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Here they come...


The Rays have scored 101 runs in their first 13 games, an average of 7.8 per game. This is mostly because they've hit 32 homers in those 13 games, and that's a long ball pace that would see them hit almost 400 homers over the course of a full season.

This can not continue, obviously, and who better to put an end to this madness than Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi.

The line must be drawn. Here. And now would be a good time.

Matchups...

Fri 14 Apr - Rasmussen (2-0, 0.00) vs Berrios (0-2, 11.17)
Sat 15 Apr - Fleming (0-0, 6.43) vs Kikuchi (1-0, 6.75)
Sun 16 Apr - McClanahan (3-0, 1.59) Manoah (1-0, 4.91)
Tampa Bay at Toronto, Apr 14-16 | 133 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#427702) #
Tampa Bay had 44 plate appearances vs. Kikichi last season and were limited to a .536 OPS.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#427703) #
Kikuchi*
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#427704) #
we're gonna sweep'em.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#427705) #
Pitching match up tonight:

Drew Rasmussen 2-0, 3 hits/13 innings, 15 K's/ walked 0, 0.00 ERA

Jose Berrios 0-2, 15 hits/9.2 innings, 12 K's/ walked 3, 11.17 ERA

The Rays lead the league with 32 home runs. It could be a bloodbath tonight, but with baseball you never know.
Marc Hulet - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#427709) #
In his last start, Rasmussen worked lefties away and busted righties inside and down - utilizing a sweeper when he did pitch away.

Lefties: look to go the other way
Rights: look to pull and lay off sweepers darting out of the zone away... Or go with the pitch.

4-seam up to 97, cutter, sweeper, and occasional curveball.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#427710) #

#BlueJays manager John Schneider on Ricky Tiedemannís debut last night:

ďI don't know what else he needs to do at double-A.Ē

— Mitch Bannon (@MitchBannon) April 14, 2023

.

somebody's itching for some pitching help.
hypobole - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#427711) #
More from my ex-Jays fixation.

Oakland has DFA'd Cal Stevenson, the guy we hated to lose in the Derek Fisher trade. Had a rough go of it in a brief 71 PA debut last year, but 348/483/435 at AAA in 7 games.

Traded, claimed or passes through waivers?
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#427712) #
weird. i don't remember a Derek Fisher or a Cal Stevenson. didn't fisher play for the lakers?
hypobole - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#427713) #
The trade Fisher played with the Astros, your Fisher played with Matt Barnes wife.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#427714) #
ha
grjas - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#427715) #
On paper, tonightís starters looks like a total mismatch. Fortunately itís only paper.
hypobole - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#427716) #
Tampa starting pitcher depth is going to be tested. Won't make any difference this series, but Eflin is on the IL and now they've lost Springs for multiple months.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#427717) #
boys came ready to play.

keep it going.
greenfrog - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#427718) #
Nice aggressive start by Berrios ó with a bunch of changeups mixed in for unpredictability.
greenfrog - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#427719) #
Good first inningÖbut that was a huge squandered opportunity against Rasmussen.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#427720) #
ah Belt could have had a Jays moment there.
greenfrog - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#427721) #
Ump has a large strike zone.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#427722) #
vlad's started to chase a bit the last couple games.
greenfrog - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#427723) #
Chance for Bo to do some damage here.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#427724) #
gonna need to get some 2 out hits at some point. might as well be now.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#427725) #
there's one.

can i have another sir?
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#427726) #
As amazing as it is to see Berrios pitching like this.....and as a guy who hates pulling SP early.....I would have a very, very, very quick hook on him the 2nd time through the order if I were schneider.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#427727) #
even though he gave up a run that's probably his most impressive inning.

attaboy jose.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#427728) #
80 pitches, 1 run, 5ip....#2 hitter up to start next inning for the 3rd time through the lineup.

