Once again here’s something that probably should turn into a regular feature, and maybe is finally starting to: a collection of thoughts on what went on over the weekend that usually ends up being about anything but, and always make me regret not just putting these all into separate posts that go up over the course of the day…

Sky Status: Not Falling

The Jays actually lost a series, didn’t score a run for two days, and the sky doesn’t even seem like it’s falling. The fact that it was the Cardinals, and that the Jays now have Twins coming to town — sending Ricky Nolasco, Kevinwins  Correia, and Phil Hughes to get wailed on, before the boys in blue head to Baltimore for an interesting AL East clash (which we’ll be having a little DJF shindig for during game one on Thursday night at Opera Bob’s!) — certainly has helped to ease the mood.

Really, though, it’s all about the cushion that the Jays have built themselves. Also perhaps the fact that their divisional rivals keep spinning their wheels, with the Yankees and Rays each losing their last two games as well, the Orioles losing two of three over the weekend to Oakland, and the Red Sox salvaging a win out of a series loss to the Tigers. But man, that cushion! It’s not like they can rest on their laurel here, but the Jays right now have twelve more wins than they do losses. The Orioles have one more. The Yankees are at .500. The Red Sox have six fewer wins than they do losses, and for the Rays the number is sixteen.

Like… holy shit!

And as much as you hate to waste a Mark Buehrle gem, as the Jays did Saturday — because lord knows how many more of those he has in him before this improbable run (in which he’s produced more WAR already than he did in all of 2012, and just a half win less than last year) ends — you love what you saw from Marcus Stroman, who as a starter now has 13 Ks, two walks, and a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings as a starter in which he’s held opponents to a .272 wOBA.

Now, Drew Hutchison, on the other hand…

Hutch Didn’t Have Much

There has been much talk of Hutchison’s splits, which continued a couple of unfortunate directions on Sunday. Scott MacArthur of spoke to both the pitcher and his manager about it, neither of whom give much credence to the trends, but they sure are striking. As Scott explains:

Hutchison at home: 5 Games Started, 1-3, 8.72 ERA, 7 HR allowed and a 1.892 [WHIP].

Hutchison on the road: 8 Games Started, 3-1, 2.03 ERA, 3 HR allowed and a 0.973 WHIP.

Hutchison on four days rest: 6 Games Started, 3-3, 5.94 ERA, 14 walks, 21 strikeouts, 7 home runs allowed.

Hutchison on five or more days rest: 7 Games Started, 1-1, 2.62 ERA, 5 walks, 34 strikeouts, 3 home runs allowed.

Now, we know that the Rogers Centre plays hitter friendly, but certainly not that hitter friendly. Digging a little deeper into the home-road splits and what jumps out is the fact that Hutchison has allowed a .326 BABIP in home games, while on the road it has been .257. We’re not working with a lot of data here, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable guess to figure that he has amplified the drastic difference in the trends trends by overpeforming on the road while underperforming at home. Over time, one would suspect they’ll regress towards a middle ground that is a more “true” representation of what he is. I’d think the same is probably true of the other two areas that really stand out: his 23.3% HR/FB rate at home (compared to 4.6% on the road), and his massive difference in walk rates: 12.3% at home, 4.8% away.

But here’s something to consider that might not immediately be apparent: there is quite a lot of overlap among the two negative trends. Four of Hutchison’s five home starts have been made on regular rest, and six of his eight road starts have been on five or more days rest. I’d be far more inclined to believe that his struggles on regular rest are amplifying the home/road splits rather than the other way around, and that is the real concern here. Park factors certainly aren’t nothing, but the fact that there’s something physical to connect to what we’re seeing, and knowing how few innings are on his arm (though he did reach 149.1 innings over three minor league stops in 2011, he had thrown just 56.1 post-Tommy John innings coming into this year), makes one feel less comfortable about those numbers regressing to the mean.

Maybe they will. Hopefully they will. And while I’m totally just guessing here, I’d at least expect that over time it will be something he’s able to overcome — if, y’know, we even believe what we’re seeing in this small sample is real. But for 2014, I don’t know if it’s unfair to say it’s a concern. Fortunately, it’s one that the Blue Jays see, as we know from their recent rotation shuffle, and all the rumblings about temporarily moving to a six-man rotation back in May. From MacArthur:

Expect Gibbons to cherry pick spots to give Hutchison extra rest over the course of the season but it’s difficult to do at the moment due to a lack of off days. Toronto has two more before the All-Star Break, one on Monday, June 16 and another on Monday, June 30.

