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On the one hand, winning one of four at the Trop really isn't all that terrible.

Consider. The Rays, after all, are playing .828 ball at home. The mighty Jays held them to .750. Surely cause for muted celebration.

Very muted - they Jays have been playing like crap for about two weeks. This needs to stop.

What this team could need is a trip to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. As I observed just the other day, this is the Blue Jays favourite ball park in all the world - they've gone 27-16 there, which is a very swell .628 winning percentage.

Alas - one of the biggest reasons for that lovely record at Target Field is no longer applicable. Jose Bautista was in the lineup for 25 of those 43 games, and he went all kinds of berserk there - .324/.410/.794 with 14 HR. That's almost a 90 HR pace over a full season.

The Jays will be sending their three best starters against the Twinkies, while avoiding Minnesota's two best - the dependable veteran Sonny Gray and staff ace Joe Ryan. As you may recall, the Twins stole Ryan away from Tampa Bay in exchange for two months worth of a 40 year old DH. I mention this because it's very comforting, in times like these, to remember that Tampa Bay can be just as mind-numbingly stupid as everybody else.

As  it happens, the Twins have been getting quality work from all of their starting pitchers, which includes the three that the Jays will see this weekend. They need it - their bullpen beyond Jhoan Duran and Jorge Lopez is extremely shallow.


Fri 26 May - Gausman (2-3, 3.14) vs Varland (2-0, 4.18)
Sat 27 May - Bassitt (5-3, 3.03) vs Lopez (2-3, 3.90)
Sun 28 May - Berrios (4-4, 4.22) vs Ober (3-1, 2.55)

Toronto at Minnesota, May 26-28 | 122 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#429300) #
Wow Magpie, I wasn't expecting those first two paragraphs...well played sir.
Eephus - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#429307) #
Normally it would be far too early in the season to call this a ďmust winĒ series, but Iím doing so if only for the sake of our collective sanity. Just playing okay-ish baseball would be a start.
Gerry - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#429308) #
Danny Jansen has gone on the IL, Tyler Heinemann activated.
John Northey - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#429309) #
Sigh. Poor Jansen. Only once in his career has he played 100+ games (107 in 2019), his 43 in 2020 was equal to 116 in a full season, otherwise 72 is his max over his 6 seasons. 36 of 51 so far in 2023 (pace of 114) but with this IL stint I suspect he won't get close to 100 this year in the end.
scottt - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#429310) #
Speaking of injuries, Polanco is on the IL with a sore hamstring as does Max Kepler.  Nick Gordon has a fractured shin. Trevor Lanarch has pneumonia. Tyler Mahle had TJ surgery recently. Chris Paddack had it a year ago.

Carlos Correa has muscle strain in his left foot and plantar fasciitis. He's day to day.
Joey Gallo has a sore hamstring and has missed the last game.

That leaves Byron Buxton who has played 45 games and hit 10 HR but he's the DH and CF is manned by Michael A Taylor who carries a light bat. Gallo, incidentally, plays mostly 1B and occasionally LF.

grjas - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#429311) #
The teamís lost 7 of the last 8 that Manoah started. Had they won even half of those, theyíd be tied with the Yankees for third.

It will be interesting to see if Walker and crowd can get him fixed, as they certainly had little success with Kikuchi and Berrios during the 2022 season. And hopefully Manoah actually listens to his coaches as he sure flips out when he hears anything negative about himself on social media or in the field.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#429312) #
I offer a special prayer for Jobu:

" And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. "

Petey Baseball - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#429313) #
Is this the lowest morale the fan base has had since 2013? Perhaps the 2014 trade deadline?

I wouldn't say we're in last stand territory yet. If the team really flamed out and were completely out of contention in July, you might see some pieces moved. But short of that, I'd say the Atkins-Schneider pairing gets one more crack at it next season.

scottt - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#429314) #
I don't think coaches can help with refining a slider.
If they could, bullpens would be loaded.

We saw hints of what Manoah could do. Throw more fastballs. Mix in a few change ups.
Change locations. Etc.
He's not a power pitcher, but he's not really a finesse guy either.

Maybe a change of catcher will help.

scottt - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#429315) #
My morale is quite good. This is a good team that is not playing well.
I just find the choices of pitches frustrating sometimes.

Chuck - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#429316) #
Effective meeting.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#429317) #
Oh Vladdy.
Atrocious at bat.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#429318) #
I don't like mini sodas.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#429319) #
It's just garbage, sloppy baseball on a too consistent level.

