Well, I’m not here to buy douchebags, so it doesn’t really concern you.

Following up the earlier stuff about the Jays’ tight payroll, twitterer @Cameo60 tells us that Mike Wilner was on the radio today, confirming that he’s heard what Shi Davidi has heard about the Jays’ draft budget (unless it was just a repeat of what Shi said, which I guess is possible), which is that they “have enough $ to get what they need done, they don’t have as much as in the past.” Well, since teams can now only spend a small amount above their bonus pool allotment without severe penalties, no one has as much as in the past. But if that’s a suggestion that they’re going to spend below their limit, that would certainly be dumb.

Interesting post from Blue Jays Plus, where Gideon Turk tweets at Keith Pelley about this sort of stuff, and gets some surprising responses. For example, after being asked last night “Do you mind giving the Jays some extra cash now so they can add to the roster?” Pelley responds, “why????” Presumably that’s a “why … are you possibly moaning about this after a ninth straight win????” and if so, it’s somewhat understandable. Told that he was being asked this “because Liam Hendriks isn’t getting us into the playoffs, and AA shouldn’t have to borrow money from the players,” Pelley wisely skipped the unserious posturing as though anyone half reasonable could believe Hendriks is long for the rotation and jumped straight to the borrowing bit, responding simply that “he doesn’t.” I know, it’s really, really easy to whine about Rogers. But who’s to say that Paul Beeston’s reluctance to ask for budget increases isn’t at the root of what happened this winter, and not the fact that, as Gideon theorizes, Pelley is “the man who has been in charge of stopping the Blue Jays from landing numerous players via free agency and trades these past few years”? I certainly don’t think it’s clear one way or the other, but hey, rage away. I’ve been there.

Oh, and now there’s also this:

The Jays are fun as fuck right now. You know this, I know this, and now a whole lot of people know it too. One of them is Grant Brisbee, who wonders at SB Nation whether the Jays are really this good, quickly looking at who is or isn’t performing to expectations, and finding that “it turns out that when the Blue Jays aren’t all hurt, ticking off the old, vengeful gods, and playing J.P. Arencibia, they’re pretty danged okay.” Not only that, “baseball would be better if the Blue Jays were really this good,” he says.

Great, interesting stuff from GROF over at theScore, as he examines how often teams with retractable roofs will open or close them.

Another day, another series of Jays talkin’ on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Podcast, as Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian marvel at the offence that has been on display at Rogers Centre this year. Starts around the fifteen minute mark, and isn’t a terribly long discussion (despite its inclusion in the episode’s description), but I’ve already written this much about it so… yeah. There ya go.

Elsewhere from ESPN, Mark Simon looks at which teams have been best and worst at turning various types of batted balls into outs, and we find the Jays among the league’s worst in terms of turning fly balls into outs. PLAY DEEPER, COLBY!

Yesterday I linked to Jonah Keri’s latest power rankings for Grantland, but didn’t include this tidbit: Jonah looks at “cluster luck” — a concept he explains thusly: “when a team’s batters cluster hits together to score more runs and a team’s pitchers spread hits apart to allow fewer runs, that’s cluster luck” – finding that the Jays have been the fourth luckiest team in the majors in that regard so far. Amazingly, though, it’s all on their pitching, and the hitters actually have a negative cluster luck number. Wacky.

And one last ESPN.com item, as Keith Law’s chat from last week wasn’t terribly heavy on Jays-related tidbits, but did provide us one Schadenfreud alert, after KLaw was asked whether he could envision Tyler Beede slipping out of the first round. “Absolutely,” he said. “He was not good at all yesterday. And teams are concerned about the makeup.” Take the money, kids.

Over at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith takes a look at the suddenly respectable starting rotation for your Toronto Blue Jays. The ERA of the club’s starters so far this year (3.75) is more than a full run better than last year’s disaster (4.81), and they’ve really been quietly dependable… if, y’know, maybe relying a bit too much on luck and better defence than we saw in 2013.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi recaps last night’s game, with a focus on the aggressive work of third base coach Luis Rivera, while Mike Wilner dreams in extrapolations, wondering what things would look like if the Jays actually kept up their current pace, and the Tao of Stieb revels in the missteps of the Jays’ rivals.

