Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
It doesn't get easier.

Say good bye to the Yankees, and say hello to the hottest team in the major leagues.

Four weeks ago, after the games of 2 June, the Astros were eight games under (26-34). Only three AL teams (Oakland, the Angels, the White Sox) had worse records. The very next day, their best hitter, right fielder Kyle Tucker fouled a ball off his right shin and had to leave the game. He hasn't played since. But the Astros won that day, and in Tucker's absence, they've been winning ever since. Yesterday's win over the Mets lifted them above .500 for the first time all season (which they began by losing their first four games.)

Alex Bregman, after scuffling for the first two months (.219/.280/.372), is hitting again (.310/.367/.450 this month.)

Jose Altuve was great in April but lousy in May. He's been great again in June. He's still making excellent progress on the long road to 3,000 hits although it now looks like Freddie Freeman will get there first.

And Yordan Alvarez, as we all know, is a mighty, mighty man. He's been especially mighty in Tucker's absence, hitting .349/.430/.709 in June.

We've got a pair of mid-week afternoon games in this set, thanks to a couple of national holidays.


Mon 1 July - Brown (5-5, 4.37) vs Rodriguez (0-2, 5.94)
Tue 2 July - Arrighetti (4-6, 5.68) vs Berrios (7-6, 3.38)
Wed 3 July - Blanco (8-3, 2.49) vs Kikuchi (4-8, 4.18)
Thu 4 July - Valdez (6-5, 4.11) v Bassitt (7-6, 3.24)

Astros at Toronto, July 1-4 | 187 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#448547) #
June stats are done and by wRC+ 2 Jays are in the top 20 for June. Vlad and Turner. #18 and #19, 172 and 167 respectively. I'd say those 2 are doing their jobs. Davis Schneider was 13th worst at 50 out of 170 qualifying. Turner's numbers all the more impressive considering his HR/fly ball was a pathetic 5.9% (28th worst), and Vlad did his great numbers despite hitting a crap ton of ground balls (53.3% good for 19th most overall). Turner was 3rd highest for Line Drives (31.6%), Vlad at just 12.0% (14th worst). Weird. Despite that low LD rate Vlad still hit the ball hard 46.7% of the time (8th highest). Imagine if he could get that up in the air just a bit - of course, when he starts to try to do that things fall apart quickly - he had a 0% infield fly ball rate (sweet) in June.
John Northey - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#448548) #
Huh, just looked again and saw Springer was #23 in MLB for hard hit % at 41.8% in June.

In May Turner was dead last in MLB at 8 for wRC+, Vlad #11 at 166.

In June we have Bassitt #5 for pitchers fWAR, dead last is Berrios at -0.4 (qualified pitchers only - 76), with Gausman 5th worst at 0.0. Go with all pitchers and Berrios moves to 11th worst. But for innings pitched we get both Bassitt and Gausman in the top 10. For ERA- Mayza was 8th worse - yes, 7 guys had a worse June than he did.
John Northey - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#448549) #
Sucks, Vlad out due to the finger issue from yesterday (thanks Cole). so Clement is in at 3B instead of Barger despite it being a RHP on the mound, IKF at 2B, Horwitz at 1B.
soupman - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#448550) #
What's the thinking here on the box around Soto? I think the Jays need to be all-in on him. He's probably a better play than Ohtani was. For context, this is Soto's walk year and he is 25. Aaron Judge played his rookie season at age 25. You can tear down in 2026, and Soto will still be in his prime when the team is top tier again...will the team be good again before 2031? because that's when Soto will be Aaron Judge's age today.

I think the Jays should pull a Marlins type deal. Back load the contract, and trade him after a year. James Wood, centrepiece of the Soto trade, debuts tonight. The newest 6'7" monster that has an OPS over 1 in the minors.

scottt - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#448551) #
My thinking on Soto is that he's not taking deferred money but Boras will probably start the betting around 600M. I don't think it's possible to back load a contract like that. Not significantly anyway, but 15 years might not be out of the question.

scottt - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#448552) #
As bad as Schneider has been in June, he's still 5th in team OPS.
The team standing is possibly a reflection that the guys who were struggling got more playing time--to get them going. This will not happen with Schneider here, but it will be interesting to see how he recovers. Should he recovers as fast or faster than Springer, Bichette and other, it would suggest that struggling player should play less no matter how much they make.

1. Horwitz .897
2. Vladdy .846
3. IKF .758
4. Turner .729
5. Schneider .720
6. Jansen .715 (also scuffling)
7. Varsho .685 (slowed down quite a bit)
8. Clement .684
9. Orelvis Martinez .666 (Perfect number, I guess)
10. Springer .646
11. Bichette .618
13. Kirk .579 (We don't even talk about his bat anymore)
15. Kiermaier .518
16. Barger .364 (He sure hope he gets a couple of big hits to bring this up soon)

85bluejay - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#448553) #
Selling is the only viable option IMO.
Magpie - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#448554) #
Back load the contract, and trade [Soto] after a year.

If Soto leaves the Yankees, he'll be playing for his fourth team in four years and I expect he'll want some guarantees that it won't be five in five.
dalimon5 - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#448555) #
Soto will probably get 500 million which ensures he makes more than Ohtani (non deferred present day value). I see the contenders to sign him being the teams that can do 35 million/year over 15 would be a solid offer.
Sherrystar - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#448556) #
Why would Soto want to come to Toronto? Unless the Jays offer the most $ by a lot, wouldn’t he want to play for a contender?
John Northey - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#448557) #
Soto I'm sure would like to play for a contender right away, but the old 'money talks' applies very strongly here. He rejected $440 over 14 years from Washington a few years ago. Safe to say bidding starts at $500 mil over however many years he can get. The Jays should be bidders but who will be bidding? NYY, NYM both are locks to be in on him, SFG as well. The Dodgers would've been but I gotta think even they have an upper limit. The Angels have the cash, but after being burned so often will they go for it again? The Red Sox are in decent position fiscally to jump in but current ownership seems hesitant to go there. The Padres have the cash and desire, but will they go far enough? Probably not.

Those are the contenders for Soto - Since he is going to sign a 10+ year deal (covering the rest of his career most likely) he'll be picking a team that has shown it can keep a high payroll, has the fan support to do so, and probably in a city he feels comfortable in. He is from the Dominican Republic so the Jays will probably use players from there to help sell him - from Vlad Jr & Sr, to Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, maybe even asking George Bell to step in as an elder statesman to help sell him. I suspect outside of raw cash, comfort in a city will be important - can his family feel safe in the city, is there a big enough Dominican culture there for them to feel at home? We will see. My bet is him staying in NY with either Mets or Yankees depending who goes most nuts for raw cash, with the Jays having an upper limit where they walk after it passes that - both NY's are known for going into stupid territory when competing with each other but the Yankees tend to have an upper limit to that (see Aaron Judge where they hit it and he was offered more but stuck with the Yankees).
BlueJaysLifer - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#448558) #
Soto? No the jays mgmt are OBSESSED with all D no bat lefty OF who they keep throwing out there despite better options. Yes I’m continuing to question why KK is on this team and actually in the lineup.
scottt - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#448560) #
Soto is a Boras client. I'm pretty sure he'll go where the money takes him.
He's not a Japanese who wants to be on the west coast.
He would probably prefer a low tax states but I don't think that's happening here.
He might not be crazy about playing on turf, but he's probably going to be a DH before long.

He's going to be very expensive.

soupman - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#448561) #
Soto is going to the highest bidder. The Yankees indicated that they're looking for a discount, so I think they're out. It's probably between the Mets, Giants, and Jays. Maybe one/both of the LA teams jump in, the Dodger might want revenge for the Jays bidding up Ohtani by about 200m lol. Padres can't spend anymore since their owner and tv deal died. Steve Cohen has shown that he is a maniac and money doesn't mean anything to him like it does to even most billionaires. I almost wrote "normal billionaires" but due to my political leanings, I am not sure such a thing exists, let alone ought to exist.

I think Soto blows past the Ohtani contract. Boras will want the distinction of biggest contract back even if Soto doesn't care. They've said they're taking the biggest deal, this isn't Ohtani 2.0 where he clearly wanted to stay out west. Plus you can put in opt-outs. In that case, a front-loaded contract makes sense because it will increase the likelihood he does go back into free agency, and ideally at a time when the Jays are out of contention. What's the MAX you'd pay per year of Soto? 40? 50? 60? Whatever the number you're thinking of, it may be too low.

He's averaged 6.2 bWAR a year so far, and is on pace for about 9 bWAR this year. $50m a year is going to be about "average" for what he's done so far. A 15 year deal might have a price tag of $750m. I suspect the deal with have a value around there, and then, even if there are deferrals, it will pay him over $70m in the first few years before any opt-out clauses kick in.

Next year, he'd slide into LF with Varsho and Springer eating up a lot more outfield than anywhere he's played previously...sheltering some of the negative value he has produced kicking balls around the outfield.

Ducey - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#448562) #
There is no way that Soto signs with the Jays. None. If Atkins is still around he will meet with him, but he is going elsewhere.

It makes no sense to sign Soto and let Jansen, Kikuchi, Bo, Vlad etc walk.

If they sign some of their players, maybe, but that does not seem to be in the cards.
uglyone - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#448563) #
soto is a fever dream. agreed.
greenfrog - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#448564) #
Other teams will offer more money and a better chance of winning over the course of the contract, with a more appealing stadium/field, climate, urban life, manager, etc. I don’t see any realistic way Toronto ends up on top, unless they surpass all other offers, which seems unlikely. And even offering the most money might not be enough.

Toronto is about to begin a rebuilding phase. It could take a while before the team is really good again.
85bluejay - Monday, July 01 2024 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#448565) #
The idea that the Jays could sign Soto is just delusional .
John Northey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#448566) #
FYI: just learned if I am on VPN I cannot get onto

Nice to see everyone debating Soto instead of screaming about todays lack of offense. Jays now 8 back of the Wild Card (tied with Detroit & Texas) and very definitely into sell mode, although they won't announce it until deals start happening.

Rumor mills are pushing a Vlad deal, but I don't see that happening. Far more likely the Jays get him to sign this winter for a long term deal imo (they have made him the face of the franchise for better or worse). Bo is the one who I see having the most potential value in a deal (1 1/2 years pre free agency) but his terrible June (54 wRC+) hurts a lot. Kikuchi is next due to the never ending demand for starting pitchers. Turner's great June might get his value up enough to get someone interested who needs offense at DH or 1B badly (Houston at 1B is desperate), Jansen is a tough one - A1 defense, potential on offense but slumping badly plus teams rarely get excited about catchers mid-season. Richards I see getting a decent lottery ticket but not much else (I'd be shocked if they got a top 100 prospect for him, more a teams 5-10th best prospect if they are desperate in the pen). If Garcia comes back soon and pitches well he could bring something a touch nicer than Richards, but not a lot nicer.

