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Road Trip!

We begin in sunny Southern California, with three games against the Padres of San Diego.

The Padres have played 20 seasons at Petco Park and there was once a time when Petco Park was, quite simply, the toughest place to score runs in the history of baseball. I am a simple fellow, and I use a simple method to arrive at these dramatic conclusions - in this case, I merely compared the number of runs a team scores and allows at home with the number they score and allow on the road. Petco didn't suppress offense as much as Coors Feild boosted it - but it was still in a class all its own.By my reckoning, it was the toughest place to score runs every season from 2004 through 2009, ranking 30th out 30 every single year. Over the next three years, things improved just marginally - it came in 26th, 28th, and 26th again. Over their first nine seasons at Petco Park (2004-2012) just 81.1% as many runs were scored there as were scored in the Padres' road games. And that is the greatest suppression of offense in MLB history - more drastic than the Astrodome, than Dodger Stadium, than the original Yankee Stadium of Ruth and Gehrig.

So after the 2012 season they decided to try moving the fences in. Did it help?

It did, a little. In those first nine seasons at Petco, the Padres and their opponents hit 1490 homers in neiutral parks and just 1,133 at Petco - to put it another way, 57% of homers in Padres games were hit in neutral aparks and just 43% at Petco. In the eleven seasons since they moved the fences, it's been much more balanced - there have been 1,890 HRs hit in neutral parks, and 1,768 hit at Petrco - it's now 52% on the road and 48% at Petco. It's still a great pitcher's park - the Padres and their opponents score and allow just 89.5% runs as opposed to what happens in neutral park, which still makes it one of the greatest pitcher's parks in the game's history. But it's not nearly as extreme as it was during those first nine seasons. Twice in fact (2016 and 2018), the Padres and their oppoents actually produced more runs (just barely, but even so!) at Petco than they did elsewhere. Now San Francisco or Kansas City is just as likely to have the biggest negative impact on offense.

Kansas City's the next stop? This particular road trip isn't taking the Jays anywhere likely to unlock the offense...


Fri 19 April - Rodriguez (0-0, 2.45) vs Waldron (0-1, 3.14)
Sat 20 April - Berrios (3-0, 1.05) vs Hu Nose (?-?, ?.??)
Sun 21 April - Bassitt (2-2, 4.03) vs Musgrove (2-2, 6.29)

Toronto at San Diego, April 19-21 | 89 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Eephus - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#444827) #
Dear lord what are these uniforms the Padres are wearing… it’s like something out of a 90s kid’s show.

This Varsho guy is a pretty good outfielder.
uglyone - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#444828) #
two wallscrapers in the first. ours goes over, theirs gets caught in style.

greenfrog - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#444829) #
Rodriguez looks great after 1 IP tonight. He has good stuff, a varied mix of pitches, and an idea of how to pitch.

I hope the left-centre field wall is somewhat padded. Varsho collided with it fairly hard after that fantastic catch.
Nigel - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#444830) #
Sometimes your wall scraper goes out and their’s doesn’t.

As I’m typing holy cow that was great base running by Biggio.
uglyone - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#444832) #
satisfying set of at bats right there.
greenfrog - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#444833) #
It’s refreshing to see a competent home plate ump.
uglyone - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#444834) #
first time i've been able to watch Yariel.

his stuff looks pretty wicked. also has a nice feel - changes speeds and spots all his pitches on all four corners.

nice aggressive demeanor, too.
Nigel - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#444835) #
Good ABs but also some luck. I can’t really decide about Rodriquez. He’s hanging a large number of SL’s (this start and last) but so far he’s getting away with it. I want to believe but I’m less enthusiastic than Buck.
uglyone - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#444836) #
I had the volume off (listening to the really good new Pearl Jam album) so i didn't hear a word of what Buck said!
greenfrog - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#444837) #
Vladdy is *still* having first baseman glove issues?

I think Yariel is still getting tuned up in the majors. He’s going to make some mistakes. I’m evaluating him against the benchmark of a competent #5 starter and so far he seems to be exceeding that threshold.

