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So... when do the Jays get to play somebody who's not a contender, anyway?

Not any time soon, it appears.

You'll be delighted to hear that the 2023 Braves, to this point in the young season, have been Mighty Road Warriors. They've gone 15-3 away fomr home, outscoring the opposition 108-48 in the process. That mark does include sweeps of St.Louis, Kansas City, and Miami. But you can only play the teams on the schedule that day, and if it's a bad team you have to face, it's your responsibility to beat them senseless.

This the Braves have done.

There may be some problems in the rotation, as ace lefty Max Fried has gone on the IL and is expected to miss about two months. Kyle Wright is already on the IL. That would seem to place quite the burden on the two 24 year old RHs, Spencer Strider, in just his second full season, and Bryce Elder, in his first. We'll see both of them this weekend - the other rotation starter still standing is Charlie Morton, who ought to be pitching this weekend but the Braves may be calling an audible. Morton is as old as the hills (did you ever wonder just which hills those might be) but he's still effective.

They can score runs, too. Ronald Acuna Jr is staking an early claim to be this year's NL MVP, while Sean Murphy and Matt Olson both seem absolutely delighted to have escaped the dreary confines of Oakland's team, ballpark, ownership, and possibly the general ambience. Last season's Rookie of the Year, Michael Harris, seems to have encountered an actual, genuine case of the Sophomore Jinx - the Braves have simply plugged Sam Hilliard into his spot in centrefield and haven't missed a beat.
Tough sledding ahead for the boys in blue. But... got to play them. Might as well beat them.


Fri 12 May - Strider (4-0, 2.70) vs Bassitt (4-2, 4.28)
Sat 13 May - Elder (3-0, 1.74) vs Berrios (3-3, 4.91)
Sun 14 May - S.Guy (?-?, ?.??) vs () Kikuchi (5-0, 3.35)
Atlanta at Toronto, May 12-14 | 97 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#428655) #

At any rate, this is an offensive team.
The starters have issued a lot of walks but have prevented the long balls.
The pen has been more middling. They have the best walk rate, but they do allow HRs.
mathesond - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#428656) #
"(did you ever wonder just which hills those might be)"

I always figured they were the Black Mountain Hills of South Dakota...
greenfrog - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#428657) #
The Rays have lost Drew Rasmussen for at least a couple of months. The team has had a ton of injuries and yet they're 30-9. The Jays have been pretty much fully healthy all year and they're 21-16.
greenfrog - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#428660) #
Bassitt looks terrific. 39 pitches through 4IP. He’s pitching aggressively, changing speeds, living on the edges (or just off them). He’a putting on a clinic.

Offensively, the Jays had a good opportunity in the third with two on and Springer and Bo coming up. Didn’t work out, though Bichette came close to driving in a run. The team may not get many more opportunities like that tonight.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#428661) #
the Ozark mountains. not too far from Rocky Top - Tennessee.
Gerry - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#428663) #
Is that the greenfrog jinx?
greenfrog - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#428664) #
Yeah, that was messy. But he got an out to preserve the shutout through five. Hopefully he can regain momentum in the sixth.
Gerry - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#428665) #
While we sometimes complain/comment on umpires, I have to note that Laz Diaz called ball on what should have been strike three to Kiermaier. That setup Kiermaier to walk and Springer to drive in the go ahead run.
greenfrog - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#428666) #
I noticed that too.

How slow must Vladdy have been jogging to have ended up at second base on that high fly ball to deep right field that Acuna Jr. lost in the lights? Easy triple if he had been running at all hard.
jerjapan - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#428667) #
What a game from Bassit. Who had money on him being the guy to break the shutout drought?
greenfrog - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#428668) #
Is that the greenfrog jinx?

