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The defending AL East champs come to town. Those bad men from New York.

The Yankees are 23-18 - that's .548 ball, which wins you 89 games out of 162. So far, that's only good  enough for fifth place in a five team division. As has often been noted, the AL East is a tough neighbourhood.

Do we sympathize with their predicament? I do not think we do.

The Yankees offense hasn't strted clicking yet. Anthony Rizzo has been terrific but Harrison Bader spent the entire month of April on the IL and Aaron Judge just spent ten days on the shelf himself. While both of them are back in the lineup, Giancarlo Stanton (surprise, surprise) and Josh Donaldson are still on the sidelines. Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu have been solid, but the young talent we've been hearing about endlessly - Oswldo Cabrera, Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza - haven't exactly taken the AL by storm. And Aaron Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa have been pretty much unplayable.

Like the Jays, the Yankees have been able to roll over the same five starters through the first six weeks (Nestor Cortes had one outing pushed back a couple of days because of strep throat.) It hsn't worked out quite as well for them - Gerritt Cole has been awesome, Domingo German has been fine, but Cortes, Clark Schmidt and Jhony Brito have been Not-So-Good. The bullpen has had to cover up a multitude of sins, and they've generally been up to the task.


Mon 15 May - Brito (2-3, 5.81) vs Manoah (1-3, 4.83)
Tue 16 May - German (2-3, 4.00) vs Gausman (2-3, 3.38)
Wed 17 May - Cole (5-0, 2.22) vs Bassitt (5-2, 3.49)
Thu 18 May - Cortes (3-2, 5.53) vs Berrios (2-3, 4.70)
New York at Toronto, May 15-18 | 220 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
James W - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#428762) #
One correction - the Yankees passed the Red Sox with their 2-of-3 weekend against Tampa while Boston was being swept by the Cardinals.
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#428763) #
That's what I get for writing it up before all the games are finished.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#428764) #
I can't believe the Yankees are better than the Mets.
bpoz - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#428765) #
As UO pointed out we are 40 games into the season. St Louis being in last place is probably very unacceptable. SD, NYM and Philadelphia have to improve their standings within the next 40 games or sooner because they have high expectations. Some AL teams are probably also desperate to improve their standings.

That means trade deadline strategies are being considered by the above mentioned underachieving teams and of course LAD who are in 1st place at the moment. So prospects will be on the move.

Our favorite trading partners are LAD, Seattle, St Louis, Miami and maybe Milwaukee. We can possibly offer bullpen help if our farm can graduate some help to the big team IMO.

Miami is the lowest scoring team in the NL. As a Jay's fan I should hope for them to do better so that there is more pressure on teams like Philadelphia.

In 2021 Atkins acquired Soria and Hand. Both provided no help but this proves that desperate teams will take anything. Beside adding to improve the Jays I would like to acquire some good young prospects with maybe a 3 team trade. Also our highly regarded IF prospect for a highly regarded OF prospect.

Todays standings reveal a Philadelphia team in a bad position with NYM & SD on their tail. Then St Louis is even worse with nobody on their tail.
85bluejay - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#428768) #
George Springer has 3 more years after this year - that could get ugly, even with the DH the Jays may have to make a painful decision before the contract ends.
John Northey - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#428769) #
If Ryu looks ready mid-season the Jays could be in a rare position - a contender with 6 starters. Do you go with 6 starters or do you try to trade one for an upgrade elsewhere? Do you try to dump Berrios and his big contract on someone? Do you try to sell Kikuchi before he turns back into a pumpkin? Don't really see anyone else the Jays would be anxious to trade. Maybe White if he can show enough in AAA to tempt someone. Bass I figure they'd dump quickly if someone likes him. Maybe Cimber.

Free agents post 2023 are Ryu, Chapman, Belt, Kiermaier, Cimber, Bass. Merrifield is almost a lock to be one ($18 mil mutual option), Garcia has an option ($5 mil club or $1 mil buyout). Chad Green is just bizarre with the number of potential ways that can go.

Tough to say what will happen, but right now I don't see much trade activity unless an injury happens (ugh). The rotation seems strong, the pen 'meh' (trust Romano, Swanson, mild trust in Mayza, Garcia, Pearson, get nervous with Richards, Bass, no idea on Jackson but so far so good, Cimber & Pop & Green all recovering).

Lineup is solid, weakness being Jansen & Springer now with Kirk on edge (down to a 93 OPS+), and an ugly bench offensively in Espinal (37 OPS+), Biggio (25 OPS+), and Lukes (negative OPS+). But 130+ for Vlad, Bo, Chapman, and Kiermaier (gasp! 139 OPS+). Merrifield, Varsho, and Belt are all dancing around 100.

AAA hasn't got much help - Rafael Lantigua hitting well (936 OPS - mostly at 3B/DH), as is Ernie Clement (905 OPS - mostly at SS), and Spencer Horwitz (904 OPS at 1B/LF). For pitching Trent Thornton has looked good (yeah, I don't trust him either) but with a team 5.71 ERA there really isn't much good there.
bpoz - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#428771) #
Do we need permission from Boras to trade Ryu?

Springer's contract could get bad but look at some of the much longer expensive contracts. In NYY Stanton and there was competition for Judge this off season. Competition for Correa in Minnesota.

Our expensive contracts were made to speed up the rebuild process. Shapiro knew what he was doing. Pretty much all Bauxites know the risks of long term expensive contracts. The risks are happening very much as expected IMO.
uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#428772) #
Posted the 1/4 mark early season stats in the last series thread.

Here's how the Past 1 Calendar Year stats look like now that we're a quarter through this season:

* RF Springer 616pa, 114wrc+, 2.8war, 3.0war/650
* SS Bichette 733pa, 142wrc+, 6.1war, 5.4war/650
* 1B Guerrero 744pa, 135wrc+, 3.2war, 2.8war/650
* 3B Chapman 660pa, 135wrc+, 5.7war, 5.6war/650
* DH/C Kirk 550pa, 130wrc+, 3.8war, 4.5war/650
* LF Varsho 635pa, 101wrc+, 4.1war, 4.2war/650
* 2B Merrifield 552pa, 108wrc+, 2.8war, 3.3war/650
* C/DH Jansen 337pa, 109wrc+, 2.1war, 4.1war/650
* CF Kiermaier 252pa, 123wrc+, 2.3war, 5.9war/650

* UT Biggio 337pa, 91wrc+, 1.2war, 2.3war/650
* IF Espinal 444pa, 83wrc+, 1.0war, 1.5war/650
* PH Belt 297pa, 86wrc+, -0.4war, -0.9war/650

* OF Luplow 201pa, 64wrc+, -0.2war, -0.7war/650
* C Heineman 168pa, 50wrc+, 0.4war, 1.6war/650

* SP Manoah 33gms, 6.1ip/gm, 72era-, 93fip-, 108xfip-, 4.3war, 4.1war/32
* SP Gausman 32gms, 5.6ip/gm, 91era-, 67fip-, 69xfip-, 4.0war, 4.0war/32
* SP Bassitt 32gms, 6.1ip/gm, 93era-, 100fip-, 99xfip-, 2.9war, 2.9war/32
* SP Berrios 33gms, 5.6ip/gm, 126era-, 103fip-, 97xfip-, 1.2war, 1.1war/32
* SP Kikuchi 34gms, 3.4ip/gm, 125era-, 138fip-, 99xfip-, -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 66gms, 1.0ip/gm, 54era-, 62fip-, 86xfip-, 2.3war, 2.2war/65
* RP Swanson 64gms, 0.9ip/gm, 43era-, 55fip-, 81xfip-, 2.0war, 2.0war/65
* RP Bass 72gms, 0.9ip/gm, 59era-, 85fip-, 89xfip-, 1.4war, 1.2war/65
* RP Garcia 66gms, 1.0ip/gm, 84era-, 88fip, 96xfip-, 0.7war, 0.6war/65
* RP Mayza 66gms, 0.8ip/gm, 75era-, 89fip-, 74xfip-, 0.6war, 0.5war/65
* RP Cimber 74gms, 0.9ip/gm, 78era-, 99fip-, 101xfip-, 0.6war, 0.5war/65
* RP Pop 49gms, 1.1ip/gm, 85era-, 94fip-, 89xfip-, 0.3war, 0.4war/65
* RP Richards 61gms, 1.1ip/gm, 139era-, 94fip-, 99xfip-, -0.2war, -0.2war/65

* RP Green 2gms, 0.8ip/gm, 0era-, 17fip-, 63xfip-, 0.1war, 3.3war/65
* RP Pearson 6gms, 1.1ip/gm, 32era-, 58fip-, 120xfip-, 0.1war, 1.1war/65
* RP Jackson 4gms, 0.8ip/gm, 0era-, 103fip-, 171xfip-, 0.1war, 0.8war/65

The past calendar year stats see an even better team than the one we've seen so far this year, I think. Which should mean good things going forward.