He says the Blue Jays have told him they’re targeting about 100 innings and that they want to have him still be strong at the end of the season.
Nigel - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#444838) #
Buck has been gushing about Rodriquez on both of his starts. He knows so much more about P than I do so he’s probably right. I see a pretty decent 5th starter but Buck seems to feel there’s a much higher ceiling.
Joe - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#444839) #
Fun fact: Daulton Varsho leads all outfielders in MLB in DRS since 2019.

He debuted in 2020.

Nigel - Friday, April 19 2024 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#444841) #
Some nights are your nights. The Padres have hit more hard hit balls than the Jays.
Ducey - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#444842) #
Lead off triple? No chance it scores.

Your Toronto Blue Jays, people.
John Northey - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 02:44 AM EDT (#444843) #
Knew after a 5-1 win that wasn't ever really in doubt where a rookie pitches well and we get some great defense and timely hits that the 'oops' at the end would be getting emphasis. Sigh. I suspect the Jays could win 120 and lead the majors in most runs scored and fewest allowed but people would still find the negatives.

Right now I love that we have a solid team - the worst spot is KK in CF and Kirk catching. Both gold glove quality defense in key positions, but both hitting poorly. Some summary stats from FanGraphs...
  • C: Kirk #1 in MLB for C defense at 3.7, #2 at 2.8. 8 catchers have hit worse, out of 66, by their offensive score. Going by 20 PA he has the 15th worst wRC+ for catchers. So yeah, he is having a poor offensive year but not the worst in MLB by any stretch.
  • 1B: Of 29 qualified batters at 1B Vlad is #13 by wRC+, just behind Freddie Freeman
  • 2B: of 32 with 50 PA Biggio is #8 by wRC+, IKF #12.
  • 3B: of 27 with 50 PA IKF is #2 in defense (Nolan Arenado ahead of him 2.9 to 2.2, Chapman is 4th at 1.5). IKF is #10 by wRC+, Chapman #20.
  • SS: of 27 with 50 PA Bo is #19 in wRC+ and #26 of 27 in defense (ouch)
  • LF: of 31 with 50 PA Varsho is #1 in defense 2.8 to 1.0 for #2 (!!!!), he is #16 in wRC+ at 122 (lots of hitters out there this year), #10 in fWAR
  • CF: of 30 Varsho is #6 in wRC+, KK is 1 PA shy but if he had that he'd be #28 for wRC+, Julio Rodríguez is just ahead of Varsho in defense at 3.2 to 2.8. KK would be #7 at 1.2.
  • RF: Springer is #19 of 32 in wRC+, #10 in defense. Net #18 in fWAR
  • DH: Turner is #4 in wRC+ out of 36.
Kind of interesting to look at.

Starting: 81 qualified for ERA title, Kikuchi #8 for fWAR, Berrios #30, Bassitt #60. Gausman is at 0.0 fWAR (tied with all of us). Francis was -0.2 as a starter, Rodriguez was at 0.0 before tonight's nice performance. After tonight's game he is at 2.35 ERA, 2.27 xFIP. Nice hope there.
Magpie - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 03:18 AM EDT (#444844) #
After a shaky first inning (three hits, two runs), Alek Manoah with a much more encouraging outing in AAA - 5.2 IP, just the two runs, and zero bases on balls.

The team has said that the plan is to keep Rodriguez to 100 IP tops this season, which means an honest-to-goodness fifth starter will be required. If Manoah can do this again, I would expect Bowden Francis will be shuffling off to Buffalo.

The Jays have allowed 91 runs in their first 20 games, which is too many - the league average is 4.3 per game, and run prevention is supposed to be this team's strength. However - a full third of those runs were given up by Bowden Francis or assorted characters no longer on the active roster (Espino, White) or no longer in the organization (Parsons.)

scottt - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 05:58 AM EDT (#444845) #
SS: of 27 with 50 PA Bo is #19 in wRC+ and #26 of 27 in defense (ouch)

All position players on the Padres, except the catchers, can play shortstop better than Bo.

scottt - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#444846) #
Rodriguez looks like a generic right handed pitcher who hammers the outside corner with sliders.
It's something the Jays didn't really have in the rotation as Berrios' slurve is used differently.

They can get 20 starts out of Rodriguez if they top him at 5 innings.
The actual counter ticking is Manoah's 30 days of rehabs.
That will come soon enough.

