The Blue Jays were off yesterday, and will start a three game series with the rebuilding Miami Marlins tonight. From a quick search, it looks like the Blue Jays haven’t played there since 2012, so it will be fun to watch a few games in a ballpark we don’t see very often.
Our morning recap needs to start with Josh Donaldson, as today will likely be a big news day for him. Rob Longley of the Sun was at JD’s rehab game in Dunedin yesterday, and was granted a 20 minute interview with him, which he published here.
Among the juiciest tidbits was this quote:
Donaldson on his situation with the #Bluejays front office this year: “There’s a lot I can say about that but I choose not to say anything about it right now. There will be a time."— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) August 31, 2018
The article goes into further detail with an extended quote and some context:
“To have the confidence in my body to be able to produce at a high level has taken some time because of what has happened leading up to this point. That’s why it’s taking me a little longer to get to this point because of how everything has been handled.”
Donaldson says he’s not ready to get into specifics, but it’s clear he’s not pleased with some of what’s unfolded away from the field. And it’s readily apparent from both sides that there is bad blood.
I’m having a hard time imaging what the front office could have said or done to cause this much bad blood. I’m sure Donaldson wasn’t thrilled that he wasn’t offered the contract he may have been looking for in the off season, but what could else could it possibly be?
Results wise, Donaldson hit a home run in his first at bat, and also made a fielding error. It seems like he is healthy enough to convince a contending team to trade for him today. I just have no idea what they would offer in return. Longley also reported that Donaldson wants to play in one or two AAA games before returning to the big leagues, which as Andrew Stoeten pointed out, could be problematic:
If a player on the DL clears revocable/trade waivers, he needs to be activated within 72 hours (and if the player is claimed he needs to be activated immediately). So... what the Jays likely want doesn't seem to jibe with Donaldson's timeline. (Rules per: https://t.co/UtFMfFdOsR) https://t.co/FWTKbyp10Q— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) August 31, 2018
This is all such a disheartening disaster for both the team and their star player. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out today.
The preliminary Arizona Fall League rosters were released yesterday, and there were a couple surprises on them:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette & Cavan Biggio will represent #BlueJays in the Arizona Fall League this year— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 30, 2018
Vlad Jr. will play 3B (not OF), Bichette will play SS (and a little 2B), Biggio will continue getting reps in OF
Vlad Jr makes a ton of sense because he missed a good chunk of time with his injury. I was pretty surprised to see both Bo and Cavan on the list, since they have played mostly every day this year, and will see more playing time in the playoffs. However, as someone who lives within driving distance of the Arizona Fall League, I shall not complain.
Also, to note, Biggio will be playing in the outfield, which Eric Longenhagen had some thoughts on at Fangraphs:
Blue Jays 2B Cavan Biggio is listed on the roster as an outfielder. Part of the reason we’ve been reluctant to buy heavily into Biggio is that reports on his defense at second base are bad, and this roster distinction seems to corroborate that.
Here is the list on the pitching side:
Pitchers Shawn Morimando, Jackson McClelland and Zach Jackson— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 30, 2018
And for those wondering about Nate Pearson:
Each team is allowed to assign 7 players to AFL. If health permits (and he’s making progress coming off fractured right forearm) expect RHP Nate Pearson to also head to Arizona in October. #BlueJays— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) August 30, 2018
Here is the latest I could find on Nate:
Top Blue Jays pitching prospect Nate Pearson is tentatively scheduled to return to the mound on Tuesday from an extended injury. Plan is for Pearson to pitch for Lansing Lugnuts in an exhibition game vs Michigan State.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) August 30, 2018
Watch for our @TSN_Sports Original on @big_nate5.
The team the Jays’ prospects will be playing on this year will be managed by Canadian Stubby Clapp, who is apparently quite good. There are even whispers that he could be a candidate for a MLB team (Blue Jays?) managerial job in 2019.
A couple of quick links here -
Cole Shelton of Canadian Baseball Network has a piece up on new Baby Jay Chad Spanberger.
Nick Ashbourne of Yahoo Sports broke down which Blue Jays players could be on the move today, which is a fairly predictable list.
Diverting away from the Jays for a second, the Dodgers had fire dancers at their stadium for Polynesian night and just take a look for yourself:
This is amazing. pic.twitter.com/zfaMgsZoPP— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 31, 2018
Happy Friday, all. Today should be an interesting day.