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For the first time this season, it's the Bloody Boston Red Sox.


They're probably feeling pretty good about themselves. They just wrapped up a homestand during which they took two of three from the best team in the National League (that's Philadelphia, for those of you who don't follow the Senior Circuit.) Even better, they then took two of three from the best team in all of baseball this season, their ancient foes from New York.

The Red Sox beat the Yankees 9-3 last night, and in the course of this beatdown, they stole nine bases, which is the most bases stolen by a Red Sox team since humans first crawled out of the primordial ooze, or whatever it was we did back in the day. (My memory fails me sometimes.) Jose Trevino was the unfortunate Yankees catcher, and Trevino had actually been doing a pretty decent job of catching enemy base stealers until last night. Unluckily for him, Marcus Stroman seems to have lost all interest in holding base runners. Six of the bases were stolen during Stroman's stint on the mound, which means enemy base runners are now 12 for 13 trying to steal when he's pitching. Last year, when he was a Cub, they went 17 for 18. Stroman used to be pretty good at holding runners. I wonder what happened. Maybe he's been away from Mark Buehrle too long.

Well, let's make some Data Tables! Everybody loves a small sample, so here's a small sample. It's the Blue Jays hitters during the month of June, a 15 game fragment representing less than 10% of the entire season.

Split†††       G†††GS†††PA††† AB†††R††† H††2B† 3B††HR† RBI† SB† CS††BB† SO††BAVG†† OBP†† SLG††† OPS††† GDP† HBP†† BAbip
†† †††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† †††
Clement††† 12††† 5†††21††† 20†††5††† 8†† 4†† 0†† 1†† 4††† 1†† 0†† 1†† 1††.400† .429††.750†† 1.179††† 0††† 0††† .389
Barger††† 2††† 2††† 8††† 7†††1††† 3†† 0†† 0†† 0†† 2††† 1†† 0†† 1†† 2††.429† .500††.429††† .929††† 0††† 0††† .600
Varsho††† 15†††14†††51††† 47†††9†† 13†† 5†† 2†† 1†† 5††† 2†† 1†† 3† 12††.277† .333††.532††† .865††† 1††† 1††† .353
Horwitz††† 8††† 7†††31††† 27†††3††† 9†† 1†† 0†† 0†† 3††† 0†† 0†† 4†† 5††.333† .419††.370††† .790††† 0††† 0††† .409
Guerrero††† 15†††14†††60††† 55†††7†† 15†† 2†† 0†† 2†† 5††† 1†† 0†† 5†† 9††.273† .333††.418††† .752††† 1††† 0††† .296
Turner††† 11††† 9†††39††† 34†††4††† 9†† 2†† 0†† 0†† 1††† 0†† 0†† 4†† 7††.265† .359††.324††† .683††† 3††† 1††† .333
Kiner-Falefa††15†††15†††55††† 51†††2†† 14†† 1†† 0†† 0† 10††† 0†† 1†† 2†† 6††.275† .302††.294††† .596††† 2††† 0††† .311
Bichette††† 13†††13†††52††† 49†††3†† 10†† 4†† 0†† 0†† 3††† 0†† 0†† 3† 10††.204† .250††.286††† .536††† 1††† 0††† .256
Kirk††† 8††† 6†††23††† 18†††1††† 2†† 0†† 0†† 1†† 3††† 0†† 0†† 2†† 3††.111† .217††.278††† .495††† 0††† 1††† .063
Schneider††† 15†††12†††53††† 48†††5††† 8†† 1†† 0†† 1†† 4††† 0†† 0†† 4† 11††.167† .226††.250††† .476††† 0††† 0††† .189
Jansen††† 11††† 9†††42††† 35†††3††† 5†† 2†† 0†† 0†† 3††† 0†† 0†† 5†† 3††.143† .262††.200††† .462††† 0††† 1††† .152
Springer††† 14†††14†††53††† 48†††7††† 7†† 0†† 0†† 1†† 3††† 1†† 0†† 5† 11††.146† .226††.208††† .435††† 3††† 0††† .167
Kiermaier††† 12††† 7†††20††† 19†††1††† 2†† 0†† 0†† 1†† 1††† 0†† 0†† 0†† 8††.105† .105††.263††† .369††† 0††† 0††† .100


Among other things, we see why it's challenging to put together a lineup sometimes. The five coldest hitters lately are the two catchers and three of the outfielders. As cold as they are, some of these guys still have to play, like it or not - as Casey Stengel once observed, if you don't have a catcher you have a lot of passed balls. And while Daulton Varsho is really good, he can't cover the entire outfield all by himself. So all you can do is hope that Springer isn't toast, and wait for Schneider to heat up again (Davis Schneider is the new Lourdes Gurriel, either as hot as the surface of the sun or as frigid as my cold, cold heart. Discuss.)

So let's talk about Bo.

I am hopeful that these last few days off nursing his sore calf will allow Bichette a chance to reset and remember just who he is and how he succeeds. He's Bo Bichette. He's not a thinking man's hitter. He's not a guy who goes up to the plate with a plan. He's a hacker and a battler. Those basic skills are still there. He remains one of the team's best hitters when he's behind in the count, or when he has two strikes against him. In those situations, a hitter doesn't have the luxury of a plan - all he can do is battle. Bichette is struggling this year when he's ahead in the count, and that makes me think his problem is in his approach. It's as if in those situations he's thinking that now he's certain to get something worth swinging at and in that case he had better swing at it. Which isn't working very well for him. It was the great philosopher Yogi Berra who once asked† "How can I think and hit at the same time?" I think Bichette is one of the same tribe. So stop thinking, Bo. It's not who you are, and it only hurts the ball club. See ball, hit ball. That's who you are, that's what you have to do.

You may recall that the worst stretch of Bichette's career (before this current season) came back in July and August 2022. You may recall that he came out of it and had one of the hottest stretches of his career. He even said at the time that he had to learn to embrace who he was, to acknowledge that he wasn't a guy who worked the count and looked for a pitch. It would be nice if he was, and self-improvement is always a worthy goal, but a man's got to know his limitations.

Well, in the interest of completeness, what have the pitchers been up to this month?

Split†††   W††L††ERA††G†††GS††SV†††  IP††† H††R††ER††HR††BB†† SO††† BF††† WHIP
†† †††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† †††
Bassitt††† 1††0††2.00††3†† 3†††0†† 18††† 17††4†† 4†† 0†† 7†† 19††† 80††† 1.33
Francis††† 1††0††3.18††3†† 1†††0†††11.1†††12††4†† 4†† 2†† 1††† 7††† 47††† 1.15
Kikuchi††† 2††1††3.31††3†† 3†††0†† 16.1†††16††7†† 6†† 2†† 6†† 15††† 69††† 1.35
Gausman††† 1††2††3.92††3†† 3†††0†††20.2†††19††9†† 9†† 4†† 2†† 19††† 82††† 1.02
Berrios††† 1††1††4.58††3†† 3†††0†††17.2†††19††9†† 9†† 4†† 4††† 7††† 73††† 1.30
†† †††† ††† ††† ††† ††††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† ††† †††
Green††† 0††1††1.59††6†† 0†††0††† 5.2††† 2††1†† 1†† 1†† 2††† 5††† 20††† 0.71
Richards†††0††0††2.35††6†† 2†††0††† 7.2††† 4††2†† 2†† 0†† 2††† 8††† 29††† 0.78
Little††† 0††0††2.45††6†† 0†††0††† 7.1††† 7††2†† 2†† 1†† 1††† 5††† 29††† 1.09
Pearson††† 0††0††4.26††7†† 0†††1††† 6.1††† 6††3†† 3†† 2†† 2††† 9††† 27††† 1.26
Cabrera††† 0††1††6.23††4†† 0†††1††† 4.1††† 2††4†† 3†† 0†† 1††† 1††† 15††† 0.69
Garcia††† 2††0††7.50††6†† 0†††3††† 6††† 7††5†† 5†† 2†† 0†† 11††† 26††† 1.17
Mayza††† 0††0††7.71††4†† 0†††0††† 2.1††† 5††2†† 2†† 1†† 1††† 1††† 13††† 2.57
Pop††† 0††1††9.00††8†† 0†††0††† 6††† 4††6†† 6†† 1†† 4††† 5††† 25††† 1.33


Well. I have long believed (and have often pronounced) that useful relief pitchers grow on trees. It's time for Ross Atkins to shake a few trees and see what falls out. He's done it before, and he needs to do it again. As we go to virtual press, it is not yet clear whether Yimi Garcia needs a few days off, a stint on the IL, or a date with a surgeon. But even if he's fine, Chad Green and Trevor Richards will still need all the help there is.


Matchups

Mon 17 June - Pivetta (3-4, 3.88) vs Kikuchi (4-5, 3.26)
Tue 18 June - Houck (7-5, 2.08) vs Bassitt (6-6, 3.56)
Wed 19 June - Bello (6-4, 5.00) vs Gausman (5-5, 4.08)
Red Sox at Blue Jays, June 17-19 | 233 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#447689) #
Approaching the halfway season, with a chance to move into 3rd in the division and one spot out of a wild card slot, and get above .500, all against the loathsome Red Sox.

Would be a good time to show some....testicular fortitude.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#447690) #
Nice write up Magpie.
Magpie - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#447693) #
Something else about Bichette. As everyone knows, he's fond of swinging at the first pitch he sees. He's a hacker! Putting the first pitch in play has worked out very well for him, better than it does for most people. Obviously, everyone hits a little better wheh they put the first pitch in play (you can't strike out on the first pitch, and Ks account for at least 20% of everyone's outs these days.) But coming into this season, Bichette had hit .396/.398/.657 when he put the first pitch in play (he got hit by a couple of pitches as well, if you're wondering!)

But not this year. Bichette is hitting .245/.273/.264 when he puts the first pitch in play. Go figure.

Historically, Guerrero has been just as aggressive on the first pitch, and like Bichette it's worked out quite well for him. This season, Guerrero's been roughly as successful as always when he puts the first pitch in play - he's just been doing it drastically less often (half his career rate.)

What does it all mean? Why are you asking me?
Ducey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#447694) #
I dunno. I think Bo needs an approach aside from just hacking at everything. He is 26 now (I wish I was 26). Maybe the reflexes are not what they were.

Looking at his splits he is hitting .333 when the count is 2-1 and 3-1. The problem? He has been in a 2-1 count just 9 times and a 3-1 count 7 times.

He has been in a 0-2 count 22 times and is hitting .136.

He has been in a 2-0 count 4 times and a 3-0 count a mind boggling once! I mean if you are a pitcher why the heck would you ever throw him a strike?

And he has hit into 5 DP on the first pitch. Six more in all other counts combined.

Its a baseball truism that you want to get ahead in the count (whether hitting or pitching). Bo is ignoring that at his own peril. Moreover, he should be trying to get on base occasionally, its hard to do that when you wont dont give the pitcher a chance to walk you (he only has 15 walks).

Oh, and he is hitting 140/189/160 vs LHP. Time to start pinch hitting for him with Clement who is hitting 333/370/510 vs LHP

So he needs a tuning up on approach and to sit vs LHP. I doubt either will happen.
pooks137 - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#447696) #
Following up my post re: Statcast swing speed data from the Cleveland thread, the June slash line numbers actually fit it fairly well.

Turner's 265/359/324 slash profiles as someone trading contact for power while still taking a decent amount of walks.

Similarly, IKF's 275/302/294 is somewhat surprising as someone who has been throwing up a lot of hits on the board lately, but apparently with an empty batting line void of walks or any power.

IKF was the next Blue Jay at the bottom of the Statcast swing speed chart, ranking 4th percentile to Turner's 1st.

It would seem lower swing speeds and shorter swing lengths results in better contact but a complete dearth of power.

