Daily Duce: Friday, May 19th


Incredible stuff from Jays player development director, Gil Kim, in a piece on the just-called-up Anthony Alford from David Laurila at FanGraphs: “I can’t speak more highly of character and makeup in our organization than Anthony Alford. He’s an impressive human being. He’s going to be a very successful major-league baseball player, and he’s already a successful human being. If you talk to our field coordinator, Eric Wedge, or Angus Mugford, our high-performance director, Ben Cherington, Ross Atkins, Mark Shapiro — as we strive to create the culture, and environment, of what a Toronto Blue Jays player is, Anthony Alford is off the charts. He’s impressive, man.”

Alford will start tonight for the Jays. Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets that when Alford was told he was getting called up, he thought he was on his way to Buffalo!

Also just in time for Alford’s call-up, 2080 Baseball has a great pair of pieces from veteran scout Ted Lekas on the pitching and hitting prospects he saw during a recent series between the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the New York Mets’ Eastern League affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. On the pitching side we get in depth reports on Sean Reid-Foley, Conner Greene, Francisco Rios, and Tim Mayza. On the hitting side there’s Richard Ureña, Ryan McBroom, Harold Ramirez, and, of course, Alford. “Alford projects as a Role 60, occasional All-Star-caliber center fielder for the Blue Jays with a legitimate set of five tools and plus athleticism,” we’re told, which… we know. But it’s still great to keep hearing it!

The injury-riddled Jays have another prospect up, of course, and it’s Dwight Smith Jr., who Blue Jays From Away offered some thoughts on after it was announced that he’d be promoted to the big club.

Clutchlings has some prospect-y goodness, too, as they tell us that Richard Ureña is heating up.

In one of his always excellent looks under the hood, Josh Howsam of BP Toronto shows us how Marco Estrada has been the same, but different, this season. At least, in terms of his pitch usage, and the number of strikes he’s throwing. Bottom line: Marco is damn great.

Back to FanGraphs, where Dave Cameron looks at Aaron Loup’s trouble keeping from plunking left-handed batters. Loup has hit 4.6% of the lefty hitters he’s faced in his career! A number that’s not so egregious as to suggest he shouldn’t be allowed out there, but that’s pretty fucking high! Dave examines why.

Elsewhere still at FanGraphs, Tony Blengino grades out MLB starters’ two-seamers based on his “adjusted contact scores,” and it turns out that the best one in baseball among starters belongs to none other than J.A. Happ.

Great stuff, as always, from John Lott over at the Athletic, as he goes to Buffalo and finds Jason Leblebijian blossoming into a player Jays fans ought to watch.

Elsewhere at the Athletic, Israel Fehr looks at the seven pitches that reshaped the Blue Jays’ bullpen.

Over at Sportsnet, in a follow-up to his recent piece on not trading Josh Donaldson, Jonah Keri makes the case for the Blue Jays trading their star third baseman.

Before yesterday’s clarified apology, Callum Hughson of Mop Up Duty went in hard on Kevin Pillar’s not-short history as a “me-first” player. It’s a hot take, and it’s startling, but it’s probably not something we should turn away from either.

Jays Droppings has a message for the trash bird Orioles, and it’s “take off, you hosers.”

Lastly, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag suggests that the Washington Nationals are looking for a closer, and have considered a whole lot of names, including the Jays’ Roberto Osuna. *wank-off motion* (Which isn’t to say that I don’t think the Nats wouldn’t have considered Osuna, it’s just… y’know… good luck with that one, Washington.)

  • Knuckleballs

    Enough of the Pillar stuff. People swear out of context in heated moments all the time (profanity, racial slurs…etc) its an aspect of our sociaty, is it aceptable NO. I am not forgiving Pillar, but man lets put it in review mirror and move on. Like all celebrities he has appologized to his fans, intended victims of such a statement and he will work better in the future not to do it again. For the thousands of people who do this daily, take 40 hail mary’s and call me in the morning.

  • Carl Jung

    I thought Shatkins – with all of their player development magic – were not going to “rush” players the way the previous regime allegedly did.

    Promoting a pitcher from AA is one thing since arms only have so many bullets in them.

    Promoting hitting prospects with 30 games of AA experience? Good one.

    Gil Kim is earning his money, though.

    He got “character”, “makeup” and “culture” all into one paragraph.

  • Carl Jung

    Kevin Pillar is a thug.

    He understands the English language and North American (white supremacist) culture very well.

    He knew what he said and got a slap on the wrist.

    Yunel Escobar is Afro-Cuban and was less familiar with North American culture.

    Considering global white supremacy necessitates controlling the reproductivity of non-white people, it is perfectly reasonable for non-whites to be as skeptical of LGBT as they were/are of its antecedents: white feminism and Planned Parenthood.

    Not surprising that a forum employing a white power fist as its symbol downplays the systematic white supremacy behind LGBT.

    Pillar is an embarrassment to Toronto and should be traded as swiftly as Escobar was.