Trivia Tidbit: Jays Rotation features 5 players who are the only players in MLB history with their surnames.
dalimon5 - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#428774) #
I highly doubt Springer will be considered a problem by the half way mark of the season. Also, over paying players is the norm unless you're the Rays. Someone overvalued is not the same as a player that's a problem. Over a season Springer is a top of the order bat in an elite line up.
hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#428775) #
Mr. Northey posted the infuriatingly one-sided umpiring yesterday in the Atlanta thread this morning.

As most are aware, the ABS system has been in use in all 30 AA parks this year. But they just started a hybrid for weekend games with the ump calling the game, but each team being able to challenge the calls. Convoluted, so here it is for anyone interested.

Not a fan of hybrid, but MLBPA gets a say for final implementation and they might prefer it this way.

hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#428776) #
S/B Triple A parks this year, not Double A.
hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#428777) #
Rather concerning piece on Manoah's struggles this year.
uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#428780) #

Chad Green & Hyun-Jin Ryu doing well recovering from Tommy John surgery per Ross Atkins. Possible they could be facing hitters by June. Return later in season remains target for both. If Jays got Green back sometime in August they’d likely be pleased. Timelines evolving of course

— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) May 15, 2023
hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#428781) #
Great news, uglyone. Looking like there's not much on the farm to trade for any impactful players without Tiedemann or Barriera involved, so those 2 as adds around the deadline would be huge.
rafael - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#428782) #
Question on UO stats for latest Calendar Year;
what do the two different WARs stand for
* RF Springer 616pa, 114wrc+, 2.8war, 3.0war/650
I usually prefer to drive lost for hours rather than ask anyone so this was really hard for me to do.
I almost thought ok 616 plate appearances divided into 650 X2.8 = almost 3 right
but no, a few more hours driving and I'm sure I could find it
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#428783) #
Adam Cimber is scheduled to pitch for Buffalo tomorrow. He should be back by the end of the week. So who goes?

Will it be Pearson or Jackson? I believe Jackson will have to pass through waivers to go down, and there is a good chance he could be claimed. So will the team send down Pearson, not because he is the worst one down there in the pen, but because of safeguarding assets. Or are they ready to lose Jackson?
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#428784) #
St Louis being in last place is probably very unacceptable.

I can accept it.
jerjapan - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#428785) #
Jackson still has options, I think? Strange, given his age, but dudes had an interesting career.

I think he was signed precisely for this reason / roll.
92-93 - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#428786) #
The Jays already optioned Jackson down this season.
bpoz - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#428787) #
In my uneducated opinion Jay Jackson (SSS) has looked very good on the ML team but very bad in Buffalo. Pearson has been injury prone too much over the years. Atkins could gamble on losing Jackson. Atkins can definitely convince Pearson that going down would just be a temporary move and would actually benefit him because of reasons that I am not smart enough to think of because I am not Atkins. This way Pearson stays confident in his ability to get ML hitters out while pitching for Buffalo.

That was tongue in cheek. No offense meant. I don't know.
Cracka - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#428788) #
Jay Jackson still has one option left. I dug through his MILB transaction log and figured out the reason -- In 2019, the Brewers optioned him, then DFA'ed him two days later, recalled him later that summer, optioned him, and recalled him again.
All told he only spent 17 days on an Optional Assignment in 2019 which wasn't enough days to use up one of his three options (must be at least 20 days). Thanks to these roster decisions 4 years ago, Nate Pearson will certainly get to stick around after Cimber returns.
hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#428789) #
Strange, given his age, but dudes had an interesting career.

Thinking the same thing, jerjapan. We're talking options about a 35 year old.
Kasi - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#428792) #
Manoah continuing to implode. No idea why our youngest and biggest starting pitcher has the least velocity. Like seriously you should be with your frame and size consistently sitting 95-96. Like please this offseason fix your delivery and whatever else you need to throw what you did in college.
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#428793) #
Like seriously you should be with your frame and size consistently sitting 95-96.

Body size doesn't have very much to do with arm speed. If it did, Jon Rauch would have thrown much harder than Billy Wagner.

It might be time to try Manoah-Jansen. This is getting stale. Or something.
hypobole - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#428794) #
Belt can bunt. He's 28/41 when laying down a bunt - that's getting close to a .700 BA..
Nigel - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#428795) #
I don’t think the C is the problem here.
GabrielSyme - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#428796) #
Manoah is giving strong Ricky Romero vibes. Hope there's nothing physically wrong that is derailing him.
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#428797) #
I don’t think the C is the problem here.

Certainly not the biggest problem, although I haven't been all that enthused about the pitch selection from time to time. But certainly, the biggest issue is that Manoah can't reliably find the strike zone anymore.
greenfrog - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#428798) #

1. Steve Blass disease
2. Threw too many innings last year and now he’s hit a wall
3. Got overused in HS/college and now he’s hit a wall
4. Lost confidence due to crushing WC game loss in 2022
5. Has an undisclosed injury
6. Is still the same guy but has yet to sort out his mechanical
Dewey - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#428799) #
rafael - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#428782) #

Question on UO stats for latest Calendar Year; what do the two different WARs stand for ... I usually prefer to drive lost for hours rather than ask anyone so this was really hard for me to do.


Hey rafael, not to worry. That’s an old failing of UO’s. He likes to splat down columns of stats, and just let them explain themselves. But, of course, they never do. For a while, he seemed to have abandoned the procedure; but lately he’s been back at it all over again. Odd.
Kasi - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#428800) #
But he did used to hit that coming out of college. He’s clearly regressed physically. So we have a guy in 2019 who was hitting 98 and just four years later he can barely hit 94.

“ Manoah looks the part of a frontline starter, standing 6’6 and weighing 270 pounds, and has the fastball to match. His heater sits in the mid-90s, reaching as high as 98 miles per hour, according to Perfect Game. Both FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline have labeled it a 65 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale, close to double-plus”
Chuck - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#428801) #
I hate dumb baseball, by either team. Torres just made a gaffe I saw all too often in my beer league days.
uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#428802) #

the first is total WAR you find on fangraphs.

the 2nd one is WAR per 650pa, so I can get an idea of WAR as as a rate stat instead of just a cumulative total, so we can compare performance between different sample sizes.

i.e. WAR divided by actual PA, multiplied by 650.

I could do it just as WAR per PA, or WAR percentage (like K% or BB%) but because WAR is such a small actual number that ends up being a string of decimals which are harder for me to decipher, so turning it into a full-season pace stat i think makes it easier to understand (well, i guess not, now).

of course if you don't like the turning of WAR into a rate stat then just ignore that last column.

uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#428803) #
oh an on the pitching side i pro-rate pitcher's war to 32gms for SP and 65gms for RP.

i.e. my best attempts at approximating a typical "full season" for each type of pitcher.

and i should the pitcher's WAR i use is the average of RA9 WAR (everything counts against the pitcher no matter the defensive impact) and FIP WAR (only things directly under the pitcher's control count - BB, K, HR), both available on fangraphs.

greenfrog - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#428804) #
I hope UO keeps posting his lists of stats. I find them informative. And given the paucity of posts now appearing on this site, I think serious commenters should be encouraged, not discouraged, from adding to the conversation.
uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#428805) #
sorry for wasting your valuable time by forcing you to read these stats, Dewey. i hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.
Nigel - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#428806) #
I’d probably change the Kirk/Manoah combo just to, well, try anything else. As you say the control is gone. Just as worrying is that the stuff just isn’t as good as highlighted by the fangraphs article that hypobole posted.
uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#428807) #
Is Mitch White ready yet? Almost at the point where a minor league stint might do manoah some good. Not quite at rebuild-halladay-in-single-A stages yet, but an MILB stint might not be a crazy idea.

also....can Pearson start? kid looks pretty darn good.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#428808) #
Pearson threw 22 pitches. 10 were fastballs. Two of the fastballs were balls, 8 were called strikes or fouled off. None were put in play.

