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Wednesday Bantering

More on Donaldson, the Buffalo Bisons and a bright future

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Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Last night’s game was less than inspiring, but at least we scored some runs. Justin Smoak hit his 20th home run, and Randal Grichuk hit his 19th. Matt W recapped it here, and Thomas Pannone spoke afterward about his poor outing here.

The good news is there is always something else to talk about.

I want to start with this one from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News recapping the Bisons 2018 season. He laments another lost season for the Jays’ AAA affiliate, stating:

It’s the longest drought – sorry to use that word – in the International League. And it’s particularly troublesome when you consider the club went to the playoffs nine times in its first 11 years with the Cleveland Indians. But since 2006, there’s been nothing.

Harrington continues,

The injuries in Toronto and the Blue Jays’ incessant tinkering has led to 72 players appearing for the Herd this season and 235 roster transactions. With a week left in the season, the Bisons will almost certainly break the modern-era marks of 73 and 239, respectively. Not a recipe for any sort of continuity that can create a winning team.

Nor does it help the manager keep the peace when guys are looking more at the transaction wire than doing their jobs. Meacham had to deal with Dalton Pompey’s insubordination that landed the Toronto-born outfielder on the suspended list, and there were rumors of a couple other dugout and clubhouse dust-ups between players as the season went along.

I completely emphasize with the frustrations of all who are invested in the Buffalo Bisons, as it must be hard to watch players on your team be at the mercy of their major league club, and have your club’s roster continuously sacrificed for their benefit. Harrington did however acknowledge the bright spot that was the arrival of Vladimir Guerrero Jr to the organization. Also, virtually every other team in the Blue Jays’ minor league system is either in the playoffs or very close to it, so help is on the way.

Harrington also believes that John Schneider, who some consider to be candidate to manage the Blue Jays, is likely to be with the Bisons in 2018.

Jesse Sanchez has a piece up at about a teenage sensation in the Blue Jays farm system, and it isn’t Vlad Jr.

Jay Jaffe has a did a case study at Fangraphs on shortstops over the age of 30 who missed a season, to provide some parameters on what we can expect from Troy Tulowitzki next year.

Andrew Stoeten reflects back on what Josh Donaldson has meant to the Blue Jays, if he is in fact traded before the weekend (paywall). In his rain delayed rehab game in Dunedin last night, Donaldson played in five innings, and was 1-for-2 with a walk and a line drive single. Here’s a video of Donaldson talking about his outing. I am geo-restricted from seeing it, but I’m sure it’s great.

Rob Longley reported some comments from Ross Atkins’ on the injury plagued years for Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki over at the Sun, which are worth repeating.

“...replacing your potential No. 1 and No. 2 players for the bulk of the season is very difficult to do, very difficult to overcome. We knew that. We knew if those things weren’t there for us, it would be very unlikely for us to win.”

“We understood that but we felt it was worth the risk,” Atkins said. “Fortunately we have not sacrificed our future. We have controllable depth on our team and we have a ton of young, exciting prospects in our system.”

We all knew that the Blue Jays were highly unlikely to contend without a healthy Josh Donaldson, and his absence for most of the year has confirmed that. At least the future is bright.

Shifting away from the Jays, I must share this wonderful story from the West Coast, in case anyone missed it yesterday. Mariners’ manager Scott Servais promised Edwin Diaz he would get a matching haircut should Diaz record 50 saves. Diaz did, so Servais held up his end of the deal:

Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen, who has struggled mightily at times this year, made a fantastic behind the back catch to turn an inning ending double play. Behold:

Lastly, in honor of Jose Bautista now being a Philadelphia Philly, here’s a phantastic throwback to Bautista having fun with the Phillies mascot.

Happy Wednesday!