Daily Duce: Wednesday, September 13th


Holy fucking shit, there’s a new Ghostrunner on First post! Drew has written on José Bautista, his career, his legacy, and the end. Obviously it’s outstanding and you need to go read it ASAP. We’ll wait.

Holy also shit, the Jays might actually be a little bit about (noted GROF pipe dream) Shohei Otani. I wrote a little bit about Otani yesterday, after the Jays’ not-so-secret scouting mission at the Sapporo Dome was outed by the TV cameras (with an assist from some sweet balloons), but today over at BP Toronto, Gideon Turk has blown this thing wide open, speaking with a source that tells him the Jays are actually serious about this — even if they understand, as we all do, that Otani landing here is unlikely — while giving us a whole bunch of great insight into their thinking. It’s all pretty great to hear and fascinating to read, but maybe none of it more than this: “The Blue Jays’ main point of contact in Japan is Dan Evans, who the source says ‘has an outstanding relationship he has cultivated with the GM and President of Nippon [Ham],’ the team Otani plays for currently in the NPB. Evans ‘has a lot of weight [in Japan], and has been working on this for at least four years,’ according to the source with the Blue Jays. ‘[Evans] wants him badly,’ he continued.” DARVISH DISAPPOINTMENT 2.0, BABY!

Holy triple shit, somehow this one lands all the way down at item number three: Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline — who is so awesomely all-in on Vlad Guerrero Jr. — has stuck his neck out on the Jays’ top prospect once again. He’s put together a list of what he thinks the league’s top 10 prospects will look like a year from now (based on who he thinks will rise, who will fall, and who will graduate), and you’re goddamned right Vladito is number one. Here’s how he justified that selection: “Inherited his father’s offensive prowess and has more plate discipline, which could make him the next Miguel Cabrera.” OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

Heyyyyyy, and guess what? Callis wasn’t done yet, because he has Bo Bichette at number four on his projected list! I’M DICK WHITMAN! YOWZA!

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tells us that Marco Estrada wants be back with the Blue Jays next year. Which… we sort of knew, but he really does say it! “I think this team has known since I’ve been here that I want to be a part of this, and I’m hoping to be a part of it next year,” Estrada said. “But I know this game is a business and you don’t always get what you want. I’m hoping they can make a good offer, or just an offer to keep me here, because I’d like to come back.” Do it, Jays!

A pear of great ones from John Lott over at the Athletic, as he tells us about the pressure Aaron Sanchez is putting on the Jays to find a solution to his blister problem, and talks to various Jays players and staff about the legendary Mel Didier, who passed away this week.

Back to BP Toronto, where Richard Lee-Sam has another ode to José Bautista, and to the unpredictability of baseball.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that the Braves have hired Perry Minasian to be their director of player personnel. Minasian came to the Jays in 2009, at the tail end of the Ricciardi era, after a long career in Texas, where he’d been a scout since 2003, a clubhouse attendant before that, and a bat boy even before that. A copy of the Jays’ front office directory cached on September 9th lists Minasian as a special assistant to the GM. His name has already been scrubbed from the directory.

Hey, speaking of Shohei Otani (which… weren’t we?), Dave Cameron of FanGraphs takes a look at what it would take to sign him — or, more specifically, just how the hell that all might actually work.

“Blue Jays and the bandwagon — has it left the city?” asks the latest SEO-optimized nonsense clickbait headline from autoplay video warehouse Jays Journal. In it I am sure you will be utterly flabbergasted to find that, as the Jays’ losing season has worn on, attendance has gone down a bit.

Sorry for not being able to help myself with the snark, but I just do not get that website. There’s some good stuff there! Another recent one wonders why Kevin Pillar has had such a bad defensive season according to the metrics (most notably Statcast), which is a great topic for a piece. But then as the writer gropes around for reasons why Pillar might not look as good this season, we get something like this: “Could the issue be mental?  There has been considerable speculation that the Jays might be willing to trade him – could this have interfered with his focus?” The link about “considerable speculation” points to a Jays Journal piece (of course!) that posits, anecdotally, that “if you’ve take a regular scan of social media over the last few weeks, the idea of trading the 28 year old is becoming an increasingly common narrative.” Considerable specu-what??? I just… I don’t know, man.

Great stuff from Catherine Stem over at Jays From the Couch, as she talks about the Jays’ breakout catching prospect of 2017 (non-Pentecost division), Danny Jansen!

Not Jays-related, but a great piece on local baseball all the same, as Ian Shantz of the Toronto Sun has an outstanding feature on and interview with Jack Dominico, the 78-year-old owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intercounty Baseball League — a team that, as of next spring, he will have owned for an incredible fifty years. Get yourself to Christie Pits sometime!

Lastly, awesome stuff from Vancouver last night, as the Canadians won the Northwest League championship at Nat Bailey Stadium. Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com has the story — which focuses on the Jays’ 2017 first-rounder, Logan Warmoth, who plated the go-ahead run with a fifth inning single — and here below we have the view from the stands for the final pitch. Scenes!

  • AD

    Why is it unlikely Otani signs here? If the Jays are willing to pay the price, they have as good of a shot as anybody. If you mean its unlikely Rogers gives them the green light to spend on him, I can see your point.

    • revolu

      I think its less Toronto is not a desirable destination for free agents and rogers are cheapstakes (I don’t either are true) and more there are more desirable destinations for Japanese players ie Dodgers, Yankees (barf) and Mariners.

      It would have been different with the old posting system with the highest posting bid getting exclusive negotiating rights, now anyone posting $20 million max gets to negotiate.

      Also considering the uniqueness of the situation ie its really not about the money for Ohtani, The jays would have to put hell of PR presentation to woo him to come to Toronto, maybe convince him he could cement his legacy as the best Jay of all time LOL maybe, i have no idea

    • not money, there’s a finite amount that any team can spend on him (and everyone will be willing to pony up the posting fee), it really does come down to where he wants to play, and there are a number of factors that would likely go into that decision – chance of winning, exposure/endorsement opportunities, community/diversity (read: Japanese population in the city), etc.

      given that, there are your obvious front-runners, but given it’s a relatively even playing field, and deep pockets won’t be a determining factor, the Jays do have something to offer – national exposure (albeit, the ‘wrong’ nation), recent post-season success (however you want to define that), well-respected diverse city with an ‘international’ flair.

      but what it’ll probably come down to is which team makes the strongest, under-the-table, wink-wink/nudge-nudge ‘agreement’ for future money.

  • so, re. sanchez, i’m a bit confused – based on the reporting from the other day, the ‘real’ injury from the summer was the finger strain, which was caused by the blister, and that was what shut him down and has been the main issue since july. if that’s the case, and maybe it isn’t, i had thought that the blister problems were somewhat behind him? i guess he/his team (read: boras) doesn’t think so.

    • DAKINS

      It’s that the blister problem wasn’t going to go away, so he attempted to alter his grip. This caused the strain in his finger which was the reason for the shut down.

      • ah, thx. i misread it, i thought it was the blister itself which led to the strain. so yeah, let’s get that shit taken care of. start with the moises alou ‘pissing on your hands to toughen ’em up’ method or something…

  • allstev

    I remember reading about Nolan Ryan having blister problems, he soaked his fingers in pickle juice to get rid of them. Sounds crazy to me, but it’s hard to argue with Nolan Ryan’s career, it couldn’t hurt.