Toronto Blue Jays Morning News: Cherington, Cecil & More!

 

Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Toronto Blue Jays News & Links. This edition: Cherington, Cecil & More!

 

 

It is funny how disappointing holding a playoff spot can be. But, here we are ending a week that has been full of disappointment. Is that accurate? Or, has it been worse than disappointment. Let’s just say the bandwagon is rather roomy these days. If you’re looking for Blue Jays content, it was suggested that I write up the 2016 Wrap for the big league club, even though there are still quite a few games left. While I will probably put a pin in that idea for now, here are some other ideas floating around about your Toronto Blue Jays.

 

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*Brendan Kennedy explains to us that if we’re salty about the Red Sox current position in the standings, we should look to blame the new VP of Baseball Operations of the Toronto Blue Jays. Ben Cherington helped create that solid roster of young studs. He’s responsible for Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr coming to Boston and developing into the young core of 2016’s leading offense.

But, rather than focus on that squad being ahead of us, we should really be happy about this new hiring as it adds a baseball mind that thinks similarly to president, Mark Shapiro. The focus on development and analysis is going to be enhanced by adding Cherington. Kennedy passes on a quote from Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald: “Pepsi just hired the guy with Coca-Cola’s recipe”. Drellich also adds that the Red Sox should be worried about this hiring.

 

*Part of the negative reaction to the hiring, has to do with the overall sense of doom surrounding this Blue Jays club. The fact that they’ve sunk so far in the standings has folks looking for fixes. Hiring a new VP is not going to change that. But, if you think this team is a mess, check out the piece by Ken Fidlin that points out the trainwreck the Angels are. They may very well run out the guy folks like to call the “best player in baseball” in Mike Trout, as well as the ever-awesome Albert Pujols, but they aren’t enough to redeem this Angels team. Fidlin outlines the rotation that the Blue Jays will face during this series and it kind of makes you feel OK about the Blue Jays chances to gain some ground in the division.

 

*Hopefully, we will have LOTS of baseball before we have to think about this, but the Blue Jays’ 2017 schedule has come out. The 2017 Home Opener will feature the very exciting Milwaukee Brewers coming to town after Canada’s team visits Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Another series that might grab your attention is the Cincinnati Reds coming to Toronto. That very well could be the opportunity to finally see Joey Votto play first base in the #6ix. As well, the season will end with lots of games against division rivals. The final 9 games are 3 against New York, 3 against Boston and then 3 more against New York.

 

*At Sportsnet.ca, Ben Nicholson-Smith points out something that may have gone unnoticed among the mess the club is in right now. He highlights the current upswing of Brett Cecil. The lefty (soon to be free agent) was one of the true highlights of last season, when he didn’t allow a run from the end of June onward. This year, he has been disappointing. Though, for his last 15 innings (dating back to end of July), he has a total of 22 whiffs to just 4 walks. That is rather impressive, both in result and amount of time. We may not have been paying attention to his quiet effectiveness over that span. However, before we start picking him as one of those “under the radar” free agents, we should also point out that his numbers have come in a role that shows very little confidence. Once a late inning go to, Cecil sees time in less ‘pressured’ situations.

 

Around the League

*While our Toronto Blue Jays are near the top of the league in attendance totals (well done, Toronto), not all clubs can say that. For example, the Pittsburgh Pirates are trending in the opposite direction. Jason Rollison of Pirates Breakdown brings us a look at the Bucs’ attendance and how it could impact their ability to spend. They are in a unique situation, given that they have a TV contract that is reasonably good, but the market they are in is not. For these reasons (combined with attendance), they have to operate like a small market team. It would seem that they share a similar mantra to the Blue Jays in that fans are told that payroll will be directly linked to attendance. It should be noted that it might actually be more true for the Pirates, whose payroll is not near that of Canada’s team.

 

*I joined the Sully Baseball Daily podcast recently to talk about auto insurance. Just kidding. The topic that is on everyone’s mind (yes, even outside of Toronto) is “What is going on with the Blue Jays”. Despite Skype’s best efforts to derail our conversation, Paul Sullivan and I manage to have a great old chat about how this club looks, their issues as well as offering some playoff predictions. If you haven’t already, you really should check out Sully’s show. He is on some kind of streak, bringing great content for years now. But, if you only chekc out one, it has to be the Blue Jays one I was on. Here you go:

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