Daily???!?!? (Seriously: daily??!???!??!?)
Alykhan Ravjiani of BlueJays.com looks at Monday night’s win through the prism of the continued “clutch” play of Devon Travis, who has been spectacular in his second season. Among second basemen with at least 240 plate appearances (Travis has 245 — which should be noted is considerably less than the others here), Travis trails only Jose Altuve, Daniel Murphy, Matt Carpenter, and Robinson Cano by wRC+. He’s edged just ahead of legit stars like Ian Kinsler, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Kipnis. Amazing!
That said, according to the club Travis still hasn’t cemented his spot atop the Jays’ lineup. Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star quotes John Gibbons as pointing out that the team really started to heat up with Bautista and Donaldson at the top, and they’re not yet ruling out a return to that setup — however, that was before last night, which surely tipped the balance in Travis’s favour, at least for the time being.
The Blue Jay Hunter writes a paean to Travis, because how could you not absolutely love what the Jays’ second year second baseman is doing right now?
Great stuff from Matt Gwin of BP Toronto as he looks at the case for keeping Jose Bautista in the outfield, which… basically doesn’t exist, apart from the fact that he’s entrenched and it’s political, and it’s almost certainly not going to happen without a fight — especially in his walk year — no matter how much we may want to see him supplant Justin Smoak at DH with Melvin Upton Jr. taking more regular time in right field (once Pillar is healthy). Jose is bad out there. Granted, he’s maybe still dealing with the effects of the “turf toe” injury that sent him to the DL before the All-Star break, but… yeah, no, he’s bad. His arm just isn’t what it used to be and his ability to get to balls has noticeably deteriorated in recent years. Oh… you’ve noticed?
We’re past this, I know, but Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet has all the relevant quotes from Aaron Sanchez followed the Jays’ decision to keep him in the rotation and go with six starters for the time being — a move everybody seems to want to call an about face from the club, though I certainly saw it coming. Sure sounds like they at least let Aaron *think* it was largely his decision. I don’t have any reason to suggest it wasn’t, but… come on.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jeff Blair writes about A-Rod’s retirement and why he doesn’t have “even the slightest bit of sympathy” for him. I don’t know, man. I don’t condone a lot of the choices he made, but that fucker really just couldn’t stay out of his own way or, seemingly, be natural in his own skin. He had a drive to get the most out of his talents that appeared to be so powerful that he did some really fucking misguided shit, and while that’s not to excuse it, holy shit, I think I do have some type of sympathy for that. He couldn’t stop himself from being the way he was. What a curse!
Back to the Toronto Star, where a Brendan Kennedy piece reminds me that the Jays traded switch pitcher Pat Venditte to the Mariners over the weekend, in exchange for a player to be named later. Meh. He wasn’t exactly getting results in Buffalo, and this may be — like the deal of Wade LeBlanc to those same Mariners — an instance where the Jays are just trying to do right by a guy who is no longer in their plans; a signal to future minor league free agents that this is an organization that won’t do what the Jays did last year to Randy Wolf, keeping him as depth despite not really having much of a use for him.
Also from Brendan, over the weekend in Kansas City he visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which includes a huge number of autographed baseballs from Negro Leagues stars donated by none other than Geddy Lee — which is, I don’t think I have to tell you, pretty damned awesome.
Great stuff, as always, from John Lott, as he catches up with the great Dave Stieb for Vice Sports, who has evidently mellowed over the years.
“We don’t talk about the Blue Jays having a knockout rotation,” tweets Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, “but three of the top six quality start %’s in the AL belong to Estrada, Sanchez, and Happ.” The quality start stat is an odd one,
Arash Madani tweets that 1.2-million people watched the Jays play the Royals on Friday, even though the game was going up against the Olympic opening ceremonies, which, oh, hey, are the Olympics still a thing?
Lastly, a really interesting one from the New York Times about the Ponle Acento campaign among Latino ballplayers. Translated, the words essentially mean “put the accent on it,” and refer to a growing trend to have players’ last names accurately represented on their jerseys, accents and all. “Our names represent our families and where we come from,” says Eduardo Núñez of the Twins, and really, it’s not difficult to do right by these players — something that historically hasn’t been the case in MLB, as the article lays out. For example, from a Blue Jays perspective, unless it has changed recently, I don’t believe Edwin Encarnación has the accent on his jersey. (I wish these letters were easier to type on a computer keyboard, tbh).