It seems like they could have saved Garcia for tonight.
Hopefully, this being Petco, Swanson can get 3 outs on flyballs with high splitters.
They can't afford to have relievers "day-to-day". How many times can they option Pearson? 3?

greenfrog - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 07:06 AM EDT (#444847) #
I don’t think Rodriguez is generic at all. It’s interesting that two former MLB catchers (Caleb Joseph and Buck Martinez) had strong praise for Rodriguez during and after the game yesterday.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#444848) #
The Juan Soto trade has been very lopsided in favour of the Yankees so far. Using the crude metric of 2024 WAR:

Soto 1.6 (third-highest in MLB)
Grisham -0.2 (only 13 PA)

Higashioka 0.1
Brito 0.0
King -0.1
Vasquez (7.94 ERA in AAA)
Thorpe (0.50 ERA in AA)

With Judge struggling at the plate in the early going, Soto has been an important addition to the Yankees.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#444849) #
If I were the Jays, and Rodriguez is on limited innings, the best strategy might be to let him throw 80, shut him down for a couple months, and then bring him back in September so he could be ready for the playoffs. Because he's on a guaranteed contract, it shouldn't be a problem to option him down while he's resting.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#444850) #
I don't think the Padres are weeping over the Soto trade yet. King's FIP is bad, hence the fWAR, but he's got a 3.33 ERA. Thorpe was a key piece in San Diego's trade for Dylan Cease, who has a 1.99 ERA.

A lot will turn on how Brito and Vasquez develop, but it was a smart trade for a team that needed to cut salary and stay competitive.
dalimon5 - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#444852) #
Agree it was a good trade for San Diego and is working out well for NYY too.
Gerry - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#444853) #
The Mitch White DFA should be resolved soon. Could he end up in San Diego?
Marc Hulet - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#444854) #
Hopefully they can work out a deal with White given how many pitching-needy teams there are - and this delay is them scouting some low level lottery tickets to pick from...
Ducey - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#444855) #
"I don't think the Padres are weeping over the Soto trade yet"

Agreed. Especially given that they got a decent return for 1 yr of Soto.
92-93 - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#444857) #
Schneider rarely saves his better relievers for later in the series or trip/stand. He typically treats a 4-run lead the same as if it were 3 when the bullpen is fresh.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#444858) #
The trade could work out well for both sides over time. If the Yankees get a 6-8 WAR season from Soto in 2024 and win the division, they certainly won’t be complaining. If they can extend or re-sign him, they’ll be thrilled.
scottt - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#444859) #
In my opinion, it's generic in the offering (36 4-seamers, 26 sliders). He has a solid mix of pitches.
Fastball 95mph, splitter 90, slider 85, curve 78. He varies speed and movement on all the pitches. The 4-seamers have some cut. The splitters have lot of lateral movement.

He threw 83 pitches, only 36 over the plate, but of the 47 pitches that missed the plate, only 27 were balls. He produced 13 called strikes, 11 swinging strikes, 5 hit outs and 3 hits.
That works for me, but he looks like a guy who will be over 100 pitches after 5 innings.
uglyone - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#444860) #
I think command is an issue but i think the stuff is plus.

he's got wicked movement, with power in reserve. he flashed high 90s more than once last night. he throws a version of pretty much every pitch other than a changeup.

and it might not even be a command issue i'm not sure yet - he 's always throwing at the corners with movement and he might just be trying to be a bit too perfect to start his mlb career.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#444861) #
Based on the attributes discussed in this thread, if Rodriguez can be built up to 150+ innings and pitch effectively relatively deep into games -- admittedly a big if -- there is the potential that he could be a mid-rotation starter rather than a #5 starter.

