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                        The worst is not
So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'
-- Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i

How bad can it get? Tune in and find out!

The reeling Blue Jays stagger into the Unfriendly Confines of old Fenway Park carrying a six-game losing streak. Do you remember the last time they lost six in a row?

That's what I'm here for!

It was just over three years ago, towards the end of May 2021, when the bullpen.... went bad. Very, very bad. The Blue Jays had just opened a seven game home stand with an outstanding performance by Hyun-Jin Ryu - his seven shutout innings led the Jays to an 8-0 victory over those same Red Sox. The Jays were now sitting in second place, just half a game behind the Bostonians. With a chance to take over first place against those Red Sox, the Jays didn't. First Boston kicked Ross Stripling around something awful to even the series. And then... things got weird. In the rubber match, the Jays spotted the Red Sox an early 5-2 lead, but fought their way back. Steven Matz held the fort through six, Chatwood and Romano each worked a scoreless inning, and Toronto took a 7-5 lead into the ninth. Rafael Dolis came on to close it out and didn't. A couple of hits and a ground out scored one run; a J.D. Martinez homer scored a couple more, and the Red Sox won 8-7.

And then the Rays came to town (that town being Dunedin, of course) for four games. On the Friday, the Jays took an early lead but Tampa Bay tied the game at 5-5 in the sixth. And nothing happened for the longest while. Bergen had given up two runs, Cole another, but the bullpen rallied after that. The Jays got scoreless innings from Romano, Mayza, Chatwood. They got two from Payamps. In the twelfth inning, Jeremy Beasley became the seventh Jays reliever to enter the contest. The zombie runner took third on a ground out, so Montoyo had Beasley issue an IBB to Brandon Lowe. Lowe stole second while Beasley was striking out Margot. Montoyo had another IBB issued, this one to Joey Wendle. This loaded the bases for Francisco Mejia, who cleared them with a grand slam to right. Final score was 9-7 after Guerrero homered in the bottom half.

On Saturday afternoon, Shane McClanahan and Robbie Ray matched up in tight pitcher's duel. The score was 1-1 after seven, and both starters were gone. The Rays scored once against Castro in the eighth and added another against Thornton in the ninth, for the 3-1 victory.

On Sunday afternoon, Randal Grichuk broke up a 2-2 tie with  a two run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Chatwood came on to close it out. He walked Choi, gave up a single to Lowe, and then got Walls on a groundout. Phillips singled in a run, making the score 4-3, but Arozarena lined out. Chatwood then walked Diaz to load the bases, and Montoyo called on Bergen to face Meadows and get the third out. Bergen walked Meadows to tie the game. Then he walked Margot to give Tampa the lead. Then he walked Brosseau to give them some insurance.

It was the Victoria Day weekend, even if they were in Florida, so they had at it one more time on the Monday afternoon. Tampa jumped out to a 5-0 lead, thanks mainly to a Joey Wendle's first inning grand slam off Trent Thornton. Ross Stripling held them right there, with seven innings of shutout relief, and the Jays eventually tied the game on Guerrero's two run homer in the eighth. Tampa scored twice in the tenth off Anthony Castro; the Jays fought back one more time in their half, with a game tying homer from Marcus Semien. Enough of this, someone said - the Rays scored seven times against Payamps and Mayza in the eleventh, and there was no coming back from that.

Now, the last time they lost seven in a row... We'll have to go back another couple of years. 

It all began with Justin Verlander. Pitching a no-hitter, as he is wont to do....


Mon 24 June - Bassitt (6-6, 3.52) vs Houck (7-5, 2.14)
Tue 25 June - Gausman (5-6, 4.24) vs Bello (7-4, 4.83)
Wed 26 June - Rodriguez (0-2, 5.94) vs Crawford (3-7, 3.59)

Blue Jays at Boston, June 24-26 | 196 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
GabrielSyme - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#448158) #
Following up on ugly's scepticism about Barger's future in the last thread:

I'm pretty optimistic on Barger. He's shown good and improving contact ability in the minors, he makes good hard contact (LD% in AAA of 28% last year, 34% this year), and although his plate approach was a disaster in his first cup of coffee, it's been very strong in the minors. I'm pretty confident he'll hit, I just hope the Jays can find a spot where he'll be decent enough defensively.

Statcast recently put out new numbers on swing speed and length, and Barger's swing is basically exactly the same as Vladdy's - long and fast. And like Vladdy, you'd like to see a few more fly balls from him, but it should all work regardless.
Mike Green - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#448160) #
Jimenez has been about as good with the bat, and much, much better with the glove and is 18 months younger. Of course, you could have both in the lineup with Springer on the bench, but no.
adrianveidt - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#448161) #
The front office gutted the offensive team of 3 years ago because they didn't think it would win in the playoffs. They decided to collect defensive players and build a modest offense around Guererro since, at the time, he was looking like Barry Bonds at the plate.

The only problem is, it turns out Guererro's great season of 3 years ago was an aberration. He's not even hitting for much power anymore. Looks like he's on pace for fewer than 20 dingers. The defense-first plan only works if you have a Bonds-type in the middle of the lineup to drive in the necessary runs to win your 2-1 or 3-2 games.

In that sense, I don't think the Shapiro/Atkins regime can be blamed, since many others expected Guererro to be that guy. Now, a decision needs to be made. Can he be coached up, or is it time to face the fact that he's just not good enough at the plate?
John Northey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#448162) #
I don't worry about a guys swing too much - I remember everyone was sure Bo's swing would doom him from day one. Since he has led the league in hits twice and has a 122 OPS+ lifetime. Yeah, this year sucks but that is kind of a Jays theme in 2024.

Say, what about past xxx4's?
  • 1984: team had won 89 the year before and were considered a trendy 'favorite' choice for the AL East with the youth and a belief that the pen couldn't be _that_ bad again. It was. 10 saves led the team (Roy Lee Jackson) he was 10-7 for saves-blown, as was co-leader rookie Jimmy Key (used in relief to break him into the majors). Dennis Lamp was the big free agent acquisition but was 9-5 in saves-blown. Yikes. Jim Gott, who later would be a relief ace for other teams, was 2-3 in saves-blown, and Jim Acker a solid middle man was 1-2. So the main pen guys were a composite 32-24 in saves-blown. Yikes. No wonder they couldn't keep up with the Tigers (closer was 32-1) who won 104 that year.
  • 1994: the hangover after 2 WS wins - sub 500 in a strike year, tried to mix in Delgado early on but in LF due to 1B/DH being filled by Olerud/Molitor (124-138 OPS+ respectively).
  • 2004: AKA the year from hell - came in thinking we were a young contender, Halladay injured part way into the year, just Delgado had a good year with the bat, hot shot kid Eric Hinske in his 3rd year flopped badly (76 OPS+).
  • 2014: just over 500, lots of talent but just 83 wins.
2 of those were followed up by 2 of the best years in Jays history - 1985 and 2015, 2 were bad years during a horrid long no-playoff stretch (1995, 2005). Lets hope 2025 is more like 2015 and 1985. Not looking forward to 2034.
Kelekin - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#448164) #
I think Barger is exciting, but he strikes me as the type of player that might take a lot longer to adjust to the majors. The question is will they give him that space and time to develop.

I really want to see Jimenez with the big club, though it's tough to find him a home right now. And I'm not sure if there's room in the Rogers budget for the amount of bubble wrap we'll need to use on him to keep him safe while he gets plunked 50 times a year by 100 MPH heaters.
Ducey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#448165) #
With all players new to MLB, it will be if they can adjust.

Schneider went super nova. Then someone noticed he could not handle the high fastball, then he was terrible, then he learned to hit the high fastball. Some players never can adjust.

I think Badger will be fine at 3B, eventually. He has the arm (usually the limiting factor is the arm at 3B) and seems to be a good athlete. He has only played 107 games there in the minors, having come up as a SS.
Glevin - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#448166) #
"The front office gutted the offensive team of 3 years ago because they didn't think it would win in the playoffs"

Gutted? They traded Teoscar and Gurriel because they were due for free agency and they lost Semien to a massive free agency deal. You're making it seem like the Jays had all these great offensive players that they just decided they didn't want.
Magpie - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#448167) #
The front office gutted the offensive team of 3 years ago

It was really the 2022 team that was remade. Guerrero wasn't the otherworldly force he'd been in 2021, but the 2022 team was still second in the league in runs scored. (It was actually better than the 2021 team, which was third.) They were only about league average in run prevention. Out went Gurriel and Hernandez, and in came Varsho and Kiermaier. And 2023 neatly reversed the team's strengths. Last year they were around league average in scoring runs, but one of the best in the league at run prevention.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#448168) #
I don’t think there is a simple narrative that explains how the Blue Jays organization ended up where it is at the moment. It seems like there are a number of variables at play (some of which we probably aren’t aware of).

Still, the front office needs to be accountable for the current state of affairs. Excuses won’t cut it.
Kelekin - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#448169) #
Oof Springer.
Mike Green - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#448170) #
Since the beginning of last year (prior to tonight), Springer was hitting .238/.314/.369 in almost 1000 PAs.  He's batting 5th and I don't get it. 
Nigel - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#448171) #
I've actually reached the stage of feeling sorry for Springer. At one time, he was a very good player. Playing at a fraction of your former capabilities must be very very hard on your psyche.
Mike Green - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#448172) #
Tell me about it. 
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#448173) #
MLBTR has posted an article about the large number of contenders who are in need of starting pitching. That could present an opportunity for the Blue Jays at the trade deadline, if they're willing to move one or more of their established SPs for prospects.
uglyone - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#448174) #
"Since the beginning of last year (prior to tonight), Springer was hitting .238/.314/.369 in almost 1000 PAs. He's batting 5th and I don't get it."

he's due!
Magpie - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#448175) #
See ya. Hockey.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#448176) #
Who knew in spring training that on June 24, the two most valuable Blue Jays position players by WAR would be Varsho and IKF? And that the worst hitter in the AL among qualified players would be...George Springer?
Magpie - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#448177) #
That's why they play the games, though. If we had a clue what was actually going to happen... what would be the point in watching?

