Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The Jays begin a seven game homestand with three against the Bucs.

The Blue Jays have played very well against Pittsburgh over the years, and are currently riding an eight game winning streak against the Pirates; the Jays swept in Pittsburgh last year, in Toronto the year before, and took the last two of a three game set here in 2017. Granted, the Pirates have mostly been fielding pretty bad teams since well before the era of interleague ball even began. It's been more than 30 years since Barry Bonds lit out for the coast, and Pittsburgh has managed to play better than .500 ball in just four of those seasons (2013-15, 2018).

You've probably heard that Isiah Kiner-Falefa is related, on his mother's side of the family, to the great Pirates Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner - they are second cousins, twice removed. I have generally found it easier to come to grips with quantum mechanics than family geneologies, but this apparently means their great-grandparents were cousins? Ralph Kiner was a fearsome slugger (led the NL in homers seven consecutive seasons) for the terrible Pittsburgh teams of the late 1940s, and lived a long, long post-playing career life in the Mets broadcast booth. His second cousin (twice removed) is a somewhat light hitting infielder who, as far as I can tell,  has yet to smile this season. Not even once. I think he's capable - he's positively beaming in the Jays Media Guide. Then again, I'm told you can do anything with PhotoShop.

And then, approximately one hour after writing that sentence, I was scrolling through Instagram in search of hot supermodels. As one does. And the Blue Jays had just posted ten pictures of various players modelling the new City Connect uniforms, and this was the last one.

The Pirates have yet to figure out who's pitching this weekend. They have two starters - Martin Perez and Marco Gonzalez - on the IL. Perez' turn would have come up on Sunday, and tonight should be Bailey Falter's turn, but the Pirates are uncommitted at the moment. 

Late breaking news - stop the press! - it will indeed be Falter getting tonight's start.


Fri 31 May - Berrios (5-4, 2.94) vs Falter (3-2, 3.55)
Sat 1 June - Kikuchi (2-4, 3.25) vs Keller (6-3, 3.59)
Sun 2 June - Bassitt (5-6, 4.03) vs ???
Pirates at Blue Jays, May 31-June 2 | 113 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#446788) #
That's cool Magpie, I did not know that.

“Fourth cousin. I have all the paperwork. I tell people, but I’m brown (skinned) and they look at me like, ‘You’re lying!’ I’m Polynesian, too, so they’re like, ‘No chance’. I’ve stopped trying to convince people, but my grandpa is from Kansas. He’s full white. Ralph Kiner is from New Mexico. Full white. They were cousins.”

The Pirates stink and their two best starters are off this series, so the Jays should at least creep one game closer to .500.
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#446789) #
I'd like to see Justin Turner "twice removed" this series
Magpie - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#446791) #
Yeah, Turner is a tricky question at the moment. He's in what is, by far, the worst slump of his major league career. And any time such a thing happens to a 39 year old, one suspects that it's not just a slump - it's the end. But he did hit .298/.376/.511 this past April, which wasn't all that long ago. Players don't normally go over the cliff just because we flipped one page on the calendar. Although I have actually seen it happen.
soupman - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#446792) #
to be fair, that's a very forced smile.
Joe - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#446793) #
Scott Mitchell on Twitter:
Per sources, Alek Manoah is going for a second opinion on his right elbow.

I’m told the expectation at this point is that he’s likely going to miss an extended period of time.

Magpie - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#446794) #
You're probably not looking for a second opinion if you liked the first one.
SK in NJ - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#446795) #
The only thing worse than being a bad expensive team is being a bad old expensive team. I think calling up Horowitz to platoon at DH with Turner, and either Barger (to play OF) or Martinez (to play 2B with Schneider moving to LF) is the way to go moving forward, both for improving the team and also maybe giving them a glimmer of hope for the future with some controlled young talent. Turner can still have some use as a veteran who crushes LHP, but replacing Kiermaier, Vogelbach, and Biggio on the roster with Horowitz, Barger, and Martinez/Jimenez is long overdue, IMO.

Everything Atkins has done since the off-season has given me absolutely no sense of a clear direction. Plugging in old 1 WAR talent at positions of need and letting 26 year old's rot in AAA despite performing well seems completely counter productive to what their goal was supposed to be ("waves of talent"). Time to use Buffalo talent at the big league level and sink or swim with them.
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#446796) #
I'm not sure Turner is done, but he is not having competitive at bats. There is no reason he cant revert to hitting vs LHP for a while.

