Baseball is back! Pitchers and catchers reported to Blue Jays camp today, position players will report by the end of the week, the first full team workout will be on Monday, and we’ll have our first game of 2020 next Saturday. With real baseball on the horizon, we also had an influx of news reported today, a lot of which was, uhhhh, not very good.
First and foremost, we have an injury update on Eric Pardinho…
Eric Pardinho, one of the Blue Jays top pitching prospects, had Tommy John surgery today. Will be back in 2021.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) February 12, 2020
This sucks ass. Pardinho, who was Toronto’s big international free agent splash a few years ago and has risen up the rankings to become one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, will miss the entirety of the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
If there’s one saving grace here, it’s that Pardinho was already incredibly advanced for his age. As an 18-year-old, he posted a 2.41 ERA over seven starts in Low-A Lansing, a league in which the average player is nearly 22 years old. Pardinho’s 2019 season was also limited due to an elbow injury that flared up in spring training, so it’s a damn shame to see he’ll miss even more time.
Next up, we have Reese McGuire’s run-in with the law…
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 12, 2020
According to Shi Davidi, Reese McGuire was arrested last week in Dunedin because he had his dick out while chilling in his car in a strip mall parking lot. I’m dead serious.
The alleged incident occurred Friday afternoon in a public parking lot outside a Dunedin strip mall, when a subject was seen inside an SUV exposing himself.McGuire is due to appear at the Criminal Court Complex in Clearwater on March 16.
The Blue Jays offered the exact statement you’d expect them to as this is an ongoing legal issue…
The Toronto Blue Jays are aware of the recent police incident involving catcher Reese McGuire. He has been in communication with the Blue Jays and we are working to gather more information. Out of respect for the legal process, neither he nor the club will comment any further at this time.
Man, this stuff is nuts. I get we’re all excited that baseball is back, but good fucking lord, Reese, keep those pieces in your pants. ZING!
Sooooo… yeah! A Tommy John surgery and an arrest. That’s not really the ideal way to ring in the new season, is it? Maybe Dave Hudgens can lighten the mood?
“I regret [it]. I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to stop that when it was actually happening.”
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) February 12, 2020
I mean, you’re probably not that sorry. You’re sorry you got caught. Still, it’s nice seeing some members of the 2017 Astros show some amount of remorse for their cheating scandal. Marwin Gonzalez, a guy who saw a massive spike in his production that season, has been the only player to actually apologize to this point, meanwhile Josh Reddick, a guy who also enjoyed some career-highs at the plate that year, is laughing about it.
And then there’s this, which could be bad news? Maybe good? I don’t know.
Kevin Pillar is close to a Red Sox deal. Boston needed righty hitting OF. Plus Pillar allows them to maintain excellent OF defense following loss of superstar Mookie.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2020
Kevin Pillar is now a Boston Red Sock. Boston went from having Mookie Betts, perhaps the second-best player in the game, in their outfield, to having Pillar out there. Nothing against Pillar, a guy I’ll absolutely always appreciate for his contributions to the Blue Jays, but this isn’t exactly a glow-up.
I actually think Pillar will be a great fit in Boston and he’ll very likely become a fan favourite. Even if he doesn’t hit worth a lick, fans in Boston will love his show-up-and-play hard gritty style and watching him diving around the field making highlight-reel catches. Good for him. Hopefully it works out. But, also, hopefully he doesn’t kick the shit out of the Blue Jays as an opponent.
In some more positive news, Baseball America released their organizational talent rankings today, in which the Blue Jays’ farm system ranks sixth. This is incredibly impressive given the fact Vladimir Guererro Jr. and Bo Bichette have both graduated. The farm that just a year ago was viewed as top-heavy is now being praised for having quality at every level.
Also, for the sake of comparison, they have Tampa Bay at No. 1, Baltimore at No. 12, New York at No. 17, and Boston at No. 20.
Finally, FanGraphs also released a Top 100 prospects list which features Nate Pearson at No. 8, Simeon Woods Richardson at No. 76, Jordan Groshans at No. 80, and Orelvis Martinez at No. 89.
We’ve heard a lot about the other three this winter, so I’ll share this tidbit from FG about Martinez, who has major breakout potential this year…
Martinez was one of the most explosive talents in the 2018 July 2nd class [international free agent signings], getting the second highest bonus at $3.5 million, behind only 22-year-old Marlins center fielder Victor Victor Mesa. We ranked him behind a number of players in his class because of concerns about his contact skills, and those remain due to wild variation in the way Martinez’s lower half works during his swing. His footwork is all over the place and he takes a lot of ugly hacks. But the bat speed, Martinez’s ability to rotate, is huge. He projects for at least 60 raw power, and he should stick somewhere in the infield, but this is a kid with a high-variance hit tool.