Guerrero sees three pitches miss by a mile then hacks 3-0 on a borderline strike, then swings at ball four. Springer breaks on the routine ground ball directly at the shortstop (why is the contact play on in the first inning with the cleanup hitter coming up??!!) and gets thrown out without getting into a run-down. And Guerrero somehow gets thrown out from across the infield.

That arguably four mistakes in about half a minute of baseball.

Accountability? Urgency?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#429320) #
"Weird Al" Yankovic puts a hot dog wiener inside a Twinkie.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#429321) #
Kevin Kiermaier leads the team in hits.
That pretty much says it all
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#429322) #
Bichette leads the team in hits by a long way.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#429323) #
this week, we mourn Tina Turner: "the Queen of Rock n' Roll."

meanwhile, the King of Rock n' Roll watched the Blue Jays and shot the television with a gun.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#429324) #
Incorrect, sorry.
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#429325) #
Thank you, Mr Umpire!
Chuck - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#429326) #
Man, I hate dumb baseball and I hate bad umpiring, no matter the team that benefits. That call was an embarrassment.
Nigel - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#429327) #
They were lucky in more ways than one. Gausmanís tank was obviously empty 2-3 batters before he was pulled. Not sure what Schneider and Walker were seeing there.
Chuck - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#429328) #
Not sure what Schneider and Walker were seeing there.

A bullpen they don't entirely trust.

Nigel - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#429329) #
Nor should they but Gausman was gassed.
Polite Nate - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#429330) #
Normally we're complaining about pulling a starter who is cruising too early at the first sign of trouble.
I'm much more head scratching about leaving Swanson in.
Chuck - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#429331) #
The Twins have MLB's all-time TTO champion in Joey Gallo (now at .563 this season) and now young Monsieur Julien would appear to be throwing his hat into the TTO ring, sitting at .510 as I write this.
uglyone - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#429332) #
i don't get the flak our bullpen takes tbh. they've been decent even with quality guys like Bass and Cimber having terrible/injured starts.
Gerry - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#429333) #
Through 8 innings, the Twins have issued zero walks. The Jays have walked nine.
uglyone - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#429334) #
ask and ye shall receive.
Kasi - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#429335) #
Iím with uo on this one. This has just been an unlucky team with poor sequencing. Should have more runs and should have less given up. Starters have been 3 very good ones with 2 questionable ones. But none of the parts are super strong just above average (maybe others the defence).
uglyone - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#429336) #
I dunno that it's luck. But whatever the reason this team is much less than the sum of its parts right now.
John Northey - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#429337) #
Wonder if Pearson is becoming the 8th inning guy now. Swanson and Garcia are useful but if they can be used in the 5/6/7 innings instead of 8 that would be nice.

Hitter today were 2 hits (Springer/Bo/Merrifield/Kiermaier) or 0 hits (everyone else). This team is streaky. Hopefully this is a winning streak starting.

Random note - very empty looking park. I've been there and it is a beautiful one to watch a game at, local train goes right to the park, used it from where my daughter was doing a competition (gymnastics) to the park. Lots of fun, easy to get good seats, Jays won the game too iirc (2017 with Teoscar very early in his career).
greenfrog - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#429338) #
The Jays really need their bad-performing players (Manoah, Varsho, Kirk, Espinal) to be respectable. Not terrific. Just decent. That would lead to a lot more team wins.

It would also be great if Vladdy regained some plate discipline, but it appears that ship has sailed (to remix a Hillenbrand metaphor).
uglyone - Friday, May 26 2023 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#429339) #
if you mean Swanson/Mayza in the high leverage like tonight, with Pearson getting the clean 8th, i'm with you John.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#429340) #
Contact play isn't an automatic run scored. It's a bit like a hit and run but that often leaves the runner dead at the plate.
I wouldn't run the contact play with Springer. I'd rather have Bo come to the plate with 2 outs and a runner on third. I'd run it with Kirk at the plate who keeps hitting slow rollers.

Springer baiting the ball instead of running home is usually an attempt to get the other runner to second base.
So seeing that, Vlad heads to second but Springer doesn't get into a rundown and Vlad doesn't get a chance to make it. If Springer keeps coming home, the play is at home and Vlad stays at first safely.

Same happened with KK but that one didn't cost anything. It's just frustrating to hit a triple and make an out because the manage decides to send you.

