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You can't really complain about a 3-3 road trip, especially when you were visiting the defneding WS champs, who won 106 games last season, and the defending division champs, who won 99 games themselves.

The White Sox have lost four in a row, and nine of their last 11, and many of their early troubles can be laid at the door of three pitchers, guys who had been pretty good for them as recently as last year but each of whom has struggled out of the gate so far. They would be starters Lance Lynn and Michael Kopech, and reliever Reynaldo Lopez, who's been filling in as the closer as Liam Hendriks recovers from cancer treatment. Together, that trio has gone 0-6, 7.49, which is the main reason they WHite Sox have allowed more runs than any serious team in the American League (I don't know what the Oakland A's are, but they're certainly not a serious baseball team.)

One assumes that Lynn and Kopech are likely to regain their form, or something close to it. They're going to have to, as this team was never going to be an pffensive juggernaut. The offense, roughly average last year, is a little below that so far this season. Yasmani Grandal has been putting last year's disaster firmly in his rear view. That's the good news, but  that's all there is. Andrew Vaughn has been okay, I suppose, but one hopes for a little more than "okay" from someone drafted third overall. The White Sox, of course, lost Jose Abreu, who signed with Houston this winter - Abreu did lead last year's team in most offensive categories. It doesn't help that Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada are both onb the IL. But Anderson spent half of last season on the IL as well, and Moncada didn't hit a lick last year anyway.

And that bullpen looks pretty shallow. This team was always going to live or die on the basis of its starting pitching, and two of the five guys have not quite found their form. Both of whom happen to be scheduled against the Jays this week, so if they need a couple more weeks... fine by me. Take all the time you need.


Mon 24 April - Lynn (0-2, 7.59) vs Bassitt (2-2, 5.40)
Tue 25 April - Clevinger (2-1, 3.26) vs Berrios (1-3, 6.23)
Wed 26 April - Kopech (0-2, 6.97) vs Kikuchi (3-0, 3.80)

Chicago at Toronto, April 24-26 | 146 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#428083) #
White Sox remind me of Kid Shelleen from the movie Cat Ballou years ago - "Never seen a man get through a day so fast".

7 straight losing seasons from 2013-2019 in their rebuild. 2 years of playoffs including 93 wins in 2021. Fell to 81-81 last year and back to losing this year.
John Northey - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#428084) #
White Sox have 4 players with a 100+ OPS+ who aren't on the IL - C Grandal (134), 1B Vaughn (106), 3B Burger (175), and backup [DH/LF/RF/1B] Sheets (150). They've used 17 hitters and 17 pitchers so far. Jays 14 hitters, 13 pitchers (1 over the minimum).

FYI: Kirk finally over 100 for OPS+, Jansen still sub 50. And for oddities Kiermaier still has a higher OPS+ than Varsho and Springer, while Merrifield is 100 points higher at 113 than Biggio (13) and Espinal (9).
uglyone - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#428087) #

Hearing that Nate Pearson is on his way to Toronto, per source. I’m not clear on what a counter move for #BlueJays will be if he’s officially recalled today

— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) April 24, 2023
uglyone - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#428088) #


🔹 Nate Pearson recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and will be active tonight.
🔹 Anthony Bass transferred to Bereavement List (Tucker Carlson fired from Fox News)

— Blu J (@BlueJaysDork) April 24, 2023
hypobole - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#428089) #
Unless someone is going on the IL, my guess is Pop going down.

Just noticed the White Sox have not won even 1 series so far. Split a 4 gamer with the Astros to start the season, then lost 2 of 3 the next 5 series before the Rays sweep.
bpoz - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#428090) #
Hope Pearson does well and can stay up.
John Northey - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#428091) #
Love that Tucker Carlson joke. But yeah, odds are Pop goes down since he has options left. FIP of 3.66 for Pop vs Bass' 4.83, Pop giving up runs in just 2 outings out of 10 vs Bass giving up runs in 5 of 8 games. Bass inherited 5 runners, none scored. Pop inherited 8 with 2 scoring.

IMO Pop is the better pitcher at this stage imo so I'd try to trade Bass for a C prospect or just let him go. Seems the manager has little to no confidence in either. Pop used twice down 1, once in a tie never with the lead. Bass used twice down 1, twice ahead by 6. So really just once was Bass used in any kind of a 'this game is in doubt' situation while Pop has had 3 chances with the game still in doubt. Thus, imo, the smart move is to dump Bass. When the manager has little to no confidence in a guy and his results show you why then there isn't much point in keeping him around. FYI: the guy Pop & Bass were traded to the Jays for (Jordan Groshans) hasn't been in the majors this year yet, and in 19 AAA games is hitting 213/310/280 (ugh) after a 78 OPS+ with Miami last year (17 games). Bass is guaranteed $3 mil this year so he isn't killing the payroll.
hypobole - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#428092) #
Hate to keep harping on this, but bullpens need injury depth. Jays haven't had an IL stint since the season started. How many other teams can say that? I could probably count them on one hand. Sucks for Pop he's optionable but can't see the Jays thinning out their depth by trading an arm while he's struggling so early in the season.
Kasi - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#428094) #
Apparently it’s Bass to the bereavement list. So probably just a short term move.
92-93 - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#428095) #
Bass and Mayza have been AWOL, so it could be one of them hitting the IL rather than Pop being optioned.
John Northey - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#428096) #
Wow, hadn't noticed Bass hasn't pitched in 6 days. That's a lot of rest, more than a starter gets. Mayza has 5 days off, but as the only LH pitcher in the pen I'd assume the Jays would go for a LH pitcher if he was going on the IL. Pop is 4 days off. So all 3 who most have little faith in have lots of rest. IIRC Mayza was warming yesterday so I suspect he is OK.
Gerry - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#428097) #
Cimber to the IL, Pearson up.
DavidtheDeuce - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#428098) #
Great news regarding the Pearson call up. I am hoping he can capitalize on it and stay in the big leagues for good.

On another note I wanted to share a link to a recent interview with Cito Gaston. I enjoy listening to Bob Kendrick's stories and Cito adds some of his own. Click the "play" icon in the header.
Joe - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#428099) #
Bass gets at least 15 days to right the ship, in that case.
jerjapan - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#428100) #
I don’t mind some fluctuation at the bottom of the pen. Green is likely coming back. Pearson could be an elite option, Swanson likely is already.

