Andrew Stoeten

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It was before yesterday’s outstanding performance from Marcus Stroman and the Jays — and before today’s big trade of Deck McGuire to the A’s for cash (and Brad Mills’ clearing waivers and being sent to Buffalo) — but I think there’s still probably reason to pass along my appearance with Macko And Cauz (aka @MackoAndCauz) on TSN Radio 1050 here in Toronto.

So… uh… here it is.

Enjoy!

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STROly fuck! The Jays’ starter really left his MARCUS on that one.

What is there even to say? Stroman was magnificent. Francisco looked like it was May. The Jays took a four game set with the Red Sox and now sit tied with the Mariners (and the bullshit Yankees and their grounds crew) for the second Wild Card, and just two-and-a-half back of the Baltimores in the AL East.

I think a lot of kids might have become baseball fans for a long time on this camp day at Rogers Centre. That was something else. Now go sell off your shitty team, Boston fucks.

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Afternoon baseball!

Yeah… I got nothing. This is your game threat!

sanchezdebut41

Aaron Sanchez threw six curveballs over the course of the two innings that made up his big league debut on Wednesday night, according to his player page at Brooks Baseball. Three of them went for strikes, to go along with nine strikes on sixteen four-seamers, and one strike from the three two-seamers (or so the Pitch F/X machine says they were — 93 mph changeups?) that he threw. One of those three curveball strikes was actually the ball in play from Dustin Pedroia, who impressively stayed back on a curve nearly on his shoe-tops and lifted it to centre for the first out of Sanchez’s big league career.

And while he didn’t generate any swing-and-miss, wasn’t the groundball machine he was in the minors (and yes, he was indeed a groundball machine, as his page at the excellent MLB Farm shows), didn’t necessarily hit all of his spots, didn’t show a starter’s repertoire, and likely benefited from the Dickey Effect, the club’s top prospect certainly flashed the kind of pure, raw stuff that has his name written on sites like this for so very long, that allowed the Jays to feel comfortable parting with a guy like Noah Syndergaard, and that the club has so tightly held onto over the years as he was ascending to this moment.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Now that was a damn enjoyable game of baseball. The Jays won. Jose Bautista homered. The bottom of the lineup wasn’t useless. Casey Janssen looked like his old, efficient self. R.A. Dickey pitched well enough after an early blip, and was taken out before being given the opportunity to let it slip away (after just 98 pitches). First inning negative suckholes were put in their fucking place. Clay Buchholz got lit up and could only manage a single strikeout. Aaron Sanchez debuted and was preposterously efficient in a pair of filthy three-up, three-down innings against some of the best hitters in the majors (though — sorry — he maybe did display a little bit of why he’s still considered a work in progress, too, I thought)(sorry). And Josh Thole!

Shit, JaysTalk callers might not even make me want to break things tonight. And a Mariners loss earlier puts the Jays a half game out of a playoff spot, too.

I can live with that!

(Sorry).

nodickeyface

R.A. Dickey, clearly struggling with a lack of Dickeyface in a recent outing at Rogers Centre.

I should probably have more to say here, but I dunno…

How nails would it be to with this one though, eh? I’ll take a little arbitrary endpointed four out of five at this point, amiright? With Stroman taking the hill tomorrow? Fuckin’ eh I would.

Shit, and with the Mets hanging on against Seattle, a win could take the Jays to within a half game of the second Wild Card spot. Oh, but they’re fucked, right? Eh, tough guy?

Scuttlebutt

The Jays’ missing sluggers are getting close — closer than most of us may even realize. According to a tweet from Gregor Chisholm, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion may return to the club without even playing a rehab game. Brett Lawrie, Shi Davidi adds, will likely do so, simply because he’s been out for longer.

Gregor also tweets that the timetable for all three of those players is still unclear, though they’re all improving more quickly than first anticipated.

Two more from Gregor, as he tells us that Nolan Reimold is showing some improvement, and that he’ll likely DH against left-handers once everybody is healthy. That means he won’t be taking over in right field, which makes sense because Gregor adds that John Gibbons says we’re not likely to see Jose Bautista move to third base full time at any point — though he suggests there’s the possibility still that he might move there in a pinch.

Brendan Kennedy tweets that, despite the recent struggles and the illness coming out of the break, Casey Janssen will be called upon tonight if there’s a save situation. I buy it.

Another tweet from Brendan tells us that Gibbers says Brett Lawrie will be the club’s full-time third baseman once he returns, meaning that Juan Francisco is soon to be out of the job. Which… is totally warranted, I’m pretty sure.

Lastly, note the game time for tomorrow, and while you’re at it, note that I’m tentatively scheduled to be talkin’ Jays on TSN 1050 here in Toronto tomorrow at 11:30. Tune in!