Or maybe he ends up as a multi-inning reliever or swingman.
John Northey - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#444862) #
Wonder what the mid-season trade will be for the Jays this year? They have been doing them in this success cycle.
  • 2020: Got Ross Stripling for Kendall Williams and Ryan Noda; Robbie Ray & cash for Travis Bergen; Jonathan Villar for Griffin Conine; Daniel Vogelbach off waivers. Noda is the only loss that did anything, but only after the LAD lost him on waivers
  • 2021: got Joakim Soria for Yaifer Perdomo and J.J. D'Orazio; José Berríos for Austin Martin (87 OPS+ negative WAR) & Simeon Woods Richardson (1 good start this year, 0.1 WAR lifetime); Brad Hand for Riley Adams; Bowden Francis and Trevor Richards for Rowdy Tellez;
  • 2022: Mitch White & Alex De Jesus for Moises Brito and Nick Frasso (hasn't pitched in 2024); Anthony Bass and Zach Pop & Edward Duran for Jordan Groshans; Whit Merrifield for Max Castillo and Samad Taylor
  • 2023: Génesis Cabrera for Sammy Hernandez; Jordan Hicks for Adam Kloffenstein & Sem Robberse; Paul DeJong & Cash for Matt Svanson.
So far nothing of note lost outside of maybe Noda. Martin & SWR both looked damn good at times but are negative WAR lifetime in Minny and need to show something soon - can't imagine anyone here would reverse that trade. A few big flops acquired, but the losses are minimal in prospects. Tellez has looked good at times but was never going to do much here it seemed. Frasso was looking damn good for a bit but is currently rehabbing from a labrum injury in his right shoulder that he got surgery for in November.

So this season where are the weaknesses? KK is looking bad, as is Kirk (both bat wise, but defense is WOW) but both are covered by Varsho in CF/Schneider in LF and Jansen returning. I was sure IKF or Biggio would flop but both doing damn fine, with Orelvis pounding on the door for a chance (317/368/667) and Barger hitting 283/419/467. And lets not forget surprise start of the year for OF Will Robinson hitting 324/465/794 but just 43 PA so far. Plus Spencer Horwitz doing a Tony Gwynn with patience line at 351/507/474. Buffalo is going nuts with a 827 OPS overall and average age of 25.5 vs AAA average of 26.6 years 765 OPS. The pitchers have given up a 827 OPS
John Northey - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#444863) #
Thinking more - backups for rotation - Manoah hopefully will get back to his near Cy form someday, Francis has some hope. Bullpen has a 0 ERA guy in Pearson stuck in a numbers game, Brendon Little (LHP) is K'ing like mad (15 in 8 2/3 IP) but also walking tons (7). Someone draw him a map of the strike zone. Zach Pop still down there too.

Really, there is lots of depth everywhere. I can only see minor trades at this point, or clearing out guys to make room for others. I doubt any real changes will happen outside of the 5 hole in the rotation until late May at the earliest. Once the Jays know if Orelvis/Barger/Robinson/Horwitz or whoever is for real, get 30+ PA for Votto (no kid is coming up to be on the bench ala Vogelbach). Outside of the big injury variable there really isn't a reason to worry right now. Our worst performing regular is probably Bo (ignoring KK and Kirk who both are easily replaced with guys in the majors right now) and odds are high he'll get back to normal soon enough.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#444864) #
I do think it's easy to imagine a combination of injuries and ineffectiveness from Francis & Manoah really testing our starting depth. But not every team goes seven or eight deep for starting pitchers, and if we get to the point where we need someone else, we are probably going to be looking on the waiver wire for someone like Mitch White.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Jays do something unexpected and unusual at the deadline, such as moving Bichette to upgrade elsewhere and slotting Clement in at SS.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#444865) #
" So far nothing of note lost outside of maybe Noda."

Sem Robberse has started 4 games at St. Louis's AAA farm team.

22 innings pitched, 15 hits, 23/6 K/BB, opponents batting .192 against.

I know, still in minors but I wish it was in Buffalo.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#444866) #
The Blue Jays can pull to within two games of New York with a win tonight.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#444867) #
Tonight's starter for San Diego is Randy Vásquez, who was acquired in the Juan Soto trade.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#444868) #
The Blue Jays hitters almost always get dominated by rookie hurlers. It would be nice to see them flip the script tonight....
Gerry - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#444869) #
Green to the IL, Nate Pearson called up.
dalimon5 - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#444870) #
And Tiedemann holding his breath for MRI results.
Gerry - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#444871) #
Mitch White to the Giants for cash. I guess he didn't hold his value since the trade.
John Northey - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#444872) #
Hard to believe Wes Parsons was worth more than White, but there you go.
dalimon5 - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#444873) #
Anyone think Vlad would resign for less than 25 million per year?
Kasi - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#444874) #
I think he has to realize that if he wants 25 or more it’s probably going to be a short contract. It’s becoming more and more clear that he had his one great year and will never get back to that.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 20 2024 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#444875) #
With the current rotation and bullpen, the Blue Jays are well positioned to have a good season. The pitching actually looks better than it did last year (assuming Gausman irons out his early-season issues).
John Northey - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#444876) #
This team is more fun than last year - that is for sure. Varsho being what we dreamed of - speed, power, defense.

