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It's the home opener!


The Tigers are not off to a great start, having lost seven of their first nine games. I expected them to be quite a bit better this season - it seemed impossible that a bunch of decent hitters would continue to swing the bats as badly as they all did in 2022. But so far, they've picked up exactly where they left off. They've scored just 27 runs in their first nine games, and the team is collecively hitting .205/.261/.292, which is not excellent.

The Jays come home off a 6-4 road trip, which is certainly a happy result - they were outscored 58-54 in the ten games, and allowing 5.8 runs per game is obviously not the path to prosperity and post-season glory.

I notice that the Tampa Devil Fishies are off to the best start the AL has seen since the 1987 Brewers, who won their first 13 games, and 17 of their first 18. By the beginning of May, those Brewers stood at 20-3 and had a five game lead on the rest of the division.

They then lost 12 in a row, and eventually finished third, seven games back of the TIgers. It's a long season, and it's not even the middle of April.

Matchups!

Tue 11 Apr - Manning (1-0, 3.18) vs Manoah (1-0, 4.35)
Wed 12 Apr - Rodriguez (0-2, 6.30) vs Gausman (1-1, 0.00)
Thu 13 Apr - Turnbull (0-2, 13.50) vs Bassitt (1-1, 10.61)
Detroit at Toronto, Apr 11-13 | 133 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
jz6pwc - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#427544) #
I hope this is where Kirk and Belt get it going.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#427545) #
A couple of stories of note from Travis Sawchik. One about Daulton Varsho.

https://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/2620813

The other is about the Dome's new park dimensions.

https://www.thescore.com/news/2625218
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#427550) #
Opening Day is always special. To mark the occasion, I trimmed my sideburns like our new bench coach.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#427551) #
Travis Sawchik's column is interesting. Moving the fence in so much and making it somewhat higher must surely lead to a significant increase in offense. Whether that results from more home rums or more doubles or both (my opinion) is a matter of debate, but it will unquestionably mean fewer fly ball outs to right field.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#427552) #
It is a long season. But Fangraphs does project Tampa to have the best record in baseball now with 94 wins. It's far from a sure thing of course.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#427553) #
I trimmed my sideburns like our new bench coach.

I'm sure they're still too long.

Marc Hulet - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#427554) #
I'll admit the Rays have a good team but the attention seems overblown given the basement dwelling nature of their first three opponents. We're talking about barely MLB quality teams...
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#427556) #
I agree, Marc. Point being, that no team is expected to go 10-0 against weak opposition. 6-4 or 7-3 maybe. The Rays are 3 or 4 games ahead of already good expectations and their record raises the possibility that they are in fact a better club than expected. Somewhat.
Nigel - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#427557) #
Before the year started I thought the Yankees, TB and Jays were roughly equivalent on talent (as low 90ís win teams). A normal distribution of outcomes for teams of that caliber leaves the door open that they win 100+ games ďjust becauseĒ. Thank God for the balancing of the schedule.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#427558) #
No question what Tampa has done to start (10 straight wins) is very impressive. 76-18 in runs for/against (suggests a record of 9-1) is also impressive. But they did it against Detroit, Washington, Oakland, and Boston (1 game).  Washington & Oakland were the worst teams in MLB last year while Detroit lost 96 games.  Boston was last in the AL East.  These are not impressive teams to beat, in fact any contender needs to be winning at least 2 of 3 every time vs teams like this or at least be close to that.

So yeah, it is impressive to pound the crap out of AAA teams, but we'll see how good Tampa is when they come here on the 14th (Friday).  The schedule maker gave Tampa a very easy April as they play Cincinnati after coming here before they face the White Sox (7 games) and Houston, 3 vs Pittsburgh (easy) then the Yankees-O's-Yankees-Mets when they'll really get tested. If they are still in 1st by 4+ games on the morning of May 19th after that I'll be impressed.

Btw, it'll be a real culture shock for Kiermaier today - Tampa had 25k for their opening day this year, a level they reached 4 times last year (25,025 is their max it seems).  The Jays new capacity is 41,500 - safe to say they'll hit that today.  Just 22 times the Jays had less than 25k at a home game last year, worst being 18,577 vs the Yankees (???) on May 2nd.  Weird.  Were the Raptors and Leafs both having playoff games that day or something?
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#427559) #
I trimmed my sideburns like our new bench coach.

I did my hair like Kelly Gruber too.

greenfrog - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#427561) #
Looking forward to a 6-2 Jays win tonight.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#427562) #
Freddy!
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#427563) #
Geddy!
Gerry - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#427564) #
Kiermaier!
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#427565) #
KK still the only defensive CF better than Pillar was.

