Two days in a row!!?!?!
It’s been a while since the Daily Duce has actually been, y’know, daily, but maybe that’s changing. Maybe it’s just temporary, though. Either way, I needed to do one today, because our pal Drew dropped some science over at Ghostrunner On First, so this officially counts as an occasion. In the piece, Drew looks at what it means that the Jays are “not technically dead,” the easy target placed on John Gibbons’ back, and how the manager is, in fact, probably fucking awesome. Or, at least, that’s how I read it. Try it yourself!
Moving on, Drew’s colleague at FanGROFs, Mike Petriello, weighed in this morning on perhaps the single most important issue the Jays will face in the upcoming off-season: what will happen with Melky Cabrera. The crux: “While there’s some real reasons to question about him going forward, he’s also about to enter a market that is almost totally devoid of outfield offensive talent. Cabrera’s going to get paid, and it’s going to make a lot of people unhappy.” Petriello notes that, unfortunately for the Jays, there are several teams potentially in line for a protected draft pick who could certainly use an upgrade like Melky — who is by far the youngest, best outfield free agent on a very thin market this year. The Phillies, Padres, Astros, White Sox, Mets, and Reds are the ones he came up with off the top of his head, along with the Jays. That’s troublesome, but ultimately Mike doesn’t suggest a deal for Cabrera is going to be any more outlandish than what we’ve heard — the four-year, $60-million deal that Curtis Granderson signed with the Mets last year still appears to be the high water mark. One hopes.
Speaking of people being unhappy about what Cabrera will make this winter, Buster Olney, everybody! If you follow a link in Petriello’s piece you’ll find some high grade nonsense over at ESPN.com (Insider Olney), wherein it’s suggested that it’s “a really, really great idea that the union should consider” to limit guys who test positive a second time to one-year contracts. Yes, more hysteria. That sounds like a plan.
Moving on, we have some good news! The Rays, according to the Tampa Tribune, have shut down pitcher Drew Smyly for the season, meaning that the Jays will not have to face him when the Rays come to town on Friday. Nate Karns will be recalled to make the start. “Karns was 9-9 with a 5.08 ERA in 27 starts at Durham. He had 153 strikeouts in 145 1/3 innings,” we’re told. He’s coming off a 12 strikeout game, though.
Less good news: According to the New York Post, Masahiro Tanaka is feeling good after pitching a simulated game, and the Yankees are hoping to get him into one or two games before the season ends. Not only that, we’re told that Yankees manager Joe Girardi “said it’s possible Tanaka could pitch for the Yankees five days after [his next simulated game, tentatively scheduled for Sunday], setting up a potential return from the disabled list during the September 19-21 series against the Blue Jays at the Stadium.” Of course, if the Jays are in it enough by then for the possibility of facing TANAK to matter, um… I’ll totally take that.
Greg Wisniewski continues his outstanding “One At-Bat” series at Blue Jays Plus, looking at Brett Cecil’s dramatic two-out punch-out of the Rays’ Sean Rodriguez to preserve a ninth-inning scoreless tie that would be broken in the next frame by a pinch hit home run from Colby Rasmus.