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A six game homestand commences with a visit from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays just took three of four from the Red Sox in Fenway, and they finished it all with an amusing screwup. With closer Jason Adam on the mound, with two out, two runners on, and a two run lead, the Rays lost track of how many mound visits had already taken place. Once pitching coach Kyle Snyder crossed the foul line, they had to take Adam out of the game. Erasmo Ramirez got to warm up, and then retired Romy Gonzalez on a comebacker.

SO far, the Rays have looked thoroughly mediocre, as if all the talent that has left in recent years is finally starting to catch up to them.  They can also sing a song we know all too well - we know these guys can hit, they just haven't hit yet. But Yandy Diaz is indeed batting .247, after hitting .330 last year to lead the league. Harold Ramirez, who isn't expected to do anything but hit, is giving them a line of .268/.287/.312, and one generally hopes that one's DH can get the old OPS above .600. And Randy Arozarena? Or whoever that imposter who looks like him might be, the one with the .159/.258/.329 slash line.

Yeah, they'll probably start hammering the ball any day now.


Fri 17 May - Alexander (1-2, 5.45) vs Bassitt (3-5, 5.06)
Sat 18 May - Elfin (3-4, 3.91) vs Gausman (2-3, 4.95)
Sun 19 May - Civale (2-3, 5.83) vs Manoah (0-1, 4.91)

You might notice that Alek Manoah has the best ERA of the Jays' three scheduled starters. How come it doesn't feel like things are back to normal?
Tampa Bay at Toronto, May 17-19 | 125 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#446165) #
Tonight's game is on AppleTV+.
Ducey - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#446167) #
The Rays are 21st (4.33) in ERA, the Jays are 25th (4.49). Actual runs allowed are essentially identical.

The Jays are 3rd last in runs scored at 3.62/ game. The Rays are 20th, with half a run more per game (4.16 runs/game).

Rays are -28 run differential. Jays at -47.

Noteworthy the only teams in the AL with worse run differential are OAK (-50) and CHI (-87)

Seems like kind of an important homestand with 70 games left until the trade deadline. A sweep by the Rays would leave the Jays in a pretty big hole. If they then lose the next series to the CHS, some heads could roll.
92-93 - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#446168) #
"Erasmo Ramirez got to warm up, and then retired Romy Gonzalez on a comebacker."

This part of the screwup infuriated Alex Cora, who said that due to the umpires' ineptitude Ramirez was able to warm up when he should have been required to come into the game cold.

Diaz, Ramirez, and Arozarena have each started to turn it around already in May.

The Jays bullpen comes into this series extremely fresh, whereas the Rays' has been used heavily over the last week. Getting to their 5th starter tonight early is important.
pooks137 - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#446169) #
I didn't realize that Jason Adam had been so good for Tampa over the last 3 years: 137 innings, 186 ERA+, FIP 3.50, 4.5 bWAR.

I recall being relieved when the Jays non-tendered him after the 2019 season because I didn't want them using up a 40-man roster spot all winter on a 28 y/o 7th guy in the pen type.

Ducey - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#446171) #
Good for him. Traded twice. Released 5 times, including by the Jays, and then the Cubs, before making it.
Gerry - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#446172) #
Bowden Francis starts in Buffalo tomorrow, Chad Green pitches for Buffalo on Sunday. Yariel Rodriguez goes for Buffalo on Tuesday.

Nate Pearson, Zach Pop and Genesis Cabrera might be getting worried.
92-93 - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#446173) #
In the unlikely event there are no injuries before all 3 are ready, Francis should stay in the minors as a starter.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#446175) #
Jason Adam pitched well in the Jays bullpen the 2nd half of '19, I was surprised they did not give him a shot in '20.
greenfrog - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#446177) #
Another gem of a start by a Blue Jays SP. And another no-show by the offense (through five innings, anyway): 0/15 with zero walks.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#446178) #
Should the Jays not come back tonight, they'll be 10.5 games out of first place on May 18th. You can squint hard and see a rebound and 2nd wildcard contention if you want, but ...this is just not a very good baseball team with a truly abysmal offense. I would hope some immediate personnel or coaching changes are coming.
uglyone - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#446179) #
Boys really rewarding coach for reuniting the top of the order.
Chuck - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#446180) #
18 up, 18 down.
Nigel - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#446181) #
Both games in Baltimore were filled with great ABs even if they resulted in outs. Tonight, not so much.
greenfrog - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#446182) #
Amazing performance by Alexander but I would be surprised if he lasts 9 innings.
Chuck - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#446183) #
21 up (great film from a great series, probably over now), 21 down
greenfrog - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#446184) #
Springer kills the rally.
lexomatic - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#446185) #
This offense is painful. Of course I had to go to thr bathroom for the Schneider HR. Does Jansen have a mustache now? Because the difference between him & Schneider and the rest of the team on offense might give a clear solution - everybody gets a mustache.
I'd also take Springer never seeing the top of the lineup again. At least until he demonstrates for a while that he deserves it.
Guerrero's Magic Glove is still unpleasant, nut Pearson looked great for once. At least fighting back to make it close is more than I expected.
Biggio starting the 9th badly, and a BLOWN call for thr K against Guerrero for the K. And the " heart" of the order killed this. 2 pitches 2 outs and ump K in between? Yech.
greenfrog - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#446186) #
It’s late May and Springer is hitting .196/.271/.288. And leading off.

