Tag Archives: injury bug

The Buffalo Bautistas going deep everyday

There are a lot of good things would come with the Blue Jays having their Triple-A squad in Buffalo, something that it seems like — if the rumours are true — could happen in the middle of next month.

There’s the obvious proximity factor and how much easier it would be for players to go up and down from the majors to Triple-A and vice versa. There’s the fact that the International League is much lesser hitter friendly than the ridiculous Pacific Coast League and is therefore much easier to get a true sense of the development and performance of both hitters and pitchers.

There’s the stadium, which by all accounts is great. Seriously, check out this review. The guy’s only real complaint is that there’s nothing around the stadium. Of course there’s nothing around the stadium. It’s downtown Buffalo. But that doesn’t mean Buffalo’s not worth the trip. Buffalo’s actually pretty great. Dont’ believe me? Visit the Old Pink and then try to tell me otherwise.

Anyway, look, did I mention the proximity? That’s key. You know how all the Blue Jays are hurt right now and they’re a bit painful to watch? As much as it sucks, things like this will happen again. If the Jays align with Buffalo, then we can all go watch the real Jays come back from their injuries and when Jose Bautista hits a grand slam during his rehab stint, you can be there in person!

Oh right, Jose Bautista hit a grand slam tonight in New Hampshire! Check it out:

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.500 at the quarter

Here we are, 40 games done, a full quarter (or close enough, anyway) of the way through the season. While there are a few things that deserve to be talked about if we’re going to look at how the team’s performed so far, one thing, er… person, stands above all.

Holy hell, Jose Bautista is a goddamn monster. For real! The season he’s been putting together is without a doubt THE story of the year so far. It was going to be even if he hadn’t gone out today and hit 3 home runs against the Minnesota Twins.

You’ll probably see and/or hear a lot of people saying that Joey Bats is on pace right now to hit 65 home runs this year. What you won’t (or I haven’t anyway) hear is that he’s also on pace to play only 130 games.

You’re reading that right: Bautista is averaging a home run every two games. That’s unreal. I laughed when, during Saturday’s broadcast, the Sportsnet crew showed a graphic comparing what Bautista’s done this season to the best 3 full seasons Babe Ruth put together during his career. Really, at this point, it is still laughable but today I do feel differently. After watching what he did today, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bautista top 60 home runs this year.

Record

I probably should’ve mentioned this up top, but the Jays currently sit at 20-20, good for third place in the AL East at the time of this writing. The actual win-loss record doesn’t seem all that surprising to me, until injuries are taken into consideration, but more on that later.

Management

Some days, John Farrell looks like a fool out there. He really, really does. But not everything he catches crap for is something he deserves to catch crap for. Letting Rajai Davis run? Good management. Letting Corey Patterson run? Questionable. Pulling pitchers when they’re one out from a complete game shutout? Not so bad. Using Octavio Dotel against left-handed batters on a regular basis? HORRIBLE — and getting worse.

But the thing Farrell seems to get the most heat for is his lineup construction. Yes, the lineups sometimes look like a dog’s lunch, but what do you expect him to do? The injuries this team have suffered have been so ridiculous that they recently played a game with only ONE guy on the bench.

As for the other management figure worth noting, I’m still a big supporter of Alex Anthopoulos. And his decision to lock up Joey Bats is really making him look like a genius. But I don’t care how much he might say about Travis Snider and his swing issues — I still don’t understand the speed with which the Lunchbox Hero was demoted.

Speed

The Jays are fast. Like second-in-the-AL-in-stolen-bases fast. Sure only two teams have been caught stealing more than Toronto and I understand it can be frustrating to watch the team “run into outs,” but I enjoy the running game. Speed kills!

Injuries

So here’s the thing — the Jays are 20-20 despite having seen the following players spend time on the DL miss time for various reasons: Octavio Dotel; Frank Francisco; Brandon Morrow; Corey Patterson; Rajai Davis (twice); Jose Bautista (twice); Yunel Escobar (twice); Aaron Hill; Edwin Encarnacion; and Jayson Nix. (ed: How did I forget to include Adam Lind? That’s a hashtag fail.)

That’s 10 guys. Add that to Jesse Carlson hanging out on the 60-day DL for the whole season so far and Travis Snider raking in the Pacific Coast League for some reason and you’ve got to pretty impressed with the Jays and their .500 record. Get everybody healthy and getting Snider going to the potential we all know he has and there’s no telling what this team can do

Conclusion

This team’s still pretty unlikely to make the playoffs. They’re better, so far, than most expected, but they still play in the AL East. They do though have Joey Bats and he’s got pretty broad shoulders…

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Richmond’s back! (too bad it happened like this)

Blue Jays Phillies Baseball

Captain Canada, Scott (Kool-Aid) Richmond reappeared in the rotation last night and he did not disappoint. Eleven Ks against the defending World Series champs! And he did it against a lineup with quite a few powerful lefties, a group he’s not had much success against.

