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Old friends come back to visit...


We all remember Miguel Castro, who broke camp in 2015 as the Blue Jays closer. It worked pretty well for two weeks. The next two weeks were not so good, so the Jays sent him to the minors at the beginning of May. At the end of July he was part of the package that went to Colorado in the Tulowitzki trade. He eventually established himself as a reasonably competent reliever. He was traded three more times over the next few seasons, to the Orioles, the Mets, and the Yankees. This year he signed in Arizona as a free agent and has been sharing closer duties with Andrew Chafin and Scott McGough.

Why, who were you thinking of? Oh, those guys.

I would say Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel have been exactly what everyone should have expected them to be. Moreno, a year older and a year more experienced, has done a very fine job behind the dish. With the bat - well, I think we noticed last year that all he does is hit singles. You have to hit an awful lot of them to make it worth while, and he's not doing that. And Gurriel remains absolutely himself. In May he hit .352/.416/.714 - and being Lourdes Gurriel, he followed it up by hitting .191/.244/.381 in June. Never change, Lourdes! His power stroke, which went missing in 2022, has returned - he's already hit 15 HRs and should easily surpass his career best of 21.

These two teams last met in June 2019. The Diamondbacks ventured into the Rogers Centre and swept a three game set over the weekend. On the Friday, Kevin Cron and David Peralta roughed up Marcus Stroman for a couple of homers in support of Merrill Kelly. A day later, it was cunning old Zack Greinke who shut down the Jays until Gurriel led off the seventh with a triple. But not to worry - Chafin was the first of the four relievers who finished up, shutting out the Jays on just five hits on the day. And on Sunday, the Snakes pummelled Clayton Richard and Thomas Pannone for eight runs in the third inning - the beneficiary of all this run support was Robbie Ray, who didn't allow very much after Gurriel's first inning homer, working into the seventh and fanning ten. Clearly Gurriel made a positive and lasing impression on the D'Backs that weekend!

Merrill Kelly was a rookie back in 2019. He's still a fixture in the Arizona rotation, and is having an outstanding season. But the Jays will miss him this time around - he went on the IL two weeks ago with a blood clot in his leg. He is expected to return fairly soon, although there's no exact timeline. That's a problem for the Diamondbacks. Zac Gallen, Kelly, and Tommy Henry have been very good indeed at the front of the rotation - but beyond them, all is mediocrity. They really can't afford to have Kelly miss too much time. The bullpen, three-headed closer and all, is deep and solid, but they need to get to those guys. The Diamondbacks are still clinging to a tie for the top spot in the NL West, where they've been perched (snakes don't perch, do they) for the last month. But they've lost 7 of their last 11, and the Dodgers have been heating up.

The Diamondbacks have been a much better team (26-15) on the road than they have been at home (26-24) this year, in particular, they've been much better at scoring runs when they get out of the desert. This is wondrous strange - historically, and for obvious reasons, Chase Field has long been one of the better hitter's parks in the game. And indeed, the team actually has slightly better numbers hitting at home (.260/.328/.434) than they do on the road (.255/.324/.421). But they're scoring 5.5 runs per game in their road games, and 4.5 per game at home. Go figure.

Matchups

Fri 14 July - Nelson (5-5, 5.19) vs Berrios (8-6, 3.50)
Sat 15 July - Gallen (11-3, 3.04) vs Bassitt (8-5, 4.19)
Sun 16 July - Henry (5-1, 3.75) vs Kikuchi (7-3, 4.24)
Arizona at Toronto, July 14-16 | 145 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#431701) #
don't know that Lourdes will hit beat 21 all that easily. he had a huge power surge in May where he hit 8hr in 20gms.

actually his season so far is so Gurriel Jr. it hurts:

* 1st 109pa: 83wrc+
* Hot 89pa: 229wrc+
* Last 131pa, 63wrc+

we'll see if he can find himself another hot streak in the 2nd half.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#431713) #
The Grand Canyon State. (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.
greenfrog - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#431720) #
another hot streak

Isnít this true of many players on the Jays and around MLB, too? Springer, Chapman, Belt, Varsho, Kiermaier, Jansen. Here is Chapmanís wRC+ by month:

March/April 218
May 64
June 76
July 175

I would rather have a streaky hitter who ends up with a 115 wRC+ (Gurriel Jr.ís career stat) than a consistent hitter who posts a 90 wRC+.
mathesond - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#431722) #
"I would rather have a streaky hitter who ends up with a 115 wRC+ (Gurriel Jr.ís career stat) than a consistent hitter who posts a 90 wRC+."

