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.
Awesomeness, as always, from Jon Hale at the Mockingbird, as he suggests a delicious quick fix to raise J.P. Arencibia’s on-base.
Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter implores fans to not invent things to be mad about, and therefore not get carried away with their insistence about the Jays’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position– no matter how much it may feel like a serious, serious problem.
Scott MacArthur tweets the Jays lineup for tonight, and it features Melky Cabrera hitting second, with Jose Bautista moving down to third, and Edwin Encarnacion behind that. Boooooooooooo! (Lawrie still at second base, by the way.)
Hey, and this sounds fun: MacArthur also tweets that the Jays are having a players-only meeting, which… they were kinda sloppy yesterday, so… my view: whatever. Others I’m sure will be certain of a clubhouse in disarray, and it’s not like anybody’s going to thrilled to be here for the next two months playing out the string, the only thing is: so what?
A bunch from Shi Davidi at Sportsnet, as he looked, prior to last night’s disaster, about the crucial upcoming months for Josh Johnson, he reviews how the Jays squandered the best years of Carlos Delgado’s career, and examines the uncomfortable reality the Jays are about to face, as it becomes more and more apparent that their season is toast. He also, for those who missed it on the weekend, quotes R.A. Dickey as agreeing with the impossible-to-argue notion that the club was overrated, and speaks to Melky Cabrera, who says his legs feel better than they have in a long time.
In the National Post, John Lott has one on the original “overrated” comment, which came from Mark Buehrle. Elsewhere in the Post, Lott transcribes Carlos Delgado’s chat with media on Saturday verbatim, while Erika Gilbert digs into the WPA to give a cool graphical representation of which element of the Jays’ roster– the starters, the bullpen, and the rotation– contributed to the club’s winning and losing in the first half of the year.
From the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin writes about Brett Lawrie’s move to second base, which he says may not be final, and in his latest Bullpen post, he talks to Carlos Delgado about leadership, and also writes about the weekend’s invasion of Expos fans. Griff used to work for the Expos, don’tcha know.
And Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail has some, checking in with a game story from last night that calls the loss to the Dodgers “rock bottom” (note: fingers crossed), he muses about lost opportunities, and he talks to hitting coach Chad Mottola about calming Brett Lawrie at the plate.
Elsewhere in the Globe, Tom Maloney steps in it, with a piece about the young, hip, cool new generation of baseball fans, who he happens to represent in the form of a couple of young women who don’t care much for the sport and are only at the ballpark to socialize and watch the hot guys run around. Ugh. In the Walrus, Stacey May Fowles pushes back.
Great stuff from Charlie Caskey of YourVanC’s, who looks at several Canadians players who have started working with weighted balls. #weightedballs.
I missed this last week: Dave Cameron of FanGraphs did his annual top 50 MLB trade value list, and there’s some actual Jays content on it. Brett Lawrie was on the Honourable Mention list, among a group of “infielders who may or may not hit,” which… makes sense, but is pretty depressing considering that a year ago Cameron had him as the 15th most valuable trade chip in all of baseball. Edwin Encarnacion made the list at #45, “primarily because of the Blue Jays decision to lock him up last summer,” while Jose Bautista was still strong at #35. “If the Blue Jays did decide to blow things up and put Bautista on the block, the bidding war would get intense. He still projects as a +4 to +5 WAR player, and even mid market teams could afford his salary.”
This won’t hurt too much, really: Baseball Prospectus gives the low-down on Marlins prospects Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich, and they raise questions, still, about the ex-Jays farmhand and his ability with the bat and to stick in centre. “He offers a ton of value as a .275 type with 20 home runs and 20 steals from a premium position on the diamond,” says a scout, which… that’s certainly valuable, but maybe not something to cry too much into our beers about.
Meanwhile, and lastly, in an Eyewitness Accounts piece at BP last week we got a full report on HELLO KEVIN PILLAR!, who grades out, according to Mark Anderson, as a “second-division regular.” In the conclusion of the piece he writes, “Hit utility is very impressive; knack for getting the barrel to the ball; doesn’t have a ton of power but hits it hard enough to pick up some doubles and avoid the slap hitter tag; offensive profile will be batting-average driven but has natural feel for the craft to make it work; defensive ability is a little surprising with potential to handle center field in a pinch; ability to play center field helps the overall profile; arm and speed are average; speed can play up at times thanks to instincts; heady player; plays the game hard; manager’s dream in terms of effort; fourth outfield floor and could carve out a career as a solid second-division guy.” It’s not Marisnick– who they called a potential “impact talent” in a comment I didn’t cherry pick– but I’ll take that.