Guys who I see as harder to deal are ones like Bassitt (1 1/2 years left, many would want him) and Gausman (a few more years, but having troubles this year) but the demand will be there for both. I'd be asking double value for them. IE: a top 50 prospect plus. Can't imagine they'll get it but right now the Jays can afford to wait with all but Kikuchi, Richards, Jansen, and Turner. I don't see them getting a lot from anyone else outside of the guys who are under team control in 2025 as well.
Michael - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 03:03 AM EDT (#448568) #
The good of today's game was Yariel Rodriguez was very good on the mound. The bad was the Jays didn't get much offense going and squandered some chances with runners in scoring position and not cashing them in. Jays bases loaded with 1 out in 2nd, no runs. Jays bases loaded with 1 out in the 8th, no runs.

Was a pitchers duel both ways as both teams had only 4 hits, the Jays had 4 BB while the Astros had just 2 BB. But the Astros had 2 HR to the Jays 1 HR and that was pretty much the difference.

On the selling versus not there is a massive trade proposed by one sports illustrated person (see ) that would be 3 way with Houston, Cleveland and the Jays. Would people talking about selling go for something like the following:

Houston Astros Receive: 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (from TOR), RHP Chris Bassitt (from TOR), OF Kevin Kiermaier (from TOR), LHP Parker Messick (from CLE)

Cleveland Guardians Receive: SS Bo Bichette (from TOR), LHP Yusei Kikuchi (from TOR), C Danny Jansen (from TOR), OF Colin Barber (from HOU)

Toronto Blue Jays Receive: RHP Cristian Javier (from HOU), OF Chase DeLauter (CLE No. 1 prospect), OF Jacob Melton (HOU No. 1 prospect), SS Brice Matthews (HOU No. 3 prospect), RHP Daniel Espino (CLE No. 4 prospect), RHP Jake Bloss (HOU No. 5 prospect)

So 5 prospects, including a few who have been in the top 100 prospects lists, and a decent pitcher who is undergoing Tommy John surgery in exchange for Bichette, Vlad, Bassitt, KK, Jansen, and Kikuchi.

I don't know the prospects well enough, but I wouldn't be a fan of this sort of move in general. I do think the general advice that who ever gets the best player in a trade usually wins, and certainly there are more years of cheap control in the Jays camp, but I strongly suspect that even in the short amount of time left the WAR of missing all that talent would be more (especially for the players that are both 2024 and 2025 that we'd be losing). Any of the sellers though think this would be a good deal for the Jays?
Glevin - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#448569) #
I want the Jays to win but I also don't want delusions of wildcard spot so I am fine with them losing to force their hand to sell. Also, because Oakland and White Sox can't get high picks, they are in a good spot to get a top 5 pick which is the area you can get a real stud prospect. If they're just selling 2024 free agents they aren't going to get much. Kikuchi and Garcia with most value but neither will get very much. If they want to retool, they need to trade Bo and Vlad and maybe more. If they think they can re-sign Vlad, give it a try and if you can't, trade him in winter but you can't let these guys walk for a 4th round pick when you're a bottom team.
bpoz - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#448570) #
I think Soto to Boston would be good. Should put them in the top 11 AL teams.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#448571) #
If the Jays lose their 2024 free agents then they should be a bottom 6 lottery team given how they've played and their AAA depth in pitcher (or lack thereof). Kikuchi would be a big blow to the team, as would Richards. Losing either would not just affect their slots in the rotation and pen but have a domino effect elsewhere - no Kikuchi, no 5-7 innings every 5 days of solid pitching. No Richards? No solid middle man who can start and eat 3 innings when needed. That adds roughly 10 innings every 5 days to the rest of the staff to be thrown by AAAA players at best.

Take away Bo and IKF goes to SS, Horwitz plays everyday, Barger/Clement platoon at 3B. I don't see that killing the team.

Take away Vlad and Horwitz plays everyday at 1B, we see Barger/Clement at 3B and IKF at 2B.

Take away Bo & Vlad and we see Schneider move back to 2B with the rest as above.

Vlad going away would leave a hole in the lineup, no doubt about it, and a MASSIVE hole in the marketing but from a pure playing standpoint Kikuchi and Richards will impact the 2024 team more.
Ducey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#448572) #
Kikuchi has to be traded, or they get nothing for him.

Someone might overpay for Vlad at the deadline if they really are going for it. Otherwise the winter makes more sense.

Bo has snuck a few hits thru the infield in recent games, but is a long way from hitting rockets up RF gap. Trading him while he has an OPS+ of 77, would seem like a poor idea. He has to bounce back at some point, right? Maybe not participating in the All Star game allows him to reset.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#448573) #
With Bo you have a player who has made it 100% clear he wants to be a free agent. He is a lot like Soto in that way, he wants to see what his value on the market is and will go wherever the money is. Period. His #1 problem is the year long slump he is in. But teams buy based on what they expect to happen not what has happened. Do they see him as a 77 OPS+ guy or as the projected 111-121 wRC+ guy (Fangraphs assorted rest of season projections) and the 3.8 fWAR projection for 2025? His past suggests the projections are more likely the truth. Teams will expect a 'risk discount' due to his poor 2024 though.

Kikuchi clearly is the guy most likely to be traded - but how much value will teams put on him? I wouldn't see him as a top 3 starter for a WS contender, but for a weak WC team he might be, and could help them get to round 2 or further. Boston most definitely fits that description and after their big 2 in the rotation they are in 'cross your fingers' territory. The Royals as well but their rotation is strong (they could use Richards in the pen though). The Astros are on the edge and after Blanco really roll the dice every other start it seems so Kikuchi could be a fit there. The Mets are a total crapshoot for pitching (93 ERA+ overall) so they could use both badly. The Cardinals are in decent shape, not great shape, but decent (105 ERA+). Padres could use both guys and are cheap (no TV deal, owner who blew his own cash died) thus both fit nicely (Kikuchi owned only $10 mil for all of 2024) plus they have prospects (4 top 100 guys - Robby Snelling in AA a LHP ranked #47 should be the Jays target - can't see anyway the Jays would get C Ethan Salas from them, #6 overall).
Katie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#448574) #
Considering the Padres wouldn't consider trading Salas for two years of Dylan Cease, and he'll presumably be the center piece of a deal if the Padres trade for Luis Robert, I think it's more than safe to assume that he's not being traded for two to three months of Kikuchi.

I doubt they'd include Snelling either.
Glevin - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#448575) #
I'd be surprised if Kukuchi gets back a top-100 prospect and zero chance at a top-50. You're going to get back something interesting probably. I'd love to trade with Milwaukee who have a lot of young interesting major leaguers with no real place to play (Tyler Black, Garrett Mitchell) but not sure about fits.
bpoz - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#448576) #
How much payroll do they have to reduce to eliminate all Luxury Tax penalties? Would trading Turner, KK, Kikuchi, Jansen and Yimi/Green do it? 2024 will be hard to save but 2025 could be made somewhat competitive somehow.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#448577) #
They need to shave about $10 million iirc. So $20+ mil worth of full season salary. Checking Cot's they are roughly $10,224,576 over the cap as is. Cap hits are... Turner is $13 mil, Kikuchi $12 mil so those 2 should do the trick although they'd want to do more. Garcia is $5.5, Jansen $5.2, Richards $2.15. The 2025 crew is Bassitt $21 mil, Vlad $19.9, Bo $11.2, Green $10.5, Romano $7.75, Swanson $2.75, Cabrera $1.5125

So what is likely? I see Turner & Kikuchi being dumped soon as very likely, Garcia once healthy and having a few games under his bet too. Jansen is harder to predict - but could be dumped if a deal exists. I doubt any of the post 2025 free agents will be traded outside of a deal that can't be refused situation.
bpoz - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#448578) #
Thanks John N. So not hard for this trade deadline. But to stay under for 2025 we can't really sign much.

I expect Detroit & KC to be better because of their long rebuilds. Also Boston probably plans to be good by smart planning. Teo Epstein is back with Boston.

So do little or nothing in the off season and hope the kids can contribute as well or better than our current non contributing veterans. There may be a little competition for ABs by opening day. IKF, Clement, Leo, Barger, Horwitz and D Schneider in the IF. Varsho and a few others can handle the OF. Then 200 ABs next year in AAA for Kacevich and Roden gets us 2 more players.

I don't know how to remake the pitching. B Snell in SF is getting paid a lot (34mil?) and is injured. V bad for SF which means half a season of Kikuchi and 1.5 of Bassit is sort of cheap. Manoah is back for part of 2025 and all of 2026. If he recovers then we have some pitching. Tiedemann needs to recover and get a few ML innings this year. Then hope for a healthy 80-110 IP in 2025 for the ML team.

Arizona's window is now. They should have a good farm which should be used to improve their playoff chances while in the window.
jerjapan - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#448579) #
Kikuchi is one of the best starters available.  People are underestimating his value.  He's guaranteed a QO, no?  Any return for him has to be better than the comp pick. 

Unless the Jays go nuts and trade Vlad / Beau, or a starter with term, Kikuchi is our big chip.  
John Northey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#448581) #
Oh no question Kikuchi is the best chip the Jays have outside of going for the post 2025 free agents (Bassitt/Bo/Vlad). However, everyone in MLB knows he has a rep of being gangbusters at times and horrid at times. 4.39 ERA first half, 5.12 second half lifetime with 2021 being the best example - an All-Star first half (3.48 ERA opponents hit 205/276/370) horrid 2nd half (5.98 ERA 300/381/525 line). So a strong first half doesn't guarantee anything with him. Gotta think that will cut his value a bit.

Still, I could easily see the Jays doing a pitching package - Kikuchi & Richards for something decent. Neither makes much in raw cash this year, nor do they hit the luxury tax hard. So for a contender that would be a nice package to get. Should be able to get a top 100 prospect or two out of it. Especially from a team that has multiple.

