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The homestand continues this afternoon as the not-so-mighty Chicago White Sox providing the opposition.

As you've probably heard, the White Sox have the worst record in the major leagues. That's what happens when you start your season by losing 22 of your first 25 games. Since that appalling getaway, they've been playing .500 ball (11-11), which is quite a bit better than how the Blue Jays have fared over the same period (7-15).

The White Sox haven't been doing anything very well, but their struggles scoring runs... well, they make this year's Blue Jays team look like a veritable juggernaut. The White Sox have scored just 133 runs in their 47 games, and when you're scoring just 2.83 per game - there will be problems.

Injuries have not helped. Centre fielder Luis Robert was by far their best player last season. He's played just 7 games in 2024, and is still a couple of weeks away from returning from a hip flexor strain. Third baseman Yoan Moncado has always been an up-and-down kind of player who always had trouble staying healthy enough to play - he was off to a fine start this year, but lasted just 11 games and isn't coming back before the All-Star Break. If then. Andrew Vaughn, who has yet to deliver to the degree expected from someone drafted third overall, is off to a horrible start (.202/.258/.310) and Andrew Benintendi has been even worse (.195/.223/.283) and doing little to disabuse the notion that he was always just another Creature of Fenway Park. Anyway, all this has left the White Sox with an offense powered by Tommy Pham, Gavin Sheets, and - wait for it - Paul DeJong.

We begin today with the two team's aces facing off, followed tomorrow by a couple of hard-throwing southpaws, and we'll conclude with a couple of veteran right-handers still looking to find their best form.

Erick Fedde spent six undistinguished years in Washington (21-33, 5.12), who non-tendered him after the 2022 season. Receiving nothing but minor league contract offers, he took his talents to Korea and unlocked something, going 20-6, 2.00 with 200 Ks in 180.1 IP. He won the Korean equivalents of both the Cy Young and MVP awards, and this time the MLB offers were a little better.

Garret Crochet is the latest LH White Sox reliever to transition into a role in the rotation, a path previously trodden by Mark Buehrle and Chris Sale. (So you can see why they'd try it again.) The White Sox drafted him 11th overall back in 2020, and he went straight to the majors without playing in the minor leagues. He got his first taste of the minors last year, as he recovered from the Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2022 season.

Mike Clevinger was a very good starter for Cleveland years ago, but he managed to essentially get himself kicked off the team. Since those days, he's had a Tommy John surgery (it's one of the job requirements to be a White Sox pitcher) and shown only occasional flashes of his old form.

Mon 20 May - Fedde (4-0, 2.60) vs Berrios (4-3, 2.82)
Tue 21 May - Crochet (4-4, 4.18) vs Kikuchi (2-3, 2.60)
Wed 22 May - Clevinger (0-2, 5.56) vs Bassitt (3-6, 5.03)
White Sox at Blue Jays, May 20-22 | 152 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#446296) #
The question everyone is asking around the major leagues: Does Garret Crochet have a good hook? 
Chuck - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#446297) #
The penny has dropped. Hey, howsabout we have our best hitters at the top of the order?
pooks137 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#446298) #
I remember the Clevinger trade from Cleveland to SD in 2020, but didn't realize he had effectively been suspended by the team a few weeks prior to the trade.

Reading Wikipedia and links, it seems like he was suspended by the team for sneaking out of a hotel in Chicago with a teammate during Aug 2020 when under lockdown, then lying about it. Teammates like Oliver Perez and Francisco Lindor openly criticized him in the media.

Crazier times in retrospect.

There's also an allegation of DV from Jan 2023 that MLB decided to do nothing about.

Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#446299) #
It has been a good couple of days.  Manoah tackles the elephant in the room- adapting to the pitch clock- and finds control.  I'd love to be entirely wrong about the decision to promote him so quickly (for the second time).

And now, Schneider and Jansen at the top of the order.  You Be The Manager question.  It's the bottom of the sixth, Berrios has gone through the top with 90 pitches, and today's original starting lineup is still in the game with the score 2-2.  The Sox lift Fedde for lefty Tim Hill to face Varsho, Kiner-Falefa and Kiermaier.  What's your strategy for the inning, vis a vis pinch-hitting or not, and if you do wish to pinch-hit, with whom? 
uglyone - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#446302) #
Past 1 Calendar Year Stats

* 1. LF Schneider 269pa, .383obp, 159wrc+
* 2. C Jansen 260pa, .350obp, 153wrc+
* 3. 1B Guerrero 695pa, .343obp, 113wrc+
* 4. DH Turner 584pa, .352obp, 109wrc+
* 5. 2B Biggio 380pa, .361obp, 112wrc+
* 6. RF Springer 675pa, .325obp, 104wrc+
* 7. SS Bichette 574pa, .310obp, 100wrc+
* 8. 3B Clement 139pa, .314obp, 107wrc+
* 9. CF Varsho 555pa, .288obp, 92wrc+

* X. PH Vogelbach 258pa, .314obp, 103wrc+
* X. C Kirk 395pa, .319obp, 91wrc+
* X. IF Falefa 406pa, .314obp, 90wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 365pa, .291obp, 81wrc+

uglyone - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#446303) #
Fangraphs Depth Charts Rest of Season projections

* 1. LF Schneider 399pa, .338obp, 122wrc+
* 2. C Jansen 261pa, .325obp, 126wrc+
* 3. 1B Guerrero 480pa, .361obp, 141wrc+
* 4. SS Bichette 465pa, .324obp, 120wrc+
* 5. DH Turner 380pa, .327obp, 111wrc+
* 6. RF Springer 445pa, .321obp, 111wrc+
* 7. CF Varsho 425pa, .303obp, 111wrc+
* 8. 2B Biggio 263pa, .326obp, 98wrc+
* 9. 3B Clement 162pa, .306obp, 98wrc+

* X. C Kirk 247pa, .344obp, 116wrc+
* X. PH Vogelbach 35pa, .337pbp, 115wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 303pa, .299obp, 91wrc+
* X. IF Falefa 283pa, .304obp, 87wrc+

* X. PH Horwitz 15pa, .359obp, 117wrc+
* X. OF Lukes 51p, .325obp, 104wrc+
* X. IF Barger 61pa, .306obp, 99wrc+
* X. C Severn 9pa, .247obp, 59wrc+

* X. IF Jimenez 10pa, .319obp, 93wrc+
* X. IF Martinez 81pa, .291obp, 91wrc+
92-93 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#446304) #
If Kiermaier comes up with a runner in scoring position Iíd use Clement. Varsho has a higher career OBP vs. LHP and Hill hasnít gotten lefties out this year.
Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#446305) #
We're thinking along the same lines 92-93, but not exactly the same. Let's see if anyone else wants to chip in.
mathesond - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#446306) #
Could there be an argument for Biggio over Clement?
Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#446308) #
There could be, mathesond.

