2018-03-30

25 Man Roster Challenge: Over



Apologies off the hop for the late declaration of a champion this year. Your Toronto Blue Jays waited until just a few hours prior to opening day to announce that Tulo can't play baseball until June. At that point we were well into our pregame warmup routine.

 

We also didn't get around to doing an update on the challenge this year and for that we are truly sorry.

This year's challenge was decided shortly after it began with @PATSandJAYS making the only selection of then free agent Jamie Garcia to round out the rotation. Based on that ballsy pick he has been crowned the only outright winner in the history of the 25 Man Roster Challenge. No need to go to the tiebreakers. 

Remarkable.

Congrats are in order for nailing 22 out of the 25 players to break camp with the club. We will be in touch soon to make the arrangements to get the prizes to you.

Thanks again to all that joined in on the fun and we hope to see you again next year as we wait for the coveted perfect ballot to reveal itself.

2018-02-16

And They're Off


















This year's edition of the 25 Man Roster Challenge is a shitshow. No other way to put it. Shout out to our IT/Excel wizard who spent a lot of time putting this challenge into a format that allowed us to compare ballots and makes notes.

Let's get to it!

We received 19 ballots and none of them are identical. (How does that keep happening? Seriously.) The following 16 names appeared on all ballots:

Aaron Sanchez
Marcus Stroman
Marco Estrada
J.A. Happ
Roberto Osuna
Ryan Tepera
Danny Barnes
Aaron Loup
Russ Martin
Justin Smoak
Yangervis Solarte
Josh Donaldson
Steve Pearce
Curtis Granderson
Kevin Pillar
Randal Grichuk

As always if just one of these players can't answer the bell on opening day, things get interesting in a hurry.

Fast Facts:
  • Six players only appeared on one ballot. These names will be bolded. Consider them the long shots.
  • The Carrera Era just might be over. Only five ballots think he heads north with the team.
  • As expected Joe Biagini is the X factor. Ten ballots think he's a starter, four went with RP and five have him in Buffalo.
Many thanks to all that joined us and good luck!

Team Mr. Defending Champion, Sir
16-10
Al Alburquerque
Aledmys Diaz
Devon Travis
Jason Vargas
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Taylor Guerrieri
Teoscar Hernandez
Tim Mayza

The Blue Jay Hunter gets right down to business by selecting three players that only appear on two ballots. No doubt a risky play but the title goes through him.

Team Slaycock
13-20
Al Alburquerque
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Jason Vargas
John Axford
Jorge De La Rosa
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

The 36 soon to be 37 year old LHP De La Rosa transitioned from starter to reliever last year with mixed results. He signed late last year on February 19th so there's still time.

Team Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame
16-16
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Tim Mayza
Troy Tulowitzki

Our boy representing St. Marys, Ontario fires in a CanCon heavy ballot with a unique 8 man pen/4 man rotation set up.

Team @gregorMLB
18-15
Aledmys Diaz
Andrew Cashner
Craig Breslow
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

Another solid submission from the MLB beat reporter for Blue Jays.

The Ant Farm
15-16
Aledmys Diaz
Andrew Cashner
Craig Breslow
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
Taylor Guerrieri
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

Very similar ballot to Gregor, which is a very good place to be.

Waiting On Guerrero
13-16
Aledmys Diaz
Andrew Cashner
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Tim Mayza
Troy Tulowitzki

This ballot contained a short comment with it. Pretty much sums up this challenge perfectly.
There is no way in fuck this is the final roster but this year is a tough one.

Team @Kendodd23
17-14
Al Alburquerque
Aledmys Diaz
Andrew Cashner
Ezequiel Carrera
Gift Ngoepe
Joe Biagini
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Teoscar Hernandez

This was our first ever twitter ballot (thank you 280 characters) and it did not disappoint. Only ballot without Morales on it, which means we have to type Morales 18 times. Cheers.

Team Jimmy Triggs
16-16
Craig Breslow
Devon Travis
Ezequiel Carrera
Jake Petricka
Joe Biagini
Kendrys Morales
Lance Lynn
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

This ballot has two long shots on it. Could be a case of overthinking it. Could be glorious.

@PATSandJAYS
17-13
Al Alburquerque
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Jamie Garcia
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

Another ballot banking on the free agent SP market.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

So right here is where we called it a night. Today changed some stuff and we aren't feeling the whole redo the post thing.





 

And to a lesser extent...

 

Right. Big day. That pretty much makes @PATSandJAYS the pace horse in this race. He is the only participant that has a shot at a perfect ballot, health permitting.

