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The Blue Jays have enjoyed a pleasantly uneventful time in Florida so far.

At the very least, they haven't lost anyone important to a season-ending injury before the real games started. Got that going for them.

This is St. Patrick's Day, and on behalf of my long-gone ancestors, indulge me as I register a complaint. Since when does the world love the Irish, anyway? And are we supposed to chuckle at being cast as the planet's lovable town drunk? This is supposed to amuse us? Ha. Ha. Ha. What, centuries of oppression, a predisposition towards alcoholism, religious fanaticism, lousy weather, and terrible food hasn't given us enough grief? There's a reason it was the Irish who invented and perfected Modern Terrorism. We probably don't get enough credit for that.

Anyway, no green beer for me.

The same roster questions that we wondered about two weeks ago... we're still wondering about. Who will be the last position player? (I think it's Otto Lopez.) And who gets the final two bullpen spots, after Romano, Swanson, Garcia, Cimber, Bass, and Mayza. (I think it's probably White and Richards.)

And Next Week, It's Spring.... | 96 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Jonny German - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#426958) #
In the unlikely event that the entire pitching staff remains healthy, I think Richards will be dealt to open up a spot for an option-able reliever. And I still think it's fairly likely that the 26th man is a righty-batting outfielder who isn't yet in the organization. These two ideas could be connected - Richards (or Cimber or Bass) may be the price of acquiring the 26th man.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#426959) #
A couple of tidbits I saw on Blue Jays Aggregator:

1) It seems like it wasn't just the front office that thought the Jays might have been too loose in the dugout the last few years. Bo Bichette is quoted," I think that everybody can look back at last year and realize that we probably needed a bit more professionalism and a little bit more maturity.'

2) Jon Heyman reports that the Jays made a " contract suggestion " to Alek Manoah this winter and the two sides were "not close".
Mike Green - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#426960) #
Centuries of oppression- check.
A predisposition toward alchoholism- not really
Religious fanaticism- sometimes
Lousy weather- usually
Terrible food- fatty yes, terrible no

Missing: love of the story- strong yes for both with a special affection for the darkly comedic

Invention and perfection of modern terrorism- are we talking NGO or state here? and, man, are there ever a lot of candidates for leadership here, at least in the perfection department?

Do you see where I am going?  You can either fight it or laugh at it.  Don't drink the green beer.  Instead spark up one of those funny cigarettes, or better yet, use a modern healthier modern method and tell a good story.  The windy lore comes in many forms.

As for the crucial issue about who gets the last position player spot and the last two spots in the pen, I'll guess that Lukes gets the last position player and that Zach Pop gets one of the last pitching slots (for the simple reason that he's the best of the choices by a fair margin).  You can get too cute with choosing to keep substantially lesser players because they don't have options. 

bpoz - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#426961) #
I can understand wanting starters to go 6-8 innings. I expect a few 1 inning relievers but how many I don't know. I always expect a few long men in the pen. Last year Hatch and Lawrence were terrible. They are emergency starters that required long men.

These are pitching roles. Cash in TB is an expert in this area and has done this for a few years. Our cheapest SP is Kikuchi. Actually it is Manoah.
Ducey - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#426962) #
The reason the world loves the Irish is that all of the oppression/ problems has led to a dry wit and sense of community.

I dont see the Jays going outside for the 26th man. They have Lopez, who seems ready to fill in a bunch of spots, and Lukes had reverse splits last year - .327/412/460 vs LHP last year (although in 2021 he did not).
Gerry - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#426963) #
The stats up to this point in spring don't mean much....too many minor league pitchers in the second half of games. With 11 days of games left most starters will have two starts to build up their arms. They should throw between five and seven innings each. The bullpen and bullpen candidates will get to fill in the rest of the innings. Hitters from here on will get to see major league pitchers.

It is not the regular season but it is get ready time.
Magpie - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#426964) #
are we talking NGO or state here?

State terrorism - that's about as old as statehood itself, I would think. I'm thinking specifically of the campaign led by Michael Collins and the IRA - they liked to call themselves a state, but they didn't hold state power at that point - immediately after the first World War. For centuries the Irish had bravely challenged and stood up against the armies of the empire, and for centuries they'd been slaughtered where they stood. They sang pretty songs about the brave martyrs. The IRA's terror campaign was a smashing success and brought the UK to the negotiating table in just four years. A model for all subsequent campaigns ever since. (But you absolutely need to be fighting against someone who can say "to hell with this, we're going home.")

OK, it led immediately to civil war and more than half a century of The Troubles.
Mike Green - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#426965) #
Now you're talking, Magpie. The dark humour providing contrast to the bleakness of humanity. Add in a few thousand of your words on the Irish in baseball, and everyone will be happy.