Do you bring Berrios back out?
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#427729) #
oh belt so damn close to your moment.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#427731) #
hah. Rays are RATTLED.
greenfrog - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#427732) #
13-1
hypobole - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#427733) #
Doing what the Jays used to do at the Trop
hypobole - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#427734) #
13-1

Hopefully both the Rays record and the final score
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#427735) #
ok so i said quick hook but please god not for TREVOR FRICKEN RICHARDS>
Gerry - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#427736) #
Yes, why Richards?
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#427737) #
what the hell were you thinking John. what the hell.
greenfrog - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#427738) #
He just dismantled Raley. Change was working in that PA.
uglyone - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#427739) #
jays > rays
grjas - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#427740) #
What a terrific win. Happy for BerrŪos.
GregDufour - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#427741) #
That was fun! Loved the energy.
Bid - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#427742) #
Anybody else utterly sick of Vladdy's icewater shots?
Mike Green - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#427743) #
Vladdy is dangerously close to a One Note Charlie warning from the BB Admins. He'd best watch his step!
mathesond - Friday, April 14 2023 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#427744) #
"Anybody else utterly sick of Vladdy's icewater shots?"

No, I can't say that it bothers me too much to see people having fun at work. Besides, most nights I'm jaded enough to flip away before the post-game interview.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#427747) #
As a good Catholic schoolboy in 1997, I read a story with the title:

" Thank You, Jackie Robinson " by Barbara Cohen, published in 1974.

I fondly remember Woody Williams from that time.

scottt - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#427748) #
The icewater shots only come after wins, so I'll take them with no complaint.
It was nice that the Rays were losing from the first AB so all we saw from them were long faces.

scottt - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#427749) #
The Jays were up by 5 with 4 innings to go.
That was the spot to use Richards who had been warming up.
They ended up using 5 relievers even though it was pretty smooth sailing--even with the 2 bombs.

The key move was to pinch hit Kirk.

"Poche" is colloquial French meaning "crappy, lame".

Mike Green - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#427750) #
I agree that pinch-hitting Kirk for Belt was the key move.  It was one that seemed obvious to me, but I did fear that Schneider would try to save his bullets in the 5th inning.

The one move I disagreed with was pulling Pop after only 8 pitches.  With a 6-1 lead after 6 innings, I would be trying to avoid going through many relievers.  The plan ought to have been Pop for 1.1 innings and somebody else (perhaps Garcia) to finish off. 
hypobole - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#427752) #
Bo's 3% walk rate helped find this early season strangeness.

Last year fWAR's 3 most valuable qualified position players with a sub-5 BB% were Jeremy Pena 51st, Amed Rosario 77th and Bobby Witt jr. 81st. They had wRC+ of 102, 103 and 99 respectively - league average hitters.

This year? fWAR leaders Wander Franco 2nd, Bo 4th and Luis Robert 6th all have sub-5 BB%, with Robert at 0%. wRC+? Franco 180, Bo 195, Robert 160.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#427753) #
Using Richards against the top of their lineup was foolish.

A 5 run deficit has been meaningless to the Rays so fR this year.
hypobole - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#427754) #
Count me in as well, Mike, on the Kirk pinch hit, as well as the early pull of Pop.

The added benefit of the Kirk PH was not having to see Belt again after he sent my infuriometer blaring with that 1st inning bases loaded GIDP.

The other move I disagreed with was the Espinal/Jansen hit and run. Jansen has grounded into 1 DP since 2021, and Espinal does not have the speed for a straight steal. Once Jansen swung and missed, Espinal was dead meat at 2nd.

hypobole - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#427755) #
A 5 run deficit has been meaningless to the Rays so fR this year.

It's been meaningless because this was the 1st time they trailed by 5. I think 2 runs had been their biggest deficit.
grjas - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#427757) #
Without a long man they were likely going to have to use Richards at some point in the series. So doing it with a 5 run lead was fine with me. Hopefully we donít see him again in the next two days.

Time for the 6-8 hitters to contribute more. At least Kirk seems to be coming around.
scottt - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#427758) #
They had 3 guys for the last 3 innings.
Pop, like Bass, is better against right handed bats.
He's a good guy to have today with Kikuchi starting and all the lefties on the bench.