(don't even talk to me about JBJ)


KK tried to save Manoah from himself but big boy is super shaky again.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#427566) #
When you walk Javy Baez bad things happen.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#427567) #
Why does it seem like they do this every home opener?


grjas - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#427568) #
Game 1 playoffs. Opening day. Home opener. Coincidence or does Manoah get over amped for big games? Hopefully a coincidence and a short term mechanic issue. But sheesh heís missing his spots.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#427569) #
my guess is the Rays have hacked into the pitch coms.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#427570) #
Rough inning for Manoah but credit him for pitching out of a huge jam to keep the Jays in it.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#427572) #
Might be time to pull him.
Waveburner - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#427573) #
Manoah's in between pitches routine used to involve rubbing the balls, I assumed for grip purposes. I wonder if he's just having trouble adjusting to get a proper grip on the ball.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#427574) #
You'd think after what happened in 2013 this organization might learn a thing or two about staging a coronation in the Home Opener pre-game.

2-8 in their last 10.

It's just so over the top every single year...the Jays players come out flat, it motivates the other team.

The hoopla and the hyperbole
before just comes across as a city and an organization that is insecure.

uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#427575) #
doesn't every team do that tho?
mathesond - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#427576) #
Yeah, it certainly doesn't seem as insecure as complaining that it fires up the visiting teams.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#427577) #
Loosening his Belt
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#427578) #
Nope. Just anecdotally, I've been to Detroit, Cleveland and Toronto...Detroit in 2007 coming off a World Series appearance..Cleveland in 2012. There were player intros and national anthems and a few dignitaries. Nothing even close to the level of puffery we see every damn year.



grjas - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#427579) #
Iím with you Petey. Find the hype and horses*&$ annoying. Was 740 and still waiting for an actual ballgame . Anyway a lot of fans seem to like it since opening day sells out every year.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#427580) #
This Carpenter guy should probably stop hitting it there, not that Iím complaining.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#427581) #
Having all the CFs is more fun than having all the Cs.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#427582) #
Very nice job by Pop so far.

Oh, and Tampa is 11-0. Folks, itís not as easy as it might seem on paper.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#427583) #
Game on TV tonight was basically a 3 hour ad for coming to the park.
grjas - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#427584) #
Belt has looked very good at every bat tonight. What a lineup if he keeps hitting and Kirk comes around.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#427585) #
Welcome home, Belt.

you too, Alejandro.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#427586) #
This is fun.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#427587) #
Game on TV tonight was basically a 3 hour ad for coming to the park.

Yeah, coming to the park and sitting in one of the hip new social areas where you aren't forced to watch the game. The perfect destination for the non-fan.

mathesond - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#427588) #
Hey, ya gotta sell something besides the team. I can watch them at home!
hypobole - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#427589) #
The more money the Jays make, the more chance some of it gets reinvested in the ball club.

I'm OK with that, whether the money comes from rabid fans or non-fans.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#427590) #
hey there are a lot of bad games and even a lot of good games have bad parts.

making the park an enjoyable place to spend a night regardless of whether there's an entertaining game on or not is something i like to see.

not that i love their branding of these social areas, of course.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#427591) #
It's a hard park for a pitcher now.  Strike out your share.  Don't walk many.  Don't worry about the home runs too much.  Ferguson Jenkins is your model, which seems appropriate. 

Zach Pop looked very good, and Alek Manoah not so much.  Pop has walked 1 and given up 2 hits while striking out 6 in 6.2 IP so far this season.  That will play.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#427592) #
Pageantry is done the right way in Toronto. Grandeur. Pomp.

Fred McGriff. Hall of Fame. Immortality.

In 25 days, we crown a new King too. Ultimate opulence.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#427593) #
Props to Swanson, too. He has looked good this year. Savvy pitcher.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 11 2023 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#427594) #
Jays on a 104 win pace.
grjas - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#427596) #
The movement on Popís pitches is electric. If white comes back in the next month, it better be Richards that goes.
scottt - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#427597) #
I don't know. Is the gameplay an ad for coming to the ballpark?
The only thing they cut to fit the renovation coverage is the blurbs in which they regurgitate parts of the pre-game show interviews. I hate those.

Manoah was pretty bad, but in the end it was almost as good as an average Stripling outing.

That game had everything. Stolen base, opposing runner gunned down, 1 stolen homerun (on the right side of the scorecard for a change), 5 homeruns, excellent relief pitching.

Manoah seems to have been impacted by the Jays making 3 quick outs in the first.
He got an out on a ball out of the park, but that seems to have shaken him and he stopped throwing strikes.
He walked guys that he had no business walking and he couldn't agree on pitches from Kirk.
Manoah has only 3 pitches, so that shouldn't happen.
I'd venture that he's not comfortable with the pitch clock.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#427598) #
Stripling in his career as a starter has struck out 8 and walked under 2 per 9 innings with an ERA under 4.  3 runs in 4.1 innings is bad, and it could have been worse. 

So far, Manoah has walked almost 7 batters per game.  Things will get worse if he keeps doing that. And of course, he knows that better than anybody. 
hypobole - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#427599) #
Vlad's flyouts made me think of something, so I resolved to check this morning. Yup, the Jays are tied with Tampa for the fewest in baseball. Good.

c
Gonna make you guess.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#427600) #
2020 is a distant memory - Can Cavan Biggio hold his roster spot all year? With his father now influential with the Astros, I was hoping they would have been interested last offseason.
zeppelinkm - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#427601) #
hypo: GIDP? I feel like the Jays were good for that a couple times a game last few years and this year it seems to occuring far less often.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#427602) #
You got it, zeppelinkm.
Last year they had 136, only 4 fewer than the mlb worst Nats. For context, the Rangers had 82, Dodgers 85, Rays 93.