Gausman threw too many balls. That's life. He still had a good fastball. I certainly wouldn't pull him out after 5.
Swanson didn't have great command. That's the thing with splitters, they don't throw them outside of game situation because of the blisters. Swanson had not pitched since Saturday because the Jays have had no lead to protect. Pearson threw way too many breaking balls. That was far from a clean inning. His curve is not a competitive pitch. He needs to be 80% fastball.

hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#429341) #
Just want to expand on 999's rebuttal that Bo leads the Jays in hits. Bo actually leads all MLB. His 73 hits are 5 more than 2nd place Freddie Freeman.
hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#429343) #
Whoops. Actually was BlueJayWay that pointed out Bo leads the Jays by a long way.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#429346) #
Yes and I corrected myself. Siddall said Kiermaier led the team in X and I thought he said hits.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#429347) #
I think just consistently playing cleaner, heads up baseball this team can play with the Rays (maybe not anymore, because we have ten or so games to make up on them).
They've been a lot better at not missing cutoffs and throwing to the right base from the outfield this year. But the baserunning and the mental mistakes and the pimping home runs that aren't home runs stuff needs to stop.
hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#429348) #
I remember Siddall saying KK is the AL (or MLB, not sure) leader in hits out of the # 9 spot. I believe that's what you were thinking of.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#429351) #
Another example of clean baseball: Hitting a lot of home runs.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#429352) #
Chapman is slashing 190/257/295 in May.
hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#429353) #
The BRef Jays WAR leaders has Aaron Hill as the last guy with 17.1. Always thought it would be Vlad taking his place 1st, but is there anyone who doesn't think it will be Bo?
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#429354) #
Amy Klobuchar, current U.S. Senator for the State of Minnesota, wrote a book titled "Uncovering the Dome" (1986) about the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#429355) #
not Varsho's fault, but it's funny cuz KK woulda had both of those.
James W - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#429356) #
The contact play wasn't on for either play. Both runners just screwed up.
James W - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#429357) #
When is it time to bench the players that won't run out of the box? We know Guerrero gets a free pass, let's see if Belt does as well.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#429358) #
The people watching who say "playing clean" is a media creation or a false narrative aren't looking great right now.

This is beyond pathetic.
Nigel - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#429359) #
Zero chance they punish Belt. Veteraness is infallible.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#429360) #
The Varshow is making the bloopers this week.
The first ball could have hit the top of the fence for an easy double or a triple.
The second one was a homerun anyway.
I've seen KK fail to bring one back as well.

On the Belt out, the ball went to the wall but was never going to be out of the park.
Maybe he's not going to run much harder regardless of what happens.
It was close. He's just not a good baserunner at this point.

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#429361) #
Belt may not be a fast runner but if he had run hard out of the box instead of going half-speed part way up the line while watching the ball, he would have made it safely to second. This wasn't egregious to me as his last at-bat.
With two outs in the ninth, tying run on first, how the heck do you stand with the bat on your shoulder and watch two fastballs sail into the strike zone? I'd rather see someone swing and miss than have such a non-competitive at-bat.

On a different note, this time last year if I had to choose between signing Vlad or Bo to a long term contract, I would have picked Vlad. Right now I would pick Bo and it's not even close. Anybody agree?
greenfrog - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#429362) #
I suspect Bo is headed to free agency.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#429363) #
I tend to agree. Bo might be harder to replace than Vlad.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#429364) #
I prefer Bo because he's not only a talented hitter, but also a very good student of hitting. While he's a different type of hitter than Jeter (more aggressive, more power, fewer walks), he could end up having a similar type of career as a good-hitting, mediocre-fielding SS (although he would be lucky to have the same career longevity and health as Jeter).

Vladdy is very talented but I wouldn't be surprised if his age-22 season ends up being the best of his career. I'm guessing that injuries are going to affect his career at a relatively young age.

Some of this may be recency bias, of course.
Nigel - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#429365) #
Vladdyís age 22 season will almost certainly appear to be the best of his career. He spent a good chunk of it hitting in Dunedin which significantly juiced his numbers. The thing about Bo is that he may well have a Robin Yount career. If his defense at SS goes away heís athletic enough to move down the defensive spectrum and still be valuable in the field.
uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#429367) #
Their career hitting lines are near identical at this point.

Bo 130wrc+
Vlad 133wrc+
John Northey - Saturday, May 27 2023 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#429368) #
Having a peak season very young isn't too odd.. A-Rod's best WAR was at age 24 (10.4, no other season higher than 9.4 which he did 3 times ages 20/29/31 - damn he was good).  Lou Gehrig's peak was at age 24 as well (11.8), next best 31 (10.1).

