Baseball America released an update to their top 100 prospects list, and there are even more Blue Jays on it than the one back in February! Granted, some graduations (Benintendi, Swanson, etc.) cleared room for guys who just missed, but it’s not like Bo Bichette (93) has done anything to make his stock drop so far this year. The big one, though, is Vlad Guerrero Jr., who ranks 16th, up from 20th before the season started. BA was higher on Vladito than any of the other major services, and his start to the season only validates that ranking. J.J. Cooper tweets straight up that “we were extremely high on Vlad Jr. coming into the year, but he’s exceeded those expectations.” Nails much???
Also on the list: Anthony Alford (34, all the way up from 59), Lourdes Gurriel (68), Sean Reid-Foley (70), and Rowdy Tellez (89).
Did you know that Russell Martin’s shoulder problem was the result of a cyst? I didn’t know that Russell Martin’s shoulder problem was the result of a cyst until I was alerted to the fact that Joe Siddall had said as much on Jeff Blair’s show on Wednesday morning. Tuns out Shi Davidi had reported this, buried somewhat in a piece for Sportsnet that was mostly about Joe Smith. “Russell Martin, placed on the disabled list Monday with a nerve issue in his left shoulder, might be ready soon after his 10 days are up, too,” he explained. “He underwent a procedure Tuesday that drained and injected cortisone into a cyst in his shoulder that was pressuring the nerve, causing, in part, the weakness he experienced in the area.”
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jonah Keri makes the case for not trading Josh Donaldson this season — which is to say, the case against trading Donaldson this year. Either way, don’t trade Donaldson!
Statcast guru Mike Petriello tweeted some pictures on Wednesday night of catches made by various centre fielders on balls that were hit nearly identically to the one that Kevin Pillar made his fantastic catch on this week and… uh… they look a bit more casual than Kevin’s did. Cue TV dive truthers! Who I’d very much like to shit on, but according to a nifty breakdown from Sean Newell at VICE SPORTS, it… ah… might have been a bit of an unnecessary dive. YOU BE YOU, THOUGH, KEVIN. As long as you make the plays.
Erika Gilbert has an awesome series preview up at the National Post, which among many other things, looks at how Devon Travis might be the unluckiest batter in baseball so far this year.
Sean Addis of BP Toronto (and of having a name that reminded me it’s been too long since I listened to Third World’s Journey to Addis) tells us precisely what we fucking want to hear regarding the current back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen: that Danny Barnes is this year’s Joe Biagini. Make it so!
More awesomeness from BP Toronto, as Gideon Turk gives us all the background we need to know of the best kept secret in the organization, Lansing’s Bradley Jones — who is off to a scorching hot start, along with teammates Vlad Jr., Bo Bichette, and pretty much everyone else in Lansing.
More prospect stuff, as Clutchlings looks at the (impressively fast) progress of last year’s top Blue Jays pick, T.J. Zeuch. Meanwhile, Blue Jays From Away looks at some of the surprising names dominating in Buffalo.
Cole Shelton of Bluebird Banter criticizes the Jays for not doing enough to address their lack of depth this off-season, which is a pretty big swing and a miss for me. The kinds of pitchers willing to sign on for a chance to pitch in Buffalo while waiting for a rotation spot to open up are… the Mat Latoses of the world. Guys who don’t have big league opportunities elsewhere. They’re bad. Shapiro and Atkins have talked about this — and about the difficulty in acquiring halfway decent depth (especially after all the arms traded in 2015). Also: Dioner Navarro ain’t an upgrade on anybody.
Lastly, not current-Jays related, but Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs has a great one as he talks to Eric Thames about his rather lonely time in Korea, and the transformative power of boredom.