In my opinion Pearson should throw more fastballs. Certainly more than 45%.
Nigel - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#428809) #
I’d say the same about Romano.
Petey Baseball - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#428810) #
I don't think it's an injury. Teams are so cautious these days with injuries and I would find it hard to believe he'd able to hide one from the team.

His control isn't quite as bad as what Romero's was when his career cratered.
I don't think changing catchers will help either....but what else

The malaise seems to be affecting Kirk as well.

Time for this offense to kick into gear and start carrying the team.
greenfrog - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#428811) #
What are the choices if Manoah needs a minors stint?

White (possibly adequate stopgap solution)
Ryu (eventually)
Tiedemann (eventually)
Pearson (probably not, due to injury risk)

Any other ideas? Trade for Stripling? He’s been dreadful this year and might be available on the cheap.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#428812) #
One other possible reason greenfrog. The off-season. He might not have put in the work required to get in shape and has been playing catchup ever since.

Once you get behind, and get into some bad habits, it can be hard to compensate mid season.

He might benefit from some lower pressure starts in AAA, but I don't know how his ego would take a demotion.

The Jays have spent a lot of time and money building him up as a star. I always think that can be a mistake for a younger player. Some guys believe the hype.
SK in NJ - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#428813) #
Whenever Mitch White is ready, they definitely need to make the switch with him and Manoah. Not sure what Manoah's issues are but they can't keep throwing him out there to lose games in the AL East. These losses add up and 2021 showed what can happen in a competitive division. Not that White is the savior or anything, but not sure he can be much worse than Manoah at this point.

Also, at what point do we worry about Kirk's lack of power? It seems to have completely disappeared since July of last season, which covers 405 plate appearances (.080 ISO and .330 SLG over that span). If he's not hitting for power anymore, then not sure a singles/walks skill set provides much value given how slow/out of shape he is.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#428814) #
Matt Chapman last 15 games, before tonight.

.218 average
.317 OBP
.309 SLG

He has faded after a great start but talks of a big payday continues.
greenfrog - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#428815) #
Given the state of the farm system, it’s looking increasingly likely that the Jays window of contention is going to end in 2025. I wouldn’t be opposed to the front office clearing out most of their better prospects in an all-out effort to win a championship during that window. It could be a while before the team is really good again.
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#428816) #
So... what was Aaron Judge peeking at when he batted against Jackson in the eighth?

I don't think he could see Kirk, not without moving his head, and Judge has been around long enough to know better than to do that. But I'll bet he could see Rizzo in the on deck circle, and Rizzo could see Kirk. And Jackson took a long time to actually deliver the pitch after Kirk sent the sign and got set up.

He sure was sitting on that fastball.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#428817) #
Apparently Brandon Belt wears a pitchcom. Maybe the first base coach could hear Belts sound.

The Jays need to look at the wide angle view to see if the first base coach changed his position in line with the pitch called. Judge could then see how the coach was standing as a cue.
Chuck - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#428818) #
But I'll bet he could see Rizzo

That's what I was thinking as well but either the broadcast team didn't, or did and didn't want to sound accusatory. Judge is seeing one of two pitches there, a slider away or a fastball in, the type of info Rizzo could impart with a non-obvious gesture.

Chuck - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#428819) #
If the side glance speculation is correct, and this makes the rounds tonight on social media, it may spell the end of this particular gambit.
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#428820) #
this makes the rounds tonight on social media

The Judge side-eye is already all over Twitter, accusations of cheating are flying. (Catching the other team tipping something is not cheating!) Weren't Judge and Rizzo working out some kind of signal for sliders before he even went up to hit?
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#428821) #
Not sure if it rates as cheating. Legal sign stealing is part of the game. If the Jays are letting the Yankees know the pitch then its on the Jays.

The pitchcom device has the buttons programmed. If the catcher doesn't put his glove over the device, I have thought for a while that the bench could get a good view of what the pitch is.

Just because the Jays are using technology, it doesn't mean the opposition can't steal signs.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#428822) #
Alek Manoah: season - age - total innings pitched (rounded)

2017 - 19 - 56
2018 - 20 - 87
2019 - 21 - 125*
2020 - 22 -
2021 - 23 - 130
2022 - 24 - 197
2023 - 25 - 45

*draft year

A bit of a jump last season.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#428823) #
As Magpie said.....
uglyone - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#428824) #
weird that he'd respond by giving a blatant BS answer like this tho....

Asked Aaron Judge about this post-game. He said the Yankees dugout was chirping and with the score 6-0 he had been encouraging his teammates to stay quiet. Said that was why he looked at dugout.
From @bnicholsonsmith

— Live Jays Updates (21-15) L1 (@BJaysNews) May 16, 2023
Nigel - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#428825) #
That wasn’t cheating but there’s no doubt what Nolan Ryan or Bob Gibson would have done to persuade Judge that he might just voluntarily give that plan up.
Gerry - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#428826) #
How would Rizzo know the sign? He is standing closer than the bench so maybe he could see what button Kirk was pressing.

Lets see if the Jays shield the pitchcom tomorrow.
Magpie - Monday, May 15 2023 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#428827) #
He doesn't need to see the button. He just needs to see where Kirk sets up, because Jackson regularly took about five seconds from that point before going into his delivery.
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#428828) #
Whole thread here is good. Plausible theory for Manoah.
Pitch tunneling, and pitch location. Manoah skipping the higher sliders leading to less whiffs.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:59 AM EDT (#428829) #
Manoah's ERA regression towards his FIP was inevitable, but that Fangraphs article this winter might have been too generous with its prediction.

He was a slow worker, and I don't think he's comfortable with the pitch clock yet.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#428830) #
I agree with 92-93 that Manoah doesn't look comfortable with the pitch clock. I will add that part of his game was disrupting batter's timing. So far, it is his timing that is disrupted.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#428831) #
My issue with pitchcom is that the signal could very easily be hacked. Every team has the technology and could no doubt easily find the correct frequency. They wouldn't have to do it the whole time - just in key situations.
scottt - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#428832) #
I imagine that the pitchcom signal is encrypted.
It's no different than those apps used for two way authentication: a short key that changes frequently according to a long key that's near impossible to guess.

Also, it's always easier to come up with a scheme at home than on the road.
There is always the risk of players talking and, of course, the pitch clock makes it harder.

I am more worried about the hitter being able to hear the catcher's device.
Relaying the push of the buttons is fair if done directly by the players. 

scottt - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#428833) #
It looks to me like the slider doesn't have the extreme shape it had last year.
The 2-seamer has plenty of movement but he has to make sure it doesn't leak towards the middle of the plate and the barrel. I'd rather he'd go back to hitting 2 batters a game.
The change up is not very good.

Manoah and Berrios are very similar pitchers.
We shouldn't be surprised if they go through the same type of struggles.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#428834) #
Not that White is the savior or anything, but not sure he can be much worse than Manoah at this point.

He absolutely can be worse than Manoah - he'd just have to pitch like he did for the Jays last year. (and that was before he missed a few months with a variety of arm issues)
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#428835) #
Yeah i guess in hindsight the thing with Manoah is that he was never going to have much room for error given that he doesnt have a ton of velocity or a big arsenal of pitches.

So when any one of his command, breaking sharpness, or velo slips he'll have a tough time being effective, let alone 2 or 3 of them.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#428836) #
And looks like Mitch is getting crushed in AAA so far anyways.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#428838) #
Richard Griffin was on Bob McCown‘s podcast a few days ago and he said that Manoah‘s agent has been extremely active in helping to get Manoah promoted with all kinds of promos and media pieces. Some of which the team was not even aware of. For example he showed up to the ball park one day one afternoon on a day Manoah was pitching, and he was shooting a promo for something outside the clubhouse. Manoah is apparently also a weekly guest on an ESPN morning show where they comment on the game and ask him his views. Griffin heavily implied that the team is not a fan, and they wished he was not doing these “distractions”. It reminds me a lot of the Scottie Barnes narrative early in the NBA season.

I mentioned this to bolster the narrative about his off-season training regiment.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#428839) #
So there may be a positive. Because the way he's pitching, he sure won't be getting any more of these promos.
grjas - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#428840) #
On a different note, it’s disappointing that some fans were booing Manoah as he left the field…. The type of bush league stuff you’d expect to see in NY or Boston.

Booing is fine for obnoxious plays or antics, or for guys dogging it on the field, I guess… Though I can’t say I’ve ever booed someone.

