Today’s Getting Blanked Podcast is one you’ll probably enjoy, as we focussed on umpiring and the epidemic #umpshow  activity throughout the league of late. It’s not up yet, but you’ll find it shortly at Getting Blanked. When it’s ready I’m sure @DrewGROF will tweet it out. It will also be at Getting Blanked on iTunes, you can get it via the RSS feed we have setup, or like Getting Blanked on Facebook in order to get each day’s podcast straight into your news feed (and while you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too).

At ESPN.com, Jerry Crasnick has a lengthy piece up on the Jays’ shortstop situation with Jose Reyes out– including some hefty speculating on guys who might be brought in, which apparently is still a possibility despite Munenori Kawasaki being pretty OK so far (hasn’t walked in a while though!)– and the whole… y’know… less-than-desirable start thing.

“Because of all of the expectations and who we think that we are, it feels like we’re 2-17,” says R.A. Dickey, according to the New York Daily News. “Do I think we’re going to get it? You bet. Is it happening right now? It’s a little bit of a force, but it’s coming.”

Very interesting and Jays-related stuff on the mental aspects of the game from Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com, as he profiles Steve Springer, “both a pro scout and a ‘performance coach’ for the Toronto Blue Jays. His chief responsibility is working with the club’s Minor League position players on the mental side of their approach at the plate, on feeling confident when they take the field.”

Drew tackles what’s ailing the Jays over at Getting Blanked. In part, he astutely points out, “the holes and flaws are magnified, as there isn’t the same sort of hope that Maicer Izturis or Emilio Bonifacio will suddenly turn into good baseball players as there is a completely reasonable expectation that Jose Bautista will be fine at the plate.”

Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, Drew looks at A.J. Burnett and the fears he may not exert a positive influence on young Pirates arms, while Scott Lewis brings the Friday heat with the Getting Blanked GIFs Of The Week. (Parkes should have a Ten Stray Thoughts post up over there at some point too.)

Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail looks at the success Casey Janssen is having, despite a dip in velocity. (The Pitch F/X on FanGraphs has him down two miles per hour from last year– which may be slightly deceptive, given the time of year and the injury he’s coming off, but still…)

In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm talks more about Janssen, while also looking at Brad Lincoln– who may end up being here for a while– and Maicer Izturis, who seems to be staking a claim to second base, despite, y’know, not really being very good.

A couple of gems from gamereax, as we see John Gibbons demonstrating to Brett Lawrie where to throw your hat while arguing with an umpire, and Colby Rasmus busting a move as a little leaguer.

At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi writes about Gibbers’ argument about last night’s bizarre overturned call– and it turns out, like everything with the Jays right now, he couldn’t win.

Hey, so here’s a reason to breath a big ol’ fuckin’ sigh of relief: MLBTR lets us know that Ramon Ortiz has cleared waivers and is back with the Buffalo Bisons.

Barry Davis tweets that Ricky Romero is scheduled to make his first start for Dunedin tomorrow.

Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun does his best to not pinpoint the trouble with the Jays’ offence right now. He gets that home runs alone aren’t getting it done for the club, so does he point to their obvious issues with getting on base? Nope! They need to manufacture runs! Ugh.

Rajai Davis and his wife are having a pennant race baby, says Mark Newman of MLB.com, who spoke to him when visiting the MLB Fan Cave yesterday.

For those of you who care what Harold Reynolds Doug Glanville [Note: wow, I'm THAT guy! Shit!] thinks, he chats for ESPN with Adnan Virk (!) and Alex Cora about what’s been plaguing the Jays so far.

Not Jays-related, but at FanGraphs, Steve Staude has an interesting piece on wRC+ and handedness.

The Blue Jay Hunter debunks the myth of a photo alleging to show Pat Borders kissing Terminator star Linda Hamilton in celebration after the Jays’ 1992 World Series victory. If you’d prefer a less wordy debunking, try this: it was 1992, all women kinda looked like that.

Lastly, Michael M. Beraskow pleads for sanity and patience at Jays Journal, ending on a superb note: “Enjoy the team. Would you prefer less talent with the same old result?”

Comments (58)

  1. so we are starting laffey. can someone explain why we don’t just start cecil? did i miss something or has he been our best bullpen pitcher by far (not including casey)?! he made starts last year, once won 12 games (or was it 15? yes yes, not sustainable but bear with me), and has been fucking awesome in long relief this year!

    seriously, why is laffey a better option?