GIDP's sent my infuriometer to critical levels all too often. Only 4 GIDP's so far, although a bit is luck (.339 BABIP is 3rd highest). Last year's GB/FB ratio was 1.31, 4th worst. This year it's 1.09 so far, 19th worst.

Interestingly, when I went to FG to double check numbers, I see an article on Varsho elevating the ball.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lifting-could-be-the-key-to-liftoff-for-daulton-varsho/
John Northey - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#427604) #
Interesting to note that after yesterday Manoah isn't doing _that_ bad, a 93 ERA+ over 3 starts, just shy of 5 IP per start (1 out away from that).  Gausman a 0 ERA 6 IP per start. Berrios 41 ERA+ (ouch) 1 out away from 5 IP per start. Bassitt 43 ERA+ (ouch) 2 outs away from the 5 IP standard. Kikuchi same IP as Bassitt but a 68 ERA+.

The pen has a 3-0 record with 6 saves, 2 blown, 5 holds (4 for Garcia).  So while we were very worried about the pen they've done well.  The blown saves were opening day (Garcia blew it, but also got the win), and the wild April 9th game (12-11) where Romano blew the save but got the win.  So 2 vulture wins there by the guys Schneider trusts most in the pen.  Bass seems to be the guy least trusted, closely followed by Richards.

Ignoring starters, the fewest PA in high leverage situations goes to Bass (3 PA, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 out), then Cimber (4 PA 1 hit - a home run, and a walk), Mazya, Swanson, and Richards have 5 PA in that situation. Garcia 10 PA, Romano 12.  Pop has not had a high leverage PA.  For low level you get Richards (17), Bass (15), Pop (14), Cimber (13), Swanson (13), Mayza (6), Garcia (5), Romano (4).  Kind of surprised how little faith Schneider has in Swanson given what the Jays gave up to get him.

The good news is in late/close situations the Jays have given up just a 628 OPS (the best split for the Jays). Their worst split is in blowouts (>4 run spread) with a 863 OPS.

For hitters in high leverage #1 by a mile is Chapman with 16 PA (971 OPS), then 9 for Varsho, 8 for Vlad and 8 for Biggio (surprising, 1 walk, 1 HBP over 8 PA).  Best is Bo (1.867 OPS over 6 PA), then Kiermaier (1.571 OPS over 7 PA).
For low leverage #1 in PA is Vlad at 30, Bo at 28, then a big drop to 21 PA for Varsho, 20 for Chapman. Chapman has eaten up those situations with a 1.532 OPS, then Biggio at 1.017.
scottt - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#427606) #
Apart from the brutal second inning, Manoah was doing fine.
There might come a point in an inning when the pitcher has thrown too many pitches and needs to sit down for a while. There isn't much the manager can do when the pen doesn't have a long man.

Btw, Stripling is off to an horrible start.

Also, the Guerrero A&W ad is hilarious.
 I couldn't figure out who was throwing BP at  first.

hypobole - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#427607) #
One more from FG, this time on a subtle change Chapman has made this year, changing his leg kick to a toe tap.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/four-hitters-who-should-have-your-early-season-attention/
uglyone - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#427608) #
Dome is OPEN
John Northey - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#427609) #
It is fun following ex-Jay pitchers too - seeing who we should've kept and who we are thankful they said 'goodbye' to. It changes often during a season but early returns...
  • Stripling: 2 games, 1 start, 6 2/3 IP 5 HR, 8 ER. Yikes.
  • Max Castillo: 7.27 ERA over 2 starts in AAA (8 2/3 IP). Ouch.
  • Merryweather: 4 2/3 IP over 4 games with Cubs 8 H 6 ER 2 BB 3 SO. Ouch.
  • Matt Gage: 3 AAA games, 3 1/3 IP 5 H 4 R 3 ER 3 BB 5 SO.
  • Robbie Ray: 1 start 3 1/3 IP 4 H 5 R 3 ER 5 BB 3 SO. Diagnosed with a Grade 1 flexor strain, he isn't allowed to throw at all right now.
  • Steven Matz: 2 starts, 11 IP 10 ER. Ouch.
  • Taijuan Walker: 2 starts, 9 IP 6 ER.
Just a few that caught my eye. Not much we'd want back. Certainly think the Jays did the right move letting Ray go and signing Gausman.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#427610) #
One ex-Jays pitcher having an excellent start is pitching today for the Cubs. 3 starts-13 scoreless innings. Should prompt a comment uo.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#427611) #
Not surprised, it's a contract year (player option) and perhaps the last shot at a big payday.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#427614) #
Finally! I got my vintage video game: " Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball " (1994)
92-93 - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#427618) #
Wow, the Dome usually opens in mid to late May. It needs sustained weather in the high teens.