Yes, but who wouldn't?
greenfrog - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#431723) #
People who focus on Gurriel Jr.ís streakiness rather than on the fact that heís a 15% above average hitter?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#431724) #
Umpires:

HP: Chris Guccione. 1B: Junior Valentine. 2B: Randy Rosenberg. 3B: Tom Hanahan.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#431725) #
A Hall Watch question.  Evan Longoria?  In or out?  He's got 59 bWAR so far, and he's 37 years old.  The players within 4 WAR of him on either side are Home Run Baker, Ken Boyer, Sal Bando, Robin Ventura and Stan Hack.   If he goes for another few years, he might be right at the top of this class.  That's a marginal Hall of Famer.  Machado and Arenado are coming up behind him and they are both likely to end up with better career numbers.  One way or the other, I think Longoria is going to have wait a while.
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#431726) #
Great AB by KK. Just horrible horrible base running by Merrifield. I canít even understand what he was trying?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#431727) #
Tommy Pham (psycho) is a perfect fit for the Mets.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#431728) #
I canít even understand what he was trying?

The Hokey Pokey?
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#431729) #
The Hokey Pokey would be a better excuse than what I think happened after rewatching the play again several times. I think he didnít know where the throw from the CF was thrown to. He has his back to the CF. Thatís just terrible base running.
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#431730) #
Bad base running by Belt cost them a run there. This is not a smart base running team (with exceptions).
Magpie - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#431731) #
Home Run Baker, Ken Boyer, Sal Bando, Robin Ventura and Stan Hack.

Baker was quite a bit better than those other fellows, but his career was very short - he sat out an entire season at his peak when Connie Mack broke up the team, and sat out another season when his wife died. The Hall of Fame inducted Pie Traynor and George Kell - Hack was playing at the same time, and Hack was better than both of them... who knows!

Longoria and Boyer are pretty similar through age 33 - at that stage, Boyer starts to decline. Longoria doesn't so much, but he can no longer stay in the lineup.

My gut reaction is Baker's a no-brainer, Boyer and Longoria (and Hack) are marginal enough to think about some more, Bando and Ventura are close but no cigar.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#431732) #
Evan is not going to make the Hall of Fame if he keeps challenging Varsho's arm!
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#431733) #
The man canít hit but man is he an excellent fielder.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#431734) #
It ends up costing the D'Backs 1 run and maybe 2. 
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#431735) #
Baker was a better hitter at his peak, but not the fielder that Longoria was. I do think he was a little better; he missed his age 29 and 34 seasons. If he had played them, he would likely have been in the Santo range. 
greenfrog - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#431737) #
Home plate ump seems to be doing a good job tonight ó better than most.
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#431738) #
Thatís a really tough LHH lineup for Berrios. I thought he was excellent tonight and really should have left without giving up a run but for the KK mistake.
greenfrog - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#431739) #
Very good job by Richards to preserve the lead with Carroll on first, one out, and the heart of the Arizona order up.
Magpie - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#431740) #
You know that part where I said he only hits singles...

I dunno, avert your eyes.
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#431741) #
Between the bad base running, fielding mistakes, inability to hit with RISP and Moreno HR this would be a horrible game to lose.
Gerry - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#431742) #
Arizona's defense is quite rusty tonight. The off days didn't help.
hypobole - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#431743) #
Nice inning we don't see often enough given the talent. Clutch 2 out RBI hits. Even the 1st 2 outs were productive outs. 
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#431744) #
Weird game. A couple of really nice plays by both teams and then just a dumpster fire of terrible plays by both. Clearly still on vacation mode.
Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#431745) #
Pearson doesnít do back to backs so either bring him back out for a second inning or go waaaay down the leverage chart.
Magpie - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#431746) #
Way down the chart. And Schneider will feel more comfotable if he wants to use Pearson on Sunday.
Magpie - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#431747) #
Kind of an object lesson on why you need to turn the double play when you get a chance.
greenfrog - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#431748) #
Go Rockies (and Grichuk).
scottt - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#431749) #
Belt has some great ABs in this game, despite being on the receiving end of 2 outside balls called strikes.

On the Guerrero infield ball, Bichette went off as though the contact play was on but that was probably just his own judgment. Belt waited for the ball to get through and by the time he saw that Bichette was running he felt it was too late for him to take third.

I'm not sure about sending Springer with Bo at the plate.
Is Bo more likely to hit into a double play or strike out?
One thing Bo does is fouling pitches which doesn't do much either way.

Ketel Marte had a terrible game defensively.

Adams seemed to throw nothing but sliders, many of them hangers.