Here's to you!
Magpie - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#426966) #
You can probably find religious fanatacism everywhere that you find religion, but the Irish brand plays its part in the Family Legend. My paternal grandfather, the first generation born in this Brave New World, went and did an awful thing. He married a Protestant girl. Naturally his loving family banished him from their sight and never spoke to him again. But he died quite young, and his mother - my own sweet great-grandmother - moved heaven and earth attempting to have his three young boys taken away from their mother and placed in the tender care of a Catholic orphanage. My father shudders to this day at how near he came to that grisly fate, as you can imagine. It's rather impressive how - more than eighty years later - the mere mention of the woman's name instantly makes him curse.

Anyway Eephus, this is why you have no known relatives from one of the four family strands that lead to you. They're probably out there somewhere, but they cast us aside long ago.
Mike Green - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#426967) #
Religious fanaticism.  State terrorism.  Family intrigue. 

Did I mention that I saw Mahabharata, the epic Hindu poem transformed into a stage play with a heavy emphasis on music and dance, last week?  It reminded me of the Old Testament.  You are not alone.

Magpie - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#426968) #
It reminded me of the Old Testament.

And the Iliad, and the Odyssey as well. There's a lot going on there!

These are strange times. I have recently had two new medications added to my daily regimen, as medical science does its best to extend my life well past its reasonable expiry date. And the strangest side effect seems to have developed. Mustard now tastes quite wrong somehow, with a faint whiff of soapy onion. Very weird, and the prospect of no longer being able to enjoy My Favourite Condiment is quite unsettling.
Gerry - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#426969) #
Just to interrupt for some baseball! I just watched Adrian Hernandez pitch against the Phillies. His fastball was 89-91 and he did not have excellent command of it. He was hit around a bit, including a home run from Kody Clemens.

It looked to me that some of the Philly hitters were just waiting for a fastball. It wasn't a promising showing.
Gerry - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#426970) #
I didn't see Kikuchi pitch but he was wild, he walked three.
Eephus - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#426971) #
Batters Box: log in for the exceptional baseball analysis, stay for the family tree. Wait until after the credits for the condiment advice.

...anyhow so when it comes to mustard, I gave up the cheap regular stuff long, long ago (your French's and the like). It's fine when on a hot dog and you're at a ballgame, that initial taste and combination just fits that atmosphere so nicely... but in any other circumstance I'm a mark for a honey mustard or a robust dijon. Not a fan of seedy mustards... it's a fine texture but I just don't get a whole lot of taste, also not ideal for a ballpark dog (those seeds will droop into your hands or the oblivion of the wrapper). The very worst mustards I've encountered though are the "Sweet and Spicy" concoctions most big supermarkets will offer through their generic-o-brands. Those ones offer none of the best of both worlds (even the Borg would discard them).

It is a minor personal shame I suppose, how much more comfortable I am talking about mustard than I am about Irish history... I will need to learn more.  

Mike Green - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#426972) #
And the strangest side effect seems to have developed. Mustard now tastes quite wrong somehow, with a faint whiff of soapy onion. Very weird, and the prospect of no longer being able to enjoy My Favourite Condiment is quite unsettling.

It's supposed to a tight slider and instead it's a weak screwball.  Baseball content achieved.
Magpie - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#426973) #
How am I supposed to enjoy a ballpark dog without mustard? Please!
Magpie - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#426974) #
Baseball? Oh right.

Well, what is to be done about Trevor Richards? Can he - wait for it - cut the mustard? He has tempting abilities - tough on LH batters, strikes out hitters more frequently than anyone else on the roster, a trait universally sought after these days.

It's just all those times when he doesn't strike the guy out.
Mike Green - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#426975) #
It's nice to strike batters out.  But, I'd rather have the other two of the three true outcomes working in my favour.  That's Zach Pop. 
Gerry - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#426976) #
Nate Pearson threw two innings. FB was 98 on average but his breaking pitches were very inconsistent. He needs to get more command over them...It could be a one day thing though.
mathesond - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#426977) #
I do my grocery shopping at St. Lawrence market every Saturday (well worth the 20+ minute subway ride each way, especially for the meat vendors in the farmer's market). I've become quite fond of the Kozlik's mustard booth in the main building, their sweet & smoky is great on just about anything that calls for mustard, and their balsamic figs & dates mustand is probably terrific for canapes, however I use it as an emulsifier in my salad dressing.

To get back to baseball, I am reminded of SNL's Harry Caray parody, where Will Ferrell said something along the lines of, "If I was a hot dog, I'd cover myself in mustard and take a bite. I'd be delicious!"
Marc Hulet - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#426978) #
I've never considered Adrian Hernandez much of a prospect - one-inning guy with one pitch that's above average, below-average velo and inconsistent command. He's and up-and-down arm who might fool you eventually with a strong season here or there. If a big league hitter guesses right about that FB then it's 450+ feet.
bpoz - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#426979) #
Happy St Patrick's day. Very nice to hear about the Irish.

