Pneumatic tubes, eh? Can’t put coins in those.
Everybody’s seeing everybody at this point, I’m pretty sure, but Bob Elliott is on the scouting itinerary beat this time of year, and tonight in the Toronto Sun he tells us that the Jays had Russ Bove — one of their “most trusted scouts” — in Miami to watch Jason Hammel make a start for the Cubs. Not sure how much he will have liked what he saw: nine strikeouts, but eight hits, a walk, four earned runs in six innings, and an absolutely insane opposite field Giancarlo Stanton home run on a line drive that was about as low as you’ll ever see a homer hit on. Nine Ks though! And only one to the pitcher — and another to Jeff Mathis.
For those of you scoreboard watching, the Rays beat the Orioles on Monday, dropping them to five games back of the Jays, with the Yankees now in second place in the AL East at 4.5 games behind.
I can’t exactly revel in a player’s injury, but Matt Wieters needing Tommy John surgery and being out for the season is certainly a blow to the Orioles, which… I can live with that.
Lots of interesting trade chatter in the comments on the post below, even if some of it is plenty fanciful. And… well… here’s some more (of the less fanciful variety): Jon Morosi tweets that the Braves, who have Alex Wood in the minors and getting stretched back out again, are fielding inquiries on both Gavin Floyd and the Harangutan. I’m not sure why a playoff-bound team wouldn’t be trying to keep all the starting pitching that it could, but those are Jason Hammel-esque names. And while I think we’ve all seen pretty clearly now that this club definitely needs Colby Rasmus, and that it’s not worth giving up a draft pick next summer to go with Gose-Pillar and add a Gavin Floyd, but if you were making a rental-for-rental deal, and wanted to give Colby a good home… I dunno, you could probably make a more insane suggestion than that. Shit, eat a bunch of money and we’ll take back B.J. Upton in the process! (OK, so maybe not that much more insane).
Morosi also adds that the Cubs are not willing to listen on just Samardzija and Hammel, but Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta as well. Hmmm…
It’s minor league promotion season, and Aaron Sanchez wasn’t the only one finding himself on a new team. The Dunedin Blue Jays fill us in via their game notes for tonight, noting (it’s in there, I swear!) that number three prospect Dan Norris has been promoted to New Hampshire, along with 26-year-old catcher Derrick Chung, and 23-year-old first baseman K.C. Hobson. Meanwhile, a more intriguing pair at those positions, first baseman L.B. Dantzler and catcher Santiago Nessy, have moved up from Lansing to Dunedin, with 23-year-old third baseman Andy Fermin moving down from New Hampshire (despite a tidy .308/.348/.431 line in his first 68 plate appearances at the level). So… that’s something.
This too: the Bluefield Blue Jays have announced their 2014 roster, which will have some interesting names for you prospect watchers: Smoral, Tinoco, Tellez, Cenas, Alford, Urena, Anderson, and more.
Minor move stuff, just for the sake of completeness because we haven’t done this for a while: last week the Jays released Australian lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith (who I’m pretty sure had an opt out clause if he wasn’t in the Majors) and lost maple dick favourite Shawn Hill to the White Sox somehow (MLBTR). We know how Matt Tuiasosopo ended up with the White Sox: the Jays dealt him there last week for cash (MLBTR). Neil Wagner, who could still be a key bullpen piece for the Jays, if all goes well, went to see Dr. James Andrews and was prescribed three weeks of rest (Sportsnet). Aaron Sanchez didn’t have a great debut over the weekend in Buffalo (Toronto Star), but the Jays are still very excited about him… according to the Jays (MLB.com).
John Lott of the National Post tells the tale of Sunday’s game, and how J.A. Happ delivered a hell of a performance — to the surprise, I’m sure, of many.
Elsewhere in the Post, Lott speaks to Marcus Stroman, who is excited to be making his Yankee Stadium debut Tuesday against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees.
Lott also has a great, lengthy profile Frank Viola III, reborn in the Jays’ system as a knuckleballer and pitching now at Lansing as a 30-year-old, in Sunday’s Post.
Speaking of excellent, lengthy profiles, Chris Toman of Gamereax has one on Steve Delabar, who talks about his velocity issues, and his pitch repertoire.
And one more: Michael Grange of Sportsnet profiled the Jays’ rookie radio analyst, Joe Siddall, ahead of father’s day, as he and his family are still dealing with the loss of their 14-year-old son, Kevin.
Via the Globe and Mail, Gregory Strong of the Canadian Press speaks with John Gibbons, who insists that he isn’t doing anything differently this year than he was last, despite the vast difference in results.
Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus takes a sarcastic look at Alex Anthopoulos’s off-season moves — the point being, sometimes you don’t have to panic and make “wow” moves when you already have a pretty solid roster to begin with.
Sticking with the Star, it’s probably just a headline writer thing, but back last week Richard Griffin wrote (according to the headline, mostly) that the Jays’ history on road trips like the one they were then about to embark on didn’t bode well for the club. Then today the headline is: the Blue Jays will be playing in October. I guess the split in Baltimore was pretty important!
Some items from Sportsnet, as Shi Davidi looks at R.A. Dickey’s constant search for the right knuckler. Mike Wilner — again from last week — makes an always important plea for fans to be mindful of the big picture. The Tao of Stieb says that the Jays must be mindful not to repeat the Estaban Loaiza trade, in which they dealt away one a very good player in Michael Young for immediate (and ultimately futile) pitching help. And Ben Nicholson-Smith takes a less sarcastic look at the paying off of the Jays’ winter decisions than Sam Miller did over at BP.
Blue Jays Plus takes a look at Dustin McGowan inducing a double play ball from Trevor “Shredded Wheat” Plouffe in high leverage situation.
Bluebird Banter notices a clip of Todd Redmond plunking Erik Kratz to cause a bench clearing. Neato.
Over at FanGraphs, Blake Murphy looks at Casey Janssen and the hyperefficient save, which… shit, Jannsen is good at those, eh?
Lastly, a reminder that PITCH #4 goes this Thursday, featuring Jonah Keri, Michael Grange, Morgan Campbell and yours truly. Tickets still available! Details are all right here.