And yes, it would be nice to have Stroman instead of Berrios.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#427619) #
The front office has made a lot of good moves in building the current roster. To name a few: Gausman, Chapman, Springer, Varsho, Kiermaier, Pop, Swanson, Cimber, Garcia. Iím optimistic that Belt will work out as well. Itís impressive how theyíve taken advantage of short-term contracts (Ray, Semien, Stripling, Matz) and then moved on from / bet on the right MLB players and prospects.

James W - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#427621) #
5 holds (4 for Garcia)

That isn't right, because Erik Swanson has 4 holds as well. Throw in one for Richards and one for Mayza and the team has 10 holds total.
soupman - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#427622) #
i think it's too early to draw conclusions on the Varsho trade.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#427623) #
Itís early days for Varsho with the Jays, but the 26-year-old now has 1068 PA in the majors and 7.3 fWAR over that stretch. So he has already built a strong track record of performance. And he is off to a good start this year.
92-93 - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#427625) #
Teoscar has 3 HR and 8 RBI through 13 games, and leads MLB in DRS.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#427626) #
I donít know enough about defensive metrics to assess Teoís defense, but his offensive numbers (even after todayís home run) are not impressive:

.216/.273/.431 and a 1:15 BB:K ratio

I would rather have Kiermaier, Swanson and Macko ó which is essentially what the Jays swapped Teo for. KK alone has been significantly more valuable than Teo in the early going this year.

Parker - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#427627) #
Sportsnet Now really really sucks.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#427628) #
Fabulous throw by VGJ.  It didn't result in an out as Mayza didn't get there in time.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#427629) #
Mike, I think you were one of the first to suggest that Vladdy be converted into a first baseman. That was a very good idea. It has worked out superbly.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#427630) #
uo was an early proponent as well.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#427631) #
We all knew the AL East was going to be a tough division this year:

Tampa 12-0
Toronto 8-4
New York 8-4

And Tampa and NYY have been without some key players in the early going.
soupman - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#427632) #
he's looked great so far. but he's got a career 104 OPS+ so, a lot of the WAR was driven by him playing at the top of the defensive spectrum, now he's relegated to the (imo) lowest position (though, i think, WAR penalizes 1b more). it's true that speed doesn't slump, and we've seen him use it a lot already. i like his style of play, but i also think we gave up a guy that has a reasonable chance to be a top 5 catcher in baseball for years to come. i think we'll get a clearer picture after we see how the al east pitchers attack him. it looked reasonable on paper, it's looked good so far, but time will tell.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#427633) #
Crazy streak for the Rays - 12-0 to start, 1 away from the 'modern' record of 13 (Brewers 1987). But still miles from the record set by the 1875 Boston Red Stockings - 26 straight to start the season, 71-8-3 on the season. Yikes. Last year of the National Associations. That was a nutty good team, just 2 players had a sub 100 OPS+ (the manager over 4 PA, and a 99 for the backup 1B), Al Spalding was their #1 pitcher (570 2/3 IP... different game back then with a 136 ERA+). Phew. Fun to look back to the pre-NL days when they pitched like in fastball (underhand) and used 1 ball for the whole game.

To give you an idea of how good Spalding was vs his contemporaries he had 60 bWAR despite only playing for 7 seasons (just 11 IP his final season). In 1875 he led the NA in wins and saves. Like Tampa today their attendance wasn't a 'wow' peaking at 5.5k at home vs 8k on the road, lowest was 100 fans at a game, of course the Brooklyn team bottomed out at 50 fans, peaking at 2,500. Helps explain why the NA died.

The Rays, despite this 'wow' streak, have been sub 20k in all but their first 2 games at home. Their 11-0 win over Oakland had just 11,159 show up. A bit better for the 12th straight win at 17,136. Maybe they'll get half a Jays crowd for their shot at 13 in a row. By the time they come here on Friday they might be at 170k total fans for 10 games. Over 3 games this weekend the Jays could have 120k, especially with the Raptors done now (really blew it) and the NHL playoffs not starting until Monday (Leafs last regular season game is tomorrow). I think we can all see why Kiermaier was so happy at the home opener.
Cracka - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#427634) #
Schneider made some tough decisions tonight that all seemed to turn out great. 1) Bringing Gausman back to pitch the 8th down 3-1; 2) Which set up Mayza in the 9th, and Romano in the 10th 3) Pinch-hitting Kirk for Espinal in a double-play-ends-the-game situation... 4) Leaving Chapman at DH and putting Biggio in at 3B in extra innings, and 5) And not pinch-hitting for Kiermeier in the 10th, despite lefty-on-lefty, and letting him bunt away. I think his boldest decision was pinch-hitting Kirk for Espinal - but it obviously worked.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#427635) #
I don't see Moreno as close to being a top 5 just yet - has just a 56 OPS+ so far (didn't play tonight) - maybe someday soon, but not today. His defense is highly rated at both FanGraphs and BR. But I like our 2 more than him right now, and probably for 2024 as well. It'd have been nice to keep all 3, but it wasn't to be. Varsho certainly isn't a bad guy to have with his 153 wRC+ so far (including tonight) and his defense isn't highly rated yet this year but fielding stats in early April are best ignored.
soupman - Wednesday, April 12 2023 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#427637) #
i couldn't tell from the broadcast, but i assume rivera sent vlad in the first. if so, what was he thinking? the ball was already on the way back in...from the angle i saw he wasn't really waving him in or stopping him. did anyone catch it?