Regarding baseball: It is time for getting ready.
Mylegacy - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#426980) #

Since you brought it up... I have a little Irish story... I was born into an English (British) first generation, Catholic, Canadian, right handed family (not sure about the importance of the right handed bit..) For my sins, I was an altar boy.

My "bestest ever" friend was Irish Protestant (I did not know that and he did not know that I was Catholic). One day he asked me if I wanted to enter a parade. Not just see a parade but actually go in one. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven! To top off the greatness of it - The parade was going to be led by a horse ridden by King Billy. Cool - like super cool!

Over dinner I mentioned it to mom and dad. They looked at each other - glances were exchanged - my father said that parade is for protestants and they don't like Catholics.

I told my friend that my dad said the guy on the horse didn't like Catholics. He said "really? "My dad says the Catholics have guns in the church basement."

Now that was interesting! Being an altar boy and having been in the basement while getting on my garb - I had never seen guns. I told my friend. We mulled it over. We decided to go into my churches basement and see if we could find the guns. Cool! We looked, like everywhere, and like, heck no guns...

A week of so later we were at his place for lunch (generally we ate lunch at my house or his house depending which we were closer to when hunger pains overwhelmed us). His father came in and my friend said: "Hi dad, by the way you were wrong about the Catholic church having guns in the basement. Roger's an altar boy and so we got a really good look around."

My bestest friends mother gave my bestest friends father a glance. The father gave his wife a glance.

No words were said. However, millions of nuances had been unleashed and were now permeating into the universe. Butterflies in the Amazon all swarmed into the sky. It has been recorded that two new wars broke out in Guinea-Bissau.

My bestest friend and I finished our jam and peanut butter sandwiches and went out into the world to play. Oblivious (at least on that day) of the ideas of race, religion, ignorance, hatred, bigotry not to mention gays and lesbians.

Ignorance can be bliss... Unfortunately not being ignorant rarely is... sigh...
Gerry - Friday, March 17 2023 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#426981) #
Great story Mylegacy.
krose - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 12:33 AM EDT (#426982) #
For those interested in a wee bit of Irish fun you could check out Holding. It’s on Acorn through Prime. A four part serious comedy (Is there any other kind?).
Magpie - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 01:43 AM EDT (#426984) #
Great story Mylegacy.

Indeed. I like that story much, much better than mine.
grjas - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#426985) #
BTW if you haven't used ChatGPT (version 4) for complex data searches, give it a try. It's quite stunning..quick and free.

Sorry Magpie; you are being replaced by a Chat Bot. We're all next.

Random example:
"Which Toronto Blue Jays outfielders had at least 35 home runs and an OPS over .900 for four seasons"


"There have been no Toronto Blue Jays outfielders who have had at least 35 home runs and an OPS over .900 for four seasons. In fact, there have only been two Blue Jays outfielders who have achieved this feat for even one season:

Jose Bautista: Bautista hit 54 home runs and had an OPS of 1.056 in 2010, 43 home runs and an OPS of .995 in 2011, and 36 home runs and an OPS of .928 in 2014. Bautista primarily played right field for the Blue Jays during his time with the team.

George Bell: Bell hit 35 home runs and had an OPS of .957 in 1986 while primarily playing left field for the Blue Jays.

It's worth noting that there have been several other Blue Jays players who have had individual seasons with at least 35 home runs and an OPS over .900, but they were not outfielders. For example, Edwin Encarnacion had three such seasons as a designated hitter and first baseman for the Blue Jays, and Carlos Delgado had four such seasons as a first baseman."
85bluejay - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#426986) #
In 1986, George Bell is said to have hit 31 home runs with an OPS of .881 and in 1987 Bell hit 47 home runs with an OPS of .957 but hey I may be wrong and the ChatGPT (version 4) right - you never know, there are now alternate facts!
Magpie - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#426987) #
I suppose Jesse Barfield's 1986 season (40 HR, .927) took place in some alternate universe as well.
grjas - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#426988) #
Now that’s funny. I guess the Bots aren’t replacing us…yet.
bpoz - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#426989) #
Thanks grjas for the chatGPT info.

Please think carefully before he/she/it becomes a member of da Box. I hear that they have the ability to learn. Whenever we have a poll she/he/it can vote. With a 40 game sample it can offer an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of the jays and maybe all the teams. Also make a top 30 prospect list.
John Northey - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#426990) #
Yeah, Barfield came to mind immediately. Shawn Green 1999 42 HR 972 OPS as well. Checking others - Canseco didn't quite get to 900 for OPS, Bautista 2011 43 HR 1.056 OPS (2010 was 54 HR 995 OPS).

From 2010-2013 Bautista hit 152 HR (38 per year) with a 960 OPS but sadly 2 of those years his HR totals were 27-28 and OPS 886-856. I suspect he is the only Jay to do that for 2 years in a row while playing the OF.

