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The last place Blue Jays, the first place Orioles. In their house. Should be fun.

The Jays made two trips to Camden Yard last year, and lost two of three games on each occasion. The Orioles even managed to beat Jose Berrios last August, something they had never been able to do before. Jose is now 10-1, 2.98 in 14 career starts against the Orioles, and will try to start a new streak against them tonight. We're all painfully aware of how Ryan Mountcastle has tormented Yusei Kikuchi (7-15, 4 HRs) - Adley Rutschmann is 10-16 (that's .625, folks) against Berrios.

The Orioles are pretty good at keeping the other team from scoring, but the strength of the team has been the best offense in the American League. Everybody is hitting, including guys you've never heard of - well, everyone is hitting but Cedric Mullins, but we all know Mullins to be a good player who almost surely will start hitting any day now. (Words all too familiar to Blue Jays fans this year, I suspect.)


Mon 13 May -  Berrios (4-3, 2.85) vs Burnes (3-2, 2.83)
Tue 14 May - Bassitt (3-5, 5.06) vs Bradish (0-0, 1.86)
Wed 15 May - Kikuchi (2-3, 2.64) vs Irvin (4-1, 2.90)
Toronto at Baltimore, May 13-15 | 190 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#445939) #
Rutschman is 2nd on the Orioles in the PA despite being their catcher. That's a prescription the Jays should follow for as long as Jansen's numbers suggest he's one of the best hitters on the team. He's down for the 2nd game in a row, so presumably he's under the weather for now. MIL, KC, TEX, and LAD play their C almost everyday too.

On the bright side, the Jays bullpen is a lot fresher than Baltimore's heading into this series. Six of the good guys (or, the bad guys for a few posters here) have pitched once since Wednesday.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#445940) #
I think game 1 is key for the Blue Jays. Beat Burnes, change the prevailing narrative, and set the tone for the series.
Gerry - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#445941) #
So Springer, Turner and Kiermaier are all sick. Jansen has back spasms. So everyone except Vogelbach are playing by default.
Gerry - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#445943) #
If anyone gets injured tonight Vogelbach to first, Vladdy to third, then mix and match as required.
Gerry - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#445944) #
Bowden Francis will make a rehab start for Buffalo tomorrow.
scottt - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#445945) #
Jansen was pick number 475 in 2013.
Rutschman was pick number 1 in 2019.

Jansen has worked his way to where he is and needs his share of load management.
That is not necessarily true of pick 849 from 2017.
Eephus - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#445946) #
If anyone gets injured tonight Vogelbach to first, Vladdy to third

Hold on to your butts, this might get wacky.

Not a whole lot of Blue Jays have any substantial experience facing Burnes, and even less so without Turner in the lineup. Naturally, Vogelbach has the most: he's 2-10 but both hits were for extra bases, one leaving the yard. Me thinks if he's going to finally break through, tonight is as good a night as any.

92-93 - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#445947) #
Springer started yesterday and Kiermaier appeared on Saturday, so they should both be fine to appear in a pinch.

I'm more curious about the emergency C - is it IKF or Varsho?
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#445948) #
all those missing guys and the only one that truly hurts is Jansen.
Gerry - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#445949) #
I believe IKF is the third catcher.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#445950) #
Berrios doing his best to keep his weak-hitting teammates in this important game.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#445951) #
Varsho is an incredible fielder.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#445952) #
Berrios - also an incredible fielder.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#445953) #
would be a real shame to waste this perhaps breakout 3 hit game from Bo.

come on you big adorable Vogelbach, make'em pay.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#445954) #
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#445955) #
Kirk and Vogelbach just combined for the most adorable GIDP in mlb history.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#445956) #
Alejandro Kirk...sigh
Ducey - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#445957) #
Lol. Is there an easier DP than Vogelbach and Kirk?
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#445958) #
Kirk minor league career: .318/.416/.503

Kirk 2022 MLB: .285/.372/.415

Kirk 2024 MLB: .190/.275/.266

Oh how the mighty have fallen...
christaylor - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#445959) #
Kirk is toast -- at least at the plate. He is the kind of backup Cyou don't want to play more than 45-50 games.

On the flip side, Bo looks like he is hitting the way he needs to to get to the place where he'll run into extra bases and HR. The aggression seems more controlled.

Berrios was an awesome get by the FO no matter what happens with Martin and SWR.

Glad I decided to tune in after a week of paying a mere modicum of attention.
GabrielSyme - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#445960) #
I'm not going to give much blame to Vogelbach for double plays when he's standing on first.

With respect to Kirk, he looks totally lost at the plate. I wonder if, once Jansen's back is feeling better, whether it would be worth optioning Kirk down to Buffalo and getting him regular at-bats as a DH to get him back on track, and giving Serven or Henry a call-up to fill in.
Nigel - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#445961) #
The next 5-6 years of Jays - Orioles baseball is going to be hard to watch as a Jays fan.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#445962) #
Personally i think we should try hitting more home runs.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#445963) #
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#445964) #
please just one more single here.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#445965) #
too much to ask.
92-93 - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#445966) #
Tough luck for Vogelbach there, but are the Jays really playing this game without a bench? Bad roster management if true. You have to sacrifice a reliever for a body for a game or two.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#445967) #
Berrios dealing, on 94 pitches, #8 and #9 due up......

...I would not have pulled him here.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#445968) #
Brilliant inning by Garcia. Can the Blue Jays score a run in the ninth?
92-93 - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#445969) #
Statcast thinks both New York teams would have easier DPs: Jose Trevino & Anthony Rizzo, and Omar Narvaez & JD Martinez. I assumed I'd see Giancarlo Stanton with Trevino, but he's somehow faster than Rizzo.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#445970) #
off to extras.

hope we don't regret not trying to push Berrios through one more inning.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#445971) #
now that's a lovely bunt.
Nigel - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#445972) #
The defense has been fantastic tonight. Clement does so many smart baseball things.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#445973) #
Romano is only at 9 pitches, but Richards is warming.

They're gonna bring Romano back out right?
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#445974) #
and they do.

this would be a very nice time for a nice calm relaxed save.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#445975) #
great, great win in some tough circumstances. that was fun.
92-93 - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#445976) #
Feels like they just won a game that good teams win.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#445977) #
Stellar job by the pitching staff today. Some great defense, too.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#445978) #

John Schneider:

“You don’t want to say May 13 is a huge game, but this was a huge fucking win.” #BlueJays

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 14, 2024

he's not wrong.
Joe - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#445979) #
You have to sacrifice a reliever for a body for a game or two.
Problem is, it'd have to be a minimum of 10 days. I get the inclination but I think it might be counterproductive.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#445980) #
I know we’ve all been feeling down about the Blue Jays, but it’s not inconceivable that the team rebounds into playoff contention. Vladdy and Bichette are playing better, the rotation could end up being solid with Manoah returning as a decent back-end SP, and the bullpen should improve with the return of Green and Yariel. Plus the org has a few pieces in the high minors (Barger, Orelvis, Horwitz, Jimenez, maybe Berroa) who might be able to contribute this season if needed.