The problem is Vlad isn't anywhere near those guys for peak.  His peak (so far) of 6.7 at 22 is very good, but Gehrig had 12 years better than that for example.  Vlad Sr's best was age  23 7.4 WAR, then age 28 7.1, all others 6 or less.

Could Vlad be a HOF'er without another year like 2021?  Yes.  But he needs to pick things up a bit.  Playing 1B/DH means he needs to hit to make it and that means 140+ OPS+ seasons.  134's won't cut it (last year and this year so far).

Bo on the other hand, is getting better it seems.  Had a 5.8 in 2021, and this year is over an 8 WAR pace.  He should lead the league in hits again (if healthy).  It'd be nice if he'd take more walks, play better defense.  But the fact is he hits more than well enough to be a HOF'er with his meh at best defense. 

Perfect world the Jays sign both to long term deals before they hit free agency, but odds are both want deals that look like free agent deals ($30-40+ a year for 10+ years) thus no incentive for the Jays to sign them before the final year before free agency thus minimizing risk of sudden drop off in skills or injuries.
bpoz - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#429370) #
All teams have hot and cold streaks. Currently 5th place NYY on pace for 93 wins and 6th place Boston on pace for 87 wins. I expect the last WC team to have over 90 wins. The Jays so far in May are 9 wins 16 losses which is a non playoff winning pace. I fully expect us to recover.

There are a few reasons why we are not winning more. The 1st and worst is the bad start for Manoah.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#429373) #
yesterday was BerrŪos' birthday.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#429377) #
I think i'm still in the camp that vladdy is the better hitter than Bo, though i agree with whoever mentioned it that Bo may be the kind of player that you can expect improvement from while maybe not as much from vladdy.

But even if vladdy is the moderately better hitter that still makes Bo the much more valuable player given that he has middle infield defensive value.

And now that i think about it - has Bo cleaned up his defensive game at SS this year in anyone's eyes? I seem to remember more mistakes by Chapman than Bo this year.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#429378) #
I keep hopefully reminding myself that the 2015 team was .500 st the deadline but then i remember they had elite underlying numbers and made massive deadline adds and neither of those are likely in play this year.

Nigel - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#429379) #
Belt right back in the lineup. Accountability is an interesting concept for this team.
92-93 - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#429380) #
Three baseball months ago nobody would have taken Bo over Vladdy. It's a long season, folks.
Nigel - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#429382) #
I would have taken Bo 3 months ago. I think the positional value and the likely aging curves favour Bo pretty heavily. But I agree that the first two months of this season shouldnít fundamentally change any views.
Magpie - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#429383) #
has Bo cleaned up his defensive game at SS this year in anyone's eyes?

I have no idea what the numbers say, but in these old eyes... yes, he does look like better defender.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#429384) #
Didnt even look at the fielding numbers because its too early for them to mean anything really. Just was having a hard time remembering fielding boners from Bo recently.

But now that i look at the numbers....uzr/150 does see him as a good solid above average defensive SS this year so far (+8.4).

Then again, now that i look at the numbers it was only last year that the numbers thought he was truly bad defensively...and they thoight he was horrendous (-27.6). The years before that he bounced between slightly above to slightly below average (-5.2, +5.9, -5.0).
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#429385) #
I mean last year vlad and bo were near identical offensively too. In fact the pnly year that Vlad has been significantly better offensively was in his big year.

The difference in perception last year woild have been that while Bo had more defensive value...the gap had closed as Bo was looking like he couldnt stay at SS and while vlad was stuck at 1B at least it was elite 1B defense.

I still love both mind you. And Vlad is younger. And I still believe Vlad has the much bigger upside offensively if he can just keep a more consistent approach.
grjas - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#429386) #
But even if vladdy is the moderately better hitter that still makes Bo the much more valuable player given that he has middle infield defensive value.

Sorry. Donít buy that. I donít think having a crappy SS is better than having a gold glove first baseman, all other things being equal. Yeah SS is a more important fielding positionÖ.which means the team may well be better off having a very good defensive player at SS with only an average bat.

Anyway, I do agree that Bo has looked better this year and if he is at least average at SS then all things being equal, he is worth more.
Kasi - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#429387) #
But theyíre equal hitters right now. Point is if Bo doesnít stick at SS there are plenty of spots he could slot down to. 2b and corner OF being the obvious two. If Vlad has to move the only place he can really move is DH. So yeah Bo is definitely the better player especially right now.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#429388) #
I know it cam be tough to accept the difference in positional value but really all you need to to do is picture what vladdy would be like at SS and Bo at 1B.
grjas - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#429389) #
Not to beat a horse to death but Iíll give you a simple example. By 2014, Jose Reyes had become a pylon at short stop with a DRS of -14 and. UZR or -3.3. but because of the position bias in WAR, his fWAR was 3.8. Gold glove Vladdy last year had an fWAR of 2.8. Who would you rather have on your team?

grjas - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#429390) #
I know it cam be tough to accept the difference in positional value but really all you need to to do is picture what vladdy would be like at SS and Bo at 1B.