Personally, I'd let Varsho hit, and if there was a runner on base when Kiermaier's spot arrived, I would pinch-hit with Clement. I like Clement with a runner on first to hit and run.
Petey Baseball - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#446309) #
I'd keep both Kiermaier and Varsho in there. Varsho because I like the adjustments he's made against lefties this year and Kiermaier since he really hasn't gotten into a hitting groove this season and needs the at bats.
Petey Baseball - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#446310) #
It's one thing to beat up on mediocre pitching in this series and pad the stats. That is almost a given, seeing how truly bad the White Sox are. The true test to see if this offense can break out and the team can get on a roll, are their adjustments to the Detroit series, whereas advanced scouts for the Tigers are already watching this series deciding what they're going to throw to Vladdy, Bo, Schneider, etc. I'll be convinced this team can climb back into contention once I see, over multiple series, over multiple weeks, this team making necessary adjustments at the plate strategically, and the front office/manager making tactical moves ahead of time, not waiting for a player or players to slump for a week before making a move.
Nigel - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#446311) #
The two changes that Iíd still like to see made to this lineup is for Turner to sit much more frequently against RHs and for Clement to pick up a good portion of IKFs ABs. The arguments for IKF obviously center around his defense but Clement appears to be an above average defender. Iím not sure what Clementís offense would be given 400 ABs in a season but I think you need to find out. We know what IKF is at the plate and, well, the less said the better.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#446312) #
Player 2024 comp:

Player A: .324/.390/.676

Player B: .353/.423/.658
uglyone - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#446313) #
it's still shocking to me what a big deal Buck and Dan are making about Jansen hitting in the 2 hole.

not to mention the manager being so insistent that "nothing is set in stone" with this move.

relax, guys, it's not that big a deal. nothing should ever be set in stone with a batting order.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#446314) #
Player A is now hitting .333/.397/.681
Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#446315) #
Don't know about the batting order, but I am definitely in favour of Swanson's usage today- 9th inning, either up 6 or more or down 3 or more. That shouldn't be set in stone, but also not in feathers.
AWeb - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#446316) #
Ohtani and Danny?

Jansen has had months like this on occasion...hopefully doesn't take one on the hands later. Health has been the only thing keeping him from establishing himself for years now.

There have been a few random great catcher hitting seasons/stretches for the Jays...Fletcher, Myers, and is it too early to throw Kirk in the list? Whitt was just a good hitter who didn't find it (health? Skill? Opportunity? I don't know why) until his 30s. Anyway, I hope he keeps it up. Even struggling he's always seemed like a good hitter; plus he's above average fast, unlike Kirk who might be the slowest guy in baseball who actually seems to run hard. Not being an automatic DP on grounders is nice.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#446317) #
ďrelax, guys, it's not that big a deal. ď

Like half the posts on this site these days are about the batting orderÖif it wasnít a big deal why do we spend so much time talking about it?
Kasi - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#446318) #
Clement blew that game the other week with 2 errors. I agree he is better offensively but it is a big downgrade in current defence. I do think they should pinch hit him more or use IKF a bit more often as a mid inning replacement for Clement.
GabrielSyme - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#446319) #
It is not too late to sign Jansen to an extension.
uglyone - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#446320) #
"Like half the posts on this site these days are about the batting orderÖif it wasnít a big deal why do we spend so much time talking about it?"

we spend so much time talking about it because changing the batting order shouldn't be a big deal at all. not even a little bit.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#446321) #
Yep, player A is Jansen (201 wRC+) and player B is Ohtani (204 wRC+).
Mike Green - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#446322) #
The Blue Jays returned to the RC after the COVID break on July 30, 2021. Since that time, Jansen has been far and away the best hitter on the club, posting a wRC+ of 140 before today and 42 homers in 687 PAs. He has also been the best player, injuries and all, and just a little better than Bo all things considered.

Not the best flow, not the biggest bombs. But the best.

greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#446323) #
It was a huge blow to the teamís chances when he got hurt late last year.
GabrielSyme - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#446324) #
I was thinking of Gregg Zaun as a strong-hitting catcher, but he wasn't quite as good as I remember. Just below league average with the Jays (98 wRC+), one year with a 111. League-wide offence is just way down. His .753 OPS for his years with the Jays would be more like a 120 wRC+ this season.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#446325) #
The fact that the team has implemented some lineup changes only after journalists and the internet have suggested them shows how cautious and conservative Blue Jays management can be at times.
Ducey - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#446326) #
If management is listening to journalists or the internet they should be fired instantly.
Magpie - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#446327) #
If management is listening to journalists or the internet they should be fired instantly.

There's an old saying around the game that when you start listening to the fans, you soon find yourself sitting beside them.
SK in NJ - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#446328) #
The Jays are very rigid in their beliefs, so it likely took them this long to make any changes because they felt what they were doing previously was right and it was just a matter of time before it corrected itself. They should have moved more quickly, but this is what they are, for better or worse.
greenfrog - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#446329) #
Well, MLB teams (including the Blue Jays) did hire a bunch of baseball writers away from Fangraphs (and Baseball Prospectus? Not sure). So there is intelligence and insight to be gleaned from the internet.

But the larger point is, Blue Jays management should be ahead of, not behind, the curve in their decision-making.
uglyone - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#446330) #
I don't know if the internet even needs to get any credit for saying something as obvious as "there's no advantage to being rigid with the batting order especially when the choice is between players with similar recent hitting and future projected hitting".

Sounds like a pretty big black mark on any organization that actually disagrees with something that basic.
scottt - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#446331) #
I find that guys who are struggling are moved back to the front as soon as they show any sign of life.
Turner looks totally lost. Hopefully Vogelbach gets a couple of starts this week.
Turner is one of the guy who got really sick recently. Hopefully he bounces back, but the guy is almost 40, I don't think it's as simple as pushing him.

Bichette had 4 hits today; the first one was a foul ball that landed fair (that could have been a single or an out as Bo barely jogged out of the box), the second was a ground ball, but the last 2 were well hit doubles.

The thing with the lineup is that some guys are going through 0-for-20-something.
They are in deep slumps. It sure looks counterproductive to have guys who collectively went 2-for-24 in the last couple of gams  hitting in the 4-5-6 spots. The damage today came from Jansen hitting 2nd and Varsho hitting 7th. Bichette when 4-4 but only scored once because the next 2 guys went 0-7+1 walk.

I think it's worth mentioning that Kiermaier was full hustle today. He sprinted out of the box to turn a single into a double, tagged on a fly and scored. It looks like he needed oxygen in the dugout. Also, stellar on defense including the last out.

pooks137 - Monday, May 20 2024 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#446332) #
Blair & Barker in the postgame mentioned that this was the first start of the year with Kirk not catching for Berrios.

They wondered whether this had any factor in the MLB worst offense White Sox having so much regular albeit weak contact against him.

scottt - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#446333) #
They were hunting the breaking balls away.
Kirk is better at framing the low balls, which didn't come into play much, if any.
The strikezone wasn't bad. It seems a bit tight at the top, but that's the actual strike zone.

Blair and Barker are often grasping for things to say.

I would have brought the heat from the pen in 7th instead of letting Berrios face the guys who did damage against him another time. Sometimes you just try to get your best guys into a good routine, like Berrios throwing 100 pitches. Sometimes you have to do what you need to do to win the game.
I don't think Schneider is threading that needle very well.

On the plus side, Genesis is out of play today with Kikuchi on the rubber.

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#446334) #
When Cabrera leaves a game, is it a Genesis Exodus?
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#446335) #
Blue Jay position players rank 12th in MLB in fWAR.  Their starting pitchers rank 19th, and the bullpen ranks 29th (and that's including Yimi Garcia). 
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#446336) #
Mike Green's post about Jansen's numbers going back to 2021 had me thinking about whether our lineup should actually look any different even based on much larger samples.