If by “jinx” you mean “good luck charm,” then yes, you are correct.
hypobole - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#428669) #
Schneider gets blame for some of his moves, so gotta give him credit for leaving Bassitt in to finish the game. Years ago, it would have been a no-brainer, but nowadays...
greenfrog - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#428670) #
That was one of the best games of the season.
Gerry - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#428671) #
Congrats greenfrog, good call, 5th inning blip notwithstanding.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#428672) #
Atlanta - September 14th, 1967.
Clarence Cito Gaston appears in his very first MLB game: game log:

" Bottom of the 8th, Braves Batting, Behind 3-4,
Mets' Danny Frisella facing 8-9-1

Tito Francona pinch hits for Bob Uecker (C) batting 8th

ATL - Tito Francona - Danny Frisella - Walk

Dick Selma replaces Danny Frisella pitching and batting 9th
Mike Lum pinch hits for Phil Niekro (P) batting 9th
Cito Gaston pinch runs for Tito Francona (PH) batting 8th

ATL - Mike Lum - Dick Selma - Strikeout

ATL - Felipe Alou - Dick Selma - Flyball: CF

Joe Torre pinch hits for Felix Millan (2B) batting 2nd

ATL - Joe Torre - Dick Selma - Groundout: P-1B

0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Mets 4, Braves 3. "

hypobole - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#428673) #
First complete game shutout for the Jays since Mark Buehrle beat the Nats 8-0 June 3 2015.

Only 4 players from that game still in the majors. Pillar and Donaldson from the Jays, Harper and Michael A. Taylor from the Nats.
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 12 2023 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#428674) #
Bassitt was awesome. He's been terrific since that first disaster start.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 03:20 AM EDT (#428675) #
And how many of us watching his first game thought " Why did the Jays sign this junkball, batting practice pitcher?" I know I did.
Magpie - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#428676) #
OK Blue Jays. You now have my undivided attention.
Magpie - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#428677) #
Bassitt's game came in with a Game Score of 89. There have been just 30 starts in franchise history with a better Game Score, the most recent being Manoah's eight innings of one-hitter against Tampa Bay in September 2021.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#428678) #
If I'm using the Fangraphs splits tool correctly, opponents are hitting .138/.267/.224 against Bassitt since his first start of the season.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#428679) #
One impressive thing about the start was the way Bassitt gutted through a stressful fifth inning. He pitched his way out of a bases loaded, two out, 2-0 count situation. It helped that Kirk threw a strike to third base to catch Rosario stealing earlier in the inning.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#428680) #
I get the same split from Baseball Reference:

According to this just a .173 BABIP in that time...
Nigel - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#428681) #
I think that BABIP luck was largely in his first 3-4 starts. Although the results have been good since his first start I thought he was pitching pretty poorly but getting ok results in his first 4 starts. He’s been much much better since and great last night obviously..
uglyone - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#428682) #
Only 1 wild pitch or passed ball with Kirk behind the plate this year, and that one wild pitch was extremely wild and Kirk blocked it anyways just couldnt get the ball to 3B in time.
uglyone - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#428683) #
Belt now has the 5th best wRC+ on the team.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#428684) #
He also had the 4th worst strikeout rate in baseball.
scottt - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#428685) #
Clarence Gaston preferred to be called "Cito" which is a name he reportedly got for his likeliness to a Mexican wrestler.

Mexican wrestlers usually wear masks and keep their identity secret.
There are of course, many exceptions.

Cito is a variation on the "ito" suffix which mean little.
It's mostly used by dwarf wrestlers who choose to imitate a famous wrestler.
For example, a mascot version of Abdullah the Butcher would have been called Abdullahcito.

Kinda weird.

scottt - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#428686) #
There was that momentary implosion when he didn't get a call and loaded the bases in the loss against Seattle.
Things also got complicated after he was issued a balk.
Overall, the pitch clock works for him because he calls his own pitches.

Nigel - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#428687) #
Bassitt is getting the batted ball luck that Berrios isn’t. Think about the 6th last night. Two men on none out - the next two balls the Braves hit were rockets but right at fielders. I think Bassitt and Berrios are pitching to about the same level of quality which is to say more good than bad. The only starter who isn’t pitching well right now is Manoah.
hypobole - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#428688) #
130 batters qualified last year. Of those, how many of the 10 batters with the worst K rates were below 100 wRC+? Only 3.

