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I don't care if they're a first place team. They're not taking two of three from the Blue Jays.

Oh wait...


Tue 7 May -  Berrios (4-2, 1.44)  vs  Sanchez (1-3, 3.68)
Wed 8 May - Bassitt  (2-5, 5.45)  vs  Nola (4-1, 3.32)
Toronto at Philadelphia, May 7-8 | 101 comments | Create New Account
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Ducey - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#445680) #
The Jays cant lose 3 of 2 games to Philly, but when things are going bad in the Toronto sports market, people sure try their best to make you feel like they did.

From TSN piece up with quotes from Buster Onley:

"I was going to give you guys some insight and Guerrero Jr., I work with a terrific researcher that talked about Vladdy's struggles at the bottom half of the zone," Olney explained.

"Think about these numbers on pitches in the lower half of the strike zone against Vladdy: he's batting .196, with a .315 slugging percentage and a .282 on-base percentage. Those are scary numbers."
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#445683) #
The by-laws for baseball in the City of Toronto.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#445685) #
Jansen has a go at DH tonight. Mike Green's entreaty has been heard.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#445686) #
Texas currently leads Oakland 15 - 2 in the 6th.  Ross Stripling was roughed up for 11 runs (5 earned) in 1.2 innings.
scottt - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#445687) #
That's not good. Jansen at DH, Kirk catching, Turner at 3rd is clearly worse than Jansen catching, Turner at DH and Clement at 3rd.

Also, Bichette had one hit to bring his average up to .197, so move him up to the clean up spot.

John Northey - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#445689) #
Another Springer DP. Way past time to move him down in the lineup.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#445690) #
Does anyone know what the current tally is for consecutive games without a three run comeback? Close to 40? We’re due!
Nigel - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#445691) #
The Jays only average scoring 3.4 runs/game. The chances of mounting a three run comeback in that context are remote. It gets late very early with this team.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#445692) #
I know that lineup construction is maybe the least important of strategic decisions, but it pains me to see Jansen, who is probably our best hitter right now, getting on base just before Kirk, who is mired in a terrible slump. And, as noted by many, Springer isn't doing anything to justify him hitting leadoff.
Eephus - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#445693) #
This has to be the bottom, right?
James W - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#445694) #
The good news is Schneider let the 3rd base ump know how he missed a call. I was going to say crucial call, but let's face it, this game was already over.

The bad news is that same umpire will be behind the plate tomorrow, and I'm sure this tirade will help the cause.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#445695) #
blow it up.
James W - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#445696) #
Wait, my mistake - they rotate clockwise. So he'll be out at second base tomorrow.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#445698) #
Nothing like giving up a 5 spot, then giving up 3 outs on 6 pitches right after.
Eephus - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#445699) #
You'd never know it watching these guys, but baseball is actually an extremely fun and excellent game. I highly recommend it.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#445700) #
I'm afraid that 16-20 isn't close to bottom. You can't even see the bottom from here. 100 loss teams are a whole different breed of bad. But, I will say, its been a long time since I've seen the body language of this team look this bad.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#445701) #
it's hard to fathom how bad Bo is this year.

kinda get the feeling he's trying to play his way out of town.
finch - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#445702) #
I agree. Everyone but Vlad. I still believe in him. If you can get a haul for Bo, trade him. Can you get 3 top 100 prospects for him? I think so.
scottt - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#445703) #
It's funny how they signed him to 3 years to spare him the ordeal of arbitration.
He's going to break out of it eventually. Maybe soon.
Eephus - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#445704) #
What the hell was Kirk thinking? He's slower than the 50 year olds I play softball with, you're down 8-0, and a good throw nails you by sixteen feet. This team is so damn clueless, man.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#445705) #
Did they have cupholders on the titanic.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#445706) #
Gonna be bottom-5 in run differential in all of MLB after tonight.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#445708) #
John Schneider said on Friday that the team now needed to have a sense of urgency. Since then, the Blue Jays are 1-3 with a -15 run differential (in four games).

Since the team seems to be doing the opposite of what the manager says, maybe he should tell everyone to slack off, swing at bad pitches, and stop worrying about playing fundamentally sound baseball...?
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#445709) #
If you can get a haul for Bo, trade him. Can you get 3 top 100 prospects for him? I think so.

For the poor defensive shortstop hitting .190? Is a contending team going to be so confident they can get him fixed quickly that they'll give up their top prospects for him?

I'm sure there are a few teams out there who think they can fix Vlad or Bo.  I just don't think many are going to pay a high price for the opportunity. Is there a precedent for a previously good player having a horrible season still bringing back a strong return in a trade?
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#445710) #
I think the assumption is that Bo will heat up between now and the trade deadline.

If Bo is still injured as a result of the Genesis Cabrera temper tantrum at third base several weeks ago, then I hope the Blue Jays will place Bichette on the IL so that he can heal properly and (hopefully) resume his usual level of play. He's not helping the team at the moment.
Eephus - Tuesday, May 07 2024 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#445712) #
Bichette is a hot three weeks away from this talk of trading him to sound completely absurd. That being said: it might be time to move on and I imagine his value hasn’t completely cratered around the league.

