Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The road trip concludes, more or less across the street from Disneyland.

Friday's game will be the Angels' home opener. They opened their season taking two of three from Oakland, while outscoring the A's 20-3. They then went up to Seattle and likewise took two of three from the Mariners.

You can probably guess which two guys are carrying the bulk of the offense. And Taylor Ward is off to another hot start.

Good news! The Jays don't have to try to hit against Shohei Ohtani.

They just have to try to get him out.


Fri 7 Apr - Bassitt (0-1, 24.30) vs Sandoval (1-0, 1.80)
Sat 8 Apr - Berrios (0-1, 12.71) vs Anderson (1-0, 0.00)
Sun 9 Apr - Kikuchi (1-0, 1.80) vs Detmers (0-0, 3.86)
Toronto at Los Angeles, Apr 7-9 | 95 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#427442) #
Winning 2 out of 3 here would be a great result, especially when you look at the pitching match-ups.
scottt - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#427444) #
Varshow provides elite defense and excellent baserunning.
The hitting is harder to predict, but it looks pretty good so far.

Offensively, Belt and Jansen haven't been able to put it together yet.
I'm sure it's harder when one isn't an every day player.

Belt will probably have to wait until the home opener, but it would be nice if Jansen could get going in this series.
He gets 2 starts against lefties.

Dr B - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#427446) #
Home runs up? Scientist says climate change contributing:
Maybe MLB is innocent after all...(hmm...)
Cracka - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#427447) #
Lukes optioned to AAA & Jordan Luplow recalled; It's a shame that Lukes didn't get a plate appearance, but with Brandon Belt basically unstartable against LHPs, another RH bat is needed. I suspect we will see him back at some point, but for now he'll have a weird career line of 3 GP, 0 PA, and 1 run scored.

Chuck - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#427448) #
but for now he'll have a weird career line of 3 GP, 0 PA

A poor man's Herb Washington.

John Northey - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#427449) #
Poor Lukes, but at least he got his shot even if it wasn't much of a shot. A few days ML service time I think gets you a lifetime of medical coverage which for Americans is a very big deal.
Nigel - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#427450) #
I love how the broadcast crew is twisting itself up to explain the results - the simpler explanation is that Bassist’s stuff looks awful.
Four Seamer - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#427451) #
Does Bassitt always look this nervous on the mound? This is the first time I’ve watched him pitch, but he looks like an overmatched little leaguer whose mom forgot the orange slices.
greenfrog - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#427452) #
I’m not watching the game. How the heck did Bassitt start the game on a pitch clock violation…leading to a walk…in front of Trout and Ohtani? Seems like he needs to pull himself together.
Gerry - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#427453) #
Bassitt seemed to have a problem with the Pitchcom.
Nigel - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#427454) #
I’d be nervous too if I was missing 2-3 mph on my FB.
greenfrog - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#427455) #
Maybe pitchcom just isn’t a useful tool for Bassitt…?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#427456) #
Bassitt is pitching to Kirk tonight, after Jansen caught his first start.

Kirk catches Manoah. As for Gausman, Berríos, and Kikuchi, is there a preferred battery with Kirk or Jansen?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#427457) #
Does Bassitt always look this nervous on the mound?

He was really sweating. Seemed like panic seized his brain.

Four Seamer - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#427458) #
Credit where credit is due - he never stopped looking agitated, but the results from Bassitt have been decent, despite the usual poor umpiring.
hypobole - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#427459) #
Could have been a lot worse. 2 run HR before he got an out, 5 walks, 3 errors behind him and still only gave 3 runs while making it through 6 innings.
Four Seamer - Friday, April 07 2023 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#427460) #
Having given credit where it was due, will now give criticism where it is warranted - Luplow looks atrocious.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#427461) #
Dan Shulman mentioned that Jansen is ill, and so Kirk is behind the plate.

Bo, what a shot!
hypobole - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#427462) #
The Jays have the lead. Wow!
Eephus - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#427464) #
Great plays by every Blue Jay outfielder that inning. You love to see it.
Four Seamer - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#427465) #
Great win!
BlueJayWay - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#427466) #
That outfield defence is...*chef's kiss*
greenfrog - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#427467) #
Yep, great win. The division looks like it will be very tough this year. Tampa is 7-0, the Yankees are looking good with Volpe and Cabrera bolstering the roster, and Baltimore is up-and-coming.

