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Come down from the heights, fellas, and play some ball at sea level.

The Rockies have never been able to quite figure out how to deal with... well, their basic situation. Denver is 1600 metres above sea level, and that altitude, as we all know, has a significant impact on the game. Dealing with that impact has baffled the Rockies' management since Day One. No team in the history of baseball has a bigger difference between how they perform at home and how they perform on the road. This was the case when I did a massive study of Home Field Advantage way back in 2007, and it remains true today. No other venue was in the same ballpark (ducks!)

The home-road split in baseball has, for more than a century, been a predictable thing. The home teams will have a winning percentage of about .540; the road teams, as you would expect, have a winning percentage of about .460. The difference, naturally, is .080 - this is what's normal. 

This is not what happens in Colorado, where the difference between home performance and road performance is enormous. Huge. Roughly double the usual home-road gap. There's never been anything remotely like it. 

So it's time for the first Data Table of 2024. Just to see if I've still got It.

This presents the Home-Road records of all 30 teams since the Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995, and they're ranked by the size of the gap between home performance and road performance.

                 HOME RECORDS                    ROAD RECORDS                    
Team        G    W    L    PCT        G    W    L    PCT        DIFF
COL        2,290    1,246    1,044    .544        2,289    894    1,395    .391        .154
PIT        2,285    1,138    1,147    .498        2,287    910    1,377    .398        .100
KCR        2,283    1,058    1,225    .463        2,342    858    1,484    .366        .097
TEX        2,291    1,250    1,041    .546        2,288    1,033    1,255    .451        .094
MIA        2,274    1,160    1,114    .510        2,299    966    1,333    .420        .090
TBR        2,055    1,097    958    .534        2,053    914    1,139    .445        .089
NYY        2,285    1,431    854    .626        2,288    1,240    1,048    .542        .084
SFG        2,295    1,286    1,009    .560        2,281    1,086    1,195    .476        .084
STL        2,286    1,334    952    .584        2,287    1,143    1,144    .500        .084
OAK        2,290    1,260    1,030    .550        2,285    1,072    1,214    .469        .081
WSN        2,289    1,173    1,116    .512        2,287    999    1,288    .437        .076
HOU        2,287    1,276    1,011    .558        2,290    1,106    1,184    .483        .075
SDP        2,291    1,188    1,103    .519        2,288    1,016    1,272    .444        .074
LAA        2,293    1,254    1,039    .547        2,338    1,105    1,180    .473        .074
TOR        2,282    1,222    1,060    .535        2,295    1,059    1,236    .461        .074
CWS        2,288    1,211    1,077    .529        2,288    1,047    1,241    .458        .072
CHC        2,294    1,214    1,080    .529        2,283    1,046    1,237    .458        .071
DET        2,285    1,121    1,164    .491        2,288    960    1,327    .420        .071
PHI        2,293    1,223    1,070    .533        2,284    1,057    1,227    .463        .071
LAD        2,290    1,359    931    .593        2,288    1,198    1,090    .524        .070
MIL        2,289    1,199    1,090    .524        2,287    1,039    1,248    .454        .070
BAL        2,286    1,130    1,156    .494        2,341    998    1,292    .426        .068
ARI        2,055    1,068    987    .520        2,055    930    1,125    .453        .067
NYM        2,287    1,226    1,061    .536        2,290    1,074    1,216    .469        .067
MIN        2,292    1,196    1,096    .522        2,285    1,041    1,244    .456        .066
ATL        2,287    1,355    932    .592        2,287    1,204    1,083    .526        .066
BOS        2,319    1,312    1,007    .566        2,339    1,186    1,071    .507        .059
SEA        2,288    1,216    1,072    .531        2,289    1,083    1,206    .473        .058
CLE        2,286    1,277    1,009    .559        2,288    1,148    1,140    .502        .057
CIN        2,288    1,157    1,131    .506        2,294    1,045    1,249    .456        .050

And no one really knows why. We do know Coors Field has an enormous impact on offense, and we're pretty sure that ball parks that have any kind of outsized effect on the game can make it tricky to evaluate one's own players. What we don't really know is if they're playing better at home than you would expect, or worse on the road. I suspect it's the latter, but how would we know?

I notice that none of this seems to bother the Denver Nuggets much at all, and likely works to their advantage. Opposing players come into Denver and are gassed by the fourth quarter. Meanwhile the Nuggets seem to be able to lean more heavily on their key players, at altitude but also at sea level, especially when the playoffs come around and rotations get shorter.