in the fourth vlad was lucky to get the obstruction call, because he was going to be nailed even if kreidler had been in the stands. i looked at the video and vlad was fully committed as the ball went past him (i assume he couldn't see Baez), and rivera waited too long to throw up the stop sign. rivera was standing in a terrible spot where kreidler was blocking vlad's view of him and he threw up the sign too late, but vlad did basically also run into his arms...rivera had to jump back, which actually made it look like he was waving him home the first time i looked at it. vlad almost literally bulldozed his way through the stop sign. he's still faster than he looks, but probably always going to be missing the couple of steps that he seems to think he has. ultimately, probably not worth dwelling on given the outcome. i'm more confused by what happened in the first.
StephenT - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#427638) #
I like the zigzagging light blue trim line (home run line?) of the new outfield wall.  It really stands out in any picture.

The wall now resembles the Blue Jays logo, which has zigzags and two similar shades of blue.

I like the dark blue of the new outfield seats also.
Eephus - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 03:38 AM EDT (#427639) #
I like the zigzagging light blue trim line (home run line?) of the new outfield wall.  It really stands out in any picture.

I noticed this as well and think exactly the same: that colour is a nice personal touch for the Blue Jays, compared to the usual shade of intentionally noticeable yellow that adorns many outfield walls throughout baseball. The new fences (even at this point of infancy) certainly seem to have some character, both aesthetically and functionally. 

This team certainly hasn't been boring so far, that's for sure.
92-93 - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#427640) #
Beauty of a game last night for the good guys, save for the baserunning. Great jobs by Merrifield and Kirk hitting sac flies to move the runners and tie the game. Excellent defense from Bichette and Guerrero to keep things that way. And a tremendous start from Gausman, going 8 and giving a bullpen without a much-needed long-man a blow. Give me 8 innings of 3-run ball over 5-6 innings of 2-run ball any day.

With respect to pinch hitting for Espinal with Kirk despite a potential double-play ending the game, one might be surprised to learn that Espinal hit into one more DPs last year with 50 fewer PAs. For a guy with his (lack of) speed, Kirk doesn't hit into that many of them, and the low K rate makes him ideal in that spot.

Hopefully Chapman isn't hurt, because otherwise it made very little sense to use Biggio at 3B instead of moving Chapman out of DH. The P spot would have been due up 8th in the 10th inning and they still would have had Belt, Biggio, and Luplow on the bench. Extra inning games don't last long anymore.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#427641) #
There's a picture in the Globe of VGJ's infield hit with Vladdy ducking under Torkelson's tag. The caption- Crouching Jay, Flying Tiger- was pretty good.
smyttysmullet94 - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#427642) #
That's great.
smyttysmullet94 - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#427643) #
I don't really like the Navy Blue as I don't consider it one of the team's colours, but the team itself seems to disagree with me about that.
jz6pwc - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#427644) #
@soupman. Vlady was not running hard in the first... (going first to second) It was almost like he thought it was a homerun. He probably would have been out anyway, but it would have been a closer play.
smyttysmullet94 - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#427645) #
The SN Now app being an unworkable pile of dung is what you get when government encourages one giant telecom corp to run almost everything telecom-related in this country. It should be embarrassing, but we just accept it (and our cell phone bills) as a fait accompli.
Chuck - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#427646) #
The SN Now app being an unworkable pile of dung

I was gifted a 6-month subscription to SN Now from someone who won it at Tim Horton's. After using it once or twice, I am wondering what the people who didn't win get, a 12-month subscription?

Glevin - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#427647) #
Ugly game but Jays finding ways to win which happens when you have good D, a deep lineup, and a strong bullpen. Also, these things all help even when some things aren't going well. Real Jays need I see now is a long guy in the pen. Someone who can go 3 innings at a time especially as Jays have a lot of starters who don't go deep into games. White makes sense there I guess but I can see Zulueta being a good fit soon.


I am definitely not a bunt guy but if you are going to bunt, it's nice to be able to get a good one down.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#427648) #
Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull tossed a no-hitter May 18th, 2021.

Turnbull did not play in 2022, recovering from Tommy John surgery.

mathesond - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#427649) #
Just curious, as I am considering cutting cable but don't want to lose my baseball coverage. What are the issues with the app? Does the feed keep cutting out?
BlueMonday - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#427650) #
Re the Sportsnet app. [We cut the cord a couple of years ago and have been using it]. It works pretty well an an App on Apple TV, if youíve got the newer Apple TV where you can add the app. It stops maybe once a game, but you just restart it with the remote. Iíve had to reinstall the App maybe once every couple of weeks. A bit of a hassle, but still worth the price of about 15 bucks a month. However, running it off a cell phone or an iPad has quit on me partway through two games so far this year and then doesnít work for the rest of the game. Arghh!
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#427651) #
Mathesond, myfeed cuts out during many commercial breaks. I have discovered a work-around that is likely particular to my Surface. It's definitely annoying.
hypobole - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#427652) #
There are 2 teams that have a total of 13 players on their current roster that were drafted or signed as amateur FA's by the Jays.