Here's what the stats look like over the last 5 seasons:

* 1. 2B Schneider 274pa, .380obp, 158wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero 2531pa, .360obp, 135wrc+
* 3. SS Bichette 2296pa, .334obp, 122wrc+
* 4. C Jansen 979pa, .323obp, 122wrc+
* 5. DH Turner 2099pa, .352obp, 120wrc+
* 6. RF Springer 2012pa, .335obp, 120wrc+
* 7. 3B Biggio 1308pa, .336obp, 99wrc+
* 8. LF Varsho 1766pa, .298obp, 97wrc+
* 9. CF Kiermaier 1265pa, .314obp, 97wrc+

* X. PH Vogelbach 1221pa, .346obp, 112wrc+
* X. C Kirk 1272pa, .347obp, 111wrc+
* X. IF Falefa 1933pa, .312obp, 84wrc+
* X. IF Clement 451pa, .277obp, 68wrc+

So yeah, even going back 5 years now, the performances still don't say anything much different. Aside from Vlad, a guy like jansen is right there with any of them.
Ducey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#446337) #
Lots of stories out about rival execs saying the Jays not opposed to moving Vlad/ Bo, and that they are asking a ton for them.

Giddy up!
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#446338) #
Pitching past 1 calendar years (WAR is average of fWAR and ra9WAR)

* LH Kikuchi 32gms, 83era-, 76fip-, 4.1war, 4.1war/32gms
* RH Gausman 31gms, 87era-, 77fip-, 3.7war, 3.8war/32gms
* RH Berrios 33gms, 78era-, 101fip-, 3.6war, 3.5war/32gms
* RH Bassitt 33gms, 101era-, 102fip-, 2.2war, 2.1war/32gms
* RH Manoah 12gms, 135era-, 126fip-, -0.3war, -0.7war/32gms
* RH Rodriguez 4gms, 107era-, 112fip-, 0.1war, 0.8war/32gms

* RH Romano 51gms, 78era-, 90fip-, 1.0war, 1.2war/65gms
* RH Garcia 69gms, 70era-, 66fip-, 1.3war, 1.2war/65gms
* LH Mayza 69gms, 74era-, 80fip-, 0.9war, 0.8war/65gms
* RH Swanson 59gms, 108era-, 92fip-, 0.6war, 0.6war/65gms
* RH Richards 61gms, 106era-, 97fip-, 0.3war, 0.3war/65gms
* LH Cabrera 63gms, 98era-, 109fip-, -0.1war, -0.1war/65gms
* RH Green 19gms, 100era-, 91fip-, -0.1war, -0.2war/65gms

* RH Francis 25gms, 94era-, 106fip-, 0.2war, 0.5war/65gms
* RH Pearson 45gms, 139era-, 114fip-, -0.4war, -0.5war/65gms
* RH Pop 9gms, 118era-, 131fip-, -0.1war, -0.7war/65gms

still a bit surprising to see that Kikuchi has flat out been our best starter for a while now.

But in general, all the elements are there for a very good pitching staff. Especially if Manoah is back, and Rodriguez translates well to the bullpen.

Disaster starts from Romano/Mayza/Swanson have really hurt, but i still have faith that those guys will get back on their usual track.

I like Cabrera's talent but replacing him with a late inning caliber lefty would be the clearest way to upgrade.

though of course even talking about being a buyer at this point seems all wrong.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#446339) #
Mike - Interesting to dig into where the Jays are strong/weak vs the majors.
  • C: #5 1.9 fWAR, 2.8 leads, Jays #2 in AL.
  • 1B: #8 0.9 fWAR, 2.4 leads, Jays #2 in AL.
  • 2B: #7 1.7 fWAR, 2.8 leads, Jays #4 in AL.
  • 3B: #23 0.4 fWAR, 2.1 leads, Jays #13 in AL. Ugh.
  • SS: #23 0.3 fWAR, 3.8 leads, Jays #10 in AL.
  • LF: #4 2.1 fWAR, 3.4 leads, Jays #3 in AL (Boston #1).
  • CF: #3 1.9 fWAR, 2.4 leads, Jays #3 in AL (NYY/Houston)
  • RF: #24 0.0 fWAR, 3.1 leads, Jays #12 in AL.
  • DH: #25 -0.4 fWAR, 3.1 leads, Jays #13 in AL.
  • SP: #19 2.8 fWAR, 6.9 leads, Jays #11 in AL.
  • RP: #29 -0.8 fWAR, 3.2 leads, Jays #13 in AL (TB worse)
So top 10 at C-1B-2B-LF-CF, bottom 10 at 3B-SS-RF-DH-RP, middle in SP.

SP is weird - Kikuchi rated very highly at #9 1.7 in majors. Berrios #66 0.3, Bassitt #75 0.2, Gausman not qualified for ERA title at just 42 IP with 0.7 (around #51 in majors if he had a few more innings). Just 80 pitchers are qualified right now. Go with all starters and it is Kikuchi #9, Gausman #64, Berrios #106, Bassitt #126, Rodriguez #156 (0.1), Manoah #172 (0.1), Francis #219 (-0.2). Not a fan of FanGraphs method of WAR for pitchers as guys like Berrios who rely on weak contact are ranked very poorly, while big K machines like Gausman get sky high marks. BR has Kikuchi at 1.4, Berrios 1.2 which matches what I think most of us have seen.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#446340) #
Ducey - glad to read the Jays are open to moving Vlad & Bo but only if they get a kings ransom for them. Trading one would be raising a white flag as far as fans and other players are concerned, so any deal would need to be lobsided in the Jays favor to a crazy degree. If someone wants Bo that badly, great. Vlad I worry about more as he seems to finally be accepting he won't be hitting 50+ HR a year outside of a fluke lucky year ala 2021, thus focusing on being a high average hitter which has a ton of value.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#446341) #
Romano's "disaster start" hasn't hurt at all if you take your head out of the statsheet. He's blown one game, the same number as Clay Holmes who gave up his first run yesterday. The rest of the runs Romano has yielded came in wins.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#446342) #
"Lots of stories out about rival execs saying the Jays not opposed to moving Vlad/ Bo, and that they are asking a ton for them."


I would trade one of them for a Glasnow type return or as close to that as you can get. Two young controllable players. The other one I would resign.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#446343) #
"hasn't hurt at all except when it's hurt"


and i'm glad we're judging closers on wins and losses now.

Ducey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#446344) #
92-93 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#446345) #
The Dodgers seem like a great fit for Bichette. They are getting nothing out of 2B, where they could move Betts.
mathesond - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#446346) #
Maybe the Jays could get Nick Frasso back...
John Northey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#446347) #
A Soto in-season signing would require insane money - over $500 million minimum, maybe closer to the $700 mil Ohtani got. At that much I think it'd be a mistake to sign him as great as he is - every player is one step from breaking an ankle and never being the same and putting that much on one guy is a massive risk.  This winter he could get the Mets/Yankees to go back and forth over him with the Dodgers in there too, and maybe even the Jays and Giants. All have the $$$ to do it if they want to.

As to a trade of Bo or Vlad - it would surprise me unless the team tanks badly.  Bo I see as more likely due to his meh at best defense and slow start. Plus Vlad is in every ad it seems.  I just hope if the Jays do it they get a crazy haul.  If Bo goes then Leo Jimenez (256/420/393) gets his shot with Ernie Clement & Isiah Kiner-Falefa splitting time at SS/3B as well. If Vlad goes then obviously it is Spencer Horwitz getting his shot (327/451/472 this season).

