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Missouri loves company.

And while we could take a train - we could even take a plane - it's probably simpler to just take Interstate 70 west for four hours or so. (If I have to walk, I'm definitely not going.)

Just up to the state line, but no further. Kansas is one thing, Missouri is another thing. I remember my first experience of Kansas. It was a grim and grey place, where terrifying tornadoes suddenly descended from the sky, threatening the lives of everyone. From which one escaped to a fantastical world, populated by weird and wonderful beings, and all in glorious Technicolour.

Whereas Missouri, on the other hand - St. Louis gave the world Miles Davis, and while Charlie Parker was born on the Kansas side of the state line, he grew up and learned his craft in Kansas City Missouri. Enormous, revolutionary talents these men were. All this surely means something to everyone who cares about jazz. Both of you.

Baseball? You want me to talk about baseball? Come on, it's the third of April. There's nothing to report.

Oh, hang on. Eephus sent me a text yesterday as the fun was unfolding and he rather casually wondered if we were seeing the worst Jays debut ever. I foolishly reminded him that I did maintain a database that recorded the work of the starting pitcher in each and every Blue Jays game since 1977. I thought, however, that this might be a tedious task. He assured me that in that case, I was just the fella for the job.

I'm not sure how I should take that.

But he was right. I am the fellow for the job. Let it be noted that we're not talking about Blue Jays pitching debuts. I do not maintain a database with the pitching line of every Jays pitcher in every Jays game. What kind of maniac do you take me for? No, we are only considering first appearances as the Blue Jays starting pitcher. That, I can look up in the database of Blue Jays starts since 1977 that I have so assiduously maintained. Because that's the type of maniac I am.

Chris Bassitt didn't has it yesterday - 3.1 IP, 10 Hits, 9 Runs (all earned), 4 Home Runs, no Walks and No Ks. The Game Score: 4.

Which is truly, truly terrible. But the worst Jays debut ever?

No. Almost, but not quite. So very, very close as it happens. But this dubious distinction still belongs to Frank Viola.

Let's say right away that Viola's place in the web of the game isn't tarnished one little bit by this bit of badness. His baseball legacy is safe as houses, as far as I'm concerned. Viola had a featured role in what has been called the greatest college game ever played, when he and Ron Darling battled for eleven scoreless innings on behalf of St.John's and Yale (Darling didn't give up a hit until the twelfth) before someone finally scored. Roger Angell was sitting in the stands with none other than Smokey Joe Wood himself, and wrote one of his most memorable pieces about it all. A few years after that, Viola was the MVP of the 1987 World Series, starting and winning the first and the seventh games against the Cardinals. He won a Cy Young the following season. I've never been in the house for a no-hitter - Viola (along with Dave Stieb, of course) is one of the men I saw take a no-hit bid into the ninth inning  (with the Red Sox, against David Cone - Devon Whyte broke it up..) Absolutely no one, ever, when they think of Frank Viola, is thinking of Frank Viola the Blue Jay.

Which is just as well. Viola's elbow blew up in May 1994, the last year of his deal with the Red Sox. He had Tommy John surgery that summer, the players went on strike, it was all eventually settled, and the Blue Jays signed him to a contract in April 1995 . He made three appearances for Dunedin, before being released. He was signed the same day by Cincinnati, and one suspects this was all a courtesy to a respected veteran - the Jays didn't have a major league spot available at that moment and the Reds did. Viola made three mediocre starts for the Reds and was a free agent again that winter. The Jays signed him again, and after some impressive outings for AA Knoxville he made it to the big leagues. On 28 April 1996, the Jays gave Viola the baseball. Alas, the mighty Cleveland Indians were in town, ready to inflict all manner of cruel and unusual punishments. The trouble started about as fast as trouble can start. Kenny Lofton was leading off...

Kenny Lofton - SINGLE
Julio Franco - SINGLE, Lofton to 2nd
Carlos Baerga - Flyout
Albert Belle - SINGLE, Lofton scores, Franco to second
Eddie Murray - SINGLE, Franco scores, Belle to second
Manny Ramirez - SAFE on Cedeno error, Belle scores, Murray to third
Sandy Alomar - HOME RUN, Murray and Ramirez score.

Viola finally escaped by striking out Jim Thome, hitting Omar Vizquel, and getting Lofton to ground out. One of the six runs was unearned because of the Cedeno error.

Perhaps Cito Gaston thought - what the hell. We're already down 6-0. Maybe he can at least soak up a few innings. So Viola went out for a second inning. Franco, Baerga, and Belle each singled to plate another run and put runners on the corners. Viola walked Murray to load the bases with no one out. Manny hit a sac fly to "deep" left-centre, with Belle taking third; Alomar "lined" a second sac fly to centre. Viola did have Jim Thome's number. and he got him on a groundout to end the inning.

Back out for the third inning, trailing 9-0? Sure, why not. Vizquel lined out to centre field, and Lofton lined out to short. Julio Franco grounded a single up the middle, but Viola got Baerga to fly out to centre.

A scoreless inning! That calls for another, surely. Back out he went for the fourth inning, only to be greeted by an Albert Belle homer. Murray flied out to left, Manny drew a walk, but Sandy Alomar grounded into a double play. And that was Frank Viola's Blue Jays debut. Giovanni Carrara (yes, this was a Blue Jays pitcher and not some Italian movie star) took over for the fifth with the Jays trailing 10-0. The Indians quickly roughed Carrara up for another 6 runs in his two innings. The final was 17-3. That Cleveland lineup was pretty damn scary. Might I point out that Jim Thome - Hall of Famer Jim Thome, 612 career homer Jim Thome - was batting eighth in that lineup.

