Look, I know you guys all miss them, so I slid into Stoeten’s DMs to see if it was cool that I brought back to life one of his old staples.
So here we are! Enjoy your Daily??!?!? dose of Jays-related content!
First and foremost, actual games! The Jays are making their 2019 debut on Saturday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin against the Tigers. According to Rob Longley, Ryan Borucki will get the ball on Saturday and Sean Reid-Foley will start on Sunday. Does this mean Borucki is on pace to be Toronto’s Opening Day starter?!?!!?!
Scott Mitchell had some not-so-good news when it came to Large Adult Son T.J. Zeuch. Toronto’s first-round pick from the 2016 draft enjoyed a breakout season at Double-A New Hampshire, ground balling his way to a 3.08 ERA over 120 innings with the Fisher Cats and playing a key role in helping New Hampshire win the Eastern League Championship. Per Scott Mitchell, due to a lat strain, Zeuch won’t pitch at all for the Jays in spring training. Hopefully this isn’t something that extends into the season.
Elvis Luciano is certainly the wild card at spring training. The 19-year-old was selected from the Royals in the Rule 5 draft and has to be on the 25-man roster in order to remain Blue Jays property. Scott Mitchell wrote in-depth about Luciano at TSN and Keegan Matheson has some footage of him throwing.
Here’s a hilarious post on Reddit from “Stiltzofbwc” that ponders whether Mark Shapiro is sabotaging Canadian baseball on purpose. “A good friend of mine has worked for the Dome for the past 15 yrs, he said that the day Shatkins came in, they literally fired every Jays employee down to the concession stand dudes, my buddy retained his job because he was working for the Dome itself not the Jays… but said 80% of his friends were let go.” Damn! We got a conspiracy on our hands!
On the other side of the coin, Shi Davidi wrote at Sportsnet about the Jays being a prime example of Major League teams embracing youth movements. In the post, Marcus Stroman and Kevin Pillar both sound off on the importance of having veterans around while youngsters learn the ropes at the big league level.
Freddy Galvis, Toronto’s big off-season signing, was originally going to wear No. 19, but after he realized that was Jose Bautista’s old number, he switched to No. 16.
Speaking of Galvis, Laura Armstrong wrote about the competition for playing time among Jays’ infielders this year. Charlie Montoyo spoke about how nice of a signing Galvis was, as youngsters like Lourdes Gurriel can learn a lot from the way he goes about playing his game.
You’ve likely seen this already, but if you haven’t, give it a read. Marly Rivera of ESPN dove into the connection Kendrys Morales has with the Guerrero family and how he’ll be Vlad Jr’s mentor this year. The connection comes from back when Kendrys was working his way up the Angels organization and Vlad Sr. took a young Morales under his wing. We’ve crapped all over the Morales signing, but it works out nicely having him here while Vlad adjusts to the league.
Over at Blue Jays From Away, Jay Blue takes a look at a bunch of different projections for the Jays and wonders how bad they’ll actually be in 2019. Maybe they won’t be that bad!
You might not have heard about the off-season signing of Ryan Feierabend, but Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs talked about why he might be a point of interest. The 33-year-old spent the last few years in the KBO and spent the last two years learning and refining a knuckleball. With knuckleballs disappearing in Major League Baseball, Feierbend is a bit of a unicorn who could give the Jays an edge.
Finally, another interesting thing to follow this season will be Dalton Pompey. According to Scott Mitchell, Pompey will get a lot of playing time early in spring as the Jays are likely showcasing him for a possible trade. Pompey, of course, wasn’t recalled in September last year, which kind of gives you an indication of what the organization think about his role on the club. Still, the Jays opted to keep him on the 40-man and clearly believes there’s a possible trade out there.