Meanwhile they have Vogelbach sitting on the bench who they brought in to hit RHP, and he seems to be having more competitive at bats. Give him a few weeks of the majority of the playing time and see if he can add some value. If not, fire him into the sun (will need the extra heavy catapult) and bring up Horwitz and do the same.

Its strange to me that they dont have Turner and Vogey playing more as a platoon. And they could be pinch run for a lot more. They really could have all 4 of Biggio, Clement, Vogey and Turner churning thru that position regularly, often two or three of them in the same game.
Eephus - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#446797) #
I'd like to see Justin Turner "twice removed" this series

Is it weird that I saw the term "twice removed" and instantly thought of the Sloan album? Which is a great, great album.

I think Turner has earned a bit of rope, but he is going to have to turn it around soon. If it's mid June and this is still happening...

Probably good for the Jays, but not good for my viewing interest that they're missing Skenes.
Mike Green - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#446798) #
Tonight's game would be ideal for a Kirk C, Jansen DH game. It's after an off-day so no worry about wearing out Jansen with too many games in a row. Facing a lefty so they both have the platoon advantage. And there's a day game tomorrow so Jansen can catch that one comfortably if he had DHed today.
Magpie - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#446799) #
Is it weird that I saw the term "twice removed" and instantly thought of the Sloan album?

As a somewhat Older Dude, I found myself thinking of Robin Trower's solo debut.
John Northey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#446800) #
I'm reading on Twitter that Manoah might be gone for 1/3+ of the season minimum. So sad as he seemed to be righting the ship more or less and now the boat has sunk. Sigh. If he comes back for September it could be a good shot in the arm for the Jays at a time they might need it, but right now we need stability in the rotation. Hopefully Francis is ready and able - he has had 4 minor league appearances on rehab - 2 to 3 2/3 IP each time, 10 1/3 overall, 6 H 4 R 2 ER 2 BB 11 SO looks good in a league where giving up 4 runs a game is pitching well. 55 pitches the last game (May 28th). Ideally he'd have 1 or 2 more starts but the Jays need him now so he'll probably come up with Richards ready to eat 2-3 innings as well. Fingers crossed.
John Northey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#446801) #
via Mike Wilner on BlueSky - #Bluejays announce they’ve acquired RHP Ryan Burr for cash from #Phillies. He will be active tonight, with Alek Manoah placed on the 15-day IL and Joel Kuhnel being DFA’d. Burr had a 1.14 WHIP in 16.2 AAA ip this year, with 29 Ks. Hasn’t pitched in #MLB since 2022.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#446802) #
Cincinnati Santiago Espinal delivers a pinch-hit 2-run homer in the 7th inning at Wrigley Field and the Reds take the lead 4 - 3 over the Cubs.
soupman - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#446803) #
does anyone have the scouting report on burr? the k/9 numbers look tantalizing, i'm assuming this guy throws gas with questionable command and the phils aren't confident he's all of a sudden found some.
92-93 - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#446804) #
Turner is still hitting lefties though in his small sample size. They can't bail on FA signings in May.

They can DH Jansen vs. the righty tomorrow if they really want to get him in the lineup on his day off from catching.
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#446805) #
"does anyone have the scouting report on burr?"

I hear he comes in cold.

Actually, apparently he had on out clause in his minor league deal that he could become a FA by June 1 if not added to the 40 man.

He is 16.2 IP 14 H 5BB 29 KO. So control doesnt look to be an issue. Supposedly he has a good cutter.
soupman - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#446806) #
sounds like someone is writing a hall of names entry.
scottt - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#446807) #
It looks like the other way around. Burr throws a 95mph 4-seamer and an 88mph cutter, almost exclusively. He's been striking out a third of batters he sees and has only walked 5 for a very healthy K/BB ratio.

The Phillies don't have any relievers that they can optioned and the guy isn't on their 40 and he's not young or anything.

scottt - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#446808) #
Turner facing a lefty is fine. I don't like playing KK instead of Varsho, but there might be something I don't know.

The Pirates have a record similar to the Jays, but missing the good pitchers will theoretically help.
They don't have a lot of good left bats, so they gave a shot to Tellez and he hasn't been good. 

I don't think they should be using Jansen at DH and I don't like Schneider hitting without gloves either.
Maybe it's a ploy to see more pitches inside?

