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Daily Duce: Thursday, March 30th

Daily??!?!?

Over at FanGraphs, apparently they noticed the same thing we did: that the projections for the Blue Jays’ rotation are very light. The outstanding and prolific Travis Sawchik investigates.

Speaking of starting depth, over at Sportsnet, Arden Zwelling tells us about Casey Lawrence, who may end up being the first starter to get the call up to Toronto in the even that something unthinkable happens to one of the front five.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Mike Wilner tries hard to see some positive in Justin Smoak, who has had a couple nice games, apparently. Hey, I hope it works out! It’s not impossible that he could have an alright season. It’s just… y’know… finding a thing like that out is something that a non-contender should be doing.

Elsewhere still at Sportsnet, and more realistically, Jonah Keri talks in a radio interview about the horrible state that the Blue Jays have left their first base and left field situations in.

According to a tweet from Jays fan and Japanese speaker @Daisy_child, reports out of Japan are saying that Munenori Kawasaki, who was released this week by the Cubs, will return to the Fukuoka Hawks. Godspeed, Mune.

Because why the hell shouldn’t I sometimes put tweets in a Daily Duce, here’s an outstanding reply to the news that the Rangers have signed Rougned Odor to a six-year, $49.5 million extension:

This one’s great, too (and you can see the video now at BA):

And this one speaks for itself:

Gideon was speaking to Pillar for a piece he’s written over at BP Toronto, which looks at Pillar’s newfound love of plate discipline, and how it’s actually translating to what he’s been doing this spring. Given the way Pillar worked to make himself an elite defensive outfielder, when nobody ever saw that in him as a prospect, I won’t count out the possibility that he really does remake himself into a better hitter. That said, given the low likelihood of a 28-year-old suddenly, over the course of one winter, making fundamental changes to his approach and having success with it, I’m not going to get all excited about the possibilities here either. But this piece almost makes me want to — which, I assure you, is really saying something.

Another great one from BP Toronto takes a look at the increasing influence of Big Data on the Blue Jays, and the potential that exists for the club to become more profitable in the coming years not by selling more tickets, but by better serving the fans they already have — by giving the people what they want, when they want, and seeing increased revenues because of that. I’m not sure what this has to do with forcing oneself to endure drinking a 10,000 IBU bomb of piney sludge on a hot summer’s day, but OK!

Speaking of the Jays’ business practices, their new relationship with StubHub seems to be… doing something? (Mostly pushing late-deciding fans into lines at the box office, rather than to the printer at their downtown office, I think):

If you’ve got nostalgia for what Blue Jays blogs used to look like in 2008 (or at least one of them I can think of), and can deal with someone actually disliking Mookie Betts (and taking a shot at CC Sabathia not long before he went into rehab), you’ll enjoy the fuckin’ hell out of Jays Droppings‘ look at which team to boo when they come to the ‘Dome to visit Gibbers and the birds this season.

Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian’s spotted a video of Kevin Pillar talking about what goes into his spectacular TV dives catches.

South of the Six gives us five bold predictions for the 2017 Blue Jays, four of which aren’t even entirely batshit crazy!

Awesome stuff from Grant Brisbee at SB Nation, as he tries to figure out why a game from 1984 with almost exactly the same number of runs, hits, pitches, and mid-inning pitching changes as a game from 2014 took more than a half hour less to complete. The answer may surprise you!

Holy shit, the third-oldest stadium in the National League (after Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium) is fucking Coors Field???!? Apparently the Rockies will be staying there for a while.

Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun tells us about Marco Estrada, who is humbled and honoured to have been named the Jays’ Opening Day starter.

From BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm talks to Aaron Sanchez, who is nursing a blister, but who is still on track to be fine to make his first start of the season (which, since he’s lined up fifth in the Jays’ rotation, won’t come until a week from Saturday anyway).

And lastly, also from BlueJays.com, we have Gregor’s latest Inbox — something I guess I won’t be hijacking anymore, because I’m doing my very own Blue Jays mail bag every week at Vice Sports! Send me a question for next week’s installment — stoeten@gmail.com!!

  • The Humungus

    Two things:

    1. That’s crazy about Coors. But, to be fair, it’s pretty awesome. I went last summer to see the Jays there (had tickets for the delayed Tuesday game but decided to say fuck it, went to the afternoon game Wednesday) and I’d go back for sure. Just remember not to eat the bull testicles. Unless you like cocktail sauce. Also, don’t order fries from the bull testicle stand, because they taste like balls. Literally.

    2. RE: Vlad Jr.

    https://youtu.be/pusZXECS0mM

  • Space Ghost

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always found that Jonah Keri seems to have a downer on the Jays no matter what. I think the Jays could trade for Trout and Kershaw and he would still find a reason to predict why the Jays won’t win the division.

  • drunk man walking

    While I have absolutely no idea whether or not Pillar will, at 28, reinvent himself as a hitter, the Jays have featured over the past few years a ton of people who have done exactly that at 27+ years of age. JD, EE, Bautista, all feature huge changes out of nowhere, and everyone is expecting great things from KM and Pierce. Estrada and Happ also feature numbers which look remarkably different after some point in the last few years. So hard to be too skeptical about Superman.

  • fred2

    Re beer.
    I *like* craft beer, and I’ve been drinking beer with hops in since my dad started encouraging me to be a good pisshead at the age of three, but what this ridiculous trend of crazy overhopped beer has to do with ‘good’ beer defeats me. Give me a case of Blue any day of the week rather than some disgusting shit like Boneshaker or the thousand other fould clones rushed to market by so-called ‘craft’ breweries set up by some fat dosser is his mom’s basement paid for by government money provided on some sort of youth training scheme. The taste of toilet bowl cleaner does not equal ‘real beer’. It’s bullshit.

    End rant.

    • Malcolm

      I don’t know what “trend” you’re talking about. Yes, some small breweries have no idea how to balance\blend hops and they can be a mess. But take Great Lakes – 95% of their beers are hop based and they do a wicked job of balancing the bitterness of hops, as they have for years. Most new “craft” breweries aren’t even doing hoppy beers, they’re sticking to boring, lagers, pilsners (Ace Hill, anyone?) and pale ales. Boneshaker ( I agree, it’s not great) and other hop forward beers aren’t a “trend” – they’ve been around for years.