Tag: Josh Thole

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Blue Jays pick up option on Josh Thole; decline on Justin Smoak, Brandon Morrow, Dustin McGowan


It’s all Blue Jays, all the time at HardballTalk today.

The Blue Jays announced this afternoon that they have exercised their $1.75 million club option on Josh Thole for 2015 while declining options on Justin Smoak ($3.65 million), Brandon Morrow ($10 million), and Dustin McGowan ($4 million).

Smoak is the most noteworthy one in this bunch, as he was just claimed off waivers from the Mariners earlier this week. While the Blue Jays declined his option, he is still under team control for one more season and will now go through the arbitration process. He’s expected to fill the role of Adam Lind, who was traded to the Brewers today.

Morrow will receive a $1 million buyout and become a free agent. The 30-year-old has great potential, but injuries have limited him to just 87 2/3 innings over the past two seasons. McGowan has had health issues of his own in recent years, but he managed to throw 82 innings this season between the rotation and the bullpen — his most innings since 2008 – while posting a 4.17 ERA and 61/33 K/BB ratio. However, the Blue Jays opted to cut ties with a $500,000 buyout.

Thole owns an ugly .213/.289/.261 batting line over two seasons with the Blue Jays, but he’ll stick around as R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher.

Scoring change shaves 16 points off of Felix Hernandez’s ERA

Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays

A scoring change with Cy Young implications has just been made. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the scoring of a fifth-inning bunt by Josh Thole has been changed from a single to an error charged to Hernandez. As a result, Hernandez has been charged with four earned runs instead of eight, lowering his ERA from 2.34 to 2.18.

Hernandez will make his final start of the season on Sunday against the Angels, his final opportunity to pad his Cy Young candidacy. Along with the now-2.18 ERA, Hernandez heads into the start with a 14-6 record and a 241/46 K/BB ratio. Corey Kluber, his stiffest competition for the hardware, won his league-leading 18th game on Friday night and owns a 2.44 ERA with 269 strikeouts (which also leads the league). Both versions of WAR, at Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, give Kluber the edge over King Felix as well.

Munenori Kawasaki and his .288 career slugging percentage are batting fifth for the Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays' Kawasaki celebrates his RBI single against Baltimore Orioles during their MLB game in Toronto

There are a lot of ways in which I could describe how bad the Blue Jays’ lineup is for tonight’s game, but here’s the easiest one: Munenori Kawasaki, a light-hitting utility infielder with one home run and a .288 slugging percentage in 234 career games, is batting fifth.

Toronto’s lineup starts out really well: Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind. That’s a helluva first four hitters.

Then comes Kawasaki batting fifth, followed by Dalton Pompey, Anthony Gose, Josh Thole, Ryan Goins.

Oh, and here’s the kicker: They’re facing Felix Hernandez. Good luck, boys!

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Alex Cobb

Rays 3, Cardinals 0: Alex Cobb tossed seven shutout innings and ten strikeouts. He also drove in a run with his first major league hit — a double. That makes it seven in a row for the Rays who just keep on keeping on. They’re now seven back in the East and four and a half back in the wild card.

Braves 6, Marlins 1: It was 5-0 after two innings and not much was left to be decided. Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer. This after going an (estimated) 0 for 4,408 against the Marlins this season.

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4: The Red Sox went up 3-0 right out of the gate but Jose Bautista and Josh Thole hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the inning to tie it up. Bautista later smacked a leadoff homer in the seventh. R.A. Dickey limited the damage after the first, allowing four runs and nine hits in six.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 1: Pittsburgh batted around in the first inning, plating four against Dan Haren and were never threatened after that as Francisco Lirano posted his best start of the season. The Pirates have won five of six.

Tigers 11, Diamondbacks 5: The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead, the Diamondbacks made it 7-5 but Detroit pulled away. Austin Jackson hit a three-run double fourth inning and Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Alex Avila added three RBI.

Mets 3, Mariners 2: Bartolo Colon had a perfect game going into the seventh and ended up allowing two runs on three hits in seven and a third. Colon is now 13-1 all time in Safeco Field.

Rockies 6, Nationals 4: Colorado snaps a seven game losing streak and the Nats fall back to one game ahead of the Braves. Jorge De La Rosa struck out 11. All of the Rockies — including manager Walt Weiss — decided to wear high socks for this one. Which was clearly the difference-maker.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Mike Moustakas was dead to rights when he tried to score from second on a single in the ninth inning. Adam Eaton’s throw had him beat. But even though everyone obeyed the home plate collision rules — Moustakas slid and catcher Tyler Flowers attempted to apply a tag — the ball still popped loose to give the Royals what proved to be the winning run.

Brewers 5, Reds 1: Someone throw the Reds a parachute. Mark Reynolds homered twice and Milwaukee handed Cincinnati their sixth straight loss. The Reds were one and a half games behind Milwaukee at the break. Now they’re five and a half back and have scored just 12 runs in those six losses.

Twins 3, Indians 1: Anthony Swarzak and five relief pitchers shut down the Indians. Swarzak is actually a relief pitcher these days too, actually, so let’s call this a bullpen game.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:10pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Padres 8, Cubs 3: Ian Kennedy walked five guys in six innings but got out of jams — the pros call it “making pitches” — and survived for the win. The biggest jam he escaped came in the fifth when the Cubs loaded the bases. Kennedy bore down, however, striking out Anthony Rizzo and getting Starlin Castro to ground out to end the threat.

Athletics 9, Astros 7: Two homers and five RBI for Yoenis Cespedes, but it wasn’t all good news: Cespedes sprained his thumb on an awkward swing in the fifth inning. Also bad: Jim Johnson melted down in the eighth, allowing four runs on four hits without retiring a batter. The A’s would like to deal him. His pitching suggests that he is just happy as can be to stay in Oakland. Or, perhaps, wherever it is he makes his home when he’s not playing.

Angels 3, Orioles 2: Baltimore had a 2-1 lead entering the eighth, but an Erik Aybar double tied it up and a two-out bases-loaded walk to Kole Calhoun put the Angels ahead to stay. One of the runners on base when it happened was put there intentionally, so let’s call it an E-Manager.

Yankees 2, Rangers 1: The Yankees have won five of six. This was a weird one. Shortened due to rain, but more so due to the wet field after the rain delay was over. The reason the field was so wet: the Yankees grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field in a timely fashion when the rain first started, turning the infield into mud. If the Boss Were Still Alive he would have … wait, that gave the Yankees the win, so I guess he would’ve been OK with it.

Giants 3, Phillies 1: It was 0-0 entering the ninth but then Hunter Pence cleared the bases with a double to give the Giants all of their runs. Madison Bumgarner threw eight shutout innings. The Giants have now won six of seven and have a two-game lead on the Dodgers.