The Daily Duce: Tuesday, June 28th



Top Jays prospect Conner Greene tweets (vaguely) that he’s moving up the organizational ladder, and Keegan Matheson of Jays Journal confirms that indeed he’s been promoted to New Hampshire — which is where he finished last season under the more aggressive Anthopoulos regime. I doubt we’ll see him in the big league bullpen until September, but… we might see him in the big league bullpen in September. That would be a buoying thought if not for the fact that, holy shit, they’d better get their bullpen sorted out properly before then.

When grinding out mindless content over the weekend, Joel Sherman of the New York Post casually drops the suggestion that the Blue Jays “have no intention of signing Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion long term when they are free agents after this season.” I’d make a full post about it, but fuck that. I don’t know that the Jays have any intention of meeting the asking prices they’ve been given so far, but to say that they have no intention of extending them is a bit rich. Because why? An organization with Donaldson, Tulo, Martin, Stroman, Sanchez, Devon Travis, Osuna, Estrada, Happ, and a bunch of freed-up payroll sure as hell won’t be gearing up to tear everything down.

Sherman’s suggestion was made in a piece about a potentially wild trade deadline, which he suggests could include Bautista hitting the market, with the Jays possibly believing they can make the playoffs without him. I know that 12 years ago the Red Sox moved Nomar Garciaparra and then went on to win the World Series, so it’s not like a Bautista trade this summer is so crazy an idea that it’s absolutely unprecedented, but finding a deal so perfect as to make sense for all involved is going to be so tough that I just don’t think it’s worth spending any time dreaming on it. Bautista’s injury and his 10-and-5 rights (which Nomar didn’t have) badly complicate the issue, too.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes with a view to the trade deadline, suggesting that the Jays might be active if they decide to be sellers, but the more likely scenario is that they’ll try to patch their bullpen with a couple of cheap reliever adds, hold their top prospects, and hope for the best. And given how much I believe in this roster, I think hoping for the best sounds just fine.

Griff also had an interesting talk with Dave Stewart when the Diamondbacks visited last week. Say what you will about Stewart’s philosophy as a GM (for example, “it’s as hilarious as it is terrible”), he sure loves Toronto and seems like a thoughtful and candid dude who it’s tough not to like.

Great stuff from Brendan Kennedy elsewhere at the Toronto Star as he looks at the Jays’ organizational protocol when it comes to concussions — something they take very seriously, it turns out (and which has impacted both of their two top outfield prospects, Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey, already this season).

Drew Storen is nothing if not confident, as he tells Gregor Chisholm of that he’s unfazed by last night’s meltdown. “I bounced back from the first month of the season, so adversity is nothing new,” he says (which… *CHORTLE*). “It’s not an ideal situation tonight, but I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

Here’s a really interesting one from Bluebird Banter on Kevin Pillar and plate discipline, and how his atrocious walk rates are actually the necessary results of an aggressive, contact-oriented approach that he needs to maintain in order to stay viable as a big league hitter.

The same author, Matt W, also has a think about Aaron Sanchez and the innings limit conundrum that the Blue Jays face — and the mixed messages they’ve sent about it so far. Thing is, the limit might not be quite as big an issue as we’re making it out to be if the less-than-optimal command Sanchez displayed in his start against the White Sox continues to be a thing. Not because I assume Sanchez is bad now because of one less-than-stellar start, but because if he starts to labour and starts to struggle to locate, the decision to ramp things back certainly becomes an easier one.

2080 Baseball tells us a little about the Jays’ recent draft pick, Cavan Biggio, who has been assigned to Vancouver and is already playing there with the Canadians. He’s certainly a different kind of prospect that we’d have seen under Anthopoulos: a guy whose defence will need to be a developmental focus, and who only has modest tools, but a “high level of comfort and confidence in his actions.” Hey, and bloodlines!

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus tries to make sense of French baseball statistical abbreviations by looking at some numbers put up so far by the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am league. But I think he buries the lede a bit, because… uh… is that Wayner’s son Trevor Gretzky who’s playing for them???

BP Toronto takes a look at Michael Saunders’ breakout season, and wonders if it really is that.

Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs also looks at Saunders, eschewing the BABIP stuff that the BBB piece highlights and looking more to his pitch selection and plate coverage as driving factors in this career year.

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Sullivan looks at the hidden catastrophe behind the plate in Chicago (which includes the much pined-for Dioner Navarro).

ICYMI, I’ll lift these links straight from this week’s edition of my Weekend Wrap:

If I may point you in the direction of three great pieces that are very much worth your perusal here at the start of a new week: Keith Law of writes about the New York Mets’ signing of Jose Reyes; John Lott heads to Bluefield for Vice Sports —  but, more specifically, for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.; and Anthony Alford talks to Gare Joyce of Sportsnet in an excellent profile of the Mississippi high school star turned NCAA quarterback turned young man in trouble with the law turned big time big league prospect. (I could have used Alford not bringing up Ray Lewis and saying “that’s who I want to be,” though. *COUGH* — though you really need to read the comment in context before you get all weird about it. So go read it!)

Lastly, this is a little old, but sadly still relevant, as Dirk Hayhurst dives into some Pitch F/X data and talks about height, plane, and the movement on a sinker, with respect to Marcus Stroman.