But when I guy is trying hard to work through some challenges, it’s pretty pathetic.
Ducey - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#428841) #
I'm a little disappointed that Jays didnt respond to Judge's side glance right away.

Nolan Ryan would have stopped that pretty quickly.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#428842) #
I would think the Jays didn't know about the Judge side glance until after the game, or at the very least, after the at bat. Do they have the Sportsnet feed in the dugout?
Kasi - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#428843) #
Well Manoahs antics to other teams batters is also bush league (really cussing out players over striking them out in some regular season game). But yeah I don’t think you want to boo your own players. Maybe it will spark some change in his prep. To me right now he is the most unlikeable player on the team and it’s not even close with anyone else.

I want to push back against this idea or thought that Manoah is not a pitcher with velocity. Just four years ago in 2019 when he was drafted he had a fastball graded out as plus-plus (65 on the 80 scale) He could touch 98 and sat at 95-96. Clearly something has happened if in less than four years he has lost 4mph on his fastball. Often it’s the opposite where increased fitness and refined mechanics get a fastball to improve.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#428844) #
I watched a lot of video and read a lot of takes on Manoah when he was in college and he was upper-90s with a wipeout, power slide. Now he's struggling to hit 93 mph... I'm in the camp believing it's totally a conditioning thing.

For what it's worth, my comments made pre-draft were that I wasn't a fan of Manoah because he lacked a reliable third pitch to start and the history of pitchers at that size who had any kind of long-term success was very small (Sabathia, Wells)
Ducey - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#428845) #
"I would think the Jays didn't know about the Judge side glance until after the game"

Surely Jackson and the infielders would have seen it. It happened 4 times, I think.

Judge's explanation (that he was distracted by players chirping from his dugout) is pure hooey. If you were distracted, you would turn your head, or step out. The timing was the same each pitch - right after the pitch was called. Its clear he was getting a signal about something, and that he was trying to discrete about it.

Too bad Sportsnet doesnt look at some video from the Yankees dugout and ondeck circle. It would be interesting to see what was going on.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#428846) #
There must be video available to the team (at least postgame) of a field view of the opponents dugout. But might not be available to the broadcasters.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#428847) #
Having a chuckle about this conspiracy theory. A player is obviously doing this in front of everybody, so if someone is going to do it, it would make sense to save it for a crucial situation like being up 6-0 in the 8th inning. Makes as much sense as "the man in white" made sense.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#428849) #
Surely Jackson and the infielders would have seen it.

Sure, if they were focusing on Judge's eyes while he was in the box. I don't think that's what they do.

I rather think this was a spur of the moment deal, Rizzo telling Judge that they're tipping the slider and I can tell you when it's coming. After a few pitches, Judge believed him and when he didn't see the sign for a slider, he was ready to tee off on the fastball.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#428850) #
Magpie - that's exactly how I saw it too. I am surprised that no one got a FB in the ribs because I didn't think that they were too subtle about it and the game score allowed for a message to be sent. But today's a new day.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#428851) #
I'll say what I said last night - I don't view this as cheating in any way. But, conversely, I have always understood that if you get caught relaying signs pay back would follow. The Code and all.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#428852) #
A man's got to have a code.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#428853) #
I don't know if the Code dictates that Rizzo or Judge gets the FB in the ribs? If you peek down at the C while hitting the batter definitely gets it. This is the same as a runner on 2B relaying signs to the batter. Not sure what the Code dictates in that situation other than someone gets hit.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#428854) #
Missing Michael K. Williams right now. I think that Omar would say either one would be fine, and both for a repeated invasion of privacy.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#428855) #
Thomas Hatch recalled. Jay Jackson sent down.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#428856) #
Follow up:

Blue Jays have some concern that Yankees base coaches were drifting outside of their allotted areas (possibly to gather more info). Jays made MLB aware of their concern and league is looking into it.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#428857) #
Good, a reliever who can actually go 2 innings so Richards isn't forced into the role.

Semien leads MLB in WAR. What a player he is.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#428858) #
I guess its on Jansen then to hit the first base coach in the ribs on an appropriately wild "throw behind the runner/pickoff at 1B by the C".
Waveburner - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#428859) #
With Manoah I agree the pitch clock and perhaps conditioning as well seem like the most obvious causes.

But with the pitch clock to me it's also about what the pitch clock no longer allows him time to do. Last season every time Manoah got a new baseball he would step off the rubber and spend time rubbing up the baseball. It's my understanding that pitchers who do this are doing it to help their grip. I think Manoah might be struggling to get a comfortable grip on the baseball now that he can't do this anymore. It would at least somewhat explain his complete loss of control and command.

I think he can adjust to this this, it took Gerrit Cole time to adjust to the lack of sticky stuff. But sooner rather than later is what the team needs in the insanely competitive AL East.

I wish Mitch White was an alternative but he's been hot garbage since they traded for him.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#428861) #
That was a terrible swing decision from VGJ. The pitch didn't seem to me to be competitive right out of German's hand. Earlier, he took a wild swing at a high change-up.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#428862) #
I'm still struggling to understand the thought process behind treating Varsho like a middle of the order bat from day one and still ongoing.
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#428863) #
Terrible swing decision for the Chapman K, but maybe he doesn't swing if it's 3-1 because of the blown strike call on pitch 4 of the AB and he walks instead.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#428864) #
Confirmation bias?

More likely that Varsho has represented the best of the LHH's so he has had to go somewhere to break up the RHH's at the top of the lineup. There isn't a good way to do this when your best hitters are all RH.
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#428865) #
But with the pitch clock to me it's also about what the pitch clock no longer allows him time to do. Last season every time Manoah got a new baseball he would step off the rubber and spend time rubbing up the baseball. It's my understanding that pitchers who do this are doing it to help their grip. I think Manoah might be struggling to get a comfortable grip on the baseball now that he can't do this anymore. It would at least somewhat explain his complete loss of control and command.

This seems plausible except I haven't heard anyone complaining about it, and you'd think there would be wider control problems around the league, even if pitchers didn't have the same rubbing ritual. Maybe that'll come to light in future, but not sure I see anything to support it yet.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#428866) #
But his title of "best LHH in the lineup" is a pretty flimsy one, no?

* Varsho: 92wrc+ '23, 106wrc+ '22, 103wrc+ 2yr, 102wrc+ 3yr, 99wrc+ career
* Belt: 104wrc+ '23, 96wrc+ '22, 98wrc+ 2yr, 127wrc+ 3yr, 124wrc+ career
* KK: 146wrc+ '23, 90wrc+ '22, 110wrc+ 2yr, 105wrc+ 2yr, 99wrc+ career

I guess they are thinking the vRHP split maybe....


* Varsho: 97wrc+ '23, 121wrc+ '22, 116wrc+ 2yr, 109wrc+ 3yr, 110wrc+ career
* Belt: 126wrc+ '23, 100wrc+ '22, 108wrc+ 2yr, 136wrc+ 3yr, 130wrc+ career
* KK: 160wrc+ '23, 91wrc+ '22, 115wrc+ 2yr, 110wrc+ 3yr, 104wrc+ career
92-93 - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#428868) #
They are trying to manifest Varsho into becoming a top bat.

Kiermaier won't hit in the middle of the order, but you can make a case for him up top with Springer 4 or 5.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#428869) #
I'm not sure there's a big difference between any of the three LHH's in 2023. The thing I don't like about Varsho in the clean up spot is that he seems susceptible to high velocity which is a problem against most high leverage relievers.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#428870) #
yeah tbh the consistency of Varsho's vRHP split is better than i thought. and i agree don't really want to see KK in the middle.

though it's funny how samples can change quick - take away just Belt's first 5gms this year and suddenly you're looking at the best hitting line on the team, and not even a crazy high K%.

Belt minus his first 5gms this year:

76pa, 10.5bb%, 32.5k%, .313avg, .395obp, .194iso, 153wrc+
hypobole - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#428871) #
So we do have a cheating Yankee.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#428872) #
Look at these cheating yankee MFers.

are any of them NOT cheating?

92-93 - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#428873) #
Take out Varsho's 1/19 in a 5 game stretch in the middle of the season and his season line would also look good.

