Some Spring Training Stats That Matter and Also Some That Don’t

With Spring Training coming to a close it’s time to take a look at what happened in these games and if there is anything meaningful that comes from them and what they might mean for the upcoming season.

A good rule of thumb is Spring stats don’t matter. It’s a month of games and players can get hot, especially when the competition isn’t always Major League calibre. What you want to see are a player’s skills and if those skills have changed. If a player comes into camp throwing harder as we saw with Jordan Romano in 2021, or hitting the ball harder as we saw with Santiago Espinal last year it could be the precursor to a big season.
Note Spring Stats as of March 26th and courtesy of Baseball Savant, unless otherwise specified. 
With that in mind, there is nothing to be taken from Bichette’s .314/.352/.529 Spring line. Baseball-Reference has an Opponent Quality metric to determine as the name says, the quality of the opposing batter or pitcher faced by a player. Bichette is at 7.3 meaning he has faced pitchers on a talent level roughly somewhere between AA and AAA. Bichette should be crushing this type of pitcher.
What is interesting about Bichette is he is hitting the ball hard as he normally does (92.7mph exit velocity), but he is hitting it almost exclusively on the ground. Last season Bichette had a launch angle of 8.5°, while in Spring Tra …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors draft: Nick Smith Jr’s offensive firepower is worth trading up for

Raptors draft: Nick Smith Jr’s offensive firepower is worth trading up for

A hot streak to close the 2022-2023 NBA campaign would see the Toronto Raptors climb into the top of the play-in bracket, with a chance to earn the No. 6 seed and cement their postseason status outright. A few losses strung together, and Toronto could just as easily see their playoff hopes snuffed out completely. […]
Raptors draft: Nick Smith Jr’s offensive firepower is worth trading up for – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Allen Settle / Raptors HQ

The Jays are apparently close to signing Don Mattingly, could be as soon as Wednesday morning

Long-time big league manager Don Mattingly is “very close” to signing with the Toronto Blue Jays

Per Joel Sherman, the 61-year-old legend Mattingly signing with the Jays could be announced as soon as Wednesday morning!

The announcement of Mattingly’s hiring is now expected as early as Wednesday morning.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 30, 2022

News continued to pour in, but Mattingly noted on Jon Heyman and Sherman’s podcast that he’s in talks with a mystery team (the Jays per this NYPost article.) 

Don Mattingly was on The Show podcast @nypostsports with @Joelsherman1 & @JonHeyman today.
Mattingly says there is a team he is talking to that is very interesting to him.
Who is the mystery team that may end up hiring the Yankees legend and ex-Marlins manager?
— Jake Brown (@JakeBrownRadio) November 29, 2022

Let’s look at what the veteran manager could offer.
The 61-year-old spent the last seven seasons managing the eternally rebuilding Miami Marlins, amassing a 443-587 record, which isn’t that bad when you factor in the team considers itself a small market.
Miami only had a winning record once in the seven years, coming in the plague season. However, early in his tenure (when they had good players), they sat around .500. Mattingly also spent five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where they went 446-363 in that span. Overall, he has an 889-950 record for a 48.3 win percentage.
However, the Jays re-sign John Schneider earlier in the off-season, so this begs the question, what role would he fill as a bench coach? As far as my research goes, there are no vacancies for the coaching staff, so I’m not too sure. Prior to becoming a manager, Mattingly’s job was that of a hitting coach.
Now, there are also questions about his leadership style, which is why I don’t see a fit. Unlike Charlie Montoyo and even Jon Schneider, Mattingly has never really allowed his players to be expressive. The most recent example of this came early in the 2022 season, when he sat Miami Marlins star Jazz Chisholm the day after hitting a home run.
As you may know, the Bahamian-born Chisholm is a rather expressive player, which is great for the game. However, Mattingly spent his 14-year career with the New York Yankees, even becoming their captain. So that begs the question if his hardass policies would affect the Jays, who enjoy having fun. Perhaps his policies would take a back seat as a bench coach? Perhaps it’s to help mentor John Schneider as he moves into his first full-season? What will happen to the home run jacket?
So many questions, but first he has to be announced. Expect updates to this article once he officially signs!
As always, y …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The King Of The Multi-Hit Game Is Back

In the immortal words of Peter Drury: “Close your eyes and it’s like he never went away…”
Bo Bichette is back. Well, kind of.
His 222 wRC+ in the month of September is only bested by Aaron Judge’s mark of 286. That said, he’s also had one of his worst defensive months to date, with a -2 OAA and several bad mistakes in the field to go along with that. That isn’t even mentioning how, at the plate, Bichette is a bit of a streaky player. Between September 1st and September 14th, Bichette had a wRC+ of 329. But between September 15th and September 29th, he’s fallen back to Earth with a merely decent 105 wRC+.
However, on the whole, he’s absolutely dominated pitchers in September. Thus far in September, he’s racked up 16 multi-hit games, basically one every second day. Here are his multi-hit games, by month:
April: 5 multi-hit games
May: 11 multi-hit games
June: 8 multi-hit games
July: 6 multi-hit games
August: 8 multi-hit games
September: 16 multi-hit games
While September is clearly his best month thus far, months of 11 or even 8 multi-hit games are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Aaron Judge has been having just about the best hitting season anybody’s seen since Bonds, and his numbers stack up very similarly!
April: 7 multi-hit games
May: 9 multi-hit games
June: 8 multi-hit games
Ju …

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Author: Tate Kispech / Blue Jays Nation