The Blue Jays invited the press in today for a series of announcements and updates, of which I will do my best to recap here:
Troy Tulowitzki is done for the year. This can’t come as a surprise to any of us as he is still requires a walking boot and crutches, but he did say some things that are worth noting.
On his performance this year:
“I don’t think it was up to my standards at all...I’ll be the first one to tell you when I’m not holding up on my own, and this year was definitely a disappointment for me. But I’ll put in some work in this off season, try to be a better player, come back next year and see what’s in store”
He also had this to say on what he offers as a starting shortstop - on one aspect specifically that is harder to measure:
“I feel like I bring a lot to the table defensively. I think sometimes what people read into is the metrics and the zone ratings, but so much of shortstop is being able to slow the game down for your teammates and your pitchers, and taking charge in the infield. Some of those things I think go unnoticed. That’s not something you can keep a stat on.”
Devon Travis’ rehab has been stalled due to a swollen knee setback, and it’s looking very unlikely that he will rejoin the team this year. The plan was for him to get a couple of minor league games in, but there aren’t many left. He stayed in Florida after the most recent series in St. Petersburg.
Gibbons said the team has discussed moving him to the outfield, but they aren’t sure that will help any.
The absence of these two players has absolutely been felt by the Jays middle infield this year, and it has resulted in some games that have been difficult to watch. However, I want to embed this tweet, because I think it’s important to note.
Few things bring out the worst in certain sports fans like their having decided a player for their team is injury prone.— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) August 30, 2017
Tulowitzki and Travis have both had a lengthy track record of injuries, but for anyone to claim with any degree of certainty that this will continue to happen is incredibly unfair. Tulo will most likely be with the team through the end of this decade (his contract, in addition to being an albatross - $20m in 2018 and 2019, $14m in 2020, and $15m in 2021 with a $4m buyout - contains a full no trade clause), so why not chose to be positive and hope for the best? The same goes for Devon Travis. When healthy, his contributions to the team are significant, and he could be a very valuable piece for the Jays for many years to come. So let’s hope for many positive outcomes next season (or at the very least, refrain from referring to our players as made of glass).
Teoscar Hernandez will be joining the team during September call-ups. The team sees something really special in him.
Gibbons said it’s likely we will see Chris Rowley in September. Ryan Borucki is also a possibility, but the Jays aren’t sure what to do with him yet. He will make his first start in AAA Buffalo tomorrow, the results of which could help sway their decision. It sounds like a few pitchers coming up will likely be starters who will be working as relievers.
Brett Anderson will stay in the rotation as long as he stays healthy. He is well liked by the team.
Justin Smoak is out with a calf injury, but they don’t anticipate him being out for very long.
A piece of news the Jays did not announce was that JA Happ, like Marco Estrada, was claimed off waivers and blocked, so he won’t be dealt by tomorrow.
John Lott wrote a piece on Russell Martin’s latest injury earlier today over at the Athletic. There is a paywall, but I will argue that a subscription there is worth every penny. Essentially, they thought he would be out for a while, but he is making faster progress than they had predicted. Gibbons said he could be back in two weeks.
Tonight we will watch our line-up, that has Kevin Pillar batting 5th, try to prevent a sweep.