Whoa. Lots of Canadians in Florida.
Nigel - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#448178) #
George’s problems might be solved with the purchase of a tin garbage can for $21.99 from Rona!
Ducey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#448179) #
$21.99? I'll take two!
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#448180) #
Gorgeous goal by Edmonton to tie the game 1-1.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#448181) #
It just doesn't make sense for the manager to keep putting this guy out there in key spots. They are exposing him as much as possible and he isn't responding well. I can't imagine many other managers being this stubborn and batting their guy day in and day out when he's statistically the worst.

What on earth is the requirement for a managerial change and why does Schneider have sooo much more rope than Gibby or Montoyo had?
Ducey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#448182) #
I would think Berroa might be able to hit more than .190.

Unfortunately, he will stay in the dugout until he is sent back down.
John Northey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#448183) #
I just don't get the love the team is showing Springer. 2 big chances today and he made the maximum 3 outs.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#448184) #
It almost makes me want the team not to sign players to big FA contracts, if the team is going to play them endlessly in the last few years of the contract after they have become terrible.

Better to adopt a Tampa-type model based on young players, short-term contracts, and a flourishing farm system.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#448185) #
Wow Vladdy. Season changing game tonight with Bo returning tomorrow?
uglyone - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#448186) #
vladdy hits the ball hard eh.
92-93 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#448187) #
Regarding Springer, you guys just don’t get it. We as mere mortals who only have access to publicly available stats don’t appreciate just how good Springer has actually been this year.

“There’s a lot of information the public doesn’t get, that we have, that suggests otherwise. Hopefully, that turns for them.”
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#448188) #
Maya getting same treatment as Springer. I guess you can say the manager is consistent. Players like that...
BlueJayWay - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#448189) #
Gerry - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#448190) #
Wow, wow wow
Gerry - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#448191) #
Barger play not made, Keirmaier difficult play not made, Mayza unable to get anyone out, Zach Pop coming in with the bases loaded and two outs for the second day in a row and letting the first hitter get on base.

I asked last week if it was the bottom, if they lose this game it will be a new bottom.

Add Keirmaier not being able to get a bunt down.
Nigel - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#448192) #
Ah, the old “we have super secret stats that you don’t have that tell us what appears, by traditionally accepted stats, to be the worst everyday player in baseball is really an MVP candidate” excuse. That’s the last chance rodeo for GMs who’ve made poor decisions. Jim Benning was a frequent user of that line in defense of a deep fried, cooked and toasty Loui Eriksson.
Eephus - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#448193) #
They’re inventing ways to lose. Morbidly remarkable.
uglyone - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#448194) #
a boat with many holes.
Gerry - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#448195) #
Horwitz play not made, Pop balk. Hit, depression....
BlueJayWay - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#448196) #
I wasn't sure they'd do it, but they somehow found a way to lose it.
Eephus - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#448197) #
Team bad.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#448198) #
Not to beat a dead horse and I still think it's possible they go on a run, but...but I am choosing right now to enjoy how comically bad this is currently.

It's a lesson of humility for the "khaki's"
Nigel - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#448199) #
It is kind of a brutal whipsaw. The old guys can field but can’t hit. The young guys can hit but can’t field.

I really think it’s a mistake to push Horwitz, Schneider and Barger into 2B, LF and 3B respectively. I think they should be 1B/DH, 2B and RF respectively. That would require benching/releasing Springer and Turner but who cares?
Petey Baseball - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#448200) #
That's an embarrassing performance from Pop. The Horwitz play should have been an out, but in both innings he left multiple pitches belt high down the middle and missed his spots several times.

greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#448201) #
Agreed, Nigel. For me, the epitome of this flawed approach was when the front office had the Buffalo manager call Barger late at night, tell him he was being promoted and that he had to get on a 6am flight, and then shove him in left field (a position he had never played) while sleep deprived and powered by Red Bull for his first major-league game.

Did he make a bad fielding error during that game? Yes, he did.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#448202) #
Pop is the 6th or 7th bullpen arm (at best) who has been pushed into a top 3 role and is being overused.
christaylor - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#448203) #
We're at a point where I think many organizations would say goodbye to the manager once the team returns home.

I don't believe this FO will but if they do, it might be nice to put Hale or, thinking outside the box, Walker in. Pure optics and a mere change the mood kind of move, but it can't make things worse.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#448204) #
Agreed that the team is better off with Horwitz at 1B, Schneider at 2B, and Barger in the OF. Looks like only a few more weeks of the current alignment, as I can't possibly see any reason why Turner and Kiermaier would be on this team past the end of July, so maybe we start to see some sanity with the defensive alignments once the veterans are out.

What a disaster of a season, but as I've said before, it's better to bottom out then faux contention. They need a retool at the minimum (they won't fully rebuild), and that only happens if the team is out of it.
Nigel - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#448205) #
I’m not bashing Barger at all. He’s got a plus arm but for several years now there have been doubts about his other skills working in the infield. The Jays were acknowledging that by moving him to RF on a fairly regular basis. He’s playing 3B out of some weird allegiance to Springer and, as you say, that’s reflective of a FO that’s lost the plot.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#448206) #
Love the idea of Walker for Manager. Also like Hale. I expect Vlad and Bo to go on runs and the Jays to have two 5+ win streaks to get to over .500. They just need some help in the pen. I hope they have a new manager who can make some obvious line up changes to allow this team to breathe.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#448207) #
Nigel it's just bad managing. Barger was put in instead of Clement for more offense...Clement iis a team leader for June in WRC+.

Especially in the 8th and 9th there was no reason to keep Barger or Horwitz in defensively instead of Clement.
soupman - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#448208) #
setting guys up to fail is the blue jays way, evidently.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#448209) #
One thing I’ve noticed about this FO is that they take a long time to acknowledge that a player (or coach/manager?) is no longer good.

Although to be fair, sometimes a frustrating player flips the script and exceeds expectations (Yimi Garcia, for example).
Nigel - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#448210) #
Oh I agree, the second Clement started hitting he got benched for no reason that I could see. But it isn’t all the manager. Gibbons was the problem and Montoyo was the answer except he wasn’t. Montoyo was the problem and Schneider was the answer except he wasn’t.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#448211) #
I remember in the end of season second presser done by Shapiro to clean up the mess from the first presser, he was asked about if Schneider would be back and he said yes and pointed out that managers need time to improve to grow and be better. I'd imagine he feels a bit foolish if he feels that this is part of the process of grooming a home grown manager.

Richard Griffin has said a few times on his podcasts and other podcasts that Shapiro has told him (when Shapiro was his boss from 2020-22) to promote and spotlight Mark's underlings because he wants them to proliferate "within the league and game," or something to that effect. Could this be the reason why all of these easy decisions by a front office are not being made? Out of vanity and insecurity by the president of the club?
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#448212) #
Talent level aside, can the FO honestly look at the Blue Jays of the last year or so and say, this is a well-coached ballclub?
uglyone - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#448213) #
not if they have any belief whatsoever in the team they put together.
John Northey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#448214) #
This team is VERY frustrating. At Fenway where Schneider had a HUGE weekend last year and you bat him a few slots AFTER Springer who is not just slumping but worst hitter in MLB slumping? That lead to 2 critical PA's where Springer made 3 outs (maximum possible). Now yes, Schneider went 0-4 just like Springer did, but a guy who has nearly a 200 OPS lead on another one you don't bat well after him. Period. Springer and Kiermaier need to be in the 7/8/9 area of the order whenever they are playing until they get their OPS over 600 - at least.

If Springer by some miracle does suddenly start hitting, let him do it from down there. If that shatters his ego so be it. He is a massive negative to the team right now. His WPA (win probability added) this year is -1.89 which is horrid, 3rd worst in MLB. By batting him early in the order you keep making that grow faster than it has to - Kiermaier who has been almost as bad is at just -0.80 due to being left in the 9 hole most of the time, thus lower leverage normally (fewer baserunners to strand). Varsho leads the Jays at 1.85 with Schneider #2 at 0.97.

By far the best lineup would be with Springer or Kiermaier on the bench (the other in CF) with Barger in RF, Clement at 3B. Yeah, Horwitz isn't a gold glover at 2B but neither is Schneider and Turner's bat is very solid right now as is Vlad's. You don't want any of those 4 on the bench unless you are a fool (cough cough). I'm a stats addict and there is NOTHING that could possibly justify having Springer in the lineup over ANY of those 4 right now outside of career stats and those are not critical when a guy is 34 and has been in deep decline for 2 years. 32 is traditionally the start of the end for many, many, many players and sadly Springer is yet another member of the curse of 32 - since his age 32 season (a 133 wRC+) he has had a 104 and now a 68 with half a season to go. He'd need to hit at or better than his age 32 season's level the rest of the way to get back to a 100. Guess what? It ain't gonna happen.

The good news is that the dead minor league system (as many think the Jays is) has given us Horwitz and Barger this year, and Schneider last year. If only Orelvis Martinez hadn't made that drug mistake (be it to cheat or to just try to get a baby) we'd have more to hope for right now. Pitching is ALWAYS a crap shoot, so Tiedemann being hurt isn't a shocker to me. Losing Manoah when he looked to finally turn the corner hurts more imo.
uglyone - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#448215) #
"Could this be the reason why all of these easy decisions by a front office are not being made? Out of vanity and insecurity by the president of the club?"

dalimon5 - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#448216) #
John Northey - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#448217) #
Jays now 7 1/2 out of the playoffs (but just 8 out of 2nd wild card - it is a snail race this year). 8 games under 500. Down to 3.7% odds of making the playoffs (FanGraphs)

Next moves? The key kids are up who can be. Riley Tirotta might be working his way towards a call up (903 OPS in AA in 73 PA, 1.158 in AAA in 86 PA at age 25) but is a 1B/3B/RF so limited spots to play him unless a trade happens. Leo Jimenez at SS should be looked at sometime this summer (he is on his last option) finally showing his potential with a 290/436/469 line in AAA at age 23 - he and Eric Pardinho are the only IFA's the Jays signed that year who have reached AAA and are still in the system. Fingers crossed.