One is Toronto with 8 - Manoah, Mayza, Romano, Vlad, Bichette, Biggio, Kirk and Jansen.

What team that has the other 5?
mathesond - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#427654) #
Thanks everyone. I expect I would stream it through my TV (I can't get used to the small phone screens), so it may not be a terrible idea. Of course, I would still need to figure out which service to purchase for NFL, and I'm sure my wife would insist on getting Crave...by the time it's all settled, I may not net out to any savings.
Cracka - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#427655) #
DAZN is great for the NFL - and it's only ~$25/month for everything (Sunday Ticket + NFL Red Zone) with one month's notice to cancel. South of the border, the same package costs $450-$500 USD via YouTube, which now owns the US broadcast rights for Sunday Ticket (ie. out-of-market games). There aren't many things that are way, way cheaper in Canada, but the NFL is one of them.

I've had issues 3 times this season with Sportsnet streaming not available -- it's much worse (less reliable) than last season so far. I usually take my dog for a walk at 7 pm and stream the first few innings of the game... no issues last season at all, but this year hasn't been great and a few nights I haven't been able to connect at all.
soupman - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#427656) #
I Vlad he was gunning it...but he does often do what you're saying (and I have pointed it out, as it is something that frustrates me with him), but I don't think he was guilty of that in this instance. I looked at it again and he got a decent jump because it was 2 outs...again, I think it's Rivera that's to blame here unless Vlad ran a stop sign (which I can't tell from the clip on mlb.com). I do think Vlad is still "faster than he looks", but the problem, it seems to me (a stupid viewer), is that he thinks/feels he is fast - but those are evidently not the same.
soupman - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#427658) #
E: Vlad was gunning it*
I am a terrible self-editor. I had typed "I think he was gunning it" before I went and looked at the clip, and then half-edited. Ugh. I'm so used to stealth editing these types of things.
mathesond - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#427659) #
I've been considering DAZN for a few years now, as my beloved Eagles are only available on linear TV here when they are doing well (or are playing their mandated Thursday game) - of course, I probably wouldn't care to watch many of their games when they are doing poorly anyway. So that'd be $40/month for my Jays/NFL fix, plus the 20-ish Crave costs, on top of my other streaming fees. I finally bit the bullet and decided to pause Netflix in order to pick up Disney, and will probably do the reverse in a few months.
grjas - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#427660) #
Re SN and AppleTV, not sure if this helps anyone else, but the problem I sometimes see is after I select the Jays game I get a blank screen and nothing streams. So what seems to work for me is I then go to the shows section on the AppleTV app and play a recorded segment of some arbitrary sports interview show for a minute then go back to the Jays game and it usually starts streaming. Bizarre, but at least on my AppleTV it seems to work almost all the time, so might be worth a try. Sometimes I have to try a couple of recorded shows before it connects. Tim and friends seems to work best.

What I also find annoying is how often the video and audio are unsynced. Hate hearing the bat connect a second before seeing it happen. If I disconnect and then reconnect, it sometimes seems to reset.
hypobole - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#427661) #
The team with 5 guys who started in the Blue Jays system is Oakland.

Zach Jackson and Dany Jimenez returned from last year. Ryan Noda was mentioned in another thread. Kevin Smith was recalled from the minors a few days ago. And after last appearing in the majors back in 2018, Carlos Perez is back in the bigs.
hypobole - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#427662) #
Tampa just swept Boston. Coming to Toronto at 13-0.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#427663) #
Oakland. I was thinking the Angels with Loup and Tepera. Urshela briefly played for Toronto, but came up with Cleveland.
Magpie - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#427664) #
I think it's Rivera that's to blame here

Rivera definitely waved him in. Hinch was saying that one of the things that will happen with the shorter fences is baserunners getting thrown out (because the throw is shorter, because fielders will get to the ball quicker.) The coaches will likely need an adjustment period as well.
Cracka - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#427665) #
Maybe I'm being hyper-critical, but Luis Rivera seems to have a habit of "standing in a bad spot" when guys are rounding third on close plays. He positions himself close to 3rd base - as opposed to down the 3rd baseline - and this means he has less time to make his "send or hold" decision before he's out of the runner's sight. Some coaches position themselves several feet down the line, in a spot where they can make eye contact with the runner as they've rounded 3rd - and that gives them an extra split second to judge the incoming throw to the plate. Rivera has nearly 40 years of professional experience - it's hard to doubt him - but this is something that I notice some other coaches do differently.
jz6pwc - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#427666) #
In the first inning, the play @soupman is referencing, Valdy was watching the Chapman hit with 2 outs. He was not running like he should have been. The replay on both SN and Fox does not show it, but I saw it when it happened. I'm not making an excuse for Rivera just pointing out that it may not have looked that bad if Valdy was running hard with the crack of the bat. There were 2 outs and you're in the first inning. Worth a gamble but that maybe was way too much since the play was right in front of Luis. He should have been able to calculate that outcome better. Maybe the aggressiveness will force the players to run hard at all times. IDK.
grjas - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#427668) #
Tampa just swept Boston. Coming to Toronto at 13-0.