That’s the glass-half-full version, anyway.

Springer and Kirk, though…guys, pull yourselves together (offensively)!
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#445981) #

John Schneider says he couldn’t be more proud of tonight’s lineup:

“I told them before the game, you are not getting pinch-run for … Vogey, Kirky, I hope you’re feeling fast. Yeah, it’s May 13, but that’s a huge fucking win.” #BlueJays

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 14, 2024
92-93 - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#445982) #
Pop, Cabrera, and Pearson aren't good enough that you care about losing one of them for a maximum of 10 days. Especially with Francis, Rodriguez, and Green close.

It would have been fun to see what they did in an emergency.
Nigel - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#445983) #
I can’t really agree that it was a huge win given the date and where the team’s are in the standings but it’s the first “good win” in a long while. As 92-93 says, that was the kind of win that a good team gets. This really is a top notch defensive club.
uglyone - Monday, May 13 2024 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#445984) #

José Berríos says that he wasn’t sure if he could even make today’s start until 10am when his fever broke.

He also shared that Gausman and Bassitt were available on an emergency basis tonight. This team is sick sick. #BlueJays

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 14, 2024
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#445985) #
Well, against the Phillies, the Twins and the Orioles - three good teams, we are 3-3 over the past week.

It really does feel to me like there are some promising signs right now: Vlad continuing to scorch the ball - albeit not in the air; Bo finding his stroke; the starting pitching continuing to look strong; even, even Manoah showing signs of being decent. There are flaws with this team that don't appear to be improving much, if at all, but if Vlad and Bo look like themselves, even if not MVP-candidates, this could well still be a pretty good team.

One thing I will give Schneider credit for: I believe he's been significantly more willing than Montoyo to let his relievers go multiple innings when they haven't thrown many pitches.

Both Yimi (14 pitches) and Romano (21 pitches) should be available tomorrow, if needed.
Michael - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#445986) #
I feel like while the team was playing really quite badly we got a little lucky to have the W/L record we did. So if the team starts playing better, the way maybe we have in the last little bit, the results could well stay 500ish just from our playing getting better but the luck being more even.

That said, the second half of the month is the weak part of the schedule - in theory - so if we start playing better and face the not as good team, it certainly is conceivable that we might go something like 12-6 over the next 18 games (through June 2nd). That's 2 more Baltimore, 3 Rays, 3 Pirates, and 4 Tigers, and 6 White Sox. 1-1;2-1;2-1;3-1;4-2 gets to 12-6 and doesn't seem completely unreasonable.
scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:35 AM EDT (#445987) #
It's only a big win because they had a lot of bad losses.

Guerrero 1 for 2 with 3 walks and Bichette 3 for 4 with a walk.
And that produced only 2 runs and the second one only because Biggio was the runner on second in extra.  Also, Rutschman hit 2 homeruns.

Which bring up 2 things. First, the Blue Jays's inability to identify and pitch around the biggest threats.
And second, having the 2 guys who hit homeruns going back to back in front of the high OBP guys is not the way to hit 3-run homeruns.

Also, even though Vogelbach went 1 for 3 with a walk and cashed one run, Kirk went 0 for 3 with a GIDP with runners in scoring position. Why isn't he batting 8th and Clement (who went 2 for 4 and  1 for 1 with runners in scoring position) hitting 6th? At which point do you stop relying on what guys have done 2 years ago?

bpoz - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#445990) #
The league has reached the 40 games played mark which was recently suggested as reasonably significant.

The Phils, Atlanta, LAD, Baltimore, NYY and Cleveland are on pace to win 100+ games. At the end of the season we will know how many of these 6 teams won 100+ games. We will also know how many won 90 games. I expect 2 or 3 teams to win 100+ games. I also think 2 of the 6 teams will not win 90 games. I think a different 4-5 teams in total will win 90 games.

All these 6 teams had a very good winning streak to get there. Minnesota is not on this list but their winning streak was the best I believe. I fully expect LAD to win 100+ games because they always do that. All the other teams probably had lucky/close wins which helped their streak continue.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#445991) #
The pitchers they faced had a collective 2.65era heading into last night. Jays got 8 hits 5 walks 3 runs off them with a depleted lineup. I'd say that's a job well done.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#445992) #
So 41 games in. You can roughly quadruple the stats to get a full seasons worth. Varsho leads in bWAR at 1.8 (7.2), then Berrios at 1.3 (5.2). Those are our All-Stars so far. Kikuchi close at 1.2 (4.8). Also rated over 2.0 for a full season are IKF & Jansen & Vlad at 0.9 (3.6), Schneider & Clement & Garcia at 0.8 (3.2). Then a big drop to Turner/Richards/Kiermaier at 0.3 (1.2) each.

Only Varsho is on pace for over 16 HR this year with 7 so far (28), then it drops to 4 for Vlad, Schneider, Turner, Jansen (16). No one is on pace for even 80 RBI (76 highest pace for Varsho & Vlad). Vlad is on pace for nearly 100 walks (24 so far), but 120+ K pace for Varsho, Vlad, Biggio, Schneider, with 100+ pace for Springer & Bo. Jansen our only 300 hitter, no 400 OBP guy, Jansen the only 500 slg (667). Jansen's 1.054 OPS leads by a mile as does his 198 OPS+. Schneider is #2 with 840/141 figures with Vlad the only other one over 120 at 123. Varsho, Turner, Clement all over 100 OPS+. Add Kirk and Vogelbach's OPS+ together and you are sub 80 still. Yikes! Yet due to his amazing defense Kirk is still a positive WAR guy (0.2) by some miracle.

For pitchers only Berrios is on pace for 15+ wins (4 so far = 16) with Bassitt the only other one on pace for 10+ (3 so far = 12). Despite a late start Romano is at 6 saves (24 pace). Kikuchi is just shy of a 200 K pace, while Berrios is on a 200 IP pace.

35 players have been used so far - 20 pitchers (plus IKF), 15 hitters. Barger & Serven the extra hitters who are in Buffalo right now. The 7 extra pitchers are White (gone), Parsons (gone), Green (IL), Rodriguez (IL), Francis (IL), Espino (AAA), and Little (AAA). 40 man guys not used are Leo Jimenez (SS), Orelvis Martinez (2B/3B), Spencer Horwitz (1B/LF/2B), Nathan Lukes (OF, on roster for 24 hours iirc but not used), Adam Macko (LHP), Joel Kuhnel (RHP), and Hagen Danner (RHP).