John Northey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#446809) #
Odds are low that he'll be anything of note, but Burr has jumped this year after showing an improvement last year in Tampa's system. He was a minor league free agent so probably went to whoever had the best offer/opportunity. If he improved his cutter so it is a killer now instead of 'just' a secondary pitch he could be very useful for a year or two. If not, no big loss.
Chuck - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#446810) #
Burr is positively lethal in pitchers' duels.
greenfrog - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#446811) #
Justin Turner avg exit velocity:

2024: 27th percentile
2023: 55th percentile
2022: 61st percentile
2021: 79th percentile
2020: 75th percentile

So he's not hitting the ball nearly as hard as he used to. That might be OK if you're Luis Arraez, but not if you're Justin Turner.
greenfrog - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#446812) #
Looked like Clement might have been safe at second. Surprised the Blue Jays didn’t challenge the call.
jerjapan - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#446813) #
Speaking of names, Soupman, yours is the one that always makes me wonder the most.

Or maybe uglyone.
greenfrog - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#446814) #
Hopefully this isn’t another “tip your cap to the opposing pitcher” games (of which there have been many this year).
greenfrog - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#446816) #
Another excellent outing from Berrios.
Chuck - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#446817) #
This broadcast has seemed like little more than an infomercial for all the crap they’re hawking.
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#446818) #
Hmm. Pinch hitting w Vogelbach might even work, eh?
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#446820) #
Nice inning by Nate!
Eephus - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#446821) #
If you could win a game -1 to 0 I think we’d really have something here.
Eephus - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#446822) #
Sucks that it scored a run, but that was a helluva catch by George.
Eephus - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#446823) #
And a big hit! Beautiful night for baseball, let’s play 12.
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#446824) #
Or 13
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#446825) #
Génesis Cabrera!
Magpie - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#446826) #
I agree with the theory of the move - Mayza pitches to contact, he's never the guy I want when the runners are already on base - but Cabrera hasn't been striking out anybody so far this season. (A weird affliction making its way through the bullpen.)

Hey, theory rules.
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#446827) #
Ugh.Cavan needs to protect w 2 strikes. He was likely right but you cant trust the umpire
Ducey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#446828) #
bpoz - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#446829) #
Jays win.
Mike Green - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#446830) #
I'm not sure that Schneider has done that before- taking a pitch up and away out to right-center field. He probably has hit one off the wall.

In any case, huzzah.
electric carrot - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#446831) #
Nice hit Ned Flanders. Whoop!

"I saw the term "twice removed" and instantly thought of the Sloan album? Which is a great, great album."

My fave line from that album is "it's not the band I hate it's their fans." I quoted that just yesterday when walking past a guy with a Blue Jays jersey on.
greenfrog - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#446832) #
Davis is a very smart and composed ballplayer. As Caleb pointed out, despite being mostly a pull hitter, Schneider intelligently decided to hunt an outside pitch in that PA.

Some very good performances by some of his teammates as well.
John Northey - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#446833) #
Crazy game - was at the movies with my kid - Mad Max Furiosa - and was surprised the game was still going when I got home. Watched 12-14th innings with her (she plays softball so is really into it). She hates the mustache but forgives him as long as Schneider keeps cranking them.
uglyone - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#446834) #
Good first live game of the year. Maybe the last live game of the year, maybe not.

And you're all very welcome for that wave.
soupman - Friday, May 31 2024 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#446835) #
What's with Pearson leaving the breaking ball up in the zone? I've noticed it the last few weeks - but maybe he's been doing this longer? It nearly cost him today if not for Springer's web gem. Even when it wrong-foots a guy sitting heat...he seems to do it frequently enough that the scouts surely are aware that he's using this tactic a bit too often.
scottt - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#446836) #
The Pirates got 6 hits off Berrios who was really good and allowed only `1 run in 7 innings, but the pen no-hit them for 7 innings. Falter is a guy who pitches to weak contact. He struck out 5 Jays which is high for him. He typically go 6 or 7 innings but the Pirates seem to pull him after 80 pitches most of the time.

Springer looked decent. 1 for 3, 2 walks, a beautiful HBP.
Schneider did damage but it was otherwise an ugly night. 1 for 6, a painful HBP.

To pinch hit IKF with Vogelbach worked, almost by magic, but Biggio went 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts.
With runners in scoring position, you have to protect the plate.

I like KK's bunt. I hated that they made Clement bunt. I would only do that to set up a contact play with KK who unlike Clement does not make a lot of contact.