Bass / climber / richards / Garcia are pretty interchangeable, and all pretty crommulent
bpoz - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#428101) #
Pearson and Juenger seem to be the only 2 prospects that have shown that they can help the Jays at this early time in the season. Neither has been light out. Juenger has improved in the Ks and HRs.
Nigel - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#428102) #
I know that I'm in a minority on this site, but I think they have to find a way to get Kirk's OPB higher up the line-up, baserunning be damned.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#428103) #
Belt should have been home on that double with two outs.
Four Seamer - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#428104) #
Nice swing by Biggio there to make it irrelevant, but if Belt tried to score on that two out double he probably would have collided with Kirk.
electric carrot - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#428105) #
find a way to get Kirk's OPB higher up the line-up,

I'm for putting Kirk high up in the lineup. I even think leading off would be good from time to time. Mo Kirk means mo runs!
hypobole - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#428106) #
SN has been showing a graphic how awful Jays have been with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Great to see Merrifield and Biggio both come through.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#428107) #
Twins Sonny Gray twirls 7 scoreless vs. the Yankees.
greenfrog - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#428108) #
Bassitt says he expects to make his next start. Good news.

Rays (2023) 20-3 start: .870 winning percentage

Tigers (1984) 35-5 start: .875 winning percentage
soupman - Monday, April 24 2023 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#428109) #
the jays have the worst x-wl in the east. obviously the jays have had some luck on their side but they've also had the toughest schedule in the division so far...not that it's been all that rough, just that everyone else started even softer. tampa will have 9 in a row against the division starting at the end of next week...but with what they did to houston today and their run diff. i think it's obvious that their team isn't just an illusion based on strength of schedule (as much as i held out hope after the series with us)
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#428110) #
I had the Pirates winning the pennant.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#428111) #
I made that point in the last thread, Nigel. Chapman is off to a tremendous start, but Kirk is still the better option to put the bat on the ball. It’s tough to build a proper order when your best 5 hitters are RHB and you only face RH SP, meaning you’re likely to have your 4 LHB in the lineup. Speed doesn’t concern me much, though, so if Springer has a night off I’d bat Kirk 1st or 3rd behind Bo/Vlad.

Was Espinal available last night? If he was, letting Belt face a lefty with 2 men on in the 7th didn’t make much sense. They could have PR for Kirk with Lukes and used Jansen for Belt or Biggio.

I find it odd that sometimes they have Biggio in the infield with Merrifield in the outfield, and sometimes it's the opposite.
scottt - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#428112) #
It's not really odd. Biggio plays RF and Merrifield plays LF.
They are very different players. It makes sense to sit Biggio against hard throwing starters.
Conversely, it's the right handed pitchers who throw a lot of breaking balls that require more left bats.

Kirk needs to rest frequently.
It's nice to have 2 or 3 speedy guys in a row, but less at the top of the lineup.

The Rays have played 14 games at home and only 9 on the road.
14-0 vs 6-3.

I'd be concerned if Wander Franco was carrying the team, but I'm not worried about Harold Ramirez and Taylor Walls having OPS over 1.0 . It's still April and lots of pitchers are missing their spots, obviously. 

85bluejay - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#428113) #
Joey Gallo instead of Brandon Belt would really look good on this team.
Ducey - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#428114) #
letting Belt face a lefty with 2 men on in the 7th didn’t make much sense Belt had a very good at bat and hit a screamer to 3B. So maybe they knew what they were doing.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#428115) #
How good are the Jays defensively? They look improved, especially in the outfield. The 2 public metrics paint a much different picture, or to be more precise, pictures.

UZR, which now uses OAA as a major component, shows the Jays -4.6 as rather poor. ranking 24th.

DRS has the Jays at +17. That's the 2nd best mark, behind only the Brewers +22.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#428116) #
Allow me to frame it a different way - on 4/13, with Bassitt on the bump, Biggio played 2B with a Merrifield/Varsho/Springer outfield. Last night, however, Merrifield played 2B with a Varsho/Kiermaier/Biggio outfield. One of those alignments doesn't make sense, even if you subscribe to the idea Merrifield can only play LF and Biggio can only play RF (which would be bizarre). They could easily have rolled with Biggio at 2B and a Merrifield/Kiermaier/Varsho outfield last night.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#428117) #
This could be controversial but I don't think Chapman defensively is as good as he used to be. I would say he is good, very good even, but elite and worthy of a gold glove? I am not so sure anymore.

I have seen a few of those tough plays get by him recently and he has made a few errant throws. I know the defensive metrics didn't rate him as elite last season and I don't see a change this year.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#428118) #
even if you subscribe to the idea Merrifield can only play LF and Biggio can only play RF (which would be bizarre)

Especially given that Merrifield has played far more RF in his career than LF.

hypobole - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#428119) #
Agree, Gerry.

What's amazing is that despite his defensive downturn, he's been the Jays best player and top 5 in MLB, because he's been hitting the snot out of the baseball.
Nigel - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#428120) #
Chapman's range still seems elite but there's no question that his arm is starting to deteriorate. So I don't think calling him less than elite is that controversial.

I will be controversial though and say that on days that Kirk is in the line-up I think that their best lineup configuration is Springer, Vlad, Kirk, Bo (assuming that Springer refuses to hit other than leadoff). I agree that the problem is that their five best hitters are all RHB so line-up configuration is always likely to be sub optimal if you are (logically) trying to balance the RH/LH aspects of the hitters.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#428121) #
I've always felt that Biggio might be one of those weird players who appears way more comfortable on one particular side of the diamond. He's clearly serviceable at 2B and 1B (he's actually looked quite good there), and I can't recall any complaints about his RF work. On the other side, we all remember his iffy range and lack of reaction at the hot corner (he's okay-ish there in an emergency but any longer than that... "uh-oh" time) meanwhile the sample size in LF is very limited (only 34 MLB innings) and I seem to remember some Spring Training blunders out there.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#428122) #
Can we even say Chapman's range is still elite? He seems to just miss a lot of balls. He's an above average defender still, but he has not been elite as a Jay. And you can see it really frustrates him.
Waveburner - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#428123) #
I agree that Chapman has not really looked like an elite defender with the Jays. Especially disappointing because Bo is a clearly below average SS defensively. Makes the left side of the infield the weakest part of their team defense.

I'm definitely enjoying the OF defense this year. Nice to not be nervous on fly balls hit to the corners anymore.
scottt - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#428124) #
There's a couple of things.
It's easier to track balls and make good plays if one is focusing on fewer positions.
The dimension of the RC have changed. RF is smaller now.

There are 7 positions and 4 bench players, if we remove the catchers.
Regulars only play at one position (except Varsho).
Espinal gets 3B/SS and 2B.
Biggio gets 2B/RF and Merrifield gets 2B/LF.
Kiermaier gets regular time off which moves Varsho to center.
Belt backs up 1B when Vlad DH and Biggio gets RF if Springer DH.
Then you get the the extra guy who mostly just pinch runs.

It looks fine to me.

uglyone - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#428125) #
"Joey Gallo instead of Brandon Belt would really look good on this team."

Gallo has 44pa on the year while Belt has 54pa, but over their last 30pa....

