Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Likewise, the 162 game season begins with the first one.

Do I have any predictions? 

I do! 

I think that esteemed philosopher, Clubber Lang, expressed it most memorably.

[Dramatic pause, looks into camera.]

Yes, there will be pain. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon. There will be soul-crushing defeats that come groaning up out of some dark abyss and unfold like a car crash in slow notion. There will be sudden unforeseen catastrophes falling from the heaverns like so many frogs and snakes and sundry monsters and demons.

And I am ready for it! I am ready to get hurt again! This is what we've signed up for. This is the bargain we have made.

And there will be some fun along the way. Trust me.


Thu 28 March - Berrios vs Eflin
Fri 29 March - Bassitt vs Civale
Sat 30 March - Kikuchi vs Littlee
Sun 31 March - TBD vs Alexander
Blue Jays at Tampa Bay, 28-31 March | 181 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#443608) #
Season #22 on Da Box. Shout out to those who frequented the chats during the game back in the day. Mr. Sub mushrooms for life. My kingdom for another Big Scary Bat.

Let's just hope they hit the ball a little bit harder this year and their pitching doesn't implode with injuries.

Great to be with you all again.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#443609) #
Or, as a blues musician wrote: The forecast calls for pain.

88 wins. Playoffs.
Jonny German - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#443610) #
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.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#443613) #
This Jays lineup has so many subpar offensive spots that it's difficult to be optimistic - hopefully the pitching will overperform again and hold the team in contention - My reason to be optimistic hinges more on the more talented Yankees being Old and more susceptible to the injury bug than most and Tampa really missing Wander Franco ( I know they played well after he was suspended).

If this team is struggling come the trade deadline, then the FO should really pivot to a significant selloff including Vlad/Bo but having spent about $400m in renovations I'd expect ownership to balk at a selloff.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#443614) #
" Thunderlips is here!† In the flesh, baby! "
85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#443615) #
Given that the TV money woes of many clubs were public knowledge, I'm surprised that the FO did not play the waiting game better. Given the team's payroll I will not complain about Rogers being cheap but I think the FO did a poor job spending and the failure to acquire/develop cheap quality talent is an added handicap.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#443616) #
2024 MLB standings predictions (1st-->5th):
AL Central: MIN, DET, CLE, KC, CWS
Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#443617) #
I will forecast a very frustrating season for the Blue Jays. They will be on the edge of a wild card spot, not good enough to be sure of the playoffs, not bad enough to trade away players for prospects. They Jays will win 87 games, which might be good enough for a wild card, or not.

The Jays will not have four starting pitchers who make 30 starts each.
Paul D - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#443618) #
94 wins and a World Series
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#443622) #
Hereís to another great year! I think this is a fringe WC team that could finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th in their own division. I was generally more optimistic than most on here about seasonal win totals for the early to mid 2010ís teams. Iím probably on the low end of the group for the current team. I think the hitting will rebound a reasonable amount from last year but the pitching will be mediocre and injured. All in all 84-87 wins.
electric carrot - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#443623) #
90 wins. Hitting rebounds. Pitching drops but stays good. Defence remains great.
Lose to the Dodgers or Braves in the WS.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#443624) #
This has the feel of a JP Ricciardi Era team to me. So I think something like 86 or 87 wins is reasonable, but there is some upside if Vlad, Varsho, Kirk, Springer, etc, rebound offensively, and the pitching staff doesn't regress too much.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#443625) #
I don't really do much analysis, and even my guesses and opinions are subject to change from minute to minute. Haven't had a chance to watch much spring training either because of a new job that's keeping me busy.. Another ~5 years, and I hope to retire :-)

Right now, looking at all the moves other teams have made early and late, it feels like we just haven't done enough to even get back to last year's level. I'm afraid we've seen the best season(s) out of the VBGGs or whatever we called them. Teo and Gurriel are already gone, Varsho seems like we overpaid for after a career year and he'll have another 80-90 OPS+ season with great defense. Good, but probably not worth what we traded. Jansen just can't stay on the field, Springer is in decline, KK too - I feel like we got that one year bounce, and he's back to 1.x WAR this year. Bo will be good-to-great, Vlad will be a mystery all year long.

Of course, Vlad could have a great stretch, Schneider/Biggio play great, IKF play better defense than Chapman, and KK/Varsho hoover up everything in the outfield and hit near 100 OPS+. It's possible, but doesn't seem probable. And we've already got 3 of our best pitchers missing the start of the season (Gausman, Romano and Swanson), not to mention Manoah's on the IL again, etc, etc.. Seems like last year's pitching luck has run out and we don't have much offensive luck / skill to compensate.

Or I'm just tired and cranky :-)
vw_fan17 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#443626) #
One more thought: I like Vogelbach as a dark horse / unexpected major contributor, kind of like Matt Stairs a few years ago. And I'm usually dead wrong on these sort of gut feelings, so bet all your $$ on Votto :-)
Ducey - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#443627) #
This team is better than last years.

1. There is not going to be a black hole with 5th SP (Manoah started 19 games last year with a 5.87 ERA) because someone of Francis, White, Ricky T, Rodriguez provide much more depth than last year. Manoah himself seems likely to rebound, but isnt likely to be put back into the rotation until he is sorted out.

2. The offense was better than it showed last year (the were terrible with runners one and at home) and will be better this season.

3. They have much more depth in AAA at all positions. By midseason guys like Barger, Palmigiani, Jimenez, Lukes will be more than ready with likely another few guys like Robertson ready to step up. They also a have quite a few RP almost ready.

4. I really dont see Merrifield and Chapman as losses. Whit was 94 OPS+. Chapman was a black hole after April and Belt only played 100 games.

BTW have we heard how they cleared up the 40 man crunch.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#443628) #
I'm more worried about the pitching than hitting for some reason. It's hard to see the pitching staff staying as healthy this year and I'm afraid Yusei will turn back into bad Kikuchi. I wouldn't be surprised if the bullpen blows a few games in the early going either. Usually I'm optimistic but this year I'm predicting 84 wins.

As to Marc Hulet prediction that Boston will climb out of the basement ahead of Toronto, the Jays would have to really suck for that to happen. The Red Sox owner put a hard cap on salary and that's why they didn't sign Jordan Montgomery even though Boston was his preferred location because his wife works as a dermatologist at a Boston hospital. Division prediction : Baltimore, New York, Tampa, Jays, Boston.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#443630) #
I actually think Boston has a more balanced lineup than the Jays. The rotation has some question marks but also 3-4 SPs with intriguing/untapped upside. And they've developed some solid, young hitters. Story also looks healthy again.
Cracka - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#443631) #
Yosver Zulueta has been DFA'ed as part of the final roster moves. A little surprising, but he wasn't ready to contribute now and you can only hold a spot for him for so long... If we're lucky, he will pass through waivers and can be outrighted to Buffalo.
John Northey - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#443632) #
I'll be the optimist here - 101 wins, MVP for Bo as he hits 350, Vlad recovers and hits 40 HR, 20 wins for Gausman. A year of fun but tinged with the fear that the Jays will go out in 3 in round 2. Playoffs a crapshoot so lord knows. I expect a kid to come up at some point (July maybe) and wow us, not like Schneider last year but still play very well and earn an everyday job - be it Barger in the OF (shifting KK to part time status) or Orelvis at 2B. The Dodgers fail to make the playoffs despite having signed everyone possible, making many who aren't Dodger fans or MLB cash counters happy.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#443635) #
The control/command is an issue but Zulueta has two potentially plus pitches, has AAA experience, and, just as important: two more minor league options for 2024 and 2025.