Eric Koreen of the National Post looks at Casey Janssen, and how he’s stabilized the bullpen since his return from the DL. Nails much?

Gregory Strong of the Canadian Press, via the Toronto Star, on the other hand, looks at the Jose Reyes of old — as in, the guy who it feels like we’ve been seeing atop the Jays’ lineup for the past couple of weeks. Fuck, this is fun.

Elsewhere in the Star, Brendan Kennedy recaps last night’s improbable win, while Richard Griffin looks at the the speed and excitement that Kevin Pillar and Anthony Gose have brought to the Jays’ lineup — then he wonders what happens when Colby Rasmus gets healthy, suggesting it’s Pillar and not Gose who’ll likely get down. I hope not. I sort of like the club having the option to platoon Rasmus and the right-handed hitting Pillar a bit, or to use Pillar as a DH.

In the Toronto Sun, Steve Buffery talks to Adam Lind about his role on the team and his happiness to be here, while sort of implying that it might not be completely insane for a club to want him to be an everyday player — i.e. one who faces lefties — which, of course, it is. Totally insane. Still great though!

Elsewhere in the Sun, Bob Elliott talks to Jose Reyes about his former Mets hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, who was reportedly fired this week on orders from ownership, and over the objections of the club’s GM, Sandy Alderson. Or something like that. And Steven Simmons somehow writes a piece that doesn’t make me want to break things, looking at the quiet superstar that is Edwin Encarnacion.

Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail looks at Anthony Gose, and the great problem the Jays have in having him, while the Globe also announces that it’s looking for pictures and memories to be shared by fans for the upcoming 25th anniversary of the SkyDome’s opening.

At Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer shows us some spiffy Jays-inspired threads that the Buffalo Bisons will war in an upcoming game.

A Blue Jays player finally makes the Fringe Five at FanGraphs – a list of the game’s “most compelling fringe prospects” — and it’s Taylor Cole, who has been completely under the radar as he has “recorded perhaps the best strikeout and walk figures among all qualified minor-league pitchers (31.3% and 6.0%, respectively, in 59.1 innings).”

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Tony Blengino takes a long look at where Mark Buehrle stands at the season’s quarter pole. Short version: he has overachieved.

The Huffington Post does some clickbait-y thing about signs you know you’re at a Jays game. It’s a thing. (A thing that I apparently didn’t originally make clear-enough is awful. It’s that, too.)

And lastly, speaking of clickbait, that Edwin parrot shirt, man. Only about three days left in the sale, apparently.

Comments (65)

  1. Cole was in the Fringe Five a couple weeks ago. Happy to see someone from our farm make that list.

  2. The last game I went to was the last loss and i’m supposed to go tonight for work.

    What the hell do I do?

    • I meant watched. Shit.

      • you’re supposed to give your tickets to me. i’ve been to two games this year, both pitched by Dickey, and the Jays won both.

        • Sadly, I have A ticket and its in a section with a bunch of construction folks I apparently need to meet/get wasted with. Literally the only part of this streak I have watched was when whoever bocked the other day bocked before Edwin struck out.

          I don’t wanna do this.

  3. Did anyone else spot the ‘clogging the bases’ sighting last night on the broadcast? That was enjoyable.

    (Paraphrase) “It’s kind of okay that Jose Molina is batting under .200 because he just clogs the bases”

    Love it. Love it so hard.

  4. hey Stoeten – 

    i wanted to ask you about Gose v Rasmus. in a previous post, you used the massive difference in wRC+ to differentiate between the two. last night’s win (and a number of recent Jays runs) were created in part by Gose’s speed. my question: how is speed factored into wRC+? in short, i’m wondering if there’s a hole somewhere in the statistic. that, a decent OBP and his amazing fielding must make the difference less glaring and the preference for Rasmus, whom i really, really enjoy watching, less certain.

