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Friday Bantering - September 2

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Meaningful September Baseball!

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Have a great long weekend everyone! I’m headed to Kelowna/Vernon for some golf with buddies. If you’ve never golfed Predator Ridge (specifically the Ridge course), find a way to get there. It is truly magnificent. The Rise is another course in Vernon (a Fred Couples course) that is incredible. Anyway, before I make this a golf story...

With the dog days of summer in the rear view mirror, September baseball will commence this evening. It isn’t that long ago that I remember nothing but pleas for ‘meaningful September baseball’. With as great as the last two seasons have been, it can be easy to forget that we are only two years removed from what felt like perpetually having nothing to look forward to in September except a call-up from our latest catcher/pitcher/outfielder of the future. Apologies in advance for any recall of awful memories, but let’s look at where the Jays were in terms of record on the first day of September in recent years:

  • 2016: 76-57 (up 2.0 games in division)
  • 2015: 74-57 (up 1.5 games)
  • 2014: 69-67 (10.5 games back)
  • 2013: 62-74 (18.5 games back)
  • 2012: 60-71 (15.0 games back)
  • 2011: 68-68 (15.5 games back)
  • 2010: 69-63 (13.0 games back)
  • 2009: 59-70 (23.0 games back)

Unfortunately, I could go back all the way to 1994. Let’s hope we never have to wait 20 years between playoffs again.

Here’s some news and notes in Blue Jays land:

To the surprise of exactly no one, the Blue Jays re-signed Josh Thole to a major league contract. What was a little surprising was the corresponding move with Devon Travis being sent down but just some roster maneuvering on the Jays’ part (nothing to see here). Thole will continue as R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher while the arrival of Dioner Navarro makes it extremely unlikely we’ll see Thole outside of the knuckleballer’s starts which is great news for Jays’ fans. I don’t believe Dickey will be on the postseason roster this year.

This will likely be the only time I link to this guy, but I actually enjoyed Sid Seixeiro’s rant about Rougned Odor and Jeff Banister in case you missed it...I know, I know.

Michael Baumann of gives a great reminder that the Jays are still awesome.

The Hunter Brothers Corn Maze in New Brunswick has immortalized Jose Bautista’s bat flip in this year’s maze. Pretty cool stuff.

Gideon Turk offers his opinion of why Brett Cecil isn’t seeing better results on Baseball Prospectus. He cites poorer command of the curveball and some bad luck as the determining factors. I was arguing pro-Cecil in another thread not too long ago (I’m softening my position) and found much the same thing as Mr. Turk. Nothing stands out on Cecil in terms of velocity, swing rates, etc. that would suggest his struggles won’t regress as the sample size grows. If he can somehow harness the Cecil we are largely used to, suddenly our bullpen would have to be among the best in baseball.

Speaking of Cecil, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet says Cecil and Marcus Stroman both need to have strong finishes for the Jays.

Big shout-out to the Jays’ training staff from Brendan Kennedy of The Star. Theirs is really a thankless job so nice to see something complimentary about them.

Andrew Stoeten of Blue Jays nation recalls John Gibbons’ only MLB home run. Watch the no-doubter here.

Futures Market

No highlight on the prospects today. Too much going on to get it in. I’m rethinking how to present it anyway since showing only one day’s performance doesn’t tell you much. Likely will look to do a weekly showcase instead. I’ll try to settle on what I’d like to do and get ready for next season since minor league baseball is wrapping up soon.