What does this have to do with the Blue Jays, I imagine you muttering. Might we see some of this playing out in the rather small sample of meetings between the Rockies and the Blue Jays?

We just might. The Jays have made five trips to Coors Field over the years, and it hasn't gone well for them. The Rockies have won 11 of the 15 games played in Denver, with three game sweeps of the Jays in 2006, 2010, and 2019.

Ah, but when we get them north of the border... the Rockies have come to Toronto for a trio of three game sets, in 2002, 2007, 2013. The next game they win in Toronto will be the first one.

So let's see... a winning percentage of .733 at home and .000 on the road? That's a pretty hefty gap, even for the Rockies. But maybe Bowden Francis is the opponent they've been waiting for. If he gets the call - reports are that Yariel Rodriguez is coming to the majors on Saturday. Meanwhile Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano both pitched for Buffalo on Thursday and Danny Jansen caught a few innings. Reinforcements!


Fri 12 April - Feltner (0-1, 3.27) vs Gausman (0-1, 9.53)
Sat 13 April - Hudson (0-2, 2.38) vs Francis (0-2, 12.96)
Sun 14 April - Freeland (0-2, 16.03) vs Berrios (2-0, 1.45)
Colorado at Toronto, April 12-14 | 103 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#444408) #
In his last start 1.1IP Gausman threw 51 pitches and was pulled. If his pitching is good today he can throw maybe 80 pitches. Rodriguez is available for 60-70 pitches today or Sat if needed.
scottt - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#444409) #
This is not a good team, but they have only  3 guys who are not hitting. 4 guys are hitting over .300.  and 4 have OPS+ over 140, not counting the backup catcher. One guy is hitting .283 with a .827 OPS.

The first  starters we will see have ERAs of 2.38 and 3.27.
They beat Tampa 10-7, than lost 6-8 and 2-3.

The Jays better bring their A game.

Ducey - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#444410) #
Meh, the Rockies are 1-6 on the road.

And I could have sworn I read somewhere they are not good on the road.

The one win vs the Rays (who are over-rated) was the home opener. They are 3-10.

I dont put it past the home side to play terribly, but they should be winning this series.
bpoz - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#444411) #
I mentioned in the Seattle thread that Baltimore has 6 comeback wins. They have also had weak opponents based on last years standings. LAD have a nice 10-5 record but they are not crushing anyone with a run differential of +13.

So don't get into a hole. Houston at 4-10 is in a hole but it is still very early.
greenfrog - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#444412) #
A good way for the Blue Jays to make the postseason this year would be to beat up on weak opponents. I'm talking sweep, not winning two out of three.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#444413) #
Denver is somewhat isolated geographically. Perhaps it's the travel? Except that Seattle (with the toughest travel schedule) has the 3rd lowest variance.
Magpie - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#444416) #
Perhaps it's the travel?

I think it's more about their hitters than anything else. Over the years, the Rockies have scored 14,771 runs at home and just 9,458 on the road. That's just 64% of what they score at home, meaning that they lose a full third of their offence when they go on the road. Naturally they also give up fewer runs when they get out of Denver (you look just like a Commie and you might just be a member), but it's not nearly as drastic - they've allowed 14,291 at home and 80% of that (11,439) on the road.
Michael - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#444417) #
I think ideally you'd want to have a bigger home/road split than average due to playing better at home / opponents playing worse in your environment. Ideally you'd do it by having "weird" park issues that don't cause adjustments when you leave (so less altitude change and more things like weird wall angles or bounces, weird sight lines in the field/hitting). Something like the old hill in Houston, or the awkward dome roof in Tampa or the green monster and weird outfield triangle in Fenway or the like. Combined ideally with a slight pitchers park (since getting your pitchers too tired with too much offense can create a hangover for future games where, a bit too little offense should hopefully not cause the same hangover as long as your hitters don't press too much from struggling).