Of those 10, 4 also had BB rates over 10%. Only 1 of those 4 were below average. wRC+ for the other 3:

Matt Chapman 117
Kyle Schwarber 128
Eugenio Suarez 131

The one outlier was Trent Grisham who struck out a lot and walked a lot, but hit .184 with below average power.

Top 10 qualified high K's with 10% BB's is even more productive this year. Worst wRC+ is 97, the others at 139, 153, 154, 156.

hypobole - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#428689) #
Fangraphs seems to agree very much, Nigel.

Berrios ERA 4.91 Bassitt FIP 4.87
Bassitt ERA 3.48 Berrios FIP 3.22

uglyone - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#428690) #
If you turned 1/3 of Belt's Ks into weak popups or dribblers it wouldnt change his overall line at all, it would only lower his babip.
uglyone - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#428691) #
Bassitt has had a career of beating his fips (i.e. weak contact) and his first outlier start is still having an outsized impact on all his numbers.
uglyone - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#428692) #
Jays Hard Contact Leaders

* 1. Chapman 53.1%
* 2. Belt 41.5%
* 3. Guerrero 38.8%

Jays Soft Contact Leaders (lowest)

* 1. Espinal 6.1%
* 2. Belt 7.3%
* 3. Merrifield 10.9%

I don't think trading some whiffs for some soft contact would make Belt any better. I'm not even sure it's not just random that a bunch of those whiffs haven’t been weak dribblers or pop ups instead.
grjas - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#428693) #
An entirely too early and too judgmental bulls and bears list:

Pleasant surprises:
. Kikuchi- we all knew it was in there somewhere, and that it can vanish at any time. But yeeha.
. Merrifield- not a lot of power, but speed, OBP and versatility at the bottom of the order
. Kiermaier- wow. just wow. yay for old guys
. Mayza- SSS alert but keep it coming
. Honourable mentions- Chapman, Berrios, Pearson

Surprising disappointments:
. Manoah- seemingly mechanics "only"- it's still in there, right? He'll turn around soon, right?
. Springer- bad luck and some bad health, but is time catching up?
. Espinal- not many at bats, but what happened to spring 2022?
. Honourable mention- Biggio, Bass, Jansen

Still, more ups than downs

Unpleasant surprises:
. the ALE- Orioles, Sox...... and TB!!
hypobole - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#428694) #
4 things I noticed today, 3 good, 1 bad.

Vlads statcast /batted ball numbers are about as good or better than 2021. Career best LA and FB%.
Bo has zero IFFB's.
Chapman has zero GIDP's.

The bad - Springer has 4 HR's, but a double is his only other extra base hit.
Kasi - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#428695) #
Berrios is who he is a guy when on who can be good but is very susceptible to being lit up. Even with the FIP numbers I think Bassitt will be quite a bit better than him the next 3 years. Estrada was another guy with bad FIP numbers but good results.
uglyone - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#428697) #
grjas just wait until after tommorrow's game - game 40, pretty much the 1/4 of the season, a perfect time to for first " too early season takes".

especially this year as it leads right into a pretty important early season 10gm stretch against our division rivals starting the next series.
lexomatic - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#428698) #
Shame Kirk let those 2 centre middle pitches go for called strikes and struck out.
grjas - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#428699) #
especially this year as it leads right into a pretty important early season 10gm stretch against our division rivals starting the next series.

Yeah and so far so good!! BTW thx for Wrc data re Belt. Love his effortless swing.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#428700) #
ALE winning percentages 2023 (courtesy of the balanced schedule):

TB .732
Bal .658
Tor .590
Bos .564
NYY .561

hypobole - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#428701) #
Still haven't reached the 40 game mark and Whit has 11 SB's. Springer led the Jays last year with 14. Rules and base sizes have changed but Whit is still around top 10 in baseball.
grjas - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#428702) #
One other pleasant surprise…a gazillion dollars has yet to produce a winning Mets team. Looks good on you Stevie.
hypobole - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#428703) #
On the other hand the Jays payroll is around 7th in baseball, probably the highest ever under Rogers. Now 11-3 at home. Keep the fans coming in.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#428705) #
at WCW Halloween Havoc 1991 the "Chamber of Horrors" match features Cactus Jack (accidentally) pulling the switch with Abdullah the Butcher in the electric chair.
hypobole - Saturday, May 13 2023 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#428706) #
Almost forgot to mention the Jesse Chavez sighting today. He and Anthopoulos have quite the history.