Whether I trust this particular front office to optimize such a transaction is an entirely different story. My patience is far beyond worn out with these guys.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#445713) #
I agree with the body language. Bichette looked less than interested out there.

Berios was pitching above his head, obviously, but if he's not going to have a crazy MVP-type season, we're toast. Gausman seems to be injured, Manoah isn't going to save this team. Bassitt is not an ace, and Kikuchi is gone after this year.

A ton of Leaf fans are saying "blow it up" (although hard to do with no trade clauses), but this team is WAY farther from a championship than the Leafs are, IMHO. The problem with the Jays isn't no-trade clauses, but no-losing-revenue clauses..

Michael - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#445715) #
The Jays are only 4.5 games out of the playoffs.

But yeah, something has to change. I still think manager change May 15 is the likely move absent a turn around win streak in the next week.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#445718) #
If the Blue Jays become sellers, I don't want Shapiro/Atkins in charge of the selloff as they tend to value "close to the majors" over upside prospects.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#445719) #
The track record of this organization suggests that Atkins/Shapiro will stay until at least the end of the season (maybe longer), Schneider may well be fired at some point this season, and the trade deadline approach will be a “middle way” of trading a few veterans without embarking on a true rebuild.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#445720) #
I think the assumption is that Bo will heat up between now and the trade deadline.

Isn't that the same failed assumption that's plagued the team this year? There's not a huge difference between "Eventually these guys will start hitting and we'll be a good team" and "eventually that guy will start hitting and we'll trade him for good players."

I tend to agree that at some point, Bo will go on a hot streak and look like a star again. But then, I've felt that way about Vlad (and Kirk!) for the last year and a half, and have yet to be rewarded for my faith. Sometimes players stink for a long time before they get sorted out.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#445721) #
Bichette wRC+ by year:

2019 143
2020 120
2021 122
2022 130
2023 125
2024 50

Something is up this year. Maybe it's a neck injury (caused by the Cabrera shove). Or maybe it's a prolonged slump. Bichette is 26, so it's unlikely to be age-related decline.
jz6pwc - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#445722) #
"...but this team is WAY farther from a championship than the Leafs are."

I hope your wrong about that!
scottt - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#445723) #
It really looks like Bichette's issue is just timing.
He's hitting the ball in the ground instead of lifting it because he's late.
He's a guy who normally fouls bad pitches by hitting them very late until he squares one.
Timing issues are very common.
When you're late, you don't feel like you're late. You just feel like the ball is not going where you want.
So you have to make a correction regardless of your perception.
Sometimes, it's as simple as trying to be early, which means pulling the ball.
Bichette goes the other way more than anybody I've seen.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#445724) #
"...but this team is WAY farther from a championship than the Leafs are."

I hope your wrong about that!
Even if every player on this team played to their potential, consensus seemed to be we were a mid-80s win team. With an outside chance at a wildcard. Clearly, we have key players underperforming SERIOUSLY - Springer, Bichette, Kirk, Gausman, KK, Manoah (not sure if you can count him), Swanson, Mayza, Cabrera, etc. Vlad is borderline, IMHO. We barely have a trustworthy reliever right now. Our best players have been Turner, Jansen, Clement, Biggio, Schneider, Varsho and even IKF hasn't been bad, even if somewhat overpaid.

Mind you, benching Clement in favor of Bichette isn't doing the team any favors right now. Nor is playing KK against a tough lefty, but, then again, not sure we had much of a choice there.
Players have these seasons sometimes where nothing goes right. Expecting 5+ important players to seriously turn things around after a horrible start is, well, wishful thinking, I believe. I'm going to guess that at least one of Springer, Bichette or Kirk has a stinker season where they don't really improve much from where they are right now.. And I'll gladly pony up cuttlefish when I'm proven wrong!
To say nothing of my "dark horse" Vogelbach who has been worse than I could have ever imagined - he looks worse than lost at the plate.
scottt - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#445725) #
The Jays are not tanking. They could flip someone like Kikuchi or Bichette and replace them with a free agent signing.

What I'd like to see is more Latino players. I still think that's all Vladdy needs to go back to his 2021 self. Dump Biggio. Sign Soto. Have fun.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#445726) #
The Jays are only 4.5 games out of the playoffs.

We're exactly 2/9th of the way through the season (never realized 162 was divisible by 9!). 4.5 games out after 22% of the schedule = 20+ games out at the end of the season if we keep playing this way.

126 games left. Let's say we need 86 wins to squeak in as a wildcard (16-20 right now). That would mean we need to go 70-56 the rest of the way, or .555 ball (90 win pace) - roughly our win totals from the last couple of years. But, with a lesser team to do it with. Now, let's try 89 wins: 73-53 - that's 0.579, or a 94 win pace - something we haven't done since 1993, if I did the lookup correctly. So, is this a 1993-caliber team? Just to get to a wildcard?