Gallo: 30.0k%, 142wrc+
Belt: 27.6k%, 162wrc+
92-93 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#428126) #
It's obviously way too early to be looking at slash lines, but Gallo is 29 while Belt is 35 and coming off an injury. It's a lot more reasonable to assume Gallo will revert to his mean than Belt.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#428127) #
TOR HARD HIT % (Regular)

* 1. Chapman 56.7%
* 2. Guerrero 42.5%
* 3. Belt 37.0%
* 4. Kiermaier 33.3%
* 5. Bichette 32.1%

TOR HARD HIT % (Statcast)

* 1. Chapman 65.0%
* 2. Guerrero 57.5%
* 3. Belt 44.4%
* 4. Bichette 38.1%
* 5. Kiermaier 35.4%


* 1. Espinal 3.2%
* 2. Belt 7.4%
* 3. Bichette 11.9%
* 4. Merrifield 12.0%
* 5. Guerrero 12.5%

TOR Exit Velocity

* 1. Chapman 95.8
* 2. Guerrero 94.0
* 3. Bichette 91.7
* 4. Belt 91.5
* 5. Kiermaier 88.6

Launch Angle

* 1. Biggio 24.9
* 2. Belt 17.4
* 3. Springer 16.3
* 4. Chapman 15.5
* 5. Jansen 12.1
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#428128) #
" Bryan Reynolds and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement on an eight-year, $106.75 million contract extension . . .
Before this deal, the Pirates had been one of four major league teams to have never signed a player to a $100 million contract,
along with the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics, according to ESPN Stats. "

It seems a bit strange to see the White Sox in that group. Jerry Reinsdorf has plenty of cash?

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#428129) #
Sean Nolin DFAed by the Marlins..
hypobole - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#428130) #
Nolin just got called up. On the plus side, he chewed up the last 3 innings Monday. On the minus side those innings included a solo HR, 2 run HR and a bases loaded triple.

He's going to clear waivers.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#428132) #
So I was curious about how much talent the Jays have produced league-wide, so I looked at all players originally signed by the Jays and how they're doing this year. By my count, there are 36 such players who have seen action at the MLB level this year - it will be 37 when Nate Pearson gets into a game. It's possible I'm missing some international or non-drafted free agents.

Starters: Manoah, Stroman, DeSclafani, Musgrove, Syndergaard, Matthew Boyd

Total: 23 starts this year - exactly the same as the current Jays, 1.4 fWAR, with DeSclafani & Stroman at 1.1 between the two of them.

Relievers: Romano, Mayza, Loup, Saucedo, Tepera, Graveman, Zach Jackson, Chase De Jong, Josh Winckowski, Miguel Castro, Dany Jimenez, Danny Young, Jimmy Cordero, (Nate Pearson)

It's kind of impressive that 13 current and former Jays hands have been in the majors this year - 14 if you include Pearson who obviously hasn't yet gotten into a game. Even with Dany Jimenez's impressive -0.4 WAR in 6.2 innings weighing the group down, there's still 0.8 WAR in the whole group, better than the surprisingly meagre 0.3 the Jays pen has produced this year.

Infield & DH:
Vlad Jr., Bichette, Biggio, Jon Berti, Kevin Smith, Ryan Noda and Rowdy Tellez.

If this were a team, it would be poorly constructed, with Noda and Tellez both hitting from the left and having to share DH at-bats. Berti would probably play 3B, with Biggio and Smith in a platoon at second.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Lane Thomas, Kevin Pillar and Tim Locastro.

By far the weakest position on the diamond, and really, only Gurriel should arguably be a starter on a contending team.

Jansen, Kirk, Moreno, Gomes, Riley Adams, Carlos Perez.

Carlos Perez is back in the big leagues, and is hitting the tar out of the ball in Oakland. Even with Jansen's slow start, this is the best single position.

As a whole, so far the position players have put up 3.0 fWAR between them, with 1.3 of that coming from the catchers, 1.7 coming from Vlad and Bo, and the rest being a wash.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#428133) #
Is Jose Berrios back? I like what I am seeing.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#428134) #
I’m with you Joe! Ks and weak contact!

A few too many 3 ball counts that inning, but that’s just being nit picky at this stage
Nigel - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#428135) #
Other than throwing more, and much better, CH’s Berrios looks the same to me. That’s more a reflection of a lack of understanding why he was getting hit hard last year and earlier this than that he doesn’t look good now.
mathesond - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#428136) #
I have to say, I certainly don't mind seeing Clevenger get his butt kicked.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#428137) #
Kiermaier is off to a fantastic start with the Jays. It’s too bad the team wasn’t able to wrangle an extra year of control over him (before the terms were announced, I was hoping for a one-year contract with a club option for 2024).

92-93 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#428139) #
Jansen is now hitting .209/.292/.442 after entering tonight at .150/.244/.250. It's still very early.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#428140) #
Danny Jansen is on fire.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#428141) #
What do we think? One more for Berrios and then a good opportunity to get Pearson into a game?
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#428142) #
I like the sound of that, it would be good to see big Nate throw some heat.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#428143) #
That 96 mph two seamer up in the zone was just a mast pitch by Berrios.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#428144) #
That was a bonkers fastball from the staff leader in FIP.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#428145) #
Pearson positive: Most of his fastballs were fouled off, not many good swings off it.

Pearson negative: He didn't have good control of the FB, missed Jansen's target by quite a bit a few times
uglyone - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#428146) #
101 win pace
uglyone - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#428147) #
our best lineup still includes both Kirk and Jansen btw.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#428148) #
Remember people complaining about our overworked bullpen until someone pointed out that wasn't the case, at least compared with other teams.

Just checked. Jays relievers have now thrown the fewest innings in MLB.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#428149) #
Merrifield just went over 200pa as a Jay today.

As a Jay: 203pa, 119wrc+, 1.2war, 3.8war/650
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, April 25 2023 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#428150) #
He’s really turned it around after a slow start. Great to see. Thanks for sharing UO.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#428151) #
I liked Merrifield, Berrios and KK deals at the time when announced. Those guys have serious track records of success. Regarding Berrios, I also still don't see much difference between last night and last year. His stuff and location is always pretty good. It still baffles me the ups and downs he's been having.
Jonny German - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#428153) #
With a game score of 77  Berríos makes it a 7-game streak for Jays starters putting up a game score of 60 or better. I checked it out the other day when someone mentioned not remembering when the Jays last had 5 great starts in a row, and the answer was June 2021 (Ryu-Stripling-Ray-Kay-Manoah). I don't know when they last had a streak of 7 or better.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#428154) #
Daaaaaaaay - O !
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#428155) #
I think one underreported aspect of the Jays' success this season is team health. Bo, Vladdy, Chapman, Springer, Kirk, Jansen -- all healthy. Same with the complementary players and the new additions to the team (including those with significant injury histories). The rotation and bullpen are essentially fully healthy. And the pitchers recovering from TJ surgery are expected back later this season.

