Quick roster note: the Jays announce that LHP Scott Diamond has indeed been called up to help the Jays’ bullpen. Pat Venditte is demoted to Buffalo in the reciprocal move, and Franklin Morales is placed on the 60-day DL to clear room on the 40-man. (Diamond, it should be noted, is out of options and will have to be placed on waivers when he inevitably loses his spot. Oh, and he’s Canadian and grew up cheering for the Jays, if that’s the kind of thing that makes your dick move).
And also a quick bit of housekeeping: the draft took place on the weekend (it ran from Thursday to Saturday), but you’ll barely know it from here. I’ll do a separate draft wrap-up piece (likely tomorrow).
I guess it’s been a while since I did one of these, because sitting unread in my RSS are a few gems from BP Toronto: Kyle Matte with an outstanding one on Marcus Stroman and pitch homogenization (there just isn’t great variation between his pitches), Gideon Turk on how to fix Stroman — a piece that mentions the main thrust of Kyle’s: “When everything is in the lower half of the zone and thrown within a 12 mile per hour velocity band, it doesn’t matter how good each individual pitch is; the batters can undeservedly find some level of comfort” — and a fresh one from Rian Watt on Roberto Osuna’s new slider (which apparently is a thing).
Speaking of Stroman, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star spoke to the struggling right-hander, and found a young man determined to get back on course. Stroman was mighty frustrated with himself following his most recent start — Thursday’s loss to the O’s.
Elsewhere in the Star, Rosie DiManno talks about Sunday’s outstanding Ezequiel Carrera catch — provided you can see it through the hazy mist of purple prose — which kept the Jays from actually doing what we all feared and somehow pissing that ballgame away.
Drew and I spoke about this on the latest Birds All Day episode, but in case you didn’t go rushing out to read it from there, here’s Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs on Aaron Sanchez’s transformation into an ace. (Which… um… just forget what happened this weekend, maybe. It was the wind!)
Jon Heyman, who is now with Today’s Knuckleball (which… wtf?), tells us that the Jays are looking to replace John Gibbons! Unless they’re not! “Gibbons is thought to be safe for the foreseeable future. But it seems like a long shot that he’d be brought back for 2017, barring a huge year.” What’s a huge year? Better question: who cares? If the team wins he’ll be back, if not, he probably won’t. Not that different from every other manager, really.
The great @James_in_TO tweets a link to some attendance figures at ESPN.com that show us the Blue Jays have been the best draw, home and away, in the American League this year. Would you look at that!
Josh Donaldson’s tongue is firmly in cheek when he tweets “seems fair” in response to a crazy Vine showing a batter whipping his bat back at a pitcher’s head after getting hit by one. But he makes a serious point: that batters just have to stand there and take it, and pitchers get slapped on the wrist when they’re found to have thrown intentionally at someone, which is impossibly dumb.
Bluebird Banter tells us about the collision that saw Jays top prospect Anthony Alford removed from a game in Dunedin on Friday. He was later diagnosed with a concussion, meaning his rough season, healh-wise, continues.
Interesting stuff at Baseball Essential from David Aardsma, who was in the Blue Jays’ camp this spring (John Lott wrote about him for us, and found Aardsma to be a bit of a unicorn), and who explains here how biomechanics saved his career.
Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal pivots off of the Jays’ recent changes to their lineup — which were instigated by the players themselves — to look into the changing role of the manager in big league culture. A GibbyTheBest moment from the piece: “If it doesn’t work,” Gibbons joked, “I can just blame them.”
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun compares John Gibbons’ salary to those of Mike Babcock and Dwaye Casey, as well as other managers in the AL East, and finds it… well… wanting.
Elsewhere in the Sun, Bob Elliott pens his farewell column for the paper. Read it.
If you’re in Peterborough a week from tonight, Monday, June 20th, come check out the Pitch Talks event that will be taking place at the Boston Pizza on Rye St. (i.e. the Lansdowne one), and hang out with me, Stephen Brunt, Jeff Blair, TSN’s Scott MacArthur, Jenn Smith of BP Toronto, and Natalie Stoberman of Homestand Sports! It’ll be a fun night. Punch and pie.
Second-lastly, um… ICYMI (NSFW-ish).
And lastly, here’s the only commentary you’ll get on me on this Orioles pitcher calling Edwin overrated nonsense:
Mike Wright: an idiot. Or is it Mark Wright? I haven’t bothered to learn the name of this fucking nobody. https://t.co/Eyqel07Z1S
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) June 11, 2016