Do any pitchers in AAA catch anyones eye? Pretty much anyone who has done well and is healthy is up. So any deals will almost certainly need to bring some pitching here. Maybe the Jays need to swallow hard and sign Trevor Bauer to eat a few innings and cause some extreme discomfort around the clubhouse.
Kelekin - Monday, June 24 2024 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#448218) #
When it rains, it pours.

At least Vladdy is looking good.
christaylor - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#448219) #
I'd rather have Jamie Moyer and Bartolo Colon in the rotation than Bauer. If we need an a-hole, Randy Johnson, Curt Shilling, or Roger Clemens.

I'm not kidding, and I believe every MLB org agrees with me. I know Bauer 'beat the charges," but the ethical choice is not equal to the legally defensible choice.

I think we need a corollary to Godwin's law for upset baseball fanbases, as the discussion goes longer eventually Trevor Bauer comes up. He's no Nazi, sure, but he's plenty toxic for both discussion and to a team. In another time, this would be the Bonds corrolary. Except, I think Barry Bonds was less toxic.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 01:08 AM EDT (#448220) #
Yeah good point christaylor. More just tossing it out there as to how desperate the Jays are looking now. I'd much rather they grabbed some guy who retired after last season and con him into pitching again instead. Rich Hill got hit hard, 81 ERA+, but did eat some innings (146 over 27 starts and 5 relief games). Zack Greinke had an 89 ERA+ which for our 5th slot would be an improvement and that was his first sub 100 since 2005, but he isn't pitching this year. Wonder if any decent AAAA guys are out there with opt out options who the Jays could grab if they trade Kikuchi or Bassit?
Michael - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 03:27 AM EDT (#448221) #
I don't get why some are including Turner in the desire to bench players. Springer and KK, sure (at least once Varsho is healthy for KK), but Turner has been pretty good outside of when he was ill in May (and came back while the illness was still effecting him). But he's at 715 OPS/105 OPS+ on the season, 824 OPS/124 OPS+ on the career and that's with 887 OPS/153 sOPS+ in March/April 2024 and 895 OPS/153 sOPS+ in June 2024. Given all the Jays struggles, that isn't a bat you want to avoid. I get that if you are looking to sell folks, he might be a trade candidate, but no reason to look to sit him while he's on the team.

Does anyone know the story of the balk in the bottom of the ninth? Watching the condensed game, it didn't seem like a balk and even the Red Sox commentators didn't see the balk.

On the team, it is worth remembering that June is a brutal part of the schedule Guardians (6), Orioles (4), Red Sox (6), Brewers (3), Yankees (4). After this current series with the Red Sox and Yankees they play only teams with losing records until July 29th other than 3 against Seattle July 5-7. So in theory, the conditions are right for a win streak against the weaker teams. It likely will be too little too late, but some chances for some momentum.

Also a natural places to try the manager change when we move to the easier opponents. Maybe go with an interim manager of Casey Candaele (the Buffalo Bison manager)? If we are going to be promoting many of the young guys could do worse than promoting some/all of the coaching staff too. :)
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#448222) #
I give you people credit. You keep suggesting lineup changes and a change to the manager, as if that is going to make a difference.

This team is -51 in run differential and has the 6th worst record in all of baseball. There are 6 teams that have a run differential of >+100.

If anything is going to be salvaged from
this season, its going to be the
development of a few players, and adding to the prospect cupboard.

So Barger should play 3B, and Horwitz 2B. Let them take their lumps in the hope the game will slow down for them.

If they need SP they can just Oakland A it and resort to waiver claims.

And for goodness sake they need to be trading vets at the deadline.

And firing the manager isn't going to help Kirk, KK, Springer or Bo learn to hit, or a bullpen that has run out of arms.

Embrace the suck. It's the only way for this team to go.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#448223) #
Firing coaches and management expecting different results is a Canadian sports tradition as old as time Ducey :)
bpoz - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#448224) #
The AS break starts July 15 with the trade deadline 2 weeks after.

I am hoping for a clue on how the next window will be constructed.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#448225) #
"And firing the manager isn't going to help Kirk, KK, Springer or Bo learn to hit"

I'd wager most of these guys will hit again at some point.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#448226) #
When players are struggling for a prolonged period, you don't put them in high stress situations.  The handling of the bullpen this year has been appallingly bad, from top to bottom of management.  By early April, it was clear that Romano, Swanson and Mayza were in trouble, and the GM did squat.  And the manager (and pitching coach) took a bad situation and made it worse by persistently putting pitchers who were not fit for high leverage roles in those roles. 

Embrace the suck?  No thanks.  Bad for the character.  But, it is best to acknowledge what you have, and what you have is a team not worth watching.  It could be though.  I don't mind a club that loses if it genuinely is on the road to improvement.  What would that look like for the 2024 Blue Jays?  Put young players in a position where they can improve.  That means:

1. Decide who you want your first baseman in 2026 to be- VGJ or Horwitz.  Make it happen and trade the other one.  It may be that VGJ has no interest in being here, in which case your decision is made for you. 
2. Put Schneider at second base and keep him there.  Put IKF at third base and keep him there.  Give Clement the SS job until Bichette is ready to return.  Ultimately go through the same process with Bichette vs. Jimenez as you did about VGJ and Horwitz.
3. Give Barger the RF job, with Springer there against left-handed pitching and with the occasional work as DH.
4. Acknowledge that none of your pitchers save Garcia has actually been good.  A whole lot of average, and some bad, with some of the average looking good because of a good defence and some luck.  Take advantage of the ones who look good and trade accordingly (probably only Kikuchi). Slowly sift through the pitching prospects who are making their way in the upper minors. 

I have no confidence that any of this will happen and will take a break this summer.  But baseball has a lifelong hold on me...

Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#448227) #
And on a brighter note,  happy birthday to Carlos Delgado. 
92-93 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#448228) #
Bichette should be back tonight.

I can't believe that Schneider doubled down on last week's mistake and pulled Pearson for Mayza vs. Devers with O'Neill on deck.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#448229) #
When I was younger, I used to love emulating Carlos Delgado. I figured I'd be the next lefty slugger for the Jays.

Great representative of the team. Chill guy. Still remember him on Royal Canadian Air Farce. Delgado and Halladay really made those years bearable. Happy birthday!
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#448230) #
In the last 2 weeks Cedric Mullins who was struggling about as bad as Springer has done the following:

.341 AVG
.909 OPS

> He's batted 7th, 8th or 9th in the Orioles superior line up during that time.

Springer on the contrary:

.125 AVG
.397 OPS

He's batted 4th, 5th or 6th in all but 1 of the games in the same period.

I'd imagine Hyde, Cash and even Boone (who I don't consider a god manager) would have tried to make things easier for George rather than saying "Here you're batting in key spots and we need you to bust out of a slump, good luck." I imagine the decisions by this manager has only worsened Springer's struggles and also put obstacles and brakes on more deserving players like Clement and Schneider.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#448231) #
Cedrick Mullins has batted higher than 6th in 12 AB the whole season (never higher than 4th). And maybe BAL lineup is stronger?

The Jays are 25th in OPS+ with men in scoring position. They are 26th in Runs/ game. Not a coincidence they are 25th in the standings.

Not a lot of good options for Schneider.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#448232) #
Here's how everyone is hitting against the various AL bullpens:

               PA      AB      R      H    2B   3B    HR    BB    SO    BAVG    OBP    SLG    OPS
Cleveland    1132    1012    83    193    51    2    17    90    313   .191   .266   .296   .562
Baltimore    1103    982    120    204    47    4    22   100    256   .208   .288   .331   .619
Seattle    997    879    110    190    29    6    24    91    253   .216   .298   .345   .643
Boston    1238    1121    139    266    41    3    29    89    291   .237   .297   .357   .654
Detroit    1146    1020    138    234    39    6    27    93    250   .229   .299   .359   .658
New York    1153    1000    122    222    50    3    23   115    255   .222   .313   .347   .660
Minnesota    1133    995    127    224    39    5    28   104    279   .225   .308   .359   .666
Oakland    1292    1131    138    263    63    4    29   123    296   .233   .317   .372   .689
Houston    1182    1044    129    243    45    3    33   109    276   .233   .314   .376   .690
Texas    1195    1030    150    238    42    1    33   140    294   .231   .330   .370   .700
Tampa Bay    1326    1161    167    273    50    6    44   129    287   .235   .322   .402   .724
Kansas City  1090    951    133    244    45    3    25   109    193   .257   .338   .389   .727
Los Angeles  1175    1017    171    241    53    5    37   127    254   .237   .331   .408   .739
Toronto    1166    1036    154    254    56    2    48   100    230   .245   .312   .442   .754
Chicago    1316    1131    181    292    50    2    38   149    297   .258   .348   .407   .755

As I believe that useful relief pitchers grow on trees, I also believe that no team should ever have just two of them. Hardly this team's biggest problem, but the one that should be easiest to address.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#448233) #
Davis Schneider arrived in the majors on August 4, 2023, almost a year ago.  Since that time, George Springer has a wRC+ of 91.  The Blue Jays have 7 players active on their roster with better numbers during that period, plus Bichette and Varsho.  Hitting Springer 7th might be justifiable in some situations.  Maybe.  5th?  I don't think so.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#448234) #
Magpie's chart might suggest that the bullpen is the 2nd worst in the league.  It's actually the worst.  The bullpen's batting average against is bolstered by a .260 opposition BABIP thanks to the team's good defence (that .260 figure is the 4th lowest among major league bullpens).  The incendiary home run has been their nemesis, and there's no defence for that. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#448236) #

Where are you with that toxic positivity? We need it right now. That Vlad performance yesterday was tantalizing and someone needs to remind us all that Bo is due for his .400 month.

The realities and in some cases accuracy of Ducey, 85Blue Jay and Nigel's posts are...cutting deep.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#448237) #
Last night was terrific for the boys in blue. (in Toronto-St. Paul's.)
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#448238) #
"Davis Schneider arrived in the majors on August 4, 2023, almost a year ago. Since that time, George Springer has a wRC+ of 91. The Blue Jays have 7 players active on their roster with better numbers during that period, plus Bichette and Varsho. Hitting Springer 7th might be justifiable in some situations. Maybe. 5th? I don't think so."

Davis Schneider is hitting .188/260/377 over the last month, and 167/250/389 over the last week. Those numbers are terrible, and are more relevant than the hot start he had last year.