Nigel - Friday, July 14 2023 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#431751) #
If ever the ďno error because you canít assume the second outĒ scoring rule makes no sense, that was it. Good guys won but baseball lost tonight.
hypobole - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#431752) #
I was going to post the fact we're 10 over .500 for the first time this year, but every time I post something positive in the standings, we always lose the next game. So I will not post it.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 01:14 AM EDT (#431753) #
Red Sox and Yankees now tied in the standings 49-43. (Boston is 5-1 head-to-head vs. New York, so the Yankees are currently last place.)
greenfrog - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#431754) #
Here are the run differentials for the top six teams in the AL WC race:

Baltimore +51
Toronto +39
Houston +51
Boston +32
NYY +15
Seattle +35

It's a competitive race. Baltimore is in the pole position and has the best chance of securing a WC spot (if not a division title). The next four teams are bunched tightly together and each has a decent chance of being a WC team. Trade deadline moves could be a difference-maker in this race.
electric carrot - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#431755) #
"Yankees are currently last place."

The Yankees look awful to me. I would not be surprised if they finished below .500.
Gerry - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#431756) #
Gausman scratched from todays start with side discomfort. Bassitt to start instead.
Nigel - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#431757) #
Deadline moves are a part of it but health is a much bigger factor. The injury situation of the Jays versus the Astros or Yankees is pretty staggering. Frankly, the Jays versus all of those teams other than the Mís and maybe the Oís is pretty wide. Pray to whatever being you believe in that it remains that way. Itís actually pretty scary how good the Astros would be if they were healthy.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#431758) #
I imagine Longoria falls short for the Hall. He's a classic Hall tweener - does a lot of things well, but has never led the league in a major offensive category. Also, third base is full of guys who have just missed out on the hall: Bando and Boyer, yes, but also Graig Nettles and Buddy Bell. And there aren't any modern inductees who lower the standard at all; and Adrian Beltrť is about to raise it still higher. The struggle Scott Rolen had shows just how difficult it is to get elected at 3B.
hypobole - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#431760) #
The Blue Jays said an MRI revealed no damage and that Gausman is day-to-day.
92-93 - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#431765) #
The Orioles will be fortunate if they're still in a playoff spot after the Jays take 3 out of 4 from 7/31 to 8/3.

Gausman being scratched today is a good example of why the discussions about what the team will do when Pitcher X returns are usually theoretical.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#431768) #
Very impressed by the approaches taken by the Jays the first time through.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#431769) #
Great job by George! Another DP for Magpie.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#431770) #
I hope Schneider tells Bo to stay out of Chappie's territory next time.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#431771) #
the roof is closed, except it's sunny in Leaside Cowboy's neighbourhood.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#431772) #
Tough call at first there
mathesond - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#431773) #
Cloudy w/occasional sprinkling at Yonge & Lawrence
Cracka - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#431774) #
Belt should have stayed out of the way - he went too far to his right and then was too slow to get back to the bag. Bassitt - running full speed - would have beat the runner by at least a full step.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#431775) #
I agree Cracka
James W - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#431776) #
Pearson pleasantly surprised to survive a back-to-back outing. Odd choice though, when you have Mayza, Swanson, and Garcia all fresh. Makes you wonder if Romano is actually available.
92-93 - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#431777) #
It was surprising even if Romano is unavailable. It's good to see that they can use Pearson on back-to-backs, but it shows a lack of trust in Garcia right now.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#431778) #
No Mayza for 3 straight lefties??
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#431779) #
Turns out Garcia is closing. So much for lack of faith 92-93!
92-93 - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#431780) #
Perdomo and Marte are switch hitters, but it was weird not to see Mayza.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#431781) #
Thanks. Great point. I took Dan literally re: lefties
Magpie - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#431782) #
I think Garcia has regained everyone's trust, except when he's facing the Orioles. They beat him bloody last season, they've done it again this year. He's faced them 10 times as a Blue Jay, and has allowed 12 runs in 9.1 IP.
Magpie - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#431783) #
Pearson pleasantly surprised to survive a back-to-back outing.

For everything there is a first time, as Mr Spock once observed.

This was the fourth time in his career Pearson pitched on consecutive days (in the majors, anyway.) First time, against the Yankees, he walked a couple, one of whom scored. Second time, against the Mets with a two run lead, he gave up a couple of homers to tie the game. Having blown the save, he vultured the win when the Jays scored next time up. Last time was against Miami, and they brutalized him for 5 runs on 4 hits and a walk.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#431784) #
Leonard Nimoy was also a lounge singer: " I'd Love Making Love to You. "

L-C agrees with Sarek that his son Spock was illogical.

uglyone - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#431785) #
I think garcia's only blip this season was when coach used him 4 times in 5 nights for some reason which seemed to sewer him for a couple weeks.
hypobole - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#431786) #
Ryu  5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 HR. 46 of 66 pitches for strikes.
hypobole - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#431787) #
Looking at the Yankees boxscore. Only 2 of their 9 batters have an OBP over .300. High of the other 7 is LeMahieu who just got a hit to raise his to .290. Low is Donaldson at .231.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#431788) #
After the recent Boston series I wrote: "I still think the Jays are going to pull themselves together and finish in one of the WC positions." Since then the team has gone 6-1. Incidentally, I was at the ballpark today. There was a lot of positive energy in the crowd throughout the game.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#431789) #
"Since then the team has gone 6-1"