He'll get, bare minimum, 15 waiver claims. All AL East teams, White Sox (org loves Cubans) and probably any org that's employed Toronto FO people in the past 4-5 years. And all your bottom dwellers like Col, KC, etc.

Atkins has been historically terrible at getting anything close to value for DFA players in the past so I won't hold my breath... but I'd be looking for a non-40 man prospect or, best case, a draft comp pick or international pool money.

AAA-level arms with options and above-avg raw stuff have a lot of value. And no doubt other orgs have seen how bad Toronto is at developing arms and will see additional upside in Zulueta.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#443636) #
90 wins.† (Agree with electric carrot.)
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#443637) #
Lineup #1

* RF Springer
* 1B Guerrero
* SS Bichette
* DH Turner
* LF Varsho (l)
* C Kirk
* CF Kiermaier (l)
* 3B Falefa
* 2B Biggio (l)
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#443638) #
I can't rightly look at this roster and convince myself that it's better than last year's.

And I can't rightly look at last year's roster and think that it significantly underachieved overall.

But yeah they could still do better than last year anyways - there's more than enough talent here to be one of the best teams in baseball if more things go well than go badly.

uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#443639) #
Zulueta claimed by Cinci.
John Northey - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#443640) #
I'd have been surprised if someone hadn't claimed Yosver Zulueta. Wonder why he wasn't traded before this. But hey, if the Jays can get anything out of him that'd be nice. He always seemed to be a 100 arm, 1 control.
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#443641) #
Has the Buffalo roster been announced yet? I am interested if Chad Dallas and A Roden start in Buffalo.
Glevin - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#443642) #
Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#443643) #
That would be a no, bpoz.

Roden didn't have a lot of time in AA last season, just 46 games.

Dallas is more of a surprise but the Jays signed Yariel Rodriguez and some minor league free agents to go along with Ricky T so I guess there wasn't room. Also, Wes Parsons still is likely to come back down so that will also bump someone out of the AAA rotation.
Magpie - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#443644) #
Let's see... Santiago Espinal is in Cincinnati and Whit Merrifield is in Philadelphia. Adam Cimber is in the Angels bullpen, and Jay Jackson is in Minnesota's. Matt Chapman and Jordan Hicks are in San Francisco. Hyun-Jin Ryu is back home in South Korea, pitching for the Hanwha Eagles. Brandon Belt is back home in Texas, waiting for his phone to ring. I expect it will.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#443645) #
Mike Trout clobbers a 425 ft. home run to kick off Opening Day in Baltimore.
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#443646) #
Regarding Zulueta. Losing a hard throwing SP is worse than losing a hard throwing reliever. Quite a few hard throwing relievers from the 2021 draft will be rule 5 eligible in Dec.
Dave Till - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#443647) #
The Jays will contend if any or all of Vlad, Bo, Kirk, or Varsho - the younger core players - get better. This will counteract the older players getting worse.

85-77 and enough hope to get us at least to August. Iíve seen worse.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#443648) #
The Buffalo roster is not yet updated. Hernandez and Bechtold won't be on there. The latter is being converted to a full time P and the former hasn't played above Low-A.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#443649) #
Buck says they've got a new focus this year, and are all business.
Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#443650) #
Did Schneider leave Berrios in too long? Gotta look at the funny side, or I will start crying.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#443651) #
BerrŪos recovered nicely after the lead-off homer.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#443652) #
And the pitch was in and off the plate. I think you just tip your hat and move on.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#443653) #
sinking ship?
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#443654) #
don't worry about the low wRC+ the first time through. those were some professional at bats there.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#443655) #
Offense is picking up where it left off last year.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#443656) #
by george!

99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#443657) #
You love to see that from Springer!
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#443658) #
"don't worry about the low wRC+ the first time through. those were some professional at bats there."

Ignorant post. Nothing professional about many of those at bats. Nice try ugly one.
Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#443659) #
MLB gameday is about 10 seconds ahead of my Rogers cable sportsnet.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#443660) #
Quick pace to this game.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#443661) #
Atta boy, Cavan.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#443662) #
would be a good time to bring back the homerun jacket.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#443663) #
ha they put an invisible homer jacket on vladdy. nice.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#443664) #
Hope nothing broken for Turner on that HBP.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#443665) #
They should pinch hit Kirk here.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#443666) #
looks like this is our year.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#443667) #
Vladdy's longest dinger since April 10 2022.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#443668) #
World Series bound.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#443669) #
looks like it.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#443670) #
Ohtani picked the wrong team (bet on the wrong horse?).
Hodgie - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#443671) #
"Mike Trout clobbers a 425 ft. home run to kick off Opening Day in Baltimore."

..... and Baltimore is now leading 11-3. Death, taxes, and Mike Trout's career being wasted in LAA

uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#443672) #
2-strike Bo >>
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#443673) #
I still think Varsho is overexposed hitting fifth. I would prefer to see him lower in the batting order.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#443674) #

Unrelated, Vlad looks like a completely different hitter. Maybe he was injured.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#443675) #
This is the kind of win the Blue Jays needed much more of last year. A significant lead that allows the manager to save his high-leverage arms for another game.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#443676) #

"BerrŪos struck out six and walked one on the day. The velocity on both his sinker and curve was up almost 1.5 mph from 2023 and those pitches made up the brunt of his arsenal at 67 percent usage. He recorded a 23 percent whiff rate and 29 percent CSW on the day and it was nice to see him put up a 45 percent whiff rate on his four-seam fastball, which he got up in the zone often. It was a nice performance to start the season for the often-overlooked pitcher against a good offense, but heíll get an ever tougher test next week when the Blue Jays travel to Houston."
scottt - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#443677) #
Broadcast is delayed to prevent cheating.
It's hard to cheat with gameday.

John Northey - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#443678) #
Fun game - see, I'm a genius - Vlad & Springer both cranking a dinger, Bo hitting 500, Kirk a clutch hit, nothing much to complain about. 162-0 baby!
scottt - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#443679) #
Nice game all around. Pitching, defense and having a plan at the plate.
Eflin was great one time through the order than the Jays stopped taking pitches.
Berrios cut it down to the 2 pitches that were working.