Magpie - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#447697) #
Over his career, Bichette has hit .229/.233/.376 when he's behind in the count, and that's almost exactly what he's doing this year (.227/.232/.423)., That's really good. When he's been ahead in the count, he's hit .350/.481/.569 over his career - which includes his utterly abysmal numbers this season when he's ahead in the count (.232/.394/.268.) His problem this season has been what he's been doing when he gets ahead. When he gets behind, he's the same guy. When he gets ahead, he's something new and terrible.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#447698) #
Plausible Best Lineup using this year's stats only:

* 1. 2B Horwitz: 31pa, .419obp, 128wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero: 310pa, .374obp, 128wrc+
* 3. C Jansen: 158pa, .342obp, 126wrc+
* 4. CF Varsho: 249pa, .301obp, 116wrc+
* 5. LF Schneider: 234pa, .325obp, 113wrc+
* 6. SS Falefa: 230pa, .313obp, 99wrc+
* 7. 3B Clement: 128pa, .286obp, 99wrc+
* 8. DH Turner: 229pa, .314obp, 93wrc+
* 9. RF Springer: 269pa, .290obp, 72wrc+

* X. IF Bichette: 276pa, .286obp, 81wrc+
* X. C Kirk: 132pa, .288obp, 70wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier: 136pa, .242obp, 57wrc+
* X. UT Barger: 26pa, .192obp, 2wrc+

* (X. UT Biggio: 144pa, .324obp, 86wrc+)
* (X. PH Vogelbach: 79pa, .278obp, 71wrc+)


Using past calendar year stats:

* 1. 2B Horwitz: 75pa, .373obp, 115wrc+
* 2. LF Schneider: 375pa, .355obp, 137wrc+
* 3. 1B Guerrero: 695pa, .356obp, 123wrc+
* 4. C Jansen: 314pa, .344obp, 128wrc+
* 5. 3B Clement: 173pa, .316obp, 115wrc+
* 6. DH Turner: 566pa, .327obp, 104wrc+
* 7. SS Bichette: 560pa, .309obp, 96wrc+
* 8. CF Varsho: 544pa, .286obp, 96wrc+
* 9. RF Springer: 655pa, .315obp, 92wrc+

* X. IF Falefa: 435pa, .319obp, 94wrc+
* X. C Kirk: 354pa, .316obp, 90wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier: 352pa, .279obp, 76wrc+
* X. UT Barger: 26pa, .192obp, 2wrc+

* X. OF Lukes: 8pa, .375obp, 127wrc+
* (X. PH Vogelbach: 253pa, .316obp, 109wrc+)
* (X. UT Biggio: 362pa, .357obp, 106wrc+)
* X. PH Votto: 242pa, .314obp, 98wrc+



Using Fangraphs Combined Projections:

* 1. 2B Horwitz: 177pa, .353obp, 115wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero: 381pa, .362obp, 140wrc+
* 3. C Jansen: 229pa, .323obp, 120wrc+
* 4. SS Bichette: 374pa, .324obp, 119wrc+
* 5. LF Schneider: 303pa, .333obp, 117wrc+
* 6. CF Varsho: 350pa, .301obp, 110wrc+
* 7. DH Turner: 275pa, .328obp, 109wrc+
* 8. RF Springer: 342pa, .321obp, 109wrc+
* 9. 3B Clement: 149pa, .307obp, 100wrc+

* X. C Kirk: 162pa, .343obp, 114wrc+
* X. UT Barger: 110pa, .306obp, 98wrc+
* X. IF Falefa: 240pa, .308obp, 89wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier: 236pa, .290obp, 87wrc+

* (X. PH Vogelbach; 90pa, .335obp, 113wrc+)
* X. OF Lukes: 12pa, .324obp, 102wrc+
* (X. UT Biggio: 150pa, .324obp, 99wrc+)
* X. PH Votto: 79pa, .308obp, 95wrc+
* X. IF Jimenez: 12pa, .316obp, 92wrc+
* X. IF Martinez: 67pa, .379obp, 90wrc+
John Northey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#447699) #
Of note for Bo - via FanGraphs, via Pitch Info - he is seeing fewer fastballs this year (28.8% vs 33.5% career) while sinkers keep growing (from 14.1% his rookie season, up every year and now at 20.9%), Sliders are also up (29.0% this year vs 24.6% lifetime). I suspect if we find his stats vs each type of pitch we'd see a logical reason for pitcher adjusting. Now he needs to.
Mike Green - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#447700) #
I'd prefer if Horwitz was in the lineup against a RHP, either as DH, or as second baseman with Schneider in LF and Springer with a day off.
92-93 - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#447701) #
Lots of complaining about the lineup on the Twitter. The next 9 games are vs. RHP. Horwitz and Barger will get lots of playing time.
Ducey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#447702) #
Turner has, what, 3 weeks before Votto is ready? He'd better start bashing or he will be losing his spot - $10 million contract or not.
Mike Green - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#447703) #
The club could alternate putting Turner and Springer in the lineup. Half-time against RH starters is more than enough.
Nigel - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#447704) #
Tonight's lineup brought to you by "Veteraness" and "Savvy", new colognes from Mennen for those fans looking for that nostalgic aroma.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#447705) #
All the lineup is missing is Joey Votto at this point.
92-93 - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#447706) #
I guess I just don't see the big deal. Pivetta has reverse splits this year, and Springer is 10/27 vs. him while Turner is 3/6. Both have HRs.

Maybe the better question is why Kiermaier and Clement are in the lineup over Horwitz and Barger.
pooks137 - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#447707) #
A bench of Kirk, Bichette, Horwitz & Barger is a contender-quality bench.

Just don't look at the starting nine.
Nigel - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#447708) #
Oh I don't actually think its a big deal. I don't think that one line-up choice is that much better than another frankly. I do think that just sitting around waiting for a reversion to the mean has been a thought process that management (FO and manager) have held on to for far too long and that there's been too much reliance on vets to turn it around.
Gerry - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#447709) #
My impression is that John Schneider goes with a veteran/opening day lineup in the first game of a series.
Glevin - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#447710) #
Yimi on Il. Jays call up Eisert which means they now have four lefties none of whom should be in majors probably.
Kelekin - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#447711) #
I like Eisert and felt he was unfairly overlooked despite putting up good numbers in AAA 22-23. Definitely find this surprising though - it's possible they're looking to see if he's capable of replacing the struggling bullpen lefties?
Marc Hulet - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#447712) #
Eisert misses some bats but had had issues with the long ball in AAA and his FB sits around 90-91. Jays looking at the Ks and xFIP (and ability to go 2+ innings) while also realizing they have 4 roster spots to play with (they had two open on the 40-man and two 60-day DL candidates). He has three fresh option years but also isn't a huge loss if he doesn't pitch well and gets claimed off waivers.
Kelekin - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#447713) #
Makes sense. Hoping Juenger gets a shot soon too given the ability to go multiple innings and having cleaned up his long ball issues.

Lots of exciting bullpen arms at AAA - and with the way the current ones are performing at the big league level, it at least signals a shift to giving more players a chance.
Gerry - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#447714) #
Hagen Danner was probably first in line but he went on the IL last week.

Ryan Burr threw 29 pitches yesterday.

Eric Swanson hasn't pitched well so there weren't a lot of good options.

All three of these are on the 40 man.

If they called up Cooke or Fluharty they would have to stay on the 40 man roster or would likely be claimed. Eisert is unlikely to be claimed.
Katie - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#447715) #
Eisert went to Oregon State, which means his catcher in college was Adley Rutschman.
lexomatic - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#447716) #
MLB Trade Rumors listed Garcia's injury as Ulnar Neuritis. I'm shocked at the info available. That's quite searchable.

Rest options and surgical options (DeGrom surgery).
Good news : Rest treatment is often uccessful. Unless it's recurring.
I hve ZERO medical training.

Cw may contain urgicl pictures

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340709/

https://www.sportsmedtoday.com/ulnar-neuritis-va-125.htm

https://www.progressivespineandsports.com/blog/athlete-injuries-jacob-degroms-ulnar-nerve

Anyways. Some info.
So best case is after 2-3 weeks pain free building up some as strength on rehab.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#447717) #
well, one team is showing testicular fortitude.
Magpie - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#447719) #
No one complaining that Schneider has two of the two coldest hitters on the team batting 1-2 tonight? Me neither.

Still, the team's problems scoring in the first inning have been much discussed, and the woeful performance of the team's leadoff hitters has much to do with it. George Springer (.196/.266/.288) gets much of the blame, and rightly so, but Davis Schneider has been almost as bad hitting leadoff (.196/.274/.363).

Help us Spencer Horwitz. If not today, tomorrow?
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#447720) #
1st and 3rd nobody out. Even got past the springer slot with him getting on base.

here's a chance to show something.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#447721) #
I'll take it from IKF.

Falefular Fortitude
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#447722) #
Bo getting injured has been a legit upgrade to the lineup.
Magpie - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#447723) #
A 3-0 green light for Kiner-Falefa? That can't have happened to him very often...

That's the second time in his career that Kiner-Falefa has put the 3-0 pitch in play. He's now 0-1, with the sac fly. On 28 other occasions, the next pitch was Ball Four.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#447724) #
interesting choice to try and steal a base there.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#447725) #
ok game not turned off quite yet but definitely muted now.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#447726) #
I donít mind it. They need to take risks to score more runs. Waiting for the big hit isnít the answer.
greenfrog - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#447727) #
Usually the expression ďflush it and move onĒ refers to the game you just lost. Sometimes itís tempting to use it to refer to an entire season.
Nigel - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#447728) #
Losing to the Red Sox and having them rough up what could be one of your primary trade chits is about as tough a night as you can have in June.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#447729) #
oh this is gonna be one of those really humiliating 'big' series isn't it.

love these.
Glevin - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#447730) #
Seeing teams hit HRs is incredible. They're allowed to do that? How come we're not?
Ducey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#447731) #
Sadly the Jays are allowed to hit HR.

Caught a glimpse of Mattingly during the telecast. Definitely Grandpa Simpson vibes.
mathesond - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#447732) #
I guess HRs just aren't damaging enough.
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#447733) #
Rogers is gonna have to pony up some more renos money for a new warning track the way the jays are wearing it out this year.
Ducey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#447734) #
The manager just showed some testicular fortitude by warming up Ricards without an athletic protector
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#447735) #
hehheh.
Ducey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#447736) #
JT just served notice to Votto. BB,2B,HR
uglyone - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#447737) #
2 defensive miscues by KK tonight.
Ducey - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#447738) #
Down 7-2 with one on. Why not pinch hit for KK?

soupman - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#447739) #
tough loss, but there are some positives to take away - they had 10 hits including some HR from guys you want to see hitting them out. Kikuchi had a bad outing, and hopefully he'll bounce back next time around.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#447740) #
I agree that things are heading in the right direction.
Eephus - Monday, June 17 2024 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#447741) #
Seems like a very good night for Boston sportsÖ a reality I disapprove of as wholeheartedly as possible.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 12:38 AM EDT (#447742) #
Funny how much less negative things are than usual after a loss. When your starter keeps giving up home runs (but solo shots, but still too many) you know you probably aren't winning.
Michael - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 02:41 AM EDT (#447744) #
I feel like KK has had a lot more defensive mistakes this year. Don't know if that is age, misperception, or something else.

According to statcast fielding leader board KK has still been very good as he's +4 runs good for 34th out of 327 qualifiers. Worst Jay is Vlad at -3 (276th) who I thought has looked pretty reasonable to my eye test from what I've seen. Bichette is 196th at -1, Clement is 188th at -1, Schneider is 171st at 0, Jansen 152nd at 0, Springer 89th at +2 (that checks out with the eye test, he's seemed legit good this year at defense), IKF is 26th (!!) at +5, Kirk is 13th (!!) at +6, and unsurprisingly Varsho is 1st in all of baseball at +9.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#447745) #
That Vlad numbers seems off. Does it maybe include his forays at 3B?
92-93 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#447747) #
It was indeed confusing that the manager chose not to pinch hit for the worst hitter on the team not once but twice.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#447748) #
there are 8 hitters who have hit well enough this year so far to actually deserve to be in the starting lineup at the moment - Guerrero, Jansen, Schneider, Varsho, Clement, Turner, Falefa, and Horwitz in his tiny sample.

I wouldn't mind seeing all 8 of those guys in the lineup at the same time, one of these days.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#447749) #
From mlbtraderumors.com

"The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league contract with free-agent righty James Kaprielian, per the teamís transaction log at MLB.com. Heís been assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.

Once one of the top pitching prospects in the Yankees organization, Kaprielian was traded from New York to Oakland in the 2017 deadline deal that shipped Sonny Gray to the Bronx. The former No. 16 overall draft pick spent the next six and a half years in the Aís organization, making his big league debut in the shortened 2020 season. Heíd appear in four straight seasons with the Aís but do so intermittently while battling a slate of shoulder injuries that necessitated a pair of surgeries.

For Kaprielian, injuries have been all too common. The former UCLA standout required Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season and wound up missing the entire 2018 campaign as well. During his time with the Aís, he underwent surgery in Dec. 2022 to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder and again to repair damage to his right shoulderís labrum in Aug. 2023. Kaprielian missed time in each of the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons due to shoulder troubles.

In 2021, Kaprielian offered a glimpse of what he could provide in a healthy season. He appeared in 24 games for Oakland (21 of them starts) and pitched to a 4.07 earned run average over the life of 119 1/3 innings. He fanned a strong 24.5% of his opponents against a similarly encouraging 8.2% walk rate. Home runs were an issue for the 6í3″, 225-pound righty (1.43 HR/9), but he offered an intriguing strikeout-to-walk profile, sat 93.3 mph with his heater and recorded a promising 10.9% swinging-strike rate.

The 2022 season was a bit of a step back in terms of results but a step forward in terms of both workload and velocity. Kaprielian tossed 134 innings ó his career-high in a big league season ó and turned in a 4.23 ERA while seeing his average fastball tick up to 94 mph. His 17% strikeout rate and 10.2% walk rate both represented steps in the wrong direction, but Kaprielian also trimmed that HR/9 mark to 1.07. Overall, he looked like a solid fourth starter from 2021-22 with the Aís: 253 1/3 innings, 4.16 ERA, 20.5% strikeout rate, 9.3% walk rate, 36.5% grounder rate, 1.24 HR/9.

Kaprielian, however, never seemed to bounce back from that surgery to tend to his AC joint in the 2022-23 offseason. He was shelled for 45 runs in 61 innings (6.34 ERA) that season. His fastball dropped to a 92.5 mph average. He walked a career-worst 11.1% of hitters. The Aís passed him through outright waivers in October, and he qualified for minor league free agency following the season.

