When not stealing money from the Orioles or striking out in almost a third of his plate appearances, Chris Davis is boning up on dumb, four-year-old memes that were really just a version of something out of fuckin’ Wayne’s World. Or so I can only surmise, based on a tweet from John Solomon of CBS, in which he quoted comments made by Davis at the Orioles’ recent Fan Fest about José Bautista. “He’s actually a pretty good dude — said no one ever….He’s a guy who’s easy to dislike.” WHOAAAAAA BAHHHURRRRRRNNNNN!!! (Trash birds, man.)
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and never being right about stuff has a couple Blue Jays tidbits in his latest: One, that the club looked at Matt Wieters before moving on to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, which would have been a nice get, I think (though I assume the cost was prohibitive and not that the Jays actually prefer Salty — Wieters could still start for someone, I reckon). And two, that the Jays and White Sox “have had discussions” about reliever David Robertson, which… sounds like a bad idea waiting to happen. (Cafardo also suggests José Bautista “will be motivated after an off year” as a reason to believe in him having a bounce back season, which… yeah… because I’m sure he wasn’t motivated to have a great 2016 as he headed into free agency).
Nick Ashbourne of Yahoo! Canada makes a lot of sense in explaining why the Robertson rumour doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Nick also suggests that Chris Coghlan is the perfect patch for the last hole in the Blue Jays’ lineup. I completely agree that he’s a far better fit for the roster than Ezequiel Carrera, and I’d love to see him get a Floyd/Saltalamacchia type contract where it’s technically a minor league deal, but he gets a genuine big league salary if he makes the club. It would be nice if Dalton Pompey hit his way into this conversation this spring, too, but I don’t think that’s a given.
The Cardinals were given a slap on the wrist by MLB today for some seriously shady shit, outlined excellently in this Houston Chronicle piece, from that time an employee of their hacked the Astros’ computer systems. This actually relates to the Jays, as they were involved in some of the leaked internal trade talks that Deadspin published in 2014, and which originated in the hack. (i.e. “that time Alex Anthopoulos considered trading Marcus Stroman for Bud Norris”)
Speaking of Stroman, the young starter tells Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet that he expects his surgically-repaired knee to be stronger in 2017, which he believes will lead to better performance. Meaning… it wasn’t quite right in 2016? That’s interesting. Though maybe not surprising given the severity of the Spring Training 2015 injury that nearly cost him all of that season. “Having a stronger landing leg? That’s a big deal,” Stroman said last week at the Blue Jays’ Winter Tour, according to Benny Fresh. “It’s going to allow me to do a lot of things: velocity, go deeper into games, be more accurate. I take pride in my body and it’s at a point now where I can take some huge strides this year.”
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Buck Martinez writes about how mentorship from Dave Stieb and Jack Morris helped the Blue Jays to win it all in the early 90s. I’m sure having great players on those teams didn’t exactly hurt.
Over the weekend the Royals signed Brandon Moss, who was thought to be — or at least hoped to be — a target of the Blue Jays at some point this winter. Moss could have been an alright platoon partner for Melvin Upton, but I’m pretty sure the Jays dodged a bullet on this one. As Jim Bowden of ESPN points out, Moss strikes out a ton and doesn’t get on base nearly enough. The home runs are nice — he hit 28 in 2016 — but the .300 OBP and the .304 the year before are too fugly for that to matter, I’m pretty sure. The Jays already have too many of these three to five HR per month but dogshit the rest of the time hitters. (Looking at you, Upton and Smoak.)
Late addition because I totally forgot that also at ESPN.com today was Keith Law’s report on the top Blue Jays prospects. There’s a bunch of stuff that I’ll leave behind the pay wall, but one interesting tidbit is the fact that Law notes that lefty pitcher Ryan Borucki “is now on the Jays’ 40-man roster because he would have been Rule 5 eligible (and taken).” My thought on that is this: if other teams would have taken him, their aim being to stash him in their bullpen all year, and if his inability to stay healthy (he’s pitched just 204.1 innings since being drafted in 2012 — 135.2 of which came this season) is going to make him a reliever anyway, might this not be a good candidate as a big league lefty reliever?
Interesting thought experiment at BP Toronto, as Gideon Turk wonders what Kevin Pillar would look like if he had Vladimir Guerrero’s ability to get hits on all those pitches he swings at out of the zone. Turns out he’d be pretty good! Which, otherwise, he’s not.
Lastly, ICYMI below, great stuff from your boy Cam Lewis on the Jays’ reported interest in Craig Breslow over the weekend, and their signing of right-hander Lucas Harrell to a minor league deal (which also includes Pete Walker’s comments on the real uninspiring bullpen the Jays currently sport).