Orelvis Martinez has dropped quite a bit in May - 146/279/309 in 16 games this month.  Ugh. Clearly needs more time before getting his shot.  0-20 his last 5 games with 2 walks and 7 K's.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.  For now I'm hoping the Jays pound the crap out of the White Sox and work their way back towards 500, then keep it up and get back into the Wild Card race.
Joe - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#446348) #
I'm sure you know, but unfortunately Frasso had shoulder surgery and is out for all of 2024†ó†not sure what the success rate is of labrum surgery, too.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#446349) #
Frasso looked great in 2022, but in 2023 had a 3.77 ERA in AA/AAA over 93 innings, then got hurt (Dodgers prospect Nick Frasso expected to miss 2024 - torn labrum - should be out all of 2024) and hasn't/won't throw a ball this year at age 25.  He isn't a hot prospect anymore unless he comes back strong and fast.  At 26 he won't have a lot of time to prove himself before he needs a 40 man slot and having never thrown 100 innings in a season the pen might be his destination which drops his value drastically.  A good reminder that TINSTAAPP - we get reminded of it reguarly (see Nate Pearson, Frasso, maybe Tiedemann now).  Pitchers are fragile creatures - very valuable when going well, but anything can disrupt that value (see Manoah) thus the need to have dozens in the system at all times who are ready to go.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#446350) #
Had to check - High Return to Play Rate and Diminished Career Longevity - for labrum surgery 46.2% of pitchers successfully returned to play in the majors (of ML pitchers who had it done) with significantly shorter careers vs guys who didn't need it.  I'd think for a minor leaguer like Frasso who hadn't built up 100+ innings in a season yet the probability of future success would be worse. 
92-93 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#446351) #
The Jays are only 2.5 games back of the Wild Card and are firmly in the race. Which is ridiculous, but the expanded playoffs lets in mediocre teams.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#446352) #
Whether the Jays are in the race or not, I'd put the odds of them trading Vlad/Bo in the "slim" category. It doesn't seem like something this FO would do. I keep going back to how they operated in 2017, and that was with another GM's core players. Now it's with their own players, and trading them would at least partially be an admission of failure and possibly conceding 2025 depending on what they get back. I just don't see it. Maybe they would do something like Bichette for a package that includes a young SS who is ready for the big leagues (ex. Marco Luciano), and use the saved money on other needs, but even that seems far fetched for this FO.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#446353) #
It seems pretty easy to me. Keep your "core" and go for it this year.

That means trading guys like Orelvis Martinez for help and potentially Ricky Tiedeman if it gets you a game changer.

In the off season trade Bo or Vlad to a team that can sign them in order to maximize the return. Right now the return for Glasnow looks like the ceiling of what the Jays can get for Vlad or Bo if traded after this season (and that's contingent on a sign an trade for the other team).
Nigel - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#446354) #
I'd venture to say that there is zero chance of moving either one during the season. Ok, there's always some chance that another GM has an extra martini at lunch and makes an offer that you simply cannot refuse so there a .00000000000001% chance:) This offseason is a different story.
soupman - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#446355) #
they have a bunch of renovations to pay for. there is no way they are pulling the plug. when did rogers become comfortable eating major losses like the bill shapiro supposedly handed them for the stadium "improvements"? how long before we admit that no one is going to skydome for the "stadium experience" - people watch this team in person when it wins games, not because the barn is nice.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#446356) #
Romano's "disaster start" hasn't hurt at all if you take your head out of the statsheet.

I think this is exactly right. Romano's blown one game so far. Every closer blows anywhere from 5 to 10 over the course of the season. And if Romano comes in with a three run lead and gives up a single run before closing the game - which he's now done three times - I don't care very much. Looks bad for his numbers, but big deal.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#446357) #
For me, Romano's performance is his performance, just like any other reliever, no matter what kind of cushion he has to work with.

In fact I don't even think his blown save was anywhere near his worst outing, and I wouldn't even criticise that one.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#446358) #
Speaking of trading a guy like Orelvis - I'm not sure where exactly the hype meter is on him as a prospect, but I have a feeling it's higher now than it was at this point last year.

I've always defended him as a prospect simply due to his legit elite power, but if the hype meter has gone up significantly then he might be the kind of flawed prospect it would be smart to sell high on.

Ducey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#446359) #
Orelvis turns 23 in November. Very young for AAA.

As far as paying for renos:

1) I would think their valuation would be based upon increasing the value of the stadium and team. I doubt they took out a mortgage.

2) cutting the payroll could save them $100 M a season pretty quick. Bo and Vlad are essentially $40 M just themselves. No CBT etc.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#446360) #
I agree that Martinez is still young for AAA but he: a) is still only hitting at a mediocre level (106 wRC+ overall); b) can't hit RH pitching (81 wRC+ against RHs); and c) can't field a position. The age and some improvement in his K rates always offer some hope but if there's hype out there then get on with moving on.
christaylor - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#446361) #
I thought the "pitching to the score" idea was debunked.
Romano hasn't been the Jays best reliever but I think any team with a set 9th inning guy who is not the best reliever might better off because the manager has a free hand to deploy the best arm in high leverage situations that crop up in the 7th or 8th.

I can't see this team selling this season. As has been mentioned by many here many times, a in the hunt team is very valuable to ownership given the market and fanbase (who do seem influenced by park attractions and have been forever).

Martinez does seem like a flawed prospect. Given the past trades of this FO I would trust them to find value for him. The team needs two bats though, so I'm not sure that's a fix.

Hopefully Turner can bounce back and his struggles are after effects of the flu which certainly linger longer in middle age than in one's twenties.

greenfrog - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#446362) #
Maybe could have traded Tiedemann-plus or Orelvis-plus for Soto in the off-season. The trick is to trade prospects when their value is high ó not always easy to pull off. You have to move them when itís at least somewhat painful to do so.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#446363) #
For me, Romano's performance is his performance, just like any other reliever, no matter what kind of cushion he has to work with.

If he was being used like the other relief pitchers, sure, and I'd care a whole lot more about his performance numbers in that case. But that's not his job. His job is to Close the Game, not put up impressive numbers. Roberto Osuna put up better numbers than Kevin Gregg and was surely a better pitcher by any performance metric. But Gregg was better at the actual job of Closing the Game. Romano will blow one save opportunity out of every eight chances he gets, because that's the normal rate of success for elite closers. He's converted 88.9% of his save opportunities in his career, and no Jays pitcher with at least 50 saves can match that - not Ward, not Henke, not Ryan.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#446364) #
Can't multiple things we true at once? a) Romano hasn't been very good this year; b) actual game states of his usage have meant that his being not very good hasn't actually cost the team an abnormal number of wins; c) game states are an unlikely explanation for his not being very good; d) his actual poor performance to date means that his future usage in one run game states will lead to higher than normal losses unless his performance improves; and d) (agree with christaylor) that having your closer pitching badly is less of a problem than having your best/highest leverage reliever (Garcia) pitching badly.

Having said all of that, there are more than Romano down in the pen pitching badly and that has been a real problem.
scottt - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#446365) #
I dunno. It depends on what Bichette does.
They have him for another year, so they could always flip him for someone who is a free agent and doing better. There is a huge probability of a bounce back, but there is only one year left.
Just trading Bichette for a young prospect? Maybe the Dodgers, but he doesn't have much value for a contender.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#446366) #
Honestly didn't think the statement that these 3 RP were having a disaster start was at all controversial:

* Romano: 12gms, 0.9ip/gm, 128era-, 119fip-, 110xfip-, -0.1war, -0.5war/65gms
* Mayza: 21gms, 0.8ip/gm, 164era-, 115fip-, 115xfip-, -0.3war, -0.9war/65gms
* Swanson: 13gms, 0.8ip/gm, 296era-, 193fip-, 108xfip-, -0.6war, -3.0war/65gms

especially compared to expectations:

Previous 2yrs:

* Romano: 122gms, 1.0ip/gm, 62era-, 74fip-, 90xfip-, 3.4war, 1.8war/65gms
* Swanson: 125gms, 1.0ip/gm, 60era-, 66fip-, 80xfip-, 3.0war, 1.6war/65gms
* Mayza: 132gms, 0.8ip/gm, 58era-, 78fip-, 72xfip-, 2.2war, 1.1war/65gms

This was supposed to be a very good back end of the bullpen with two top-20ish relievers and a top-10ish lefty reliever. And they've been below replacement level.
scottt - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#446367) #
That means trading guys like Orelvis Martinez for help and potentially Ricky Tiedeman if it gets you a game changer.