Viola worked 4 IP, allowing 10 Hits, 10 Runs (9 earned). He walked 2, struck out 1, hit a batter, and allowed 2 Home Runs. Game Score: 3. So close, Chris Bassitt. So close and yet what?

Viola was 0-1, 20.25 as a Blue Jay at that moment. He made five more starts for the team in May 1996, and was able to lower his season ERA in each of them - hey, when you start at 20.25, you have room to work with  - and by the end of the month, his record was 1-3, 7.71. That's when the Jays released him, and that was the end of his playing career. To be fair, only one of his six starts for the Jays was actually good -  a couple were almost mediocre - and by weird coincidence, Viola's one quality game (and his only victory) as a Blue Jay (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K) happened at Kauffman Stadium, in Kansas City. What can I say? Meet me at the scene of the crime.

The people of Kansas City have a long, noble tradition of supporting their minor league baseball teams. Unfortunately, their teams don't actually play in the minor leagues anymore, and this has generally meant a whole lot of losing at the major league level. That's how the Athletics did it when they played here, and except for that ten year period almost half a century ago when Kansas City's shiny new team was "the model expansion franchise" that's how the Royals have done it as well. They've had four winning seasons in the last 28 years (2003, 2013, 2014, 2015). They're almost certainly going to have another losing season this year. The Royals have lost more than 100 games six times since the 2000s commenced. Six times! The last time the Cardinals, their Missouri neighbours,  lost 100 games was in 1908.

This is obviously a trap. Proceed at your own risk. After all, the Kansas City Royals messing with the Blue Jays is a bad, bad movie and one I've seen too many times.


Mon 3 April - Berrios (---) vs Singer (---)
Tue 4 April - Kikuchi (---) vs Bubic (---)
Wed 5 April - Manoah (0-0, 13.50) vs Greinke (0-1, 3.38)
Thu 6 April - Gausman (0-1, 0.00) vs Lyles (0-1,  1.69)
Toronto at Kansas City, 3 Apr-6 Apr | 132 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#427269) #
If I remember correctly I was at a game where Viola was pitching against the Jays and he almost had a no hitter? Can anyone help my memory?
Mike Green - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#427270) #

Whereas Missouri, on the other hand - St. Louis gave the world Miles Davis, and while Charlie Parker was born on the Kansas side of the state line, he grew up and learned his craft in Kansas City Missouri. Enormous, revolutionary talents these men were. All this surely means something to everyone who cares about jazz. Both of you.

Thank you for thinking of me and Joni, Mags.
Mike Green - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#427271) #
After all, the Kansas City Royals messing with the Blue Jays is a bad, bad movie and one I've seen too many times.

Definitely.  Humanity has to conquer the climate crisis, COVID and the frightening power of AI so that the home nine can get fourteen pounds of flesh from the Royal Descendants. Avenged Sevenfold is on to something.
85bluejay - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#427273) #
September 30th 1992, Red Sox pitcher Frank Viola beat the Jays 1-0 on a one hitter.
Gerry - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#427274) #
Thanks 85bluejay. The Jays had almost clinched the division title and Viola was working on a no hitter through eight innings. By then I was hoping to see a no hitter as it would have been my first and as mentioned the result would not have stopped the Jays winning the division.

Devon White led of the bottom of the ninth with a single and the no-no was gone. It was a great performance by Viola against what would be a world series winning team.
scottt - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#427276) #
The Royals have started the year 0-3.
They are dead last in batting average, 28th in OBP, 29th in OPS and 18th in HR.
They have a bunch of left bats. It should be a good match up for Kikuchi and Manoah.
And Mayza should get 2 chances to get an out in this series.

Their starting pitching has been OK. Their relievers have been bad.
I'm surprised to see Aroldis Chapman in the setup role.
It's the traditional bounce back candidate who could bring something back at the deadline.
And Ryan Yarbrough is their long man.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#427278) #
Jackie Bradley Jr. is somehow still in baseball and on the Royals roster.
Eephus - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#427280) #
Strangely enough, only the Milwaukee Brewers and our Blue Jays are the only teams not to hit a home run yet in the 2023 season. Any predictions who among the local 9 will finally break through? (Or if it'll be us or a Brewer first).
Eephus - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#427281) #
Ugh this is not my day.... Turang naturally hit a Grand slam in an afternoon game earlier.
John Northey - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#427282) #
Another game, another lineup. Guess this year we'll rarely see the same lineup twice. Biggio at 2B, Vlad DH, Belt at 1B, Kirk at C, otherwise the regulars. C will always flip flop between Kirk and Jansen I suspect, while I expect Vlad and Belt to flip flop a lot at 1B/DH, 2B will be mix and match unless someone takes off - none have yet with 12 AB's and 1 hit between the 3 of them, 2 walks each for Merrifield and Biggio, 1 HBP for Biggio, Sac Fly and GIDP for Merrifield.

As we all know too well, no HR for the Jays, just 1 SB, 1 CS so far (Varsho, Chapman respectively). 11 pitchers have got into games (Kikuchi and Berrios the only ones not in yet). All 13 hitters have played, although Lukes only as a pinch runner with Espinal the only guy to get into just 1 game among hitters.
uglyone - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#427283) #
We never saw the same lineups last year either.