So given all of that I'd dump Vogelbach (seems to be a nice guy but a guy who is only good vs RHP, can't field, can't run, and has a 27 OPS+ I see no point to keeping) and call up Lukes or Horwitz depending on if the Jays want a LH bat or a speedy OF. For the pen despite pitching well Pop has to be the odd man out once guys start returning with Pearson another likely drop. Francis might just go straight to AAA once he is healthy. Rodriguez will get a few innings in AAA on rehab before returning, Green they'll bring back ASAP.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#445993) #
For teams, I enjoy looking at the bottom. Miami on pace for a record 41-121 record. White Sox not a lot better at a 47-115 record. 100+ loss pace for the Angels, Rockies, and damn close for the Astros (63-99 pace). Guess the Marlins can be happy they aren't on a Cleveland Spider pace anymore (20-134).
lexomatic - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#445994) #
I have a hate-on for Mattingly. And so of course, that leads to completely wild and baseless speculation, like he's reapinsible for Vlad's lack of power. Hopefully whatever streak he's on helps him do whatever to rediscover his power. But maybe now his ceiling is a high average + doubles with 20+ HR guy (Freeman), as opposed to a Delgado- type with more balls-in-play.
scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#445995) #
They attack Vlad low and away. He likes the ball high.
As long as he's not chasing, and the umps aren't screwing him up, he will walk or hit the ball hard, but he's not elevating those low pitches. That's still good. It would be better if the guys following him were slugging more. Hopefully we'll get there.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#445996) #
Vlad's just got to keep doing what he's doing. The baseball gods are taunting him right now with the lack of HR but he's doing everything right, and he'll ruin all the progress he'sade if he starts chasing dingers again.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#445997) #
Vlad is the best he's been to me since his miracle season. I'm very content with this Freeman-eqsue Vlad.

"At which point do you stop relying on what guys have done 2 years ago?"

This is a major issue with the fans that has an easy remedy.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#445998) #
To Wit, Vlad stats:

* 13.3 bb% - career best
* 45.6 sw% - career low (best?)
* 10.2 swst% - career best
* 22.1 ld% - career best
* 43.0 hard% - career best

Nothing that extreme in the batted ball types. His fly ball rate is lower than usual, but those have turned into line drives and popups, not into ground balls which he's hitting at his usual rate. The one standout there is his career worst 11.4 hr/fb rate.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#445999) #
Oh and of course he has by far the lowest percentage of swings outside the zone this year at 24.9%, which is 6% lower than his career average of 30.9%, and 8-10% better than the last 2yrs. That's great and will pay off handsomely when pitchers realize he's not chasing anymore and are forced back into the zone.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#446000) #
The Athletic has an interesting piece on various ways to Make Starting Pitchers Great Again, with twelve specific suggestions. Some worth considering, some... not so much:

1. Require every starter to pitch six innings (with exceptions for extenuating circumstances: injury, allowing 10 runs, 40 pitch innings etc.)
 - Worth considering, but maybe make it five innings

2. The Double Hook - lose the DH along with the starting pitcher.
 - Absolutely. They probably should have done this when the DH was introduced 50 years ago, but it was a time when starters actually completed almost a third of their games

3. No more than six relievers per team (phased in over several years)
 - Worth considering

4. Ban the sweeper
 - Silly, and impractical

5. Ban any pitch over 94 mph
 - Also silly and impractical

6. When the starter goes six, the team gets a bonus substitution - a player who has been subbed out can re-enter the game.
 - A little pointless. If starters go longer, you won't need as many relievers so you'll have more bench options anyway.

7. If the starter goes six, he gets a free timeout
 - Sure, no harm there.

8. Only allowed to use three pitchers in the first nine innings.
 - Worth considering, but maybe four pitchers is more realistic

9. Increase the three batter minimum for relievers
 - Seems like fiddling around the margins

10. Shorten the season
 - Oh, dream on

11. Friday is Ace Night
 - A silly idea that depends on a shorter season, with just six games a week.

12. Start paying those inning-eaters.
 - Oh, they're getting paid.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#446002) #
For Vlad from April 27 to now (14 games) he has hit 407/484/519 - I'll take that any time. Pre-season he had a 16% shot at 3000 hits via the Favorite Toy which has been surprisingly good at predicting how many players will reach a magic number over the years. If he keeps focused on just hitting like he is - solid contact, not worrying about launch angle or going for the seats, he should be able to push that up (180 hits this year ups it to 19% for example, 150 drops it to 12%, his current pace would keep him pretty much the same at 16%). Basically, if Vlad stops thinking about 50 HR and just focuses on hitting the ball hard he should be a 300+ hitter who probably gets 20-30 HR a year and is a very valuable player. Not an MVP most likely any year, but a possible HOF'er in the end which I suspect is his long term goal.
scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#446003) #
The re-entry rule is only useful for starters who run into trouble early. Not seeing the point.

The 3 batter rule is there to speed up the game. Forcing more mid-inning subs goes against that.

What happens if you limit the number of relievers to 6? Guys pitch without rest and get hurt? They've actually gone the other way and are limiting the number of times a guy can be optioned during the year and when a position play can pitch.

If you want to see more of certain pitches and less of other, the solution is to have a different strike zone for different pitches which can only by done by robo-umps.

scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#446004) #
I don't have any problem with a version of Vlad that walks a ton but it has to go with good bats behind him not only in front of him. That's optimizing the left on bases and the double play grounders.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#446005) #
The 12 ideas for starters is silly mostly imo, outside of shrinking the pen which would force the issue. The best move would be figuring out how pitchers get hurt and seeing why in the past they didn't seem to as much. We had guys like Stieb start pitching at 20, then completing double digit games at 22 in the majors. No one would even remotely consider pushing a guy to do that now at that age (he'd be lucky to be near 100 IP a season by age 22 now). How/why did it collapse? Removing the weakest hitters is a factor (no more Alfredo Griffin's in MLB), as is hitters knowing the strike zone and using it to their advantage more (higher walks, more K's = more pitches). But it is more than that. Pitching to contact is no longer taught - Manoah getting a 4 pitch inning his last game is something that just doesn't happen, making it really stand out. We have stats on everything and managers are very, very risk adverse now. Dusty Baker was torn apart in the media after 2003 over his use of the Cubs young starters - Carlos Zambrano & Mark Prior at age 22 both threw over 200 innings, as did 26 year old Kerry Wood. Wood never again threw more than 140 in a season, Prior done at 25 (pitched in minors to age 32), Zambrano though made 3 All-Star teams after that and had a fine career (132 wins over 12 seasons total, 120 ERA+, had 200+ IP each of the next 4 years). I suspect if you took any group of 3 young starters today and checked in 10 years they'd probably have similar attrition rates.

To check the attrition rates lets look at 2015's young Jays - Aaron Sanchez (22), Marcus Stroman (24), and traded away Noah Syndergaard (22) - all were treated as nicely as possible. Syn never had 200 IP in a season, lifetime 4 CG but has had TONS of injuries after his All-Star 2016 season and might be done (hasn't thrown a pro pitch this year). Sanchez was pushed at 23 a bit (192 IP) and hasn't been in the majors in his 30's yet. Stroman, the smallest physically and expected to have the most trouble due to that, has had by far the most success. 200+ IP twice, twice an all-star, signed for $18.5 mil for 2024 option 25 same $. So despite the Jays and Mets both trying to be careful with these 3, the results are very similar to the Cubs pushing their 3 hard. I suspect it just is pitchers arms can blow out at any time, it all depends on consistency of motion and keeping an eye on it - guys like David Wells look out of shape but last forever, guys like Mark Prior look built for it but fall apart. IMO teams need to look at doing what was done for a century - push starters from early on in the minors and see what they can handle. Teach them load management - ala Bassitt/Berios - use all your pitches, have low stress ones you can count on for when you need it, watch that they aren't dropping their arms (a sign of potential problems and easy to track with modern tech). Get those arms built up - don't stop them half way through a season due to cracking a 'magic number' of innings/pitches. 100 pitches is no likelier to be a problem than 101 or 99, adding 30 IP per year is an interesting idea but one with no science behind it afaik beyond 'it feels right'.

