The draft continues on, and I’ve done a pretty poor job of following it since last night’s write-up about Jeff Hoffman. So… let’s rectify some of that, shall we? Starting with this awesome image awesomely from Crashburn Alley, which came from a post back in October, pivoting off Keith Law and Chris Crawford’s top 2014 draft prospect rankings for The awesomely-named Jays’ eleventh overall pick was actually ranked eleventh at the time, and those of you with insider will also note where number nine pick Jeff Hoffman was: ranked second. The Crashburn stuff, though… so good.

Like Hoffman, Pentecost is a college player — though as I’m sure you know by now, he’s a catcher. A real catcher, that is. Unlike some of the other high picks who played the position last year, Pentecost is expected to be able to stick at the position. In his live draft analysis at, Crawford explains that “Pentecost was rumored to go as high as pick No. 4 to the Cubs, but at the end of the day he went where his value suggested he should. None of his tools are plus, but as a catcher who has average to above-average tools across the board, he could move through the Blue Jays system expeditiously, and Toronto fans are well aware that they are in need of a catcher for the future.”

Pentecost is called a “rare catcher who could have average or better tools across the board, has a chance to hit for solid average and power” by, who also make the requisite pointing out of the fact that he is “coming off a summer in which he was MVP of the Cape Cod League and led the premier college summer circuit with a .962 OPS.”

In their pre-draft rankings, ESPN had Pentecost at 22nd, which may have made some think the pick is a bit of a reach. As above, the reports are good, though: “The draft’s best pure catcher, Pentecost can catch, throw, run and hit for average,” we’re told. “The biggest question facing him is how his unorthodox swing will handle wood bats and pro pitching.” Baseball America was a little higher on the possibility of him doing so, as they ranked him 10th overall, while had him 19th.

Giving out grades on the first day of the draft is a little bit absurd, but there’s some analysis to be done with respect to the strategy on display, and the Jays ended up big winners according to Law and Crawford. Law lists Toronto among his day one winners, for the obvious reason on Hoffman, and especially how he relates to the club’s second round pick. The Jays, he explains, “could also save some money by signing Hoffman for under slot, as he has zero leverage, and put it toward signing later picks, including prep righty Sean Reid-Foley, their second-round selection. Reid-Foley has a rough delivery but repeats it well and now shows three average or better pitches.”

Crawford elaborates in his roundup of day two winners, which also includes the Jays. Broken down by division, he calls Reid-Foley the highest upside of any AL East second-rounder, and explains that this “was an arm I thought would go in the first 20 to 25 picks, but for whatever reason, his stock fell over the past few days. The Toronto Blue Jays should feel fortunate to pick up a right-hander with this kind of talent this late, though, as he has two plus pitches in his 90-94 mph fastball and quality slider. His change should be an average offering as well. ”

Jeff Hoffman actually spoke with the local media after he was selected, and Gregor Chisholm has the transcript up over at North of the Border. Meanwhile, at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi tries to answer several key draft-related questions, including whether the Jays will actually sign the players they picked (gotta say yes here), and just what the hell happened with Tyler Beede and Phil Bickford. Thing is, the unsigned pick business has actually worked out pretty well for the Jays: Noah Syndergaard was the comp pick for not signing James Paxton, Beede begat Marcus Stroman (and also allowed the Jays to find funds to add late-round signability guy Dan Norris), and now Bickford has become Hoffman. Not saying it’s something the Jays should want to do, but all the whining about it is a little overblown, no?

Anywho, moving on from the draft…

I’ll mention it again in the Game Threat, but this is certainly noteworthy: Edwin Encarnacion is back in the Jays’ lineup tonight, after missing yesterday’s game with a sore back. He’ll DH, but that’s still a pretty damn good sign.

Minor move alert! The Jays added a small piece of bullpen depth, signing veteran right-handed reliever, Luis Ayala. MLBTR has the details, explaining, “The 36-year-old Ayala has been a solid bullpen piece for the past three seasons after it looked like his career was beginning to fade. He’s pitched for the Yankees, Orioles and Braves from 2011-13, posting a strong 2.58 ERA with 6.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate north of 50 percent.”

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to Bob Stanley about the late Don Zimmer. Stanley, the Jays’ bullpen coach, joined the Boston Red Sox in 1977 — the second of Zimmer’s five years as manager there.