Difference is this time its always good hitters coming in.
Nigel - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#427284) #
On the positive side of things, I may not have to spend much of my evenings heavily invested in game outcomes with this starting staff!
christaylor - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#427285) #
Well... I'll give 'em at at least five turns around the rotation before being sour, but no surprises if this team is .500 at the all-star break (nod to 2015 to show I'm still hopeful).
uglyone - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#427286) #
Uh oh
lexomatic - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#427287) #
<br> So if the pitching is terrible does Atkins get the blame?
This is not an inspiring start. Are they pressing? I've been listening more than watching. Not ready mentally? That feels like a Schneider issue.
But the next start for a lot of pitchers is going to have to be better
greenfrog - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#427288) #
Biggio called out on strikes in a key situation on what should have been a ball. Ump flub.

Mental error by Kirk. When Chapman doubled over the right fielder’s head with two out, Kirk jogged slowly from first to second base, checking to see if Chapman’s liner would be caught (no doubt thinking there was only one out), before starting to run hard. Not sure whether he would have made it home otherwise, but he had to stop at third base and ultimately got stranded there.
christaylor - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#427289) #
I am sure management tried, but I really wish the team could have used Kirk instead of Moreno as a trade chip. His base running on the double is yet another example that confirms my bias.
greenfrog - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#427290) #
I never felt confident that Berrios would be “just fine” in 2023, and this start confirms my intuition (SSS of course).
Four Seamer - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#427291) #
Good thing we got our ace Kikuchi going tomorrow.
christaylor - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#427292) #
Why point at the manager? Really, I'm seriously puzzled. He used a guy once in the first series that blew up in the playoffs.

Berrios and Bassit will likely finish with less than average numbers. The other options on the market were not all that much better.

The team needs to hit. Did they sacrifice too much on offense with a shaky staff? Maybe, we'll see.

Let us wait...
Petey Baseball - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#427293) #
He's tipping his pitches.

Only explanation.
christaylor - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#427294) #
I don't care if they lose this game. They need to get 4 or 5 run against a good pitcher. That is the upside.
greenfrog - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#427295) #
Playoff rotation could be Gausman-Manoah-Tiedemann
Gerry - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#427296) #
Am I the only one who thinks Kirk is bigger than last season?
dalimon5 - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#427298) #
Clearly the hitters know what's coming. I don't know how but he's tipping.
BlueJayWay - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#427299) #
I thought several times last year that Berrios must be tipping. The stuff seems too good for hitters to be right on everything like that.
Four Seamer - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#427300) #
Am I the only one who thinks Kirk is bigger than last season? No, he looks bigger to me as well. Very disappointing.
greenfrog - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#427301) #
You might think that Berrios and Bassitt would have worked out their respective issues before the start of the season.
uglyone - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#427302) #
SP: 10.80era
Marc Hulet - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#427303) #
I wasn't watching the game (thank goodness) but are they using pitchcom? Is it possible teams are able to alter signals to listen in?
Chuck - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#427304) #
Is it possible teams are able to alter signals to listen in?

Odd that KC would wait a whole series before employing this tactic. Occam's razor suggests that the guy who was crappy last year is still crappy.

Chuck - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#427305) #
Am I the only one who thinks Kirk is bigger than last season?

He just had a baby. He was eating for two.

Gerry - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#427306) #
I was wondering if the volume of the Jays catchers pitch com was turned up too high
Nigel - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#427307) #
With these new shift rules, I will be surprised if Biggio doesn’t end up with the most AB’s at 2B of any of the options.
greenfrog - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#427308) #
From my lay perspective, I thought Bassitt’s methodology of calling his pitch on pitchcom before proceeding to throw it was awkward and not conducive to maintaining focus and rhythm.
greenfrog - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#427309) #
RS:RA in the early going:

Tampa 27:5
NYY 24:8
Toronto (don’t ask)
Eephus - Monday, April 03 2023 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#427310) #
“From my lay perspective, I thought Bassitt’s methodology of calling his pitch on pitchcom before proceeding to throw it was awkward and not conducive to maintaining focus and rhythm”

Funny enough, back in my pitching days I preferred to call my own game because (my fastball moved a ton but otherwise sucked) and so I relied on off-speed deception to induce weak contact. I loved throwing any pitch at any time. And it worked more often than not. Alas the early days of the TMBL is hardly a worthy comparison to anything (even the modern TMBL) but the mindset is what I’m getting at. Bassitt clearly relies on changing speeds and deception, so it makes sense he’d want to control that himself (thinking he has a better gauge of it in any given moment than a new catcher unfamiliar with him).

Not sure I agree though. Catchers also have a good idea what’s happening in the game and can read swings. His next start will be interesting and, perhaps, telling.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#427311) #
What's that famous song? Second verse, same as the first..

Has any team had less clutch batting than the Jays so far?
Michael - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 03:31 AM EDT (#427312) #
SSS and early numbers, but the Jays are:

15th in team OPS with 752 (Cleveland is 16th with 714, Philadelphia 14th with 773).

T14th with 2 other teams in RS with 20 (T Colorado and Cincinnati).

4th in OBP with 381 (Dodgers 5th at 372, Baltimore! 3rd at 389).

19th in SLG with 371 (Cubs 20th with 368, Cleveland 18th with 385)

T29th in HR with 1 (tied with Phillies)

There's an obvious problem with the offense, and it is largely related to the lack of HR. Given them another 4-5 HR to be more typical and the offense would really be clicking.

The pitching, on the other hand, is:

29th in ERA with a 7.64 (Phillies 30th with 9.28, Red Sox 28th with 7.50)

29th in WHIP with 1.94 (same 2 30/28 with 2.03 and 1.81 respectively).