Now nearly 11 months removed from last Augustís shoulder surgery, Kaprielian will head to the Blue Jaysí Triple-A affiliate and provide some needed rotation depth. The Jays recently lost Alek Manoah to season-ending UCL surgery, and their rotation depth was already thin in the first place. Theyíre lacking an established option behind the quartet of Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi, with rookie Yariel Rodriguez likely to step into the fray once heís cleared to return from a back injury (likely later this week). Twenty-eight-year-old Bowden Francis has been hit hard in eight appearances (three starts). Top prospect Ricky Tiedemann has spent most of the season on the injured list and only just went on a Rookie-level rehab assignment.

If Kaprielian can prove healthy and look anything like his 2021-22 form, heíll emerge as a legitimate option for the Jays in the seasonís second half. And given that he entered the season with just 2.167 days of big league service time, thereís potential for him to be controlled for three more years beyond the current season. Obviously thereís a long way to go before thatís even an option worth pondering, but the generally thin nature of Torontoís rotation depth makes it a more distinct possibility than if heíd signed with a more pitching-rich organization."
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#447750) #
Can anyone confirm if the following statement is true?


Vladimir Guerrero Jr has ZERO extra base hits off the fastball this year.


lexomatic - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#447751) #
Re Guerrero FB Chris Black (sportsnet)on Twitter reposted it with extra context. I'd say it's reliable
lexomatic - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#447752) #
https://x.com/DownToBlack/status/1802726289976996033


.294 avg 62% hard hit rate 3 singles hit the wall.

Someone lower in thread says none of these have been pulled. Interesting question.
Is it how they're pitching him, and he's "going the other way" instead of GIDP? Or is he slow on FB?
We know the launch angle is too low for big power.
Who can look at FB location and batspeed vs FB?
soupman - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#447753) #
stat cast is useful for this stuff. i tried about 5 combinations of the bb code to link to it and failed - not sure what i'm doing wrong.

Not only is it true, he hasn't hit a 90mph+ pitch over the wall, and he only has 2 doubles on pitches 92+
Ducey - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#447754) #
Wow. Vlad would appear to have plenty of bat speed and has great exit velocities.

Yet he can't turn around a fastball and is on track for less than 20 HR for the season.

Just more evidence that the hitting coaches are likely doing more harm than good.

Add that to the implosion of Bo, Springer, Kirk, Turner, KK, and Biggio, and you have to wonder why they are still employed.
Katie - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#447755) #
I think we should avoid posting articles from other websites in their entirety, even with attribution.

You shouldn't be doing that without express permission from the author. That's why you'll see someone quote a sentence or maybe a short paragraph, but not the entire article.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#447756) #
Terrible numbers/realities for Vlad BUT I am very happy with his production this year. Very content as I've never looked at his big year as anything other than an outlier. As I've always maintained, he is good just not very very good. Well, he also seems to fall off as the season goes on/playoffs...but get him some protection at the same time.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#447757) #
Iím not happy with Vladís production. Iím not upset, but I canít help but be disappointed by the lack of production. Weíre a little short of the halfway mark and he has 7 home runs, 30 rbi, and a 777 OPS.

I need more than a hollow batting average from him to be happy.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#447758) #
Rest of Season Projections

* 1B Guerrero 139wrc+ ---> +12 higher than current
* C Jansen 120wrc+ ------> -3 lower than current
* SS Bichette 119wrc+ ---> +39
* LF Schneider 118wrc+ --> +3
* 2B Horwitz 114wrc+ ----> -14
* DH Turner 110wrc+ -----> +8
* CF Varsho 110wrc+ -----> -2
* RF Springer 109wrc+ ---> +37
* 3B Clement 101wrc+ ----> -6

* C Kirk 114wrc+ --------> +44
* UT Barger 98wrc+ ------> +97
* PH Votto 96wrc+ -------> n/a
* IF Falefa 89wrc+ ------> -9
* OF Kiermaier 86wrc+ ---> +30


Team still projects as a good and deep offensive squad.

Their current production could be an indictment of the projections, or it might be an indictment of the effort level, or it might be an indictment of the coaching.

or it might be bad luck.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#447759) #

"They put a lot of money into making us comfortable"@redturn2 gushes over how well the @BlueJays treat the players and their families, and how much he loves playing in the city of @Toronto pic.twitter.com/cJ6i1Sbd0V

— Foul Territory (@FoulTerritoryTV) June 17, 2024

well i'm glad they're comfy.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#447760) #
"I need more than a hollow batting average from him to be happy."

I need Vlad to be who he has been this year and NOT be our top hitter or 2nd best hitter. If he was our 3rd or 4th best hitter we would be talking. This line up still has no clean up hitter after 2 years...
John Northey - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#447762) #
By wRC+ Vlad is #34 in the majors so realistically having 1 guy better than him is possible. Yankees have #1/2 in Judge/Soto with Stanton their #3 (#47 in MLB) - they have 5 in the top 100. Jays have 4 in the top 100 - Vlad, Schneider, Varsho, Turner (#93). IKF is #104, Bo #140, Springer #146 (among 151 qualified). Switch to 100 PA and Vlad goes down to #59, Jansen #68, Schneider 105, Varsho 115, ... down to Kiermaier at #315 out of 339 (MartŪn Maldonado -25, with Jose Abreu just above him at 2).

Horwitz has a slightly higher wRC+ than Vlad at 128 vs 127. Right now the Jays have 7 guys with a 100+ wRC+, then IKF at 98, Bo at 80, Springer 72. Barger's 1 is the worst currently on the roster. Serven was even lower at -13. At the moment I see Kiermaier as a pure 5th OF - defense only and allowed to hit when the game is out of reach or no one else is available until he shows something (in the batting cage) that suggests he has finally got over his off-season dream of becoming a HR hitter. Kirk is a backup catcher for now until that 70 wRC+ climbs back up - but as a backup catcher he still will get into a lot of games. Springer is at the point of needing to be platooned at the very least with his horrid 72 (1 point above Vogelbach).
Glevin - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#447763) #
Woooah. Bo to IL and Orelvis up. Buffalo has officially invaded.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#447764) #
It's not a hollow batting average tho.

Vlad's .373obp ranks 14th in baseball.

The power outage is frustrating tho.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#447765) #
Well. I hope he has a hot start like Davis!
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#447766) #
bichette's not a loss, unfortunately.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#447767) #
Double blessing of Bo's bat out of the lineup and Orelvis coming in. Maybe the time off will allow Bo to reset.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#447768) #
Also, UO, Iím not sure what you think an empty batting average means? But to me itís saying he has no power. A .404 slug is just way too low for someone whose best attribute is their bat.

I didnít say he wasnít getting on base. Thatís one thing heís been doing very well.
Gerry - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#447769) #
Does IKF play shortstop exclusively until Bo returns or do they give Ernie or Orelvis a shot?
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#447770) #
They were playing Barger at SS over Orelvis in AAA, so I would be surprised if they gave Orelvis the reps in MLB over the other options.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#447771) #
Looking forward to seeing Orelvis. Jays could use some power in the lineup, and a 22 year old with legit 30 HR potential is exciting. Hopefully the front office can deal some veterans over the next month and a half. An August and September lineup that includes all of Martinez, Schneider, Horowitz, and Barger on a regular basis would be fun. Add Jimenez in there as well if they can find playing time (or if they trade Bo).
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#447773) #
I highly doubt this is more than a cup of coffee for Orelvis, between his age, the fact he'll take time to adapt to MLB, and comparative struggles vs righties. But either way, it's damn exciting and marks a big change in FO strategy.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#447776) #
99 i see "empty batting average" as both no walks and no power. If you have only one of them it's not an empty average...tho it's also not a full one.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#447777) #
I honestly think Jimenez woulda been up instead of Orelvis if he was healthy.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#447778) #
It's definitely a cup of coffee for Martinez, unless there is a trade between now and whenever Bichette is back. The Jays need to figure out a way to move Kiermaier and Turner in the next month. That frees up playing time for younger players. Until then, John Schneider is going to try to keep everyone happy, so it will be a mix of veterans and young players. If only the veterans were performing.
Nigel - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#447779) #
Right now, I think the obvious first step is that KK's role is reduced to defensive replacement and 4th OF, getting only occasional starts. Schneider moves into a near full time role in LF and Varsho in CF. The next logical step would be cutting back on Springer's starts but: a) his veteraness; and b) none of Barger, Clement or Martinez really look like OFs. Assuming IKF goes into the full time SS role, if Martinez is going to get get any ABs at all, I'd guess it comes at the expense of Clement and Barger. That doesn't seem too appealing a tradeoff today but your mileage may vary on that.
christaylor - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#447780) #
Oh boy, I came to punch this in with my thumbs. This could be either beautiful or disappointing, but one way or another, given the season this far, I am hoping for an extreme outcome either way. What if... he out performs Schneider's call-up? Let him use that wall...

This season got fun again, whether we ought to flush it from our memory or not, I am again glad for the do nothing off-season as it was a signal they'd let the kids play.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#447781) #
Pre-Callup

* Horwitz (26): 259pa, 17.0b%, 15.8k%, .401babip, .335avg, .179iso, 158wrc+
* Schneider (24): 392pa, 18.4bb%, 21.9k%, .309babip, .275avg, .278iso, 142wrc+
* Barger (24): 217pa, 15.2b%, 19.4k%, .292babip, .256avg, .211iso, 122wrc+
* Orelvis (22): 269pa, 8.9b%, 24.2k%, .288babip, .260avg, .264iso, 119wrc+


Orelvis is on bit of a hot streak so his callup isn't looking as premature as it might have a few weeks ago.

It's not the pretty much perfect line that schneider had, but it's pretty solid. Wish he was better in walks Ks and AVG - but none of those categories look particularly weak either.

Comparable to Barger but with less patience and more power. Not as good as Horwitz but not with the danger signs of babip, low power, and age that horwitz has.

I'd have preferred he marinate a bit longer at his age but a cup of tea is justified right now at least i think.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#447782) #
Orelvis will go back down in a week or so when Bo is ready. These are positive signs from the front office in the past 2 weeks to show they are as aware as any of us of what this team currently is.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#447783) #
"The next logical step would be cutting back on Springer's starts but: a) his veteraness; and b) none of Barger, Clement or Martinez really look like OFs."

Steward Berroa looks like an OF.

282/370/425 with less than a K/ game and 29 SB. A switch hitter who hits lefties well (296/382/432) and is good enough defensively to play CF. It would be fun to let him run wild on the bases.

He and Lukes might make a good platoon (once Lukes isnt broken).

electric carrot - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#447785) #
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Nigel - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#447786) #
You always look better when you're on a heater at the plate, but I think Clement has generally been good all year. He does a ton of things well. He's no "young'un" but I can see a role for him here for the next couple of years.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#447787) #
7 of 8 of the "deserve to start" hitters are in the lineup tonight, with Kirk kver Danny the only exception. Not all 8 but it's a start.

And Barger may well be an 8th if his first cup of tea struggles are behind him.

Which would mean we might even have a chance of starting 9 deserving hitters in the same game sometime soon.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#447788) #
I love Clement but yeah he's doomed to be the streakiest of streaky hitters since he doesn't take walks at all. It'll all be babip gods controlling his fate. Still think he can be an above average hitter despite that streakiness tho.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#447791) #
Horwitz 2023 OBP (AAA): .450

Horwitz 2024 OBP (AAA): .456

Horwitz 2024 OBP (MLB): .455

As I said the other day, the man gets on base.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#447792) #
One thing that makes me think Horwitz' babip can be somewhat sustainable is that he's clearly a big strong and is choosing not to take big rips in favor of plate coverage....but that natural strength should help him get more hits than a typical slap hitter even if he's not swinging super hard.
Glevin - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#447793) #
Man, it's so much more enjoyable to watch unknown young players than bad old ones.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#447794) #
I enjoy the business and managerial (off field) side of the game and also find the games and setting overall more enjoyable when you get the sense the FO is on the pulse.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#447796) #
That's a big hit.

electric carrot - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#447797) #
How on eaarth does Refsnyder have an .875 OPS?
electric carrot - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#447798) #
.868 that's better.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#447799) #
Now that's some loogying.

electric carrot - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#447800) #
so pinch hitting springer means you want the double play?
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#447801) #
Lmao nice pinch hit Mr.Manager.

What a stubborn dolt.
92-93 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#447802) #
And then he doesn't PH for Kirk. What on earth.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#447804) #
Interesting...
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#447805) #
Barger hit .316/.447/.605 against LHP in AAA this year. I would have been fine letting him hit in that situation and leaving Springer on the bench.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#447806) #
And now the Horwitz spot comes up as the last out but horwitz was yanked too.

Of all the bad managers we've had, this guy is the worst. I can't think of a single redeeming quality.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#447807) #
Itís nice that people are feeling optimistic as the losses pile up, but at some point the good vibes need to start translating into wins. The Blue Jays are falling well off the pace, including in the WC race. If this keeps up, they will certainly be sellers at the trade deadline.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#447808) #
My only beef now is with the manager and it's a beef I've had since Seattle stole the 2022 Wild Card series. He's not good and he isn't improving. Time to fire him was after 2 months.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#447809) #
The biggest takeaway from tonight for me is that Mayza and Cabrera have so completely lost the manager's trust that he had a minor league journeyman pitching in a game situation.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#447810) #
Did the manager even know how Barger performed against LHP in the minors this year? I wouldnít be surprised if he didnít.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#447811) #
"The biggest takeaway from tonight for me is that Mayza and Cabrera have so completely lost the manager's trust that he had a minor league journeyman pitching in a game situation."

