Daily Duce: Tuesday, August 8th


Re: Tuesday night’s starter (which I wrote about earlier):

In a recent MLB Pipeline special on the MLB Network, Jim Callis doubled down hard on a bold pre-season prediction for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Before the season began he said he thought Vlad could be the top prospect in all of baseball within a year — and he’s already close to it. So Callis went upped the ante rather enormously: “Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Sr., the first father-son combination to make the Hall of Fame,” he said. That’s… uh… wow. The hype train, she’s a-rollin’ fast.

More prospect stuff: Teoscar Hernandez speaks with the Buffalo News, as he gets used to his new digs. A great one from Blue Jays From Away, as Jay speaks to Danny Jansen about his whirlwind season and trip up the prospect ladder. And Cole Shelton of Bluebird Banter talks to Logan Warmoth about his development at North Carolina and his early days in the Jays organization.

Elsewhere, Warmoth comes up in an interesting Baseball America piece from back in May that ended up circulating a bit against this week, for some reason. In it Peter Gammons explains how he thinks — as does Scott Boras, and others — MLB should invest in college scholarships and limit the number of high school players that get drafted, forcing “all but the elite preps to go to college.” Not sure I like the gift to the shitty NCAA, or the sidestepping of the thing where they should just pay their damn minor leaguers a living wage, but I guess it’s interesting. “Take North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth, a likely first-round pick this June. He could have been drafted and signed out of his Lake Brantley, Fla., high school had he not made it clear that he was going to UNC. As a freshman he batted just .246, but as a sophomore he batted .337 with four homers, then seemingly improved by the week in the Cape Cod League,” we’re told, as the Jays’ recent first rounder is held up as an NCAA success story. “Warmoth earned a reputation not only as a hard worker but as a model of reliability. Right now he is considered the top college middle infielder in his draft class. Scouts compare him with J.J. Hardy in terms of his consistency and character.”

Hey, and winning the in the clickbait-iest headline category this week, once again it’s Jays Journal! They tell us that “Blue Jays have budding superstar in Nate Pearson,” which… uh… let’s talk about this a second. One, literally every headline on that site starts with Blue Jays, which I’m sure is good SEO, but doesn’t do a whole lot to present as anything, y’know, more than that — which the work over there often is! Though, uh, sometimes it’s not. Because this “budding superstar” thing seems to be based mostly on Pearson’s work so far in Vancouver, where he’s been dominant… for six innings… and which is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from first rounder out of a (presumably higher-end) junior college league going to the Northwest League. Marcus Stroman went there for all of 11 innings, then was moved up to a more appropriate level, Double-A. Nothing against Pearson, or even the piece, which is a fine bit of “Hey, that guy the team just drafted has done this so far.” But the headline? Woof.

Another prospect item comes our way from Jays Prospects, as Brian Crawford talks to Maverik Buffo (no, really — he exists), who is making an impression way down in the Gulf Coast League.

An interesting one from the Toronto Star, as Morgan Campbell visits the Astros to talk about Yulieski Gurriel, whose move from Cuba to Houston perhaps offers some insight into what Jays fans can expect from his younger brother, Lourdes, who, of course, is now in the Jays system at New Hampshire.

Elsewhere at the Star, Morgan looks at the progress of Devon Travis, who sounds like he’s got his head straight as far as his injury troubles are concerned. “As athletes, if you give us a timeline, we’re competing against the timeline, not doing what’s best for us,” Travis told him. “You’ve got to listen to your body. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned . . . This team needs me to help them and when I’m not healthy I can’t do that.”

Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet also looks at Travis, who — despite the unwillingness to put a timeline on it — seems to be getting close to a return.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jeff Blair talks about the legacy of José Bautista and how much he’s meant to the Blue Jays as we all now stare at what will likely be his final few months with the club. And Ben Nicholson-Smith looks at José as villain, which ends up essentially being a piece about his legacy, too. “As one rival player puts it, ‘If you don’t like it, get him out,'” Ben writes in his conclusions, about to perhaps unconsciously change the tense. “If they could have, Bautista never would have been a villain in the first place.

Great stuff from Keegan Matheson of BlueJays.com, as he looks back at Monday night’s BaseBOWL charity event hosted by Josh Donaldson for Jays Care and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.

Our friend Ryan from Jays Droppings talks Roberto Osuna (and his missing velocity), because apparently everybody else is.

At FanGraphs, David Laurila checks in from this year’s Saber Seminar, with an interesting quote from Ben Cherington on titles, and the trade deadline. “For efficiency’s sake, it often helps to have someone with a title that means they’re the leader of that department, whether it’s GM or president of baseball ops. They’re the public face of the decisions, and they’re probably taking on a bigger burden for communicating the vision of the department. In a lot of cases, they are facilitating conversation within the department. But there’s a lot of work going on without the GM in the room,” he said. “In the week leading up to the deadline, there were things we were working on, and even things that we executed, that Ross was involved in, and overseeing, but other people were doing the work — even communicating with other teams. It’s very much a team effort… with the leader playing a critical role.” I’m not so sure the process was quite so collaborative under the previous regime.

A great on from Lindsey Adler of Deadspin from Hall of Fame Weekend, as she went to Cooperstown and witnessed the mingling of Bud Selig and Montréal Expos fans bitter at the former commissioner, likely for one last time.

Dave Church of BP Toronto tells us that the Jays don’t need Kendrys Morales anymore, which… well, yeah.

Lastly, and also from BP Toronto, Rachael McDaniel pens an outstanding one about Tulo, injuries, dread, and baseball joy. Go read it.