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Monday Bantering - August 22

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Good Morning BBB faithful. I'm very pleased to be joining the writing team here and look forward to being more active in the community. I posted previously under a couple of usernames, Herms718 and GetUpBall! so maybe you've seen me in some comments sections or read some of my previous fanposts.

Well, that was a disappointing series in Cleveland where the Blue Jays managed one win despite leading each game in the bottom of the 8th inning or later. The team will head back to Toronto with an off-day Monday followed by a 4-game set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. After all the what-might-have-beens experienced over the weekend, let’s take a look at what is making news in Blue Jays land.

Gregor Chisholm tells us that despite improving numbers overall, Brett Cecil’s struggles yesterday continued a worrying trend. I for one will be very interested to see what happens with Cecil in the offseason. I can’t see a team offering a premium-type of contract for him given his struggles this year but relief pitchers seem to currently be at such a premium. He can be so good when he is on, but he just doesn’t seem to be the same guy this year.

Happy 32nd birthday to Melvin Upton Jr who of course celebrated in this way. Nice to see some life in that bat. Now, back up the other outfielders.

MLB Trade Rumors tells us that the Jays had interest in recently DFA’d Carlos Gomez who ended up signing with the Texas Rangers on Saturday. With Pillar getting ready to return (should be activated today) and Bautista improving, I wonder where the Jays would have found a place to play Gomez in an already crowded outfield.

Speaking of DFAs, it seems that the A’s Billy Butler missed some games over the weekend after an altercation with former Blue Jay Danny Valencia as reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. I won't weigh in too much on this sort of stuff as I’m nowhere near the clubhouse, but Ian Hunter of Blue Jay Hunter says this situation reaffirms the team’s decision to DFA Valencia in 2015.

Shi Davidi sheds some more light on the organizational changes made this week (namely the dismissals of Brian Parker, Blake Davis and Doug Davis) by the Blue Jays in an interview with GM Ross Atkins. Unsurprisingly, Davidi tells us that a Cleveland Indians assistant scouting director is in the mix for at least one of the openings.

Over at Fangraphs, Eric Longenhagen teed up former Blue Jay farmhand and 1st round pick Jeff Hoffman’s first MLB start. Of course the start versus the Cubs didn’t go as planned for Hoffman, who gave up 7 hits and 6 runs while walking 1 and striking out 2 over just 4+ innings.

Futures Report

This section gives a brief report of how top-20 Blue Jays prospects (as rated by fared in yesterday’s action. Prospect ranking is in parentheses after each player’s name. This will feature only players that appeared in action yesterday.

In former prospect (and soon to be in Toronto) news, Dalton Pompey went 2-4 with a solo HR in Buffalo yesterday. He is now hitting .275 for the season.

Richard Urena (1) went 1-4 with a single and is hitting .333 since his promotion to AA. Anthony Alford (3) had an ugly 0-6 with 3 K, lowering his average to .240. Vladimir Guerrero Jr (7) went 2-4 with a HR, now hitting .276 on the season. Rowdy Tellez (9) had a rare 0-4 night, dropping him to .297 this year. J.B. Woodman (13) went 0-3, now hitting .294 in Vancouver. Max Pentecost (14) went 2-5 with 2 singles, upping his average to .333. Ryan Borucki (17) scattered 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6 over 5.0 IP; his ERA now stands at a tidy 1.98 over 59.0 innings. Joshua Palacios (18) went 1-4 with a single in Vancouver; hitting .366 on the year. Patrick Murphy (19) started in Vancouver giving up 8 hits and 4 runs over 5.0 IP (2 BB/2 K); ERA is at 2.73 for the season.