As I enjoy this version, I can't help but wonder (especially against SD) what we'll see next winter. Regardless of how the team does. Bo & Vlad need decisions made. Bo doesn't fit the managements vision of high end defense everywhere, so I can't help but wonder if they'll try to sign Kim this winter to take over at SS (super defense, solid but not 'wow' offense) and trade Bo for help elsewhere (or even for pitching prospects to build up for the future).

Vlad seems very much like a guy the Jays want to hold onto - very popular, used a lot in ads, his dad was a HOF'er for the Expos, still has a real shot at 3000 hits (early start does a lot with these things even if he isn't a 300 hitter, he will be over 800 hits by the end of this year, as he enters his age 26 season which is a fine pace, Bo is at 670 now and is in his age 26 season already) and 500 HR (same thing, early start does a lot). Now, what would he sign for? That is the question - his ego is massive of course, safe to say he'd want more than Freeman got - 6 years/$162 mil. But given the current market and his 'meh' production in 2022/2023 and seems to be same in 2024 can he get that and is he worth that? I don't know, but I guess we'll find out.
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#444877) #
Varsho > Moreno
John Northey - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#444878) #
Heh. Moreno has a 98 wRC+ right now, 0.0 value offense, 1.9 on defense (FanGraphs) for a net 0.4 WAR. Varsho now up to a 138 wRC+, 0.5 offense, 2.7 defense net 0.5 fWAR (doesn't factor in tonight for offense/defense/fWAR, but does for wRC+). Wouldn't be surprised if Varsho has a much better year than Moreno this year. He seems locked in. (2.1 V, 2.3 M last year for fWAR)
bpoz - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#444883) #
The bats of Vlad, Varsho are kind of hot now. I expect Bo and Kirk to also improve. Biggio, IKF and Clement are helping the team with their bats.

Regarding rotations, I expect every team in the league to have questions about their rotation (8 man).

At the trade deadline Colorado is probably a seller. K Bryant (injury issues) and C Quantrill (poor performance). This is a sample team.

Regarding the Jays our rotation depth looks promising with Rodriguez and Manoah providing positives. Top pitching prospect Tiedemann suffered injuries last year.

Atkins has moved a lot of players in ST and the early season. I consider this housekeeping. Shapiro and Atkins never tell us anything which is their policy. No mention of payroll policy/plan. They have their media controlled so they are not hounded about prospect promotions.

The team is in a good position at the moment. Hopefully it stays that way until the trade deadline. Some teams may be desperate by then but hopefully not us.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#444886) #
For all the criticism the front office received in the off-season, their moves (and non-moves) have paid off pretty well so far. Turner, IKF, Rodriguez and Clement have all done well. Kiermaier has hit poorly but has been useful on defense. And, as mentioned, Varsho has outperformed Moreno in the early going -- Varsho is the most valuable player on the team as measured by fWAR.

The team is 12-9 despite a challenging road trip to begin the season, Gausman's slow start, and the injuries to Jansen, Romano and Swanson.
scottt - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#444887) #
I haven't seen any criticism of the Espinal/Clement moves.
Turner has looked great. It's a 1 year contract for 13M. Bo is a big fan. The guy is 39.
IKF could be better than Chapman. Also, he's not blocking any prospects like Chapman would have.
Rodriguez looks like a very good signing at this point.

By bWAR:
Berrios 1.6
Varsho 1.3
IKF 0.7
Turner 0.7
Kikuchi 0.6
Biggio 0.5
Clement 0.5
Garcia 0.4
Guerrero 0.3
Bichette 0.2
KK 0.2
Springer 0.2

Injuries are part of the game. The Yankees have lose Cole, LeMahieu and a bunch of relievers (Burdi, Effross, Loaisiga, Trivino, Kahnle,  Boston has actually ran out of replacement players. They don't have anybody on the 40 roster in the minors who isn't a pitcher.

The Jays seem to have pretty decent depth.