7-1, that is.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 15 2023 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#431790) #
Watching Bautista close out the 6-5 win for the Oís tonight with 100+ MPH fastballs up in the zone and devastating split-fingered pitches below the zone, it occurs to me that when shopping for a powerful bat at the deadline, the Jays should look for someone who can hit velocity. Theyíre going to see a lot of it in key games in September/October.

Can you imagine pitchers like Bautista against Varsho, Biggio and Belt in critical situations this fall? The Jays need a better alternative.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:10 AM EDT (#431791) #
Leonard Nimoy was also a lounge singer: " I'd Love Making Love to You. "

I prefer The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins myself. Seems Nimoy was a bit of a geek in real life as well...


OTOH, this: Spaced Out: The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner
(a collection of some of Shatner's "pretend singing" and Nimoy's actual singing) makes it pretty clear who was the better man with the pipes.. And yes, I *DO* own a copy.
hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:18 AM EDT (#431792) #
Astros with a 9-3 lead in the 7th give up 6 to the Angels. Astros with a 12-9 lead in the 9th give up 3, then lose in the 10th on a throwing error. Jays a game up on them now.
hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:26 AM EDT (#431793) #
Seattle loses to the Tigers for the 2nd day in a row. Teoscar trying to make himself both available and affordable at the deadline with back-to-back 0 for 4. 3K games.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:48 AM EDT (#431794) #
Dodgers win 5-1 after the Mets completely implode in the 8th and 9th.

L-C endures Marlins Man all night and the Mets blow it on national TV.
bpoz - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#431795) #
Trade deadline rumors will start soon.

St Louis is the biggest disappointment and surprise IMO. What they do will be interesting because they have never been this bad within the last 10 years.

Baltimore, Texas, Cincinnati, Miami and Arizona are surprisingly good. SF as well. It is unlikely that they all make the playoffs. Of course just being in the playoff race is a big win. Does Miami have good attendance to consider making a splash?

Many disappointing big money clubs have buyer/seller decisions to make. They probably will not sell!!

Should be a very active trade deadline.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#431796) #
St Louis is the biggest disappointment and surprise IMO

no surprise about the Mets!

Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#431797) #
Spaced Out: The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner

Thursday night, the Blue Jays fly out to Seattle.

The Twilight Zone: " Nightmare at 20,000 feet " starring Jordan Romano.

hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#431798) #
A day or 2 early, but it may give Magpie food for thought if his thought hasn't already eaten this.

Pitching fWAR Padres 7th, Jays 8th. Jays ERA 3.81. Padres ERA 3.84. Both teams given up 380 total runs, with only 3 IP difference, so defensively similar.

Batting fWAR Jays 6th, Padres 7th. Jays have edge in wRC+, 108-103, Padres with better baserunning, guessing because they don't get thrown out as often (stop it boys!).

Pitching high leverage, Padres 8.77 ERA, Jays .6.04 ERA. Those numbers may seem awful, but Padres are 10th best and the Jays 2nd best. O's 5.14 ERA is best. (Fun fact: Royals 14.87 is last in this also)

So why is one 11 over and the other 5 games under .500?

One big item seems to be high leverage. Jays rank 13th with a 104 wRC+, Padres 28th with a 67 wRC+. (Side note: Twins 65 wRC+ 29th, And last? Royals with a 38 wRC+. Wow!!)

Pitching high leverage, Padres 8.77 ERA, Jays 6.04 ERA. Those numbers may seem awful, but Padres are 10th best and the Jays 2nd best. O's 5.14 ERA is best. (Fun fact: Royals 14.87 is dead last in this also)
hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#431799) #
Whoops, the 1st pitching high leverage comment accidently pasted.

One other thing I noticed. The Jays RISP hitting has been poor, but Jays pitchers RISP ERA is 9.64. That's the best in baseball. Rays only other team under 10.00. Royals 16.16 last place in that as well.
Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#431800) #
guessing because [the Padres} don't get thrown out as often (stop it boys!).

Not quite as often. The Jays have lost 66 BaseRunners (34 Outs on Bases, 24 Caught Stealing, 8 Picked Off) and the Padres have lost 57 (24 Outs on Bases, 20 Caught Stealing, 13 Picked Off.)
Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#431801) #
My bad. Italics, begone.
92-93 - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#431802) #
If the Mariners don't plan on giving Teoscar a qualifying offer it won't take much for a team to acquire him.