You can't win the pennant in April, but you can sure lose it in April/May..
Gerry - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#445727) #
The Jays had a closed door meeting this morning. There will be no reports of what was discussed.

Nothing to worry about now.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#445728) #
Soto is on pace for roughly a 10 fWAR (8 bWAR) season in 2024. How much do you think that will net the 25-year-old this off-season? $750m? $800m? Do you think Rogers would be willing to pay that amount? And given that many MLB teams will undoubtedly be interested in signing Soto, why would he choose Toronto over those competitors?
Ducey - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#445729) #
I cant see any way:

a) Rogers would have enough confidence in this management group to sign up for a big money 15-20 year commitment;
b) that a business case could be made that Soto is the final piece putting this team over the top;
c) that Soto would give up the endorsements/ star opportunities that would come from playing in a big US market;
d) that Soto would want to play with a team that looks to be entering a phase when it will be non competitive (both due to poor performance and likely departures of their core).

So no, Soto will not be signing with the Jays.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#445730) #
Phew! The closed door meeting should fix things.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#445731) #
Weirder things have happened. In 1997 after 2 horrible years with incompetent management and a rapidly disappearing fan base the Jays signed Roger Clemens (seen as the best free agent out there) to a record contract for the day, which he rewarded with 2 of the best seasons ever for a pitcher before demanding a trade to the Yankees or to Texas.

Basically if Soto is after money the Jays can match/beat anyone if they want to. No worries about him being after his 'home town' as he is from the Dominican Republic where many grew up wanting to be Blue Jays a generation ago (thanks to Bell, Fernandez, etc.). Boras is his agent so raw cash is almost certainly #1 to him. Tax reasons would make Florida & Texas more appealing but neither Florida team has the cash, Houston is playing worse than the Jays (honest!), and Texas is still stinging from the last time they went totally nuts on a free agent (A-Rod). Plus Texas has over $100 mil per year locked in to deGrom (injured again, 6 games so far total over 1+ years of his 5+ year contract), Seager (79 OPS+), and Semien (116). So it'll come down to if the Yankees and Jays and others want to go to nutty levels to sign him. I expect the Yankees to go nuts to get him to stay, to be honest, but if they don't want to pay him double (due to luxury tax) then the Jays could be in the race. Especially if they decide to trade Bo at some point (would need a big PR move).

Remember, the case to be made to Rogers isn't 'this will win us a title' but 'this will make you more money than it costs'.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#445732) #
The Mets are the only team I think can pilfer Soto away from the Yankees.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#445733) #
Jansen is an impending FA and the Jays need Kirk to rediscover his offense - I'd option Kirk to Buffalo and see if he can get back on track - Henry can serve as Jansen's backup.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#445734) #
Two line drives from Guerrero Jr. is a good sign for him.  When one of Vlad's long swings results in a home run, I cringe because I figure a slump is coming. 
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#445735) #
I simply am not worried about Vlad. The only potentially worrisome thing is his power outage this year, but is he hitting the ball with less authority? No, actually the opposite. Is he simply unable to put the ball in the air? He's always hit more grounders than you'd want, but he's within 1% of his career average for fly ball rate.

Basically the only thing that's changed for Vlad this year fundamentally is that he's swinging at fewer pitches overall, and especially fewer pitches outside the zone; he's seeing more pitches than ever before, working deeper counts. That's resulted in more walks and more strikeouts, which I think is on balance, positive.

Vlad may never get back to being 2021 Vlad, but I absolutely expect him to be a 130-140 wRC+ guy.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#445736) #
We'll see.  Guerrero Jr. is a 129 wRC+ player over his career away from home, and has been relatively consistent.  He's had trouble at home since the renovations, with a severe loss of power, and I think he needs to adapt.  He is quite capable of hitting line-drives out of the park, and that ought to be his modus operandi in general.  It will really help him at home given the changes. 
Nigel - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#445737) #
Vladdy has a career 129 wRC+ which includes both home and away and the inflated 2021 stats. I'm not worried about him in the sense that I agree he is likely to come back into that vicinity when all is said and done. I'm not in the 135-140 wRC+ camp and would guestimate something more in the 125 wRC+ range. The problem with that is that at 125 wRC+ he's probably a 2 WAR player and is already overpaid (and not the elite cornerstone player that we all hoped he'd be). You should really be trying to get off that salary if you can if there is a bounce back later this year.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#445738) #
best team meeting ever!
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#445739) #
I agree with you guys that Vlad's approach this year is much more promising than his power outage is worrying.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#445740) #
Might be better to have Davis Schneider, not Varsho, hitting second. He is a better overall hitter and gets on base at a higher clip, and Varsho seems to do better when hitting lower in the lineup.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#445741) #
yeah my preferred order atm would probably look like this:

* 1. LF Schneider
* 2. 1B Guerrero
* 3. DH Turner
* 4. C Jansen
* 5. CF Varsho
* 6. SS Bichette
* 7. RF Springer
* 8. 3B Clement
* 9. 2B Biggio
92-93 - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#445742) #
I'm not a fan of getting in Bichette's head with batting him lower in the lineup. If he's healthy enough to play, he shouldn't be batting behind Varsho.

