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.
The Buffalo Bisons have announced that Drew Hutchison’s road back to the Majors has reached the Queen City, as he’s been promoted up from New Hampshire, and will pitch for the club on Friday.
I haven’t managed a post yet digesting all this, largely because there’s no real bombshell in it or anything, but it’s still an interesting read: the transcript of AA’s recent chat with the media via Gregor Chisholm at North Of The Border.
Still no word on the results of the MRI on J.P. Arencibia’s knee, though in a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Josh Libeskind provides a quote from the catcher that suggests he doesn’t think it’s terribly serious. That doesn’t mean Arencibia isn’t about to lose out on some playing time, though, as Josh Thole did some fine work with Josh Johnson this week, though we’re told elsewhere in the post that John Gibbons wouldn’t commit to making Thole Johnson’s personal catcher at this point– and maybe his presence had nothing to do with the success. “I was staying on top of the baseball,” Johnson said. “Once you stay on top of the baseball, you can do a lot of things.”
A pair of gems at Gamereax from Chris Toman, who writes– prior to Tuesday’s gem– that Josh Johnson isn’t nearly this bad, and then yesterday wondered just what the hell we can expect from Melky in 2014.
Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs watched Marcus Stroman recently, and came away rather impressed.
Less impressive is the abrupt removal of Aaron Sanchez from last night’s game for Dunedin, though there’s reason to not be too concerned, as @StivBators noted that in his recent chat Keith Law had noted Sanchez was dealing with a blister, and earlier had tweeted that the trainer was looking at his hand. So… fingers crossed for a blister-related issue.
One more bit of prospecting: Minor League Ball has been reviewing their pre-season top 20 prospects lists for each team, and so here we have the ones for the Mets (ugh), the Marlins (OK), and the Jays (meh).
Heading back to FanGraphs, where Jeff Sullivan looks at Mark Buehrle’s streak of years leading the league’s pitcher in pace, which is in jeopardy this year, thanks to a teammate. His pace (the average time he takes between pitches) is second in baseball, behind that of R.A. Dickey.
At Getting Blanked, Drew looks at one pipe dream that’s off the market in today’s URL Weaver– Chase Utley, who has re-upped with the Phillies. Elsewhere, he looks at the correlation of fWAR and team wins and finds that balance– something that the Jays especially do not have, with four great players, four sinkhole positions, and Adam Lind– is key. Avoid shitty players would seem to be the main takeaway here.
From last week, but worth noting: Matt Gwin is shuttering his excellent blog, House Of The Bluebird, and moving on to a new Jays blog supergroup of sorts, forming a new and improved Blue Jays Plus that will launch September 1st, along with Gideon Turk, Ewan Ross, Chris Sherwin, and Steve McEwen. Should be some interesting stuff coming from those guys, and I bet it’ll be easy as pie to leave a comment on their site, too.
For the sake of completeness, I suppose I should note that the Jays released Michael Schwimer this week, in order to clear a spot on the 40-man f0r J.A. Happ. MLBTR has the details– try to read them over without hearing the Friends theme song in your head. I dare you!
Over at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin talks A-Rod, Dickey, and chats with AA (in the scrum transcribed by Gregor and linked to above) in his latest Bullpen post.
Elsewhere, Griff notes that Melky Cabrera, despite being placed on the 15-day DL late last week, won’t be back until September.
Griff also had an always-interesting chat with readers on Tuesday.
Gregor takes a Griff like turn at BlueJays.com, answering questions from readers in his latest Inbox post.
Lastly, at Fanatico, Parkes absolutely nails it in a lengthy, impressive essay on Cold War hysteria and the subject of PEDs. Read it. And read the piece on the subject from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs, as well, while you’re at it.