I still like the Jays for around 95 wins, though.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#427468) #
Tampa Bay visits Toronto next weekend. McClanahan vs. Manoah projected for Sunday's matinée.
StephenT - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 01:37 AM EDT (#427469) #
Seeing the side-armer Herget wipe out Vlad reminded me of the 1986 Mark Eichhorn making Don Baylor look silly.

But Bo's blast was against the same pitcher, so I guess Bo and Vlad don't have the same kryptonite.
85bluejay - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#427470) #
I liked Joey Gallo(11m) as a better rebound candidate than Brandon Belt (9m) especially with Gallo's defensive versatility.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#427472) #
I guess the Jays want Otto Lopez playing every day in Buffalo rather than sitting on the bench with the big team, but I'd have to think he'd be a better option against lefties than Luplow who looked overmatched in the one at bat I saw of him.

Bassitt said himself after the game that he's not where he should be in his delivery, but he still managed to hold the Angels to three runs. I'm not worried about him but Berrios on the other hand ...

Bo Bichette air-mailed another routine throw to first last night for an error. You have to wonder if he got the yips a bit when it comes to making this type of play.
scottt - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#427473) #
Luplow hits .220 against lefties. That averages out to a couple of hits if he plays in all 3 games.
Maybe a walk or an extra base.
That's just the expectation, and it's April and he didn't have a great spring.

I don't know about the "playing every day" thing. That doesn't seem to be in Lopez's future with the team.
Maybe it's more about not wanting to move guys up and down constantly.
Once this series is over, the 26th spot reverts to pinch running.

John Northey - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#427474) #
This weekend is a great test for the back end of the rotation. Bassitt passes - once he got his pitch com working he was in a rhythm. Clearly he just needs a receiver who can frame pitches.
The ump wasn't bad - actually above average in ball-strike calls, although he was squeezing a bit as you can see in the image.

I really can't wait for roboumps just to make these irrelevant.

Btw, Donaldson on the IL with his 33 OPS+. The Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe has a 23 OPS+ so far (7 games).

The Rays have an oddity - a guy with a negative FIP in Jeffrey Springs (-0.27 FIP) thanks to 1 BB vs 12 K's in 6 IP (0 hits). Can't recall seeing that before. Franco has a 239 OPS+ (quite nice but still below 3 of Barry Bonds PED years where he peaked at 268). For Jays reference... Vlad at 222, Chapman 217, Varsho 173. Partially 'balanced' by Luplow's -100, Jansen -43, Belt -28, Espinal -5. Springer and Kirk are in the 50's, Merrifield at 74, everyone else between 115 and 154.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#427475) #
Trout and Ohtani are a combined 9/21 against Berrios with 3 HR. I hope Jose has a good game plan for pitching (or not pitching) to those two.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#427477) #
I would not be opposed to a strategic IBB or two against Ohtani tonight. Don't let him be the player who beats you.
scottt - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#427478) #
Largest change in run expectancy?
A strike called a ball in a 2-0 count with nobody on base?

Highly questionable. The most impacting moves are the 4th ball and the 3rd strike.
2-0  and 3-0 are counts in which the hitter is taking even if it's a strike.

Btw, that "strike" is actually a ball. It's high and off the plate. 

Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#427479) #
What an interesting similarity score Jose Berrios has at the age of 29. Names such as Chris Tillman, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, Joe Blanton, Mat Latos. All guys who, unlike Berrios' consistency, had basically one good season, and one OK season, and the rest were quite forgettable.

An even more interesting name on the list...Max Scherzer. I had forgotten that his first few years as a Tiger were good but not great...and then late in 2013 (and in the postseason) he was suddenly an ace, and never looked back.

