Jays In 30…Thoughts
30 thoughts from the week that was for the Toronto Blue Jays
5/21/2016 – 5/28/2016
1) Not Liked. If you aren’t disliked by your opposition you aren’t good at what you do. The Blue Jays had a string of run-ins with a couple of different teams in the past week and I think it is a good thing. After winning the AL East and employing the AL MVP, teams are gunning for them. You aren’t going to hear about teams with a hate on towards the lowly Twins this year…
2) Calling Out The MLB. After being thrown at twice in a row by Twins pitcher Phil Hughes, Josh Donaldson had some valid arguments about the MLB wanting to protect their players. When it is very obvious that the pitcher was throwing at JD, or was ordered to throw at him, why did Hughes not get tossed? The umpires need to take control of the game.
3) Sending Threats. Come on Jays fans. Why would threats be sent to a diner that is simply having some fun and trying to drum up some business using the Rougned Odor punch. There is no need to threaten someone’s family over something so harmless.
4) It’s Time To Estimate. I underestimated Michael Saunders. I will be the first to admit it. Hitting .295 with 9 home runs is more than I ever thought he would do. Let’s hope he can stay healthy!
5) Socking Dingers. Russell Martin hit his 2nd and 3rd extra base hits on the season Wednesday night. They both happened to be home runs. The team needs him to get things going and hopefully that trip to Yankee Stadium turns it all around!
6) The Return. After surprising the league with a very hot start in his rookie season Devon Travis has returned to his spot in the Blue Jays lineup. It is nice to, hopefully, get some more production from 2nd base. Especially when Gibbons won’t play Darwin Barney, and his .300+ average, every day.
7) Sticking Around…For Now. The obvious player to be sent down, due to Travis making his way back to the lineup, is Ryan Goins. It is tough to keep a spot for a one-dimensional player on the big league roster. Like wouldn’t it be crazy to have a player who only catches a knuckleballer and can’t hit, on your bench?
8) Help Has Arrived. Aaron Loup is back and he couldn’t have come any sooner. The team needed help from a lefty reliever and hopefully Loup can find his 2013 form. His first appearance against the Red Sox showed some very good signs!
9) Not Hanging Around. John Gibbons was managing like a man who had early dinner reservations this past week. Between his suspension and ejections Gibbons didn’t manage a full game for 6 days straight. Pretty funny if you ask me.
10) Running It Out. Josh Donaldson created a stir after he was kicked out of a game in Minnesota, when the Twins bench was giving it to him for not running out a ground ball. It really is kind of sad when a professional athlete can’t run hard for 90 feet three or four times in a game…isn’t it?
11) On The Block. Word got out that Drew Storen is available via trade. But with a bloated ERA and big contract who would want him? He has had some clean outings lately and maybe he can turns things around.
12) Just A Little Too Long. J.A. Happ was left in a little too long in Minnesota causing the Jays to lose their only game against the Twins. I really feel it shows how the team doesn’t have faith in their late inning relievers, besides Roberto Osuna, of course. Just look at what a team like the Yankees can do in the late innings.
13) Big 12. The Blue Jays have successfully begun their navigation of their 12 games versus the Yankees and Red Sox. At 4-1 and guaranteed series wins in their first 2 series things couldn’t have started much better [Ed. note: The Jays are now 5-2 in their first seven games of that 12-game run].
14) Showcasing? The trade rumour of Edwin Encarnacion to the New York Mets has had some legs recently. Edwin had started to play some first base in, what could have been, a showcase. Now that the team has started to play like it can, I really doubt that a key piece like Encarnacion would be on the move.
15) Another Vet On The Move? Again, I really feel as if things would have to go south in a hurry for any pieces off the major league roster to be dealt but there have also been rumours of Troy Tulowitzki being moved. This one is even more unlikely with a pile of money owed and with the shortstop having a down year.
16) The Lineup. Since the Jays have had Jose Bautista in the leadoff position the team has gone 7-2. It seems to have worked! Stick with it until Devon Travis gets comfortable? I think so. Things could only get better with a productive Travis at the head of the lineup and Bautista in a run producing spot in the lineup.
17) Contracts? Don’t get me wrong Bautista has been hitting better lately but Edwin is hitting .237 and often looks all out of sorts at the plate…he has been producing runs at least with 37 RBI… Edwin is getting pitched heavily on the outside corner and he isn’t doing much about it. Could the contract be weighing on him? The more this goes on the less likely I see him in a Blue Jay jersey after this season.
18) He Has Earned It. Greg Zaun ranted about what I say every week. Why isn’t Darwin Barney in the lineup? Why do they keep going to Ryan Goins? Barney has hit over .300 and played great defense; what more does he have to do?
19) Bumped. Aaron Sanchez got bumped a day to earn him an extra day of rest. It doesn’t hurt that J.A. Happ is pitching against the Yankees who have a lot of lefties in their lineup. This all makes sense to try to keep Sanchez fresh for as long as they possibly can.
20) Too Boo Or Not To Boo. Former Jay David Price takes the mound on Sunday at the Rogers Centre. How will he be received? I hope with cheers. He brought so much joy to the fan base and, without being offered a contract, wasn’t really asked back to the team by Shapiro and Co.
21) Is This 2015? Game 2 against the Red Sox reminded me a great deal of the Jays of 2015 and boy was it great to watch! What a comeback – that will do nothing but build confidence for the team. I was at the gym cheering as it all went down – awkward, I know.
22) Still Has It. David Ortiz is tough to dislike unless you are a Jays fan. He has torched us for years and did so again on Saturday afternoon with a go ahead home run in the 9th. Not really sure why Gavin Floyd was going anywhere near the inner half of the plate…I know he didn’t mean to hang his breaking ball but still…it is David Ortiz.
23) Struggles At Home. The Opening Day starter, Marcus Stroman, has a 6.39 ERA at home this season. Ouch. Not sure what it is about that home turf but Stroman sure hasn’t liked it.
24) Breathing Room. After having 12 total runs of support in his first 8 starts of the year, Marco Estrada was given 8 runs of support on Wednesday versus the Yankees. The help was well earned.
25) O’Canada! Russell Martin and Michael Saunders hit home runs in the same game this week – this is the first time 2 Canadians hit home runs in the same game. It is great to see baseball in Canada is so strong. The effects of last year’s playoff run will probably be felt in about 15 years with another surge of Canadian ball players.
26) Injured. The oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a quad strain. He had just started to turn things around so this is unfortunate. It did, however, allow Ryan Goins to stay on the big league roster for at least 15 more days.
27) Simply The Best. Marco Estrada has been the Blue Jays best starter this year. The soft-throwing right hander has turned out to be a steal in the trade for Adam Lind.
28) Moving On Up. With the teams recent surge they have moved up from being in last place at one point into 3rd place in the AL East. The fewer teams they have to leapfrog as the season moves along, the better. It was looking dicey there for a while!
29) Depth Move. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway has signed with the Blue Jays, He’ll head to Double-A for now. The 28-year-old has 407 trips to the plate at the major league level over the last five years and the one-time top Red Sox prospect has compiled a .198/.258/.316 batting line. Just a depth move by a team lacking at catcher in the organization.
30) Moving On. David Aardsma has opted out of his minor league contract with the Blue Jays. He had a 5.27 ERA in 13 2/3 innings with their Triple-A Buffalo and it didn’t look like he was going to have a shot with the big league club anytime soon.
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