But this is all second order effects to just having a good team that wins everywhere.
greenfrog - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#444418) #
Without looking it up, guess which team currently has the best run differential in MLB.
Magpie - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#444419) #
One of the problems teams with weird or extreme parks have had is knowing the best way to make use of what their park gives them, along with making sense of their own talent. Neither of which the Rockies have ever figured out. While nothing comes even close to Coors Field, the Astros used to have a huge Home-Road split at the Astrodome, and the Red Sox used to have a huge Home-Road split at Fenway (which has mostly vanished since the changes made in the 1980s.) The Astrodome, of course, suppressed offense and allowed back of the rotation journeymen to post Cy Young type numbers. Fenway made home run stars out of ordinary guys, batting champs out of decent hitters, and mediocre starters out of ace southpaws. And when those teams hit the road, their players became what they actually were all along.
Nigel - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#444420) #
Even if you are cognizant of the distortions, those weird parks have multiple effects: a) management will have greater difficulty assessing the real value/performance of your players (one way or the other) (i.e. if you watch Dante Bichette every day hit in Coors it's only human nature to have that impact your view of him as a hitter); b) you have salary distortions created by a numbers based compensation system; c) you have an inefficient labour market created in free agency (i.e. how many to pitchers are signing up to play in Coors?) thereby limiting your choices; and d) roster building issues as Magpie notes.
Joe - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#444421) #
There's a bunch of weirdness with how pitches do and don't work at altitude — a bunch of research shows this, but this blog post has some data tables and even an overlay. So not only do batted balls move farther (lower drag), but the pitches move less (so they're presumably easier to hit), and their hitters get used to pitches moving in a particular way, then travel away from Coors and they move ever so slightly less.
Gerry - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#444424) #
Yariel Rodriguez will be activated tomorrow per reporters at the RC.
Gerry - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#444425) #
It seems like Bowden Francis's role is under consideration. Rodriguez could start instead of Francis tomorrow or they could be piggy-backed.
Gerry - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#444426) #
Danny Jansen is scheduled to catch Alek Manoah tomorrow in Buffalo. Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson will pitch tomorrow also.
hypobole - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#444430) #
Without looking it up, guess which team currently has the best run differential in MLB.

Royals have been hot, so that's my guess.
92-93 - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#444431) #
At least they realize Biggio should be playing everyday until proven otherwise.
Nigel - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#444432) #
Does Col not have access to MLB tv or scouting reports? What on earth would you call a first pitch FB at the thighs on the outer half to Varsho for? That’s the only pitch he dan handle right now. Thanks I guess.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#444433) #
How many homers has Toronto hit with runners on base?
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#444434) #
I believe it’s zero with runners in scoring position. And 2, maybe 3 with runner on first?
uglyone - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#444435) #
so much for the "tough sked" excuse.
Nigel - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#444436) #
Regression on the run prevention seemed inevitable. Can this team find a way to score more consistently to offset that? Right now, the problem lands squarely on the top 3 in the lineup.
greenfrog - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#444437) #
As Magpie wrote a couple of weeks ago, expect a lot of pain this year. This is probably a 78-88 win team and there are going to be a lot of frustrating losses, some due to a middling/hacking lineup, along the way. Hopefully the Blue Jays end up with a WC spot when it’s all said and done.
Magpie - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#444438) #
I expect - and receive - lots of pain every year. The 1992 champs provided 70 Days of Pain. Seventy, and some were excruciating. That's a lot of pain. But this is what I've signed up for.
Joe - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#444439) #
As Meg Rowley once said on Effectively Wild, baseball is a good low stakes way to feel sad. The good news is, this feeling sad doesn't actually matter.
John Northey - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#444440) #
So, what to do with Mitch White? His fastball is up there still, but he can't seem to get guys out. 2 IP 4 H 2 R/ER 1 BB 2 SO - I suspect he'll keep being used as Mr. MopUp. Cabrera did get his 2 outs (good sign), Espino signed his ticket for AAA with 4 R in 2 2/3 IP. Gausman still in spring training - a sign that no GM or manager should EVER trust a pitcher who says he is ready for the season when he has just 1 spring game under his belt - an IL stint in A or AAA would've been wise instead to get his fastball up to full speed - not going to happen now as he is moving up and 1 or 2 more starts to get there, and who'd you use instead at this point?
Marc Hulet - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#444442) #
Gausman had a number of rough starts middle to late last year and almost all were with Kirk. I think he's tipping and a number of teams have caught on.

