Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Toronto Blue Jays news & links. This edition: Marcus Stroman, coaching staffs & more!
Most of the recent news about the Toronto Blue Jays has been regarding the handful of roster moves that went down on Monday. In case you missed it, we broke it all down for you HERE. The club claimed a backup catcher in Juan Graterol, designated Leonel Campos and are said to have interest in Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Aside from that, today’s Morning News looks at what else is going on in Blue Jays Land.
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*At the Canadian Baseball Network, Melissa Verge explains how Marcus Stroman is happy that Jose Bautista is back in a Blue Jays uniform because it allows him to talk about pitching with the guy who he claims has “the best strike zone judgement out of anyone in the big leagues.”. See, if you ask Stroman, he is singularly focused on bringing a championship to Toronto. So, he tells Verge that he is working out, gettign ready and is in good shape heading into this season.
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) January 23, 2017
Of course, one could argue that Stroman is also focused on his #brand as he has been pushing his #HDMH clothing line all winter. He explains that his home has now become a warehouse and he has had to buy a shed to hold enough stock to fill orders. And, if we’re being honest, those Bautista brain picking sessions should probably include some business talk. We know that both of these players have their eyes on expanding their reach, and Bautista has done a good job of that with Booster Juice, denim and the new NHL franchise in Las Vegas.
Stroman was on hand to reveal the new alternate uniforms for the Blue Jays, as well. In fact, he said that he would even like a crack at designing one:
— Chris Creamer (@sportslogosnet) January 21, 2017
The red uniforms seemed to be a source of confusion for some south of the border. (see HERE and HERE) Apparently, the notion of celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary with all red jerseys is lost on some people. Whether you like them or not, you have to at least understand the intent. Maybe sticking with the regular logo with the red would have been better, but that is a matter of taste, which doesn’t have anything to do with one’s ability to understand the thinking behind the jersey.
* For those lucky enough to live on the west coast of Canada and able to take in some Vancouver Canadians baseball, the club has announced its coaching staff for the upcoming season. 66 yr old Rich Miller will lead the club as manager, building off the success hoping to build off the 2016 season that saw the C’s go 16-22 in the first half and 13-23 in the second half. He’ll be joined by Jim Czajkowski as pitching coach. Czajkowski has worked with Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna and Marcus Stroman in the past, and they turned out pretty decent. Dave Pano will be the C’s hitting coach and is entering his 7th consecutive year working with the Canadians.
* The Lansing Lugnuts have also announced their coaching staff for the upcoming season. They will be led by Cesar Martin, who had rather successful campaigns managing the Gulf Coast Blue Jays over the last two seasons. He was originally drafted by the Blue Jays. The first year manager will have another first year coach join him as Willie Collazo moves from Vancouver to Lansing. Donnie Murphy will return as hitting coach after doing a nice job last year.
As with Vancouver, it must be tough for these lower level minor league teams to really get into a groove with a squad, given the somewhat transient nature of the players they have to work with. One would imagine it to be difficult to really have an impact and get a message across to kids who are only around for a short period of time. That said, one would hope that, with the Blue Jays front office putting an emphasis on player development, perhaps, there is a common message being sent through the ranks and players would get that everywhere.
* As hard as it might be to have an impact, you should hear the impact minor league coaches had on Matt Dermody as he talks to Alexis Brudnicki in her piece for Baseball America. He sings the praises of the system’s pitching coaches, like Vince Horseman, for changing his arm slot and allowing him to hit his stride. It was the changes the coaches made to his delivery that allowed him to bolt through the Blue Jays’s system, which culminated in his appearance in September after starting the year in Dunedin.
Perhaps, the better term is that he “streaked” through the system, since many will remember him as the guy who was seen on TV celebrating the Blue Jays’ postseason success by running around the clubhouse in his jockstrap. Now, the streaker with a mullet has a chance to possibly crack the bullpen out of Spring Training. It might be difficult for him to break through, but would not surprise.
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