It's hard to understand the team's logic behind dropping Bichette down while keeping Springer up top. Be consistent.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#445743) #
Marketing, ego, and seniority seem to play a significant role in the Blue Jays lineup construction under John Schneider.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#445744) #
oh no
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#445745) #
"I'm not a fan of getting in Bichette's head with batting him lower in the lineup. If he's healthy enough to play, he shouldn't be batting behind Varsho."

I'm less of a fan of slavishly making out the lineup based on preconcieved hierarchy.

Fact of the matter is that Bo hasn't been much better than Varsho for the past calendar year now, nor is there a significant gap between their forward-looking projections at this point, with Varsho being hotter at the moment, so performance wise there's nothing crazy about the move.

And whether the move takes pressure off Bo or pisses him off or just gives him a different perspect, either way it's probably likely to help him rather than hurt him.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#445746) #
If there isn't a significant gap between their forward-looking projections, I might suggest that projections are useless. Bichette is a much better hitter than Varsho.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#445747) #
Bichette quite literally doesn't deserve to be in the lineup at the moment. Keeping him as high as i had him slotted there is generous.

* Bichette (26): 580pa, 100wrc+ past cal.year, 120wrc+ projected
* Varsho (27): 557pa, 90wrc+ past cal.year, 114wrc+ projected

uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#445748) #
and of course this year so far:

* Bichette 142pa, 50wrc+
* Varsho 125pa, 123wrc+
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#445749) #
Teoscar goes deep (383 ft.) to give the Dodgers the lead 3 - 1 against Miami in the 7th.  The L.A. Dodgers seeking a 7th straight win.

The Mets are the only team I think can pilfer Soto away from the Yankees.

Juan Soto would be crazy to sign with the Mets!

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#445750) #
I wouldn't go so far as to say projections are useless, but I really have no idea why the projection systems are so high on Varsho. In any event, I think there's room for a little deference to veterans and established guys like Springer and Bichette in lineup construction, but in my humble view, we are past the point where that justifies keeping either of them at the top. Springer in particular doesn't make any sense, and I agree that moving Bichette down while keeping Springer in the leadoff slot could be read by Bichette as a slight.

The top four guys are obvious right now: Schneider, Jansen, Guerrero and Turner. I'd mark down our best lineup right now as:


Keeping Jansen in the lineup as much as possible is going to make for some tough decisions. I'm not sure that Turner playing 3B is better for the team than Clement, but the Jays probably should run him out there once or twice a week to let Jansen DH.
scottt - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#445751) #
I  am a huge fan of dropping Bichette down to 6th-8th in the order until he gets himself right.
That's with reason because that has happened before and he bounced back after 2 weeks.
He's been in the top/middle of the lineup for 6 weeks now and nothing is improving.

Springer is a different beast. He's had bad months before.
Also, it's quite possible that nobody else really like to hit lead off.
High OBP is good at the top, but putting a slugger who doesn't run well there doesn't help.
Some guys are chasing the RBIs, not the walks and batting them lead off when they've never done it would probably mess with their heads.
Honestly, I don't mind Biggio there. Smart base runner, high OBP, not a high slugger.
Usually sees a lot of pitches.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#445752) #

This year:

* Springer 69wrc+
* Bichette 50wrc+

Past Calendar year:

* Springer 105wrc+
* Bichette 100wrc+


* Springer 113wrc+
* Bichette 120wrc+

why is springer being treated more harshly than bo?
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#445754) #
Springer is being treated more harshly than Bo because it seems clear that he's in a decline where he's lost some bat speed whereas it's not clear what's troubling Bo, so there's more hope that it's a slump or that there's an adjustment that can be made.

I'd be perfectly happy with Springer and Bichette hitting 5/6.

There isn't a natural leadoff hitter on the team - even Springer, when he was at his peak, was a bit of an anomaly as a leadoff guy. But I think there's a significant gap between what you can expect from the top 4 guys offensively and the rest of the squad, and Jansen and Schneider need to be getting the extra at-bats that come with hitting higher in the lineup.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#445757) #
As fans we have more reason to be harsh on Springer due to his decline most likely being age related, thus irreversible. Bo is in his prime, this could just be a slump, but I hadn't noticed he has been a 100 wRC+ guy for a year now. Given that, his meh defense, and just over a year from free agency I'd be looking into trades if I was the Jays. You can use IKF & Clement at SS, call up Orelvis to take over 2B, have Biggio & IKF/Clement share 3B with Turner. It'd be playing without a net as Bo could become his 2019-2023 self again, but if he doesn't then this would result in an improved team.