Jansen 0 for 4 with 2K. Made some amazing blocks. Totally needs a day off now.
There were a lot of great defensive plays, almost all on the Jays side.
Guerrero 0 for 5 with a walk.
Bichette 0 for 5 with a walk.
Turner 1 for 5 with a walk. Nice double though.

Should start Vogelbach tomorrow.

If the red uniforms are bad luck those ones seem to be OK.

Varsho and Romano were not available following an offday.

Ducey - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#446837) #
Romano is dealing w a sore elbow.
scottt - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#446839) #
The best part was still when Joseph took a selfie with his new buddy, Bautista (Joseph was the catcher when Bats when feuding with the O's pitching staff) and said he's sending it to Darren O'Day.

After the game, Joseph said that Schneider was a smart hitter who prepared himself to go the other way.
The truth is that Matt Hague went to him before his AB and told him he's been late all day and that guy throws 98. So he started it early and he was still a bit late. Starting it early is the skill that made up Bautista.

greenfrog - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#446840) #
Where would the Blue Jays be right now had they signed Pederson instead of Turner?

JT: .217/.305/.349 (-0.3 WAR)

Pederson: .308/.406/.546 (1.4 WAR)

Maybe a couple of wins better. Their contracts are almost identical: 1/$13m and 1/$12.5m.

The Blue Jays reportedly tried to sign Pederson before Arizona acquired him.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#446841) #
If AZ continues to fall off the pace, maybe Pederson will be available at the trade deadline. He might be a good addition for the Blue Jays: an experienced middle-of-the-order LHB for the stretch run and (potentially) the postseason. And the cost likely wouldn't be prohibitive.
Magpie - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#446842) #
I like KK's bunt. I hated that they made Clement bunt.

I didn't - I preferred it the other way around. I liked that Kiermaier actually got the job done. Still, he had the platoon advantage, and a hitter behind him having a bad night. At the moment.
scottt - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#446845) #
Clement does not strike out and hits the ball in the air. He's not particularly good at bunting.
KK strikes out a ton and can leg out a hit on a bunt because he runs fast.

KK bunting sets up Schneider to win it with a sac fly.
Clement bunting brings the runner to third with 1 out and the 9th hitter at the plate.
Not going to win many games like that.

KK strikes out about a third of the time. Clement about 8%.

Varsho was out with food poisoning and couldn't keep anything down.

Magpie - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#446846) #
Romano to the IL with elbow inflammation, Brendon Little recalled.
lexomatic - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#446848) #
Romano to the IL with elbow inflammation, Brendon Little recalled.
How worried are we about a mid 2025 return for Romano?
dalimon5 - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#446850) #
He's been MIA all season with an ERA north of 6.00 in between his two IL visits. Lots of help in AAA available down the stretch. Whoever advocated for trading Romano in the off season had a good pulse.
Magpie - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#446851) #
It somehow seems odd to me, but Romano is older than Jose Berrios.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#446852) #
Yes. Berrios has always been very mature, came up at age 22 and was very good beginning the following year. Romano has always been boyish in a nice way, and had a shot as a starter which didn't work out before moving to the pen and adding a couple of clicks to his fastball. Romano was 27 before he put it all together.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#446853) #
I wondered about Biggio vs. Kiermaier in the lineup.  Since the beginning of last year, Biggio has been a little better than Kiermaier with the bat (100 to 97 wRC+, but Kiermaier has been significantly better on the bases, leading to a small advantage offensively).  Kiermaier is, of course, much better defensively.  And then you have the Schneider in left vs. Schneider at second base issue- as I have said, I am of the view that he is noticeably better at second base and indeed a little better than Biggio at this point as the limited data would suggest. 

I would have Kiermaier in the lineup and give Biggio a day at second base when Schneider needs a rest. 
Ducey - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#446854) #
Another terrible umpire
JohnL - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#446855) #
“Another terrible umpire.”

Might be just auditioning for the Angel Hernandez position. Everybody wants to be a legend.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#446856) #
Nice debut for Burr.
scottt - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#446857) #
Schneider doesn't need rest but I would sit Bichette and play Clement whenever he starts a new hitless streak.  Varsho hit a triple in the first and they basically walk Guerrero on purpose to get Bichette to the plate. They need a clean up hitter that pitchers don't want to face with the bases loaded.
scottt - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#446858) #
Pretty much what we expected. His statcast cutter looks like a good slider. Didn't really throw high fastballs. More like aiming for the corners.
Ducey - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#446859) #
Jays 5 back of wild card.

This month they have 1 more vs pirates, and 3 vs A's.

