Spring Threat: Jays vs. Orioles

Andrew Stoeten
March 15 2016 11:12AM

FAES
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Whoa. Would you look at that. We’ve crossed the midway point of the Grapefruit League season, and judging by today’s Blue Jays lineup, things are starting to get serious.

That’s a whole bunch of regulars right there (for the Jays, at least -- the Orioles have sent some trash to Dunedin, evidently). It's actually something close to what you might expect to see on Opening Day. Especially since -- ugh -- this morning we learned, via a Sportsnet piece from Mike Wilner, that Edwin Encarnacion will be shut down another week because of an oblique issue. The team says he'll still be ready for Opening Day, but will he be up to speed?

Hey, and in other not-so-great Edwin news, Jamie Campbell tweets that, according to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, the meetings between Encarnacion’s camp and the Jays about his contract didn’t go so well. It seems that Eddie is looking for more years than the Jays are willing to offer, he adds . Which… aren’t we all?

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The Daily Duce: Monday, March 14th

Andrew Stoeten
March 14 2016 06:21PM

ducetemp

Daily???!?

Naturally, Stacey May Fowles of the Globe and Mail absolutely nails why police action over impossible online threats to a 360 kg statue is an important story. “If the authorities are interested in using their resources to deter online threats,” she writes, “it would be far more meaningful to show up at the door of someone who terrorized one of the countless women for whom online abuse is a genuine concern.”

Quote of the month comes my way via @ IAmTheRealGus , who passes along a gem of an amazing turd laid last week by our old friend Marty York . “Excellent points 2day from the great Goose Gossage about the out-of-control Bautista. Bang on. I predict awful season from Bautista in  2016.” [sic] LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

At Sportsnet , Mike Wilner makes the case that Aaron Sanchez should be a reliever this year, which you may have read earlier, I don’t agree with . The thing I’d say about that is that it’s easy to get hung up who makes or doesn’t make it on the Opening Day roster, but what’s much more important is how the roster works for 162 games. That’s why maintaining roster depth by potentially sending Sanchez to Buffalo could work, and that’s why essentially locking him into a year-long relief role just for the sake of declaring his position set on Opening Day doesn’t make sense for me. It’s easy to go from starter to reliever -- the other way around, not so much. If your aim is to add as much marginal value as possible, I’m not sure that not having Sanchez ready to step in if a starter gets hurt, or Floyd/Chavez/Hutchison can’t hack it, is the best way. He’s a starter for me until he proves otherwise or the bullpen really, really needs it. To start the year, though, there are more than enough arms they’ll be willing to take a look at.

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The Jays' St. Patrick's Day Cap Looks Better Suited For April 20th

Andrew Stoeten
March 14 2016 05:54PM

St Paddy's Cap
Image via Lids.com

Oh, hello Toronto Blue Jays 2016 St. Patrick's Day cap, you... uh... you holdin'?

I don't know if anyone has actually used that phrase since 1973, but what I do know is that the above image is indeed of what Lids calls the "Toronto Blue Jays New Era 'MLB 2016 St. Patty's Diamond Era 59FIFTY Cap'".

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The Blue Jays *Only* Might Be Amenable To A Cespedes-Type Deal With Bautista

Andrew Stoeten
March 14 2016 03:11PM

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays “might be amenable to a Yoenis Cespedes-type deal” with Jose Bautista.

The Blue Jays “ only might be amenable to a Yoenis Cespedes-type deal” with Jose Bautista. [Emphasis mine].

Both of these sentences should be fairly interesting to fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, but I’d say that one is a bit more specific and dispiriting than the other. Isn't it?

Guess which one Sportsnet used passing along Ken Rosenthal’s original report at Fox Sports?

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Aaron Sanchez Wants To Be A Starter, But Will He Be OK With Being One In Buffalo?

Andrew Stoeten
March 14 2016 11:56AM

Aaron Sanchez
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Sanchez shouldn’t go back to the bullpen.

That’s not a statement made wide-eyed with excitement over his strong performance on Sunday -- a one hit, one walk, four strikeout outing over four innings (albeit against a fairly uninspiring Rays lineup) -- or from having watched the Sportsnet broadcast that couldn’t stop talking about his rotation potential, but one that has made sense for a long, long time.

He’s a starter who was lent to the bullpen the last couple of years, not a power reliever looking to try his hand in the rotation, so it makes perfect sense. In terms of his development -- that is, what little of it there can possibly be left before we simply concede that he is what he is -- being in the rotation is clearly the best thing for him. It will force him, or so the hope is, to rely on more than just his bowling ball of a fastball to get hitters out, refining his secondary pitches in the process.

Sanchez doesn’t want to go back to the bullpen, either, telling reporters on Sunday, such as Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star , "Absolutely, I think I'm a start, they know I wanna be a starter, everyone in baseball knows I wanna be a starter."

If he keeps pitching the way he did on Sunday perhaps he’ll make the answer to the question of whether he should be in the Blue Jays’ rotation a fairly simple one. As it stands, however, even after that performance, it’s really not.

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