Archive for the ‘Game Threat’ Category

Yep.

pompeyhits

Things truly have come undone for the Jays this week, but maybe that’s precisely the kind of thing that this season needed. The 2014 Blue Jays’ time is winding down, but it’s in these days that we get little moments of excitement — or… at least… y’know… semi-excitement — like the one we’re in for tonight, as Dalton Pompey makes his first major league start.

Granted, we’re maybe not quite seeing Brett Lawrie levels of maple excitement from the maple dick set. Shit, even I’m guilty — my lazy ass sure wasn’t going to whip up a clever photoshop for the occasion (not that I would have nailed it anywhere near as hard as I did on the occasion of Lawrie’s debut anyway). But I think there are some fairly reasonable reasons for that, even if Pompey really is someone we ought to be getting excited about.

The Jays’ previous beloved-prospect-with-the-right-birth-certificate was, by the time of his promotion, a regular at the high end of the various top prospect lists, after being one of the highest Canadians ever drafted, and acquired in a deal from Milwaukee for Shaun Marcum, who had been one of the Jays’ top drinkers pitchers at the time of the deal.

Pompey, on the other hand, has been into a couple games already, for one. More to the point, though, he was a 16th rounder in 2010 — and a young one at that — who didn’t play a full season as a pro until last year at Lansing, spending his previous three years with the GCL Jays, the Bluefield Blue Jays, and the Vancouver Canadians, before getting a five game taste of life as a Lugnut at the end of 2012.

He had never sniffed a Top 100 list, and — just to use a couple quick examples — wasn’t even among the top ten Blue Jays prospects for either Baseball America or Keith Law heading into any of the 2012, 2013, or 2014 seasons.

But this year was one for the ages. One where everything clicked — where all the raw tools finally, spectacularly, translated into actual on-field success.

At Dunedin, where he was a year-and-a-half younger than the average for position players, he slashed .319/.397/.471.

In New Hampshire, nearly four years younger than his position player peers, for 127 plate appearances, it was .295/.378/.473.

And in 56 PA for Buffalo it was .358/.393/.453.

Pompey, at 21, was six years younger than the average position player in the International League during his stint. He’s a fucking switch hitting, above average defensive centrefielder. And we’re worried about Anthony Gose and Kevin fucking Pillar?

This guy… this is the guy.

If it keeps working, that is. So damn right, let’s fucking see it.

Scuttlebutt

Apparently Edwin Encarnacion went for an MRI on his back this afternoon. He also has already hit a home run. So… that’s good, but can we please get some fucking real grass in the Rogers Centre already?

Jeff Blair’s got an interesting piece up at Sportsnet on the Jays’ roving pitching instructor, Rick Langford.

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 4:05 PM ET @ New York (AL); Sunday, 1:05 PM ET @ New York (AL)

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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Danny Valencia (R)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
LF Dalton Pompey (S)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

LHP Mark Buehrle

New York Yankees

CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
SS Derek Jeter (R)
C Brian McCann (L)
1B Mark Teixeira (S)
DH Carlos Beltran (S)
LF Brett Gardner (L)
2B Stephen Drew (L)
3B Chase Headley (S)
RF Ichiro Suzuki (L)

RHP Big Hirok

The Final Countdown is maybe a bit… um… final for where the Jays’ 2014 season currently sits. It’s not currently smoldering wreckage, even! The teams that hold the AL’s Wild Card spots are both 4-6 over their last ten, and the Jays have four games remaining with the team that sits between them and those two. Things are still possible!

It’s just… yeah…

Scuttlebutt

No Dioner Navarro tonight, as John Lott tweets that John Gibbons says his catcher felt a little “fuzzy” after taking a foul tip off the mask last night. He passed his concussion tests, though.

I could probably just save this for tomorrow’s Daily Duce (which originally was going to be Monday’s Daily Duce!), but it’s worth a read and a listen now: Scott MacArthur has a lengthy interview with Colby Rasmus up at TSN.ca (with a transcript provided for those who’d rather read it). Over at Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer tries to make sense of the words of the eminently likable, but obviously frustrated outfielder. His ultimate advice: for his own good, maybe Colby should just go home.

Scuzzlebutt

And Patrick Duffy for a leg?

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET @ New York (AL)

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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Adam Lind (L)
LF John Mayberry Jr. (R)
3B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
C Josh Thole (R)
2B Ryan Goins (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

LHP J.A. Happ

Baltimore Orioles

3B Jimmy Paredes (S)
RF Steve Pearce (R)
CF Adam Jones (R)
DH Nelson Cruz (R)
LF Delmon Young (R)
SS J.J. Hardy (R)
1B Christian Walker (R)
C Caleb Joseph (R) C
2B Jonathan Schoop (R)

RHP Bud Norris

The Oriole Bird

Everything. About. This.

Hey! It’s the Jays and O’s! Playing baseball! Or… something.

The Jays probably want to win this one, FYI.

Yeah, I got nothing.

Except this: Baltimore’s mascot is called The Oriole Bird. The fuck? Tautology much?

Also: Kawasaki? Really?