Also 4 v Orioles, 6 v Guardians, 6 v Red Sox, 3 v Brewers, and 4 vs Yankees.

Likely will be out of it by the end of the month.
John Northey - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#446860) #
Yeah, by July 1st we should have a clear indication of this team. If they are still within 5 games they have a shot, closer than that they should be buying, further out selling, 10+ out fire sale.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, June 01 2024 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#446862) #
Just bought tickets for the family + MIL for Friday night in Oakland. Last series for the Jays in Oakland (ever?). Hopefully the fireworks afterwards aren't the best part of the night..
bpoz - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#446867) #
The game has changed since the 1980s. C Fielder hit 30 HR in 600ABs over 3 seasons. D Schneider has 15 HR in 271 ABs so far. A comparison of sorts.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#446868) #
The Pirates are likely to recall Quinn Priester for today's start. He's 0-4 with a 4.33 ERA with the Pirates AAA club. They currently have 14 position players, so someone will have to go and it's not going to be Ke'Bryan Hayes, so maybe Tellez or Triolo.
Cracka - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#446869) #
Vlad is starting at 3B today for the first time in nearly 5 years, Turner at 1B, and Vogelbach at DH. Turner actually started at 3B twice in April, but not today. Very interesting!
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#446871) #
Wow I am genuinely shocked with this development. It makes all the sense in the world and can completely transform this line up and the player. Wow wow wow huge thumbs up from me. Hopefully this isn't to showcase him to other teams as a possible 3B.

IKF, Schneider and Varsho splitting 2B and LF would be nice too. Start sitting Bo once a week too.

Mike Green - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#446872) #
Needless to say, I don't think much of a lineup with Turner and Vogelbach in it and Guerrero Jr. at third base. My question: what combination of unexpected unavailability of players due to injury, illness, or whatever, makes this lineup a reasonable one? A viral illness after a night out on Saturday makes the other possible players unavailable until 3pm? A massive car pool failure?
krose - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#446873) #
Today’s lineup reeks of desperation. Hopefully we will see some help coming from AAA soon. Preparing for some bigger changes?
krose - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#446874) #
Day after day the Jays have difficulty scoring runs. Day after day the Bison’s lineup continues to score. Is it risk aversion that prevents taking a chance on AAA players? Or is it just dumb stubbornness.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#446875) #
Nothing wrong with Clement, Kiermaier and Biggio.

1. Jansen .906
2. Schneider .804
3. Vlad .796
4. Varsho .736
5. IKF .715
6. Turner  .654
7. Vogelbach .640
8. Bichette .638

I think it's good that they ignored
9. Biggio .614
11. Springer .604

Well, It seems like they think Vladdy is better at third than Turner. Guerrero has more range and better arm strength.
Nigel - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#446876) #
This is the consequence of a set of muddled off season moves. They leaned in to prioritizing defense/run prevention in signing IKF and KK and yet somehow managed to stack the roster with 3 1B/DH only players. That’s how you end up with this line up.
Ducey - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#446877) #
Kroes, I would guess they prioritised depth. To get Horwitz in the lineup, they need longer term injury, or cut someone.

Turner or Vogelbach would need to be DFA, and go FA. If they do that, then they are lost, and Horwitz disappoints or is injured, then they have a hole.

That's the only reason I can think of.

They have tough month in June, so Horwitz better have a bag packed, because at some point, enough will be enough.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#446878) #
I don't think it's about risk.
The risk was signing Turner and KK.
Turner was good one month/bad one month. The third month will be telling.
In the case of KK, he still makes a good defensive replacement and can pitch hit to a RH reliever who relies on the fastball. He's good at pinch running too.

At any rate, it should be entertaining. Bassitt can be brilliant but can lose it when the defense doesn't make plays.

To make room for Priester, they've put the UT Williams on the IL.

greenfrog - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#446879) #
The FO will probably have the Buffalo manager call Horwitz at 2am, tell him to get on a 6am flight, and then start him that afternoon at second base for the Blue Jays.

I’m not especially impressed with starting Guerrero at third base. The potential downside (injury or misplayed ball(s)) seems to exceed the potential upside.

Keeping Horwitz in AAA to protect the team’s depth at 1B/DH while their DH players flounder for 2+ months is an example of how conservative and safety-seeking Blue Jays management is.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#446880) #
Vogelbach is just a pinch hitter. Turner is the main guy. They don't expect him to hang around just to sit on the bench. There was a risk that Kirk and Springer would not rebound but who expected Bichette to be worth 0WAR by June 2?