    • Because Cecil has been great out of the bullpen, is better when he works at max effort– which he can’t do when trying to conserve energy over a long start– and still has some trouble with RHB. Plus it would rule him out for a few days, and they kinda need him back there. Laffey certainly sucks, but I get it.

      • Is is just me, or does it feel like we don’t have anyone in the bullpen that can be effective for more than one inning? I know Loup had that 3 inning save, but I really don’t feel that’s gonna happen again.

      • Also, Cecil was on Blair’s show last week and when asked whether he’d ever want to start again, he said a straight up ‘No’. He prefers the BP role, which is fine. You don’t try and fit a square peg into a round hole.

      • +1.

        At this point, i wouldn’t mess with Cecil.

    • What about Chad Jenkins. He was pretty decent last year. Is he injured?

  2. no link to the kawasaki article on ESPN?

    • Just updated to include it right off the hop, actually. But thanks.

      • I had just read it before coming here. I’m still wondering where Kawasaki is ‘lifting’ the Jays to, as they haven’t really been winning since he showed up. I guess it’s an emotional lift.

        • If you’re relying on a guy with a career OPS+ of 46 to lift you……..

          • Just wait till Jim Negrych gets called up, he will also provide a ‘lift’. Althought maybe not as much seeing as there will likely be less jokes about his ethnicity.

          • Small sample size, though, Rance. Could get on base in Japan, for whatever that’s worth.

            Not saying he’s great– I actually believe the evidence that suggests he’s not– but his MLB career isn’t quite at the point where we can be THAT sure of any of the numbers like that.

            Wish he’d take a walk again– like five in his first six games and none since, or something.

            • he does still see a lot of pitches though. it might be that pitchers have stopped trying to get him to chase so he’s forced to put it in play.totally just a guess though.

  3. ““Enjoy the team. Would you prefer less talent with the same old result?”

    I would like our prospects back….

  4. Kawasaki has been fun to watch at least. More fun than watching Bautista take 2 strikes then swing 3 feet outside or take strike 3 and start bitching. (Not that I believe it has any negative affec on calls or any phantom bst, just not fun to watch over and over.) I’m in the its still early camp…but man they’ve been shitty to watch more often than not lol

  5. Not sure if you were making a subtle “Shannon Stewart/Rajai Davis” joke, but the ESPN link is with Doug Glanville, not Harold Reynolds.

    It’s of note because Glanville has been supporting the Jays since day one, and when team gets on track, he’ll be the one to put all those talking heads in their place.

  6. I know Rasmus is striking out a lot this but I read this article today on Sports Illustrated about how Rick Ankiel has struck out 28 of 34 times this year so far, or 82% of the time

  7. ” If you’d prefer a less wordy debunking, try this: it was 1992, all women kinda looked like that.” – Outstanding!

  8. Fangraphs+ has a Jays piece up by Dave Cameron, (http://www.fangraphs.com/plus/the-blue-jays-offensive-problem/) which challenges the suggestion that it’s their K-rate that’s causing all the offensive trouble, and points to their BABIP, which is .041 below the league-average. Which is to say, he concludes that it’s largely a product of bad luck.

    • babip is not just luck. there are other factors.

      another factor regarding babip..homeruns dont factor in…so since the jays hit quite a few homers relative to their overall hit types, their babip is sure to be lower than teams where that is not the case. it also removes some of the “bad luck” factor as to why their babip is so low.

  9. I was playing Ootp last night and I was given the option of signing a free agent to a contract that would allow him to become a free agent again if he didn`t reach the majors in the first 30 days of the season. I wonder if that`s the case for bush and ortiz.

  10. That Darvish gif is still all kinds of awesome.

  11. Question: Could Kawasaki remain with the team as starting 2nd baseman once Reyes comes back? It’s not like Izturis’ firepower is overwhelming. Thoughts?

  12. Good read here (Insider Olney). Maybe best explanation for Jays’ struggles to date.


    • Thanks for the link but you couldn’t pay me to read an Olney article.

      • It isn’t a buster Olney article. Its an espn insider ONLY article. ..by Dave Cameron. Read two lines in and you can tell its not a Buster article. Way too much actual analysis going on and he actually takes the time to illustrate how the top ten most striking out teams actually post a higher WRC+ than the ten least. Does that sound like something Olney would say?

