Some Blue Jays (and other baseball) stuff.
At the Athletic, John Lott has a great story on the Jays trying to improve how they teach defense in the minors, hoping to improve future defense at the major league level. I really enjoyed reading it, it is worth the price of subscription just for that one story.
Lott talks about how minor league coaches are using non-traditional ways to improve our prospects defense. Using lacrosse, racquet and tennis balls to improve speed and footwork is a cool idea.
Danny Solano, the teams infield co-ordinator said about the coaching:
“They’re really thinking collaboration,” Solano said. “Before, it was like we were more separate. Now everybody’s together. Everybody listens to different opinions. Everybody’s on the same page. I think this is way better.”
And, he adds, “We’re getting better defensively.”
Solano also talks about the importance of having Spanish speaking coaches at the lower levels of the system.
With the front office talking about changes they are making in the organization, without an specifics, I found this interesting:
When Solano started coaching 11 years ago, each of the Jays’ affiliates had a manager, pitching coach and hitting coach. In 2017, they added a position-player coach at each level. Solano says that means more individualized instruction and more reps for every player. And Pano, who has worked in the Toronto system for 17 years, says it enhances the work coaches are doing on defence and baserunning.
They share stories from Kevin Smith, Bo Bichette, Vlad Jr. and Max Pentecost.
The Pentecost story was interesting. His manager, John Schneider talked about how he fell that Pentecost was doing everything right on pitches at the bottom of the zone but they weren’t getting the calls. He said “Your eyes tell you one thing, and the numbers tell you another thing.” So they made some minor changes and they started getting those calls.
It is a very interesting story.
Ben Nicholson-Smith writes about manager finalist Rocco Baldelli. I know very little about him, other than bits about his playing career, so i was interested.
Grant Brisbee doesn’t want us to focus on the stupid fan interference call from last night’s game, and miss the big issue that Joe West is bad.
I’m copying out a large chunk of his post, but go read the whole thing. As always, Grant is both good and funny.
We don’t need this discord and strife.
Yes, good, you’re nodding your head. We can hold hands if you want to or — OK, never mind. I’m just saying we could have. Anyway, this is something that does not divide us. This is something that should be acknowledge, and our shared pain shall make us see the humanity in each other.
Here’s a brief recap of what happened: Altuve hit a home run that Mookie Betts tried to rob. While Betts’ glove was on the other side of the fence, a fan hit the glove, and no catch was made. West, because he is bad, glorgeled out beyond the infield and made a motion that the fan interfered, even though there is absolutely no way West could have determined if Betts’ glove was on the other side of the fence. He just sort of guessed.
I’ve been enjoying the baseball in the playoffs, but I expected better defense from the best teams in baseball. And I feel like I should be praising our catchers more than I have. We’ve seen way too many passed balls.
Also, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for Ken Giles. Closers have been terrible in the playoffs.
Some one told me that Roberto Osuna was always bad in non-save situations, so I had to look it up.
Career in save situations batters have hit ..208/.246/.317.
Non-save spots: .198/.249/.333.
Share any good links you come across in the comments.