Category: Blue Jays

Off Day Monday Thoughts

So, the Blue Jays did what I hoped they would do at the very least – they finished 4-3 on their recent road trip despite a patched together rotation and being 1 hit by John Lester.

Surprise call up, Chad Jenkins, pitched well and got away with mistakes on Sunday to earn much needed win.  By winning Sunday, the Jays won just their second series of the season.  Yikes.

Jenkins is now 2-3 with a 4.38 ERA over 37 major league innings.  With his outing vs. the Red Sox, he earned another start in my opinion, especially with Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ on the DL and R.A. Dickey and Brandon Morrow pitching with back and neck spasms.

That’s if Morrow pitches.  The whole reason Jenkins got the unlikely call up from double-A (Jenkins had only 1 minor league start in the minors this year since he was recovery from a shoulder injury) was because Morrow was unable to go.  Morrow originally scheduled to pitch last Friday but had his start bumped out due to back and neck spasms so Ramon Ortiz got the nod.  Then on Sunday, Morrow still wasn’t ready so Jenkins got the call up (and took advantage by throwing strikes).  Now the Jays are aiming for a Wednesday start from Morrow.  My guess is if he misses it, he’ll land on the DL.

If Morrow is able to go Sunday, I actually like our chances to take the 2-game mini series (and 2-game mini home stand) vs. the Giants tomorrow and Wednesday.  We have Dickey going tomorrow and hopefully Morrow Wednesday.  When on either of these guys can steal a win.  Also, it looks like the offence is starting to hit a bit.  Forget the game vs. John Lester – he was just unhittable for any team that night – the Jays hitters are really seeing the ball right now and having good at bats.

Happy to see Emilio Bonifacio get a couple starts.  We need to give him at bats and get him going.  He has too much talent to sit on the bench 3 out of 4 games.

Casey Janssen – what can I say?  He’s been the best closer in the American League so far this young season and the Jays only allstar in my opinion.

With our “win 90” count down, the Jays now have to go 75 – 48 in the remaining 123 games.  That’s .610 ball.  Not impossible, but certainly not easy (especially with the patched up rotation).

Let’s steal two from the Giants!



A weekend to forget…then remember…then forget again…

I’ve watched 3 pitches of WBC ball in my life. And the third one resulted in a brawl. A brawl that is the new ‘thing that Canada baseball will be remembered for’. What a weekend!

Let’s start on Friday. That Italy game. Mama Mia! I was listening to updates on the radio, I didn’t even know that there was a mercy rule. What is this? My grade seven 3-pitch tournament? That’s a tough one to take.

On to Saturday. The brawl. If I had taken from the Italians like that, I’d be looking for someone to punch too.
I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing when it started. I didn’t see the bunt. The sound wasn’t on, so I didn’t have a recap of recent events. Just the melee. And it was awesome.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been to see Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzales stand toe to toe and throw $100 million bombs at each other. Can’t have it all, I guess.

***Footnote to the game – Joey Bats thinks the Canadian team are scum. Gotta respect the code, man:

Then Sunday, blew it against the USA. Ernie Whitt showed us nicely why he is not a major league manager.

Ah well. Now if the Dominican can get eliminated so Edwin and Reyes can get back to camp.

So, to summarize this weekend in Canada Ball;
Our nation’s greatest embarrassment (Italy mercy rule debacle)
Our nation’s proudest moment (standing up for ourselves in the face of those pesky, code abiding Mexicans)
Our nation’s most recent reality check (USA bouncing us)
Bautista not cool with the bunt. He’s still a Canadian Hero though:

PS – Yankees are interested in Chipper Jones. That is fabulous.

3 weeks until opening day.

Powder Blue

Twitter: @powderblue77

World Baseball Classic?

My good friend IHRTBJs is a big World Baseball Classic fan. Loves it. He might even tell you that watching a WBC game at Skydome was his favourite baseball moment ever. Love the passion.