I'm still confused about Mayza not pitching yesterday, and hope he's okay.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#431804) #
Pitching:

* SP: #5 IP/gm, #9 era-, #10 fip-, #9 xfip-
* RP: #26 IP/gm, #5 era-, #4 fip-, #3 xfip-

The RP numbers look better than the SP numbers but if we adjust for workload they probably come out looking about the same - both very good though not quite elite.

* Overall: #4 era-, #7 fip-, #7 xfip-

So the pitching looks very good, with a boost from fielding pushing it up to elite-ish results.

It's plausible that Manoah/Ryu returning could give the pitching another boost right up into the elite, but that's no guarantee and injuries could sabotage easily as well.

On the bullpen front it's pretty impressive how uniformly great all the guys who weren't part of the projected bullpen this year have been so far - Pearson, Jackson, White, Thornton, Francis, Hatch. That's more than made up for the implosions of Bass, Cimber, and Pop.

The worst era- in the group is White at a very good 88, and the only one with a fip- worse than 88 is Francis at 121. They've all given length as well, all throwing well over 1ip per outing. As a group they've combined for:

* 55gms, 74.1ip, 1.4ip/gm, 69era-, 87fip-, 104xfip-

That's just awesome contribution from our AAA pitching depth. And when you remember that Richards was arguably the #8 RP coming into the season then the contributions from the depth relief is even more impressive.

Their performance has even given guys like Swanson and Garcia time to work out of their trouble spots as well, so now every pitcher in the pen has a solid to very good pitching line.

And now there's no rush to see Pop or Cimber back unless they really blow the doors off in rehab.

Of course adding another high leverage power arm is always nice but right now the urgency is pretty low i think.


hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#431805) #
Romano's MRI came back clean like Gausman's. Romano is day-to-day.
scottt - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#431806) #
I see a lot of buyers, but very few sellers.

The Cardinals are selling but they are looking for pitching. Montgomery and probably an infielder.
Stroman could be available on a rental.
White Sox could move Giolito, Lance Lynn.
Royals, Scott Barlow.
Mets, Robertson. 

The Tigers are only 5 games back.
The Rockies don't have much to offer. C.J. Cron?


uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#431807) #
I dunno i see plenty of sellers i think.

In the AL DET KC CHX LAA SEA OAK and maybe CLE.

In the NL SD COL STL PIT CHC WSH NYM.
92-93 - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#431808) #
CLE is 1.5 games back of the division lead. DET is 5 games back, and doesn't really have anything other than maybe a reliever to sell.
Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#431809) #
Late to the party (Wimbledon only comes once a year) but I get the impression that it's one of those days when Kikuchi has no idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand?
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#431810) #
Two free runs given away so far. Both times a failure to get out of the inning after putting the first two hitters away. Frustrating start today
92-93 - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#431811) #
It was a great match, and probably the dawn of a new era.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#431812) #
Yeah Detroit is 5gms back of the final playoffs spot with teams to leapfrog, and underlying numbers for bothbthem.and the team they're chasing suggesting thst they're lucky to be even that close.

We could argue about what they have to sell but they look like a likely seller to me.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#431813) #
Pitches 5,6,7 in that at bat were all ball 4. Danny swung at each one and struck out on number 7.

Tough to win when the Jays are giving away outs and runs.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#431814) #
Great execution by Espinal and Kiermaier
Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#431815) #
It was a great match, and probably the dawn of a new era.

That's what I thought. And about time, surely!
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#431816) #
Set 3 Game 5 was one for the ages.
Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#431817) #
Yeah, that was ridiculous. I've seen whole sets end quicker than that.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#431819) #
L-C fears a void farm system without Ricky Tiedemann.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#431820) #
Handsome Danny Jansen.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#431821) #
RISP luck turning would make for a nice second half.
electric carrot - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#431822) #
Noting that Varsho just hit 101 mile per hour fastball for a an infield single.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#431824) #
Had 'em all the way.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#431825) #
Six games out of the division after today with Rays down big to the Royals. Certainly within striking distance. It would be nice for the Padres coming to town to continue to stink to allow this to be a big homestand. It sure feels like the season is beginning to turn, with the pitching going from decent to terrific and the offense laying off borderline pitches and having better sequencing luck.









uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#431826) #
The talk of the issues with fastballs had me thinking (skeptically), and i realized we could check to see some numbers on this:

Sports Info Solutions Pitch Values by Team

TOR: #5 vCB, #7 vCH, #10 vFB, #13 vSF, #17 vSL, #25 vCT

Statcast:

TOR: #4 vKC, #8 vFS, #9 vFA, #19 vCH, #12 vCU, #18 vSL, #22 vSI, #24 vFC

Pitch Info:

TOR: #5 vFA, #5 vCH, #7 vCU, #13 vFS, #21 vFC, #21 vSI, #24 vSL



Jays are actually pretty good against fastballs, especially the harder 4 seamers.