3 guys who didn't have great springs out of the pen.
That's was excellent.
It's nice to see Pearson 97-99 in the zone.
Mix in a fastball inside to mess with the hitters.

It's a good start for Biggio. It seems like guys are fighting over the 9th spot in the order.

Varsho is supposed to be hitting more linedrives, fewer flyballs.
Didn't work today.

I know guys are wearing 2 gold chains and huge earrings, but Siri is overdoing it
Looks like a Christmas tree.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#443680) #
An interesting Opening Day around the league.† Detroit wins 1 - 0 over the White Sox.† Pittsburgh beat Miami 6 - 5 in 12 innings.† And those bad Yankees rallied to defeat Houston 5 - 4.† (Juan Soto threw out a runner at home plate in the 9th inning.)
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#443681) #
Finally a real game against a serious competitor. Good offense & pitching.

My prediction is 93 wins. A bit optimistic.
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#443682) #
In an almost identical number of career PAs (1600) Biggio has a wRC+ of 105 and very little platoon split and Varsho has a wRC+ of 95 and trouble with LHíP. One is a perceived middle order bat the other is not. Funny what acquisition cost does to perceptions.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, March 28 2024 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#443683) #
I see my reverse-opening-day-pessimism worked. At least for a day :-)
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#443684) #
This is the way:

Leaside Cowboy - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 07:26 AM EDT (#443685) #
Arizona scored 14 runs in the 3rd inning en route to a 16 - 1 victory over Colorado.
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#443686) #
Game 1:

Moreno 2/5 (including a double), two runs, three RBI

Gurriel Jr 3/5 (including a home run), three runs, five RBI

Varsho 0/3, one run
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#443687) #
Also, the Creighton Bluejays play Tennessee in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament tonight at 10 PM Eastern.† Let's go Bluejays!
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#443688) #
From the "What Scouts and Execs are Saying" section of BA's AL East preview:

ďRicky Tiedemann has electric stuff. Itís really polished. I could see him being one of the best lefties in the game pretty quicklyĒ

BA also picks VGJ for its bounceback season:

Multiple industry sources nodded to Guerrero, whose OPS dipped 30 points in 2023. One culprit appears to be the resized Rogers Centre dimensions that diminished the Blue Jaysí power at home. ďHis process-level metrics were better than surface-level ones, and also he was banged up last year,Ē said one NL executive. ďHe struck out at a career-best rate last year, did a better job of keeping the ball off the ground and still hits it as hard as anyone,Ē said another NL exec. ďThere are still monster seasons in his bat.Ē

Unfortunately they also predict the Blue Jays finishing fourth in the division.
christaylor - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#443689) #
I get that all fans do this to some degree, but focusing on the results versus the process of that trade seems futile.

Gurriel did not fit the plan of improving the defense in 2023. Given he was a FA, the value he is providing now is purely because AZ signed him.

I would have preferred that AZ have taken Kirk as I'd bet Moreno will have a better career, but Moreno was either the pick of the FO or the price AZ needed.

christaylor - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#443690) #
Adding to the predictions -- the Jays seem likely to be a WC this year.

It's interesting to see the pessimism from last year leak into this year. The AL East is weaker this year. Running out the same players seems fine, given what was broken and what was good in 2023. If they add at the deadline, either a bat or a pitcher, they could surprise, but I'll agree with the pessimists in that it's easier to see this team being 4th than winning the division.

The Rays seem to be getting a pass because they've surprised year after year. The Red Sox are a mess. The O's are young and are unlikely to have things go as right as last year. 90ish wins and then who knows in the playoffs.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#443691) #
That game was about as well executed as one could have hoped. Good pitching, timely hitting, and the Jays actually hitting home runs again. Seeing Springer hit a no doubter to left field was a great sign.
Katie - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#443692) #
The Varsho/Moreno trade is likely to sting for a long time. I get that the Jays had a catching surplus and wanted to improve their defence, but it seems like a case where they wanted to make a move that fit into their plan, rather than making the best move at the time, which might have been to trade Kirk or Jansen for a lesser return or accept the catching surplus given Jansen's injury risk.

As for this year, I don't know if the Jays will get a wild card, but I don't foresee them finishing fifth. I'm not nearly as optimistic about Boston's chances as Marc.

Also, Biggio made a heck of a defensive play on that tag. He looked good on both sides of the field yesterday.
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#443693) #
I'm not sure the O's and Yankees are weaker this year.

The O's have added an ace in Burnes, their young players have another year of experience, their high-minors prospects are coming online in the majors, and -- last but not least -- the team has new ownership that may be more willing to spend to augment the roster.

The Yankees have added Soto, Stroman, Verdugo and Grisham (but have lost King and Higashioka). New York got pummelled by injuries last year. Despite the Cole injury, it would be hard for them to have a worse year in 2024 in terms of overall injuries.
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#443694) #
If Varsho can rebound to around a 100 wRC+ player for the next few years, the trade will be painful but tolerable. If it turns out that Varsho really is an 85 wRC+ calibre hitter, then the trade will likely be a spectacular bust.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#443696) #
The trade seemed like an overpay by the Jays then and now. Gurriel just had a year left on his contract but he obviously liked Arizona enough to resign there so it's still a two for one trade in my mind. It's not that I don't like Varsho but it seems like the Jays didn't get enough in return.
Ducey - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#443699) #
"then the trade will likely be a spectacular bust."

You can only hope.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#443701) #
It's easy to kick someone when they're down. It's convenient to post comparisons at the worst possible time if it makes this FO look bad. Greenfrog will you post a comparison when Varsho had a good game and LGJ is in one of his 10 week long cold spells and Moreno comes back to earth? COL and TB are not comparable opponents. Why in the world are you harping on the negative hours after a great win? Reminds me when you were telling everyone that this FO made a huge blunder that they would live to regret when they let Dwight Smith Jr go. Give the Moreno trade some time and ask yourself where this team would be if they had Moreno on this team still. If the FO had to include him to get Varsho then what do you think the return would have been for Kirk or Jansen with less control and less ceiling?

I still think the Jays can come out on top with this trade. Moreno's stock is at its highest. Varsho's is at its lowest. IF Varsho's numbers before the trade (including minor's numbers) were all a fluke and the last year is his true value then yes it's a bust. I highly doubt that is the case and if it is it's hard to fault the FO for looking at years worth of data to make a decision on a trade.
scottt - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#443706) #
The Yankees have lost the Cy Young winner.
It's going to be interesting to see how they do with a rotation of Cortes, Rodon, Stroman, Schmidt and Gil.

Schmidt went 9-9 with a 4.64 ERA last year. 32 starts but only 162 innings. Gil had TJ and only threw 4 innings last year. 25 in 2022. Hard to see him throwing more than 110. Rodon was bad last year and hasn't looked much better in the spring.

