Positives were few and far between since the last Monday Morning Media Mashup: the Blue Jays went 1-5, but on the bright side, as Joanna from Hum and Chuck put it, at least no one died. Well, on with the next 3/4 of the season!
I thought today was an off day--a chance for the exhausted Toronto Blue Jays bullpen to reset itself, but I was wrong: they face the Baltimore Orioles and Raymond Thomas Hunter tonight at 7:07 pm. The last time Tommy Hunter faced the Blue Jays he tossed a 6-inning 3-hitter. The Jays' offence will have to do better than that to support Drew Hutchison.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I'd be happy with a .500 run from May 14 through May 30 because of the difficulty in the schedule. The Blue Jays have gone 5-8 in the 13 games since I wrote that. They'll need a sweep of the Orioles to match what I was hoping would happen. How do you think the Jays will do this upcoming series? Answer in the poll below! Now off to the links (apologies, I forgot to check "inserted links open in a new window" so you'll have to do that yourself):
Blue Jays Related
Nobody Said It Would Be Easy - The Tao of Stieb
The Org Guy's weekend post looks back at the Blue Jays' recent funk and at possible future roster changes.
Breaking down Toronto Blue Jays' Brandon Morrow's trouncing in Texas - National Post
Guy Spurrier (follow him @grspur) analyzes Brandon Morrow's disastrous inning against the Rangers using Pitch f/x and some pretty graphs. Spurrier also notes that, after a peak in average fastball speed (94.3 mph) in late April, it has been dropping, reaching around 91.8 mph on Friday. His mean fastball speed this season is about 1 mph slower than it was in 2011.
Baltimore Orioles, unlikely AL East leaders, hit town to face Blue Jays - Toronto Star
Brendan Kennedy profiles the incoming Baltimore Orioles. They have to fall back down to earth, right? How about starting tonight?
Carson on Blue Jays: Rocky Horror Road Show - Sportsnet.ca
Panic time! Scott Carson writes that the Blue Jays' "status fell closer to pretender than contender" after going 1-5 on this roadtrip. Really? I don't think my overall impression of this team had changed at all during these past 6 games. I knew the Jays were going though a very difficult stretch in their schedule, I knew from FIP-ERA comparisons that the starting pitchers would have to regress some. I knew that the umpires are probably not very happy with the club. I knew that the offense (Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus) would eventually have to come around. In my mind, the Blue Jays were, and are still, an 85-86 win team.
Alex Convery doesn't write anything Jays fans don't already know but it's nice to see the struggling Jays continue to some attention south of the border.
2012 Community Mock Draft: American League East Review - Minor League Ball
The folks at Minor League Ball did a simulation of the Rule 4 draft (which happens starting next Monday). For the Blue Jays (whose first pick is at #17) they selected RHP Lucas Giolito, although John Sickels doubts his signability at that slot. The first overall pick belongs to the Houston Astros, and the community has selected OF Byron Buxton.
Flashback Friday: The 1994 Blue Jays on Toronto High Five - The Blue Jay Hunter
Ian looks back at the show mid-90s kids show Toronto High Five and their profiles on Robert Perez, Paul Molitor, Ed Sprague, Randy Knorr, and Carlos Delgado. Weird favourite players noted by the kids who were interviewed: Randy Knorr, Domingo Martinez, Robert Perez. And people said "back catcher". Also fun: referring to Carlos Delgado as the backup catcher. So sad that these kids don't know that there would be no World Series in 1994 and that Blue Jays empire was about to crumble.
What Ever Happened To: Corey Patterson? - Back in Blue Network
A question no one has ever asked.
Down On The Farm and Around The League links after the jump!
Down On The Farm
Versatile McCoy willing, able to pitch in - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Mike McCoy thinks that the Las Vegas 51s are one of the best teams he has ever been on, a "good mix of veterans and young guys." Steve Carp's profile of the ultimate utility guy speaks with McCoy and manager Marty Brown, who said that McCoy would probably be the second non-pitcher to come out of the bullpen, after Chris Woodward. McCoy may soon get the tap to join the Blue Jays if Kelly Johnson or Yunel Escobar need to spend any time on the disabled list.
What Else Is There To Say About Lansing? - OK Blue Jays
Chad writes about the amazing Lansing Lugnuts (especially the pitching staff). What are the chances the Lugnuts are going to stay more-or-less intact through the end of the season? Are promotions to Dunedin far away?
Dylan Bundy of the Baltimore Orioles is the new No. 1 prospect in baseball - ESPN (Insider Only)
I'm paywalled. Which Blue Jays farm hands are on this list and where?
Around The League
In season of bad luck, presenting unluckiest team of all, the San Diego Padres - CBSSports.com
Triskaidekaphobics look away! The San Diego Padres currently have 13 players on the disabled list. Not 13 at various times this season--13 right now. If we disregard the players on the DL, they are fielding a team with a $27 million payroll.
Montero's surprising $60M deal reflects love of catcher, but more a fear of losing him - CBSSports.com
Seeing the Arizona Diamondbacks giving $60 million over 5 years to Miguel Montero makes me glad that the Jays have a steady stream of catchers in development.
How MLB Should Punish Players Who Drink And Drive - Baseball Nation
Wendy Thurm thinks that the punishment for a player charged with DUI should start at 15 games. The prevailing argument against league punishment for DUI is that the Commissioner's office should not punish for off-field behaviour, but that argument is nulled because they did suspend Delmon Young for his off-field assault. Major League franchise owners and the MLBPA need to step up and seriously address this issue before spring training next season.
Rays OF Rich Thompson's pact with baseball - ESPN
Nice story about a former Blue Jays minor leaguer who went 2,950 days (and 3,250 minor league at bats) between Major League at bats. Thompson was called up by the Tampa Bay Rays and scored the winning run in extras against the Blue Jays.
Paul Konerko – one of the greatest 34-36 year old players in history - High Heat Stats
It is a little surprising, but Andy from High Heat Stats shows how the Chicago White Sox' Paul Konerko actually ranks up there as being one of the best 34-36 year olds to ever play the game.
Should Marlins Pursue Cubs' Reed Johnson? - Baseball Nation
It's nice to see that former Blue Jay (and fan favourite) Reed Johnson may get to join a team in the running for a playoff spot. My favourite line in the Rob Neyer piece: "Reed Johnson certainly won't be around when the Cubs are ready to win -- I don't mean win a pennant; I mean just win, like one game [...]"
What’s The Deal With Umpire Strike Calls? - Mop Up Duty
Callum Hughson writes about the different styles of strike out calls around the league. Deadspin has a series called "Better Know An Umpire" and you can find each unique strike out call in every profile.
GIFs of the Day: Todd Frazier Hits a No-Handed Home Run off of Jamie Moyer - Getting Blanked
I posted this in the GameThread yesterday but it's so cool I gotta post it again. Todd Frazier (who?) literally threw his bat at a Jamie Moyer pitch and it went over the wall at Great American Ballpark.