Now, is Orelvis ready? No idea. He looks it but I don't know if he is pounding non-ML quality pitches only or has shown he can hit anything tossed at him. But right now this team, despite the nice win today, needs an injection of some kind - and I'm not talking what Barry Bonds used either.

Springer really needs to be 6th or later in the lineup right now. Schneider as leadoff? Very unorthodox but he takes lots of pitches and gets on base which are 2 very valuable things to get from your leadoff hitter. Plus when the 8/9 guys get on he is less likely than Springer to hit into a DP. Just looked at the DP stats pre-today and I hadn't noticed that Bo is the worst right now (7), then Turner (5), Kirk/Springer/IKF (4), Vlad (3), and 2 each for KK & Clement, while Biggio & Vogelach did it once apiece.

For who should play - Kirk/Jansen C, Vlad 1B, Clement 2B, IKF 3B (could flip positions), Bo SS, Varsho CF, Schneider LF, Springer RF, Turner DH - Biggio is in a horrid slump and down to an 83 OPS+, Vogelbach needs to be released already. Move Jansen to DH and Turner to 3B whenever possible and give Bo a day off (shift IKF or Clement to SS), KK should mainly be a late inning replacement but won't be. When he and Varsho are out there you put Schneider at 2B. I guess you could bench Bo (yeah right) and put Clement/IKF at SS/3B.

I do wonder if other teams still think highly of Bo. If they do then you might get a haul for him - ideally pitching, lots of pitching. Arizona seems weak at SS - two guys splitting it, one who can't field but hits and one who fields but can't hit. No other contender jumps out at me.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#445758) #
Count me extremely surprised if Bichette continues hitting .219 on his Balls In Play. I mean, what the hell? He's never hit less than .339 on them in his career. I suppose it's possible that he's mortally offended some malicious deity with magical powers, but it just seems unlikely.

I'm sure it's all making him crazy. He doesn't look disinterested to me. He looks depressed. As in "what could I possibly have done to deserve this?"
scottt - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#445759) #
He's hitting weak grounders. He's in the 5th percentile for barrel rate.
Yeah, 95% of all hitters are making better contact. That is not bad luck. It's bad timing and not squaring the ball. 3rd percentile for sweet spot. 

He's at 82% percentile for whiff rate, so he's making contact consistently, but it's not good contact even if he manages to be at the 58th percentile for hard hit balls.

Back to barrel rate. He was at the 82nd percentile in 2020 and 64th percentile the last 2 years.
I don't think it's physical. He hasn't found his timing but he feels like he has so that he's locked down in hitting the ball late. It happens to everybody, but Bo is such a model of consistency that he can't make an adjustment. Heck, I'd try a lighter bat.

electric carrot - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#445760) #
I think he's injured and his timing is off.
scottt - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#445761) #
Just looking at his spray chart. He had 24 hits. 1 HR. 1 triple and 3 doubles made it to the outfield. The other 2 doubles are ground balls along the 3rd base line. 3 balls landed between the infield and the outfield for singles. The other 14 singles are ground balls that made it through the infield.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#445762) #
The other thing is - the longer you take to love these guys down the lineup, the more of a big deal and the bigger a condemnation it becomes when you do move them down the lineup.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#445763) #
One surprising thing about Bo's season is that he's actually making slightly better swing decisions this year, and significantly more contact. The result: a career-low strikeout rate, and a slightly higher walk rate. So one presumes that he's seeing the ball fine. My best guess is that his timing is a little off.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#445766) #
Soto with another home run (#9) and a 2/4 night through 6IP. Now hitting .333/.434/.583. The man is going to get paid this off-season.
soupman - Wednesday, May 08 2024 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#445767) #
there's a video floating around of hazel man about to interview d.schneider and vlad comes with two water bottles to 'soak' davis. he says 'no, only at home'...vlad splashes him anyway.

his trade value is at a nadir, so this is probably when this front office will trade him instead of when they probably could have based a soto or ohtani trade around him.
Michael - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 05:41 AM EDT (#445769) #
I know some people get rubbed the wrong way, but personally I'm a fan of smiling, happy, joking Vlad. I want people to play well, but I don't think that means we need to have everyone be dour or subdued.