He is not part of the solution right now.

As I said, the manager has Vlad and Horwitz (he of 14 games), and maybe IKF, and Turner (who everyone wanted benched/ fired into the sun 2 weeks ago)then who?

Jansen is 131/239/164 over the last month
Kirk, KK, Springer, have not hit all year.

Bo is in da funk when healthy but has been out anyway, as is Varsho (who is 211/268/368 over the last month).

Barger has 7 games since his return.

People can complain about roster construction all they want, but there are only 3 or 4 players worthy of being in the lineup most nights.
92-93 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#448240) #
You can't change the lineup around based on the last few weeks of production. That doesn't sit well with the players. The numbers cited above for Schneider's last month and week, while poor, are still significantly better than Springer's production this year.

I understand continuing to roll Springer out there fairly often, but batting him 5th is nuts.
Nigel - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#448241) #
My posts aren't intending to cut deep. I just think that this isn't a very good team. In that case, what's the best thing to do? I'd put the youngsters (Horwitz, Schneider and Barger) in their best defensive positions to succeed and not stretch them. Make decisions with a view to the best interests of the club long term not for the next week because the next week doesn't really matter. I don't see a need for a "blow it up" rebuild but thoughtful selling/culling is needed. I think a full scale house cleaning of the manager and GM is almost certain but changing them now won't change the team's fortunes for the rest of the season. In short, accept this season for what it is and make decisions accordingly. Things aren't totally bleak.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#448242) #
Totally felt like early 80s Jays out there, with Joey Mclaughlin and Roy Lee Jackson. No lead is safe.
Hodgie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#448243) #
"Kirk, KK, Springer, have not hit all year."

It's even worse than that for Kirk, he hasn't hit much since the 2022 All-Star game (90 wRC+). Getting harder to see him as a core piece going forward the longer the bat remains stagnant.

Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#448244) #
The bullpen's batting average against is bolstered by a .260 opposition BABIP thanks to the team's good defence

I think it's more likely just random good luck smiling somewhat upon a couple of pitchers - Green, Pop. The defense doesn't seem to have been giving that kind of help to Pearson and Mayza.

Trevor Richards is a story all his own, of course. There's a worm that has to turn.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#448245) #
Getting harder to see [Kirk] as a core piece going forward the longer the bat remains stagnant.

He seems to be turning into the new Jose Molina. Without the offense.

Davis Schneider is looking more and more to me like a RH version of Daulton Varsho.

I see parallels everywhere!
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#448247) #
Thanks, now I'm imagining Varsho with a stache.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#448248) #
I like Ugly's comparisons that usually show that most of us are too low on our team compared to other teams. It's a nice counter balance to the "not good enough," narrative/reality that is donning us.
mathesond - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#448249) #
I see that Vladdy is now open to a trade to the Yankees. Maybe the Jays can get the next Marty Janzen for him!
adrianveidt - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#448250) #
The front office should definitely consider trading Guererro. He's lost his power, and his great season of 3 years ago increasingly looks like an aberration. The one caveat is that the organization may know of some fixable cause for the power problem.

I checked Spotrac, and only 4 of the teams in the top 10 highest payrolls are having winning seasons, while 3 of the bottom 10 spenders are also winning.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#448251) #
Or the next Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney.

Ugh, was just reviewing all the vets for prospect trades of Atkins. Other than Teo and Espinal, everyone else for Atkins has been a flop.

Between that and the draft, it appears that projecting players is not a strength.

On the other hand he has been pretty good at the prospects for established player trades.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#448252) #
So what can the Jays trade and get? Outside of pitching who is tradable and would get something decent in return?

  • 1+ WAR guys (thus 2 over a season) you trade: IKF (he'll never be worth more than now), Jansen
  • 1+ WAR guys (thus 2 over a season) you keep: Varsho, Vlad (face of franchise), Schneider, Horwitz.
  • sub 1 WAR guys you might find a home for: Kirk (great D), Clement (useful backup), Bo (history), Turner (1 bad month killed his stats), Kiermaier (elite defense)
  • guy you'd have to pay to have taken away: Springer (owed nearly $50 mil the next 2 years in total, no sane team takes that on)
Future core (maybe): Varsho, Schnedier, Horwitz, Barger then nothing outside of Martinez who is out for 2024 and probably part of 2025.

  • Trade now: Kikuchi, Bassitt - both have value (1.7 and 1.6 fWAR respectively) and in this market strong starting pitching is going to be super expensive to get - soak the top contenders for everything you can.
  • Takes a killer offer: Gausman, Berrios - both signed longer term so have bonus value due to that, need to demand a LOT more (I'm talking a top 10 prospect plus which only a desperate team should do).
  • Pen pieces: Richards, Garcia, Green all might have value. The rest, well, you might get a bag of balls for them. Maybe. Romano could have value if he comes back strong.
Future core: Gausman & Berrios signed for 25/26 (27/28 as well for Berrios) at reasonable prices ($22 mil or less each on CBT), Manoah and Rodriguez are under team control for a few more years as well. That could be a decent 4 man with luck, more likely a decent 3 man with 4/5 being 'oh crap' slots in 2025. Rodriguez shows hope, Frances a lot less hope, a few kids in the minors have a touch of hope. The pen is a disaster but history has shown you can rebuild that quickly from scraps, but ideally you'd have 1 or 2 big guns for the end of games (ala Garcia/Green/Romano) but as Swanson & Mayza are showing relievers are hard to predict year-to-year.

I see a very fast retool being possible. If the Jays hold Gausman & Berrios (and Bassitt) they could have a strong rotation in 2025 again. Varsho in CF locks in solid defense, as does Kirk behind the plate. If Schneider and Horwitz are both really 120+ OPS+ guys who you can count on to cover 2B (and mixed in at 1B/LF/DH) you have a potential decent future core building. Barger is showing hope that he could be a 120+ OPS+ guy at 3B or RF. Martinez was starting off decently with the bat but his glove was scary. Leo Jimenez needs a call up to see what he has. This team isn't as dead as it might be. If decent returns can be had from Kikuchi and whoever else is traded then 2025 could be a fun year, the most fun since 2021 (low expectations, young kids with talent).
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#448253) #

Berrios has an opt out after 2026. Assuming he is pitching halfway decently, there is no way he doesnt exercise it.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#448254) #
Sounds like Vladdy wants out of Toronto. Can you blame him? The short/medium term future does not look especially bright for the Blue Jays. He and Bo are probably tired of the yearslong amateur hour managing and general managing in this city.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#448255) #
"The front office should definitely consider trading Guererro. He's lost his power, and his great season of 3 years ago increasingly looks like an aberration."

Sure, but it might not be as strong a point to drive home the day after he hits a career-long 471ft Home Run.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#448256) #
Best Hitters, Jays History:

* 1. F.McGriff (22-26): 2322pa, 152wrc+
* 2. J.Donaldson (29-32): 2066pa, 150wrc+
* 3. C.Delgado (21-32): 6018pa, 139wrc+
* 4. J.Bautista (27-36): 5272pa, 138wrc+
* 5. E.Encarnacion (26-33): 4203pa, 137wrc+
* 6. V.Guerrero (20-25): 3183pa, 130wrc+
* 7. J.Olerud (20-27): 3689pa, 130wrc+
* 8. P.Molitor (36-38): 1839pa, 129wrc+
* 9. C.Johnson (35-37): 1376pa, 127wrc+
* 10. O.Velez (26-31): 1843pa, 127wrc+
* 11. R.Alomar (23-27): 3105pa, 125wrc+
* 12. B.Bichette (21-26): 2604pa, 122wrc+
* 13. T.Hernandez (24-29): 2419pa, 121wrc+
* 14. T.Glaus (29-30): 1090pa, 120wrc+
* 15. J.Barfield (21-29): 3869pa, 118wrc+

Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#448258) #
the years long amateur hour managing and general managing in this city.

I know people are frustrated, and I know memories are short, but the team has won 91, 92, and 89 games these last three seasons. The amateurs responsible might consider turning pro. There's plenty of teams out there that haven't come within shouting distance of that.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#448259) #
Yeah I'm content with Vlad and would like the FO to sign him beyond 2025. I am also okay with Springer paying 5 days a week if necessary for the next year before cutting bait. Also good with trading Bo, Kikuchi and Garcia.

What I am not okay with is keeping the manager or whomever is making the day to day decisions as well as keeping the GM (or whoever is making the decisions) for roster construction for '23 and '24.

I'd trade Bo
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#448260) #
There is a distinct difference between how often Rule #1 is followed here between when we're winning and losing. I realize everyone is frustrated and needs a safe space to vent, though. But that negativity has even spread into the minor league threads, which for some of us, is often a positive space where we can try to be hopeful about the future.

A lot of us have been through the bad years and it's tough to see a window of opportunity feel like it's closing. I still watch every game - because I love this damn sport and the Blue Jays have been my ingrained civic-branded corporation of choice for decades. Even for myself, I've been frustrated because the team simply is not putting together a "fun" on-field product to make up for the misery of underachieving.

I just hope people remember sometimes that it's okay to step away and take a breather when they're frustrated with the product we're being sold, and there can be ways to express that frustration while still adding to the overall discourse. There were times I saw things get heated/personal last year when things were going poorly, and don't want that type of situation to occur repeat.

All that being said, DFA and fire everyone (jk). I'll get off my soapbox - back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#448261) #
Back on topic - @dalimon5, fully agreed.

I think Vladdy is not just more marketable, but the ceiling is still there. Maybe he isn't the guy he was in 2021, but it's in there somewhere. Bo has had multiple years now where he hasn't been able to hit for months, and will command a high SS premium despite a move to 2B feeling inevitable. It is a contract that is more likely to hamstring future payrolls, and for all of Vlad's "struggles", Bo has had multiple seasons where he hasn't hit at all for half the year.
85bluejay - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#448262) #
I don't think Vlad has a no trade clause, so whether he is open to a trade to the Yankees or any other team is irrelevant. Get the best deal for the team even if you are sending him to Siberia.
BlueJaysLifer - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#448263) #
I don’t know the data Johnny Hotdogs has, but I’m starting to think they need to invest in data scrubbers….
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#448264) #
Magpie on the 2024 Blue Jays: “I know people are frustrated”

Justin Trudeau on the 2024 St. Paul’s by-election: “I want to be clear that I hear Canadians concerns and frustrations”

Maybe 2025 will be the year of contentment instead…
soupman - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#448265) #
As of today Vlad has the 10th highest xwOBA in all of baseball.

