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.

Comments (74)

  1. I don’t get how a team can have only 3 outfielders on their roster.

    • And 3 catchers!

      I know it’s just because of the Navarro thing. Hopefully he’s better in the next day or two and they can send Kratz back down.

      • The real issue is that they can’t recall Gose when Navarro gets better because of the 10-day thing, unless someone else gets injured.

  2. Jays have 5th best run differential in the AL!

    As bad as the last couple of weeks have been, this team has been playing some pretty good baseball (other than the bullpen).

    • I agree

      with an average bullpen this team is 18-13 I think

      but baseball is hard and the team is not 18-13 in reality

      fun to watch though

  3. I heard on the radio today that in the last 14 games, the Jays bullpen has squandered 8 multi-run leads in the 7th inning or later. Imagine if they went even 4-4 during that stretch instead of 0-8 – instead of being 14-17 and in last, they’d be 18-13 and 2 games ahead of New York, leading the division. The bottom line is, if only a couple things break the Jays way – especially if they get the correct mix of bullpen arms (and it seems that right now, they’re only missing Wagner, maybe Drabek) and bench pieces, things will sort themselves out.

    That said, I was at the game on Saturday night in Pittsburgh (beautiful park by the way!) and it was a tough, tough way to lose. The Pirates fans in my section were very graceful though; they wanted the win but actually felt kind of bad for us all the same.

  4. Wagner just placed on the DL in Buffalo with a right forearm strain. Yikes.

  5. I can see the Jays trading Buehrle regardless of where they sit in the standings. If Sanchez is deemed ready and the rest of rotation hasn’t torn any tendon sheaths and Stroman is doing what he’s expected to do in the rotation then sure ditch 20mil per season and get some decent prospects back, I’d say you have to if you’re AA.

    Unless of course the Jays are cruising and Buehrle is rocking it still, then just look to trade him in the offseason.

    Baseball decisions/evaluations are changing weekly I imagine in front offices. You wouldn’t dare trade Buehrle if Sanchez and Stroman are struggling yet you are still in contention… If that is even possible.

    • “I can see the Jays trading Buehrle regardless of where they sit in the standings.”

      Uh, if the Jays are in first place, or a couple games out, Buehrle ain’t going anywhere.

      • Buehrle has 2014 – $18 MM and 2015 – $19 MM left to go on his contract. Just a guess but he probably won’t be traded to Oakland or the Rays. I’m thinking if he does go, it’ll be some team in contention with lots of $$. He may in fact be on his last contract at age 35. Also, don’t know if he gets to refuse a trade under his 10-5 rights in the CBA ….anyone?

        • he hasn’t been w the jays for 5 years….

        • Wonder if the Cards would be interested? After all, they’re always contenders, seem to have the cash, and that’s where he makes his off season home. Additionally, Missouri has no pit bull ban.

          ps If the Jays are out of it and get a good offer they should take it. If there’s a chance that he doesn’t go on the FA market in 2016, there won’t be any compensation pick.

        • The last five have to be with the same team. And we all know Miami doesn’t do the no-trade dance.

  6. Jays get some decent pitching for the next few weeks they will be right back in it. Their lineup could be the best in AL if not all of baseball.

  7. Stilson had 3innings, 6k’s, 1h in his last outting. Hopefully returning to form. could be a great bp piece to add to the jays if they ever decide to give up on the 1523934089 shitty long relievers we have on the roster. shame wagner going down, but stilson could take that spot. and jansenn. keep happ as long reliever. bam we got a great bp and rotation (stroman in, happ out) and can carry 4 bats on the bench. LEEEEEEEGOOOOOOO!

  8. That Nolin news is so fresh. I had no idea how good he was doing

  9. I’m wondering, if we put McGowan into the Pen, assuming that he is unable to continue is current trend, and call up Nolin to be our #5. Stroman slides into #4 and we see what the kids can do. Can’t be anyworse than what we have seen the past 5 years….and before you start saying that a contending team can’t have 3 rookies in the rotation, well, who says we are a contending team..and if we are, then they can’t be any worse than what we have now.

    • Just wanted to add, I’m curious, as there are a lot of good opinions on here and am wondering what everyone would think about that.

    • I hear you Idiot but wasn’t it refreshing to have McGowan on the mound with two on base and have a real feeling he can strike out the side to get out of it the other night? Have not had that feeling since Roy. Why waste it in the pen?