The O's added an ace but their bullpen will likely take a hit from last year.

Joe - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#443707) #
People are really good at remembering what happened lately, and assuming it's predictive of what'll happen going forward. Moreno had a fantastic couple of weeks in the postseason, but overall his season was just "pretty good", with a 103 wRC+. He hits for a high average ó which is worth something when all you need is a hit! ó but doesn't hit for a lot of power. He's terrible at baserunning. His "catch and throw" numbers were good, but he's not a good framer.

Varsho is basically the opposite: low average, high power, very good baserunning, elite defense. Varsho's very much the scrappy player Torontonians tend to love: doesn't have the most elite tools, but gets the most out of them. Varsho had a terrible season at the plate last year, no doubt about it, but that year very much looks like the outlier when you look at his history, majors and minors

Interestingly, they're both forecast to be approximately league average hitters this year, and I suspect that's approximately right.

greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#443708) #
The O's can always upgrade their bullpen (the easiest part of a team to improve) at the trade deadline. They have lots of prospect talent to trade from.

The Yankees are currently without Cole. But it looks as though he'll be back in a couple of months. If he's healthy, they'll have him for the important part of the season and the postseason.
christaylor - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#443710) #
Good take dailmon5 - if one wants to look back at the trade now, would the Jays be better now if they didn't make the trade? If you want to claim they would be, it's not enough to look at the players' stats, but the construction of the roster.

Even with Varsho's 2023, I don't think they'd be better off. They would be looking for an OF and have a surplus of C. Maybe they make Kirk an everyday DH and sign someone to play LF, but that someone is not likely to be as good as Varsho.

As for the trade being an overpay, you can only buy something at the price someone is willing to sell at... at any rate, it is kind of weird to be discussing this after one game in the second season of the trade.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#443713) #
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#443714) #
I donít know why people are getting so worked up about the reporting of simple factual information (how Varsho, LGJ and Moreno) performed yesterday, with no commentary added.

As for supposed negativity, I predicted 88 wins and postseason action for the Blue Jays, so I donít really understand the reaction by a couple of people (other than this being the internet).
dalimon5 - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#443715) #
Do you honestly think "commentary" was needed to explain your post? Seems like your point was well made but out of place and now you're walking it back. If you post then stand by your post and don't follow up with how it was harmless or " simple factual information" as if context doesn't matter.

Happy posting!
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#443716) #
Iím loath to jump into a discussion on a trade thatís now more than a year in the rear view, but Iím surprised no one ever mentions the fact that Moreno was extremely injury prone as a Jay. Last year his 114GP were a career high. His previous career high? 82, at High A in 2019.

Last year was basically the only complete season heís ever had. Teams see this, and Iím sure it affected his value more than people here want to acknowledge.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#443717) #
Springer's hot spring leaking right into the regular season is nice to see. I know he's aging but last year's fall off was a bit too steep to be just the expected aging curve imo.
James W - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#443718) #
Nothing less fun than a good ol' Keystone Kops inning.
christaylor - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#443719) #
Optimistic take: even if we assume an L tonight both games have been entertaining in a way that last season was not.
Katie - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#443720) #
Iím loath to jump into a discussion on a trade thatís now more than a year in the rear view, but Iím surprised no one ever mentions the fact that Moreno was extremely injury prone as a Jay. Last year his 114GP were a career high. His previous career high? 82, at High A in 2019.

Last year was basically the only complete season heís ever had. Teams see this, and Iím sure it affected his value more than people here want to acknowledge.

Just to be clear. In 2018, Moreno was in rookie ball, so of course he had a low number of games played. You covered 2019. In 2020, there was a pandemic and no minor league season. He got hit by a pitch in early 2021 and had hand surgery, so he didn't play very much. There's nothing there that would raise a red flag to me about a player's injury history or ability to stay healthy.

And, nevertheless, Moreno rises to become a Top 10 prospect in baseball. He thaen plays 87 games in 2022 (which is his actual pre-2023 career high - you just chose not to count his major league games for some reason), despite spending a good portion of the year on the bench of the major league club.

If the front office had teams telling them Moreno wasn't as valuable as they thought due to the fact he had never played 90 games in a season and they chose to trade Moreno anyway, and didn't find another trade partner or pivot to Kirk or Jansen, that was, in my opinion, quite dumb.

christaylor - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#443721) #
I am reluctant to continue this thread but the game tonight is just became less entertaining.

It seems reasonable that Moreno's lack of a track record would factor into his trade value as a prospect. Like the notion that the FO would unlikely sign LGjr as FA it was one of the many factors that went into the value calculation in the trade.

The Jays had depth a C in the 2022 off-season but all three had red flags. As much as I have zero faith in Kirk I think the FO value calculation of all three was reasonable at the time. Moreno in public was hyped at the time and Varsho also had hype.

The trade should not sting, but was completely reasonable move at the time, which IIRC was the sentiment at the time. I was/am a fan of the "guy with funny hair" as the kid I took to 2022 Jays-Red Sox games... but I want to emphasize this it seemed reasonable and Varsho is extremely talented, which we've seen in this gong show of a game tonight. Great fielder and base runner with potential with the bat.

OK. On to tomorrow let's hope for a game that is entertaining on the positive side of the ledger.
christaylor - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#443722) #
On another topic... where does Bo go if not a SS? 2B seems like a waste and he doesn't have the arm for 3B. LF seems like a waste. Maybe he's a Jeter just passable enough at SS to stay there because the other options expose other weaknesses or are too far down the defense spectrum.
John Northey - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#443723) #
That trade does seem bad in hindsight, and to some it seemed bad at the time, but the Jays had a clear need in the OF, a clear surplus at catcher, and 3 everyday catchers. Something had to give, and playing Jansen or Moreno in LF wasn't a real solution (odds are it would've been almost as ugly as the time the Jays tried Delgado in LF, and earlier Olerud there in spring training - trust me, both were very, very ugly).

LGjr is secondary - as he always was to the discussion as he was a nightmare in LF on defense (one play can look wonderful, next like he has no idea what to do) and his offense while decent, wasn't enough to compensate for that defense. Moreno had never played 100 games in a season - which I saw as a flashing red light as even catchers get that many games a year in while in the minors normally (mix in games at DH or 1B to reach it). Kirk has shown he is a top notch defensive catcher, as is Jansen, and as is Moreno. I think given where Arizona was in their success cycle going into 2023 it was safe to say they had zero interest in Jansen, mild in Kirk, and high in Moreno. There was no way they were trading Corbin Carroll (as much as I wanted them to), and talk by reporters was Moreno for Alek Thomas which would've been a disaster. It was felt there was no way Arizona was going to trade Varsho due to 4 years of control mixed with exceptional defense and real power that wasn't harnessed yet (and still isn't...sigh). As I recall there was no talk of any other possible OF for Moreno trades as few were really available who were potential difference makers. I see Varsho as a possible Devon White type - lots of power, insane defense, but big holes in his hitting game. If he was left in CF I suspect we'd see that value more, but in LF it is partially hidden.

