Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Toronto Blue Jays news & links. This edition: injury updates, Bautista and more!
The Toronto Blue Jays are fresh off a 2 game mini sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers and find themselves gaining ground in the AL East, little by little. They are about to return home and could be bringing some familiar faces back to action very soon. Let’s take a look at the latest rumblings in Blue Jays Land.
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* The Blue Jays’ recent surge has started to grab attention south of the border as Alex Axisa writes that the club may be turning its season around. Axisa uses Jose Bautista as the symbol of Toronto’s fortunes. Basically, as Joey Bats goes, so have the Blue Jays. Jose is having a much better May than he did an April. What is interesting is that the writer says that Bautista is still not back to normal. He uses his slash line of .241/.361/.429 as evidence of improvements, but argues that it isn’t Bautista-like just yet.
Far be it for me to “Well, actually” someone, but if you look at Jose’s career numbers, he isn’t that far off: .254/.368/.491. But, yes. Jose is back!
* Perhaps, what will help the club continue its surge is the return of injured players. Laura Armstrong of The Star gives us a rundown of just how close (or far) everyone is from their return. Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki are very close as they are taking part in rehab games in Dunedin. They could be back as early as this weekend. As well, Francisco Liriano has thrown and could make a rehab start this weekend. J.A. Happ also threw and we heard on Wednesday’s TV broadcast that if he is feeling good, he could make 3 rehab starts and return, which would put his timeline at a little more than fifteen days.
* With the return of star players, the Blue Jays very well could make further strides toward competing in the AL East. In fact, Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post suggests that this team could make things quite interesting. He stops short of saying that Toronto could overtake the AL East, which coming from a US outlet might look like a silly attempt at a hot take than actual analysis, so we should probably be thankful that he didn’t go there as it might be missing some of the factual basis that comes with being familiar with the team. And, before you get too excited, Sheinin offers this: “We can’t rightly call the Blue Jays a good team at this point, but as long as they keep getting healthier, they are a dangerous one.” So, yeah…
* Finally, if you play fantasy baseball and you used your familiarity with the Blue Jays to snag Kevin Pillar in your draft, you are sitting back feeling pretty good about yourself…or, at least I am since I did that in both my leagues. After all, Pillar is hitting .303 with an OBP of .353. He’s got 7 home runs and 7 stolen bases. And, his offseason adjustments seem to be paying off as he’s been able to sustain his performance for the full 2 months of the season.
But, Scott White of CBS Fantasy Baseball says that Pillar might be someone that you consider selling high on. White is not sold on the adjustments and increased production of the 28 yr old Pillar. The problem with selling a guy like Pillar right now is that there are likely plenty of fantasy owners out there who agree with White and are not sold on Pillar being as valuable as you would hope. Then, the challenge becomes whether to trade him and not get as much as you would hope of because people don’t value him the way you do, or keep him because he is quite valuable at this point. Isn’t fantasy baseball great?
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