Even if he rebounds, he might end up being a 700-750 OPS player. The days of him being an 800-900 OPS hitter are long gone (I’m guessing).

It was painful to see him hit into that DP, after the Blue Jays had come all the way back to 4-3 with two men on base and only one out. Devastating play.
uglyone - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#446187) #
Its just so dumb.

What on earth is the benefit of putting that top of the order back together? There is nothing - not this year's performance, not recent performance, not projected performance - that makes making them permanent fixtures at the top of the lineup make any sense at all. We wre firmly in "earn those spots" territory for all of them.

Manager is just making life way tougher for himself than it has to be. It makes no sense at all.
greenfrog - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#446188) #
Might be self-preservation for Schneider. He knows Atkins/Shapiro are kind of paralyzed and unable/unwilling to act, and that his best hope for keeping his job in the short term is keeping the influential veterans on the team content. That’s one theory, anyway.
John Northey - Friday, May 17 2024 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#446189) #
Starting to wonder if Schneider wants to be fired with his keeping Springer at the top of the order. Bo has shown signs of getting out of his slump, so I get moving him back up but Springer really needs to be moved down to 7th or something. I'll guarantee the players on the team see it and wonder too.
Ducey - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#446190) #
Pretty sure they didn't go hitless for 7 innings (or whatever it was) because of the batting order.

dalimon5 - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#446191) #
If you are at work and you are doing a good job and another coworker gets to continually get paid more than you while slacking off wouldn't that frustrate you? Would it motivate you to be the best employee you could be working for a boss that sees this and allows it to continue?

Player attitudes and team morale matter. Manager should at least be able to keep his players happy with fair play never mind getting the best out of his stars. When you're getting the worst out of some of your stars and you're not rewarding your lesser players who are over performing... time for a change.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#446192) #
In today's lineup, Davis Schneider leads off, Justin Turner bats 5th, Springer 6th and Jansen 7th.

Batting order decisions are relatively unimportant, in the sense that they don't impact the number of runs a team will score to any great degree. But, they do say something about the cues a manager gives a player. When a struggling player is left in the lineup but lower in the batting order, the manager conveys confidence that the player will work things through but is given the chance to do so while affecting the team less if he continues to struggle.

I like Justin Turner, but he simply isn't the hitter that Danny Jansen is now. And I don't believe that his ego would be crushed if he batted 7th and Jansen batted 5th. What the Manager is conveying by this decision is veteran bias. Turner is 39, and has been a very good player for a long time. But he's near the end of the line and I am sure that just being in the lineup is enough for him. Isn't that part of the reason one signs a veteran like him- maturity?

At this point, I believe that Davis Schneider and Danny Jansen are the best players on the club. They set an excellent tone and if the Manager recognized their abilities, it might help the club perform better.

John Schneider is a young man, but he manages like he was much older. I wonder if it is because he has a long history with Guerrero Jr., Bichette and Biggio, going back to the Eastern League championship run in 2018. It seems that they too are his "veterans", along with Springer and now Turner.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#446193) #
"Pretty sure they didn't go hitless for 7 innings (or whatever it was) because of the batting order."

But would they have scored one more run with the current better hitters getting more at bats than the current bad ones?
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#446194) #
And the batting order also matters because whether the top of the order bats are having long quality at bats or not from the start of the game sets the tone for everyone and determines whether the starting pitcher ever gets comfortable or not.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#446195) #
In other news, with Turner fall off a cliff, as well as guys who started decent like falefa biggio clement, suddenly the team has only four good hitters on the year - jansen schneider vladdy varsho, one average hitter in Turner, and literally no other hittrr is hitting near starter quality.

It may soon be time to dip into the Bisons for real help.
John Northey - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#446196) #
I see that as a balancing act - you have the vets who have done it in the past who you don't want to get upset as they are the ones others look to. But you also need to see when they are no longer performing and adjust accordingly. Springer isn't the player he was just 2 years ago.  It happens. Funny thing is he used to get hurt a lot more but now is staying healthy but his bat died in the process. Age is the #1 reason for the bat dying I'd think, but I'd check into his video from 2021/22 and compare it to now along with more advanced stats - in 2021 his barrel rate was 15.3% vs 2024's 5.6% (OUCH), the worst of his career (last years was his worst previously at 7.7%).  His hard hit rate is down to 35.5% - 2021 to 2023 41.4%-41.9%-39.4%. The 35.5% is his worst (next worst was 2018 at 36.8%).  And naturally that means his average exit velocity is also his worst at 87.2, it was 89.4 in 2021 so not as drastic a drop but still a drop to his career worst.