Huh? Thatís irrelevant. I wouldnít want to see Gausman in the infield either but it doesnít mean that his value should be depressed.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#429391) #
The other thing is that its not clear that vladdy is necessarily elite at 1B. He plays very aggressively tho, which can be good and bad.

Even though the numbers agreed that Bo was a disaster at SS last year it wasnt bad enough to turn him into an actual negative defensively by the numbers. And even though vladdy was decent (not elite) defensively by the numbers last year it wasnt enough to turn him into an actual net positive defensively by the numbers.

But even if you think the positional adjustments are order to make vladdy in any way comparable defensively to bo you would have to change those adjustments massively to make it work.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#429392) #
". I wouldnít want to see Gausman in the infield either but it doesnít mean that his value should be depressed."

Why not?

uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#429393) #
The reason Reyes had a 3.8fwar that year tho is because a -3.3uzr/150 is actually pretty miuch bang on average, not awful

That's actually better than Vladdy's gold glove -4.0 uzr150 last year.

So your argument there isnt the positional adjustment but the accuracy of the defensive stat itself. Which ia fair - and backed up by the the fact that DRS did think he was awful out there (-14), and had for a few years by that point.

So reyes probably wasnt a 3.8war guy by that point, but it was uzr150 that was the culprit because it thought he was an average defensive SS, not because SS defense was overvalued overall.

In this case tho, Bo's uzr150 was every bit as disastrous as our eye test told us....and yet still his value was very good. If Bo had a -3.3 uzr150 last year instead of -27.6 his value would have been much much higher.

And while Vladdy seems good out there neither uzr150 nor DRS think he's anything special defensively at 1B. Just averagish overall. If you think the numbers are undervaluing his defense that's more than fair - but again that would be the defensive numbers themselves undervaluing him, not the positional adjustment for 1B.
92-93 - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#429394) #
On August 28th, 2022, Bichette went into the game hitting .259/.300/.422 and was one of the leaders in errors across baseball. He looked out of sorts at the plate.

Since then, Bichette has been one of the best hitters in baseball, and his defense has been solid but unspectacular. He still hesitates to dive hard for balls, and his throws can get funky. One of them kinda cost them a game in Philly this season.

"I know it cam be tough to accept the difference in positional value but really all you need to to do is picture what vladdy would be like at SS and Bo at 1B."

This exercise doesn't necessarily always work though. I would take Chapman the SS over Bichette the 3B. In fact, I suspect it wouldn't take long for Chapman to become a better SS.
92-93 - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#429395) #
It's a fun thought experiment though. C gets +10 runs over CF, but try swapping Kirk and Varsho in those positions.
Kasi - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#429396) #
Well Varsho in this case CAN play catcher and play it well so Iím not sure what your point is since obviously Kirk canít play CF.
bpoz - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#429397) #
Berrios did ok and the Jays won.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#429401) #
my last drink was 28 days ago.

this month has been gruelling!
hypobole - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#429402) #
My cat has never had a drink.
92-93 - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#429403) #
Thatís exactly the point, Kasi. Uglyone suggested the positional adjustments in WAR makes sense if you just swap the players in their positions. However, Kirk gets 10 runs for being a C compared to Varsho being in CF and 20 runs when Varsho is in LF despite the fact that both can play C competently and only 1 is an above average defensive OF.
Michael - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#429404) #
Seems like lots of outs on the bases. I don't know if it is the larger bags with the more running game, or just my imagination, but I've got to think the rate of tootblan has to be higher this season. At least this times it was the twins being thrown out as much or more than the Jays.

Thrown out trying to score is often the right decision with a bad outcome. Thrown out for the third out at third base, rarely the right decision.
John Northey - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#429405) #
Time for the mandatory check on the guys we gave up for Berrios...

Austin Martin: no long on any top 100 lists (via BR), and hasn't played an inning in 2023 yet. Currently listed on the AAA roster for Minnesota, and is ranked #12 in the Twins system, quite the drop from #22 overall in the minors at his peak. He has a sprained UCL which often leads to Tommy John surgery. He becomes rule 5 eligible this winter so the Twins will need to make a choice soon.

