Philadelphia Phillies v Toronto Blue Jays

Holy! A bevy of moves this afternoon from the Blue Jays, as the club’s ridiculous tyranny of “veteran presence” took a large step in the direction of the guillotine, as did it’s… uh… tyranny of Chad Jenkins, apparently.

Anthony Gose was optioned back down to Buffalo last night, per a tweet from Shi Davidi, with a reciprocal move set to come today. That seemed simple enough, as we learned later, also via Davidi, that Andy LaRoche would be coming up, as an extra hand for the club’s third base spot made vacant by Brett Lawrie’s injury. But when the official release from the club came, there was a bit of extra news, as it was revealed that catcher Josh Thole would also be joining the big club, meaning R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher, Henry Blanco, has been designated for assignment.

And if that’s not newsworthy enough, soon after some bad news for Chad Jenkins– who was thought to be on his way to the Majors in the near future, in order to start for the Jays on Tuesday– filtered out by way of a tweet from Ken Rosenthal. The once-excellent New York Yankee Chien-Ming Wang has opted out of a minor league contract with his old club in order to sign with the Jays, and he will be making Tuesday’s start– his first in the Majors since a somewhat dreadful stint with the Washington Nationals last season and the season before.

That’s right, the Jays’ rotation now has a Johnson, a Dickey, and a Wang. No, you turn six already!

Maybe it’s ridiculous of me– and the front office– to still hold out some kind of hope for Wang, who is now six years and one shoulder surgery removed from being the four-win, 200-inning-ish groundball machine he was with the Yankees back in 2006 and 2007, but I can’t help but wishcast just a little bit. His numbers in Triple-A have improved across the board over last year’s stint in the Nationals system, as he sports just a 4.2% walk rate, 2.5 K/BB, a 3.36 FIP, 2.33 ERA, and a 1.16 WHIP. However, he’s statistically not that far removed from where he was in 2012, and those numbers didn’t exactly translate to the Majors.

Last season he was clearly better in three September appearances (including one start) than he was over 23.2 innings at the beginning of the year, yet he still posted a 4.15 ERA for the month (4.25 FIP, 3.93 xFIP) while opponents hit him to the tune of a .381 wOBA. So… not great. But then again, given what the Jays have got from their starters so far this year, maybe it’s not really so bad. He at least gives the club the chance to catch some lightning in a bottle while adding some depth and making Chad Jenkins– who didn’t pitch well in his between-starts start for Buffalo, giving up six hits and five earned runs to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on Wednesday– next in line, rather than Sean Nolin, Marcus Stroman, or Claudio Vargas.

Of course, this kind of veteran-add depth move has been par for the course with the Jays this season. What’s far more interesting about today’s roster activity is the fact that the club has let go of elderly mascot Henry Blanco (who I still think is fucking badass and awesome, he just wasn’t providing anything close to value) and replaced him with someone in Josh Thole who might actually push J.P. Arencibia for plate appearances, especially against right-handers, or at the very least make the Jays’ overrated-in-his-own-mind incumbent think for a minute or three that there’s a legitimate chance he could lose his job– something he didn’t have to do for a second with only Blanco behind him on the roster.

That said, I kind of don’t want to overstate that stuff– I mean, it’s not like Arencibia didn’t realize that Thole was there in the organization, or hadn’t noticed that the club signed him to a two-year deal with an option this winter– but maybe having him actually present in the dugout and clubhouse will make Arencibia’s understanding of the need to get better a little more visceral.

That the notion that Arencibia may be resting on his laurels and in need of a push is even possible is a very bad sign, given what little value he provides, particularly as a hitter, which is supposed to be his calling card, but it’s hard to see this any other way. Sure, the Jays will like spin it to suggest that Blanco somehow wasn’t getting the job done, but has he been that much worse than what could have reasonably been expected? I think not. Or maybe they’ll spin it to suggest that they need to scratch and claw for every bit of value possible to dig themselves out of the hole they’re in, but it’s not like that wasn’t true, if not from the get-go, at least for the majority of the season so far.