Another 3 pitcher combo that came to mind - Detroit 2005 had 3 22-24 year old starters in Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, and Wil Ledezma. Ledezma was sub 400 IP career, Bonderman got over 1200 IP, but no awards, done at 30. Verlander of course is going to the HOF and is still damn good at 41. All were with the same organization, treated pretty much the same. Bonderman was a 1st round pick and highly hyped, as was Verlander. But just 1 had a 'WOW' career, the others forgotten by most.

Going back to the most infamous 'pitcher abuse' case - Billy Martin and the 1980 A's. 5 man staff ages 24-28, 3 had 20+ complete games, the other 2 slacked with 10/11. Rick Langford was the oldest and had 575 IP left in him (85 ERA+), Norris was 25 - 454 IP left 91 ERA+, Keough was 24 (youngest), 523 IP left 78 ERA+, McCatty 746 IP left, 94 ERA+ (2nd in Cy voting the next year), Kingman infamous for being the last 20 game loser that year (until Mike Maroth had 21 in 2003 for Detroit) had just 227 IP left with an 85 ERA+. Now, would've those guys had more of a career if they were limited to 150-190 IP in 1980? I doubt it. Looking at these other groups of pitchers I don't see why Oakland's crew would've been HOF'ers or All-Stars if they were treated more gently. Yet they are used as the ultimate example. Syndergaard treated with kid gloves didn't get to 1000 IP career wise despite looking 'wow' early on. Sanchez is still sub 700 in his career, and Stroman is up to 1346. Stroman the only one who held up significantly better than the Oakland 'shredded arm' crew imo. So IMO teams need to work on building up arms and while not going 'Billy Martin' on the kids, pushing them harder than they do now.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#446006) #
Here are the quick and easy metrics to see how Guerrero Jr. is doing:
-W rate
-K rate
-LD rate
-IFFB rate vs. HR/FB rate

It's a mixed bag this year. I believe that he's capable of an even W/K at about 15%, an LD rate of 25% and a HR/FB rate of about 20% and an IFFB under 10%. The slash line would look something like .330/.410/.510. Not there yet.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#446007) #
I have always suspected that the length of games was a bigger issue than the number of pitches - it's more tiring to pitch for 150 minutes than it is for 120, no matter how many pitches get thrown. And games had been getting longer and longer and longer until very recently.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#446009) #
I like the idea of a maximum of 4 pitchers used in the first 9 innings [if the Manager wants to use a 5th because of injury to the 4th, the 4th must go on the 10 day IL].

It would lead, I think, to the return of the long man. Most importantly, fewer pitching changes means more watchable games.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#446010) #
Perhaps no changing pitchers mid-inning until they have allowed at least 1 run to score (of their own runners, not inherited). Thus making it less important to alternate L/R/L/R in the batting order. Plus those mid-inning changes are annoying. Injuries happen, and if they do the pitcher is automatically on the 10 day IL, no saying 'he felt better later' as a work around.
Glevin - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#446011) #
"The Athletic has an interesting piece on various ways to Make Starting Pitchers Great Again, with twelve specific suggestions. Some worth considering, some... not so much:"

I generally don't like them because they are either minor and wouldn't do much or would create bigger problems than they are trying to solve. Would pitchers going longer be good? I guess but it isn't some fundamental issue in baseball. Why is a starter going 8 innings important? The game changes and teams do what they can to get an edge. Anything that forces pitchers to stay in the game longer would create injuries and more lopsided games. Take the double hook which makes zero sense. What will be the result? Well, much worse baseball. Down 5-0 in the second and now you have a choice to keep your pitcher who has nothing and lose the game or lose your DH too and have pitchers bat and lose the game? Either way, that's super fun baseball to watch, right? You'll see less value in DH position because teams won't want to sign or play guys that will get lifted all the time in the 6th. Instead, will just be used to rotate players so when the DH gets lost, they can double switch it. Again, worse offense and worse baseball. For what? The "positive" effect will be no openers and mostly teams keeping the pitcher in a a batter or two extra before the DH spot comes up or they have a good double switch. Nobody is going to start pitching their starters 8 innings again. Does having a pitcher go 6 innings instead of 5.1 make the game more interesting? I don't think so. Just seems, like the shift ban, about people pining for a game that has just evolved. Probably in 1920, people were complaining that nobody thew 400 innings anymore like Amos Rusie.

Nigel - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#446012) #
When cricket got adapted to the 50 and 20 overs one day formats they had to change the rules for bowler usage. In that case, they were solving for a different problem - that one dominant bowler might bowl too many overs and distort the game. Cricket elected a rule which limits the maximum number of overs that can be bowled by one bowler. It has led to some fascinating decisions about when to use a particular bowler within the game. I like the maximum number of pitchers in a nine inning game idea for the same reasons. When and how to use your allotted pitchers would become fascinating. The one downside to that rule might be a return to hitting strategies designed simply to wear pitchers out. While a perfectly viable strategy, it does lead to longer games.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#446014) #
why not go the other way.

every team names a 9 man "pitching order" each game and they face one batter each and the order turns around again just like a batting order.

puts hitters and pitchers in an even battle for the first time.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#446015) #
Philadelphia Phillies Aaron Nola just pitched a shutout against the New York Mets.  109 pitches, 4 hits, no walks, 8 strikeouts.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#446016) #
I actually think the Vanishing Inning Eater is a side effect of the real problem - the crushing boredom of the modern game. It features an endless parade of relief pitchers who can only do one thing - throw 98 mph for about 15 pitches. It's been effective in its way, but I think it amounts to weaponizing mediocrity. Modern offensive philosophies, built around waiting for a pitch you can knock over the wall, aren't helping much either.

The other sports - basketball and football especially - are much more aggressive about tweaking the rules to improve the entertainment value of their entertainment product. (Even hockey tries to do that, they're just not very good at it.)
scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#446017) #
When a guy walks  3 times in a game, the HR/FB rate is not relevant.
The other team is determined not to give him anything to hit so all he can do is walk.

It's very different for Bichette. Nobody is afraid of Bichette hitting a homerun.
When he walks--and it's not common--it's because they tried to get him to chase.

Guerrero is at his best when they have to pitch to him and that's mostly a function of the guys in front of him getting on base and the guys behind him getting hits. Guerrero leads the team with 24 walks and that's not because he has a good eye and never chases.