Jays lineup and order should be: Biggio, Clement, Bichette, Turner, Guerrero Jr., Jansen, Schneider, Springer, Varsho
uglyone - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#444443) #
but renos!
SK in NJ - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#444444) #
If the pitching collectively is not on the same level that it was in 2023, then I think this is a .500 team at best. They simply do not have the offense to compensate for that, and it doesn't help that they refuse to play Davis Schneider, who is one of the few players on the roster with some impact projections. They'd rather have five 1 WAR players with 80-100 wRC+'s in the lineup (or maybe a bit higher for Biggio), and they will eventually regret that mindset if it doesn't change. Jansen coming back will definitely help.
scottt - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#444445) #
Varsho had 2 hits including a homerun. Biggio produced the other run.
Schneider wouldn't have done better.

scottt - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#444446) #
It's more the product of hot hitters running into a struggling pitcher.
Velo was better, but Gausman was missing his spots.
His slider was a good pitch for him today which is not a good sign.

It looked a lot better than against the Yankees, so hopefully he'll be competitive next month.

Gerry - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#444447) #
Gausman's next start should be game three against the Yankees.
scottt - Friday, April 12 2024 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#444448) #
The Yankees had 3 hot hitters carrying the team.
Colorado has 6. They have a bad run differential, but Freeland has allowed 21 runs by himself in a little over 10 innings. Quantrill has allowed 12 in 15 innings. Their closer has 1 save and 5 runs allowed. Molina and Lawrence have allowed 18 runs in 8 innings.

electric carrot - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#444449) #
But this is what I've signed up for. (Pain.)

Why? It does seem like a less than zero sum proposal. Only one team wins out of thirty.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#444450) #
The upside is elation (not the Jon Morosi "Ohtani is on a plane to Toronto" type of elation, though).
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#444451) #
Ángel Hernández was up to his old tricks last night in Houston.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#444453) #
So far, 14 games in, the AL East standings exactly match my pre-season predictions.

And the lineup constructions and playing time allocations have been questionable at best.
Gerry - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#444455) #
In news that will surprise no-one. Paolo Espino has been optioned to make room for Yariel Rodriguez.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#444456) #
The upside is fulfilled expectations. With Bichette, Springer, Guerrero Jr. and Kirk, all playing to their capabilities, this is a good offense with a good pitching staff, with a good bullpen. It's a 95 win team that challenges the Yankees, Orioles and Rays for a division championship. Since the beginning of 2022, we haven't gotten nearly what these guys are capable of. So of course it's frustration and pain. And frankly, with the same offensive trends beginning in '24 it's high time I spend more of my time not investing myself nearly as much with this team.
bpoz - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#444459) #
Would be great if Manoah, Romano and Swanson pitch really well today. Need to see good velocity and control from all three.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#444460) #
From what Atkins said in the off-season, I think the front office will try to make a splash at the trade deadline by adding a difference-maker to the roster. Probably this will be a middle-of-the-order bat.
Nigel - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#444461) #
What assets does the team have to make a big deadline splash? Other than Tiedemann, I don’t see them.
Gerry - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#444462) #
Alek Manoah is through three innings. He struck out 4 and walked none. However he did give up seven hits and three runs. He is at 67 pitches and he was expected to throw 75. He could come out for another hitter or he could be done for the day.
Gerry - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#444464) #
Manoah did come back out for the fourth inning. He allowed a lead off double, followed by a groundout and a walk. That was it 78 pitches, 48 strikes.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#444465) #
Not an outstanding start from Manoah, but reasonably promising. Plenty of quality contact, and he didn't hold his velocity particularly well, going from 93-94 with a few 95s in the first to about 91-92 in the 3rd and 4th.

He obviously needs more time to build up, but the Ks and control today gives room for hope.
Gerry - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#444466) #
Swanson and Romano both pulled after 18 pitches. Neither got out of their inning.
bpoz - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#444467) #
Jansen may be able to come back but I don't know about the 3 pitchers. I would prefer a longer rehab.
Michael - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#444468) #
Well that was a good 1st inning overall. It helps when the middle of the order is actually the guys hitting well instead of having them on the bench. And Varsho going on a hitting run would be a happy occurance.
krose - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#444469) #
Walk Schneider to get to Varsho; at your peril.
Eephus - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#444470) #
Yariel clearly has a big league arm. I like what I’m seeing.
Eephus - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#444471) #
Wow the Rockies are unserious. Little league mistake (which might be an insult to little leaguers who know better)
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#444472) #
No bunting, unless it's the # 9-hitter with runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out in the 9th inning.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#444473) #
Good thing Jays didn’t send Varsho to the minors as some posters wanted.
jerjapan - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#444474) #
I mean, demoting Varsho was never remotely possible, the only way you'd do that with an impactful leader, 8.5 career fWAR, FA after next year I think, is in a Halladay / Manoah situation.  Some guy gets Steve Sax disease. 