T25th in K with 30 (Detroit tied, 24th is Baltimore with 31, 27th Oakland with 29)

T9th in BB allowed with 13 (tied with Houston, Rangers/Giants T7 at 12, Angels/Twins/Nationals T11 at 14).

T20th in HR allowed with 7 (Astros/Marlins/Nationals tied).

The problem is not the offense, it is the run prevention. And it isn't the contol (walks), it is primarily way too many hits.

Maybe it is luck. Maybe it is the pitchers not being so good. Maybe it is the lack of shifting exposing some of the pitchers that pitched to the shift. Maybe it is road games, 3 of which were against a good team. Most likely it is largely SSS. I'd wager heavily the Jays don't end up in the bottom 2 or 3 teams in WHIP and ERA by the end of the season.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#427313) #
I've also already seen graphics showing baaaadly blown strike calls vs the Jay's. Singer got a bunch of 3rd strike calls inches outside the zone. It doesn't help the offense any when that happens.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#427314) #

I haven't seen the ump scorecard, but until they at least have a parallel context dependent metric, the context independent measurements are misleading. I went on about it a bunchbkast year, but the weights for missed calls makes no sense. Blown calls that directly lead to winning runs because thr at bat should have been over DO have significant impact, but that's not measured in their system. I remember 1 game last seasons 2 HR happened after missed 3rd strikes.
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#427315) #
Is it 2012 again? No conversations about the pitching coach?
grjas - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#427316) #
Actually I had the same thought about the pitching coach. Kikuchi, Bassett, Berrios and White all seeing significant regression from Career
norms is not a good trend. Way too early to draw conclusions but it will be interesting to watch.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#427317) #
<br> definitely considering pitching coach. Lots of distraction the past 2 years.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#427318) #
Before everyone jumps off a cliff - remember, 1998 the Yankees started off 1-4 then went on to win 114 games anyways. A slow start isn't doomsday. Heck, in 1989 the Jays started 12-24 and won the division. Crap happens.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#427319) #
Yesterday's Ump Scorecard is here...

RoboUmps NOW! Luckily they seem serious about it for potentially next year. I'm sure Biggio is very excited about that.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#427320) #
<br> 2 starts in a row with brutal accuracy. 82% yesterday 74%
Of course all the other games range low to mid 90s.
Jonny German - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#427321) #
Regarding Berríos possibly tipping pitches - surely they’ve quizzed Kiermaier about that, right?
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#427322) #
Dan Szymborski is not optimistic about Chris Bassitt.  As usual, he has reasons (Dan, I mean).  
grjas - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#427323) #
“Before everyone jumps off a cliff“

I see no comments that suggest that.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#427324) #
I think Bassitt is too cerebral and with the new pitch clock he's spending too much time selecting his next pitch and not enough time thinking about how he's going to execute it. Frankly, I wish he'd try a game like Mark Buerhle used to do -- just let the catcher call the game and not think about anything other than making the pitch. He's been a consistantly good pitcher the last several years so there's no reason to believe he's suddenly turned into a pumpkin.

Buck and Dan both mentioned on the broadcast last night that Berrios has good velocity and movement on his pitches, but he's leaving them in very hittable spots a lot of the time. That seemed to be the case last season, too.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#427325) #
I agree about Bassitt. I also wonder whether the physical act of looking down (in the few seconds allotted between pitches) and fiddling with the little buttons on the device to indicate his pitch selection is conducive to physical and mental preparedness to pitch a major-league baseball game.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#427327) #
One thing I noted From Berrios yesterday was his fastball location vertically. Most of his fastballs were in the middle of the zone, above the knees and just below the belt. There were few fastballs at the bottom of the zone and few at the top.

Looking at his pitch chart today there were no fastballs in the bottom third and just one strike in the upper third.
Nigel - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#427328) #
Purely subjectively, I find it hard to understand what Berrios' issues are. The quality of the stuff seems very similar to me from two years ago. The results are poor and have been for some time so we're beyond just "back luck" or such. I don't find it hard to understand what Bassitt's issues are. His stuff has looked poor from the first day of spring (and, yes, I understand that Bassitt relies on much more than pure stuff to be successful). Whether that is temporary or a bigger issue I have no clue.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#427329) #
Dan Szymborski (in the piece Mike linked to) says that Bassitt’s velo is down this year, including in spring training.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#427331) #
Jays need to fix Berrios and let Bassitt be the best 5th man in the business. Hope Kikuchi can fill the #4 role until Tiedeman arrives.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#427332) #
The second base rotation does not seem ideal. Merrifield, Biggio and Espinal are rotating, with occasional outfield starts for Merrifield. None of them seem to be getting enough at bats to get settled and "in a groove". Hopefully one of them gets hot and claims the regular starter spot.

You can see in this why Otto Lopez didn't get the last spot on the roster.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#427333) #
All the noise coming out of MLB suggests we wont get automated balls and strikes anytime soon. Theo Epstein claims the players were not that approving of it in the minor leagues.

The alternative seems to be a challenge system where a player can challenge the umpires call on a pitch. The challenge would go to an automated system to check the call. This is similar to the tennis challenge system.