Let's see walk percentage.
21 12.3%
22 8.2%
23 9.8%
24 13.3%

I think he's on the right track.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#446018) #

* 2B Schneider
* LF Varsho
* 1B Guerrero
* SS Bichette
* C Jansen
* DH Vogelbach
* RF Biggio
* 3B Clement
* CF Kiermaier

still no springer, so schneider's spot still not safe.

Clement getting the chance to start directly over Falefa is nice to see. Not that he's a lock to be better but he should at least be in even competition for the starting spot.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#446019) #
Scott, couldn't disagree more.

Walks are not just a function of what the pitcher wants to do. They are absolutely a hitting skill, which exists independent of power. Plenty of power hitters don't draw walks, and plenty of slap hitters do.

Vlad as a prospect was never a chaser, and he wasn't when he first came up either. But he most definitely became one. This year, thankfully, he's largely cut that out - even though he should be more tempted to swing for offense this year, not less. We can only hope it continues.

scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#446020) #
I dunno. I watch the NHL in 30 recaps and I feels like I'm watching 20 minutes of filler.
In the Blue Jays in 30, they can't even fit in all 54 outs.

And they don't throw that many 98mph fastballs.
They throw as many  breaking balls.

Michael - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#446021) #
OR how about you can have as many pitchers as you want and as many pitching changes as you want but each pitching change counts as an IBB and results in the next batter up getting a free IBB. So there is a cost to the pitching change no matter when it is.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#446022) #
So Jansen’s back was so bad last night that he couldn’t PH for Vogelbach against a lefty, but he’s ready to catch 9 innings today instead of just DHing him and having Kirk catch again with Turner out of the lineup?
scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#446023) #
Back spasms is sorta like that.
Hitting is worse than catching, I bet.

Ducey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#446024) #
Backs are like that. A day of rest and treatment can make all the difference.

As for the game, I think robo umps would change the game for the better. It would seem they have a lot to do with the increase in offense in AAA. The Bisons have a ton of guys who walk a lot, can predict the strike zone, and actually be pretty useful without hitting HR all the time. And unless you can string some hits and walks together, its just about the HR.

Lets face it, in most at bats now there is a questionable pitch which then forces the hitter to expand the strike zone. This has always been the case, but now we can see it easily. It should be fixed.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#446026) #
Yeah I think that's a good point about the robo umps. If you look at those umpire score cards, one thing that stands out to me is umpires tend to call a larger strike zone than it really is. In other words, they call (what should be) balls strikes much more often than the reverse. And it's true when you watch the games. When an ump makes a mistake on a call, the vast majority of the time it's a pitch outside the zone called a strike. Pitchers nowadays are tough enough to hit without having that going in their favour.

Robo umps would force pitchers into the zone more, resulting in more hittable pitches and more offence. At least in theory. Offence has really spiked AAA since instituting it.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#446027) #
game's rained out btw. doubleheader Jul29.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#446028) #
Food for thought: Would MLB ever slightly adjust the robo ump strike zone for marketing purposes? They deployed extra-lively baseballs late in the season when Aaron Judge was chasing the home run record. Who is to say they wouldn’t shrink the zone a bit in a similar situation in the future? Or perhaps expand the zone if a pitcher were chasing a record of some sort?
scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#446029) #
I think everybody's happy about that.
Worse case, this series is a tie.

scottt - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#446030) #
Aren't the umps already doing that?
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#446031) #
I generally don't want robot umps. The challenge system, where teams could challenge a small number of ball/strike calls per game doesn't present as many problems, and I'd be able to live with that, I think.

I do think that giving MLB power over the exact parameters of the strike zone is a little worrisome. I gather they've already deviated from the rulebook zone to a limited extent in the minor leagues to avoid strikes that aren't typically strikes. But once you are in the business of tinkering to get not the legal strike zone, but a desirable zone, I think you're in trouble and it becomes ripe for abuse.

One dynamic I'm not looking forward to is more strikeouts and walks, because the automated zone won't shrink or expand on the margins with the count. As if there weren't already too few balls in play!
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#446032) #
Maybe it could be a form of leveling the uneven playing field in MLB. Teams that exceed the luxury tax threshold suffer a 1% strike zone disadvantage the next year, teams that exceed the threshold twice in a row suffer a 2% strike zone disadvantage, and so on.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#446033) #
In all seriousness, I think MLB games with a robo ump could get monotonous. As much as umps like Angel Hernandez drive us crazy, the slight unpredictability of the human strike zone makes the game more interesting and quirky. Enticing a particular ump to call borderline pitches a strike is a bit of an art form for pitchers and catchers. I think robo umps would give the game somewhat of a bloodless feel.
soupman - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#446034) #
Umpires make what? Half a million a year? They've historically been the lowest paid people on the field and the home plate umpire is literally the only person involved in every single play during a game. That makes them the easiest and best target if you wanted to influence a game. There was an NBA ref scandal barely a decade ago that even clubhouse attendants knew about for YEARS. Robot umps are an easy and obvious change to make the game less susceptible to gambling as more and more money pours into the sport and online books.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#446035) #
I prefer my unpredictability being the players performances, not the rules being enforced properly.
Ducey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#446036) #
The system they use in tennis works well.

A player can challenge. They immediately pull up a video with graphics and the answer comes back in 10 seconds. Kinda fun actually.

When you think of 35000 fans giving it Angel Hernandez after a bad call, it would be even more fun.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#446038) #
Bowden Francis pitched two innings for Buffalo tonight, four strikeouts, one hit, 28 pitches. Pretty good.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#446039) #
I was thinking of the tennis system as well. Something like that might work in MLB.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#446040) #
Yeah soupman that is my worry - it wouldn't be hard for an ump to put their finger on the scale in a game if they wanted to and the heavy gambling situation makes that easier than ever. It could be hidden via family members betting but the ump knowing who they bet on, or the spread and working with that. Normal variability would be hard to prove vs corrupt variability in strike zones, or in bat swings (they really need a method to call those automatically too). The fewer things that can be influenced by the umpires mood, gambling, or just plain old incompetence the better. Not a fan of challenges as one player on a team with a poor eye could screw it up for the whole club. If it can be a 2 second thing then allow 1 per PA, and if the batter or pitcher/catcher was correct to challenge they get a second one. I think that'd be fair - much like the clock and pick off attempts are now.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#446041) #
Do we let Bassitt pitch tommorrow or do we take advantage and skip him maybe one day and let Kikuchi handle the lefty-heavy orioles?
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#446042) #
-In his career, Kikuchi has been better in day games (OPS 743) than in night games (OPS 802) and he's been slightly better on 5 days rest than on 4 days rest

-In his career, Bassitt has been slightly worse in day games (OPS 690) than in night games (OPS 678) but noticeably better on 5 days rest than on 4 days rest

Overall, those stats, plus the advantage against LHB and his strong performance over his last two starts, probably favours starting Kikuchi tomorrow.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2024 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#446043) #
Also, in his career, Kikuchi has been hit hard at Camden Yards (884 OPS) but Bassitt has been absolutely torched there (1.007 OPS).

