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Until I start really paying attention.

In the meantime, seeing we're up to 300 comments  is like the Bat Signal. I'm on my way, commissioner!
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John Northey - Monday, March 18 2024 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#443279) #
Well, lucky us, the Giants got Snell - $15MM salary for the upcoming season and has a $17MM signing bonus that will not be paid until 2026, $30 mil player option for 2025. I'm just glad he won't be in the AL so he won't affect any of the teams the Jays will have to battle for the playoffs, at least until the World Series in which case who cares - I'd be very, very happy if the Jays got to face him then.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#443280) #
He wasnít an ideal fit for the Blue Jays because of the luxury tax implications and foregone draft picks and IFA money, but it will be interesting to see how the teamís starting pitching does this year. I think they will need another good SP by the summer and fall.

Chapman, Bellinger, Snell ó all signed to pillow contracts. Will Montgomery be next?
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:28 AM EDT (#443283) #
It appears the Orioles will be champions of the Grapefruit League.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:54 AM EDT (#443285) #
Boras is really having a rough winter... now discourse within the players union over his influence...
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#443286) #
That is a hell of a deal for San Francisco and vaults them to likely playoff bound team. Snell, Webb and Ray is a perfect top three to challenge in the playoffs. If only they had an offensive star,
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#443287) #
Each of those FA non-signings can be rationalized away, but when you consider that (1) each player was forced to accept a short-term pillow contract, (2) the Blue Jays are also in a short-term (two-year) window of contention, and (3) the team ended up with Espinal, IKF, Turner and KK instead (and is relying on a comeback from Manoah), the off-season already looks like a probable failure for Toronto ó as many people have pointed out.

It was a cautious off-season for Atkins and Shapiro, to be sure.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 07:56 AM EDT (#443288) #
Boras is really having a rough winter

His free agents all had good sized question marks attached to them. Kudos to the market place for recognizing this and not turning a blind eye, as they have seemingly ever since the Yankees locked up Ed Whitson.

Interestingly, Montgomery, still unsigned, has had a decent run of seasons that would suggest he is the most forecastable of the lot. In this case, Boras is probably simply asking too much.

scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#443289) #
It's one year too early for Toronto to go all in.

The Giants picked up 2 guys with QO penalties but did it without going over the luxury tax.
But of those guys are gone next year unless they get hurt.
It's very risky for SF.

The Yankees offered 6/150M which is pretty good, but Boras wanted more.
There is the same issue with Soto.
I read somewhere that the Yankees, having traded to get Soto need to sign him for 15/750M.
That's not the Yankees I know.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#443290) #
Interestingly, Montgomery, still unsigned, has had a decent run of seasons that would suggest he is the most forecastable of the lot

I don't know, Chuck.  It looks like Montgomery had good defensive support in Texas, and that helped him post numbers out of sync with what you would expect (an ERA just under 4 and 170 innings).  His xERAs are not as good as Snell's, and he hasn't done well with runners on base and base thieves went 14-1 last year, so the Buehrle explanation for his good ERAs the last 2 years doesn't really fit.  You can expect maybe a few more innings from Montgomery, but Snell should be more effective.  ZiPS takes that view as well. 

There were 3 players who were a lot better than any others available by trade or FA (Ohtani, Yamamoto and Soto).  The Dodgers and Yankees got their men.  And after that, there are players who can be expected to be good, but not much more than that.  Snell has the possibility to be the best player in a playoff run (which is much more important now than in Whitson's time) and I think clubs have undervalued him.  It is easier to make the playoffs than to win a World Championship once in the playoffs- this is relatively new. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#443291) #
Front office by my count had their worst off season to date this year while running this team, except for maybe 2018. I can argue that Turner and Rodriguez will be good signings and additions that this team really needed (5 million average and 14.5 million). At the same time their insistence on moving early for KK and IKF to keep the "elite hot corner" and "elite defense" mantra alive ended up tying their hands later in the off season. Here's a collection of players who I would have traded away to make room for Snell or Montgomery on a short term deal:

Chad Green 10.5
Yimi Garcia 6
Cavan Biggio 4.2
Santiago Espinal 2.7
Trevor Richards 2.1
Nate Pearson .8

Add IKF and KK and you have over 39 million to spend on Snell, Michael A Taylor, JD Davis. Plus whatever the above assets would have gotten you in returns (low salary returns).

All in hindsight but still important to see this FO really misread the market like everyone else but suffered more by making their moves earlier in the off season.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#443292) #
Snell was the best pitcher in baseball after May 1st last year. He's at least as good as Gausman and has many more ways to lengthen his career because he has many pitches.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#443293) #
It's worth noting that the club is spending about half its payroll on pitching; about 15% of total payroll is spent on relief pitching.  This is sub-optimal. 

The praise for Pete Walker drives me batty.  The club has had slightly above-average pitching and very good defence, leading to above-average run prevention.  They have paid handsomely for that slightly-above average pitching.  People complain about the offence, but it's actually been as good as the pitching and at a much lower relative cost (despite Guerrero Jr. greatly underperforming reasonable expectations given his minor league career and age 22 performance in the big leagues). 
Gerry - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#443294) #
Jose Berrios will be the opening day starter.

Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson are dealing with sore arms. The Jays believe neither is serious.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#443295) #
Mike I couldn't disagree with you more. Pete Walker has a stellar reputation and for good reason. I wouldn't relate pitching coach performance to salary or run prevention as the main focus. If he is a bad pitching coach and the salary spent on pitching is low does that make him a better coach? Your logic there doesn't make sense to me.

You look at the track record, you look at the recent achievements and it's easy to see why he gets the acknowledgement he does. Pretty much every pitcher has high high remarks about working with him. He maxed out Bassit last year, helped max out Berrios, helped max out Kikuchi. That's 3/5 of rotation before asking if he has helped Gausman max out or before including the bullpen.

"The club has had slightly above-average pitching and very good defence, leading to above-average run prevention"

You really think this rotation and bullpen was "slightly above average?" Whatever metrics you're using for that argument puts you in the minority...

Chuck - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#443296) #
You can expect maybe a few more innings from Montgomery, but Snell should be more effective.

I'd never argue for Montgomery over Snell. I didn't mean to suggest that. Snell's issues are, of course, related to health. He's started 30 games just twice (and won a Cy Young both times!). Montgomery has started 30 games in each of the past three seasons so offers reliability -- well as much as a SP can -- albeit at a lower level of performance, and, as you argued, perhaps at a lower level even than his stats suggest.

Gerry - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#443297) #
I too am skeptical about Pete Walker. How do you evaluate a pitching coach? The best ones take an average or below average pitcher and turn him into an above average major leaguer. Houston and Tampa are the two examples that spring immediately to mind.

The Jays pitching roster includes a lot of pitchers who were established before coming to the Blue Jays, Gausman, Berrios, Bassitt, Kikuchi, Green, Garcia, Richards, Swanson, Cabrera, etc.

Who are the home grown pitchers on the roster? Manoah, hasn't developed since arriving at the major league level. Pearson hasn't progressed. Tim Mayza is a success. Jordan Romano too. None of Zach Pop, Mitch White or Yosver Zulueta seems to have benefitted from Walker's coaching.

I am not saying he is bad, he is an average coach in an average organization.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#443298) #
Shapiro and Atkins should have told the fans that their off season moves would be reasonably small. But I think they said nothing. This resulted in fan frustration IMO.
Glevin - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#443299) #
"Boras is really having a rough winter... now discourse within the players union over his influence..."

I think his influence probably overstated but the union has always put too much prioritization into free agency. I look at the QO pick which never effected more than 4-5 players a year and sometimes none and how much leverage the union used to try to get rid of it. They have been killed, as predicted, by playoff expansion and the existence of a de facto cap and no floor.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#443300) #
The thing with contracts is that it's easy to see that big contracts to older players are rarely good bang for buck, so it's actually not hard for execs to stand firm against a guy like Boras when they have clear knowledge of this.

But at the same time, this just shows how bad the MLBPA is at their job, and that their priority should be and should always have been to lower the age of free agency significantly so that players can get paid their deserved money when they are actually worth it.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#443301) #
Today's lineup is interesting because it looks like a very plausible opening day lineup.

With the most interesting thing being Biggio at 3B and Falefa at 2B, both of whom have had strong springs.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#443302) #
On The Athletic's annual Hope-o-meter survey, only 31% were optimistic about the Blue Jay's chances this year compared to 97% in 2023 and 99% in 2022. It seems a lot of people don't think running out basically the same lineup as last year and expecting an improvement is a good idea.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#443303) #
IKF at 2B and Biggio at 3B would presumably be about ensuring maximum positional flexibility.  No sarcasm in this case- it's not reasonable to have infielders get practice at various positions during spring training. 
Ducey - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#443304) #
"The Jays pitching roster includes a lot of pitchers who were established before coming to the Blue Jays, Gausman, Berrios, Bassitt, Kikuchi, Green, Garcia, Richards, Swanson, Cabrera, etc.

Who are the home grown pitchers on the roster? Manoah, hasn't developed since arriving at the major league level. Pearson hasn't progressed. Tim Mayza is a success. Jordan Romano too. None of Zach Pop, Mitch White or Yosver Zulueta seems to have benefitted from Walker's coaching."

He has been the pitching coach since 2012. There were some dark years in there where he did not have much to work with, but he has clearly helped players like Brett Cecil, Happ, Stroman, Hendricks, Janssen, Osuna, Estrada, Sanchez (when his blisters would permit), Tepera, Francisco Liriano, Grilli, Leone, Loup, Giles, etc.

He managed to turn Stripling into a very good starter in 2022. He went elsewhere and sucked.

He helped Robbie Ray to a Cy Young. Kikuchi was messed up when he came to the Jays, and while it took some time, he managed to get Kikuchi back on the beam last year.

The Cardinals had given up on Cabrera and his 5.1 BB/9. Pete got that down to 2.3 BB/9 - the best of his career by far.
Glevin - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#443305) #
"Snell was the best pitcher in baseball after May 1st last year. He's at least as good as Gausman and has many more ways to lengthen his career because he has many pitches."

Arbitrary starting point. Last 3 years by FWAR
Snell: 2.1, 3.6, 4.1
Gausman: 4.8, 5.7, 5.3

Snell was EXTREMELY lucky last year in ERA. Not that he wasn't excellent but walking 5 guys per 9 IP is not a recipe for success. Snell had easily the highest LOB% in baseball. 86.7% Next highest was Cole with 80.4%. Snell's career mark is 78.2%. He also had the third best BABIP against in baseball of .256. His career average is .288. Snell screams regression to the mean even if that mean is still a very good pitcher. I think Boras feels like he can fool teams and many times he did like getting Hosmer an absurd contract but Snell clearly has red flags and teams see those.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#443306) #
I donít see much of a case for Walker being anything special from a performance perspective. As others have pointed out, heís had his hits and his misses but the bulk of the Jays innings over a good part of his tenure come from the club paying full price for those innings from pitchers brought in from other clubs. However, one thing in his favour is that ( from my perception) the Jays gave generally kept their heavy innings eaters on the mound more than most. How much credit Walker should get for that versus other factors Iím totally unable to judge.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#443307) #
If the innings-eaters go longer, it should mean fewer innings to be covered by the bullpen as a whole, and in particular by low leverage relievers, and better overall performance. That is the point of it.

As I said, the runs prevention has been above-average, taking into account all the pitchers, but a good chunk of that has been defence. The pitching on its own has been in recent years been a smidgen above average. From 2015-23, it was entirely average, and in 2012-14 below average.

Quite happy to give Walker a pass for the first 3 years, but it would be nice if I didn't hear the phrase "the best in the league" again.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#443308) #
My bad. My point was that the Jaysís top innings eaters seem to have been healthier than average. Luck, choice of free agents, training staff, performance department, Walker could all play a part in that.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#443309) #
They have perhaps been healthier than average over Walker's tenure. It is certainly the case that the club has preferred pitchers with a good durability record when acquiring them.

Snell would definitely have been an out-of-character acquisition.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#443310) #
After their somewhat surprising down years last year, it's hard not to get at least a little excited by Springer, Kirk, and Varsho tearing the cover off the ball all spring.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#443311) #
Yes. Varsho and Kirk look much better, and the results are much better. Springer is older now, and I hope that he gets a few more days off this year.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#443312) #
Like Eric Pardinho the other day throwing 95-96 mph, Gabriel Martinez is recouping some previous prospect shine. He's been tearing the cover off the ball and has added more pop in the small sample, which he needs as a bat-only prospect.

Conversely, where is Orelvis? For a prospect who is supposed to be nearly MLB-ready, he's a noticeable Where's Waldo? this spring. Definitely not forcing the Jays' hand in any way, shape or form.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#443313) #
So many double dippers on this board. You can't have it both ways. Snell was one of if not the best pitcher by counting stat numbers after March 1st. That is a fact. Use all the metrics to show what he SHOULD HAVE been but the point and argument is what he actually was based on counting stat performances. There is a big difference there.

If you're going to use numbers to argue what should have been as a reason to ignore what actually was then you might as well go find another player who has a bad season but should have had a great season based on underlying numbers so you can advocate for that player. Wait, we have that guy it's Vlad! He wasn't a 1 WAR player last year, he wasn't a sub 30 home run hitter with bad defense and bad baserunning. Naaahhhh, underlying numbers tell us that he was top % in baseball for so many underlying numbers...the real Vladdy is a 40+ HR player with plus gold glove defence and a WAR of about 4 - 5. We will see him this year and then we can all forget about his 2023 which we shouldn't actually count on since he is more than what he was...? Craziness.

Have any of you cracked the secret formula of the stock market yet, since of course the underlying numbers always determine which stocks are about to go up.

And about the pitching coach, I am getting the distinct impression that some posters won't find any coach impressive unless they have a staff that is strong, and perform above the salary they are paid for. So if you have a cheap rotation performing well then the pitching is good but if they are making market rate then it's not as impressive. This is video game NHL cap mentality.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#443314) #
"Breaking" News - the Blue Jays have signed righthander Mike Mayers to a minor league deal. He has pitched for the Cardinals, Angels and Royals. Biggest Mayers acquisition in Toronto since Jamal with the Leafs.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#443315) #
A while back we were debating whether Snell was worth a Rodon-like contract and should the Jays sign him. Then he became available on a 2/$62m pillow contract and weíre looking the gift horse in the mouth.

Sometimes you have to put ďnimbleĒ caution to the side and make a *move* ó if you want to win, that is.

Even if it wouldnít feel safe in the corporate sense.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#443316) #
2/62M isn't a deal. He cost 2 draft picks, 500K in signing and you have to add the luxury tax which makes it closer to 40M. That's for one year if he's good. If he's not good you get to keep him for an extra year.

scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#443317) #
Yeah, I think Walker is very good at fixing MLB pitchers.
He's not the guy who develops prospects.
The minor coaches have to do that.
Also, if you can't control where your fastball is going, Walker can't really help you.
He'll just tell you to throw it early to get ahead with it.

Steven Matz had an ERA of 9.68 and was  moved to the pen before the Jays traded for him.
He put out an ERA of 3.82 in the AL East and the defense wasn't anything special back then.
The next year in St-Louis Matz had an ERA of 5.25.
That's just typical Walker work.


Ducey - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#443318) #

We get it, the Jays must go after every big fish Boras is dangling or they dont want to win. If it was up to you the Jays would have signed one or two of these guys in Dec for big $.

According to Spotrac the Jays have the 6th highest actual payroll in baseball at $222 M. The Dodgers are 9th, but of course their pain will come with deferrals and luxury tax (penalties and loss of draft position).

For luxury tax purposes the Jays are 7th at $242 M. Snell would have added $31 M plus the penalties plus the impact of Snell rejecting a QO (2nd rounder and $500M of Int signing $).