I mean, most likely, that demoralizes the clubhouse.  After Berrios?  
I refuse to diagnose an individual's mental state from afar, but a team, dozens of players and coaches, dozens of support staff, that sample size isn't too small. 

Not to mention our total lack of proven OF depth.  Lukes is off to a rough start in Buffalo, but he's next on the chart, and has done nothing but perform in AAA.  He's not taking anybody's job though. 

To me, the problematic roster spot belongs to Vogelbach. 

I get it, we need lefty pop, he's as-advertised.  But I'd rather not waste money at that end of the roster when our AAA team is kind of stacked.  You know, for a AAA team of older 'prospects', in a poor system.   You want guys with options in that roster spot. 

Doesn't hurt my argument that Horwitz is going all Olerud in Buffalo.  
krose - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#444475) #
Jimy is the new closer.
Magpie - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#444476) #
Encouraging to see Mayza looking like Mayza.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#444477) #
Schneider is hitting .280/.379/.600 (wRC+ 184) after today. He may be playing his way into a full-time role.
scottt - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#444478) #
The Yankees have called Kevin Smith.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#444479) #
Cheeky question: who would be more valuable over 600 PA at 1B/DH this year, Vladdy or Horwitz? I'm not saying Spencer would be the more valuable player, but their WAR totals might not be far apart.

Horwitz is hitting .400/.563/.543 in 10 games at Buffalo (27.1 BB%, 12.5 K%). Last year he hit .337/.450/.495 in 107 games at Buffalo.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#444481) #
IKF 2024: .300/.364/.450

Chapman 2024: .193/.246/.333

Maybe the third base situation this year will work out after all...? So far IKF loves hitting at the renovated RC -- the opposite of Chapman, who did not hit very well at the RC in 2023.
dalimon5 - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#444482) #
Varsho and Vlad with similar numbers. Who outplays who between the two this year?

This team needs a new "big bat" and should move on from Vladdy. Maybe if they do that he can free himself to be what we all know he can be.

Oh yeah, get rid of Schneider (John) and Atkins.
scottt - Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#444483) #
IKF's defense is good. He looks very smooth out there whereas Chapman was totally explosive.
At the plate, he's having good ABs so far. He's not afraid to take the first pitch and he's able to protect the plate with 2 strikes. That's a problem with the Jays, many of them don't have a good 2-strike approach.

Espinal is .182 .231 .182 after 27 PAs.

Turner has been excellent so far.
Schneider and Biggio are having good starts.
It's Guerrero, Bichette, Springer and Kirk who are not producing.

Joe - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#444484) #
I'm entirely unwilling to engage with results-based analysis at this point in the season for the simple reason that anybody can get hot or cold for a week, and when the season is 2 weeks old, that can drag your numbers up or down.

That being said, Process-based stuff (swing/take, K%, etc) takes a lot less time to stabilize, so if at 60 PA we're talking about how Vlad's walking as much as he did in 2021, but striking out more, that's an interesting conversation IMO.

greenfrog - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#444486) #
On two process measures (walk rate and K rare), Horwitz’s already-good stats have taken another leap forward this year.

He is 26, though. The Blue Jays took their time giving Schneider a legitimate shot in the majors. Hopefully Horwitz will get a chance at regular MLB playing time before too long, whether in Toronto or somewhere else.
Nigel - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#444487) #
Those numbers on Vladdy back up that I think we’re seeing a player whose plate approach is all over the map/messed up. One AB he’s selective and willing to wait for his pitch and willing to take a walk if not. The very next AB he’ll get hacktastic and look like he’s playing hero ball. I don’t think the lineup’s overall struggles help.
Joe - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#444488) #
That Olerud was doing what Horowitz is doing, but in the majors, at 21, really shows how incredible he was.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#444489) #
Gord Ash’s 1996 trade of Olerud for Robert Person was…suboptimal.
John Northey - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#444492) #
greenfrog- I'd say about 90% of Ash trades were suboptimal thus why he never got another shot at being a GM. As I posted elsewhere he had an incredible run of 1st round picks doing well from 1990-1999 but even with that and Delgado he still screwed the pooch. When he gave up on guys it was always the wrong guy it seemed (Olerud), when he gave more chances to someone to get back to snuff it was also always the wrong guy (Carter). Made a big trade to contend (6 prospects for 3 ML'ers - Carlos García [-2 WAR], Orlando Merced [2.5 WAR] and Dan Plesac [0 WAR his first stint here over 2 1/2 seasons]) but 2 of those ML'ers really sucked, 2 were here for just 1 year - and that was one of his better deals.
jerjapan - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#444493) #
Ah man, even as a kid in the 90s, I knew the Olerud trade was idiotic. 

