The Daily Duce: Friday, May 13th



Great stuff from Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, as he looks at the science behind Marcus Stroman’s career-changing sinker, and talks to Pat Hentgen about the ways Stroman compares to Roy Halladay.

Elsewhere at the Star, Brendan talks about JA Happ, who is pitching like an elite lefty — sort of like what Boston thought they were getting when they gave huge money to former Jays number three starter, David Price, this winter.

Speaking of the club’s former number three starter, Tony Blengino of FanGraphs wonders if it’s time to worry about Price (hint: probably not). Meanwhile, and much more importantly, Dave Cameron looks at the worrisome trend for Troy Tulowitzki: his contact rate on pitches in the zone and his dip in exit velocity. The latter is definitely not good, though hardly fatal to his career as a productive hitter (he’s still been about league average this year), and as I wrote earlier in the week, his Z-Contact% has actually been fine since about the start of May (from April 30th forward it sits at 88.7%, compared to 70.9% up to that point). But we’re still kinda grasping here.

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Owen Watson looks at how Josh Donaldson has gone full Edwin Encarnacion, meaning that their batted ball profiles are, uncannily, nearly identical.

Great stuff from Joshua Howsam of BP Toronto, as he looks at some interesting changes Marco Estrada has made between 2015 and 2016. After a detailed look, he concludes that “at least in the short term, the Navarro factor seems to have been overstated. Russell Martin isn’t doing things the same way, but he has made adjustments that are more than paying off for the Marco Estrada.”

Elsewhere at BP Toronto, Dave Church explains why, much to the chagrin of still too many fans, Josh Thole makes sense for the Jays.

Interesting poll at Bluebird Banter, as they ask which Blue Jays starter you’d want pitching in a must-win game. I’m actually with the majority here for once — I picked Estrada. (Note: I’d have picked him if former Jays number 3 starter David Price was still on the team, too! Uh… at this very moment, at least).

Elsewhere at Bluebird Banter, a look at Drew Storen’s problems, which continue to… y’know… exist, and one at Ryan Goins, who might be playing himself out of a roster spot.

Jeff Blair of Sportsnet breaks down Stephen Strasburg’s big extension with the Washington Nationals and its ramifications for the upcoming free agency period. On one hand, as Blair points out, it’s sure looking smart that the Jays spent money on pitching last year (not that Strasburg no longer potentially being available really impacts them), but on the other, one wonders what it means for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who now sit atop a weak class, but with teams potentially thinking of waiting until after 2017, when an incredibly array of stars will hit the market.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to Ross Atkins in an excellent piece on where the Jays’ front office is at as they head into the first draft of the Atkins-Shapiro era.

Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun takes a look at the rejuvenated Michael Saunders.

Wiliam Bloor of highlights the return of Max Pentecost among minor league performances on Thursday night, as the injury-plagued former first rounder went 3-for-4 as Lansing’s DH.

Elsewhere from the family, Gregor Chisholm of tells us about Marcus Stroman’s Sunday plans (he’ll be going to his graduation ceremony at Duke), as well as the fact that Aaron Loup is getting close to a rehab assignment, and that Ryan Tepera has been sent back to Buffalo — not because of Sunday’s unfortunate Shrimp Tepera, but because Brett Cecil is set to be activated off the paternity list.

The Blue Jay Hunter looks at all the weird ways the Jays have lost so far this season (and also provides us with a clip of Ezequiel Carrera — I like to call him “Zeke,” personally — dancing to Don’t Stop Believin’).

Lastly, Buster Olney tweets that there are teams interested in trading for Jose Reyes, which… really? I mean, even if one could get past the domestic violence, that’s a guy getting paid a lot of money for what he used to be, not what he is now. Oh, and that reminds me, it looks like we might see a “Matt Fucking Bush” appearance this weekend, as the troubled former first overall pick (and former Blue Jays spring training attendee), now a pitcher, has been called up by the Rangers.