Is Snell worth $31 M plus the pillow (maybe), a loss of a second rounder, the first being moved back 10 spots (maybe), $500K of international signing $, $10.8 M for the tax and another ~$1 M for the surcharge? I think its reasonable for the Jays to say "thats too much".

If they signed Snell they would have been fourth for CBT purposes behind the Mets, LAD and NYY. They are not really in that league.

Being 6th or 7th in payroll shows they are trying plenty hard.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#443319) #
The front office identifies who they want and goes after them, but only to their valuation.
Some guys pass because they think they can get more money.
Some guys are offered more by others.
Some guys just don't want to play in Toronto.
Others recognize that the Toronto front office values than more than any other and sign right away.

Springer was hard to get and required a large effort.
Ryu wasn't high on other teams' list.
Berrios was a guy who would have been happy pitching for only one team but the Twins wanted to move on. Sorta like how the Jays wanted to move on from Stroman.
Chapman was a trade of opportunity.
Varsho was a trade of necessity.
KK is such a weird fit in the lineup. Maybe the best defender out there.
If anything, he might try too hard at times.

scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#443320) #
I saw that the Jays ranked 17th on opening day ticket prices.
The Dodgers are number 1 as the most expensive of all.
All other AL teams are more expensive, even the Rays and the O's.

Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#443321) #
The Dodgers and Padres start the regular season in South Korea tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 6 AM Eastern.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#443322) #
Ducey, you realize the front office has the ability to move money around and sign a player like Snell instead of guys like IKF, KK and Rodriguez, right? It's entirely possible for them to sign players they want and remain under the target. Nowhere did Greenfrog advocate for signing bad deals or overspending to egregious proportions for an unnecessary player. Quite the have an elite pitcher going for under market value.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#443323) #
Also, the target seems somewhat elastic, since the team was willing to sign Ohtani to a $600-700m deal. Itís just that Rogers was willing to blow past the threshold to get a piece of the Shohei celebrity and revenue.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#443324) #
Anthopoulos did something similar with the Sale trade and extension ($38m for two years, with an $18m club option for 2026), that is, make an opportunistic move to add a not-cheap SP for two years to potentially help the team win the division and advance in the postseason. Will it pay off? Maybe. But AA wants to win a championship and heís looking for creative ways to do that, not ways to secure a mid-80s win total to keep a corporation happy.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#443325) #
AA is exactly trying to find ways to keep a corporation happy.
AA had a chance to draft Sale and picked Derek McGuire instead.
Sale is more likely to end up on the IL than recapture some of his past form.

scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#443326) #
There's a false narrative that Ohtani brings back 600M in revenue.
He's one of the best left bats and would have been excellent hitting behind high OBP guys like Bo and Vlads. Whereas, only god knows what kind of numbers Bellinger will put out.

Nigel - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#443327) #
We know the Jays offered Ohtani $600-700m? Iím not attacking that statement Iím merely asking because Iíve never seen anyone confirm any specifics of any offer (if one was ever even made).
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#443328) #
Did I say that Ohtani would bring in $600m in revenue? No, I did not.

In fact, Iím not aware of any commentator who suggested that Ohtani would produce that level of revenue for the team that signed him.

Nor have I ever suggested that Bellinger would be as valuable an addition as Ohtani.

What I did suggest was that Rogers may not have a hard payroll limit at the level fans are assuming exists, since the organization was willing to spend upwards of $70m AAV on one player (Ohtani) to start the off-season.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#443329) #
You don't realize that Snell cost future picks, reduced signing money and might not be able to stay on the field. KK was worth  3 WAR. IKF might be worth the same playing 3B. Rodriguez is only 27.
Snell gives you 5 innings and then is on the bench for the next 40 innings.  Even if those are 5 scoreless inning and the Jays are up 1-0. They still need 4 relievers to close the game. That's not sustainable. He won a Cy Young, but the Padres with a loaded offense only went 82-80. That's pitiful for an offense that has Bogaerts, Machado, Soto and Tatis.

greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#443330) #
2024 ZIPS projections:

IKF 0.7
Turner 1.7
KK 2.0

Gausman 3.8
Snell 3.1
Bassitt 2.8
Berrios 2.5
Kikuchi 1.4
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#443331) #
Blake Snell was third overall in Quality Starts last year, tied with Kevin Gausman. A pitcher throwing only 5 innings each start does not end up at the top of the leader board in quality starts.

"He might not be able to stay on the field." True for every pitcher and not especially specific to Snell. Blake Snell and Kevin Gausman have made exactly 148 starts each since the start of 2018 season. Why is Snell less likely to stay on the field?

Snell at worst would average the same IP/start as the rest of the Blue Jays pitchers in the rotation. You know what WAR does not count or factor? Things like playoff pedigree, playoff experience, ability to pitch through the line up more than once or twice, ability to dominate line ups like the Dodgers as Snell did.

I'm hopeful anytime a team is able to forfeit draft picks to get a top 5 league player for under market value. Verlander and Scherzer went for 40 million plus last year. Yamamoto signed for 12 years and 325 million. You get Snell for 2 years at less than market rate and you still have people convincing themselves that some how in the long run that type of move will hurt the franchise.

2026 Starting Line Up

C Kirk
1B Horowitz
2B Schneider
3B Barger
CF Varsho
DH Springer

Fill the rest of that line up out for me and tell me you want to keep the supplemental and fringe draft picks rather than forfeiting them to sign a top player like Snell while you've got Vlad, Bo, Turner, KK and Jansen not to mention one of the best bullpens.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#443332) #
The front office is not very good with Public Relations, but they are excellent at putting values on players.
So while there was money available for an elite bat, there was not such bat on the market.
They already had 5 starting pitchers. They were looking for depth and that's what they got in Rodriguez.

Othani has 2 MVP and Snell has 2 Cy Young, but there is really no comparison.
Othani's 3 best years are his last 3 years.
Othani can DH every day and might pitch better than Snell as soon as next year.

Who knows, maybe ticket prices would have gone up had they signed Othani.
The Dodgers have the largest stadium and the most expensive tickets.
They also have the most expensive beer prices.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#443333) #
2023 Zips Projections vs 2023 Actual

Alek Manoah 3.9 vs -0.4
Kevin Gausman 3.0 vs 5.3
Blake Snell 1.9 vs 4.1
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 19 2024 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#443334) #
IKF could see a modest uptick in overall production if used exclusively at third base. How many people honestly think that this organization is going to use him at 3B only, especially once injuries to other players start to occur?
bpoz - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#443335) #
Very interesting and fairly realistic discussion. I agree with a lot of it. Especially the mention that us fans and Bauxites don't know the facts of what happened, what did not happen and what was tried.

IMO Walker is doing ok. Hits and misses did happen. On his 2020-2023 watch we had good results in the standings and some pitching stars.

Since the results were fairly good in the last 4 years Atkins has to be given credit. Especially for the trade deadline deals.

The rising and currently high payroll is the price we had to pay for the good 4 year results.

Montoyo had a very young team and also gave playing time to everyone on this roster. Maybe he did ok. I don't know. J Schneider and the "managing committee" is what worries me most due to the last 2 playoff seasons.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#443336) #
What's the story on Kikuchi? Francis is listed as the scheduled starter today and Kikuchi last pitched seemingly on March 10. It doesn't appear that he will be able to go more than 5 innings for a couple of starts into the regular season. At best.

It's a tough part of the schedule and the pitching staff is a mess. The big three of Berrios, Bassitt and Bancis will have to come through!
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#443337) #
In Seoul, South Korea, the Dodgers rally in the 8th inning to take the lead 5 - 2 over the Padres.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#443338) #
Cronenworth apparently opted for one of Guerreroís poorly laced gloves.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#443339) #
I haven't seen anything specific about Kikuchi this season, but I know in past years the Jays have had their starters pitch minor league games, either to keep them on their schedule or to hide them from key opponents. Given the absence of injury reports, I'd guess Kikuchi has started a game or two nobody noticed, and doesn't show up in the official records.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#443340) #
I believe Kikuchi's last turn to pitch was a Yankee game and Kikuchi could face them in the early season so off to the minor league complex for him.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#443341) #
It seems weird.  They threw Kikuchi against Baltimore his last outing.  That's almost the definition of a key opponent, and the Blue Jays did play on March 15 and 16.  Nonetheless, let's hope that he did indeed throw 3 or 4 innings in a minor league game in the last 4 or 5 days. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#443342) #
His last turn would have been the Tigers game on the 15th, I would have thought.  I guess we'll see when he takes his next turn. which should be in the next day or two. 
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#443343) #
Yesterday on the broadcast they said Bassitt was facing Baltimore because they wouldn't be playing them again until the middle of May. But the Yankees and Rays are up early.

Clement is getting a start in LF today. Interesting...
Ryan Day - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#443344) #
I initially thought Clement in the outfield was another forced versatility thing, but it looks like he played there quite a bit in college so probably has some skills.

Sportsnet has a story about Clement's time with the Jays and refining his approach with Matt Hague. It'd be great story if he can maintain his newfound productivity in the majors.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#443345) #
The Zwelling article on Clement is very good.

How often does a player discover something important at age 27, with the help of a good coach? Not often. But I think Clement may have. Contact ability is, in my view, the most important quality for a young hitter. And he had that to begin with. Clement has added pop, and a little plate discipline, in a meaningful way.

I hope he breaks camp with the big club.
Ducey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#443346) #

"Fill the rest of that line up out for me and tell me you want to keep the supplemental and fringe draft picks rather than forfeiting them to sign a top player like Snell while you've got Vlad, Bo, Turner, KK and Jansen not to mention one of the best bullpens."

Well in 2026, they will need a good farm system to fill the holes. Ditching a 2nd and having the first moved back this year is not going to help that.

If Snell is so swell, then he wont be here next year, so he is no help for 2025. If he sucks he is a $31 M anchor.

So you get him for this season only. But the point is they cant afford him. They have a budget, which unless you are Justin Trudeau, most people have to live with.

You have suggested the solution is that they trade away IKF, KK, Biggio, Espinal, 4 members of the bullpen and bring in JD Davis (now signed for $2.2M) and Michael Taylor (making $4.5 M).

So now you have significantly watered down the depth in the bullpen and in the field (Davis is a terrible 3B, KK was 3.9 WAR last yr, Taylor 1.9), reduced draft capital, gone over budget (as you will need some people to fill all these holes) all just to have a SP who, if you are lucky, will give you a year.

In fact if you add up the WAR of the guys you traded away, its more than what Snell, Davis and Taylor would give you (assuming all the replacements are 0 WAR, which in some cases would be generous).

So over budget, worse team, worse farm system. Thats if it goes well. If Snell is bad (about a 40% chance) then its a disaster. This kind of stuff gets you fired as a GM.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#443347) #
My theory is that the Jays are avoiding the higher luxury tax penalties because they play on going all in on Juan Soto next year.

I'd echo Chuck's comment about Jake Cronenworth and how the ball went through the webbing of his glove on a crucial play yesterday, as it did on Vlad's glove on at least two occasions last year. How does a major league player, especially a first baseman who's probably going to catch a ball more than any other position besides pitcher and catcher, use an inferior piece of equipment ? I don't know that I ever saw this happen years ago.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#443348) #
Ducey you miss an important part of the suggestion. By trading away those players you bring back assets and picks.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#443349) #
I'm going to put this out here now... as it stands, with Springer, Varsho, Guerrero Jr, and Kirk looking better: Schneider may not make the opening day roster which also helps to explain Clement in LF. Schneider is striking out a ton and sending his power to AAA looks less dicey right now.

Bench will be Serven, Clement, Vogelbach and Espinal or Lukes.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#443350) #
"I'm going to put this out here now... as it stands, with Springer, Varsho, Guerrero Jr, and Kirk looking better: Schneider may not make the opening day roster which also helps to explain Clement in LF. Schneider is striking out a ton and sending his power to AAA looks less dicey right now."

Yes, I can definitely see that to try to work on not K so much but if they are sending Schneider down, I'd hope it would be Lukes who can play OF. The idea of IKF, Espinal, and Clement all on the same team gives me shivers and having Clement who is a good defender at SS playing LF seems like a complete waste.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#443351) #
"Ducey you miss an important part of the suggestion. By trading away those players you bring back assets and picks."

Cavan Biggio has most value in the list you gave and trading him makes the team significantly worse and still wouldn't bring back a prospect of note to save...$4.2M?
soupman - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#443352) #
Bautista (29), Donaldson, Incarnation (29)

I think there are probably more late bloomers than we might imagine, just mild wages are so depressed there are not too many people that want to delay adulthood into their late 20s or 30s with nothing on the resume but kicking around midwestern USA for a decade eating ramen and playing a game for half the year.
soupman - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#443353) #
*Encarnacion - i caught it once but autocorrect "helped" me twice! and mild = MiLB.

Ducey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#443354) #
"By trading away those players you bring back assets and picks."

Fair enough. But trading for picks is not allowed unless its a supplemental pick (rare), and how much are the Jays going to get back for KK, Garcia, Richards who are FA next year, Green who is a reclamation project, Espinal who is in danger of being in AAA, an inconsistent Pearson (who I think will be good) and IKF who according to Jays bloggers is the worst signing in history of baseball?

Especially in the spring when trades are rare?

I dont see anything significant that is going to help this year coming back (which is the point when you are going all in with Snell) unless it has some money attached.

And trading MLB players for prospects is not this front offices forte (Teo was good but has anyone else worked out? Francis for Tellez?). The have been much better trading prospects for ML players.

So I will give you that they could boost the farm system somewhat but I would be guessing they would be gambling on a lot of low A guys. It could work but I'd rather have the 2nd rounder and a better first (along with the pool allocation that comes with them) and the $500K in Int FA money.

But again how does any of this make sense this season, when Snell is around?

Anyway, thanks for the chat. I will leave it there.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#443355) #
Signing Snell is attractive because it would put them over the edge for the playoffs and provide some length to "the window." The part I did not consider is that he can opt out after 1 year so that makes it a lot less favourable.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#443356) #
"I'm going to put this out here now... as it stands, with Springer, Varsho, Guerrero Jr, and Kirk looking better: Schneider may not make the opening day roster which also helps to explain Clement in LF. Schneider is striking out a ton and sending his power to AAA looks less dicey right now.

Bench will be Serven, Clement, Vogelbach and Espinal or Lukes."

I think you're right except I bet this FO releases Vogelbach to save 2 million for the trade deadline and wait until Votto is ready to come up. Really no space for both of them unless JT starts to play 3B regularly.
Cracka - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#443357) #
Davis Schneider's has been downright scary at 2B this spring. If my quick math is correct, he's had 11 ground balls hit to him and has made 8 outs and 3 errors: 2 fielding + 1 throwing (the massive overthrow today). That's concerning...

Meanwhile, Lukes went 3-for-3 today and has an OPS over 1000. Clement went 2-for-4 and also has an OPS over 1000. I think both are going to be on the opening roster and biggest question right now is whether we take a $2 million gamble on Daniel Vogelbach.
Waveburner - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#443358) #
Why would they pick up Vogelbach's $2 million after bringing in Votto? Especially when they already have Turner, Vladdy and Springer who will need DH time. I see no chance of Vogelbach making the Jays.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#443359) #
yeah i may start backtracking on schneider as a lock too. too many other guys really earning that spot with legit excellent play to guarantee schneider a spot if he's not earning it.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#443360) #
I know people have been getting excited about Schneider at 2B/LF, but it's worth remembering BA's assessment of his defense: "In the field, Schneider is a well below-average defender at second base with a below-average arm. He saw some time in left field, but Schneiderís best long-term position is DH." And they like his bat, ranking him as the Blue Jays' #8 prospect.