..and Berrios is on the moundÖ.well if by some miracle he stops their run, would be a big confidence builder for him. I just wouldnít put money on it.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#427669) #
The other day I suggested that Tampa might be en route to doing what Detroit did in 1984 (starting out 35-5). Some people thought that was wildly implausible. But the notion seems to be getting a bit more conceivable with each passing game.
Nigel - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#427670) #
TBís run differential tells you thereís nothing fluky about it.
hypobole - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#427671) #
Angels did have 3 last year when Thor was there.

It was Perez that prompted the question. Saw him in the boxscores the past couple of days and I had to check if it was "our" Carlos Perez. Still remember him as the Jays "catcher of the future" and part of AA's 9 player trade.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#427674) #
Bassitt just threw a 95 mph fastball.  He's going to be OK.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#427675) #
W / L record, per uniform:

light blue - 3-1
dark blue - 2-2
road grey - 2-1
home white - 1-0

* * *

Speaking of the blue line atop the outfield wall:

The Argonauts (Double Blue) originally, as a rowing club, styled Oxford blue and Cambridge blue.
The Maple Leafs (Blue & White) sport: " the shade of Blue theyíve used since the 1987-1988 season Ė
a darker-than-Royal / lighter-than-Navy color. "

The Blue Jays, according to the search engine, combine royal and navy blue for the logo.
As for the powder blue / baby blue uniforms, I am unsure of the official colour.

greenfrog - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#427676) #
Still too many pitches over the heart of the plate for Bassitt.
ayjackson - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#427677) #
I like seeing Belt getting out of his slump by making a concerted effort to hit the ball to left. Professional hitter?
greenfrog - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#427678) #
Decent start by Bassitt tonight. A few mistakes, but solid overall.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#427679) #
Kiermaier's absence is noted.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#427680) #
Slipshod defence all the way around this inning. 
greenfrog - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#427681) #
Bass should have taken Buckís advice and stuck with the low-and-away FB. Instead he hung a slider to Rogers and itís now 3-1 Detroit.
christaylor - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#427682) #
They should hand Buck a pitchcom transmitter. I'm half joking, but a dedicated pitch caller from the bench would be a good addition.

With all the changes recently, I'm getting inside with a Hunter Thompson piece on improving the game from 20ish years ago:

https://www.espn.com/espn/page2/story?id=860846

...it doesn't seem quite so outlandish now or maybe I'm not as much of a purist as I was in my 20s.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#427683) #
The ball/strike calls tonight were appalling.  It seemed that the Jays benefited slightly from the calls, but the umpire scorecard is not going to be pretty.
92-93 - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#427684) #
Why did Espinal face a RHP in the 9th with Kiermaier on the bench? If it had anything to do with Chapman unavailable and a short bench then burning two players to PR for Kirk was silly.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 13 2023 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#427685) #
It will be interesting to see if Tiedemann forces his way into the rotation this year, a la Manoah 2021.
dalimon5 - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#427688) #
I don't think there's any chance Tiedemann is not on this team and top 2 pitcher on the staff by Aug 1 latest. FO would be foolish not to bring him up.
scottt - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:10 AM EDT (#427689) #
Bass made the same mistake with every hitter. Get to 2 strikes while working outside then throw a breaking ball inside. If you go inside, it has to be off the plate and the goal is mostly to get a foul for a strike, so best to go there with one strike.

Pitchers often tries to copy other pitchers but Bass was very good last year, outside of the playoffs game.

scottt - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#427690) #
The strike calling was terrible. It's not obvious who benefits in a case like that.
Good hitters get retired on balls or start chasing.

scottt - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#427691) #
The run differential in the last Yankees game tells me that it was completely fluky.

Let's look at it this way, every single Rays hitter is hitting .200~.300 over their career OPS, or higher except the catcher who is only over by .069.
Maybe this is the year Yandy Diaz and Harold Ramirez hit 40 home runs each but I don't subscribe to that point of view. 

Mike Green - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#427692) #
Playing Merrifield in LF against a RHP with a healthy Kiermaier and Varsho is bizarre. McLanahan starts for the Rays on Sunday. That's the perfect day to give Kiermaier the day off. If the club really believes that Merrifield is going to recapture past glories and wants to give him 500 PAs (I don't buy it), they should give him the bulk of the second base job.

Espinal has been fed junk at the bottom of the zone and below. The zone seems to have expanded south of the border, last night and in general this season.


Mike Green - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#427693) #
As for Tiedemann, he would surely be one of the club's 6 or 7 best pitchers and should be here later in the season given where the club is.