Vlad always had good EV and the like even when slumping suggesting it was bad luck.  Springer though, when mixed with his age, suggests the end is near but he is signed for 2 years after this one. We need the manager to recognize this and shift him down to the bottom 3rd of the lineup and give him more days off.  His DP was a back breaker last night and he seems to do that a LOT.  At least Kiermaier seems to be getting more time off now as he is a 4th OF now, amazing on defense still but his bat is dead.

xwOBA (a reasonable way to guess at the future) suggests improvements (vs wOBA 20+ points) for Vlad (376 vs 336), Turner (340 vs 310), IKF (324-296), Springer (308-255), Bo (295-267), Kirk (282-247), Vogelbach (278-198), and drops for Varsho (284-324) and Kiermaier (233-265).  Yikes.  KK should be worse?  Springer's (lifetime wOBA 355) improvement expected isn't to a good level, nor is Bo's (lifetime wOBA 348). 
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#446197) #
This is what I wrote when Springer signed: "It could be that Springer will be decent in CF for two years (ideally spelled for some games/innings by someone like JBJ), decent in RF for two years, and more of an average or fourth OF for two years."

That prediction wasn't too far off (it might have been closer had he not sustained a couple of significant injuries early in the contract). He's probably in the "average or fourth OF" category now.
dalimon5 - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#446198) #
I don't buy that Springer is that Joe. Give him the year.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#446199) #
The Mets reportedly offered Alonso a 7/$158m deal last summer. Interesting.

What would be a fair offer to Vladdy this summer or off-season? Or would it be better to trade him for prospects?

If he continues his current performance he'll finish with 15 HR and 72 RBI this year, .268/.365/.378 slash line. There is a lot of red on his Baseball Savant page, though (98th percentile exit velo, 87th percentile xwOBA, 93rd percentile bat speed, 98th percentile hard hit).
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#446200) #
Nice oppo power double by Schneider to leadoff B1.
Nigel - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#446201) #
If you can’t hit HRs and you can’t score lead off doubles, what can you do?
Nigel - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#446202) #
Justin turner getting near full time ABs against RHP is just so indefensible.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#446203) #
Last year Davis had a 176 wRC+. This year he has a 153 wRC+.

In retrospect, it's crazy that he didn't get a single PA in last year's WC series against Minnesota. His offensive ability is exactly what the team needed then. It's also amazing that they waited so long to promote him from AAA (where he was hitting .275/.416/.553).

Query whether the Blue Jays are making the same mistake all over again this year, sticking with Vogelbach (.108/.233/.162) instead of promoting Horwitz, who could easily outhit Vogelbach and also take some PA away from Turner against RHP.
Eephus - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#446204) #
You know things are bad when Kiermaier is whiffing on a catch he normally (spectacularly) makes.
Eephus - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#446205) #
That was weird. Both a terrible and excellent play by Bo.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#446206) #
Can’t believe the Blue Jays failed to advance a leadoff double to third base…again. Weak.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#446207) #
Saved by Springer! Clutch hit.
Ducey - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#446208) #
Vlad should get benched for that half assed effort at a double. Enough is enough.
mathesond - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#446209) #
I don't think it was half-assed. I do think it was foolish.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#446210) #
If the manager had listened to Mike Green and had Jansen in the 3 or 4 hole we'd likely have a bigger lead at the moment.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#446211) #
we simply have a terrible manager. just terrible.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#446212) #
Turner is down to 0.0 fWAR on the season (maybe subzero after today).
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#446213) #
Agreed that Jansen should have been hitting fourth today. Compare his hitting performance this year to the three players ahead of him in today's lineup.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#446214) #
compare his hitting the last two seasons to those 3, too.

compare his projected hitting to those 3, too.
lexomatic - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#446215) #
<ugh Pearson how can you look so good yesterday and terrible today?
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#446216) #
The GM just said there is “massive urgency” around the team. Then they make decisions that indicate a clear lack of urgency (or insight/acumen).
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#446217) #
another impressive at bat from Turner. at least they hit Bo that was helpful. gives us a chance to get to Jansen this inning.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#446218) #
robot umps plz
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#446219) #
Home plate ump screwed Jansen in a key situation. Changed the complexion of that PA (2-2 instead of 3-1).
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#446220) #
Seriously — call up Horwitz and give him the Vogelbach role plus some starts against RHP. It will help.
uglyone - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#446221) #
IKF as a 9th inning pinch hitter eh.
John Northey - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#446222) #
A manager loss. Left Gausman in when he was clearly gassed, 3 runs. Uses Pearson (#12 on a 13 man staff) in the 8th against 4-5-6 and 2 runs 0 outs. Sigh.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#446223) #
This ballclub is bonkers.
Magpie - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#446224) #
Pearson is one of those guys that when he has his A game, he’s unhittable. But when he doesn’t, he’s hopeless and has no clue. No Plan B.
Eephus - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#446225) #
Wait… they lost???? It was 4-0 when I left for work! Geeeeeeez.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#446226) #
It’s May 18 and the Blue Jays are 11.5 games behind the Gerrit Cole-less Yankees.
Magpie - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#446227) #
IKF as a 9th inning pinch hitter eh.

Tells you what they think of Alejandro Kirk at the moment.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#446228) #
Can’t believe Atkins is still talking about improving the “information flows” to the hitters. He was saying that in the offseason (along with how much he believes in this roster) and the hitting has been a disaster so far. The amount of BS coming from this front office is incredible.