I'm not saying they're 100% correct, but BA generally has pretty good information.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#443361) #
It certainly appears like Schneider might be heading to AAA to start the season. I'm not convinced the Jays FO is as high on him as some believe, or as high as what the projections say he's capable of in 2024. I actually don't have an issue with starting Schneider in AAA to get everyday AB's as long as they get a real 4th OF instead of using Clement in LF. Unfortunately I do not see that happening unless that OF is Lukes, which would be a bad roster fit given that he's a LHB and they need a RHB in a platoon with Kiermaier (with Varsho presumably moving to CF against LHP).
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#443362) #
These AAA/MiLB bullpen arms have been scary: Pearson, Pop, Cooke, Zulueta... Parsons has been so-so. Jays might need to look at the trade or waiver market if Romano and/or Swanson miss time. Also, Francis' stuff really fell off around the 50-pitch mark.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#443363) #
it's an easy sell too because like some others I was already high on Clement and Lukes last year too, and thought they should always have been getting more at bats. I'm pretty confident that they're playable MLB hitters with good defense.
Ducey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#443364) #
"Davis Schneider's has been downright scary at 2B this spring. If my quick math is correct, he's had 11 ground balls hit to him and has made 8 outs and 3 errors: 2 fielding + 1 throwing (the massive overthrow today). That's concerning..."

For sure. And he is hitting 188/289/406 with 11 K in 32 AB (34%). He looks like he needs to go back to AAA and get his mojo back - specifically learn to lay off the high fastball. Because the pitchers have the book on him right now.

Clement is 361/378/667 with 3 HR and 1K. I guess you would like to see him walk more, but he is good defensively in many positions. He has eaten Schneider's lunch.

On the bench I could see Serven, Clement, Lukes and a RH OF who can hit lefties. I would bet the Jays will be keeping an eye on the waiver wire or may make a small trade for one.

It doesnt make a lot of sense to keep 2 OF on the bench, but it doesnt make sense to keep Espinal or Schneider if they cant play well.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#443365) #
Spring Stats (* = LHH)

* RF Springer (34): 37pa, 16.2b%, 8.1k%, .360bip, .323iso, 1.196ops
* SS Bichette (26): 46pa, 2.2b%, 17.4k%, .444bip, .156iso, .924ops
* DH Vogelbach* (31): 35pa, 11.4b%, 20.0k%, .190bip, .355iso, .895ops
* 1B Guerrero (25): 34pa, 11.8b%, 20.6k%, .550bip, .333iso, 1.329ops
* CF Varsho* (27): 49pa, 18.4b%, 12.2k%, .364bip, .154iso, .936ops
* C Kirk (25): 32pa, 6.3b%, 6.3k%, .360bip, .433iso, 1.271ops
* 2B Biggio* (29): 25pa, 28.0b%, 28.0k%, .545bip, .167iso, 1.020ops
* 3B Clement (28): 41pa, 2.4b%, 2.4k%, .333bip, .325iso, 1.090ops
* LF Lukes* (29): 40pa, 7.5b%, 12.5k%, .500bip, .167iso, 1.086ops

* PH Turner (39): 40pa, 15.0b%, 17.5k%, .280bip, .121iso, .739ops
* OF Kiermaier* (34): 33pa, 6.1b%, 42.4k%, .286bip, .290iso, .789ops
* IF Falefa (29): 41pa, 12.2b%, 24.4k%, .458bip, .059iso, .821ops
* C Jansen (29): 26pa, 7.7b%, 7.7k%, .200bip, .217iso, .743ops

* PH Votto* (40): 1pa, 00.0b%, 00.0k%, .000bip, 3.000iso, 5.000ops
* OF Roden (24): 27pa, 11.1b%, 22.2k%, .260bip, .292iso, .875ops
* IF Espinal (29): 37pa, 16.2b%, 10.8k%, .231bip, .100iso, .651ops
* C Serven (29): 24pa, 12.5b%, 16.7k%, .143bip, .524iso, 1.095ops

* PH Horwitz* (26): 40pa, 15.0b%, 25.0k%, .167bip, .029iso, .397ops
* OF Robertson* (26): 27pa, 14.8b%, 33.3k%, .308bip, .261iso, .779ops
* IF Schneider (25): 41pa, 9.8b%, 29.3k%, .182bip, .200iso, .639ops
* C Henry (27): 18pa, 0.0b%, 16.7k%, .429bip, .167iso, .945ops

* IF Escobar (35): 42pa, 2.4b%, 40.5k%, .174bip, .146iso, .411ops
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#443366) #
Take ST stats with a grain of salt.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#443367) #
Depth Chart Projections

* RF Springer 113wrc+
* SS Bichette 122
* DH Vogelbach* 114
* 1B Guerrero 138
* CF Varsho 106
* C Kirk 116
* 3B Biggio 98
* 2B Schneider 112
* LF Lukes 95

* PH Horwitz 109
* OF Kiermaier 90
* IF Espinal 95
* C Jansen 114

* PH Turner 108
* OF Roden 102
* IF Clement 93
* C Henry 77

* PH Votto 98
* IF Escobar 85
* IF Falefa 83
* C Serven 54

Ducey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#443368) #
"Take ST stats with a grain of salt."

Good advice.

But Schneider's lack of defense coupled with his cold streak to end the season is starting to become a thing.

And Clement was good in a small sample last season after a very good AAA season. I guess thats maybe not enough to rely on, but he can play D and has been consistently hard to K.
jgadfly - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#443369) #
"Arjun Nimmala hits game-tying HR"" ... just posted on ...
John Northey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#443370) #
greenfrog - agreed 100%. Spring stats are fun, but not really an indicator of future success. Guys with 30+ PA in spring for the Jays and a 1000+ OPS+, and their actual OPS that season for the Jays
  • 2017: Jose Bautista (674)
  • 2018: Teoscar Hernandez (771), Kevin Pillar (708), Curtis Granderson (772)
  • 2019: Lourdes Gurriel (869), Justin Smoak (642), Bo Bichette (930), Randal Grichuk (738)
  • 2021: Josh Palacios (493), Vladimir Guerrero (1002), Santiago Espinal (781)
  • 2022: Nathan Lukes (0 PA), Lourdes Gurriel (743)
  • 2023: Kevin Kiermaier (741), Vladimir Guerrero (788), Rob Brantly (0 PA, 751 in AAA)
What does this tell us? Basically that if it is a kid there might be something there (see Bo, Vlad, Espinal, Gurriel, Hernandez) but vets? Crapshoot at best (Bautista, Pillar, Smoak, all good examples of crap season after a great spring). So I wouldn't let a strong or weak spring tell me to bench a guy or give someone else playing time.

1000 OPS regular season 100+ PA?
  • 2023: Davis Schneider (1008)
  • 2022: nada
  • 2021: Vladimir Guerrero (1002)
  • 2017-2020: nada (7 PA the most for a 1000 OPS guy)
So yeah, what Schneider did in 2023 was far more significant than what anyone does in spring, plus is FAR more rare. Jay seasons of 1000 OPS+ or better total only 38 ever, even for 1 PA. Just 7 with 100+ PA, 8 with 20+ (Adam Lind 65 PA 1.015 in 2006 age 22). Just 2 in the 66-599 PA range - Schneider and Randy Ruiz (130 PA in 2009 at age 31 and that was it for him, he sucked early the next season and was quickly forgotten). The others are Delgado twice, Vlad, Olerud, and Bautista. Caught my eye that John-Ford Griffin did it twice (under 20 PA each time), a few pitchers did it once with only a few PA each time (Woody Williams, Shawn Camp, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Paul Quantrill, Mark Hendrickson, Marcus Stroman, Liam Hendriks, Drew Hutchison, Chris Carpenter - huh, a few really good pitchers did it). Clearly doing it in a small handful of PA means nothing. Lind had a good career 12 seasons 795 OPS, Ruiz not so much. The others were pretty damn good though. I sure wouldn't write off Schneider due to a 171/268/371 spring line - last spring he hit just 222/385/333 after all.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#443371) #
Iíve seen a lot of Schneider live. He was in Vancouver a while. I know that was a while ago so I have to be open minded about his own development path. Iíll repeat what Iíve said before though - I believe in his bat (whether as a regular or not is dependent on just how much power is there) and Iíll believe heís a MLB caliber defender on the INF when I see it. I believe that a role as a LF (full or part time) and occasional INF is his only path to a MLB career.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#443372) #
Followed up with a fumble on a routine play, but still pretty good.
He hit it off a 38 year old lefty trying to make it as a sidearmer.
The Braves announcers couldn't believe he is 18.

Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#443373) #
"Arjun Nimmala hits game-tying HR"

That was so cool.

scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#443374) #
Escobar has been terrible at 3B.
Today he couldn't handle  a ground ball and IKF who was the shortstop made the play off the rebound.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#443375) #
Spring training doesn't mean anything but some guys start the season in a slump.
Schneider starting the year at Buffalo wouldn't bother me as long as they bring him up once he heats up.

Jays by OPS.
Nimmala, Votto (OPS of 5)
Martinez 2.571
Jaden Rudd? 2
Vladdy 1.329
Kirk 1.271
Springer 1.196
Dasan Brown 1.171
Serven 1.095
Clement 1.090
Lukes 1.086
Biggio 1.020
Britton 1
Henry .945
Varsho .936
Barger .929
Bichette .924
Vogelbach  .895
Roden .875
Morris .833
Phil Clarke .821
IKF .821
Jansen .743
Turner .739
Espinal .651
Schneider .639

I wouldn't cut Vogelbach.
Votto is about as likely to make the opening day lineup as Nimmala.
Nimmala hit a no-doubter. Votto's was probably a miscalled ground rule double.

Gerry - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#443376) #
Santiago Espinal has been traded to the Reds in exchange for a minor league pitcher.

This clears up a 40 man roster spot and makes it pretty certain that Ernie Clement will be on the team. Clement had two more hits today.

Eephus will know better than me, but I thought the Reds had too many infielders.
mendocino - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#443377) #
RHP Chris McElvain
Gerry - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#443378) #
The Jays received a 23 year old pitcher who was in the Midwest league (A+) last season. He was not on MLB's or Baseball America's top 30 prospects.

It seems like a salary dump for a notional return.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#443379) #
Addition by subtraction.

Chris McElvain, starter, 9th rounder from 2022.
Espinal is making just over 2M.

Gerry - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#443380) #
One reason for the trade could be that Reds infielder Matt McClain might need shoulder surgery.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#443381) #
hopefully we didn't give them any money.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#443382) #
The Jays need a roster spot for the third catcher, either to replace Jansen at the start of the season, and to be available for the next time Jansen gets injured.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#443383) #
Fangraphs had him ranked 41 in the Reds last year.

Fastball in the low 90s. Has to live on the edges, but appears to command his fastball.
Plus slider. Change and curve need work.

Who knows.

He's from Vanderbilt which have very good pitching coaches, I believe.

John Northey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#443384) #
Not bad. Espinal gone, Chris McElvain in - drafted in 2022 in the 8th round, so just 1 pro year. Split between A and A+ which seems appropriate. Overall a 3.75 ERA over 96 IP (starter) 3.8 BB/9 vs 8.2 K/9 not bad, not 'wow' by any stretch. With pitchers you never know. Basically it goes Jays sign Steve Pearce (0.6 bWAR) as a free agent December 2016, trade him to the Red Sox for Espinal in mid-2018 (gets an ASG, 5.4 bWAR, plays in 2 post-seasons here, same as Bautista with a 1.500 OPS(!)), now trade Espinal for Chris McElvain who will be a few years to decide if he is anything. Not a bad set of transactions from a 'meh' free agent signing years ago.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#443385) #
It was the right move. They already have a shortstop in AAA in Jimenez who could be called up this year.

Nobody was expecting Espinal to be on the opening roster. 
Chuck - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#443386) #
I thought the Reds had too many infielders.

Noelvi Marte will miss the first half of the season for a drug-related suspension. That presumably created the opening for Espinal. That and their seeming desire to have more infielders than a team really needs.

Chuck - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#443387) #
Oh, hadn't seen that McLain's season is in jeopardy. India probably would get his old 2B job back and Espinal would be required as a backup at SS for De La Cruz.

This is why you carry so many infielders!

scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#443388) #
From the comments I read the Reds fans are as happy as the guys here when Atkins signed IKF.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#443389) #
I wouldn't be surprised to see Espinal have an OK rebound season in a new environment. He was pretty decent as a 2B/utility player in 2021-22. Still only 29.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 20 2024 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#443390) #
Bottom line - times are getting serious now and teams are going to start the painful cuts and do surplus trades. Wouldn't be shocked if we see another deal or two happen.

Schneider I like as a LF/DH/1B who can cover 2B when needed. If his bat is anywhere near as good as projected (most projection systems factor in minors) - Fangraphs assorted ones have him between 107 and 112 wRC+ - a much tighter spread than most guys with limited ML time have. Lukes is 77-95, Clement 74-93, Serven 47-57, Biggio 95-99 (for an established player as a comparison point). Espinal is a 82-97 range (pretty big for a guy with as much ML time as he has, over 1000 PA).

The question becomes how will the Jays juggle things now. I see Clement getting lots of time at 2B and 3B plus a bit of SS. IKF mostly 3B, some SS. Lukes might make the team as an emergency OF backup/pinch runner/PH for IKF until Votto is ready (rather than blow $2 mil on Vogelbach to PH here and there for a month or two until Votto is ready). Hard to see why Schneider wouldn't make the team in this situation. Escobar really has looked bad (both on defense and offense), Orelvis Martinez had his worst ST with just a 566 OPS (ugh). Leo Jimenez is on his last option this year and hasn't looked good either. Escobar is the only IF NRI who had any serious playing time. Vogelbach's 581 Slg% is nice, but his 226/314 Avg/OBP isn't - without Votto being around he might have made it but I can't see the Jays wasting $2 mil and a roster slot for a guy who might/should be gone by May after 10-20 PA.

Playing time tends to be a good indicator of who the Jays are serious about - 20+ PA outside of regulars goes to Eduardo Escobar (42), Ernie Clement (41), Spencer Horwitz (41), Davis Schneider (41), Nathan Lukes (40), Vogelbach (35), Will Robinson (28 - very impressive on defense, showed some power), Alan Roden (27 - next hot thing with an 875 OPS to impress), Lantigua (25), Eden (24), Serven (24), Orelvis (20). Seems clear the Jays are looking very, very closely at Escobar, Clement, Horwitz, Schneider, Vogelbach, and Lukes. 2 who cover 3B/2B (Escobar, Clement), 2 DH/1B (Horwitz, Vogelbach), 2 OF (Schneider, Lukes). Plus prospects (Robinson, Roden, Lantigua, Eden, Orelvis) and a backup catcher (Serven). All to cover 4 bench slots (assuming IKF is 3B and Biggio 2B). One goes to Serven until Jansen is healthy, leaving 3 for the rest. One to Clement it seems is a lock now, so 2 slots. Escobar pooped the bed this spring in all respects, Horwitz pretty much the same. So 2 for Schneider & Lukes most likely unless the Jays are willing to risk tossing away $2 mil for 10-20 PA from Vogelbach (which I don't see happening - way too limited a player and Schneider is as likely to hit well in those limited PA as Vog is plus can play defense, not amazingly but at least not embarrassingly). I suspect the Jays will debate this a lot over the next week+. Factoring in when each guy would be used, how much, and where, plus if a month or so in Buffalo would be a plus or minus for them. Horwitz would've been ideal for 26th man until Votto is ready as a LH 1B/DH but he just hasn't shown up this spring.
Ducey - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#443391) #
Ed Escobar should be let go soon. Had an OPS+ of 67 last year, is 35 and has not looked good this spring.
soupman - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:09 AM EDT (#443392) #
Call me a cynic, I the only person that wonders what kind of sports book extends 4.5m credit to an interpreter? Must be nice to have friends that will just happily fork out 4.5m to support you ( as if you are the only person in the world that is bilingual in Japanese and English) at great personal risk to their reputation by wiring funds directly to a book (a practice as old as time with books to keep the rat athletes under their thumb). It's a good thing that the public trusts Ohtani implicitly, because otherwise you might be excuse for thinking that it really seems pretty likely that Ohtani was placing bets with an illegal sports book during the baseball season.

soupman - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:19 AM EDT (#443393) #
oh wait...that's not the story. supposedly this guy had access to Ohtani's accounts and Shohei didn't even know about it. okay /s. he has an interpreter, but no one manages his money or noticed that funds were moving directly from his account to a book? only NOW, months later, does anyone register the funds missing and the crime?

