Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Relief Pitchers, The Bullpen and how it seems to be shaping up to be.

According to Wilner, in his Wilner's 25 column, this is his best guess for who will be in the bullpen for opening day.

Roberto Osuna.
He is expected to be ready for opening day after dealing with a sore back due to a " bad mattress". I hate when a mattress goes bad. A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the mattress so it can find it's good side once again.

Jason Grilli
While he hasn't updated his website since joining Toronto. he has found new life in his 40 year old arm. Whether it's Walker or Martin, let's hope some of that magic lasts for at least one more season.

Aaron Loup
Hopefully his 1.42 WHIP in the spring doesn't translate to the regular season. He will relied on to be the main left hander out of the pen, although Gibby may be setting him up to be a LOOGY. Either way, welcome to Uncle Loupy's Wild Ride. Barf bags are available to those in need.

Joe Biagini
While the early speculation was on Biagini ending up in Buffalo, to get stretched out for starter depth, he is needed in the Jays bullpen. Can't see him ending up any where else but Toronto. You can also see him on his regularly scheduled night at Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club, opening for the incomparable Slappy White.

J.P. Howell
The second Lefty in the pen, the Jays are hoping the newly signed Howell will return to 2013-2015 Howell, where he averaged 67 appearances per year. His numbers were very good, then 2016 happened, where he developed a case of left arm shittiness, which allowed the Dodgers to let him go.
Could he be Grilli 2.0?

Joe Smith
Picked around the same time as Howell, Smith is what you'd expect, rather a plain ordinary right handed reliever. It looks like he started to give a few dingers and walked too many for my liking but he is just another reliever. I'm hoping Joe Smith isn't an alias for Joe Btfsplk

Mike Bolsinger
Bolsinger seems to have defaulted into the Jays bullpen, with injuries to Bo Schultz and Rule 5 Guy Glenn Sparkman putting them on the DL. Bolsinger is the long guy. No I don't mean long in that sort of way but in a multiple inning, long relief kind of way. Now go wash your mind out with soap.

As mentioned by some, what the fuck about Ryan Tepera? He throws 97, the Jays like him and dammit he's had a good Spring Training. Well the Jays are looking for a long reliever, see Bolsinger above and Ryan has options,. So off the Buffalo for now.

Agree with Wilner? Are these guys good enough to get the Jays to the playoffs? Or should we pray for healthy starter arms?

Monday, March 27, 2017

One Week to Opening Day

It's been a long winter but we're almost there. This week we'll finally see lineups that will look like the regular season and we'll hold our breath with every HBP, dive, slide, fielding a bunt...

You get the idea.

With this time upon us, this is my reminder that I will not be writing game threats (or are we calling them threads now?) this year.  I remember there was talk of having a different author per series, which works for me.

Who wants to step up?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gibby da best

I'm still feeling like a walking zombie and RADAR's done enough late night duty so here's a quickie thread.

Gibby's contract, the big stick the MSM has used to strike the front office all spring, is done. Gibby seems happy. Are you?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Will the Jay's Ace pitcher please stand up?

This is an Ace.

It's been speculated more than a few times and I'm not sure if it needs to be asked or answered but just for fun I'll ask.
Who is the Ace starting pitcher of the Blue Jays staff?

Marcus Stroman?
After a masterful performance in the final game of the WBC, zero hits in the first 6 innings, one has to wonder if the man of six pitches can emerge as the staff Ace. The man is driven, on that there is no doubt, but his earlier problems experienced last year seemed to melt away as he relied less on his sinker and used more of his slider. His slider induced more groundballs and was much more effective. He's another year removed from his ACL injury and provided over 200 innings in 2016. He just might be the Ace and is driven to prove it to everyone.

Marco Estrada?
Everybody wants to know about Estrada's change up. Other pitchers have tried to copy the grip that Clint Everts taught him while in the minor leagues but nobody can duplicate the results. Pitching is hard. Estrada set a MLB record of eleven consecutive games of 6 innings pitched with fewer than 5 hits. Although his back has caused issues in the past, if he can stay on the field he'd have no problem putting up a 200 inning year. He won't blow the fast ball by you , his fastball usually sits in the high eighties,but his 10 mph separation with his change ups will fuck many batters up. Ask any manager if a pitcher can give him 6 innings with 5 hits or less consistently and he'll put him near or at the top of the rotation every time.

J.A. Happ? ( call me Jay)
20 wins. 3.18 ERA. 195 innings pitched. ESPN had rated him on their CY Young tracker in 4th place. Ahead of the likes of Verlander, Hamels, Sale, Sanchez and Price. Not to shabby. While the lack of strikeouts might not make him the sexy pick, you could easily make a case for him to be your number one starter.

Aaron Sanchez?
In 2016, Sanchez had an American League leading 3.00 ERA. The best in the AL, I say again. The knock, earlier in his career, was his durability but after training with Stroma,n in the 2015/2016 off season, he put on some weight and muscle allowing him to throw 192 innings and avoid getting shut down. This year, Sanchez has taken advantage of the new high performance department of the Jays, arriving early in Dunedin, to maintain his strength for the upcoming season. Sanchez has been working on his change up because he knows the book is out on him and wants to mix up the look  to the batter. Mid to high 90's fastball with a curve and a change up? For the AL ERA champ?Nasty. Definitely Ace material.

Francisco Liriano?
After posting a 5.46 ERA in Pittsburgh, the Jays picked up Liriano. Reunited with his former catcher, Russell Martin ( who was rumoured to be consulted before the acquisition) and after Walker identified some mechanical changes needed, Liriano found his former self and posted a very nice 2.92 ERA in 8 starts and 10 appearances. Why include him in the discussion for staff Ace? Well aside from his stellar Toronto debut in 2016, he's been drawing accolades from several sources. He's recovered for the head injury he received in the ALDS and Walker calls him "an assassin on the mound". According to Walker, if you polled the players on the team, Liriano has the best stuff. The best stuff? Better than Sanchez,Stroman, Happ and Estrada? High praise indeed. There was a report from Law? Rosenthal? Somebody?, that I heard a week ago that suggested Liriano, this spring, had the best stuff in the AL. I raised my eyebrows but I don't know, I'm not in Florida watching him. Ace of the staff? Time will tell.

Maybe there's no Ace.Maybe nobody stands above the others.It still should be one of the best starting pitching staffs the Jays have ever fielded.