I haven’t been impressed with Mattingly and Schneider’s interviews with the media either. The coaching they’re offering to the hitters seems to be little more than “get a good ball to hit,” “hit some balls hard,” “do damage,” and (most recently) swing harder at pitches early in the count.
Nigel - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#446229) #
Yeah but who can argue with “do damage”? I mean it seems sensible and it’s just so gosh darn catchy:)
Glevin - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#446230) #
This team just finds ways to lose. I'd give it a week or two and then if things aren't improving replace Atkins and do a rebuild. My biggest worry is trying to thread the needle with moves made to try to compete in 2025. It's ok to keep options open but if you are going to rebuild, you need to get best pieces possible, not hold on to depreciating assets or getting lesser return to get someone close to the majors. We're not quite there yet, but we're close.
dalimon5 - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#446231) #
So many good posts today. Everybody's found the right pulse.

To compete this season this team needs an OF and INF addition. Of the offensively inclined type. IKF and KK should be back up players.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#446232) #
At this point, it's obvious to me that this team isn't winning anything without some kind of change in personnel. Probably the manager at minimum. Not sure how much of a rebuild to go for - right down to trading everyone for AA/AAA prospects? Or do you keep Berrios, etc?

The crazy thing is, right now, the player likely to bring the biggest return is probably Davis Schneider who wasn't even on the team half a season ago.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#446233) #
I fully expect the Jays to hold on to anyone controlled through 2025 (Vlad, Bo, Romano, etc), but what they get in return for Kikuchi, Garcia, and others will be very telling. Do they go after the best talent they can get regardless of level or do they focus on closeness to the big leagues? The latter is what they seemed to prioritize last time they were sellers and other than Teoscar Hernandez it failed miserably.

Either way, this team is not rebuilding this July. They will retool for 2025. If that’s the case then at the minimum they need to get rid of Mattingly and all the non-Hague hitting coaches. Replacing Schneider with Hale would be fine too though I don’t think the manager matters as they will just carry the coffee for the front office.
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:51 AM EDT (#446234) #

The #BlueJays’ offence doesn’t hit for enough power. Near the bottom of baseball. Why?

“Damage is definitely going to be part of that equation. We don’t have to hit 15-30 home runs for the six of our guys at the top of our lineup, but we do have to be driving the ball harder…”

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 18, 2024

The #BlueJays’ offence doesn’t hit for enough power. Near the bottom of baseball. Why?

“Damage is definitely going to be part of that equation. We don’t have to hit 15-30 home runs for the six of our guys at the top of our lineup, but we do have to be driving the ball harder…”

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 18, 2024
i hate them so much
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#446235) #

Last year, Atkins called the offence a “blip”. I asked him why that blip hasn’t been a blip:

“We’ve made changes to our process. We’ve made changes to our people, some of it personnel. That’s what we’re working on. It hasn’t happened soon enough. It needs to start.” #BlueJays

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 18, 2024
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:53 AM EDT (#446236) #

Last year, Atkins called the offence a “blip”. I asked him why that blip hasn’t been a blip:

“We’ve made changes to our process. We’ve made changes to our people, some of it personnel. That’s what we’re working on. It hasn’t happened soon enough. It needs to start.” #BlueJays

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 18, 2024

When I asked Atkins why the offence has gotten worse under this new structure with Don Mattingly, he pointed again to “consistency”…

“Because of the smaller signs, the compete, the fight, no rollover. That’s been consistent with our team, consistent with our staff.” #BlueJays

— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 18, 2024
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:55 AM EDT (#446237) #
the smaller signs
Nigel - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#446238) #
I get the frustration with the double talk. But it’s always been the way with this FO. Having said that - what do you expect him to say? “We suck. We’ve sucked for two years now. Our bat speed is the worst in MLB, but Donnie keeps telling me that he’s preaching “Do damage” and eventually (just like Donnie’s HOF admittance) it’s going to happen”? You have to accept that Atkins isn’t going to speak truths on these subjects.
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#446239) #
Counterpoint: what if he did?
Ducey - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#446240) #
My fear is that the Jays will try and salvage the season by trading what few prospects they have.

Instead, they should be thinking tear down. They have pending free agents this year and next which they simply cannot replace.

The problem is that Atkins simply is terrible at trading for prospects. Other than Teo, he has struck out repeatedly trading vets for younger players. Too many Derek Fishers. And his draft record is poor. His strength has been trading prospects for established players. But that is not what is needed. When you are bottom of the league in everything, there are simply too many holes

So, hopefully someone realizes this soon. There are about 70 days until the trade deadline. Ideally the new person has some time to maximize returns on Kikuchi, Garcia and Jansen, before doing the heavy lifting this winter.
Glevin - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#446241) #
"The problem is that Atkins simply is terrible at trading for prospects"

I wouldn't want Atkins in charge of a rebuild but I don't think is remotely fair. How many vets with value did he trade? Stroman value was fine. He should have traded Donaldson at beginning of year but getting Merryweather for a guy who was out all year was completely decent. Fisher wasn't good but Jays gave up Sanchez and Biagini who probably had negative value so what exactly were you expecting to get? Elly De La Cruz? The one trade where I think they should have gone different way was the Happ trade but even that doesn't look so bad in retrospect because Drury had a couple of very good years since then but still, the Jays should have added to their system instead IMO. Does trading Drew Hutchison for Harold Ramirez, Liriano, and Reese McGuire count? Espinal was great value for Pearce. I don't know what people expect. Elite prospects for 2 months of a good player? Nobody is getting that.
scottt - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#446242) #
If they are out of it at the deadline, I just want Barger, Martinez, Horwitz and Jimenez to get full playing time in Toronto. That would mean unloading KK, Biggio, Turner and Bichette.

