springer 133
*3.Kirk 128
*4.Teoscar 127
*5.Bichette 125
*6.Jansen 121
*7.Chapman 113
*8.Gurriel 111
*9.Espinal 105
*10.Biggio 94
Jonny German - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#422686) #
I think this is the end of the Julian Merryweather era. Until today they hadnít used his final option this season. Now they have, and that means he canít be shuttled down to AAA next year. And without that flexibility heís not roster-able.

The team could carry him through spring training and give him one more chance to show that April 2021 wasn't a small sample mirage. But I think itís more likely heís jettisoned before the coming Rule 5 roster crunch.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#422687) #
Willie Mays was just submitting another Willie Mays season. Ho. Hum.

Do you know what bWAR says about Mays' career?  There are 4 players with more than 150 bWAR- Bonds 162.8, Ruth 162.7 (plus 20 as a pitcher), Mays 156 and Cobb 151.  But here's the thing.  Defence is the hardest part to evaluate particularly across generations.  Mays has 18.2 dWAR over his career, tied for 69th in MLB history with Scott Fletcher.  And among centerfielders, he's behind Andruw Jones and Paul Blair who had much shorter careers.  It wouldn't come as a great shock to find that he was as valuable as Andruw Jones over their careers- maybe not quite as good at the peak, but sustained for considerably longer.  In which case, he'd be tied with Bonds, just behind Ruth.  And bearing in mind the absence of PEDs and the fact that he was competing in an integrated league and the better of the two leagues at the time, he's arguably the best player in baseball history over his career.  I missed his great run from 1962-65 and had no sense of all of this until you see the way it all fits together. 

One final thing about Mays.  Those who read the New Historical Baseball Abstract will remember Bill James elegant argument indicating why Mantle had a better peak than Mays.  And bWAR agrees that Mantle's 1956-57 peak is infinitesimally better than Mays' 1964-65.  It could be wrong because of the defence issue.  One thing James didn't account for was that Mays played 157 games a year at his peak whereas Mantle averaged 147.  This makes a significant difference.  When Mantle (or Mays) wasn't out there, it wasn't an average centerfielder who was, but a 4th outfielder.  
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#422688) #
Whit Merrifield in RF, Tapia in LF, Hernandez DHing, Espinal at second and Kirk catching today.  It looks like the club thinks that Wheeler's 2022 platoon splits are indicative of a reverse phenomenon.  I'm not so sure.

Wheeler has been extremely strong at home and relatively weak on the road.  His ERA has been between 1 and 2.4 runs better per game each year since he arrived in Philadelphia, which is a bit strange because it's not a great park for a pitcher. 

Last night I noticed that despite the win, the Blue Jays got the short end of the strike zone calls.  Merryweather in fact got two of the worst ones and I got the impression it didn't help his confidence.  Which doesn't take much to shake, as we have seen. 
Chuck - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#422689) #
I think this is the end of the Julian Merryweather era.

He looked like Tom Henke in April of 2021, teasing us quite a great deal, but has looked quite the opposite ever since. He'll get his chances elsewhere.

bpoz - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#422690) #
Jansen is a good catcher but has not hit well enough in his career. He is still capable of being a being a regular rather than a backup. Kirk is a great hitting C who had 400+ ABs this year. His catching ability is possibly good. Moreno has impressed me with his arm. I think it is incredible.

The question is trade a C or go with 3. Kirk stays. Danny has 2 more years of control. Gabe M has maybe 6 years of control. We know that Kirk can hit!! Can Danny and Gabe also hit? We don't know.

Has Danny finally developed offensively at age 27 or is he having an above normal hitting period. He always had the good bb/k and power.

If Danny is traded, it is at his high. If Moreno is traded it is for his high prospect value. Either way Kirk is going to catch a lot. So the other C is not a 100+ game regular.

