Blue Jays From Away joins forces with Jays From the Couch to bring you the latest in Toronto Blue Jays coverage of the past week.
As part of our ongoing partnership, Blue Jays from Away and Jays From the Couch have teamed up and what follows is a run down of Blue Jays coverage from Jays From the Couch.
*Check out the latest episode of the Jays From the Couch Radio podcast where we look at the Blue Jays bullpen situation and the beginning of Trade Deadline rumors. This episode contains a very wrong account of what the Blue Jays could, should and would do with the struggling Jason Grilli before they decided to DFA him.
*Speaking of Grilli, we broke down his struggles in a presentation of the decision he presented the front office. In looking at his offerings, Grilli’s real issue came from his slider that stopped doing slider things. It has become very hittable as the amount of pitches that he grooved to hitters increased dramatically. What is interesting is that his struggles actually began late in the 2016 season.
*Jeff Quattrociocchi shed some interesting light on what is behind the recent struggles of Kevin Pillar. After I looked at explaining the CF struggles, Jeff looked a little deeper and found that Pillar hasn’t struggled as much as we might think. Instead, he might be the victim of some really bad luck.
*Jeff also spent some time looking at the resurgence of Steve Pearce. After starting the season as one of the worst hitters in baseball, Pearce has become one of the best. Jeff argues that perhaps an over aggressive approach (as evidenced by lots of swings outside the zone) was behind his bad start, but since then, his contact rates, etc have dramatically improved.
*Roy Widrig has an interesting look at whether the Blue Jays should continue to develop Lourdes Gurriel Jr as a shortstop. The Cuban has committed a significant number of errors in his brief experience in North American baseball. Perhaps, his defense would be better utilized at second base or even in the outfield. Of course, as Roy argues, the Blue Jays depth at short stop would make a move that much easier. With Bo Bichette and others in the fold, there is not a pressing need to keep Lourdes at such a premium position.
*Finally, we bring you a collection of notes on Justin Smoak, who is trying to land himself in the 2017 All Star game, the recent minor league deal for Michael Saunders (no such thing as a bad minor league deal, right?), and the continuing issues Kendrys Morales has had with the breaking ball. For Morales, this year is even worse than his career numbers, which are not great. For Saunders, the Blue Jays injured outfield depth makes this signing less confusing than initial reactions might have warranted.
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