Back to the roll out. The last 10 are Biagini as an SP heavy. Which isn't the kiss of death by any means as he is still in play in the bullpen. Gibby wins this arm wrestling match with Shatkins every time.

Team mlbdepthcharts
18-15
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Ezequiel Carrera
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Troy Tulowitzki

Former roster challenge champion runs a mega site dedicated to tracking team rosters. He's a true ringer folks.

Team Last Row 500's
13-18-1
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Danny Jansen
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
Kendrys Morales
Matt Dermody
Tim Mayza
Troy Tulowitzki

Love the Danny Jansen pick. Zero chance he makes the squad but we like the thought of him making the squad.

Team Jay Ballz
15-16
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Ezequiel Carrera
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Troy Tulowitzki

Our boy Jay Ballz lays down the 5 man OF. He is a NL fan after all. Go Phillies! Boo.

The Human Rain Delay
12-18
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Craig Breslow
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Troy Tulowitzki

Team Jays Are My 2nd Favourite Team
14-17
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Tim Mayza
Troy Tulowitzki

Three lefties in the pen? That's a luxury generally reserved for good teams gentlemen.

Team okokbluejays
18-15
Al Alburquerque
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

Curtis Granderson's Slammies
15-16
Al Alburquerque
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Ezequiel Carrera
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

Team Jeff Lewis
15-15
Al Alburquerque
Aledmys Diaz
Craig Breslow
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Troy Tulowitzki

These three ballots are pretty darn close to being identical.

Team I Like Nuts
16-14-1
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Tim Mayza
Troy Tulowitzki

Good luck honey!

Team @1BJW
18-15
Aledmys Diaz
Carlos Ramirez
Devon Travis
Joe Biagini
John Axford
Kendrys Morales
Luke Maile
Matt Dermody
Troy Tulowitzki

Probably shouldn't have helped Team I Like Nuts with her ballot.

2018-02-11

Stevis Panderson




Gibby has experience running an OF platoon; he’s done it magnificently once and another time, well, not so much.

Let's examine the latest version handed down to the skipper by the braintrust.

Curtis Granderson carrer vs RHP: .263/.355/.499 .236 ISO .298 BABIP 110 OPS+

Steve Pearce career vs LHP: .262/.345/.492 .230 ISO .281 BABIP 116 OPS+

Looks good so far, but let's take a look under the hood.

There are a few issues with this tandem that we can see. The first is age and, with that, you've gotta discuss injury risk. Playing on the carpet while rolling the dice on some vets in the OF seems risky; next, the fact that Steve Pearce was shit against lefties last year. 

Pearce vs LHP in 49 games in 2017: 99PA 5HR 9R 8RBI 7BB .230 ISO .217 BABIP 92 OPS+

He came here with a lefty masher reputation but we didn't see that from him last year. That said, he fared pretty okay against right-handed pitching:


Pearce vs RHP in 81 Games: 249PA 8HR 29R 29RBI 20BB .168 ISO .303 BABIP 103 OPS+


Grandyman vs RHP in 135 games in 2017: 410PA 21HR 59R 50RBI 60BB .255 ISO .227 BABIP 108 OPS+


For the strong side of a platoon, this isn't terrible. 
If Gibby were to run a strict platoon and we smash all that up from 2017, it looks a little something like this for 2018:

185 Games 509PA 26HR 68R 58RBI 67BB .240-.245 ISO .222 BABIP 100 ish OPS+

That’s some production right there, as Buck would say. No idea on the rate stats but we can tell you that it ain’t gonna be pretty. Who cares about batting average, right?

Buck, that’s who.

Pulling out the crystal ball, we think that Pearce will get the majority of starts. Grandyman can come in for defensive replacement or to face a tough righty in a big spot.

If Grandyman does get the majority of starts vs RHP and gets pinch hit for by Pierce against a LOOGY, then hopefully Diaz or Solarte can play a passable LF for an inning or two.

2018-02-08

Less Than One Week To Go



The 25 Man Roster Challenge is almost here! Which means baseball is almost here!

We sincerely hope you can join us. If you need to brush up on the rules of the game click here.

We’ve gone ahead and collected some links this offseason that might assist you in making those difficult last few player selections bullpen selections.

Early news from last year. Some players on the list have moved on. Good stuff on options etc. click here


 


 

Just basically follow the @BlueJaysPR twitter account which has not enough followers compared to In The Wilnerness.

We aren't sure if the recent MILB deal with Jake Petricka moved the excitement needle to fresh underwater needed or not but there is still a lot of quality talent out there. We wouldn't blame you, in fact we would encourage you, to use all the time allotted prior to the deadline. If you do choose to submit a ballot please ensure it has a team name, 25 player names and a tiebreaker.

