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Photo Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Blue Jays Lineup Suggests That They Might Actually Get It

If this was the lineup that the Jays were sending out against a left-handed pitcher I might not be so enthused, but as it is, with Opening Day starter Marco Estrada on the bump and the Jays showcasing a rather Opening Day-like lineup against Phillies right-handers Aaron Nola, um… hot damn!

Sure, sure, we could quibble about some of the ordering, and Melvin Upton is in there against a right-hander, which isn’t ideal. But it’s not like Ezequiel Carrera is any better against right-handers — HEYO! — plus, I think for a while we might just have to get used to the idea of the Jays using the free money that is Upton to see what they’ve got. (Plus he missed some time with the shoulder thing, so having him in there tonight makes even more sense.)

And while I hesitate making too much of a Grapefruit League lineup, having Steve Pearce in at first base over Justin Smoak is very, very comforting. They can say that the issue is Pearce throwing the ball in the outfield all they want, but combine that convenient fact with Justin Smoak looking veeeeeery Justin Smoak-like all spring (he’s 9-for-46) and it sure seems like the #StevePearceIsActuallyTheir1B train is moving ahead of schedule.

Toot toot!

  • AD

    Is the FO asleep at the wheel? Can someone explain to me how a FO headed by a multi billion dollar corporation can’t sign on of these LFers on the market now? (Coghlan, pagan, even freakin blanco) is it because they don’t have room in the budget for them(asinine)? Or is the FO just incompetent and think that carrera is actually a good platoon bat vs RHPs? This is just dumb, just get someone already! Its had enough that smoak is the default 1b

    • Kyball

      Look, I agree that it would be nice (probably even necessary, if we’re going to be honest) to get someone else to play LF. However, “is it because they don’t have room in the budget for them(asinine)?” is an asinine comment in itself.
      Every single team in the league has a budget. Just because Rogers has billions of dollars, doesn’t mean all of it gets to spent on the Jays.
      I’m not defending Rogers, but saying that having a budget is asinine is so incredibly ignorant of, not just how baseball and business work, but how the world works.

      • AD

        How much do you think pagan or coghlan cost at this point? $1m? $2m max? They can fit that in the budget. And if rogers cant find a way to fit that in, they are a garbage ownership( which we already know they are)

        • Kyball

          Yeah, but you can’t look at everything like “It’s only $2m more”. You have to evaluate it as “It’s $2m more, how much better does that $2m make the team? Is it worth spending that money right now, or would that $2m be better served to help us add bullpen depth as the season progesses, becasue frankly, right now, we still need another lefty? Will there be better options via trade later in the season? ”
          Budget constraints don’t exist in a bubble.
          PLus, when you start thinking “It’s only $2m, we can afford that.” It’s an incredibly easy jump to say “Ok, we could spend $2m on player A, but for $1m more we could get player B and if we’re ok spending $3m on player B, well look at player C, we could get him for just $1m more. etc” and then before you no it, you have no money left to add that missing piece at the deadline. You have no money to replace those bullpen pitchers that got hurt. You have no money to sign players next year to replace all our free agents. Obviously that it a worst case scenario, and I don’t expect it would come to that, but it is something the organization and ownership has to keep in mind.

          Pagan and Coghlan were worth 1 WAR last season. Pagan put up negative numbers on dWAR. Coghlan put up negative defensive numbers every year of his career except last year.
          Upton had 1.8 WAR before the trade, and -0.4 after. But his number on dWAR were positive. So maybe that is something they’re taking into consideration. We have no idea.

          I’m not saying that because Upton had better defensive metrics than Pagan and Coghlan, he is the obvious solution for us in left field, I’m just saying that maybe the Jays feel that spending $1m on Coghlan isn’t in their best interest because they already have a player that is doing basically the same thing.
          Left field is obviously a weak spot for the Jays, but lets fucking slow our roll before we jump on other players who are arguably marginally better than what we saw from Upton after he got traded to the Jays, but who might not have been better than him when he played in San Diego.
          Be rational and objective, instead of butthurt and accusatory.

          That being said, DO SOMETHING ABOUT LF ALREADY!

  • Mule or etc...

    Let’s take a look at Zeke’s reverse splits. He has a total of 254 PA against left-handers in which he put up a .711 OPS. He has 726 PAs against righties which led to a .649 OPS.

    254 plate appearances isn’t really enough data to draw a strong conclusion especially with such small variation in OPS. But when you look deeper and see that Zeke’s BABIP versus lefties is 61 points higher than against righties it makes it apparent that he’s probably just been lucky over a small sample.

      • Mule or etc...

        Yes sir. A .364 BABIP versus lefties is incredibly high and he doesn’t have the blazing speed to suggest he’s beating out a lot of infield singles.

        Interestingly, he’s hitting .532 for his career over 68 PAs when he bunts. Maybe he shouldn’t be swinging at all.