    • You clearly don’t remember the last five years very well.

      This idea that Nolin is going to have any kind of instant impact is bizarre to me.

      • exactly, he’s never been profiled as anything more than a 4-5 starter. unless he adds a new wrinkle to his repertoire or starts commanding the ball like Mark Buerhle, he probably isn’t an upgrade on Happ.

  10. Stoeten do you think the Jays are showcasing Happ for movement?

    • No, I don’t really think showcases are a thing, except maybe in that a team could like to show that a guy is healthy, which could certainly be done out of the bullpen for Happ. It’s not like there’s any team that doesn’t already have a pretty decent idea of what he is, and certainly none would be crazy enough to change their opinion based on a start or two.

      • Point taken. Happ is what he is. A 5th starter at best

      • “It’s not like there’s any team that doesn’t already have a pretty decent idea of what he is…”

        At this point, I don’t think the Blue Jays even know what he is, let alone anyone else. Might be a decent 4-5 starter, but the way he’s pitched this year, it looks like he might not belong in the Majors at all.

  11. Two Things:
    1) Kevin Seitzer seems to be having a positive impact.
    Last year, this was a “yank it and crank it bunch” whose
    two strike approach was “swing harder.”
    This year, they are using the whole field, going the other way
    with two strikes and doing it without losing the HR ball. Impressive.

    2) Over the past couple of series, Brett Lawrie has had the look
    of a guy who is finally starting to “get it.” If he becomes a regular
    contributor with the bat, this will be one scary lineup: maybe
    the best in the AL.

    • Lawrie’s been better than people think. He’s had an .801 OPS over the last 4 weeks. It was just his first 7 games he was brutal.

    • Point taken. Happ is what he is. A 5th starter at best

  12. What were steps 3 and 4?

  13. Zaunie thinks starters should have to be winning the game to register a QS. yep, let’s make a dumb stat dumber

    • Yeah, pitch counts matter more to managers than a meaningless stat like that. A guy that goes out and gets say: 6 Ks, 1 BBs, 3 Hits and 0 ER but only manages to pitch 5 2/3 because he hit 100 pitches is probably giving his team a better chance to win than a guy who goes out and gets 2 Ks, 4BBs, 7 Hits and 3 ERs, but manages to get one more out because he is on a 125 pitch limit.

  14. Jose
    Jose Jose Jose

  15. Beauty of a call by Buck there. Reyes.. fdfs hjhid fdhjhfds fhendhjfd.. home run!

  16. anyone else having trouble with mlb tv saying the game is unavailable?

  17. Carlos Ruiz really fooling this umpire. I feel like he’s bought Kendrick like 5 strikes already.

    • which is weird, cause according to catcher framing numbers, he’s costs his team an average of 1.24 calls/game

  18. That was a big rip.

  19. Funny thing about Happ: he’s actually pretty steadily gained velocity since he came into the league – from a little under 90mph when he was with the Phillies to over 91mph last year and nearly 92mph this year (SSS and possible bullpen effect of course).

    pretty weird, guys usually peak in velocity in their early 20′s.

  20. Colby’s fast.

  21. I have to ask. How does a guy run at full speed with that much chewing tobacco and live?

  22. Pitchers hitting, everybody

  23. One note: this ballpark is the one place Happ has experienced sustained success in his career.

    At any rate, if we’re hoping a team will knock Happ around so we can get Stroman into the rotation, I don’t think Philadelphia is the team we should be hoping on.

  24. pitchers hitting, everybody!

  25. Just tuned in. Nice to see the offence continuing to click,

  26. Happ can be really frustrating to watch. The pitch to K Howard was great, but the spray chart on his Pitch FX was so all over the map.

  27. Lawrie just hurt himself

  28. How is Lawrie? I’m PVRing 24 and Antiques Roadshow so i can’t flip to the game until 9.

  29. What happened to Lawrie for those of us who can’t watch/listen?

  30. They were saying strained right hamstring I think it was. Day to day. Given that It’ll probably be amputated by tomorrow

  31. Great throw by Joey. I almost just got in a fist fight with an old gasbag who was yammering at me that Vernon Wells would have caught that ball off Byrd.

    Maybe it’s time to go home. I don’t have Small Potatoes to back me up. Haha

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