They had a bunch of days off and didn't hit. Now they'll play everyday without rest and it's more likely than not that the hitters will turn around but the bullpen will be very bad because of the lack of rest.

85bluejay - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#446243) #
Looking forward to all the failed former top prospects team Atkins will acquire in the selloff ( close to the majors) - who is this year's David Paulino/Hector Perez/Bill McKinney/Brandon Drury /Derek Fisher etc. - Jays fans should be scouring past top 100 prospects list and all the failed prospects are potential Jays acquisition targets, most with 6 plus years of control - especially interested to see which Yankees/Orioles prospects who have taken a step backwards are dumped on the Jays.
Glevin - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#446244) #
"David Paulino/Hector Perez/Bill McKinney/Brandon Drury /Derek Fisher etc. - Jays fans should be scouring past top 100 prospects"

Do people actually expect to get top-100 prospects for Aaron Sanchez or Roberto Osuna after his domestic abuse? Do people follow baseball in a vacuum? People expect Jays trade every mediocre veteran and get like two years of Juan Soto haul.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#446245) #
Not sure if many Bauxites agree or not: Did Atkins sound like a GM who was on the hot seat yesterday? From my view no. His tone was a bit more urgent, but he sounded mostly like a guy who knew his job would be safe for the next year and a half (which would make sense..that's when his contract is reportedly up). He could be putting up a front...but it certainly wasn't a 2009 J.P. Ricciardi style press conference, where excuses of a lack ownership spending and complaining of the strength of competition was evidence of a guy who knew his time was up.

For the droves and droves of people in the fan base and the twitterverse (me included) calling for Ross to be fired, yesterday made it pretty much iron clad (for me at least) that, yes, like SJ in NJ (and a few others) have opined..there will be no teardown this year, and this core (or the majority of this core should there be a change of scenery trade of one of them) will largely be left in place to figure this clusterbleep out.

Reading the tea leaves from yesterday as well, I can't say the same for John Schneider. Yes, there was mention of "John and Donnie are trying to figure this out," etc, but unless I'm mistaken, Ross didn't exactly give a rousing defense of the skipper. Then again, the press gatherings questions were largely ones of roster construction, and process were they not?

I disagree with the manager coffee carrying analogy that often is associated with this front office. Atkins eventually moved on from Montoyo (although apparently, not easily) and if this team is still below .500 in another few weeks (with personnel changes made and given time to take effect) how the hell can they not possibly make a move at manager? They've given Schnieder a lot of rope, it's not unlimited.

So to sum up, yesterday's press conference made it clear to me Atkins is staying, and save those mid-season teardown hopes cause it ain't happening this year.
92-93 - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#446247) #
IKF: .261/.305/.353 0.9 WAR
Chapman: .236/.292/.388 1.5 WAR
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#446248) #
IKF (May): .263/.256/.342 (67 wRC+)

Chapman (May): .262/.338/.393 (116 wRC+)
Ducey - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#446249) #
Glavin. I'm trying to be fair on Atkins.

But the fact is that he didn't get anyone that moved the needle for the Jay's other than Teo.

Brito and Sopko for Martin.
Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson for Stroman
Fischer for Sanchez and Biagini
Hatch for Phelps
Kyle Johnson for Daniel Hudson
Law, Depaula and Hansen for Pillar
Oh for Spanberger, Bouchard and Forrest Wall
Happ for Drury and McKinney

These are just some trades of vets for young players.

The Fisher McKinney and Drury trades are especially galling as Atkins talked them up so much. He called Fischer a 5 tool player and spoke about how much time they spent scouting him. He seemed confident he was a star in the making- yet he was absolutely brutal.

If Atkins was acquiring big leaguers I'd be ok. He has done fine with that. But the rebuild is needed.
Nigel - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#446250) #
The issue wasn’t the trades it was that the decision to make most of those trades came a year or more after it should have when the applicable Jays players had lost all value.