Everyone's tradable for the right package, but I certainly wouldn't be looking to trade Vlad or Bo right now. Bo is going to hit better than this and this would be the definition of selling low. Vlad is also likely to get better outcomes moving forward. If you think it is time to sell (which I'm still not convinced is true), I think you want to sell high (someone like Kikuki or Jansen), not low (Vlad/Bo/Kirk).
greenfrog - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#445770) #
I like Jansen and long ago argued that the Blue Jays should extend him. But I now think that he's had too many injuries to justify a long-term contract. If the team can extend him for 2-3 more years, I think that would be reasonable. Or they could trade him this summer if the team is in a true rebuilding situation.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#445771) #
Michael Baumann at fangraphs has an interview with Davis Schneider.  Highlights:

- if he couldn't make it as a ballplayer, his alternative career choice was fireman
-pull hitter growing up but learned that if a pitcher has a good four-seamer up, it's better for him to "shoot the ball the other way low" (the article doesn't mention it, but I think that it has a lot to do with his height and arm extension which makes it harder to get around on a good fastball up and out and pull it to left-centre the way Aaron Judge or Mark McGwire or Edwin Encarnacion might- this is a lay person's opinion)

Anyways, I love the way he handles himself in every way.  Impossible not to root for him to blow past every expectation. 
Mike Green - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#445772) #
Since Schneider's arrival in the major leagues on August 4, 2023, he's posted a 165 wRC+.  That ranks 8th in the major leagues among players with 200+PAs during the period- just behind Trea Turner and Bryce Harper and just ahead of Jose Altuve and Juan Soto.  Helluva utility player. 
Chuck - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#445773) #
Helluva utility player.

It seems that he may have recently morphed into a fulltime player, playing LF when one of KK or Varsho sit and 2B otherwise. Biggio seems to have removed himself as an impediment with his recent slide.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#445774) #
The club has avoided being swept in any series, which has kept Toronto afloat in the standings, despite all the recent turmoil.
Ducey - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#445775) #
Horwitz 347/470/496 more BB than K
Berroa 339/449/ 477 - switch hitter with 17 SB vs 4 CS

If things dont improve in say 3 weeks they need to drop Vogelbach, give up on the Cavan Biggio experience, and add these two guys from AAA. And give the manager (who ever he might be) instructions to play these guys - a lot.

Cavan is 29 and has not had an OPS+ of at least 100 since 2001. He is always broken and passive and they cant wait around for a teaser 2 month hot streak any more. And its not like he is a gold glover either.

Its kind of funny that people lose their marbles over IKF's $7.5 million when Cavan adds little at $4.21M. IKF is a very useful player. Cavan seldom is. We all believed he might turn it around. But when you are at the cross roads you need to re-examine how you got there. Players not developing is the answer.

Horwitz can replace Biggio's left bat in the lineup (LF, 1B, DH) and Berroa can provide decent D, with some pinch running capability. And maybe Davis S can play some more 2B.
Michael - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#445776) #
I think you mean 2021 for Biggio.

I don't think you build around Biggio, but he's far from useless. Yes he's 29 and has a career 101 OPS+ and career 344 OBP. Last year his OBP was 340 and his OPS+ was 98. From a guy that can move around and play different positions fine and is only getting paid ~$4M that is hardly a problem or nothing. He's also 31 SB and 3 CS on his career. He's cost controlled this year and next. Sure he's not blocking anyone if you have a true star, but he really isn't the problem.

IKF is also 29, has a career 89 OPS+, 314 OBP, and was 306 OBP last year with 78 OPS+. He's 76 SB but 24 CS so he's a base threat but more at that 76% success rate rather than the north of 90% rate Biggio has. IKF is going to be paid $7.5M this year and next. He's also not blocking anyone if you have a true star, and isn't really the problem, but I think there's more value and certainly more surplus value in Biggio than IKF.
Nigel - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#445777) #
I think a word of caution is needed with AAA and Buffalo statistics. There is a good article in the Athletic today from Rosenthal looking at why top hitting prospects are struggling to translate their numbers in AAA and AA to MLB. There are several reasons posited but the first and most prevalent is that the pitching at AAA is worse than it used to be and there is very little velocity in AAA. Whatever the reason, the AAA hitting numbers across the board are inflated from historical numbers and one needs to reset the lens through which you look at Buffalo statistics. That, of course, doesn't mean good hitting in AAA should be ignored but I've stopped thinking of a hitter in Buffalo who is putting up say an 800 OPS as "hitting really well".
Nigel - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#445778) #
I'll just add that the idea that AAA pitching is a lot worse than it used to be is entirely logical. Most MLB teams now carry 2 and often 3 additional pitchers on their rosters from as little as 7-8 years ago. That's an additional 60-90 arms that are in the majors versus the high minors. That's a lot.
uglyone - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#445779) #
Just a note - a stat like wRC+ adjusts for pitching/hitting environment, so overall pitching getting worse will not impact it.

But i'm not sure Horwitz' bat would be any better than Biggio's, so i don't think we would want to chuck the defensive versatility.

As for Biggio vs Falefa that's a league average bat vs a well below (~15%) league average bat.

John Northey - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#445781) #
Biggio I'm in no rush to dump even in his current slump. When hot he can be put anywhere in the lineup and be a plus. When cold you can bench him easily. Even ice cold he still eats up a fair number of pitches. As a bench guy he has value (plus can play 2B/3B/RF/1B reasonably well and SS/LF/CF in a pinch). Horwitz I see as a Vogelbach replacement until Votto is ready, then if he is going well you need to make a choice, if he is going poorly easy to send back to AAA. Vogelbach on the other hand has stunk royally, has zero value outside of his bat and that bat is ice cold with him mainly providing walks (slow as molasses).