Cash excels at resting his pen when the Rays lose.

scottt - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#427759) #
It's a game of second guessing.
They knew Espinal was in a hit and run situation and they tried a pick up.
I would expect them to throw the first pitch off the plate, so I would take it off and see if Jansen gets a ball.
If the Rays pitcher gets ahead in the count, the hit and run opportunity is basically gone.

scottt - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#427760) #
Speaking of long man, Stripling has now allowed 6 HR (leading the leagues) in 10 innings.
The peripherals--velo, spin rates--look the same but he's the king of hard contact.
It's early, but that opt out might prove worthless.

Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#427761) #
I was privileged to see Mrs. Rachel Robinson (Jackie's widow) at Dodger Stadium.

Magic Johnson held her hand. Mrs. Robinson is 100.
soupman - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#427762) #
maybe this would be a good topic for a separate thread, but i am wondering what everyone's impressions of the new rules are so far.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#427763) #
I like the new rules. I would implement a couple of minor changes- most notably equalize the time out situation between pitcher and batter. Either they both get none or they both get one.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#427765) #
Kikuchi looks great so far. Much more confident and in control than last year. I hope he keeps it up.
Gerry - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#427767) #
Love the new rules, especially the speed of games. Love having games finish before ten o'clock, a rarity last season.
Dr. Zarco - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#427768) #
I like the new rules. I went to my first game of the year last night (Reds/Phillies, Iím in Cincinnati) and the improved pace of play is delightful. There were 11 runs scored and the game took about 2:40. You donít really notice the lack shift much or the bases at the ball park.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#427769) #
The new rules?

I expected the clock to cause massive problems. I did not like it at first, now I can accept it.

Banning the shift was a bad idea, or so I thought. I can live with it.

The only rule I still disagree with? I believe all players should be eligible for all positions.

I do not object to the roster limits for pitchers / hitters, but that goes hand-in-hand with the in-game rules.

The pick-off limits and larger bases are fine too.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#427770) #
Agreed about Kikuchi. I always liked how simply John Cerutti analyzed pitching. Control: The ability to throw strikes and not walk people. Command: The ability to throw the ball anywhere at anytime. Last year Kikuchi had neither. So far this year he's got his control back. His command is not getting the swing and miss he needs to be most effective.

But I'd even take Kukuchi with control...Jays just need him to be more consistent.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#427771) #
Good run manufacturing by the Jays in that inning (double steal followed by RBI groundout).
Hodgie - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#427772) #
Typical Devil Rays magic, xBA 0.090 on the Walls home run.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#427773) #
I actually think Kikuchiís command has been pretty good today.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#427774) #
Kikuchi looks dynamite.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#427775) #
Jeez i might even try to push him through 7 even with the pitch count over 90 now. He's killing it.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#427776) #
Yes greenfrog. Seems like he heard me. His command the last three innings has been sensational.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#427777) #
Yes. He has been that good. But the next three batters have splits that favour bringing in a righty. In a 3-1 game, I would probably bring in a reliever. Tough call though (it would be an easier call if the Jays had another dominant high-leverage reliever to help get through innings 7-9).
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#427778) #
Chad Green is coming.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#427779) #
Looks like the Jays have figured out the Rays pitching strategy against them the last few years which was....throw it somewhere around the plate and let them get themselves out.

Jays have responded by laying off borderline pitches having extended at bats and being content with opposite field singles.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#427780) #
Swanson looks terrible. It was obvious very quickly. I am surprised they didnít have anyone up.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#427781) #
Wow. Two walks to bring up PH Lowe and then Diaz in a 4-1 game. Swanson barely escaped that predicament of his own making.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#427782) #
Whew. Dodged a bullet.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#427783) #
Looks like Kirk is getting his hitting mojo back.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#427784) #
Gold glove vladdy
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#427785) #
Second Gold Glove in the works for Vladdy?
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#427786) #
The nervous ninth.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#427787) #
That's a big K.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#427788) #
Good thing the ump has a large strike zone.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#427789) #
Here's a matchup.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#427790) #
That is sweet.