He just turned 25. The only concern I have is that he isn't hitting fastballs over the fence.

He has troubles adjusting in other aspects of the game. Chewed through a glove already this year again, ran into a bunch of ridiculous outs, etc. I think it's a change of scenery that's needed. I don't want to turn it back on the organization, but I think that these issues are not entirely on the player.

I thought coming into the season he'd be an MVP candidate, and he's been steady, but not that. The projections still think that potential is there - but it can't possibly still be the wrist injury...can it? I'm not convinced either way anymore.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#448266) #
negativity has even spread into the minor league threads

Things have changed, like the song says.

For years - hell, for decades - we said things like "I'd just like to see some meaningful games in September." That doesn't seem likely to cut it any more. Nor does playing games, of any sort, in October. It sounds like the marching orders from the fanbase and the media is win in October or get out of town. I mentioned the 92, 91, and 89 wins these last three years - I didn't mention that the three regimes preceding this one, in the three decades since the championship teams, managed to win that many games in a season exactly once. If Ross Atkins ends up walking the plank because a blood sacrifice is required, he might blame himself for moving the goalposts.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#448267) #
I'd be sad to trade Vlad because he is so lovable, and he is one little tweak from turning those liners to homers. But if you cant sign him for 5 or 6 years, then you have to trade him. I dont think he is the guy you want to do a 15 yr contract with.

I'd be scared some other hitting coach unlocks him once traded (insert plea to get rid of Jays hitting coaches Martinez and Mattingly).

On the other hand, I note Cavan is hitting 238/360/238 with a OPS+ of 76 in a tiny 8 games since his trade. So far no breakout. And he has 2 errors in 21 chances at 3B.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#448268) #
The front office should definitely consider trading Guererro.

If they must, please send him to the Other League. I'm terrified of him ending up in Boston, and some helpful Red Sox hitting coach shows him how to get the ball in the air a little more. The way the Yankees always used to have people around who could show you how to hit the ball down the line.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#448269) #
For those that are unaware, these reports are coming out because Vlad went public in the past to say he would never play for the NYY ever due to family reasons. He's just clearing the air now to say he doesn't hold that stance anymore. If my good friend played on the NYY and they had no 1B and my team was tanking and not offering me a long term deal I would likely do the same.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#448270) #
Two minds, one frightened thought!
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#448271) #
You just know that wishing he goes to the Other League means he'll end up on the Dodgers.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#448272) #
Maybe it’s a good thing that fans are raising their expectations for the team.

Apart from the AA and mostly-inherited-from-AA teams of 2015-2016, how
many postseason games have the Blue Jays won since 1993? Zero? In three decades? That could be making people somewhat frustrated.

“Amateur hour” might be a bit strong. But when you consider Schneider’s managing of the 2022 WC series (Gausman pull) and the 2023 WC series (Berrios pull, Vladdy pickoff), I think it’s fair to wonder about management and coaching quality in the organization — as a number of the players themselves did after the Berrios fiasco.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#448273) #
Maybe it’s a good thing that fans are raising their expectations for the team.

I think it absolutely is a good thing.

 People around here used to be so resigned to mediocrity, so accustomed to it, that not even the Season from Hell or the spectacular flameout of 2013 inspired this level of angst. We were supposed to win it all and we went 74-88? Shrug.

Don't tell us we can't have nice things. We want nice things.
adrianveidt - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#448274) #
Egad, I misspelled Guerrero.

Alright, so if the organization thinks coaching would help, why aren't they acting on that belief?

49ers beat the Cowboys in the 1995 playoffs, so Jerry Jones signed Deion Sanders away from them. Cowboys won the Super Bowl the next year with Sanders. Why can't the Jays go out and get these genius coaches who can supposedly show these guys how to hit?
92-93 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#448275) #
The goalposts have moved because MLB made it really easy to play meaningful September baseball. Ricciardi's squads would've played a lot of it.

I would endorse a firesale if mediocrity wasn't rewarded these days with a chance at a World Series.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#448276) #
I generally try to look at it as the guys running the team know stuff I don't. But this has gone beyond stupid.

What kind of drunken fool would put Springer 5th and have Schneider on the bench, and play Barger out of position to enable this? This has to be the last straw. Whatever idiot pushed for this needs to be fired. NOW.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#448277) #
Well, on the plus side - he only K'd, didn't hit into a double play that time. With Springer that is about as good as it gets right now.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#448278) #
And now Vlad might be hurt due to Springer showing zero leadership
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#448279) #
Have to turn it off - this is painful to watch. Our worst player is out there due to having a big contract and reputation.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#448280) #
What happened to Vladdy? I haven’t been watching games lately.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#448281) #
Yeah, this is a tough watch, John.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#448282) #
Looks like both teams agreed to play little league baseball tonight.
Chuck - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#448283) #
The Red Sox are participating quite liberally in this Benny Hill-inspired game.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#448284) #
Now this is fun!
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#448285) #
I guess I'm alone watching this game. Great game so far. Springer hit a 2 run shot. Vlad fell by misjudging a pop up going backwards.

The commentary has been top notch from Dan and Joe tonight.

That Springer home run was the first time I cheered aloud this season.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#448286) #
I'm wondering... do I dare relax?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#448287) #
Spencer really changes the top of the line up with Vlad and JT both hitting behind. It's crazy how different the team feels.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#448288) #
I'm watching, dalimon.
I feel like Vlad the last month has looked pretty close to his peak.

Gausman's salvaging of this outing after being knocked around in the 2nd inning is an underrated development as well.
BlueJaysLifer - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#448289) #
While I agree with you mostly. I think that you cannot allow this GM to make trades where he is dealing MLB level talent for prospects as he has shown a complete inability to do even an adequate job on that.
Gerry - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#448290) #
Looks like the Blue Jays yips are contagious.
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#448291) #
It's been a fun game. I'm glad the 2022 Red Sox were the ones who turned up tonight.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#448292) #
Bo needs to go to Vladdy's barber
BlueJaysLifer - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#448293) #
Can you please remind of all the playoff victories they also had. Let’s also not talk about how they single handedly sunk that team that won 91 wins by not getting competent bullpen help and then running that cheap horrible help out there 3 times - all wins that became losses- and missed the playoffs by a game
92-93 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#448294) #
Never relax at Fenway until it's over.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#448295) #
Hmm. Not feeling safe with a 5 run lead
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#448296) #
Huh, Springer finally rewards his manager by having a good game. Well, other than not calling off Vlad on a ball that was clearly Springer's. Was quite shocked to see Springer hit a home run, then I saw it, a Fenway special into the bullpen that just kept going - no one thought it was a home run off the bat, not Springer, not the announcers, not the Red Sox. But we'll take it.

So, if the Jays get hot now and ring off a 10 game winning streak they could get back into the race. And if I buy a ticket I might win the 6/49.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#448297) #
John you've been the glass half full guy around these parts for the better part of the past decade... don't change that on account of Springer.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 25 2024 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#448298) #
Horwitz with 6K vs 11BB so far. Yowza.
Michael - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 02:03 AM EDT (#448300) #
"GM to make trades where he is dealing MLB level talent for prospects as he has shown a complete inability to do even an adequate job on that"

I think you'll find most GM struggle at that. Prospects rarely develop, you usually do better selling the prospects and getting the major league talent that way then the reverse. Now when the prospects hit, they can hit really, really well for huge value. But that is the exception, not the rule. At least for most orgs.

It is one of several reasons why "tanking" is rarely a good strategy.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#448301) #
I still think a rebuild is necessary. Naturally I would want one that can last longer. I am prepared for a 2019 type season in 2025 or 2026 because I believe the "mushy middle" has more teams in it now. I need to give this more thought.
BlueJaysLifer - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#448302) #
Fair and mostly true. But many GM’s aren’t horrid at it. I would say when you take this and add on the fact the Jays have done a poor job drafting in the top rounds in the Shapiro era, it really starts to reflect they are not good evaluators. I’d rather a new “real” GM (in stead of a puppet for the CEO) were making any decisions.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#448303) #
This FO at worst can do a rebuild/retool on the fly this year and contend in 2025.

They have the trade capital and the budget to bring in new free agents. He best thing that can happen imho is for Bo to heat up, Kikuchi to right himself, Garcia returns healthy and Turner continues hitting. Trade all of them for prospects to restock the farm and hope for 2 MLB ready prospects.

You will save over 70 million large which can go to two solid bats in the off season to help Vlad.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#448304) #
They should sign one of Bregman or Adam's. Alonso. Bieber.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#448305) #

I meant they need an off season of additions of three good bats like Bregman, Alonso and Adames.



Yeah so you can see this team needs at least two bats and likely 3 plus a SP addition and of course bullpen that's quite a damn bit.
scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#448306) #
The Jays have done a worst job drafting  before the Shapiro era.
In the AA era, they couldn't develop position players at all.

There are 30 teams trying to acquire top talent and there isn't that much of it.

scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#448308) #
Bichette comes back and they throw in at the top of the lineup.

Bichette has been on the IL almost every year. So far, every time he has come back from the IL he's done poorly for weeks as he tries to get his timing. He never really got it this year, so why put him at the top? Is it because they consider trading him?  A guy can dream.

Problems this year have been Kiermaier, Kirk, Vogelbach, Springer, Biggio and Bichette.
Vogelbach and Biggio are already gone. Kiermaier isn' t back next year.

Kirk has become the backup, so not really a problem.
That only leaves Bichette and Springer.
One way or another, I don't expect another season like this from Bichette and Springer might become the 4th outfielder eventually.

The pitching situation is more complicated.
They need to replace Kikuchi, Yimi Garcia, Trevor Richards and sort out many possible arms like Hagen Danner and Erik Swanson. 

scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#448310) #
Bregman is having a down year. He's getting a QO and will be a huge risk. Not worth it.
92-93 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#448311) #
I have full confidence in Bo turning his season around, and have no interest in the Jays selling low on him (though I don't actually believe his value is down). His production can't be replaced for the 16.5MM he will cost.