So how many top 100's do contenders have?
  • Locks (over 60%): Atlanta (3), Brewers (4), Dodgers (2), Phillies (5), Yankees (3), Orioles (4), Cleveland (4), Twins (5), Mariners (5)
  • WC fighters (15-60%): Astros (1), Cardinals (2), Arizona (3), Padres (4), Mets (6), Giants (4), Royals (1), Red Sox (3), Rays (4)
  • WC slim shot (5-15%): Cubs (7), Pirates (3), Reds (3), Rangers (1)
So the stocked systems are (4+): Brewers, Phillies, O's, Cleveland, Twins, Mariners, Padres, Mets, Giants, Rays, Cubs. Those are the teams who most likely will be willing to give up something to fill a gaping hole if they have one. The Cubs though with 7 high end prospects will not likely give up a lot due to being in the 'slim chance' category right now (9.0%). The Phillies will be looking for high end upgrades - to fill in any holes they still have (99.8% shot at playoffs) - CF is a weakness right now for them so Kiermaier might be interesting to them (high end defense with the ability to hit for average if left alone in the 9 hole with no pressure) they have prospect Johan Rojas playing everyday in CF right now and he is flopping (62 wRC+, barely over 0 for WAR from both FG and BR), that's about it for weaknesses there.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#448582) #
I think we can look to last year to find some comparables:

Kikuchi similar and better to Flaherty last year:

"Aug. 1: Orioles acquire RHP Jack Flaherty from Cardinals for INF César Prieto, LHP Drew Rom and RHP Zack Showalter

The AL East-leading Orioles acquired the 27-year-old Flaherty mere minutes before the Trade Deadline passed. The impending free agent had a 4.43 ERA, 106 strikeouts and 54 walks in 109 2/3 innings with the Cardinals. After enduring multiple injury-plagued seasons, Flaherty has exceeded 100 innings in a season for the first time since 2019. He’ll enhance an Orioles rotation that is middle of the pack by most measures.

Heading to St. Louis are two prospects who were ranked No. 16 (Prieto) and 18 (Rom) in the Orioles system according to MLB Pipeline, as well as Showalter. The Cardinals were one of the most active sellers at the deadline and continued to beef up their system with two players in the upper Minors. Prieto had an .868 OPS and just 27 strikeouts in 85 games across Double-A and Triple-A with Baltimore. Rom had a 5.34 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 86 innings in Triple-A"

Yimi Garcia similar to Jordan Hicks last year:

"The Blue Jays have landed one of baseball’s best flamethrowers, acquiring reliever Jordan Hicks in a trade with the Cardinals, the club announced.

Toronto will send two young right-handed pitchers the other way, in No. 7 prospect Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein. This deal wasn’t cheap, nor should it have been.

Robberse is a fascinating development story, signed out of the Netherlands before growing into one of the top arms in Toronto’s system. The right-hander owns a 4.06 ERA in Double-A this season, and he seemed due for a taste of Triple-A soon. Kloffenstein, meanwhile, was making good on a repeat of Double-A, posting a 3.24 ERA.

Justin Turner is a bit like Josh Bell last year. The Marlins received Bell and dumped Segura on the Guardians and had to give up a good prospect to do so. "The Guardians received the veteran infielder Segura, who was subsequently released by the club. Segura was signed through the 2024 season. Perhaps most notable was the inclusion of Watson, the 16th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Watson had a .727 OPS with nine home runs and 14 stolen bases in 60 games this year in the lower levels of the Minors with the Marlins."

Bo Bichette is most similar to Verlander last year with the cash added from the Mets:

"New York's return includes Houston's No. 1 (Gilbert) and No. 4 (Clifford) prospects. Gilbert, who ranks 68th on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, has hit .274 with 12 homers and an .822 OPS over 81 games in his first full professional season after being selected with a first-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. The 22-year-old has spent most of this season in Double-A. Clifford, another 2022 MLB Draft pick (11th round), has posted a .291/.399/.520 slash with 18 homers over 83 games in the Minors this year, reaching High-A."

dalimon5 - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#448583) #
sourced from
Nigel - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#448584) #
IKF to the DL and Jimenez up.
jgadfly - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#448585) #
Can the Jays really trade VGJ ? Is he not the best position player ever developed in the Blue Jay system ? ... the best marketing tool/star available and a Cdn to boot ... and you have to trade him to stock your continuing failures in developing ... Atkins should be fired ... after 8 years of saying that the Jays have to rely on in-house development of replacement players they have to make due with other teams discarded rejects ... I'm not seeing any MiLB pitching arriving to help the bullpen ... nor any "rising Stars" to help with keeping the budget under the Tax Threshold ... I do see a good Triple A team with problematic pitching and then losing records throughout their system and if Shapiro doesn't develop the Dominican Complex or see that Atkins is failing then he should join him ...
Kelekin - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#448587) #
" Is he not the best position player ever developed in the Blue Jay system ?" It might be 15 years too early for us to know whether he is or isn't. He may not even be the best 1st baseman we've ever developed (Delgado, Olerud), even if his ceiling is sky high.
Glevin - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#448588) #
Mcgriff wasn't drafted by Jays but came up through system. Vlad might be 4th best 1Bman developed by Jays.
pooks137 - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#448589) #
Being cheeky.

But can the Jays lay claim to developing Olerud if he never played a game in the minors?

Seems he was delivered as a finished product.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#448590) #
In a similar vein, can the jays take credit for "developing" Vladdy when they've probably done him more harm than good?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#448591) #
I think Vladdy's floor in a better run organization is Rafael Devers.
Kelekin - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#448592) #
Devers always seemed like the most apt comparison for Vladdy back then and still is. Devers had the same body concerns; got it together and became a passable 3B. Which, at this point, maybe I'm crazy, but I'd love to see Vladdy over there more. He's in better shape, and his defense isn't going to be more than passable on either corner, but at least he can use his rocket arm.

Although I'm happy to not see Devers and his wad of chew on a daily basis.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#448593) #
Leo Jimenez (age 23) is now the youngest player on the team, born in 2001.
Gerry - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#448594) #
IKF is unlikely to be ready to be activated after his 10 days on the IL per John Schneider. He described IKF as week to week.
Glevin - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#448595) #
Are people pretending that Vlad was held back by the Jays? That he'd be a better player somewhere else? Complete nonsense.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#448596) #
Nope, nobody is pretending.
mathesond - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#448597) #
I think the fact that Vladdy has yet to reach 70 HR or a .400 avg in even one season is proof enough that the Jays not only held him back, they actively and with malice aforethought harmed his development and career progression.
Nigel - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#448598) #
One easy area to improve this club would be to improve the base running. You don't have to be fast or athletic to be a decent base running team.
soupman - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#448599) #
I think Vlad has demonstrated issues around in-game decision making. He's the one of if not the worst runner in the league despite being about average speed. He makes lots of low-percentage play attempts on defence. I think his enthusiasm and love of the game leads him to make a lot of choices where he makes the 'fun' play rather than the 'safe' play. Obviously we don't have access to alternative realities where he came up with another team, but I think that these are quite clearly two areas where an organization probably can and should be influencing players.
Ducey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#448600) #
Man, Horwitz is fun to watch.

Bo on other hand looks pathetic.
Eephus - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#448601) #
With Ohtani now in the Senior Circuit… Yordan has to be the best LH hitter in the American League, no? Him or Soto I figure… Gunnar might be close also.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#448602) #
Aaron Judge would like a word.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#448603) #
One easy area to improve this club would be to improve the base running.

I agree, though I don't know how much it would help. It's not that the Jays make more outs on the bases or get picked off more often. They don't. But they're near the bottom of the league in taking the extra base. They're cautious to the point of being timid.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#448604) #
"Are people pretending that Vlad was held back by the Jays?"

Who needs to pretend?
uglyone - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#448605) #
Vlad was a significantly better prospect than Devers by the way.
Eephus - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#448606) #
But Judge is a righty! Otherwise yeah, no contest.
Ducey - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#448607) #
Some people on this thread were held back by their school system
Nigel - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#448608) #
Improving the base running wouldn’t massively change that much but the Jays have 58 non caught stealing outs on the bases which is 5th worst in baseball. They were either 2nd or 3rd worst in baseball last season on non cs outs on the bases. Cincinnati had the most non base stealing outs on the bases both last year and this but they are intentionally (almost chaotically) aggressive on the bases. The Jays are, as you say, timid and station to station on the bases so that number of outs is a terrible stat. The one thing that they do well is not get caught stealing but when you rarely steal it’s a positive stat that is a double edged sword. Taken together I think they are a terrible base running team.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#448609) #
But Judge is a righty!


Not firing on all thrusters.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#448610) #
the Jays have 58 non caught stealing outs on the bases

Really? The bb-ref page has them with 18. Cleveland leads the league with 29, Seattle has just 13.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#448611) #
the school system definitely ruined my beautiful sweet swing too, turning into this ugly hitched thing. damn you, school system!
Magpie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#448612) #
It's a Base Running Data Table!

                                           Picked  Outs        
Team    SB    CS    SB %    Off on Bases  XBT%   
Chicago Cubs    72    16    82%     5    36    43%   
Cincinnati Reds    123    26    83%    14    33     49%   
Washington Nationals    111    40    74%    18    32    46%   
Cleveland Guardians    72    28    72%     6    29     45%   
Los Angeles Angels    71    32    69%   8    28    41%   
Philadelphia Phillies    85    19    82%    10    27   41%   
Milwaukee Brewers    119    20    86%     7    26     41%   
San Diego Padres     60    18    77%    10    26    44%   
Boston Red Sox    78    24    76%    8    24     46%   
Tampa Bay Rays    81    32    72%    12    24     42%   

New York Mets    61    11    85%     2    22    37%   
Los Angeles Dodgers    48    12    80%    6    22    48%   
Houston Astros    58    16    78%    5    21     35%   
Detroit Tigers    36    11    77%   2    21    48%   
New York Yankees     37    16    70%     3    21    36%   
Texas Rangers    46    10    82%    4    20    43%   
Colorado Rockies    50    14    78%    4    20     39%   
Oakland Athletics     40    12    77%     6    20     40%   
Arizona Diamondbacks     47    15    76%     8    20    47%   
Minnesota Twins   45    14    76%     4    20     41%   

Pittsburgh Pirates    45    8    85%    3    19     44%   
Chicago White Sox    51    14    78%     7    19    35%   
St. Louis Cardinals     48    14    77%     6    19    45%   
Atlanta Braves    37    11    77%    7    19     41%   
Toronto Blue Jays    40    6    87%    7    18     39%   
Kansas City Royals    77    17    82%    8    17   47%   
Miami Marlins    41    23    64%    3    17   40%   
Baltimore Orioles     59    13    82%    6    14     44%   
San Francisco Giants   27    12    69%    5    14     38%   
Seattle Mariners    61    15    80%    5    13     45%   

They're listed in order of number of Outs made on Bases (does not include CS or Pickoffs), but what I would draw uour attention to is the Jays being one of the few teams taking the extra base in fewer than 40% of their opportunities. Only the Giants, Mets, Yankees, Astros, and White Sox are taking fewer extra bases. And only the Giants have attempted fewer stolen bases than the Blue Jays, despite the fact that the Jays have the best stolen base percentage in the major leagues.

I dunno. They did indeed make a lot of outs on the bases in 2023 (fifth most in the majors.) Maybe this year, they're thinking that the hitting has been so bad that they can't risk what few base runners they have.
Nigel - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#448613) #
My bad. I was looking at 2023 numbers. It isn’t Groundhog Day:). My apologies.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#448614) #
Your basic observation stands. Base running is not one of this team's strengths.
soupman - Tuesday, July 02 2024 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#448616) #
my impression is that they are more timid this year. and they are stopping when the stop sign goes up at third more, and the third base coach throws it up more often to begin with.

scottt - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 05:13 AM EDT (#448618) #
I think the new third base coach from Boston is better.
scottt - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 05:23 AM EDT (#448619) #
Vlad was destroying the minors and when they decided to keep him in AAA for a few days, everybody was screaming "service time manipulation". Turned out his hitting wasn't the main thing he had to work on.

