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It's yet another first place team providing the opposition.


The Brewers have managed to stay atop the NL Central even though their offense has pretty much shrivelled up and died so far this season. Old chum Rowdy Tellez is having a fine season, and so - strangely enough - is utility infielder Owen Miller.  As for the rest - not so much. The Brewers have certainly been a team that has succeeded because of their pitching these last few years, but they always had at least a league average offense to support Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.

The Jays will miss Burnes, and the rest of the rotation is starting to resemble a hospital ward. Woodruff is on the IL with a shoulder injury that will keep him out at least past the All-Star Break. Wade Miley and Eric Lauer have also gone on the IL lately, both with shoulder miseries. Adrian Houser, who was very good in 2021 (10-6, 3.22) but had fallen so far down the depth chart that he began the season in AAA, has returned and is coming off a pair of scoreless outings against Tampa Bay and Houston. They signed the old Brave Julio Teheran off the scrap heap last week after he'd been released by the Padres. He provided a decent start against the Giants and gets another shot this weekend.

Shortstop Willy Adames spent the night in hospital with a concussion after getting injured in his own dugout by a foul ball; Bruce Turang will likely fill in while Adames is on the concussion IL.

Matchups

Tue 30 May - Houser (1-0, 2.25) vs Kikuchi (5-2, 4.56)
Wed 31 May - Teheran (0-1, 1.80) vs Manoah (1-5, 5.53)
Thu 1 June - Peralta (5-4, 4.64) vs Gausman (3-3, 3.03)
Milwaukee at Toronto, May 30-June 1 | 62 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
chris_jays - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#429448) #
The May wRC+ splits are pretty interesting for this team. Kiermaier and Bo leading the way at 184 and 170 respectively but surprisingly Biggio is holding his own at 104 for the month.

The real killers this month have been almost 200 PA to Chapman and Kirk at 56 and 53 respectively.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#429451) #
I hope for a very good June from the Jays.

Milwaukee and others I am sure prove that SP depth is a very big factor. The #6,7 & 8 SP depth has to be good enough to survive the problems the top 5 SPs will encounter. It is a long season. Scherzer and Verlander for the Mets are examples of 2 #1 SPs that are not at the top of their game.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#429454) #
With Espinal injured and KKís status uncertain, I think thereís value in getting Biggio semi regular ABís at 2B. Some semblance of his former self fills so many holes in this roster. His best success has come as a regular 2B - letís try that for a month and see what happens.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#429455) #
Kikuchi's start should be interesting. Nigel and I had a discussion last week. Is Kikuchi back to his old MO of a decent start to the season and then falling apart? Or has he made real improvement and his recent poor starts more a product of lefty-crushing teams?

The Brewers have hit 207/280/336 against lefty pitching. That ranks 30th in all 3 categories. The only fly in the ointment is they've hit 14 HRs, and Kikuchi is dead last in HR/9 of the 85 starters with 50 IP.

Also noticed something that furthers uglyone's point that we've been bad vs LHP. Jays have only hit 11 HRs. Bo and Danny 3 each, Chapman and Springer 2, Merrifield 1. So. Vlad, Kirk and everyone else at zero.

92-93 - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#429456) #
Indeed, Nigel, and Tellez's success in Milwaukee (sorry, WAR mongers) provides a cautionary tale for the Jays and Biggio. A positional surplus can quickly become a hole, and it would be a shame if the Jays traded or let Biggio walk without giving him an extended run of playing time. As chris_jays pointed out, he's hitting .233/.281/.467 in May, albeit in only 32 PA with 1 BB. It certainly hasn't looked pretty this season, though.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#429457) #
I dont think Biggio's role has ever been in danger. He was a very nice bench piece (starter caliber really) last year, and for his career overall. A bad 50pa wasnt going to change anything i don't think.

Jays have 3 quality bench pieces in Danny, Biggio, and Espinal. All 3 guys who could be plausible starters.

I've never understood the desire to push biggio out. We need more good bench pieces not fewer.
Ducey - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#429458) #
Biggio still has the blue tape on his back. Maybe its preventative, but it seems he is dealing with something and has been for a long time. Its certainly not from being worn out playing.