This is a key advantage that is rare to see in MLB. Will it last? Time will tell.
BlueMonday - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#428156) #
And we’ll need to be patient as the Jays ‘load manage’ Springer, KK, Belt and the catchers.
scottt - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#428157) #
Pearson reached triple digits and has a swing on a curveball.
He's not a finesse pitcher. As long as he throws strikes he should have some success.
Even hitting the odd batter here and there is not a problem.
It makes for some uncomfortable ABs.

uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#428158) #

Nate Pearson, Filth. 😷

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 26, 2023
hypobole - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#428159) #
greenfrog, mentioned the same thing last week about team health when posters kept wanting to DFA Richards.

From Passan at ESPN yesterday:"Between the start of spring training and the 20th day of the season, 236 players hit the IL -- the highest number ever in that period, and by a wide margin."

and "of the 236 IL placements, 162 are pitchers."
James W - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#428160) #
I don't know when they last had a streak of 7 or better.

The Sportsnet broadcast showed that this string of 7 starters only giving up 5 earned runs was only bested once, in September 2016. Looks like it went from Sept. 21-28:

(Sept. 18: Stroman, 2 ER in 6 IP, game score 51.)
(Sept. 19: Estrada, 0 ER, 1 H in 7 IP, game score 80.)
(Sept. 20: Happ, 2 ER in 5 IP, game score 54.)
Sept. 21: Sanchez, 1 ER in 6 IP, game score 62.
Sept. 23: Liriano, 0 ER in 6 IP, game score 70.
Sept. 24: Stroman, 0 ER, 1 H in 7 IP, game score 77.
Sept. 25: 1 ER in 7 IP, game score 70.
Sept. 26: Happ, 2 R, 1 ER in 7.1 IP, game score 61.
Sept. 27: Sanchez, 1 ER in 6 IP, game score 65.
Sept. 28: Liriano, 0 ER in 6.1 IP, game score 70.

Great 10-day stretch, with an excellent 7-game streak to end it. Jays went 6-4 over those 10 games, and only 4-3 over the 7 great starts in a row.
Glevin - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#428161) #
"Remember people complaining about our overworked bullpen until someone pointed out that wasn't the case, at least compared with other teams."

The issue isn't the overworked bullpen, it's the lack of relivers who can pitch multiple innings. If Jays get a couple of short outings, the Jays are in big trouble. You look at the Rays for example, and they have a bunch of guys who can go 2-3 innings. They have a bunch of guys averaging over 1 inning an appearance and 3 guys averaging over 3 innings per game. The Jays have 1 reliever whose even averaging 1 inning per appearance and then just barely (8.1 IP in 8 games-Richards). That works if starters are working deep but if you have issues, things get tricky in a hurry. It reminds me a bit of 2015 when the Jays had amazing luck with starters so their lack of depth in rotation never got exposed. This is a much easier fix than starter depth but it's something that is likely to be a problem down the road unless it is addressed.
scottt - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#428162) #
The Rays are not a good example.
They still use openers and bulk relievers.

Also, because of the RC, the Jays are less likely to play in a doubleheader than any other team.

It used to be that teams could have a reliever that sat there just in case.
This isn't the case with the 13 pitchers limit and the 15IL for pitchers.

This is like pinch hitters.
Kirk can pinch hit only if they start a left bat.
It can come in handy, but it's not the primary strategy.

With an off day coming up, they could use every pitcher today if they needed to.

hypobole - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#428163) #
"The issue isn't the overworked bullpen, it's the lack of relivers who can pitch multiple innings."

Two separate issues. The bullpen was called "overworked".

As for multiple innings, Mitch White would be the long man once he's back and if the team needed one. Pop has pitched more than an inning 4 times, Richards has pitched 2 innings twice. I agree it could be a problem down the road, if starters get injured, but starters who get injured are usually those who already have an injury history. Pretty sure Jays starters have a history of health better than pretty well any other staff.

bpoz - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#428164) #
Very early in the season. The Jays are one of the top 7 teams in the AL. TB, Toronto, Houston and NYY were expected in this group. Baltimore, Texas and Minnesota were not. I thought Seattle would be better.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#428165) #
As to relief, with 8 men in the pen I don't worry as much about 'burnout' or having a long man. It would be nice, but if the Jays have a nightmare game where everyone is used and the pen is worn out they could always send down Pop & Pearson now for 2 more relievers to cover. Or do a phantom IL for Bass or Richards. Once White returns this will vanish as a big issue unless we get 2 days in a row of bad starting pitching. If/when needed I expect someone like Casey Lawrence to be called up to cover (eat innings, if his arm blows out who cares).

Nice that the 2 biggest issues are the last guy on the bench and the long reliever (normally the last guy in the pen). Although if Belt, Varsho & Springer keep their OPS+ in the sub 80 range it will become a problem. At least Jansen has clearly recovered and is pounding (1.092 OPS over the past 14 days) as has Kirk (775 OPS over those same 14 days). Merrifield has earned his full time PA's at 2B and LF, Biggio not so much (notwithstanding his HR on the 24nd).

For oddities - the 5 most used relievers (Romano-Pop-Swanson-Garcia-Cimber) have 10 or 10 1/3 IP each over 10 or 11 games each. Richards & Bass 8 1/3 each. Mayza just 6 1/3 over 10 games. Worst starter ERA+ is Manoah at 85. Seems to me things are settling down in a good way now for the team.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#428166) #
Past 1 Calendar Year:

* RF Springer 624pa, 122wrc+, 3.6war, 3.8war/650
* SS Bichette 734pa, 138wrc+, 5.6war, 5.0war/650
* 1B Guerrero 748pa, 131wrc+, 2.7war, 2.5war/650
* 3B Chapman 656pa, 131wrc+, 5.3war, 5.3war/650
* DH/C Kirk 558pa, 132wrc+, 4.1war, 4.8war/650
* LF Varsho 627pa, 101wrc+, 4.2war, 4.4war/650
* 2B Merrifield 562pa, 103wrc+, 2.4war, 2.8war/650
* C/DH Jansen 289pa, 122wrc+, 2.5war, 5.6war/650
* CF Kiermaier 252pa, 103wrc+, 1.7war, 4.4war/650

* UT Biggio 318pa, 98wrc+, 1.4war, 2.9war/650
* UT Espinal 473pa, 92wrc+, 1.8war, 2.5war/650
* DH Belt 289pa, 77wrc+, -0.7war, -1.6war/650
* OF Luplow 241pa, 74wrc+, 0.1war, 0.3war/650
92-93 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#428167) #
So Guerrero is our worst player? Lol, WAR.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#428169) #
Past 1 Calendar Year