They used that challenge system in the fall league and it seemed to work well. It will also be trialed in the minor leagues this season.
Nigel - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#427334) #
I'd have Biggio and Espinal in a 2B job share. Not exactly a platoon, but a LH/RH platoon whereby Espinal also gets additional starts against RHP with velocity. I think that would equate to something like a 50/50 job share. Merrifield as the 4th OF. Amend if Biggio or Espinal really struggle/play well.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#427335) #
Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo:

“I’ll say it right now, I think Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way,”

“One hundred percent I think he does . . . You can find videos of him, footage of him in triple-A going like this (gesturing) to hitters. Last year, telling (Red Sox players) to go sit, sh– like that and looking right at them . . . So it’s sh– like that just pisses me off. It’s not the way (the game) should be played. It should be like you’re celebrating with your team, you’re not disrespecting another player.”

“Emotions are good in a 162-game season . . . You need it. Now, the whole staring down people or a pitcher staring at you and sharing some sh–, you start crossing over into disrespectful. That’s when I have trouble . . . You want to get fired up, look at your dugout. You don’t need to be looking me at the plate. That’s when you start getting a little bit muddy.”

* * *

“Coming from him? I don’t give a sh–.” Manoah told the Toronto Sun as he was heading to the Kauffman Stadium bullpen.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#427336) #
Vlad Guerrero Jr. 0 to 10 in 5 seconds flat.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#427337) #
Bizarre Kikuchi start so far.

4 IP, 0 K, 0 BB, 46 pitches, 34 strikes.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#427338) #
Love that Kikuchi start - no K's until the last 2 batters when he started reaching back extra hard knowing they were it for him. Very good outing. I'm sure everyone on the Jays is very, very happy with that. Just 1 run allowed. Who had the 3 to go 5 or more innings first time though as Gausman, Berrios, and Kikuchi?
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#427339) #
Kikuchi power.
soupman - Tuesday, April 04 2023 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#427340) #
Another tootblan and probably should have made it on the bobbled grounder had he been running out of the box. Vintage Vlad.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 01:39 AM EDT (#427341) #
The Royals played on AstroTurf when Kauffman Stadium opened in 1973, until natural grass was installed for the 1995 season.

From 1969 through 1975, Comiskey Park combined an artificial turf infield with a natural grass outfield.

An artificial surface for an outdoor stadium that is limited to baseball?
Jonny German - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 04:31 AM EDT (#427342) #
Here's a hack for anyone else frustrated by the garbage box scores MLB has gone to this year: You can get MLB box scores in the MiLB format by changing the game ID number and team names in the URL for a MiLB box score. Like so:

And the beauty is that you only need to do the hack once - There's a navigation field at the top to switch between games and dates.
scottt - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 07:12 AM EDT (#427343) #
There were no ABs for Lopez. Lukes is not going to see much action except pinch running and defensive sub.

I don't really get the "not enough at bats to get into a groove" thinking.
Most teams use their bench players.
Consider what the Rays are doing.

The idea is to get 4 left bats in there but only 1 or 2 against lefties.
Biggio and Belt are the prime platoon guys.
Kiermaier can get the odd rest. Varsho is harder to sit. Someone has to play center.

Chapman, Guerrero, Bichette and Springer want to hit every day.
Guerrero and Springer will DH some.

Overall, the idea is to have depth to cover injuries.

rafael - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#427345) #
I'm 100 % a jays fan through good and bad and want Alek Manoah to do well every time out for th teams sake. But it seems correct to me that "Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way,” when he yells at batters to sit down. Its unnecessary, counterproductive, immature and Jerk-like". Something factual doesn't change who says it or who plays for who. I admit that if one likes pro wrestling maybe it seems positive for entertainment.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#427346) #
I see Lopez as a guy likely being kept in AAA to stay 'warm' so when an injury happens he'll be ready to step in and play everyday. The 26th man (13th hitter) is a specialization role - either as Zimmer was last year (defense/pinch run) or as was often the case in the 80's and earlier (when 15 hitters was the norm) a pinch hitter specialist who couldn't field. If you have a few platoons then you need that slot to play a lot, if you don't then it can be a runner/3rd catcher/defense only guy or whatever rarely used role you wish. In the 70's the A's often had a pure runner in the position such as Herb Washington who played in 2 seasons and never had a PA or defensive inning - he was used only as a runner (105 games, 33 runs scored, 31 SB 17 CS - he wasn't a baseball guy, but a track star).

Basically, the way I see it is the Jays wanted speed off the bench for Belt-Jansen-Kirk in late innings and Lukes provides that with the added bonus of being a decent LH hitter if needed and solid on defense at all 3 OF slots to fill in for Merrifield or Biggio in late innings if needed. Kind of surprised the Jays didn't do that last night.

Right now subs for injury are: Lopez (2B/SS/3B/OF), Barger (SS/3B), Horwitz (1B/DH), Rob Brantly (C) I suspect. It'll shift as players do well/poorly during the season. Pitching will rely on who is healthy/available/hot.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#427352) #
Verdugo is a schmuck, a putz, and a little schlemiel.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#427353) #
I remember the Boston incident, but I find it hard to believe Manoah told someone to " sit the bleep down" without some provocation. Red Sox players are a bunch of whiners like their fans.

I hated to see Moreno go, but Daulton Varsho looks like a darn good ballplayer.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#427359) #
Phillies (Nola) vs. Yankees (Cole) matinée in the Bronx . . . the weather is foggy.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay (McClanahan) vs. Washington (Corbin) is bright and sunny at Nationals Park.

By the way, I saw Hammerin' Hank on Happy Days:
" Hey Hank! Hit a homer! "
" Don't I always? "

uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#427365) #
Jays claim OF Luplow from Atlanta.

Career 125wrc+ vLHP, though the last couple of years have been more of a reverse split.

