The Daily Duce: Wednesday, April 20th

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Daily??!?!?

Great stuff, as always, from our own John Lott, who at Vice Sports talks to Blue Jays players about their gloves, and finds some wonderful stories.

At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm writes about Troy Tulowitzki having gotten hits in three straight games — and key ones at that — which we all obviously hope is a sign of more production to come. He’s still been a wizard with the glove, of course, but if that bat gets going, look out. Or more like when it gets going.

This AP story from ESPN.com doesn’t tell us what kind of liquor Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright sent Chris Colabello as an apology for that scary beaning incident on Sunday. I want to know what kind!!!

Interesting stuff in a tweet from Daren Willman of Baseball Savant and MLB.com, as he shows us a visualization of Statcast data on top AL centre fielders Kevin Pillar, Kevin Kiermaier, and Lorenzo Cain. Pillar’s first step is his biggest asset, as he lags behind the other two, and Kiermaier in particular, when it comes to route efficiency, top speed, acceleration, and arm strength.

Paul Sporer of RotoGraphs looks into Aaron Sanchez’s pitch usage and walk rate, coming away impressed and ready to believe that Sanchez is going to be able to limit walks enough to have success in the rotation — though he notes that the 14% walk rate he’s had this season, if you exclude his first start (0 BB) in Tampa, is perhaps troublingly high.

MLB.com’s Cut 4 takes a look at seven prospects they think fans should be watching this season, with the Jays’ Anthony Alford among them.

Marcus Stroman fills in the sneakerheads with a tweet: he was wearing custom Nike Kobe Bryant spikes.

Speaking of Stroman, Jonah Birenbaum tweets a heatmap of Stroman’s sinker so far this year, and… well… they’re sinking.

At Jays Journal, Keegan Matheson tells us why RA Dickey deserves our patience (and separately notes that prospect shortstop Richard Urena left a game last night with an ankle injury of some sort).

On the other side of the Dickey thing, a piece at BP Toronto earlier today justified fans’ dislike for RA Dickey with some really strange and bad reasons. Among them, that he’s thoughtful, he once climbed a mountain against his team’s wishes (to raise funds to combat human trafficking and awareness about sexual abuse), and he generally isn’t a single-minded baseball automaton. (So fuck him? A spicy take indeed!) The piece then went on to explain that those aren’t the biggest reasons to dislike him, at least! However, as you may have guessed, I’m using the past tense here because following some exchanges on Twitter the piece was edited to make clear that what was intended by elucidating those strange and bad reasons to dislike Dickey was to say that there are people who dislike Dickey for those strange and bad reasons, but they’re wrong. Hmmm. Did I get that right?

Anyway, Dickey was great in the second half of last season, so people need to relax.

Elsewhere at BP Toronto, Eric Mercer looks at the Jays’ high strikeout totals from the early season and wonders if there’s cause for concern yet. (Hint: everybody panic!) (Hint: that first hint is a lie).

Lastly, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet writes about the toughest out in the Jays’ lineup, currently: a cardboard cutout of Justin Smoak they’re paying $4-million by accident.