Leading off, as always (or usual), it’s today’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast– which for the duration of the season will be coming at you daily! We’re not double posting this year, but I’ll be sure to include the link in the first Daily Duce or Game Threat that follows the post going up over at Getting Blanked. Otherwise, you can find the podcast at Getting Blanked on iTunes, 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 (if we bother to post it). While you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too.
Drew Sheppard looks at R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball over at FanGraphs, and says he sees a subtle difference in arm speed and more violence in the delivery when comparing the way Dickey throws his 80+ mph knuckler and the slower one he’s primarily relied on this season. “And given his back and neck issues, it appears that he’s less willing to inflict that motion on his body this season,” he says, concluding that the best may still yet be to come.
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan looks at how it has gone so abysmally bad, so quickly for April’s Yankee hero, Vernon Wells.
Great stuff from Drew over at Getting Blanked, as he scouts Munenori Kawasaki (for the home run derby). Muni doesn’t have a whole lotta power, you see…
At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith looks at some of the options available for the Jays when Jose Reyes comes back and somebody– presumably Kawasaki– has to be removed from the roster.
“I could feel it in that first inning. I was just letting it go, and not trying to force my slider to move, just trusting it,” said Josh Johnson following last night’s pitchers’ duel with Jorge De La Rosa, according to John Lott of the National Post. “We’re winning,” he added. “That’s the fun part and the key thing.”
Elsewhere in the Globe, Tom Maloney tells us about Emil Rogers’ baseball career coming full circle, as the former Rockies starter gets set to face his old team tonight– and the starter, Jeff Francis, whose return from the DL last year bumped Esmil from Colorado’s roster. Rogers is, of course, now a reborn starter with the Jays, after spending the last two seasons in relief.
In the Toronto Star, Brendan Kennedy looks at Francis, who starts tonight for just the second time in his country of birth, here 1200 innings, nine seasons, and a number of DL trips into his career.
Kennedy also speaks to Joe Carter, whose advice to the current crop of Blue Jays is to keep on taking things one game at a time.
Elsewhere, Richard Griffin had an excellent, wide-ranging chat with readers at the Toronto Star this afternoon, in which, among other things, he actually brought up the possibility that the Jays could try to make a play for Chase Utley. Welcome back, old pipe dream. It’s been a while. Griff also says he thinks J.P. Arencibia has looked better after doing some work with roving catching instructor Sal Fasano last week. Hmm…
MLBTR passes on a piece from Jon Morosi at Fox Sports, who in a video clip at the top of the post suggests that the Jays are “right on the fence” when it comes to whether to sell or to buy when this year’s non-waiver trade deadline arrives on July 31st. I suppose this next six weeks will make clear what they need to do.
In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Evan Peaslee and Teddy Cahill talk to John Gibbons, who sounds like he’s taking Joe Carter’s advice, and– among other things– look at the slow return to health of top Jays prospects Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna and Daniel Norris.
Lastly, Jays Prospects tells us a thing or two about the four players the Lansing Lugnuts are sending to the Midwest League’s All-Star Game– Christian Lopes, Gustavo Pierre, Dalton Pompey and Wil Browning. Meanwhile, the Blue Jay Hunter gives us the low down on the Lansing experience, having hit up a game at Cooley Law School Stadium.