I guess that's a long way for me to say...dear God Berrios let's just forget the last year or so happened and learn how to locate like the first five years of your career... shall we?
Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#427480) #
I went back and checked on that and dear God was I off...Blanton actually was really consistent throughout his career, Hughes and Latos were both better for longer than I thought, and oh god I hope Berrios doesn't fall off like those guys.
lexomatic - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#427481) #
<br> it's the context independent formula. Leads to weird results.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#427482) #
Not sure what to say about Schneider’s decisions in this game.
#2JBrumfield - Saturday, April 08 2023 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#427483) #
Brandon Belt is doing a fantastic impersonation of 2017 Blue Jay Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Belt is now 1-for-23 with 15 strikeouts and 2 walks. Salty whiffed 16 times and was 1-for-25 with a walk before the Jays finally flushed him on May 3.
Jdog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 01:09 AM EDT (#427484) #
9th inning and you are in a 2-0 count and you are not the tying run. Varsho swings at ball 3 and let’s the pitcher relax and find the zone. Should be taking there 100%.
electric carrot - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#427485) #
I haven't seen the games. What's up with Bichette's defense? Is it as bad as it looks in the box score? Worse than last year?
Petey Baseball - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#427488) #
Not sure what DRS says, but the eye test tells me it's bad. He turned a ground ball up the middle (in what a good shortstop probably makes...but it was a really tough play) into a triple by booting the ball into the outfield where no one was standing.

We're choosing to ignore it because he's absolutely tearing the cover off the ball.
Magpie - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#427489) #
Berrios. On the one hand, it seems unlikely that the opposition will continue to hit .467 against him on their Balls In Play.

But it may be possible that he's going through the Change, something I've long believed happens to RH power pitchers as they approach age 30. Hey, it got Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver, don't think you're good enough to escape. It's not that they lose their stuff - it's that their stuff has changed, and the ways they have normally used to get hitters out no longer work as well. The stuff is still good enough to win with, it just takes time - a considerable amount of it, to accept that this has indeed happened and to find a way to deal with it - to adjust.

The obvious Blue Jays forerunner is Dave Stieb, who was the best pitcher in the AL for five years (75-57, 2.95, ERA+ 144.) Then, at age 28-29, he became an extremely average back of the rotation guy for two years (20-21, 4.43, ERA+ 99). Then he figured out the new Dave, and was a very good starter until the 1991 injury put an end to his effectiveness (55-25, 3.11, ERA+ 126).

Last year and this year are Berrios' age 28-29 seasons (and of course he's nowhere near as good as peak Stieb.) It got Palmer at age 28, Seaver at 29. (There are others, of course, but those are always the two I remember. Hall of Famers, you know.)

Obviously, the possibility that Berrios will find his way forward sometime during the duration of that extension gives a fella hope. But the very real prospect that he may continue to suck for the rest of the year is discouraging.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#427490) #
Brumfield I also was reminded of Salty back in the Royals series thread.

Belt reminds me of a golfer with the yips 'a la Ian Baker Finch or Seve. He seems genuinely dumbfounded as to why he is not making contact. And when he does, it's confusion as to how it ended up there.
Hodgie - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#427491) #
No comment

DavidtheDeuce - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#427493) #
I look forward to analyzing the Umpire Scorecard when available after each game. Very interesting to see the missed calls and the overall favour.

I wonder if there is also a way to quantify and display the framing effect advantage/disadvantage based on each catcher's framing performance for each game alongside the Umpire's assessment?
Nigel - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#427494) #
Belt looks like an old guy, who can’t hit velocity anymore, who is cheating to try to catch up and is consequently also getting fooled by change of speeds. It’s early though but he looks baaaad.
Eephus - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#427495) #
I can live with what (will probably be) a 5-5 opening road trip. But seriously let’s get this team home all freaking ready.
John Northey - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#427496) #
Well, this is an unfortunate game so far. The bats might make a comeback but poor Kikuchi was out of that first inning clean then a ball lost in the sun and he is screwed.
Chuck - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#427497) #
then a ball lost in the sun

Props to Ohtani for hustling so much that he scored on the play. I can imagine many just jogging, like Rendon did only getting to first base.

