Daily Duce: Thursday, February 23rd

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Daily??!?!?

Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian shows us what other Blue Jays would look like if they had José Bautista’s beard, and, holy shit, it’s the greatest.

Marcus Stroman has his own Photo Day post at the Players’ Tribune. Pfffft. Clickbait.

According to Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, Russell Martin cares not for the new rule about intentional walks, which… obviously.

Richard Griffin explains why he doesn’t like the rule change in a piece at the Toronto Star. Also from Griff: a piece on minor league veteran Casey Lawrence, who only gets one mainstream media story about him per year, so you’d better read it. Griff also has something about the Jays’ starters being deep thinkers or… something.

Speaking of Lawrence, we have actual baseball news! Mike Wilner tweets that the aforementioned Lawrence will start in the Jays’ Grapefruit League opener on Saturday. Joe Biagini starts in their opener in Dunedin on Sunday. Please, nobody encourage him.

Mat Latos will follow Biagini in Sundays game, and… uh… please nobody encourage him either.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has the goods on the Jays’ planned facility renovations both at Rogers Centre and in Dunedin, which… at this stage… uh… means not a whole lot. (Read it, though!)

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Benny Fresh tells us that Dave Stieb thinks he got a raw deal, as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned (and were the Hall of Fame not resting comfortably at the bottom of the sea, I’d probably agree). Also: David Singh tells us that the Jays’ infield defence is what appealed to the club’s new reliever, the groundball-heavy J.P. Howell — or so he says. And we go back again to Benny Fresh, who talks to reliever Chris Smith, who, apparently, exists.

Speaking of rule changes (which… weren’t we?), Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs bids farewell to the least enforced rule in the sport, which will go the way of the dodo now that the intentional walk is all fucked up.

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Craig Edwards looks at some pre-arb pitchers who are extension candidates, which means an Aaron Sanchez (and Scott Boras) mention, while David Laurila quotes various GMs on the notion of a front office developing a plan and sticking to it, which includes an interesting comment from Mark Shapiro’s former underling, Chris Antonetti.

A bunch from BlueJays.com, as Paul Hagen talks Francisco Liriano, and looks at Glenn Sparkman’s attempt to be the next Joe Biagini. Meanwhile, Mike Nabors reminds us that Melvin Upton is a repeat member of the 20/20 club, including last year (Naomi Waaaaaaaaaaaaaats?), and tells us that Jays hitters aren’t too concerned with their fugly strikeout rate.

Back to the Sun, where pieces look variously at Jeff Beliveau, Matt Dermody (uh.. former bike messenger Matt Dermody, that is), Anthony Alford, prospects, and pitching depth.

Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail looks at Justin Smoak, who we’re all hoping either doesn’t suck in 2017 or sucks so much that it’s obvious to the club that he’s unplayable. Win-win?

Great stuff, as always, from BP Toronto, as Nick Dika runs down some key spring storylines to watch this year, and Dave Church takes an optimistic look at Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Marcus Stroman tweets that he’s jazzed about all day breakfast from McDonalds coming to Canada. Wake me when Whataburger gets here.

Speaking of Stroman, Dan Grant of Same Page Team rants that Marcus is not Tom Gordon, which… I could have told you from just looking at his name. 

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 (I will respond… eventually), 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.

I’ve been a little slow responding to some of these, because email is trash and I hate it, but I assure you I will!