So yeah, in the end that deal will look poor, but not 'oh god no' poor IMO (see many Gord Ash trades for that). If the Jays keep making the playoffs he'll be remembered well, especially if he, or the team as a whole, has a good one someday. We all accept the ugly 1994-1997 Carter years as a trade off for the big moments in 92/93 for example. We also accept the ugly 2017-2019 contract years for Tulo and Martin in exchange for the joys of 15/16. Heck, we even accept stuff like trading 99% of a near HOF career of Jeff Kent for a month+ of David Cone in 1992 (critical to that first WS win). Moreno might end up a HOF'er but for 2023-2026 we needed Varsho more and Kirk and Jansen weren't going to get that deal done. Period.
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2024 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#443724) #
dalimon5, you're getting way too worked up over an innocuous post. In the preceding post, Leaside Cowboy highlighted Arizona's blowout 16-1 win over Colorado. In a similar spirit, I highlight the stats from *game 1* of the season from the players in the Toronto-Arizona trade. That's it. It wasn't a "message" about how awful a trade it was blahblahblah. Maybe it amounted to some very mild trolling of the endless previous discussions (months earlier) around that trade -- at best.

Upthread I predicted a good season from the Blue Jays. No need to get all wound up. Sorry you reacted the way you did, but I walk back nothing.
soupman - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#443725) #
IMO Jeter was a good shortstop. I remember when he made an error in a game against the Jays because it was so rare. Last year Bo looked like he might have turned a corner with his defending, but today was ugly. You never got anything like that from Jeter- if he got to a ball it was an out (or at the very least he wasnít turning grounders into doubles or worse). The reason to get Chapman and now IKF is to shelter and limit Bo by effectively decreasing the number of balls he needs to takeÖanother reason why Varshos WAR is inflated.
electric carrot - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#443726) #
dalimon5, you're getting way too worked up

I agree with greenfrog. Woah Nelly. Let's not get crazy at each other 1 game into the season. Sheesh.

Anyone else worried about Kikuchi today? He did not have a great spring.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 05:38 AM EDT (#443727) #
I'm always nervous watching Kikuchi pitch, even last year when he was doing well. I've no idea how he'll do today.

I'm really impressed by Vlad's at bats this year. He's laying off stuff outside the strike zone and hitting the ball hard. I think he's going to have a monster year if he stays healthy.
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#443728) #
I'm tired of hearing about the Varsho trade every other thread. Same with the AA touch points, every other thread. Who's counting the Berrios vs Martin and SWR stats after Day 1?

These boards tend to run negative as the season goes on and I'd love to steer clear of the negativity at the beginning. It reminds me of the Pete Rose interview at an all star game where he was asked an innocent question about his ban and he went off on the reporter.

It's not one post from Greenfrog I'm reacting's probably hundreds of posts by now all focused on some version of "Varsho is terrible and Moreno is great" or "worst trade of all time." Etc etc. also a reference to the media who have been saying the exact same thing. I can't even listen to McCowan anymore.
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#443729) #
The game started with the umpire enforcing an alternate strike zone.
I really hate that. Also, in this case, it completely looked intentional.
Having an extra  6 inch inside on lefty batters is just wrong.

Bassitt's main issue is falling apart when things don't go his way.
Walk, hit by pitch--which looked like acting as the hitter was favoring his thumb while the ball seems to just miss his knuckles--and the Bo error.  Which leads to a 91mph cutter over the middle of the plate.

Semien is doing fine at 2B and it seems like that's where Bo will find himself in 2026.

I don't see the value of Wes Parsons, Zulueta or Pop could have thrown 3 innings of non-competitive ball just as well.

Varsho was traded on Dec 23, after Atkins spent 5-6 weeks trying to move Kirk or Jansen.
Unsurprisingly, Kirk has limited value because of the body type and his terrible running.
Jansen hasn't shown consistency except not being able to protect his hands, a basic skill for a catcher.

Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#443730) #
Last year, Kikuchi came out of ST on a heater.† This year, the early results have been worrisome.

A .500 record for this road trip would be satisfactory.
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#443731) #
Carlos Rodon had a poor spring and was throwing 94MPH. His first game yesterday he did ok against Houston and hit 98MPH.
Joe - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#443732) #
The things that Jansen's always brought are a pop in his bat and a lack of availability. (Health is a skill, and he's established that he doesn't have that skill, unfortunately.)

I strongly believe that if Jansen ever had a lucky health year, he'd be among the few highest-end catchers in the league: Realmuto, Will Smith, Big Dumper Cal Raleigh, etc.

uglyone - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#443733) #
92-93 - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#443734) #
Dwight Smith Jr., heh. What's Travis Bergen up to these days?

Justin Turner led off the 9th inning last night down 8-1. He faced one of the Rays' better RP, Jason Adam. A 10-pitch single would've been much better than a first-pitch double.
92-93 - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#443736) #
That other Chapman HR went out right where it felt like a lot of his deep flies died last year in right-centre. It's going to suck if he has a monster year and IKF is, well, IKF.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#443737) #
Royce Lewis is hurt again for the Twins, this time an oblique injury and Austin Martin has been called up. I know some are fed up with trade evaluations, but I don't care what Martin or SWR do in the future. Getting Berrios was a dang good move.
John Northey - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#443738) #
Well dalimon5 - had to check. SWR & Martin are with the Twins AAA team again. I suspect Twins fans are not happy with how that trade worked out, even though it seemed the Jays overpaid at the time. A good reminder that just because a prospect is hyped (Martin) doesn't mean he'll be good. For all the hype around Moreno, there was no guarantee he'd work out. Remember Sil Campusano? Travis Snider? Jose Silva (#10 prospect in MLB in 1994)? Nate Pearson was #7 in 2020.

Crap happens. Guys can develop (Delgado, Olerud, Bo, Vlad, Green, Wells, Rios), can stall out (Alex Gonzalez #1), or flop (Snider, Silva, Campusano) with Moreno still to be determined (1 good year does not a career make). That covers Jays who were top 10 prospects in MLB from 1990 to today plus Campsuano who was super-hyped pre 1987. Just 16 players named (a few twice - Bo, Vlad, Delgado, Gonzalez; Wells & Snider were just under the top 10 once [12, 11]). Halladay peaked at #12 btw, Martin #19). Just 2 Jays on the top 100 this year, but just 1 last year (Tiedemann, Martinez joined him this year). Yeah, better to be a top 10 than not, but even great prospects can and do flop.
John Northey - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#443739) #
Figures, right as I post that Martin is in AAA he gets called up. Chapman... ah yes, the guy who had a 1.152 OPS in April 2023, then hit 205/298/361 May 1st to the end of September, and was 1-7 in the playoffs. Thus explaining why he pretty much had to take whatever he could get from SF.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#443740) #
George Steinbrenner would call him Mr. April.
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#443741) #
Chapman was a Jays for 2 years. The offense was Ok. The defense was good but not great.
He wasn't interested in playing here, so best luck to him where ever he goes but it's not going to suck if he does well. What could suck for the Giants is not making the playoffs in a tough division and losing all those draft picks for nothing.