The most reliable indicator that there won’t be a tear down this year is that there has never been a tear down during the period of Rogers’ ownership.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#446251) #
Current ESPN headline: "How the Atlanta Braves have built a model MLB franchise"

greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#446252) # “What Should the Jays Do?”
Mike Green - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#446253) #
The Mike Shapiro press conference was under-reported for some strange reason.  It went like this:

Generic Sportsnet reporter:  How are you feeling about the club, Mike?
MS: I don't know about the club, Sport.  I've been busy in my garden on this beautiful weekend.  Maybe you should try that.
GS: But you're the VP of the Club?
MS: I'm the VP of my garden too, Sport.  And I hired this gardener to take care of the roses we planted six or seven years ago and man, is he doing a freaking bad job of it.  I've got these beautiful native plants that are relatively new- you want to call them rookies, Sport, for your headline- and my gardener just can't keep the roses in their place and they're casting too much shade on the native plants.
Generic TSN reporter:  Your garden team, um General Manager, Manager and Batting Coach, keeps talking up how important it is for your batters to do damage so the team can score more runs.  What can the club do so that they score more runs?
MS: Good question, T.  You gotta take what each player can give you.  Some hit home runs, some hit .300, some draw walks, some steal bases.  It's the gardener's job to make it all work together.  But what's with this damage horsepucky?  My roses have thorns and they do lots of damage to my fingers
Generic TSN reporter: So, who are the guys who hit home runs?
MS: Another excellent question, T.  They don't look like home run hitters exactly, and the .300 hitters don't look like .300 hitters exactly.  You gotta pay attention, and that's what my gardener is paid to do, but I don't know what's freaking wrong with the guy.  Can't tell a rose from a bleeding heart or wild ginger from wild geranium. 
Globe and Mail reporter: Is there any thought of a new planting, um new additions to the team?
MS: We're on a roll here.  We've got a section of the garden that's dyin' out there.  We call it "the bullpen".  Might be time for a replanting there.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go deadhead my gardener, oops my roses. 
Magpie - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#446254) #
I wouldn't want Atkins in charge of a rebuild

A significant part of the fanbase probably doesn't want Atkins in charge of the local McDonalds. Nevertheless, a rebuild is one thing he has actually been able to achieve, and rather quickly once he finally committed to doing so.

No one is impressed by that, possibly because everyone secretly thinks the rebuild part is simple enough (get rid of everyone old and expensive and flood the zone with young players until you find the ones worth keeping.) The really hard part is, once you've built your good team, taking them to the next level and competing for a championship. It took Pat Gillick - Hall of Fame GM Pat Gillick, multiple championship guy Pat Gillick - ten years to unlock that secret.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#446255) #
Great post, Mike. It’s just so refreshing to say that the gardener has done a freaking bad job and the organization should move on from them. Rogers has no obligation to let the current situation linger. It *can* dismiss the GM, manager, and offensive coordinator straightaway, install interim staff, and then reevaluate the situation after the season. It’s never pleasant for the outgoing staff, but sometimes a change needs to be made.

By run differential, the Blue Jays are 26th in MLB (ahead of the A’s, Rockies, Marlins, and White Sox).
SK in NJ - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#446257) #
Yeah the issue with the last rebuild was the timing. They should have started it at the trade deadline in 2017. Instead they pushed it a year and then got no value for anyone. They’ll make the same mistake this season.
Ducey - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#446258) #
Vogelbach increasing his trade value!

The man is strong. It looked like he hardly swung at it.
krose - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#446259) #
Nice to see Vogelbach get the dinger. Is it just me or does this ump look especially erratic?
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#446260) #
It looks like Manoah may have found his mojo in the majors again. Which proves, perhaps, yet again, that nobody knows anything.
Ducey - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#446261) #
Bo needs to be put in the 10th spot in the order.
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#446262) #
The whole "rebuild" narrative is overblown, late or npt is irrelevant.

They didnt rebuild they just built - a bunch of draft picks came through (some inherited) and they added a bunch of free agents. Almost nothing came from trades.
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#446263) #
And hey it seems like springer doesn't pout or have his confidence shattered when moved down the lineup.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#446264) #
Ohtani has somehow elevated his wRC+ over 200 this season (204). He's hitting .350/.418/.661 (13 HR, 16 doubles, 1 triple). Also, 11 SB and 0 CS. Superstar.

By comparison, Mike Trout has never hit 190 wRC+ in a season. Judge had a 209 wRC+ season when he hit .311/.425/.686 with 62 home runs (his next-best wRC+ is 174).
bpoz - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#446265) #
Great game from Manoah.
scottt - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#446266) #
IKF: .261/.305/.353 0.9 WAR in 43 games, 128 PA
Chapman: .236/.292/.388 1.5 WAR in 46 games, 192 PA.

Chapman has been better defensively part of that is that he plays more and part of that might be that he no longer plays on turf.

I certainly would not be happy if Chapman was getting all the PA at 3B in Toronto with those offensive numbers.

scottt - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#446267) #
Martin had no value. He was toast and on a backloaded contract.
Simeon Woods Richardson for Stroman was a good trade.
Sanchez and Biagini came back in the system.
Hatch looked like a stud for a while.

I didn't like the Happ trade but they were looking for someone who could stick at 3B and a left bat.

The Rays do so much better but they don't dump guys at the deadline, they trade controllable guys for prospects during the winter. 
scottt - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#446268) #
The last time they finished in last place was in 2013.
Was the GM fired? No. The coach? Neither.
They don't look as hopeless as the 2013 team.
They have a good rotation.

