Life seems so much better after a couple of wins. Thank you Red Sox.
Just some random Blue Jays stuff:
Cavan Biggio is now 12 for 12 on stolen bases, which sets a record for a player starting his Blue Jays career. Shannon Stewart went 11 for 11 before he was thrown out. Stewart’s wasn’t all in one season, he had a couple of September callups before getting a longer look in the majors.
Many years ago, Bill James had a stat for trying to figure out who the ‘smartest players’ were. Baseball smart, not mensa smart. I don’t remember a lot about it but stolen base percentage and walk rate were two of the main things that went into the stat. I remember that Joe Morgan was at the top of the list (this was Joe Morgan the player, not to be confused with his days as a analyst on game broadcasts. They appeared to be polar opposites). There were other factors, I’d think times thrown out on base would be in there somewhere (I’d look up the stat but I’m lazy this morning, and I don’t think anything much came from it).
Anyway, I’m guessing Cavan would rate very highly. That steal of third base, last night, was brilliant. I’d like to think that this bodes well for his career.
John Lott, in the Athletic, has a story about how the Jays pitching has been better of late, but that they are giving out way too many walks. From Lott’s story:
In other categories, the pitching has improved. Since the All-Star break, Toronto’s staff ERA has jumped from 12th to sixth in the American League. Over that period, only four AL teams have allowed fewer runs and only two have allowed fewer hits.
But in that same period, Jays pitchers rank second in the league in walks. They led the league with 546 entering Wednesday.
I mentioned that Derek Law has been good lately (since July 21st he has a 1.96 ERA, and batters have hit .156/.323/.234). In 23 innings he’s given up just 6 extra base hits, all doubles). But he’s given up 18 walks (3 intentional) in that time. If he regresses on the hard contact, those walks will be much more of a problem.
Obviously, part of the reason we’ve had so many walks is that we used so many rookie and near rookie pitchers.
Shi Davidi, at Sportsnet.ca, has a story on how Jays minor league pitchers have been using Rapsodo data to help them figure out how to best attack batters.
Pitching in the Arizona Fall League last year, Pearson realized that he could get more swing and miss with his slider by reducing the velocity and increasing the depth on the pitch. In January, he and a handful of Blue Jays player development staffers, Kim included, went to the Driveline Baseball facility in Seattle where Pearson underwent a biometric assessment to identify deficiencies in his delivery and a breakdown of his pitches, information that was then carried through over the course of the year.
Putting Teoscar Hernandez back in left and starting Anthony Davis in center seems to suggest the team isn’t happy with Teoscar’s defense. But it doesn’t tell us why we don’t try Anthony Alford out there. Alford should play better defense than Teoscar and he would definitely hit better than Davis. I don’t understand why he’s sitting so much. Maybe there is an injury that we don’t know about, but if not, it really seems like the Jays like Davis more than Alford. I can’t understand why. I must be missing something.