This reminds me of the Borders/Myers situation.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#422691) #
Statcast says that Merryweather has been particularly unlucky.  He hasn't been good, but nowhere near as bad as his ERAs would suggest.  In terms of pitches, his slider has not been hit at all over the last two years.  His changeup has barely been hit.  The problem is his fastball, which due to lack of movement and poor location, has been hit hard over and over again.  What he needs to do is work on a 2 seamer or a cutter.  He will get chances (and he should), but first he has work to do.  Pitchers.
92-93 - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#422692) #
Itís likely not about the splits. Biggio has been cold, and Merrifield typically gets a start every few days. They didnít acquire a guy due 6.75MM next year to be a spare part, he has just performed like one. He is better than weíve seen, and they must hope to get him going.

Thumbs up to the Merryweather-Griffin swap. Might as well have the bullpen as fresh as possible heading into 4 at the House of Horrors.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#422693) #
92-93 - I hope that you are right about Merrifield but it has been two full seasons since he was productive offensively. Last year he was a good player due to his defence and base running. By the eye test and by the numbers, both of those look to have taken a significant step backwards this year (which would be understandable for a player of his age). I think that there is a real chance that Merrifield is a bit piece in terms of utility. He's likely to be better than Otto Lopez next year but even that isn't that clear to me.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#422694) #
And bWAR agrees that Mantle's 1956-57 peak is infinitesimally better than Mays' 1964-65. It could be wrong because of the defence issue.

Ah, but was Mays at age 33-34 that much better in CF than Mantle at 24-25, enough to make up for Mantle's edge with the bat?
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#422695) #
Late September in the thick of a pennant race is an unusual time to be worrying about the implications for next year.  Over and over again, the club has been satisfied to have two guys of their top 10 out of the lineup when only one needed to be.  Gurriel will come back and a left-hander will start, and you could certainly give Merrifield an opportunity then. 
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#422696) #
Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays... Can we say the N.L. was a better league at the time?
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#422697) #
...was the better league? was the best league?

"This is the better coffee I've ever tasted!"

jerjapan - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#422698) #
To those who say we had quality depth in AAA, I say, ladies and gentlemen, Foster Griffin.  I don't think I've been less enthused about a September call up in my life. 

to be fair to the team, I assume this is some sort of options / asset management move, but if I'm Matt Gage, I'm a bit pissed. 

looking at the roster, Merryweather isn't the only fungible guy ... there's no rule v roster crunch when you can literally ditch a dozen guys off the 40 man this offseason and replace them with similar guys, if you feel like playing spin the wheel with your depth.  who are you guys worried about losing?  i admit to not paying attention as much since they ditched so many teams, so perhaps i'm sleeping on this.

Count me a believer in Jansen and Kirk as a tandem going forward.  I'd try trading Moreno before Jano, simply because I think he's more valuable to us than anyone else.  there are old school cliches for guys like him, but some of those old school cliches resonate for a reason.  Moreno, on the other hand, has tremendous utility to everyone.  I'd be looking at trading him for a young CF, like John Northey had been suggesting with Carroll till he played himself out of the convo.  Moreno in a package for Bryan Reynolds and a controllable high leverage reliever?  something like that?
but with Kirk and Jansen catching, hopefully, almost every game, and kirk the primary DH?  agreed that vladdy doesn't need all the DH days.  this lineup is deep when healthy.  love seeing the team maximize that at catcher and DH.  hopefully they can stop having 4 spare parts to fill out the OF and just go get an everyday CF. 
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#422699) #
The crowd in Philly seems to be asleep. Yesterday's crowd was a hangover from Monday Night Football, then a 4-hour 9-inning game.
AWeb - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#422700) #
The more fully integrated NL was a much better league...WAR calculations give some credit for that. the AL's best team was also the yankees pretty much every year, so mantle missed the best competition, so he loses a bit there too. Mays in CF in his mid 30s likely was a better fielder than mid 20s Mantle. Mantle's rep was always...fine? I thought anyway. Fast doesn't equal great out there...

bpoz - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#422701) #
Wheeler has to stop the losing!!
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#422702) #
Same thing with the ball-strike today.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#422703) #
The more fully integrated NL

I think we might see this as a bigger thing than it really was. The Dodgers and Giants definitely led the way, but Cleveland and the White Sox weren't that far behind. However, the Dodgers or Giants were in the World Series every year. Meanwhile the eternal AL reps took their sweet time about it. We do tend to see the 1950s through a kind of New York prism. It took about as long for the Phillies and Cardinals to integrate their teams as it took the Tigers and Red Sox.