I'm still concerned he cant hit a good fastball. If he is a bench piece they can work around that. If he is a starter, it will be an issue.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#429460) #
Ducey - I agree with that. I don't think that he can hit premium velocity either but, then again, neither can Varsho and that isn't the end of the world. With this roster, I think that you can work around that. Biggio, for his career, doesn't have a huge platoon split. You could get Biggio into about 2/3's -3/4's of the games right now fairly easily mixing and matching him against starters etc. I'm not sure that it will be successful because he has looked really bad at times this year but now's the time to see if you happen to have a needed solution (another useful LH bat) sitting on your roster - there's no help on that front ready to go in the minors.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#429467) #
Santiago Espinal and Zack Pop have been assigned to Dunedin for rehab.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#429469) #
Should be able to overcome pretty well every Kikuchi start if we can score 4 runs per inning.c
Nigel - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#429470) #
I'm not really going to try and defend how he's played this season because we've all been watching, but the crazy thing is Kirk is now at just a shade under 100 wRC+. If you want to be positive about things you could say that I'm not sure that he could hit worse than he has and things are still ok.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#429471) #
Everything about Kirk is good except that the very good power he always had suddenly dissappeared sometime in July last year and has yet to return.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#429473) #
Pearson is a stud.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#429474) #
The results for Kikutchi were better but the process was sketchy (as my teenagers would say).
92-93 - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#429475) #
Is Belt hurt? Why did Lukes PH in the 9th? Ugh either way.
Kasi - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#429476) #
Who would think two of our best relievers at this point would be Pearson and Richards.
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#429477) #
Sometimes I'm not sure what to make of xFIP. Fangraphs says Pearson has a 4.97 xFIP, compared to Garcia at 3.03 (only behind Mayza). I expect some regression to the mean with Pearson's incredibly low HR/9, but that gap seems silly.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#429478) #
Those xFIP numbers are really meaningless over the sample sizes involved there. Garcia was unlucky to start the year and I think was pitching decently so his numbers are skewed. Heís been legitimately terrible the last month and should be at the bottom of the leverage pile right now.
Kelekin - Tuesday, May 30 2023 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#429479) #
Yeah, these days I try to take all these sabermetrics as "part of a bigger picture" and not "the gospel". FIP and xFIP have a ton of flaws. Especially with us having so much more data on the individual pitches in the statcast era. Garcia's fastball, which was his most dominant pitch last year, has been getting crushed (despite increased velocity).

Cimber's velocity was a tiny bit better tonight, but it's hard not to remain concerned.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 06:44 AM EDT (#429480) #
Schneider said Belt has a stomach bug and wasn't feeling well.
electric carrot - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#429481) #
I just did a perusal of Jay stats this year and I would say that while some players are a little lower than expected some higher the big difference maker so far has been Alex Manoah. If he was still the pitcher he was last year, we would be right in the mix in the AL East. Last year, 81% of his starts were quality starts -- this year, 18%. You turn that number around (literally) and the Jays would likely have 4 or 5 more wins and would be playing .600 ball.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#429482) #
Yes, and what a turnaround for Belt. 170 wRC+ in May.

Like Manoah, Varsho has been a disappointment this year. 78 wRC+ and only 0.3 fWAR so far.
scottt - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#429483) #
B-ref has Varsho at 1.0 WAR good for 4th among Blue Jays player, trailing only Bichette, KK and Chapman.
Jansen and Kirk, combine for 0.9.

Varsho does things like scoring form first on a bloop single.

hypobole - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#429484) #
Some interesting batted ball data items. Who is squaring up the baseball?

Bo is 5th in MLB in Line Drive rate at 29.1%. Only 2 players are over 30%. Freddie Freeman is one. The other? Whit Merrifield.

Daulton Varsho leads baseball with 23.5% IFFB%. 6 players are at 0% IFFB%. Bo is one of the 6.

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#429485) #
Interesting. That is almost as high as the B-Ref WAR totals for Moreno (1.2) and Gurriel Jr. (1.7).

Some people were upset about the loss of Teoscar in the off-season, but the loss of Gurriel Jr. has had a much bigger impact on the team.

Incidentally, Arizona is currently in first place in the NL WC standings, four games ahead of the next-best team.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#429486) #
I think manoah's performance is mostly balanced out by Berrios and Kikuchu being much better than expected, unfortunately. Bullpen is pretty balanced between performances and expectations too imo.

I'd say its the lineup where there have been mamy more underachievers than overachievers so far.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#429487) #
Nope. The starting pitching has been bad. The defence has made it look better than it has been. Overall, the position players rank 4th in fWAR in the major leagues and the pitchers rank 20th. It's the starters who have been the least effective.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#429488) #
If Manoah continues to be bad, maybe send him to the minors for a reboot and call up Francis (as Mike suggested), then look to Ryu to bolster the rotation later this summer.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#429489) #
Since Merryweather blew up badly in his first appearance and cost the Cubs the game: 21ip 19h 2hr 4bb 27k 2.57era 2.52fip. He's been even better the last 6 weeks.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#429490) #
hmm maybe young merryweather has finally broken through at age..... 31.
scottt - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#429492) #
Strength of opposition might make things look worse than they are.