Toronto > Tampa Bay (in all sports)
grjas - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#427791) #
Tense or what. Three somewhat flukey hits but Romano comes through.
Cracka - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#427792) #
13-2.

Hoping that Romano is OK. Wouldn't be surprised to see broken ribs... he didn't look quite right after the game. A very, very impressive play & save though.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#427793) #
Hopefully no broken ribs for Romano. Pitching is dangerous! Just ask Chris Bassitt.
mathesond - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#427794) #
"Toronto > Tampa Bay (in all sports)"

Eh, I think the Buccaneers could beat the Argos.
Nigel - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#427795) #
Excellent win. They ultimately did the job in both games but the pen en masse hasnít looked strong in either game. Swanson in particular doesnít look good.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#427796) #
Right rib contusion, x-rays negative. Phew.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#427798) #
This seems like the most complete Jays team in a long time.

These are statement wins early in the season, there were a few plays early in the game where I donít think Hernandez or Gurriel makes the catch where Varsho and Springer did.
hypobole - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#427799) #
Jays lost 3 of their 1st 4 games. Since then, Jays and Rays have identical 9-2 records.
jerjapan - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#427800) #
Romano might be my fave reliever since henke/ward.
scottt - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#427801) #
Swanson didn't look good, but he was pitching on consecutive days and they had him warming up in multiple innings. That's not really a recipe for a strong relief outing. The splitter is a feel pitch.


christaylor - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#427802) #
Different sports.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#427803) #
"I donít think Hernandez or Gurriel makes the catch "

you know they don't.
christaylor - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#427804) #
I like the new rules, but a play the other day made me think there needs to be a tweak to the automatic ball on the pitcher.

The play I'm thinking of the runner broke for second and had a big jump. The pitcher was called for a pitch clock violation and the play dead. Runner goes back to first. This seems like a flaw. I'm not sure what the fix is but it wasn't a great look. Automatic ball and the pitcher had to throw to the catcher and play not stopped until the pitcher touches the ball again?
John Northey - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#427805) #
I figure the team is getting used to the new guys, figuring out what they can/cannot do. Yeah, stats and scouts give a chunk of that data but until they are here it is hard to know how a guy reacts after being up and down a couple of times, or how to maximize effectiveness on consecutive days. April is the right time to experiment and see how far a guy can be pushed. I remember Cito Gaston doing that all the time with the lineup (giving guys at the end of the bench playing time and everyone scratching their heads about it) but the idea is to know what you have well before the playoffs hit. Especially if you think your team should make it into those playoffs (as this team should). My gut says mid-season trade(s) will be lesser than recent but still a reliever (probably LH) will be added, maybe a RH bench bat too. Unless injuries hit of course then all bets are off.
Chuck - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#427806) #
This seems like a flaw.

One can imagine a scenario where a pitcher sees that the base runner gets a terrific jump to steal second base and the catcher would have no chance. The pitcher could then opt to run out his clock, accept the penalty of a ball, and see the runner return.

The play you alluded to was not intentional on the pitcher's part, but effectively achieved this result, trading a ball for a base.

soupman - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#427807) #
I was thinking this as well. As long as timer violation kills the play it will also prevent the runner from being picked off...I think there are a few creases to be ironed out, but the increased amount of base running throughout the game has been my absolute favourite part of this set of changes.

I was initially against killing the shift, but I have not missed it at all. I can't tell if that's because I've mostly watched Jays games and they've been winning and hitting a lot of seeing eye singles...whatever the case, I'm okay with it.
soupman - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#427808) #
I was having a similar discussion with my dad the other day. He doesn't like how the lineup and bullpen is being managed. I said it reminds me of Cito's style. I'm okay not always having an explanation backed up by analytics. Sometimes the manager will need to own a decision, but ideally, they're smart enough to apply the knowledge they have, but we don't, to eek out a win here or there on the margins instead of worrying about what to tell the press after the game.