Simeon Woods Richardson: reached the majors for 4 2/3 IP but gave up 5 runs on April 22nd and given his AAA numbers really suck (7 starts, 7.12 ERA 4.2 BB/9 8 K/9 1.8 HR/9 - just ugly) I don't see him getting another shot anytime soon.

Meanwhile Berrios just had another solid game. Only once this year has he failed to go 5+, only once allowing more than 5 earned runs, basically he has been what the Jays thought they were getting. A very solid mid rotation guy who could be a #2. Now, if we could just get Manoah back on track...
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#429406) #
My cat has never had a drink.

catnip is kind of like greenies.

uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#429408) #
"It's a fun thought experiment though. C gets +10 runs over CF, but try swapping Kirk and Varsho in those positions."

true, but catcher is so unique you have to treat it differently. it's almost as unique as pitching.

There are rare one like Varsho that seem to be able to handle both, but the majority of CF would be disasters behind the plate.

these kinds of things can never be perfect, not statistically and not even in these kinds of logic games, and there will always be outliers.

and i'm not convinced that chapman would be a better SS than Bo, either. heck his defense at 3B is starting to concern me a bit.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#429409) #
Prior to today:

* TOR vLHP: 97wrc+
* TOR vRHP: 115wrc+

last year:

* TOR vLHP: 115wrc+
* TOR vRHP: 118wrc+

so far adding more LHH to the lineup has made us substantially worse vLHP with no improvement vRHP.

uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#429410) #
Bo is kinda moving into the early MVP Race. #2 in WAR, top-5 in wRC+, #1 in AVG, Top 10 in HR and RBI.
hypobole - Sunday, May 28 2023 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#429412) #
Losing Teo is a factor. He crushed lefties. Espinal was behind only Springer in PA's vs LHP's and had a 137 wRC+. He's at -21 wRC+.
Facing McLanahan twice hasn't helped. That's over 10% of PA's vs LHP's so far.
scottt - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 06:20 AM EDT (#429413) #
Another way to look at it is that the added lefties are on the bench against LHP.

That's mostly KK.

The other thing is that the right bats from the bench have not been as good this year.
That's Kirk and Espinal.

Keeping the same guys would have seen worse results across the board.
We've seen that in 2016/2017 when the big bats declined overnight.

This time, we can hope it's just a temporary thing.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#429415) #
" Keeping the same guys would have seen worse results across the board."

Well, Lourdes Gurriel is batting .315 and has an OPS of .917 with Arizona. I know some people say we gained several years of Varsho vs. one year of Gurriel but I view the trade as a massive overpay right now. Belt, as a new guy brought in, is mediocre at best and clogs up the bases. I think it highlights the organizations failure to develop a good, young outfielder in many years. If the Jays had a prospect like that, they could rotate the present outfielders through the DH spot and give him playing time instead of signing an older big bat in decline.
scottt - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#429416) #
Could be that Gurriel is the only one that benefited from breaking out the 3 amigos (Vlad/Teoscar/Gurriel).
Vlad and Teoscar both look depressed right now.
It's kinda weird because Gurriel seems to be the one who has the most difficulty with English.

I think what Vlad need is a young guy like Orelvis for him to move into a mentor role.

electric carrot - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#429417) #
You know who might look good on this team now: Rowdy Tellez.
hypobole - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#429418) #
Players sometimes over-perform (Gurriel), or under-perform (Teoscar).
Here's ZiPS preseason:

" ZiPS has never been a Gurriel fan, and the system agrees with Statcast that his 2022 batting average was a bit inflated; the loss of power is also very concerning. Iíd love to see the Jays take a stab at a better option here".

Here's Gurriel's projection: 496 PA's .269/.319/.429, 0.8 WAR.
Some players have career seasons at age 29, but it's not something any team banks on.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#429420) #
I have about as much faith in Gurriel's hitting line as i do in Kiermaier's.
Ryan Day - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#429421) #
Here's Gurriel's projection: 496 PA's .269/.319/.429

That's just a silly projection, as all of those numbers are below his career averages coming into 2023, and while you might not expect a career season at 29, you generally wouldn't expect a collapse, either.