Then there was the Covid and the MVP year and things have gone south, but who knows why.
Encarnation has been working with him all year.

He had some rough patches this year but it looks like this will be his second best career season.

bpoz - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#448620) #
Minnesota on pace for 92 wins. KC & Seattle 87.
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#448622) #
Mlb pipeline has a new top 100 prospects up. The Jays have 2 on the list. Ricky and Orelvis.

The A's have one. Hard to know what that organisation is thinking.
Glevin - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#448623) #
"Vlad was a significantly better prospect than Devers by the way."

And we all know that prospect ranking is 100% correlated with how player careers turn out. It's why Clint Frazier had a much better career than Aaron Judge. The only time I have ever seen teams hurt prospects careers is when they had pitchers throw too many innings. Players aren't fragile little things that need to be treated in a perfect way in order to succeed and if they are like that, it means they wont succeed anyway. "Oh, no my career is ruined because I played a few games at 3B when I was 20!". Having guys move positions or holding guys back a bit or rushing them a bit isn't going to ruin anyone's career. It's just absurd. On top of that, pretending like the Jays are one of the worst organizations is just silly. They aren't a top team at developing players like say Dodgers are but they're fine and probably somewhere around middle of the pack.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#448624) #
Don't really care about prospect rankings.

Vlad was significantly better and younger at every level.

And better in every area - better contact, more power, and more patience.

Of course back then vladdy had a beautiful perfect effortless swing.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#448625) #
Nigel has probably sent me down a rabbit hole, but I'm thinking about base running! More specifically, I'm thinking about how the game's general approach to base running has evolved.

For example - Guerrero made a career high 8 outs on the bases in 2023. It's a lot - it led the team, and only five players in the AL made more outs on the bases, led by Steven Kwan with 10 (with Rafael Devers and Isiah Kiner-Falefa in between.)

But by historical standards? Just looking at the Blue Jays, Alfredo Griffin made 17 outs on the bases in 1979. Well, that was Alfredo. He was nuts. But Dave Winfield made 14 of them in 1992. Well, he was 40 years old but thought he was still 27. But Tony Fernandez? He made 16 outs on the bases in his first full season (1985), 13 of them in his last one, during his third tour (1999), and hit double digits on seven other occasions.

Aggressive base running is a one-run strategy - it increases the chance of scoring a single run, while risking the chance to put together a big inning. One-run strategies predominate (and only make sense) in times when it's very hard to score runs. And the 1960s were the last such time, and they were a long time ago. These strategies should no longer be as widely used any more. But you would still expect it to take some time for these strategies to fall out of favour. For one thing, the generation of baseball men who came up in the 1960s stayed around the game for a long time afterwards. Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre were all managing well into this century. Anyway, it's something to look into.
mathesond - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#448627) #
"Of course back then vladdy had a beautiful perfect effortless swing."

And back then you were almost attractive, but evenutally time comes for us all :)
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#448629) #
"Some people on this thread were held back by their school system"

Only a fool would make that vain comment not knowing who they are talking to on a fan site.

Message or post your education background and we shall see how it stacks up and hypothesize who's actually been held back. My guess is the one with less schooling. I'm guessing you haven't had double digit years of post high school education... or a Masters Degree. Just an opinion.
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#448630) #
"Only a fool would make that vain comment not knowing who they are talking to on a fan site."

Its actually a poke at the "Jays didnt develop Vlad" notion. It is a comment completely incapable of being proven - just like my comment about education.

I expected most people would know I was not talking about them. Ugly made a joke of it. Yet you took it personally.
bpoz - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#448631) #
Education is an individual thing. Also complicated. I was a D student my entire life but graduated HS on the honor roll. I know how I became a B+ student but it took me 40 years to analyze and produce a theory. Still a D person but that insight was genius. Too bad I did not arrive at that insight earlier. It would have helped.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#448632) #
If you expected most people to know you weren't talking about them then who were you talking about?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#448633) #
speaking of development, when's the last time anyone heard anything about our cutting edge "High Performance Department" ?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#448634) #
Dalimon - when in doubt, always assume the cracks here are at my expense.

only because they know i can take it of course!
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#448635) #
Plausible Best Possible Lineups

Using This Year's Stats Only:

* 1. 2B Horwitz 78pa, .436obp, 168wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero 368pa, .378obp, 144wrc+
* 3. SS Falefa 281pa, .338obp, 117wrc+
* 4. DH Turner 285pa, .358obp, 115wrc+
* 5. LF Schneider 273pa, .311obp, 106wrc+
* 6. C Jansen 187pa, .316obp, 105wrc+
* 7. 3B Clement 160pa, .285obp, 99wrc+
* 8. CF Varsho 292pa, .277obp, 92wrc+
* 9. RF Springer 324pa, .300obp, 88wrc+

* X. IF Bichette 305pa, .282obp, 74wrc+
* X. C Kirk 159pa, .283obp, 66wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 167pa, .233obp, 46wrc+
* X. UT Barger 56pa, .200obp, 15wrc+

* (X. IF Martinez 3pa, .333obp, 92wrc+)
* (X. UT Biggio 168pa, .313obp, 77wrc+)
* (X. PH Vogelbach 79pa, .278obp, 70wrc+)
* (X. C Serven 10pa, .200obp, -14wrc+)

Using Past 1 Calendar Year Stats

* 1. 2B Horwitz 112pa, .402obp, 149wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero 693pa, .361obp, 131wrc+
* 3. LF Schneider 414pa, .343obp, 130wrc+
* 4. C Jansen 307pa, .339obp, 123wrc+
* 5. DH Turner 560pa, .348obp, 113wrc+
* 6. 3B Clement 204pa, .307obp, 110wrc+
* 7. SS Falefa 451pa, .326obp, 100wrc+
* 8. RF Springer 649pa, .311obp, 93wrc+
* 9. CF Varsho 542pa, .278obp, 88wrc+

* X. PH Votto 199pa, .317obp, 100wrc+
* X. IF Bichette 533pa, .302obp, 89wrc+
* X. C Kirk 370pa, .311obp, 87wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 256pa, .276obp, 72wrc+

* X. OF Lukes 8pa, .375obp, 127wrc+
* X. UT Barger 53pa, .192obp, 6wrc+
* X. C Serven 10pa, .200obp, -14wrc+

* (X. PH Vogelbach 214pa, .332obp, 112wrc+)
* (X. UT Biggio 365pa, .358obp, 101wrc+)
* (X. IF Martinez 3pa, .333obp, 92wrc+)

Using Fangraphs' Rest of Season Combined Projections:

* 1. 2B Horwitz 197pa, .359obp, 119wrc+
* 2. 1B Guerrero 319pa, .362obp, 142wrc+
* 3. SS Bichette 305pa, .322obp, 116wrc+
* 4. LF Schneider 246pa, .328obp, 114wrc+
* 5. C Jansen 179pa, .317obp, 114wrc+
* 6. DH Turner 243pa, .338obp, 112wrc+
* 7. RF Springer 282pa, .321obp, 110wrc+
* 8. CF Varsho 289pa, .296obp, 104wrc+
* 9. 3B Clement 108pa, .306obp, 99wrc+

* X. C Kirk 141pa, .340obp, 112wrc+
* X. UT Barger 112pa, .304obp, 96wrc+
* X. IF Falefa 187pa, .313obp, 94wrc+
* X. OF Kiermaier 174pa, .286obp, 82wrc+

* X. OF Lukes 7pa, .324obp, 101wrc+
* X. PH Votto 66pa, .307obp, 94wrc+
* X. IF Jimenez 39pa, .317obp, 92wrc+
* X. C Serven 9pa, .248obp, 58wrc+

* (X. PH Vogelbach 72pa, .335obp, 113wrc+)
* (X. UT Biggio 105pa, .320obp, 95wrc+)
* (X. IF Martinez 94pa, .285obp, 94wrc+)
Nigel - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#448636) #
Magpie - I've been thinking about baserunning too for some time now. The non CS outs on the bases can, as you say, arise from a variety of factors. Acts of incompetence or age are fairly clearly negative but its incredibly hard to measure the cost/benefit of it all when the outs are derived from acts of aggression. The Reds have expressed a belief that the benefit of non CS outs on the basis exceeds the cost because they are being ultra ultra aggressive. I don't know whether they are correct or not but they believe it to be the case. Last year I think it was obvious that the Jays were on the wrong end of things - they were thrown out a ton and weren't particularly aggressive.
adrianveidt - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#448637) #
If Guerrero's swing has changed, it might explain the middling results, compared to expectations. Could that change be due to some undisclosed injury?
Katie - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#448640) #
Some people on this thread were held back by their school system.

I laughed.

99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#448641) #
So are we just giving up on the games now? Holding mode until the deadline?

This is a game thread but there are almost no comments on the games themselves.

I am happy to see Springer’s power stroke return. I’m still holding out hope that a player with his talent will figure out how to be productive instead of completely falling off a cliff, which is what the first couple months looked like. Like others, I wonder how long the injuries he sustained in ‘22 lingered and held him back.
Eephus - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#448642) #
Nate Pearson certainly showed last night what he can do when he has his good stuff working. It’s when he doesn’t that I worry about what he is, exactly.
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#448643) #
Davidi is saying IKF is out until August. Too bad for him. He was doing very well.

Hopefully Jimenez can get some games at SS. Bo needs to play less (and stop leading off), and Leo likely is better defensively?

Maybe Bo can work on his defensive versatility (by playing some 2B) that he has always uniquely been exempted from.

I know Bo has been a great player for the last 3 years, but he is a sinkhole on both sides of the ball right now. Im finding it hard to cheer for him; he is walking around in a funk, and he is deadman walking as far as his future with the team goes.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#448644) #
Not many posters actually post about the games anymore. I am guilty of this. I am vey interested in the front office and the business decisions they must make rest of the way...a lot more than the on field product. Outside of Gausman, Bassitt, Horwitz and Guerrero Jr I don't find much of this team entertaining.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#448645) #
The games are still fun to watch - especially Horwitz - how long can he keep this reaching base every start thing going? Sad to see Berrios get 4 nice ones in then flop bad in the 5th. Kikuchi going today trying to up his value with the trade deadline just shy of a month away.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#448646) #
"This is a game thread but there are almost no comments on the games themselves."

that's kinda part and parcel with falling out of the playoffs hunt and staring in the face of a big selloff.
Gerry - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#448647) #
I have been thinking that for the first couple of months of the season the offense was MIA. Vlad was struggling along with Springer and others (Turner for May).

