Daily Duce: Friday, February 24th

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Daily??!?!?

John Lott tweets us an update on Josh Donaldson, who he says played long-toss today and hit in a cage. “Still a tiny hitch in his gait at times,” John tells us. “Says he feels good.” John adds that JD’s “timeline for full-tilt action remains 2-3 weeks.”

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks at a youngster we won’t be seeing too much of this spring, but hopefully will for a lot of springs to come: Bo Bichette. Apparently he’s added a leg kick to his swing, or something!

Jays Twitter was abuzz earlier on Friday, as MLBPA head Tony Clark paid a visit to the clubhouse in Dunedin, and the meeting ran longer than expected, with Russell Martin being the last player to emerge. It was easy to assume that Clark was taking heat for the dumb new intentional walk rule that Martin doesn’t like, but there was apparently more to it than just that, as Ben Nicholson Smith of Sportsnet tells us that after the meeting Clark addressed the fact that Martin wasn’t allowed to play in the WBC because of insurance complications. Apparently Russell wasn’t too fond of that either!

Speaking of Clark and the dumb new rule, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that Clark told reporters after the Dunedin meeting that most players didn’t care about the intentional walk change. 

It’s that time of year again! You know, time to wonder which… non-roster invitees… have… the best… chance of winning a job… in the bullpen. Uggggggggh. Brendan Panikkar of Jays Journal explores!

Paul Hagen is filling in for Gregor Chisholm at BlueJays.com this week, and he… uh… might want to double check the Jays’ manager’s last name. FRYEE GIBSON!!!!!

Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Hagen has a lengthy chat with the Jays’ (hopefully) ageless wonder, Jason Grilli. FYREE UP THE GRILLI!!!

Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (who’s work I will both link to and decline to extensively quote from *COUGH*) claims the Jays had the worst off-season of any team in the sport. Which… huh? He seems to mostly slag the club’s off-season because, even though they got José Bautista at “about 10 percent what he originally sought,” they didn’t really seem to want him back. “It seemed almost like a desperation move partly done in response to disappointed fans (though they clearly needed outfield help).” SO WHICH WAS IT? And though he doesn’t seem too down on Kendrys Morales, they get dinged there for it being “a bit of an overpay,” and for losing Brett Cecil and (of course) Edwin Encarnacion. Scott Boras should ask Heyman for his money back on this one — at least until he makes it a little more coherent.

Mark Buehrle talks to Darly Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times about having his number 56 retired by the White Sox this summer. Nails much?

Good piece from Mike Bates at MLB Daily Dish, as he wonders whether “statheads” are “pro ownership,” which… is at least an interesting thing to have conversation about, and in a lot of subtle ways is probably true — not just for those of us into stats but for every fan, I’d wager.

Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs explores the teams that are stuck somewhere between contending and rebuilding, and the Jays aren’t among them! CONTENDAHHHHHHHS!

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Nick Stellini looks at the longest home run of 2016, which isn’t Jays-related, but does involved Giancarlo at Coors Field, so… swoon.

At TSN.ca, former GM Steve Phillips scouts Roberto Osuna for some reason.

Baseball America has ranked the teams in baseball based on the talent in their minor league systems. The Jays come in 20th. It’s literally just a table.

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!