What's a game changer? They don't need another starter. Most relievers are not predictable.
In 2015, AA got a bunch of relievers who didn't do much.
Genesis was terrible until he was traded to the Jays.
It's all a huge gamble and that should never involve legit prospects.
The worst signings this year have been relievers, Hader, Kimbrel, etc..

The guys they have are good enough if they play better.
If Bo, Turner or Springer have an OPS of .500 in July, there will be a need to make a change.
That could just be an internal move, but they don't have to stick with underperformers all year long.

scottt - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#446368) #
Those are 3 guys who were on the IL.

Also, I don't care about FIP with Romano. As long as he saves the games.
He's never been perfect. It's often been an adventure.

Garcia has been so good.

Magpie - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#446369) #
Honestly didn't think the statement that these 3 RP were having a disaster start was at all controversial

Only in the case of Romano, who I agree is nowhere near the top of his game, but it hasn't cost the team a thing. If that's a disaster, it's the best kind of disaster there is. He's blown one game in eight chances, which is completely normal.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#446370) #
It's all a huge gamble and that should never involve legit prospects

On the other hand, Atkins tried to go for a cheap bullpen acquisition at the 2021 trade deadline (Brad Hand), and the best Blue Jays team that Atkins will likely ever oversee missed the postseason as a result. Hand was 0-2, 7.27 ERA for Toronto and the Blue Jays missed the playoffs by a game. No postseason wins since then.

Sometimes it's better to double down on a good thing when you have the chance.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#446371) #
I think the challenge is to fix the problem areas - RP, SP, 3B, SS, DH, RF are all ranked #19 or worse in the majors. In house solutions exist to some degree - Swanson, Mayza, Romano should all be much better going forward based on track record, plus Rodriguez should be solid in the pen for the long role, and Green should help a LOT. Pearson & Pop are obvious dumps once these guys come back, not sure on who else would be dumped but probably Cabrera (has options left). Rotation is looking a lot better with Manoah looking great his last 2 starts, just need Bassitt to get going and Gausman should be back to normal soon (his late spring hurt a lot).

SS is just hoping Bo gets going. 3B is a dogs breakfast as we all expected with IKF/Clement sharing it. RF is a disaster with Springer making too much for too long to be benched - heck it took forever to get him out of the leadoff slot - like Bo we just have to hope he returns to his career norms or reasonably close. DH is the tougher one - Turner started strong but has a 90 OPS+ now, Vogelbach has been hot but that only pushed him to a 72 OPS+. Need a heck of a lot more out of that slot and the obvious in house solution is sitting in AAA with a 327/451/472 line. Sigh.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#446372) #
Need to find a hook for this Crochet...

Thank you, we'll be here all week.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#446374) #
Romano has only come come into a 1-run game twice.

One he saved, one he blew.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#446375) #
Which is exactly why his "disaster start" has not "really hurt" the team, despite your assertion.
Ducey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#446377) #
A miracle. A hit!
Nigel - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#446378) #
If youíre a LH starter and canít threaten a perfect game against this Jays lineup then, apparently, you completely suck.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#446380) #
Does Clement play 3B because they think heís a better defender than Kiner-Falefa, or because they believe the difference between the two there is smaller than it is at 2B?
Ducey - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#446381) #
Come on Bo. FFS. New pitcher with ERA over 5 and you swing at a slider 4 inches off the plate!

Enough already
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#446382) #
I vote door B.  Kiner-Falefa probably is more athletic than Clement.  Clement may have the stronger arm. Clement is, of course, playable at shortstop, and can in fact play either second or third well enough.  
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#446383) #
TIL an ace closer missing half the season so far, with a 4.91era since he's come back, isn't a disaster start to the year for him.

always something new to learn in this crazy sport they call baseball.
soupman - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#446384) #
Why did mayza come in? Did I miss something? I assume itís the usual reason (ie Schneider playing Monty Burns Ball).
Magpie - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#446385) #
Garrett Crochet in his 4 May starts: 4-0, 0.39, 23 IP, 13 Hits, 27 Ks, 4 BB.

You can see how.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#446386) #
He has stitched together some good starts.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#446387) #
The Jays spent approximately $40m in 2024 payroll this past offseason on IKF, Turner, KK, Rodriguez and Vogelbach. Some problems are out of your control - where did Kirkís bat go?; some problems are of your own making.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#446388) #
Well very said Nigel. Schneider also guilty of digging his own hole.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#446389) #

Blue Jays fans started booing their own team after a loss to the White Sox.

🎥 @Sportsnet

— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) May 22, 2024
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#446391) #
IKF (2/$15m) and Amed Rosario (1/$1.5m) have posted about the same WAR this year: 0.5 and 0.4.

Joc Pederson and Turner signed similar deals, but Pederson has vastly outperformed JT so far this year. To be fair, I think the Blue Jays preferred Pederson.

Kiermaier (1/$10.5m) and Michael Taylor (1/$4m) have amassed the same WAR this year (0.3).

Yeah, the early returns on the Blue Jays off-season havenít been great. A whole lot of mediocrity. Iím hopeful that Yariel can be a useful pitcher, though, and that Kiermaierís performance will improve.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#446392) #
What is annoying is that this team looks much worse now compared to two years ago when Montoyo was canned. Apparently Montoyo lost the players but his players looked less lost then than they do now.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, May 21 2024 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#446393) #
Thereís no way this team should be a buyer at the deadline, and considering they are potentially losing their best SP, reliever, and hitter (based on 2024 performance in all cases) after this season, Iím not sure trying to piece together a contender with this core in 2025 is worth doing either. Very frustrating situation because we have a good idea how the FO will play this, and it wonít be the right move for the org.
StephenT - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 02:11 AM EDT (#446394) #
The lady says Section 137 is where she got hit with the 110mph liner on Friday.
I estimate that section is ~200 feet down the 3rd-base line.
At that distance, you'd have ~1.2 seconds to react (from (((200 ft)/(5280 ft/mile))/(110 mile/hr))*(3600 seconds/hr)).
The pictures I found look ambiguous to me on whether there is netting in front or not:
scottt - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 06:05 AM EDT (#446395) #
A closer is a disaster when he keep blowing saves.

The rotation looks good. There is enough in the pen to get it done when they score 4+ runs.

I don't know about Bo. The contact seems to be improving but the swing decisions are not good.
He used to swing out of his shoes until he got to 2 strikes, but now, I think he's just trying to make contact and they're getting him to chase.

Clement has said that his normal position is third base and IKF is seen as the guy who can play anywhere, even the outfield. Turner didn't look that great at 1B, not comfortable with playing balls on a bounce.

The Jays were looking at spending 40+M on a single guy but ended up spreading the money.
The same option will be there this winter with Soto unless the Yankees get fleeced by Boras before that. This is the obvious fix for this team, plug in a huge bat next to Vladdy and Bo won't  be hitting cleanup with a .611 OPS. Also you can bring prospects in the other spots and all you're asking is make the routine plays.