The Blue Jays should go with Kikuchi.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#446045) #
Immaculate Grid story. There was one space in today's grid that I found challenging-a player who played for both Detroit and Pittsburgh. I remembered a pitcher around 1990 who did, but unfortunately there were two pitcher at the same time with the same name. Both pitched for Pittsburgh, but only one pitched for Detroit. I cheated and looked up both to see which was which. Maybe not the equivalent of Jommy Carter's "I lusted in my heart" admission but damning nonetheless!
mathesond - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#446046) #
I went with good ol' Octavio Dotel, myself!
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#446047) #
Hole in my memory regarding Dotel.  If I've counted right, he pitched for 13 teams (including 3 different ones in 2010 when he pitched for Pittsburgh). Go on a holiday, and you could miss one.  Truth be told, however, he's one of those players who just didn't permeate my consciousness, even during his golden years with the Astros. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#446048) #
The Orioles are lefty-heavy, but they have hit better against lefty starters than against right-handed ones.  Mountcastle and Santander have eaten up LH pitchers but not RH ones, with Santander in particular vulnerable to them.  Weird.  Santander has had more problems with finesse pitchers than power ones.

I'd say that factor is a push.  I predict that Bassitt will get the ball to keep the rotation in sequence. 
Jonny German - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#446049) #
I rarely play Immaculate Grid but I did summon the name Greg Harris from Mike's description.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#446050) #
Good point, Mike. Some of the O's hitters have hit Kikuchi hard in the past (Rutschman, Mountcastle, Santander, Mateo, Hays). Players who have not hit Kikuchi hard include Henderson, Mullins, Westburg.

Bassitt has had his problems with the O's as well. For example, Henderson is 3/6 against him with 2 HR.

ESPN lists the probable pitchers as Bassitt v Bradish.

At least the bullpen is relatively fresh. Let's hope the Jays SP is on his game and can provide 7IP, and that Garcia and Romano can close out a win.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#446052) #
I did summon the name Greg Harris

It was a different pair of pitchers!  If I recall right, the middle initial of one of the Greg Harrises was W and that was how they were differentiated at the time.  The middle initial for one of the Jeff Robinsons was D if I remember right.  Let's check.  Yep- strange the things you remember. 
Jonny German - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#446053) #
Ooops I just realized Greg Harris is not the correct answer. Weird that there was more than one pair of pitchers with the same name at that time.
scottt - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#446054) #
Bassitt is hard to predict. I think he's a master mind on the mound but he can get rattled easily.

Gerry - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#446055) #
Kikuchi will start today per Shi Davidi.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#446056) #
Good call uglyone.

Bassitt ran his mouth last year about the four-man rotation and has been bad this year, so this shouldn't have been much of a decision. Give the man his rest.

Springer right back into the leadoff spot, with Jansen at C and Vogelbach at DH. I'd have Kirk at C and Jansen at DH.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#446057) #
It's funny how these things work out. Between all of the off-days and rainout, there truly was no need to call up anyone at the time Manoah was called up to be the 5th man in the rotation.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#446058) #
It seems a bit over the top to accuse Bassitt of "running his mouth." There is data to support his position. Over the course of his career, on four days rest, opponents have an OPS of .731. On five days rest, they have an OPS of .677. On 6+ days rest, they have an OPS of .622.

Maybe you would prefer that Bassitt "man up" and always take his turn on four days rest, but the stats are what they are.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#446060) #
Let it be written here that I have faith Springer will bounce back, starting the rest of this month.

Perhaps someone can summon a prayer for Jobu to help Springer in the next game thread.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#446061) #
I found the youth movement topic in the Minnesota thread interesting.

1) I believe that ownership wants to compete for a playoff spot every year to generate a good revenue.

2) Ownership was willing to hand out expensive contracts to accomplish this because the 2019 payroll was very low. Ryu, Springer, Gausman and Bassitt. Springer is getting old but his $25 mil/yr is much lower than the $30mil/yr for 5+years that are being handed out. The Gausman/Bassit contracts are not going to be available in 2025 and beyond. They will be much more expensive. Strong chance that Berrios will opt out.

3) The 2024 team needs 2 more big hitters which I don't think they will be able to acquire at the trade deadline. But we will still compete. I accepted that Vlad and Bo will be gone by 2025 (traded) or 2026 (FA).

4) Ownership and Shapiro will have to have very serious discussions about how to compete in 2026 and beyond. Deciding yes or no to spending in hopes to compete. I lean towards a lower payroll with the benefit of luxury tax evasion. This will infuriate the fans, but ownership and the FO will not care. So a 1 year infusion of extra youth for a retool or fast rebuild is quite likely IMO. They have clearly developed a policy of being secretive.

5) The roster should still have Springer unless traded, Kirk, Varsho, D Schneider, Yariel Rodtiguez and Manoah. Also prospects that have been successful in becoming ML players possibly Orelvis, Tiedemann and a few others.

6) I don't see many Horwitz type players in our youth movement. Jimenez and Kacevich have D and utility abilities. Roden probably turns around his season this year at NH.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#446062) #
Good call Mike about the Orioles v lefties and v Kikuchi specifically....but knowing that Kikuchi's track record has wild swings in it i just checked how the "good" kikuchi of last year did against the orioles and he had 2 solid starts. Not awesome starts but good ones.

Bassitt of course got destroyed by the Os in his one start against them last year.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#446066) #
Springer immediately back at leadoff.

I fail to see how this does any favors to Springer or the Team.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#446067) #
I suspect the manager is hoping that Springer’s strong career numbers against Bradish will help the team. It didn’t work out in Springer’s first PA (groundout to third on the second pitch).
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#446068) #
ah well at least they made him throw lots of pitches.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#446071) #
Last night, Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco was ejected for using a foreign substance. “I felt something inside the glove,” [umpire Erich] Bacchus said, according to ESPN. “It was the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove since we’ve been doing this for a few years now.”
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#446072) #
the quality of at bats are very, very high today, especially against a very good pitcher.

and so good to see that clutch power from Bo.
electric carrot - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#446074) #
that route that Santander took to Bo's double reminded me a little of Gurriel. Nice hit by Bo.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#446075) #
Nifty play by Vlad to feed Kikuchi on the run there. So many ways that play can go disastrously wrong but the toss in tight quarters was on point.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#446076) #
Two great ABs by Schneider so far today.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#446077) #
and the quality at bats continue.

if they keep this up Bradish will be out of the game by the 5th, even if we don't score any more.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#446078) #
The Blue Jays are making Bradish work today. One more breakthrough hit would really help, though.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#446079) #
not so great by the 8 and 9 guys unfortuantely, but still bradish will have a tough time getting through the 5th at this rate.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#446080) #
Baltimore has a good, fresh bullpen. What's the rush to get to it?
mathesond - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#446082) #
Yusei - yes! (The) O's say Nooooo...
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#446083) #
very well played game so far but i hope we don't regret these missed opportunities.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#446084) #
tough pull but maybe the right call. I dunno.