It was amazing that Little got Devers and anya manager trying to push their luck with him further than that is an idiot.

Imho.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#447812) #
Schneider is not good. He's a few leagues lower than all 4 managers in the AL East and it's not close. That being said, Atkins also hasn't given him everything he needs.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#447813) #
It was amazing that Little got Devers and anya manager trying to push their luck with him further than that is an idiot.

The three batter rule didn't apply once the seventh was over, but Schneider didn't have a lot of good options. I wouldn't expect him to ask Green to get six outs. (The last time he did, trwo years ago, he was having surgery two weeks later.) Richards wouldn't have been available. The fact that Little was in the game tells us what he thinks of Mayza and Cabrera at the moment. Which leaves either Zach Pop or Ryan Burr, with three LH batters after O'Neill, and whoever comes in will have to face at least two of them.
The_Game - Tuesday, June 18 2024 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#447814) #
It turns out that this front office consistently treating the manager role as nothing more than a puppet to fulfill their designs comes at a game management cost. Who would have thought?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#447815) #
"Did the manager even know how Barger performed against LHP in the minors this year? I wouldnít be surprised if he didnít."


Dan and Buck brought up the fact that Barger apparently hit a home run against Bernardino in the minors, so I would assume Schneider and the coaching staff would have also known that. The split issue is a different matter as this is the same coaching staff that was platooning Davis Schneider earlier in the year despite him raking against RHP last season, so whether they knew or didn't know about Barger's splits is clearly immaterial as far as their decision making. They have other motives, whatever they might be.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#447818) #
It is time to acknowledge and repent. I am sorry for defending the Teoscar Hernandez trade. I never wished this result on this team. Call it a franchise altering decision (for the worse). Magpie, please summon Jobu so I can repent.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#447821) #
One thing the 2023 team showed me is I want to see a winning team but also be entertained by it. The 2023 team winning nearly 90 games despite being the most frustrating good team I have seen as a Jays fan was not very fun. Iím not sure what happens in 2023 if the team made small changes rather than trade Teo and shift to run prevention but it would have probably been a more fun ride regardless of how it ended up. Hopefully the next core of the team gives off a more entertaining vibe than what we have seen in 2023-24. Teoscar was a fun guy to root for, strike outs and all.
scottt - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#447822) #
Teoscar was a free agent this winter. Even if they didn't trade him, he's not a Blue Jays in 2024.
The primary reason for moving him was to move Springer to RF where he is an excellent defender.
They got Swanson and Macko (who is a top prospect) for Hernandez.
They made the postseason last year, Teoscar didn't.
Hopefully Swanson recovers within the next 10 months.

The problem is having KK in center with no offense when Varsho can do the job just as well there.
You can't have KK and Springer in the outfield together.
85bluejay - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#447823) #
With so many teams in contention for a wild card, this season could be a good year to be a seller especially with a smart front office.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#447824) #
Scottt, the request for repentance is acknowledgement that going for WAR and control with KK, Macko and Swanson instead of a clean up hitter in Teoscar was the wrong move for this team. FO easily could have kept Teo for '23 and resigned him to 1 year for '24.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#447825) #
The trade of Teo was great. Couple of assets for an expiring contract. He had an 106 OPS+ with SEA last year which really cratered his value.

If they made a mistake it was not signing him as FA this last winter, but I guess like a lot of teams they thought he had lost it. He only got a 1 yr deal.

I'm not convinced he would not have been sucked into the same morass the rest of the offense is in had he resigned in Toronto.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#447826) #
Saw an article saying how now is the perfect time to trade Bo to the Dodgers. FanGraphs has the Dodgers with 6 prospects rated 50 or higher. Jays have 2 (Tiedemann and Orelvis). The Dodgers just lost Mookie Betts for awhile with a broken hand and he wasn't ideal for SS anyways (OAA of -4 this year, but DRS +4 - go figure; Bo is OAA -1 and DRS -4) plus they have a negative WAR guy at 2B (Gavin Lux) thus making 2B a headache, Miguel Rojas is doing fine at SS but is 35 and a career utility guy thus could fix 2B for now. Biggio is now their regular at 3B. For a team that is supposed to be a super team they sure have some holes right now in the infield.

Of course Bo being on the IL hurts this but it seems it is a short term thing he has (hopefully) as no reports say it is worse than a strained calf that I've seen. So odds are no deal until he is back on the field. By then the Jays could be buried though. Jays playoff odds at FanGraphs are now down to 12.9%, Red Sox up to 31.9%. I see this as the window of opportunity - you have a mega contender with cash and prospects up the wazoo who desperately needs what you have. If Atkins can squeeze them hard and get a few top prospects then it is worth it (Bo is very cheap on the budget for 2024/25 and LAD have the cash to sign him long term as we've seen). But would the Jays pull the plug as a Bo deal would scream? Should they? I hate to write off 2024 but it might be time. Of course, only if the Dodgers do come up with a killer one-sided deal in the Jays favor.

So who are the Dodgers top prospects? MLB.com has just 2 in the top 100 - Dalton Rushing (C/1B, 23 AA, 264/384/478) at #50 (could be a good fit if Jansen leaves/is traded), and Josue De Paula (RF, 19 A, 257/372/444) at #80 - both rated as strong bats but questionable defense, basically what the Jays are needing. Plus the Jays training staff has done amazing with both Jansen & Kirk as both were seen as below average defenders in the minors and now are solid, gold glove contending defenders in the majors. Rushing I'd love the Jays to grab. The Dodgers #1 pre-season was River Ryan (25, AAA, RHP, was an infielder for SD in low A) who has shoulder issues thus just 3 G in 2024. Diego Cartaya is a C who lost a lot of shine the past 2 years in AA (198/297/372) but is just 22 and hit 22 HR in 2022. Lots more listed at FanGraphs if anyone wants to dig more. Basically you could get a future C and an OF and/or pitcher for Bo from LA in the right deal. That could help a lot for 2026 and beyond. Some are near ready thus helpful as soon as 2025 (Rushing, Ryan). I'd push hard for Rushing and Ryan myself but the Dodgers are a very smart organization so I'd be careful too - they can be like the Rays and make one think they got a good deal when you are fleeced in reality.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#447827) #
The Teoscar trade can't be looked at in a vacuum. It was done to spend the money allocated to Teoscar's contract somewhere else. I didn't think the return on the trade was particularly good (still don't) but that wasn't really the point and I won't really criticize that aspect for that reason - "did they spend the Teoscar salary money elsewhere wisely?" is really the way to look at that deal.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#447828) #
Teoscar was not a good defensive OF, I suspect we all can agree on that. Somehow since leaving he has become solid - +1 DRS last year, +3 so far this year in RF, but -4 DRS in LF this year (where the Jays would've put him). Last year he was a 1.8 fWAR player (meh) with a wRC+ of 105 - basically a 'so what' who wouldn't have impacted the team in a positive way that season at age 30. This year at 31 (an age where rapid decline can happen) he somehow has upped all aspects of his game - wRC+ of 135 - his highest since 2020 (in fact the highest ever outside of the freakshow year) to go along with solid defense in RF. Why? Who knows. Could be that Ohtani and Betts showed him something, or the general atmosphere of a winner is helping, or could just be good ol' dumb luck (aka dead cat bounce - drop a dead cat from the top of a building and it'll bounce, but that doesn't mean it ever will again). A 2-3 year deal last winter wouldn't have been a bad idea for the Jays to have done with him, as he was demanding a multi-year deal (according to him). However, Turner was accepting of a 1 year deal at half the price per year that Teoscar was demanding. Turner was coming off a 114 OPS+ season, and outside of May has hit very well (wRC+ by month - 152-9-150). It is a known that he was very sick in May and the Jays were foolish not to IL him during that time.

Now, compare Teoscar to Kiermaier and you get a different story. KK is at 0.0 fWAR right now with a 56 wRC+, by month 39-100-(-1), yes negative for June. Yikes! Funny though, in 2023 his June was a 34 wRC+ followed by a 100 July. Go figure. Right now I'd be looking at dumping KK or making him a 5th OF, in the Zimmer mode - late inning defense only. Now, signing Teoscar instead of KK would've been a good move, even at double the price as KK is basically a minimum salary level player right now (equivalent to a Zimmer or Lukes) and shouldn't be out there as a starter. Maybe with Springer slumping so bad he could cover for him (thus only 1 dead zone in the lineup) but that's about it. Springer monthly is 83-82-29 (yikes!).
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#447830) #
Iím wondering of Kiermaier lost some motivation after last season. He was reportedly contemplating retirement in the off-season when no one expressed interest in his services. And before that he had mentioned the toll the RC turf had taken on his body. He then decided to jump back into the fray after Atkins called and made him a substantial offer.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#447831) #
It is a great time to trade Bichette to the Dodgers, IMO. While his performance has not been good this season, he has an extra year of cost certain control and the Dodgers have a sense of desperation due to lack of infield options + injury (Betts). If Bichette is still a Blue Jay and not a Dodger after the trade deadline, then it will be 2017 all over again, which I suspect it will be. The Jays even have an internal SS option in Buffalo with a 132 wRC+ and a xwOBA near .400 in AAA right now. He's 23 and can apparently play a good SS. There's no excuse not to make that move.

Whether the Jays want to get someone in a position of need who might help in 2025 (Rushing) or someone with a lower floor/higher ceiling who is further off (De Paula), either scenario would put the team in a better spot for 2025-beyond.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#447832) #
John,

I posted in the other game thread about Kikuchi and Bichette being good trade options to send to the LAD. Bichette alone should get you very close to the equivalent of what 1 year of Glasnow gave the Rays which is Pepiot and Deluca. That would help the Blue Jays now and in the future. Add in Garcia or Kikuchi and you should be able to get that type of return plus another strong prospect. You have to hope the LAD would extend Bichette in order to justify the prospect expense.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#447833) #
It would help if Bichette were playing better. Iím not sure the Blue Jays will get the type of return they would if Bichette were having a typical season for him. He could be a 1 WAR player or a 5 WAR player, or anywhere in between, for the acquiring team.

I donít like the idea of selling low on a player. But yeah, I think the Blue Jays will seriously explore the possibility of moving him next month.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#447834) #
Fangraphs says the Blue Jays current odds of making the postseason are 13.1%. Their odds of winning the WS are 0.5%.

The Blue Jays season is hanging by a thread, letís not sugarcoat it (to mix metaphors).
scottt - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#447835) #
Everyone still expects Bichette to bounce back. His value can only go down.
Even if he bounces back, one year of Bichette isn't worth much this winter.

The Jays need a clean up heater but Teoscar was never the ideal guy.
He was groomed to play in center but his reads are not good.
He was pretty bad in LF. He's figured out how to play RF by freezing until he's sure where the ball is headed then his speed and arm strength let him make some plays.

They took a shot at Belt who was a good hitter but not the right type for a clean up hitter.
Belt would take his walks, but was not productive with runners on.

They chased Othani, who would have been great.

I still need to see what that Orelvis kid can do at this level.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#447837) #
"one year of Bichette isn't worth much this winter."

Your argument isn't convincing me. Dude led the league in hits in every healthy year. Great hitter. Good track record. Not worth very much according to Scottt.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#447839) #
I was at the June 17 game- probably my only game of the year.  The game will be remembered as "Yusei's bad birthday" game, or perhaps "Yusei, stop" in homage to Hello, Goodbye which was played every time Kikuchi struck out a Bosox batter. 

The only managerial headscratcher in that game for me was the decision to bring in Trevor Richards for the 5th and 6th innings with the club down 5-1.  It's a low leverage situation, and Richards has earned (and the club needs) medium and medium-high leverage work.  Send out Eisert for the 5th and 6th, and see where the game is at the end of 6.  The decision came back to bite last night when Richards was unavailable when they could really have used him.


Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#447840) #
the decision to bring in Trevor Richards for the 5th and 6th innings with the club down 5-1.

Agree completely. The team has two - two?! - trustworthy relief pitchers, which is almost impossible. But there it is. And I don't completely trust Green and Richards, but they're by far the best options available.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#447841) #
I was looking at Bichetteís numbers on a month to month basis for the last couple years. 2022 he had a great May and a red-hot September. He also had a brutal start. 2023 was an awesome start, but he fell off a cliff in August that has lasted through into this season.

If Iím an acquiring team, I think itís fair to ask which Bo youíre getting, and why heís been so bad for 2/3 of a season. Itís obvious to me that his trade value is be significantly lower than it would have been at the mid-point of last season.
Like, heís hitting worse than Paul Dejong right now. Almost identical avg and obp, but way less power.

If I were an acquiring team, I would be very hesitant to pay a significant cost until I saw the old Bo back for while.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#447842) #
Going by your logic, if you were an acquiring team you would just go trade for Paul Dejong. Thing is, most serious teams won't do that. That says a lot about the pedigree and upside of one vs the other.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#447844) #
Itís easy to make predictions. Weíll see what the market bears at the trade deadline.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#447845) #
Bo is definitely a buy low candidate. And he is giving off some very poor body language.

I cant see a GM ignoring any of that and paying based off past performance.

If I am a GM wanting a rental and can get Paul Dejong and his 112 OPS+ for a B prospect, or Bo and his 81 OPS+ for an A prospect, plus, plus, its an easy decision.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#447846) #
Iím not saying that they have equivalent value. Iím saying I think Boís value has taken a substantial hit and that it will be hard to get the transformative prospects Toronto would need to pull the trigger. Itís too much risk for other teams.