If you want to trade fungible players under control through '25, trade Bassitt, Romano, and Green.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#448312) #
The Jays pretty much have to trade Bo this winter. He wont be resigning unless its a max contract, and he is showing that will be a problem. Its iffy whether to give him a QO, and they can almost certainly do better than the 4th rounder they would get when he walks.

If they wait until July 2025 to trade him there will be a lot fewer suitors seeking help at SS.

I have been all over on Vlad. I have typed this paragraph 5 times going back and forth, but unless he will sign up for a Jose Ramirez type deal, he likely needs to be traded this winter too. Holding on to him next year and then letting him walk for a QO makes no sense given the prospects of this team being a contender (ie. virtually none).
92-93 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#448313) #
It always makes sense to try and contend under the current playoff structure. And Bichette is a lock for a QO.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#448315) #
I think you'll find most GM struggle at [dealing MLB level talent for prospects]

I think you'll also find some teams do lots of fishing in those waters, and others generally don't play. I took a quick peek at the 30 MLB rosters, and here is what (I hope) is a list of everyone acquired by that team through a trade before they had established themselves as a major league player.

I'm not looking at pitchers. I only get paid so much for this nonsense, and besides - There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect. If anyone can tell me which of the scores of young men who can throw 95 will a) learn how to pitch, and b) not hurt themselves, I have one question for you. What the hell are you doing thinking about baseball? Go buy some lottery tickets.


NY Yankees - Gleyber Torres
Baltimore - None
Boston - Connor Wong, Emmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu, David Hamilton
Tampa Bay - Randy Arozarena, Yandy Diaz, Ben Rortvedt, José Caballero, Isaac Paredes
Toronto - None
Cleveland - Andrés Giménez, David Fry
Minnesota - Austin Martin
Kansas City - Nelson Velasquez
Detroit - Jake Rogers
Chicago White Sox - Korey Lee, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada
Seattle - Ty France, J.P. Crawford, Dominic Canzone, Ryan Bliss, Mitch Haniger
Houston - Yordan Alvarez, Yainer Diaz
Texas - Josh Smith, Ezequiel Durán, Jonah Heim
LA Angels - Logan O'Hoppe, Luis Rengifo, Mickey Moniak
Oakland - Shea Langeliers, J.J. Bleday

Philadelphia - None
Atlanta - None
NY Mets - None
Washington - Keibert Ruiz, CJ Abrams, Lane Thomas
Miami - Bryan De La Cruz
Milwaukee - Joey Ortiz
St. Louis - None
Pittsburgh - Bryan Reynolds, Edward Olivares, Jack Suwinski
Cincinnati - Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer
Chicago Cubs - Michael Busch, Pete Crow-Armstrong
LA Dodgers - Austin Barnes, Chris Taylor
San Diego - Jake Cronenworth, Fernando Tatis
Arizona - Gabriel Moreno
San Francisco - Mike Yastrzemski, LaMonte Ward
Colorado - Nolan Jones, Elehuris Montero

This list only includes players acquired by their current teams in this manner. The Blue Jays got Teoscar Hernandez and Santiago Espinal this way, but they're not around any more. A list including everyone who had been moved while they were yet to establish themselves takes us all the way back to the Red Sox sending Anthony Rizzo to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez deal.

There's a couple of really, really good players there - Yordan Alvarez! Fernando Tatis! Besides the other good players - Andres Gimenez, Randy Arozarena, there's also a whole lot of meh.

Trading for potential appears to be Tampa Bay's entire approach to team building at the moment - besides the five above, they traded for Jose Siri and Richie Palacios. However I'm not including anyone who was earlier exchanged for cash, gone through waivers, or the Rule 5 draft.

Whereas the Orioles are built entirely through the draft. One reason is because they allowed themselves to get so hideously bad they didn't have anyone to trade for prospects.

Nigel - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#448316) #
Bassitt, Romano and Green are exactly (add in Kikutchi) the group that I think the club should consider strategic sales of at the deadline or this offseason. I doubt any of them have a lot of value but transactions should be explored. There's no need for a full rebuild. I totally agree that Bo cannot be replaced at his current salary so I would hold off on doing anything with Bo for the time being. Vladdy is a far more interesting decision. What you could get in a sale of Vladdy plus his $20m in salary may well be worth more than Vladdy (given Horwitz and that he really should be playing 1B and not 2B). The above is not a given as I have zero clue what the baseball world thinks of Vladdy's value right now (which Vladdy are you buying?) but its possible.
scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#448317) #
Baltimore traded Manny Machado for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kreamer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera. Ironically, some of these guys ended up with the Jays.

The Yankees got Rashad Crawford, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren and Gleyber Torres for 2 months of Aroldis Chapman.  They had acquired him the year before from the Reds for Eric Jagielo, Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis and Tony Renda. Also, it's not like Chapman became better once with the Yankees. He was much better with the Reds but there was a domestic violence incident which resulted in a trade to the Dodgers being canceled and the Yankees sweeping in.

scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#448318) #
Quite the opposite, I don't see why guys signed to multiple years would bring back top prospects.
Those guys are expensive and are usually traded in salary relief deals which bring next to nothing.

Rogers is not  putting a 100 loss team on the field to get better draft picks.
Toronto is the third largest city in North America after New York and LA who both have 2 teams.
Sign guys still in their 20s instead.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#448319) #
Pat Gillick did exceptionally well trading for players who had yet to establish themselves (hey, he had to make up for his awful drafting.) Obviously, it's very unusual to get an actual Hall of Famer (McGriff) this way, even if the Cubs had likewise pilfered Ryne Sandberg from the Phillies the very same year. Gillick also obtained Damaso Garcia, Alfredo Griffin, Rance Mulliniks, and Cecil Fielder in this manner.
scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#448320) #
Bo is currently producing at replacement level.

By bWAR he's been 2.4, 1.1, 5.8, 3.7, 4.9,  and this year's negative value.
Bichette is a below average defender but he plays at shortstop which muddles the number.
Bo has produced 17.5 WAR in under 600 games. IKF has produced 12.7 WAR in 725 games but only 325 at SS. Not a huge difference. A good defender at shortstop can produce 4 WAR with  a below average bat.
Right now, it's harder to find a good player at 1B than SS. In the AL, anyway.
Vladdy is one year younger. He will likely be a 4th time All-Star. He finished second in MVP because the other guy was pitching. Vladdy has elite bat speed and exit velocity. Bo has a funky swing.

Bo is an automatic QO. I don't see him accepting even if he puts an other .600 OPS season.
He'll badly want out then.

Kelekin - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#448322) #
Good list, Magpie. I believe Simeon Woods-Richardson is missing.
Kelekin - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#448323) #
Whoops, missed the not looking at pitchers part...
Magpie - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#448324) #
it's very unusual to get an actual Hall of Famer...this way

Naturally, I had to find out just how unusual. As best as I can figure, nine times a major league team has made a trade with another major league team for a prospect who eventually went into the Hall of Fame (pitchers still not included!):

1894 - Willie Keeler (Brooklyn-Baltimore)
1916 - Edd Roush (NY Giants-Cincinnati)
1939 - Pee Wee Reese (Boston-LA Dodgers)
1932 - Ernie Lombardi (Brooklyn-Cincinnati)
1949 - Nellie Fox (Philadelphia A's-White Sox)
1982 - Ryne Sandberg (Philadelphia-Chicago Cubs)
1982 - Fred McGriff (NY Yankees-Toronto)
1990 - Jeff Bagwell (Boston-Houston)
1996 - David Ortiz (Seattle-Minnesota)

Before the amateur draft started in 1965, teams just scouted and signed amateur free agents. But the major league teams didn't find everybody, and many were first signed by minor league teams - which, back in the day, were free and independent entities that owned their players' contracts every bit as much as the major league teams did. They often sold those contracts to major league teams - they also traded their players to major league teams in exchange for other players. Some very, very famous players were acquired by major league teams in player trades with minor league teams: Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Honus Wagner, Mickey Cochrane, Ray Schalk, Al Simmons, Frank Baker, Earle Combs, Hack Wilson, Chuck Klein, Dave Bancroft, Tony Lazzeri.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#448325) #
Not only is Ernie Lombardi out of sequence, I'm not completely sure he even belongs. On the list. And in the Hall of Fame.
soupman - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#448326) #
i thought Alomar only had one full season before the trade. he was basically a replacement level hitter, but i remember Bill James loved him. FWIF: That was my stat-head origin story. Anyway, looking at the Alomar BREF page a couple other things stand out: 1) he was a bad defender. (having watched him, i think this raises serious questions about how defence is measured) 2) he had a career year at 33 and then went to the Mets, floundered in his age34 season and was basically unplayable by 35.

i wasn't watching baseball at the time, and after the spitting thing and other rumours i really didn't have any patience for this guy. was this just age related decline? or is there a story i don't know.

I hope so, because I also just looked at Springer's birth date.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#448327) #
i thought Alomar only had one full season before the trade

Three full seasons with the Padres, and an All-Star in year three. He was a very good defender on grass, not nearly as good on artificial turf.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#448328) #
So the belief of some in these parts is to hang onto Bassett, Bo, Vlad and whoever (some dont want to even trade Kikuchi or Jansen) and then let them walk at the end of 2025. They would get 2 QO comp picks (4th round) in return (= Kasevich and Doughty).

And then what? Just go out to the store and pick up a new Bo and Vlad? Rely on their spiffy farm system to replace them directly or by way of trade? Sign all the players that are dying to play for a middling team in Canada?

That is a plan to do what the O's did. That is, get nothing back for your good players, try and fill the holes with meh players and a weak farm system, until the reality that in fact you cant try and contend every year finally sinks in. The farm is bare, the team sucks, attendance is terrible. This is wandering in the wilderness stuff which kills a franchise.

Then someone will suggest rebuilding. 10 years later, presto, a contender!