Belt has not looked the part.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#428874) #
Agreed that Varsho should be hitting lower down in the order (as the M’s have done with Teo, whose offensive production has been about the same as Varsho’s this year).
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#428875) #
Kiermaier has been an absolute stud this year. I hope he can stay healthy.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#428876) #
nothing quite as gratifying as a 2-out rally.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#428877) #
Especially one against the Yankees and the cheater German.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#428879) #
* 1. Chapman 160wrc+
* 2. Kiermaier 153wrc+
* 3. Guerero 152wrc+
* 4. Bichette 149wrc+
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#428880) #
heh yep....but i'd phrase it "the cheaters german, judge, and all the rest...."
Chuck - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#428881) #
That's two boneheaded running plays by Gleyber in two nights. Not the highest baseball IQ I've ever seen.

What's with Sportsnet showing us some pitches from a 45 degree angle behind the plate? Who asked for that? What benefit do they provide?

greenfrog - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#428882) #
It’s irritating that the Yankees get to benefit from German’s three scoreless innings tonight. Sure, he’s going to get suspended for 10 games, but that doesn’t help the Jays, who theoretically could end up losing this one (they won’t, because karma).
uglyone - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#428883) #
this angle, Chuck?

more of these please and thank

— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 14, 2023
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#428884) #
If Manoah is all about the hype, Gausman is all about the performance. Love the aggression on the mound.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#428885) #
No, that angle would be cool. I'm talking about the one from 15 feet away, off on an angle so you can't actually see the strike zone.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#428886) #
It's incredibly irritating, Chuck.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#428888) #
Why didn't they challenge that? Very little to lose.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#428889) #
Gleyber, Gleyber, Gleyber... my personal bete noire.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#428891) #
If Lukes had come in for Belt in the 8 slot, VGJ would have come to the plate as the tying run.  I lost reception on SN Now in the 8th (man, do they ever have problems!)- perhaps VGJ had a health issue or something.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#428892) #
Vlad has a sore knee, he is going to have an MRI.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 16 2023 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#428893) #
Wonder if we’ll see Spencer Horwitz this week.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#428894) #
Blue Jays MLB ranks:

RS - 199 - 13th
HR - 45 - t-17th
OPS - .741 - 12th

ERA - 4.03 - t-12th
WHIP - 1.28 - 13th
K/BB - 2.82 - t-9th

RD - +16 - 11th
W/L - 24/18 - t-6th
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#428895) #
Being the 5th best team in the AL East is not going to cut it - it's not going to help pay for those renovations and people are going to walk the plank.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#428896) #
The main problem is Manoah. He is arguably the worst SP in the majors this year. K rate is 7. BB rate is 6.40. xERA 7.05, FIP 6.46, xFIP 6.13, fWAR -0.4.

Other players who have been very cold to start the year: Kirk (-0.4 WAR), Espinal (-0.4 WAR), Biggio (-0.4 WAR).

That quartet explains most of the underperformance. Those players have been outright terrible this year.

Number of Rays hitters with a sub-zero WAR in 2023: 0
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#428899) #
That's basically right, greenfrog.  Here's the xwOBA chart for Blue Jay hitters.  Kirk has been off his game, but still has a higher xwOBA than Merrifield and Belt.  Speaking of which, I hadn't realized it but Jansen led the club in xwOBA (and wOBA) in 2022.  Merrifield's xwOBA in 2022 (whole season) was almost identical to what it is in 2023.  Here's the xwOBA chart for Blue Jay pitchers. Most of the bullpen has been good.  Gausman has been very good.  Bassitt, Berrios and Kikuchi have all been so-so, but within reasonable expectations. and Alek Manoah has been awful so far.  His ERA flatters him- his command has been extremely poor and everything else flows from that.  It begins with throwing a higher percentage of first pitch strikes. 

scottt - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#428903) #
If I read fangraphs properly, Manoah's fastball is down from 93.9 to 93.1 mph.
That might just be a reflection of him not getting into late innings where he tends to throw harder.

Slider has always been 81 mph. It used to break late, with a shape that could vary dramatically from one start to the next, now it's just loopy and they don't swing at it.

scottt - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#428904) #
To me, losing to the Ryan Webers of the world is the most frustrating feeling.

Varsho played well, but that didn't really impact the game.
Vlad seemed to tweak his knee on a play.
Bo landed on his wrist on another.

A bit surprised that Hatch is the next man up.
His strike out rate is up but so is his walk rate.

92-93 - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#428905) #
Varsho's 0/4 stranding 3 runners definitely impacted the game. His poor offense in the middle of the order is being overlooked because of his defense. He has 16 RBI in 172 PA when the MLB average is 20, and that's despite having 134 runners on base compared to an average of 105. They need him to start hitting. Other reasonable offseason targets like Bellinger, Gallo, Nimmo, and Pederson are off to nice starts.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#428906) #
Other reasonable offseason targets like Bellinger, Gallo, Nimmo, and Pederson are off to nice starts.

So is Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#428907) #
Varsho is likely to hit better but his 87 wRC+ isn’t widely out of line with what you could reasonably expect based on his historical performance. I think there’s been some wish casting about what a 27 year old could morph into offensively. Of course it’s possible that he takes a large step forward but the Bautista/Encarnacion career arc is the exception not the norm.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#428908) #
Varsho is a better than league average hitter against RHP. He and Springer have been unlucky this year so far while Kiermaier and Merrifield have been lucky.

Last night, Varsho scorched the ball a few times and would normally have had at least one hit to show for it.

Varsho is not an ideal cleanup hitter. Guerrero Jr. is a better choice, but the club has prioritized VGJ's comfort level batting third. Varsho batting third makes more sense, but it's unlikely that batting order makes much of a difference.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#428909) #
Varsho doesn’t look like an especially good hitter. If he can maintain a 100-105 wRC+ and provide good defense for four years, he’ll be a valuable player for the Jays. But he should be hitting somewhere in the 6-8 range in the lineup.

He did make an excellent defensive play yesterday that helped keep the team in the game.

The Jays sure are missing the excellent middle-of-the-order hitter that Kirk was last year.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#428910) #
we can look at how the hitters compare to their pre-season projections so far. Fangraphs Depth Charts projections are a combination of STEAMER and ZIPS.

remembering that every digit above or below 100wrc+ is 1 percent better or worse than league average.

* Guerrero 154wrc+ proj --> 150 actual (-4)
* Springer 136wrc+ proj --> 73 actual (-63)
* Kirk 132wrc+ proj ------> 92 actual (-40)
* Bichette 128wrc+ proj --> 145 actual (+17)
* Belt 124wrc+ proj ------> 101 actual (-23)
* Varsho 122wrc+ proj ----> 87 actual (-35)
* Chapman 119wrc+ proj ---> 163 actual (+44)
* Merrifield 95wrc+ proj -> 92 actual (-3)
* Kiermaier 87wrc+ proj --> 152 actual (+65)

* Jansen 117wrc+ proj ----> 61 actual (-56)
* Biggio 107wrc+ proj ----> 16 actual (-91)
* Espinal 104wrc+ proj ---> 35 actual (-69)



* Kiermaier +65
* Chapman +44
* Bichette +17

As expected:

* Guerrero -4
* Merrifield -3


* Belt -23
* Varsho -35
* Kirk -40
* Jansen -56
* Springer -63
* Espinal -69
* Biggio -91

Though I might argue that both Bichette's +17 and Belt's -23 are close enough to expectations as well, considering their career trajectories. That doesn't change the overall balance between over and underachievers those.

So definitely more underachieving than overachieving offensively at this point.

Pitchers are a little tougher to compare statistically (i.e. do we care just about ERA or other sstuff) but overall I'd say our rotation has matched expectations, with Manoah way below but the others all slightly above.

the bullpen i'd say is well below expectations - Romano and Swanson are matching expectations, Mayza exceeding them, but the rest are all well below expectations.

Chuck - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#428911) #
I don't know that the organization sees Varsho as a future thumper. Do they? A return to his age 24-25 level (102/109 OPS+) would be sufficient to make him a tremendously valuable player.

I do believe he needs to be removed from the 4-hole and 5-hole, to diminish the pressure. While Belt's 40% K-rate screams trouble to me, he has been hitting lately and maybe he and Varsho could flip-flop for the time being, allowing the team to get LHB into the desired lineup spots.

While I am busy messing with the batting order, I wonder if moving KK into the 2-hole, and everyone else down, shouldn't be something to consider before the pixie dust wears off and he returns to his old self. "He's healthy", Buck intones to explain Kiermaier's 8-WAR pace. Well, that may part of it, but a 391 BABIP doesn't hurt. Still, he is poised for a late career payday that would have seemed very unlikely a year ago, making it more and more probably that Varsho becomes the team's CF next season.