As to minors - I suspect AAA today is more like AA 10+ years ago due to the 26th man (equivalent to 2+ teams of hitters), the 13 man pitching staff EVERYONE uses now (used to be 10, then worked its way to 12, then to 14 for some when they put in the 13 limit), and the players/pitchers going off to South Korea or Japan for more opportunities and cash (pays far better than the minors). Put it all together and you quickly see why AAA isn't what it used to be. Another issue could be the week at a time in each park teams do now - the Bisons are playing a 7 game set vs Worchester right now for example (normally it is a 6 game set with Monday's off). That has to affect things, it'd be interesting to see if Sunday scores are now higher than in the past due to teams seeing the same starter for the 2nd time in a set plus the same relievers for 6 days in a row.
uglyone - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#445782) #
also on Jansen i am firmly in the "must re-sign" camp.

we shouldn't take our catching riches for granted. (and yes, even Kirk being only a 90wrc+ guy with good defense is still "riches" when he's a tandem or backup guy).
Ducey - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#445783) #
Horwitz is 4th in the International League in average and OBP. So whatever the normal is, he is exceeding it substantially.

They can keep running Biggio out there but at a certain point enough is enough. His skills are duplicated by IKF who has a better OPS+ (89 vs 82), lower K% (16.5% v 32.3%) and plays much better defence - and by Clement/ Schneider.

Im pretty sure Horwitz could put up an 82 OPS+ in MLB. I have a feeling he will wind up on the A's and do quite well while Biggio plods along at an almost replacement rate until he is released.
92-93 - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#445784) #
Biggio has been ice cold (2 for his last 32) and yet he still has a higher OBP than half the lineup (Bichette, Springer, Kiermaier, Varsho, Kirk, and IKF). He certainly isn't blocking Horwitz, who will get his shot when Turner or Guerrero get injured.
Nigel - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#445785) #
Ducey - I'm with you in that I think Horwitz's bat will play in the majors. I'd guess he could be a slightly above average hitter. But I don't see that Biggio and Horwitz are alternatives. Biggio is fighting for a roster spot and playing time with Clements, IKF, Schneider, Varsho and KK (and it should be Springer but isn't) in the 2B/3B/OF roles. Horwitz is the alternative to Vladdy/Turner/Vogelbach. More precisely, I think the choice for the Jays is this - would you rather have: a) Vladdy; or b) Horwitz, a B prospect and $20m+ in salary room?
John Northey - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#445786) #
I don't get comparing Biggio to Horwitz - Horwitz is a 1B/DH who can play 2B/LF in emergencies (the Jays keep giving him shots there in the minors to see if they can get him to an acceptable level but I'd bet against it). Biggio is a 2B who plays RF/3B/1B at acceptable levels and SS/CF/LF at levels comparable to Horwitz in LF I suspect. That isn't the choice. The choice is Vogelbach vs Horwitz - one a pure DH who isn't hitting (21 OPS+ in 34 PA), but has ML experience vs a kid who has hit well in AAA and has a 102 OPS+ lifetime in the majors (44 PA). This shouldn't be a tough call at all and I don't get why the Jays haven't made it yet. Heck, call up Lukes to sit on the bench if you must - he can at least pinch run.

Once Vogelbach is gone then we can talk about others like Biggio but as long as Bo has a 49 OPS+ and Springer is in the 60's this team is very limited.

Btw, for May so far (6 games) sOPS+ of 200+ for Jansen, KK, Clement, Kirk, Schneider. Vlad is at 164, then crash to Varsho at 65, IKF 51, Springer 7, and negatives for Turner, Vogelbach, Bo, Barger, and Biggio. So Springer and Bo aren't turning the corner yet clearly, Vlad appears to have, and Kirk & Kiermaier are looking good but in very few PA (18 between them). The team in May is at 83 for sOPS+ so the offense still is bad. I suspect Horwitz would be a good guy to bring up, as could Orelvis. Sadly Barger wasn't ready yet it seems. But to put a damper on AAA note that Serven is hitting 333/455/556 so far there (33 PA). The league is scoring 5.22 per game per side with a 252/347/418 batting line. IE: an OPS under 765 is below average for the International League this year so far. The Bisons have the best offense at 279/385/457 - 842 OPS with the 3rd youngest offense (25.5 average age vs Cleveland at 24.7 and Baltimore at 25.3), Atlanta is the oldest at 29.5 (seems AA doesn't have many hitting prospects in AAA right now).

The pitching in AAA is young too - 3rd youngest again at 26.5 with only St Louis & Tampa having younger staffs. At 5.43 runs/game Buffalo isn't that much worse than average (5.22) - go figure. Dead on average at 9.6 K/9 but dead last in BB/9 at 5.7 (league at 4.7), 1.1 HR/9 vs league 1.2 is nice, but H/9 (probably in part due to the nightmare defense) is bad at 9.5 vs 8.7 for the league (3rd worst) which leads to a league worst 1.683 WHIP.
Ducey - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#445787) #
I am suggesting Horwitz for Biggio not because they play the same position.