MLB is protecting their golden goose, but he should be suspended given his own lawyers admit that funds went from his account to the book. They need to investigate. If Ohtani is in the game Thursday, I'll be disappointed, but not shocked. it looks like baseball just wants this to go away. i'm personally getting really tired of gambling ads - and it is really pushing me away from pro sports in general.
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#443394) #
Sport betting is everywhere now, although illegal in California.
Technically, some laws have been violated and the feds shouldn't drop charges just because the people involved are insiders. To the contrary.

If I was in the MLBPA I don't know how I would be feeling regarding so much money going to a couple of Japanese players and now possibly some bias by MLB itself.

Personally, what bothers me is the umps calling the strikes with bets being taken on the outcome.
Right now, we're watching the spring games and the Jays are hitting.
In a couple weeks, chances are we'll be talking about the "strike zone" and the bad calls as the Jays lose games they should win.

bpoz - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#443395) #
Like everyone else I don't count ST stats at all. We definitely have extra versatile IFs like Biggio, Schneider, IKF and Clement. Power bat only players like Turner, Vogelbach, Votto and Escobar are not going to get much playing time in the field except at 1B.Turner will definitely make the team as the DH. The other 3 will be evaluated based on what they still have in the tank.

The Buffalo team should be putting the finishing touches on their ST so as to be ready for March 29. Players like Orelvis, Jimenez and Palmegiani have to be ready to work together as an efficient team. This means practicing and playing a lot in minor league games. None are blocked by the above mentioned versatile IFs but getting used to the faster pace of the majors is a big factor IMO.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#443396) #
Spring stats don't matter but the eyeball looks at players do, especially the further into spring we go. Schneider does not look like a big leaguer right now. Clement looks like he should be playing a minimum of 4-5 days a week at least to start. The bullpen is going to be an issue
The No. 4-5 spots are likely to be an issue.

What impresses me about Nimmala is the way he carries himself. He has a quiet confidence that is very uncommon in players that age. Volpe was like that in high school, too. His first AB, he had no issues taking a walk. Then he got his pitch in the 2nd AB and didn't miss it.

McElvain has three pitches that regularly got swings-and-misses last year, per statcast. And the FB got an unusually high number of misses given he sits 92-93 mph. But despite the misses, he didn't have a ton of Ks, which could be an approach/pitch mix issue the Jays are hoping to address.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#443397) #
It's strange that an interpreter would have access to Shohei's money.† The whole thing is weird and fishy.
smyttysmullet94 - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#443398) #
Count me in as someone who thinks this is fishy. Really looks like legal told Ohtani he needs to cover his ass. Ohtani went from providing his interpreter (who, to be fair, probably is more of an Executive Assistant) for a cooperative interview with ESPN to disowning him in about 12 hours.
As a fan of an NHL team who just had a player suspended for half the year for vague "non-serious" gambling-related reasons, I'm interested to see where this goes.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#443399) #
As someone who works for a financial institution, I find it highly suspect A) the interpreter had access to accounts with that kind of money, B) the movement of high sums of money was not flagged by the financial institution, C) His wealth is not being closely monitored by a financial/wealth advisor?

You can't just go to your online banking and transfer/move money of this amount. It's being requested by the account owner/POA directly to someone in the FI who then has to navigate channels to move the money.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#443400) #
Financial institutions make all kinds of exceptions for wealthy clients.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#443401) #
Given how many players are unemployed, I'm surprised the Jays were able to dump Espinal's entire salary (2.7m) plus apparently save over 800K in tax penalty.

Eduardo Escobar still with the team may indicate he's prepared to play in Buffalo at least to start the season due to the lack of interest in his services.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#443402) #
Who is the closer to start the season?
Glevin - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#443403) #
Ohtani thing is worrisome. I see 3 possibilities.
1) Interpreter really did steal money and gamble (how did he get access to so much?)
2) Interpreter gambled and lost money and Ohtani had to bail him out.
3) He was doing it for Ohtani.

We don't fully know what the gambling was on (baseball, football, politics) but #3 is obviously worst case scenario.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#443404) #
Yamamoto had an ugly start today, unimpressive spring and if Ohtani is implicated in the gambling scandal - the Dodgers dream winter (according to most the pundits/fans) may turn into a summer nightmare - A reminder that teams that win the winter often do not win the summer.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#443405) #
Who is the closer to start the season?

Yimi GarcŪa?

uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#443406) #
it would be good for sports in general if the biggest star in the world went down for gambling.

gambling is the worst.
soupman - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#443407) #
Here is what no one debates: 4.5 million dollars was transferred from Shohei Ohtani's private accounts during the baseball season in several transactions over a period of time.

TO ME, the most likely explanation is that the account holder (presumably shohei otani) transferred the funds. this was the initial claim in the interview the interpreter gave ESPN. this would explain why 4.5million dollars COULD be transferred. because Otani KNEW it was happening and was OKAY with seeing money to the book. now, do i BELIEVE that he was "paying the debt of a friend"? no, i do not. i believe it is more likely that he was paying for bets he placed personally - because until i see a better explanation, that is the TYPICAL way that most humans run their financial affairs.

now. i am not a multi-multi-millionaire, but between my financial advisor and the bank, they are going to have questions if i spend 1/4 of my yearly wage on anything. if major sums of money left my account to an illegal book, i would get a notification. i am not, again, an extremely wealthy person. the bank just does this.

the most likely explanation is the Otani has a gambling problem. he should not have played today. as more major outlets pick this up, i think we probably saw Otani play his last game ever this morning.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#443408) #
Being as Otani is one of the biggest stars in the league, I think MLB will do every thing it can to sweep this under the rug, even if the interpreter has to take the fall if Otani really was gambling. I don't think we saw Otani play his last game.
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#443409) #
Accusing the interpreter of multi-million dollar theft isn't the best move if you're trying to make the problem go away - this will presumably invite scrutiny of Ohtani's finances, raise questions about who had access to what, and give the defence an opportunity to talk about what really happened.

Of course, Ohtani could probably offer some discreet incentives for the interpreter to confess to all his alleged crimes.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#443410) #
lotsa Shapiro waxing poetic about the renos on twitter today.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#443411) #
Wild game 2 in Seoul, South Korea.† Final score - Padres 15 - Dodgers 11.† Yoshinobu Yamamoto started the game, pitched 1 inning, allowed 5 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk.† Mookie Betts had 6 RBI and won a car for hitting the first home run of the series.† Shohei Ohtani singled and hit a sacrifice fly.† Manny Machado hit a 419 ft. 3-run homer in the 9th inning.
Paul D - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#443412) #
If I were a betting man, I'd bet my entire life savings, house, etc, that we haven't seen Ohtani play his last mlb game. At minimum there will be a months-long investigation where he will be allowed to play, and the investigation will almost certainly not conclude with a lifetime suspension.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#443413) #
"I'd bet my entire life savings, house, etc"

This is the problem with gambling. Some people actually do what you've described to satisfy their addiction.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#443414) #
I think the simplest explanation is the first one offered by the interpreter. Ohtani Ohtani covered his gambling debts without realizing. That wiring money to an illegal bookkeeping operation is a federal crime. Hence the walk back once the lawyers got involved.
soupman - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#443415) #
See Ohtanis lawyers joe offer a different explanation. One that doesnít implicate him in a crime. Also the simplest explanation is Otani is a gambler.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#443416) #
Simplest explanation if you want to leap to conclusions. We donít have enough information to know anything for sure. The only ďfactsĒ we have to date is what has been included in the stories.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#443417) #
Turner @ 3B today

Schneider in LF
85bluejay - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#443418) #
I'd rather wait for the results of the investigation - The story is too juicy to sweep under the carpet & the feds have no reason to protect Ohtani if he has done something illegal.
soupman - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#443419) #
I already outlined the facts. Money went from Otanis bank to an illegal book. His interpreter spoke to ESPN and said one thing and his lawyers said something else. Clearly one is a lie. The only fact undenied by all parties is the first sentence in both these posts I made. The simplest explanation for that is that Otani sent the money himself- or you can pick which side is lying, both of which invite a lot more leaps of logic compared to how people typically operate in the world. Youíre entitled to your opinion but I donít think it is ďsimplerĒ based on the only fact we have.
92-93 - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#443420) #
The Feds have no reason to protect Ohtani, but they also have little reason to go after him when millions of Americans are in the same boat - forced to gamble illegally because their state doesn't allow it. Like people who buy weed in the 24 states where it's legal and then cross state lines to bring it home.

Amazing how quickly the tone in here changed since I said last week that it wouldn't surprise me if Schneider didn't make the team. Espinal getting traded probably helps his cause, though.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#443421) #
The Espinal move was kind of nifty. Although it didn't involve a lot of money, it might give the team flexibility to make a move at the summer trade deadline and stay under (or not significantly exceed) the luxury tax threshold.
John Northey - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#443422) #
Well, with the Ohtani situation, can I say the Jays got lucky it seems - if he is found to have gambled that is a years suspension. If found to bet on baseball it could be a lifetime ban. The biggest gambling scandal since Pete Rose, maybe since the Black Sox. Regardless, it will be a massive distraction for the Dodgers for awhile. Mix in Yamamoto sucking hard in his first ML start after an 8.38 ERA in spring and nearly a 2 WHIP and boy do the Dodgers look like the big losers after looking like the big winners all winter. This could all flip in no time quite easily to be no big issue and they end up with what they expected. But for now, boy does that look like a bad $1 billion risk they took.

The Jays meanwhile keep moving along. Minor blips with a few dead arms (normal at this point of the spring) but nothing that is an 'oh crap'. Espinal gone, we'll see with the rest of the bench what happens. My current bet is Brian Serven as the backup catcher until Jano is healthy, Biggio-IKF for 2B-3B, Schneider-Clement as backups with 1 open slot for someone. Who? Escobar still is in play despite a poor spring, Vogelbach I'm not betting on due to Votto waiting in the wings, Horwitz has had a miserable spring, Lukes has had a very good spring. At this moment I'm leaning towards Lukes for the final slot (good pinch runner, can hit even if he hasn't in the majors, covers any OF slot, could give Springer days off vs RHP with Biggio still at 2B those days).

Pitching should be Francis for #5, while White might sneak in if needed for a few starts until Gausman is ready. Espino could slip in there too, but probably in AAA to start. Pen might need up to 3 guys (Romano, Swanson both at dead arm stages, White if moved to rotation opens a slot) - Pearson, Pop, maybe Parsons for that final slot depending. Parsons has an option left, as does Espino (but he isn't on the 40 man yet). Lots of interesting choices to be made if injuries are there come opening day.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#443423) #
would be real cool if Turner could play 3B.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#443424) #
i've seen enough. Tiedemann is ready to start.
mathesond - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#443425) #
Pencil him in for 180 innings!
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#443426) #
we should definitely put him on an innings limit like we did with Sanchez. really worked out well.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#443427) #
PIT commentators begging Ricky to hang one.

He did not comply.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#443428) #
Schneider just pulled a Willy Mays. incredible.
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#443429) #
Espino making a statement.
Evair Montenegro - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#443430) #
Nice article about Paolo Espino.
John Northey - Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#443431) #
No question. Earlier in the spring I felt Espino was just a matter of time to turn into the pumpkin he generally is but at this point he looks like a serious choice for filling in for Gausman or the 8th slot in the pen over White. Despite being drafted in 2006 (!) he still has an option left at age 37. Just 2 years 102 days of service. If spring stats mean anything he has earned a shot. Sadly for him they might not thus giving White any starts and Pearson or Pop any pen time available at this stage.

Who gets cut from the 40 man if another slot is needed? Wes Parsons has been on the edge all winter, and a 5.19 ERA in spring doesn't help. Brendon Little also has to be on the edge (tiny ML time, negative fWAR, 4.05 ERA in AAA last year, 8.53 spring ERA, can't see much point beyond cannon fodder in Not hard to imagine a few bottom end 40 man guys being used in a trade for something 'meh' from a team desperate for live arms (even less than what Espinal got, or just cash). Mitch White has to be a high likelihood trade candidate right now - someone should want to take a shot at fixing him you'd think in exchange for an A ball pitcher.
John Northey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#443432) #
FYI: JD Martinez signs with the Mets for $12 mil ($4.5 this year, $1.5 per year from 2034-2038). Nice deal for the Mets, but really, I prefer Turner (can play 3B/1B still) and Votto (cheaper, can play 1B). FanGraphs sees him just as a 0.4 to 1.0 fWAR player for 2024, not the 2.2 he was in 2023. So Montgomery is the last big name standing (only one in the top 30 MLBTR other than #30-Mike Clevinger who hasn't signed). The only other top 50 unsigned is Brandon Belt (#45). Tommy Pham is a notable not signed. So the market is closing down it seems at long last. Wonder who'll get Montgomery (rumor is he won't sign now until the season is underway as that way he won't get a QO next winter).
Ducey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#443433) #
No chance they add Espino and his 89 mph fastball to the 40 man. Its spring training, against Pittsburgh. He will be put under glass in Buffalo with sign saying "break glass in case of calamity "

I do wonder if Manoah will be put on the 60 DL. That would free up a roster spot, I think. We have not heard anything recently on Manoah have we?
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#443434) #

Shi Davidi

Mar 21, 2024

Replying to @ShiDavidi
Kevin Gausman slated to pitch Monday but he and Blue Jays are still deciding between spring finale in Bradenton or minor-league game.

Alek Manoah is throwing a live BP tomorrow.
Ducey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#443435) #
Thanks ugly
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#443436) #
And yet, gambling crimes are associated with organized crime and trigger the heavy stuff like RICO charges.

Sport gambling is illegal in California because voters have rejected the resolutions.
Othani is having is salary delayed so to avoid paying California taxes.

Also, the CBA states that the minimum penalty for gambling with an illegal book keeper is  1 year suspension. 

Ryan Day - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#443437) #
Espino's 89mph fastball is looking a lot more appealing than the harder stuff from White, Pearson, and Pop right now. Given injuries and general terribleness from the pitching staff this spring, he may be the best short-term option to soak up some innings in long relief or spot starts. Spring training aside, his 21/22 seasons suggest he can fill that role competently.

I wish the Jays had some superior options that would keep Espino in AAA until needed, but I don't see any right now.
bpoz - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#443438) #
My take on the Espinal transaction is that he came into ST having to compete for a job. But I don't know what that job specifically was. Most likely versatile IF defense. He did not win the competition.

Additionally at best I see 1 of P Espino, Vogelbach and Edu Escobar making the Opening day roster. Due to Jansen's injury there is a need for a backup C. Who that will be I don't know.

The last ST game is March 25. The Opening day roster could be set by then.
greenfrog - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#443439) #
Francis has made the opening day rotation.
Glevin - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#443440) #
"Espino's 89mph fastball is looking a lot more appealing than the harder stuff from White, Pearson, and Pop right now."

There were 435 pitchers who threw at least 30 innings with a tracked fastball. Had Espino qualified, he would have ranked 430th fastest. Not to say that it's impossible to succeed throwing that slow just that it's incredibly hard.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#443441) #
They had too many infielders on the roster.
They cut a guy who could have been non-tendered.
Best of luck to Espinal, but it seems he focused on adding power as the league focused on deadening the ball and increasing stealing.

scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#443442) #
Espino has an excellent curve and there are a lot of guys who just can't hit curveballs.