Chuck - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#428912) #
Or what Greenfrog said.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#428913) #
I see very little basis for a 122 wRC+ projection for Varsho. I agree that at a 100-105 wRC+ level he’s still a very useful regular.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#428914) #
Varsho is likely a more valuable asset than Guerrero Jr. But Guerrero Jr. would likely net you much more in a trade.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#428915) #

let's look closer at that Varsho projection and how it compares to what he's done so far:

* Projtn: .273babip .246avg .312obp .227iso
* Actual: .246babip .216avg .291obp .170iso

so part of it is babip, which is about 30pts off projection which is the same as his average. interestingly he's made up for some of that with some walks so his obp is only 20ish pts under expectation.

The bigger part of him coming under expectations is the lack of power. He steadily trended up in ISO in his years in MLB and the projections had him continuing that trend - maybe in part due to ballpark factors i'm not sure. Instead, he's posting the lowest ISO power of his career. This might partly be due to the dome's new dimensions not being properly accounted for by the projections, I don't know.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#428916) #
of course one thing about projections that's never quite clear is how they are projecting playing time - the projections have Varsho as a ~130gm player, not quite a fulltime players, which I would guess, but can't be sure, is them projecting him to be at least partly a platoon player, getting a full slate of PA against RHP but not against LHP. this might make his overall 122wrc+ projection make more sense if it's mostly vRHP.

of course, he's posting a 90wrc+ against just RHP this year anwyas, so that's still way below expectations.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#428917) #
Diamondback prospects are hard to evaluate because their minor league teams play in such extreme (positive) hitting environments. Once you account for that, not even his minor league numbers suggest a plus bat (ie a 122 wRC+). As you say, you can juice Varsho’s offensive numbers if he’s a platoon bat but then you lose the excellent defense.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#428918) #
Varsho is much more valuable as a plus defensive CF. If he's in LF, then he's a lot less valuable as he's not going to be an exceptional hitter in all likelihood. A 105 wRC+ with great defense in CF is probably a 3-4 WAR player, give or take, and that will have tremendous value moving forward, just not as much to a Jays team that already has Kiermaier in CF. In hindsight, if Kirk/Moreno for Nootbaar was a possibility (not sure if it was) then that would have been a much better fit with Kiermaier in CF. I think we will see Varsho's value more in 2024-26 when he's presumably put in CF full time. If they end up bringing Kiermaier back, then I don't think we will look back fondly on the Moreno/Varsho deal. Making matters worse, if Kirk continues to forget how to hit for power, then there's a real chance Moreno is the better player of the two as early as this season, or at least as good.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#428919) #
Varsho has been according to UZR +11 runs/150 G in CF and +28/150G in the corners.  Per DRS, he's been +10 runs/150 G in CF and +29/150 G in the corners.  Remarkably consistent numbers and it makes just a little difference whether he's in centerfield or a corner.  He's a very good centerfielder and an exceptional corner outfielder.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#428920) #
He has made some really good plays in LF (such as his throw to second base last night to record an out, noting that he could make the throw because the lead runner would not score on the play). There are a lot of subtle things he does right.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#428921) #
If the window of contention is open for two more years (after this one), the Jays could consider offering Kiermaier an extension that would cover that period.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#428922) #
This winter will be a tough one for the Jays management. Kiermaier and Chapman both will be difficult to sign if they play anything like they have been the rest of the way. However, both will also be key parts that you want to resign. Especially with the minor leaguers not playing well right now. Of course, no baseball fan who knows their stuff thinks both Chapman and KK will keep this up (it could happen but very unlikely given both their track records), plus odds are Lopez, Barger, or O Martinez will start hitting by mid-season and make things a lot different than they are now. Berroa in AA has to be opening eyes with his 859 OPS in CF.

Mix in how Belt is a free agent too and Kirk and Jansen both hitting poorly at the moment (both sub 90 for OPS+) and the massive depth at DH/C is suddenly gone.

But in the end, we will see as the season progresses. The Jays have the cash to sign anyone they wish, but they have TONS locked into the rotation with all 5 locked in for 2024. Ryu comes off the books which helps, but Manoah enters arbitration for the first time too. I see the window as being 2023-2025, and signing some of those post 30 guys to 2/3 year deals should be possible. But we'll see what the market demands as the Mets among other big spenders are not having a good year thus might attack.
AWeb - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#428923) #
VArsho is going to have to play some significant time in CF at some point this year, unless Kiermeier has his first healthy season since...checks notes...2015? A healthy Kiermeier  is a "if he lasts he might make the HoF" kinda' guy by WAR, except he's missed 40% of his playing time. Hope to be wrong, but he'll almost certainly spend some a few weeks out here and there. . Varsho has already played 20% of the CF innings without any injury intervention. That's valuable to have. Varsho will probably end up an average-ish hitter and a good OF. Sounds good.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#428924) #
At just past the quarter, post mark, the Diamondbacks have to be feeling great about the Varsho for Moreno & Gurriel trade.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#428926) #
Mitch White so far 1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 HR, 0 K.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#428927) #
I guess they're just gonna keep pushing Varsho into more and more pressure spots. Not my favorite option.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#428928) #
Gifted 5 outs in that inning and still nothing. The Jays are 26th in all of baseball in runs scored in the 1st inning. A fairly meaningless stat but one I'm surprised about nonetheless given how well Bichette, Vladdy and Chapman have hit this year. They just haven't hit in the 1st inning.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#428929) #

* C.Biggio: 1357pa, .338obp, 101wrc+
* D.Varsho: 1194pa, .303obp, 99wrc+

about 1.2 years apart in age.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#428930) #
career wRC+ (career best in brackets '*' = this year)

* Guerrero 135 (166)
* Springer 132 (155)
* Bichette 129 (145*)
* Belt 123 (171)
* Chapman 122 (163*)
* Kirk 120 (165)
* Merrifield 102 (119)
* Biggio 101 (122)
* Luplow 101 (141)
* Kiermaier 99 (152*)
* Varsho 99 (106)
* Espinal 96 (115)
* Jansen 95 (140)

John Northey - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#428931) #
Yeah, the trade looks really bad right now - Gurriel 1.5 bWAR, Moreno 1.3 bWAR, Varsho 0.9 bWAR. Mix in bad starts for Jansen 0.0 bWAR and Kirk 0.1 bWAR and it looks very bad. Of course, we all know Gurriel is prone to hot and cold streaks - he just happens to have started the year with it thus gets great stats for now. Given his past he'll probably have a very bad month or two and end the season around 2 bWAR. Moreno is the big variable - if he already is a 3-4 WAR catcher then this trade could be viewed as a disaster especially if Kirk & Jansen keep playing around the 0 WAR level. If those 2 recover then it will land under 'well, where would we have played him' category much like in the 80's with Mitch Webster who was stuck behind Bell/Moseby/Barfield - he had a 131 OPS+ the year the Jays traded him away but the Jays won 99 games and the big 3 were very solid so we just accepted it. He ended up with 14.4 bWAR in his career - a very solid career but we still had Barfield with 32 WAR left in him, Moseby 14, Bell 16.5 WAR plus an MVP.

It isn't early returns that matter, but the long run. Gurriel is signed for 1 year and that is it, Varsho 4 years, Moreno 6.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#428932) #
I was opposed to the inclusion of LGJ in the trade. It looks to me like he’s improved as a hitter over time. Pre-2022 he was a decent hitter. Last year his injury sapped some of his power, but he seemed to compensate with an effective all-fields hitting approach. This year he has managed to combine good hitting and power (at least to start the season). Note the improved walk and strikeout rates year over year.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#428933) #
A bullpen battle definitely doesn’t favour the Jays.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#428934) #
high time we use Belt the way we've been trying to use Varsho.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#428936) #
14 baserunners 0 runs.

not so fun.
Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#428937) #
16, UO. 2 errors. Pretty hard to imagine. 0-14 RISP
uglyone - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#428938) #
yikes forgot about those.


now let's get the damn split out of this extremely painful series so far.
Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#428939) #
And 1-17 is all that matters. Way to go, Danny. Big win against Cole. Bassitt was terrific again.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#428940) #
A win is a win, riffing on Gertrude Stein and Long John Baldry.
grjas - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#428941) #
Katie - Wednesday, May 17 2023 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#428943) #
The Varsho trade doesn't look particularly good now and there's a chance it'll only look worse in time. Who would have thought that a Top 5 prospect in baseball would actually turn into what looks like a pretty good major leaguer? Gurriel and Moreno are the third and fourth most valuable players for a team with the same number of wins as the Jays (in admittedly a weaker division).

