And I hope you know a good appraiser, because if that’s not paste, I’ll eat my hat.
Dustin McGowan was terrific yesterday, and more than earned himself a chance to continue this rotation experiment that’s 14 years in the making, going seven innings on 101 pitches, giving up three hits, three walks, just one run, and striking out five. John Lott of the National Post had one of many game stories, and explains that “Sunday’s start brought a new challenge. Although he wore the [insulin] pump and pitched deep into the game, his blood-glucose levels began to spike early – in part, he said, because of the adrenaline rush that competition brings – and he had to give himself a manual insulin injection. That, along with the pump, restored his blood sugar to its proper level by the end of his session, he said.”
When McGowan exited, it was time for Marcus Stroman to make his big league debut, and it wasn’t without blemish. Josh Harrison tripled over Colby Rasmus’s head and scored on an Andrew McCutchen sac fly. Stroman gave up just the one earned run in his two thirds of an inning, but seemed to be a little amped up, throwing 21 pitches and just 12 for strikes. In a second piece for the Post, John Lott has all the quotes you’ll need from him, as well.
Shi Davidi has more on Stroman for Sportsnet — including a video clip of Barry Davis talking to the former first round pick at the top of the piece, and the kids admission that he was “amped” during his outing.
At Blue Jays Plus, Joshua (aka @House4545) explains why it entirely makes sense that the Jays are having Stroman begin his career in the bullpen, despite the howling of many fans about how this is supposedly some kind of organizational cock-up. He notes, for example, that the Jays — for all their roster management blundering — certainly do seem to at least understand that a starter is much more valuable than a reliever. He also explains that, in addition to being a way to manage Stroman’s innings, this whole thing is “a no-lose proposition. Either both [Dustin McGowan and J.A. Happ] shove for the foreseeable future and Stroman becomes a much-needed bullpen weapon or, more likely, Stroman gets his feet wet in the pen for a week and then takes his rightful spot in the rotation.”
Stroman was the subject of the latest The Call-Up piece at Baseball Prospectus. In the section above the paywall, we’re given the lowdown, and while it’s mostly a healthy heaping of praise, we are given the usual words of caution: “Stroman’s biggest hurdle to reaching his front-end ceiling remains his size. He has little trouble maintaining his stuff and turning over a lineup, but the lack of downhill plane on his offerings leaves him susceptible to the long ball, and prone to fly balls in general. Through his first 25 pro starts he has been able to keep hitters honest by bolstering his change piece and improving his situational pitch selection, but it’s likely Stroman will always be a fly-ball pitcher, and as a result will see more than his share of balls leave the park. The hope, and expectation, is the young power arm should be able to minimize the overall damage through his ability to miss bats and limit free passes, with his above-average command serving as the lynchpin.”
That “above-average command,” of course, wasn’t on display from the “amped” and sleep-deprived Stroman during his debut, but that will certainly change over time.
At ESPN.com (Insider Only), Paul Swydan makes four suggestions that he thinks will turn the Jays’ season around, including upgrading at second base — with Emilio Bonifacio suggested as a possibility (no, really!) — and finding a platoon partner for Colby Rasmus. He’s maybe not quite in Adam Lind, “how fucking obvious does this need to get?” territory yet, but Rasmus has been fairly abysmal against left-handers for his entire big league career, save 131 plate appearances in his breakout 2010 in St. Louis. Darrin Mastroianni or Kevin Pillar seem like viable internal options that would have some use on the Jays’ bench — if not for the fact that, y’know, they’re evidently not interested in such things.
Via MLBTR, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes, among other things, that if the Blue Jays “start fading, scouts view Buehrle as a top target of contending teams.” Well, obviously. Saw someone getting all rankled by this one, and… um… I don’t get it. This is entirely possible, the way Buehrle is pitching, and I don’t know that the Jays would be able to say no to the salary relief, should they be fading, and should the right offer come around. Maybe it was the part where Cafardo mentioned potential interest in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion that was so upsetting? Meh.
Elsewhere at MLBTR, we’re given the details of the White Sox’ claim of Moises Sierra. I hope he does well.
From over the weekend at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi informs us that one of the Jays’ big-armed prospects, Adonys Cardona of Lansing, underwent surgery for a broken elbow sustained when throwing a pitch for the Lugnuts last week. Yikes. “This injury could stabilize an area that had been compromised in the past where he’s had some stress reactions. We’ve shut him down a couple of different times because there was a stress reaction in his arm,” assistant GM Tony LaCava told Davidi. “This is a kid whose arm may have been too fast for his own good. Bones are bones and if your arm works so fast, the bones can’t withstand that kind of arm speed. He’s a victim of his own ability in that way.” Davidi also notes that Matt Boyd and Kendall Graveman have each moved up a level in the Jays’ system.
In the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott takes a look at Sergio Santos, lays out an idiot-empowered litany of issues in a section titled “The Ship Is Sinking,” and notes that “Chuck LaMarr, one of the Jays top amateur evaluators, has scouted Tucson high school lefty Alex Verdugo.” LaMar, of course, was formerly the GM of the Rayss.
Elsewhere at the Sun, Elliott continues pretending that you only need to get to May 5th before you can start wheeling out the eulogies for the season, comparing the Jays to their opponents for the next four days: the Philadelphia Phillies.
At MLB.com, Teddy Cahill looks at the good work being done so far this year by Sean Nolin of the Buffalo Bisons.
Charlie Caskey of Your Van C’s muses about a variety of prospects, which is always excellent.
Lastly, interesting stuff from Fox Sports, as Gabe Kapler talks to one-time hopeful reclamation project for the Jays, and former first overall pick, Matt Fucking Bush.