Probably more important is the fact that the NL had by far the best of these players. Around the middle of the decade, several NL teams came up with a Cooperstown bound immortal - Aaron, Robinson, Banks, Clemente (and the superstar needs a roommate.) The AL teams were merely adding run of the mill good players - Luke Easter, Earl Battey, Al Smith. Connie Johnson and Bob Boyd. Good players, largely forgotten.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#422704) #
fruckin' right, Mayza, that was awesome.
pooks137 - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#422705) #
Pinch hitting Biggio to hit for Espinal with a man on first and two outs against a LHP was an unorthodox move.

I presume Schneider was hoping Biggio could end this duel with an impromptu homer.

uglyone - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#422706) #
and BOOM.



that's some sweet tasting high leverage action right there.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#422707) #
I think something's up with Espinal.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#422708) #
And Tabler flashes the DRS and the OAA. 

No "Late and Close!", Magpie?  All right, I'll say it, that was a clutch hit. 
hypobole - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#422709) #
Tabbie gets to read the graphic showing the Phillies 27th in DRS and 29th in OAA after praising their Fielding % last night.
pooks137 - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#422710) #
I think something's up with Espinal.

Could be. I'm watching the Phillies' broadcast.

The left on left PH blew their minds.

Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#422711) #
And at least 3 obvious balls called strikes on Blue Jays, each time being 3rd strikes if I remember.  The Phillies had one, perhaps. 
Eephus - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#422712) #
What a nice play by Yimi Garcia. Fella does seem to have ice in his veins.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#422713) #
"left side discomfort" for Espinal.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#422714) #
Two games in a row with Bo making a late game error. Hopefully its just random.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#422715) #
Romano as a pitcher has a great fastball that he hesitates to use.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#422716) #
Romano is afraid of throwing the fastball to a good left-handed hitter.  You just can't throw slider after slider. 
Eephus - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#422717) #
Death by pinpricks.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#422718) #
Bad time of the season for the back end of the pen to break down. In my view itís always been a risk. Interesting to see if they can right things quickly.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#422719) #
Romano doesn't hesitate to use the fastball against RHB or against a weak LHB. It's the Rutschmans and Schwarbers and Harpers.

He would have been better to walk Schwarber rather than throwing slider after slider. That's not good. 
Eephus - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#422720) #
Agreed itís a little weird how Romano seems to fall in love with his slider sometimes, even when he misses with it by a mile. Gotta at least show a fastball out of the zone to remind batters itís there and itís fearsome.
AWeb - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#422721) #
Are the bullpen mounds bad in this park or something? A lot of guys coming in and missing by a lot...
Eephus - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#422722) #
GroanÖ. Thatís gotta be the weakest contact Iíve ever seen in a 5-5 game.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#422723) #
damn damn damn.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#422724) #
Old man Pythagoras comes back to bite. This was a game they easily could have won, but they have won more than their share that they easily could have lost.

A hard-hit line drive at the second baseman becomes a double play and a high chopper is the game-winner. 
Eephus - Wednesday, September 21 2022 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#422725) #
See you all on Monday. Watching games at the Trop are bad for my health, doctor says.
scottt - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 05:33 AM EDT (#422726) #
What's funny is that it probably won't take 91 wins to make the playoffs this year.
grjas - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#422727) #
At least Gausman looked sharp after some iffy games.
grjas - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#422728) #
And I donít understand why they would use Cimber rather than Bass in extras. Much better odds for a strikeout.