Jays have 30 seasons of players with 35+ HR. 32 seasons of a 900 OPS. Edwin Encarnación had a 5 year stretch where he hit 34-42 HR here (his last 5 years) with a 900+ OPS in all but the last year (886). Delgado had a 4 year stretch of 35+ HR per and a 900+ OPS each year - 1998 to 2001, plus did it in 2003 here, but just 1 of those seasons after he left (38 HR 909 OPS in 2006 with the Mets).

Probably others too but I gotta run.
StephenT - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#426991) #
fyi, the best article I've read on why ChatGPT makes so many factual errors is at .

e.g., it compares it to the 2013 Xerox photocopier bug in which tiny room labels of "14.13, 21.11, and 17.42" all came back as "14.13" in the copy (because by then Xerox was using digital scanning with lossy compression, then re-generating).

It also mentions that when asked to sum two numbers that ChatGPT is normally wrong "when the numbers have five digits" seemingly because it "doesn't carry the "1"".

The irony is that if ChatGPT just gave (accurate) direct quotes from the web, instead of (inaccurate) rephrasing in its own words, we would "be less impressed by it". :-)
Chuck - Saturday, March 18 2023 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#426992) #
I guess the bots aren't replacing us...yet

That's what they want you to believe. They've got a long con going. After watching the animated film I Lost My Body, the "algorithm" at Netflix recommended a bunch of Barbie cartoons. I can see you, AI. You're not fooling anyone playing dumb like that.

hypobole - Sunday, March 19 2023 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#426993) #
Day late on the Irish thing. Ireland is definitely a high alcohol consumption country. Though no country comes close to Belarus, except maybe Lithuania who is a distant 2nd.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 19 2023 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#426994) #
At the supermarket check-out, I was delighted to see Alek Manoah on the cover of Toronto Life magazine.
Parker - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#426995) #
Damned mustard snobs. The sriracha / honey mustard blend is the best condiment since Burger Sauce.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#426996) #
I think honey mustard is an abomination. Grainy and Dijon are both great, but I would take French’s over any honey mustard.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#426997) #
I saw the French's Mustard Man at the old Yankee Stadium.

Mayonnaise on a hot dog, in the tradition of John Kruk.

The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile was a fixture next door to my high school.

I never got a Weenie Whistle.

Mylegacy - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#426998) #
To complete the circle of the Dog Days of Spring Training Madness - Irish and Mustard...

I call you with Filligans Rosemary & Balsamic Mustard and for the win, the game, the set and the match I raise you all: Lakeshore Mustard with Irish Stout.

I have it on good authority that each bottle of the latter is hand sealed by a Leprechaun...
hypobole - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#426999) #
Does Jay Jackson have a shot for the bullpen?
Nigel - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#427000) #
Question - when was the last time that a player made the Jays' opening day roster by virtue of spring performance? Aren't the days of "spring training battles" passe? I can think of a few players recently who would have made the roster out of spring if you were basing it on spring training performance and didn't, but not the reverse.
92-93 - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#427001) #
A player, or a prospect? Because a guy like Gosuke Katoh basically earned his spot in spring last year.
hypobole - Monday, March 20 2023 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#427002) #
A. J. Cole was another a couple of years ago as was Panik I believe.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#427003) #
Gift Ngoepe made the team out of camp in 2018. Arnold Leon did the same in 2016. Seems to happen every other year or so...
Nigel - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#427004) #
Thanks all, I was thinking more about prospects but those are all good and mostly forgotten (on my part) examples. Age and memory capacity don't mix.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#427005) #
I don't think Jay Jackson has a shot for opening day - but he has certainly impressed enough to earn consideration if needs arise (likely) during the season and he keeps pitching well in AAA.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#427006) #
Gabriel Moreno has had a nice spring with Arizona - hopefully he breaks camp with the team.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#427007) #
Last big prospect making it out of spring I recall was in 2015 with 2 guys who were 20 making it. Roberto Osuna and Miguel Castro. Can't recall if Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey were big surprises that spring too - both had a bit of time in the majors in 2014, but they took over LF and CF respectively to start the season, then Pillar took over CF full time fairly quickly while Pompey was either demoted or injured (memory fuzzy on that). It was kind of funny how Pompey was expected to take over CF but Pillar did in the end, and Castro was given first shot at closing but Osuna took that over. It was an odd time, but tons of fun.

Don't see any rookies making this team to start 2023, but Barger and Orelvis Martinez both have a good chance to move up if an injury happens, with Lopez having a real shot at opening eyes should he keep hot like he has been at the WBC and in September/October last year. Everyone is expecting Tiedemann to jump in and take over if/when a starter gets hurt but I suspect his time in 2024 or 2025 (after Kikuchi's contract runs out).
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#427008) #
Back from an extended period of non-posting and non-Jays viewing (too much basketball on this winter).

Last season really stung on a lot of fronts. I was hoping for the big payroll splash in the off-season (especially in the rotation) to get us ahead of the Yankees and near the Astros, talent wise.