But even the great ones often take a little while to adjust so it's best to keep expectations restrained. Roger Clemens had an ERA+ of 97 in his first season at age 21. Justin Verlander was smacked around in his cup of coffee at age 22 and was good but not great at age 23. Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax and others struggled for longer.
bpoz - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#427694) #
D Gooden, Stieb, Saberhagen, Key all had initial success and successful careers. Manoah seems to be doing that.
jz6pwc - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#427695) #
Detroit could have easily won 2 of 3. I hate to see what the Rays would have done to us. I hope our 3 starters are way better than their last starts or we are in trouble. The hitting has to be better too or Tampa's win streak is going to continue. Certainly won't see base running mistakes from them.
Mike Green - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#427696) #
Stieb had an ERA+ of 100 in his first season. Key was in the pen, and not particularly successful in his first season. Saberhagen was good but not great in his first season (ERA+ of 115). Only Doc Gooden was top flight out of the chute.
Cracka - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#427697) #
The biggest issue with Tiedemann is going to be his innings limit. He only pitched 79 innings last season, so I would guess he'll be capped at 110-120 this season. With that in mind, it's hard to see him starting all season long, especially once he stretches out to 6-7/innings a start. I think a more likely scenario is something like this: Tiedemann starts once a week in the minors until the end of June (~12 starts / -70 innings) then returns to the development complex in July (just like he did last year), and then returns as a reliever in the 2nd half of the season, making his MLB debut in late July/August. He can be capped at 15-20 innings per month and kept on track to be available for meaningful innings in the post-season.

John Northey - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#427698) #
I really don't get the innings cap teams use so strongly. It hasn't reduced overall injuries by any stretch from what I can tell. Some have suggested it is more to watch their arm angles during a game and if it fluctuates (easily measured now) then pull them as that is when the injury risk jumps. But many examples of guys pushing it throughout baseball history at young ages exist where they didn't blow their arm out until much older. With teams only having 6-7 years of control you'd think they'd push kids harder so they can get up, throw a ton of innings, then if their arm blows out at 30 so be it. Yeah, not nice, but billionaire owners aren't known for being nice.

If you go by something along those lines then you could push kids a lot more and maybe get more Dwight Gooden type careers (tons of innings when young, then a short tail end) instead of what we see now (low innings when young and strong, higher when old and starting to break down).

Heck, if I ran a terrible team (such as Detroit) I'd look at anything for an edge and this could be it - push kid pitchers a LOT more, watch arm angles and base decisions off that for pulling/keeping in. Get a few knuckleball pitchers back into the mix to eat tons of innings (they have the potential for 40+ starts and 300+ innings). Try new things that no one else is doing. 4 man tandem rotations, more platoons of different types (rather than L/R do power/finesse - Kiermaier hits power & finesse pitchers well so far this year, Merrifield 0 for 5 vs power, 356 OPS vs finesse, but over 1000 OPS vs neutral guys who Kiermaier has had the most trouble vs). IE: be creative and don't worry about looking bad. Too much groupthink. That is what helped Oakland jump up briefly in the early 00's and what could help another team today. Ignore groupthink and go for the risk. Heck, what does Detroit (or Oakland, KC, Pittsburgh, Colorado) have to lose? Yeah, you might blow out a kids arm but you also might get a 250 inning guy for the first time in a long time. You might lose 100 but your team already is doing that annually.

Now, for the Jays the situation is different. As a contender you need to be a LOT more careful. Tiedemann doing 3 inning starts for his first 5, 4 inning next 5, 5 inning the next 5 would get him to 60 innings after 15 starts and gets you to mid-season. If needed you could call him up for the 2nd half and get him 40+ in the majors in the pen or give him 5 more AAA starts at 5 inning max = 25 more = 85 IP max. Then call him up for September/playoffs for 20-40 innings in the pen depending on effectiveness/need.

Don't forget by September we should have Ryu back too. He won't be in the pen most likely but if healthy and fully recovered could be a massive asset if any of Bassitt (59 ERA+), Berrios (41 ERA+), or Kikuchi (68 ERA+) are still stinking it up. Right now in the pen Bass is the only stinker with Richards not trusted either but we have Chad Green coming mid-season to replace one of them and White will probably replace the other. Manoah's 92 ERA+ is worse than we hoped for, but at least he isn't stinking up the joint. Gausman is in the old Dave Stieb role where he pitches well but the team forgets how to hit and field when he throws.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#427700) #
" a dedicated pitch caller from the bench would be a good addition. "

I was thinking about this recently. I can envision an NFL model of a coordinator in the booth.

jz6pwc - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#427706) #
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing last night. No matter what Bassitt says, having to call the game, deal with the buttons, then set and throw the pitch is not ideal with the pitch clock. Just watching him you can tell he was rushing every pitch.
John Northey - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#427730) #
Ump Scorecards for this series...
Thursday:

Wednesday:

Tuesday:
Detroit at Toronto, Apr 11-13 | 133 comments | Create New Account
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