Jays From the Couch brings you the latest news and links about the Toronto Blue Jays. This edition: Pillar, September & More!
Here we go! We’ve got the latest news and links about the Toronto Blue Jays hot and ready for you to start the day. So, grab your cup of coffee and enjoy!
*Over at The Star, Richard Griffin tells us who he thinks the Blue Jays cannot afford to lose. Whether it is due to injury, or some other unforseen act, Griffin’s list tells us who the club just cannot replace. In fact, he lists 5 of them. As you can imagine, Josh Donaldson is one of them. Russell Martin is also on the list. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are also mentioned. The lack of outfield depth means that Jose is that much more valuable. The same can be said for Edwin, with Justin Smoak as his replacement. All of this makes perfect sense.
What might surprise you is seeing Roberto Osuna mentioned here. But, if you stop to think about it, losing him would create a giant hole at the back end of the bullpen; a hole that the club has been trying to fill for years. With Jason Grilli and Joaquin Benoit performing well, the bridge to Osuna is looking pretty good. But, losing him would make them the bridge to nowhere. Wrap the kid in bubble wrap!
*At the CBC (there isn’t another outlet we use the word “the” for, is there?), Doug Harrison takes a stab at who he thinks the Blue Jays will call up when the calendar turns to September. It wouldn’t be that difficult a task, if you think about it. The roster is pretty set and the minor leagues don’t have that many options for call ups. But, we can expect Dalton Pompey to (finally) see some big league action. The Canadian is hitting .279 in Buffalo with an OBP of .349, but is not seeing much power. He has 4 HR and 14 doubles. That might be the reason we haven’t seen him up. Though, has Ezequiel Carrera shown more power?
Harrison also thinks that Ryan Tepera is likely to come back to Toronto, which makes sense. The bullpen could use some reinforcements. Names like Mike Bolsinger pop out from the CBC piece. He’s not had much success in Buffalo since he was acquired by the Blue Jays. He’s 1-4 with a WHIP of 1.721.
The other guy we’ll be looking to see is Chris Colabello. He very well could make his return to Rogers Centre. Though, he wouldn’t be getting the call because he’s hit his way to Toronto. He’s also struggled in Buffalo- .198, 5 HR, 11 RBI. If he does not get the call, we shouldn’t be surprised since he isn’t exactly hitting well. But, it would also show us the faith the organization has in him. That is almost more interesting to follow.
*Speaking of September call ups, if you were hoping for a special boost to the pitching staff in the form of Mark Buehrle, you might want to keep dreaming. According to Sportsnet, manager, John Gibbons sent a text message to Papa Buehrle reminding him that rosters expand on Sept 1 and in typical Buehrle fashion, he replied with a picture of a lake. So, it looks as though he’s happy without baseball. In stark contrast to Derek Jeter and David Ortiz, Buehrle retired without fanfare or even an announcement. Instead, he’s just walked away. Considering he’s made roughly $140M over his 16 yr career, he wouldn’t be tempted to force a return if he didn’t feel it. Perhaps, that start in Baltimore at the end of last season told him all he needed to know.
*Kevin Pillar was recently featured in a feature that Coldwell Banker runs. He speaks on his love for the city of Toronto, which comes across as legit, and not just what you would expect athletes to say about the city they play in. The video features a look at his (we assume) expensive condo in Toronto.
Imagine what he would be able to afford when he starts getting paid for his play. Fangraphs.com puts his 2015 4.3 WAR season at a value of $33M. This year, he is putting up 2.8 WAR, which translates to $22M. This year, he is making $512K. At 27, he won’t hit free agency until 2021, so he will see increases to his salary through the arbitration process, but if he were getting paid based on his actual value, we would be quite surprised by the kind of condo he could afford.
Around the League
*Over at Ground Rule Triple, we get an update on the AL Rookie of the Year Award. With names like Michael Fulmer, Tyler Naquin and Max Kepler on the list, you won’t be totally shocked. You might be a little surprised to see Gary Sanchez get so much consideration. The Yankees’ catcher has only been playing for a short time, despite hitting bombs at an epic clip. It boggles the mind how he can get so much love over Joe Biagini, to be honest. He’s not even on this list, even though he owns a 4-2 record with a 2.28 ERA (2.28 FIP) and has not given up a home run all year. That’s over 55 innings without giving up a HR. I’m not saying give him the award, but you gotta think he deserves more attention.
*Josh at 9 Inning Knowitall writes about the frustration over folks complaining about baseball. People say that the game is too long, the season is too long, etc. MLB is wracking its collective brain over how to quicken the pace of play. But, Josh is right when he says that it isn’t the pace of the games that is the issue. It could be that games start too late and subsequently end later than we’d like. We all know that the start time of games has to do with TV audiences, which leads to Josh’s other point. Baseball is meant to be enjoyed live and in person. It is great that we can watch a game on TV (or the internet), but to truly appreciate the game, watching in person is key. Not everyone can do that, obviously. There really isn’t much to be done about that. But, this whole idea of trying to change the game is silly. There are issues that are beyond the control of MLB and ‘the game’. It’s a societal issue. The problem is that if baseball doesn’t address it, they’ll fall behind.
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