Slow starts in April are also part of the game. (I saw Yankees fans complaining that the Jays are hitting too much at home.)

John Northey - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#444888) #
No question, this season is off to a good start especially considering the issues of facing damn good teams to start, and having both our closer and setup man injured to start, our ace pitching terribly for the 2nd year in a row (first Manoah, now Gausman), the first choice for #5 starter sucking hard, two regulars having an OPS+ sub 60 so far, Springer still not himself with the bat, and Bo in the 80's for OPS+, both LHP in the pen forgetting how to pitch for the first 2 weeks.

Phew, lots went wrong and the team still is on a 93 win pace.

Dumping Espinal (10 OPS+ -0.5 bWAR) so we could keep Clement (116 OPS+ 0.5 bWAR) has worked well. IKF (110 OPS+ 0.8 bWAR) over Chapman (98 OPS+ 0.9 bWAR) for half the price has looked like dumb luck working brilliantly (Jays wanted Chapman back but he wanted more and ended up with less). Heck, Kiermaier returning (57 OPS+ 0.2 bWAR) vs spending a fortune on Bellinger (95 OPS+ 0.3 bWAR) isn't working out badly overall either. Even Turner (175 OPS+ 0.7 bWAR) after Ohtani (188 OPS+ 1.3 bWAR) said 'nah I like the west coast' doesn't look that bad (spread mostly playing time, Ohtani 92 PA vs Turner 74).

Backups in AAA are showing a lot with the bat - Horwitz 151 wRC+, Orelvis 161, Barger 159. Pitching not as good, but Yariel Rodriguez came up and has been damn good in limited innings while Manoah is giving us some hope (he has 2 options left, I expect one to be used to keep him down once his rehab time is up if Yariel keeps going well).

Of course, this is only 21 games in. 13% of the season. We'll have a far better idea in a month or two. Last year at this time Chapman looked all world after all (360/435/680 after 21 games, 219/313/380 after that), and Davis Schneider was a forgotten soul in AAA. Things can change quickly, either way.
John Northey - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#444889) #
Turner's contract has a few escalator clauses - $250k for 150 days on the active roster (ie: not on the IL), seems pretty safe. Then $125k for each of 500, 525, 550, 575 plate appearances. $250,000 each for 600, 625, 650 PAs - so max of $1.25 mil from those. Net max of $1.5 mil extra on top of his $13 mil. His player option that he opted out of cost him $6.7 mil so he did the right thing opting out of that I'd say. No option for 2025 on either side.

Speaking of contracts - for 2025 8 guys are signed - Springer ($24.2), Gausman ($23), Bassitt ($22), Berrios ($19), Bo ($17.6), Green ($10.5), IKF ($7.5), Yariel ($7). Free agents are Turner, Kiermaier, Kikuchi, Jansen, Richards, Vogelbach. Right now I'd say Kikuchi is making a good case for being resigned, as is Turner.
scottt - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#444890) #
Lots of guys hitting in Buffalo. Pitching not so good.
Rodriguez totally dominated there with a WHIP of 0.63.
Next best is Mason Fluharty who looked pretty good in the spring, but only 22 and not on the 40 roster.
Next is Brendon Little who could be called if they need innings.
Next are Pop and Hagen Danner.
Best starter in AAA is actually Manoah, which is somewhat encouraging.

uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#444891) #
good news is there's some fairly clear under and over achievers and they mostly balance out. I might even say there's more significant underachievers (Gausman, Bichette, Romano/Swanson/Mayza) than overachievers (Turner, Falefa, Varsho?, Kikuchi?) so far.

Team Position Player Stats (Fangraphs)

* #10 107wRC+ (#22 .279babip)
* #26 -2.2 Baserunning
* #1 +8.3 Defense
* #10 +3.7 WAR

Baserunning is an issue but there's the makings of a good offensive team with great defense.

Team Pitching Stats

* #23 115era-
* #27 110fip-
* #7 95xfip-


* #14 100era-
* #11 98fip-
* #5 85xfip-


* #26 135era-
* #29 127fip-
* #22 108xfip-

Starters have been good overally but a bit unlucky looks like. Mostly due to Gausman's struggles.