SK in NJ - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#446881) #
This is an obsession with depth, as fungible as it is, more than anything else. They want depth in AAA in case of injury (which they haven't had as of yet), but it's very possible they are keeping better players in AAA in order to accommodate 0-1 WAR talent in the big leagues. It's not a good look for the organization, IMO. Spending $15M on Turner and Vogelbach when they had Horowitz (who at worst projected similarly, at best better) at age 26 ready to play is not exactly an endorsement to young players that this franchise will reward minor league performance.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#446882) #
They tried Barger and he went 1 for 18.
Horwitz had a .726 OPS in 44 PA last year, which would be better than we're getting but where would they bat him? 7th with KK 9th and Varsho  5th?

John Northey - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#446883) #
Well, lets dig in a bit...
  • March/April: 15-16 110 runs - 136 allowed
  • May: 12-13 115 for - 114 against
  • Interleague: 8-8 63-88 - damn lucky to be 500
  • Blowouts: 7-12 74-114 - in the past this was where they fattened up stats, but not now
  • One Run: 4-9 41-46 - bad luck there, should be 1 game under/1 over not 5 games under
  • Extra Innings: 2-1 9-11 - quite the trick there, outscored in extras but 2 wins vs 1 loss. Due to a 6-1 loss in extra vs Seattle
  • At least 1 win and 1 loss vs every opponent this year, fewest scored is 2 in 3 games vs Houston, most is 33 vs White Sox in 6, then 32 vs Tampa (!) in 7. Most allowed is 28 against NYY and Tampa in 6 & 7 games respectively.
So pretty much the same record but a much better runs for/against in May vs March/April. June is off to a horrid start (0-1 1 for 8 against). Never swept, but did get one sweep. The only time I know of that the Jays went without getting swept was 1993. No WHAMCO now though, more having a strong starting staff where anyone can throw a shutout for 7 at an opponent any day.

Vlad at 3B today is a choice. Should be interesting to see how it goes. Wonder how Turner, Clement, and others feel about it (safe to say we'll never hear). Wonder if this is a sign they are starting to doubt the 'all defense all the time' way of going about things. If so then Orelvis has a shot (his defense seems pretty bad given the number of errors he makes - under 1000 innings at 3B and 21 errors, under 500 at 2B and 16 errors, 56 at SS in 1619 innings, around 1200 innings in a year for a regular in the majors. While errors don't tell the whole story, if a guy makes that many odds are high he isn't good enough for the majors at that position. I'm thinking Orelvis might become an OF soon. Barger has just 2 errors at 3B this year over 132 innings, 20 in 853 overall in the minors (1 in 11 innings here). A shame we don't have anything else to go by for down there. Sigh.

Looking through the minors a name jumped out - Riley Tirotta - 12 round pick in 2021 has gone from A+ to AAA this year, mostly in AA with a 287/475/471 line at 1B/RF/DH - has played a lot of 3B in the past (his #1 position by innings by a lot), some 2B too. A lot like Horwitz, low power but great walk ability, more walks than K's this year. A RH bat he might be a good platoon partner for Horwitz should the Jays say 'screw it' to this year. In his age 25 season so he is needing to put it all on the table now if he wants to make it. Just another name to watch.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#446884) #
This June 2 game recap is brought to you by Mike Shapiro.

The Blue Jays outlasted the Pirates 20-16 at the Rogers Centre in a thrilling game.  The Pirates scored their runs with the help of five Blue Jay errors, three by newly installed third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr, but the Blue Jays came from behind with two 10-run positional flexibility bonuses recently announced by MLB.  "Scoring runs the old-fashioned way would be retrograde", Manager John Schneider said. 
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#446885) #
I think this has to do with a few things. I think all posts since the line up was posted are true. This is result of bad off season moves, bad performance, choice, desperation etc.

* Joey Votto could be getting close to joining and manning 1B

* showcasing Vlad for a reset/retool/rebuild coming up since he would be much more valuable to teams if he could play average 3B

* preparing to keep Vlad at 3B and acquire another hitter for 1B like Pete Alonso or Joc Pederson later in the year...if the FO is naive enough to think they will still be in it a month from now
greenfrog - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#446886) #
“Horwitz had a .726 OPS in 44 PA last year”

I wouldn’t view that brief cup of coffee as indicative of much of anything.

