blue jays opener

Blue Jays Fans-You Make The Call

JFtC introduces a new weekly interactive feature that allows you to decide if you agree with, disagree with, or feel further review is needed on in-game and front office decisions. 


Featured Images Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase


 


 

 

 

Deep down, every Blue Jays fan believes they have the right answers to all the questions that arise during games or in the transaction pages. That is precisely what makes being a die hard fan so much fun. Every Monday JFtC will look back at the past week and review 3 plays or decisions that may have made fans say “hmmmm”. The Fekless Wonder will follow fan reactions and make his call on each situation. We will call each A Hit, an Error, or determine it is Under Further Review. Whether you agree with our calls or have opinions of your own, reach out to us on social media and email to keep the conversations going throughout the week.

 

7TH INNING TUESDAY JUNE 7TH VS. KANSAS CITY ROYALS…Charlie Montoyo lifts Alek Manoah after 6 shutout innings.

Alek Manoah is quickly establishing himself as the staff ace of the Blue Jays. He is 16-3 through his first first calendar year as a rotation anchor and improved his record to 7-1 after tossing 6 shutout innings against the Royals. Manoah did scatter 6 hits and walked 3 Kansas City hitters across the outing. But as he has done so consistently throughout his career, Manoah made the right pitch at the right time to stave off the damage. The Blue Jays have made a conscious decision to limit the number of innings and pitches their starters log in the early going. But Manoah is earning more length on the leash the front office and the manager want to keep him on.

 

“I just want to be a workhorse,” Manoah shared during post-game interviews. “That’s what I build everything around.” While Charlie Montoyo agreed that his young ace “has another gear”, for the third time this season he refused to send Manoah out beyond the 6th inning despite being in control of his outing. Montoyo instead opted to complete the shutout by using his 3 most effective leverage relievers (Yimi Garcia, David Phelps and Jordan Romano) despite have a comfortable lead.

 

THE CALL-Error Montoyo

While you understand the Jays desire to handle their young star with kid gloves, the desired benefits are reduced given the competitive nature and repeated successes of Manoah. Older Blue Jays fans well remember the fiery presence of Dave Stieb during his All Star level successes during the 1980’s. You will also recall the rowing frustration Stieb dealt with when Bobby Cox and then Jimy Williams pulled him from starts when he was clearly in control. The Blue Jays will need to call upon all their starters for more length once maximum pitcher limits are reduced later this month. Now is the time to do that with their 3 most reliable starters-Manoah, Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios. The use of Romano in particular was troubling. In light of the short start by Kikuchi the next night, the impact of having to use 7 relievers in a 8-4 loss may have been  diminished by a 7th inning of Manoah.

 

FRIDAY JULY 10TH VS. DETROIT TIGERS- Jose Berrios returns to mound after 26 minute rain delay to pitch 8 innings of 1-run baseball.

Jays broadcaster Dan Shulman asked Montoyo before Friday’s game about how long he planned to stay with Jose Berrios. Montoyo replied “we need him to go as long as possible” after using 7 pitchers during Wednesday night’s loss. The Blue Jays jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead before heavy rains caused a 26 minute rain delay. Given the inconsistency of Berrios early this season, inquiring minds began to wonder if Montoyo would allow the righthander to resume his start. Turns out there was never any discussion to the contrary and Berrios cruised through 8 innings. He allowed only 1 run and 5 hits while striking out 5 to earn his 5th win of the season.

 

THE CALL- It’s a hit!

On the surface tis decision to stick with Berrios after the rain delay was a no-brainer. Montoyo and Pete Walker knew they needed to find  a way to limit the number of innings from the bullpen. Berrios showed the poise and competitiveness he is known for and only mop-up reliever Jeremy Beasley was called upon for one inning to close things out. But given the inconsistencies with his delivery and release points that Berrios had admitted to, you could understand if Montoyo chose not to risk it. Credit Charlie with the save for allowing Berrios to earn the win.

 

SATURDAY JUNE 11TH- Blue Jays activate top prospect Gabriel Moreno

Seeing several organizational top prospects making their major league debuts in April and May, you couldn’t blame Jays fans for calling for the promotion of their #1 prospect Gabriel Moreno to help right the lineup. While Moreno impressed during the Arizona Fall League and during Spring Training, Toronto had the luxury of sending Moreno to Buffalo for more seasoning. Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk were already on the roster and providing superior production with the bat and with the glove and acquisition Zach Collins provided some offensive spark. But after a torrid start at AAA and a second injury to Jansen within a month, GM Ross Atkins decided the time had come to give Moreno a chance on the major league roster.

 

Moreno certainly proved he deserved a chance at regular playing time. He hit .324 and had a .784 OPS in 36 games with Buffalo this season and demonstrated  improvement against the running game by throwing out 54 percent of baserunners trying to steal. While Kirk has done a great job in Jansen’s absence and has been a tear at the plate after a slow start, it made sense to add the talent of the young Venezuelan to share the workload with Kirk. Blue Jays management has seen enough of Collins to determine he would not be the solution.

 

Moreno went 1-4 in his Saturday debut and seemed to grow more comfortable as the game progressed.

 

THE CALL- Off-field decision under further review

 

There is no denying the talent and the makeup are there. In Gabriel Moreno, the Blue Jays have found and developed a lineup fixture for years to come. What is yet to be proven is his readiness to handle regular playing time at the major league level with limited at bats at the higher levels of the minor league system. Like Kirk, Moreno’s winter league experiences against current MLB pitchers and position players have benefitted his confidence and readiness greatly. There is also no question that Moreno will get regular playing time while Jansen is on the IL. Kirk has developed a special rapport with Berrios and Manoah, so look for Moreno to catch Gausman and Stripling starts. Just how consistent Moreno is behind the plate and with the bat in his hand will determine if he will remain with the Blue Jays after Jansen is healthy. Kirk can rotate through the DH spot if Jays decide to stick with 3 catchers-remember an extra bench spot will open up once maximum pitcher roster spots are reduced in mid-June. JFtC minor league analyst Ryan Mueller has pointed out that Moreno’s performance at the plate has cooled some after a torrid start to his AAA season.

 

No one is more excited than Jays From the Couch that Moreno has been called up. It is just too early to call the Moreno promotion a no doubt Hit.

 

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment sections of this article link on our Facebook page and on Twitter @JaysFromCouch. You can also join the conversation by sending an email to the author feklesswonder@jaysfromthecouch.com

 

 

 

*Featured Images Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

*****
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
*****

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO

 

 

 

Fek

Jersey born, Pittsburgh resident, baseball lifer. Staff Writer jaysfromthecouch.com. Host THE ON FEK CIRCLE on JFtC YouTube Channel. Regular guest on Jays From the couch Radio Podcast. Established WPPJ Rock-a-thon benefit, which has been broadcast annually since 1981 and has raised for than $500,000 for the Early Learning Institute of Pittsburgh. IBWAA member.