Now Vlad and Springer have got going and what has happened? The pitching has cooled off. Gausman, Berrios and Kikuchi have been up and down over the last few weeks.

It has been hard to find a series of games where the offense and pitching are both going well. And that's the story of the season.
Nigel - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#448648) #
I enjoy good defensive teams so I find this team somewhat enjoyable to watch. I think commentary on the games has slowed to nothing because, well, the games themselves don't matter. What matters is player development, roster improvements etc.

To Gerry's point, its been a season where there has been very few stretches where both the pitching and offense have been going well (not surprising on a mediocre team). Its also been a season of teeter totter offensive results - Jansen and Varsho carried this team in April and since May 1 both have been bad (with Varsho being super bad). Springer and Vladdy the opposite. Just no flow and, as a consequence, I do have some (not a lot:)) sympathy for the guy trying to fill out a lineup card every day.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#448649) #
Jordan Romano went through arthroscopic surgery today.

Justin Turner is having a baby.

Yimi Garcia is nearing a return.

per Shi Davidi
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#448650) #
Romano got his elbow scoped today. Won't throw for at least 6 weeks. Season might be done, tho maybe not.

John Northey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#448651) #
Gets me thinking about this year and next.
  • C: Kirk & Jansen now, Kirk & ??? in 2025
  • 1B: Vlad
  • 2B: Horwitz, probably moving to 1B if Vlad traded or moved to DH, in which case Orelvis gets a shot in 2025
  • 3B: IKF when healthy, Clement & Barger, Barger 2025
  • SS: Bo, if traded then IKF/Clement, with Jimenez 2025 or 2026
  • LF: Varsho who should be CF, Schneider otherwise now and future
  • CF: Kiermaier, but should be Varsho full time now & future
  • RF: Springer - he ain't going anywhere, but if someone made an offer to take most or all of his contract then Barger moves here
  • DH: Turner until traded, then Vlad & whoever needs a semi-day off until Votto is ready. 2025+ who knows?
That's my thoughts. In 2025/26 we could see a lot of changes.
Kirk-Horwitz-Orelvis-Barger-Jimenez-Schneider-Varsho-Springer-and ??? for DH.

The trade priority has to be pitching, pitching, pitching, with an eye for a young catcher. Solid middle infielders always welcome especially if they have a decent bat.
Nigel - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#448652) #
Romano would have been one reasonably valuable trade chit had he been healthy. Here's hoping for a full recovery.
scottt - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#448654) #
Today we get Blanco, the guy who no-hit the Jays but was later suspended 10 days for foreign substance use.
Gerry - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#448655) #
Turner to the paternity list, Steward Berroa recalled.
scottt - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#448656) #
Starting pitching is always up and down.
Right now, it's the bullpen that worries me.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#448657) #
Bo seems to be just playing out the string. He doesn't seem like he wants to be there *AT ALL*.

It is VERY good to see Springer find his stroke. Some hope that he can be at minimum league average for 2 more years.  That would be a huge improvement over the first 60+ games.
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#448658) #
"Turner to the paternity list, Steward Berroa recalled."

Management obviously didnt do its due diligence before signing Turner. They didnt notice that the wives of Turner and Jansen
had their gestational periods lined up.

Go Bisons!
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#448660) #


* First 28gms: 123pa, 13.0b%, 21.1k%, .247babip, .208avg, .123iso, 92wrc+
* Second 28gms: 127pa, 13.4b%, 14.2k%, .422babip, .364avg, .109iso, 167wrc+
* Last 29gms: 118pa, 5.9b%, 12.7k%, .310babip, .318avg, .291iso, 174wrc+

This is about as perfect progression from Vlad this year as we could have dreamed of.

In the first split, he intentionally starts taking pitches more than he has in years, leading to the highest walk rate ever, but also leading to a bit too many strikeouts. Unfortunately the babip gods weren't his friend here and he could easily have lost patience and started hacking away again like he has the past few years....but he didn't.

In the second split, the patience remains, but now he stops striking out as much and suddenly the babip gods start favoring him. Still no power, but now pitchers are getting punished a bit more and so I'm guessing they were forced to start giving him some better pitches to hit.

And now in the last split, they've had to come at him more and now he's just punishing them. No babip flukes, just tons of hard hit balls. The walks have dried up while he's been smoking the ball and i'd like to see those come back sometime soon but if they're giving him better pitches to hit then he should keep on swinging at them.

The breakdwon of swings outside the zone show a pretty cool picture:

* First 28gms: Inside Zone: 69.9 swing%, 86.6 contact% --- Outside Zone: 21.6 swing%, 40.0 contact%
* Second 28gms: Inside Zone: 66.3 swing%, 87.0 contact% --- Outside Zone: 20.7 swing%, 52.7 contact%
* Last 29gms: Inside Zone: 63.6 swing%, 89.9 contact% ----- Outside Zone: 34.7 swing%, 57.6 contact%

Inside the zone, nothing much has changed - he swings at strikes a pretty constant rate and makes contact with them at a pretty constant rate.

But outside the zone has shown a pretty crazy progression - in the first two splits he clearly just stopped swinging at pitches outside the zone (something we've all wanted to be seeing again for years now). But in the second split he showed a nice increase in contact percentage on those outside pitches.

But now suddenly in the last split he's swinging at a whole lot more outside pitches but making way more contact with them at the same time. I can only guess but it makes sense that these are different kinds of "outside pitches" - Vladdy showed them that he won't swing at the pure junk way outside the zone anymore, so now the "outside pitches" are a bit more hittable - they know they have to throw better closer pitches to get him to swing at those balls....but now his natural plate coverage is letting him clobber those closer balls.

Of course now I start to worry - now that he's swinging at outside pitches more again, and walking less, I'm a bit worry he'll start expanding his zone again and start chasing those pure junk waster pitches again. Here's hoping he doesn't.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#448661) #
Vladdy gets the All-Star starter's nod.

Well deserved - he's the best hitting 1B in the AL and 2nd best in MLB this year.
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#448662) #
Man, Bo swings at 2 consecutive pitches 15 inches outside.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#448663) #
Enjoying Kikuchi's battling tonight.

He's at 86 pitches now tho, with Alvarez/Diaz/Meyers coming up.

you think the skipper lets him try to get through them?

given the state of the bullpen i hope so.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#448664) #
welp, so much for that advice.

Magpie - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#448665) #
Yordan Alvarez. A mighty, mighty man.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#448666) #
Hook too quick. I would have walked Alvarez and let Kikuchi go. Sucks to pull your starter after he goes through the heart of the line up and is 1 out away from a quality start. Varsho in LF catches that ball.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#448667) #
I would have walked Alvarez and let Kikuchi go.

Walking the leadoff batter in a tie game? Different.

Well, he's going to score anyway on Pena's double (I don't think they get two outs on the Meyers grounder). Then you still have Pena on second with two out, Kikuchi at 98 pitches, having already gone through an utterly exhausting third inning, on a night best described as "steamy".
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#448668) #
kinda amazing how terrible our bullpen. just a complete implosion.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#448669) #
Upon further reflection... this bullpen? Leave the starter in until he dissolves in a puddle of goo.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#448670) #
Cuas threw three pitches and has a chance to give up four runs?
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#448671) #
A bit of a bad news bears inning there.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#448672) #
Your 2024 Blue Jays making history!

Blue Jays Jose Cuas is the first pitcher in modern MLB history (since 1901) to record 2 hit by pitches on 3 pitches thrown in a single outing

— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) July 4, 2024
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#448673) #
wait a sec - I know Francis hasn't been great and I know i haven't really been watching the past couple weeks but surely Francis should be ahead of Pop and Cuas in the bullpen hierarchy no?
Ducey - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#448674) #
"Blue Jays Jose Cuas is the first pitcher in modern MLB history (since 1901) to record 2 hit by pitches on 3 pitches thrown in a single outing"

Be Cuas he isn't good.

At this point they want to call up Swanson and take their chances

uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#448675) #
ah so this is why i stopped watching the past couple weeks. silly me.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#448676) #
did someone say bad news bears
Kelekin - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#448677) #
Cuas should be nowhere near a ML bullpen. Pop has given up runs in 4 of his last 6 appearances.

Eisert and Juenger wondering what they have to do to get a shot.
Nigel - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#448678) #
I agree that Juenger can make a case for promotion (not a great one but this is all relative). But losses where a trade asset (Kikutchi) does well aren’t bad outcomes at this point.
Gerry - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#448679) #
In a 9-2 game why not let Leo Jimenez hit for Bo and Steward Berroa for Varsho?
Nigel - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#448680) #
I would have let Jimenez hit for Bo there but Varsho has a 66 wRC+ since May 1 and has had his first good night in forever and I wouldn’t have pulled him.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#448682) #
Breaking: 2024 Toronto Blue Jays

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, July 03 2024 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#448683) #
Ok, so Bo finally has an excuse - sore hand. 15 day IL - PLEASE?

Atkins: if you aren't already working the phones, trying to get a good deal for Kikuchi after that pretty good / great start against one of the hottest teams in the league, you should be fired ASAP.

The fact that Schneider followed Kikuchi in a close/tied game with Pop, then Cuas, Little and Francis, with the lowest ERA there being Little at 4.96 (maybe after this game, not sure) means that either you wasted all your good relievers the night before or your bullpen is not composed of major-league players. Checks roster: aside from Green and Richards (I think he pitched yesterday), the best reliever on the roster is Genesis Cabrera at 4.18, and then Burr at 4.91, Little 4.96, etc. I.e. all interchangeable at ERA of ~5.00+. That is, if Green and Richards aren't available, odds of keeping a lead are horrible. Atkins: that's also mostly on you, IMHO. Maybe too much went wrong, too quickly - not sure how you could find 3+ quality bullpen arms easily, so you need to start selling. Even if Garcia and Swanson come back 100%, we'll be out of it before they are ready - I mean, we're basically out of it now - and Romano is probably done for the season. 
At this point, we're WAY out of it. 8 games back with 6 teams to pass, and the worst RS-RA of ANY of those 6 teams, so no way to argue we've been unlucky.

This team is toast. Start the fire sale - the Rays have started already. Get the better deals before too many other teams sell.
Katie - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#448684) #
That's my thoughts. In 2025/26 we could see a lot of changes. Kirk-Horwitz-Orelvis-Barger-Jimenez-Schneider-Varsho-Springer-and ??? for DH.

The trade priority has to be pitching, pitching, pitching.

I don't disagree that the focus should be pitching. The Jays system is quite empty at the upper levels save Tiedemann and Macko. August and September would have been a good opportunity to test Robberse and Kloffenstein, if either or both was in the system still.

However, that lineup is not a playoff lineup.

Kelekin - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#448685) #
The toughest part about selling is that usually having a bullpen to trade from is a huge asset.