greenfrog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#427498) #
Looks like Tampa could be pulling a 1984 Detroit Tigers this year. Maybe they’re even better than that.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#427499) #
After nine games, TB has a better run differential (+57) than two-thirds of MLB teams had at the end of the 2022 season.
lexomatic - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#427500) #
<br>Chapman looking like he wants a monster deal
John Northey - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#427501) #
Agreed.  Chapman is really showing off a lot this year. I'd be fine with him leaving after an MVP type season.  We get the great year, someone else gets to pay for it.  Jays then can use that to sign Ohtani and put a kid in at 3B - hey, a guy can dream.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#427502) #
I argued for a Chapman extension in the off-season but only one or two people seemed to support that idea. Realistically, of course, he was probably always headed to free agency (barring a huge preemptive offer).
John Northey - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#427503) #
Well, in Buffalo we have 2 options who should be ready for 2024 in Addison Barger & Otto Lopez and of course Orelvis Martinez in AA who isn't far away.

There has to be a limit to how many guys can be making $20+ mil a year on a team.  Even in 1993 after winning it all the Jays mixed in a rookie at 3B (Ed Sprague) and mixing kids into the rotation and pen in both '92 and '93.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#427504) #
Seatbelt — fastened.
electric carrot - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#427505) #
crash helmet fastened.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#427506) #
Mayza grace, how sweet the sound (of Ohtani grounding out).
Magpie - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#427507) #
Are you not entertained?
hypobole - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#427508) #
Second year in a row series finale has been crazy in LA. Remember this last year?

greenfrog - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#427509) #
It’s kind of crazy that the Jays have been able to acquire *two* MVP-calibre third basemen from Oakland in the last decade, apparently without giving up much of anything (we’ll see what Gunnar Hoglund can do).
Gerry - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#427510) #
In spring training all the talk was of the fine details. Well, 10 games in, I have to say I haven't seen it, or them.

I also wanted to note that the Jays are currently getting nothing from the catcher position and very little from second base. Also DH when Belt is there. The top of the order is overachieving, the 6-8 is underachieving.
John Northey - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#427511) #
greenfrog - you are a bit ahead of yourself there with the '84 Tigers vs '23 Rays comparison. In '84 those Tigers started 35-5, so the Rays need to go 26-5 to reach that, no easy feat. In 2021 when the Rays won 100 games they never came close to that kind of streak (26-5) as they lost at least 6 every month and maxed out at 22 wins in a month. The 20 game winning streak A's of 2002 barely got there - 27-4 was their best stretch (including the 20 in a row). There is a reason that '84 Tiger team was a legend. Yet the Jays still almost caught them in June (3 1/2 back on the morning of June 7th) then lost 5 straight to end that chase. FYI: The '84 Tigers were 9-0 to start, lost one, won 7 in a row. Then still went 19-4 after that (134 win pace).

Another example I recall - the 1987 Milwaukee started 13-0 with 2 HOF'ers in the lineup (Yount and Molitor who only made the playoffs twice with that team, knocked out in round 1 ala Trout with LAA but made the WS the other time, unlike the Trout/Ohtani LAA) but finished in 3rd place with 91 wins. So even a crazy hot start doesn't guarantee anything.

Bottom line? The Rays are off to an amazing start, but the best ever it isn't, not yet. And even if they do reach that insane 35-5 start it isn't impossible to catch them. That '84 Jays team had a few holes to fill (the pen was a massive nightmare for example, and they still played no-hit Griffin at SS).
BlueJayWay - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#427512) #
Early on here, but the AL East is collectively 24-10 against the other divisions.
John Northey - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#427513) #
The C position before today (0 for whatever) was dead last in the majors for sOPS+ at 7. The DH a bit better at 25th with a 48 sOPS+, 2B is #26 at 24 (and dropping). Ugh. However, 3B is #1 at 234 sOPS+, SS #4 at 190, 1B #11 at 125, LF #10 at 118, CF #12 at 95, RF #17 at 98.

Safe to say catcher will improve at some point, probably as 3B cools off (no way he hits like this all year, although I wouldn't complain if he did).
soupman - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#427514) #
Surely Belt goes on the IR sooner than later, right?
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, April 09 2023 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#427515) #
"We who are about to die, salute you!"