Their struggles come mostly all against sliders, sinkers, and cutters.
Kasi - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#431827) #
For some reason I canít post on my phone now. I go to post and nothing submits and then I get a text block filled in with the title of the thread. I tried clearing cookies and all but I seem completely blocked there.

On the game and such White needs to be DFAíd. I know they traded him but him and Hatch just canít cut it anymore. If you want a failed starter to eat innings just run Thornton out. Far more reliable.
Nigel - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#431828) #
Excellent way to come out of the break.

UO those are team wide numbers. All of the primary RHHís handle velocity really well, particularly Bo. None of Belt, Varsho or Biggio can hit elevated velocity. At all.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#431829) #
The Jays are now on a 91-win pace. That seems like about what it will take to secure a WC spot this year.

The O's aren't letting up. They've won eight in a row.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#431830) #
Nigel the numbers don't think that Belt or Biggio have any particular trouble with velo.

Varsho, Jansen, Kirk, and Espinal do tho.
Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#431831) #
My subjective impression is that Belt and Biggio have trouble with high velocity at the very top of the zone. Their natural swing path deals best with the lower half of the strike zone, and they can handle velocity down there.

Well, lots of people have trouble with the high fastball. It looks a lot more hittable than it really is.
scottt - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#431832) #
Maybe they try to squeeze some value out of White at the deadline.
I know he's probably worth nothing but maybe he fits in a package where another pitcher comes back.
If not, they can try to pass him through at that point.
He was pitching much better with the Dodgers and somebody in the NL might want to try to fix him.

He couldn't command his fastball at all today.
The other pitches were OK.

greenfrog - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#431833) #
I would be surprised if the data show that Belt and Biggio are adept at handling high velo (say, 95+) up in the zone.

It seems there are really two issues. Hitting high velo FBs in the zone (or on the edges) and laying off high velo FBs out of the zone.
scottt - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#431834) #
Baltimore looks like they will overtake Tampa.
I'd rather play a wild cards series in Baltimore than in Tampa.

Last wild card against the AL Central is where it's at.

Magpie - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#431835) #
White needs to be DFAíd.

I'm not a big fan, but I can cut him some slack for today, which went something like:

Here I am, sitting in the bullpen, shooting the breeze, eating some seeds, watching the game. Enjoying the game. My guys are winning, hope they can hang on. A one-run lead. It does mean that the services of I, Mitch White, certainly will not be required.

And then Jansen doubled and Varsho singled, and suddenly there was a voice calling "Mitch! Get up!"

What, me?
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#431836) #
Tough to get the exact data.

You can play with these heatmaps on fangraph...this one is strike% on 4 seamers for Belt:

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/brandon-belt/10264/heat-maps?position=1B&ss=2023-03-30&se=2023-07-15&type=1&hand=all&count=all&blur=1&grid=10&view=pit&pitch=FA&season=all&data=
greenfrog - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#431837) #
Also, not all four-seam FBs are created equal. If the Jays make a run in the postseason, they can expect to see some opposing relievers throwing 97+ in key situations. Having a better option than Varsho and Biggio in those situations would be helpful.

Speaking of Felix Bautista, he's struck out 17.8 per 9IP this year. Average FB is 99.3 MPH. He's crushing it, obviously.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#431838) #
I mean high 100 heat is hard to hit for most hitters.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#431839) #
Today Cole pitched 6 innings, gave up 1 run, and struck out 11. The Yankees proceeded to lose to Colorado 8-7 in 11 innings. I can't say I'm displeased about this outcome.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#431840) #
The Yankees just lost a game 8-7 they were leading 3-1 in the 8th and 7-5 in the 11th (and in between trailed 5-3 in the 9th). Three game lead on them right now.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#431841) #
Jays moved into 6th overall in MLB with this win.

Three teams still well ahead - ATL TB BAL all on pace for 100+ wins, but TEX (2.0gms) and LAD (either 1 or 2gms after today) are right there for us to catch.

Technically not super meaningful, but for me getting into the top 5 would be a pretty big step - up to legit contender status - a level only those 2015 Jays have reached in recent memory.

hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#431842) #
Opposing Cole was Chase Anderson and his 50 !P of 6.89 ERA.  Only struck out 1, but threw 5 shutout innings.
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#431843) #

https://twitter.com/Jolly_Olive/status/1680711941273137152?s=20


https://twitter.com/Jolly_Olive/status/1680713858921426945?s=20
uglyone - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#431844) #
The 2nd tweet is the key one.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#431845) #
high 100 heat is hard to hit for most hitters.

has any player in MLB hit a 100+ mph fastball for a home run this season?

hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#431847) #
Similar, but much less extreme, was Shulman Friday night saying Moreno is a singles hitter right before he tattooed that  Richards change into the seats
hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#431848) #
L-C, I'd be shocked if no one has hit one off the A's Fujinami. Straight FB when it actually finds the strike zone.