As an aside, has Schneider written off Lukes completely? He has gotten one plate appearance all May. Today Espinal, who hasn't looked good at the plate this year, was facing a righty reliever with two out and two on and Lukes was just glued to the bench. This is one of those situations where I feel like Kevin Cash would have found Lukes 20 at-bats and he'd have contributed some key hits. Jordan Luplow was here for about two weeks and got more playing time than Lukes has in more than twice as much time.
electric carrot - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#428944) #
Fun fact. If you put the AL Central in the AL East right now every team is tied or below the last place team in the East. In the Win/Loss column they all slot in directly below the AL East. I don't think I've ever seen that.
Nigel - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#428945) #
There’s a non zero chance that the AL Central “winner” will have a less than .500 record at the end of the season. Minnesota is likely the best team in the division and I thinks it’s a ,500ish club.
hypobole - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#428946) #
Noticed no one posted Jay Jackson's comments admitting he was tipping his pitches leading to the nefarious Judge home run.
scottt - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 06:21 AM EDT (#428947) #
They replaced Gurriel with Kiermaier, so it doesn't matter if he's having a good start, KK is on fire.
Bref has Varsho being worth 1 WAR, so basically on track for 4 WAR with average offense.
That's totally fine.

I just look at it as a pure Varsho for Moreno deal.
Kirk/Jansen haven't hit as much as expected but these are they guys with the track record.
We'll have to wait and see.

In the meanwhile, Teoscar is at 0.7 WAR. (Julio Rodriguez is hitting only .211 with a .666 OPS).

Mike Green - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#428948) #
Charles Pascal died. I knew about his social justice ideas, but not about his thoughts on baseball and education. He was right about those too!
John Northey - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#428949) #
The Varsho trade all depends on how the Jays do in the next few years - if the Jays win a World Series or go deep into the playoffs then it is worth it. If, on the other hand, our 2 catchers play poorly and Varsho stays as a 100 OPS+ high quality fielder and the Jays miss the playoffs while Moreno becomes an all-star it will look bad. Winning fixes everything. I know I was/am perfectly accepting of Jeff Kent leaving and having a near HOF career in exchange for the 1992 WS title.
Ryan Day - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#428951) #
...if Kirk/Moreno for Nootbaar was a possibility (not sure if it was)...

I imagine the Jays would have done it, but the Cardinals went out & signed Wilson Contreras to a 5-year contract instead of giving up any young talent for one of the catchers available on the trade market.
grjas - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#428952) #
I know I was/am perfectly accepting of Jeff Kent leaving and having a near HOF career in exchange for the 1992 WS title.

Funny, I was just thinking of the same thing. But Varsho has definitely been a Jekyll and Hyde hitter so far, with too much Hyde.

It’s certainly a puzzling year so far. On one hand you have a mucked up Manoah, middling BP and as UO posts, a bunch of underachieving hitters. The only thing consistent is the team’s inconsistency.

On the other hand, the Jays still have a solid record despite extensive traveling and a fairly tough schedule to date, and 4 starters that are delivering a good number of quality starts.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#428954) #
In good news, Kirk and Espinal both looked better at the plate last night. A return to form for those two, Jansen and Springer would make the whole offence work. They will probably all get a chance against Cortes today.
bpoz - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#428955) #
Shapiro seems to say more than Atkins regarding the FO's plans. Atkins talks but tells very little. Shapiro is also involved with a lot of facility development in Dunedin and Toronto.

Some Bauxites are suggesting the window could end after the 2025 season. So 2026 is what kind of season? Rebuild maybe?

The end of our window when it happens probably results in weak financial results. Shapiro has said if the team wins then the payroll for the following year will be "good". I think "good" means a reasonably high payroll. Shapiro has also said "championship" team. I don't "exactly" know what that means. LAD seems to be a "championship" team to me but only 1 WS ring this century. Ownership sets the payroll.

Currently the Jays are on pace to win 90+ games which makes them a strong contender for 1 of the 6 playoff spots. As long as they are contending for a spot during the season the interest in the team will be strong which should generate good revenue.

Shapiro also values a strong farm. I remember Shapiro saying "waves and waves of prospects".
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#428956) #
Big game today. The Jays (25-18) and Yankees (25-20) are very close in the standings (and they have identical run differentials at +19). They will play each other fewer times this season with the balanced schedule. This is a good opportunity for the Jays to pull ahead of New York by a couple of games and keep pace with TB and Baltimore.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#428959) #
has Schneider written off Lukes completely?

Lukes played a full game on April 18th, but otherwise has appeared sporadically.

Still looking for his first MLB hit: 0 for 5, walk, 2 runs.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#428960) #
April 19th*
Joe - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#428962) #
FWIW, Varsho has rebounded completely from his swoon, settling in at about ~130 wRC+.
Ryan Day - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#428963) #
The 26th man probably isn't going to be a difference-maker in any circumstance, but Lukes seemed like an odd choice - a left-hitting outfielder on a team with a strong defensive outfield that has two starting lefties + George Springer. And Cavan Biggio, who appears to be very good at finding his way to the ballpark and standing on the same side of the plate as Lukes.
uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#428964) #
nice to see, Joe.
uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#428965) #
Re: Lukes

The way this team is built that last roster spot isn't going to get any playing time when we're healthy. It's part of the reason why I was wondering if we might just carry Heineman in that last spot.

but, we've been very healthy position player -wise so far, which won't keep up. these guys will have to get playing time eventually.
Chuck - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#428967) #
we've been very healthy position player -wise so far

And SP-wise. Just look at what TB and NY are going through on that front.

Chuck - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#428968) #
And Cavan Biggio, who appears to be very good at finding his way to the ballpark and standing on the same side of the plate as Lukes.

Sadly, it wasn't that long ago that you could say more about the man. He'll have some rope this year because he plays both 2B and the OF, but he's not making much of a case for himself. He's even stopped walking which may be a sign of how much he is trying to impress with the bat.

uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#428970) #
I dunno Chuck, with Ryu and White injuries tough for me to say we've been overly healthy on the SP front. Not to mention the injury to our top prospect.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#428972) #
" I remember Shapiro saying waves and waves of prospects."

There doesn't seem to be much of a wave at the upper levels, maybe a ripple. With the current major league roster, unless there's several injuries, there doesn't seem to be much of an opportunity anyway, except maybe in the bullpen or in the rotation if Manoah is sent down for a reset.
92-93 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#428973) #
The Jays are one of only two teams (White Sox) to have used only 5 starters, and very obviously have been fortunate on the injury front. They had plenty of time to plan for Ryu's injury.

Hopefully 2023 will be like 2016 in that regard, when the Jays basically rolled with 5 SP (Estrada, Happ, Stroman, Dickey, and Sanchez) all season. Liriano and Hutchinson made the other 10 starts.
uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#428974) #
the majority of teams have used more than 5 SP not due to injuries, but performance. If Kikuchi or Berrios had continued last year's performances, there's a good chance the Jays would have had other pitchers start some games so far, healthy or not.

just like Manoah might force their hand here if he continues to stink.
Ducey - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#428976) #
They could send Manoah to their pitching lab and try and sort him out. I dont know if they have that type of technology in Toronto.

At the same time they could throw him on the treadmill a little bit.

The problem is who do they bring up to replace him? Bowden Francis would have been my pick had he not been hurt.
Ryan Day - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#428977) #
Manoah's spot is safe as long as the alternatives look like White, Lawrence, Thompson, and Hutchison.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#428978) #
How about Kloff?
Magpie - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#428979) #
I've always liked Biggio, always believed in him. But I'm not going to be stubborn about it.

He did play well when he was an every day second baseman. Being a third baseman didn't agree with him, and being an in-and-out-of the lineup multi-position player hasn't agreed with him either.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#428980) #
Kloffenstein is very good for AA but his stuff and command aren't sharp enough to consistently get out big league hitters just yet. He should move up to AAA soon but he'll probably take some lumps.
uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#428981) #
with Biggio even his 96wrc+ with useful defense from last year is a very nice bench piece imo. I wouldn't be in any rush to toss him away, though if they want to start giving Lukes some of those chances I won't be upset either.

I'm probably more concerned with Espinal not actually being an mlb caliber hitter after his surprising hot start in the bigs. Though the bar is lower for her thanks to his legit plus middle infield defense.

