chart (9)

Another one for the loss column. And so reasonable people will be reasonable about it, and garbage clowns will be garbage clowns. Whatever.

lindseattle

Not counting last night, since the All-Star break the Jays have lost the first game of a series five times, and have ended up winning four of those series’, with only a painful 2-1 loss to Miguel Gonzalez and the Orioles at Rogers Centre, as they failed to capitalize on a tremendous eight-inning, 12-strikeout performance from tonight’s starter, J.A. Happ, preventing them from being five-for-five.

Does that mean they’re in a great position tonight, despite’s last night’s drubbing? Well… no. It just doesn’t mean they aren’t, either.

And their position is strengthened quite tremendously by the fact that Adam Lind will return to the lineup tonight, hitting behind Jose Bautista in the cleanup spot that’s been far, far too long vacant of his or Edwin Encarnacion’s bat. The reinforcements are coming. The Jays held on as best they could, and from this point things should get real interesting.

Now don’t fuck it up!

Scuttlebutt

Jose Reyes back in the lineup tonight. Sigh of relief.

Gregor Chisholm tweets that the Jays don’t have Aaron Sanchez, Chad Jenkins, or Todd Redmond available in the bullpen tonight. Otherwise, they’re good to go.

Brendan Kennedy writes in the Toronto Star about J.A. Happ, who has a 1.71 ERA since the All-Star break. Holy!

Meanwhile, in the National Post, John Lott writes about Colby Rasmus, who is not having the kind of contract year he’d hoped for. He also talks to R.A. Dickey about the constant adjustments the Jays’ nominal ace has to make, navigating the deep lineups of the American League with his trick pitch.

The Jays announced today that Neil Wagner will have Tommy John surgery. Ouch.

They also announced, which I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here anywhere (because it’s so screamingly obvious after last night), that Brad Mills was D’d FA in order to make room for the club to activate Adam Lind.

At FanGROFs, Drew wrote about the Orioles’ offence, which, somewhat infuriatingly, continues steaming along. Ugh.

Mike Harrington tweets that Bisons manager Gary Allenson says that Edwin Encarnacion will play first base tomorrow night, and his position for Thursday’s game is TBA. (The Jays have an off-day on Thursday, by the way).

“I don’t run hard, but just try to control my running style, so it will be alright,” says Edwin, according to a tweet from Harrington. (Commas mine). Hmmm.

“I know I ruffled some feathers. I made my apologies and it’s no longer a story,” says Adam Lind of the stuff about his mom telling him to get an MRI, according to a tweet from Barry Davis.

Harring also tweets that Kevin Pillar has been killing it lately, or something. Still doesn’t walk, though.

I’m involved in the next edition of Pitch Talks, which will be taking place a week from Thursday, along with a host of great panelists: Stacey May Fowles, Jenn Smith, Erin Valois, Shi Davidi, Sid Seixeiro and Jeremy Taggart. Get your tickets here.

I also do believe that a week from tonight, Tuesday, with the Jays in Milwaukee, seems like a good time to have a little DJF shindig over at Opera Bob’s. Watch for more info! Though… that’s pretty much the info. Just come drink and eat hot dogs and watch baseball.

Lastly, since Facebook changed its algorithms with respect to sharing, it’s really become a much more powerful social media tool, and so it’s probably in your best interest to just go right ahead and like DJF on Facebook, so that you can get everything that’s posted here injected straight into your feed-veins. Do it.

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 10:10 PM ET @ Seattle

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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Adam Lind (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Danny Valencia (R)
1B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)

LHP J.A. Happ

Seattle Mariners

CF Austin Jackson (R)
LF Dustin Ackley (L)
2B Robinson Cano (L)
DH Kendrys Morales (S)
3B Kyle Seager (L)
RF Chris Denorfia (R)
C Mike Zunino (R)
1B Logan Morrison (L)
SS Chris Taylor (R)

RHP Chris Young

edwinbisons

Do you get the sense that Jays fans are a little excited about the impending return of slugger Edwin Encarnacion? Because I sure do, and so does my Twitter feed, which exploded tonight when Edwin, in his second at-bat in a rain-delayed rehab start for the Buffalo Bisons, did… well… this:

(Video after the jump).

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MTLcrowd2

Hat tip to Bluebird Banter for this one, as they’ve spotted a report from Montreal’s 98,5 Sports that says a tentative agreement has been set, and that evenko will once again be opening up the doors to le Stade Olympique, as the Jays will face off with Canada’s own Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds for two games next spring.

It’s a hell of a bit of great news to come today, on the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the strike that led to the cancellation of the 1994 season — in which, of course, the Expos were running away with the NL East and certain to win the World Series (or whatever revisionist history we allow ourselves to believe about it). This year’s event was positively magical.

It’s also maybe a bit weird, though, given the massive support that Jays fans on the west coast are right this fucking minute showing for the team down in Seattle, as they learn that the hope of bringing spring training games to BC Place has been spurned, at least for another year.

And that’s especially disappointing, I’d wager, since it’s been less than two weeks since reports arose suggesting the Vancouver Canadians were looking into ways to bring a Blue Jays exhibition to the city.

From Metronews.ca:

Vancouver Canadians president Andy Dunn, speaking on Team 1040 radio on Thursday, said it’s something the local club is looking at. The C’s are the short-season Single-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, Canada’s lone Major League Baseball team.

There’s one major obstacle, however, at the recently renovated BC Place and that is the new video board, Dunn told the Vancouver sports radio station.

. . .

“We’re going to be sending some guys down there in the coming weeks. We’re actually going to go hit in the place and just find out how big a factor that video board comes into play. And if it doesn’t come into play, hopefully that’s something we’ll definitely be working on and bringing some exhibition games to BC Place.”