They are 5 games under .500 and they've been through a rough patch in the schedule.
The 2015 team was under .500 at the deadline and won the division. Anything is possible, especially a wild card finish. In 2015, they figured they needed to move on from the all-star shortstop. Makes me wonder.

Turner is in a slump and it makes sense to play the left bat DH, but they haven't to this point because they had days of rest. Bichette is competing with Springer for the lowest slugging on the team, so why is he hitting cleanup?

soupman - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#446269) #
The front office just (we are told) used Rogers’ funds to renovate the stadium for a team supposed to be competing. I can’t see them selling when they are going to be under pressure to fill the dome. The blue jays are not a top flight organization and are not going to make boom/bust decisions. They will tinker around the edges. At most we will see them trade Kikuchi if they remain dead in the water. I cannot see a universe where they trade Vlad or anyone that would signal a true rebuild.
GabrielSyme - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#446270) #
The real critique of Atkins record of trading veterans for prospects is not whether he mad trades that seemed bad at the time, but a) whether he traded veterans at opportune times and b) whether he did a good job scouting and evaluating the players he got in return.

There are relatively few vets-for-prospects trades which looked poor at the time. I agree the Happ trade is one example. But I do also agree that the players he's acquired over all these trades are underwhelming. I think the only useful players so acquired have been Espinal and Teoscar, one role player and one solid regular. Harold Ramirez and Reese McGuire have become role players elsewhere. I think that's a poor, but not disastrous record, when you consider the value of the guys when they were traded. On balance, I'd say the poor results are reflective of poor scouting and evaluation and an apparent preference for relatively close-to-the-majors guys. Waiting too long to retool has been the main problem.

If the Jays are sellers at the deadline, I really think either Vlad or Bo should be traded, in addition to all or nearly all the big contracts in the starting rotation. Maybe choose either Gausman or Berrios to keep, and trade the other along with Kikuchi and Bassitt (if he has trade value by the deadline).
Glevin - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#446271) #
I think fans are absolutely delusional in what they expect to get in trades. This isn't new with Atkins at all, but trading mediocre veterans isn't going to bring back a stud prospect and getting some shot in the dark guy in A ball is fine for rebuilding teams but their chances of being a major leaguers are incredibly small. Like, what do you expect to get for Aaron Sanchez when he had an era over 6? You really think Jays should have done better? Maybe get Kyle Tucker?
uglyone - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#446272) #
A reminder that any front office which claims they need to "rebuild" for any significant amount of time is just a front office making excuses for poor drafting and asset accumulation.
Magpie - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#446273) #
How the Atlanta Braves have built a model MLB franchise

As I recall, it began with a GM who violated so many rules he was kicked out of baseball.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#446274) #
Anthopoulos quote:

"My first couple years [in Atlanta], no one was impressed with making the postseason," Anthopoulos said. "It was about how long since we've won a playoff round ... with this place especially, there's pressure to produce a good product every year."

Shapiro quote:

"The body of work to me is undeniable," Shapiro said. "Whether it's the last four having the sixth-best record in the American League, whether it's three of the last four years in the post-season, building out great resources, hiring a great leadership team that's been successful both internationally and domestically."

Note the difference in benchmarks for success (advancing in the postseason as opposed to simply making the postseason).
Mike Green - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#446275) #
There have been a few great trades in the history of the organization:
- Dale Murray for Dave Collins and Fred McGriff
- Junior Felix for Devon White
- McGriff/Fernandez for Alomar/Carter
- Wells for Napoli

I was thinking about the last one. Everyone knew that Anthopolous had done spectacularly well given Wells' contract. And then two weeks later, everyone knew that he had thrown away some of that gain by trading Napoli for Frank Francisco. Now, imagine a world where he doesn't make that second trade, and instead held on to Napoli until the deadline in 2011. Napoli went nuts in July 2011 on the way to the best year of his career at age 29. I wonder who they might have been able to get for him, and what that might have meant for the 2015/16 teams...In any event, no GM has an impeccable trade record. GIllick did do awfully well.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#446276) #
Mike, you forgot Lawrie, Barreto, Graveman, and Nolin for four seasons of Josh Donaldson. That trade secured the Blue Jays an 8.7 fWAR third baseman in 2015 (and a 6.8 fWAR one in 2016), helping the team to its most successful season since 1993 and a follow-up postseason appearance in 2016. That was an elite trade by Anthopoulos.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#446278) #
Fair enough, greenfrog. I was blinded by the unexpected greatness of Kendall Graveman.
Magpie - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#446279) #
There have been a few great trades in the history of the organization

While I will always have a soft spot for Phil Huffman for Rance Mulliniks, the king of them all is surely Robinzon Diaz for Jose Bautista.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#446280) #
Diaz-for-Bautista. Definitely one of the great ones.

Rolen-for-Encarnacion (plus Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart) was a notch below that one, but it was still a very good trade for the Blue Jays.