I'd also add that this is the first time Swanson hasn't really had it (that i've seen), and he's looked like the most obvious guy to get the highest leverage situations/set up role.
uglyone - Saturday, April 15 2023 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#427809) #
I don't get the complaints really. This roster kinda manages itself. There's like 6 full time stud position players and then another 6 good interchangeable parts that are all pretty good and should play and should get rested regularly too. And it's a roster that allows you to rest anyone without leaving any holes in the lineup offensively or defensively.

The bullpen is pretty straightforward too - Romano, then Swanson. Then everyone else is pretty interchangeably solid.

Except for Richards. Richards annoys me. He's been consistently bad for a while now and he should be a break glass in case of emergency guy only.

John Northey - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#427810) #
For roster this one has the fewest 'dead' pieces. Which guys have no role on this team? For hitters you have Kirk/Jansen catching, regulars Vlad, Bo, Chapman, Varsho, Kiermaier, Springer, DH semi-platoon with Belt/Luplow, 2B mix/match with Biggio/Espinal/Merrifield where Merrifield goes to the OF vs LHP often. Right now Luplow has the least work (between him and Lukes who have shared the 26th slot they have 3 PA total, 6 games played out of 14 - combined pace to play in 69 games which for a last guy on the bench isn't too low). For comparison, in 1993 the last guy was Alfredo Griffin who got into 46 games, just 3 in April, 16 in May, 0 in June, 9 in each of July/August/September). Even if he did 9 in June and April that would be just 54 games - fewer than the current last man will get and he was a Cito favorite.

I suspect the Jays are looking into a better RH bat off the bench but having trouble finding it at a price they are willing to pay. I'm thinking Wynton Bernard is close to a call up if he can keep hitting (303/361/455 so far, he stole 30 bases last year and plays all 3 OF positions and at 32 will not complain about being left as the 26th man). Wondering why Luplow was even acquired given he only got 3 PA on April 7th then just used as a runner since. Seems like Lukes with his good speed would've been better on the bench despite being a LH hitter given DH is now Belt vs RHP and Vlad/Springer/whoever needs a day off the turf vs LHP.

For the pen a clear setup is there - Romano closing (duh), Garcia #1 setup, Swanson moving into the #2 setup slot at some point (no saves/holds/blown saves before today's hold), Mayza LH setup, Cimber mid-game pressure, Pop & Richards eat innings when needed, Bass mop up duty. Fewest high leverage PA - Bass & Richards (5 PA each). So even the least trusted have had a few PA in high leverage situations.

The rotation has been... well ... not good. By ERA - Gausman 1.35 (sweet!), Kikuchi 4.70 (after today), Manoah 4.91, Bassitt 7.63, Berrios 7.98. Good news is Berrios did well last start vs a very good/hot team. Kikuchi the same. Bassitt makes me nervous - before seeing him pitch I thought 'good acquisition' but now not as much. He is slow (due to having 1001 pitches), his pitches tend to be slow/slower/slowest, all of which makes it hard for him to get into a rhythm. I suspect it'll get better as he gets used to pitchcom (I hope he is practicing with it on his offdays so he can use it blindfolded and with minimal thought soon). Strange to start to trust Kikuchi but I actually am beginning to. Lets hope he pulls a Robbie Ray this year and goes from 'ugh' to 'wow'.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#427811) #
Strange to start to trust Kikuchi but I actually am beginning to. Lets hope he pulls a Robbie Ray this year and goes from 'ugh' to 'wow'.
Maybe Pete Walker is like the 201x Giants, and can only fix a broken lefty pitcher every other year?
Dr B - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 03:52 AM EDT (#427812) #
Should Bass should be relegated to mop up duty? Heís been good the last two years.

Kikuchi last year seemed to be an automatic loss. This year he does at least seem to be giving his offense a fighting chance. The starting pitching sure looks like the shakiest link in this team, but as long as the pitching doesnít melt down, theyíve got a strong enough offense to win plenty of ballgames. And maybe Ryu rides to the rescue later in the year...
Jonny German - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#427813) #
First Rays loss, First Rays losing streakÖ today they go for the trifecta, First Rays sweep.