But I have to admit the way they spread the money around through free agency, made a gutsy-but-probably-necessary trade to improve the outfield defense and team speed, and added a left-handed power's hard not be optimistic if this team stays as healthy as it is now.

Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#427009) #
Gabe Gross made the team with a big spring training. Ricky Romero?

At the WBC, very nice to see old Loupy on the hill.
mathesond - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#427010) #
Pretty good game going on in Miami.
JohnL - Tuesday, March 21 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#427011) #
Pompey/Pillar in 2015:

My non-guaranteed memory is that they were expected to contend for or maybe platoon at CF, and free agent Michael Saunders would be in left - until he ripped his knee in spring training, so Pompey started in centre, and Pillar got left.

What changed things as I remember were: a) Pillar's play (including one "Holy Shit" catch), and b) Pompey's play. I remember he was too tentative, at least in Gibbons' view, and he ended up in Buffalo.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#427012) #
That game really made the WBC look like a fantastic idea. Having Trout vs Ohtani to end it was perfect. 1 run game, so Trout could've had his moment there but it was Ohtani's moment instead. What a fun thing to watch. Same with the Japan/Mexico game yesterday. No wonder over 90% of TV households were watching these games.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#427013) #
One thing I can saw in addition to how great this game was, is that I LOVE the pitch clock. They didn't use it for the tournament and it shows. I left home for my daughter's hockey game as the 5th inning was about to start. She played an entire game (50 minutes), got changed into and out of hockey equipment, we drove home, stopped at Walmart to get some treats, and still were home for the 8th inning. While it worked out OK as I got to watch that ending live, it is nuts that they played so little over so long.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#427014) #
Othani VS Trout cannot get any better for excitement and drama.

Regarding 2015: The Jays were not big spenders so AA had to win/acquire talent in other ways. Pillar, Pompey, Osuna and Castro got their opportunities due to injury and need. Pompey was the only one who could not cut it. The other 3 started good careers.

Due to the financial success in 2015 ownership was convinced that high payroll could produce high revenue if it contributed to winning. There is some kind of formula with payroll, talent, luck (good and bad), and adjustments in talent that have to be made in season. Lately it has been the addition of multiple relievers that have pushed the Jays into the low 90s level of winning.

A rookie has a much lower chance of making the team now. But that is a maybe. Pearson had been given a job that is his to lose since 2020. The performance of Jansen/McGuire allowed Kirk an opportunity. C seems the only spot that a hot rookie will be "given a job to lose" on a regular basis IMO. SS with Bichette is another opportunity IF Bichette gets injured. When Bichette returned the rookie may have outplayed other players which would allow him to slide over rather than be put on the bench or optioned so that he can play everyday. Same with Chapman.

Houston and LAD are probably the teams that I should analyze due to their track record. Not SD.
Parker - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#427015) #
The Jays are doing well so far in Fangraphs' Positional Power Rankings, though none of these is a huge surprise. 2B is in the bottom third, but they acknowledge the uncertainty - health from the starting outfielders and a rebound at the plate from Merrifield would help a ton here. Guererro's ranking of 3rd (top in the AL) might be a little optimistic. I was a little surprised to see just how elite Matt Chapman's (7th-ranked at 3B) patience is - he saw the 5th-most pitches per PA in the Majors last year. Not shocking, exactly, but I had no idea he was ranked that high.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#427016) #
I am torn about the pitch clock. Love the idea to hurry it up it just seems too rushed sometimes. I would bump it up a few seconds maybe and possibly get rid of it or lengthen it more later in the game. Baseball should be faster but there is also beauty in the pauses.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#427017) #
There wasn't a single moment in last night's fantastic ballgame where I thought "damn, I wish this game was moving quicker". I guess I just like watching baseball.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#427018) #
For a game like last nights it can work, but 162 where the stakes in all are nowhere near as high? Heck no. For it to take around 2 hours to do 3 innings is nuts. Was I on the edge of my seat? Yup. But did I need to see guys adjust their gloves, do 3 or 4 pickoff moves, etc? No. That doesn't enhance the game one iota. Hopefully next time they limit the pickoffs at least. Plus by then all the major leaguers will be used to moving quickly and be expecting it as part of their new routine vs the old ones of lets step out and adjust my gloves half a dozen times.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#427019) #
I guess I just like watching baseball.

Me too. That's why I like the pitch clock so much - I get to spend more of my time watching baseball and less time enduring seeing the players screwing around avoiding playing it.
Magpie - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#427020) #
I guess I just like watching baseball.

Me too. I'm not so keen on watching the lollygagging, but there's even a time and a place for that. Honest there is. But not on every damn pitch.