So I googled it. Turns out Gallo hit his 100 mph FB for a HR 2 days ago.
92-93 - Sunday, July 16 2023 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#431849) #
Varshoís issue this year is just hitting, not specifically high velocity. Before coming to the Jays he was elite against high velocity, and hit a HR last year off a 102mph fastball that was the hardest fastball taken deep across MLB from Ď20 through July Ď23.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/mlb/article/examining-blue-jays-of-varshos-early-season-issues-with-high-velocity-pitches/

ďThe outfielderís overall numbers against fastballs havenít jumped off the page, but from his rookie year in 2020 to the end of 2022 his run value against pitches 97 m.p.h. or harder (+7.4) ranked sixth in the major leagues. When faced with some of the toughest fastballs MLB had to offer, he slugged .652 with an xSLG of .601.ď
Dr B - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#431850) #
The 2nd tweet is the key one.

Thanks UO. That is indeed fun.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#431851) #
92-93 - that gives one some hope that the issue is correctable but you canít deny that high velocity is killing Varsho. I mean pitchers are just abusing him with top of the zone FBs. The pitchers with above average velocity arenít even bothering with anything else right now.
Super Bluto - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 02:05 AM EDT (#431852) #
Mark my words: if Tampa Bay does not finish in first place in the east this year, this will be the beginning of a long stretch of futility for the team.

Mark my words!

scottt - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 06:36 AM EDT (#431853) #
White is there because he's out of options and he pitches only in the lowest possible leverage situation.
Still, when everybody else has pitched in the series, you should expect to be in play.

His breaking stuff was good but the fastball was either straight down the middle of off by several feet.
That doesn't work.
That's maybe because he was going max effort hitting 95mph.
He also seem to have problem with the mound.

Looking back at his time with the Dodgers, he wasn't very good out of the pen there either.
He did have limited success as a starter going 4 or  5 innings.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#431854) #
Mitch White brings to mind Darwin Barney, who was also acquired from the Dodgers.

the beginning of a long stretch of futility for [Tampa Bay.]

The Rays had a roaring start, like the famous 1984 Tigers, but that lineup always seems to be smoke and mirrors.

bpoz - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#431856) #
I was reading a writers thoughts on each teams trading goals/strategies.

According to him NYY are concerned about the luxury tax implications. My analysis in this is that Stanton age 33 and Judge age 31 are old or getting old and both are expensive. O Peraza, A Volpe and O Cabrera are all young. They were V good prospects but have not yet had ML success but are cheap. They earned their promotions. But success is coming slow if it comes at all.

The Jays financial situation is better than the NYY. But not comfortable IMO. KK, Merrifield and Belt are getting old and Chapman is possibly leaving. I sort of expect/hope for promotions for Orelvis, Barger and L Jimenez. Will they have immediate success like Vlad and Bo? Or will it take some time which means that the Jays will suffer. Young players have to play regularly to improve.
hypobole - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#431857) #
Off day quiz time!!
Bruce Bochy Is arguably the most successful manager around, with 3 WS wins.  But back in the day, he was a backup catcher when Nolan Ryan was pitching. Bochy did about as well as any backup catcher could be expected against Ryan. 3 for 6 with a double and a home run.

Now the quiz part. That home run Bochy hit against Ryan was unique. How so?
Magpie - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#431859) #
That home run Bochy hit against Ryan was unique.

I think I know the answer, but I cheated (Well, I did some research. Is that really cheating? Am I actually expected to hold everything in my head. All hard drives have limitations...)
mathesond - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#431860) #
I think I read something about this recently, was it the only walk-off that Ryan allowed during his career?
hypobole - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#431861) #
Yeah,. Ryan had 222 complete games in his career. Bochy's 10th inning pinch hit was the only time he gave up a walk off HR.



uglyone - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#431863) #
Fangraphs combined steamer/zips projections best guess at how our hitters do the rest of the season:

* RF Springer 247pa 126wrc+
* SS Bichette 276pa 125wrc+
* 1B Guerrero 270pa 141wrc+
* 3B Chapman 279pa 117wrc+
* DH Belt 179pa 115wrc+
* C Kirk 190pa 114wrc+
* CF Varsho 262pa 106wrc+
* 2B Espinal 176pa 96wrc+
* LF Merrifield 217pa 95wrc+

* C Jansen 174pa 108wrc+
* UT Biggio 79pa 99wrc+
* OF Kiermaier 200pa 90wrc+
whiterasta80 - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#431865) #
LoL. If we get that and the pitching holds up I think that we might win the world series.

