Three Years Ago Today
The Jays made three trades. Two went very well. One not so well.
Robbie Ray came over from the Diamondbacks for Travis Bergen. Bergen pitched 6.2 innings for the Diamondbacks at the end of last season, and then we got him back at the end of February for cash. He pitched in 10 games for the Jays. After the season, he was a free agent, signed with the Padres, and was released earlier this month.
Ray pitched in 5 games down the stretch in 2020.
In 2021, working with Pete Walker, he was the best pitcher in the AL.
His place among AL pitchers in 2021:
- bWAR 1st, 5.9
- ERA 1st, 2.84
- Strikeouts 1st, 248
- Innings pitched 1st, 193.1
- Quality starts 1st, 23
And he won the Cy Young Award.
We can count that trade as a win.
After the season, he signed a five-year $115 million contract with the Mariners. Ray is out after having Tommy John surgery back in May. He won’t be pitching again until the middle of 2024 at best.
The same day, Ross Stripling came from the Dodgers for Kendall William and Ryan Noda.
Williams is pitching in AA at the moment. So far this year he has a 2.77 ERA in 55 innings split between Rookie, A and AA. He has 50 strikeouts with 22 walks.
Before this season, Noda was taken by the A’s off waivers from the Dodgers. He’s hitting .230/.378/.411 with 12 home runs in 99 games for Oakland.
Stripling was tremendous for us last year. A 3.01 ERA in 134.1 innings, working out of the pen early in the season and starting as the season went on.
Ross is pitching for the Giants this year. He has a 5.29 ERA in 78.1 innings this year, not earning that $25 million two-year contract.
And the same day, we picked up Jonathan Villar from the Marlins for Griffin Conine.
Villar hit .188/.278/.203 in 22 games.
Conine has split the season between Double and Triple-A, hitting .261/.368/.499 with 20 home runs in 99 games.
Five Years Ago
We traded Josh Donaldson.
It was all a mess. Josh was injured. He hadn’t played since May 28th (and he wouldn’t play until September 11th for Cleveland).
The rush to trade him was hard to understand. I know the front office must have decided they wouldn’t sign him over the winter and likely didn’t want the PR problems of not offering a former MVP a contract. Add in that they wanted to get something back for him (of course, whether we got something back for him is yet to be determined). It was poorly done.
I wonder if there was a good way to do it.
It would have been better to trade him before the season. But the team hoped that he could have a good year, that Tulo could play, that the pitching (led by Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, and Aaron Sanchez) would be the team’s strength, and half a dozen other things would turn outright. Almost nothing good happened.
When Josh finally could play. He was excellent in September’s 16th games (.280/.400/.520 with 3 homers). However, he had a tough time in the playoffs, getting just 1 hit in Cleveland’s three-and-out series against the Astros.
In 2019, he had a terrific year with the Braves. Then he had two decent seasons with the Twins. He played with the Yankees in 2022 and 2023 (until yesterday, when the Yankees released him. He was hitting .142
14 Years Ago
The Jays won a wild game over the Rangers.
Adam Lind had a huge game, going 3 for 5 with 2 home runs, including a grand slam and 8 RBI.
After 5 innings, we were up 11-0, and the game appeared to be over.
We scored 5 runs in the first. The big hit was a Rod Barajas 3-run homer. We scored 1 more in the third, 4 in the fourth (Lind’s grand slam), and 1 more in the fifth.
All seemed good. Brett Cecil had thrown 4 shutout innings. Then came the fifth. Cecil gave up 7 runs.
Why would a manager leave his starter out there to give up 7 runs? Well, because it was the fifth inning, and Cito wanted Cecil to get the win. Brett was tiring. He also took a hard grounder off the thigh that inning, which likely added to his troubles in the inning.
There are old-school managers, and then there are managers who went to the school that burned down before they built the old school. But that’s an aside.
In that fifth inning, Cecil:
- Gave up 3 straight singles to start the inning.
- Then, after a ground out, Ian Kinsler hit a triple, which made it 11-3.
- After a fly-out, 2 more singles (one from Josh Hamilton) set up a 3-run Nelson Cruz home run, and it was suddenly 11-7. Thankfully, that’s where the bleeding stopped.
Then the bullpen got into the game:
- In the sixth, Casey Janssen gave up 2 more runs. Jesse Carlson (a favourite of mine) got the last out of the inning. 11-9.
- Carlson gave up 2 singles in the seventh, coming out of the game with runners on the corners and 1 out.
- Scott Downs followed, and a sac fly made it an 11-10 game. Things weren’t looking good. But Downs shut things down from there.
Then, in the top of the ninth, we scored 7 runs to make it a blowout again.
The inning started with Lind’s second homer, followed by doubles from Kevin Millar and Vernon Wells. Then, after Randy Ruiz and Rod Barajas made outs, the inning went: Walk (Jose Bautista), single (John McDonald), walk (Marco Scutaro), walk (Aarron Hill), and 3-run double (Adam Lind).
The game ended 18-10.
Lind drove in 8 runs (and only had a .126 WPA). Rod Barajas hit 2 homers.
And Brett Cecil got the win, so all’s well that ends well.
|Brett Cecil, W (6-3)||5||9||7||7||0||3||1||5.42||85||0.011|
|Jesse Carlson, H (9)||0.2||3||1||1||0||0||0||4.88||21||-0.129|
|Scott Downs, H (5)||1.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.00||19||0.229|
|Marco Scutaro SS||3||3||1||0||2||1||6||.292||.389||.427||.817||0.038||CS,HBP|
|Aaron Hill 2B||5||3||2||2||1||1||6||.286||.324||.498||.822||0.102||2B|
|Adam Lind LF||5||3||3||8||1||0||6||.303||.365||.554||.919||0.129||2·HR,2B|
|Lyle Overbay 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.271||.384||.473||.857|
|Kevin Millar 1B||5||0||1||0||0||0||5||.229||.308||.376||.684||0.005||2B|
|Travis Snider PR-LF||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||.226||.307||.401||.709||0.000|
|Vernon Wells CF||5||2||2||2||0||1||5||.254||.307||.402||.709||0.049||3B,2B|
|Randy Ruiz DH||2||1||0||0||2||1||5||.288||.382||.508||.891||-0.003||CS,HBP|
|Rod Barajas C||4||2||2||5||0||1||5||.244||.275||.430||.705||0.158||2·HR,SF|
|Jose Bautista RF||4||1||0||0||1||1||5||.225||.354||.313||.667||-0.019|
|John McDonald 3B||5||2||3||1||0||1||5||.273||.284||.379||.662||-0.006|