AA has:
Selected him off waivers twice, 11 years apart.
Signed him as a Free Agent twice.
Sold him for cash once.
Traded him away once.
Traded for him once.

Chavez, who will turn 40 in August, just lowered his ERA to 2.30.
bpoz - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#428708) #
A fair bit of $ (about 60 mil) coming off the books next year. Ryu, Chapman, KK, Belt, Merrifield and a few relievers.
krose - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#428709) #
Today is the day to use a right handed opener. Braves eat up lefties.
scottt - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#428710) #
Ryu is 20M coming off the book with the rotation currently all filled up for next year.
Chapman, KK, Belt and  Merrifield will all need to be replaced with no clear prospect ready to step up at this point.
Chapman makes 12.5M, KK makes 9M, Belt makes 9.3M, Merrifield 6.75M.
Chapman is the best position player available on the market this winter. (I am well aware of a 2-way player who pitches and plays DH.)

Bass frees up only 3M.
Garcia has an option for 5M.
Chad Green's situation is too convoluted to comment about.

Mitch White has 4 more years of control, but can he contribute?
Ryu calling his own pitches could be interesting.

I'm just hoping that they don't trade more pitchers for position players.

92-93 - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#428712) #
Merrifield is playing like somebody who doesn't want that money coming off the books. Granted it'll be 18MM, but maybe he sticks around for something in the 10-14 range.

Chapman potentially being the best player on the market is surprising. It would be one of the weakest classes in a while.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#428713) #
I think the Jays are going to miss Chapman next year. He's exactly what you want in a prime contending season: a high-performing, two-way young veteran at an important position who can play 150+ games a year. Think about the double play he single-handedly turned the other day. There aren't too many third baseman who can pull that off and also hit the way he has (168 wRC+ this year, 122 wRC+ career).

I argued months ago that the Jays should extend him (this idea did not seem to be very popular at the time). Of course, we now know that this was never going to happen, as Chapman later said that he has always looked forward to becoming a free agent.
krose - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#428714) #
Springer not running on bloop double. A little-big thing that keeps the Jays from the top level.
John Northey - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#428715) #
Chapman will be tough to replace, if he keeps playing this way all year for sure. But with so much coming off the books the Jays can easily afford whoever they feel will help the most.

You need to mix in rookies though or your team cannot keep winning. 3B is the most obvious spot with Addison Barger, Orelvis Martinez, Damiano Palmegiani (239/412/402), and Rafael Lantigua (312/430/538) all in AA/AAA thus in eyeshot of the majors. Mix in Biggio and Espinal in the majors (well, I'd rather not see Biggio there) plus Otto Lopez (has shown hope as recently as spring training) and the options are wide open. I'm certain others are in contention too (Miguel Hiraldo, Michael Turconi for example).

Of course, all of those guys will be fighting it out for 2B as well. Merrifield and Chapman are both free agents post 2023 (Merrifield has a mutual option of $18 mil but those are rarely accepted by both parties). Plus some of them might be in consideration for the OF as Kiermaier is a free agent too, as is DH Belt. Lots of moving parts this winter. The rotation is all signed for 2024 though (Bassitt through 2025, Kikuchi through 2024, Gausman through 2026, Berrios through 2028, Manoah under team control through 2027). I'm wondering when Ryu comes back in August if they'll go to a 6 man rotation to allow everyone to be rested up for the playoffs. Might make sense.
John Northey - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#428716) #
Argh. Springer double play with bases loaded none out. He really shouldn't play when sick. No one should.
uglyone - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#428717) #
it's high time Springer was moved down the order tbh. it shouldn't be a big insult or even much of a criticism of him, not with all the good hitters in this lineup, and should be a welcome chance to refresh with a bit of a shakeup.
uglyone - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#428718) #
Imo Chapman, Merrifield, Kiermaier are no-brainer re-ups that shouldn't be lost by a team this good and this rich.