Interesting lineup choices today against the lefty McClanahan. Belt & Biggio are obvious choices to leave on the bench, but do you rest Kiermaier? Varsho? With Kirk & Jansen both showing signs of life do you put both of them in the lineup for a 2nd day in a row? Is Luplowís platoon split reason enough to start him despite presumed rust and the ace going for the bad guys?
Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#427814) #
Good questions, Jonny. Varsho hasn't had a day off yet, so maybe Kiermaier in centerfield, Merrifield in left and Espinal at second. Kirk will be catching. I would have Jansen as DH. I think he's the best available hitter against a LHP, and he only has played in 9 games so far. There's a day off on Thursday so the pacing is good.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#427816) #
McClanahan has a slight reverse L-R split for his career (and a pronounced reverse L-R split this year, in a very small sample size). Might be good to start Varsho in LF today.
scottt - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#427817) #
The starting pitching has been average  with a 2 bad starts from Berrios, one from Manoah and one from Bassitt. They could easily be top 5 in a couple of weeks as hitters gets their timing.

scottt - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#427818) #
I would not have Jansen as DH because that takes away the option of pinch running for Kirk who took a ball to the thigh yesterday. Maybe it's a spot for Luplow? Or you rest someone to play Espina and Merrifield.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#427819) #
That's a point, greenfrog.  The splits are real: McLanahan has struck out a higher percentage of RHBs, walked only slightly more and given up more hard contact to LHBs.  Of course, McLanahan faces only the best left-handed hitters so there's a selection bias. 

As we know, the results of a batter-pitcher interaction are (roughly) 2/3 dependent on the batter's tendencies and 1/3 on the pitcher's.  I'd be inclined to view McLanahan as entirely neutral and look at the batter's splits (and then discount them for McLanahan's general awesomeness).  Merrifield has a wRC+ vs. LHPs of about 100 over the last 5 years (and 113 over his career).  Varsho has a wRC+ of 69 against LHPs.  Varsho is, of course, much better in the field, but if you are going to give him a day off, letting him sit against McLanahan makes as much sense as anything. 
greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#427820) #
Those are reasonable arguments. Although if McClanahan has always been recognized as having a slight reverse split, I'm not sure this necessarily means that opposing managers are only using their best LHB against him. It could just mean that he doesn't have a significant L-R split.

With respect to Varsho, I guess it depends what you think of his current hitting ability against LHP and the importance of his defense in today's start. He does seem to be trying to make some adjustments in his hitting approach (so far this has translated into a higher OBP but not as much power). He has hit well against LHP this year (103 wRC+). And remember that he's a good bunter against LHP. On balance, I think I would go with Varsho in left field and Kiermaier in center field. But Merrifield in LF would be a reasonable option as well.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#427822) #
One other thing about Varsho. He's probably going to be facing McClanahan in important games as a Blue Jay for at least the next four years. Now is as good a time as any for him to start figuring out the Rays pitcher.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#427823) #
espn.com: " Toronto has won four straight meetings with the Rays dating to last season, its longest streak against Tampa Bay since a five-game run from July to October 2015. "
hypobole - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#427824) #
For context, in 2019, Rays won 14 of 19 games vs the Jays, including 2 streaks of 5 wins in a row.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#427825) #
The skipper went with Merrifield in left, Luplow in right and Springer DHing. Not exactly what I would have done but totally reasonable.
hypobole - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#427826) #
During the home opener, the Jays hit 5 HR's and Bucky waxed eloquent about the shorter right field porch.

In the 4 games since, we've been outhomered 5-1 and Springers was hit to LF.

McClanahan hasn't allowed one this year - only 3 of his past 13 starts he's allowed a HR. The only positive is that 3 of the 5 HR's hit against him in that 13 game stretch was in his last start against the Jays. Kirk hit 1, Springer 2.
Hodgie - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#427827) #
"Except for Richards. Richards annoys me. He's been consistently bad for a while now and he should be a break glass in case of emergency guy only."

