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In a notebook post for Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to Ross Atkins, who is feeling more than a little bit chuffed that the his club’s sudden infusion of depth — which came this week in the form of catcher Luke Maile, added on waivers from the Rays, and our old friend Mike Bolsinger, who cleared waivers and has been assigned to Buffalo.
Shi also talks to John Gibbons about Devon Travis getting an off-day on Thursday night in Tampa, and the skipper offered a different explanation than what we were hearing on the TV broadcast. Gibbons said it was to “make sure we guard him a little bit,” while Buck and Pat were talking about how the skipper’s plan was to get everybody into the action early on — i.e. it was as much about Darwin Barney as Travis — and suggested we might even see Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the DH spot at some point before the weekend is through. That seems wholly unnecessary to me, so I’m actually kind of hoping it’s just the guarding him thing. Either way, no big deal.
And Shi’s gamer after last night’s win has some praise for Marcus Stroman’s sinker — the pitch that’s made all the difference for him, and something that John Gibbons notes in the piece he didn’t have when he arrived in the big leagues.
Following last night’s game, Mark Simon had some praise for Stroman as well, which you’ll find in a short piece at ESPN.com.
“His neck now, it’s calmed down, no doubt,” says Gibbons about Roberto Osuna, according to Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. Osuna will pitch in a simulated game while the club is in Tampa and remains on schedule to join the club for the home opener on Tuesday.
Israel Fehr of the Athletic notes that it’s a good sign that the Jays got a win off a left-handed pitcher last night. This maybe seems counterintuitive, given all the right-handed bats in the Jays’ lineup, but he notes that the Jays actually had quite a bit of trouble with lefties last year (especially ones of the non-CC Sabathia, Eduardo Rodriguez variety). Cool! Also cool: this one’s got a little “unlock” symbol on it, which means non-subscribers can check it out as a free preview of some of the Athletic’s great content (also mine sometimes)!
Fearless prediction time: I predict that in this Daily Duce I will link to a fearless predictions piece from our old friend the Tao of Stieb.
Awesome stuff from Jonah Birenbaum at some place called theScore (never heard of it), looking into the early returns on the current crusade against hitting ground balls — something Josh Donaldson is a big proponent of. As a corollary to that, Jonah tweets that J.A. Happ threw the highest single-start percentage of two-seamers of his career against Orioles on Wednesday, which may not be coincidental. (Bonus: there’s a great little exchange in the flow of that tweet between Jonah and Josh Howsam of BP Toronto — two guys who really know their stuff.)
I do not delight in the rough start to Mitch Moreland's Red Sox career.— Drew (@DrewGROF) April 7, 2017
I luxuriate in it.— Drew (@DrewGROF) April 7, 2017
PR Newswire has the press release that was published this week about the just-finished changes to the Rogers Centre roof that I wrote about yesterday. Worth it for the cool photo of the roof in mid-operation alone!
Interesting stuff from Blue Jays From Away, as Jay gives us the names of six mostly under-the-radar prospects that made an impression on him during his time down in Dunedin this spring.
South of the Six has a great one on Josh Donaldson and the art of being yourself. Lots of great stuff from over here lately — be sure to check them out!
Over at Sportsnet our old friend the Tao of Stieb has a bunch of fearless predictions for the 2017 Blue Jays season.
An interesting, if not very Jays-related, one from Dave Cameron at FanGraphs, as he looks at the possible extinction of the early-career superstar contract extension. Which are… y’know… possibly going extinct.
Also interesting at FanGraphs is the start of a “residency” for Joe Sheehan (not the Jays one), who begins with When Statheads Age, which gives some good background on his history, and therefore the history of advanced stats itself. Rec.Sport.Baseball represent!
Very cool stuff from Bob Elliott at the Canadian Baseball Network, as he’s along for the ride as newly elected Hall of Famer Tim Raines toured Cooperstown with his family in tow.
Also with a Canadian spin, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times profiles the Dodgers’ Canadian G.M., Farhan Zaidi, who he calls (or his headline does) “one of the most coveted minds in baseball”.
Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian passes along the full video from MLB.com of Josh Donaldson’s recent appearance on MLB Network to talk hitting with Mark DeRosa. (“Full” as it it’s 10 minutes long and about his whole MLB journey, not two minutes and exclusively about hitting mechanics, like the version I posted yesterday.)
Nick Dika of BP Toronto takes a look at some important dates to mark on your Blue Jays calendar.
Lastly, if you’re in the Toronto, next week in the Distillery District there’s an outstanding baseball panel being presented by The Sport Gallery, featuring the legendary Bob Elliott, the brilliant Arturo Marcano of ESPN Deportes, and friends of the site, the amazing Stacey May Fowles and John Lott. Makes me feel like Bill Simmons! As in, y’know, a terrible goof who has at least had the great fortune to hire some incredibly talented people around him. (And I can’t thank the folks at the Nation Network enough for that!)
Speaking of! In case you missed it on Twitter this week, we’re super excited that we’re going to be getting contributions this season from Blue Jays Twitter stalwarts @ateDARYL and @_rallycap, along with the outstanding work @cooom has been doing all winter! Give each one of them a follow, and be sure to watch for their work on Twitter at @theJaysNation, and definitely check us out on Instagram for a whole bunch of fun stuff there, too.