Tagged: Happ

The 6-Man

There has been so much chatter about the 6-man rotation that the Blue Jays have recently adopted. Jays Front Office succumbed to pressure from somewhere (the players, the media, the fans) and settled on this solution as a means to keep young star starter Aaron Sanchez in the rotation for the time being.

There is the usual division of lovers and haters. The reality is, the extra day of rest probably affects some, not others. Clearly, all pitchers have pitched on 5 days rest before. There are days off built in to all schedules. Estrada for example also spent some time on the DL which meant 15+ days of rest.

People talk about players being creatures of habit and that pitchers have a very tight and strict 5-day routine. Messing this up, could mess them up. Others say that at this time of year, guys are tired and sore if not injured and probably could use some extra rest.

How’s it going for the Jays so far? Well, new guy Francisco Liriano 1st pitched on Aug 5th.

ERA Before Aug 5

Happ 3.09
Sanchez 2.71
Estrada 2.92
Stroman 4.74
Dickey 4.49
Liriano 5.46 (with the Pirates)

ERA After Aug 5

Happ 2.70
Sanchez 4.15
Estrada 7.00
Stroman 3.18
Dickey 4.82
Liriano 5.40

There have only been 2 games each since the change so it’s a very limited sample. It does look like Sanchez may be affected, and to a greater degree, Marco Estrada. Marco has said that he’s felt ‘rusty’. He has even volunteered to pitch out of the bullpen this weekend between starts.

I guess if you think about it, Estrada is probably the one most susceptible to too much rest. He has only an 89mph fastball and is a very fine pitcher. If he gets extra rest, perhaps he has too much power and that throws him off? But then again, what about the back problem and shouldn’t rest be good for that?

Like with most things, there is probably no one right answer, and the 6-man could be good for some and bad for others. Liriano had a great start today. He will likely replace Dickey in the rotation for next year. But what will happen later this season? I think the Jays will really want to have Sanchez in the playoff run (and playoffs hopefully). If he shows signs of wear, he’ll go to the bullpen right away and likely be a great addition there. If Liriano goes to the bullpen instead, he’ll probably be pretty good there too. Like they love to say, it’ll be ‘day-to-day’.

 

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Tulo Tease

Tulowitz had a $20M a year game last night. Was it a tease or was it a turnaround? Only time will tell.

J. A. Happ almost pitched a complete game going 8 2/3! That means he got 20/21 outs and then got yanked.

The Jays win the series against the Giants. Can they make it a sweep?

Easy Peavy

Ok, is it just me or does Jake Peavy, losing San Francisco pitcher from Monday night, look like he just fell off the back of a pickup truck?

Well, thanks to him, the Toronto Blue Jays won and are now back at .500. It’s been so frustrating watching their struggles with hitting and with bullpen pitching, but it’s hard to believe that they’re actually managing to stay at .500 even though for the most part they’re playing like crap. It’s because at the beginning of last season, they didn’t have solid starting pitching like they do this year.

The Jays are hoping to pick up another win against a mediocre pitcher tonight against Matt Cain who has an ERA over 7. J. A. Happ on the other hand has an ERA less than 3.

Always weird to see the pitcher’s name in the lineup.

 

Kevin Pillar hates leadoff

Kevin Pillar has demonstrated that he is not a leadoff man and is much happier down in the bottom 3rd of the order. Who would have predicted that moving Kevin Pillar from the leadoff position to batting 8th would set him on such a roll? He went 3 for 3 on Monday and 3 for 4 on Sunday after the batting order switch. Michael Saunders who took over the leadoff spot went 1 for 4 plus a walk on Monday and 1 for 5 on Sunday. Saunders had been hitting .281 vs. Pillar’s .205. After the switch, now Saunders is hitting .268 vs. Pillar’s .273. Interesting.

My Questions

Why is it that despite both guys saying they don’t change their approach depending on the position, does it seem that Pillar is much more comfortable down in the number 8 spot? Is it pressure? Do the pitchers pitch differently to them? More fastballs to those lower in the order? Do we also lose the benefit of stolen bases? Pillar stole 25 in 2015. Saunders stole 21 in 2012. I’ll have to look into this further.

Video Highlights (this announcer has some major issues pronouncing people’s names)

The Blue Jays’ starting pitching continued to shine with J. A. Happ giving up only 1 run in 7 innings, now with an ERA of 1.89. Another glimmer of hope. Cecil didn’t allow any runs and his ERA is now down to 4.76.

What I loved…

I loved seeing Encarnacion move. In the 4th, he showed his agility snaring a barely fair drive down the 1st base line.

The Jays are now back to a .500 record and back to 2nd place in the Division.

Not your average bandwagoner…

Ok, remember how I said I bought the MLB.tv subscription? I was able to watch much of this game live while I was at work even though it was at 1030 in the morning!