Belt maybe, depending on performance, and there's always plenty of similar DH types available for that price anyways.

The place to save some money would be in the rotation, where you move one of them to make room for Tiedemann.
hypobole - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#428719) #
Called strike 3 on Chapman cranked my infuriometer to 11.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#428720) #
Kikuchi has had some REALLY wild pitches today
Acuna has hit shoelaces and upper strikezone pitches
2nd inning looks like the hits were pretty much down the middle
In the 3rd they were shadow zone and didn't look bad.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#428721) #
Wow somw brutal umping. 3 of 4 strikes vs Belt weren't strikes ( 1 of those a foul). That's brutal.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#428722) #
Espinal should have walked... and of course Kikuchi grooves one and our old friend Pillar hits a HR.
Robo umps now.
uglyone - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#428723) #
that was really dumb Bo.
krose - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#428724) #
Just not a smart team. Better than last year but still not good enough.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#428725) #
Bichette in the first too.
Now 5th Braves getting opposite calls. Pillar walk pitch was closer than many mentioned so far vs Jays.
Same with ball vs Riley to lead off.
Just so sick of this
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#428726) #
Bottom 5th Belt got a ball that was CLEARLY a strike. That night be one of the worst called balls this year.
Acuna walked on a pitch that was half in the shadow zone and has frequently been called a strike this game.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#428727) #
<b8th Acuna got ball that would've been strike vs Jay's,
7th Belt got ball that should've been strike
krose - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#428728) #
Poorly played game. Especially on the bases.
hypobole - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#428729) #
Did we deserve to win this? Who cares.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#428730) #
Well, they had their 3-4-5 starters going against the best club in the NL. A sweep is an excellent result.
92-93 - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#428731) #
Best part about today’s win is that they got it done without their top 4 RP. Their next off day is in 2 weeks.

Bring on the Yankees!
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#428732) #
Home cookin' Blue Jays did the ninja job on Alex Anthopoulos and the Atlantas. Chop this.
John Northey - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#428733) #
Can't complain when your (in theory) 3 weakest starters go out against the best team in the NL and you win all 3. Now our big 2 start against the Yankees with a day off for the big 3 relievers (Romano-Swanson-Garcia) and our LH (Mayza). Really, only Richards can't pitch tomorrow and ideally you don't use Pearson.

Yankees lose to Tampa 8-7 today - Abreu threw 41 pitches in relief, 2 others were sub 15 so both available Monday. Right now the Jays are 24-16, 6 back of the Rays in 3rd place, 2 behind the O's for 2nd, and 2 ahead of the Yankees and Red Sox. The Jays would lead the AL Central by 1 1/2, and be 1/2 a game back in the AL West. A 97 win pace. Yankees & Red Sox are 4 games above 500 - an 89 win pace.

So basically we need to make sure Vlad, Bo, and the rest don't make stupid mistakes on the bases like they did today, and to minimize time at the plate for Biggio and Espinal (nice bunt though). Springer hitting a homer was nice, as was Jansen getting the game winning hit as both have been slumping something terrible all year (OPS+ in the 60's for both).
greenfrog - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#428734) #
Pretty sweet series and an exciting finish to game 3. Now let’s get Manoah and Springer untracked (and the baserunning issues addressed) and the team should be in great shape going forward.
Nigel - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#428735) #
Excellent series result. Is there a non-AL East team that’s actually good? I’m waiting to see one. When all is said and done, it’s hard to imagine the Dodgers and Astros not being good. Maybe the Rangers?
soupman - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#428736) #
i will never buy the "injury risk" line on players not hustling out of the box no matter who espouses it. it's one of those things that wins games 'at the margin' even if most of the time it doesn't matter. i can't think of any players whose calves or hammies exploded coming out of the box (though i'm sure there is an example given the sample size)