This, with the only qualification that Richards really hasn't been good for the majority of his career, save one babip-driven fluky season. If he can't be trusted to eat innings with 5 run leads I have no idea why he is on the roster. I'd rather have Pearson and allow him to continue his development in the pen with the big club.

I also agree that Swanson looks like the club's second-best high-leverage option at the moment. Strangely enough, I think I have more confidence in Pop than anyone else after Romano and Swanson. He is filthy and finally generating the whiffs you would expect with this stuff.

greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#427828) #
Hopefully Merrifield improves on his 0/5 record against McClanahan and contributes to a win.
uglyone - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#427829) #
Ach i wish he could have held off from playing luplow - literally the only position player we have with no real potential value - during this series.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#427830) #
Schneider may also be trying to rest Jansen and give Varsho (who fouled a pitch hard off his foot the other day) a day off as well. Heís probably also trying to ensure that the bench is getting some PAs.
James W - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#427831) #
If Manoah can't even be mediocre, it won't matter whether or not Luplow gets to play.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#427832) #
I wonder whether Manoah got psyched out by his WC game start.
Kasi - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#427833) #
I donít understand how Manoah who is both our biggest and youngest pitcher is somehow now one of our slowest pitchers velocity wise. Heís struggling to hit 93 here and he really should be consistently pumping 96 in there at his age and size.
Kasi - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#427834) #
I guess he did hit 94 a few times that inning but also lacked any command with it.
Hodgie - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#427835) #
Not surprised by the velocity fluctuations, Manoahís mechanics are a mess.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#427836) #
Manoah's mechanics are a bit off.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#427837) #
I agree that Manoah's mechan8cs are a mess, but the concerning result has been loss of control rather than loss of velocity. In 19.1 innings, he has struck out 16 and walked 15. He won't be successful walking that number. He's many things but Randy Johnson is not one of them.
Hodgie - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#427838) #
Agreed Mike. Right now Manoah has no idea where the ball is going pitch to pitch.
hypobole - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#427839) #
Can't trust Richards with a 5 run lead, but we can trust him with a 6 run deficit.

It seems everyone has forgotten how often pitchers get injured. Bring up Pearson, release Richards may well improve the pen. One pitcher goes on the IL. Who comes up next?
lexomatic - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#427840) #
<br>I think the big question is why wasn't this caught in spring training?
Is Manoah less coachable than he seemed/now?
Is it a coaching issue?
Is it an injury?
Did they notice but feel they couldn't hold him back to work it out/ or even ask?
Did the team feel like he was closer to working it out than he has been?
Did the team feel wild Manoah was better than other options because of grit/whatever?

Lots of questions and not a lot of answers so far.
Manoah is currently the pitcher I'm most worried about, when he was the one I was least worried put coming into the season.


Thia
Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#427841) #
My suggestion for Alek. Pair with Jansen and let him call the pitches for a while. Adaptation to the pitch clock is the problem, I think.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#427842) #
Corollary. Let Alejandro be the DH most days days and catch 1-2 times a week.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 16 2023 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#427843) #
Pair with Jansen

This enjoyable pairing is characterized by mellow but intense notes of freshly mown grass (frequent groundouts), summer breeze (swing and miss), and cured leather. A seasonal offering that is sometimes available as late as October or November.
Mike Green - Monday, April 17 2023 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#427845) #
I was thinking of a Jansen as the Gewurtz paired with Manoah's chicken curry.  "Tender, juicy chicken with ginger infused coconut rice make a stunning complement to this forwardly stern Gewurztaminer."
bpoz - Monday, April 17 2023 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#427846) #
Manoah hopefully finds his old form.
92-93 - Monday, April 17 2023 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#427848) #
If Tellez wasn't excelling, Richards probably would have been DFAd last season.
hypobole - Monday, April 17 2023 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#427849) #
Rather low bar for excellence. Tellez hit 219/306/461 last year.
-6 DRS was 17th of 18 qualified at 1B.
Of 130 qualified position players, only JD Martinez and Kirk had worse baserunning.

Put it all together, he was worth 0.8 by both bWAR and fWAR. That's 115th of 130 position players at FG.
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