The Daily Duce: Thursday, April 28th



When someone is making changes that don’t work he’s tinkering too much. But when things are going well — as they are right now for JA Happ — he’s “adjusting.” John Lott looks at the ways Happ has adjusted and stayed ahead in a great piece for Vice Sports. As long as Happ avoids nibbling like he has been, I think he’ll be OK.

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Fascinating stuff from Keegan Matheson of Jays Journal, as he tells us how the Jays are trying to convert 6’10” former UConn basketball player Tyler Olander into a pitcher. Hmmm…

Elsewhere at Jays Journal, last week Keegan looked at what Adrian Beltre’s new deal means for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, and Thursday afternoon he rounded up the previous night’s minor league games, with an eye specifically on intriguing prospect Angel Perdomo of Lansing.

I linked it in a Game Threat earlier in the week, but some interesting comments from PED legend (?) Victor Conte in a piece from Bob Nightengale of USA Today concerning Chris Colabello. Is dirty glassware to blame for the suspension? I obviously don’t know, but there are hints in this that it could be — not that there isn’t something shady about taking supplements from labs that might have accidentally cross-contaminated with ancient East German steroids. Also: Michael Saunders missed like 150 games last year because he stepped on a sprinkler head. He got, approximately, how much sympathy compared to Colabello? Just sayin’.

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Speaking of Saunders, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet writes about how the left fielder is being cautious — or some might say smart — with how he goes about his business in order to try to better keep himself on the field. He’s going well so far, too.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jeff Blair talks Colabello, reminding us that “it’s just not that difficult to keep track of the crap you put into your body,” and noting that there are many ways players can be sure that what they’re taking is OK. Meanwhile, Arden Zwelling has a big read on Colabello, his state of mind, and his search for… whatever it is he’s searching for, and the Tao of Stieb tells you how to wear a damn shirsey right. Also, in a video clip, Mark Shapiro talks to Blair and Stephen Brunt, explaining how he’s not about to panic just yet.

More Colabello, because I’ve been kinda hard on Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail sometimes, and I really liked his piece on the aftermath of last week’s suspension announcement.

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BP Toronto wonders if it’s time to float a hot take that can’t possibly be serious and suggest that maybe John Gibbons should be fired. Hey, at least it wasn’t reasons why it’s OK to dislike him.

Elsewhere at BP Toronto, Greg Wisniewski looks (in a piece that was written before his last start, I should note) at how well Aaron Sanchez is going despite essentially still being a two-pitch pitcher, and also at the hidden problem with Zeke, while Kyle Matte looks at Troy Tulowitzki, aka the Jays’ so-far wobbly lynchpin.

Speaking of blog posts with bad opinions (which… weren’t we?), here we have Bluebird Banter wondering if RA Dickey should be dropped from the Jays’ rotation. The three planks of this are that, a) somehow we’re supposed to believe that Drew Hutchison is the answer, b) somehow we’re supposed to believe Dickey would be useful in the bullpen, and c) somehow we’re supposed to believe that Josh Thole is any worse than the vast majority of other backup catchers, or even just Tony Sanchez or AJ Jimenez (which he’s not). So… no.

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Chris Zelkovich of Yahoo! Sports writes about Canadian sports TV ratings, which this week focuses on the Raptors’ struggles for viewers (which, in case anyone cares, I’d suggest has somethig to do with not catering to cord-cutters — though maybe that’s just me), and then also lists the most-watched sporting events in the country last weekend. Topping the list… the Islanders and Panthers on Sunday? Come on, Canada.

Clutchlings has an excellent roundup of some standout players from the Jays’ minor league system.

Over at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin writes that the Jays simply can’t look to their farm system for pitching help, and how Marcus Stroman’s anger at the tail end of his last start is understandable but makes for bad optics — which I suppose is fair.

Elsewhere at the Star, Brendan Kenny looks at Michael Saunders and his quest for redemption. Saunders admits he was “an emotional wreck” last year at times.

Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun looks back on a soon-to-end April, and finds more questions than answers when it comes to the Jays.

Lastly, this piece from FanGraphs is about why the Astros are in trouble, but I think it’s worth a read for Jays fans, because when I read it it reminded me of all sorts of reasons why the Jays aren’t. Yet.

  • Bad Dabbler

    Pretty sure the jays could have mproved upon their backup / minor league catching talent if free agent catchers this offseason believed they had a shot at the backup position. Knowing Thole was pretty much guaranteed that post likely drove some away.

  • El Cabeza

    “Topping the list… the Islanders and Panthers on Sunday? Come on, Canada.”

    I think you nailed it on the head – Canada. This is a hockey country. Stanley Cup Playoffs elimination games, especially those that go into 2 OTs and feature a Mississauga bred stud leading the way will always win in viewership over an NBA playoff game and any April/May/June baseball game.