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Tuesday bantering

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Man colds, Angels, complacency and ninja turtles

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays
It’s all getting a bit much
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays make me sick...I mean who wouldn’t feel ill following our sweep by the A’s?

Or it could be that as we head into winter down here in New Zealand, the dropping temperatures have given rise to my severe man cold. (* This post is sponsored by a wide variety of over the counter medications and some 12 year old scotch).

Man colds are VERY serious business and i could die at any moment! This is proof.


A visitation of Angels

Today sees the start of our 3 game series against the Angels, who are managed by ‘the man who could start an argument in an empty room’, Mike Scioscia.

Currently the Angels are 26-21 and are 3-7 in their last 10.

First off we will see RHP Garrett Richards (4-2, 3.47 ERA) vs. LHP J.A.Happ (5-3, 4.15 ERA). Richards, a 15-game winner in 2015, had separate stints on the 60-day DL in the previous two seasons with arm issues. He has a .207 opponents’ batting average this season.

On Wednesday we see LHP Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 2.88 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-4, 4.47 ERA). Skaggs also battled injuries the past two years, limiting him to a combined 134.2 IP. He has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his past five starts.

Then on Thusday we finish with RHP Nick Tropeano (1-3, 4.45 ERA) vs. RHP Marco Estrada (2-4, 5.15 ERA). Tropeano lasted only 2.2 innings in his most recent start, Friday against Tampa Bay. This game will be ruined by the fact that its exclusive to Facebook Watch. Yuck.

Recently the Angels were held to four runs or fewer in all but the first and last of the 11 games, and won only four games.

Albert Pujols (am i the only person that chuckles when i say his surname?) had only one extra-base hit, a double. The ‘massively overrated’ Mike Trout went 4-for-30 (.133), although two of the hits were homers. As a team, the Angels hit .207 (72-for-347) on the homestand.

Meanwhile Justin Upton’s 21 RBIs in May were tied for the most in MLB entering play Monday.

We will miss out on seeing Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani pitch, which is good news but we will get to see him bat. As a DH, Ohtani is hitting .321 with a .986 OPS, however all six of his home runs have come at home.

The chances of him hitting his first road homer vs the Jays? Im going to go with ‘high’.


Rotation questions

With the Blue Jays’ starting rotation in a funk, will we see Jordan Romano, Ryan Borucki, T.J. Zeuch at some point?

Gregor Chishom thinks that Borucki has the best chance of being called up, but not until the second half of the season. He also says that Gaviglio will hang onto a starting job for as long as his performance merits. The other two are likely looking at a September callup, at the earliest.

Chisholm also says how unlucky Joe Biagini was in his last start . There were arguably three misplays by Josh Donaldson, and a better effort by the defense could have resulted in five scoreless innings. But instead, Biagini allowed four runs over four-plus frames. Even so, Biagini has a career 3.44 ERA as a reliever vs. 6.08 as a starter, so it’s probably time to alter course, says Chisholm.


Complacency

Meanwhile, Marco has made it clear that he doesn't want any complacent players on this team: when asked if the scuffling Jays were reaching the stage where some of the guys were getting complacent, or worse, not giving 100% anymore, he replied:

“I couldn’t imagine somebody being complacent with losing,” said Estrada “If you are, then I don’t want you on my team.”

I agree with you 100% Marco and according to my advanced metrics (human eyeball Mark 1) the recent series against the A’s showed more than a smidgen of complacency...not mentioning any names (glares sideways at Teoscar Hernandez).


Turtle Power!

This week the Fisher Cats are going all Ninja Turtle on Saturday as its Nickelodeon Night. Just look at the majesty of this uniform- my 6 year old son totally approves. Dude.


Russell on the infield

Meanwhile the human man-bun that is Russell Martin said he is happy to play anywhere:

“Whatever management thinks makes the team better, gives us a better chance to win. You know, the goal for me on any team I’ve played on is what’s best for the squad. And I’ve always been a fan of the infield,”

Its likely we will see more of Russell at 3B or SS, especially with Donaldson’s wonky arm and our infield being turned over more regularly than a well done burger.

As long as he’s here, I have to believe he will be my main guy but I have no problem putting him anywhere else, I think he’d be able to handle it. And I know he likes it. You tell him that you want him to play in the infield, and his eyes just light up. He’s a better athlete than most catchers out there. His reactions are good, he has great hands … and he gets the (crap) beat out of him back there.”

Next season sees Martin enter the final year of his contract. Prospect Dan Jansen is knocking on the door, currently hitting .306/.415/.459 at Buffalo, including 10 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs in 98 at-bats. If Martin gets hurt, Jansen becomes a big league option. But otherwise his real opportunity will come next spring.


Tatonka trample Chiefs

The Bisons trampled on the Syracuse Chiefs yesterday with an 8-5 win. Tim Lopes stole home in the bottom of the 1st and Dalton Pompey got ejected in the 9th.

In between those shenanigans, Jason Leblengina arghh! lublubjianni Leblebijian homered as did Rowdy Tellez, who drove in 3.

The Herd has now won five straight games and all four on the homestand.


And last but not least, following his release from the Braves, the Mets are interested in Jose Bautista apparently to ‘shore up their outfield’. To shore up something usually involves a static piece of wood in a fixed position...so Jose will do just fine.