IKF is 1 for 6. Turner is one for 9. Biggio is 1 for 5 with 2 walks.
KK is 1 for 8 with 3 Ks.

uglyone - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#443742) #
Chapman was a simply a good hitter and a good fielder for us.

Everyone here knows better than to ignore hot streaks and look only at the worst parts of the season. The best i can tell is that the people talking about his hot april last year were thinking that he was permanently regressing to a lower performance due to age. A hot start this year would put that to rest.
Magpie - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#443743) #
Buck Martinez said something I found interesting on the broadcast yesterday (don't everyone act so surprised!) - he said the gap between the majors and the minors has never been bigger than it is right now.

And I thought - is this true? How would we know if it's true? And if so, why would it be true? Would it mean that major league organizations today are much better at evaluating talent than they were back in Buck's day, that players good enough to help a major league team are far less likely to be stuck in the minors?
John Northey - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#443744) #
Easiest way would be to check rookies of the year - if they are not doing well vs the past then that would be an indicator of a bigger gap. Lets check 3 years for each decade - xxx3 xxx2 xxx1
  • 2023 & 2022 - ROY had 6 + 5 bWAR; 2021 3.9 + 4.1
  • 2003 2.5 + 4.4; 2002 4.0 + 2.7; 2001 7.7 + 6.6
  • 1993 5.3 + 7.0; 1992 4.5 + 0.4; 1991 2.9 + 4.8
  • 1983 1.9 + 2.6; 1982 4.7 + 3.3; 1981 3.5 + 5.3
  • 1973 4.0 + 3.4; 1972 7.3 + 6.1; 1971 0.5 + 3.3
Huh - don't really see anything there on a quick glance.

FanGraphs WAR (can filter to just rookies for multiple seasons)...
  • 2021-23: 1 rookie over 6, 2 more with 5+, #10 3.4
  • 2011-13: 1 over 10 (Trout), 3 more in the 4's, #10 2.6
  • 2001-03: 2 with 6+, 1 in the 5's, #10 2.7
  • 1991-93: 1 over 7 (Piazza), 1 in the 5's, #10 2.7
  • 1981-83: 1 in the 5's, #10 2.8
  • 1971-73: 1 6's, 1 more in the 5's, #10 3.0
Nothing big there either, seems like 1 guy stands out every 3 year cycle, a few more do well, but by #10 you are dropping to high 2's, low 3's. But the best #10 was in the most recent cycle.

This suggests to me that teams are better identifying when to call guys up. Letting them sit in the minors until ready. You don't see a Lloyd Moseby type come up at 20 and play everyday with negative WAR, using up 3 years of service time to produce under 1 WAR total, but instead left down until ready to play (his 4th year he was a 5.8 player, then a 6.9, with 2 more 3's and a 2 season the next 3 years before becoming a 1's player at 28). Then again, you get Alek Thomas 0.6 and 0.4 fWAR his first 2 seasons for Arizona so I guess it does still happen, but less often (used to be common to see guys called up very young to 'break in', now they wait until ready often).
Joe - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#443745) #
Maybe those top-end guys would have always made it. Another way of checking whether Buck's right or wrong that I just thought of (but don't know how to measure) is how many up-and-down guys there are: the quad-A types. If there are more, does that imply the gap is larger?
Magpie - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#443746) #
One hundred years ago, the minor leagues were almost completely independent, controlling their own players' contracts. The very best minor league teams - the 1924 Baltimore Orioles, say - may have actually been better than the worst major league teams. There wasn't the same kind of gap - there was actually an overlap. The minor leagues were full of players who were better than the guys in the majors.

The game has moved in the opposite direction ever since the major league franchises took control of the minor league franchises and the independent leagues and teams and operators more or less faded from the picture. But there were always players stuck in the minors when they were good enough to play in the majors - they may have been stuck behind a regular, or they went 1-20 when they got their big chance, or they had a skill set that simply wasn't appreciated. I think what Martinez is implying is that that doesn't happen nearly as often anymore. If you're good enough to help a major league team, a major league team will find you. (And if you're not good enough, you ain't going nowhere.)
Petey Baseball - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#443747) #
Ernie Clement looks like a big leaguer.

I love Dan and Buck but there is way too much roster breakdown chatter in between pitches and at bats. If I waed to listen to guys rosterbate, I'd listen to one of the hundreds of Jays podcasts out there doing it.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#443748) #
Kikuchi was decent.† A few walks, but he battled into the 5th inning.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#443749) #
Wild finish to the 7th inning.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#443750) #
Well, the offensive reinissance lasted one game.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#443751) #
Good tactical moves by the Rays to run on Cabrera and then drop down a two-out bunt with a runner on third base and Turner in as a defensive substitute. That netted them a valuable insurance run.

Bit surprised Schneider left Serven in to hit with two runners on and none out.
Nigel - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#443752) #
Turner at 3B just canít be a thing. And, as greenfrog points out, the Rays were all over it immediately.

On the positive side, Clement looked excellent again, Iíd like to seen him get a run of consistent ABs at 3B.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#443753) #
Itís early, but the Blue Jays lineup feels kind of tepid. They could use another potent middle-of-the-order bat. Players like Varsho, Biggio, IKF, Kiermaier, Schneider and Clement are OK, but the offensive intimidation factor is low. And Springer isnít as good as he used to be.

Maybe the lineup will seem more potent once Jansen returns.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#443754) #
The 2024 Jays look a lot like the 2023 Jays... with the exception of 2 innings
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#443755) #
So the team needed a clean up bat and a better manager last year.

The team needs a clean up bat and a better manager this year.

Budget went up, needs remained the same. More coaches and an extra infielder signed to be a part time starter. Sounds about right.
SK in NJ - Saturday, March 30 2024 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#443756) #
The lineup, predictably, is too ordinary in most of the spots. Itís hard to envision a 90 win team in 2024 having all of Turner, Kiermaier, Kiner-Falefa, Varsho, and Biggio in starting spots. It would be nice if Clement surprises and becomes a capable starting 3B this season (whether the Jays would start him there over their $15M man is the question). Otherwise this is the 2023 offense with slightly worse pieces. They will have to depend on the pitching and defense again.
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 06:08 AM EDT (#443758) #
I expect the standings to change. Philadelphia 0-2 and Houston 0-3.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 06:51 AM EDT (#443760) #
Gausman scheduled to start today.

Happy Easter, folks.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#443761) #
I expect the standings to change.

The Yankees 3 - 0 on the road and the Mets 0 - 2 at home.