And one more from the team owner: our old friend the Tao of Stieb says that it’s time to temper our expectations for Brett Lawrie, but there’s a twist! “It’s time we stopped waiting for Lawrie to become something greater,” he says, “and start to recognize the value in the player he already is.” I can live with that.

Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun engages in some magical thinking as he explains that the Jays should deal Colby Rasmus, while pretending that they’re actually going to be able to get something pretty good in exchange for him. Better than the pick they’ll get when he walks, plus the value he’ll provide over the rest of the season (which, FYI, will be more than Anthony Gose does or can do)? I don’t think so.

Chris Mosch of Baseball Prospectus looks at the high-flying Jays, while at Sports On Earth, Dirk Hayhurst looks at Old Faithful: aka Mark Buehrle, a successful season from whom, he suggests, “may not answer all of baseball’s arm health questions, but could help baseball ask some desperately needed new ones.”

It’s not attendance shaming from Bob Levin of the Globe and Mail, but something quite the opposite. He recounts the summer when he was 12, as his hometown team, the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, collapsed and scarred him as a baseball fan for life. And in doing so, he offers this advice: “So take your time, Toronto fans; you’re entitled to your skepticism, your caution, never mind an aversion to the soulless dome or break-the-bank beer and nachos. Go when you’re ready. But go eventually – because, on balance, as Lord Tennyson almost said, ’tis better to have loved a team that lost than never to have loved at all.’ ”

In his game story for the National Post, John Lott looks at Thursday afternoon’s win with an emphasis on the impact of the Jays’ new hitting coach, Kevin Seitzer.

The Blue Jay Hunter tells us the tale of the unfortunately-named Domer, the original SkyDome mascot, who’ll be making a return appearance tonight in celebration of the building’s 25th anniversary.

Lastly, the Toronto Star looks at the fact that the Jays are 5.5 games up in the AL East, examining just how rare an occurrence that has been.

Comments (521)

  1. 3rd times the charm?

  2. 3rd time for the sacks juiced. Cmon

  3. Me and the Rogers Centre are the same age.

    But I never sold out.

    And my turf is all natural.

    Ba dump tissss.

  4. whaaaaaaaa

  5. OMFG

  6. Well suck a fat cock.

  7. Oh my fuck. For real?

  8. Fuck me

  9. Holy fuck. An actual triple play… that makes me sad.

  10. that’s ridiculous.

  11. I blame Domer

  12. Well that was cool to see, but seriously???

    • I didn’t even realize what was happening until it was over. Was thinking, gee, they’re catching the ball and throwing it to a lot of different bases…

  13. That sucked.

  14. I think that’s the second triple play they’ve hit into in 5 years. Exact same play too.

  15. Why BABIP dragon? Why?

  16. Fortunately the Jays are winning the game, Stroman is dealing and the Jays have a huge lead in the division.

    Otherwise I might overreact…

  17. Jesus H. Christ! I thought 2013 was in the past.

  18. I’ve never seen a triple play live before. Huh. Kinda underwhelming.

  19. Relax Gang. The good news is that the Jays are continually creating opportunity after opportunity. This is a very good thing.

  20. How about the Stroman tie-in with this outfit??

  21. When was the last triple play in a Jays game? I vaguely remember Alex Gonzalez grounded into a couple.

  22. Stroman can handle it. He’s gotten sharper with each inning.

  23. I’ve never seen one happen live before now. That’s nuts.

  24. Do you guys remember the triple play the Jays turned in 2012 with the line drive to Lind at 1st? I believe it was in KC, it was nice to see Kitten Face (he was Goat Head back then) because he was so happy to do it: caught it, touched 1st and threw to second to complete it.