Bullpen has been terrible but that's not too shocking when the closing trio has either been injured or awful.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#444892) #
The top of the Blue Jays lineup went down quietly on seven pitches in the first inning (Springer grounded out weakly to short on the first pitch of the game). Springer, Vladdy and Bo have combined for 0.4 fWAR this year.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#444893) #
Clutch pickoff at second base by Bassitt.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#444894) #
No way to corroborate this but to my eye, it looks like Springer bat speed has slowed down from where it was a few years ago.
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#444895) #
Falefa has been great but I still have more belief in Clement.

Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#444897) #
Padres in their traditional Sunday camouflage. Toronto has worn the road grey uniforms during this series.

The Blue Jays have followed the pattern of switching uniforms after a tough loss. (The exception was the switch to white uniforms for the series against the Yankees.)
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#444898) #
Springer’s lack of power is a problem for this team. Vladdy’s too. It’s going to be hard for this team to get where they need to go without more homers from them.

lexomatic - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#444899) #
Scoring from 1st on a single to Kiermaier seems like a difficult thing to do. Didn't see that first run. Did it hit a gap? Was it a great jump? Curious.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#444900) #
They would probably get more homers if they shortened their swings a bit
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#444901) #
it was a single to springer and he missed it and it rolled to the warning track.
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#444902) #
is it me or does Davis seem to look like a pretty damn good fielder wherever he plays?
Kasi - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#444903) #
Yeah he’s fine. He can be okay in LF or at 2b. The articles or quotes that he was awful defensively and couldn’t play at all in the field were a joke. MLB writers I feel are too hung up on draft position or projection. So when someone small/unathletic or lowly drafted comes up (especially if both) and does well they really don’t know how to handle it.
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#444904) #
I dunno if i'd be pulling Bassitt here.....but he HAS been fighting it all game long i think. nice outing despite not being locked in.....especially if Richards can hold these runners here.
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#444905) #
not great, Trevor.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#444906) #
Two out of three is a good result.
uglyone - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#444907) #
3 innings left have some faith.
James W - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#444908) #
Way too many mistakes to overcome today.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#444909) #
Yep. 9 walks and 2 errors
greenfrog - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#444910) #
I'm confident Bichette will get it going and hit close to his career line (around 120-125 wRC+).

I'm less confident in Springer's ability to do so. Baseball is a tough game and he's 34 with a lengthy injury history.

Vladdy I'm unsure about. I like that he's drawn more walks this year. I feel his season could go either way (good or bad).
Marc Hulet - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#444911) #
Vladdy makes terrible swing decisions and struggles to make adjustments. He coasted on his natural hitting abilities as an amateur and minor leaguer but just can't reach that next level... and I'm hesitant to believe it's ever coming.

Springer should be hitting about 7th tops. He's spent the past two years trying to pull pitchers a foot outside with minimal adjustments... pitchers now know to just pitch him constantly away. Same with Vladdy. They just pop up or generate a weak ground ball. It's not a small sample size for either one.
John Northey - Sunday, April 21 2024 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#444912) #
Right now the Jays have 3 guys with a 350+ OBP: Turner, Vogelbach, Biggio. One more over 320 in Vlad (343), then a big drop to our leadoff hitter Springer 319.

IMO it is time to put Biggio leadoff when he plays, move Springer down. Against LHP you get 400 OBP from Turner, Vlad, Clement. 350+ from Varsho (!). Springer is way down at 278 with a 188 Slg vs LHP. Sheesh. Vs RHP Biggio is at 385, Schneider 375, and Vogelbach at 389, Springer way down at 329.

Yeah, Springer doesn't belong anywhere near the top right now. He just isn't hitting, didn't last year either, but then you had the hope it was a short term thing. It isn't. Sigh. Sad to see, but everyone gets old (born in the 60's here, and in a bit of pain from a slo-pitch game today where I pitched). Maybe giving him the time off like KK gets might make sense. More RF time for Biggio, more 2B for Schneider. Not ideal on defense but for offense it would be a big boost. Maybe more rest (2-3 games a week lets say) will get Springer closer to his old form. With a perfectly good pair of players to cover in Biggio & Schneider it makes a TON of sense.