* SP Manoah 33gms, 6.2ip/gm, 67era-, 88fip-, 105xfip-, 5.0war, 4.8war/32
* SP Gausman 33gms, 5.7ip/gm, 84era-, 64fip-, 71xfip-, 4.6war, 4.4war/32
* SP Bassitt 32gms, 6.0ip/gm, 95era-, 100fip-, 98xfip-, 2.8war, 2.8war/32
* SP Berrios 34gms, 5.6ip/gm, 130era-, 101fip-, 99xfip-, 1.2war, 1.2war/32
* SP Kikuchi 33gms, 3.3ip/gm, 129era-, 137fip-, 96xfip-, -0.5war, -0.4war/32
* SP White 21gms, 4.3ip/gm, 142era-, 100fip-, 113xfip-, 0.4war, 0.6war/32
* SP Ryu 4gms, 4.9ip/gm, 71era-, 106fip-, 106xfip-, 0.4war, 3.2war/32

* RP Romano 65gms, 1.0ip/gm, 59era-, 67fip-, 92xfip-, 2.1war, 2.1war/65
* RP Swanson 62gms, 0.9ip/gm, 51era-, 61fip-, 80xfip-, 1.6war, 1.6war/65
* RP Bass 74gms, 1.0ip/gm, 50era-, 78fip-, 88xfip-, 1.7war, 1.5war/65
* RP Pop 46gms, 1.1ip/gm, 77era-, 77fip-, 86xfip-, 0.6war, 0.8war/65
* RP Cimber 81gms, 0.9ip/gm, 79era-, 97fip-, 103xfip-, 0.5war, 0.4war/65
* RP Mayza 65gms, 0.7ip/gm, 82era-, 99fip-, 77xfip-, 0.4war, 0.4war/65
* RP Garcia 63gms, 1.0ip/gm, 104era-, 94fip, 98xfip-, 0.2war, 0.2war/65
* RP Richards 63gms, 1.0ip/gm, 141era-, 101fip-, 102xfip-, -0.4war, -0.4war/65
* RP Green 7gms, 1.1ip/gs, 30era-, 25fip-, 75xfip-, 0.4war, 3.3war/65
* RP Pearson 1gms, 1.0ip/gs, 0era-, 99fip-, 138xfip-, 0.0war, 0.0war/65
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#428170) #
Merrifield Career

* '16: 332pa, .361babip, 91wrc+
* '17: 630pa, .308babip, 105wrc+
* '18: 707pa, .352babip, 119wrc+
* '19: 735pa, .350babip, 110wrc+
* '20: 265pa, .295babip, 105wrc+
* '21: 720pa, .309babip, 90wrc+
* '22: 420pa, .266babip, 79wrc+ (KCR)
* '22: 130pa, .312babip, 119wrc+ (TOR)
* '23: 73pa, .358babip, 118wrc+

'21-22 down years with KC's whole team kinda falling apart are starting to look a bit more like a blip than a true decline tbh.
Nigel - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#428171) #
There are a ton of good things going on right now for this team. The quality of Varsho's ABs is not one of them.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#428172) #
it was pretty weird that they were slotting Varsho in at 4 and 5 to start the season, even weirder that they continue to hit him ahead of much better bats like Kirk, especially when there's no clear reason to hit him ahead of the likes of Jansen, Merrifield, Kiermaier.

he should be a good hitter for us but he's not a middle of the order hitter for this team I don't think.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#428173) #
The Jays have played 24 games, about 15% of their schedule and people seem to be nitpicking everything - How about enjoying the baseball season?
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#428174) #
we can do both, no?

uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#428175) #
nice slide by Whit but that's a terribly lazy tag by the aptly named Burger.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#428176) #
people seem to be nitpicking everything

Manoah # 6, Kikuchi # 16, and Berríos # 17.

As pitchers, I think they should be higher numbers.

greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#428177) #
You can make a case that all of our starting pitchers now qualify as legitimate #3 starters or better.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#428178) #
Things looking good for Jays to get their 1st sweep this season. This is their 8th series; last year they didn't get one until their 15th series when they swept a 4 gamer in Anaheim.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#428179) #
Kevin Kiermaier giving his batting gloves to that kid and seeing his reaction almost brought a tear to my eye. Whether calculated or not, he's quickly becoming a fan favorite, IMHO.

Should maybe talk to him about an extension if he keeps this up - although, if he keeps up this defense AND this hitting, we won't be able to afford him. He's tied with Bichette for 3rd on the team with 1.0 bWar (Vladdy 1.1, Chapman 1.7) - at $9M, he's essentially already earned his contract.. Before the end of April! He has an OPS of 786 right now, and his best season total ever was 788 in 2017 at age 27, so he's either found the fountain of youth and/or the surgery really helped and/or it's early, and he'll regress closer to his career 717 OPS. $12M + an option at $14M maybe would be something I could see being really useful until we find another longer-term outfielder along with Varsho and Springer.

If I read correctly, Merrifield has a $18M mutual option for next year - I doubt we pick that up? With the current expiring contracts, our outfield options for next year are Springer, Varsho, Biggio and Lukes, I guess? Any prospects of note in the pipeline for OF?

Definitely will be some major moves required in the off-season to address the (potential) departures of: Kiermaier, Chapman, Merrifield, Belt. That's almost half our starting 9.

uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#428180) #
104 win pace
scottt - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#428181) #
Losing Merrifield opens the door for Otto Lopez. You still got Espinal and Biggio.
Varsho moves to CF, so you just need a bat that can do 1B/DH/LF.

Chapman is the harder one to replace but you can bank a QO on him.
He's a Boras client looking for a major payday.
If he keeps it up all year and gets a massive contract, everybody wins as long as he doesn't end up in the Bronx.

They'll figure it out in the winter.

scottt - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#428182) #
Varsho isn't a middle of the order bat, but he's got some pop and they're trying to spread the lefties.
The lineup is deep enough that it doesn't really matter.
In this series the offense has come from the #8 slot in the batting order.

Kiemaier is happy to be hitting 9th.
It's OK to have guys on base for Springer and Bichette. 
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#428183) #
the 'spreading out the lefties' thing might become an issue, tbh. or lefties in general. Jays were excellent against both RHP (118wrc+) and LHP (115wrc+) last year. the handedness thing was talked about a lot but i'm not sure it was an issue.

This year, after 'fixing' that issue, so far they're still good but not better against RHP (114wrc+), and now mediocre against LHP (102wrc+). Our LHH have posted an 86wrc+ against RHP, and a miserable 48wrc+ against LHP (and still getting a decent amount of plate appearances for some reason). Meanwhile our Righties continue to be excellent against both LHP (118wrc+) and especially against RHP (128wrc+).

