Statement game tonight, boys! Let’s do this!
I’d say more than such shitty, well-worn sports platitudes, but the breaking Marcus Stroman news has really sucked up all of my Game Threat-writing time. Fortunately, though, it also sucked up a bunch of Daily Duce-finishing time, so instead of just burning all that stuff, I’ve included the most interesting and time-sensitive of it as tonight’s scuttlebutt!
Remember when Jose Bautista Larry Walker’d that guy? Holy fuck!
To the beginning of a new streak! Go Jays!
You can find all kinds of Stroman goodness in the post below, but one tidbit from Ken Rosenthal that I didn’t want to make a full update there: he tweets that Stroman might not simply be coming as a starter — he could end up in a relief role if the bullpen gets decimated tonight by a bad outing from J.A. Happ, or if it goes to extra innings again. Um… Gooooooo HAPP!!!!!
Barry Davis spoke to Alex Anthopoulos on Baseball Central, and he tweets that the GM explains that Stroman is on hold pending the outcome of tonight’s game, and that he wouldn’t rule out starting him tomorrow, or having him in some kind of a relief role. Sounds like he’s coming up, though, I guess. Sounds like what Rosenthal said, too.
The Jays announced today, via an official release, that they have sent Rob Rasmussen back down to Buffalo, recalling Bobby Korecky in his place. So much happened in yesterday’s game that it’s maybe easy to forget that Rasmussen was wild as hell against the five batters he faced (especially, it seemed to my wholly unreliable eye, when the crowd was getting amped up for him to finish off a batter). To wit.
Korecky truly earned his promotion, and not only because he’s toiled in the Jays’ system since 2011 — after a year with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2010! — having thrown just one big league inning for the club, mopping up the end of a 11-4 September 28th loss to the Yankees in 2012, allowing two of those eleven thanks to an Eric Chavez home run with a Chris Dickerson walk on base. But this year in Buffalo the story has been different for the 34-year-old: a 0.29 ERA, 16 hits and eight walks in 31 innings, with 32 strikeouts and just one home run allowed. The club had an empty spot on their 40-man roster, which is why they were able to select his contract without making a reciprocal move.
Something else about last night’s game that I don’t think was talked about enough (and that I thought was a thing from several beers deep and way up in the 500s): as the ball was hit to Jose Reyes on what should have been the game-ending ground out, baserunner Jarrod Dyson crosses through his field of vision just as the ball is about to get there, and almost seemed to fake like he was reaching back to touch the ball. Check out the highlight from MLB.com and see for yourself. I mean, I know Reyes caught it anyway, but I certainly wondered at the time if it hurt his concentration.
Before all of this business, Alex Anthopoulos had a pre-game chat with reporters, addressing all manner of questions about his budget — some raised by his own comments to Peter Gammons — and… well… didn’t really say a whole lot. As usual. As I noted in last night’s half-assed post-game post, you can read the transcript at Gregor Chisholm’s North of the Border blog — and it is still worth reading, it’s just… believe it or not, Alex says he believes in ownership and believes money will be there when he needs it. He also says that he’s received consent to re-draft Tyler Beede, which is something Keith Law noted the other day (though he’s also been suggesting of late that Beede may end up falling out of the first round, FWIW).
Anthopoulos also downplayed the concerns about the Jays being strapped for cash in their draft “war chest,” a story that Law also said yesterday, as you may have seen in our Thursday Daily Duce, is “not true.”
More KLaw, as he has revised his top 25 prospects list for ESPN.com (Insider Only), and there is no Jays content to speak of there. Not even in the honourable mentions. He had Aaron Sanchez at 30 on his pre-season list. In his chat with readers today, he reiterated his concerns, on Sanchez, saying that “like [Taijuan] Walker he’s got that short stride and upright finish working against him.”
Elsewhere in the chat you’ll find knocks on D.J. Davis, the Jays’ player development track record, the Jays’ 2013 draft, and a clear “no” on the question of whether Dan Norris got any top 25 consideration. Yay? (The Norris thing, to be fair, would be an enormous jump, as Law had him as the Jays’ fourth best prospect and didn’t rank him — or Roberto Osuna ahead of him — in his preseason top 100.
Elsewhere still in the chat he gave us this draft tidbit following a question about the Jays being in on Touki Toussaint: “I just know they want guys with upside. Anthopoulos did go see Trea Turner at the ACC tournament (for a day – color me surprised Avent still has his job after the season they had), so he’s somewhere in their mix. I have had them with Hoffman and Touki, both very high-upside selections. I don’t see them taking anyone who’s ‘safe’ with a low ceiling.”
On that note, Kiley McDaniel’s latest mock draft for Scout.com suggests that the current rumour is that the Jays may already have a deal with Florida high school right-hander Touki Toussaint to be the eleventh overall pick. He also has the club taking shortstop Trea Turner of North Carolina State at pick nine, and regarding 11, another “late rumor I heard last night has Virginia closer Nick Howard in play here well under slot, as many teams think he can start, but could also rush to the big leagues as a reliever.” Hmmm.
Next game(s): Tomorrow, 1:07 PM ET vs. Kansas City; Sunday, 1:07 PM ET vs. Kansas City
For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.
And now, the lineups…
Toronto Blue Jays
SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
DH Dioner Navarro (R)
2B Steve Tolleson (R)
C Erik Kratz (R)
CF Kevin Pillar (R)
LHP J.A. Happ
Kansas City Royals
RF Nori Aoki (L)
2B Omar Infante (R)
1B Eric Hosmer (L)
DH Billy Butler (R)
LF Alex Gordon (L)
C Salvador Perez (R)
CF Lorenzo Cain (R)
3B Danny Valencia (R)
SS Alcides Escobar (R)
LHP Jason Vargas