The NRI guy trying to make it on the Rays roster is Jacob Waguespack.
He had a good year in Buffalo in 21 but never got the call so spent 2 years in Japan.

uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#443443) #
I didn't think there were actually any real pitching spots to fight over, other than for health reasons?

* 1. Gausman
* 2. Berrios
* 3. Bassitt
* 4. Kikuchi
* 5. Manoah / Francis / Tiedemann

* 1. Romano
* 2. Swanson
* 3. Mayza
* 4. Green
* 5. Garcia
* 6. Cabrera
* 7. Richards
* 8. Pop / Rodriguez / Pearson / Tiedemann / Francis

I get that at the moment there's questions on whether a few guys will be ready to go for game 1 of the season but none of them have anything that seems longterm. I don't really see much room for other pitchers to win spots this spring?
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#443444) #

Shi Davidi

Schneider was also full of praise for Ricky Tiedemann's outing last night in Bradenton, when he struck out five in 3-plus innings, saying the lefty "kind of turned the corner a little bit in his camp."
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#443445) #
Serven is ahead of Henry as he's caught at lot more.
It seems obvious that he's going to be the 3rd catcher.

I'm still not sure about the Vogelbach/Lukes/Votto situation.
Votto is still several weeks from being ready and could re-injure himself.
Lukes as hit well, but as a bottom of the lineup hitter.
Vogelbach has hit for power as a cleanup guy.
The problem last year was strike out prone guys in the middle of the lineup and the top getting stranded every couple of innings.
The issue with Vogelbach is having to trade him once Votto is ready.
They don't need to get anything back, just "cash consideration".

Yesterday, Kirk was the DH and Biggio was hitting 5th and they scored 3 runs against the Pirates.
Against the Braves, Vogelbach was the DH and homered in the first.
Lukes went 3 for 3, but as the 8th hitter, no RBI.
That doesn't scream lefty pinch hitter to me.

scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#443446) #
Today, Vogelbach is the DH, Lukes is up to 7th.
It seems to me Lukes is still seen as the backup outfielder, not a productive left bat.

Ducey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#443447) #
"* 8. Pop / Rodriguez / Pearson / Tiedemann / Francis"

I'd be surprised if White is not in the bullpen as the long guy. All of these fellows have options. He doesn't. And he took a big step at the end of last season in AAA with a velocity bump that he has maintained this spring.

He has not had great results this spring. But so what.
Marc Hulet - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#443448) #
Pop has looked terrible. Pearson is still wildly inconsistent.

I could see the Jays trying to thin the fringe 40-man arms with some trades for non-40 man prospects like McElvain. Look at getting rid of Pop, Pearson, Zulueta, Little, Parsons.

You still have Rodriguez, Danner and the some other guys that can be added if they throw well early at AAA like Espino, Tiedemann, Cooke, Bash, Fluharty, Juenger, Eisert, Quinones, Watson, etc. The Jays actually have a lot of AAA/AA arms with MLB bullpen potential and im not sure Pop, etc. actually offer much more current value given their repeated failures/inconsistencies. Some only have 6, 7, 8th reliever potential but that still has value. Look at the Rays and how they cycle through relievers.
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#443449) #
Rob Longley
Plenty of moving parts, but #Bluejays manager John Schneider acknowledged today that Ricky Tiedemann is "in the mix" to break camp with the team and start the opening series.
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#443450) #
The Mitch White thing is very weird to me.

He's been terrible this spring. He's been terrible his whole career. so he can max out at 98 so can a craptonne of guys.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#443451) #
Eisert and Juenger haven't impressed me at all.
Seems too early for Fluharty.

Tiedemann is a lock if healthy. Pearson might bring something back but the others are probably just waiver claims. The scenario could be bring the guy up for mop up duty and try to pass through waivers after a bad outing.

Pop looks like a guy who should be able to lay on a bowling ball sinker but that hasn't worked at all.
Zulueta has a good slider and it seems too early to give up on him.

scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#443452) #
He did have a good run in AAA and we know the ball carries there.

Cracka - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#443453) #
Today is the first of three "opt-out deadlines" for minor league free agents (+ May 1st & June 1st). If they choose to opt-out, the team has 48 hours to add them to the roster or release them. Perhaps not coincidentally, Eduardo Escobar has been scratched from today's lineup and replaced at 3B by Barger (good to see him starting there) with Will Robertson sliding in at RF.
Ryan Day - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#443454) #
White is starting today, so I'd guess his fate is in his own hands. If he can look even halfway competent he may make the team, but so far his increased velocity at the expense of control isn't working out for him.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#443455) #
An Escobar opt out would be great. Playing certainly doesn't help his case.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#443456) #
Boston is sending out one of the weakest lineup we've seen.

Abreu (RF) and Reyes (SS) are probably bench players. Valdez is likely the regular 2B.
The rest of the lineup might not be there on opening day. Kolozsary is not even the 3rd catcher.

scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#443457) #
I guess it's a split squad game for Boston.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#443458) #
That was a solid outing from White.

John Northey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#443459) #
Yep, that helped White's cause. 78 pitches, 53 strikes vs 25 balls over 5 2/3 IP - one more out would've been ideal but I suspect he was on a 75 pitch limit. 7 pitches to the last guy who got a single - started off 3-0 but fought back to 3-2, 79 MPH curveball was what he singled on. Home run given up, but it was a solo shot so not that bad. Just 2 hits vs 1 walk and 6 K's. I suspect he gets the start if Gausman isn't ready for game 4.
Marc Hulet - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#443460) #
Probably time to worry about Mayza. Last outing announcers mentioned how uncomfortable he looked.

Today, he faced just one batter to end the inning and did not return the next inning. Threw two pitches and sinker was 89 and 90 mph. Usually sits 93.5 and touches 95.
Gerry - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#443461) #
Mayza didn't look good when I saw him pitch a few days ago.
Ducey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#443462) #
Mayza could be hurt or just having the dead arm many pitchers get late in the spring.

Nice to see the Kinder Falafel go yard.
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#443463) #
Escobar released.
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#443464) #
Nice outing by white but he was facing an AAA lineup.
John Northey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#443465) #
Kind of inevitable the Escobar release imo. A 411 OPS over 41 AB's wasn't going to get a NRI onto the team, especially after a 613 in the majors last year. He probably will end up in the minors somewhere hoping for a shot.

So the 2B/3B/backup SS is now composed of - IKF, Biggio, Clement, Schneider, with minor leaguers Orelvis Martinez, Addison Barger, Leo Jimenez, Damiano Palmegiani as the backups hoping for a shot. IKF and Clement are both solid at SS should Bo need a day off or (gulp) get hurt. Jimenez is the AAA SS backup. I think that is reasonably solid, but I would like it if Escobar doesn't find work elsewhere and ends up in Buffalo as it'd be nice to have a vet down there ready to step in should someone get hurt rather than counting on a kid to step up in that case.
John Northey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#443466) #
FanGraphs just finished their positional power ratings. Here are the Jays rankings vs the majors.

C: 3rd (O's #1); 1B: 5th (LAD #1); 2B: 19th (Rangers #1); 3B: 23rd (Guardians #1); SS: 7th (Rangers #1); LF: 10th (Astros #1); CF: #13 (Mariners #1); RF: #6 (Atlanta #1); DH: #15 (Astros #1).

So top 10 at C/1B/SS/LF/RF, bottom 10 at 3B only. Middle at 2B, CF, DH. I'd argue with a few of the rankings but this is a good feel for where the Jays lineup is. Mostly solid, a few obvious holes that are hard to fill right now (2B & 3B namely) but have internal candidates that might push them to top 10 (if Schneider hits like last year overall then 2B becomes a big asset regardless of his defense).
Ducey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#443467) #
"I would like it if Escobar doesn't find work elsewhere and ends up in Buffalo as it'd be nice to have a vet down there"

I cant agree. They have so many INF prospects in AAA. You named a bunch but there is also Latigua (who is small but hit well last year), Tanner Morris, Hiraldo, De Los Santos, and Tirotta.

Some of these guys have a small chance to make the majors but at least they have some upside. Escobar is just using up a spot and taking AB from these guys while father time further erodes his skills.

If they really need someone, they have done a decent job picking thru minor league free agents to find Clement and Lukes. Find someone else. Please, lol.

GabrielSyme - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#443468) #
Lantigua was probably just about the best minor league free agent infielder on the market this past off season - and they brought him back.
John Northey - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#443469) #
Lantigua was solid last year - 305/425/469 in Buffalo - but no ML track record, just 551 games in the minors, 0 ML games. Last year 3B-LF-SS-RF over 10 starts each, plus 8 at 2B and 5 in CF. If his bat can be a 750 OPS in the majors and his defense is solid then he has a future as a backup for sure. I suspect he'd be a solid choice as a callup if an injury happens and they feel safe using a mix of the current ML'ers to cover everyday duties until healthy.

Brings up who is the backup for injuries?
  • OF (Springer/Kiemaier both likely to go down at some point) - whoever is hot (Barger-Roden-Lukes)
  • 2B - Orelvis Martinez
  • 3B - Damiano Palmegiani most likely
  • SS - Leo Jimenez
  • C - Brian Serven has to be the favorite right now, we'll see opening day.
With the multi-position flexibility we have in Biggio-IKF-Schneider the team could pretty much just go with whoever looks best at that time and shuffle everyone else around that, outside of catcher of course. I could easily see Turner getting a lot more time at 3B than planned too if someone goes down (shifting IKF wherever to cover) thus putting Votto into a full-time DH role for a bit. All depends on how the team is doing and what is seen as the biggest weakness at that time I guess - if hitting then you can sacrifice some defense, if pitching then you might not want to do that, and instead call up someone who is dedicated to that position already. Should be an interesting year at least.
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#443470) #
* RF Springer (34): 40pa, 17.5b%, 7.5k%, .407bip, .333iso, 1.283ops
* SS Bichette (26): 50pa, 2.0b%, 20.0k%, .421bip, .143iso, .850ops
* DH Vogelbach* (31): 38pa, 15.8b%, 18.4k%, .227bip, .344iso, .962ops
* 1B Guerrero (25): 37pa, 10.8b%, 24.3k%, .524bip, .303iso, 1.213ops
* LF Varsho* (27): 52pa, 17.3b%, 11.5k%, .361bip, .143iso, .918ops
* C Kirk (25): 35pa, 5.7b%, 11.4k%, .346bip, .394iso, 1.158ops
* 2B Biggio* (29): 28pa, 25.0b%, 28.6k%, .462bip, .143iso, .893ops
* 3B Falefa (29): 45pa, 11.1b%, 22.2k%, .462bip, .135iso, .953ops
* CF Kiermaier* (34): 36pa, 5.6b%, 41.7k%, .267bip, .353iso, .866ops

* PH Turner (39): 43pa, 14.0b%, 20.9k%, .280bip, .194iso, .816ops
* OF Lukes* (29): 43pa, 11.6b%, 11.6k%, .485bip, .162iso, 1.083ops
* IF Clement (28): 44pa, 4.5b%, 2.3k%, .316bip, .310iso, 1.053ops
* C Jansen (29): 26pa, 7.7b%, 7.7k%, .200bip, .217iso, .743ops

* PH Votto* (40): 1pa, 00.0b%, 00.0k%, .000bip, 3.000iso, 5.000ops
* OF Roden (24): 27pa, 11.1b%, 22.2k%, .260bip, .292iso, .875ops
* IF Schneider (25): 44pa, 9.1b%, 27.3k%, .200bip, .184iso, .641ops
* C Serven (29): 27pa, 14.8b%, 14.8k%, .125bip, .478iso, 1.029ops

* PH Horwitz* (26): 44pa, 15.9b%, 25.0k%, .192bip, .027iso, .435ops
* OF Robertson* (26): 31pa, 12.9b%, 35.5k%, .267bip, .222iso, .697ops
* IF Lantigua (25): 28pa, 3.6b%, 14.3k%, .182bip, .154iso, .560ops
* C Henry (27): 19pa, 0.0b%, 21.1k%, .429bip, .158iso, .894ops
Joe - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#443471) #
[Mitch White] has been terrible his whole career.
This doesn't seem to be true. He was very bad last year (seemingly because he was hurt? Honestly I'm not sure), but other than that had never been less than replacement level. 2021 and 2022, he had a FIP under 4. This feels like "what have you done for me recently", tbh.
uglyone - Friday, March 22 2024 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#443472) #

Mitch White Career (29): 58gms, 2.8ip/gm, 126era-, 95fip-, 108xfip-

Michael - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#443473) #
There was a mlb article on best starting pitching in baseball and they had the Jays as 7th best, 2nd best in the AL (behind Seattle).

A reminder that while we have some question marks on health and effectiveness, starting pitching is a strength.
John Northey - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#443474) #
White's FIP in LA was always under 4. 2.5 fWAR as a Dodger, 0.6 as a Jay (was sure it'd be negative but his FIP was 3.76 his first season, 4.91 last year suggesting he has either horrid luck with balls in play despite the killer defense we have or gives up a crazy number of line drives). If his BABIP would drop back to a normal level ala his Dodger days he'd be fine, but I wouldn't count on it. He'll be the emergency starter/8th man/long man in the pen for now I suspect. Wouldn't be shocked if he is a 'throw in' to get a deal done at some point this year - he is the type every team thinks they can fix.
Ducey - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#443475) #
Old temporary acquaintance Phil Bickford is on waivers again. Consistently good K and hit rates but poor walk rates.

No idea what is stuff is like. Presumably it's good given the 10.1 K/9 and the low hit rates.

I doubt he would make it to the Jays, but maybe they grab him and try and designate him (he is out of options anyway) and send him to the lab for some adjustments. He is still only 28.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#443476) #
Kiermaier fouled a ball off his kneecap and was removed from the game.
jerjapan - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#443477) #
When it comes to fringe guys on the depth chart, if the org sees something they like in White or Bickford or IKF, I'm inclined to give them a chance to prove me wrong first.  It's all marginal value at that point, so if a coach has a hunch?  GM thinks he has a better take on IKF's value than the industry?  Worth a shot.  FO's need to be careful of groupthink, I think. 

Not sure who the fan is that posts about the Hold Steady sometimes, but 'with a wineglass on the microwave, and an ashtray in the kitchenette', I get it now. 

Maybe I just had to turn 50.  Any good albums for me to start with, other than Open Door Policy? 

"Than I asked about the other stuff".  Many, this vocalist lands great lines with the fewest syllables possible.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#443478) #
Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, passes away at the age of 94.
John Northey - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#443479) #
Good ol' Bickford - 10th overall pick who didn't sign. signed 2 years later with the Giants 18th overall. Never pitched in the majors for either team that drafted him. 180 2/3 ML Innings, 95 ERA+. Seems decent but never started, all in relief. Jays used the pick they gained from his not signing on Max Pentecost who never reached the majors (2 picks later Trea Turner was picked by SD, next guy to have a real ML career was Matt Chapman #25 and Jack Flaherty #34 - it was a weak first round in 2014). Note: in 2013 when the Jays took him 10th overall, the next guy not to sign was 34th overall (Matt Krook with the Marlins -0.4 bWAR). Hunter Renfroe was 3 picks later, but the next 'wow' was Aaron Judge down at pick #32. Judge and Kris Bryant were the only guys who were 'wow' that round (Bryant was 2nd overall). Boy MLB drafts are real crapshoots aren't they? The Jays best result from that draft was Kendall Graveman with 9.7 bWAR (he was a value pick to save bonus cash to sign others - signed for just $5k in round 8). Best to still be here is Danny Jansen (just 8.1 bWAR due to his assorted injuries, a 16th round pick)

Interesting to see how far back we see current Jays.
  • 2013: Jansen, Tim Mayza
  • 2014: Jordan Romano, Zach Pop (DNS)
  • 2015: flop
  • 2016: Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio
  • 2017: Davis Schneider, Hagen Danner (on 40 man), Nate Pearson
  • 2018: flop
  • 2019: Alek Manoah, Spencer Horwitz, Cam Eden
None from 2020-2023 have reached. I do like the odds of a few on 2021's list (Ricky Tiedemann, Chad Dallas, Damiano Palmegiani, Trenton Wallace) and 2022's (Brandon Barriera, Tucker Toman, Alan Roden, among others). Funny though - the most hyped pick in the past 5 years has to be Austin Martin who is still with Minnesota and hit just 208/321/250 in spring so far at age 25 and is not looking good for a callup anytime soon (260/381/398 in 2023, has yet to play 100 games in a season).
mathesond - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#443480) #
I may be the one who posts about the Hold Steady, I certainly am a big fan of seeing them live. Boys and Girls in America, Stay Positive, and Separation Sunday are all great listens, and though I've only listened once, I did enjoy The Price of Progress.
Gerry - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#443481) #
Brian Serven has made the team according to Schneider.

