Yes, let’s go to my house. Take naps. Where’s my food?
Before we get to what’s interesting out there, let’s get to what you surely already know: the Jays made some roster moves over the weekend, optioning Munenori Kawasaki back to Buffalo to make room for the return of Jose Reyes, and bringing up Juan Francisco to add some thump (and strikeouts) to the lineup as Adam Lind and his wonky back move to the DL. Gregor Chisholm has the details on these moves, plus Casey Janssen’s latest setback, which will keep him out another two weeks, over at BlueJays.com.
Oh, and Jeremy Jeffress elected free agency rather than being assigned to Buffalo, and ended up coming to a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. MLB Daily Dish has the details (because MLBTR isn’t working for me right now, for some reason).
Outstanding stuff from Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, as he talks to each of the Jays’ hitters about how they prepare for a plate appearance. Read it.
“Remember when Stroman struggled badly this spring and everyone worried about whether a short pitcher would be able to generate enough downward plane to miss bats?” asked Jeff Moore of Baseball Prospectus in a piece last week. “Well, he’s still short. When Stroman keeps the ball down, he’s lights out, thanks to a plus change-up. He can get hurt when he misses up, but who doesn’t?”
Interesting test for Stroman tonight, tweets Ben Wagner, as he faces Red Sox prospect Brandon Workman, and a pair of rehabbing big leaguers in Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino.
More prospect stuff, and Stroman stuff, in particular, from Charlie Caskey at Your Van C’s. And also there’s some great “public sector scouting” stuff on his latest at Blue Jays Plus. Plus, David Laurila of FanGraphs talks to Mitch Nay about his grandfather’s influence.
And one more prospect thing: MLB.com looks briefly at Dan Norris’s scoreless inning streak, as well as his impressive 0.60 ERA so far. A move up to Double-A can’t be long now.
Elsewhere at MLB.com, Anthony Castrovince looks at the trouble R.A. Dickey has had so far, as he tries not only to get his knuckleball right, but to figure out how to combat the more patient approach that opposing hitters have taken with him so far this year.
Another piece on Dickey comes from Chris Toman at Gamereax, who suggests that it’s a command issue that’s plagued the Jays’ nominal ace this season — Dickey, he notes, leads the American League in walks issued with 15.
Jonah Keri’s weekly power rankings piece for Grantland, The 30, finally looks at the Jays, and the inconsistent-yet-supremely-talented pitchers they’re going to rely heavily on if they’re going to do anything this season — particularly Brandon Morrow. Unfortunately, to get to that part of the article you have to see that much higher up in the rankings are the Oakland A’s, who are getting it done behind out-of-nowhere ace Jesse Chavez, who pitched nine times for the Jays, and 19 times for Las Vegas back in 2012. Ugh.
Back to Gregor Chisholm, who offered some excellent stray thoughts following the Jays’ loss in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader. You can find them at North Of The Border.
Mop Up Duty looks at Jose Bautista’s awesome, ultra-disciplined approach.
Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun that, since joining the Jays, Sergio Santos has yet to make it past the April 22nd mark of a season while healthy — a trend he’s closing in on putting a stop to. Next year maybe he can make it past April 22nd healthy and with having an outing in which he walked all three batters he faced with runners on second and third with a goddamn two run lead. Ugh.
Elsewhere at the Sun, Todd Redmond says he is no fan of a prototype of padded hats for pitchers to wear, which has been in the news of late. Thing is, who cares what the people wearing these things think? No, seriously.
Hey and one more: Steve Simmons wrote this in his Saturday column: “You have to wonder — and I do — how much longer Jays manager John Gibbons will put up with pitcher Brandon Morrow. It’s clear there’s a disconnect between pitcher and manager here. It might be a matter who ends up going first.” I guess it worked, because I took the bait and quoted it. Screw linking this nonsense, though. If you haven’t yet figured out that Simmons is useless, there’s probably no hope for you.
In his latest at Sportsnet, the Tao Of Stieb wonders what the Jays do with their current surplus of bullpen arms.
At Bluebird Banter, Tom Dakers wonders if the Jays’ bullpen is overworked. Simple answer: yeah, the starters need to start going deeper already.
Three gems from Getting Blanked, as Drew talks to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, looks visually at the fastest men in baseball, and tries to make me puke in my mouth by lauding the superlative New York Yankees rotation.
Lastly, fascinating stuff from the New York Times, where Seth Stephens-Davidowitz looks at the ages when casual fandom becomes fandom for life, and the link between the success of teams during that moment in people’s lives.