just to hammer this home: if vlad saunters out of the box because "injury risk" is the concern, how do you explain him belly flopping into second with reckless abandon onto the cement floor at skydome? or the way he charges at foul balls and oftentimes into the barrier/stands? i really see no way of defending his reaction to making contact.
hypobole - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#428737) #
Don't know who would argue injury risk by what they did. Vlad stood admiring his single. Bo barely broke a trot when he popped that ball up into short right. Just going into a 90% effort run (like most players do) and then turning it on to 100% is less of an injury risk that trying to turn on the jets from almost a complete stop when realizing the ball is unexpectedly in play.
lexomatic - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#428738) #
That win was a nice surprise considering how many quick outs thr Jay's made in 7/8. I had to take a break for dinner. Umps continued shenanigans, though evening the bad calls a bit. Very inconsistent, I would definitely use this game to justify robo umps, and it's not nearly the worst I've seen.

Riley 9th 2 corner pitches in shadow zone 1 a ball, 1 a strike. Effectively same distance.
Pillar 9th pitch 1 a strike, further than pitch 3, a ball. Both in shadow zone.

Did I mention Belt in the 7th got a clear strike( half in the zone) called a ball?
Anyway... whatever. Many blown calls and many inconsistent calls.
scottt - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#428739) #
There are many options. You spend more on DH/LF and less on 3B.
scottt - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#428740) #
Chapman is a Boras client. Even Aaron Judge tested free agency.
I honestly don't think it would make sense to massively overspend on Chapman at this point in time.
Varsho can play CF and the Jays have lots of guys who can play 2B.
What they don't have is a big DH bat, preferably  a left one.
Maybe Belt is OK after all and just needs to figure out DH.

They don't need to save money to keep Kiermaier or Merrifield if they want to.

soupman - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#428741) #
it is the blanket explanation for why players don't (or should not) run hard on contact. the jays stars have a tendency to do it. many players around the league do the consternation of anyone that has ever coached.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#428742) #
I would try to extend Jansen for a couple of additional years as well. The ASB might be a good time to get a contract signed (he might be less expensive if his first-half stats are off a bit).

I’m not saying I would chase Chapman in free agency. We all know what a great season he’s having in his walk year. I was advocating for an extension well before the season began, when the price tag (had he been open to an extension) would presumably have been significantly lower.
scottt - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#428743) #
Hitter watch their dingers all the time.
With Acuna in right field, I am not sure it would have been  a double.

With 2 outs, Springer should have scored from first, but that should have been an out.

I saw someone come out of the box and not make it to first recently. I'm not sure who. Maybe in the Yankees/Rays game?

I'm more annoyed at hitters not running hard on ground balls, honestly.

Now, the Braves outfielders colliding is not acceptable.
That is dangerous.

You guys remember the game that Semiens threw away on a routine ground ball that would have been the last out of the game?

greenfrog - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#428745) #
A RH opening pitcher today was actually a good idea. Wonder if the Jays will try that sometime in the right situation.
soupman - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#428746) #
i am less concerned about the vlad play in the 9th. i thought it was gone off the bat, but it was obvious right away that it was going to be close. the new dimensions have fooled me a few times this year already, so why leave it to chance. you could tell he felt stupid, and he should. but again, it's the general pattern and we all know exactly what he does because he is always watching his batted balls instead of looking at the base coaches...and he doesn't run out grounders. make them make a throw. don't give them 3 seconds to set and throw. force some errors. vlad obviously like to feel 'fast', so why not steal a couple hits each year. what is there to lose?

errors are going to happen. and i find bo frustrating to watch because i don't think he has the arm for short. he fields like he hits: unconventionally. i don't feel confident when he throws on the run. the ball sails on him more than it ought to. with that said...i kind of accept that is who he is. getting him to throw 3/4 or come fully set before firing? i'm sure he's tried.i'm sure coaches have pushed him to do that. i think it's like his swing: just let him do him. he's never going to be a good shortstop, and i think moving him to second whenever they can find someone to move him off would be ideal. i also think it's sort of a jeter situation. even if they bring in someone that fields better, i can't see him moving off short willingly. but maybe i'm wrong. i hope so because like the running, it's another small thing that seems underrepresented statistically to me.
scottt - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#428747) #
I have no idea how Jansen feels.
I don't see why the Jays would want someone else.
It didn't look like other teams valued him particularly high last winter.