There will be two 40 man additions to be made, one for Serven and one for Vogelbach. There is one spot available but someone has to come off to make room.

Depending on his progress Alek Manoah could go on the 60 day IL, but that's unlikely.

You have to assume that prospects like Orelvis, Barger and Jimenez will not be dropped. Nathan Lukes needs to stay on in case the Jays need an outfielder. Spencer Horwitz should be OK, but he hasn't much opportunity at the MLB level.

ON the pitching side Yariel Rodriguez, Macko and Danner are likely safe as would be Wes Parsons who the Jays liked this spring.

That leaves Nate Pearson, Mitch White, Yosver Zulueta, Zach Pop and Brendon Little.

I think it probably comes down to Pop or Little, unless there is a trade in the works.
Cracka - Saturday, March 23 2024 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#443482) #
Phil Bickford went to Dunedin shortly after being drafted in 2013 for a physical. He showed up with a broken arm that he had not previously disclosed to anyone and the Blue Jays tried to lowball him. When they couldn't get a deal done, they ended up signing Rowdy Tellez at the deadline for $850k (for a 30th rounder). And of course Rowdy netted us Francis and Richards and none of this might have ever happened if Bickford didn't break his arm.
Waveburner - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 04:38 AM EDT (#443483) #
If Vogelbach is for sure making the team, it wouldn't surprise me if Horwitz is the one removed from the 40 man. I mean Vogelbach basically takes Horwitz's role and they still have Votto to likely add to the roster soon enough.

Horwitz is a 1B/DH who doesn't hit for power and is already 26 years old. I doubt he would even get claimed. Pop/Little both seem more likely to be useful at some point this season.

Though I'm not sure what the Jays like about Parsons, he's probably the first guy I would cut.
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#443484) #
Jimenez is another guy who could be traded.
He's only valuable if Clement fails.

Lukes could make the opening day roster if KK goes on the IL.
The position player IL is only 10 days. I wouldn't go one day with a short  bench.

greenfrog - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#443485) #
Kiermaier is in the lineup today as the center fielder. Good news.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#443486) #
The other day BA posted their 2024 mock draft 1.0. Here's the current Blue Jays prediction:

"20. Blue Jays ó Mike Sirota, OF, Northeastern

Sirota needs to perform for different reasons than some of the corner profiles in this mock draft. The Northeastern outfielder got off to a slow start and went 8-for-43 (.186) in his first 10 games of the season before stringing together four straight multi-hit games including a 4-for-5 effort against Bryant on March 13. His defensive ability and solid all-around toolset provides some sort of floor, but he feels more like a back of the first round pick currently than the potential top-10 pick we had him as to start the year.

And here's the projected #1 pick:

1. Guardians ó Charlie Condon, INF/OF, Georgia

Condon has been on another planet in the first few weeks of the 2024 season. Through 21 games he has hit .521/.648/1.192 with 13 home runs, eight doubles and nearly twice as many walks (23) as strikeouts (12). Condon has a chance for a plus hit tool with 70-grade raw power which could be more than enough to make him the 1-1 pick in the 2024 draft class. The defensive versatility heís shown early this seasonówhich was the one key area for him to improve on in our preseason to-do listówonít hurt either. Heís simply been the most dynamic player in the class. He has forced himself to the top of the draft board.
Marc Hulet - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#443487) #
The Jays really like Jimenez and he's a true shortstop... in a system with few shortstop prospects. With Espinal gone, I don't think there is anyway Jimenez gets removed from the 40-man in any way.

I feel like the Jays are leaning towards keeping Rodriguez on the 26-man roster but, in watching his start yesterday, he struggled to command the fastball, which made his other pitches less effective, and he couldn't strike out anyone (except one batter). But the umpire's strike zone was also terribly inconsistent (mostly against the Jays TBH).

His stuff was solid yesterday but not exactly electric and he was fooling people by pitching backward (break balls/off-speed in fastball counts)... Once the scouting report gets out on him, he's really going to struggle if he can't get ahead in the count more effectively.
Nigel - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#443488) #
Good summary Marc on Rodriquez. I hope thereís more there than weíve seen so far because I was trying to envision how he was going to consistently get major league hitters out and I really couldnít see it. Now, in a system seriously short on 5th/6th starter types he definitely fits a need. But, I like Francisí chances of succeeding considerably more. Thereís time of course.
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#443489) #
It's hard to see a path to playing time for Jimenez.
He will be out of options next year and will have no chance to play shortstop as Bichette will still hold the spot. Kasevich is 3 months older and could be playing shortstop in Buffalo next year.
They could make room for him on the bench but Jimenez has little value if not playing shortstop.

I think Gausman will make the team but will be limited in innings.
White looks like a lock. I'm kinda expecting Pearson and Pop to round the pen.

greenfrog - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#443490) #
I think it's worth remembering that we're in late March. For example, at this time last year (and in his first regular-season start for the Blue Jays) Bassitt looked like he might be toast. He ended up having a very solid season.

The state of the pitching is going to look a lot different in a month or two. Players are just getting tuned up.
bpoz - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#443491) #
The farm failed the Jays last year regarding position players. Barger managed 31 ABs in AAA in 2022 so he was in position to get to the Jays except he was injured. He did get 340 ABs in Buffalo with an improved bb/k ratio. We know that he has a strong arm and great power. So maybe this year.

At 116 ML ABs last year it was D Schneider that was the most successful position prospect. Clement 50ABs and Horwitz 39 ABs were next but those are underwhelming offensive stats for 25 year old prospects.

Pitching wise Tiedemann may have made it except he too was injured.

I am very confident that no prospects are blocked. If Bo is healthy Jimenez is blocked at SS. But there is still 2B & 3B.
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#443492) #
Jimenez is a glove first player. Ryan Goins accumulated 3.8 WAR in 8 years as he mostly played second base. I don't see the value in that.
Marc Hulet - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#443493) #
Jimenez has produced a decent wRC+ throughout the minors and actually does a nice job getting on base. Hes not all glove. Also, he's possibly in line for a fourth option given an obscure rule around age/seasons and the Jays could also petition for another option solely on the lost time due to injury.

I've watched a fair bit of Kasevich in the minors and I don't see much there. I was hoping he might work to address the lack of strength but I haven't seen anything different this spring, albeit in a very small sample.

The infield prospect depth charts for AA and A+ this year are lined up to be very weak. The outfield is thankfully looking better than it has in a few years (mostly speaking about AA and assuming the depth in AAA pushes Roden back to AA to start the year)
Ducey - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#443494) #
Jimenez is 22 who will be playing AAA. He put up an 808 OPS in AA last year and is a true shortstop.

MLB has him listed as the Jays 5th best prospect.

No way they trade just to clear up a spot on the 40 man
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#443495) #
So, as reported in The Athletic, Ohtani's interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara has a resume filled with lies. He supposedly graduated from University of California, Riverdale but the school has no record of anybody with that name ever attending there. He also has listed as having worked as an interpreter with the Boston Red Sox in 2010 but the Sox say he was never affiliated with them.
uglyone - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#443496) #
Schneider makes the team despite his poor spring. Not surprising though i'd have been tempted to send him down.

Vogelbach makes the team after a very good spring.

Clement too obviously.

Lukes optioned to AAA despite an excellent spring.
Gerry - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#443497) #
Just one spring training game left.
uglyone - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#443498) #
Spring Stats

* RF Springer (34): 47pa, 14.9b%, 6.4k%, .424bip, .308iso, 1.276ops
* SS Bichette (26): 58pa, 3.4b%, 19.0k%, .409bip, .125iso, .826ops
* 1B Guerrero (25): 45pa, 8.9b%, 20.0k%, .552bip, .244iso, 1.218ops
* DH Turner (39): 49pa, 12.2b%, 20.4k%, .241bip, .238iso, .823ops
* LF Varsho* (27): 60pa, 16.7b%, 15.0k%, .325bip, .122iso, .808ops
* C Kirk (25): 41pa, 4.9b%, 12.2k%, .333bip, .342iso, 1.074ops
* 2B Biggio* (29): 34pa, 20.6b%, 29.4k%, .353bip, .111iso, .715ops
* 3B Falefa (29): 50pa, 10.0b%, 24.0k%, .483bip, .143iso, .960ops
* CF Kiermaier* (34): 39pa, 5.1b%, 43.6k%, .250bip, .324iso, .797ops

* PH Vogelbach* (31): 41pa, 14.6b%, 19.5k%, .208bip, .314iso, .884ops
* OF Schneider (25): 47pa, 8.5b%, 25.5k%, .179bip, .171iso, .596ops
* IF Clement (28): 47pa, 4.3b%, 2.1k%, .317bip, .289iso, 1.027ops
* C Jansen (29): 26pa, 7.7b%, 7.7k%, .200bip, .217iso, .743ops

* PH Votto* (40): 1pa, 00.0b%, 00.0k%, .000bip, 3.000iso, 5.000ops
* OF Lukes* (29): 46pa, 10.9b%, 10.9k%, .500bip, .150iso, 1.100ops
* IF Lantigua (25): 31pa, 3.2b%, 12.9k%, .200bip, .172iso, .605ops
* C Serven (29): 27pa, 14.8b%, 14.8k%, .125bip, .478iso, 1.029ops

* PH Horwitz* (26): 47pa, 14.9b%, 23.4k%, .172bip, .025iso, .405ops
* OF Robertson* (26): 33pa, 12.1b%, 33.3k%, .235bip, .207iso, .652ops
* OF Roden (24): 27pa, 11.1b%, 22.2k%, .260bip, .292iso, .875ops
* C Henry (27): 21pa, 0.0b%, 28.6k%, .429bip, .143iso, .809ops
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#443499) #
The main problem with Jimenez is that they put him on the 40 roster too early.
He had an OPS of .575 in AAA last year.
Does he play shortstop for the Jays this year if Bichette goes on the IL?
IKF and Clement can play the position.
They can probably get more back for him now than if they wait a year.

As for Horwitz, it's not hard to see a scenario in which they select Votto and he goes to the IL.
Then Horwitz gets the call if he's doing OK in Buffalo.

scottt - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#443500) #
Last couple of games have looked like MLB games with the Jays hitter not liking the strike zone.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#443501) #
Iíve been going back and forth between optimism and pessimism about the 2024 Blue Jays. The optimism relates to:

-Kirk and Varsho (and maybe some other veterans) being in a better place

-Francis and Tiedemann being in a position to contribute

-The Buffalo Boys being available the whole season (Clement, Schneider, Lukes, Horwitz, Roden, Lantigua)

-Deeper bullpen (Green, Rodriguez)

-Lower expectations = less pressure ó> better results, maybe
bpoz - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#443502) #
Tough question. Who will win the AL East and AL West??
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#443503) #
Roden and Lantigua aren't on the 40 roster. Roden doesn't have to be added for another 2 years.
Barger, Martinez and Jimenez are available, but I think only Barger has a chance of a call up.

The bullpen looks shaky to start the year. Romano and Swanson could be joining Manoah on the IL.
The rotation hasn't exactly solid.  Gausman has been pushed to 5th starter.

The pressure might be higher than ever. For John Schneider anyway.

My hope lies on Matt Hague being with the team.
They sure swung the bat very well in the spring. 

greenfrog - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#443504) #
There is definitely pressure on Atkins.
John Northey - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#443505) #
I think the Jays goal is the usual - make the playoffs or be very close to it while drawing eyeballs to Sportsnet and filling seats at the stadium. A hot start would do wonders. A sub 500 season would result in heads rolling I suspect. Sadly TV ratings in Canada are no longer published publicly so we just have the crowds at the dome to count on for judging how popular the Jays are. If we see more Jays features on Sportsnet then we know they are getting good ratings.

As to the team itself - I feel good about it, they are certainly in contention for the division title (Baltimore has to be the favorites, then Yankees, then Jays, then Rays - any of the 4 could win the AL East and few would be shocked, Boston would be a surprise though). Is there any other division where any of 4 teams winning would not be a surprise?
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#443506) #
Who will win the AL East and AL West??

Toronto will challenge Baltimore. (The other clubs will flop.)
Texas will win the West.

Is there any other division where any of 4 teams winning would not be a surprise?

The N.L. Central is usually a jumble of mediocre clubs.

jerjapan - Sunday, March 24 2024 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#443507) #
Hard to argue with those three players for the roster, but tough break for Lukes, again.

The jays are pretty strict in terms of following their depth chart, So Iím not surprised.

As for the 40 man slot guys like Horowitz, Pop and Jimenez arenít going anywhere, as long as they have options,

It feels like Wes Parsons to me. The guy is 31 with no big league track record to speak of.

Thanks for the Hold Steady recos!
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#443508) #
I'm interested to see just how much opportunity they give clement. I'm not sure he can't win a starting IF spot outright if given the chance.

Ducey - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#443509) #
Biggio looks out of sorts in the spring. He is entirely too passive again. I imagine they will run him out there lots at first but then sit him a little until he starts driving the ball.

And my sense is that the manager is not a big believer in his namesake (or maybe I just am not).

So Clement will get a chance to grab 2B for sure.
dalimon5 - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#443510) #
I expect Turner, IKF, Schneider and Clement to replace 3 of Varsho, KK, Biggio.
92-93 - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#443511) #
Schneider made it clear last year that he didn't fully buy into his namesake's fast start.

It's good having two positions where guys need to fight for starts.
Gerry - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#443512) #
Varsho pulled from todays lineup, no reason why.

The manager says its likely Romano and Swanson start the season on the IL.
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#443513) #
"personal matter" for varsho.
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#443514) #
1st Inning: Gausman hits 97 a couple of times and gets 4 or 5 swinging strikes. he's fine.
92-93 - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#443515) #
Schneider goes down swinging in the 2nd on the high fastball.

Biggio hangs in on a breaking ball vs. a lefty for the 2-out RBI triple flared to LF.
Nigel - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#443516) #
Clement may well be an upgrade on IKF. I donít know if the team will take a chance to determine that given their respective contracts.
Gerry - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#443517) #
Tim Mayza threw 13 pitches today before being pulled. His first ten pitches were all sinkers. It wasn't until pitch 11 that he threw a slider.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#443518) #
Today was the first time Iíve seen Serven catch. Wow does he ever have a quiet glove. He's going to steal a lot of strikes. Easy to see why the Jays like his defense.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#443519) #
ďClement may well be an upgrade on IKF. I donít know if the team will take a chance to determine that given their respective contracts.Ē Maybe Iím in the minority, but I think theyíre both going to get their shot and Iím not worried about it. IKF has said nothing has been promised, and Schneider has spoken about Clement having earned a place on the team. If Clement breaks out, I donít see IKFís contract as an issue if they wanted to move him at the deadline, for example. Like Blair, I expect this team will be on the lookout for an upgrade at 3B around the deadline, with one of the current dudes going the other way
John Northey - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#443520) #
For IKF vs Clement I suspect the Jays will give IKF a full shot to start, but if he is hitting sub 200 come May then Clement will get a lot more time there. April is always a shake out time when you see what you really have, May/June are adjusting to see if you have internal solutions for any problems, July is trade month.