The Jays actually went out of their way to draft a lot of guys with the intention of fast-tracking them as relievers to the MLB level. So the fact that so many of them have struggled is incredibly disappointing.

I think to some degree, it's a lot of bad luck with how fickle bullpens are. Things change on a dime. But it's hurting us from both a position of winning, and a position of selling this year.
Ducey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#448686) #
Phil Bickford just got DFA by the Yankees. He refused assignment and is FA.

He seems to have consistently bad ERAs but decent peripherals.

Never know. Maybe that 1st round magic will come back if he comes to the team that he rejected way back when.

Cant be worse than 3 pitch Cuas
John Northey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#448687) #
The bullpen problem is a mix of injuries and guys flopping.
  1. Closer: Romano - hurt, probably out for most of 2024
  2. Setup: Swanson - sad situation with his son being hit by a car in the spring, wonder if that messed his mind up a lot this year. The old one thing leads to another. Now in the minors with a 12.21 ERA.
  3. Setup #2: Green - was hurt at first, but now is pushed into the closer role and doing fine. 3 saves, 6 holds, nothing blown.
  4. Setup #3: Garcia - was having a great year, then injured and hopefully back soon
  5. LH Setup: Mayza - what the heck? From 22 holds, 1 save, 2 blown 1.52 ERA to DFA before July.
  6. LH setup #2: Cabrera - doing OK but nothing 'wow', basically what I expected but now forced into key roles
  7. Long relief: Richards - having a very good year so far, hoping he stays in one piece long enough to be traded, given the Jays luck in 2024 he won't.
  8. 6th starter/very long: White - total flop, not unexpected, flopped with the Giants, now with Milwaukee and doing the same.
  9. Future short relief: Pearson - was to be backup plan A but now might be doing setup work/closing out of desperation, 2 saves, 6 holds, 1 blown so not horrid but very ... well ... lets just hope Schneider doesn't need medicine for a heart condition because he might need the dose increased if Pearson gets too many leads.
  10. 7th starter: Francis - showed us why the Jays had so little confidence in him coming into 2024.
  11. Short relief: Pop - looked good a couple years ago, but keeps making it impossible to trust - 0 saves, 5 holds, 2 blown.
  12. Emergency: Parsons - looked good in spring, but just 2 games, stunk, sold to Cleveland (4 shutout innings in majors)
  13. Emergency: Espino - again, looked good in spring but flopped in 2 games here, now on AAA IL
  14. Emergency: Little - bought from the Cubs in the winter, has been decent mostly here, 1 hold, 1 blown save, 5 times allowed runs, 10 times didn't so far.
  15. Emergency: Burr - bought in May from Philly in desperation. Just 3 games, but more to come I'm sure.
  16. Emergency: Cuas - I'd be shocked if he isn't back in AAA soon after this disaster. Waiver wire grab in late June, probably back on it soon.
  17. Emergency: Eisert - 18th round pick in 2019, great at getting K's but poor control and gives up lots of HR. A surprise call up who might get another shot despite his 5.65 ERA in AAA (13.5 K/9)
So it is clear why the pen is a disaster given 4 of the top 5 are either injured or DFA'd and replaced by waiver wire guys. Ugh. Hagen Danner deserves another shot but has been on the IL since June 11th. I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more waiver wire guys come through this year.
soupman - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 02:30 AM EDT (#448688) #
Not that it really matters, but Richards is the closer now, right?
John Northey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 03:39 AM EDT (#448689) #
Nah, I think it goes Green = closer, Richards = setup, everyone else = shuffle and cross your fingers.
uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#448690) #
"The Jays actually went out of their way to draft a lot of guys with the intention of fast-tracking them as relievers to the MLB level. So the fact that so many of them have struggled is incredibly disappointing.

I think to some degree, it's a lot of bad luck with how fickle bullpens are."

If you believe bullpens are that fickle, then it seems incredibly dumb to have a draft strategy focused on drafting relievers.

And yeah, all of Romano, Swanson, Mayza completely imploding is definitely some bad luck, but still no excuse to having a bullpen this bad.

The majority of relievers we've used this year really have not had any likelihood of being successful at this level.
dalimon5 - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#448691) #
It's occurred to me recently that had the front office signed one of their "core" players in the pas t three years to a long term deal then things would at least look a lot better for the future. Right now the team is broken and the future looks bleak. Man I would not want to be GM if I had Bo and Vladdy both refusing to sign here long term.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#448692) #
Jimenez starting at 2B today. Bichette really needs to be traded this month. Even if Jimenez ends up as a utility type, it makes no sense to have what appear to be a good to very good defensive SS and probably the best prospect on the team playing every other position except SS while a guy who doesn’t want to sign here long term plays SS everyday. Just trade Bo for Miguel Vargas or something and rip the band aid off.
Ducey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#448693) #
Im as grumpy at Bo as anyone, but trading him right now would be folly. His value is likely at an all time low.

At this point, you have to hope for a second half surge and then trade him in the winter. Or wait until he plays better next year and trade him at the deadline next season.

But there is no reason he cant play 2B, or DH, (or bench) to give Jimenez a run at SS.

dalimon5 - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#448694) #
That seems the most sensible thing to do. If he ain't entertaining an extension then stop babying him and punt him to 2B.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#448695) #
But if you wait until the off-season, are the Dodgers going to trade a huge haul for 1 year of Bichette or lose nothing and sign one of Adames/Kim for an AAV similar to what Bo would get in 2025 ($16.5m) and certainly less than what Bo is going to ask for in an extension? It's not like Bichette is 2017 Donaldson. Bo has a very risky profile. He doesn't draw walks and relies heavily on BABIP. Javy Baez and Tim Anderson are good cautionary tales for that type of skill set. I don't think you can assume he'll get better next season. He should, and he probably will, but I don't think it's a lock by any means.

Trading him now is selling low(er) but that extra year of control might counteract the performance.
uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#448696) #
I don't see much benefit in trading either of Vlad or Bo. I'd do my best to extend them as long as possible. And I don't mind an overpay on guys who are in their mid 20s.
Chuck - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#448697) #
are the Dodgers going to trade a huge haul for 1 year of Bichette or lose nothing and sign one of Adames/Kim

Indeed, especially for the deepest pockets in MLB. I had once thought that Adames might have been LA-bound at some point this season (the Dodgers finally getting serious about their middle infield), not counting on Milwaukee to be a playoff team. It would seem that neither he nor Kim should be available this summer, even with their contracts expiring. My guess is that LA would rather roll out Miguel Rojas' reliable glove to get them through the season rather than pay a lot to roll the dice on a slumping Bichette.

I can't honestly say when the best time to trade Bichette might be or who potential trading partners might be. Teams will want to know that he's back to being a 4-5 WAR player before spending too much. Selling low is a challenge. Buying low is a crapshoot.

Chuck - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#448698) #
I'd do my best to extend them as long as possible.

I had always assumed that the front office was reluctant to offer Guerrero an extension because they could never be sure who he was. He has been great, meh, and everything in between. Some degree of projectability would presumably be behind an extension to be able to price it appropriately.

Just who do we think Guerrero is at this point in his career? And what is a reasonable peak?

uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#448699) #
good question.

I think Vlad's career line is a reasonable baseline of what he is. 132wrc+, 2.7war/650pa.

But there's plenty of reason to value him as more than that:

* he seems to be quite healthy. concerns about his weight are offset by his athleticism. and tbh he doesn't look really fat anymore anyways.

* his elite talent is still in there somewhere, even if we haven't seen it consistently.

* I'm pretty bullish on his bounceback this year because it's been built the right way IMO. And I only expect the power to continue to come back like it has recently. I'm bullish enough to think that the career line is probably an underrating, and i wouldn't be shocked at all to see him approaching the 150wrc+ level consistently for the next while.

* he's charismatic as anyone. His personality + talent will always be attractive to the fans and more importantly to other talent around baseball when looking at the club as a potential suitor.
John Northey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#448700) #
I see Vlad as a 2-5 WAR guy who is valuable as a marketing piece for the Jays (more so here than anywhere else). He is seen as the face of the Jays, for better or worse. To a casual fan his leaving would be painful, like if the Jays traded Dave Stieb in the 80's, or when they traded Roy Halladay in the 00's, or let Delgado leave as a free agent (didn't even offer arbitration so got nothing for him).

Vlad is a tough one. I think he is like José Ramírez - wants to stay with one team his whole career knowing that enhances your HOF odds. Vlad's #1 goal is the HOF I have to think. And he has a shot thanks to starting very early. He has a legit shot at 3000 hits based on the favorite toy method which isn't unreasonable. 19% pre-season and if he keeps his current pace it'll grow to 24% (he'd be just shy of 1000 hits entering his age 26 season) - so from 1-5 to 1-4 roughly.

Bo is easier to let go imo - he collapsed this year, has been meh at best on defense (I know he tries hard but ...), he needs his bat to be valuable. Interesting that he is repped by Vayner Sports who have him quite visible on their baseball list of clients along with Turner. No idea how good/bad they are but when you are one of their 'faces' odds are they will want you to be setting records for cash for them, not settling for a home town discount. Still, fans see Bo as part of the franchise so trading him will be a hard one. Easier to let him leave post 2025 as a free agent while saying all the right things. Unless you get a killer deal for him which would be surprising unless he becomes the 120+ OPS+ guy he always has been again.
pooks137 - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#448701) #
3 saves, 6 holds, nothing blown

It doesn't show on the scoresheet, but Green did have that B9 backbreaker in Oakland in early June where he gave up the winning HR in a 1-1 game on his very first pitch.

Start the fire sale - the Rays have started already.

Aaron Civale's returns don't bode that well for Kikuchi.

Last deadline, the Rays picked up his 2 1/2 years of control for Kyle Manzardo, a 1B with a low 500s OPS this year and a few bottom half Top 100 rankings.

They flipped his last 18 months of control to the Brewers for a SS in A+ ball in the lower third of the Brewers Top 30.

You can never fully discount Tampa's voodoo, but those both seem underwhelming for a big league starter with lots of control left.

Kelekin - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#448702) #
If you believe bullpens are that fickle, then it seems incredibly dumb to have a draft strategy focused on drafting relievers. 100% UO. It was a FO knee-jerk reaction to the fact our bullpen was so bad at the time, and having no bullpen depth in the FO. They tend to go hard on overcorrecting. Unfortunately, those arms haven't gotten there quite as fast as they'd like, but many are at AAA now (except TJ Brock who was injured). I don't know if I agree with drafting relievers in the early rounds unless you are trying to turn them into a starter.
Magpie - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#448703) #
The players always say it's a game of adjustments - Danny Jansen is complaining right now that they're pitching him differently and he has to figure out how to adjust to it. Guerrero has so much natural talent, and it carried him so far on its own, that he didn't just have to learn how to make adjustments. He had to learn how to learn things.

