Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Blue Jays news and links. This edition looks at Gibby Love, Marco Estrada Love & more!
It’s been a while, but we scoured Blue Jays Land to bring you the latest news and links about Canada’s favorite team. This edition looks at some roster moves, individual performances and some notes from around the league. Enjoy!
As well, don’t forget to catch Episode 78 of the Jays Nest Podcast where we chat Draft results, hitting Stat of the Week and out Hot Takes.
*Scott Diamond‘s stay in Toronto was short lived as he was optioned back to AAA Buffalo on Tuesday.
#BlueJays option Aaron Loup and Scott Diamond, will make corresponding moves tomorrow.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) June 14, 2016
Diamond will join Aaron Loup on the trip back over the border. The more surprising of the two might be Loup. We’ve almost become accustomed to seeing him in the Blue Jays bullpen for so long, it was almost a given that he’d somehow manage to stick around. Speaking of sticking around, Ryan Goins continues to dodge the gaze of those scanning the room for players to send back down to AAA. Putting him in LF when Michael Saunders came out of the game shows just how much the club is willing to keep him around. While many are questioning this loyalty, we should not expect that Goins will take over left field permanently. But, it does beg the question of just how much longer they’ll keep him up.
*Speaking of relievers who are going back and forth to Buffalo, how about Pat Venditte? He hasn’t quite approached Chad Jenkins territory yet, but he’s certainly had his passport checked a number of times already this year. Not quite the treatment a player hopes for, really. But, his former team is doing their best to treat him right. According to Mackenzie Liddell of Sportsnet, the Staten Island Yankees will be honoring the ambidextrous pitcher with a bobble-arm give away on August 19. That’s pretty cool, actually.
*At The Star, Mark Zwolinski looks at the role player that Ezequiel Carrera has become. More specifically, Zwolinski describes the #GibbyLove that Zeke is experiencing at the moment. It would appear that manager, John Gibbons is quite pleased with using the 29 yr old as the 4th outfielder. Currently, he’s playing above what we’d expect, hitting .329/.398/.418 over 42 games (89 PA). But, it is the improved defense that has Gibby most pleased. And, so far this year, the numbers agree. As an outfielder, he’s put up a UZR/150 of 14.6. Last season, he hit -10.1 UZR/150. Obviously, this does not mean that we should read too much into his performance. We should just sit back and enjoy what we’ve seen from him, like Gibby is.
*As always, Brendan Kennedy of The Star brings us some well written goodness. This time, he gushes over the ‘deceptive brilliance’ of Marco Estrada. Kennedy focuses on the plethora of infield pop ups that result from the witchcraft that is Estrada’s fastball/ change combo. He puts it thusly: “Estrada has what is sometimes called a “rising” fastball, which gives the illusion to the hitter that it rises as it reaches the plate, but in reality is simply not sinking as much as an average pitch due to the amount of backspin he puts on the ball. In fact, both Estrada’s fastball and his changeup drop the least of any pitch in the majors”
We’re all well passed the point where we are eating our words about the trade that sent Adam Lind to the Brewers. Now, we’re full of our words, they’ve digested and we’re basking in the afterglow. Instead of worrying about an escalated HR rate, we’re watching the emergence of the
arguable ace of the Blue Jays pitching staff. If you have to win one game, how can you not be leaning toward Estrada?
*Over at Blue Jays From Away, Jay Blue lets us in on how the Vancouver Canadians’ roster is shaping up. Jay has scoured the MiLB transactions pages to piece together how he expects the team to look when it is announced. Some names of interest in the rotation are Matthew Smoral, who had a rough go in 2015 and is looking to right the ship at 22 yrs old. As well, Justin Maese looks to bring his talent to the Van Cs. Jay also says we should be watching OF, Rodrigo Orozco, who was the Bluefield Blue Jays’ MVP last season.
Around the League:
*Our friend over at Pirates Breakdown, Jason Rollison, wonders if David Freese might net the Pirates an interesting return during the Trade Deadline period, which is fast approaching. Freese signed in the offseason for 1yr/$3M, which has turned out to be quite the bargain, since, as Jason points out, the 33yr old has put up 1.5 WAR (BR). Given the nature of their roster, Freese may actually prove to be a superfluous piece for a team who very well could be looking to bulk up or trim down. The 3B/1B could be a guy to watch as we move into and through July.
*Jesse Hartman of Off The Bench provides 3 reasons why Clayton Kershaw is so damn good. Hartman does a good job of explaining it, but the main reason is that Kershaw is not seeing contact on pitches outside the zone. At least, he is seeing a O-Contact% of 42.3%, which is over 20% lower than the rest of the league. Hitters are not taking pitches, either. Normally, if a guy has such low contact on pitches outside, you’d just say that no one is swinging, or that all batters are blind. But, we know they are swinging, and they’re not taking many balls. He has 122 strike outs and just 6, SIX, walks. Hartman continues to extol the virtues of Kershaw, pointing out his slider and much more. It’s a great read.
*Roto Targets offers you some advice if you’re looking for some buy low pitching options on your fantasy team. Using K-BB%, you can find pitchers in the league who might just be worth a flier, and won’t cost you heavily. They took the top 15 pitchers in baseball according to K-BB% and compared them to their ERA, which is something that most fans and their leagues look at. A couple of guys who stand out as having ERAs that might scare you off, but rank highly on the K-BB% list are Drew Smyly, Matt Shoemaker and Michael Pineda.
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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.