Happy US election day. I’ve always liked elections because, historically, it has been the one way to change government without a shot being fired. I am worried that shots will be fired this year.
Yesterday we found out that Charlie Montoyo is a finalist for the AL Manager of the Year award and that Hyun Jin Ryu is a finalist for the AL Cy Young award. Ryu won’t win. But Charlie.
I know everyone has their problems with Charlie. He pulls his pitchers out too quickly. He doesn’t use the batting lineup we’d like, but.....
The Jays went from 67-95 to 32-28 while
- Losing training some of the shortened training time at the start of the season while waiting to see if they could train in Toronto.
- Spending weeks waiting to see if they could play in Toronto.
- Searching for a home park after finding they wouldn’t play in Toronto.
- Having home games played in their opponent’s park.
- Finally, getting to use a Triple-A ballpark as their home.
- The team worked in a bubble while other teams had a much more normal season.
Honestly, how he kept the team from just going through the motions or having players saying ‘the hell with this, I’m going to spend the summer with my family,’ I have no idea.
Add in that he lost his star shortstop, closer, and best arm from the pen for most of the season.
All managers dealt with more stuff than ever before, but Charlie had a mess beyond every other manager in the league.
So I’d like to see him win it.
Or course, I’d get a laugh out of it if Rick Renteria won after being fired and replaced by the ghost of Earl Weaver or something equally far-fetched.
Baseball American has a list of all the minor league free agents. Here are the Jays:
Toronto Blue Jays (18): Deiferson Barreto, Andrew Burns, Patrick Cantwell, Ryan Dull, James Dykstra, Conor Fisk, Gabriel Guerrero, Mac James, Jesus Lopez, Mike Nittoli, Juan Nunez, Norberto Obeso, Willy Ortiz, Connor Overton, Tom Pannone, Luis Silva, Mitchell Walding, Forrest Wall
I had some hopes for Forrest Wall becoming a fourth outfielder type.
Matt looked at ‘impending minor league free agents’ here.
Shi Davidi wrote about the Jays having financial muscle this winter. I think the real title should be Rogers has financial muscle. Who knows if they Jays have it?
And Shi makes a case for Charlie.
Twenty days later, they limped into Buffalo at 5-8, went 2-3 during their first homestand, which included the injury to Bichette, and then rescued their season by finishing out a stretch of 28 games in 27 days with a 17-8 run.
Nearly two weeks later, when a season-high six-game losing streak threatened to unravel their post-season pursuit, Montoyo called a team meeting that helped ratchet down the pressure on his young players. The Blue Jays proceeded to take three of four from the New York Yankees to book their playoff trip.
Tough to beat all that.
Add in all the different pitchers, figuring a way through the season using 29 pitchers isn’t all that easy, even when it is just 60 games.
Shi also points out that Charlie had to be the public face of things when the front office wanted starters out of the game before the third time through. Having to be the bad guy to the starting pitchers and taking the heat from fans and press isn’t all that much fun.