Same with Barger. If anything, the rushed and sleep-deprived and positionally-challenged way they promoted him (and the hitting advice he received on his promotion) may have impacted his performance.
Ducey - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#446887) #
I guess playing Vlad at 3B (if it sticks) might be a prelude to dumping Turner and promoting Horwitz.

Otherwise Turner at 3B would make more sense.
electric carrot - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#446888) #
I'm intrigued by Vladdy at 3b. I think it's curious timing with Bassitt on the mound since he seems to get flustered easily by poor defense.

I think overall I prefer him there than Turner if that was the options considered.
soupman - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#446889) #
If the plan was to ship Turner then wouldn’t it be better to show he can still play third?
Ducey - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#446890) #
Turner likely has no value.

89 OPS+ for 39 yr old making $13 million. So its just whether they dump him
krose - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#446891) #
Not sure what to do to help this roster but standing pat doesn’t seem like an option. Today’s lineup is an attempt to generate offence. But it looks like moving deck chairs and sacrificing defence.
krose - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#446892) #
My fear with the risk difficulty is that Atkins panics and goes from conservative to some wild attempts to help.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#446893) #
A changeup by a RHP to a LH power hitter can be a dangerous pitch.
krose - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#446894) #
Especially when it’s belt high.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#446895) #
Well, there are not trading Guerrero nor moving him back to third base.
This is just to get Turner and Vogelbach in the same game.
And no, Turner is not a better third baseman at this point.
I don't think it's about Horwitz. He and Vlad could share the DH/1B.
It's all about Vogelbach who can't play 1B.

Ducey - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#446896) #
Vald at 3B is a prelude to him becoming the next SS!
Mike Green - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#446897) #
I'm glad that the disaster did not occur.  Turner did not hit.  Guerrero Jr. did not make any errors.  And I hope that the club realizes that Guerrero Jr. does not need this kind of disruption.  He struggled with his play at third base the first time 'round in 2019 and his offensive development was slowed. The club rightly moved him off the position and he hasn't played there in 5 years.   He was off to a very slow start in 2024 and had picked up steam in the last month.  He does not need the distraction of a return back to third base. 
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#446898) #
This isn't Encarnacion. He actually made a nice play.

That being said, the problem is not third base.
The problems are shortstop, centerfield and DH.

For DH, they should use a straight platoon for now. Let say Vogelbach hits 4th and Varsho 6th, Turner will get in as a pinch hitter most night.
For CF, play KK less. He's a fastball hitter.
For SS, they should rest Bichette at least once a week and move him to hit 7th or lower.

dalimon5 - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#446899) #
I disagree. If it's possible he can be a better player at 3B then you try it even if you changed that plan years ago initially. If Vlad is a 20 HR hitter rather than a 40HR+ hitter then it has huge implications on where he plays. Right now he is an average first basemen in baseball.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#446900) #
Who would be a better DH against RHP in this upcoming critical stretch, Turner or Horwitz? I wish it could be Horwitz.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#446902) #
Vogelbach. Pitching in AAA is junk.
scottt - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#446903) #
Vogelbach talked like a coach while being dunked in the postgame interview.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#446904) #
Against RHP in June, why not try:

Vladdy 3B
Horwitz 1B
Vogelbach DH

Maybe Turner will rebound and prove me wrong. Or maybe he'll have a sub-700 OPS over the next month and the Blue Jays will fall out of contention. Place your bets.

As for hitting against AAA junk, here's a comparison:

Davis Schneider wRC+ (Buffalo 2023): 142
Spencer Horwitz wRC+ (Buffalo 2024): 149
Glevin - Sunday, June 02 2024 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#446905) #
I'd be fine with Vlad at 3B sometimes if it meant getting a great bat in the lineup but Vogelbach and Turner are both marginal bats at this point so hardly seems worth it to me.
Michael - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 05:59 AM EDT (#446906) #
I think it depends what Vlad is feeling. He made at least one great play at 3b. In general, Vlad seems loose, hustling, has had a fabulous last month hitting - if he's comfortable and willing to occasionally play 3b - why not? Feels like a callback to the strong offense of the past, HR jacket, Vlad defending at 3b, what could go wrong?
scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#446907) #
Vogelbach had 2 RBI, so they would have lost without him.
Statistically, he's probably not going to go 2 for 4 very often but he's not in a slump like Turner is.