Time will tell, I suppose

92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#447847) #
"The game will be remembered as "Yusei's bad birthday" game, or perhaps "Yusei, stop" in homage to Hello, Goodbye which was played every time Kikuchi struck out a Bosox batter."

Lisa Loeb would like a word, Mike.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#447848) #
What the Blue Jays need is for Bo to have one of those unconscious months (like September 2022) where he hits everything in sight, with power. Then he'll have a robust trade market.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#447849) #
Clement gets benched tonight. I think its obvious why the team is hitting so poorly. You start hitting on this team and you get benched. Guys just wanna play - ergo they take a collar and that guarantees them playing time.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#447850) #
yep journeymen bench players hitting well makes the struggling vets look worse.

can't have that.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#447851) #
Ernie could be banged up after slipping into the camera well yesterday
Nigel - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#447852) #
Or he could just be refusing to get in the lineup so as to avoid the smell getting on his uniform:)
Eephus - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#447853) #
God this team sucks.
Eephus - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#447854) #
I apologize. Itís more complicated than that. But I am seriously unimpressed.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#447855) #
Clement gets benched tonight.

I dunno. I'm fine with Barger and Horwitz in the lineup.

Kiner-Falefa has played 72 of 73 games, though. It's possible he could use a day. Although, it's also possible that he just doesn't get tired.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#447856) #
Serious question - are fine with any lineup these days that has both Springer and KK in it? I think that is hard to justify right now.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#447858) #
I think that we are also seeing why Barger's problem is "where can you put him in the field"? He's got a fabulous arm but the rest of the skills of an INF are rough and he doesn't have great range for the OF.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#447859) #
still waiting for one game where he plays all 8 of the hitters that have hit at an actual mlb level this year.
Dewey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#447860) #
Iíve been listening to the Jays games on radio the past couple of days: Ben Shulman and Madison Somebody. Madison is of the school that believes it is obligated to comment after almost every single pitch. She is knowledgable, voluble, even garrulous. She speaks quite rapidly and without pausing, as if sheís afraid someone might interject. Fat chance they would have of getting a word in. Why do Ďcolour commentatorsí do this?
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#447861) #
you could have let him get tossed.

he wanted to get tossed.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#447862) #
still waiting for one game where he plays all 8 of the hitters that have hit at an actual mlb level this year.

The rest of us are, perhaps like Schneider himself, waiting for the day when this team actually has 8 such people available to put in the lineup.
Chuck - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#447863) #
Why do Ďcolour commentatorsí do this?

I chalk up such behaviour by young broadcasters to insecurity, their desire to establish credibility NOW. In Madison's case, I would think that insecurity is exacerbated by being a woman in what is largely a man's domain.

Of course not all established broadcasters opt for periods of silence. The TV colour guy, for example, seems a slave to his narcissism.

Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#447864) #
Madison is of the school that believes it is obligated to comment after almost every single pitch.

Yeah, that's Madison Shipman. I've seen her doing a solid enough job on the pre-game and post-game. I don't hear the radio very often so I'm not aware if she's done much colour commentary, if that's a regular gig for her.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#447865) #
I have no idea why they put KK and Springer in the lineup at the same time - there is no reason for it outside of a total fear that there will be a TON of flyballs to right-center. The 3 worst hitters for the Jays in June are (wRC+) Springer (29), Kirk (18), and Kiermaier (-1) (with Biggio at -100 (3 PA and dumped)). To have 2 of those 3 in the lineup at the same time is pure stupidity or stubbornness imo. Jansen is just ahead of them at 39. Schneider is at 53 (which helps explain his bench time), IKF 69 (but his defense at SS a must right now). The rest are 99 and up. Clement leading at 231 but seems glued to the bench at times. Wonder if he insulted John Schneider or something.

Of course, as I typed this KK drove in a run. Go figure.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#447866) #
"The rest of us are, perhaps like Schneider himself, waiting for the day when this team actually has 8 such people available to put in the lineup."

he's had 8 available since Horwitz was called up.

Barger might be turning that into 9 guys soon, too.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#447867) #
The 8 hitters actually hitting at an MLB level this year:

* Horwitz 149wrc+
* Guerero 122
* Jansen 120
* Schneider 115
* Varsho 111
* Clement 107
* Turner 105
* Clement 100


nobody else above 80wrc+ on the year.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#447868) #
sorry that's Falefa at 100wrc+, not Clement twice.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#447870) #
"If I am a GM wanting a rental and can get Paul Dejong and his 112 OPS+ for a B prospect, or Bo and his 81 OPS+ for an A prospect, plus, plus, its an easy decision."

You're crazy, there's no chance a World Series contender like the Dodgers would prefer Dejong over Bo, small sample size or not.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#447871) #
sorry that's Falefa at 100wrc+, not Clement twice.

Yeah, but I was looking at bb-ref, which has Kiner-Falefa at 97!!
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#447872) #
heheh.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#447873) #
hey 97 is still MLB quality! just a bit below average! pretty good when a guy has plus defense!



but sub-80 is hardly acceptable from even a plus defensive bench player.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#447874) #
a humiliating sweep against the mediocre team just head of us in the standings to plunge us well below .500 approaching the halfway point.

this feels like it should be the end of something(s).
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#447875) #
The Blue Jays postseason odds will dwindle to about 10-12% if they lose this game, while Bostonís will increase to around 35%.

LAís success with Teo might make them confident they can straighten out Bo as well.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#447876) #
The run differentials suggest the Red Sox are a much better team. Which is gross.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#447878) #
Odds that Schneider makes it out of Cleveland?
scottt - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#447879) #
They looked at Burr, saw that hitters had trouble with the slider and told him to throw mostly just sliders.
There are a lot of relievers who throw a fastball and a slider and the mix is usually around 50/50.
If you throw nothing but sliders, the hitters will sit on it and it's a totally different game.
You have to throw it for a strike and of course you might hang one. 

Dewey - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#447880) #
Yes, Iíve seen Madison with Jamie Campbell on the telly, Magpie. I liked her: she was personable, obviously knowledgable, and has a lovely laugh. Sheís also pretty easy on the eyes in a generic blond sort of way. (Hey, I get to say that because, unlike Magpie, I really am old; hence a threat to no one in any way. Well, except for ugly. Iím a threat to him just on general principles. Hang in there, ugly.)

And I expect youíre right, Chuck (as usual). Iíve noticed the young news-readers on CBC Radio have the same, or even worse, problems with our language. I always thought that radio announcers had some actual training for their jobs. Guess not. A voice coach, even a drama class -- something -- to alert them to pace, rhythm, intonation. Itís their job, after all.
Glevin - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#447881) #
This should be the end of Atkins. There simply is no plan except hope and prayer.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#447882) #
This is not a good team. We can hope for them to go on a run, but the run differential, eye test, and common sense goes against that theory. Painful end to what looked like it could have been a fun competitive window, but there doesn't appear to be any juice left to be squeezed out of this core.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#447883) #
Take your frustrations out on me, Dewey! I can take it. I'm the hero you need.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#447884) #
Game 2 of the 2022 wild card series broke this team and they never recovered.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#447885) #
Well, gang. I had no expectations, I made no predictions (the wisdom of age has taught me not to go there) but this is not going well.

It's not the enormous disappointment of 2013 (expectations weren't nearly high this year, and the team hasn't been as awful) nor has it been the soul-crushing disaster of 2004. But 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Even if it's not as deep as a well nor as wide as a church door.

I expected better than this, and I don't think that was an unreasonable position. But then they started playing the games. As a great philosopher once observed, everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

All I can say is "Stop hitting me!"
Kelekin - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#447887) #
Despite how rough the season has been, I find myself more annoyed by the continuous decline of the broadcast production. When we're not being shown superimposed advertisements for semaglutide or AR banners that look like they're straight from a CNN Election Night graphics department, we have a production team that is asleep at the wheel constantly missing pick-offs (sometimes panning to the wrong base completely), focusing on zoom shots of players crossing the plate when interesting parts of the play are still ongoing, and a complete lack of an overhead shot to actually see what is happening.

When you combine poor production on the field with poor production everywhere else, it makes for an incredible disappointing baseball experience. Of course, I'll be watching tomorrow.
Eephus - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#447888) #
It's difficult, hell... impossible to put it as elegantly as Magpie so effortlessly does. So, I will do it in my own uniquely effortless fashion: they stink! To paraphrase the great poet of our time, Doctor John Zoidberg... your team is bad and you should feel bad!

No, that's a lie because nobody should feel bad. First of all because many of us saw this disaster of "I don't think this team will be able to score runs" coming several miles away. And second: baseball is actually a wonderful game! I love it so deep down to my core... whether it be a rainy blowout at Smythe Park for the TMBL, a gorgeous Sunday at Christie Pits for the Leafs... baseball is a joyful thing. 

I think the biggest reason I've found this 2024 Jays team so unfun (it's a word now damnit!) to watch is that there isn't a lot of joy to behold. When they lose... it's catastrophic. When they win? It's a relief. An exhale, not a pure happiness. There will be much further discussion (and much warranted) about why the team is this way and who to blame/send packing their bags etc... but in the meantime this is at it's core an entertainment product and they sure aren't entertaining. 

All that said... I'm curious how the Buffalo kids look and that is what will mostly keep me checking in. Horwitz is an MLB caliber bat... Barger seems to have adjusted... I think they called up Orelvis Martinez too early but he's here, so hurry up and play him so you see what he's got, already. 

Also... every time somebody here misspells 'Horwitz' as 'Horowitz' I instantly get a Beastie Boys song stuck in my head. Not complaining.     
Eephus - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:33 AM EDT (#447889) #
Naturally, Ad-Rock's name is actually 'Horovitz' not 'Horowitz'. I need to get some sleep.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#447890) #
I hope the next front office has Mike Elias-type ability. Iím ready for a rebuild. I just want the ship to get pointed in the right direction. No more talk about improving the team through better information flows!
Magpie - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#447891) #
On the one hand, had I known that George Springer was going to go off the cliff, that Bo Bichette was going to hit .240, that Kevin Gausman's splitter would stop sinking, and that the entire freaking bullpen was going to go straight into the toilet - well, I would have thought that this team has a chance to lose 95 games. They still do, come to think of it. The fact remains that they're still just a good week away from being level at .500, well ahead of the mid-summer break, and all things are still possible. Not that this teams looks likely to actually have a good week.

On the other hand, it's always something. You have to expect the unexpected. That's the game, too. That's why predictions are a mug's game. It's not like their best player has torn an ACL or anything like that.
Nigel - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:24 AM EDT (#447892) #
Iím pretty dispassionate about this yearís Jays because I didnít think they were that good before the year started. I do get though why, in part, people are finding this yearís team so hard to follow - they donít play an exciting brand of baseball (although they are a heck of a defensive club, which I enjoy) and they themselves look pretty miserable (for the most part) playing. I keep praying for any outcome other than 84 wins and that is looking more and more likely so I actually think brighter days are ahead (although further down the road than we would all like).
Magpie - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 02:16 AM EDT (#447893) #
I think they look miserable because a) they're not winning, and b) they don't know why this is happening. And they're generally low-scoring, defensive games they tend to play. No one has any fun that way.

Come to think of it, why would you want to build an elite defensive team at this particular moment in the game's history? Teams have never required less from their defenders than they do now (because so many more of the outs are coming from the pitchers striking out the hitters.)
mathesond - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 06:21 AM EDT (#447894) #
Come to think of it, why would you want to build an elite defensive team at this particular moment in the game's history?

Erm...to capitalize on a market inefficiency? That's all I got...
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#447895) #
This organization is all the same in the office top to bottom. Switching out the GM or manager won't change the issues, you need to change Shapiro. Who thinks Shapiro has a better gear and idea about how to build a winner with a quarter billion dollar budget? Who thinks he couldn't do it because he was distracted by the renovations? Looks like he just can't do it without an Antonetti or AA or some real GM with vision.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#447896) #
focusing on zoom shots of players crossing the plate when interesting parts of the play are still ongoing, and a complete lack of an overhead shot to actually see what is happening.


This has been increasingly bothering me. There'll be a runner at 2B, base hit to the outfield, and the hitter's trying for a double. We know the other guy's scoring, the throw is going to second, and yet the camera will show the player crossing home (and several seconds after) and completely miss the play at second base. We have to listen to the announcer to hear if he's actually safe or what in real time.
Ditto on the lack of overhead shots to see if a throw home is on line or not. The camera will be zoomed way too far in on something so that we can't actually see what's going on.
bpoz - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#447897) #
The fast rebuild after 2019 with expensive FAs has worked out quite well. 2024 is year 5 after 2019.

Our payroll is over the luxury tax threshold and the highly paid players are declining with age or getting more injuries due to that age. A few Bauxites did anticipate age and high payroll having a bad effect on the teams performance.