The club had indicated that they wanted Thole to play every day, though. They also chose to stash him with the Bisons because they don’t have a whole lot of depth in the high minors, with Mike Nickeas being the only catcher on the roster at Buffalo for the moment, and Sean Ochinko and Jack Murphy at New Hampshire.

Perhaps one of those two will move up, with A.J. Jimenez– who is down a level after playing for the Fisher Cats in 2012, and currently hurting amid his recovery from Tommy John surgery a year ago (though also showing, through six games last month, that he may be too good for the Florida State League)– moving back to Double-A once he’s ready. Even so, it leaves the club thin in terms of depth (assuming Blanco won’t accept an assignment in Buffalo, which is what was generally believed back at Spring Training), and, for me, smacks of something they felt had to be done.

I certainly could be wrong on that, but whatever the case for Thole’s promotion, it’s a welcome move, even if the clamoring for him is maybe a bit rich.

Yes, the numbers at Triple-A are gaudy– in particular, he has a .317/.387/.525 line against right-handed pitching– but they need to be viewed in context a little bit. No, these aren’t numbers inflated by park factors the way they are in Las Vegas, but they are numbers off pitching rotations comparable to the Bisons’, which has been comprised this year of guys like Ramon Ortiz, Claudio Vargas, Miguel Batista and Dave Bush.

Speaking even further to the skewed numbers is the fact that Thole’s .893 OPS overall is good for just fourth on the team. So… let’s not pretend he’s some kind of savior, or overlook the fact that over his two mostly-full seasons as a starting catcher (2011 and 2012) he had the most passed balls (34) in all of baseball, while Arencibia– who had the fourth-most– only allowed 21. And, for whatever DRS for catchers is worth, posted only a zero, compared to J.P.’s -2.

The defensive upgrade, should Thole start cutting into Arencibia’s playing time, isn’t necessarily going to be tremendous, though I haven’t watched Thole nearly enough to understand yet what the difference might be.

Even more curious in all this is the fact that J.P. Arencibia has some reverse splits going for him this season. For his career he has a .311 wOBA against left-handers and a .301 wOBA against right. That might suggest a platoon is in order, especially if you believe Thole is less the concussion-effected guy who put up a wOBA of .260 against right-handers in 2012, and more the player who had a .328 wOBA against them heading into last season– and given the way Thole has handled the bat in Buffalo, it’s not the craziest notion. However, in 2013, Arencibia has been dreadful against lefties (.239 wOBA, albeit in just 49 PA) and has outperformed his career norm against against right-handers (.314 wOBA).

I’m hopeful that this move indicates the Jays are more inclined to go for a platoon, and not rely overly heavily on Arencibia’s limited new-found success against right-handers, but the more rational side of me can’t help but believe they’re still of the mind that, “Hey, if he maintains the numbers against right-handers, and brings his numbers against lefties in line with his career norms, that’s really not so bad.”

It’s true. It’s not. And it’s really not fair to continue to heap scorn on Arencibia, who has been the exact same player this year as he was in the previous two, when most people were far more willing to overlook his flaws. It’s just… the notion of Arencibia as a passable starting big league catcher is wearing awful thin. And I really don’t know how badly this lineup really needs another all-or-nothing thumper when they can at least marginally upgrade their defence behind the plate and add a guy who offsets the power drop by actually getting on fucking base sometimes.

I can’t say I really believe the Jays are going to do that, but at least now the option is there. Finally.

Comments (151)

  1. Turning point of the season?

  2. Beginning of the end for JPA?

    • As much as JPhate is a national pasttime. Let’s remember we’re calling up Josh THole

      • JPA career: OPS+ 87 OBP .269 OPS .705
        Thole career: OPS+ 85 OBP .331 OPS .664

        That includes last year when Thole was at all near 100% as I understand it.