Just wanted to look at Belt for a second:

* Season Total: 106pa, 11.3bb%, 39.6k%, .429babip, .151iso, 108wrc+
* Minus 1st 5gms: 81pa, 12.3bb%, 33.3k%, .488babip, .186iso, 155wrc+
* Last 10 Starts: 38pa, 15.8bb%, 31.6k%, .667babip, .226iso, 228wrc+

The babip is obviously going to regress hard at some point, but it seems like he's getting the rest of his numbers - walks, strikeouts, power - back into the range where we can expect a solid hitting line overall even with a more normal babip.
92-93 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#428982) #
That is just simply not true, uglyone. If you want to pretend all these teams are using phantom IL injuries that's one thing, but it's nowhere near the majority of teams. Pretty much every rotation has dealt with at least one SP injury.

And I don't even agree that the plug would have been pulled that quickly on Berrios or Kikuchi. The Jays don't really have any backups, and the one guy they do have has been hurt/inffective. Keep praying for health.
uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#428983) #
Kikuchi might not have even been in the rotation to start the year if our SP were healthy.
hypobole - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#428984) #
Yeah, I'm with 92-93. How many teams haven't had a SP injury this year? And I don't count Ryu or Glasnow as this year. I'm guessing less than half and probably single digits. MLBTR seems to have one every few days.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#428985) #
It must be tempting for the front office to stretch Pearson out as a starter. If he had a better track record of health, that might be a feasible option. In the circumstances, I would keep him as a 1-2 inning reliever and hope that he refines his game enough to become the primary setup man.
Nigel - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#428986) #
If one of the starters went down and White isn't the answer (health or performance) then I wonder if the fifth spot would become a bullpen day where they hope to get 5ish innings out of a Hatch/Pearson combo?
92-93 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#428987) #
The answer, hypobole, is 2, as my original post stated. It's 3 if you want to include the Giants who opened with 6 SP (including Stripling) and placed Alex Wood on the IL.
92-93 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#428988) #
Vlad and KK are out of the lineup again tonight, with Varsho 4th and Belt 8th against a lefty. Not ideal, but not much else they can do. They need another good game from Jansen and Kirk.
uglyone - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#428989) #
SP Injuries

* Ryu
* White
* Pearson
* Tiedemann
* Francis

John Northey - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#428990) #
If Ryu was healthy I suspect Kikuchi would've been in the pen instead. But right now by ERA+ you go Bassitt, Gausman, Kikuchi (all 100+), Berrios (90), Manoah (78). Manoah is giving me Dave Stieb 1986 vibes. From 1979-1985 Stieb was arguably the best pitcher in baseball, even if Cy Young voters were too dumb to know it (they were addicted to wins over all else then). In '85 Stieb won the ERA title, had the lowest H/IP ratio. In '86 he had an ERA+ of 89, his first time sub 100 (he had 3 more years sub 100 at the end of his career, his final 3 seasons). The following year his ERA+ climbed back to 111, then 128. After 9 starts in '86 though he seemed done - 6.33 ERA, 6.25 FIP, 957 OPS against, 0-6 record (team was 1-8 in his 9 starts). He got a bit better, with a 3.35 ERA in the 2nd half.

Lets hope Manoah is just having the same mess Stieb went through back then. Half a season wasted, but the 2nd half being the solid #1/2 pitcher we expected going in.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#428991) #
Pete Alonso hit a 416 ft. walk-off 3-run homer last night vs. Tampa Bay.

There goes another one! Today, Alonso socked a 446 ft. homer and the Mets win again 3-2.

The Mets!
hypobole - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#428992) #
After their game April 24, Tampa was 20-3.
AL East records since then by Win%

Boston 12-8
Baltimore 13-9
Toronto 11-9
New York 12-10
Tampa 12-10

Yeah, NY and TB are identical, but couldn't resist putting Tampa at the bottom.
92-93 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#428993) #
The '84 Tigers they are not.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#428994) #
But they are off to a remarkable start (32-13), considering the injuries to Glasnow, Rasmussen, Baz and Springs (among many others) — and their minuscule payroll.

No way the 1984 Tigers would have started 35-5 in comparable circumstances.
Nigel - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#428995) #
White is off to see the doctors again.
hypobole - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#428996) #
Tampa pitchers seem to be taught nasty pitches/improved velocity and get injured a lot. Correlation or causation?
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#428997) #
Tampa really aced the Wander Franco extension. He’s tied for third-highest position player fWAR in the majors this year. He just turned 22. 11/$182m with a club option for a 12th year? Wow.
hypobole - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#428998) #
FG ZIPS chat question from a Braves fan wondered whether Acuna has the most 400 ft outs, thinking he has 5. He actually only has 1.

MLB leader has 4. 3 players 2,49 with 1. Jays fans should know the MLB leader,
Magpie - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#428999) #
The '84 Tigers they are not.

Maybe they're more like the '84 Blue Jays, who did start the season 29-11. For all the good it did them.

All this talk about the 1984 Tigers (okay, one or two comments) prompted me to look back at their start and puzzle out how it happened. As everyone knows, the Tigers started the year 35-5. They went 9-2 in the one-run games, which is obviously excellent, but even if they'd gone 6-5, they're still playing .800 ball. They scored 236 runs in those 40 games, just under 6 per game, while allowing just 120 (exactly 3 per game.) The 1984 Tigers did lead the league in both categories, although the final figures weren't nearly that awesome (they scored 5.12 per game, they allowed 3.97.)

I looked at the individuals. What's interesting about the offense isn't that anybody was particularly great. Trammell and Chet Lemon were both hitting better than you would expect, especially Lemon. But no one else. And no one was struggling, no one at all. Everybody was right around their normal level, or somewhat above.

On the mound, two pitchers were outstanding. Jack Morris started 11 of those 40 games and went 9-1, 1.97 (Petry was 8-1, 2.81 and Wilcox was 6-1, 3.61. Sparky hadn't quite decided who his fourth starter was, Rozema or Berneguer.) And in the bullpen, old Senor Smoke, Aurelio Lopez, was 4-0, 1.47 with 8 Saves. Willie Hernandez was 3-0, 3.03 with 7 Saves.
grjas - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#429000) #
Ugh. Batting practice pitch to Judge is not a good idea
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#429001) #
Jack Morris twirled a no-hitter at Comiskey Park on April 7th, 1984.
92-93 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#429002) #
Another loud out from Chapman. He's done that a lot this season. That one is gone in Yankee Stadium.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#429003) #
It’s unfortunate that Judge has had some very hittable pitches this series (in some cases with advance warning of what was coming). “Don’t let Judge beat you” should be the Jays’ mantra when playing the Yankees.
grjas - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#429004) #
Other than the Judge pitch Berrios has looked really good.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#429005) #
Other than the two pitches to Judge Berrios has looked really good.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#429006) #

Bichette 3/4 with a home run

The rest of the team 3/27 with no XBH (2 BB)
Nigel - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#429007) #
5-9 against the AL East. Early days but concerning.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#429008) #
It feels like the Jays pitching just isn't quite good enough. The offense isn't quite good enough. The depth isn't nearly good enough...

The Jays will hang around but... Will be not quite good enough in 2023.
grjas - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#429009) #
Not surprising when you field a lineup in which 6 of 9 hitters have an OPS under 680.
dalimon5 - Thursday, May 18 2023 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#429010) #
Recency bias. Just like KK and Berrios were written off to start the year, the team will get better.
greenfrog - Friday, May 19 2023 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#429011) #
Cortes was good last night, but the Jays hitters (other than Bichette) helped him out by aggressively chasing pitches outside the zone.

Berrios basically matched him except for the pitches to Judge. He also gave in to Hicks by throwing a straight 3-2 FB that Hicks was able to line for an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1.
scottt - Friday, May 19 2023 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#429013) #
It does feel like they are good not  great, but they have faced pretty good opposition. So, as always, it's hard to predict where they'll end up.

1-3 at home against the Yanks sucks but the low point was the 0-4 stretch at Fenway and they rebounded from that. Had they faced the Yankees while Judge was on the shelf it would probably have looked quite differently.

The talent is there, but they can't have too many players put numbers that are significantly worse than their career average.

They are currently tied with the Yankees for the second wildcard, half a game ahead of Houston.

hypobole - Friday, May 19 2023 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#429016) #
Another loud out from Chapman. He's done that a lot this season. That one is gone in Yankee Stadium.

Yeah, posted yesterday only 5 players had more than one 400 ft outs so far. 4 players had 2. Chapman was the player with 4.
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