Daily Duce: Tuesday, February 14th



The Wayback Machine is the only place you can still find old DJF posts — which you totally sometimes want to, like today! The Zubes’ Blue Jays Valentine’s cards, ca. 2013, are a little slice of magic nostalgia. Two digs at Edwin! A reminder, via Gregg Zaun, of what a different social media world it was even back in 2013! And, of course, the Zubes is hilarious, as always.

Speaking of old times, the outstanding Jonah Birenbaum of some website (OK, it’s theScore) has a rather uplifting look at the Blue Jays and the 2017 season they’re about to embark on. These birds aren’t endangered yet!

This is pretty fun stuff right here, even if it means watching some of your favourite Blue Jays (rightly) shit on some sacred CanCon cows: from CBC Music it’s Marcus Stroman and Ryan Goins playing “Jam or Not a Jam”. 

Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail has a great piece on his chat with Devon Travis, who says he’s still not quite 100%, with respect to the knee he had arthroscopic surgery on over the winter — and who is excited about the hitters he’s surrounded by.

Over at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin has a guide with a few tips for those Jays fans who plan to visit Dunedin this spring.

Griff also files on John Gibbons, who he says expects to have a contract extension by Opening Day.

Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com comes with quotes from Joe Biagini, who says he’s ready to accept whatever role the Blue Jays want him in this year. (I still think it’s completely going to be as a reliever in the big league ‘pen — though Jays Journal did make an interesting point last week about the need to keep Mike Bolsinger, who is out of options, in the organization, and how that could lead to keeping him on the big league roster instead of Biagini (who has options left).

Speaking of Biagini, Nick Ashbourne of Yahoo! Sports writes (correctly) that converting him back into a starter seems like dubious move. 

Also speaking of Biagini, via CBC.ca, Melissa Couto of the Canadian Press catches up with Joe Biagini, who weighs in on his infamous high-five miss with Jimmy Fallon.

Mike Wilner of Sportsnet has a great feature on Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, who finds that communication is the foundation for success — and who communicates his thoughts on several of the pitchers in his stead. Interesting stuff.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to Marco Estrada, who says that he’ll pitch at the World Baseball Classic for Mexico if he’s “100%”. Which… y’know… means he’s almost certainly not going to pitch.

John Lott of the Athletic elaborates on John Gibbons’ comments about his contract, which I noted in an earlier piece that features a bunch more great stuff from ol’ Gibbers.

Great stuff, as always, from Ewan Ross of BP Toronto, as he previews Canada’s World Baseball Classic team, which he calls a club without a purpose.

Mark Colley of Bluebird Banter wonders who will throw the Blue Jays’ next no-hitter. The answer is Aaron Sanchez.

Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian takes us through the Getty Images archive from today, bringing us the first images from Spring Training 2017.

Interesting stuff from Lynn Henning of the Detroit Free Press, as he details some of the new renovations that have been completed at the Tigers’ complex in Lakeland, Florida. With the Jays due to have a similar amount of money poured into their own facility, is this a preview of what we can expect a few years down the road?

The Toronto Sun puts together a string of tweets from Marcus Stroman, who says that he’s excited to have won his arbitration case — a result that was announced earlier on Tuesday. Stroman also thanked the Blue Jays for being professional about the process. It’s a different world when it comes to arbitration these days, I tell you what.

Elsewhere in the Sun they’ve published an AP piece reminding us that Adam Lind signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Nationals this week. Somebody brought up the Justin Smoak contract to me on Twitter almost immediately after Lind’s deal was announced, and that’s understandable if you hadn’t noticed what Lind has become. Lind had a 92 wRC+ last year for the Mariners, and though Smoak’s mark of 90 was lower, Smoak’s defensive reputation at first base is much greater — as are his numbers: mostly because of defence, Smoak’s -0.1 WAR bested Lind’s -0.6 WAR last season, and that doesn’t even account for Smoak’s supposedly difference-making abilities when it comes to catching throws from his infielders. Oh, and against right-handed pitching in 2016, Lind’s wRC+ was 95, while Smoak’s was 99. Of course, Lind has a much better track record as a hitter, and projects to be slightly better, but… whatever. It’s not like the club was going to have any interest bringing his mouth — or his mom’s skills of diagnosis — back in anyway. 

Great stuff from Steve Buffery of the Sun, who talks to Marco Estrada about the injury — a torn calf muscle picked up while running the bases when he was with Milwaukee — that forced him to focus on finesse and become the pitcher he is today.

And one more from the Sun, as Buffery encourages the comic stylings of Joe Biagini, which people absolutely need to stop doing right fucking now! I’m serious. Quit it! 

According to this MiLB.com story from last week, uh… Kyle Drabek is an infielder now? The lede is buried deep, as it’s a nice feature on the one-time top prospect and his family, including his Cy Young-winning father, but… uh… yeah. The Giants acquired him last summer, after he’d been released by the Diamondbacks, and tried to convert him into a shortstop or third baseman. The Jays’ hands were pretty badly tied in the Roy Halladay trade, but oh man, that was baaaaaaaad.

Lastly, as I’ve been noting every time I do one of these lately, if you’re an aspiring writer looking for exposure for your Blue Jays content, I’d love to help you out in whatever small way I can. My advice: start your own site. Once you do that, send me the link (or if you already have one and I haven’t been linking it, send it too!). I can be reached at via email at stoeten@gmail.com, or on Twitter at @AndrewStoeten. I will put your site in the RSS feed I use when compiling these posts. I will read what you write. If it’s good, I will point people to it. If it’s consistently good, we can definitely talk about having you do stuff for us. If we agree to work together and I don’t have it in the budget at that moment to pay for it, you’re welcome to do some things for us anyway, and if its gets good traffic and demonstrates value, I’ll certainly be able to make a business case to bring you on for pay.