Now we are having an influx of youth Schneider is doing quite well. Horowitz, Barger and Orelvis are with the big club but they have played too little to prove anything.
Nigel - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#447899) #
Why would you build an elite defensive team in this day and age? Thatís actually a question Iíve been pondering for a while now and mathesond is, I believe, pointing in the right direction. I think this all stems from an organizational failure to develop starting pitching. Other than one year of Manoah the system hasnít produced a viable starter in over a decade. As a consequence, the Jays have poured resources into building a starting staff. Itís a staff that they are paying full freight for. There are no hidden gems there. No great contracts. Just pitchers getting paid a lot for what they produce. Given that, how do you build the rest of the roster if you arenít the Dodgers or the Yankees? You bring in Varsho, KK and IKF. What do they have in common? Players whose acquisition cost and/or salary are reasonable and in whom you might get value through their defensive contributions. In short, I donít think the kitty has been full enough to pay for offense. Blame it on an inability to develop pitching in house.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#447900) #
The Mike Shapiro plan, v. 3.1:
1. DFA Atkins and John Schneider, and assume the interim GM role
2. appoint interim Manager
3. Trade VGJ Jr. for a young power-hitting OF (a Jasson Dominguez type)
4.  Extend Jansen for 3 years
5. Run with an infield of Kirk/Jansen, Horwitz, Schneider, Clement and Kiner-Falefa until Bichette is completely healthy and an outfield of new acquisition, Varsho and Springer/Kiermaier
6. Ensure that Jansen gets plenty of DH time

VGJ's perceived value is now considerably higher than his actual.  Those who said "wait" weeks ago  were right, but they need to act now.   He's not about to sign long-term for anyone at his actual value ($20-$25M a year for no more than 5 years); Horwitz is a more-than-adequate replacement.  

Most importantly, they need to let Schneider play every day at second base.  If they do, he'll be the best player on the club and it won't be close. I've come to the conclusion that he is actually a somewhat above-average defensive second baseman.  His range is about average, but he's exceptionally sure-handed and the throw from second-base does not challenge his arm.  He has not made an error in 337 defensive innings at second base, and I don't think that is much of a fluke.  Much better at second base than in left-field, I think. 
Magpie - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#447902) #
I don't have much in the way of suggestions for the current (or hypothetical GM) - I suspect I just don't look at the game the way a GM, real or hypothetical, needs to. But I would suggest that it's not a good idea to devote a roster spot to a dedicated DH - Brandon Belt, Justin Turner - unless it's a truly elite type of hitter, like David Ortiz, or like Edwin Encarnacion for a couple of years there. Modern roster construction, with just four bench players, one of whom has to catch at least 60 games, doesn't permit it.
SK in NJ - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#447903) #
Agreed that Shapiro is the issue. He came in saying the right things, but the execution was the exact opposite of what he was preaching. Instead of a "sustainable contention" model where there is heavy emphasis on player development and prospects filtering through the system, the team was built almost entirely through free agency, and not the discount aisle either. To Atkins' credit, he was typically very good with free agent signings and trades, so he was able to compensate for the lack of player development for a few years, but it was going to catch up to them eventually, and it looks like 2024 is when it did.

Replacing the coaching staff, while it might help the hitters a bit, is not going to drastically change the outlook of the team. It starts with replacing Shapiro. He is a smart guy, but the track record in Cleveland was not good, and it turns out it wasn't the low payroll or small market that caused it.
Ducey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#447904) #
Well, I have been on the rebuild train for longer than most. Hop on in. It's a long journey, you are going to go hungry, but eventually we will get to the promised land.

With respect to the defensive team, its pretty simple. They thought they had enough offense last year so they brought in KK and Varsho. Then they could not hit with men on. (I laughed yesterday when Buck said the Jays had "left a small village on base" yesterday).

The rumors this winter were that they were after some bopper LF types, but they went elsewhere. So they brought back KK, went after Turner, settled for Vogelbach.

But at the end of the day, this is not about having a defensive team. Its about the significant decline of players ability to hit. I mean Bo, Springer, Kirk, Turner,and even Vlad(and his 7 HR) are the core of this team and they are terrible with the bat. And the thing is that it was not really foreseeable.

I look at the Redsox and they have a bunch of retreads and neverweres playing great.

Maybe it's just their year. Maybe it's just not the Jay's. Baseball can be like that.

But the reality is that as a Jays and Oilers fan, I am aware that players dont want to play in our fair cities and you need to develop prospects. WAVES of prospects. This management group has not, and soon the core of the team will be free agents.

Time to rebuild and get those waves of prospects.
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#447905) #
Good point bpoz - 5 years of contention in a row (3 playoff appearances) is fairly decent by Jays standards. Although in a few years many will probably not think this was a contending year unless the kids do a big push in the 2nd half (ala 1998). Other stretches are...
  • 2013-2018 - 2013/14 and 17/18 were horrible failures but they really were trying, only one year of those 4 surrounding the playoff years was over 500 (2014 83-79)
  • 2006-2010 - one can argue an attempt was made then with 4 of 5 seasons over 500 but never closer than 10 games to the division lead, never made the playoffs. Pre-2006 they signed closer BJ Ryan, starter A.J. Burnett; traded for Lyle Overbay, Troy Glaus. Must have had some depth in the minors as they lost 4 guys in the rule 5 draft. Sadly it was all for naught as the team underplayed their runs for/against most years (if they had won at the level runs for/against suggested they would've had a playoff appearance or two).
  • 1997-2001 - a poor attempt, with a peak of 88 wins, 5 managers in 5 years, as the last of the '93 team was traded away/left by free agency, followed a few years later by the pathetic goodbye to Delgado (not even offered arbitration which was needed to get a draft pick). This attempt cost the Jays Michael Young, saw the horrid David Wells trade of a 20 game winner for a guy so injured he never played here (not even in the minors).
  • 1983-1993 - The golden era - 500+ all 11 years, pre-season favorites in most, if not all years. But just 5 playoff appearances out of 11 seasons, just 2 times winning in the first round, but that was partially due to the playoff structure then. 90+ wins in 85-87-91-92-93. Flags fly forever.
That is it for contending attempts. Only 3 of the 5 tries made the playoffs at all. Only 3 GM's here have made the playoffs at all, just 2 more than once.

I get the Atkins hate - I feel it too at times. But the fact is the Jays have done well in his era even without a playoff win (2022 the most painful). 2022 was 1987 basically - a strong team that should've been more but for a few poor choices, playing a few guys who shouldn't have been on the team. In '87 the GM froze on deals for a year and took 3+ years to figure out how to move forward, which required dumping most of the core for new guys. We are on year 2 since the painful exit from 2022 with the sneaking into the playoffs just to be spanked having happened in '23 (vs '89). Now will the core be flipped rather than waiting another year ala how Gillick did it? We shall see (Gillick started changes in '89 with Barfield but didn't go nuts until the 90/91 winter, Atkins started with Biggio being dumped).

New core? Some pieces are here - Spencer Horwitz (2B/1B - who knew? - 151 wRC+), Davis Schneider (LF/2B - 115 wRC+), Addison Barger (3B/OF - 182 wRC+ since his 2nd call-up), Orelvis Martinez (3B/2B, no PA yet). Yariel RodrŪguez (4.11 ERA 4.30 xFIP) should be back soon. But will a Bo and/or Vlad deal bring in a future Alomar/Carter? Who will be the closer (ala Ward) - Pearson is the best bet for that, remember Duane Ward didn't look promising until 1988 (failed flame throwing starter). The rotation has its veteran aces in Gausman & Berrios (both signed for a few more years). Kirk is the solid young defensive catcher ala Borders. Still need more pieces but there is promise. Hard to see a WS winner within 4 years but some parts are here. There is still a chance for the playoffs this year even now (10.8%, WS win at 0.4% via FanGraphs).

For history the Jays odds of playoffs on June 20th - 2014 70.9% (ouch), 2015 44%, 2016 57.4%, 2017 36.3% shot at the playoffs, 3.6% in 2018, 0% in 2019, 30% in 2021, 95.2% in 2022, 52.8% in 2023. That's all they have on FanGraphs history.
uglyone - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#447907) #
I hate the "rebuild" narrative tbh. "Rebuild" is a word used mostly to excuse bad mamagement.

I just want good mamagement. Good management wins without needing to suck for a long time. Especially if they are starting with a team eith a solid base of talent.
SK in NJ - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#447908) #
The one benefit to a rebuild this time around is that the team has a bunch of MLB ready options ready to take over big league spots. So for example, if they were to put everyone with 1-2 years of control left after this season on the market (Vlad, Bo, Varsho, etc), then they'd still be able to field a lineup that includes Schneider, Horwitz, Martinez, Jimenez, Barger, Roden, Berroa, etc, in 2025. The cost savings would be huge, some of those players might actually be decent, and it would allow them to trade Vlad, Bo, and others for the best prospects they can get rather than focus at all on ETA.

It will be harder to trade pitching though since the Jays have nothing there. Gausman, Berrios, and Bassitt should all have value but the rotation in 2025-26 will be 2019 levels of bad without them.
Magpie - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#447909) #
Good management wins without needing to suck for a long time.

That's what this team has had, of course - they didn't go into the toilet and have multiple 100 loss seasons. They lost 90 games, once.

But they didn't win enough to please anybody. And there's going to be a scapegoat required.
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#447910) #
But if tons of cash if freed up then they can sign a batch more ala Gausman, Bassitt, Kikuchi - all free agents signed by the current GM. Berrios was a trade but would've been a free agent signing perhaps had he gone that route instead of being dealt.

For pitchers internally we have Yariel, Tiedemann, Macko, Trenton Wallace (looking good in AA). But really, that isn't anywhere near enough to fill a rotation. Given the old pitching prospect rule (no such thing due to constant churn) I get signing the free agents who have shown their arms can hold up instead.
bpoz - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#447911) #
Thanks John N. We do think a bit alike. May I suggest that you and others that want to think about 1994 (not a typo) and Gillick.

So he won 2 WS in 1992 & 1993 after a very good and long run (the 1980s). He left because Labatts sold the team which changed operations a lot in his opinion. He did stay in baseball as an executive. I don't know how he would have proceeded from 1994 going forward.

The farm was not empty, but the payroll was probably too high for Interbrew. Cito was still here. Orerud, Timlin, Hentgen, Guzman and maybe a few others. IMO a new catcher was probably needed.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#447912) #
Berrios
Turnbull
Rodriguez
Pivetta
Manoah
Francis
Tiedeman

There's enough there to build around for a decent rotation in 2025. Sign players like Spencer Turnbull, Nick Pivetta on short term deals.

Being able to trade your players now with less than 2 years of control AND your top starting pitchers (Gausman, Bassitt and Kikuchi) makes a huge difference in how fast this team can turn around.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#447913) #
I don't have much in the way of suggestions for the current (or hypothetical GM) - I suspect I just don't look at the game the way a GM, real or hypothetical, needs to. But I would suggest that it's not a good idea to devote a roster spot to a dedicated DH - Brandon Belt, Justin Turner - unless it's a truly elite type of hitter, like David Ortiz, or like Edwin Encarnacion for a couple of years there. Modern roster construction, with just four bench players, one of whom has to catch at least 60 games, doesn't permit it.

Agree completely,  And when you have an excellent defensive catcher, and a second capable defensive catcher also capable of hitting enough to be valuable in the DH role, that goes double. 
85bluejay - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#447914) #
I hope the Red Sox series helped the vision of those who have been looking at the 2024 Jays through rose coloured glasses.
92-93 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#447917) #
Do any of the current contenders have significant stars that were acquired by trading talent for prospects? I haven't dove in but the only one that comes to mind is Cleveland getting Gimenez for Lindor.

It's such a nice theory, but I'm skeptical that in reality it works out that often. At best you're receiving another organization's Tiedemann or Martinez. The more prospects the merrier, sure, but there are also benefits to fielding as good a team as possible year in and year out. The Red Sox attached Price to Betts so it changed the equation, but look at what they got for a HOF talent.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#447918) #
"I hope the Red Sox series helped the vision of those who have been looking at the 2024 Jays through rose coloured glasses."

Our vision is fine 85, we're called optimists. More than that we try to extract what value there is from what we have. To not do so is to be futile. If I was a man who watched other humans run on a field and be athletic while I sat on a couch perhaps I could understand the complaints and general weariness of many posters here with "correct vision" of the team.

I use the Blue Jays for mindless entertainment to take my mind away from daily stresses and realities. My two daughters don't need to have a "corrected vision," that shows them we are wasting money, wasting time on a team that is dog poop. Bringing my kids for ice cream, baseball and out of the house is a priceless experience, coloured glasses or not. Sometimes it's better to have those glasses than to stare into the blinding son, raw. Know what I mean?
soupman - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#447919) #
The Nats might not be contenders, but Wood looks like a difference maker. They got their starting SS and a middle rotation starter from the Soto trade. The other piece is Hassel who might be returning to prospect status- he's still young for AA. That was for 2.5 years of Soto. On the other hand, the Padres got a lot of depth pieces for 1 year of Soto, imo.

Mike Green - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#447920) #
The Yankees acquired Gleyber Torres for Alodis Chapman. The Rays over the last decade have made a habit of acquiring players like Arozarena by trading established players who they don't want to keep.
Nigel - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#447921) #
I don't see why it has to be all or nothing. I want this team to do something/anything before next year starts. That doesn't have to be a complete sell off nor an "empty the bucket" trade. Neither are really where this team is at on the success curve and neither are in the Rogers DNA anyway. A thoughtful sale of a couple of pieces? I'd be all for that. Just don't repeat this past offseason of do nothing - that didn't work.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#447923) #
Chapman was a near-unhittable relief ace in 2016 when the Cubs traded for him. Chicago was aiming for a WS title at the time and, as it turned out, they won the WS that year. The Cubs paid a steep price for half a season of Chapman but they attained their goal. You could argue that the Blue Jays should have done something similar in 2021.