I think he's getting there.
Ducey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#448704) #
Extending Vlad and Bo is an option, except it isnt.

All the reports on Bo are that he is determined to become a free agent. So the question is whether you get into the bidding with everyone else. He doesnt seem like he has any particular love for TOR or would be giving it a hometown discount. In fact, all the vibes are he is barely tolerating his situation.

Vlad seems like maybe a slightly better chance, but remember his dad played in Canada and then moved to the States. If he really does want to be in the HOF, a major US market is a better bet. He won the MVP in ANA. He arguably had better seasons in MON but was ignored.

Vladdy is also in decent shape now. What will he be like in 5-10 years when his athleticism starts to fade?

The Jays have known for a few years neither was going to stay. Its no coincidence they have not extended anyone else.

Anyway, from my perspective, they dont have anyone to play with these two guys. The farm is pretty barren. Their timelines (win now) and the team's (rebuild) are not coinciding.
Nigel - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#448705) #
I agree that figuring out who Vladdy is is an issue for the Jays (or whomever else will sign him) but I think he's now got enough major league PAs that his career results really should frame your thinking (as uo says). A 2.5-3 WAR player seems about right to me.
uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#448706) #
"He doesnt seem like he has any particular love for TOR"

or maybe it's their front office he doesn't care for, like so many of us.
mathesond - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#448707) #
The same front office that refused to tinker with his swing (like so many other teams apparently wanted to, leading to him telling those teams not to draft him), and had his dad around as hitting coach/advisor, and that never moved him off SS even though he's not a particularly strong at that position? And that signed him to a 3 year deal so he wouldn't have to go through arbitration again? And that signed Justin Turner after he said that's what the team needed?

I can't imagine why he would care for the front office after the few courtesies they've shown him. I mean sure, they broke up the barrio, and I understand that he probably didn't realize people could get traded.
uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#448708) #
yes, maybe he finds them unlikeable even after not tinkering with his very successful career performance so far.
pooks137 - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#448709) #
It was forever ago in 2016 and likely no longer relevant.

But there was reporting post-draft in '16 that Bichette was telling teams not to draft him because he exclusively wanted to sign with the Jays due to their player development system and a promise not to overhaul his very unconventional swing.
Eephus - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#448710) #
The Astros seem very content to wait Bassitt out and he’s not getting any of these calls on the corners. Could be a long afternoon.
uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#448711) #
or maybe he likes them fine, but doesn't think they can build a legit contender.
electric carrot - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#448712) #
I actually think that John Schneider has done a good job with the offense this year. Case in point is putting Springer back in the leadoff position when he's back in form and dropping him when he was struggling but not giving up. I think he's made dozens of choices like this that have proven correct over time.
mathesond - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#448713) #
Bassitt's gotta be feeling a bit better now. Tough way for the bottom of the first to end, though.
Eephus - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#448714) #
Nice response. When I said “could be a long afternoon” this wasn’t quite what I meant but I’ll take it.
mathesond - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#448715) #
Of course, the top of the 2nd isn't off to an auspicious start...
Ducey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#448716) #
I cant watch the game, but see Bassett is at 50 pitches after 2IP. Could be another appearance by Santa Caus.

How does Jimenez look at short?
Eephus - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#448717) #
I don’t think the Blue Jays have hit into enough double plays in this game. Another three or four would really do the trick.
Nigel - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#448718) #
I haven't always loved how Schneider has handled his line up decisions this year but, as I said yesterday, I think you have to cut him some slack given how up and down his key players have played. Take the decision at C for example. By now, I think most would say that Jansen is a substantially better hitter than Kirk. But for the past 6-7 weeks Kirk has actually outhit Jansen (not a high bar). Kirk has fantastic defensive metrics. For a while, on a team starved of offense, it was easy to pencil Jansen in everyday. Now, not so much. This really isn't an easy lineup card to make out every day when a few minor injuries are healed. It will get easier if the decision is made to focus on player development for the remainder of the year.
Eephus - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#448719) #
So this is clearly one of those seasons where almost everything has gone wrong, no? A lot of that blame should be directed at the obvious design flaws (and indeed has been plentiful in these parts) but surely nobody could’ve predicted Romano being a complete non-factor, or Swanson losing it completely (rushing both those guys back is another negative mark for this organization of course) or Bo having his absolute worst season as a professional… Gausman being inconsistent, Manoah’s elbow blowing up just as it looks like he’s back, Kiermaier not looking remotely like a playable MLB hitter anymore, your best power hitting prospect getting suspended right as he arrives in the majors… it goes on.

I blame Ross Atkins for a lot of this as much as anyone, and I suspect (hope) we will not see the likes of him much longer. But the rest of this misfortune is just one of those “cursed season” type of things. The baseball gods like to do stuff like that.

I’m still watching just to see what the kids can do. Hopefully they give Jimenez an honest look. I liked his at bats against a very good pitcher in Valdez, didn’t look fazed or jumpy.
Eephus - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#448720) #
You get the leadoff runner on base in 7 of the 9 innings, and only score in one of them (the 1st).

Says all you need to know about the 2024 Blue Jays.

(Nice to see Horwitz continue to look good, especially three hits against really tough left-handers)
Magpie - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#448721) #
Five double plays? Impressive.

Not the record (seven, done three times I believe.) Not even the team record. But impressive.
Ducey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#448722) #
9 games under .500. 8.5 games back of the wild card with 6 teams to beat out. Bullpen running on fumes. Only 3 of the lineup (Vlad, Horwitz, Clement) hitting over .250

Can stick a fork in the Jays now. They are done.

Ross better be on the phones peddling his wares. Just 20 games left 'til the deadline.
Glevin - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#448723) #
There is a freedom in being out of it. Obviously prefer to be leading but rather be way out of it than artificially in it. Can just watch young guys and look out for trades rather than worrying about standings. I like Horwitz a lot. Maybe because he's the antithesis of so many Jays players for a long time. He looks like a piece. I'm fine if Jays want to wait until off season to replace front office. I don't think they will trade key pieces until then anyway but if they start the season just by running things back, I am going to be livid.
soupman - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#448724) #
Schneider has cooled off a lot, but he's got sub200 babip on the season. even still he's been a league average hitter or better. That's encouraging sign, and then i also noticed he hasn't hit into any double plays this year.

So...hey, silver linings.
greenfrog - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#448725) #
Glevin, I agree. The last few years have been exhausting as a Blue Jays fan, with good-but-flawed teams that were never going to go far in 2022 and 2023, and a great team in 2021 that the front office decided to scrimp on at the trade deadline (big mistake). I'll probably start paying attention again at some point, but I'm taking a healthy break from the Blue Jays for at least the rest of 2024.
adrianveidt - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#448726) #
On the bright side, if the object of the game was to lose, the Blue Jays would be one of the best teams in baseball!
uglyone - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#448727) #
I like the cut of your jib, adrian!
dalimon5 - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#448728) #
Apparently there are rumours out there of offers for Bichette that are underwhelming. Anyone able to find these rumours? It was mentioned today by Kevin Barker.

John Northey - Thursday, July 04 2024 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#448729) #
Latest I read online (forget where now) was Gausman being heavily chased after by teams, especially the Astros. With 2 1/2 years of control at under $24 mil per year on average he would fit any teams budget. If you go by 2022-2024 stats he is #2 in MLB for fWAR, sandwiched between two Phillies (Wheeler & Nola). If you go with just AL stats he stands alone, 2 WAR over everyone else (Kirby in Seattle is #2), but for just 2024 he is #51 at 1.1 fWAR. Still, given everyone knows his poor start was probably due to missing spring training and being rushed I suspect most expect him to be an ace in the 2nd half and a solid rotation piece for the playoffs for this year and the 2 following years.

Now, if I was the Jays I'd be demanding a crazy haul for him. Stuff like 2 top 100 prospects plus. Arrighetti and his 65 ERA+ really doesn't belong in a ML rotation, but Houston is desperate. But the Astros only have 1 top 100 prospect, Jacob Melton (CF). FanGraphs has him as a '50', same for Jake Bloss, a SP in AA (on IL, was called up for 1 start, I said they were desperate). Just 3 45's in their system (CF and 2 SS), 41 total with a 35+ score (Jays have 31 pre-season with Tiedemann and Orelvis the only 50+ guys, and Arjun Nimmala the only 45+, but 7 45's). With their thin system Houston either will feel a need to go for it one last time with their current crew and pay whatever it takes, or will hold those prospects like they are gold in hopes of a fast rebuild after 2024 or 2025 (depending when the collapse happens).

The next 27 days will be interesting for trades. First time since 2019 that we will be watching for selling trades vs buying ones. I prefer buying, but lets try to enjoy dreaming of a brighter future. Hopefully the Jays fleece someone (even if it isn't obvious right away), like they did in 2017 with the Teoscar (10.6 bWAR as a Jay) trade (Francisco Liriano went to Houston, 14 1/3 IP for them, 95 ERA+, -0.2 bWAR). That was a nice one. Sadly 2019's mid-season trade efforts didn't produce much (Thomas Hatch, Anthony Kay, Derek Fisher, and Simeon Woods Richardson plus a few who never reached). FYI: SWR seems to have found his ML footing at last - 114 ERA+ over 71 2/3 IP so far, while Austin Martin has a 101 OPS+ but is limited on defense (LF/CF/2B) leading to a negative bWAR.
bpoz - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#448730) #
I agree with everyone. The complaining is fine by me because we suffered last year and suffered more this year. I do like and appreciate the explanations about so many injuries and under performances. The rushing back too fast of injured pitchers is concerning to me. J Schneider is finally getting some praise for his managing by explaining that he has too many bad pieces to use.

When June ended our record was 38-45 .458% or 74-88 extrapolated. I personally have accepted the horror of this season and don't mind if we continue on to the 74-88 record.

I am hoping (positive) for a youth movement by trading J Turner & KK so that ABs are made available after they leave. The good SP pitching should also be traded while they are still healthy along with D Jansen. I prefer not to trade Gausman and Berrios. I am also hoping for the youth movement to continue in 2025. For 2025 my expectations are higher even without "good" acquisitions because there are 6 playoff positions available.
Mike Green - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#448732) #
I have a different opinion on one important point than many.  The position player situation on the club is not bad at all- the performances have been disappointing, but with all that, the position players have been a little better than league average and the farm has supplied prime-age and younger replacements.  The pitching has been appallingly bad.  Here are two charts- fangraphs team pitching (the Blue Jays rank 27th of 30) and Statcast (the Blue Jays rank 29th of 30).  It starts with the GM who did a bad job of filling in holes.  The Manager did a bad job of working with the pitchers he had (but he had a tougher task than the GM).  And the pitchers themselves did not make the most of the fine defence around them.  Bad, bad, bad. 