2018-01-21

The 25 Man Roster Challenge Is Back Once Again


 

Are you carrying around a scratch pad of paper with crossed out player names in your wallet? Are you pondering what the Blue Jays opening day lineup will look like while you wait in traffic for a light to change? Do you tune out your significant other while you internally debate the merits of an 8-man bullpen?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then we implore you to join us for the 9th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge.

It’s a super simple game that has but one requirement: Name the 25 baseball players within the Blue Jays organization who will crack the opening day roster.

Sounds simple right?

Well, it isn’t. No one has ever gone 25-for-25 in all the years we’ve been running this challenge, and we would get the warm fuzzies all over if that streak was broken this time around.

If you decide to play, there are 3 ways to submit your ballot:

1) Send us an email: 1bluejaysway(at)gmail.com
2) Make a post on your blog, if you have one, and send us a link.
3) Add your ballot to the comments section of this post or the reminders we post later.

In the event of a tie—and it's pretty much a given at this point that there will be a tie—we ask that you also give us a prediction of what you think the spring training record will be. From what we can see, it appears as though the boys of summer will attempt to play 33 spring training games this year. That total includes the 2 exhibition games against the Cardinals at the Big O but not the split-squad game against the Canadian Junior National Team on March 17.

Try not to forget that sometimes it rains in Florida and the games don't generally get made up if they are cancelled. There is also a chance that if a game goes to extra innings and one team runs out of pitchers, both teams agree the game ends in a tie. 

It is not a requirement that you select a tie breaker, all ballots containing 25 names will be considered valid, but it is a really good idea that you do include one. Over the years we have had numerous stupid close finishes and we actually had to break it right down to winning percentage.

Some Things To Consider:

What’s this we see? Legit position player battles? Serviceable depth in the event injuries happen whilst playing a professional sport on FUCKING CONCRETE? What a concept. We’re all for running out the best 9 dudes on the roster every damn day until they drop dead or are exposed as frauds but, gosh, a real MLB bench is a unicorn up here in Baseball North headquarters. This could make the roster challenge a tad bit dicey once you really get down to the last four or five names on your ballot.

Your Toronto Blue Jays currently have a few players who are out of options on the 40-man roster and would therefore have to make the team or be sent through waivers before they could be demoted to the Minor Leagues. A few of these players are not in jeopardy at all, but there will be some spring training battles to keep your eyes on here for sure. We have not yet been able to confirm a complete list and will update this post when possible.

  • OF Ezequiel Carrera
  • 1B Justin Smoak
  • MVP Donaldson

Zeke’s days of blindly chucking baseballs around the stadium may have just mercifully come an end. Not sure the tall foreheads on the executive board over at Rogers will be pleased with eating the two million-ish bucks on his contract he just re-upped but he has no value on a major league roster.


 

Perusing the current 40-man roster, one name jumps out right away as the early money favorite to be the X factor in this edition of the roster challenge. An argument can be made that the very quirky and very loveable Joseph Carlo Biagini should be in the back end of the MLB starting rotation OR a swing man out of the pen OR a high leverage set-up type guy in the pen OR optioned to Buffalo to lead their team’s prospect-loaded pitching staff and be the first line of defense when Marco has more trouble going to sleepy. We think he could handle any one of those roles—some better than others, no doubt—but for the purposes of this exercise it doesn’t matter. Who wins what job is irrelevant, but it really should be taken into consideration when constructing your ballot.

At the end of the day, all you have to do to be the champion is pick the right 25 names.


Prizes:

This year we have a great selection of coveted prizes for the winner to keep. Last year’s champion declined to accept the loot, so we’ve just rolled it back one more time.






It’s quite a haul and more reflective of the fact that we process way too much Jays crap from the past. The foam J is the one you saw during the playoffs in 2015.


A quick note from last year’s champion who will be defending his title to the death, the one, the only, The Blue Jay Hunter:


As the defending champion of 1 Blue Jays Way's 25 Man Roster Challenge, I implore you to participate in this contest. Winning this title was no accident. I spent dozens and dozens of seconds analyzing the upside of each potential roster candidate and meticulously weighed each individual option. It's a fun exercise to see who can construct the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster, which is much more difficult than you'd think.

Injuries, signings and Spring Training oddities often throw ballots completely out the window two or three weeks into the contest. Frankly, there isn't much to argue about other than who the 24th and 25th men on the roster are going to be, anyway. Let the agonizing about the viability of Ezequiel Carrera and Matt Dermody begin!

The deadline to enter your ballots will be Tuesday, February 13 at midnight. Hope you can join us and play.

Please try to remember that all ballots should include a team name, 25 player names and a tiebreaker.