        And I’ll just guess that Thole is better at catching than JPA.

        • Guessing that someone is better at catching then JP is probably as risky a prediction as guess that the sun will rise tommorow.

        • wrong..the guy was significantly worse after coming back from concussion. that is something worth considering.

        • OBP is nice… unless it’s on a catcher with no speed, clogging up the basepaths, who would be a risk to get thrown out going from 1st to 3rd on a single.

          I don’t claim to know anything about Thole’s speed, I just know that he’s a catcher and catchers aren’t usually fast. Arencibia’s SLG may in fact be better value than Thole’s OBP.

          • Canard, please understand that worrying about “clogging the basepaths” is ridiculous. Thanks.

            • The comment came from “Canard”. I’d like to believe that that made it self-referential humor.

          • Canard, are you saying you prefer your slow runners to make an out rather than walk and get on base? How does that make any sense?

      • Yes, and Josh Thole has a history of good OBP. And he doesn’t strikeout one out of three times up. He doesn’t have to be that good of a framer to be better then JP. Same goes for throwing out runners. If anything, if JP wants to strike out at ridiculous rates, it’s good to have a catcher with a different skill set, that can take playing time away from him. By the way he speaks of himself in interviews, he has a case of Romeroism(over valuing his importance to this team), and was way to comfortable knowing that Blanco was the only other option. I hope Thole gets off to a good start, and it lights a fire under JPs ass. Can only hope.

        • I’ll gladly lose jpa’s slugging for tholes obp. Thats the tradeoff and this lineup needs obp way more than slugging.

    • If anyone listened to JP during ST, he was actually pushing for Thole. He seemed annoyed at the prospect that he needed a “veteran” mentor and seemed tight with Thole as his catching partner.

  3. JPA better be getting less ABs now against righties. Or else this is inconsequential.

    • if drunken (and hilarious) baseball bloggers can identify JPAs weakenesses, a front office sure as fuck can to right?

    • JP’s splits aren’t actually that different between lefties and righties. He just sucks equally as much against both.

      He is a little better against lefties though, and Thole has a pretty big L-R split. I hope to see Thole play when Dickey pitches and against tough right handers. Basically, he better be getting at least 40% of the starts.

      • you say you hope to see him catch Dickey, after opening night if Thole’s not catching Dickey and JP is, this club is in bigger fuckin trouble then just 11 games back

  4. Thank Fuck.

  5. Less JPA Please!

    He can still sell tons of Jerseys while sitting on the bench!

  6. Finally!

  7. Let us all rejoice

    also, as useless as a Major League catcher as he was this year, Blanco is still a fucking fitness machine…I hope I can do things remotely similar when I age

  8. Chien Ming Wang!?

  9. Chien Ming Wang signed by the Blue Jays? Weird

  10. I had a nightmare about Blanco last night! I’m psychic!

  11. WANG!

  12. Not as excited about wang. He has been awful for a while now. Just another shitbag to add to the ortiz group.

  13. They just f-ed with the wrong Mexican.

  14. Today is weird, but good, I think.

  15. If we’ve got Wang then complete the hat trick and bring back Bobby Cox. It’s the only thing to do.

    • In my ridiculously deep fantasy league a couple years ago, I unwittingly took Zack Cox, Christian Colon and Trey McNutt. Ahead of them all I took Brandon Belt.

      So it turned out Cox, Colon and McNutt are all…Below the Belt!

      Hah, I kill me!

  16. #freethole may have actually worked?!?

    Pretty sweet numbers in Buffalo:

  17. LaRoche, Thole, Wang. This is like the Marlins trade of the regular season

  18. New we have 3 pitchers in the rotation with penis nicknames. I swear AA does this on purpose.

  19. Dickey…Wang…Johnson… a pattern?

  20. This great news for JPA.

    He is on pace to appear in 150 games!

    That is WAY too much for a catcher.