Springer: PushBichette: OverGuerrero: Under
Chapman: PushBelt: UnderKirk: UnderVarsho: UnderEspinal: UnderMerrifield: Over
Jansen: PushBiggio: UnderKiermaier: Push
Magpie - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#431866) #
White is there because he's out of options and he pitches only in the lowest possible leverage situation.

He's come in with a lead twice, both times when the team was ahead by at least five runs. He's come in with the team down by 8, down by 7, down by 4, down by 3 (twice) - and on one occasion (his first appearance of the season) with the team down by 2 runs.

Yesterday he worked two thirds of an inning, didn't allow a hit, and saw his ERA go from 3.72 to 6.10 and his ERA+ from 112 to 71. Quite the day's work.
hypobole - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#431867) #
Well, lots of people have trouble with the high fastball. It looks a lot more hittable than it really is.

This comment of Magpie's got me thinking. What % of players are good at hitting high fastballs and how available are they? Maybe it's easier to find players that can lay off high fastballs. Lots of umps regularly expand the zone inside and especially outside. But very few umps expand the zone high. So laying off those pitches, while not being as good as being able to hit them, is far more preferable to constantly swinging through them.
Kasi - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#431868) #
Not of course knowing what injuries might happen but at some point soon we have Ryu, Green and Pop all coming back up. I also just think Francis and Jackson are far better options for the team despite the fact yes they can be optioned. Point being there is a pitcher crunch coming and White is lowest on the trust meter. His days here are coming to an end.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#431869) #
rasta I assume your 'lol' was your surprise at how much the jays hitters have underachieved this year so far, right? ;)

here's how those RoS projections compare to 1. season so far and 2. last calendar year:

compared to this year:

* Kirk +40
* Varsho +28
* Guerrero +21
* Espinal +20
* Biggio +19
* Springer +13
* Jansen +5
* Bichette -8
* Chapman -9
* Belt -12
* Merrifield -16
* Kiermaier -21

Compared to past calendar year:

* Kirk +27
* Biggio +19
* Guerrero +16
* Espinal +15
* Varsho +13
* Belt +10
* Springer +5
* Chapman -10
* Jansen -10
* Merrifield -16
* Bichette -18
* Kiermaier -21
hypobole - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#431874) #
I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see Pop in Toronto again this season. Mainly for baseball reasons. He wasn't good here and he hasn't been good in Buffalo.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#431875) #
yeah Pop has probably vaulted himself all the way back into direct competition with hatch/thornton/francis/white/jackson, where now he'll have to directly outperform them in AAA to get a look.

Cimber would get more of a leg up on opportunity regardless of performance, but his original 15-day DL stint for a shoulder injury is now approaching 30 days and i don't think there's been any noise about him getting any rehab action in yet, so he might be toast.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#431879) #
Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura serves as a life lesson for Leaside Cowboy.
Magpie - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#431884) #
[Cimber's] original 15-day DL stint for a shoulder injury is now approaching 30 days

And as of three days ago, he hasn't even started throwing yet. It's going to be a while.
hypobole - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#431897) #
The last place Yankees (that has a nice ring to it, no?)  2nd best batter has 1.3 fWAR. The Jays have 5 better than that, as do the Red Sox and O's. Tampa has 7. The Rangers have 9.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#431906) #
O's lose, Rays lose.

that's a nice offday.

hopefully sox and yanks follow suit in the late games.
Magpie - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#431908) #
On the one hand, it's much too early to be watching the scoreboard.

On the other hand, I was watching the scoreboard.
92-93 - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#431910) #
It isn't too early if the division being up for grabs will change your deadline plans, which it should even if that change is slight. And this division is still up for grabs.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#431914) #
It helps that i legit believe the jays are a better team than the two they're chasing.

I know people talk about the rays pitching injuries but they've never been luckier in terms of outlier huge individual performances than they have been so far this year imo. And that's saying something given their history.
92-93 - Monday, July 17 2023 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#431915) #
Four days out of the break and the Yankees bullpen is "running on fumes". Modern roster construction/usage is out of control. If baseball wants to encourage offense they should cut down on the size of bullpens and force teams to run their staffs differently. David Cone pointed out on the broadcast that he threw 166 pitches on this date in 1992. It was a 9 inning, 1-0 shutout vs. the Giants. The Jays traded for damaged goods!
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, July 18 2023 @ 06:45 AM EDT (#431919) #
The most successful managers (e.g.- Cito Gaston or Joe Torre) typically identify 2 or 3 trusted relievers and proceed to run them into the ground.
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