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 12:37 PM ET vs. Boston

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)
1B Jose Bautista (R)
DH Dioner Navarro (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
C Josh Thole (L)
2B Ryan Goins (L)
RF Anthony Gose (L)

RHP R.A. Dickey

Boston Red Sox

RF Shane Victorino (R)
2B Dustin Pedroia (R)
DH David Ortiz (L)
1B Mike Napoli (R)
LF Daniel Nava (S)
3B Xander Bogaerts (R)
SS Stephen Drew (L)
C Christian Vazquez (R)
CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (L)

RHP Clay Buchholz

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A few small items of note have come down the ol’ information superhighway this afternoon, and while none of them really deserves its own post, they all certainly are worthy of some attention…

Sergio Santos Clears Waivers

Cue the conspiracy theory twits clamming up: according to a tweet from Ben Nicholson-Smith, Sergio Santo has cleared waivers and will go to Triple-A Buffalo in order to work on getting his command back. So if the Jays’ super-secret — *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* — plan with this move was to save money, I guess they fucked up. Shocking, really, that no team was willing to piss away nearly $4-million (which is what Santos is owed for the remainder of this season plus the $750K buyouts of his three remaining option years) to see if an oft-injured non-closer with 17 walks in 19.2 innings could stave off the injury bug for his longest stretch since 2011 while regaining the form that made him a force at the back of the White Sox bullpen back then.

The Jays, of course, are already on the hook for that money anyway, so obviously they’ll try to get him right and hope that he can be a weapon for them later in the season — just as they’re currently doing with Steve Delabar. It could make for a pretty deadly bullpen if it all works out and everybody stays healthy, especially once rosters expand in September, with options like Janssen, McGowan, Sanchez, Cecil, Loup, Redmond, Delabar, Santos, Wagner, and maybe even Morrow.

One might suppose that they wouldn’t have been crying if somebody took that contract off their hands, but the money is already so spread out that I don’t think it matters too much in the grand scheme. If it meant clearing that almost-$4-million for next year, that would be a different story, but in practical terms they’d be clearing about $1.4-million this year, then only $750K from the budget for each of the next three years. Not helping them that much unless they really want to add another guy at about his salary and really are already stretched to the max — neither of which is impossible, but I just don’t see it when the obvious answer is that they think he can help this year if he gets himself straight, which wasn’t going to happen pitching as sparingly in the majors as his current performance warranted.

Gibbons: The Jays Were “In On” Headley

It’s real fuckin’ easy to say after the fact, but according to a tweet from MLB Network Radio, in an appearance on Power Alley with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette, John Gibbons said that the club was “in on” Chase Headley. You can listen to Gibbers’ comments on that, as well as on Aaron Sanchez’s workload, and the fact that Ryan Goins is going to be playing a lot (because he really helps the club’s defence — though also, for some reason, they seem optimistic that he’s found a better level at which to hold his hands while at the plate, which according to a piece from Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun, is a little higher than where Kevin Seitzer had lowered them to earlier in the season).

The Headley thing… I honestly don’t know how inside the trade talk stuff John Gibbons would be. I think a lot of people might immediately start thinking that this means that the team was in it down to the wire, our in-over-his-head GM beaten out for Headley’s service by the smooth-talkin’ total pro Yankees, or some such utter fucking horseshit. The way I imagine it is more that Gibbons was aware that they were looking at Headley, was asked how he might be a fit, what plans there might have been to use him, whose playing time would have to be sacrificed, etc. I’m entirely just making that up, but I dunno… I’m sure not going to jump to any bigger conclusions based on Gibbers’ supposed knowledge of high level trade talks. He’s got his own job to do, y’know?

Renewed Focus On Pitching Trades?

An insufferable criticism that is too often levelled at the Jays without the hint of any basis in truth — at least as far as anything on the public record is concerned — is the one that goes that the front office operates without a plan. It’s one of those things that people without anything better to piss and moan about, who are unwilling to take a moment’s thought about  the reality of how the front office works, use just because they have some pathological need to spray piss all about as a means to defend against having to contemplate any other of their own feelings.

But… uh… sometimes you maybe see a little kernel of truth in it.

I mean, I know they didn’t actually do anything yet to address the lineup, and that not remotely every rumour you hear is actually true, but… um… really? Back to pitching? We didn’t entirely see these hitters coming back to full health on the horizon? All of the sudden it’s, “Hey, Hutchison’s been bad, maybe we should get a pitcher”?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that these guys are getting closer to returning — and seem to be doing so on or ahead of schedule — but… really?

Layin’ Down The Law

Lastly, Keith Law had a chat with readers today at ESPN.com, and while there weren’t many Jays-related tidbits, one sure stands out. *COUGH*

Keith (kc) [via mobile]
A few years back you were on record as saying Sanchez> Thor. What changed during development to make them flip flop?
Klaw
The Jays shortened Sanchez’ stride, claiming it would help him get over his front side more – when the opposite is true – and it has ruined him in several ways. He’s less athletic, his command has gone backwards, he doesn’t finish the breaking ball as consistently, and of course guys with upright finishes and short strides are at greater risk of injury. Meanwhile, Thor just keeps getting better, going from a below-average curveball to a solid-average one in about a year and a half – and the Mets didn’t touch what was already a good delivery.

Ouch.

This is better, at least:

Sagar (NYC)
Jim Bowden suggested that the Mets could get Franklin Barreto for Bartolo Colon. Any thoughts on Barreto? Wouldn’t that be a steal for the Mets?
Klaw
Zero chance of that happening. Like, zero to the power of ten.