Starters are 9th in ERA, 10th in K/9, 11th in H/9, 16th in WHIP, 19th in BB/9 and 21st in  HR/9.
Starters are also near the top in inning pitched.

Relievers are 2nd in K/9, 6th in H/9,  9th in ERA, 16th in BB/9 and 26th in HR/9.

The long ball has hurt, especially when guys got free passes to load up the bases.

What annoys me is when pitchers start a batter with 2 or 3 breaking balls out of the strike zone for balls which usually leads to a 4+ pitch walk.
I think it's a terrible approach when dealing with guys who are not familiar with the pitcher and who will probably want to look at a few pitches.



uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#429493) #
My point was about which part of the team has the most overachievement vs underachievment.

but looking at each component individually:

SP

* #2 IP
* #9 ERA-
* #18 FIP-
* #14 xFIP-
* #14 SIERA
* #13 RA9 WAR
* #18 FIP WAR

FIP slightly below average but the rest of the numbers average to above average - but when you factor in the innings pitched that makes these "average" rate numbers look even better.


RP

* #29 IP
* #13 ERA-
* #18 FIP-
* #6 xFIP-
* #4 SIERA
* #15 RA9 WAR
* #20 FIP WAR

bit of a home run problem for the bullpen so far. might be fluke might not be.


Position Players

* #5 wRC+
* #8 BSR
* #17 DEF
* #4 WAR

interesting that the defensive numbers are only mediocre so far, but it's definitely nice to see that the overall numbers look this good when the bulk of the players are still underachiving based on reasonable expectations.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#429495) #
Why is Gurriel doing better than he ever has? His K's are down a bit and balls up the middle are down a lot, replaced by him pulling and going oppo more. But his Exit Velocity is the lowest of his career as is his Max EV. His Launch Angle down slightly as well.

His 144 wRC+ is top 20 in MLB, tied with another ex-Blue Jay. That would be Ryan Noda, a guy Mike used to like, but hates now.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#429497) #
I hate Ryan Noda? I must be really old if I don't remember my "bad list".
uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#429498) #
it's the power surge, looks like. .242iso. probably 'zona-related.

but it's not like he didn't have a number of similar 200pa stretches as a Jay.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#429499) #
What annoys me is when pitchers start a batter with 2 or 3 breaking balls out of the strike zone for balls which usually leads to a 4+ pitch walk.

That's annoying indeed, but what drives me out of what's left of my mind is when a pitcher gets ahead 0-2 and then starts nibbling (looking at you, Alek.) Next thing you know, the count is full, the batter fouls off a pitch or two, and you end up walking the guy.

Greg Maddux used to say that the one thing he was always trying to do was to "get the at bat over with."
Joe - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#429501) #
Exactly, uglyone ó†when Lourdes is going well, he's impossible to get out, but when he's in a slump, it's like he's playing the wrong sport. Maybe he's fundamentally changed, but I suspect he'll come back to earth like he has for the rest of his career.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#429503) #
Mike, when I first pointed out your "old flame" Noda was doing well a month ago or so, I distinctly recall you posting something like "I hate him now, he struck out." I took it literally.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#429504) #
Oh. I thought the /s was implied.  Are the times too dire for sarcasm?  Perhaps. 
hypobole - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#429505) #
Mike, sarcasm is my middle name. Also passive-aggressiveness.
scottt - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#429506) #
I'm totally fine with nibbling 0-2 and 1-2.
Umps being terrible, hitters have to protect or roll the dice.
There's not much point in getting to 0-2 with 2 fastballs just to put a breaking ball over the middle of the plate.
With 2 strikes I assume the hitter will be swinging at anything close.

Maddux was great at throwing stuff on the corners with every pitch.
Manoah is not that type of pitcher. That's more like Ryu.
Manoah used to go right at guys with his slider and it's not that type of pitch right now.

If the AB starts with 2 balls, it's a hitter count. The average Joe will take any pitch he doesn't like.
The hitters become more aggressive if the first pitch is always a strike and some of those become 1-pitch outs. 

If a pitcher wants to walk guys, they better practice holding the runners and getting ground balls.