Tigris of Gaul ( Detroit Tigers )

Rogers Centre / SkyDome Colosseum II

Maximus Decimus Meridius ( Blue Jays )

Audentes fortuna iuvat.

scottt - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 06:43 AM EDT (#427516) #
I called the Chapman acquisition when he was in his first year.
That's what the A's do. Donaldson was more complicated because he was a late bloomer.
The problem with Chapman is probably Boras.
Btw, Rendon is currently making 39M a year and he's not a top 100 player.

At some point, the Jays will have to develop another starting pitcher.

April is always weird. You can't look too much into April results.
The important thing is to win the games.

I'm not worried about Kirk. Jansen has had bad years before.
Belt has looked bad, but it's just one week.
Merrifield is winning the battle of the 2.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#427520) #
Danny Jansen seems to follow a pattern the last couple of years - scuffle batting early on, then get injured, then play more the last half of the season and get hot in September/October. In S/O 0f 2021 he hit .310 and last year he got red-hot in September and hit .333 in 26 games.
uglyone - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#427521) #
Past 1 Calendar Year

* RF Springer 624pa, 129wrc+, 4.4war/650
* SS Bichette 743pa, 132wrc+, 4.3war/650
* 1B Guerrero 751pa, 137wrc+, 3.0war/650
* 3B Chapman 661pa, 129wrc+, 5.1war/650
* DH Alejandro 565pa, 126wrc+, 4.3war/650
* LF Varsho 627pa, 110wrc+, 5.2war/650
* C Jansen 263pa, 120wrc+, 5.2war/650
* CF Kiermaier 248pa, 101wrc+, 3.9war/650
* 2B Biggio 323pa, 98wrc+, 2.8war/650

* IF Espinal 506pa, 93wrc+, 2.7war/650
* UT Merrifield 580pa, 88wrc+, 1.7war/650
* DH Belt 318pa, 81wrc+, -1.2war/650
* OF Luplow 237pa, 75wrc+, 0.3war/650
uglyone - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#427522) #
Past 1 Calendar Year

* Manoah 33gm, 6.3ip/gm, 60era-, 86fip-, 102xfip-, 5.2war/32
* Gausman 33gm, 5.7ip/gm, 81era-, 57fip-, 70xfip-, 4.9war/32
* Bassitt 32gm, 6.0ip/gm, 98era-, 101fip-, 96xfip-, 2.7war/32
* Berrios 33gm, 5.5ip/gm, 137era-, 108fip-, 104xfip-, 0.5war/32
* Kikuchi 34gm, 3.2ip/gm, 136era-, 143fip-, 104xfip-, -0.9war/32

uglyone - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#427523) #
Past 1 Calendar Year

* Romano 67gm, 1.0ip/gm, 61era-, 70fip-, 88xfip-, 1.9war/65
* Swanson 63gm, 0.9ip/gm, 48era-, 52fip-, 72xfip-, 1.9war/65
* Bass 76gm, 1.0ip/gm, 43era-, 79fip-, 83xfip-, 1.6war/65
* Cimber 82gm, 0.9ip/gm, 67era-, 86fip-, 100xfip-, 0.8war/65
* Garcia 65gm, 1.0ip/gm, 82era-, 83fip-, 100xfip-, 0.8war/65
* Mayza 68gm, 0.8ip/gm, 81era-, 94fip-, 72xfip-, 0.5war/65
* Pop 40gm, 1.1ip/gm, 68era-, 79fip-, 86xfip-, 1.0war/65
* Richards 66gm, 1.0ip/gm, 140era-, 105fip-, 104xfip-, -0.5war/65
John Northey - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#427524) #
I am wondering how long they will wait on Belt. Zero history here, had a bad year last year and hasn't shown any signs of hope yet this year. 15 K's in 25 PA's is nightmare material. Reminds me of 1985 with Willie Aikens who hit 200/292/400 before being released and ending his career. He got 12 games as the LH DH (over the team's first 17 games) and actually had a pinch hit home run to win the game in his final PA - nice way to go out. In '83 he had a 149 OPS+, then dropped to 83 the next year and in his limited time in '85 was at 85 before being dumped.

