Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Blue Jays news and links. This edition looks at recent struggles that are happening everywhere
If there is one thing that we know, it is that times are miserable in Blue Jays Land. Leads are just not safe. But, as always, we can take solace in knowing that struggles are happening all over. This edition of the Morning News is based around the notion of struggling.
*At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith suggests that there are some answers required regarding the Blue Jays bullpen. In what is really a recaps of Sunday’s loss, there is a video of the postgame scrum in which reliever, Drew Storen, answers for his bad outing. The struggling reliever was visibly upset and annoyed at the questioning and was very short in his responses. Essentially, he says that he’s had a good career that has streaks like this before and he has been, and will be fine. Nicholson-Smith ends his piece by providing some doubt as to whether Storen is the answer, suggesting that the club may need to look outside the organization for relief help should Storen continue to struggle.
*Over at BlogTO, Ian Hunter makes a guest appearance to bring us a look at Yasiel Puig, Toronto Tourism Embassador. It would appear that the flamboyant Dodgers right fielder enjoyed his time exploring the #6ix. Puig shared photos of himself doing the Edge Walk on the CN Tower, fishing and taking in the Raptors game. Sporting the word “popular” on the crotch of his pants, Puig poses with his catch, which was rather impressive. Now, if one were interested in starting completely unfounded rumors, one could point out how much fun he had and the fact that the Blue Jays could be losing their right fielder at season’s end and create a silly notion that the club could look to reel in Puig. But, let’s not go there.
*At the Canadian Press (via The Chronicle Journal), Dhiren Mahiban, tells us that Marcus Stroman will be attending his graduation from Duke. He’ll start in San Francisco on Wednesday and then fly to attend the weekend ceremony. He has Gibby’s full blessing, which really isn’t that surprising. You’ll recall that, while rehabbing his torn ACL, Stroman busted his butt to finish his degree while making a legendary comeback from injury. Congratulations, Marcus!
*Over at Jays Journal, Keegan Matheson asks an interesting question: Should Joe Biagini start in 2017, even it is with the Buffalo Bisons? Keegan is going off a comment made by Jeff Blair that manger John Gibbons could be leaning toward the Rule 5 pick starting in 2017. With impending free agents in the bullpen and a rotation that looks to be losing R.A. Dickey at season’s end, Biagini could be an outside the box candidate. Now, if you’re one of those who just read to a title and don’t actually read a piece, then you’re probably already shaking your head. But, you should consider that Biagini threw 128 innings in 2014 and 130 in 2015. This season, albeit early, he is sitting on a 0.93 ERA and has allowed just one earned run, facing 44 batters.
*Finally, at the Montreal Gazette, we hear that MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, is saying that the city of Montreal is a ‘front runner’ to land an expansion team! The Commish says that Oakland and Tampa Bay need to sort their respective situations out before expansion talk can be entertained in earnest. But, along with Mexico City, Montreal is at the top of his list for expansion.
Around the League:
*Pirates Breakdown looks at the Pirates’ usage of the shift and whether it is negatively impacting their pitching. Steve Kubitz wonders if there is a correlation between the decreased usage of the shift and the pitching staff’s decreased effectiveness. After ranking 3rd in MLB in shift usage from 2-13 through 2015, the Bucs now rank 12th. The shift usage may have to do with the 2016 rotation being less focused on the ground ball. This problem could help explain the slow start for the pitching staff. There is no way to know 100% that using the shift less often directly impacts pitcher success, but Steve certainly makes a case.
*As frustrated as we might be with the Blue Jays, fans of the Twins are having an even worse time. Not only is the team 10.5 games back (before Mother’s Day), Twins Trivia highlights a flurry of activity with roster moves (including former Blue Jay, Darin Mastroiani), but that is not the worst of it. Team owner, Jim Pohlad says that there appears to be a “total system failure”. Yikes! Those are some strong words from ownership. It may not be long before Paul Molitor of GM, Terry Ryan are shown the door.
*Matt Musico of Chin Music Baseball offers the 6 biggest disappointments (don’t worry, it’s not a slideshow) of the 2016 season thus far. While it is no surprise to see Russell Martin on this list, reading the piece might actually make you feel better about the Blue Jays. There are some pretty big names on that list.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.