Spring Training isn’t maybe in full swing just yet, but it’s pretty close. Many reporters have made the trip to Dunedin already, so it’s time for the annual tradition of every media outlet in town publishing a whole bunch pretty much the exact same story. And a bunch more that’s great, too! Baseball!
Mike Petriello of FanGraphs looks at the Jays’ second base problem, and offers all the solutions we’re aware of that almost certainly aren’t actually going to happen, unfortunately. Grim.
In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin figures that the Orioles have ruined the Jays chances at Ervin Santana by setting the bar too high, and too close to the Matt Garza deal. Hard not to share the concern at this point.
Last week Griffin also penned an excellent tribute to former Jays manager, the late Jim Fregosi.
Regarding Santana, MLBTR looks at the latest on the last remaining big-ish name free agent pitcher, including the fact that several teams are now in on him, apparently. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks at the possibility of the Jays still landing him, while at Getting Blanked, Drew gives his skillset the benefit of the doubt… sort of.
At his North Of Border blog, Gregor Chisholm gives us some early impressions on camp, including the fact that the club really likes Erik Kratz — he’s worked with Dickey in the off-season and apparently the Jays are really looking for a reason to take him north, which sounds like a plan to me — and that J.A. Happ’s spot in the rotation seems pretty well set. Hmmm.
Speaking of Happ, he’s an easy case to spin if you don’t allow anybody to think too much about it, I think: great last spring, got hurt, fixed his arm angle, great in September. Lots of ways to think he could be alright, if you really want to. I dunno though. To that effect: Shi Davidi writes about his adjustments for Sportsnet. Ken Fidlin of the Sun looks at the adjustments as well, while John Lott of the Post talks about his knee (or at least that’s what his piece’s title does).
Jays Journal passes along word via the Houston Chronicle that the Astros are now talking with the Washington Nationals about finding a new spring facility in Florida. They were, of course, involved with the Jays until the deal with Palm Beach Gardens collapsed.
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail goes full on into the silly “Jays needed to be better prepared in Spring Training” narrative.
In the National Post, John Lott tells us about Casey Janssen’s recent proposal — which he did while skydiving.
Dioner Navarro is ready to catch every day, so says he — and the Jays are banking on it. At least, according to Gregor at BlueJays.com, John Lott of the National Post, and Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun.
Fidlin and Lott, and presumably others I’ve failed to save in my RSS reader, tell us about Brandon Morrow’s added weight — muscle weight, that is. Probably in the best shape of his life, if you ask me. Gregor also takes a look at where Morrow is at.
In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor looks at Erik Kratz, who is trying to get comfortable with the knuckleball, as well as the issues the Jays have with players who are out of minor league options, and how good Kyle Drabek reportedly looked in his first session of the spring.
R.A. Dickey has been tabbed to take the ball for the Jays on Opening Day, according to… everyone. No link necessary says the lazy man trying to get a link dump done in time to go see if he can’t find the Canada hockey game on a TV somewhere at a bar in Alabama on a Wednesday afternoon.
Several more from the Sun’s Ken Fidlin, as he tells us that Dickey thinks the Jays will be better this year, gives us nine concerns for the 2014 Jays, looks at pitching depth, and tells us about Ryan Goins and his chances.
Optimism-ish alert! Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter wonders if Edwin Encarnacion may yet have another gear to hit. Crazy.
In another BBB post, Nick looks at how Jose Reyes will not be cheated — he’s going down swinging.
Great stuff from Dirk Hayhurst, titled The Proletariat Is Right, regarding the class action lawsuit filed by former minor league players.
Batter’s Box takes a look at BA’s top 30 Jays prospects list.
Not Jays-related, but back to Drew at Getting Blanked, because he’s great, and a look at — a remembrance for, really — Stephen Strasburg.
Awesomeness from Dunedin, as always, can be found by way of the Flickr page that hosts all of John Lott’s excellent photos.
Lastly, Mop Up Duty looks into fan apathy this winter, which apparently they’re super into.