    I would bet money that all that he is not so good at would improve if he was playing at a 100 to 110 game pace.

  21. wOw…i commented about JPA crappiness and the genius behind this blog threatened to ban me. My comments were during a thread about how awful the Jays pitching has been, and i though it might have to do with JPA being shit defensively, not throwing out baserunners, airmailing attempts, wild pitches that were really passed balls, giving no target ( someone else commented on pitch framing ), and poor pitch selection. Maybe the pitching staff have no confidence in him, singles become a man in scoring posi
    tion, can’t throw hard breaking stuff ’cause it will go to the wall…ummhhh.

  22. A backup catcher with the power of a middle infielder? SEASON SAVED!

    • OP+, OBP and OPS are all very close between the two guys. In fact the biggest difference is OBP where Thole is way better.

      • Oh so we’re picking stats out of a hat now? What about the massive ISO difference? What about JP’s .303 career wOBA to Thole’s .295? 88 wRC+ to 85? Point is, they both suck.

        • My point wamco is that they both end up contributing the same run potential. That he has the “power of a middle infielder” is irrelevant.

      • This means Thole’s slugging is way lower than JPs. So it’s a pretty even trade off. What is more valuable on a DtD basis, OBP or Slug %?

        • The only thing he does not do as well or better then JP, is hit for power. But if he can keep the line moving, and get on base like he has the ability to do, then it is a pretty even trade off. Then factor in how much better he can man his position behind the plate, it can only bode well for this team. Not to mention it puts JP in a position to refine his approach at the plate or spend more time on the bench then he has thus far. He can either man up, or pout like a little Romero.

  23. Breaking: Aaron Cibia’s heart

  24. I was hoping Blanco would stay on as a pinch runner.

  25. I’ve got a sneakin’ notion (based on nothing) that we are going to see some trade action.

    • Tom – I’m in the same boat.
      If Thole can be what the talk of him is here – higher OBP, better D – less power, than JP. All this with 2 months (? End of July?) To Trade deadline. Then JP gets out there as a trade chip. Just has that potential. LIkelihood is always low, but has that feel for sure.
      Montero’s about to get suspended right? Mariners need more Dingers!

  26. Im listening/watching the MLB draft online while ‘working’ today. Jays made their pick and the guys area ll stumped. Never heard of the guy, didnt crack the BA top 500.

    That would be Evan Smith. LHP

  27. Let’s just hope that he’s not being brought on just to catch Dickey in Hank White’s absence.

  28. Obviously AA is trying to fuck the MLB over big time.

  29. So wang for Jenkins essentially?

  30. Thanks fuck for this…

  31. But blanco has been better than JP…

    • Blanco = 0 rbis in 43 PA. He was on pace for…. wait for it….. 0 rbis. Even JP doesn’t stink that bad.

      • haha true, but how many runs has Blanco given up?

        • Blanco hadn’t caught Dickey in a couple of years, before Dickey had improved his philosophy of mixing speeds. And he did have his difficult moments back there. Thole caught the majority of his games last year, and has a reputation of being an above average defender. What I find strange is the timing, coming on the heels of Dickey’s best performance thus far in Blue.

          Hope these move ignite a hot streak and they can charge back into this race.

  32. Hallelujah (I hope)

  33. Poor Jenkins. He has actually been not too bad. Has kept them in all his games. What gives? Do they think that Wang is better?

  34. Is there going to be another draft thread? We have now selected 5 pitchers with our first five picks – four from HS, the fifth from his first year in Junior College.

    I’m thinking all five will comprise the starting rotation of the 2019 WS roster.

  35. I assume you mean four-WAR, not four-Win.

  36. I can already hear Tabby & Buck on Wang:
    “Chang has a lifetime record of 61-32 – this guy just knows how to win.”