  25. I can just hear Gregg Zaun now

    “Championship teams don’t hit into triple plays”

  26. Lol Lind. Take some Yoga and learn how to stretch your legs a little.

  27. Seth Maness, son of Hugh Janess, is officially the luckiest reliever alive.

  28. A few times tonite our speedsters have led off the inning by getting on, yet we have yet to try and steal .Do they not know that Molina is NOT the catcher tonite?
    Last inning, Reys lines a single that score Gose if he steals, or if he steals 3rd he scores on the error instead. Just seems we are playing tentative tonite

  29. That’s a loud FUCK let out by Cecil.

  30. Ump’s making some tough calls on strikes this inning.

  31. We sure could use a triple play.

  32. Nice fucking play Lawrie.

  33. There you go.

  34. Ok. If Lawrie took himself just a tiny bit less seriously, is he basically Schmidt?

  35. Lawrie looks great at 2nd…….lets keep him there.

  36. Dusty now has Delabar’s job. Hope he runs with it

  37. No more hangers dusyt

  38. McGowan is a boss.

  39. Good job, Dusty

  40. How weird is it that all our runs are from solo HRs?

  41. Still got 2 Moosehead to wolf down. I need a dinger or a SB

  42. That gets us to Casey time. Although I wouldn’t be averse to more runs here.

  43. Wonder what our Dusty Lover is up to this fine Friday evening?

  44. Pitch tracker is off tonight.

  45. The STL guys are gargling Lawrie’s balls over his defense and power. Makes me appreciate him all the more, especially coupled with the Tao of Stieb article.

  46. Nice hit and run.

  47. Canadian Hector

  48. Okay if they don’t get at least one run here I’m joining the Knights Templar

  49. Is Motte not constantly balking by pulling his hand from the glove mid windup?

    That shit drives me mad and it never gets called, but I guess as long as he’s making no move toward the runner it’s not going to be.

  50. Duck Duck Duck Gose is cute with the kids.

  51. Gose is hoping they talk all night at the mound…he’s there, standing there in front of the hot chicks at field level.

  52. I was wondering why you get good feelings with Dinner at the plate, he’s been doing that with the Knights Watch:

  53. Jason Motte is actually Damien Abraham.

  54. The STL guys were really excited when Gose struck out, they must not know how bad he is. I guess he did hit a triple but what are they, Jays Talk callers??

  55. Reyes the best.

  56. OBOY!

  57. REYES!!!!!!!

  58. Finnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnalllllyyy!!!

  59. Nails

  60. Reyes is killing it tonight.

  61. I feel the urge to dance.

  62. Look at that! They can score runners in!

  63. Yeehah

  64. Yes us can!

  65. Nice getting this deep into their bullpen this early in the series

  66. Finally, Finally, a fukin hit with a guy in scoring position. Calls for a barley.One Moosehead coming down. Spuds, get out the wine

  67. Ontario election ads suck shit.

  68. SB-ONe mooshead comin up

  69. There is your steal, fukstik.

  70. Superman di…damn

  71. Ouch…kelly gruberesque slide

  72. Jose…. aww….

  73. Ok…who else jumped outta their seat

  74. Let’s see if casey can somehow get 3 outs in less than 3 pitches.

  75. Casey gonna show em what’s up

  76. Shit my diapers-thought it was gone based on JB reaction.It;s allgood. Casey time

  77. Nice to see the opposing manager burn a ton of relievers in the first game of a series for the third time in a row.

  78. an old favourite of mine for these rare Cardinals series: the good guys win

  79. Oh + Boston lost. + it was glorious. They’re working a pretty solid losing streak again.

  80. CJ is the shit.

  81. Woohoo! The STL crew was pretty excited about that strikeout too. Can’t blame ‘em. I’d want to join our side when I watch The Blue Jays play this well.

  82. That’s an out

  83. FFS, is that a Steve Bartman move??? Fuck off again. We need the rules explained to these fucktards in the front row

  84. That dumbass kid needs a smack upside the head.

  85. haha Tablers a hard man. Chirping the 5 y/o hardcore.

  86. Poor kid reaching out… Someone should’ve said something

  87. Fans are dumb.

  88. Who cares, casey is on the case

  89. I condone the violence against children, but beat that fucking kid till he cries!!

  90. This is really getting nuts. They have to start executing people or something.

  91. Aaaand that is why I hate kids.

  92. Great fucking parenting.

  93. FOR FUCK’S SAKE I can still Tom fucking Cheek’s voice in the 90s bitching about the low walls in the fucking Dome. Shithead security and bad field design. Fuckheads.

  94. OMG it’s T.O. Bartman.

  95. Shame him! Put him on the Jumbotron! Write him up!
    He can pick up some volunteer hours with the grounds crew!
    Why arem’t they shaming him on the tv?

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