Stats say he can field the corners well, but not really CF.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#427367) #
Luplow is probably a better fit for the bench than Lukes. If the opponent brings in a lefty to face Kiermaier when the cub is down late, Luplow is a good response. Better than Merrifield, particularly if you've got a couple of runners on and are down a couple of runs.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#427370) #
Merrifield in left field today against a RHP while Kiermaier sits. Unless there's an injury, this is a very poor decision. Merrifield has the worst projection of any of the top 11 Blue Jay players, and he's had plenty of playing time. Kiermaier has been hot and against a RHP in general, he's a huge upgrade on Merrifield. I am guessing that Whit is in there because the Royals are his old team. Humbug.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#427371) #

This whole Merrifield thing is a mystery to me. Various writers, this past off-season, slotted him in as the team's presumed starting 2B. The Jays' organization and broadcasters seem to act like he's not 34 and well into his decline, but rather peak Merrifield from years ago.

On paper, unless there are some kind of injuries we don't know about, even resting Kiermaier should result in Biggio in LF and Espinal at 2B, you'd think. The Royals are lefty heavy, just the right time for a slick glove at 2B.

Eephus - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#427372) #
The Jays' organization and broadcasters seem to act like he's not 34 and well into his decline

As a 35-soon-to-be-36 year old still trying to fake it in multiple increasingly challenging hardball and softball leagues... this one hit the knob of the bat that stings your hand for an hour heh.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#427373) #
Checking UmpScorecards website to see how the umpiring has been for the Jay games so far as it has seemed horrific behind the plate for both sides. Called Strike Accuracy I'm using here.
4/4: 80%; 4/3: 82%; 4/2: 74%; 4/1: 87%; 3/30: 87%
An average of 82% accuracy on strike calls so far. Yikes. That is very bad. 88% is the normal for this year so far overall. For comparison, the two playoff games in 2022 were 90% accurate strikes each. Opening day was 83%. Heck, Angel freaking Hernandez' first game behind the plate with the Jays in 2022 was a 95% accurate on strike calls (how did that happen?). So this is a bad joke so far. Robo umps cannot come quick enough for me.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#427374) #
I think Merrifield has a place on this roster, but with Greinke on the mound KK should be starting over him. It feels he’s out there to be in front the KC fans, or perhaps he’s doing the right things off the field and skip wants to reward that.

Overall I like the new rules, the pace has really picked up and it feels like there is more contact with the shift rules changed.

lexomatic - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#427375) #
<br>act like he's not 34

I think a bunch of it is his late start. He hasn't been around that long for someone his age. And there's a lot of not thinking in sports media
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#427376) #
Could also be that the Jays are breaking in Kiermaier and his surgically-repaired hip gently...which may be a good idea.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#427377) #
Manoah doesn't have his good command tonight.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#427378) #
Question: Where is the pitch clock that pitchers can see? Is it behind the plate somewhere, masked with virtual ads on the telecasts?
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#427379) #
Couple early observations from the season:

Merrifield should be playing everyday. He just brings so much more to the table than Biggio and Espinal...and I'm a big Espinal fan.

I don't understand this organizations faith in Biggio. He's average defensively at second, and has never hit enough to justify all the at bats he's given.

Brandon Belt is giving me 2017 Jarrod Saltalamachia vibes.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#427380) #
Varsho comes through again with an efficient opposite field hit.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#427381) #
Merrifield as a Blue Jay: 145pa, 119wrc+, 3.6war650
uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#427383) #
hasn't been a great start to the year but i have to say i really love how relaxed i feel every time we give up a flyball, no matter who is playing in the OF.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#427384) #
Biggio is also completely useless against lefties.

Petey Baseball - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#427385) #
Right, ugly. So what you're saying is, since the trade last summer the Jays are basically getting 2018 Whit.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#427386) #
pretty much.

except he's not even using super high babip to do it like he did in back in those years.
christaylor - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#427387) #
Don't be fooled by one-line projections. Those projections have error. Merrifield's upside is much higher than either Biggio and Espinal.

KK will need rest. This one of those days.

Biggio gets PAs because he is young. Espinal is useful bench piece who has value with the glove.

A healthy aging Merrifield should be starting. The eye test screams it. What he has done of the trio since joining the Jays just makes it a no-brainer.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#427388) #
the royals stink but that's nice to see from the big man, especially after battling through some early wildness.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#427389) #
What a start to the season for Varsho. He’s won everyone over already.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#427390) #
The Varshow is pretty fun to watch.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#427391) #
Varsho is hitting .333/.393/.542 (wRC+ 152) after his double.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#427392) #
Looks like Swanson is fast becoming the setup man.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#427393) #
St Louis looked like a juggernaut against the Jays. Since then they have lost three in a row and are in last place in the NL central. Baseball!
soupman - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#427394) #
In today's episode of Vintage Vlad: he didn't back off the ball him, Biggio and Springer were converging on even though he was being called off. it did not lead to an injury or even a dropped it goes unmentioned by the commentary.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#427395) #
Have to love Manoah - 7 shutout innings after being called out by Boston players. Don't give him a reason to be at his best. KC paid the price.

Biggio is one of those guys who always seems close - he gets screwed by umps for his great strike zone judgement (I bet he can't wait for robo-umps), he led the Jays in WAR as a rookie (3.0 in 2019), then led our hitters in 2020 (2.0 in 60 games), in 2021 he was hurt and sucked, same in 2022. So it isn't unreasonable to hope if he is healthy that he could be a 3-4 WAR guy again. Of course, Merrifield has played at that level since he came here so maybe just leave him in, but doing a semi-platoon of them can make sense. Mix in Espinal as much as possible vs LHP too (via Merrifield in LF or RF depending on who gets a day off and who is DH'ing).