Instead, they could pull the plug this winter, hope to get some good assets back from trades, combine those acquired players with draft picks, and maybe (there are no guarantees) the team can turn around in 3 or 4 years.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#448329) #
Plausible Best Lineup

Using This Year's Stats Only:

* 1. 2B Horwitz 59pa, .492obp, 193wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero 345pa, .368obp, 132wrc+
* 3. LF Schneider 260pa, .315obp, 111wrc+
* 4. DH Turner 259pa, .344obp, 109wrc+
* 5. C Jansen 179pa, .318obp, 109wrc+
* 6. SS Falefa 263pa, .323obp, 107wrc+
* 7. CF Varsho 270pa, .289obp, 103wrc+
* 8. 3B Clement 141pa, .288obp, 99wrc+
* 9. RF Springer 300pa, .283obp, 71wrc+
* (9. RF Biggio 161pa, .321obp, 82wrc+)

* X. IF Bichette 281pa, .285obp, 78wrc+
* (X. PH Vogelbach 79pa, .278obp, 70wrc+)
* X. C Kirk 144pa, .285obp, 65wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 158pa, .247obp, 55wrc+
* X. UT Barger 47pa, .196obp, 11wrc+

Using Past 1 Calendar Year Stats

* 1. 2B Horwitz 93pa, .430obp, 162wrc+
* 2. LF Schneider 401pa, .347obp, 137wrc+
* 3. 1B Guerrero 694pa, .352obp, 122wrc+
* 4. C Jansen 313pa, .339obp, 122wrc+
* 5. DH Turner 560pa, .338obp, 110wrc+
* 6. 3B Clement 185pa, .311obp, 111wrc+
* 7. SS Falefa 456pa, .327obp, 99wrc+
* 8. CF Varsho 541pa, .284obp, 93wrc+
* 9. RF Springer 650pa, .306obp, 87wrc+
* (9. RF Biggio 368pa, .355obp, 99wrc+)

* (X. PH Vogelbach 230pa, .317obp, 105wrc+)
* X. IF Bichette 534pa, .305obp, 93wrc+
* X. C Kirk 364pa, .313obp, 87wrc+
* (X. PH Votto 219pa, .301obp, 87wrc+)
* X. UT Barger 47pa, .196obp, 11wrc+

Using Fangraphs' Combined Projections:

* 1. 2B Horwitz 219pa, .361obp, 119wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero 348pa, .360obp, 140wrc+
* 3. SS Bichette 334pa, .324obp, 118wrc+
* 4. LF Schneider 269pa, .330obp, 116wrc+
* 5. C Jansen 199pa, .318obp, 116wrc+
* 6. DH Turner 269pa, .334obp, 112wrc+
* 7. RF Springer 308pa, .319obp, 107wrc+
* 8. CF Varsho 316pa, .299obp, 107wrc+
* 9. 3B Clement 129pa, .307obp, 99wrc+

* X. C Kirk 154pa, .342obp, 113wrc+
* (X. PH Vogelbach 81pa, .335obp, 113wrc+)
* X. UT Barger 154pa, .304obp, 96wrc+
* (X. UT Biggio 140pa, .321obp, 96wrc+)
* X. PH Votto 72pa, .309obp, 95wrc+
* X. IF Falefa 190pa, .310obp, 91wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 190pa, .290obp, 85wrc+
uglyone - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#448330) #
Missed Kiermaier on the "Past 1 Calendar Year Split":

* X. OF Kiermaier 351pa, .282obp, 76wrc+
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#448331) #
I think there are valid reasons to extend Vladdy, both for baseball and business reasons, but there is no excuse to keep Bichette, IMO. He has a very volatile offensive skill set that is unlikely to age very well and doesn't possess great defensive value at SS. The team also has a 23 year old SS prospect with a 140 wRC+ and .406 xwOBA in AAA. If they want to trade Bichette for someone who can help in 2025 rather than a lower minors high upside prospect, then so be it, but trade him for something. If you can get someone like Miguel Vargas from the Dodgers for him, then plug Vargas somewhere on the 2025 roster and Jimenez at SS. Is the team better? Who knows, but in that scenario they'd be working both ends (rebuild + trying to compete). If they don't want to bottom out completely, then they'll have to strategically retool.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#448332) #
I've been positing that Jimenez is currently the team's number one prospect but even I wouldn't want to move Bo right now (emphasis on the right now). Letting him walk for nothing also makes no sense. In the offseason or, even more likely, at next year's trade deadline? Sure. Notwithstanding how the first half of the season has gone, there is still a very good chance that Bo is still a 3 to 4 WAR player and the best player on the team. He still isn't being paid as that player so why not hope for a good second half performance? Why not start next year with him and see if the team actually can compete for a playoff spot next year before you pull the plug?
92-93 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#448333) #
Your post is very confusing, Ducey. It's the people who think that Bo and Vlad are easily replaceable who endorse blowing the team up. So yes, the plan is to try and contend in '24 and '25 (I don't think this season is lost, yet) and then use the $ being spent on Bichette and Guerrero, who are apparently easily replaceable, to continue trying to contend for a wild card in '26.

I posed a question last week for people in favour of a rebuild to show me the players on current contenders that were acquired via trading off assets, and I'm still waiting for a good response (beyond Chapman 9 years ago).
92-93 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#448334) #
The Yankees lineup tonight has Judge and Soto batting 2-3. After that, the next highest OPS is Volpe's .736.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#448335) #
92-93 I'm with you on that although I think this year is toast. I do get confused with why people analyze the path forward with Bo and Vlad together. Using three year averages, Vlad is a 2 WAR player making $20m and Bo is a 4 WAR player making $16m. Those are apples an oranges in terms of their "replaceability".
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#448336) #
Two factors that argue in favour of extending Vladdy rather than Bo: (1) Vladdy has been hitting very well for a while now and might be getting beyond his 2023 and early 2024 period of stagnation (he’s making adjustments and showing more patience), and (2) Bo’s unorthodox swing and declining speed and defense suggest he’s not going to age all that well.
scottt - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#448337) #
They've signed quite a few free agents recently. So, why  would they just let players walk and not replace them?

Players age and get worse. That's pretty much universal. Bo isn't that special. He's been an all-star twice. He's not going to be better in his 30's. I would be perfectly happy to replace him with a good defender, as long as they find a better offensive player to hit in the top 3. They have many positions where they could improve.

Bichette has probably a lot more value now than he would have if signed on a 10 year contract.

Not sure what the alternative to Jansen is but the need is clearer now that Kirk hasn't rebounded offensively. Either way, we're not talking about Russell Martin.

I don't see how Bassitt and Kikuchi bring back guys that are good enough to play for a contender.
AA traded Shaun Marcum for Brett Lawrie, but Marcum was just reaching arbitration--so still underpaid--and Lawrie ultimately didn't work out.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#448338) #
Keep vlad and bo for fuck's sake. Don't let this incompetent FO fuck that part up too.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#448339) #
Negative, trade Bo for two good prospects at AA or higher. He doesn't want to be in Toronto.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#448340) #
Bichette is a BABIP dependent hitter with a walk rate only slightly higher than prime Javy Baez. Eventually that skill set is not going to work anymore. Maybe it has already begun. I’d have no issues moving him now if you can get a couple of good pieces for him.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#448342) #
Rain outs always suck. But it'll resume on August 26th by which point we'll have the final version of the 2024 team so a much more useful time to play the Red Sox one could say.

Plus the pen now will be fully rested for the Yankee series. Very important if they want to get back into the race. Lets try to be optimistic - sweep the Yankees and everything changes. Go 3-1, 2-2 or 1-3 and we're in pretty much the same boat as now. Go 0-4 and the cries for 'dump everyone' will get much louder.
Kelekin - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 12:53 AM EDT (#448343) #
If I was playing Out of the Park Baseball, I'd be trading Bo Bichette. In real life though, I'd probably end up with Kyle Drabek.

If you trade Bichette, what can you get that makes sense? It has to be for more than lottery tickets.
Michael - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 05:41 AM EDT (#448344) #
I don't think you "have to" sell anyone. I think you should listen to offers for anyone. If there is overwhelming value, then take it. Also if you think the players are good, work on extending them to reasonable deals if possible. Players that are good enough for QO, should generally be offered them, and it isn't the end of the year if they walk and you get a comp pick, and it certainly isn't the end of the world if they accept the QO and you get a player on a one year deal (it is very difficult for a one year deal to be too bad).

So even if the Jays are outside shots to be competitive this year, I don't think that means you sell useful ML players for beans (I.e., prospects outside the top 100).

Also for those wanting to get rid of the front office because you don't trust them to rebuild - remember that in general when you change front offices you end up with an average at best front office, and worst is certainly possible. Even more so if you do it mid season. The best front office people are rarely available (because they are staying put generally). I'd be cautious to make that change as I still think our GM/President are above average. Now the hitting coach and manager? I'd be willing to roll the dice at this point, even with that caution (but again it might be a thing where the better replacements are in the off season).
Michael - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 06:02 AM EDT (#448345) #
Also, according to Glyber Torres is being benched at least a few games including at least the first with the Jays.

Bichette, (Biggio), Springer, (Vogelbach), Kirk, KK, and Barger all have lower OPS this year than Torres, but yet many of them will play each game and some even hit in key lineup spots for the Jays right now.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#448346) #
Good points Michael. Definitely this manager and front office have been slow to react this season and stubborn and in every case so far it is hurting the team. Some simple things that could have changed the record:

Acquire a clean up hitter in '22 or '23 off seasons

Acknowledge Kirk's '21 first half was a fluke

Replace key injured bullpen arms in '24 by acquiring arms instead of trotting Pearson and Pop out into pressure situations

Sit players for baserunning or defensive mistakes (Vladdy and Teo in'22)

Bench players or limit their play based on performance, sooner: Biggio, Mayza, Romano, Manoah, Vogelbach, Springer, etc

Minimize damage against you: don't bat Bo lead off in career long slump, don't bat Springer 4/5/6 in career long slump

These are simple fixes that this team does not do
92-93 - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#448350) #
Bichette's career 121 OPS+ is the same as Jeter's after his 5th season.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#448352) #
Derek Jeter (5th year)
201 Hits 15 HR 22SB 68BB 99K .339 AVG .896 OPS f3.7 WAR

Bo Bichette 2024
61 Hits 4HR 4SB 16BB 46K .234 AVG .622 OPS 0.4 fWAR
BlueJaysLifer - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#448353) #
Now I hate Atkins even more. He has actually made me agree with Simmons and for that I can never forgive him😂
BlueJaysLifer - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#448354) #
Can you please quantify this comment Michael? “changing front offices you get average at best” sorry but that’s just not true. Phillies changed and everyone thought they would be done with Dombrowski - Braves, Astros same.
A front office that hasn’t drafted well in the top rounds, has not addressed serious flaws with the team in the offseason should be held accountable. If you don’t hold them accountable, how do you hold players accountable? Sorry this is a bit of a bizarre comment to make.
Magpie - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#448356) #
Now I hate Atkins even more.