I offer a wishy-washy compromise! Perhaps a hitter and a pitcher could be allowed one clock violation per at bat. Or - more fun still - each team could be allowed one per half inning. See the hitters fighting with each other over who gets to use it...
John Northey - Wednesday, March 22 2023 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#427021) #
Rookies making the team when it is a solid contender is a good question. 1985 the Jays were favorites heading in but made room for 2 rule 5 picks (Manuel Lee & Lou Thornton), and had a guy in the rotation who hadn't started in the majors yet (Jimmy Key, used as a reliever in '84), and a guy who lost his rookie status as a bench guy in '84 (Tony Fernandez) starting everyday while a young platoon OF was given the RF everyday job (Jesse Barfield). Obviously almost all of those worked out beautifully (Thornton never did anything but Lee was the starting SS in '92, Barfield, Key, Fernandez are all remembered as among the best the Jays ever developed).

1986 saw Kelly Gruber early on (game 9 was his first of the year), Cecil Fielder (lost rookie status in '85) play opening day, reliever Mark Eichhorn come on and wow everyone in the pen as a rookie (gave up an earned run opening day, then no more until May, 0.48 ERA in April). Don Gordon also made the pen as a rookie but nowhere near as successful (21 2/3 IP in '86 61 ERA+)

Lets jump ahead a bit, in 1992 Jeff Kent played in the 6th game for the team and had a 110 OPS+ for a WS winner before being traded for David Cone. Derek Bell made the opening day roster as a super-hyped top prospect and iirc got hurt fast (2 games in) and would only have a 30 OPS+ that year, 79 OPS+ total with the Jays (when I went to Stats Inc for a job interview they asked about my thoughts on him and I said Cito wouldn't play him everyday unless he got off to a great start and was proven right but I think it killed my credibility with them as they were hyped about Bell). Pat Hentgen was in the pen to start the season but just had a 76 ERA+.

1993 saw near rookie Ed Sprague take over 3B (233 PA before that), and I think that was as close to winning a job in spring as I can find for that team.

2015 we covered earlier (a couple of 20 year olds out of nowhere plus young OF'ers), 2016 Joe Biagini was the surprise in spring (rule 5 pick).

Getting called by my 8 year old so I'll wrap up here. Clearly even on WS teams kids do make the team but it is a lot harder than in years like 2019 when the team is out of contention and expected to be all year. Funny that 2 strong contenders had rule 5 picks on them though (1985 and 2016).
Super Bluto - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 02:50 AM EDT (#427022) #
I guess I just like watching baseball. Me too. I'm not so keen on watching the lollygagging, but there's even a time and a place for that. Honest there is. But not on every damn pitch.

What if they turned the pitch clock off after, say, the 7th, when the lead is, say, three or fewer runs?

Super Bluto - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 02:52 AM EDT (#427023) #
Also you guys ever consider
putting a
    key to those HTML tags? or maybe instructions so that

    people can tell what they mean?

Kasi - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#427031) #
ESPN put out a list of their top 100 players. Vlad,
Bo, Manoah, Springer, Chapman, Gausman and Varsho were all on the list. Not too bad.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#427042) #
Bold italics begone!

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#427043) #


Gerry - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#427044) #
Watched Nate Pearson pitching the ninth inning today.

He struck out the first two hitters in impressive fashion and I thought, wow, maybe he has a shot at the last bullpen slot.

He then walked the third hitter and hit the fourth and I thought, maybe not.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#427045) #
Yesterday, I was going to post that each of Kikuchi's starts has been less impressive than the previous one and that did not fill me with confidence and then today!
mathesond - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#427046) #
Perhaps he was inspired by his countrymen's success in the WBC!
Hodgie - Thursday, March 23 2023 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#427047) #
I thought Pearson looked good. He also struck out the last batter in the 8th and other than the HBP was around the plate a lot which hasn’t been the case during his struggles. He keeps doing that while hitting 100 constantly he can be a multi-inning weapon.
earlweaverfan - Friday, March 24 2023 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#427048) #
Isn’t it interesting and definitely hopeful that pretty much every player whom we see as a needed key contributor to the current roster or to the roster later in the year seems to be on a good track - none of them seems lost or just not up to it? That even the two main rivals for the 26th spot are having marvellous springs.

Will our rotation members perform to their full potential? Too soon to know for sure, but all 5 have shown very promising signs so far. If one or more gets injured, the coaches have given positive reports about Zach Thompson and Bowden Francis; Ryu is another umid-season option and Tiedemann not far behind.

Has any relief pitcher slumped this spring? Can’t think of one, and Pearson, Pop and Zulueta all look like they are ready to step in if injuries loom.

Have any of our position players had a bad spring or looked lost at the plate or on the field? You could quibble about Jansen’s or Chapman’s bat, but then you know they will do just fine.

Of course, if we want to contend for the World Series, this is the state of the team we should be seeing. But it feels great to close out Spring Training so strong… May the force be - and stay - with us!
scottt - Friday, March 24 2023 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#427049) #
Rule 5 picks are a reflection of the strength of the upper minor leagues as much as that of the MLB club.
There was room to hide a pitcher on the 25 roster.
Now, there is room to hide a position player on the 26 roster.
The cost now would have been dropping someone from the 40 roster.
I'd rather let Lopez or Lukes have a shot at it, honestly.

greenfrog - Friday, March 24 2023 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#427051) #
Is it too early to make season predictions? I see the Jays winning 95 games. Beyond that, my crystal ball is cloudy.
Glevin - Friday, March 24 2023 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#427052) #
Reading the Fangraphs positional rankings and you can see how balanced the Jays are. So far...