  37. In regards to Gose, I am buddies (well truthfully, my friend is buddies) with Jordan Ellis, who had a very brief minor league pitching career, and an even briefer stint as Gose’s teammate with the GCL Phillies. According to Ellis, Gose’s nickname in the clubhouse was ‘Tony Baseball.’ This is a pretty sweet nickname, no?

  38. Penis rotation! Poor Jenkins, getting cockblocked.

  39. Wang?? Holy Chow!

  40. Decent Back up C who can handle the knuckler with a career OBP of .331 who will make the starter better by giving him more than just over half a game of off every 4 days -✓

    Steady eddie temporary replacement at 3B that won’t force the misuse of other players on the roster and has had a 2.3 WAR season in his career – ✓

    Bargain pick up SP/ lighting in a bottle candidate who has once finished 2 in the Cy voting in his career who has been pitching really well as of late – ✓

    Forget the the before time, the long long ago. This team is coming back!

    Stay on the boat.

  41. A Buerhle Dickey, big Johnson and a Wang makes for a Happ-y rotation when J.A. returns from his injury.

  42. I know Cecil has been awesome in his current role but seeing as he did have success also as a starter, wouldn’t it make sense to let him have another go as a starter?

    • Agreed.

      Been saying this for a while.

    • I’m against it. Aside from Jansen he is the only other sure thing in the bullpen. He’s got his confidence back and he’d have to be “stretched out” which would take time. Fuck it, he’s a bullpen guy and a really good one. Plus, his name is really hard to make a penis joke out of .. so, he doesn’t really fit in with the group.

      • Don’t disagree with you about Cecil, but it’s not just he and Janssen that have been great in the bullpen. Delabar, Loup and even Rogers have been pitching extremely well.

      • I dont really see the downside.

        Losing a bullpen piece for part of this season? The off chance that Cecil really sucks and can never regain his bullpen form after the failed starting experiment. Been there done that and it seemed to work out.

        Upside is you have a solid SP to stick in the rotation for the next few years.

        Seriously boys. We’re almost 10 games under .500 and 1/3 of the way through the season with massive holes in the rotation. Is there a better time to take that gamble?

    • So take a guy out of a role where he has found success and put him back in a role where he mostly failed?

      It’s calles the Peter Principle.

  43. I’d rather JPA be the guy personally.

    Does Thole have much more of a cieling than what he’s already shown?

    Not debating their value now and I know JPA isn’t exactly a prospect anymore but if he had a Lind like turnaround he could be a real asset. Chances are slim I know but you can teach patience. You can’t teach that kind of power.

    • It’s hard to teach his propensity for making outs, as well.

    • Turn around? JPA has been absolutely terrible at every aspect of playing baseball and being a catcher save for some power. if there was some year you could point me to where I could say “hey..he WAS able to get on base at a decent clip” then maybe I too would hold out hope for a return to such success

      alas..none exist. that year did exist for lind at least.

      • Agreed. The chances of him changing at this point are ultra slim. More wishful thinking than anything as he does have great natural power.

        As not great as JPA has been I highly doubt Thole will be a massive upgrade. Definitely an upgrade over Blanco, but he’s not comin in on a white horse to turn around the Jays season.

    • Personally, I think it can create some healthy competition in the club house. JP will still get the majority of starts, but he more than likely will see a bit of a reduced role. No one doubts his power, but he can’t stop laying off pitches out of the zone and then watch strike three down the heart of the plate, then he should sit 2 out of 5 games. He seems to have his short hot streaks and then slips into oblivion for games at a time. Having a guy in the 4 or 5 spot in the lineup who can’t make contact half the time isn’t a recipe for success. His catching abilities haven’t improved a lick since last year and looks very unnatural back there. He doesn’t set targets, can’t frame worth shit and throws balls away from the bag on steal attempts. Ugh! He needs to feel the pressure to perform that he didn’t have with senor blanco in the fold.

