Roberto Osuna Named The Blue Jays' Closer, As The Club Announces Its Full Opening Day Roster

Andrew Stoeten
March 30 2016 09:19AM

Roberto Osuna
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, so Drew Storen isn’t going to be the Blue Jays’ closer! That’s… unexpected.

The Jays have announced this morning that last year’s rookie sensation, Roberto Osuna, will continue in the role -- with John Gibbons citing his familiarity with Osuna as the reason for not making the switch.

That’s cool and all, I guess. Those roles are always fluid, and dependent on how everybody does, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to make too much of a big deal of an announcement like this. But... well... it’s certainly not how I think I’d have done it.

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The Daily Duce: Wednesday, March 30th

Andrew Stoeten
March 30 2016 02:12AM

Daily Duce

The Blue Jays got Ross Atkins “on the first hop” says some enterprising Toronto Sun headline writer seemingly trying to cast dark clouds across Mark Shapiro’s first and biggest hiring. Atkins was interviewed for the Phillies job in mid-October, writes Bob Elliott -- something Jon Heyman reported on October 9th at CBS Sports . Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted on September 15th that Atkins had been interviewed for the Angels’ job, too. (Both interviews were mentioned by Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star when Atkins was hired by the Jays in early December). So… apparently he was actually hired on the second hop. I’m not sure where we’re going with this, but I could guess.

Oh, and look at that, elsewhere in the Sun it’s Steve Simmons saying that it “will take time” to get to know and “to believe in” Atkins. For who? Him? Anyone too dumb to see through the negative swells the Sun appears to be trying to stoke here? Because who possibly cares?

As noted in last night’s Encarnacion piece , Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star also has an Akins piece -- a straight interview -- and it’s pretty great! Especially the praise for John Gibbons and his open mind about what some might call analytics (but that Atkins says he’ll simply call “information”). Though it’s true that Atkins doesn’t quite yet seem fully comfortable with the media aspect of his job. You can say “we,” Ross, when you’re referring to the organization! Even if you didn’t happen to be there when the things you’re talking about happened.

“It definitely wasn’t easy, but I haven’t made a better decision in my short career,” says Aaron Sanchez to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet , referring to his strict offseason workout and diet regimen. Obviously it’s paid off, as he’s been sensational this spring (albeit against spring training-calibre competition), and has forced the Blue Jays’ hand as far as giving him a rotation spot goes (have you heard????).

At BP Toronto , Tammy Rainey devises a way that, by using the All-Star break, the occasional spot start, and smartly lining up his starts to fall on certain off-days, the Jays can manage Sanchez’s innings over the course of the season so that he can stay in the rotation the whle year and doesn’t have any kind of giant increase that would require him to be shut down. Hmmm.

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No Talks Planned Between Encarnacion And The Jays Before Opening Day: Report

Andrew Stoeten
March 29 2016 09:32PM

Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

No further talks are planned between the Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnacion’s camp, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. Or, at the very least, he tweets that it “sounds like” that’s the case "at present."

But they're probably not talking! And are we surprised? I don’t think that anybody exactly should be, given what we’ve been hearing throughout the spring about the lack of movement and Edwin’s disappointment about how the sides hadn’t seen eye-to-eye on term.

That doesn’t mean it’s not news, though.

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Gavin Floyd, Steve Delabar, Their Bionic Elbows And Intertwined Journeys

John Lott
March 29 2016 07:44PM

Steve Delabar and Gavin Floyd
Photo Credit: John Lott

Gavin Floyd and Steve Delabar belong to an exclusive club. There was nothing funny about the admission process, although they joke about it now.

“We like to say we have more screws than any two pitchers in baseball,” Floyd says.

That would be eight screws in Floyd’s right elbow and nine in Delabar’s. There are long screws to hold the elbow bones together. There are short screws to secure a metal plate that stabilizes the joint. Floyd and Delabar need all this hardware because each broke his olecranon bone, which some people call the funny bone, but if you break yours, you won’t be laughing.

Their X-rays (this is Delabar’s) look like something from a carpentry manual. So does the surgeon’s little electric screwdriver. Its motor makes a little buzzing sound as it spins the screws into place. There are online videos that show how the operation is done. I watched one. You probably won’t want to.

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The Blue Jays And FanGraphs' Positional Power Rankings: How The Defending AL East Champions Stack Up

Andrew Stoeten
March 29 2016 02:58PM

Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson
Photo Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have begun, under Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins, to eschew the Stars And Scrubs philosophy of their predecessors somewhat, focusing this winter on adding depth and, at least in terms of those depth pieces, prioritizing floor over ceiling. This change, however, has not quite yet factored into the everyday talent on the club's roster, as we can see from FanGraphs’ recent Positional Power Rankings series.

The Jays, as these rankings rightly identify, are supremely talented at many spots, but noticeably near the bottom rung at others. There isn't a whole lot of middle ground.

Is there enough superstar talent to carry some of very average players the club will feature? Is there enough upside on those lesser lights  to render the projections FanGraphs has based these rankings on inadequate? I certainly think so -- and based on the way they operated this off-season, the Jays do too.

But, just to be safe on that point, let's take a closer look…

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