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:
Troy Glaus has drawn more walks in the 2010's than Rougned Odor.— MLB Statistics (@MLBRandomStats) March 30, 2017
Glaus retired in 2010. He played 128 games that year. https://t.co/AUS0CDVL5L
This one’s great, too (and you can see the video now at BA):
Vlad Jr, man. So impressive. Just pulverized a ball to dead center for a double. Turned around 96 like it was nothing.— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) March 30, 2017
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):
So with the New StubHub Blue Jays Partnership, tickets listed on the site will deactivate two hours prior to first pitch. No more fire sale pic.twitter.com/ENQhJycirJ— Alan Davenport (@Alanjoe) March 30, 2017
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 — firstname.lastname@example.org!!