Can't believe the Yankees are better than the Mets!

Glevin - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#443762) #
Off season seems more and more odd to me. Turner kills lefties but shouldn't be dying very often against Rhp. IKF is like a more expensive version of Espinal. I think the team will still be pretty good but not sure I'll ever got these moves.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#443763) #
The other thing the team is (still) missing is a really good LHB in the top/middle of the lineup. The front office is currently trying to patch their way through this problem with Vogelbach, Votto, Lukes, Varsho, Kiermaier and Biggio.

Obviously Ohtani and Soto would have been the most elegant solutions to this problem. The 1992-93 Blue Jays had elite or strong LHB/switch-hitters like Alomar, Olerud, White and Fernandez to help balance the lineup against RHP.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#443765) #
Here's is Kiley McDaniel of ESPN's 2024 breakout candidate for the Blue Jays:

Ricky Tiedemann, LHP (FG projection: 0.5 WAR)

There are a couple of young position players I like (Addison Barger and Orelvis Martinez) who will have to wait for big league playing time, along with a reemerging setup man (Nate Pearson) and a recent high-variance signing (Yariel Rodriguez). Tiedemann is so talented that he can bully his way into the big league rotation when he's ready, and he could be a front-line type by the end of the season.
Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#443766) #
Iíve said all winter that the offseason moves lacked coherence and/or utility. The team spent close to $40m in 2024 payroll on Turner, IKF, KK and Rodriquez. IKF and Rodriquez look to be marginal upgrades on what the team already had (utility INF and 5/6 starter) or could acquire more cheaply. Turner as a RH DH made little sense on this roster (with Vladdy, Springer, Kirk and Jansen). I think KK on his one year contract is a very good deal but even he is an odd fit given the team already had Varsho. All in all itís left the team with only three OFís and 2 DH only players - an issue that the Rays pounced on immediately yesterday.

Having said all of that, the 2024 season isnít going to be made or not on the strength or futility of the above. The core of the pre existing team gets it done or not.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#443767) #
Honest question: who would you rather have on this roster, IKF (2/$15m) or Rosario (1/$1.5m)?

I would rather have Rosario (and Clement) and the extra $13.5m or so deployed elsewhere. Obviously there is an element of hindsight here, as Rosario signed at a discount late in the off-season.
electric carrot - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#443768) #
Having said all of that, the 2024 season isnít going to be made or not on the strength or futility of the above. The core of the pre existing team gets it done or not.

I agree with Nigel. Not a great or even coherent offseason -- but it could be enough if our regulars play at the level they seem capable of, and maybe one or two minor-leaguers (Clement? Tiedemann?) step up and make some noise.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#443769) #
Cabrera is suspended for 3 games. Seems a lot for a push.
Joe - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#443770) #
Rosario's truly awful defensively, so you'd probably still need a competent utility guy. I believe in Clement, but only because of his last-year batting adjustments; if you look at his established major league offensive history, he looks utterly unplayable at the plate. Assuming 50/50 chance of Clement being a different guy at the plate, I don't hate IKF as a Merrifield replacement.
Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#443771) #
Bo has been scratched from todays game with neck spasms. When Cabrera pushed Caballero yesterday it looked to me that Caballero's head snapped back into Bo's face.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#443772) #
Cabrera deserves the suspension, but at least he didn't take any jive from that fool Caballero.
Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#443773) #
On the plus side, Springer really looks a different hitter this year. Unfortunately, Varsho does not - so many holes in that swing.
electric carrot - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#443774) #
It looks like TB has made an early decision to not give Vladdy anything to hit and that walking him is fine if needed.
lexomatic - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#443775) #
On the plus side, Springer really looks a different hitter this year. Unfortunately, Varsho does not - so many holes in that swing.
Most of those swings were defensible according to Gameday. Not that last one - which was terrible. up and outside?I'll take walks from Vladdy Jr. Especially if he punishes mistakes.
Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#443776) #
It depends on what you mean by defensive. TB just kept throwing FBs and cutters up and on the inner half. At least one was a very hittable pitch but Varsho just canít handle pitches in that zone. Finally he got himself out chasing.
uglyone - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#443777) #
love love love love love when vladdy is willing to take a walk even in rbi situations. makes him a completely different player.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#443778) #
Peak Manny Ramirez would walk around 80-90 times a year (sometimes more). Vladdy did this in 2021 as well. Getting back to that type of selectivity would help him, I think.
christaylor - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#443779) #
For those who don't understand the moves, the question becomes what signings would have been better?

The only big scary bats were Ohtani and Soto. The Jays did everything for Ohtani and the package Soto went for was something they couldn't match.

No other big scary LH bats were out there. Bellinger perhaps, but he has enough red flags that passing was easy.

IKF perhaps was a bit rich but we don't know what other offers he had and likely the second year was needed to entice him to the Jays. He's a useful stop gap who is easy to push aside for a Clement.

KK is who he is and it's not hard to understand bringing him back for a year.

Turner is an upgrade from Belt and filled a need. At the end of the season it's hard to imagine not being impressed and hopefully his professional hitting is contagious.

SP is fine and the pen ought to be fine.

Given the market and the roster the moves are easy to understand.

lexomatic - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#443780) #
I think this is the Turner people were hoping to see.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#443781) #
Lots to like in this one (so far).
Magpie - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#443782) #
(so far)

The voice of experience!
lexomatic - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#443783) #
Can White soak up some innings?
Magpie - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#443784) #
Remember that moment when Waguespack was actually the Jays' ace starter?
Petey Baseball - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#443785) #
The amazing '19 rotation with Clay Buchholz, Clayton Richards, Jacob Waguespack, and Wilmer Font.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#443787) #
Yeoman's work by Mitch White.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#443788) #
Shout out to the Pride of Leaside High School Zack Edey who takes the Purdue Boilermakers to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#443790) #
The first series is in the book and Davis Schneider leads the Jays in OPS.
Magpie - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#443791) #
At least three times this weekend, Buck was talking about how tough it was to catch pitchers you knew nothing about, because you hadn't had a spring training with them. At which point, I decided this all sounds like a very bad memory and what do ya know? He came to the Blue Jays in May 1981 and went right into the starting lineup for the next six games, catching Stieb, Bomback, Clancy, Leal, Todd, and Stieb again. He'd probably caught Bomback in spring training a couple of years earlier, and at least he'd batted against Clancy (1-6) and Stieb (4-9.) But that was the extent of his experience with that crew.

The team went 2-4, mainly because they were shut out in four of those six games. They won the other two thanks to the hitting heroics of their new catcher, who drove in five of the nine runs they scored that week.

BB-Ref is so much fun!
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#443792) #
It's good to see Taylor Ward back in action after taking a Manoah fastball to the face last year. He hit a home run for LAA today.
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#443793) #
2-2 after 4 games with TB is good.
christaylor - Sunday, March 31 2024 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#443794) #
Thanks Magpie -- I found myself wondering the same the past couple of days.