So the challenge is to find either a full-time DH or a LH hitter who is available. No idea who at this point. Yes, Joey Votto, but he hasn't played yet and in spring had a 535 OPS so I don't see him as a solution. Ryan Noda is off to a good start for Oakland (127 OPS+ over 24 PA, 870 OPS last year in AAA, 904 the year before in AA) but he is the type they hold onto (pre-arb). Colorado has Charlie Blackmon who is off to a good start (126 OPS+) after 2 sub 100 OPS+ seasons in a row and is on the final year of his contract ($15 mil this year). That's all I'm seeing from the terrible teams.

FYI: Gurriel Jr has a 53 OPS+ so far, so no big loss. Moreno is at 54 for OPS+, Teoscar at 84. Ross Stripling has a 10.80 ERA over 2 games. Zack Collins in AAA for Cleveland has a 1.156 OPS (38 PA). Zimmer an 810 in AAA (LAD), Bradley Jr an 18 OPS+ for KC. Heineman is 1 for 7 for Pittsburgh, Gosuke Katoh doesn't appear to be playing anywhere. So none of the 2022 lost Jays really are that impressive this year so far.
John Northey - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#427525) #
Rendon is the big flashing red light when it comes to Chapman this winter. A 157 OPS+ his last year in Washington, 150 his first year with the Angels (big free agent contract), and a 96 OPS+ since in just 109 games over 2= seasons. He is owed $38.5 mil a year for the next 3 years after 2023 (ages 34-36) and boy does that contract look bad now. Can't help but wonder if the LAA ownership wouldn't have liked it if Rendon punched that fan and got a years suspension (thus saving $38.5 mil for this year). 3.0 WAR total over his time there including his 150 OPS+ season for the 'low' price of $129 mil (including all of this season).
uglyone - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#427526) #
I think with our depth they'll show some patience. I don't think Belt looks quite as outmatched as others have been saying, even if his numbers are ugly.

the other good news is that all of our potential AAA depth are off to very nice starts:

* Horwitz 27pa, 154wrc+
* Lopez 25pa, 153wrc+
* Barger 28pa, 122wrc+

* Zulueta 3.0ip, 0.00era, 1.36fip, 2.56xfip
* Pearson 4.0ip, 4.50era, 1.61fip, 2.06xfip
Eephus - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#427527) #
Yes, Joey Votto, but he hasn't played yet and in spring had a 535 OPS so I don't see him as a solution.

He's been rehabbing in AAA. The results have been... discouraging thus far.
Eephus - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#427528) #
I am probably willing to give Belt a longer continued look than most, though. Well, at least a longer rope than we gave Saltalamacchia (who indeed looked far toastier in the previous year). It does seem like Belt has had some long battling at-bats at least, just nothing resembling positive results as of yet.

If we do end up really needing another 1B/DH, well there's always Carlos Santana (ughhhhh, please don't make me ever say that again). 
hypobole - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#427529) #
"So none of the 2022 lost Jays really are that impressive this year so far."

Tapia - 314 OPS+. 7 games, 7 PA's. Seem to be using him for late inning defence almost exclusively.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#427530) #
Belt: 1-for-23, double, 2 walks, 15 K.

8 PA working a full count, with 1 walk, 7 K.

The other walk was 4 pitches.

Falling behind in the count 0-2 lead to 6 K.
uglyone - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#427531) #
yeah the long at bats were what I was feeling too.

lemme calculate something......


* Belt 5.2
* Kirk 4.3
* Espinal 4.3
* Biggio 4.2
* Jansen 4.2
* Varsho 4.1
* Chapman 3.9
* Bichette 3.7
* Springer 3.7
* Guerrero 3.5
* Merrifield 3.5
* Kiermaier 3.5

Obviously he'd have many fewer pitches per PA if he was actually hitting the ball but still I can't help but feel this is still a positive sign.
Mike Green - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#427532) #
Late inning defense, you say? Interesting.

Nigel - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#427533) #
Still a small sample size (only a further 100 PAs), but Belt post ASB last year? 36 wRC+

The Jays were pretty fortunate with some BABIP luck in several of their wins (yesterday and opening day in particular) - hopefully they take the banked wins and run with it.
greenfrog - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#427534) #
Belt could be toast. Or he could need more tuning up after the lack of playing time (only 59 PA last year after July) and surgery. Time will tell.
electric carrot - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#427535) #
lemme calculate something......

