Thursday links!– a double dose, after I missed yesterday’s link dump, which… I totally shouldn’t do at this time of year. There’s a lot! (Image via Archi’s first installment of Blue Jays Valentine’s Day Cards. Check out batch two, as well.)
Brett Lawrie engaging in meat-headed and unbecoming behaviour on Twitter? Colour me shocked, but apparently it’s true. Vice, of all places, has the details of Young Lawreh’s seven year old basketball grudge, and the eye-rolling way it played out on social media. Not the way I’d want the guy I base ad campaigns for my multi-million-dollar sports franchise to behave online, but what the hell do I know?
“I guess I’m being positive with it for the time being,” says J.A. Happ of his predicament as Buffalo’s top starter, according to Shi Davidi’s latest from Sportsnet. And, you know, with the way Ricky Romero pitched last year, I’m not sure I can entirely blame him. He’s just got to be a bit patient, though. His time will come.
For his part, according to Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com, Romero says that he’s ready to put 2012 behind him.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports visits the Jays’ camp in Dunedin and comes away impressed. “The Blue Jays are deep, talented and professional,” he writes. “They seem unbothered by reporters’ questions about how they will handle the burden of expectations.”
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com also fells that Jays are prepared to be the centre of attention.
Does it seem like spring yet? Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Davidi looks at Josh Johnson through the prism of Felix Hernandez and the monstrous payday that may be awaiting the Jays’ nominal number four starter at the end of the 2013 season. Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun also talks about Johnson.
Elsewhere at North of the Border, Gregor Chisholm transcribes the whole of Wednesday’s media scrum with Buehrle.
Elsewhere still, in a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor writes about the first bullpen session between R.A. Dickey and J.P. Arencibia, as well as a tidbit about Dustin McGowan’s injury.
The CP’s Neil Davidson, again via the Globe, also writes about R.A. Dickey and his gift of glove. (No, not his defence– he gave the catchers in camp bigger gloves, as gifts.) “We have no idea where it’s going,” said Josh Thole of Dickey’s magical… er… floater. “We can give it our best shot and I can guess, like I do half the time. But a lot of times, having the bigger glove helps.”
John Lott of the National Post writes about John Gibbons’ words of caution when it comes to the expectations placed on his club. He also looks at Casey Janssen and Jose Bautista, who aren’t about to rush things as they return from injury. Shi Davidi has something similar at Sportsnet.
Fidlin also talks about the relationship between Brett Lawrie and John Gibbons, who explains of his young star that, “I’m not going to tell him to back off because that’s what got him here.” Wiser words, in my view, come from Jose Bautista, who explains: “there will be times when he is going to have to tame himself, or somebody is going to have to tame him and pull the chain back a little bit. In certain situations, the risk-reward component of the moment, you don’t want to risk an injury on a play that might not warrant it. A foul ball late in the game, we’re losing and there’s no need to be jumping into a camera pit.” He adds, “but those are little things. He’ll learn. Don’t forget, he’s still a young kid and has a long way to go.”
At ESPN.com (Insider Only), Keith Law looks at the biggest impact prospects who should make it to the Majors this year, and while no Jays make the list (sorry, Marcus Stroman), two ex-Jays do, with Travis d’Arnaud checking in way down at 16 (due to health concerns and the fact he might spend extensive time at Triple-A), and Adeiny Hechavarria at 20, who “probably will win the every-day shortstop job, play great defense and hit absolutely nothing all year.”
Richard Griffin has exclusive photos and posts on his Facebook page. Richard Griffin has exclusive photos and posts on his Facebook page. (Sorry, just really wanted to write that more than once.)
Shi Davidi tweeted yesterday that Jays non-roster invitee Jack Murphy is already looking the part of local cult hero. Not likely he’ll make any use of it on the big league roster, though.
Mop Up Duty takes a look at last year’s Spring Training stats, finding that many of the numbers for the guys on this year’s expected 25-man roster were actually somewhat predictive, with only Ricky Romero being a big tease (along with the departed Eric Thames), and only veterans Darren Oliver and Mark Buehrle drastically outproducing their rough springs in the regular season. Y’know, for whatever all that’s worth.
Bluebird Banter points out that Blue Jays have had at least one player make his Major League debut in every season of their history, and the latest point in a season– the latest– that it’s ever happened is May 24th. Uh… there’s a pretty good chance that’s going to change this year, but there are still a few prospects who could possibly debut at some point in 2013, and they have a look at them.
Elsewhere at Bluebird Banter, Mike “Common Man” Bates does a public service, as a Twins fan, and explains to Jays fans the best ways to tolerate new radio and part-time TV analyst Jack Morris. Read it. You’ll need to.
The Blue Jay Hunter wonders if Adam Lind may actually still have something left to offer the Jays. Sure, I say, with a platoon partner he probably does.
In a similar vein, Jays Journal wonders if Moises Sierra could take the place of Adam Lind. Which… um… yeah.
Steal Of Home looks at the consensus top prospects for the Miami Marlins, which includes some familiar names at numbers three, four and seven.
Michael Beller of Sports Illustrated looks at Brett Lawrie and whether he can reach his potential, from a fantasy perspective, which… well… isn’t all that different from the concerns anybody would have about him. “The sum of his advanced numbers makes me willing to buy in again this year,” Beller concludes. “His minor league numbers hinted that he could jump a level in power, something he did two seasons ago. MLB history is filled with guys who lost their footing a bit at age 22, only to rebound with a little more seasoning.”
Jack Moore of FanGraphs looks at Baltimore’s bullpen, and for a host of reasons doesn’t see it’s ridiculous performance continuing in 2013. Pfft. Doesn’t he understand Buck Showalter’s ability to manage his players up???
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Carson Cistulli looks at five notable signings from independent ball that took place over the winter, ranking the Jays’ pick-up of Mike Benacka first! We’re told that he “has posted formidable strikeout and walk rates due to a combination of an excellent changeup and less excellent other pitches, it appears. Posted best regressed pitching in American Association in 2012. Did same thing in Mexican Pacific League this winter.”
Elsewhere still at FanGraphs, Alex Remington looks at Chad Cordero, who tried to make a comeback back, pitching in camp for the Jays in 2011, and is still trying to get back to the level he was once at, back with the Expos and in the first years of the Nationals.
Will Leitch of Sports On Earth looks at the unfortunate end of ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast, and gives a rundown of a few quality alternatives, across several sports– though he surprisingly leaves out the FanGraphs podcast (and much less surprisingly leaves out my personal favourite, the Getting Blanked Podcast– but he makes up for it with much love for our friends and coworkers The Basketball Jones).
At Franchise Mode, Scott Lewis looks at some of the new minor league parks added to MLB 13 The Show, while at Getting Blanked, Drew looks at MLB Advanced Media’s decision to open up their heretofore very private API, and the Vegas oddsmakers’ latest over/under figures f0r 2013, which sets the Jays at 86.5. If I were a gambling man, and I am, I’d say that unfortunately that’s probably a harder call to make than it looks. Those Vegas fuckers know what they’re doing.
Non Jays-related and lastly, also at Getting Blanked, Scott Lewis– in addition to posting the awesome Mr. Burns/Moneyball mashup of the other day– asks the question that should be on all of our minds today: did Trevor Bauer drop a diss track on Miguel Montero?