The post-race hangover fog is finally lifting, and I can’t let these build up any longer, so let’s get through a couple days worth of links!
According to an official release, the Jays have got themselves a replacement for David Cooper not named Andy LaRoche– though, similarly a one-time hot prospect– Lars Anderson. Sure… why not?
Gregor Chisholm mentions the Anderson waiver claim in a notebook post at BlueJays.com wherein he also tells us about the spring debuts of R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson, and players union head Michael Weiner showing up at camp, noting that Melky Cabrera will be subjected to additional testing this season, and suggesting that the changes to MLB’s revenue sharing system are the real reason for Rogers’ sudden interest in spending.
Another piece from Gregor talks about the two rather different welcomes given John Farrell and Brian Butterfield this afternoon. “ Toronto’s former third-base coach who joined Farrell in Boston was greeted warmly by his former colleagues, as multiple players came up to shake hands and share a few laughs,” while Farrell faced more questioning from reporters about his acrimonious exit from town. A separate piece focuses solely on Butterfield, who loved his time in Toronto, but who needed to make a choice this winter when the Jays were searching for a manager and couldn’t guarantee any coaches a spot on the reworked staff.
Another Gregor piece still looks at the evolution of Brandon Morrow, who felt good after Saturday’s start, though it didn’t look so hot on paper, and another piece looks at possible second baseman Maicer Izturis. And yet another notebook post looks at the very pleased Michael Schwimer, Mark Buehrle and Jose Bautista– who clubbed his first home run of the spring, with no ill effects on his wrist, on Sunday.
Speaking of Schwimer, Shi Davidi tweets that the Phillies told their now-former pitcher that a handful of teams were interested in him, and that he was happy it was the Jays who got the deal done.
Davidi also writes at Sportsnet about Michael Weiner’s visit, and the suggestion that Melky Cabrera could still be suspended for past actions, if evidence comes to light– something Alex Anthopoulos said earlier in the month he wasn’t worried about.
Plenty more from Davidi, who writes that about Marcus Stroman, the cool reception given to John Farrell, the awkward situation J.A. Happ is in, and John Gibbons, who is, of course, re-embarking on his career as a big league manager.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun looks at hotshot Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon, who grew up in Texas, but who has Canadian citizenship, and a pair of Canadian parents. He’ll start for the red and white during the upcoming WBC, likely against Team USA, Elliott says.
Elliott also writes about the WBC weirdness surrounding another Pirate: Jussell Martin, who appears to have taken his shortstop’s glove and gone home from Team Canada. In a second piece, Elliott writes that Martin is “dead wrong” about his decision, and talks to members of Team Canada who say Martin’s decision not to play is a big deal.
Elsewhere in the Sun, Ken Fidlin writes about the Jays coaches, who are getting used to each other as much as the club’s players are, and Sergio Santos, who feels great, finally. He also writes about Josh Johnson’s arm, which is feeling great after his first outing of the spring– though he was sitting at 93, not the 96-98 he was once used to– and a safe-as-possible plate-blocking technique for catchers devised by Sal Fasano that’s catching on throughout the minors.
I still don’t think it’s quite right to shit on John Farrell about honour and breaking his word, as Steve Simmons does in another Toronto Sun piece, because the fact of the matter is, the Jays let him go to Boston, and didn’t have to– much like how they kept him from bolting for there after his first season here. But I can’t disagree with Simmons’ scoffing about Farrell’s dismissive comment yesterday that, “I think, if memory serves me correct, I was traded.” I mean… come on.
John Lott of the National Post writes that Mark Schwimer likes the vibe of his new clubhouse, which is quite different from the regimented, dare I say Halladay-run, clubhouse in Philadelphia. Lott also looks at R.A. Dickey’s kindred spirit, Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright, who finally got around to reading the dictionary. Turns out the zebra did it.
The Toronto Star prints a piece from Marc Carig of Newsday, who looks at the good start Travis d’Arnaud is off to in Mets camp.
Elsewhere, it’s another excellent, lengthy Bullpen post from Richard Griffin, who talks about Marcus Stroman, John Gibbons’ laid back style, Jeffrey Loria’s ridiculous open letter to Marlins fans, and more on Jussell Martin.
Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the National Post, writes about the musical selections in the Jays clubhouse.
Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune talks to Justin Morneau, who walks back last week’s comment about playing for the Jays a little bit.
Bunch of Jeff Blair items in the Globe and Mail, as he talks about the hard feelings starting in the AL East, with the breaking of Curtis Granderson’s arm (and the subsequent hitting of Brett Lawrie), and the return of new villain John Farrell. He looks at R.A. Dickey, who made his spring debut today, as well as the “instant connection” forged between Dickey and John Gibbons.
Remember prospects? Last year this probably would have warranted its own post. Now, not so much. But still, Baseball Prospectus has its top 101 prospects list up, and it features two Jays: Aaron Sanchez at 32 (four spots behind Noah Syndergaard), and Sean Nolin at 97.
Elsewhere at BP, R.J. Anderson looks at the changes Aaron Hill has made to his swing since joining Arizona– which the Diamondbacks believed in enough to sign him to a lengthy extension. The Jays really couldn’t have figured this out?
Scott Johnson of Franchise Mode looks at the overall team ratings in MLB ’13; The Show, which have the Jays as the fifth-best team in baseball, with the sixth-best offence and the seventh-best pitching. Their defence ranks just 26th, though.
Jonah Keri of Grantland takes a excellent look at the Yankees, their lack of depth, and how they could be a completely different team after free agent exits slated for after this season. Try not to get too giddy when reading this one.
Elsewhere at the Tao, the Org Guy writes about organizational depth, which… heh. I see what he did there.
The Blue Jay Hunter wonders if Jose Bautista’s violent swing, and wrist-y follow-through, may have something to do with the wrist injury he sustained last season.
Extra Base Hit looks at some of the many ex-Jays around the league, and how they looked in their new uniforms on Photo Day.
Kyle Matte of Jays Journal looks at Esmil Rogers’ slider, which he suggests has been the key to his evolution.
House Of The Bluebird takes a side-by-side look at a couple of great Jays over-the-shoulder catches: Devon White’s famous World Series one and the one made by Anthony Gose on Sunday.
Blake Murphy of Bluebird Banter looks at what to do with Adam Lind.
At Getting Blanked, Drew looks at Vernon Wells’ claim that he wants to retire at the end of his current contract. Yeah… I don’t doubt it, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be up to him.
Lastly, a programming note: I’m off to Dunedin early tomorrow– largely just to check out the scene, take some photographs to use on the blog (though that might not be entirely necessary, as it seems as though Getty Images has actually sent a photographer to Jays’ camp this year, thank you very much Al Messerschmidt– so feel free to say hi if you see me at the park.