We should keep an eye on this and see how it develops. With our roster we can still use an all-RHH lineup when we want to.
Nigel - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#428186) #
uo - while the changes were a bit about lalancing the lineup's handedness, the offseason moves were largely about trading offence for defence. Gurriel and Hernandez swapped for KK and Varsho was never going to be a net positive from a purely offensive perspective. That swap has other "balancing" effects though (defence, handedness, speed, etc.).
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#428188) #
The Jays are currently 2nd in DRS in the bigs, they have generally built a team that is overall more balanced and set up to chase a championship.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#428189) #
Robbie Ray is having season-ending surgery. Another reason that pivoting to Gausman was a great move by the front office.
scottt - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#428190) #
Some days the top of the lineup does everything, but sometimes it's the other way around.
The only right bat who isn't in there regularly is Espinal.
The catchers can't play every day.

Part of splitting the lefties is getting a lefty pitcher in to face 2 left bats and pinch hitting.
In that case, it's the right bats who benefits.

Both CF bat lefts, so there's going to be at least one 1 left bat against a starting lefty.
Nobody is really looking for left on left matchups so the 48 wrc+ isn't important.

Having the lefties forces the pitchers to attack the hitters differently.

Finally, the RC is now built to advantage left bats.
That should play out eventually.

Robbie Ray out for the year with elbow surgery.

uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#428191) #
agreed Nigel. it was all about defense. the "balancing the lineup" thing never made much sense to me so I hope that was more fantalk than gmtalk.

that being said, I don't think adding defense actually sacrificed offense, because we're no longer in a situation where need to play the likes of Tapia, Bradley, Zimmer for purported "defensive" reasons, which is a HUGE boost to our offense.
Nigel - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#428192) #
I think there is real value in handedness balance and there is definitely some improvement in that vein on this year's club. Handedness balance would be more important if the new LH bats turn out to be important offensive contributors. I have some doubts on that front. However, the run prevention benefits of the lineup changes could be significant.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#428193) #
It's also worth noting that Gurriel Jr. and Teo's combined offensive production this year has been very mediocre.
92-93 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#428194) #
Teoscar leads the Mariners in HR (6) and RBI (15).
hypobole - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#428195) #
Teoscar is also tied with KK and Varsho with 5 DRS, behind only Robert (7) and Isbel (6) among all qualified outfielders.

On the other hand, he's drawn 2 walks vs 27 strikeouts. His K% is normal, but the 2.1 BB% is the lowest of all 178 qualified MLB hitters. That helps explain why his 113 OPS+ is his lowest since 2019.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#428196) #
I would much rather have Varsho and Kiermaier and Swanson (1.54 ERA) than Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar. The combined offense is around the same (if not better), the combined baserunning and defense are better, the Jays now have a center fielder (two actually), and they get a good late-inning reliever to boot. And the players the Jays acquired are more cost-efficient and controllable.

There’s really no comparison when it comes down to it.
92-93 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#428197) #
I wasn't even commenting on the offseason, just pointing out that Teoscar is off to a much better start than many posts in here since the season started would have one believe.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#428198) #
As hypobole notes, Teo is having a somewhat unusual season. His defense is up, while his offense (the 6 HR notwithstanding) isn't great, with a .244/.281/.478 slash line and a 2:27 BB:K ratio. His defense is carrying a lot of his overall value this year. We'll see whether that is sustainable.

Zooming out to a team-level perspective, it's interesting that after the trade and other moves, the Jays are playing .640 ball while the M's are below .500.
92-93 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#428199) #
That being said, Kiermaier has nothing to do with the equation. Their defense has been excellent because they signed him, not because Varsho is in LF.

It's Varsho and Swanson vs. Moreno and Hernandez, and the jury is very much still out on that one.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#428200) #
I disagree. I think you have to look at the front office’s moves in the aggregate. If they trade Teo for Swanson and then sign Kiermaier for $9-10m, then they have Kiermaier and Swanson (and Macko) instead of Teo for roughly the equivalent cost. That’s one equation.

Will Varsho-for-Moreno/LGJ be worth it? Maybe. Even that trade should be evaluated in the context of the Jays’ current location on the win curve. The Jays need marginal wins from 2023-2025 to pursue a championship. If Moreno is great from 2026-2028 and the Jays are rebuilding at that point, then his value doesn’t add all that much to the team. The Jays don’t need another catcher at present.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#428201) #
for me it's something like

Kiermaier v Hernandez

Varsho v Moreno

Merrifield v Gurriel

Belt v Tapia

Bassitt v Stripling

Swanson v Phelps

Pop v Thornton
92-93 - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#428202) #
They also could have kept Teo and made the exact same trade with the Diamondbacks, leaving Belt out of the equation. In seeking balance they may have rolled with an inferior, older hitter. Only time can tell.

Hopefully the Jays strike out Teo 12 times this weekend. He can hit a garbage time HR on Sunday.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#428203) #
Rays lose again.

a whole 4.0 games back of the super record starting 1st place rays.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#428204) #
Regardless of the moves made this is one of the most complete Jays teams ever constructed.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#428205) #
It is fun to try to read too much into things when April isn't even over, let along 2023.
Stats from FanGraphs - wRC+, Def pre today. ERA & xFIP & IP for pitchers.
  • Kiermaier: 120 2.7 vs Hernandez: 103 0.7
  • Varsho: 77 -0.8 vs Moreno: 87 3.6
  • Merrifield: 122 -0.8 vs Gurriel: 83 -1.8
  • Belt: 62 -1.0 vs Tapia: 65 -0.1
  • Bassitt: 4.82 5.14 28.0 vs Stripling: 6.89 4.31 15.2
  • Swanson: 1.54 4.11 11.2 vs Phelps: retired
  • Pop: 4.35 3.53 10.1 vs Thornton: AAA 3.48 4.19 10.1
Interesting comparisons you picked uglyone. Tapia really has cooled off after a very hot start, Gurriel is playing ugly, Moreno is great on defense but not much on offense, Hernandez isn't great on offense with very good but not 'wow' defense (won't hold). Stripling has decent xFIP but poor ERA stats vs Bassitt who is the opposite. Really, at this point I have trouble complaining. Varsho hasn't been all that we hoped but shows signs of being all that here and there. Plus it doesn't hurt that his presence in the OF makes Kiermaier take bigger chances as he feels safe doing so knowing he has a solid guy behind him if he doesn't make the spectacular catch. A bonus I hadn't thought of but makes a ton of sense.