I understand tradition and continuity but it'd be nice to ease Buck out of the play by play. I often wonder if casual you g baseball fans even know the players he is referring to sometimes.

For example, he was listing leadoff speedsters from the 80s and Shulman had to jump in at the end with Ricky. I remember (but never saw) McGee and Coleman and what would a kid or even a 20 something think of these names. The enthusiastic would search the internet but for the rest Buck is just noise.
John Northey - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#443795) #
For us GenX'ers leadoff hitters Coleman, Raines, Henderson were amazing and deserve to be remembered - insane stolen base totals. However, to kids today those mean as much as Maury Wills, Lou Brock, and others did to me. Very little unless you dig into them. I missed when Buck brought up those guys, but can easily imagine it. I suspect he is getting like many of us older fans. Remembering his younger days and who mattered then. At least he is sticking mostly to guys he played against and not going back to his youth. It might be time for him to cut back to weekend games or something. See if any players/coaches from the 2000's are interested in being the 'on field experience' guy in the booth. Ricky Romero might be - heard him on the radio the odd time and think he'd be interesting at least. Wonder if anyone from the 15/16 teams might be interested (Romero was released in April 2015).
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#443796) #
Bowden Francis starts tonight.
Magpie - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#443799) #
To be clear, I didn't hear Buck ever refer directly to his own experience in May 1981 even if it was on his mind. That was me! I just assumed the idea that Alejandro Kirk is in a much better place this season because he's had the entire spring with this year's pitchers had reminded Martinez vividly of his own experience and how difficult it is for a catcher that hasn't had that opportunity.
uglyone - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#443802) #
Buck can spin things any eay he needs to to make a positive comment about the home side....especially early in the season.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#443804) #
Thoughts on opening series:
Positive - a split at the Trop is perfectly acceptable, considering past Jay's visits
-Berrios and Gausman looked sharp, Bassitt made one really bad pitch, and the bullpen was good for the most part despite injuries. No close games where Romano was missed.
- Vlad is being more selective at the plate and piling up walks, Turner raked yesterday, Clement should get a lot of playing time.

Negative - Dalton Varsho shouldn't be batting so high in the lineup. He looked good in preseason but terrible so far in games that count.
- Kikuchi looked shaky at times in his game.
- In the losses, the Jays had trouble driving in men in scoring position, much like last year.
scottt - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#443805) #
Bichette is the guy who went missing in the two losses.
Kikuchi gave up 3 runs which is hardly a disaster.

The big negative for me is something we saw plenty of last year: following Kikuchi with Richards and the 2 lefties against a lineup of right bats. No wonder Cabrera wasn't in a good mood. The manager needs to be smarter than that and worry less about keeping relievers on the bench for hypothetical situations.

I see no dead weight on the bench. That's very encouraging. Turner had a big game after skipping one start. I love to see guys fighting for playing time.

Magpie - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#443809) #
Dalton Varsho shouldn't be batting so high in the lineup.

I agree, but I do see what Schneider's doing. He doesn't want to stack his LH batters and make things easy for the guy in the other dugout. So he's putting his LH bats in the 5,7, and 9 spots.
uglyone - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#443810) #
and if Biggio continues to hit i'm sure he'll flip up over Varsho, like happened last year.

though last year Biggio kinda fell apart when moved up the lineup.
greenfrog - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#443811) #
In that configuration I would probably go Biggio (5), Varsho (7), Kiermaier (9). I'm guessing Varsho would do better in a lower-pressure slot in the lineup. Seems like Schneider might be making a similar mistake to the one he made last year, when he used Varsho as the cleanup hitter early in the season.
Magpie - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#443812) #
Buck can spin things any eay he needs to to make a positive comment about the home side....especially early in the season.

That doesn't bother me - I assume that an important part of his job is promoting the team and the game. He's not talking to me anyway. I assume the broadcast is aimed at a far more casual baseball fan than myself (and I think I'm probably a much more casual fan than most of you lot here!) I know what I personally like to hear about from the broadcast crew, but I don't actually expect to receive it. (And I'm consequently far too delighted when I do.)
uglyone - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#443813) #
actually Biggio didn't do so badly higher up the lineup. but it didn't feel very good watching him struggle as the cleanup hitter in the most important games.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#443814) #
Ronel Blanco is the starting pitcher for Houston tonight.

Around the league, Opening Day at Wrigley Field. Cubs win 5 - 0. The White Sox have a rain delay on the south side of Chicago. Later, the Giants visit the Dodgers.
scottt - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#443818) #
I prefer Biggio in a high OBP spot rather than in a spot where he will get walked on purpose to get to the low OBP guy behind him. If the cleanup hitter was a left bat, Varsho would naturally drop to 6th.

2024 OPS:
Bichette .481
Varsho .437
Kirk .413
Vogelbach .400
Kiermaier .311
Serven 0

Chuck - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#443819) #
I do see what Schneider's doing. He doesn't want to stack his LH batters

It's odd to see what the new guy in Houston is doing. He doesn't have to worry about stacking LHB, having just two, but stack them he does.

soupman - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#443820) #
I didn't put in predictions; hope it's not too late. i think the team showed what it is last year. Barring injury it hovers around the 90-win mark. Good for third again, but miss the playoffs by a game or two because Boston is better than people think and the schedule just sort of grinds the division against itself.






I'll take Vlad for top-3 in MVP voting,
MVP AL: Trout NL: Acuna
CY: AL: Kirby NL:Strider
ROY: AL: Holliday NL: Chourio
ROLAIDS: AL: Hader NL: Bednar
Manager: AL: Hinch (DET) NL: Shelton (PIT)

Trades: The Angels trade Trout to Queens, but bundle him with Rendon just to get clean the slate.
soupman - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#443821) #
I realized looking at this after i posted that i put Trout into the NL. I'll give Soto the AL MVP
scottt - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#443822) #
Why not? We're not using an opener. Everybody wants the best hitters at the top and they'll have the platoon advantage at least twice through the lineup. Maybe more. To avoid Mayza facing the 2 lefties, they would have to put 2 right bats between them. That would mean dropping Tucker to 5th.

It's fair to say Abreu hasn't been the guy they thought they were getting. 0-11 this year, after a terrible start last year.

The Yankees are going RLRLRLRLS.

scottt - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#443823) #
So far Bellinger is hitting .214 and slugging .286.
He could have another big year, but I'm glad we didn't bet on that.

greenfrog - Monday, April 01 2024 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#443827) #
Obviously itís too early to evaluate playersí stats, but you selectively left out Bellingerís excellent OBP so far (.389).

Varshoís OBP is .278 and Kiermaierís is .182 (and neither player is hitting at all). So it might not be the best time to slag Bellinger (who had a two-run single in todayís 5-0 Cubs win).
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