One supposes the Jays could do a series both cities — it would certainly be a revenue win, a win for the brand, and it’s not like they’d be leaving behind a palace in Dunedin to do it — but that’s a lot of travel. And if it’s just one that can be done, it looks like Montreal is it, for now.

Hard to blame the Jays, as the 98,5 Sports report says (translated from French), that the Pittsburgh Pirates were in talks about being the Jays’ opponents, and that, in fact, several teams reportedly wanted a part of the action following the success of this year’s series.

Of course, at that time I wrote about the excitement for baseball’s big return to the Big O, while at the same time fearing when “the dubious hand of Rogers starts milking it, year after year, for all it’s worth until it’s fucked to death, like you and I both know that they will.” Is this the beginning of that? Maybe not if Vancouver finds a way to accommodate some games. And even if it is, round two in Montreal next spring? Fucking right, that still sounds awesome!

edwinMILHR

Edwin Encarnacion will leadoff and DH for the Buffalo Bisons tonight (if the weather allows them to get the game in — which apparently could be an issue, though the Bisons are holding firm as of 5:20 PM ET that the game will be played), with the plan being to have him join the Jays in Chicago on Friday, where they take on the White Sox for a three-game weekend set, followed by an off-day and two in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

According to a tweet from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the Bisons have moved their batting practice indoors this afternoon. More interestingly, he’s posted some video of Edwin taking a couple swings.

Check it out after the jump…

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griffbag

Another week, another Griff Bag! Aka Richard Griffin’s latest mail bag from over at the Toronto Star! Er… except that I haven’t actually done one of these for a couple of weeks, but why let that spoil a good opening line?

Anywho…

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, unless it’s about fucking Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-With the season in full swing and drawing to the crunch. I have a question regarding this offseason, the Jays have projected payroll of controlled/buyouts of 96 million. With the dominant starter still not there to stop the bleeding on a Jays team, would it be at all possible that the Jays are able to trade Buehrle (20 mill next season), and Dickey (12 mill next season) without including a bunch of cash going the other way? The reason I suggest this is that they could then replace those 2 starters with more proven, reliable starters, 1 of the following of ie Ervin Santana, James Shields, Jon Lester or Max Scherzer? Then sign a Jake Peavy, Brett Anderson, Josh Beckett, Justin Masterson, to be the 3 or 4 starter? I know it is Fantasy baseball talk here but wouldn’t one of those aforementioned pitchers be a better option then Buehrle for the same type of coin and the latter be better then Dickey?

Scott Cochrane, Niagara on the Lake

Uh… why would a team agree to take on Mark Buehrle at the full freight of $22-million for next season when they too could give up nothing and sign one of those guys that you mentioned? Where is the advantage for the other team? Is it that they may not be able to sign one of those guys themselves? Because that makes no sense — they have the money, and pretty much any team is as likely to sign a free agent pitcher as the Jays are if the money is there. So… ?

Dickey you’d have a better time giving away, but not seeing how $12-million on the free agent market gets you 200 virtually guaranteed innings of a former Cy Young pitcher with a sub-4.00 ERA in the AL East and a club option for 2016 at the same rate.

If you have an internal rotation option you believe in, or acquire a pitcher on the cheap, then maybe you take a bath on a portion of the last year of the Buehrle deal and repurpose those dollars into fixing the outfield, for example, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot harder to make this team better while taking away Buehrle than all the armchair GM’s think.

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safecoTSNSM

Late night baseball with home field advantage in a playoff race! Does it get much better than this?

Well… maybe if this generation’s Roy Halladay wasn’t on the mound for the Jays’ opponents, in the midst of the best season of his career. Or if the Jays’ two big bats, hopeful of making a return in this series, were quite ready.

They’re close, though. Edwin Encarnacion will play tomorrow for Buffalo in a rehab game, due to some bad weather in Florida that’s caused havoc with his assignment, while Adam Lind is currently travelling to Seattle, with the expectation that he’ll be activated tomorrow.

By the looks of the image above from @TSNScottyMac the Jays fans on the west coast are sure doing their part — this was 90 minutes before the first pitch! — which should make for a hell of an atmosphere tonight.

Let’s do it!

Scuttlebutt

It’s not an injury, relax — or so he said, according to a Barry Davis tweet — but Jose Reyes has been given the day off. Commence freaking out about it anyway, or raging that John Gibbons would dare sit one of the club’s best bats on a night when offence is going to be at such a premium. Try remembering that nobody plays 162, though, and that it’s really not a big deal. “He needs it,” says John Gibbons, according to a Scott MacArthur tweet.

The bullpen doesn’t have a lot of bullets tonight, tweets Gregor Chisholm, as only Casey Janssen, Aaron Loup, and Brad Mills are said to be available.

From around the American League: the Orioles have lost Manny Machado to a knee sprain, though there’s no word how long he’ll be out. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander of the Tigers exited a game today with a sore shoulder, while the Royals made a nice pickup in Josh Willingham, formerly of the Twins.

The Jays have averaged over 35,000 in attendance over their last 30 home games according to a tweet from Ben Nicholson-Smith. That’ll play.

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 10:10 PM ET @ Seattle

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 Munenori Kawasaki (L)
DH Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
DH Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Danny Valencia (R)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Steve Tolleson (R)
LF Anthony Gose (L)

RHP Drew Hutchison

Seattle Mariners

CF Austin Jackson (R)
LF Dustin Ackley (L)
2B Robinson Cano (L)
DH Kendrys Morales (S)
3B Kyle Seager (L)
C Mike Zunino (R)
1B Logan Morrison (L)
RF Endy Chavez (L)
SS Brad Miller (L)

RHP Felix Hernandez