 

Image via.

wirefuck

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Not going to lie: I operated for much of this fine-ish Monday that today was an off-day for the Jays. Guess not! Though it is an off-day for both Anthony Gose and, evidently, common goddamn sense.

That’s the only conclusion I can come to from tonight’s alignment of Jays outfielders, which sees the best centre fielder of the trio, Kevin Pillar, in left; the best right fielder, Jose Bautista, in centre; and John Mayberry in right.

I’m a huge fan of John Gibbons, but I have no idea what the hell that is all about — though it speaks, I think, to the unfortunate political nature of how this sort of stuff is among the guys actually in the clubhouse. Shi Davidi tweeted this afternoon that the alignment looks as it does because John Mayberry Jr. prefers to play in right. In no rational universe should that matter an iota, but a baseball clubhouse is hardly a rational universe — Jose Bautista prefers to hit third out of some bizarre point of pride, for example, which is the same reason a guy like Troy Tulowitzki says he’d rather retire than move off shortstop. On one hand you want to say, “You’re employees! You do what your bosses tell you! So bosses, tell them!!!” But on the other, we know they’re really not, and evidently it simply can’t work that way.

That, of course, is why we’re seeing Jose Reyes at shortstop again tonight as well, despite the fact that Ryan Goins is also on the field. And why we see things like Jeff Blair’s post this morning (was that really this morning???) at Sportsnet about the Jays not yet having broached the idea of a position change with their shortstop — even as he plays through injury, with a superior defender next to him on the field — and supposedly not aiming to in the off-season, either.

Oh, but “you can expect general manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons to tell Reyes in exit interviews that they will give him more off days next season – including some turns as a designated hitter, which Reyes has fought this season,” we’re told. And with new turf, and Brett Lawrie (hopefully) and Goins (not so much hopefully) providing cover, they think they’ll be able to hide him enough to be passable.

It’s fucking absurd. But it is what it is.

Still, though, say what you will for advanced defensive metrics, but how’s this for a puke-in-your-mouth comparison? This year by UZR Reyes has been 9.1 runs below average, and his DRS is -16. Guess who sits at a shitty-but-less-shitty -5.5 UZR and -10 DRS?

Yep. It’s Derek Jeter.

To be fair, Reyes has played more innings, over a bigger sample Jeter has been considerably worse, and Reyes is playing through an injury. But on the other hand… JESUS CHRIST!

Oh, hey, but at least the Jays also spent the weekend pissing away crucial games to the Rays, leading their more-improbable-than-ever playoff quest to Baltimore for three games starting tonight, then the Bronx for four.

Guh.

Scuttlebutt

Meh.

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET @ Baltimore

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)
CF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dionner Navarro (S)
1B Danny Valencia (R)
RF John Mayberry Jr. (R)
3B Steve Tolleson (R)
LF Kevin Pillar (R)
2B Ryan Goins (L)

RHP Marcus Stroman

Baltimore Orioles

RF Nick Markakis (L)
LF Alejandro De Aza (L)
CF Adam Jones (R)
DH Nelson Cruz (R)
1B Steve Pearce (R)
SS J.J. Hardy (R)
3B Kelly Johnson (L)
2B Ryan Flaherty (L)
C Caleb Joseph (R)

LHP Wei-Yin Chen

 

Image via. (NSFW)

Weekend Threat: Jays vs. Rays

Welp. The Jays sure could have done better last night than wasting a very good J.A. Happ start — not to mention squandering one of the precious few losses they can afford to give up if they are to maintain any shred of a pretense that they’re still in a playoff race — by failing to muster a single good goddamn thing against Nate fucking Karns. Ugh.

Better do better today, boys.

happsterbackground

It was a tremendous time, as usual, last night at the final Pitch Talks event of the season. And, also as usual, it’s been a less tremendous morning after. And afternoon after. And evening after.

Ugh.

But baseball!

The dumb Clevelands won both ends of their doubleheader against the Twins yesterday, pulling even with the Jays to sit 3.5 games behind the holders of the second Wild Card spot, the Detroit Tigers (and just 4.5 games behind the floundering holders of the first spot, the Oakland A’s — with the Mariners, of course, still to be surmounted). Noted Jays-killer Chris Davis of the Orioles was suspended today, so that’s a spot of good news given the fact that the Jays have six games still remaining with Baltimore. But tonight, and for the next two days, the focus is on the Rays — and with Nate Karns getting the start in place of Drew Smyly, the Jays have a pretty solid chance to get a leg up on the series. So… let’s do that?

I don’t know. I’ve got nothing.

Go Jays!

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 1:07 PM ET vs. Tampa; Sunday, 1:07 PM ET vs. Tampa

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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Adam Lind (L)
C Dionner Navarro (S)
3B Danny Valencia (R)
LF Kevin Pillar (R)
2B Ryan Goins (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

LHP J.A. Happ

Tampa Bay Rays

CF Ben Zobrist (S)
LF Brandon Guyer (R)
3B Evan Longoria (R)
RF Wil Myers (R)
1B James Loney (L)
SS Yunel Escobar (R)
2B Logan Forsythe (R)
C Ryan Hanigan (R)
DH Sean Rodriguez (R)

RHP Nate Karns