Pop has been good since his callup but this is a very tough spot for him.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#446085) #
Not sure I like it, personally.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#446087) #
Gutsy call by the manager going to Pop in that situation. And it worked out.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#446088) #
Bigtime performance by Pop.

Bigtime call by the manager.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#446089) #
Well, it worked. Problem is: can you get four more shutdown innings from this rather leaky bullpen. Figure some combination of Richards, Garcia, Romano would be the way.

Scoring some more runs would be quite pleasant.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#446091) #
Mount castle absolutely owns Kikuchi. I don’t let him pitch to him if he’s the go ahead run.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#446092) #
Pop both got results and looked nasty doing it, against a very tough middle of the order. That's nice to see. There's no questioning his arm quality.

Looks like Schneider is going to try and manage the heck out of these last few innings.

I was going to assume that he'd be thinking straight Yimi-Romano for the last 2 innings if we're leading, but now that he's using Cabrera for a weak lefty i would imagine he's thinking Mayza for a late inning lefty situation too.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#446093) #
This game feels like about an 8/10 on the must-win scale.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#446094) #
I was upset by Springer hitting leadoff but he has had top-notch at bats each time out.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#446095) #
I think Springer has continued to have a pretty solid approach even as his results have gone through the floor. It's the quality of contact that's been his problem.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#446096) #
robo umps plz
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#446097) #
Yeah, Vladdy got screwed twice in that at bat
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#446098) #
yeah I'd rather not have to deal with all the fun of that kind of "unpredictability".
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#446099) #
ah damn vladdy, Springer woulda got that one.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#446100) #
Not a fan of using Cabrera in this inning. He's just not very good.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#446101) #
That's on Springer. Call him off.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#446102) #
suddenly i'm not too optimisitic about this one.
James W - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#446103) #
Even a "not very good" pitcher should be able to get Brian McCann and Austin Hays out. And to be fair, he got McCann to pop out, and got Hays to hit a fly ball with about an 11 second hang time, and unfortunately got no outs from it.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#446104) #
oh yes Yimi. great stuff for two outs.

one more here and maybe I'll finally start believing in you.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#446105) #
Attaboy Yimi.

Brian McCann was a very good hitter. James McCann, not so much.
James W - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#446106) #
Yimi Garcia is the best pitcher in baseball.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#446107) #
oh yeah Yimi that's the good stuff.

might he be our best reliever now for real?
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#446108) #
Yimi knows pitching.
James W - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#446109) #
40-year old Brian is probably a better hitter than James. Honestly forgot there was a second catcher named McCann.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#446110) #
now the 8th becomes super tricky. thankfully Yimi only took 9 pitches. Schneider could try and push him as far as he goes, and maybe use Romano for 4 outs if needed.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#446111) #
at least the ump gave us the favorable borderline call there.

i don't see how there's enough under review to overturn that but we'll see.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#446112) #
The left hand may have gotten there first, I can’t tell if the glove grazed him on that hand or not
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#446113) #
High drama. Can the Blue Jays hold on to win this one?
James W - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#446114) #
Santa said the call was "bulls*it", but so was his swing that got a double, so I think we're even, all things considered.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#446115) #
oh man Yimi's only on 17 pitches and Stowers is nobody....why are you bringing in Mayza who's just as likely to walk the bases loaded for the top of the order?

rikley - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#446116) #
What a great game! It’s May!..Feels like a game at the end of September. A real playoff feel to it..
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#446117) #
oh phew.

manager makes me look dumb. even though i still think that was a crazy choice.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#446118) #
Kiermaier should steal third base here.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#446119) #
good lord IKF what are you here for.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#446120) #
for f's sake
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#446121) #
That’s a gut punch among gut punches.
rikley - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#446122) #
That was a bad bounce for IKF. Just unlucky. That is a tough tough loss. But again not enough clutch hits throughout the game.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#446123) #
For what it’s worth I don’t blame IKF for that play. Just a brutal bounce off the dirt right off to the side of him.

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#446124) #
The Blue Jays did pretty much everything right in this one. They just couldn't deliver one additional timely hit (apart from Bo's) to provide some insurance.

The ground ball and tricky late hop to IKF to start the ninth was a fluke. Very tough play for anyone to make.

You could argue that the difference in this one is the extra pop in the O's lineup. All three of their runs came via the home run.
Eephus - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#446125) #
All things considered, the Jays showed they could hang with, frankly, a far superior team this week. Both games were wild and exciting, and I agree with the sentiment that the Jays hitters were having terrific at-bats all day.

The song remains the same, though. Good at-bats are good, but if they don't turn that into starting to score more runs, and soon... they're not going anywhere.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#446126) #
Good work from the boys. Anger should be sent to Atkins.
Glevin - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#446127) #
Can't blame IKF there. Very annoyed at umpiring today though which called two crucial called third strikes on pitches outside. Baseball badly needs challenge system.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#446128) #
The Orioles sent out two fine starting pitchers, and had a day off between games to rest the bullpen. And they were at home in a park where left-handed power is favored.

If the club plays like that the rest of the season, they will make the playoffs. Sometimes a loss is painful but necessary for growth. This could be one of those times.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#446129) #
The Orioles went 0-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base.

Baseball. Go figure.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#446130) #
Are we sure this isn't all Mitch Marner's fault?
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#446131) #
The Blue Jays went 2-13 with runners in scoring position, and one of those was Guerrero's infield hit before Bichette's double. Quite a few caught line drives too.

That kind of game.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 15 2024 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#446136) #
Are we sure this isn't all Mitch Marner's fault?

Definitely under considewration.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#446141) #
The Blue Jays offense is likely to be about average (give or take) the rest of the way. But the team could still make the postseason if they end up having a good starting pitching rotation and bullpen and defense. That could happen.

It does hurt that they weren't able to trade for Soto.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#446142) #
Eephus: "That’s a gut punch among gut punches."

Shi Davidi: "a gut-punch 3-2 loss"

Keegan Matheson: "3-2 loss to the Orioles was a gut punch"

Cliches are admittedly common in sports writing, but the Blue Jays beat writers might need to up their game a bit.
Nigel - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#446144) #
I'm asking rather than challenging the statement - is there any evidence that the Jays ever seriously tried to trade for Soto? They may well have, I've just never heard anyone report directly on that. I accept that I may have missed that. I've read multiple, after the fact, reports that Soto was a "target", but that is a different thing than they actually tried to do something.
Ducey - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#446145) #
"It does hurt that they weren't able to trade for Soto."

Soto would not be sticking around, so it would hurt a lot more in coming years not to have the prospects they would have had to trade to get him and a first round pick knocked back 10 spots.