ZIPS obviously doesn't know his loss of power stemmed from a fixable wrist injury, but that's still a bizarrely pessimistic prediction. At some point, it's less about a player "overperforming" than the prediction model not understanding something about a player.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#429422) #
Fangraphs Pre-season Projected wRC+ vs. current:

* Kiermaier 87 --> 143 (+56)
* Bichette 128 ---> 154 (+26)
* Chapman 119 -> 137 (+18)

* Merrifield 95 --> 100 (+5)
* Belt 124 --------> 112 (-12)

* Guerrero 154 ---> 126 (-28)
* Jansen 117 ----> 86 (-31)
* Springer 136 ---> 104 (-32)
* Kirk 132 --------> 96 (-36)
* Varsho 122 ----> 79 (-43)
* Espinal 104 ----> 52 (-52)
* Biggio 107 ----> 51 (-56)

yeah it's definitely some heavy underperformance overall so far.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#429423) #
unfortunately the pitching projections don't give us a league-adjusted stat so we have to go with something like raw ERA here:

* Gausman 3.57 ---> 3.03 (-0.54)
* Berrios 4.27 ------> 3.86 (-0.41)
* Bassitt 3.82 ------> 3.80 (-0.02)
* Kikuchi 4.20 -----> 4.56 (+0.36)
* Manoah 3.75 ----> 5.53 (+1.78)

SP a little bit under expectations so far just because Manoah's underperformance is much bigger than any overperformance.

* Mayza 3.56 ------> 0.96 (-2.60)
* Pearson 4.16 ----> 1.93 (-2.23)

* Swanson 3.79 ---> 3.20 (-0.59)
* Romano 3.53 ----> 3.00 (-0.53)
* Richards 4.07 ---> 3.68 (-0.39)

* Bass 3.77 --------> 4.50 (+0.73)
* Cimber 3.99 -----> 4.85 (+0.86)

* Garcia 4.07 ------> 6.46 (+2.39)
* Pop 4.08 --------> 6.59 (+2.51)

BP probably right around expectations so far or close enough.
greenfrog - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#429424) #
Seems like the most likely WC teams at the moment are Baltimore, NYY and Houston, with Seattle and Toronto waiting in the wings. Itís looking like a very competitive race and the Jays are simply going to have to play a lot better to secure one of those spots.
Nigel - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#429425) #
You are probably right greenfrog and if that's the case then the Jays are in trouble. From what I've seen this year, the Jays are probably a better team than the Mariners but a lesser team than the O's, Yankees and Astros. I suppose exactly which Yankees team they are able to get on the field would have some bearing on that though.
hypobole - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#429426) #
The 3 current relievers with the best May ERA also have the best May FIP. One name may be surprising. Anyone?
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#429427) #
Is it my favorite RP, Trevor Richards?
Nigel - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#429428) #
Has to be Richards. He's been really good for the past month. Garcia and Cimber, at least, would have to be lower on the leverage chart than Richards.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#429429) #
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#429430) #
vladdy's walk rate should literally be double what it is.

I don't know why he is having such a hard time swinging less.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#429431) #
hmm. I just thought of something - I wonder if vladdy is listening too much to Bo, whose aggressive approach works so well for him. Bo is always trying to coach him (and everyone) in the dugout at least.
hypobole - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#429432) #
FIP, Richards 4th, ERA 5th behind Romano.

Top 3 in May are Mayza, Bass, Pearson by ERA. Bass, Mayza, Pearson by FIP.

Bass was pretty bad early on, but last 9 appearances, 8.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 11 K.
hypobole - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#429433) #
Maybe Bo should coach Vlad not to swing through mid-90's FB's right down the middle. Vlad used to punish mistakes like that.
Kasi - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#429434) #
If Vlad loses his batspeed even just a bit heís going to become very ordinary. Heís never really shown a good approach itís just he can punish pitchers. There are batters who can succeed with diminished physical gifts like Belt but Vlad is just not that. Even Bo has shown with his two stroke approach where he drops his leg kick and drives the ball opposite field that he can adapt well. Iím just not seeing it out of Vlad consistently.
Kelekin - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#429435) #
Bass needs to continue to pitch that good, because he isn't making any friends off the field.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#429436) #
I just discovered Curt Schilling's twitter feed . . . well, I'll be jitterbugged.
John Northey - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#429437) #
Yeah, Bass is really trying to get traded it seems. His latest was sharing a video that pushes people to boycott Target and Bud Light due to the brands' support of LGBTQ rights. Sigh.