I expect that they will try all the way. Kikuchi is an easy QO. Garcia also, if he keeps this up all year, which I don't expect. Jansen they should keep, but he will be an overpay.

Kikuchi might be their best pitcher but he's still nerve racking and there was that huge thing when they pulled Berrios who had trouble with left bats all year and who gets shelled the third time through for him.

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#446396) #
That is another good reason why the Blue Jays shouldn't have pulled Berrios early in WC game 2: Kikuchi is primarily a starting pitcher, not a reliever. Sometimes a SP can enter in relief and do a good job, but not everyone can do this with a high degree of confidence.
Mike D - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#446397) #
Kiley McDaniel on ESPN published his updated Top 50 prospects now that 12 of his initial top 50 have graduated off the list.

Tiedemann is the only Jays prospect at #49 and the Jays donít have any of the ten honourable mentions.
smyttysmullet94 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#446398) #
Actually I think the "pitch to the score debunking" has itself been debunked. Pitchers throw max effort every pitch now instead of...pitching to the score.
smyttysmullet94 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#446399) #
There must be some mistake - we were assured that "waves of prospects" would replace that dastardly AA's "emptying of the cupboards".
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#446400) #
"There must be some mistake - we were assured that "waves of prospects" would replace that dastardly AA's "emptying of the cupboards""

AA emptied a big chunk of the farm. He did well with that move. Now it's time to realize that Atkins has failed in his theorized goal of having waves of prospects. Good in theory. Good in practice. Non existent with this Front office. Off with his head! (Figuratively speaking of course).
pooks137 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#446401) #
Garcia also, if he keeps this up all year, which I don't expect.

Garcia's had 19 amazing innings this year (sandwiched around 10 days of being unavailable).

But he's a really risky bet for receiving the QO. The QO was 20.325 mil last year (only 7 FAs received one).

Yimi will be 34 in August. He was a workhorse last year with 67 innings, but also was giving up hits at 9.1 per 9. His era was 4.09.

It's easy to forget since he's been the shining light of 2024, but there was tons of groaning last year anytime he was summoned because he wasn't the shut down guy we're watching this spring.

This team also can't risk a 34-going-on-35 setup guy accepting a one year, 20 mil deal when so much retooling is needed elsewhere.

Glevin - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#446402) #
I think my biggest criticism of this front office is that they seem too tied to process and too risk averse. That's fine if things are going great but when they're not, you need to take chances. For example, I thought this off season would have been a fantastic time to trade Romano to try to bolster offense somewhere. Sure there's a risk but with all moves there's a risk. I just can't imagine this front office doing something like that though.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#446403) #
From Will Leitch at on Blue Jays current standing:

"Itís possible weíd be thinking a little differently about whatís happening with the Blue Jays right now if they had won a World Series -- or even a playoff series -- while posting MLBís sixth-best record and making three postseason appearances from 2020-23. But they didnít. Thus, the Blue Jays have that ominous air of underachievers, a team that was built around young players who were supposed to lead them to the promised land but just have never gotten them there.

The rest of the AL East hasnít waited around for them to figure it out, and now the Orioles are the team we thought the Blue Jays would be, the Yankees have woken up, the Rays are chugging along and the Red Sox have more going on than anyone could have rightly expected. All that equals last place for the Blue Jays, an extremely perilous place for them to be; itís one thing to fall short in the postseason, itís quite another to finish in last place. If the Blue Jays have another losing month, if they fall even farther than the 10 1/2 games theyíre currently out of first, you would have to wonder if the window is shutting on this particular era in Toronto. With both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette set to reach free agency after the 2025 season, Blue Jays fans are running out of patience. Itís difficult to blame them."
bpoz - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#446404) #
IMO posters here are complaining because the team is losing. Losing is very stressful for fans and Bauxites.

However I agree with most of the analysis about why the team is losing. 2 obvious reasons to me is that the team does not score enough runs (pathetic). The other reason is that some not yet ready relievers (injury) were rushed back and used. I don't know who to blame for that but there is blame for sure.

As far as "waves of prospects" helping I am unsure of that. Kirk and Pearson arrived in 2020, Manoah in 2021, Moreno 2022 but traded before the 2023 season, Schneider 2023. So far in 2024 just Barger.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#446405) #
"Now it's time to realize that Atkins has failed in his theorized goal of having waves of prospects. Good in theory."

there is nothing "good" about that "goal" or "theory".

Every GM in sports has that goal. Every single one. It's one of the most important part of their job description.

If a GM is talking about it as if this is something unique or novel, then you should immediately be worried about his ability to run a team.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#446406) #

The Blue Jays have 0 home runs from the cleanup spot this year.

I asked Eric Nehs, our outstanding @MLBNetwork Researcher, for some context. Here it is.

This is the longest cleanup HR drought to begin an @MLB season since the 1997 Astros (60 games).

The 47-game drought fromÖ

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 22, 2024
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#446408) #

Perhaps you and I read the term differently. When I read 'waves of prospects," in the context it was given I likened it to the best farm systems in baseball like the Dodgers and Rays and Guardians who seem to have waves of great prospects always coming up their system no matter where they finish or draft. That's not a standard for a front office. This is what the FO promised and it looked good to start with Bo Bichette being one of their first picks early in the tenure.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#446409) #
Every single GM wants to have one of the best prospect systems!!!

85bluejay - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#446410) #
This team seems to be going nowhere and over 2/3 of the roster are potential free agents by the end of 2025 - I'd be in support of an aggressive selloff, targeting upside prospects even if they are in the lower levels and promoting the upper level prospects to the show and let them get some ML experience even with most likely to struggle.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#446413) #
According to Dave Perkins (who is actually connected) the Jays FO offered Bo Bichette for Bobby Witt and were laughed at.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#446417) #
Regarding the point about trading Romano, I think itís been a fundamental flaw with this front office since day 1. They are so risk averse that they almost never sell high on big league talent even when doing so could have helped compensate for their weakness in drafting/developing talent. They could have traded Romano prior to this season. Or Bichette. Or any number of players that would have given them an opportunity to sell at a position of strength, stock up some of the farm system, and use saved money to fill other holes. Thatís not how they operate. They sell almost always at a position of weakness or desperation, which limits trade returns, and they are not good enough from a development standpoint to make up for it.

The ďwaves of talentĒ line made sense in 2016-17 (whenever it was said) because the team was coming off a 1.5 year window of contention. They absolutely needed to go in that direction to ensure that their next competitive window was longer. I guess in reality it was longer by a season (2021-23 vs 2015-16) but no where near as successful or memorable. Theyíve built almost entirely through free agency and canít develop talent internally. Itís the exact opposite of what was preached 7 years ago. Sneaking into the third Wild Card should not be the goal this season. It should be reevaluating the front office and finding better people to run the org.
Ducey - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#446418) #
The fact they are shopping Bo and asking for a lot is good. The fact they are looking for MLB players scares me.

My biggest fear is that the front office will try and salvage this season by trading what prospects they have to just try and make the playoffs.

Bo for two very good prospects would be just fine. Even if they are a year or three off.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#446419) #
This team is very frustrating but there is still a good chance that they'll compete for a WC spot. I expect the team to stay the course this year unless they're out of contention (or far out on the fringes of contention).

Last year, watching the Blue Jays during the regular season was like pulling teeth, but they still made the postseason.
Ducey - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#446420) #
The Jays are 3.5 out of the wildcard, but would need to climb over 6 teams (including BOS, TB, HOU, MIN, and TEX) to get in.

