The draft is on Monday! The first day of it, at least. And the Blue Jays have a pair of picks in the top 30 — the extra one being granted to them when Cleveland signed… some guy who used to play here. Anyway! Baseball America has the fourth version of their mock draft up, and it’s not even behind a paywall — though their scouting reports are. John Manuel has the Jays taking University of North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth at 22 (“the top college shortstop”), and Larry Sheets’ (look him up, kids) son Gavin, a first baseman (!) from Wake Forest (college!) at 28. The Jays do like them some good bloodlines! (Guerrero, Bichette, Biggio.)
Speaking of the draft, Keegan Matheson of BlueJays.com talks to Steve Sanders, the Jays’ head of amateur scouting (and a former member of the Red Sox front office) about strategy and what to expect on Monday night. There’s not a whole lot he can reveal, obviously, but still worth a read.
Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm talks to Troy Tulowitzki, who talks about his advice to Devon Travis (“be positive”), which surely must have resonated, given how many injuries Tulo has experienced over the course of his career.
Shi Davidi tweets that Mike Bolsinger has cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Buffalo.
More from Shi, as he spoke with Aaron Sanchez this week in Oakland, and found that the young starter says his injured finger is now feeling “tremendous,” and that he might find himself throwing off a mound as soon as early next week.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Mike Johnson relays some comments from SI’s Jay Jaffe about the Jays and how they may be sizing up the trade deadline — including potentially trading Marco Estrada, who would be a great chip for them, if they do end up deciding to sell. And in an amazing, if slightly surreal piece, Kristina Rutherford has a great interview with Kelly Gruber about his early days in the game, his love of football (baseball not so much), playing winter ball in Colombia during the Pablo Escobar days, being selected by the Jays in the Rule Five draft, and more! Great stuff.
More from Sportsnet, as our old friend the Tao of Stieb looks at some sort of… uh… ranking thing of all-time Blue Jays… or something. Anyway, he makes the case that Roy Halladay is the greatest Blue Jay of all time, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. And when I write about it — which I probably will at some point — it’ll be more about why Roberto Alomar isn’t the greatest ever Blue Jay. Should be fun!
A pair of gems from Ian over at the Blue Jay Hunter, as he turns us on to something called the Marcus Stroman Vibes Generator, and brings in a writer from an A’s site to tell us how Oakland fans feel about the Josh Donaldson trade (hint: they still fucking hate it, and oh my lord, it’s delicious).
An awesome one from Melissa Couto of the Canadian Press (here via the Globe and Mail), as we go back to the draft, as she chats with John Gibbons about his own experience being drafted by the Mets in 1980. Gibbons was the 24th overall pick, the Mets’ third in the first round — following their selection of Darryl Strawberry at number 1, and Billy Beane at 23.
Great stuff, as always, from BP Toronto, as Cole Nefsky looks at Joe Biagini, and the great success he’s having with what, on the surface, looks like a pretty average fastball.
Matt Gross of Bluebird Banter looks for a new option for the Blue Jays in left field, because, as he puts it, Ezequiel Carrera’s “overall season line isn’t enough to justify his atrocious defense on a daily basis.” Counterpoint: as you can read in my latest for the Athletic, uh… he’s actually fine. That .357 on-base washes away a lot of defensive sins, my bro.
Speaking of the Athletic, this week I sent a discount code you can use for a subscription over there to out to Patreon supporters of Birds All Day! If you’re a supporter and didn’t see that, let me know and I’ll send it your way! If you want the discount, I’ll be sending it to new Patreon supporters as well!
Hey, and speaking of me, ICYMI, I also have a new one for VICE Sports, on Justin Smoak (who is actually good), and how we’ve talked about, and thought about, Justin Smoak through the years (though mostly since he signed that wacky contract extension that now looks like there’s a chance it might be genius).
Aaaaand speaking of VICE, don’t forget to hit me up with some Q’s for this week’s Blue Jays mailbag! You can either send them to me via email (stoeten at gmail dot com) or @ me on the Twitter.
Great stuff from Ben Nicholson-Smith at Sportsnet, as he looks into why Rance Mulliniks would be more popular today than he was in his own day. And he does so without even once mentioning his hipster moustache! (And, actually, it’s a great piece, comparing a guy who was really undervalued in his time to a modern player of the same ilk who we all can appreciate: Ben Zobrist. Ahead of his time, Rance was!)
John Gibbons is right, says Nick Ashbourne of Yahoo! Sports, Justin Smoak is losing money because of the contract he signed last summer. WHAT A WORLD!
Jays Journal finally attempts to answer the question that nobody has been asking: “Should the Blue Jays move Devon Travis to left field?” No. The answer is no.
The great Jesse Goldberg-Strassler tells us, via MiLB.com, about the members of the Lansing Lugnuts who’ve made the Midwest League All-Star team, including Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Also making the cut: Justin Maese and Geno Encina. (Bradley Jones surely would have made the team as well, had he not been promoted to Dunedin recently).
Interesting stuff from Shaun Doyle, who checks in over at Blue Jays From Away, looking at the peaks and valley’s of Kevin Pillar’s season — which, currently, is in a bit of a valley (and basically has been since his suspension last month). Will he turn around and go back to the turned around version of Kevin Pillar, or is he all turned around again? WORTH WATCHING.
Former big league pitcher Chris Leroux will be “the Bachelor” in the upcoming Canadian version of that show you either really like or really dislike. Yahoo! Sports has some of the details, but more importantly, cue internet wiseacres:
If there's one man ready to give up 19 straight singles, it's Chris Leroux https://t.co/JRfCLwSfWK
— ℳatt (@matttomic) June 9, 2017
Jays Droppings continues their tradition of trying to be Drunk Jays Fans ca. 2009, serving up a FJM-ing of a Richard Griffin piece. No, really. IF THIS IS ANYBODY BUT KEN TREMENDOUS, YOU’RE STEALING MY BIT!
Speaking of Griff, over at the Toronto Star he writes about the Blue Jays lacking a true ace and… holy shit, I should FJM the shit out of this. Oh. Right. Already taken care of, I guess.
Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight notes that the Blue Jays are getting hot — but that it may still be too late to save their season. We’ll see, I guess!
MLB Daily Dish has the details on the San Francisco Giants’ acquisition of Sam Dyson, which I assure you is an unbelievably hilarious turn of events — or, at least, it is to me, given that there are at least a couple not-so-secret Giants fans out there that I know. Enjoy the smell of piss, boys!
Interesting stuff from Craig Edwards of FanGraphs, as he wonders if we’ve lost our appreciation for no-hitters — Edinson Volquez threw one this week, and… did you even hear about it? I did the next day — and brings us to the fact that we’re in a historic era of no-hitters, with 20 having been thrown in four years. There were “only” 63 thrown between 1979 and 2011.
And in a great, Jays-related one from FanGraphs, Eno Sarris looks at another way to lift the ball better, which focuses on Kevin Pillar and the changes he’s made this season.
Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun gets us set for the biggest west coast series of the year: the Jays’ annual visit to Seattle.
Lastly, Michael Hurley of CBS Boston goes through the not-so-long yet rather testy history of David Price’s relationship with the Boston media. Jeff Blair of Sportsnet wrote a thing about this, too (in it, you may be shocked to learn, he takes the side of the media! Wild, huh?). Things aren’t going well there for the former Blue Jay, quite obviously, so I tell ya what, Red Sox: get Price to agree in writing to use the opt-out in his contract that comes after the 2018 season, and we’ll take him off your hands. Free of charge! WHAT A DEAL! YOU SHOULD DO THIS FOR SURE!