Bautista, Encarnacion, Donaldson…three great trades that culminated in the lethal 2015 lineup. I think the money quote from another player or executive in MLB at the time was something like, “oh, the Blue Jays are playing? Is it 8-0 yet?”
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, May 19 2024 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#446281) #
March 29th, 2004: Jason Frasor traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jayson Werth. (The Jayson / Jason trade.) Werth had 29.2 career bWAR, compared to Frasor with 9.5 career bWAR. Jason Frasor set the Blue Jays franchise record with 505 games pitched.
Michael - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 03:08 AM EDT (#446282) #
There's a lot still wrong with the Jays, but if Manoah could consistently pitch like he did this time, that would sure make a huge difference to this team.
Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:57 AM EDT (#446283) #
I hadn't heard of Eleanor Callow until today. She needs one of our artists-a songwriter or author- to get to work on her behalf.
bpoz - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:52 AM EDT (#446284) #
The weak O of 2023 has continued in 2024. I suspect that KK being replaced by a better hitter somewhere (OF?) being paid $10mil/yr may have helped. Or just save the $10mil this year.

The 2023 Schedule was a lot easier than the 2024 schedule. We have not yet had a winning streak this year. Hope it starts soon.
scottt - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#446285) #
Rebuilds happen when teams want to run a light payroll.

scottt - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#446286) #
There's a lot still wrong with the Jays

Bichette, Springer, kirk, Kiermaier, Biggio and Vogelbach.
In that order.

Bichette grounded into 2 double plays yesterday.
Just move him down the order already and maybe Vlad will stop trying to turn everything into a double.

Biggio and Vogelbach don't get the ABs to get into a groove.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#446287) #
There's a lot still wrong with the Jays, but if Manoah could consistently pitch like he did this time, that would sure make a huge difference to this team

Definitely. Strong five-man starting pitching rotation? Sign me up. The bullpen should be getting reinforcements soon, as well.

Will it be enough to propel the team back into contention? I have no idea.
dalimon5 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#446289) #
Trade two of these pitchers for an OF and INF of consequence. Make IKF and KK bench players.

Daulton Varsho can't be your home run leader batting 5th or 6th most of the year...
dalimon5 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#446290) #
Anyone else think there is a HUGE trade about to happen while sticking with the core still?
electric carrot - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#446291) #
I swear I am not an optimist by nature and mostly have no faith in humanity etc ... but I think the Blue Jays are going to turn this around soon and compete for a playoff spot. The rotation is great and the hitters:

Always has cold spots -- but comes thru over the course of the season. Probly be fine by end of Sept.

Will likely be better than a sub .600 OPS at season's end. He's not going to be .850 OPS but .750 I think is reachable.

Wish I knew what happened to him. I am concerned about Kirk.

Not so sure about him either but I sure like Ned Flanders out there in the outfield and in the lineup.

Not really worried about Biggio -- he's not crucial to this team now anyway.

See Biggio.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#446292) #
Frank Thomas was very good at age 38, good/adequate at age 39, and bad at age 40.

Not exactly sure where JT is on that spectrum, but there are concerning signs. And the fact that he was the big off-season offensive addition suggests that the Blue Jays are going to give him a *lot* of latitude this year.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#446293) #
At the moment, Joc Pederson (.317/.421/.558) is looking like the better off-season acquisition.
pooks137 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#446294) #
I recall being disappointed that Robinzon Diaz being included in the Bautista deal because he was a .300 hitting catching prospect in the minors with a cannon for an arm.

Even if it was already known at the time sabermetrically that he hit a very "empty" .300 (no power, no walks, etc).

pooks137 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#446295) #
One nice thing about Danny Jansen (or at least Jansen 2.0) is that he finally put to rest the Jays "Catcher of the Future" failure narrative that had existed since Borders and Myers.

You don't hear much anymore about 20+ years of the failed in-house catcher line of succession - Sandy Martinez, Kevin Cash, Curtis Thigpen, Joel Collins, JPA, Carlos Perez, Robinzon Diaz, etc.

It didn't look good for Danny for a while given he struggled to hit .200 in his first couple MLB seasons after coming up as a contact-first prospect hitting. 300 with good K/BB ratios.

Interesting that the MLB successful retooled incarnation is a pull-happy power hitting version with good defense that's a part-time catcher who can't stay healthy.

uglyone - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#446300) #
Remember tho that Danny was never the catcher of the future. That was always McGuire. Jansen was largely overlooked as a prospect.

pooks137 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#446307) #
Looking back at his career, Danny Jansen didn't hit as much as a prospect as I remember.

I recall there was lots of hype for Danny internally in Blue Jays circles before he was called up, mostly because he was fairly young for a catching prospect since he was drafted out of HS at 18, hit for contact at the upper levels and had fairly even W/K ratios like Vlad.

Looks like he didn't have much hype outside the org, only appearing in the mid-range of Top 100 lists going into 2019 (when he had already had a successful Aug/Sept callup).

He also didn't hit or play as much in the minors as I recall. He started in Rookie at 18 and slowly worked his way up the ladder. He always had great W/K rates but really didn't start putting up good contact numbers until AA in 2017 the year before his debut. He also didn't have tons of PAs.

I vaguely remember a narrative that he got his vision corrected and he suddenly hit well and became a legitimate prospect.

I also forgot that he had a very successful late season debut in 2018. I mostly recall him stinking offensively in 2019-20 before becoming v2.0 in 2021 that we enjoy today.

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