Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!
Apparently the All-Star Game was last night. Did anything happen? Who won?
Oh! Actually, it looks like Parkes has an I Watched This On Purpose post that covers the game, which says, contrary to his attempts at finger wagging earlier in the week, “in its current format, isn’t suitable for any living thing.”
Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, it’s Jose Bautista in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, because… that’s not creepy at all, is it?
All sorts of Jays stuff from Baseball America lately, as Jim Callis ranks their ten best pitching prospects in an Ask BA column, Nathan Rode writes about the wealth of pitching at Bluefield in the Appalachian League (including Dan Norris), and Clint Longenecker looks at the hitting there as well, which isn’t bad in its own right. Meanwhile, Ben Badler reports that the Jays will be taxed, after exceeding their pool for spending on international free agents, going slightly over the $2.9-million limit in their nabbing of three of the top 20 available talents, including highest rated Franklin Barreto.
John Lott of the National Post talks to the staff in Las Vegas about their fine tuning of prospect Adeiny Hechavarria. “I’ve seen a guy that at one point, everybody thought, ‘Well, we can just hit him late in the order and he’ll be OK,’ to a guy that possibly could be a top-of-the-order-type hitter,” says 51s manager Marty Brown.
“All the deals we had in the off-season would have required a big-league guy being added – a core piece. It was never a pure prospect deal,” says Alex Anthopoulos in Jeff Blair’s latest, trade-focused piece for the Globe and Mail. “This roster isn’t built to tear down; it’s built to add players. That might not have been the case in, say, 2010 or 2011. But it is, now,” he adds.
Via the Globe, Monte Stroman of the Canadian Press talks to Marcus Stroman as he begins his journey towards the Majors tonight with his pro debut for Vancouver.
Also via the Globe, the AP writes about the clusterfuck that is interleague scheduling, and how it’s going to change next year, with reduced rivalry games, but– moronically– still no true balance to the schedule.
FanGraphs is reviewing, in batches, how the season has gone so far for their pre-season top prospects. Five Jays are covered in the numbers 75-51 part of the list, and three of them are tagged as having their value up– Jake Marisnick, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, and Dan Norris. Only Drew Hutchison, thanks to injury, is static in terms of value. Especially since Marc Hulet writes that he has “a concern that the young pitcher is just delaying the inevitable Tommy John surgery.”
Bluebird Banter is doing a similar review of the pre-season prospect rankings they pulled out of their asses.
And elsewhere back at FanGraphs, JP Breen examines the Jays’ quality over quantity draft strategy.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks at the Jays’– perhaps the city’s– beacon of hope: Jose Bautista. He also talks Anthony Gose, with both Tony LaCava and the player himself. Like Adeiny Hechavarria, he’s a guy the Jays want everyone to know *wink* *wink* is going to be a top-of-the-order type bat.
John Sickels of Minor League Ball also talks to Gose, who doesn’t really buy the whole PCL is a joke league thing. “You still have to hit it hard,” he says. “It’s not like a 5-foot-1 guy is going to hit 30 home runs.”
Back at the Post, John Lott also talks about the growing pains experienced by two of the Jays more experienced young prospects, Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire. He also looks at the season as a whole, which has been an exercise in taking two steps forward, one step back.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun notices that excellent Cardinals prospect Oscar Tavares, thanks to having lived in Montreal from the ages of 12 to 16, has a Canadian passport, and sounds willing to suit up in red and white– presumably due to their being a whole lot less WBC squad competition for us than his native Dominican Republic.
Slideshow time at
notorious shithouse Bleacher Report the Toronto Star, as Richard Griffin hands out his mid-season grades for Jays players.
At Miked Up, Wilner says that it’s time for action before the 2012 season is entirely lost.
Mop Up Duty goes deep into the scrap heap to consider some arms the Jays might target as well.
Jays Journal looks at potential trade targets for the Jays– some fanciful, some stone cold sober.
Elsewhere at Jays Journal they talk John Stilson, and the perhaps-undervalued Brad Glenn. They also announce that they’re looking for writers… so go bother them for a change. (Note: I kid! I appreciate everyone who emails me in the hope of being a part of this little corner of the internet. We’re not looking, however.)
Can you tell yet I haven’t done a link dump for a few days?
Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney) ranks the second half schedules for American League “contenders”– and he includes the Jays, whose schedule is the seventh-easiest, but still tops in the AL East (unless you count Baltimore, which we’re still totally not doing). “The Jays may hit the crossroads of their season starting on July 30, when they open a 10-game road trip — and then return home for a series with the Yankees,” he writes.
Bluebird Banter points out that, according to Vegas, the Jays have 35/1 odds of winning the World Series. So you’re saying there’s a chance!
Lastly, it’s a Getting Blanked GIFs of the Week clips show: the super-spectacular best GIFs of the first half!