      • appreciated. i am by no means adept at the math, but it strikes me that the stat doesn’t account for pressure on defence, which is what leads to free runs. the counter argument: errors are rare. however, i’ve seen one a week leading directly to runs for Gose, and i wonder if that not insignificant amount can be accounted for.

        • It’s not implausible at all that there’s a hole there– though that’s not really what wRC+ is measuring anyway. I don’t know if it would be as significant a one as much as the Bucks and Pats of the world would want to make it out to be, though. Speed and baserunning are factored into WAR (even non-stolen base-related baserunning, as represented by UBR — see below), but as far as forcing errors with speed? Putting the defence or pitcher off their game? I’m not sure there’s much evidence that the latter is really a thing. The former… maybe he deserves a little extra credit? I don’t think it could possibly make the difference between the two less glaring, though.

          Rasmus was a 4.8 win player in just 100 games last year, and Gose right now has the highest BB% of any stint at any level of his whole career, and the lowest K% save for his time in A-ball in 2009. Lot of SSS going on here. Guys just don’t get to the majors and suddenly transform in a positive way like that. BABIP is way higher than at any point in his minor league career, too. Would be great if this was all real and he was suddenly this good — and it’s not necessarily impossible — but the thing that’s really making the difference look smaller than it is is the fact that we’re seeing Gose at his absolute best in a tiny sample of games. He had a .283 OBP at Buffalo last year, and a .317 there before his call-up. In the majors he’s currently at .413, and that’s simply not who he is.


        • (The sound of AS slowly admitting that Gose is not the pile of shit he claimed him to be just a couple of weeks ago)…

          The elephant in the room re: Colby vs. Gose/Pillar is salary. Colby is in line for a massive contract at the end of the year, and to me, who turned a 180 on him last year, he’s JUST NOT WORTH THAT KINDA MONEY. Period.

          • I have two opinions on this:

            1) You don’t really know what kind of contract he’s in line for, so it’s more than a little early to say he won’t be worth his contract.

            2) I know people like to throw it out there all the time, but ending an opinion with an all-caps sentence and the word “period” doesn’t make you right.



            • Ok you’re right on the second point. I’m pre-drinking for the Habs game. They win I’m watching Game 7 at the Bell Centre. Guilty as charged.

              First point:

              Colby is in line for a HUGE contract. It’s a weak market and he’s a FA and just a great player. I’d say 6 years / 90 million? I dunno. It’s hard to say, but, he’s a high ceiling guy, there’s a big demand, I’d like to see a Melky-type bridge contract, which may happen if he misses more time, but just look at his numbers (not his k/rate or average defense or speed, tho) and the market and make your own wild speculations. He ain’t gonna be cheap.

  5. That Huffington Post… thing… is terrible. I guess you sort of warned us.

    • Clarified!

      • I have to admit, I clicked on it the HP link as well and I’ll never get that time back.

        At least someone in the comments has it right about doing the damn wave. How is it enjoyable for anyone?

        • Fans at yankee stadium were trying to get the wave going when I was there last month. There are idiots everywhere.

  6. That HuffPo piece said “The best part of the game? The wave.”

    Get that shit off the Duce!

  7. I can’t open Drew’s columns on my work computer and it’s fucking bullshit. Fuck this noise, bring back GROF or Getting Blanked….argh!

  8. @keithlaw: Not true. “@EricHartman: @keithlaw have you heard about the Jays being constrained financially in the draft (as mused by @ShiDavidi)?”

  9. As an owner of last year’s EE’s Parrot shirt, it’s pretty fantastic, comfy and a realloy enjoyable wear, especially when the Parrot is getting a walk every other day.