Mike Green - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#446908) #
Justin Turner has been a very good player for quite a number of years.  But he's 39 and he is fading.  The idea that one should, at this moment, mess around with your lineup to get him at-bats against a RHP is bizarre.  He is still able to crush a lefty, but at the very best, he can hold his own against a righty.   At this point, a reasonable expectation for him is to hit .250/.325/.395 overall and considerably worse than that against a RHP.  And he doesn't run well. 

The overall fangraphs projections for Horwitz, Turner and Vogelbach are:
H- .260/.359/.384
T- .249/.326/.393
V- .230/.338/.402

None of these projections are great.  Horwitz' is slightly more useful, you can play him at first base, against a RHP and give Guerrero Jr. a DH day, and he will get on base, move faster than a turtle and not make too many outs. Vogelbach is ideally suited to the Earl Weaver pinch-hitting role, but there may or may not be a place for that in the roster alignments of 2024.  Turner ought to be a platoon player mostly at this point. 
bpoz - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#446910) #
It would be good if a 2nd WC spot became available due to someone falling back into the pack where the Jays would be sitting. This would fuel more hope which should generate more revenue. But it would mean roughly 9 teams fighting for the 2 WCs.

I would still trade Turner and Volelbach unless either or both are V hot. Also trading KK and probably Biggio and Clement. These players would need to be evaluated for how much the weak O would become weaker. Buffalo and NH may be able to provide the lost D and the various players called up plus D Schneider can gain ML experience.

We hang on to Bo and hope he gets better so that we can consider trading him in the off season. You have to believe that he will get better next year (I do) to help us compete.

The FO has to deal with the Luxury tax implications and hopefully reduce payroll to reset it. Next year's team I expect to be younger. Can they still get to 88-90 wins next year with all the above changes? I hope so because I believe that some rebuilding teams will complete their rebuild and be very strong because they chose the long rebuild route.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#446911) #
Mike I think you point out and highlight just how poor this line up is without a quality clean up/power bat. None of Horwitz, Turner or Vogelbach should be in the line up as the DH or 1B.

One drawback of having Vlad at 3B is it will increase his value and cost to resign. Would have been better to sign him as a 1B then move him to 3B to get more value.
scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#446912) #
It's not a question of projections. It's more a matter of clubhouse rules and hierarchy.
In the minors, seniority is everything.
In the big leagues, established players are respected.
It took a while to move Springer down the lineup.
Turner is 39, but he was very good last year.
Although he's just one guy on a 1-year mid-range contract, he's a 36 WAR veteran.
The organization is not going to disrespect him with an early release, unless they have no choice. 

If you want to compare Turner to Horwitz, Turner was 26 when he started getting regular MLB ABs.
Hopefully, Horwitz has a long career in front of him but not being a defensive player limits him.
The same applies to Kiermaier. If he heats up, he'll play.

John Northey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#446913) #
Of note: Since May 1st the wRC+ leaders on the Jays are Vlad (168), Jansen (150), Schneider (132), and Vogelbach (122). IKF (110) and Kiermaier (101) are also over 100. Ugly (sub 80) is Springer (73) and Biggio (61). In the nightmare sub 50 category you get Clement (40) and Turner (4). The rest are in the 90's (meh territory) (Bo, Varsho, and Kirk).

So what does that mean? That benching Biggio, Clement, and Turner makes a lot of sense right now. As does giving Vogelbach playing time. Sadly Clement has no options left so he has to stay up, same with Turner of course. Biggio has all 3 options still but I'd be shocked if he was demoted.

Of note: for March/April Turner was tops here for those with 40+ PA - 153 sOPS+. Go figure. Wonder if he is nursing an injury that we haven't heard of.
greenfrog - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#446918) #
Turner was actually not all that great in 2023 (1 WAR, 114 wRC+ in 626 PA).

As I mentioned the other day, his exit velo has been declining year-over-year for several years now. Given his age and apparent decline, he’s probably not going to provide a ton of value this season. Maybe somewhere between 0-1 WAR (or worse?). That is a problem if he’s playing every day and hitting in the middle of the order.

scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#446922) #
Turner was hitting .276 with 31 doubles and 23 HR.
The Jays would be very happy with those numbers.

John Northey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#446938) #
Just had Mike Wilner confirm Turner is sick and has been for awhile on BlueSky. This team NEEDS to stop with the hockey mentality of playing through sickness. Unless you are Ohtani level the drop in play when sick is too much to be better than other options. Right now it is very safe to say any of Barger, Orelvis, Horwitz would be better than Turner (4 wRC+ since May 1st).
Pirates at Blue Jays, May 31-June 2 | 113 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.