These guys can have whatever personal views they want, but if you make them public then you gotta expect a lot of pushback in a nation which is very LGBTQ+ friendly (at least vs Florida where he is from which I could go into deep discussion on but won't as it isn't appropriate here). I'd look at seeing if the A's want him for something (not much there, maybe LHP/reliever Richard Lovelady who hasn't done much but is a LHP so who knows?). We'll need pen slot soon regardless for Chad Green. Clearly the team has no faith in Bass regardless given he has just 4 games with Leverage over 1 and he allowed runs in 3 of the 4 games. His one decent leverage game where he was effective was the 5th inning of a 1 run game on May 14th. The only time he was trusted with a lead of less than 6 runs he changed it from Jays up by 3 to Jays up by 1 while getting just 2 outs. He hasn't been trusted in a tie game, 3 times when down by 1 (two of those 3 allowing a run).

He might be doing well right now, but it is in low leverage situations and really, given he only went more than 1 inning once, do we need him over any of a batch of other options? Basically, when a guy like Yunel Escobar does it (coming off a 4.8 WAR year, in a 2.8 one - traded 2 months after doing it in the big Buehrle-Reyes trade) you put up with it for a bit, but not too long. When a guy who is #7 or 8 in the pen does it there is no need to put up with it. Interesting that Escobar was traded 6 times, seems high for a guy with 26.8 bWAR lifetime. Bass has been traded 3 times, in free agency 7 times, played with 7 teams, never for more than 3 seasons - seems to wear out his welcome.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#429438) #
unfortunately we really don't want to go down the "which of our athletes are maga chuds" road because we really won't like the answer.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#429439) #
MLB punished Atlanta because the State of Georgia enacted a highly controversial law.

NBA executive Daryl Morey ignited a firestorm when he tweeted support for the Hong Kong protests.

WWE held a major live event in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. like the LIV golf tour, that association has been widely condemned.

last year, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players.

all this stuff just opens up a can of worms. commentary (or even lack thereof) on politics / social issues is invariably a catch-22.

everybody wants a happy life. aside from that, I don't know much about anything.
greenfrog - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#429440) #
TB loses, Baltimore loses, Houston loses. Hurrah.

The Yankees are crushing it, though. 9-4 lead over Seattle and Judge has two home runs and a double. I wonder if his sidelong glances at the plate have stopped. Too bad he didn't sign with San Diego or San Francisco.
soupman - Monday, May 29 2023 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#429441) #
reminds me that i've been meaning to read clr james' beyond a boundary for ages now.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#429442) #
Good point uglyone but at least the other ones are smart enough not to advertise it. As I've said elsewhere everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but if you make them public be ready for the backlash. I'm a very strong pro-LGBTQ+ person and if there is any negative fallout from that, so be it. Bass is clearly the opposite, and by being public with it he needs to accept the consequences of that. If Vlad came out that way (wouldn't shock me given the culture of sports and often of Central America) I'd be disappointed but would still hope the Jays traded him ASAP if he made it a public thing. He can feel whatever he wishes in private but have the brains to keep it private when playing for a team in Toronto. Much like a player who is pro LGBTQ+ rights who plays in Florida or Texas would need to keep it quiet unless he wants to be booed and/or traded/released.
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#429443) #
Very much appreciate a lot of what is being said here. As someone who could best be described as non-binary (though my belief system is more complex than that) and has a trans sister, it's nice how generally welcoming and positive this site has remained through its existence as the rest of the internet spirals into pure rage-based monetization.

As someone who has worked with some major sports organizations in my day job the past few years, I've ended up realizing there has to be a certain level of cognitive dissonance applied to continue to enjoy and love sports at times.

I live in Alberta, so I have much bigger problems tonight than Bass. But hopefully he's gone soon one way or another, because he's become a distraction. We have a number of AAA arms where we may as well start assessing who is ready for the challenge (even if the ERAs are high).
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#429444) #
Speaking of our bullpen, hard not to be worried about Cimber. He was looking rough before the IL stint and has not been looking great since coming back. His slider is down 3 MPH, and fastball down 2. FIP sitting at 7.83 and average exit velocities up to 91.3.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 06:59 AM EDT (#429445) #
Before the season, the Rays signed the 31 year old Yandy Diaz to a 3 year contract for $24M with an option for a 4th. Diaz is likely to obliterate his previous performance norms in 2023. Do the Rays know something that no one else does? If so, it wouldn't be the first time.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#429446) #
And yes, Cimber is struggling mightily.

Also, we aim here for light, not heat, but sometimes fail when the manager makes a dubious decision or an outfielder overthrows the cutoff man.

LGBTQ rights are under threat in many places near and far. Many of us remember the way it was 55-70 years ago here and do not want to go back to that.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#429453) #
everyone on Batter's Box is a teammate.

I stick up for my teammates.

Dave Semenko is my role model.
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