The dude had 3 career minor league games.  In 2005.  Plus, WAMCO is the iconic franchise faction.  One of a kind.
mathesond - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#444494) #
The thing I never really understood about the Olerud trade is why the Jays kicked in $5M of Olerud's $6.5M salary. Did they really need to save $1.5M that badly - and how much of that $1.5 went to pay for Person?
Magpie - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#444495) #
Can confirm that neither Whitt nor Martinez was ever the DH while the other guy was catching. Each technically got into a game as the DH by pinch hitting for the DH in what would prove to be the team's last at bat.
uglyone - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#444496) #
I agree that walk rate for Valddy is legit the only number i care about with him. If he can keep that up then he'll be back to elite as a hitter in no time as that babip fixes itself.
dalimon5 - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#444497) #
Anybody still want to debate using wrc+ to grade players like Vladdy over Justin Turner? Most of these advanced stats are great for a general blanket observation...not so great for valuing importance to a teams ability to win.

Professional at bats from Justin is helping keep this team from eliminating itself from the playoffs 2 weeks into the season.
Eephus - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#444498) #
I would say Berrios isn’t hurting the cause either. Dude is locating, changing speeds, hitting his spots. Truly a delight to watch.
Joe - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#444499) #
dalimon5, you're being facetious, right?
Joe - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#444500) #
Just in case not: I would like to remind everybody of the 2022 Philadelphia Phillies, who eliminated themselves from playoff contention by going 6-9 in their first 15 games, were sitting 21-29 on May 31st, and made it to the World Series.
uglyone - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#444501) #
I think Turner's 226wrc+ has been a tad more important than the professionalism of his at bats.

Of course, his .444babip isn't something that even his professionalism will be able to keep up.
lexomatic - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#444502) #
How bad was that pick off of Clement?
uglyone - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#444503) #
i think the pick off was mostly a clever defensive play, aided by clement slipping on his way back.

clement was aggressively running on the swing and the 3rd baseman was way off the bag and it looked like it was a set play by the defense so i can't get too upset about it.

and yeah Berrios looks so damn good this year. he didn't even have his command early in this one and still had a brilliant outing. He might actually be our best pitcher.

In fact, Gausman's poor start has already let Berrios pass him in performance over the last calendar year.
Magpie - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#444504) #
I would like to remind everybody of the 2022 Philadelphia Phillies

Saves me the trouble of reminding everyone of the 1989 Blue Jays.

Wait, what did I just do?
lexomatic - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#444505) #
Liking the numbers for Kirk today at least. 2 walks, 2 hits?
Anybody see anything different?
uglyone - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#444506) #
This version of Pearson is a pleasure to watch.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#444509) #
The white uniforms were worn Monday through Friday.  For the weekend, they switched to dark blue jerseys.  Let's see the light blue (powder blue) uniforms against those bad Yankees.
scottt - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#444510) #
They are supposed to unveil the city connect uniform before the All-Stars game.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#444511) #
Cleveland beat those Yankees 8 - 7 in 10 innings.
scottt - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#444512) #
I think the relievers are starting to feel the pressure from Romano and Swanson.
Personally, I hope they don't rush anybody back.

Francis is probably the first guy going down now.
The Yankees series could help make those choices.

dalimon5 - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#444513) #
I don't believe it's possible to be facetious on a baseball board. None of this is serious matter, Joe. Just my opinion. I don't think this Jays team is anywhere close to the Phillies 2022 team. Without Schneider and Turner this team would be dead last in offense and 1-2 wins on the year. Not an apt comparison.

It's clear to me that "advanced," metrics are hard for people to understand, presumably because they are continually used as a justification for one's opinion or argument...typically on message boards. It's a misappropriation which is frustrating to read over and over and over again when, gasp, you can see the results before your eyes when watching the games.
scottt - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#444515) #
Early on, the terrible off-season doesn't look that bad.

