Major League Baseball's best are flying to Kansas City, Missouri to play in the 83rd All-Star Game at the newly renovated Kauffman Stadium, while 24 out of the 25 Blue Jays are going elsewhere to spend the next few days. The Blue Jays will be taking 4 days off before reconvening at the Rogers Centre on Friday the 13th against the Cleveland Indians. In Toronto waiting for their return would be the replacement for reliever Luis Perez, who was placed on the 15-day DL right after yesterday's game with left elbow tightness. Who would be coming up in his place? Chad Beck? Joel Carreno? Travis Snider? Or would it be the Blue Jays' 26th pitcher of the season?
Of course, we here at Bluebird Banter do not take the All-Star break off. We will have a live chat thread for tonight's Home Run Derby as well as tomorrow night's All-Star Game. But first, here are your Monday morning links to go with your breakfast and coffee:
Blue Jays Related
Jays pat themselves on back - Toronto Sun
Toronto Blue Jays front office personnel were texting each other messages of congratulations after Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond was named to the National League All-Star team. Why? Bob Elliott has the story. Unfortunately, Desmond has to skip the All-Star Game in hopes of speeding up his recovery on a left oblique strain.
Mike Trout, Brett Lawrie part of first-half defensive All-Star team - ESPN
Behind the paywall, Ben Jedlovec of Baseball Info Solutions names Blue Jays third-baseman Brett Lawrie to the first-half defensive All-Star team. Going into Sunday's game, Brett Lawrie has accrued 5.0 rWAR, with 3.6 wins coming from his defensive efforts and 1.6 from his offense. According to Fangraphs, Brett Lawrie also leads the MLB with 32 defensive runs saved.
Blue Jays' Darren Oliver deserves all-star nod - CBC Sports
Kevin Glew gives reliever Darren Oliver some much-needed attention. He has been one of the few bright spots in the bullpen this year, and yet the majority of casual fans would not appreciate what he has done.
Jays mid-season grades - Sportsnet
Mr. Carson submits the grades for the Blue Jays' mid-term report card. Just like real report cards, it is composed of numbers and generic sentences. Please return it signed by president/guardian Paul Beeston.
Omar Vizquel Hates Flying American Airlines - NotGraphs Baseball
Omar Vizquel tweets some words that would not be appropriate here on Bluebird Banter.
On Vacation - The Blue Jay Hunter
Congratulations to Ian, the Blue Jay Hunter, who got married on the weekend (in order to coincide his honeymoon with the All-Star break)! We will miss his posts this coming week.
Down On The Farm
The Jays' AAA affiliate is 50-40 (.556) and 5 games behind the division-leading Sacramento River Cats at the All-Star break, despite promoting 14 players and 4/5 of their original starting rotation to the Blue Jays. They did get some help from the Jays with Adam Lind and Eric Thames' demotions, and of course, Travis Snider's longer-than-expected stay.
Toronto Blue Jays' pitching prospects experiencing growing pains - National Post
John Lott writes about the troubles prospects Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire have been experiencing this year in AA New Hampshire. They have been doing better lately--have they turned a corner?
Former managers help influence Brown's style - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Marty Brown, the manager of the Las Vegas 51s and the PCL All-Stars, found that playing with Pete Rose and Frank Robinson to be [expletive]. He tells Todd Dewey who he enjoyed playing for and who he patterns himself after.
Lansing Lugnuts host 4-H Science Day at stadium - MLive.com
Baseball + Science = Greatest combo ever.
Around The League links after the jump!
Around The League
URL Weaver: The Pitchers On the Block Edition - Getting Blanked
Weekender Travis Reitsma writes about the starters who are potentially on the trading block.
The Home Run Derby, Dull and Perfectly So - Infield fly
Greg Wisniewski is a fan of the Home Run Derby, and I am too. The Derby begins tonight, at 8 pm Eastern.
Milwaukee Brewers at Houston Astros - MLB.com
Zack Greinke suffered through premature ejection on Saturday, just 4 pitches into his start. Milwaukee Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke tapped him as the starter yesterday, and he is the projected starter for the Brewers' first game after the All-Star break this Friday. Greinke is in line to be the first pitcher to start three-straight games in a single season since the Chicago White Sox' Red Faber's feat in 1917.
Boston Red Sox's Vicente Padilla says New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira would be better off in 'women's game' - ESPN
WARNING: Drama level has risen to soap opera level.
GIFcap: Thunder strike sends Rangers & Twins players running scared - Chad Moriyama
Remember that earthquake when the Blue Jays were playing in Petco Park?
Wimbledon: Filip Peliwo makes it a junior sweep for Canada - Toronto Star
Congratulations to Canadians Filip Peliwo and Eugenie Bouchard for winning the Wimbledon junior circuit! This is a great achievement for Tennis Canada.