Trying for that instead of getting something for KK, Kikuchi, Jansen and Garcia would be a grave mistake.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#446421) #
You aren't getting much of anything for those 4 guys. Outside of Cleveland, is there a serious contender that would even want Jansen? Extend him.
Ducey - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#446424) #
Here is fangraphs summary of the 2023 trade deadline.

"The market for pitching of all types was scalding hot this week. Most of the best prospects who moved were shipped out in exchange for pitching, including plenty of rentals. Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lůpez have been just okay this year, and they merited a 50 FV prospect plus more. Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton fetched a similar return. Noted old men Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer got the Mets both quality and quantity in return. Even rental relievers like Jordan Hicks and David Robertson brought back exciting prospects."

Kikuchi, Garcia and Richards should net the Jays a decent return. And its better than nothing.
jerjapan - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#446425) #
Agreed Ducey.  KK and Garcia are exactly the sort of guys that get overpaid for.  Richards is kind of awesome and has more value to us than others, perhaps?  If he keeps on striking everyone out, I can see a team wanting to add his changeup, and the length he provides. 

Lots of guys coming off the books next year have value, but I don't see the club being that bold.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#446426) #
Trading Gausman might be the power move if you want to get a legit elite-upside young asset back. And trading him just before he enters his mid-30s might be the smart move too, even if his deal is likely to be a good value the next 2yrs.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#446427) #
The nothing you refer to Ducey is contending for a playoff spot, from which anything, including a World Series championship, can happen. The other part of that nothing could be Kikuchi back on a one-year deal or a compensatory pick.

3.5 games is nothing, the Jays will not be selling from there. And nor should they.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#446428) #
Power Statement Trades to Stay In It To Win It
1) Alek Manoah and prospects out for high OPS bat with power (controllable)
2) Jordan Romano out for added offense at 3B, 2B or CF
3) George Springer and prospects out for a bag of balls

These trades all shake up the roster while still going for it.

Rebuild/Resetting Trades if they fall out of contention in next 10 days
1) Bo Bichette to LAD for two top prospects similar to Rays return for Glasnow
2) Vlad Guerrero Jr to NYM for Pete Alonso and prospects
3) Vlad Guerrero Jr and salary relief to Padres for Fernando Tatis

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#446429) #
My philosophy on the importance of making the playoffs has changed, as the playoffs have become a longer slog.  The object, in my view, is to win a World Series and the hard part is going from making the playoffs (which is relatively easy) to winning it all (which is relatively hard).  . So, Fangraphs has the Blue Jays odds of making the playoffs at 18% and their odds of winning it all at 1%.  BBRef has their chance of making the playoffs at 7% and their odds of winning it all at .3%. 

At this point, they look like a crappy club- not only because they are 21-26 but because they are being outscored by such a large margin.  I don't think they are quite as bad as they look and the odds of them winning it all ought to be a little higher.  Maybe 1.5-2%.  Still, they are on the cusp of irrelevance.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#446430) #
For any trade to allow the Jays to stay in contention you need to have someone ready to step into the hole created by the guy traded since odds are they won't get a ML ready prospect for the same position. I do get a good laugh out of asking for Witt for Bo - good on the Jays for going for it, but unless KC is run by fools that wasn't going to happen. Now, the Angels on the other hand might be tricked that easily (see their recent history).

Could the Angels be talked into a deal where we get Zach Neto (104 OPS+ at SS, age 23, 5 more years of control after this year)? I'd hope for that teams sake they aren't dumb enough to do that, but history says they are. Jo Adell in RF is nice so far in 2024 too (former top 10 prospect in MLB), but has had troubles in the recent past. So those 2 for Bo I'd take in a second, but the Angels would be extremely dumb to do it, but given their love of names and desperate need for attention we might even be able to dump Springer on them. I see them as the little brother who is worse than his big brother in everything thus does anything for attention. Given they are in last place their goal should be selling off vets, not prospects. But given their market they need to make splashes like the Mets always do.
lexomatic - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#446431) #
Re the woman hit with the liner. At one of thr just games at the ex, I got cheap seats behind 3b ( surprisingly easy) and in the 7tj my friend and I moved I to thr vacant front rows. I forgot my glove, and spent a ton of time ducking behind my program. No fouls near us.
Hodgie - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#446432) #
Completely off-topic but just saw this graphic and had to share. My wife and I saw Miller pitch in Yankee Stadium the day the fan got Boone ejected by Wendlestadt - that alone was great entertainment. Watching Miller make the heart of the Yankees order look silly, even better.

Nigel - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#446433) #
The idea of "going all in" with an "all in" trade now makes zero sense. If you were so inclined that should have happened in the off season before you had the data from the first 47 games of this season. In December, cashing in prospect chips to materially add to this roster was a viable option based upon the data in December (not sure it was the best choice but it wouldn't have been a crazy choice). To go "all in" now you'd have to believe that the first 47 games are grossly underestimating the true talent of this team. Even if you believed that (which you shouldn't) you can't ignore what's already happened and that they are behind the 8-ball to make the playoffs (its not impossible - just challenging). But the reality is that the run differential tells you most of what you need to know about this team. It isn't a good team - it will likely get better because some of the players with an established track record of performance are likely to be better. But mediocre or slightly above mediocre is the high water mark for this roster. Having said that, there is also zero chance of a tear down so, sit back and relax because what you see is what you get until the offseason (more or less). The FO chose to do absolutely nothing material in the offseason and they sure won't do something now and probably shouldn't.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#446434) #
Also, you have to keep in mind the overriding goal for this front office: keep the floor high enough to compete most years, thereby attracting a large number of fans/viewers for revenue purposes. Being cautious is probably a deliberately-chosen means to this end. (If the front office can also field a 100-win team and go to the World Series along the way, great.)

The vision of excellent facilities, an abundant farm system, and judicious FA signings and trades to build out the roster, is a good one. Unfortunately things havenít gone according to plan over the last couple of years.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#446435) #
It's gut wrenching when you see that its IKF's spot in the line-up with men on base.
soupman - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#446436) #
are we sure vlad is actually a jr? because it sure looks a lot like 'VladyIII' out there with the glove.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#446437) #
I agree that the Blue Jays are a very flawed team, but they are unusual in that they have a deep starting rotation that seems to put up a strong start most nights. And the bullpen should get better with the return of Green, Yariel, and Francis, and hopefully some improved performance from Swanson and Mayza. For this reason, I think they could still snag a postseason spot, maybe with 86-88 wins.

Glevin - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#446438) #
Save some runs for another night guys.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#446439) #
Watching the AZ-LAD game on television, I noticed that the backdrop behind home plate during the broadcast is more appealing than the glaring advertisement banner during Blue Jays broadcasts. Sportsnet should do something about thatóit makes it unpleasant to watch Blue Jays games.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#446440) #
Funny, no mention of the home run jacket's return - not a fan of the giant Jays logo on the back, and the Canadian flag on the arms, but glad it is back. It seemed to be something that the guys had fun with and since it vanished the offense has dropped. Doubt it is more than coincidence, but why not try anything to get stuff going? John Schneider sounded like he isn't a fan of it at all, which is unfortunate and might help explain why we see so many guys with their own coaches instead of working with what the Jays have. Gets me wondering if there is a clubhouse problem between players and coaches. If I was in the media I'd be keeping a close eye on coaches interactions with players and see if some guys are avoiding certain coaches.

