I’m writing this prior to the series opener against the Mariners. I hope that everyone is reading this happily after a resounding victory on Monday!
With regards to the Jays, the past couple of weeks have been trying indeed. Generally speaking, I stand up for my team no matter what. I enjoy debating with friends on roster construction, lineups and so on but I’m very quick to argue when people make statements like “[insert player name] sucks” or “[so and so] is useless”. I have to admit that it is getting harder and harder to defend this team, but I’ll try. Here are some random thoughts and links about our up and down team.
- I’m on record as saying that the final stretch is not a good time to see if Dalton Pompey is a MLB-caliber player. I’m changing my tune simply because of how bad our outfield has been playing. At this point, let’s see if he can spark something for us from the 8 or 9 hole.
- Both MLB.com and Fangraphs.com have us at about 66.7% to reach the postseason (most likely as a wildcard at this point). Not all that long ago I was clamoring for meaningful September baseball but it would be heartbreaking not to see us in the wildcard game at least.
- With Boston in the driver’s seat in the AL East, it appears that only two of the Jays, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston or Seattle will play a one-game wildcard. Fangraphs has the Jays and Orioles as the two favorites (at 61.1% and 66.6%, respectively). I think I’d actually prefer the Orioles from this list over having to win a one-game showdown against Fulmer, King Felix or even a McHugh or returning Keuchel (I haven’t been looking at projections and am assuming each team would be in a position to pitch their best starter).
- I think the Blue Jays are the one team every other team on this list would want to avoid. Even with the recent slide, the Jays still bring a formidable lineup and (likely) J.A. Happ who has had an excellent year.
- I think I’m really not ready to start thinking about what to do with guys like Biagini and Osuna next year. Pennant races have been rare for this team and I want to enjoy every minute of it.
- It’s a minor thing, but it drives me nuts that the team links on mlbtraderumors.com has shortened us to “Jays rumors” (on the right side of the site). I noticed it when I was looking for us in the list. The team’s name is Blue Jays. My OCD kicks in sometimes.
Blue Jays Links
- Matt Gwin at Baseball Prospectus analyzes John Gibbons’ usage of his September reserve players. The Blue Jays have used reserves (see definitions in the article) less than any other MLB team.
- At Jays Journal, Roberto Osuna talks about leadership on the Jays and lists Russell Martin, Jason Grilli and Troy Tulowitzki as the team’s leaders. I’m a little surprised by the inclusion of Tulo and absence of Donaldson. Both seem like lead by example types but JD seems like he’d be much more of a vocal leader.
- BlueJays.com shares that the team has appointed Paul Beeston as President Emeritus as a token to all of his years with the club. After some googling I can confirm this is just an honorary degree type of thing, but I’d still put it on my business card. “President Emeritus” has some serious punch.
- MLB Trade Rumors reports that R.A. Dickey is still undecided on retirement. If he does return, I think it’s safe to say it won’t be in Toronto.
- In the category of terrible timing, Sportsnet takes a look at the bond Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak have formed over the years. Since August 1, Saunders and Smoak have wRC+ of 58 and 38, respectively. I guess they can console each other.
Have a good week everyone.