    • I think a guy has to have more of an upside and more hitting sense than “can hit for power”. Lots of power guys flame out when it’s their only weapon. The best power guys are the ones who also understand the value of a single or double, and are feared enough to be walked and contribute that way as well. If JPA didn’t hit so many homeruns, he wouldn’t have as much smoke blown up his ass as he has his entire career thus far.

  44. I have a six year old son, and he’s not quite there with the Dickey, Johnson and Wang references. I’ll credit you with eight year old behavior.

    • Just need two more.

      Schlong, Dong or the best would be John Thomas!

      The all penis starting lineup. Awesome!

  45. Why did it take this long to call up Thole? Seriously. Did they think he’d be a worse hitter than Blanco?

    • the blanco family decided to leave the witness protection program and re-assume their true identities

    • It’s because it had nothing to do with that.

      • So they thought Blanco would catch the knuckler better? Or because Thole had options and they wanted depth?

        I dunno. Just seemed weird to me to carry a guy who might be one of the worst hitters in baseball when you have the possibly OK hitting Thole in AAA who caught Dickey in his Cy Young season.

        • It’s the depth thing. Plus, Blanco has hit 43 times, which makes it real hard to suggest he’s been killing them, or even a problem, really. We’re talking about a backup catcher.

          Idea was also that Dickey would be ace enough to not need every last ounce of run support, I suspect.

  46. Morrow isnt throwing yet. Happ is a long way away still. Lawries injury is worse than believed. I think the potential jpa/thole platoon is the best news weve heard all season. And thats fucking sad.

  47. We really need to trade for Charlie Furbush and Travis Wood

  48. We could put Romero back in the rotation since he is a stiff

  49. So…. rogers is out of the rotation after today?

  50. by the way, lawrie is in a walking boot, not good news

  51. “let’s not … overlook the fact that over his two mostly-full seasons as a starting catcher (2011 and 2012) he had the most passed balls (34) in all of baseball, while Arencibia– who had the fourth-most– only allowed 21.”

    How many of those passed balls came while catching Dickey, though? Didn’t JP have 2 or 3 in his one game catching Dickey?

    • Not in 2012.

      It’s not a perfect comparison, no. Still the league leader, though.

      Blanco, for reference, had 8 in 13 games this year, exclusively with Dickey.

      • I’m pretty sure he meant how many of Thole’s passed balls came from catching Dickey and then mentioned JP as an example of how JP did when put in that same situation.

  52. if the yankees could get mileage from jays castaways from 2006-8, it only makes sense that the jays are due to reap some magic from yankees castaways from the same period. did i say magic? because i mean science.

  53. Wow, quite a pissing session on JPA, who is sporting a .222 / .244 / .449 line. 10 days ago he was hitting .246 / .262 / .503. His strikeout rate in May was 26%, much better than the 38% in April. That ain’t bad. He had a lousy road trip, but so did Bautista and Kawasaki. It could be the kneebrace. Why they gave Arencibia the start after a 17 inning game is beyond me.

    Defensively, JP needs to work on throwing out runners. His rate is sub 20%. And it appears that he needs to frame balls better.

    Still, Blanco was useless as tits on a bull. Thole should give Arencibia a break and allow for a true platoon, or at least allow Thole to catch two games of five and keep him away from LHP.

  54. Just for fun, here are some numbers.

    I know a lot of readers here are not Colby Rasmus bashers, because some people are better than that, but lately I read/hear a lot of stuff about JPA being awesome, and no one cares about the strikeouts as long he puts up numbers.

    Well, here are the numbers:
    Look at these numbers:

    2013 JPA: BA .222 OBP .244 SLG .449 OPS .693 wOBA .297 wRC+ 83 WAR 0.2
    2013 Colby Rasmus: BA .253 OBP .315 SLG .443 OPS .758 wOBA .330 wRC+105 WAR WAR 1.3

    And yet, people want to run Rasmus out of town, and have JPA be “the guy”.