This team is a Rubik's cube. You can shuffle them all over the place. We should see lots of rest for everyone so none are tired come September/October with the team solidly in the playoffs by then with any luck.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 05 2023 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#427396) #

#BlueJays defenders impressing Alek Manoah early in the season: "It kind of feels like they're moving before the ball's even hit"

— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) April 6, 2023
Agreed, Big Al.
Jonny German - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 04:23 AM EDT (#427397) #
As for me I'm outraged that it goes unmentioned by the commentary that Vlad has 1 strikeout in his 29 plate appearances this year.
85bluejay - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 05:26 AM EDT (#427398) #
In fairness Gerry, the Cardinals were swept by the Braves who are certainly in the conversation for the best team in baseball.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#427402) #
Vladdy wRC+

2021: 166
2022: 132
2023: 191
mathesond - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#427403) #
Yes, it's quite obvious the Jays should never have signed him. Biggest blunder of AA's career.
uglyone - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#427404) #
Past Calendar Year:

* RF Springer 614pa, 128wrc+, 4.3war/650
* SS Bichette 727pa, 128wrc+, 4.1war/650
* 1B Guerrero 735pa, 134wrc+, 2.8war/650
* DH Kirk 559pa, 127wrc+, 4.4war/650
* 3B Chapman 646pa, 123wrc+, 4.8war/650
* LF Varsho 620pa, 109wrc+, 5.2war/650
* C Jansen 260pa, 132wrc+, 6.3war/650
* 2B Espinal 499pa, 97wrc+, 2.9war/650
* CF Kiermaier 238pa, 93wrc+, 3.3war/650

* UT Merrifield 567pa, 88wrc+, 1.6war/650
* UT Biggio 316pa, 98wrc+, 2.9war/650
* DH Belt 315pa, 91wrc+, -0.4war/650
* OF Luplow 234pa, 78wrc+, 0.6war/650
hypobole - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#427408) #
For your amusement...

A year ago, Eephus combined Colorado and Arizona in his NL preview and asked "Which of these were actual players on either of these teams, and which ones are fakes?

We've got Samuel Borges, Austin Gomber, Yonathan Daza, Nanaldo Pannozzo, Pavin Smith, Paul Fulton, Elvin Drost, Connor Joe, Kolten Skillman, Daulton Varsho and finally... Joe Mantiply and Marco Martinez! Now remember, studio audience and those of you playing at home, it's a perfect 6/6 split!"

Only 2 of us even made an attempt. I did get 5 of 6 although: "Varsho OF and Mantiply reliever played for one of the 2 last year, not sure which team though."

The other unnamed poster finished with this "Oh crap. Daulton Varsho is a real player. I lose."
Gerry - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#427409) #
Springer gets a day off today. It seems odd to give a player a day off just six games into the season.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#427410) #
It seems to be a plan by the Jays to give everyone days off. Bichette and Varsho will probably play nearly every day, barring injury, and Chapman is red hot swinging the bat right now so it's hard to sit him.

Tampa leads the division with a perfect 6-0 record but they are benefiting from a soft schedule. They have played Detroit and Washington already and then are facing Oakland and Boston at home before meeting the Jays on April 14.
Cracka - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#427411) #
I was hoping and expecting that Nathan Lukes would get a start today - he's not going to play often, but today seemed like an ideal time. Facing an RH starter, a day game after a night game; we've won the last two; and there are a bunch of LH starters coming up this weekend. Maybe Lukes isn't going to last long and Jordan Luplow is going to get a shot?
dalimon5 - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#427412) #
All Vlad needs to do to make me happier is run out of the box when the ball is in play instead of what he's been doing. Other than that the only complaint I have is how much his numbers tail off closer to end of the year and into playoffs.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#427413) #
I imagine coming off surgery they're being extra cautious. Also, he's been over swinging so perhaps as much of mental break/reset.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#427414) #
Very kind of you, hyperbole, to not name the doofus who didn't know Daulton Varsho. I wonder who it was?
greenfrog - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#427415) #
So, roughly a 140-game pace for Springer. Sounds about right.
uglyone - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#427416) #
it's just so weird after complaining about resting guys so much in previous years this year I literally want to see all 13 guys get deserved playing time so I can't complain even a little bit when anyone sits. We sit a couple guys and we still have a complete lineup full of guys who should be both solid hitters and solid fielders out there.

Now hopefully, this also results in a healthier roster. But even if it doesn't, there will be injuries that force the current guys to play every day for longer...which is also good.

The change from last year is just so massive - last year literally every single game we were forcing at least one and often 2 or 3 replacement guys into the lineup....and even the rare times we were healthy we still had a lineup that had some massive defensive holes in it.
Nigel - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#427417) #
Chapman looks fantastic at the plate - the approach is just consistently good and a slightly less pull focus. Belt looks a bit toasty though.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#427418) #
Varsho and Chapman have looked amazing so far this season. Hard contact and good AB's. Can't say the same for Belt, though given his age and abbreviated Spring Training, maybe he will need a little bit of time.
James W - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#427419) #
Question: Where is the pitch clock that pitchers can see?

