When I get back from the bowl store, I want this apartment to be a crab-and-cancer-free zone.
Mike Wilner tweets that John Gibbons says Colby Rasmus feels better, and that he might play tomorrow, and “if not, hopefully Friday.” Since tonight’s Game Threat is probably just going to be a picture of some idiot Cleveland fan, consider this your scuttlebutt.
R.A. Dickey was frustrated with himself after last night’s outing — despite it being halfway decent (especially if it had been scored correctly *COUGH*), and him throwing the knuckler with as much velocity and as big a variation in speed as we’ve seen this season. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet gets post-game quotes from the Jays’ ostensible ace, and it turns out he still expects more from himself, especially in terms of going deeper into games.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith explains that Dickey could help himself by issuing fewer walks. He only issued two free passes last night (though he also hit a batter in his near fall-apart appearance in the seventh).
Two more from Sportsnet, as on the eve of what could be J.A. Happ’s last turn in the Jays’ rotation (depending on how it goes, of course), we’ll look back to what Davidi wrote after his start on the weekend, after which the Jays stood by him, at least for the time being. Meanwhile, Shi also talks to Cleveland’s starting catcher, Yan Gomes, who is a different player now than when he left the Jays. Well… yeah, let’s fucking hope they didn’t know what they were giving up.
At FanGraphs, Mike Petriello awesomely looks at how awesomely Jose Bautista is awesomely doing more with less this year. “In retrospect,” he concludes, “it all seems so simple. Don’t help the pitcher by making outs on their pitches. Accept the walks when they’re given to you. Crush the balls that you can, especially now that you’re healthy. It’s simple, yet ever so complicated. Bautista is making it work, he’s doing it at a pace we haven’t seen in a few years. It’s been sinceChipper Jones and Manny Ramirez in 2008 that a player 33 or older had a wOBA higher than what Bautista is sporting. It’s still early, of course; it’s also not like we’ve never seen Bautista produce at a high level, either. With his injury concerns not a concern at present, and a plate discipline / power combination that should be envied by all, we’re seeing Bautista production like many — myself included — thought might have been gone forever.”
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Tony Blengino looks at the Wild, Wooly — and Mediocre American League, and ultimately pans the Jays’ chances, despite their being bunched among many clubs currently with a shot. “At some point, the five-team AL East logjam will begin to break, and an upper and lower division will emerge,” he explains. “The guess here is that the Jays’ utter inability to keep the opposition off of the scoreboard — and their own starting pitcher in the ballgame — will be their undoing. Jays’ starters have averaged only 5.51 IP per start, better than only Tampa Bay among this group, and these guys don’t have Alex Cobb or Jeremy Hellickson coming back. Their greatest strength is obviously their offensive power, ranking first in the AL in home runs and second in SLG. The Adam Lind/Juan Francisco combo has overperformed to date. A continuing MVP-level offensive performance from Jose Bautista is a prerequisite for ongoing contention. Second base is an offensive sinkhole. Their pen has been bad, and heavily leaned upon, and their staff is second in the AL in walks. There are numerous leaks here that should eventually combine to take this team down.” Not unfair, but… ouch.
One more from FanGraphs, as they look at the top prospects, according to current projections, but make a point of excluding Marcus Stroman. “The reader should note that the case of Marcus Stroman is a difficult one so far as this exercise is concerned. Because he’s currently pitching out of the bullpen, he’s being projected as a reliever. Because pitchers’ rate stats improve while working in a relief capacity, it’s not reasonable merely to prorate Stroman’s projections to 150 innings, as with other starts. Accordingly, he’s been omitted from this list. That doesn’t alter the fact, however, that Marcus Stroman is very good.”
In the National Post, John Lott talks to Kevin Pillar, who says that he’s going to make it impossible for the Jays to send him down. Might not want to go waving at two-strike sliders then, eh?
Before Pillar was called up, over at Gamereax, Chris Toman made the case that the Jays needed an extra outfielder. Makes sense.
Richard Griffin also talks Pillar in the Toronto Star, saying that while he may not be here for long, he’s already beaten the odds by just being in the majors.
Elsewhere at the Star, Brendan Kennedy chats with Sal Butera, the Jays’ video replay coach. And in one more, Brendan tells us that the cold winter, and cold nights, have delayed the testing that needs to be done on the Rogers Centre roof, and that the club is targeting May 23rd for the first open-roof game (weather permitting).
Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail looks at “old reliable” — no, not me, Mark Buehrle.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun wonders why the Jays suffer so many injuries, and tries to get to the bottom of it — of course, to no avail.
Jerry Nowak of MLB.com tells us that Edwin Encarnacion was named the AL Player Of the Week for last week. Excuse me for not rushing to make a full post of this.
The Jays reclaimed Kenny Wilson from the Twins this week, and sent him to double-A. MLBTR has the details. Oh, and they also tell us that Chris Getz cleared waivers and is back in Buffalo, in case you didn’t know.
Elsewhere at MLBTR, they go behind Baseball America’s paywall to tell us about some July 2nd amateur Latin American free agents. “The Blue Jays look like the strong favorites to ink Venezuelan right-hander Juan Meza, who could command a bonus as large as $1.5MM. Meza works out at Carlos Guillen‘s baseball academy in Venezuela and has a three-pitch mix (fastball, changeup, curveball),” apparently.
Zak Knox of Jays Journal asks just what we might be able to expect from Liam Hendriks, who is putting up some pretty numbers in Buffalo. Sounds pretty Twins-y to me, which is, of course, the organization he came from, and not exactly a compliment. Depth, though.
A pair from Charlie Caskey of Your Van C’s, who reviews the Jays’ first round of the 2010 draft, and he also checks in on somewhat forgotten footballer Anthony Alford. Meanwhile, Jays Prospects takes a look at Matt Dean, while Jon Sickels of Minor League Ball profiles former Jays prospect — and potential “solid inning eater” — Anthony Descalfani, who makes his big league debut tonight for the Marlins.
Mop Up Duty ruminates on Brett Lawrie and his desire not to think.
Lastly, Jerry Crasnick joins the ESPN.com cottage industry of dredging up the PED issue with respect to Melky Cabrera. It’s not as bad as it seems — especially since the scrutiny he talks about Melky facing is pretty much entirely coming from his colleague, Buster Olney, as far as I’m seeing.