    It’s strange to me. JPA has played to replacement levels this year. I don’t suspect Thole being much better, but maybe having a similar player here will force JPA to be better, and use his immense talents to actually be a worthwhile player on this team. Otherwise, it won’t be long until people turn on him the way they’ve turned on better players.

    • Where are you reading that JPA is awesome, except from JPA’s own quotes? Certainly not here.

  55. I just heard of the Wang rumor (giggle). Let me try a joke.
    Dickey, Johnson, and Wang in the same rotation? First time Arencibia has seen more than a 3 ball count!

  56. Why JPA’s SLG is more valuable than Thole’s OBP:
    (Perhaps someone can refine this later, because I don’t have the patience to do this in depth)

    JPA in 2013: 213 PAs, 12 HRs, 11 2Bs, 23 1Bs, 5BBs, 0SFs, 68Ks, 93 non-K outs.

    Josh Thole’s career numbers, broken down to an average 207 AB segment:
    Thole: 207 ABs, 2 HRs, 9 2Bs, 39 1Bs, 19BBs, 1SF, 29Ks, 108 non-K outs.

    Now let’s take a look at the Jays’ average plate appearance in 2013:
    3.2% HRs, 4.6% 2B, 0.3% 3B, 14.5% 1Bs, 8.1% BB, 1.4% SFs, 2.3% DPs, 19.3% Ks, 46.3% non-K outs (or fielding errors)

    Now what we want to pull from this data is whether Arencibia’s or Thole’s data is more likely to result in runs.

    First, let’s talk about their ability to get runners who are already on home.
    The most average situation either of these catchers can come up to bat in is with one out. With one out, the Jays will have a runner on 28.4% of the time (OBP minus HR%), two runners on 5.5% of the time (OBP minus HR%, 2B%, 3B%, then square it; reasoning–two consecutive hits, where one of the hits is an extra base hit, will almost always result in the first runner scoring) and bases loaded 0.4% of the time (5.5% x BB%; because a single should ordinarily score a runner from 2B, and because I don’t have data to tell me how many of the Jays singles were infield singles).

    When the Jays only have a runner on first (22.6% of the time), the Jays need an extra base hit to score the runner. JPA scores this runner 10.8% of the time; Thole scores this runner 5.3% of the time. This comes out to 2.4% of JPA’s at-bats, and 1.2% of Thole’s at-bats.
    Okay, but what if they don’t produce an out? By not getting out, JPA and Thole allow the average Blue Jay to come up to bat behind them. We can safely assume by not getting out, this runner has now advanced to second or third, such that any hit will score them. The average Jay hits 25.2% of the time; and we’re using one-out situations as an average, so there would be two Jays hitting behind them; the second Jay has a 22.9% chance of scoring that runner. (AVG – DP%) Total chance of later Jays scoring that runner merely because JPA/Thole didn’t get out: 48.1%. For JPA, this happens 1.4% of the time; for Thole, this happens 3.1% of the time.

    Thus, in a runner on first, one out, with JPA/Thole at the plate, we can expect that runner to score:
    JPA: 16.8% of the time.
    Thole: 19.0% of the time.
    Thus Thole is 2.2% better in this situation.

    Fuck it, I’m hungry, I’m getting a burger. Someone else can feel free to finish this, but it would appear that, with the Jays’ current lineup, Thole is a slightly better fit. Small advantage to Thole over the fact the Jays lineup is full of mashers; small advantage to Arencibia over the fact that the catcher’s spot in the lineup is usually filled with crappy hitters, thus someone who can drive themselves in (JPA) is better; so they both sorta cancel each other out.

  57. Dickey has his best outing of the season… and now they wanna shake things up. awesome.

  58. Forget left/right platoon. Let JPA sit on the road, he’s a sweet .176 wOBA and 2 wRC. Not easy to have an almost zero wRC over a 100 PA stretch.

  59. Let’s not forget when looking at Thole’s passed ball numbers that he was catching a knuckle ballerina the past few years?

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