Friday, March 31, 2017

2017 Montreal Exhibition Game 1: Jays vs Pirates

Here we are, back in Montreal again. If you're looking to kill some time before the pre-game ceremony celebrating Tim Rains, here's Tom's great piece from last year revisiting the Expos.

Repost: So You Entered A Baseball Fantasy Draft

The second annual JITH fantasy draft is happening this Sunday night. This piece appeared before last year's draft.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Your turn to prognosticate

It's nearly the end of Spring Training and everything looks rosy at this time of year As the follow up to Kris's great post, in honour of the upcoming JITH fantasy draft and because I know a few of you have an opinion, let's see what you soothsayers can foresee for the Jays 2017 season..

Who will win the Jays Top Starting Pitcher Award?

While the money is on Sanchez for a lot of people, I'm picking Liriano

Who will be the Jays MVP ( other than Donaldson)?

I could go with angry Bautista but my pick is Devon Travis.

The over/under is 8.What is the number of times Gibby gets thrown out of the game?

Easy one, over.

Who is the first player who gets called up first?

I'm going out on a limb and saying Tepera, 2nd choice Gurriel.

Jays win total?


Who will outperform their Zips projection by the biggest margin?

Pillar, 2nd choice Martin

Somebody predicted ( me ), that when Smoak signed his contract, he'd be the opening day starting first baseman, will he still be the main man at first at the end of the season?


Who will hit the most homeruns for the Jays this year?


I abhor making predictions, it's something I loathe but I thought I'd make an exception and have some fun. Perhaps we'll revisit this at year's end. Just for shits and giggles.
If you feel like adding any predictions of your own feel free. Go ahead, jump in, the water's fine.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

10 Bold Predictions, Blue Jay Style

Look at all that hardware

With the season being less than a week away, now is the perfect time to make bold proclamations that are almost assuredly not going to be correct. With some of these, I will attempt to give some form of (statistical) rhyme or reason with each one. These are typically aimed toward fantasy baseball players, but I'll try to stick to general things that I feel could happen in the coming season. No real order here, just random thoughts heading into the season. I'll try not to be too pessimistic.

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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Order! Order on the lineup card!

I guess Salty's name can fit on the card.
Let me first apologize for the bad courtroom pun that is the title.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Elimination baseball

I'm still furious at the ending of the game last night. Edwin Diaz buzzed a pitch at Wladmir (WBC home run leader) Balentien's head in the top of the 10th inning after barking at him the whole at bat. The Netherlands team was pretty pissed off and came out on the field. The camera captured Javier Baez taunting the Oranje bench.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Incorrect Prediction Time

Spring Training is in full swing, and well - thanks to the World Baseball Classic, we have semi-actual baseball on the TV daily. Sign me up. This tournament was better than I was expecting it to be, and I'm thankful. With that being said, we are officially two weeks away from real, MLB Baseball. The perfect time to declare bold, and likely incorrect predictions. Here are mine, feel free to share your own.

Saturday, March 18, 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 17, 2017

St Patty's Day - mlb style

As you would expect, MLB doesn't miss a chance to get people to buy more gear. This is one of the 4 hats available for Your Toronto Blue Jays this year.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dunedin update

I was expecting more from MSM about the meetings that took place in Dunedin concerning the Jays facilities. Since there wasn't any, I perused the internet and will try to bring everybody up to date on the progress.

 First some background.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hump Day Gratitude

Talk about the WBC, the latest news out of Dunedin, or just talk about what you're grateful for.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 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 10, 2017

Buddy can you spare a left fielder?

Is this guy available?

The tweet from Arden Zwelling came as a surprise.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

#TBT - 2013 WBC Canada vs Italy

To this day, this game sticks in my craw so why not share the misery? And no, this isn't the game that knocked Canada out of the tournament after they beat the US. This  game is even worse.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hump Day Gratitude

Talk about the WBC, the sad game the Jays played against Team Canada, or just talk about what you're grateful for.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Special Popularity of Brett Lawrie

Earlier this week, Brett Lawrie was released from his contract. After a season shortened by injury with his third team in three years, the Chicago White Sox decided they have better options in the infield than what they think Brett Lawrie is capable of and made him a free man to sign with any team. Freedom isn’t what professional baseball players generally want, though, and for a six year veteran coming off injuries and poor play, this news likely came unwelcome.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Happy birthday to JITH!

A year ago, I published this post and Jays in the House was born. An answer to ongoing commentor frustration when Andrew Stoeten moved his site to The Nation network (and it's not lost on me that today they're launching a complete site redesign), this was designed to be an "after dark" site - a place where the community that had come up around Andrew's writing could hang out.

Saturday, March 4, 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 3, 2017

Talk amongst yourselves.

There's some interesting tidbits available amongst the usual "best shape of his life", 'just want to help the team" cliché stories out there.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Welcome to Dunedin

Did you know that the Jays are the only major league team that has not moved spring training cities? That's one of the interesting facts the Dunedin tourist board has to share at this site. Feel free to peruse and dream.

And for those who have made it down there, have any good stories?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hump Day Gratitude

With so much going on in the world, I thought it would be a great time to remind ourselves and each other about what great in our lives.