Me…I’m pretty indifferent to it. In fact, I’ve never even paid attention to it. However, now that the Jays are a legit contender, it makes me nervous. If Jose Reyes goes down in San Juan, that’s not going to be a good scene. When he was with the Mets in 2010, he was kept out of games on the same field he’ll be playing WBC games on (because it is fieldturf). The turf in the dome is going to be rough enough on him. Why get him going on it early? The Jays aren’t even letting Jose Bautista play. Not to mention Edwin, R.A., JP, Lawrie that are all participating.

On to Team Canada and their issues;
Russell Martin – bad Canadian… well, I don’t know if I’d say that. He is kind of a dick though:

What about Joey Votto? My guess is he won’t play due to his surgically repaired left knee, but with Team Canada in the same park as Reds camp, the questions aren’t going to stop coming:

I’m a proud Canadian. I love poutine and The Tragically Hip and John Candy. I can’t say I’m broken up about their lack of participation though. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing Canadians doing well in the Majors and I love that this country is developing some damn good Major League talent. I would just be more interested in seeing Justin Morneau lead the Twins to the World Series, then lead Canada to WBC glory.

But if you do love the WBC, enjoy it. I hope it’s great and everyone stays healthy and I hope your country of birth and/or residence and/or heritage makes you proud. I’ll be happy enough just watching split squad spring games.

BUT…If Canada puts on a grand showing in this thing, I’ll jump on the band wagon in a heartbeat. Hopefully IHRTBJs doesn’t kick me off.

Ok! Blue Jays! (and Team Canada, I guess) Let’s! Play! Ball!
Powder Blue
Twitter: @powderblue77

Oliver to Suit Up for 20th Season

After all the “my client wants more or trade him to Texas” talk coming from Darren Oliver’s agent, Jeff Frye, it looks like Oliver wasn’t ready to hang up the spikes just yet.

The Blue Jays have just announced that Oliver, 42, will return for his 20th season in the big leagues and honour the $3 million dollar option agreement on his contract.  Oliver posted a 2.06 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 56 2/3 innings this past season.  The Jays will be happy to welcome him back (especially at $3 million) to solidify the back end of the bullpen.

With Oliver returning, look for the following line up in the bullpen on opening day:

Longman – JA Happ (L)

Middle relief – S. Delabar (R), B. Lincoln (R), B. Cecil (L)

Set up – D. Oliver (L), S. Santos (R)

Closer – C. Janssen

On the outside looking in – E. Rogers (R), A. Loup (L), J.Jeffress (R).  Look for Rogers to get the nod should any righty reliever be injured prior to opening day.  He is an easy fill in for middle relief.  Loup would be next on the depth chart if something happened to either Cecil or Oliver.

The closer spot will be Janssen’s to lose, but look for either Santos or Delabar to get consideration should Janssen struggle early (remember, he had minor surgery on his throwing shoulder this past offseason – yet, he is expected to be 100% for Spring Training).

Oliver will address the media today at 6 pm EST via conference call, so look for lots of headlines tomorrow.



Blue Jays Claim Chad Beck

The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Chad Beck off of waivers from the Pirates. The 27-year-old had been designated for assignment on December 26th.

Beck spent the 2012 season in the Blue Jays’ organization, appearing in 14 games at the MLB level. The Pirates had claimed him off of waivers from Toronto on October 25th. Beck posted a 6.32 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings with Toronto this past season. He spent the majority of the year at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he posted a 1.31 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 48 innings out of the bullpen.

Perhaps this is the reason that the Jays took Russ Canzler off their 40-man roster (and lost him to the Indians on waivers, who just lost him to the Yankees on waivers).  The Jays know what they are getting with Beck.  He provides solid right handed bullpen depth.  His not so stellar numbers at the MLB level last season should be better over a longer period of time and the Jays know it.  It’s not easy posting a 1.31 ERA at the hitter friendly Pacific Cost League in triple-A where Beck spent the majority of last season.

Personally, I’d rather have Canzler.  But perhaps it’s easier to find a right handed bench bat then a solid bullpen depth righty.