That's really impressive and means Jays would be less susceptible than most teams to one injury derailing their season.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#427053) #
I've got the Jays with 97 wins. A fully healthy season from Springer, more from Vlad, Chapman avoiding the bad start, more consistent starting pitching, a deeper bullpen and bench should get them there. Let's hope despite Teoscar's departure, they still are near the top of the league in home runs.

And even if Kikuchi and Berrios are just REASONABLY LESS bad than they were last year, that should reduce the gopher ball and walk level to something resembling a decent back end rotation that won't sap the bullpen by summer and force us to make a trade for the third straight season.

We need Kiermaier to hit enough to justify keeping his glove in the lineup. And let's hope Varsho is a bit better than just a left-handed Randal Grichuk.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#427054) #
My take on Pearson is that he still isn't throwing enough strikes but he appears headed in the right direction, finally. I don't think he should or will break camp with the club, but it's not unreasonable to think he could be up with the team soon if he can hold it together enough. The way Schneider was talking about him during an early spring game I watched certainly made it sound like the org was confident he was getting closer.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#427055) #
Severino now out with a lat strain. If they can stay healthy, the Jays should have a decent chance of vaulting out front of the Yankees in the early going this season.
christaylor - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#427056) #
A nice piece from Anthony Castrovince on the meaning and history of 90 feet.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#427059) #
José Berríos might be the X-factor in 2023.

I strongly suspect his performance last year is a textbook case of far too much self-imposed pressure. Calgary Flames player Jonathan Huberdeau serves as a comparison.

Big trade. New team. Big contract. Tension.

Casual fans sometimes lament the obscene marketplace of professional sports. The NBA is abundant with divas, but the likes of Berríos or Huberdeau strike me as closer to the mark.

The immortal Roy Halladay probably sets the standard of excessive self-discipline. Doc was like Bruce Lee.

* * *

A balanced schedule is the yellow brick road.

I prophesize 100 wins.

Mike Green - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#427060) #
I missed this before. The Blue Jay regular season ends in epic fashion- 6 games against the Yankees and Rays on the road, a day off, and then 6 games against the Yankees and Rays at home. Just as well if they have a big lead prior. There is no advantage in chasing drama.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#427061) #
How could I forget?

Let's go Bluejays!

NCAA Men's: Sunday 2:20 PM Eastern.

(6) Creighton Bluejays vs. (5) San Diego State Aztecs

Winner advances to the Final Four.

Gerry - Saturday, March 25 2023 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#427062) #
Nate Pearson was optioned today. Mitch White looks likely to start the season on the IL.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, March 27 2023 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#427065) #
The Blue Jays have the most wins (17) in the Grapefruit League.
hypobole - Monday, March 27 2023 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#427066) #
David Laurila at Fangraphs spoke with Danny Jansen on being drafted by the Jays:

“I got hurt my senior year,” recalled Jansen, who is currently heading into his sixth big-league season with Canada’s team. “I broke a little weird bone in my hand, on a foul tip, so I didn’t play many games. One of them was a sleety game — there was ice and rain — and the area scout for the Blue Jays was there, dealing with it. His name is Wes Penick. But I didn’t think even the Blue Jays were an option. I didn’t think the draft was an option, either. I followed it, but I didn’t know if I’d be going to college, junior college, or what was going to happen. So, it kind of took me by surprise.”

Jansen grew up rooting for the Cubs — he inherited his fandom from his family — but he’s more than happy to be playing north of the border. “When you get drafted by the Blue Jays, you realize that you’re not just playing for one team,” explained Jansen. “You’re playing for the one team in a country. That’s meaningful.”
Petey Baseball - Monday, March 27 2023 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#427069) #
Ah yes, Leaside Cowboy mentioned the balanced schedule. How could I forget? Another reason for optimism of more wins.
Now granted that could very well mean 97 wins only gets them third place, given that the Yankees, Rays and O's are also balanced.

And yes, the Rays are still the Rays. Look at that rotation with Glasnow back healthy. They had bad luck with health last year, and still were contenders. Their bullpen will be great, their offense will score enough, and it seems you can
somehow always pencil them in for 90 wins

The Orioles scare me, and I think they're a few wins better than last year, but I'm not getting carried away. Their bullpen was just so insanely good last year, and regression there could off-set full years from some of their young-ins. But I still think they're the 4th or 5th best team in the AL.