The task becomes easier in August when there are five off days in the month and becomes difficult again in September, when there is only one. By that point, though, the Jays hope to be counting on Hutchison in important games down the stretch.

I can live with that.


Keith Law wasn’t over the top in his praise of the Jays’ draft, but that’s about as conservative a spin as I can put on the comments he gave in his Complete AL Draft Breakdown piece at (Insider only). “The Jays have had their troubles in the first round in recent years, but I think they made up for it with their Day 1 selections this year,” he explains. The Hoffman pick is clearly what stands out for him, as he admits not loving the bat of Max Pentecost, or many of the later round selections the Jays made, but it’s second-rounder Sean Reid-Foley who really seals it for him, it seems. The “real value” in the Jays’ draft is in their first three picks, he says, even if he’s not a perfect prospect either. “Reid-Foley had first-round buzz with a not-great delivery that he repeats very well — he takes a huge stride, straightening his front leg like he’s applying to the Ministry of Silly Walks, but he pronates his arm late,” he explains. That said, |He’s got three pitches and throws strikes, touching 95 mph but sitting more 90-93.” I can live with that.

Manny Machado embarrassed himself this weekend, and former Orioles blogger/fan Jon Bernhardt writes at Sports On Earth that he doesn’t want to see him in the Toronto series, feeling that a suspension of ten or more games is warranted for the bat-throwing incident on Sunday that followed the histrionics of Friday night (clips of both incidents in the SoE piece). I can live with that. I can live with this too: Drew tweets a link to a custom leaderboard at FanGraphs showing Machado, Brett Lawrie, and Mike Moustakas over the last calendar year. In reverse order by wRC+ in that span it goes: Moustakas (76), Machado (81), Lawrie (101). Whut???

Schadenfreude alert: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News looks at the case of Travis d’Arnaud — heard of him? — who was recently demoted. “Now the kid is back in Triple-A 18 months [after The Trade], having batted .189 in his first 257 big league plate appearances — and he is not even really a kid, as his next birthday will be his 26th,” he explains. Not all is lost for the Mets, of course — and not just because they got Noah Syndergaard in the deal, but because d’Arnaud, too, can still figure it out — but Martino brings a healthy dose of prospect realism that Jays fans falling all over themselves to declare Alex Anthopoulos utterly clueless (quiet though they’ve been of late) probably ought to take a look at, as well. “The Mets have sold their fans in recent years on a future centered around prospects like d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard, but in reality, it will be a win if one of these players becomes a star,” he explains. “That says nothing about them as individuals, and everything about the cruel, Darwinian process of player development (and the perils of building around young players).” Populants of the parallel universe in which the Jays are currently being led to glory by Travis Snider, Ricky Romero, Anthony Gose, J.P. Arencibia, and Brandon Morrow most likely agree.

Lastly, via Dan Toman of right here at theScore, it’s Brett Lawrie’s impression of the Jose Reyes bobblehead that the Jays gave away to the first however-many-thousand customers yesterday. Oh, Brett. At least it’s better than what Machado was blowing up the internet for.

Comments (80)

  1. I can live with that

  2. haha, that tag on machado wasn’t even hard. I don’t have a problem with Machado taking over the mantle of ManChild third baseman for awhile

  3. Stroman looks so much like a little pedro, i can’t get enough of the guy

  4. That Lawrie Gif

    Had a big deep belly laugh. He’s basically Daffy Duck.

  5. So yeah Brett Lawrie is pretty good.

    I can see a couple 4 win seasons in his future. Especially if he can get that walk rate up a bit.

    • I still feel like his bat plays better at second, although that table Stoeten linked to suggests I’m underestimating him.

  6. That Fangraphs leaderboard has Machado at half a win higher than Lawrie over 54 more PA, and it’s all from defence anyway, and then you see that display from Machado this weekend, and you say, fuck it, you can have your half a win.

  7. Don’t ask me how I know……… but trades are coming…….. bullpen for sure.

  8. Who is pitching tonight? I don’t remember last night so don’t judge me for not knowing but I’m going to the game tonight to be a slump breaker.

  9. Hutch seems to be unlucky so far in June. Only two starts, but his against wOBA is .282. His xFIP is a respectable 3.75.

    I’m not sure if there really is a drop in Hutch’s velocity. It’s mor erratic, but if you compare his first start to his most recent, there really isn’t much of a difference.