Eh, I'm reading waaaay too much into stuff. Bottom line - today was a fun game and the Jays FINALLY win a series while the Orioles got swept at long last. Sign of good things to come in June? Lets hope!
uglyone - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 01:54 AM EDT (#446441) #
It's so silly that they actually made a thing about ditching the homerun jacket. Embarrassing even.
scottt - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#446442) #
The Jacket came up under Montoyo and was ditched under Schneider.
Schneider was pretty evasive about it. Said something like it was either that or a bathrobe.

I don't what's with Clement and his throws. Even the last one to end the game wasn't great.

Davis Schneider is providing the same type of offense as Teoscar used to.
It's Springer who has to hit the bench to give Biggio some ABs.
That's improvement.

greenfrog - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#446443) #
If this is the last season before a retooling or rebuilding phase begins for the Blue Jays, I think the team is going to seriously regret not trading Tiedemann and a few other prospects for Soto. Soto is on pace for about 9 fWAR (8 bWAR) and would significantly help the team's chances of making and advancing in the postseason.

This is speculative of course. I don't know if the Blue Jays were serious bidders for him (one commentator at the time said Toronto was initially the frontrunner, but that could have been incorrect information).
bpoz - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#446444) #
As a few posters have mentioned "if you get into the playoffs then you can win the WS". Getting to the WS is also a nice thing because it means you had a nice playoff run.

Examples: Atlanta & Washington winning a WS. Philadelphia & Arizona getting to the WS. Texas won last year as the 1WC. Tied with Houston at 90 wins. Jays made it with 89 wins and Seattle did not with 88 wins. In 2021, 92 wins got both Boston & NYY the 2 WC spots. Jays 91 wins and Seattle 90 wins did not get in. In conclusion 2023 & 21 were very close races which would generate a lot of revenue. The all important bottom line. I expect this type of situation to happen a lot going forward.
James W - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#446445) #
Re: the ugly advertisement banner and "Sportsnet should do something about it" -- Sportsnet is doing exactly what it's being paid to do. They don't give a ... hoot how ugly it looks.
Glevin - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#446446) #
"Watching the AZ-LAD game on television, I noticed that the backdrop behind home plate during the broadcast is more appealing than the glaring advertisement banner during Blue Jays broadcasts. Sportsnet should do something about thatóit makes it unpleasant to watch Blue Jays games. "

I find watching games at Rogers Centre almost unwatchable. There are ads as sailing you from every inch of the screen. Do we really need to stuff an extra picture of a car in the battery's eye? Yes, yes we do.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#446447) #
Hoot.  I love it. 

Mystery of the day.  Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and extra-base hits.  Guerrero Jr. is hitting the ball hard, but has only 4 home runs and 7 doubles (on pace for 21 doubles and 12 homers in 630 PAs).  How is this happening?  His BABIP is a healthy .338, so it's not a case of hitting line drives that are caught routinely.  His HR/FB rate is under 10%, which is strangely low, but you would think that this would mean more balls off the wall and more doubles, but that's not happening.  So what is the deal? 

I don't have a complete answer, but one factor may be this- Guerrero's acceleration out of the box and his baserunning judgment.  His speed at full throttle is now actually average- 27.3 ft/sec.  But, as the link attests, he's extremely slow out of the box.  And he's been, over the years, thrown out a lot at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.  He may need more help from a first base coach than most players on the ball up the gap that may or may not be cut off by the outfielder. 

I am pretty sure that there is a lot more to it than this.  Thoughts?
Mike Green - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#446448) #
Do we really need to stuff an extra picture of a car in the battery's eye?

Autocorrect at it's finest.  The brave new world of AI is upon us, and I am sure it will be great. 
Mike Green - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#446449) #
"its finest". Apologies to Strunk and White. 
Ducey - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#446450) #
"I find watching games at Rogers Centre almost unwatchable"

I will be venturing out from the Prairies to watch a few games in July. Any suggestions for where in the building I should sit? Normally I would just focus on behind one of the dugouts (like 25 rows up). But when I am watching on TV they are always promoting areas and sections. With all these new fancy areas, its a bit confusing. Any suggestions?
dalimon5 - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#446451) #
125 behind Home plate. Its the same price as behind the dugout and you can judge balls and strikes. You get shade coverage starting row 8 of section 125.
Hodgie - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#446452) #
@Ducey depends on what you are looking for in the experience. When we make our annual trip east, we try to pick different seat locations for every game to get a different perspective. For example, watching the NY Yankees linebackers/outfield crew of 2022 (Judge, Stanton, and Gallo) up close and personal from the outfield seats for one game was a lot of fun.
92-93 - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#446453) #
Matt Chapman leads MLB 3B in WAR. Marcus Semien is 0.1 behind the leader at 2B.
soupman - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#446454) #
His lack of speed out of the box is because he watches the ball and decides if itís worth running. This org has shown they donít know how to get through to him so in donít think itís a matter of first base coaching at all. He runs through the third base stop sign anyway. Iím glad theyíre at least talking about moving him because itís awful to watch talent squandered.
uglyone - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#446455) #
Matt Chapman (31)

* Career (24-31): 118wrc+, 4.6war/650pa
* w/OAK (24-28): 120wrc+, 5.2war/650pa
* w/TOR (29-30): 114wrc+, 3.7war/650pa
* w/SFG (31-31): 113wrc+, 3.8war/650pa
Magpie - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#446456) #
He runs through the third base stop sign anyway.

And so far this year, he's been thrown out at home... uh, zero times.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#446457) #
Yep. The message to VGJ ought to be that you're doing a lot of things much better lately, and some homers will come, but in the meantime, we want to give you all the help we can so that more balls in the gap are doubles. He should be a 40-50 doubles guy.
John Northey - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#446458) #
92-93 - is that bWAR? fWAR has Chapman at #9 for 3B at 1.2 fWAR, well back of #1 Alec Bohm of Philly at 2.4. IKF is at 0.5 in part time play, Clement 0.4. So far Chapman has been better than the 2 guys we have splitting 3B but not by as much as most would've expected. He is now at 113 for wRC+ (245/311/426) which is nice but not 'WOW'. A big plus for Chapman is his going 5-0 on SB-CS which I can't see continuing.

Semien is #2 at 2B behind Betts (3.1 to 2.2 in fWAR) and I'll admit I was wrong about him - felt the Jays were right to not chase him like Texas did back after 2021. If he was resigned who knows how different things would be today.
92-93 - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#446459) #
Yes, it's Baseball-Reference's WAR, which uses the widely-accepted DRS. Chapman looks comfortable at the plate and had some nice contact against Pirates stud Paul Skenes today.

Betts is the Dodgers' starting SS (until Bo?).
Ryan Day - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#446466) #
Matt Chapman is doing his Matt Chapman thing: 651 OPS in April, 871 so far in May - currently on one of his MVP-calibre streaks, hitting 366/469/732 over the last two weeks.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#446467) #
Ohtani, Yamamoto, Soto, Chapman, Bellinger, Pederson...the Blue Jays really missed out on all the impact players they targeted last off-season. Instead they ended up with Kiermaier, Turner, IKF, Rodriguez (total fWAR from those four players so far this year: 0.9).
christaylor - Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#446473) #
Did the Jays target Chapman? I may be misremembering but I thought it was mentioned he wanted off the turf, no? I mean enough money will solve that issue probably, but I think most of us were fine with waving goodbye to him.

Ohtani was the off-season for the FO. I believe they did their best and the plan of running it back was understandably. I heard less about Soto but the type of package the Padres got was not something the Jays could have easily done.

This window has been what it has been. Not heartbreaking merely disappointing. It was easy to dream on Bo and Vlad for years. I hope they have success when the go to other orgs, but it seems unlikely they'll make their careers with the Jays.
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