In the old 'if I was GM' challenge who would've others picked instead of Varsho that Moreno/Gurriel could've gotten? Corbin Carroll on paper seemed possible but never was (given the contract Arizona signed him to already and his 142 wRC+ so far this year... if only). Alek Thomas is who I expected the Jays to get but he has stunk this year (62 wRC+ -1.1 on defense) even more than Varsho has but I'd still take him if they gave him up for next to nothing. Bryan Reynolds was seen as possible but Pittsburgh wanted a kings ransom from all reports and finally signed him long term (126 wRC+ so far with -1.2 defense). Grichuk some wanted back - he has an 88 wRC+ -11.2 defense (how?). Joey Gallo was a guy a lot wanted and with good reason (215 wRC+ so far, -1.3 on defense (2 games in RF, rest at 1B or DH). Not sure who else was available at a price the Jays could've reasonably paid (thus no Judge). Gallo over Belt would've been a BIG upgrade so far. The others (outside of Thomas given his past and rep) would've been poor on defense thus not what the Jays wanted. Given his past I fully expect Varsho's defensive numbers to improve (defensive stats are seen as unreliable over even a full season, let along under 1 month).

Bottom line? Jays are 4 back of a Tampa Bay team that won a ton of games to start the season and have drawn comparisons to the '84 Tigers (would now need to go 15-0 to tie their 35-5 start). The O's are also ahead of the Jays by 1/2 a game, Yankees are 2 back, Boston 3 1/2. Jays have the 2nd Wild Card slot right now. If the season ended now the Jays would be playing the O's while the Yankees play the Twins while Texas and Tampa get the first round off. NL is restful for Atlanta & Pittsburgh (shock), while WCs are Milwaukee-Mets-Cubs with one of them facing Arizona. The NL is a lot weirder than the AL right now, but both have a few hot teams who shouldn't be there but are. Part of what makes baseball fun. Oakland sucks (5-19) but KC is almost as bad (6-19). The AL East is all at or above 500, while the Twins are the only team above water in the AL Central.
soupman - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#428206) #
moreno is hitting better than varsho and controls running better than either kirk or jansen. i like varsho but i still think they bought high on him.
soupman - Wednesday, April 26 2023 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#428207) #
if i remember correctly, you were vocally in favour of moreno for carroll early last year (well, all last year, but i think you were the first i saw championing that deal). i assumed/hoped the jays would sell high on kirk, but i think they waited too long to pull the trigger.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#428208) #
I mean it's going to take a couple years to really get a good read statistically who won the trade. Varsho is already showing his worth in the field. Kiermaier obviously is terrific in centre and we are crossing our fingers he stays healthy. Just opening up spots for those guys makes up for the offense we lost with Teo. Teo was, in my mind, such a streaky hitter as well which was the microcosm for the entire version of those Jays. When things were cooking, they were world beaters...when they weren't.. and there were sometimes long stretches where they weren't (Last years west road trip where they fired the manager) they couldn't bail out even decent pitching. Long way to go but 16-9 looks great when you consider how good the starting rotation looks like it's going to be this year.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 07:28 AM EDT (#428209) #
The FO also deserves credit for sticking with Kikuchi and working to help turn him around, instead of panicking and dumping him for pennies on the dollar. At the moment he’s pitching like a #2-3 starter.
Ryan Day - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#428210) #
i assumed/hoped the jays would sell high on kirk, but i think they waited too long to pull the trigger.

I'm not convinced there was a "sell high" option for Kirk. Last year showed that he's a great hitter for a catcher, but maybe not a long-term, everyday catcher, and maybe not a great enough hitter to be a full-time DH. Opinions will vary, but I imagine many teams had these questions about him from the start.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#428211) #
Marly Rivera dismissed by ESPN: " Before the Yankees-Angels game, Rivera and fellow reporter Ivón Gaete had a disagreement . . . Gaete is the wife of MLB Vice President of Communications, John Blundell. "
Ryan Day - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#428212) #
It's still only April 27th. Matt Chapman is leading the American League in batting average.

I'm confident Varsho will be fine, though I wonder if the Jays put a bit too much pressure on him by batting him cleanup.
Michael - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#428213) #
Chapman is 1st in AL in AVG (364) and 1st in OPS (1105).

Bo Bichette is 3rd in AL in AVG (340) and 10th in OPS (909).

Vlad is 4th in AL in AVG (333) and 5th in OPS (942).

That's a pretty healthy top 3 offensive players.

Varsho and Springer are the only other Jays that are qualified (I.e., that has 3.1 PA per game; there are 84 qualified players in the AL right now), but they are 71st and 74th in qualified AL players OPS respectively (614, 603) and Springer is 66th in AVG (216) and Varsho is 75th in AVG (198).
92-93 - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#428214) #
Suprising to see Kikuchi first among pitchers on the BR Jays WAR banner.

What goes into bWAR that gives Kikuchi a 0.6war while Gausman is at 0.3war? Is Gausman being penalized for unearned runs? All his other numbers (IP, K:BB, HR, ER) look better.
uglyone - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#428215) #
TB's incredible 13-0 start was fuelled largely by the entire roster collectively hitting as if all 9 slots were filled with MVP bats - a team 170wrc+, which of course is better than Vladdy's (and most MVP) seasons.

Their 7-5 record since has seen their offense still being very good but no longer insane, at an impressive 121wrc+.

Their pitching has also dropped from a league best 2.42era those first 13gms to a still good but not elite 3.31 over those last 12.
92-93 - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#428216) #
The Rays' 4 game sweep at home of the Red Sox was impressive, but they're 2-4 against the Jays and the Astros. We'll see what they are really made of soon when they play 23 straight vs. NYY-BAL-NYY-NYM-MIL-TOR-LAD. They aint the '84 Tigers.
uglyone - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#428217) #
unless they've changed it, bWAR for pitches iirc was always based primarily on earned runs, from which they work backwards and try to apply team defense factors to it.

In this case though yeah it's definitely about the unearned runs.

Gausman's Runs per 9 is 3.98, Kikuchi is 3.00. 14 runs against gausman to only 9 against kikuchi.

I really don't remember what errors led to those unearned runs for Gausman though.

So on fangraphs, Kikuchi also has a better RA9war than Gausman, but especially over small samples it's usually better to look at fipWAR, and Gausman is of course crushing Kikuchi in that right now.


Gausman 1.0
Berrios 1.0
Kikuchi 0.2
Manoah -0.1
Bassitt -0.1


Kikuchi 0.8
Gausman 0.6
Bassitt 0.2
Manoah 0.2
Berrios 0.1

myself I always look at the average of the two - RA9 measuring all runs scored no matter the defense, FIP measuring only exactly what is under the pitcher's control.

Average WAR

Gausman 0.8 (5.1/32gms)
Berrios 0.6 (3.5/32gms)
Kikuchi 0.5 (3.2/32gms)
Manoah 0.1 (0.3/32gms)
Bassitt 0.1 (0.3/32gms)
soupman - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#428218) #
of course we can never be certain, but i think they traded the best catcher they had without seeing how the running game was going to change. they appear to have given up "marginal wins" on that front. i don't think anyone valued kirk as high as moreno, and i doubt he would have netted a player like varsho, but i also feel it's safe to assume there was/is a market for a pre-arb catcher that can hit well and field around league average.
hypobole - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#428219) #
Looking at the past 14 days on FG, Jays pitching ranks 8th by ERA, TB 9th. By FIP, it's Jays 3rd, TB 11th.