It's just to the left of the CF camera's view. Saw it when Varsho had to walk back to the dugout after another poor ball-strike call.
uglyone - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#427421) #
so Biggio (who's only actually been "bad" one half-season in his career") is still good.
uglyone - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#427422) #
now Trevor Richards - that's one guy on the roster that I really don't see the value. tho I guess with the current injuries, fine to have him around. Never really understood why he was slotted ahead of Pop tho.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#427423) #
Here is my current level of confidence in the Jays relievers (on a scale of 1-10):

Romano 9.5
Swanson 8.5
Cimber 7
Bass 7
Garcia 6.5
Pop 5.5
Mayza 5
Richards 4
greenfrog - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#427424) #
Vladdy's offensive line after today:

34 PA, .407/.500/.667 (224 wRC+), 5 BB, 1 K

The front office may be wishing they'd worked out an extension with him in the off-season.
grjas - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#427425) #
The top 5 batters look very strong. If Belt can come around- and I think it’s just a matter of time- then look out. And the bottom 3 can scratch out some runs on the base paths.
hypobole - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#427427) #
Last year after 6 games Vlad was at 32 PA,.391/.417/.957,4 HR.

It's a long season.
John Northey - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#427429) #
The 1 K over 34 PA for Vlad is the most impressive stat to me.  Seems he is really paying attention to Mattingly who in his career averaged 40 K's per 162 games.  Vlad on pace for 23 over 162 games.  Mattingly's lowest was 20 over 102 games, or 29 over 144 games.

I doubt Vlad keeps this up, but given he has been hitting home runs with the low K rate I'm quite happy.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#427430) #
Tony Gwynn's seasons (8) winning the N.L. batting title:

1984 / .351 / 23 K

1987 / .370 / 35 K
1988 / .313 / 40 K
1989 / .336 / 30 K

1994* / .394 / 19 K
1995 / .368 / 15 K
1996 / .353 / 17 K
1997 / .372 / 28 K / 17 HR
uglyone - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#427431) #

* Springer 31pa, .269babip, 52wrc+
* Bichette 35pa, .370babop, 120wrc+
* Guerrero 34pa, .360babip, 224wrc+
* Chapman 29pa, .591babip, 247wrc+
* Varsho 32pa, .500babip, 170wrc+
* Kirk 18pa, .308babip, 73wrc+
* Belt 21pa, .143babop, -32wrc+
* Merrifield 21pa, .286babip, 81wrc+
* Kiermaier 21pa, .444babip, 130wrc+

* Biggio 17pa, .250babip, 154wrc+
* Jansen 16pa, .111babip, -51wrc+
* Espinal 8pa, .143babop, -43wrc+

I always like how vladdy can put up cartoon numbers without needing crazy babip or other fluky underlying numbers. Hopefully this is a sign of him bouncing back to normal.

Overall there's as many under as over achievers looks like.

* Gausman 6.0ip/gs, 0era-, 39fip-, 77xfip-
* Manoah 5.1ip/gs, 107era-, 148fip-, 141xfip-
* Bassitt 3.1ip/gs, 595era-, 449fip-, 175xfip-
* Berrios 5.2ip/gs, 311era-, 43fip-, 80xfip-
* Kikuchi 5.0ip/gs, 44wra-, 134fip-, 130xfip-

You'd hope that there's much more positive than negative regression to come.
John Northey - Thursday, April 06 2023 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#427433) #
Gwynn was an interesting player - a guy who HAD to hit 300 to be valuable, and he did it. He didn't walk much, had an 82 but that was a fluke, every other season was under 60 with just 5 times out of 20 being 50+. His peak in HR was 17, 135 lifetime, just 5 times with 10+. Just 5 times with 20+ SB, max of 56. His 1987 was clearly his best - 370 average, peak walks, peak SB, 158 OPS+, led the league in WAR at 8.6, but just 8th in MVP (the voters gave it to Andre Dawson on a last place Cubs team thanks to RBI's and HR's).

I feel Mattingly is more what Vlad aspires to - peaks of 35 HR 145 RBI, 352 average, but again low walk totals (peak of 61) with just 14 SB lifetime. Vlad has 14 SB lifetime already. I could see him hitting 70 HR some year if the stars align just right (double Mattingly's peak). The 145 RBI is a tough one, but low K's would help a LOT (get more in from 3rd). Vlad has a realistic shot at 3000 hits - 12% right now via the Favorite Toy plus a 31% shot at 500 HR's (3% at 700, no chance yet for Bonds record). It is quite the trick to have a shot at this stuff at his age, bigger trick at 30. Lets hope he keeps it up, be nice to have a guy born in Canada get 3000 hits and 500 HR.
lexomatic - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#427436) #
<br>The 1 K over 34 PA for Vlad is the most impressive stat to me. Seems he is really paying attention to Mattingly

I'm curious if he's ever had another good no-K stretch like this before. Especially in '21. I'd like to see longer if so. But it's still encouraging. Hopefully the extra walks and fewer Ks doesn't lead to more DP though.
greenfrog - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#427437) #
Here are the 2023 fWAR leaders for the Jays:

Gausman 0.6
Chapman 0.6
Vladdy 0.6
Varsho 0.4

Brilliant start for all four players.
uglyone - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#427439) #
I'd hope the bar is higher than Mattingly for Vladdy, tbh.

I think my dreams of Frank Thomas II might not happen, but i'm pretty sure Vlad's 22yr old year was much bigger than any year Mattingly had.
Magpie - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#427441) #
I'm curious if [Guerrero's] ever had another good no-K stretch like this before.

A few times. In September 2020 he had a stretch with just 1 K in 49 PApps, in May 2021 1 K in 31 PApps, last April 1 K in 30 PApps.
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