Biggio is duplicated by a number of other people. But has played 2B, 1B, corner OF, and DH. I think he exists in the lineup because of his lefty bat.

Horwitz is a tough fit as you say, but could play LF, 1B, DH and is the lefty bat they want. He could also be the first pinch hit bat instead of DV. A good manager could get him at least an AB a game and 15-18 a week.

Without DV and Biggio the opportunity opens up for him. If they keep Biggio Horwitz might as well stay in AAA.
SK in NJ - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#445789) #
Biggio hit a HR on opening day (which wouldn't have been a HR in 21 MLB ballparks apparently). Since then, he has a 72 wRC+ and 32.6 K% in 89 PA, and that's with a .319 BABIP. He rightfully seems to have lost his 2B role to Davis Schneider, and I think at this point given his age and recent history, he's someone the team shouldn't prioritize for playing time.

I think the best outcome that could come out of this season is the team finding a way to get Martinez, Barger, and Horowitz to join Schneider at the big league level and onto prominent roles. For better or worse, the team needs prospects to start filtering up regardless of which direction they choose to go in over the next 18 months. This would obviously require some trades (Turner, Kiermaier, etc), so it might only be possible if the team is selling at the deadline, but that doesn't seem that far fetched at this point.
Michael - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#445790) #
I agree you shouldn't sit Schneider for Biggio (outside of very occasional rest days). I disagree that you shouldn't fairly often have both in the lineup.
dalimon5 - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#445791) #
Positive post - I heard today that Springer's numbers are very similar to last year through the first month...means he should improve substantially.

scottt - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#445792) #
I'll just add that the idea that AAA pitching is a lot worse than it used to be is entirely logical. Most MLB teams now carry 2 and often 3 additional pitchers on their rosters from as little as 7-8 years ago.

I have no idea what you're talking about. Teams used to carry 14 and 15 pitchers. The drop to 13 pitchers is relatively new.

I imagine that hitting is a lot easier in the minors with the automated strike zone.
Umps are not very good at calling balls and strikes.
Minor league umps were probably even worse at it.
I'm pretty sure robo umps advantage the hitters and that might be the main reason they aren't using them in MLB. They're looking for a way to compensate.
92-93 - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#445793) #
AL teams did not carry 14 pitchers other than in September. That would have left them with two players on the bench, one of which was a backup C. Maybe NL teams did it for a game or two in dire situations.

I remember arguing for the Jays to stop carrying 7 RP under Gibbons on his first go-round, because he was rarely using that last arm. Time flies.
Magpie - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#445795) #
because [Gibbons} was rarely using that last arm.

Goodness yes. Remember Jordan De Jong? Spent about two months on the active roster. Pitched, what, in five games?
Nigel - Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#445798) #
Until about 2013-14, 11 Ps was far and away the most common 25 man roster construction. 5 SPs and 6 RPs. Then, as you say, the 7 man pen started to gain traction. When the 26th roster spot became a thing in 2020 almost every team added another RP. Most teams have added 2Ps to their rosters in the past decade (or less).
bpoz - Friday, May 10 2024 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#445799) #
Very interesting discussion about AAA offense and defense stats and results not translating into ML success because of the difference in difficulty in the 2 levels of play.

D Schneider seems to be passing his ML test so far. Barger is doing well in AAA but his 18 ABs with the Jays did not impress (SSS). Y Rodriguez dominated AAA and looks promising in the ML (SSS).

This is a condition all 30 teams have to deal with.

In St Louis Arenado stated that the team had too many young players in 2023 and that was the reason for the poor results. He could be right.
scottt - Friday, May 10 2024 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#445805) #
In 2014, Dickey  threw 215 innings. Buehrle, 202.
Loup got into 71 games. The LOOGY role.

It's easy to see that starters were throwing more, so there was less of a need for relievers.
At some point someone realized that starters were getting hit in the late innings and started to go to the pen earlier. By putting a guy on the bench who could backup several positions, it was possible to have one or two extra relievers who could then throw a single inning with high powered fastballs. Huge advantage, provided the relievers are decent.

However, I don't see how that relates to weaker pitching at AAA.
AA is normally a fastball league. AAA is full of junkballers who got demoted from MLB. We still have the same number of starters in AAA and MLB. We got rid of a rookie league which I don't think affect anything.
uglyone - Friday, May 10 2024 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#445807) #
Lineup tonight:

* 1. LF Schneider
* 2. CF Varsho
* 3. 1B Guerrero
* 4. DH Turner
* 5. C Jansen
* 6. SS Bichette
* 7. RF Biggio
* 8. 2B Falefa
* 9. 3B Clement

looking more like a merit-based lineup now.

would look even more like it if Springer comes back in that 7 slot next game.
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