There's a lot of that going around.

I confess, I find it fascinating. I don't remember people saying they hated Gord Ash. The Blue Jays went 600-635 during his years as the GM.

There was always a group that hated Ricciardi from the moment he walked in the door. Not here, this place was practically a Ricciardi fansite when it opened for business. But everybody turned on him eventually, and why not? In his eight years the team went 642-653.

Certainly nobody ever hated Anthopoulos - even after going 73-89 and 74-88 in consecutive seasons, it was still "AA is a Ninja." The team did win barely more games than they lost during his time here: 489-483.

Even with this year's struggles, even with three years of suckitude at the beginning of his time here, the team is 645-628 under current management - you know, better than the three that preceded him. Yet Atkins inspires hate which is weird, and interesting. And naturally it hits every contrarian instinct in my being. Which, we all realize, are too numerous to be measured by any instruments at our disposal.
uglyone - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#448357) #
Atkins is the 2nd longest tenured GM in Jays history. Probably has something to do with it.

* Gillick 17yrs
* Atkins 9yrs
* Ricciardi 8yrs
* Ash 7yrs
* Anthopolous 6yrs

and yeah there was plenty of loathing for Ricciardi.

and you're giving Atkins' career record credit for the 2016 team which he had nothing to do with building at all.

and man it's a sad comment that Anthopolous was the SHORTEST TENURED gm in jays history. laughable really.

uglyone - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#448358) #
and now that I think of it, there was plenty of hate for Ash as well.

and the hate for AA around here for trading precious prospects was palpable.
Magpie - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#448360) #
Oh people got over him trading Sean Nolin pretty quick. Anthopoulos always had fans. Even when his teams were awful. Atkins has no fans, even when his teams were good.

And all GMs inherit something. Ash inherited a champion. Ricciardi inherited Delgado and Halladay. Anthpoulos inherited Bautista and Encarnacion. Should we make allowances for them too? Or just for Atkins?
uglyone - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#448362) #
Ricciardi and AA inherited terrible teams. No allowances needed.

Ash did inherit a great squad tho, so yeah, that subtracts from his record too.
John Northey - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#448363) #
Funny how many totally have forgotten that Gillick was hated at one point too - after 1987 it started, peaked in early '89, then disappeared and forgotten shortly after. 1987 he never addressed the elephant in the room - second base. A team that was dominating on offense, had a team sOPS+ at 2B that was dead last in MLB and it wasn't close - 53 sOPS+ vs 2nd worst White Sox at 74. Literally any other teams 2B would've been a vast improvement but he didn't do a trade, well he did trade away our opening day 2B for Juan Guzmán (that worked quite well I'd say). It is very safe to say that the final weekend would've been a 'who cares' series if they played anyone decent at 2B all year instead of Garth Iorg/Nelson Liriano/Mike Sharperson/Manny Lee. Then his response to coming up just short? To tell league MVP George Bell, a known hot head with pride up the wazoo that he was going to DH in 1988 so they could make room for Sil Campusano, who hit 264/333/451 in AAA in '87, solid but not 'force MVP off his position' good, and not ONE trade from the end of 1987 until spring training 1989, no significant free agents signed, basically went into 1988 with the same team that had a MASSIVE hole hoping that it'd fix itself. By some miracle 2B did fix itself with a 105 sOPS+, 10th best in MLB (Manny Lee figured out how to hit that year, while bizarro manager Jimy Williams put Cecil Fielder there twice, and catcher Pat Borders there once - imagine our current manager putting Kirk and Jansen at 2B to get an idea of how bizarre that was).

When 1989 started off 12-24 you can imagine how mad the fan base was getting. Then Cito Gaston came in, despite Gillick desperately wanting to get Lou Pinella (Yankees wouldn't let him go), and the rest is history. If fans had their way Gillick would've been dumped at the end of '88 for failed expectations (1 playoff appearance, 1 near experience, and TONS of 'just not quite good enough' over 11 seasons).

So a lesson there for all of us angry fans today - change isn't always better (Gillick vs anyone they'd have brought in back in '88). Sometimes it can be transformative though (Gaston vs Williams). Right now I think we have a team with tons of potential but needing something, we can't know exactly what, but something to change. Perhaps a long term deal signed with Vlad, perhaps dealing Bo, perhaps changing the GM, perhaps dumping the manager. Hard to say. Hopefully whatever it is we'll see it happen and things will get better.
Magpie - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#448364) #
It’s a quibble, but I wouldn’t describe either the 2001 or 2009 teams as terrible. Mediocre, middle of the pack, roughly .500 quality. The 2009 team had a pretty bad W-L record but they actually out scored their opponents, for people who think that matters.
Chuck - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#448365) #
Ricciardi came from Oakland with everyone thinking he was a numbers-based Moneyball guy... which he turned out not to be. And that seemed like a betrayal, even though we were simply betrayed by our own preconceptions.

Anthopoulos seemed like a mensch, working his way up from stuffing envelopes for the Expos to landing in the big chair. He seemed a genuine fan of the game, one of "us" who had made good. And when he was forced to speak in code, uttering the term "payroll parameters" like a hostage blinking in Morse Code, we felt bad for him being shackled by his corporate overlord.

Atkins seems like the suitiest of suits, a corporate shill intent on never ever ever saying anything that isn't layered nine feet deep in corporatespeak. He presents himself so poorly to the masses that he cannot help but be disliked and mistrusted. And his boss is no different. Anyone who has had to work for a large corporation knows cats like this. They talk about shit like synergies.

Where reality lies, we will never know. Who these men really are, what they really think, how astute they are. We are overwhelmed, as fans, by our perceptions, flawed as they might be.

bpoz - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#448366) #
AA is having a good career. He learned with Toronto and LAD He did not build the Atlanta team but he has not screwed it up either.

Shapiro/Atkins did not improve the 2015 team. Then it got old & expensive. They rebuilt fast and spent a lot of money. So 2 parts not 1 9 year part. Looks like part 3 may start soon.

I can predict a few things about part 3. They will definitely be secretive. I feel strongly that they will reset the payroll luxury tax level. After that I need data, such as will they spend on FAs for a " fast" fix or do something else. AA was blamed for trading prospects but now there is nobody to blame regarding prospects.
Nigel - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#448367) #
Chuck that is really well said and insightful. I will say that I believe Atkins showed everyone his true self in the presser following the Berrios affair. It was an awful display of self preservation and weakness. No employee should ever have to work for a boss like that, but they do, as bosses like that are everywhere (unfortunately).
Kelekin - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#448369) #
"and you're giving Atkins' career record credit for the 2016 team which he had nothing to do with building at all."

Career records is really a silly metric in general, because it lacks context (such as the context you've pointed out). AA and Click are often not noted as inheriting two of the best-positioned teams in baseball (though AA is responsible for locking up that core on team-friendly deals).

In general, GMs probably get too much credit or lack of credit for decisions that are not purely unilateral in 2024. Any big organization—sports or otherwise—usually consists of a ton of people doing all the work and someone at the top taking the responsibility, both good and bad.
uglyone - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#448372) #
What success is he referring to exactly?

Asked Ross Atkins why fans should still have faith:

“the biggest thing is the success they've had in the past, many of them together… from all the way from the minor leagues and over the last four years. The other reason is the belief that things can get turned around.”

— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) June 27, 2024
Magpie - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#448373) #
He should say “these guys are losers. What’s the point. Stay home. Change the channel.”

I sometimes think that what people hate most about Atkins is the way he speaks in public. He’s not very good at it. On the list of things I care about, that comes in higher than neat handwriting, but not much. He’s an ex jock who’s awkward speaking to the public.
Michael - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#448379) #
For success "over the last four years" I think he's talking about team wins from 2020-2023 inclusive.

LAD 360
ATL 328
TAM 325
HOU 320
NYY 306
TOR 304
MIL 302
SFG 296
SEA 295
PHI 287
SDN 287

Those are the top 11 franchise (top 10 with the last a tied for 10) in wins over that 4 year period. The Jays were 6th. You can argue about success or what not, but when 12 teams make the playoffs each year, being 6th best over a 4 year time period is pretty good. And arguably the longer time period evens out the luck better than a couple of high profile game (not entirely as obvious a team with a great top 2 pitchers and a team that is equally strong over the long term because of much better 4 and 5 starters are not as well constructed for the playoffs, but arguably it is close).

Even if you include the current year so 2020-today the Jays are tied for 8th with Philadelphia at 340 wins (and the Jays have one fewer loss, so really 8th best).

This is perhaps an overly rosy way of viewing the Jays. But it is not crazy, especially for the sort of public PR type statement that you'll get from a GM.

BTW if you include the entire Atkins era from 2016 through today the Jays are 12th. So still above average (but that isn't what the Atkins quote was about, he was clearly talking about the last 4 years).
vw_fan17 - Thursday, June 27 2024 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#448402) #
Late to this thread.. A couple of points:

-I didn't mind AA trading prospects, because he managed to use the arbitration system or whatever to get lots of additional picks back before they changed the rules. If you have 10 more picks than other teams, sure, trade some prospects.

-Atkins is a former jock? Honestly, the feeling I get from both Atkins and Shapiro (mind you, I haven't listened to them much - and IIRC, Shapiro's dad was in baseball) is that they're just suits / MBAs who want to make $$ and MLB just happened to offer them a way in / seemed like an easier path than others and they don't really care about baseball at all. I'm probably 100% wrong.
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