Kiner-Falefa vs Clement vs kids at 3B, Biggio at 2B vs Schneider vs Clement/IKF vs kids, Schneider as the OF backup (no real internal option set, maybe kids but I doubt they'd call up someone for that role), Vogelbach as PH vs Votto vs Horwitz.

A few moving parts there.  Not to mention hoping a few of Vlad, Kirk, Springer, Varsho can get going as they did pre-2023. Also hoping Kiermaier doesn't go back to being an often injured 80-90 OPS+ guy, and that Jansen comes back soon and stays healthy (no insult to Serven who has had a great spring, but I wouldn't count on a guy with a 50 OPS+ lifetime suddenly figuring it out in one spring - a reminder that Clement has a lifetime 64 OPS+ so same rule applies, IKF is lifetime 81 which is sad, but far better than Clement's figure).

Basically, if we are being realistic, 3B will be an offensive hole this season, but will be great on defense. Thus making it critical for some of the 4 offensive slackers of 2023 to hit again.
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#443521) #
I would imagine that playing both IKF and Clement would be the best option for defense.

So the question is if they can hit close enough to Biggio/Schneider to make it an easy choice.
John Northey - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#443522) #
FanGraphs has their 2024 Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen done now.  Jays are #10 with injuries being a big issue (Romano and Swanson maybe down to start).  Rays are #7, Yankees #19, Red Sox #20, O's #28.  Sounds like the Jays best shot is for the O's pen to do a  Jays 1982-1984 stretch when the Jays pen was such a nightmare they seriously considered moving near HOF Dave Stieb in his prime to closer (thankfully they didn't and they found Tom Henke instead).
bpoz - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#443523) #
Hopefully Gausman only misses 2 starts.
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#443524) #
don't know if he'll miss any starts. might be on a 75 pitch limit in start 1 tho.
Marc Hulet - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#443525) #
Neither Pop nor Mayza looked good. I still don't think Mayza is healthy although his velo was back in the 93 mph range from 89-91.

Parsons was shaky early on and had a little bad luck but was stronger in his second inning. He might also be struggling with the warmup routine change from starter to reliever.
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#443526) #
final spring stats.

extra players are included based on how much opportunity they got this spring.

* RF Springer (34): 49pa, 14.3b%, 6.1k%, .400bip, .293iso, 1.217ops
* SS Bichette (26): 60pa, 3.3b%, 18.3k%, .413bip, .138iso, .850ops
* 1B Guerrero (25): 45pa, 8.9b%, 20.0k%, .552bip, .244iso, 1.218ops
* DH Turner (39): 51pa, 11.8b%, 19.6k%, .226bip, .227iso, .788ops
* LF Varsho* (27): 60pa, 16.7b%, 15.0k%, .325bip, .122iso, .808ops
* C Kirk (25): 41pa, 4.9b%, 12.2k%, .333bip, .342iso, 1.074ops
* 2B Biggio* (29): 36pa, 19.4b%, 30.6k%, .389bip, .138iso, .768ops
* 3B Falefa (29): 52pa, 9.6b%, 25.0k%, .467bip, .136iso, .919ops
* CF Kiermaier* (34): 41pa, 4.9b%, 41.5k%, .278bip, .359iso, .858ops

* PH Vogelbach* (31): 43pa, 14.0b%, 20.9k%, .240bip, .297iso, .890ops
* OF Schneider (25): 50pa, 8.0b%, 28.0k%, .172bip, .159iso, .558ops
* IF Clement (28): 49pa, 4.1b%, 2.0k%, .326bip, .277iso, 1.026ops
* C Jansen (29): 26pa, 7.7b%, 7.7k%, .200bip, .217iso, .743ops - INJ

* PH Votto* (40): 1pa, 00.0b%, 00.0k%, .000bip, 3.000iso, 5.000ops
* OF Lukes* (29): 46pa, 10.9b%, 10.9k%, .500bip, .150iso, 1.100ops
* UT Lantigua (25): 33pa, 6.1b%, 12.1k%, .231bip, .167iso, .673ops
* C Serven (29): 29pa, 13.8b%, 17.2k%, .118bip, .440iso, .950ops

* PH Horwitz* (26): 47pa, 14.9b%, 23.4k%, .172bip, .025iso, .405ops
* OF Robertson* (26): 35pa, 11.4b%, 31.4k%, .263bip, .194iso, .673ops
* OF Roden (24): 27pa, 11.1b%, 22.2k%, .260bip, .292iso, .875ops
* C Henry (27): 21pa, 0.0b%, 28.6k%, .429bip, .143iso, .809ops

* SP Gausman 3.0ip, 21.0k/9, 0.0b/9, .600bip, .250avg, 1.00whip, 3.00era
* SP Berrios 13.0ip, 6.2k/9, 1.4b/9, .302bip, .250avg, 1.15whip, 1.38era
* SP Bassitt 23.0ip, 8.6k/9, 1.6b/9, .317bip, .264avg, 1.17whip, 4.30era
* SP Kikuchi* 7.2ip, 11.7k/9, 5.9b/9, .409bip, .378avg, 2.48whip, 16.43era
* SP Manoah 1.2ip, 0.0k/9, 5.4b/9, .429bip, .429avg, 2.40whip, 21.60era - INJ

* SP Francis 18.2ip, 7.2k/9, 1.9b/9, .264bip, .217avg, 1.02whip, 3.38era
* SP White 18.0ip, 7.0k/9, 5.5b/9, .188bip, .175avg, 1.22whip, 4.50era
* SP Tiedemann* 6.2ip, 10.8k/9, 4.1b/9, .250bip, .240avg, 1.35whip, 5.40era
* SP Rodriguez 5.0ip, 5.4k/9, 5.4b/9, .091bip, .133avg, 1.00whip, 1.80era
* SP Espino 17.0ip, 12.7k/9, 1.1b/9, .270bip, .203avg, 0.88whip, 2.65era

* RP Romano 4.1ip, 12.5k/9, 4.2b/9, .222bip, .133avg, 0.92whip, 2.08era - INJ
* RP Swanson 1.2ip, 5.4k/9, 10.8b/9, .250bip, .200avg, 1.80whip, 5.40era - INJ
* RP Mayza* 5.1ip, 8.4k/9, 1.7b/9, .476bip, .385avg, 2.06whip, 6.75era
* RP Green 7.2ip, 12.9k/9, 1.2b/9, .368bip, .324avg, 1.57whip, 8.22era
* RP Garcia 9.0ip, 9.0k/9, 2.0b/9, .095bip, .125avg, 0.67whip, 2.00era
* RP Cabrera* 7.2ip, 11.7k/9, 3.5b/9, .235bip, .207avg, 1.17whip, 2.35era
* RP Richards 10.1ip, 15.7k/9, 5.2b/9, .409bip, .268avg, 1.65whip, 4.35era

* RP Pop 7.1ip, 9.8k/9, 6.1b/9, .435bip, .323avg, 2.05whip, 4.91era
* RP Pearson 9.2ip, 10.2k/9, 3.7b/9, .320bip, .278avg, 1.45whip, 6.52era
* RP Juenger 8.2ip, 9.4k/9, 1.0b/9, .250bip, .281avg, 1.15whip, 4.15era
* RP Parsons 8.2ip, 5.4k/9, 7.2b/9, .313bip, .294avg, 2.08whip, 5.19era
* RP Eisert* 8.2ip, 8.3k/9, 3.1b/9, .280bip, .278avg, 1.50whip, 6.23era
* RP Little* 8.0ip, 11.3k/9, 5.6b/9, .316bip, .207avg, 1.38whip, 6.75era
* RP Fluharty* 7.1ip,14.7k/9, 4.9b/9, .231bip, .185avg, 1.23whip, 4.91era
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#443527) #

* RF Springer
* SS Bichette
* DH Vogelbach
* 1B Guerrero
* LF Varsho
* 3B Turner
* 2B Biggio
* C Kirk
* CF Kiermaier


* RF Springer
* SS Bichette
* 1B Guerrero
* DH Turner
* C Kirk
* LF Schneider
* 2B Clement
* 3B Falefa
* CF Varsho

If Turner can handle 3B of course.
greenfrog - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#443528) #
Would prefer to see Varsho batting sixth or lower in the lineup vRHP.



I doubt Turner can start everyday against RHP, though.
greenfrog - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#443529) #
At third base, I mean.
John Northey - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#443530) #
I'd be quite surprised if Turner does start at 3B vs RHP all the time - 127 times the Jays faced a RH starting pitcher last year. Turner played 7 games at 3B last year, 66 in 2022, 143 in 2021.  So in theory he could but realistically I don't see it. No idea how they'll juggle things though as that would make the most sense. Maybe 1 G at 3B, 1 at 1B (Vlad DH), 1 at DH (Vlad at 1B). So Vogelbach starts 1 out of 3 games at DH vs RHP, the other games he is a PH only.  That would be 40-50 games at 3B which sounds a lot more possible.
92-93 - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#443531) #
Guerrero will likely bat 2nd in front of Bichette, where he's been the last few games. The lineup sets up much better when Vladdy deserves the #2 spot ahead of Bo; he needs the protection more.

How much 3B Turner plays will be a function of how well Votto/Vogelbach & IKF (and to a lesser extent the rest of the lineup) hit. We shouldn't see much of it early on.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#443532) #
The Shohei Ohtani press conference was fascinating.
scottt - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#443533) #
As long as the bench gets used, it's all good.

There's a lot of options. You can pinch hit for Biggio late in game when they bring a lefty, it doesn't matter what Biggio's number are against lefties, treat him as a platoon player. Clement and IKF can pinch run and come in defensively. Vogelbach can pinch hit. First month, everybody needs to get some playing time.

I haven't seen Turner at third much. They can pinch run for Turner in the 7th and have Vogelbach hit in the 9th. Even without Guerrero, they don't rush to play Turner at first.

I must say, Delay is a very annoying name. Not quite as bad as a player named Out or Safe, but close.

scottt - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#443534) #
Players can hit .300 in April and .200 the rest of the year.
The thing in April is to try to play the hot guys enough to win games while the other guys get their timing.
The hitters have looked good, but the umps can cool them off very quickly as we've seen.
IKF plays good defense, runs well, hustles etc. That's who he is.

John Northey - Monday, March 25 2024 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#443535) #
Yes, but April often exposes holes you don't see in March vs guys just getting ready. If someone is showing well in April or flopping badly you get a good idea as to what needs the team has. Sometimes you get crazy starts like Chapman had last year that fade. Sometimes guys suck then get hot, but far stronger indicators than you see in March.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#443536) #
I just read an article on how, since Miguel Cabrera retired, there are no active players in the 500 home run, 3000 hit, or 300 win club and there is no one who is that close either. Justin Verlander has 257 wins but his age makes it doubtful he makes it.
In fact, it is hard to see in this era of bullpen specialty and few pitchers pitching deep into games, anyone even getting close to 300 wins. A side note is that the leader in wins among pitchers under age 30 is our very own Jose Berrios at 87.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#443537) #
Miami did not do much this off season. They traded for Nick Gordon with Minnesota in Feb. The rest of their moves were uninspiring. Looks like they will not compete.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#443538) #
I am very impressed by the power we have on the Buffalo team. I expect that Plamegiani will play 3B and learn defense there because Horowitz will be at 1B.
soupman - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#443539) #
They also hired Tim "Call me the Jackie Robinson of today, but actually DO NOT call me Jackie Robinson or I'll call you racist" Anderson.
Glevin - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#443540) #
I'd rather Turner doesn't play that much against RHP TBH. He had a 105 WRC+ against them which is decent but likely significantly worse than what Vogelbach would give the team (last 2 years 119/148 against RHP). Play occasionally at 3B with a flyball pitcher, occasionally at DH, but mostly Jays probably have better options at both vs. RHP.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#443541) #
"They also hired Tim "Call me the Jackie Robinson of today, but actually DO NOT call me Jackie Robinson or I'll call you racist" Anderson."

It's crazy. At a certain point I feel that younger generations misappropriate important matters for self serving purposes. I didn't watch all of it but I saw enough of the Don Lemon and Elon Musk interview to be turned off instantly since it was about self serving end games from both parties.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#443542) #

I don't think they brought Turner in for his WRC+. He has a track record of driving runs in and having professional at bats, which of course stats like WRC+ have no way of accounting for.
Ducey - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#443543) #
I would expect they are going to dig deeper than platoon splits.

Someone will be hotter than the other. It will likely depend on the SP who might feature a 97 mph fastball up in the zone or throw his slider 40% of the time. I am sure they have all the fancy stats to sort out who handles each of those better. It may depend on the park - Yankee stadium has the short RF porch for example. Presumably that's advantage Vogelbach.

Or someone might have a nagging minor injury.

On a separate point I watched the game yesterday (when they were not focused on the Pirates telecast crew) and Schneider still is getting murdered by the high fastball, and now the low and away slider. I really dont see him in the majors by the end of April. He has had all winter and spring to learn how to deal with the book on him, and it looks like he has not.

The good news is that there are a lot of kids on the farm - one of which likely will take a step forward.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#443544) #
I'm still shocked that Schneider made the team... I'm guessing it's due to the lack of a better RHH OF. Hopefully someone else shakes loose during the roster setting by other teams (although Adam Duvall would have been a good fit).
John Northey - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#443545) #
I find it bizarre people are surprised the kid who had a 175 OPS+ last year in the majors is getting a shot in 2024 at age 25. Yeah, he has holes but pitchers can't throw just high fastballs or he'll get ahold of one eventually or walk. Every player has holes and the trick is to try to avoid using him when a pitcher who specializes in that type of pitch is on the mound. We'll see, but I suspect he'll be an above average hitter this year. A 120 OPS+ wouldn't shock me in the slightest as he has shown he can kill mistakes and no pitcher is perfect - well, at least since Greg Maddux retired (swear that guy could hit a fly from 60'6").
uglyone - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#443546) #
I get why he's on the team, but I wouldn't have minded seeing Schneider start the year in AAA, take any pressure off him, and have him earn his way back up.
lexomatic - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#443548) #
I also think a player like Schneider (& Biggio) will be disadvantaged until robo umps are here. The league doesn't want to hear about the issue.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#443549) #
After nearly ten days, the Ohtani story finally appears on the headlines.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#443552) #
Wouldn't "professional" PAs generally translate to higher player wRC+ on average? I imagine the Blue Jays would prefer moderately professional PAs and a 120 wRC+ from Turner, as compared to highly professional PAs and a 105 wRC+.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#443553) #
No. WRC+ is based on wRAA which itself is based on wOBA which grades the way players get on base more specifically using a generalized scale. A walk is not as valuable as a double and a single is not as valuable as a home run when using wOBA. That's why someone like Justin Turner can have professional at bats with a lower WRC+ than someone else who gets on base with less singles and more home runs. Also, it takes no situational hitting into account. If Teoscar Hernandez gets on base the same amount of times as Justin Turner but does so mainly from HR and doubles while JT does it from singles and walks then the former's wOBA will be higher even if JT created more runs and RBI.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#443554) #
Continuing improvements to the RC have been done to raise revenues IMO. At a high cost. As the man in charge Shapiro has to accomplish a level of winning with the contributions of all his staff. I think my analysis is basically correct.