  13. Stoeten, I posted a similar comment at GB, but I will say it here to you as well, since you highlighted Drew’s comment that there isn’t much hope for Izturis and Bonifacio.

    It’s still April for fuck’s sake. Izturis has an established performance level on both sides of the plate and he is way below it. How is it reasonable to write off hope for him? That’s just as unreasonable as writing off Bautista (which Drew doesn’t do) and the whole season.

    Bonifacio doesn’t have the same track record as Izturis, but the guy did miss most of last season and it shouldn’t be a surprise it could take some time to get all his skills back. I’m not ready to conclude people who should know were talking out of their asses when he was acquired in the package when they said he is a good ball player. The Jays staff have also been saying that he is close to turning a corner. It’s fair to take all that with a grain of salt, but my point about Izturis stands. I don’t even particularly like the signing, but he does have an established level of performance that is a more fair barometer than Drew’s conclusion based on 25 games.

  14. What I like about all of this, is that we got the best team on paper, and have a chance to get the 1st overall pick in the next draft! It’s a win win!

    • Yep. Two words: Indianapolis Colts. Suck for Luck, baby.

      • Except the Colts legitimately sucked 2 seasons ago, and did not have anything close to the best roster on paper. And for what it’s worth, they pretty much sucked last year, only making the playoffs because of a ridiculously easy schedule.

        • Maybe you’re right. I thought I remembered them being decimated by injuries — most notably to Manning — and thus went 2-14 and got the first pick in the following draft.

          Anyway, clearly starting 9-14 is all part of their master plan.

  15. The most disappointing aspect of the Jays hitting woes has to be the approaches some of the guys have. Everyone in the stadium knows that JP is gonna get an off speed pitch 3-2 except for JP who conitues to strike out or pop up weakly. Also Colby Rasmus’ complete lack of a two strike approach. Have a little respect for the guys your are facing Colby. Probably not gonna hit homers 0-2 against a league that knows you cant hit off-speed pitches. It seems odd that a guy (myself) who has only has ever been a baseball spectator has a better idea of what pitchers are trying to do to certain guys than the players themselves do.

    Also the defense has been just porous so far.

    But what do you expect when you have two plus defenders (Reyes and Colby), two average defenders (Melky and Bautista) and the rest…..

    ya Lawrie has great range but he is also insane if you havent noticed and you never know whats gonna happen when the ball is hit to him.


    A Very frustrated Jays fan

  16. One thing is clear is that AA has no idea how to build a team. Same mistakes every year. It’s year 4 and what talent has he actually added to this team? No talent in AAA either.

    • really? I post once a month, if that but I had to reply. I cant tell if you’re for real or not.

    • He might be the kind of guy better suited to building farm systems. No shame in that. But we don’t know shit yet, it’s all yet to be determined.

    • not sure if this is a troll? honestly? look at our pitching rotation. if we didnt have dickey, johnson, buehrle, and happthen you’re looking at the worst rotation in baseball. also how pathetic would this team be without Melky and the eventual return of Jose Reyes?

    • -10. bashing AA for building a playoff calibre team on paper is wrong.

      It seems logical that Reyes & Johnson were the key pieces from the Marlins. One is hurt very badly & Johnson is only missing 1 start so far.

      It’s a contract year for Johnson, so i would hope he would be motivated to do well.

      Bonifacio is less impressive so far.

      • -1000 for such an odd statement:

        “what talent has AA brought into this team so far?”

        What kind of insane expectations do you have? AA brought in the 2011 and 2012* NL batting champions, 2010 NL era leader and 2012 NL cy young winner, along with Santos, Rasmus, Happ, Buehrle, and some other decent bull pen pieces.

  17. “But with them we have one of the worst rotations????? Also snider is hitting better than melky, 2 xbh, cabrera, and costs 7 mil less.”

    Statements like this make me wonder if people actually watch the games or just look at box scores. Is Melky hitting .320 or belting out home runs like JP? Clearly not. Is Melky hitting hard liners to all fields and having some crappy luck with balls going right to fielders? Definitely is.

    One of the worst rotations? Again Stoeten and others have written and said enough of Dickey’s “struggles”. (#dickeythebest) Happ has been better than anyone of us could hope. Buerhle has been as advertised. Johnson has had his best starts wasted. Morrow hasn’t been great, but its 4/5 starts out of 30. My question would then be, how would you envision this rotation being set up better?

  18. Who the fuck do you think you are?! No presents for you!

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