With Boras, there is never a low price tag.

uglyone - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#428748) #
40gms in, ~1/4 of the season, the earliest i look at early season stats, with the huge caveat that it's STILL REALLY EARLY....

* 97 win pace (#3 ALE, #4 AL, #6 MLB)

* 4.80 r/gm (#10 MLB)
* 109 wrc+ (#7 MLB)
* +4.9 bsr (#6 MLB)
* -9.5 def (#22 MLB)
* 6.4 war (#8 MLB)

* 4.25 ra/gm (#14 MLB)
* 92 era- (#12 MLB)
* 97 fip- (#12 MLB)
* 94 xfip- (#8 MLB)
* 3.91 siera (#5 MLB)
* 4.1 fwar (#15 MLB)
* 4.4 ra9war (#15 MLB)

nice start, though maybe winning a bit more than the overall performance deserves.

* RF Springer 164pa, 74wrc+, -0.3war, -1.2war/650
* SS Bichette 181pa, 145wrc+, 1.7war, 6.1war/650
* 1B Guerrero 171pa, 155wrc+, 1.1war, 4.2war/650
* 3B Chapman 166pa, 162wrc+, 1.8war, 7.1war/650
* DH Belt 97pa, 107wrc+, 0.1war, 0.7war/650
* C Kirk 110pa, 99wrc+, 0.3war, 1.8war/650
* LF Varsho 164pa, 97wrc+, 0.7war, 2.8war/650
* 2B Merrifield 134pa, 101wrc+, 0.6war, 2.9war/650
* CF Kiermaier 118pa, 140wrc+, 1.3war, 7.2war/650

* C Jansen 97pa, 60wrc+, 0.0war, 0.0war/650
* UT Espinal 70pa, 38wrc+, -0.3war, -2.8war/650
* UT Biggio 62pa, 23wrc+, -0.3war, -3.2war/650

* OF Luplow 7pa, -49wrc+, -0.1war, -9.3war/650
* OF Lukes 6pa, -37wrc+, -0.1war, -10.8war/650

Chapman and Kiermaier out to much better than expected s tarts. Bo and Vlad off to very good starts, maybe a bit better than we can expect going forward but maybe not. Springer and Kirk well below their expected level, with the bench trio surprisingly next to useless so far.

* SP Gausman 8gms, 6.0ip/gm, 79era-, 53fip-, 55xfip-, 1.3war, 5.2war32
* SP Bassitt 8gms, 6.1ip/gm, 82era-, 111fip-, 115xfip-, 0.8war, 3.0war32
* SP Berrios 8gms, 5.8ip/gm, 110era-, 82fip-, 83xfip-, 0.6war, 2.4war32
* SP Kikuchi 8gms, 5.2ip/gm, 91era-, 125fip-, 95xfip-, 0.4war, 1.4war32
* SP Manoah 8gms, 5.1ip/gm, 114era-, 132fip-, 135xfip-,0.0war, 0.0war32

Manoah a huge dissappointment to start, but that's maybe made up by both Berrios and Kikuchi looking like useful pitchers again.