Continuing success/winning for the next 10 years will make this whole project good/bad IMO. How the winning will be accomplished will be both entertaining and frustrating for me.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#443556) #
If Turner is leading off an inning, wouldnít it be more valuable for him to hit a double as opposed to drawing a walk (especially given his slow base running)?
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#443558) #
Great news in the AL East with Jordan Montgomery headed to Arizona.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#443559) #
1-year, $25 M.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#443560) #
Yeah in that isolated hypothetical but when referencing WRC+ it's measured over a season of course. I recommend you check out the formulas for some of these stats.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#443561) #
I feel that Arizona has had maybe the best off season. NYY got Soto and Lad got Ohtani but I really like the Arizona off season.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#443562) #
No question that is a fantastic move by Arizona. Montgomery for $25 mil for 1 year, 2nd year only is a player option if he starts 10+ games ($20 mil), 18 ($22.5), or 23 starts ($25 mil). Earlier they signed LH Eduardo Rodriguez for 4 years, OF'ers Joc Pederson, Randal Grichuk, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and traded for 3B Eugenio Suarez. Full credit to their GM - great winter via patience and smarts. They'll be a force out west, just glad they are in the NL and not the AL.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 26 2024 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#443563) #
By the end of June, Turner had driven in the same 43 runs that Belt would all year (and in less PA, 341 vs 404). Perhaps that was a function of opportunity, though, or simple luck. Belt's first half felt a bit empty, but he picked it up in the second half.

Is it crazy to suggest that there are times one might prefer a Turner leadoff walk to a double? It would have to involve him grinding out a 7-10 pitch AB, as opposed to ripping a first pitch double. And specific game scenarios where you might value making their starter/top RP throw more pitches. Both Belt and Turner led their teams last year in pitches per PA (4.46 Belt / 4.27 Turner).
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 01:49 AM EDT (#443564) #
Arizona has signed Montgomery to a 1/$25m contract. Seems like a decent move for them. The recent injuries to Rodriguez and Sewald may have prompted the acquisition.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#443566) #
Checking the schedule to the end of April I counted 22 games that are against supposedly strong teams.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#443567) #
Turner did a lot more last year but also had a lot more ABs.
I am weary about the age, certainly.
The key benefit is that Turner is better again lefties and he's a nice bat to have on the bench when he doesn't start.

The main worry is to navigate the bullpen in April and not let the pen lose games while they figure out what role each reliever will have this year. Missing 2 key guys while the starters are not fully stretched could hurt a lot.

Paul D - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#443568) #
I have no issue with Justin Turner, but yes, it is crazy to suggest that you'd rather have a leadoff walk versus a leadoff double. Even if the double is one pitch and the walk is 7, you always prefer the 39 year old DH on second with 0 outs than on first. Similarly, there's no world where you'd want a 105 WRC+ DH instead of 120 WRC+.

(None of this is meant as a slight to Justin Turner, but Brandon Belt is also a guy who people would say had 'professional' at bats, and the Jays still stunk with RISP last year. They will be better this year, not due to Turner, but due to regression).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#443569) #
Nobody advocating for a leadoff walk vs a double. Nowhere did anyone say that and nowhere is it written...not sure where people are misreading this.

Someone look at the way WRC+ is calculated and explain to me how a higher WRC+ is better than a lower one when evaluating a "professional" at bat. This is the context of the discussion greenfrog and I have been having.

Professional at bat to me means adjusting your approach to maximize the outcome to suit the team's need in real time. Here are some examples:

Taking/seeing more pitches to stress pitcher

Fouling off more pitches waiting for a mistake pitch

Committing to a sacrifice fly for advancing runner

Going the other way when possible

Hitting a mistake/hittable pitch when you get it (WRC+ does not factor this enough!)

Delivering a hit or walk with RISP and in higher leverage situations

On and on

99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#443570) #
92-93 asked the question re: walk vs double at 10:55pm last night.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#443571) #
It's reported that Wes Parsons have made the opening day Roster.

I wonder who gets cut. Pop?

John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#443573) #
With an 8 man pen and 2 down (Romano, Swanson) someone had to get a shot and odds were it'd be guys on the 40 man already.

So Garcia-Cabrera-Green-Mayza-Richards-White the 6 locks from earlier. Parsons gets #7 leaving #8 for one of Pop, Pearson, or Yariel Rodriguez. Wondering who'll be cut from the 40 man. Pop, Danner both seem possible imo (need to make room for Vogelbach & Serven). Heard there is a chance Lukes gets traded so he can play in the majors, I figure the same is true for Horwitz - ideally for guys who don't need to be on the 40 man yet. All depends on how the Jays see those guys future here, and what other teams offer in exchange. I don't see much for either (Cam Eden can cover what they use Lukes for [PR/OF defense], with Votto & Vogelbach there really is nowhere for Horwitz this year and 1B/DH's are a dime a dozen).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#443574) #
I think he misread greenfrogs post.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#443575) #
It would be nice to have Lukes if Springer or Kiermaeir go down for an extended time this season.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#443576) #
Official ZIPS Win Projections

* 1. BAL 91
* 2. HOU 88
* 3. NYY 87
* 3. TOR 87
* 5. TEX 86
* 5. SEA 86
* 5. MIN 86
* 8. CLE 85
* 9. TBL 83

* 1. ATL 95
* 2. LAD 93
* 3. ARZ 86
* 4. SFG 85
* 4. PHI 85
* 6. NYM 83
* 6. SDP 83
* 6. STL 83
* 9. CHC 82
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#443577) #
Yariel Rodriguez is confirmed for AAA.

Lukes is the next man up when an outfielder goes on the IL.
There could be an argument for Barger, but I don't see him playing in LF where he has no experience.

Lukes and Horwitz should be traded only if somebody make an amazing trade offer.
Both of them are one injury away from a call up.

Cam Eden is a 14th position player. He doesn't hit enough to play regularly.
There's no way he'd be replacing KK for weeks. In fact, they could use Dasan Brown instead come September.

I'm guessing they try to pass Pop through waivers. Parsons will likely be DFAed sooner than later.

scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#443578) #
TBL? The Basketball League.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#443579) #
If Lukes does go... Brian Anderson was just released from a spring invite and would make nice insurance at AAA as someone that can play both corner OFs and 3B. Hague might also be able to help him get back on track even if he's on the big league coaching staff now.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#443580) #
Lukes only had 31 PAs in 29 games last year, and he couldn't crack the roster at all in 2022 when Tapia, Zimmmer, and Bradley Jr were his competition. I can't see the team giving him significant playing time in case of injury - Barger, Roden, or even Clement are likely to get more time in the outfield.

Lukes certainly looks like a good 4th/5th outfielder to me, but the team has other ideas. He's 29 - it's not like he needs more seasoning.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#443581) #
I agree with Ryan Day here - the Jays have made it 100% clear they see Lukes as no more than they see Cam Eden. Purely a backup who rarely would get to hit regardless of what he does in AAA. Whereas Barger is a 'watch him when he gets up' prospect, Roden is being pushed hard but ideally isn't up until 2025, Will Robertson showed a lot this spring on defense and offense (well at least in power). So yeah, if Lukes is lost it isn't a big deal - it would be much like in '85 when they dumped Mitch Webster to the Expos for a pitcher called "Cliff Young" who barely got 100 IP in the majors in the end vs Webster who had 14 bWAR over 13 seasons (-0.5 as a Jay). Or in 2004 when they dumped a young Jayson Werth to get Jason Fraser at the end of spring (closer parallel). Werth ended up with 29 WAR (all-star once, 4 times getting votes for MVP) but the Jays had Wells-Rios-Johnson/Catalanotto as their OF then with Josh Phelps as DH (seen as a potential star still) and Delgado at 1B. So really no room for the 25 year old who'd need 3 more seasons before breaking out with the Phillies after becoming a free agent due to the Dodgers not seeing him as worth holding onto.

Lukes is older than those 2 were, and not as talented. If the Jays survived both of those dumps I'm sure they can survive without Lukes. I like him as a 5th OF but in these days of a 13 batter team you rarely see those. I think he'd do well in Oakland or somewhere else where they are desperate for guys who can play.
JohnL - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#443583) #
"TBL? The Basketball League."

I think ZIPS thinks the Lightning will switch sports. 83 wins would be pretty astounding for them.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#443584) #
The guys in Buffalo will play the best that they can if healthy. So after 200-250 ABs fresh evaluations can be done on their offense at least.

Thoughts on various prospects after 200-250 ABs:

10-15 Hrs Orelvis, Barger and Palmegiani.

20 SBs Cam Eden.

From AA Devonte Brown has good D and may get 10 Hrs and 10 SBs. R Nunez will have high EVS but will will the launch angle be good enough for HRs.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#443585) #
Nate Pearson and Wes Parsons have lockers assigned in Tampa.
mathesond - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#443586) #
"Nate Pearson and Wes Parsons have lockers assigned in Tampa."

Great trade! Who'd we get back?
Cracka - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#443587) #
And Zach Pop and Yariel Rodriguez have been optioned, which likely means the following 26-man roster:

C: Kirk, Severn
IF: Vlady, Biggio, Bichette, IKF, Clement, Schneider, Vogelbach
OF: Varsho, Kiermaier, Springer
DH: Turner
SP: Berrios, Bassitt, Kikuchi, Francis, Gausman
RP: Mayza, Garcia, Richards, Cabrera, Green, White, Pearson, Parsons
IL: Romano, Swanson, Jansen, Manoah (presumed)
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#443588) #
Has it been announced who's off the 40 man roster?
John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#443589) #
So when starters get in trouble the Jays call on the PP crew to clean up the mess - Pearson & Parsons. OK, that is a bit of a 12 year old's joke, not someone who is over 50, but I couldn't resist.
Cracka - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#443590) #
No - perhaps they are working on another trade to free up a space, but my preference would be to put Alek Manoah on the 60-day IL, then have him stay in Florida for another month to simulate Spring Training, then send him on a rehab assignment to the minors for 30 days. It's not ideal to lose him for two months, but he'd keep earning his MLB salary and would accrue service time on the IL... and since he doesn't seem close to being ready yet, maybe this is the best move for both him and the team.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#443591) #
The Diamondbacks just had a Moreno moment with one of their top prospects. Jordan Lawlar is going to miss several months to start the season because of thumb surgery. Ouch.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#443592) #
Turner is a corner infielder. Vogelbach is strictly a DH.
Schneider might be more an outfielder than an infielder at this point.

Manoah would be on the minor league IL which doesn't really matter.

scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#443593) #
The Jays haven't made anything clear regarding Lukes.
It's Lukes himself who hit .140 against right handed pitching when opportunity came knocking.
Had the Jays played him more, let say instead of calling Schneider, and they would have missed the playoffs.

Fast forward to now, Lukes had a great spring, but obviously not good enough to wrestle a full time job from KK and Varsho. The Jays need a right bat for the 4th outfielder, but a left bat for the KK/Varsho injury replacement. Barger should be strictly a right fielder. Roden doesn't have to be added for another 2 full years. Robertson would require a roster spot, so not a real option.

The extra 14 spots on the 40 roster are mostly for guys who can be called up, not prospects who might never be ready. Ideally, you let those guys be picked on the rule 5 and returned. It's less of an issue when a team isn't competing.

Varsho looks fine, but KK will certainly miss time. Probably multiple times.

jerjapan - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#443594) #
Lukes value is his place in the CF depth chart, a skill-set that translates to a reserve OF profile, and his options.  He will play throughout the season, if he's not cut.  He does seem likely to get a chance elsewhere as a bench-ready backup if he does, 

But what do I know?  I had Parsons getting cut.  Interesting career path for that guy, I look forward to hearing some of his stories about Korea on the broadcasts.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#443597) #
I didn't misread anybody's post, and I don't agree with either point Paul D made.

I think there are game/series scenarios where working the pitcher has more value than whether Turner is on 2nd or he/PR is on 1st. And I'm quite certain that the Jays want a DH with 90+ RBI over one with 50 but a fancier sabr stat. That's likely why you didn't hear much about their interest in Belt this offseason. The goal in the game is to score runs, not create them in the abstract.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#443599) #
Is Vogelbach guaranteed the full 2MM once he makes the roster tomorrow, or it a split contract?
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 27 2024 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#443600) #
So to be clear, 92-93, you think Turner had a stronger offensive year in 2023 (114 wRC+, 96 RBI) than he did in 2019 (131 wRC+, 67 RBI in roughly the same number of games)?
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 06:29 AM EDT (#443601) #
Sportsnet said this about Vogelbach's contract a few days ago: "Adding yet another wrinkle is that the Blue Jays could potentially ask Vogelbach to sign an advanced consent, which for 45 days would allow them to outright him off the 40-man roster without him being able to request a full payout for his release."
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#443602) #
He's saying the same thing as me...we don't use an abstract stat to determine which year was better.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#443603) #
Frustrating to lose on Immaculate Grid because the game doesnít acknowledge that Chapman plays for the Giants
Jonny German - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#443604) #
Getting my prediction in: Your 2024 Blue Jays will score 766 runs and allow 678 on their way to a 90-win season and a Wild Card berth.

I had a look at Zips, Fan Graphs Depth Charts, and Steamer. They agree with me on the approximate offensive output, but all think I'm overly optimistic about Blue Jay pitching.
scottt - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#443605) #
In this case, Varsho is the back up CF and Lukes would play LF.

The fact that they are waiting at the last moment to make a move suggests that they will try to pass someone through waivers. It's possible the move has already been made and we'll only hear about it once the player clears waivers or gets selected.

mathesond - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#443606) #
Well, he hasn't played any regular season or playoff games for them yet...
Paul D - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#443607) #
I'd disagree that WRC+ is an 'abstract' stat. I seriously doubt the Jays have looked at RBIs to evaluate a player anytime in the last 10, if not 20, years.

It's all water under the bridge now though - here's hoping Turner gets 120 RBI this year
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#443611) #
Nobody's saying they look at RBI instead of WRC+. We are saying that you can't look at a single stat like WRC+ to determine that one season or player is better than another and I've shown that the formula to determine ERC+ is itself based on a few other formula based metrics which have subjective rules applied.

A recurring theme on this site is Beauxites returning a point with a counter point based on a comparison that was never made. "WRC+ is still better than using RBI," which nobody ever proposed.

This is meant generally to the board including myself, not to any one specifically. It's a trait of the times like drivers signalling less or not at all when they "get their elbows out" to change lanes.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#443612) #
Turner is being touted as a big RBI guy, but only a few years ago he had 71 RBI, 52 RBI and then 67 RBI in three consecutive seasons. And those were some of the best seasons of his career.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#443619) #
I don't think he is touted as an RBI guy. He's been touted as a professional at bat and a clubhouse leader and these are two areas that many in the media have suggested that the Jays were lacking in.
Paul D - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#443620) #
Dalimon, in fairness, that's because there's no quantifiable definition of a professional at bat. It seems to be very much I'll know it when I see it. I'm not entirely sure what point you're making. Is grinding out at bats good? Sure, if it leads to good results. Is Turner obviously better than last year's Belt? I don't think so, but I hope Turner has a great year.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#443621) #
I want to take this moment to wish all Beauxites a wonderful baseball-watching season. I for one am excited to see all the good teams kill each other. I am fascinated by the potential penultimate seasons from Bo and Vladdy and how it affects their negotiations.

Also intrigued by the Votto signing and his role on the team and where that story goes.
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#443629) #
I would expect pretty good O from Springer, Vlad, Bo, Turner and Kirk/Jansen. The other 4 spots are Ok but not great. Biggio, IKF, KK and Varsho. Vogelbach/Votto can pinch hit to improve the O. Of course there will be injuries. We could get a great year from the strong O players I mentioned.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#443634) #
My point was that professional at bats does not necessarily lead to higher WRC+ as Greenfrog suggested/asked. Therefore WRC+ can't be used to determine how good someone is at professional at bats.
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