In any event, I am pretty sure this group is not a Soto away from becoming a championship club this year. The pitching staff is 26th in terms of ERA and the offense is 26th in HR, 29th (yeah, 2nd last) in runs scored, 28th in runs/ game (tied with the Marlins) and 23rd in OPS.

dalimon5 - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#446146) #
Ducey, to your point they are almost as bad as the Astros.
John Northey - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#446148) #
Fangraphs hasn't given up on the Jays - 23.3% odds of making the playoffs still there, and Astros they have at 48.9% (!) despite both being near the basement of the AL. The basement team (White Sox) are at 0.0%, Angels at 1.7%, A's at 0.6% right now. In the NL the Rockies are at 0.0%, Marlins 0.2%, and Nationals 0.9% - the only other teams sub 1%. Jays have a 1.1% shot at winning it all - higher than the Leafs odds of winning the cup over the next 20 years combined I suspect :)
Ryan Day - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#446149) #
On the bright side, it's good the Jays didn't spend any money on Chapman or Snell. (Bellinger's been pretty good, though)
greenfrog - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#446150) #
Interestingly, through 8-9 starts Imanaga has been around as good as Yamamoto. Both pitchers have been good signings for their clubs (obviously Imanaga's contract is much more modest than Yamamoto's).
John Northey - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#446153) #
Ryan - good point on how various free agents we all talked about all winter are doing. Good reminder too of how money doesn't solve everything.
  • Bellinger - 134 OPS+ over 30 games, 0.8 bWAR $30 mil guaranteed ($2.5 as a buyout of 2025 player option $25 mil). Basically Jays signed Kiermaier instead (0.4 bWAR 70 OPS+ over 27 games). If he came here he'd have been put in LF with Varsho in CF.
  • Ohtani - 211 OPS+ over 43 games, 2.9 bWAR $2 mil plus massive deferred. Instead we have Turner 108 OPS+ 0.2 bWAR over 37 games, and Vogelbach (21 OPS+ over 17 games -0.5 bWAR). Yeah, big downgrade but not much the Jays could do.
  • Snell - 34 ERA+ over 11 2/3 IP before mercifully on IL, -0.6 bWAR. $32 mil this year and $30 mil player option for 2025. Phew. Dodged a bullet there. Yariel Rodríguez instead - 95 ERA+ over 15 1/3 IP on IL $32 mil over 5 years.
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto - wanted to sign wherever Ohtani did, 127 ERA+ over 47 2/3 IP 0.7 bWAR, $325 mil over 11 years. vs Yariel again.
  • Jordan Montgomery - 86 ERA+ over 28 1/3 IP 0.0 bWAR vs Yariel. $25 mil this year, $20 mil player option next.
  • Chapman 76 OPS+ 1.0 bWAR (his defense is crazy good again) for $18 mil this, 2 player option years with buyouts too vs IKF 95 OPS+ 1.0 bWAR $15 mil over 2 years - who would've bet on IKF outhitting Chapman through April and most of May?
  • Shota Imanaga - 430 ERA+ over 46 2/3 IP (5 ER so far), WOW. 2.5 bWAR for just 5 years max $80 mil - best deal of last winter I'd say. Vs Yariel of course.
  • Teoscar Hernandez - 121 OPS+ 1.3 bWAR, off to a great start vs Turner. $23.5 mil, had pushed the Jays for a multi-year deal
  • Jeimer Candelario - 97 OPS+ 0.0 bWAR
  • Gurriel Jr - 88 OPS+ 0.2 bWAR (having his best defensive year) 3-4 years $42 mil with opt outs
  • Jung Hoo Lee - 90 OPS+ 0.4 bWAR. Yeah, not living up to his hype.
  • J.D. Martinez - 132 OPS+ over just 18 games 0.3 bWAR
  • Rhys Hoskins - 132 OPS+ 0.4 bWAR $12 mil plus 2 player option years.
  • Gio Urshela - 67 OPS+ -0.1 bWAR, ugh.
Many others were discussed here too - we get bored around here in mid-winter, especially once Ohtani went to Dodgertown. Sigh. Many of these guys would've been nice, but damn glad we didn't sign Chapman, Snell, Candelario, Gurriel Jr, or Urshela.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#446154) #
IKF has actually worked out surprisingly well for the Blue Jays so far. 1.0 bWAR / 0.8 fWAR in 41 games.
Ducey - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#446155) #
"who would've bet on IKF outhitting Chapman through April and most of May?"


Well, I would not have bet on it, but certainly argued throughout the winter that IKF was a better signing than Chapman given the money, likely performance, and draft pick.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 16 2024 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#446156) #
Soto is reportedly interested in having in-season contract extension talks with the Yankees.
Glevin - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#446160) #
Soto to Yankees would make a lot more sense if they weren't already spending an insane amount on Judge and Stanton. Soto has better d numbers this year but has been consistently bad. Stanton is DH. Judge probably has a few more years in OF. Soto too. I guess you can make it work with someone at 1B but Yankees have bigger holes they won't be able to afford to fill and Stanton and Judge are not tradable with those contracts.
John Northey - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#446164) #
Basically the Yankees are the anti-Jays when it comes to hitting vs defense. All hitting, screw defense basically. They really could've used Kiermaier IMO. With KK in CF and Soto in LF and Judge in RF their defense would be much stronger and Judge more likely to avoid the IL (ala Springer). Stanton is a pure DH who is snail slow (speed score of 1.3 this year, Jansen is 1.6, Kirk 0.1, Vogelbach 0.1, every O's player is 2+ who has 20+ PA for comparison).

It'll be interesting to see how it all works out in the end. FYI: Varsho having his usual defense year - +5 DRS in LF (2nd to Alex Verdugo by 1 despite playing 205 fewer innings there), 3rd in CF at 6 DRS (Michael Taylor #1 at 8, 120 more innings, Jarren Duran #2 at 7 with 60 more innings). Kiermaier is #17 with just 1 in CF, tied with Pillar (yes he is still out there, just 78 2/3 innings in CF though with a 328/385/621 line over 66 PA).
Mike Green - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#446166) #
So, how do the Yankees have a team ERA of 2.91 without Gerrit Cole and a poor defence out there?

Well, the pitching has been better than expected but not that good.  The big thing is their situational pitching:
With no one on, opponents are hitting .240/.322/.401   (928 PA)
With men on base, opponents are hitting .181/.264/.286. (746 PA)

Incidentally, the clutch factor applies not only to runners, but to game situations:
High leverage: .196/.294/.279, much better than medium and low leverage situations.

Which also explains how they are at 30-15, despite striking out few opponents than average and walking more than average.  They avoid the long-ball, particularly with runners on, and they have pitched better in the clutch.  It's not usually the way that a good team dominates, but Cole will be coming back soon.

Finally, in relation to the comments about the Yankees' payroll and the possibility of signing Soto, I don't see the existing contracts as a barrier.  Stanton's contract lasts until 2027 and the salary decreases beginning in 2026.  Cole and Rodon have contracts through 2028 at a total of $61M, but they may be worth that.  Judge will get $40M a year from 2029 to 2031 and is not likely to be worth that, but it's the only contract they have for that period.  Soto will be looking for a contract from 2025 to 2035, 2036 or 2037- I can't see that the overpays, such as they are, will have that much to do with what the Yankees decide.  Back-end loading might happen to some degreee. 
greenfrog - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#446170) #
The contract will probably include a significant amount of deferred money (like Ohtani’s). It will be interesting to see whether the 25-year-old gets more money than the Japanese star.
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