* RP Romano 18gms, 0.9ip/gm, 79era-, 60fip-, 79xfip-, 0.5war, 1.6war65
* RP Swanson 20gms, 1.0ip/gm, 31era-, 75fip-, 89xfip-, 0.6war, 2.0war65
* RP Mayza 17gms, 0.8ip/gm, 33era-, 34fip-, 55xfip-, 0.5war, 1.9war65
* RP Richards 13gms, 1.2ip/gm, 106era-, 90fip-, 88xfip-, 0.1war, 0.3war65
* RP Garcia 18gms, 1.0ip/gm, 120era-, 101fip-, 79xfip-, -0.1war, -0.2war65
* RP Bass 14gms, 0.9ip/gm, 141era-, 112fip-, 104xfip-, -0.1war, -0.5war65
* RP Cimber 11gms, 0.9ip/gm, 106era-, 172fip-, 129xfip-, -0.2war, -0.9war65
* RP Pop 15gms, 0.9ip/gm, 154era-, 146fip-, 93xfip-, -0.4war, -1.5war65

* RP Pearson 6gms, 1.1ip/gm, 32era-, 58fip-, 121xfip-, 0.1war, 1.1war65
* RP Jackson 2gms, 1.0ip/gm, 0era-, 144fip-, 221xfip-, 0.1war, 1.6war65

More guys in the bullpen are dissappointing so far than overachieving I think, and the underachievments are bigger than the overachievements too.

Overall on the roster I see bit more underachieving than overachieving performances.

Nice 11 game stretch coming up this week against NY, TB, and BAL to really set an early statement about who is actually who in the AL East this year.
grjas - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#428751) #
“Interesting” that Guerrero, a gold glove 1st baseman with better hitting stats has a significantly lower WAR than Bichette, a below average SS.
uglyone - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#428752) # do you think vladdy would look at SS?
Nigel - Sunday, May 14 2023 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#428753) #
Lots of players today watch their “home runs”. I’ve long since moved off my lawn and stopped shouting at that. But when you’re the lead off hitter in the 9th and down by a run? The difference between standing on 2nd or not in that situation is usually existential. That would prompt a response of some kind if I were the manager. Different issue up 4 in the 3rd inning.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 03:27 AM EDT (#428757) #
It was a weird game after a well-played game on Saturday. Bo, Vlad, and Springer all were guilty of not running hard, Chapman with two errors, Kikuchi muffing a rundown when they caught Acuna off of first, and a strange video challenge on a play clearly called correctly. All this was coupled with the Braves playing like the Bad News Bears in the outfield.
hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 03:43 AM EDT (#428758) #
Prior to today's game krose pointed out Atlanta eats up lefties. Yup. Top 3 teams vs lefties by wRC+:

TB 157
Atlanta 147
Baltimore 126

Which teams will Kikuchi face his next 2 starts? Yup, Baltimore and TB.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#428760) #
Kikuchi dominates Tampa Bay.

Boras clients: Chapman, Ryu, and recently Aaron Sanchez.

Toronto will do business with Boras.

As per his modus operandi, I wonder if the agent can bypass the general manager and club president and directly petition the owner.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#428766) #

Bad day for Andy Fletcher and the Jays yesterday. 10 balls were called strikes leading to a plus 2.75 runs for Atlanta.

lexomatic - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#428767) #
John Northey - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#428770) #
Wow, that is ugly. +2.75 runs in favor of Atlanta? That ump needs a serious talking to after that performance.

Another System:

Yeah, that was ugly.
Mike Green - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#428778) #
His consistency and accuracy were not that much below average.  He made a number of bad calls against the home team in key situations, which is unusual.  Even the pitch to Belt.  How often do you see a pitch way out of the zone up and away called a strike on a 0-2 count against the home team? 

How often has an umpire's calls led to -2 runs or more for a home team?  I'd guess that it is well under 1% of the time. 
lexomatic - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#428779) #
His consistency and accuracy were not that much below average.

My problems were a) some of those calls were egregious - way way way off. b) There was inconsistency in the calls between teams. So ATL got a favourable call one inning, and TOR didn't another even though pitches were pretty equivalent vs zone. It was very inconsistent in that sense. A bit better balanced in the later innings... make up calls? I don't know. It was a terrible job that most times would affect the outcome of the game.
Atlanta at Toronto, May 12-14 | 97 comments | Create New Account
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