Sunday was a great day for baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, as all five teams won, beating their opponents by a combined score of 34-15, with Toronto and Buffalo recording blowout wins. Even the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intercounty Baseball League won in their season opener yesterday.
The Blue Jays, fresh off a 10-2 win against the Mariners, are now headed to their favourite ballpark in St. Petersburg, Florida to play four games. Since the Devil Rays dropped the Satanic reference in 2008, the Blue Jays have gone 10-42 at Tropicana Field (and another three losses if you include a three-game series against the Rays at Disney World in 2008). The Jays only won in their first game there in 2012, meaning that they're on a eight-game losing streak in the concrete coffin. The scores in their last four games there: 7-1, 12-1, 11-5, 3-0. Brendan Kennedy has a series preview for the Star, and jays182 will give a scouting report on starter Jeremy Hellickson later this afternoon.
Blue Jays Related
Jays Try To Regroup After Streak Snapped - Infield fly
Greg Wisniewski's recap of Sunday's game found a Blue Jays club disappointed in its inability to be consistent and its failure to maintain their losing streak.
Is there hope for the Blue Jays? - CBSSports.com
Dayn Perry's analysis pretty much says "no." Perry writes that the Blue Jays are hitting too many ground balls compared to the rest of the American League. The Blue Jays hit 45.2% of batted balls on the ground, the fourth highest number in the league. However, if we look at historical values for the American League, we find that the league average had hovered between 42-44% between 2002 and 2012, so the 45% figure is not outrageously high. However the Jays do have several regulars who are high-ground ball hitters: Munenori Kawasaki (69.6% GB, .234 BABIP), Brett Lawrie (54.2% GB, .222 BABIP), Maicer Izturis (53.0% GB), and Melky Cabrera (52.0% GB), with Lawrie and Izturis' BABIPs significantly below career average. Edwin Encarnacion (.209 BABIP) and Jose Bautista (.190 BABIP) are a couple of key contributors who are also way below average in BABIP, so perhaps Perry should not have dismissed the BABIP mark as easily.
Stop Digging - The Tao of Stieb
Was Sunday's win the game that would turn the Blue Jays around? We won't know until at least a week from now, but the Org Guy writes, "recoveries, even the unlikeliest ones, all begin with a good day [...] One good day isn't enough, but it's better than the alternative and better still if the next day follows suit."
Lawrie HR only 2nd in Canada off a Canuck by Canuck - Canadian Baseball Network
David Matchett of Bob Elliott's Canadian Baseball Network did some digging and found that it was only the third homer ever hit by a Canadian off a Canadian in Canada (I count the one hit by ol' Coffeecock).
Mounds of jokes piled on Blue Jays' Encarnacion - Toronto Sun
Bob Elliott's notes: EE trips over a mound, another Canadian home run record, and John Gibbons' response to R.A. Dickey's use of the word "dysfunctional."
By the way, the Red Sox still think the Blue Jays are cheaters, too - HardballTalk
Apparently, Matthew Pouliot knows that the Red Sox think the Blue Jays are cheating because John Farrell and Brian Butterfield had their catchers give multiple signs with no one on base.
Fingers should be pointed at Jays' Gibbons for failing to adapt - Toronto Sun
Steve Simmons points his finger at John Gibbons, comparing the club's slow start to Rogers' introduction of specialty channels back in 1995.
The Trade of the Damned - Getting Blanked
Drew Fairservice looks at how the players involved in The Trade have fared for their new teams so far this season. (Hint: not good)
Down on the Farm
I had a great time down at Buffalo on Saturday, and successfully got a minor sunburn on my arm. The Bisons didn't win, but still played more entertaining ball than the previous couple of weeks of Blue Jays baseball, losing to the Louisville Bats 6-5. In that game, Moises Sierra got hit in the hand by a pitch, and was rolling around in pain, but the home plate umpire decided to call it a foul ball. Sierra got understandably upset and bounced his helmet on the ground (not hitting anyone) and was ejected from the game in the first inning. He didn't play in Sunday's game because of soreness, but Buffalo News' Amy Moritz reports that he should be back by today. Miguel Batista had a good start, and we saw Jeremy Jeffress' first appearance in Buffalo after his promotion from Dunedin. Jeffress didn't show the heat he had in spring training and his fastball sat at around 91-93 mph. Even with the decreased velocity, Jeffress still had a bit of a control problem. Unfortunately, there were no stolen base attempts by the Bats' Billy Hamilton. Before the game, the Bisons unveiled their Star Wars Night (June 22) jersey and logo, and Celery lost again in the Wings race.
Ortiz deals eight in 8-2 Bisons win - Bisons.com
Ramon Ortiz threw just 104 pitches in 8 innings of work, and Jim Negrych went 2-for-2 in a 8-2 Bisons win over the Bats on Sunday.
Negrych maintains focus on playing for Bisons - Sports - The Buffalo News
Amy Moritz spoke with Jim Negrych about the calls for his promotion to Toronto: "I’m very happy playing baseball here every day and being in the lineup. That’s all I can focus on [...] I don’t get paid to go out and think about what’s the next move for a GM in Toronto to make. My job is to come out here and try to perform and try to help this team win."
Fisher Cats Homer-Happy in 5-2 Win - New Hampshire Fisher Cats News
The Fisher Cats won on Ryan Tepera's six shutout innings and Ryan Schimpf, Adam Loewen, and Clint Robinson's solo homers.
Buffalo Continues To Play Well - Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Batter's Box with game notes on the four minor league games on Sunday.
Star Wars Day MLB Photoshops - MLBFanCave.com
April Whitzman introduces the Jedi, CC3PO Sabathia, and Shin-Soo Choobacca.
IBL Maple Leafs give fans a win in season opener - Toronto Sun
Ian Shantz recaps the other baseball game that was in Toronto yesterday afternoon. The Intercounty Maple Leafs beat the London Majors 9-4 at Christie Pits, with Phil Niekro in attendance. My man Glenn Jackson swatted in a couple of runs with a homer. They play again this coming Sunday against the much-hated Brantford Red Sox.
Roy Halladay likely to be placed on DL, will see doctor about shoulder soreness - SI.com
Roy Halladay is going to take a trip to meet Dr. Lewis Yocum.
The Sabermetrics of Little League - Beyond the Box Score
adarowski analyzes the Pinto division of the Swansea Independent Baseball League.