That 14 day stretch for the Jays includes 9 games vs TB, Hou, and NYY. Impressive.

TB has lost Springs (and Baz) for the year, but should have Glasnow back within a month. Only "reinforcement" for the Jays will be Mitch White, who made a rehab start for Dunedin last night, at least until Ryu and Greene are ready.
uglyone - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#428220) #
probably too early to say much about Moreno defensively. We know he has a good arm but at the same time the league is probably testing the rookie catcher without having a good read on him yet, and running more than they usually would. It's unlikely that Morneo continues to nail runners at a much much higher rate than he ever did in the minors.

Moreno definitely has the pop time advantage though:

* Moreno 1.90 (last year 1.92)
* Jansen 1.98 (last year 1.98)
* Kirk 2.00 (last year 1.99)

Exchange time:

* Moreno 0.69 (last year 0.70)
* Kirk 0.72 (last year 0.73)
* Danny 0.75 (last year 0.73)

Arm Strength

* Moreno 80.1 (last year 79.9)
* Danny 78.5 (last year 78.5)
* Kirk 77.4 (last year 77.5)

CS above average per throw

* Moreno +0.60 (last year +0.21)
* Danny +0.16 (last year +0.04)
* Kirk -0.15 (last year +0.02)

but catcher defense is more than just throwing. In 220 innings Danny and Kirk have only let 3 balls get past them - 3 counted as wild pitches with Danny behind the plate. Moreno has already let 7 balls past him (6 counted as wild pitches) in 160 innings.

Blocks above average per game via Statcast

Kirk +0.42 (last year +0.19)
Danny +0.20 (last year +0.17)
Moreno +0.03 (last year +0.10)

and then of course the most important thing is still probably pitch framing, and we don't have much to go on there yet.

Statcast has their framing percentiles this year as:

* Jansen 94th
* Kirk 52nd
* Moreno 31st

and then of course there's the offense. Moreno's hit tool looks very legit right off the bat, but so far there hasn't been any patience or power whatsoever at the mlb level, and there wasn't at the AAA level either.

and remember, Moreno is only a year younger than Kirk.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#428221) #
Bryan Adams played a concert in Pickering last night, with Dalton Varsho, Danny Jansen, and Brandon Belt in the front row.
hypobole - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#428222) #
Teo 0 for 3 today and his BB% now under 2. Lowest among 180 qualified.

Min 70 PA's, 206 players, still lowest. Two players at 69 PA's "surpass" him. Astros' Julks at 1.4% surprisingly has a 107 wRC+ by slashing 299/304/448. The lowest is a guy who may not long for the majors. KC's Mike Massey - 0.0 BB%, 36.2 K%, 179/174/194.

Note of interest at 70 PA's. Only 1 player has a higher BB% than Kirk's 21.4 and the name should be familiar. 2 hints - Mike Green, Rule 5.
Gerry - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#428223) #

Bryan Adams played a concert in Pickering last night, with Dalton Varsho, Danny Jansen, and Brandon Belt in the front row.

I was there too, in the back row.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#428226) #
Turn on, tune in, drop out!
mathesond - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#428227) #
Some might be, uh, leary of that philosophy...
greenfrog - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#428228) #
(With apologies to Ryu and Bryan Adams)

TJ surgery cuts like a knife
But it feels so right
Yeah, it cuts like a knife
Oh, but it feels so right
Chuck - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#428229) #
Perusing the boxscores, I noticed that Ohtani had a no-hitter going 3 innings into his start against the woeful, and no-hittable, Athletics. I turned my TV on, only to jinx the poor bastard, and he prompty gave up 5 runs, seeing his ERA balloon to almost 2. Rumours of his being human are perhaps true.

Whatcha reckon for his FA contract? 10/500?

hypobole - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#428230) #
Might want to check FG. A's are at 95 wRC+, 21st in baseball, but not horrible. For reference, Yankees are 97, Padres 89. Now the Royals and Tigers, 69 and 70 wRC+, are the woeful, no-hittables.

A's issue is pitching. 7.97 ERA. 2nd worst ChiSox are over 2 runs better at 5.62.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#428231) #
For those interested in a deep dive into Berrios’s season, Fangraphs has a piece up on him. There are interesting observations and statistical nuggets about what has gone wrong and right with his season to date. Ben Clemens still thinks he’s an above-average starter.
hypobole - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#428232) #
One bit on the A's awful pitching.

Erstwhile fan favourite Brandon Drury scuffled badly prior to facing the A's this week, slashing 179/208/269. He's now at 256/300/524 after going 9 for 15 with 2 doubles, a triple and 4 home runs.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#428233) #
Some might be, uh, leary of that philosophy...

I'm as gung-ho as Dock Ellis.

hypobole - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#428234) #
"Whatcha reckon for his FA contract? 10/500?"

scottt - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#428235) #
Ohtani makes so much from endorsements that he might not care about getting the absolute best deal.
I wouldn't be surprised if he remains an Angels for life or if the contract is spread over a very large number of years. He could still be getting 50M+ in endorsements even after he declined to a below average player.

hypobole - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#428236) #
scottt, agree he may not take the best deal. But I believe he'll sign with a team that is a winner and that isn't the Angels.
John Northey - Thursday, April 27 2023 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#428237) #
After the WBC his clear priorities will be 1) a winning team, 2) place he feels comfortable in, 3) good for endorsement potential, 4) raw cash

Funny thing is the Jays could fit that but I doubt it will happen. St Louis would be a good choice (easy division, constant contender for decades), Dodgers most likely (location great, tons of money, regular contender), both NY teams could make a good case to him, hard to know as it depends on how he sees things this winter. I'm expecting 10 years, $500 million maybe with an opt out after 2 or 3 years.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 28 2023 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#428238) #
I could see a team like the Texas Rangers making a gigantic offer.

Otherwise, I expect it's New York, L.A., or San Francisco.
James W - Friday, April 28 2023 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#428239) #
I really don't remember what errors led to those unearned runs for Gausman though.

In Gausman's first start against St. Louis, Chapman made a throwing error with 2 outs that scored the first run. Gorman followed that with a 2-run single, and all 3 runs that Gausman would allow that day were unearned.

Gausman's other unearned run came in the Astros game. Danny Jansen committed catcher's interference to load the bases, right before a 2-run double and a 3-run home run.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 28 2023 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#428245) #
TJ surgery cuts like a knife

Summer of .690 win %

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