The A's might want to consider trading Mason Miller this summer for the same reason.
soupman - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#447924) #
I guess the other trade would be Kent for Cone. Kent of course is in the Hall of Fame now. He was a ptnbl, i can't remember why---after the deadline and he had to clear waivers or something?

Kent is an interesting case. I forgot that he really wasn't off to a hall of fame start. it was only when he went to san francisco and played alongside bonds that he really 'enhanced' his body of work.
SK in NJ - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#447925) #
Not every return is going to lead to 1) getting a great prospect, and/or 2) that prospect panning out. That doesn't mean it still wouldn't potentially be a catalyst to the next great Jays team a few years from now.

For example, there was a lot of talk in 2017 about the Cardinals wanting to trade for Donaldson. Instead, the Jays decided to hold on to him at the 2017 deadline, and a few months later the Cardinals traded Alcantara, Gallen, etc, for Ozuna. If the Jays make a move like that in 2017, and suddenly the 2021-22 rotation has Alcantara in it, then the competitive window looks dramatically different. That's just a simplistic example, but it's one of the reasons why the 2021-23 run wasn't as successful as it could have been. The Jays got nothing for any of their core players in 2018-19. That put a lot of pressure on filling holes via free agency, and you can't do that every year for 5 years and expect to remain competitive.

So yes, the Jays could trade Vlad to Seattle for Lazaro Montes, or Bichette to the Dodgers for Josue De Paula (just throwing examples out there), and both could bust big time, but you have to make deals like that in order to put the team in better position to transition into a competitive window faster. Not all of them will work, but you don't need all of them to. Just 1 or 2 panning out could change the trajectory of the team.
92-93 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#447926) #
As greenfrog points out, Chapman was absolutely elite...and that trade was 8 years ago. It was certainly frustrating though to see the Yankees ignore his domestic abuse issues to get him for pennies on the dollar and then turn him into a top prospect. Two years later Osuna was run out of Hogtown.

Soto was the best hitter in baseball with 2.5 years of control left when he got moved for viable prospects. That situation was not comparable to anybody the Jays would move today.
soupman - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#447929) #
That was my point. Jays fans expecting selling anyone on the team currently to net anything other than depth or lottery tickets should not hold their breath.
Magpie - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#447930) #
You never know. The Blue Jays got a much better return when they traded Francisco Liriano than when they dealt Josh Donaldson. Or Roy Halladay.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#447931) #
Chapman was, of course, of very modest benefit to the Cubs in the playoffs themselves.   However, the Cubs were up 7 games in the division on July 25, 2016 when they traded for Chapman, but he was great for the rest of the year and helped make it easy for them.  The Cubs won 14 of 15 beginning on July 27 to take a 14 game lead, and that may have helped them in the playoffs. 
greenfrog - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#447933) #
There may also be a psychological benefit to a team when its front office goes all-in by trading for a difference-making player. This may have happened to the Blue Jays in 2015 with the Price and Tulowitzki trades.

Circling back to the original point of the discussion, Chapman had a lot of market value at the time of the trade. He was a 28-year-old perennial 2.5+ fWAR reliever at the time. In the Yankees portion of his 2016 season, he was averaging 100.8 MPH on his fastball, striking out 12.64/9IP and walking only 2.3/9IP.

In 2021, the Blue Jays tried to augment their bullpen with a thrift move by trading for Brad Hand, who produced a 7.27 ERA and -0.4 fWAR for them in 8.2 innings. Toronto ended up missing the postseason by a game.
Ducey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#447934) #
"This may have happened to the Blue Jays in 2015 with the Price and Tulowitzki trades."

I recall being excited at the time about Tulo. Maybe the team was. In fact, Tulo didnt add much, if anything. Reyes who, at the time of the trade, was 285/322/385 for an OPS+ of 92. Tulo came in and hit 239/317/380 for an OPS+ of 89. He went on to have one meh year, and then was done in 2017. The Jays got to pay him until 2021.
Michael - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#447935) #
"You never know. The Blue Jays got a much better return when they traded Francisco Liriano than when they dealt Josh Donaldson. Or Roy Halladay."

Right. This is why everyone should be tradeable at any time. But there is a big difference between saying if we can get the right value we'd trade anyone and saying we are doing a rebuild so we'll sell a bunch of players for the best we can get, no matter what the return is. A rebuild where you commit to selling people because you don't think you can compete and you don't think you can resign them is a recipe for disaster (and an excuse to struggle - we aren't bad, we are strategically rebuilding).

The Jays have some older players who are struggling (KK, Springer) which is unfortunate but not that surprising, but the sustained struggling of the younger players (Manoah pre-injury, Bichette, Kirk, etc. maybe a small bit of Vlad although he's been pretty good, just not HOF good) is unfortunate and fairly surprising.

I'm not convinced getting rid of Atkins and/or Shapiro would result in better management. Trades and FA signings have been pretty strong IMO from the front office overall. Some have complained we don't develop talent, but the young call ups from Buffalo have been pretty good actually which cuts against that some (even if we don't have the HOF bound developed talent we'd all love to see). While I don't think we have the best front office in baseball, I do think if you replaced our front office with a random front office you'd expect we'd be more likely to get worse, not better. I'm a little bit more skeptical of our coaching and management at the major league level, and I'd be looking to make changes there, although as outsiders we don't know what is really going on (what instructions come from the front office, what hidden illness/unavailability or the like impacts playing and game decisions, which players are coachable or not, how the interpersonal relationships are, etc.) so even this isn't 100% clear to me.
Magpie - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#447936) #
In fact, Tulo didnt add much, if anything.

Not with the bat, but Tulowitzki (and Ben Revere) considerably improved the team's defense, which rather badly needed improving. Okay, they ended up paying Tulo something like $113 million dollars for a season and a half's worth of games, but c'est la guerre. Or something like that.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#447937) #
Tulo was pretty badly injured on September 12, 2015 (cracked shoulder blade, thanks to a collision with Kevin Pillar). He wasn't fully healthy after that in 2015, which impacted the team in the postseason. He went from a 101 wRC+ in the regular season to a 66 wRC+ in the postseason.

The injury is an important factor to be considered in evaluating the trade.
Ducey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#447939) #
In terms of a rebuild, here are my thoughts.

They need to trade Kikuchi, Garcia and Jansen at the deadline. Turner, IKF and KK too, if they will net anything.

At some point in the next 6 months:

Trade Bassitt He is 35 and is starting to look his age. He has one year left and someone will take a chance on him. His value is as high as it will get.

Trade Vladdy. Lots of teams will hope to unlock his power. Should bring back a good return.

Trade Gausman. Age 33. He has 2 more years left. See Bassitt. Premium pitcher who will decline. Should bring back good return.

Look at trading Kirk. He is still a premium defender, but maybe some team will still believe in this bat. The reality is that he is not much better than the run of the mill defensive catchers floating around each winter. We all worry about his lack of "athleticism"

Wait for bullpen guys to get hot for a few months and increase their value, and then trade them.

Talk to teams about Berrios, Varsho, Schneider. No rush, but they dont fit the next window. Wait until max offer comes in.

Maybe Springer has a dead cat bounce and he can be flipped. If not, veteran presents.

That leaves Bo. I think they are going to have to sit on him until next trade deadline and hope he sorts himself out. Maybe start playing him at 2B 30% of the time to showcase him there.

Some of these guys could be packaged, and the Jays could take back some bad contracts and retain salary.

If done right (ie fire Atkins), they could massively inject a dozen or so strong prospects. The team would not be good for a few years, improving draft position. Vets would be signed to fill holes and then flipped at the deadline. Maybe they get an extra pick for having a ROY. Maybe they win a lottery or two.
Glevin - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#447940) #
I'm fine trading for lottery tickets if that's all you can get but unless you are trading super valuable piece, it's unlikely you will get much future value back. Most prospects fizzle out. I'd rather take young major leaguers generally than some guy in A ball who has like a 1% chance to become a star. Give me Miguel Vargas or Bobby Miller or Josh Outman in a trade over dreaming on some guy four years away.
SK in NJ - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#447944) #
Ideally you could get a high upside prospect who has already proven to be able to hit AA or AAA pitching (or get AA/AAA hitters out), but I don't think those types of deals are realistic in today's MLB climate. Joey Ortiz was traded for 1 year of Corbin Burnes, but that's a very rare exception because while Ortiz would have been the clear cut #1 prospect on the Jays, he was expendable and probably not even a top 5 prospect for the O's. The most realistic way to trade for a star prospect in 2024 is probably to get them when they are still in A or A+. That's a far riskier proposition since the further away they are, the more unlikely they are to make an impact, but for this particular team that can't draft very well and are littered with floor over ceiling prospects, I think I'd go the high upside low minors route over the "could be a big league contributor next season" route. The latter mindset is what lead to Drury, McKinney, Kay, and so on.

Really depends on how you want to handle the risk. You probably don't want to center the package around the 19 year old in A ball with high upside if you want to minimize risk, but those are the types that you build your team around if they pan out.
pooks137 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#447945) #
Talk to teams about Berrios, Varsho, Schneider . No rush, but they dont fit the next window.

Wait, why are we including Davis Schneider in the Outgoing box of guys that won't be on the next great Jays team?

He's 25 with 5 more years of Service Time to go.

Ducey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#447947) #
For some reason I though Davis was 28. Okay, we can keep him :)
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#447948) #
I agree with Magpie - all prospects are suspects until they perform in the majors. Pearson was a top 10 in MLB guy in 2020, as was Travis Snider in 2009, and Jose Silva in 1994 (3 Jays in the top 10 that year - Gillick didn't leave a bare cupboard that is for sure - others were Delgado & Alex Gonzalez who was #4 in MLB, plus lower ranked Shawn Green, DJ Boston, and Paul Spoljaric).

Lets look at a more recent BA top 10 - 2019 (the year the Jays tanked)
  1. Vladimir Guerrero - we know this guy, 17 bWAR so far
  2. Fernando Tatis - 20.9 bWAR so far, PEDs are good.
  3. Eloy Jimenez - 5.5 bWAR, -0.1 this year, was a LF now a DH with an 89 OPS+ - sucks to be a White Sox fan I guess.
  4. Wander Franco - wandered too much with teens. 11.5 bWAR before he screwed up his life.
  5. Forrest Whitley - just 2/3 IP in the majors so far, 7.94 ERA in AAA this year, at age 26 I'd rank him a flop.
  6. Jo Adell - -1.3 bWAR so far, a RF with a 80 OPS+, better than his career average. Poor Angels.
  7. Jesus Luzardo - 6.8 bWAR, 86 ERA+ this year in 10 starts for Miami (was an A when a prospect).
  8. Bo Bichette - we know him. 17.6 bWAR so far.
  9. Royce Lewis - 3.9 bWAR, he was hurt most of this season as he didn't play between opening day and June 4th but is making up for lost time with a 272 OPS+ so far
  10. Nick Senzel - -1.7 bWAR, ugh. Was a Red but Washington grabbed him and now has a 110 OPS+ at 3B but 0.0 bWAR this year despite that.
So that was the 2020 top 10. The Jays 2 did well so far, Tatis the only one who did better. Franco might have been but ... So I'd say 3 big successes in the top 10, should've been 4. Meh's are Jimenez, Luzardo, Lewis. Flops are Whitley, Adell, Senzel. Franco could be the most expensive flop depending on how his contract is handled though - he is still being paid.

So yeah, there is no such thing as a sure thing. However, the more lottery tickets you have the better your odds. In 2019 the Jays had 2 and won on both. Angels had one and flopped.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#447949) #
The club is spending $20M for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  He is on a 2-3 WAR pace again this year.  They have a ready-made replacement who fields his position well, and has a 150 wRC+ in triple A the last two years and a 128 wRC+ in 84 major league PAs so far.  He's a good bet to be close to Guerrero Jr. in value.  So, if you trade VGJ, you're getting both a player who has a chance to be worth something and $20M to spend, for the price of the modest difference between VGJ and Horwitz. 
christaylor - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#447950) #
So, doing it right is firing the GM with a month to go, introducing a new guy who likely doesn't have a job now (not going to hire away anyone in FO with a contract) and having this hypothetical person trade most of the roster for whatever is on offer from a menu. Does this imaginary savvy yet unemployed GM have super scouting powers that 30 teams have overlooked?

What is the quote about how a person goes bankrupt, first gradually then suddenly... I could be wrong, but I don't think that's advice for running a baseball team.




christaylor - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#447952) #
II decided to join the club and go a little trade bonkers.

Ross Atkins gets drunk with Mike Elias and they decide birds of a feather ought to flock together against the evil empire

Atkins agrees to send the O's Yusei, Bassitt, VGJ and throw in retaining all the salary for those three for 2024 (and 2025 for Bassitt). Elias is down with his new buddy but knows he needs to give enough fair value back because Shapiro and Rogers have to sign off when he sobers up.

What are the lower and upper bounds from the O's farm system coming back that the majority here will say, "Nice. Good job Atkins!"

I would suggest Holliday and Kjerstad but if I put myself in Elais' shoes, I say no to that, but then again flags do fly forever... ah, off-day nonsense!
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#447954) #
christaylor - that brings up a good question, if the Jays decide to clean out their expiring contracts and write off 2024 would they be willing to do a deal with a division rival? That tends to look bad to fans and easily can come back to bite you in the butt.