1 Turner  1.095
2 Schneider .850
3 Biggio .825
4 IKF .786
5 Clement  .690
6 Guerrero .677
7 Springer .668
8. Vogelbach .662
9 Bichette .618
10 Varsho  .608
11 Kirk  .429
12 Kiermaier .393
13 Serven  .200

KK might look like a bust but the numbers will improve and the best lineup is probably KK on the bench as a defensive replacement late in the game and Schneider in left.

Also, Rodriguez looked good.

scottt - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#444516) #
And Tyler Beede picked up the win in Cleveland.
Cortes lasted only 4 innings and the Yankees used 5 relievers.

greenfrog - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#444517) #
The recent outings by Berrios, Bassitt and Kikuchi have been great. Yariel’s start was encouraging, even if he caught a break on a few high sliders. He’s an interesting potential candidate for #5 starter—maybe the best one in the org at the moment.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#444521) #
AL Team1, 8-8, last place in its division

AL Team2, 8-8, first place in its division

As usual, the AL East is one of the most, if not the most, competitive divisions in baseball...
greenfrog - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#444522) #
If Gurriel Jr. had a good year in 2023, is this the year that he breaks through to a new level? In 65 PA, his BB and K rates are both career bests, and he’s hitting .317/.369/.567, also a career best. And his defense has been good.

Even if he levels off to his recent sea level, it will have been a solid trade-plus-eventual-extension for Arizona (change “nice” to “great” if LGJ has found a new gear—which wouldn’t surprise me.)
Joe - Sunday, April 14 2024 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#444523) #
I always believed in Gurriel, but his problem is how cold his cold streaks get. (Well, and the adventure he is as a defender.) Best hitter on any team when he's going, though.
greenfrog - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#444525) #
Gurriel is interesting because he's typically very streaky during the season, and also consistent across seasons (1.3 to 2.0 WAR every year since 2019, with a wRC+ between 106 and 134).

That is a valuable player. If he can improve his defense and/or his hitting incrementally, he'll be that much more valuable. He's still only 30, and he just had his best season at age 29, so further improvements don't seem out of the realm of possibility. Look at how much better Justin Turner has been in his 30s compared to his 20s (JT is admittedly an outlier in this regard).
soupman - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#444526) #
Bautista, Encarnacion, Doandlson...just out of recent memory of Jays that figured something out in their late 20s.
Jonny German - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#444527) #
Maybe IKF will meet up with Gurriel at the All Star game.
Gerry - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#444528) #
Three IL players could be activated today. The roster moves will be interesting. Now that the Jays have called up Yariel Rodriguez there are no obvious pitchers to be easily demoted.

So which two bullpeners will be Buffalo bound? Nate Pearson and his 102 mph fastball? Mitch White who has to go on waivers and will surely be claimed given the shortage of pitching around the majors? Or Bowden Francis despite the Jays claims of him piggybacking with Yariel?
92-93 - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#444529) #
They can also send down Cabrera.

Usually another injury pops up right when it's needed, perhaps Francis or White woke up with some soreness.
Marc Hulet - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#444530) #
If they're smart, they'll only activate Jansen and 1 of Romano/Swanson... then wait a day or 2 and then activate the other to see how many other arms get burned through.

You pretty much need to keep one of Francis or White as multi-inning relievers with Rodriguez and (Gausman's struggles).

I already saw a quote from Pearson this spring where he said they were at the point where the org either believed in him or didn't... so a demote would not go over well.

I'd probably cut White and try to swing a trade. They should be able to get a low-level prospect or international signing money from someone betting on the arm.
Cracka - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#444532) #
Neither Swanson nor Romano have made it through an entire inning yet during their stints in Buffalo, and Romano can't find the strike zone (15 strikes on 36 pitches). I don't see any reason to rush them back this week or until they can pitch effectively on back-to-back days.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#444533) #
Last night, the Dodgers issued 14 walks to San Diego hitters.  Padres win 6 - 3.
Ducey - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#444534) #
What ever happened to that Votto fella?

I know the elderly take a little more time to heal up, but you'd think he would get over a rolled ankle by now. No?
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 15 2024 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#444537) #
Finally, some action in the Patriots' Day game in Boston. First, Cleveland takes a 2 - 0 lead in the 7th. Next, unfortunately, a painful collision between outfielders.
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