Jays From the Couch brings you a collection of Blue Jays Quick hits to start your day. This time: Trade Deadline, Tickets & Numbers
The Toronto Blue Jays began a series against the New York Yankees on Friday night with a chance to shrink the gap in the AL East, or widen it, one supposes…
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Quick Hit #1
MLB.com‘s Bill Chastain describes the Blue Jays as ‘entering full rebuild’, which I’m not sure I agree with. He expects the unsurprising names of J.A. Happ, Seunghwan Oh and Tyler Clippard to be shopped, but he also says that the club hopes to get Josh Donaldson and Marco Estrada back before the deadline so they can “aggressively shop” them.
None of this will come as a surprise, really, but the truth is that this really isn’t a full on rebuild for Toronto. Even if they try to trade expiring contracts (and we assume there is value in those contracts), it doesn’t necessarily indicative of a rebuild. I was asked about why the club doesn’t just tear everything down since they didn’t go ‘all in’ in the past year or so. Apparently, this means the front office has taken some missteps. But, that just isn’t true.
The truth is that Alex Anthopoulos would have been going through the exact same issue had he stayed. All of his 2015 moves would be coming back to haunt him, in one way, or another. Players age and decline. So, AA would have the exact same problem facing that Ross Atkins (and Mark Shapiro) does. The current front office knew this from the get go, but there was only one real direction for them to go: do the best they can with the roster they were given and work their tails off for its eventual decline. They have brought in pieces they felt would compliment their roster and have done an excellent job building for the future.
The argument can be made that they’ve had a more difficult time than those teams that are ‘going for it’ or ‘rebuilding’. Going completely in one direction, or the other, has a pretty straightforward path. But, to do both at the same time is quite another story.
Quick Hit #2
If you’re thinking about rebuilding, keep in mind what it does to a club at the gates. The Tampa Bay Rays (590,310) and Miami Marlins (438,908) are currently the worst in baseball in attendance. Both teams, one more famously than the other, have entered periods of rebuilding and their fans are not showing up to games. The Marlins are averaging under 10,000 per game. Seriously.
Toronto currently sits middle of the pack (13th) in MLB in overall attendance at 1,301,482. The club is averaging 28,293, which is good for 14th. The fact that attendance isn’t worse is kind of surprising. Considering the terrible month the club had in May (and how they performed at home), one would think this number would be lower. It is a good sign that this struggling team still has fan support in a category that front office’s take notice of. They may ignore Twitter, which is probably good for their health, but they can’t ignore the ticket numbers.
Competing would send this number through the roof, as we’ve seen in the past. It would behoove the club to get back to that as quick as possible. That is not to say they aren’t trying to, or are not going to, do just that.
Quick Hit #3
For the 3rd Quick Hit, I thought I’d present some random 2018 pitching numbers that may, or may not mean a whole lot (except, they kinda do). But, they’re interesting. All numbers from Baseball Reference.
- In wins, the Blue Jays pitching staff has held opponents to a batting average of .198. In losses: .330
- Starters have allowed opponents an average of .259. Relievers: .260
- Batters hitting in the 3rd spot have an average of .290 and an OBP of .370. Number 9 hitters: .277/.344
- Batters who go to a full count on Toronto pitching have an OBP of .471
- The 5th inning has seen the most earned runs allowed (71), indicating starters running into trouble before they should.
Make what you will out of these numbers…
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.