Belt reminds me a little of Len MATUSZEK from many years ago -- 1985 to be precise. I remember watching him hit and feeling like he was really going to get it going but inevitably he'd work the count to 3-2 and then just strike out. Hopefully Belt's story ends better than Len's.
uglyone - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#427536) #
yeah that's pretty dang funny, Mike.
Chuck - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#427537) #
Seem to be using him (Tapia) for late inning defence almost exclusively.

That seemed implausible so I checked the game logs. He only came in once for defense, and that was to replace an injured Duvall. The rest of the time he was used as a pinch-hitter. His HR off of a position player will keep his OPS+ bloated until he gets a bunch of at-bats.

Injuries to Duvall and Story, forcing Hernandez to play SS exclusively, may buy Tapia some playing time in a thin outfield. I'm sure the Fenway faithful will be tolerant of his shortcomings.

John Northey - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#427538) #
Tapia - how could I forget him? Oh yeah, tried to erase him from my memory.

Boston has had him start only 1 game (went 1 for 3 in CF). Boston is 3-4 in games he has played in. Remove that HR off a position player and he is 2 for 5 (both singles) with a walk and a K. Basically he is nothing to get excited about (as always). 10 innings in CF and 2 in RF making a total of 3 plays (assuming fly outs).

Others from 2021: Reese McGuire also with Boston in 14 PA has a 119 OPS+, Marcus Semien has a 67 OPS+ over 41 PA. Grichuk is out with a hernia issue and hasn't played in 2023, not even in spring. Tellez is off to a slow start with a 58 OPS+ over 30 PA for Milwaukee. Corey Dickerson is 0-3 for Washington. Kevin Smith has a 1.216 OPS in AAA for Oakland over 7 games. Riley Adams 1 for 9 for Washington.

Always fun to go over ex-Jays. Lots more out there but that covers the last 2 years offense and given the Jays could use a DH about now that is what I was most curious about. Sadly Berrios has been signed for 5 more years after this one so no rotation slots open yet (Kikuchi still on the edge despite being signed for this year and next). Stroman off to a good start - 2 starts, 0 runs over 12 IP. The Cubs must be happy with that.
hypobole - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#427539) #
So much happened yesterday, a play that stood out to me got lost in the shuffle.
I've railed against the hit and run on multiple occasions over the years. I've tried to find stats but there's nothing public AFAIK. Our success rate just seemed brutally low. The epitome to me was Travis Shaw against a pitcher who had faced 40 or 50 batters and hadn't struck out even one. Yup - strike em out, throw em out.

After the Chapman GS, Varsho on 1st, he took off. The pitch almost kneecapped Merrifield but he swung cricket-style and actually managed to put it in play. Wantz let it roll through his legs, but I wonder if the momentary "How the heck did he hit that?" may have played a part in the error.

Chuck - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#427540) #
The 10-0 Rays got their first save tonight.
greenfrog - Monday, April 10 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#427541) #
Tapia grounds out to end it. Tampa is now 10-0 (surpassing the 9-0 start achieved by the 1984 Tigers). The record for a win streak to start the season is 13 games, accomplished by Milwaukee (1987) and Atlanta (1982).
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 04:56 AM EDT (#427542) #
Did anyone notice the garish piece of headwear that the Angels used for their home run celebration? It reminded me a little of the Rick Moranis character Dark Helmet in the movie Spaceballs.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#427543) #
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#427546) #
Looked like Samurai gear to me. Probably an Ohtani thing.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#427548) #
Did anyone notice the garish piece of headwear that the Angels used for their home run celebration? It reminded me a little of the Rick Moranis character Dark Helmet in the movie Spaceballs.

It's a samurai helmet, apparently chosen by Ohtani. George Lucas was heavily inspired by samurai films, so the connection to Dark Helmet isn't too far off.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#427549) #
"Evil will always triumph . . . because good is dumb."
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#427560) #
Star Wars nights are popular promotions.
The Buffalo Bisons have several awesome themed jerseys.
I need a MLB / Star Wars video game with laser swords for bats.
Disney owns ESPN and Lucasfilm.
Toronto at Los Angeles, Apr 7-9 | 95 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.