  10. I totally get the Edwin Parrot shirt love, but I’ll take this one thank you.

  11. The Parrot shirt, who is selling it? Does Stoeten get some of the money, someone from The Score or someone else?

  12. Why the eff is EE batting fifth tonight? Did they find 4 guys mashing better than him lately?

    • Shields is righty and Gibby likes Lind in between Bautista and EE for roster flexibility. With the way Lind mashes righties, why not?

    • He’s been batting 5th for a while against righties, I have no problem with it at all. Split up Lind/Juan


  14. I had to laugh at Joe Maddon’s comment concerning the Jays,when he said that team is toasty right now.

  15. Play for someone else, Colby, is more like it.

  16. If the FO were really getting an indication they would have to spend under the draft amount, don’t you think they would be trying to trade those picks?

    Also, and this is for you Mr S Potatoes. Couldn’t we say that up until this point in his career, Buehrle has underachieved?

  17. i would like to take this comment and dedicate it to every “trade Buehrle” post i read before the season started. It was absurd thinking..can we agree?

  18. I’m still with Stoets 1000% that pillar has to be the one staying up when rasmus comes back, and that colby is definitely more valuable than gose this year. Gose can come back up in september and be our super chemisty pinchrunner buntman defense god in our world series winning playoff run.

    Given that gose may already be the very best defensive outfielder in baseball, though, i’m slightly more open to maybe just maybe not paying colby and maybe going with a dirt cheap 2-3war CF platoon of gose/pillar next year.

    And no i’m not exaggerating gose’s defense. That catch last night was retarded….and he made it look routine. He’s like a faster version of Devon, with a much better arm to boot.

    • I agree with some of this. Not all. See above I guess. How does incredible defense and speed and OBP factor into WAR anyway? Griffin mentioned how Gose distracts pitchers when’s he’s on base, which is one of those intangibles that I actually agree with, although AS would clad otherwise, because it’s just immeasurable, which I think burns guys like Stoeten and Drew, they love to hide behind their advanced stats and SSS…

      I don’t get how playing a ++ CF defender (who also gets on base and steals) is any different that eating a + 2B (think Goins) #9 guy, I mean fuck, his glove is saving runs and thus winning games, no? Why is Pillar so far ahead if Gose again exactly?

      • 1. If you go to the fangraphs player pages, you can see the precise values for eachbplayer’s offensive, defensive, and baserunning war. They arevall factored in and defense does make a huge difference….BUT, remember, any defensive number over this small a sample is highly suspect, so for example gose’s massive dwar this year is just as meaningless as his awful dwar last year. Here you have to rely on the eye test….and my blind eyes see the best defense i’ve seen in forever.

        2. Goins is awful, has never hit in the minors despite being very old at every level, and his useless .400ops in mlb this year was entireky unsurprising. No amount of defense can make up for a sub-.500ops. Or even a sub-.600ops. Gose has been one of the youngest players at every level and league he’s played at in the minors and has still managed a decent .350obp and .770ops against right handed pitching in the minors. That is not useless, and means he might be able to hack it at a decent level at mlb for a super speed and defense CF…at least against RHP. Unfortunately there’s not much hope for him vs. LHP. Which is what we need when rasmus comes back, because rasmus crushes righties and sucks vs. Lefites. That’s where pillar and his .925ops minor league and .750+ops major leagues vs. Lefties comes in. The dude can hit lefties and play good cf defense – he’s a perfect fit in a platoon with colby,

        3. If we ever have any dreams of gose being a fulltime starter in mlb, he desperately needs how to learn how to hit lefties….and he won’t learn that sitting on the bench up here.

        4. The “distract the defense with speed” thing is largely bullshit. Just getting on base distracts the defense more than anything else, and despite being red hot up here so far, gose doesn’t give us more runners on base than the colby/pillar platoon does.

      • Pillar has been a pleasant surprise so far. From a developmental standpoint, he is probably slightly ahead of Gose also. Another reason to option Gose to Buffalo where he can get his reps everyday.

  19. Lil spelling mistake in the bluebird banter paragraph Stoetter, war instead of wear

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