That said, MLB.com had the O's farm as #1 preseason, Rays #6 (they are sellers not buyers this time), Yankees #11, Red Sox #14. Top 5 includes Cubs (#2 - similar to Jays in standings), Brewers (7 1/2 game lead in division), Padres (1/2 game out of playoffs), and Tigers (doing worse than the Jays). Dodgers are #8. To exclude the O's and Yankees from trade options would be dumb imo.

Trade options are: (via Cot's Contracts)
  1. Free Agents post 2024: Kikuchi ($12), Jansen ($5.2), Garcia ($5.5), Turner ($13), Kiermaier ($10.5), Richards ($2.15). Jays are about $9 million over the luxury tax - if they say 'screw 2024' they'll want to get under it which would probably require cutting close to $20 million due to how much of the season is done (plus paying minimum salary to replacements). Amounts in brackets is the cap hit in millions. Can't see anyone taking Kiermaier's contract, but Kikuchi, Jansen, Garcia, and Richards should all have significant markets. Turner might if he keeps hitting as he did in April & June with no returning to May's horrid results.
  2. Post 2025 free agents: Bassitt ($21), Vlad ($19.9), Bo ($11.2 each year), Green ($10.5 each year), Romano ($7.75), IKF ($7.5 each), Mayza ($3.59), Swanson ($2.75), Cabrera ($1.512).
  3. Not running out anytime soon but expensive: Springer ($25 per for 2 more years after '24), Gausman ($22 per for 2 more), Berrios ($18.714 per for many years, can opt out after 2026). That's it for $10+ mil guys. The rest are sub $6 mil thus not a significant effect on the CBT - it'd need to be a good baseball deal for them.
Group 1 is the most logical to trade for whatever they can get. Heck, if someone would take Kiermaier for nothing it'd be a good deal at this point, just to get a bit closer to cleaning off the payroll tax. But if the Jays do decide to dump Kikuchi, Jansen, Garcia, and Richards all should have decent markets. Turner might (depends 100% on his hitting at the 150 wRC+ level he showed 2 of the 3 months this year). Kiermaier - I suspect the Jays will need to pay part of that contract, or all of it, in order to get anything in return. Group 2 might get some real offers - no rush on them, force a team to knock your socks off to deal any of them. Group 3 depends on a 'knock my socks off' or someone wanting 'leadership' super badly from Springer (can't see it in modern front offices) in which case I'd say 'take him' even if the Jays need to pay half his contract.

Sigh. I'd much rather be talking about how to fix the holes as the Jays charge to a playoff slot. But realistically that isn't in the cards unless they get very hot for the next week or two.
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#447955) #
A WAR is worth around $9-10 mil now based on how the market has acted so Vlad is actually a reasonable deal at $19.9 mil for 1.0 fWAR so far. BR has him at 1.7 (I suspect most of it is how each measures defense) which would put him at solid value, maybe underpaid.

Plus of course Horwitz has been solid at 2B, do you really want to cut his value by putting him at 1B one minute earlier than needed? Of course, they could go whole hog and put Vlad at 3B, Horwitz at 2B and Turner at 1B, just to see if they can make a pitcher cry.

Realistically I can't see Vlad being traded unless someone gives the Jays an insane deal (2 top 10 prospects and they'll eat Springer's contract).
Nigel - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#447957) #
John, the value of WAR really isn't linear. A 2 WAR player isn't worth $18-20m per year. A 2 WAR player is just a "league average player" and is worth considerably less than $20m per year. The value in salary dollars of 1 WAR increases in a non-linear fashion as you move further above replacement level and then, weirdly, drops off a cliff for the true superstars because who can pay a 10 WAR player $100m/year.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#447958) #
This board is severely undervaluing Bo Bichette. He will net a return of at least one bonafide top 100 prospect with MLB ETA of 2024/25. That is the floor for a return for Bo.

Vlad imho had a ceiling of a return equal to Bo's floor. More likely you get two high upside prospects in lower levels for Vlad.

Kikuchi and Garcia will get you high upside prospects a bit less than Vlad's return. Imagine a similar return that Stroman netted the Jays.

Mike Green - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#447959) #
I don't see the defensive abilities of Horwitz and Schneider the same way as others.  Schneider is, in my view, a solid defensive second baseman and very well suited to the position (even better than left-field which is further down the spectrum).  Horwitz is ideally suited to first base and less well suited to second base.  He can play the position acceptably, in the same way that Mark Grace or Keith Hernandez or a young Eddie Murray could have. 
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#447963) #
Nigel - as a rule that hasn't been the case in Free Agency, although this past winter it did seem that way for once. Generally a solid 1-2 WAR expected guy like Kiermaier (realistically I didn't expect much more) got $10 mil. Chapman was viewed as a 2-3 WAR guy by projections and got $20 mil guaranteed, with player options for future years to give him more potentially if he slows faster than expected. Ohtani got just shy of $50 per (factoring in the present value of his deal) which says they expect 5 WAR a year from him, not unreasonable, with a potential of 10 WAR a year here and there but paying over 10 years.

It isn't hard to find cases of $9-10 mil a year based on projections of what the guy was expected to do. Not as easy to find cases of sub that, nor of a 'star premium' outside of years guaranteed (Ohtani). No one has paid $100 mil a year because no one has been seen as a lock for that yet when they reached free agency, plus the risk premium (if a guy making $20 mil breaks a leg opening day, it hurts the team's budget, but a guy making Ohtani money doing that would hurt more, and making $100 mil would be a killer - we'll always wonder if Ohtani might have got the $100 mil per if he was still a lock to be pitching when free agency hit).

Logically WAR shouldn't be linear. It should be escalating, but it isn't outside of years guaranteed. That is the big risk teams make. Few players are willing to go year-to-year for obvious reasons if they don't need to.
Nigel - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#447964) #
John, KK is actually proof of my point. Over the past three years KK and Vladdy have accumulated almost exactly the same fWAR - 5.8. Yet, Kk has accumulated that on a vastly smaller number of PAís (for a variety of reasons). Yet, Kk, as a true free agent, signed for half the cost. Vladdy is actually significantly overpaid in the current market. I really like Vladdy but Iím with Mike, you can have Horwitz who appears able to provide 95% of what Vladdy can at 1/20th of the cost. Seems an obvious value optimization opportunity.
John Northey - Thursday, June 20 2024 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#447965) #
Meh. KK isn't proof - no one expects him to retain value year to year - 30+ year old defensive specialists rarely do, so his falling off the cliff this year isn't a shocker. FanGraphs had his projections from 0.9 to 2.0 WAR. Jays signed him for the lower end of that - other teams felt he might be lower still as a 34 year old who counts on defense for most of his value. Turns out the 29 other teams were right. Yeah, if healthy he would be worth more in the past, but he never is. That is part of the equation, that you need someone to fill in for 1/3rd of the season every year for him.

Vlad loses value on defense. MLB doesn't value defense as much as projection systems do, never has, probably never will. Why? Hard to say. Probably due to the variability in measures of it. IKF was in high demand due to his perceived defense even if most systems didn't see it. 2B/SS/C defense tends to be overvalued, all others undervalued. Perhaps there is a reason beyond what we know (and what FanGraphs & BR use to measure) for that. Also, Vlad stays healthy, KK doesn't. That is a MASSIVE factor to teams, even if KK might produce as much value in 100 games as Vlad does in 150. With Vlad they know they won't need a strong backup, with KK you know you do need it.

So what does it all mean? That we'll continue to see guys like KK produce more WAR than their pay suggests, that guys like Vlad (power, poor D) will get more pay than we expect. I'm wondering if for defense you need a higher threshold for the baseline before adding WAR, and a lower one before cutting it, or if they need to readjust how they measure it at 1B vs middle infield vs OF. It does seem weird that Varsho has higher ratings/value than ANYONE at any position when he plays a lot of LF where teams used to hide their worst fielders (looking at you George Bell - on teams that won 99 and 97 games when K's were a LOT lower, thus more balls in play). I can see a CF maybe doing that (if he plays like Mays or Devon White did), but it is damn hard to pass a high end SS in value for defense IMO. By DRS the top 8 single position leaders are 8-12 DRS and all 2B/C/SS except for Varsho in LF (with 8). Add in CF and you get 5 more DRS putting him at 13, more than anyone at any one position. It is weird.
Kelekin - Friday, June 21 2024 @ 01:48 AM EDT (#447966) #
Thanks BlueJayWay. Was feeling a bit old-man-yells-at-clouds for a minute there re: broadcast.
Ducey - Friday, June 21 2024 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#447971) #
It feels better if you are one of two old men who yell at the clouds?
John Northey - Friday, June 21 2024 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#447972) #
So for the past week, when the Jays gave us hope (vs Cleveland) then tossed it in the trash (vs Boston) who has played? 221 PA overall 246/327/354 sOPS+ of 87, ugh. By PA and sOPS+ (OPS+ vs all players who played in the past week)
  • 20+ PA: Vlad (56), Varsho (48), IKF (89), Turner (183), Springer (50) - these were the everyday guys who were counted on the most. Turner rose to the challenge, IKF was himself, the rest...ugh.
  • 10-19 PA: Horwitz (121), Schneider (91), Jansen (-29), Barger (165), Clement (317), Kiermaier (-19). These guys had chances to help and all but Jansen & KK did - but those 2 undid most of the good work by others.
  • Sub 10 PA: Kirk (-65), Bo (-22) - these guys earned their lack of playing time, but Bo would've had a lot more had he been healthy.
Basically we have 2 positions where someone has to play, but the 2 guys who do both had bad weeks - CF with Varsho & Kiermaier and C with Jansen & Kirk. In both cases Schneider picked the right one to give the majority of playing time to. Springer having so much time in the field is quite annoying as he has sucked all year (68 OPS+) and isn't getting better (past 28 days 84, past 14 15, past 7 50). The hope has to be very, very low that Springer will become the 128 OPS+ guy his career was pre 2024 (this year has been so bad it has shaved 3 points off his lifetime average). I hate it as I enjoy watching him play (his OF defense is damn good and he always seems to be putting it all out there on the field), but reality has to set in soon for the Jays. He need to see reduced playing time. Digging into his stats his best split appears to be vs Finesse pitchers (sOPS+ of 111) while power pitchers kill him (32 sOPS+) as do average power/finesse guys (19 sOPS+).

The Jays need to work on power/finesse splits to determine lineup imo. Past studies have shown these splits are as strong and persistent as which side you bat from vs which arm the pitcher throws with.
  • Power 602 PA: Both Schneider and Horwitz are killing power pitchers (152, 132 sOPS+ respectively) with 3 guys at a 106 sOPS+ vs power (Turner, Vlad, Bo) and 2 in the 90's (Clement, Jansen). Everyone else is sub 80
  • Inbetween 817 PA: You get Horwitz at 194, IKF 148, Schneider 125, Vlad 122, Clement 85, the rest sub 80 (Biggio was an 83).
  • Finesse 1323 PA: You see Clement at 150, 130's Jansen, Varsho, Horwitz, 120's Turner & Vlad, 111 Springer, IKF 90, Schneider 88, rest sub 80, Kiermaier the worst at 52 barely better than Kirk's 56.
So vs power you go with Jansen-Vlad-Horwitz-Clement-Bo-Schneider-Varsho-Barger-Turner (stuck with IKF until Bo is back)
vs inbetween you go Kirk (equal to Jansen here)-Vlad-Horwitz-Clement-IKF-Schneider-KK (76, as good as it gets for him)-Barger for now (no idea how he does, just 10 bad PA vs Springer 88 bad ones)-Jansen as DH (Turner sucks vs these guys so far but that might be a fluke given his horrid May and how well he does vs both power & finesse)
vs finesse - Jansen-Vlad-Horwitz-Clement-IKF-Schneider-Varsho-Springer-Turner

Trying that might help the team going forward. You can't just count on L/R stuff, that was advanced for the 80's (see Bobby Cox) but nowadays it is not enough.

Another one is ground ball vs fly ball pitchers - are any Jays extreme there?
  • Fly ball: 140+ OPS+: Turner, Horwitz, Vlad, Schneider. 120's: Bo, Jansen. Rest 85 or less with Kiermaier the worst by a mile at -9 (ie: if a fly ball pitcher is on the mound KK should be glued to the bench)
  • inbetween: 130+: Clement & Varsho, 120s: Vlad, Horwitz. 100+: Jansen, IKF, Schneider. 98: KK, everyone else 75 or less. Worst is Barger (must've been what he mostly saw his first call up), then Bo (30) then Turner (39).
  • Ground Ball: 140+: Varsho, Horwitz, Barger, 120: Bo, 100+: IKF, 88-94: Jansen, Turner, KK, Clement, Kirk is 82, Schneider & Springer at 59, Vlad at 10 is the worst.
So if Vlad is to have a day off make sure it is a ground ball pitcher on the mound (career 84 sOPS+ vs ground ball so not just this year). KK should only play vs inbetween pitchers (both in power/finesse and ground ball/fly ball). Good use of this info could help keep guys in their best position to succeed. I'd hope the Jays are factoring in stuff like this and not just being lazy with 'what side do they bat from' which is the easiest way to go but fails (RH vs RHP 105 sOPS+ RH vs LHP 79 sOPS+, LH vs LHP 87 sOPS+, LH vs RHP 82 sOPS+) for this team.
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