    If fatigue is an explanation for his slipping numbers, maybe a DL drip is in order.

    • Hutch’s FB command was seriously fucked yesterday. Two seamers high in the zone and four seamers that sailed high. Looked like his arm was dragging.

      Velocity numbers are important. However, if you leave pitches up in the zone like that, plain simple, it’s gonna get hammered.

      I think a little rest and skipping a start would be very apropos.

  10. Going to the game tonight. Hopefully dickey doesnt dick around.

  11. I might be responsible for the last 2 games – I went to both Saturday & Sunday.
    Got to see 18 innings of shutout baseball.

    Would’ve been nice if it wasn’t the Jays.

    • I blame you and Stoeten and karen ( sorry).

      • I’m like 3-7 this year – not sure how someone can be 4 games under following a team that’s 12 games above .500.

        I’m going w/ SSS – I need more games and I’ll regress to the mean right?

        • It’s either SSS or maybe an outlier stretch of games.
          karen’s tryin to break her 0-5 with an outing this week.
          The Jays are considering paying Stoeten large sums of money,to stay away from the RC alogether, completely based entirely on their record when he’s within 1 KM.
          Time to do my part to rid the Jays of the bad juju.
          Gotta get some candles, find me a goat and go to the Eye of Newt store..

          • Glad you’re paying attention RADAR!
            I booked half a vacation day for a fun afternoon at the ballpark. Better than being in the office.

            I’m going to the game with a guy from work so maybe leaving the husband at home will change my luck.

        • Took in both Saturday and Sunday and it brought me one game under .500 to sit at 4-5.

  12. Pendantic douche time — I think the Hutch issue will be negative variation following positive variation, rather than regression to the mean….


    • ***Should have said “tucks back into his statistics textbook” in between those brackets….

  13. I almost always attend winning games so there’s that.
    But I’m not going alone this time.
    The tribulations of being a fan of an above .500 team.

  14. Hutch stats by catcher:

    Dinner catching… 3 GS, 1-1, 15.1 IP, 10 ER, 4 HR, 5.87 ERA
    Kratz catching… 2 GS, 0-2, 6.1 IP, 11 ER, 3 HR, 15.64 ERA

    Dinner catching… 6 GS, 2-1, 36.1 IP, 7 ER, 2 HR, 1.73 ERA
    Kratz catching… 2 GS 1-0, 17 IP, 5 ER, 1 HR, 2.65 ERA (includes CGSO)

    • Ha ha, I was going to say not much difference between Dinner and Kratz until I saw the number 1 next to the 5 on ERA at home… yikes?

      SSS I guess…

      • We’re not really trying to make “Dinner” a thing, are we?

        I guess it makes about as much sense as putting any stock in catcher ERA.

    • 4 days rest-
      Dinner catching… 4 GS, 2-1, 22.2 IP, 9 ER, 4 HR, 16 K, 10 BB, 3.63 ERA
      Kratz catching… 3 GS, 1-2, 15.1 IP, 11 ER, 4 HR, 13 K, 5 BB, 6.46 ERA

      5 days rest-
      Dinner catching… 5 GS, 1-1, 29.2 IP, 8 ER, 2 HR, 32 K, 7 BB, 2.43 ERA
      Kratz catching… 1 GS, 0-0, 8 IP, 5 ER, 1 HR, 6 K, 1 BB, 5.63 ERA

      • My bad, correct numbers…

        4 days rest-
        Dinner catching… 3 GS, 2-1, 15.1 IP, 9 ER, 4 HR, 9 K, 10 BB, 5.28 ERA
        Kratz catching… 3 GS, 1-2, 15.1 IP, 11 ER, 4 HR, 13 K, 5 BB, 6.46 ERA (CGSO)

        5 days rest-
        Dinner catching… 6 GS, 1-1, 36.2 IP, 8 ER, 2 HR, 39 K, 7 BB, 1.96 ERA
        Kratz catching… 1 GS, 0-0, 8 IP, 5 ER, 1 HR, 6 K, 1 BB, 5.63 ERA (Kobayashi grand slam)

        Also of note: 6 of Hutch’s 7 starts on 5 days rest came before May 7th.

  15. Hutch just needs his personal catcher. 5 man bullpen will work if we carry 5 catchers. 7 inning quality starts all around.