Nigel - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#429507) #
Small thing but I really donít know why they havenít kept Biggio at 2B tonight.
electric carrot - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#429508) #
They've got to send Alek to the minors. He's just hurting the mother ship here.
Kasi - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#429509) #
For who? White isnít ready yet. Ryu in maybe a month. Like I donít really want Casey Lawrence or Drew Hutchison pitching. The guy we got from Pittsburgh has struggled too.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#429510) #
Hypobole Sarcasm Thomas. Older and meaner sibling of Doubting. I should have known.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#429511) #
This just in. Independent Special Rapporteur Gerrit Cole has completed his interim report on Aaron Judge's unusual side glances and Domingo German's sticky hands during the Toronto series. Cole reports that he asked Judge and German and the Yankees coaching staff if there was any cheating going on. They reassured him that there was not. Cole confirms that the actual problem was that there was a lot of commotion in the Yankees dugout that day, that it was the stadium staff's responsibility to remind the opposing team to keep the decibel level down and not disrupt the batter at the plate, and that German's hands are naturally adhesive due to an inherited condition. He expressed concern about the Toronto media's "irresponsible" and "inflammatory" speculation about these issues, and expressed his determination to doggedly pursue the truth of this matter through to the completion of his final report in October.
electric carrot - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#429512) #
For who?

I don't know, anybody -- Bowden, some stiff they find on waivers, some 19 year old in single A, Drew Hutchison, my Grandmother, a trade with the Oakland A's for PTBNL -- just bring in someone so Alek can go down somewhere where there is a fortune teller or ouija board that can conjure the ghost of Mel Queen, or Roy Halladay, or Cy Young or anyone really who can whisper something in Alek's ear so that he can remember who he was last year.
Kasi - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#429513) #
Iíd like him to remember who he was back in 2019 when he threw 98 and not try to build his success on two things that will be hard to repro. One being last years strand rate and the second being the amount of time he got in between pitches.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#429514) #
Bass getting the boos now.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#429515) #

Really astute job by the Toronto crowd cheering the out, but booing Bass as he walked off the mound.

— Faizal Khamisa (@FaizalKhamisa) June 1, 2023
uglyone - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#429516) #

The CN tower made the colours pride when bass comes out in relief for the jays #bluejays #nextlevel pic.twitter.com/59pGtAGe4b

— happyleafsfan (@sebasti13730725) June 1, 2023
Chuck - Wednesday, May 31 2023 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#429517) #
Just now eyeballing tonight's box score, not having been able to watch the game, and I see that the Jays' hitters recorded 0 walks and 0 strikeouts. I'll presume this was mentioned during the broadcast? Can't imagine this has happened too many times in MLB history.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#429518) #
Debating between my Tilley hat and my Blue Jay Pride cap for today's game. Sorry, Mr. Tilley.

David Johnston has gravitas, but he clearly lacks the one thing that every special rapporteur must possess- a 98 mph heater. This is what happens when your minor league team leaves the national capital. Chaos.

I am with electric carrot. Alek Manoah isn't close to right. I think the pitch clock has messed with his head and his timing. He needs to figure it out- but I rush to add that I think he will and end up having a great career. Hopefully it resumes this year, but you can't rush it.
Chuck - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#429519) #
I think the pitch clock has messed with his head and his timing.

I agree. I have seen him employ two stalling tactics to buy more time. He turns his back on the catcher so that he can "groom the mound" before receiving the baseball. And he often asks to exchange baseballs to restart his clock.

scottt - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#429520) #
MLB investigations are always done privately by an independent nominee.
The only case of public enquiry  in baseball that comes to my mind is when the US Senate called up ex players to embarrass themselves with regards to steroid use.

Nowadays, there are no signs to steal, so it's up to the pitcher not to tip his hand early.

scottt - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#429521) #
It was a low velocity pitcher inducing contact. He got a lot of lazy flyballs, a grounder when a fly would have scored a run, a few double play balls, etc...

The HR by Toro wasn't a bad pitch, a 0-2 slider below the knees.
What hurts is the preceding walk.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#429524) #
Gausman is a stud.
mathesond - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#429525) #
I dunno, Cowboy, I mean he barely got to double-digit strikeouts, and needed almost 7 innings to do so!
Mike Green - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#429527) #
If you didn't see the game, check out Kiermaier's catch. I did not think that he could get there.
hypobole - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#429528) #
Yeah, I yelled louder for that catch than for either home run. Simply awesome.
John Northey - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#429529) #
A reminder to vote often for the Jays and whoever you like in the NL (especially Freddie Freeman) for the All Star Team
mathesond - Thursday, June 01 2023 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#429530) #
I think I will abstain from voting for the Jays, and letting them enjoy some time off.
Milwaukee at Toronto, May 30-June 1 | 62 comments | Create New Account
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