Maybe it's the crackdowns on sticky stuff, sign stealing, or the fact they just don't have good players anymore, but it appears the league caught up to the Red Sox. Gone are the days of prime Mookie Betts launching an ankle high slider for a go-ahead grand slam on the 14th pitch of an at bat in the late innings against JA Happ. The long list of Boston players it seemed perpetually tortured the Jays over the years is whittled down to Devers. Whaling on their terrible pitching and defence last summer was amazing, and I think the Red Sox are a middle of the pack team at best.

Then there's the Yankees. It's scary that they won 100 games with LeMahieu, Torres and Stanton all being injured and sub-par. Then again, they always seem to have an annoyingly awesome bullpen and we can usually count on at least on veteran to have an unexpected all-star season. They got rotation issues and some roster holes but they'll get to 90+ wins somehow, I reckon.

greenfrog - Monday, March 27 2023 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#427071) #
There are a lot of reasons for optimism, but also a few reasons to be cautious about predicting a high-90s or more win total. There isn’t a lot of rotation depth to cover injured or underperforming players. The bullpen could be better. There is injury risk in the lineup (Springer, Kiermaier, Belt, to name a few players). The farm system isn’t especially deep.

The team is very good right now but it’s not as dominant as, say, Houston last year. That’s why I’m hedging a bit with my 95-win prediction (still a high win total), even with the balanced schedule.
Gerry - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#427073) #
Jay Jackson is back with the Jays. After becoming a free agent last week I assume he had no major league offers. So he has signed a deal with the Jays that will see him go to AAA and be available to be called up. There could be another callup deadline in the new deal as there was in the previous deal.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#427075) #
Jay Jackson apparently talked to 5-6 teams but decided to return on a split money deal (~$1.4M when in MLB). I didn't know this until today, but he still has 1 option remaining, so I expect he'll be one of the first call-ups this year when a fresh arm is needed. He'll need to be added to the 40-man roster, but I expect that Ryu and Green will be moved to the 60-day IL to open up two spots... one for Jackson, and potentially one more for a last-minute roster addition as the 26th man (maybe Darin Ruf?). We will likely know later today if Lopez or Lukes are flying with the team to St. Louis or if they are traveling to Scranton (where Buffalo opens on Friday night).
92-93 - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#427076) #
The Jays O/U moved from 91.5 to 92.5 the last few days. Must've been the optimism in this thread.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#427077) #
It appears Nathan Lukes had made the roster - Lopez and Capra have been optioned and we'll have a 28-year-old rookie making his big league debut after 7 seasons in the minors. I really hope the team had a "secret camera" on him when he found out (as other teams have been doing this week).
Nigel - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#427085) #
Darn it. I have them at 92 wins. So, before I was an optimist, now I'm a pessimist:(
uglyone - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#427087) #
Lukes - probably better than Tapia
Gerry - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#427088) #
Spring training is now officially over with todays loss. On to St Louis.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 28 2023 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#427089) #
Fangraphs Depth Charts Combined Projections (with WAR turned into a rate stat)

asterisk = injured

* RF Springer (33): 595pa, 136wrc+, 4.8war650
* SS Bichette (25): 658pa, 128wrc+, 4.4war650
* 1B Guerrero (24): 637pa, 154wrc+, 4.7war650
* DH Kirk (24): 475pa, 132wrc+, 5.3war650
* LF Varsho (26): 573pa, 122wrc+, 4.2war650
* 3B Chapman (30): 665pa, 119wrc+, 4.6war650
* C Jansen (28): 447pa, 117wrc+, 3.9war650
* 2B Espinal (28): 504pa, 104wrc+, 3.1war650
* CF Kiermaier (33): 427pa, 87wrc+, 2.6war650

* UT Merrifield (34): 504pa, 95wrc+, 1.4war650
* DH Belt (35): 399pa, 124wrc+, 2.3war650
* UT Biggio (28): 196pa, 107wrc+, 2.0war650
* OF Lukes (28): 63pa, 87wrc+, 1.0war650

* SP Gausman (32): 31gms, 3.57era, 3.5war32
* SP Manoah (25): 32gms, 3.75era, 2.9war32
* SP Bassitt (34): 31gms, 3.82era, 2.6war32
* SP Berrios (28): 31gms, 4.27era, 1.7war32

* SW Kikuchi (32): 45gms, 4.19era, 0.6war32
* SW Ryu* (36): 16gms, 3.79era, 0.3war32
* SW White* (28): 39gs, 4.36era, 0.2war32

* RP Romano (30): 66gms, 3.53era, 0.7war65
* RP Swanson (29): 65gms, 3.79era, 0.5war65
* RP Bass (35): 62gms, 3.77era, 0.3war65
* RP Mayza (31): 57gms, 3.56era, 0.2war65
* RP Cimber (32): 60gms, 3.99era, 0.1war65
* RP Garcia (32): 70gms, 4.07era, 0.1war65
* RP Green* (32): 20gms, 3.80era, 0.0war65
* RP Richards (30): 46gms, 4.07era, 0.0war65
* RP Pop (26): 44gms, 4.08era, 0.0war65
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