The pen issues continue - we have a premium closer/setup in Romano/Garcia right now, a few others moving back towards solid in Mayza, Cabrera, and Swanson. The shaky rest in Pearson, Richards, and Francis who will mostly pitch in losing efforts. Frustrating that Green was looking good when he went down, at least White & Parsons are gone.
scottt - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#444916) #
Disappointed that relievers didn't throw strikes. In Petco, just throw a fastball in there and let the outfielders run it down.
uglyone - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#444917) #
I wouldn't make any big early changes based on babip tbh.

* Springer: 13.8bb%, .221babip
* Biggio: 9.8bb%, .419babip
soupman - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#444918) #
i agree with your assessment about the limits of his natural talent, and my read is that the source of the issue is he can't make ANY adjustment (he can't check his glove before an inning, or am i to believe he gnaws through it in 10 minutes?). it looks like a dunning-kruger effect - perhaps he's never learned anything since he's always had good results on the way up and he doesn't know how to, and maybe he has the confidence of someone that doesn't believe they need to.

while i've always wanted him gone, i do think a hot week like varsho just had is probably going to come sooner than later and will quiet some of this.

what do you think about a trade built around vlad for trout? i usually don't like making a team older, but since Vlad is likely gone in free agency after next year is that really a big worry...the jays would be getting 5 additional years of control. the angels get the son of a HoF at a position of need for them in the prime of his career, maybe a change of scenery unlocks the potential.
hypobole - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#444920) #
"The articles or quotes that he was awful defensively and couldn’t play at all in the field were a joke."

People who saw him a few years ago said that. Because he was. Ask Nigel who saw him play 2nd in 2019. But he'd only played 2nd 7 games prior to that season.

Wasn't until 2022 Schneider started playing LF. I'm sure early on he didn't look too good there either.

He doesn't seem to be a natural toolsy athlete, but from everything I've heard he's a tremendous learner and worker and has constantly improved pretty well all aspects of his game.

Some players reach their ceiling early on, others just keep improving and end up looking far better than they have in the past.
Nigel - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#444921) #
There's also something slightly awkward about the way Schneider moves that makes his defence look funky. He certainly has improved defensively on the infield over the years. Defence at a position takes quite a while to assess so I don't think we really know what he is at any position. If I were guessing I'd say he could be something like a league average defender in LF; a below to slightly below average (but not unplayable) defender at 2nd and a break only in case of emergency defender at 3B. Time will tell.
bpoz - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#444922) #
1) Very early to be scoreboard watching. 2) A lot of negativity on da box so early in the season.

Last year Minnesota won their division by a big margin. Houston down to Seattle were every close with Seattle not getting in. NYY out as well.

Very bad starts for Houston and Minnesota so far this year. Minnesota could probably catch up to the AL Central leader at some point because the ALC is considered a weak division.. Houston IMO has to make progress ASAP or they may be out. Houston's .304 winning % extrapolates to 19 wins at the 60 game mark so they need to start panicking IMO. CWS is most likely out already.

Houston has until the end of May to make up some ground IMO.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#444923) #
Aaron Boone ejected 1 batter into the game, after home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt hears the chirping of a fan in the front row and blames the Yankee skipper.
greenfrog - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#444928) #
The A's just beat the Yankees 2-0 at Yankee Stadium. Mason Miller struck out Volpe, Soto and Judge in the ninth to end the game.
greenfrog - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#444929) #
Guessing a lot of teams will be inquiring about Miller at the trade deadline.
uglyone - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#444930) #
a bigtime closer type would be a nice add for this team for sure. especially if he's lefthanded.
greenfrog - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#444931) #
The only thing better than a big-time closer? A controllable big-time closer. Miller becomes a free agent after the 2029 season.
jerjapan - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#444933) #
A lot of negativity on da box so early in the season
I dunno bpoz, I see a lot of negativity everywhere. 

Anyone read Cathal Kelly on the Leafs today?  Woof.  Negativity sells.
I'd say da box is more immune to negative vibes than most places, just because of stats.  Everyone here knows what a small sample size is.
Man, perhaps the problems of the world would diminish if more people followed baseball and learned statistics. 
Gerry - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#444934) #
Miller is pretty impressive. He has diabetes which seems to be why he isn't a starter.
soupman - Monday, April 22 2024 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#444936) #
just saw the highlights on the Miller save - that's some gas. the percentile rankings on statcast are comical.
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