Anyway when they hit into two double plays with the bases loaded itís clearly not their night.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#422729) #
Shulman and Tabler believed that something was up with Bass also.  He hadn't pitched since Friday.

If it wasn't late September, you might send a relief pitcher with some kind of soreness to the IL, but you're less inclined now to give up on the chance that he might be ready for more action in 7 days rather than 15. 
Mike Green - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#422730) #
Magpie, you are probably right that Mays' defence at age 33-34 is not understated by dWAR- it's his years in the 50s that I think are.

As for the quality of the AL of 56-57 and the NL of 64-65, I am pretty sure that there was a large difference in significant part due to integration but also because of Branch Rickey's lasting influence on 3 NL organizations.  If you look at the best pitchers outside of the Yankees in 56-57 in the AL, you've got Billy Pierce, Frank Lary and one season of Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Herb Score and Jim Bunning. The MLB Cy Young (they didn't give one to each league at that time) was Don Newcombe.  The 1957 AL pitching WAR leaders aside from Pierce and Bunning were well and truly a motley crew (isn't it a shame that Daryl Motley never played for Milwaukee?) : Sullivan, Donovan, Foytack, Hoeft, Maas, Narleski and Trucks (KC Athletics version). 

If you look at the best pitchers outside of the Giants in 64-65, you've got Koufax, Gibson, Drysdale, Bunning, Maloney, Short, Law, Veale and Osteen.  And by 1964-65 in the NL, the relief duo also made things harder on batters- Abernathy and McDaniel, Perranoski and Miller and so on.

On the position player side, integration in the NL in 1964-65 was quite far along. You didn't only have all-time greats like Mays, Aaron and Robinson, but also many very good players like Curt Flood, Lou Brock, Bill White, Maury Wills, Junior Gilliam, Willie Davis, Dick Allen, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, Vada Pinson, Tommy Harper.  It was really only Cleveland that integrated the way the NL teams did. 
Magpie - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#422731) #
The NL did win 19 of 20 All-Star games, from 1963 to 1982.
Chuck - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#422732) #
Biggio (324/366) and Espinal (322/370) look like OBP/SLG clones.

Manoah and Gausman have each other's ERAs according to FIP. Manoah 2.40 (3.42 FIP). Gausman 3.32 (2.37 FIP).

With a 10-6 W-L record, Adam Cimber has far more decisions than any other reliever on the team. Of course, much of this is a result of the types of games he comes into.

After a terrible start, Marcus Semien is having a good season: bWAR 5.5, fWAR 4.1. His 109 OPS+ is also his career mark.

Andres Gimenez continues his stealth star season: bWAR 6.5, fWAR 5.5. He's channeling Chase Utley with a similar across-the-board skill set including a high HBP count.

Gimenez's stealth partner in the NL is Tommy Edman: bWAR 6.3, fWAR 5.4.

Fellow third basemen Eugenio Suarez and Matt Chapman are having awfully similar offensive seasons. ES 235/335/470. MC 238/328/459.

The AL leader in singles is Jose Abreu. His .142 ISO is easily his career low.

Dylan Cease could be the rare Cy Young winner that leads the league in walks. I'm assuming it is rare. I haven't checked.

As a stark reminder of how little I follow the NL these days, the leader in pitcher appearances and the leader in pitcher HBP are two guys I have never heard of: Brebbia and Lodolo.

Okay, back to your everyday business.

Mike Green - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#422734) #
Thanks, Chuck.  I'll take errata over errors every day.
hypobole - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#422743) #
two guys I have never heard of: Brebbia and Lodolo.

Seen Brebbia in boxscores, but danged if I know the team.

LHP Lodolo,the NL leader in HBP's, was one of the 2 best college pitchers his draft year. Reds took him at 7, leaving the Jays the RHP at 11. He's the guy who leads the AL in HBP's.
Magpie - Thursday, September 22 2022 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#422745) #
the rare Cy Young winner that leads the league in walks. I'm assuming it is rare.

I believe it's only happened once, when Bob Turley won it in 1958.
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