Yes, our Scotty pitched so well that the only reason Cito didn’t run him out for the complete game is that he didn’t want to risk injury. Makes sense considering three pitchers went on the DL earlier.

So, yes, I get my wish. Richmond’s going to get a regular rotation turn (for a little while at least) and Dirty Janssen’s out of the rotation. But I didn’t want it to happen like this. Never like this.

As I’ve said, Janssen’s good. When I said I wanted him out, I meant out in the bullpen, not out on the DL.

And let’s not even talk about missing Halladay or Downs.

Let’s just enjoy Richmond getting a regular turn, the Phillies helping the bats wake up, Brad Mills getting a shot in The Show and the return of Jeremy Accardo (let’s hope he brings his splitter with him).

UPDATE: Curious how Richmond went about dominating the lefties in the Phillies’ lineup? The Mockingbird says it’s because he finally started throwing off-speed stuff to them.

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Romero out, Cito still awesome

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In an attempt to protect the health of a promising young pitcher, the Jays have placed Ricky Romero on the 15-day disabled list. Apparently he’s got a muscle strain and a little time on the sidelines should heal him right up. Nothing to worry about, hopefully (I know it’s hard to think that way when this team has a history of turning “sore backs” into Tommy John surgery, but let’s try to be positive.)

While the injury may not be worth worrying about, what is worth worrying about is how the Jays are going to replace him in the rotation. Romero’s been the Jays’ best pitcher so far this year (sorry, Doc) posting a 2-0 record in three starts with a 1.71 ERA, 1.095 WHIP and a 3.25 K/BB ratio.

Based on how spring training transpired, it would seem likely that either Brad Mills or Brett Cecil will be called up (apparently some early reports say that Cecil will get the call) but Romero, based on his performance so far, will be extremely difficult to replace.

The way this team is swinging the bats though, maybe it’s not all that important that the new guy fills Romero’s sizeable shoes.

Thoughts on last night

cito-gastonSince he took over the club midway through last season, I have been a huge Cito supporter. I don’t always agree with his managerial decisions (didn’t when he was winning World Series either) but it’s clear that the man knows how to handle a team. The 62-42 record since he took over is evidence enough for me.

Despite my support for the man, the recent negativity swirling around the blogosphere has apparently affected my judgement. Last night I took to twittering some tweets (yes, I know it sounds ridiculous) about my disagreement with certain decisions the Cito was making.

Using Snider as a pinch runner, then having him bunt?

Not using Overbay as a pinch hitter in the 11th?

Maybe Cito really was losing it.

But we all know what happened. Snider stayed in and successfully layed down an important bunt.

Overbay didn’t pinch hit for Millar, and Millar drove in the winning running.

The lesson of the night, as Jeff Blair so excellently put it, Don’t doubt the Cito.

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Various body parts to determine Jays’ season

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Lyle Overbay’s got the Jays’ season in his hands.

Scott Rolen’s going to have to shoulder the load.

Vernon Wells’ hamstring has been acting up.

Dustin McGowan’s frayed labrum may end up keeping him out for the entire season.

Shaun Marcum’s elbow is keeping him out for the entire season. (Which is, by the way, not only a blow to the team, but also to my Facebook group.)

Casey Janssen’s torn labrum means he’s likely not going to start the season with Toronto, let alone start games.

None of this is new, but, put together, it looks pretty bad. I’m not giving up though. Jeff Blair’s latest article (yes, that’s the same link as the Overbay one above) is pretty encouraging. To me at least.

Overbay may not be willing to blame his hand injury for his struggles, but I sure am. He’ll be effective again this year. I’m thinking .310, 20 home runs and 40 doubles.

Do I have anything concrete to back this up? Not at all. But I have a gut (in more ways than one). Also, if I’m right: PLAYOFFS!

If I’m wrong, well, I don’t want to think about that right now. OK?

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Wells out for at least a month

Vernon Wells injured

Seems Team USA was wise not to invest in VW, as news is now breaking that Vernon’s set to undergo an MRI after injuring his left hamstring during a running drill.

This is the same injury that kept him out of the lineup for a month in the middle of last season.

The good news: This likely mean Alex Rios, a far better defensive player, will start the season in centre.

The bad news: VW is a notoriously slow starter and this injury means he’ll probably get off to an even slower start whenever he comes back.

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