  16. “The Mets have sold their fans in recent years on a future centered around prospects like d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard, but in reality, it will be a win if one of these players becomes a star,” he explains. “That says nothing about them as individuals, and everything about the cruel, Darwinian process of player development (and the perils of building around young players).” Populants of the parallel universe in which the Jays are currently being led to glory by Travis Snider, Ricky Romero, Anthony Gose, J.P. Arencibia, and Brandon Morrow most likely agree.


    You’d hope that Jays fans by now would’ve learned to be wary of huge offensive numbers from a catching prospect in the PCL, given the history…

    • some people need this tattooed on their foreheads,
      i love this blog and board but the hard on’s people get about kids in minor league ball and how they’re certainly on their way to multiple cy youngs is insane.

  17. That is quite possibly the best impression of a bobblehead thatI have seen.

  18. There’s plenty of room on the Lawrie band wagaon. I’ll move my shit to the side.
    Plus our wagon is the caffeineiest, high energiest and all around immatureiest.

    We like fun.

  19. Some potentially feasible acquisitions that I read about recently that could be of benefit

    Daniel Murphy – yay! second base!
    Chris Denorfia – Supposed Lefty Killer
    Ian Kennedy – a pretty not that bad starter.

  20. I never quite understood why d’arnaud was still being referred to as a top prospect this offseason. At 25, he was two years older than anyone else on BA’s top 100, had horrific mlb numbers, pcl-inflated aaa numbers with subpar peripherals, and his defensive game was only decent. There’s really no reason he should still have been getting rated that high.

  21. The Machado thing was needless and stupid, of that there is no doubt. But is it any MORE needless and stupid then throwing a small, very hard projectile 90+ purposefully at someone? Pitchers do it all the time and AT MOST all they get is thrown out of the game, and that’s rare. Often it’s a warning.

    I think Machado should get at least 10 games. But I also think that every pitcher who obviously purposefully throws at anyone should automatically get 10 games as well. It’s stupid.

  22. Joe Maddon hires a medicine man to scour the Trop and find out what bad juju has been affecting the Rays.

    This afternoon, Tampa Bay outrights dirtbag rapist Josh Lueke to the minors. Kudos to Seminole traditions.

    • Thank fuck that the rapist has had his MLB career stall out at least. I can only hope that TB outright releases him at some point (wishful thinking I know…)

  23. I also think those hutch splits are meaningless SSS correlations.

    Hutch’s best outing of the season (cg, so, 3ht) came on regular 4 day rest. His worst outing also came on 4 days rest, but was only the second outing if the year, hardly something to conclude was fatigue related.

    And per fangraphs, hutch’s velo was UP again yesterday, throwing harder than he did on 7 days rest, and his 6th best velo of the year… the whole diminished velocity narrative is bunk, too.

    Hutch is a 23 yr old in his first year in mlb, with good but not dominant stuff. he’s going to have bad games. Let’s stop overanalyzing and panicking every time he does.

    • I agree with this.

      Or with the PersonalCatcher/DaysOfRest/Home/Away combo splits.

      I can’t decide.

    • Sure the second start of the year could be fatigue-related if the fatigue is coming in the form of his body not being as ready to pitch on four days rest. Velocity doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story either. Might be able to hump it up but sacrifices control in doing so. The hypothesis might not be right — they’re definitely small samples we’re looking at it — but these aren’t at all reasons to dismiss it all, in my view, especially with the way that the Jays have handled him, shuffling the rotation to give him extra days, and planning to go to a six-man rotation at one point. They know more than we do about how his body is reacting, and we see from their actions reasons to believe this is a real issue. The catcher and home/road stuff is a bit silly, though.

  24. What the fuck is “pronate”? Is it something I can do with a chick?

    • “Origin:
      1830–40; < Late Latin prōnātus, past participle of prōnāre to bend forward, derivative of Latin prōnus; see prone1 , -ate1"

      So to answer your question…

    • Opposite of supinate. First year nursing.

    • People. Please. Tweet at me when this shitstain comments here and he’ll be swiftly removed.


      – the Management

  25. Well, Karen something has to give. I am 2-0 so far this yearand willalso be at the Wed matinee, sitting behind the plate in section 121. I don’t intend to have my winning streak busted up so I am hereby putting the good hex “roundabout” on your body to give good karma. We shall overcome together. Now, where did that barley sandwich go?
    BTW, IT is supposed to pour buckets on WED. I think we may be indoors at the mausoleum

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