The good news is that there are 7 pitchers in the minor leagues who I like- Tiedemann, Macko, Wallace, Watts-Brown, Perez, Estrada and Sanchez.  I think that two or three of them will make it. 
dalimon5 - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#448733) #
Vlad - lock up unless a team overpays with a Soto like haul (first Soto trade - so not gonna happen). Say Brown, Loperfido and another piece from Houston would do.

Bo - trade him in the offseason for best you can get. Try to get 1 top prospect MLB ready for 2025. to LAD for De Paula or Rushing would do.

Kikuchi - trade but try to get a #2-#3 starter return

Gausman - trade if other team overpays
Bassitt - trade if other team overpays

Trade now for what you can get but aim for low ball high ceiling prospects - Garcia, Turner, KK
Glevin - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#448736) #
Agree with Mike that we've been to focused on bad hitting and not on bad pitching. I think largely because offense is so down, it is hard to change our priors and we underrate the effect the amazing Jays D should have (but also because offense has stunk for long periods). Jays main issue on offensive side is lack of star power. The team has average or above average players almost everywhere. AAA (and now majors) is also filled with guys who can probably be at same level. Jays have some of best offensive depth in majors but lack star power. Jays have 11 players between 0.4-2 WAR. Orioles only have 9 above 0.4 but have 4 players above 2 WAR including one above 6. Yankees also only have 9 above 0.4 WAR but 2 over 5 WAR.
dalimon5 - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#448739) #
Agree Mike and Glevin, nice summary of observations.
uglyone - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#448740) #
I disagree there a bit.

The reason why people haven't been too obsessed with the pitching is because the starting pitching has been fine. Right around league average.....and that's with our ace Gausman having a very poor off year. But otherwise, we're getting the expected solid contributions from Berrios Bassitt Kikuchi and the 5th starter slot has actually been fine as far as 5th starters go - maybe even better than fine tbh. But a normal year from Gausman and our starting oitching would be very good again. So the lack of angst here is mostly just faith that Gausman is actually good and will get back on track eventually.

The bullpen has been an utter disaster from the start tho
...but i think people HAVE been complaining about the bullpen all year. That’s always mitigated by the fact that most understand that relief pitching is more variable than anything other part of a baseball team. And of course relief oitchers are rarely part of the core group that people stress about actually being good enough.

I think people have rightly been focused on the offense because so many of the hitters have been legitimately unplayable performance wise.

Mike Green - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#448744) #
Kikuchi has been better than expected (and league average). Berrios and Bassitt have been as expected and a little below league average, and Gausman has been worse than expected. Gausman's xERA was 3.85 last year, and Statcast was probably a better indicator of where he was because of his long-standing propensity to give up hard contact when batters do actually make contact. All or nothing, and more often all this year than previous.

Rodriguez has been below average, as expected. It all adds up to a below average rotation. With the pitchers being dull or worse, IKF has actually been the best player on the club, and that is a shock to everyone, myself included.

The starting pitching contributions to the team's failures have been underappreciated.
uglyone - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#448745) #
Kikuchi has been pretty much just as good as last year (higher era, lower fips), and in line with his current projections.

Nothing above expectations from him this year imo. Same as Berrios and Bassitt.

Gausman is the only one with significantly unexpected numbers.
Ducey - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#448746) #

Bo 76
Clement 92
KK 45
Springer 88
Varsho 94
Kirk 65

Biggio 79
Volelbach 67

The Jays are 28 in HR, 24th in runs (and runs per game). They actually are ok in terms of team OPS+ at 96, which is 18th so a little under average. Their OBP is right at average. But its been the baffling lack of ability to convert runners into runs that has killed them. The lack of power doesnt help. The fact they are 3rd worst in GDP is also a killer (though the Yankees are worst but make up with it by being third in SLG) and they are 5th worst in SB.

Two years ago (2022) they finished the season 4th in runs per game. Last year they fell to 15th and it has just kept dropping. To drop from 4th to 24th is gonna get you noticed in a bad way.

The Jays seem to target short levered, unathletic players who can get on base and dont strike out a lot. Their minor league system is littered with them. They dont seem to prioritize power and athleticism, and its costing them. Bo and Kirk forgetting how to hit is perhaps unforeseeable, but they likely could have signed Teo this offseason (who has his warts (K's, poor D) and a HR hitting DH. That would have helped in the power department.
uglyone - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#448748) #
Combined fwar/ra9war per 32gms

* Kikuchi '23: 2.7
* Kikuchi '24: 2.8
* Kikuchi Proj: 2.4

* Bassitt '23: 3.1
* Bassitt '24: 3.4
* Bassitt Proj: 2.7

* Berrios '23: 3.4
* Berrios '24: 2.2
* Berrios Proj: 1.8

* Gausman '23: 5.1
* Gausman '24: 1.1
* Gausman '25: 3.1

kikuchi pretty much bang on expectations. Bassitt a tiny bit better. Berrios worse but that skews more towards fips than era so it hasn't hurt as much as it maybe should have.

Gausman though has been much much worse than expecations. From elite to barely better than replacement. That's huge.

The 5th starter slot has combined for 0.1 average war. So replacement level, which is as expected for that slot.

Mike Green - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#448751) #
UO, the fWAR/RaWAR combination does not accurately describe the contributions of pitchers who give up lots of hard contact with good defences behind them. That's the Blue Jay rotation in a nutshell.
uglyone - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#448752) #
Ra9 takes that into account.
Mike Green - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#448753) #
The problem is that RA9 attributes the excess hard contact turned into outs as credited to the pitcher, and makes them seem better than they are.
Michael - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#448755) #
Yeah, the pitching stats by splits is easy to look up at mlb stats.

Starters team ERA goes from Philadelphia at 3.05 to Colorado at 5.50. The Jays are 15th at 4.06 (Milwaukee 16th at 4.15), so the Jays starters are right there in the middle by ERA. If you average the team starter ERA evenly you get 4.11, if you instead weight by innings you get 4.09 as the average starter ERA. So the Jays are a hair above average.

If you go by WHIP instead of ERA the Jays starters are a bit below median as 15/16 is St Louis at 1.24 and Washington at 1.25 and the Jays are at 1.29 20th team (the 1st is Seattle at 1.04, last is Colorado again at 1.50). The average starting WHIP is 1.26 (straight average is 1.2597, weighted by IP average is 1.2570) so the Jays are close but a hair below average.

In terms of volume, the team with the least starter IP is SF with only 414 IP, the team with the most is Seattle with 518.1. The middle teams are the Jays at 15th with 460.2 and 460.1. Not every team has the same number of games played, so if you say starter IP/G you get the typical team averages 5.28 IP/G (real fraction, so 28/100 not fake baseball fraction), and the Jays average 5.295 IP/G a hair above average and good for 14th best.

So the Jays starters pitch a slight bit more than the typical staff, with a slight bit better ERA than the typical staff, but with a slightly worse WHIP than the typical staff. Other stats, K/9 - Jays 15th; BB/9 - Jays 12th; K/BB - Jays 15th. It is hard to look at those numbers and think of the starting pitchers as anything other than average/typical. On a team that is far under 500, starting pitching isn't the problem.

The relievers on the other hand...

Reliever ERA goes from Cleveland with 2.61 to Colorado with 5.62. The Jays are 29th with 4.83. Straight average and weighted average of relievers ERA is 3.95 nearly a run better than the Jays.

By WHIP Cleveland relievers are 1st at 1.05, Colorado last at 1.60, and the Jays are 21st at 1.31. The average team WHIP for relievers is 1.27 (again 1.2727 for straight average and 1.2726 for weighted average). So the Jays are again worse than average but not by as much as on ERA.

Reliever K/9 Jays are 27th at 7.76 (top is Mets at 10.28, worst is KC at 7.21, median is Bal/Red Sox at 8.78/8.77). Reliever BB/9 Jays are 11th at 3.2 (top is Red Sox at 2.73, worst is CWS at 4.54, median is Twins/Bal at 3.38/3.40). Reliever K/BB Jays are 20th at 2.43 (top is PHI at 3.58, worst is Col at 1.67, median is Hou/Det both at 2.56).

So Jays relievers are above average at control (at least as measured by BB), but below average at K and K/BB.

The average relief staff pitches 3.61 IP/G (again on a 61/100 scale) and the Jays relievers are 15th most at 3.58 IP/G. Giants are most at 4.13 IP/G and Seattle the least at 3.01 IP/G which is basically the reverse of the starters (isn't a total given since extra innings and no road bottom of the ninth when losing can change the IP for teams). So the Jays relievers aren't really overworked.

The real killer for the Jays relievers: HR. The average relief staff has given up 34 HR, the median staff 33 HR, and it spans from the best at PHI at only 21 HR allowed from relievers to the very worst team, the Jays, at 52. There are only 5 teams that are 40 or above relief HR, SF (the team with the most IP) + CWS at 40, Ari at 42, Tampa at 48, and Jays at 52. By HR/9IP the typical relief staff is about 0.978 when weighted by IP, 0.977 when straight averaged. The span of teams is from best Phi at 0.7, typical median Mil/Sea at 0.974/0.975, to the worst 5 in increasing numbers being 5th worst CWS 1.094, 4th worst Ari 1.102, 3rd worst LAA 1.140, 2nd worst Tampa 1.279, worst Jays 1.539! So 2nd worst Tampa is about as close to 11th worst Colorado as to 1st worst Jays relievers.

Note the Jays starters are also below average on allowing HR as they are 6th worst with 66 allowed, but that is only about 10% above the median 60 allowed and well within the "normalish" band as opposed to the relievers that are about 5/3 of typical on HR.

So the pitching problems for the Jays are the relievers, not the starters, and the problems are in many places, but particularly acute at allowing the HR.
dalimon5 - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#448756) #
Michael with the big HAMMER.

So it seems Ugly's instinct is right ... starters are fine, bullpen is a major problem but the offense should have the most attention since it has unplayable (but played) players all throughout.

So where and when is Bo being traded?
Glevin - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#448757) #
"So the Jays starters pitch a slight bit more than the typical staff, with a slight bit better ERA than the typical staff, but with a slightly worse WHIP than the typical staff. Other stats, K/9 - Jays 15th; BB/9 - Jays 12th; K/BB - Jays 15th. It is hard to look at those numbers and think of the starting pitchers as anything other than average/typical. On a team that is far under 500, starting pitching isn't the problem."

Except that the Jays have easily one of the top few defenses in baseball so an average Era and WHIP is actually below average. Jays are 22nd in starter XFIP.Bullpen has obviously been worse
Nigel - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#448758) #
And look at what they are paying the starters. The contracts for the starters relative to what they are producing is most definitely an issue.
scottt - Friday, July 05 2024 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#448761) #
When you have a top defense, you shouldn't worry about XFIP.
Somebody looking to acquire a Jay pitcher would look at that.

Astros at Toronto, July 1-4 | 187 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.