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Yardbarker: Toronto Blue Jays



Recent articles about Toronto Blue Jays



 



Artificial Turf Wars Ep: 97: Maile-ing it in

19 Apr 2018 06:09:07 -0400

Episode 97 Greg and Josh break down the latest week in Blue Jays land, with a specific look at the recent four game winning streak and the hot start to the year. They compare some of this season’s stats to last years, then discuss the excellent numbers of Luke Maile and Teoscar Hernández, the Josh Donaldson DL stint and its effect on the roster, the early returns on Yangervis Solarte and Gift Ngoepe, Tim Mayza’s bizarre start to the year, and the potential return of Joey Bats to the major leagues. Finally they answer listener questions and give MLB/Facebook a Do Over. Podcast: Play in new window | Download Follow the guys on twitter: @coolhead2010 and @JoshuaHowsam. Intro music is Slow Burn (Kevin MacLeod) under CC BY 3.0. Podcast Email-artificialturfwars@baseballprospectus.com Please drop us a line if there is a guest you’d particularly like us to interview, to submit a question to Stump the Josh, or to simply give us feedback on the podcast. We’d love to hear from you!  



Richard Griffin: Teoscar Hernandez doing his best to force Jays’ hand

18 Apr 2018 22:45:47 -0400

Hot-hitting prospect has four hits, including a triple and a homer, in rout of Royals.



Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos on potential of adding right-handed power to lineup with Jose Bautista

18 Apr 2018 18:49:36 -0400

Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos on potential of adding right-handed power to lineup with Jose Bautista



Toronto Blue Jays: An ode to José Bautista

18 Apr 2018 16:09:08 -0400

News broke today that former Toronto Blue Jays slugger, José Bautista, has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. Bautista had played for the Blue Jays for the past 10 seasons before the team elected to not bring him back this past offseason as a free agent. Bautista had some amazing seasons with the Jays. His career took off with Toronto, after he had struggled mightily seasons prior. The late blooming outfielder became a star in Toronto, and the community certainly misses him. Bautista began his stint with the Blue Jays back in 2008, but he did not become a superstar until 2010, when he crushed 54 home runs, which led the American League. He became an All-Star that season, and was selected to the next five All-Star games to represent the American League. Toronto did not do much winning in Bautista’s first few years, but in 2015 things started to turn around for the club. Toronto squared off with the Texas Ranger in the ALDS, and Bautista became a legend in Toronto with one swing, or flip, of th



Braves sign Jose Bautista, plan to use him at third base

18 Apr 2018 13:04:38 -0400

The Atlanta Braves have thrown everyone a curveball with the signing of Jose Bautista to a minor-league deal.The Braves announced the surprising deal on Wednesday with an even more unexpected twist — Bautista will report to extended spring training and begin working at third base. Alex Anthopoulos, who ran the Toronto Blue Jays and acquired Bautista there, is currently GM of the Braves, so the links are there.Bautista hasn’t played regularly at third base since 2011, though he came up as one when he was much younger. The hope may be that he can eventually take over the hot corner at the MLB level from Ryan Flaherty, who isn’t a permanent solution despite a hot start.The question is what Bautista’s bat has left to offer. He hit just .203 with 23 home runs for Toronto in 2017, and he had to fend off retirement rumors as recently as last month.



Braves sign Jose Bautista

18 Apr 2018 12:53:01 -0400

The Braves have announced the signing of veteran slugger Jose Bautista to a minor-league deal. Per the organization, he’ll head to extended spring camp and will line up at third base. The deal would pay him at a $1M rate in the majors, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.While Bautista has maintained he still hoped to play in the coming season after sitting out Spring Training, this news comes as a surprise. The Braves have long been expected to fill out their outfield with top prospect Ronald Acuna, which seemed to make them an unlikely destination for Bautista.In a twist, though, Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos — who was with the Blue Jays when Bautista broke out and turned into a superstar — will give the veteran a chance to return to the hot corner at 37 years of age. Bautista certainly has spent plenty of time there, but the vast majority of his experience at third came in the distant past. Needless to say, this isn’t the third-base move that many anticipated at the start of the 2017-18 offseason.Bautista will not o



Should the Rays start to sell with Kiermaier out and after bad start?

17 Apr 2018 10:20:47 -0400

Given the loss of Kevin Kiermaier for upwards of three months and an ugly 4-12 start to the season, the Rays ought to be open to selling veteran pieces right now rather than waiting until the summer, opines Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. While there’s some logic to hold onto Chris Archer until later this year, particularly given his advantageous contract, Topkin argues in favor of trading other veterans such as Wilson Ramos, Adeiny Hechavarria, Alex Colome and Denard Span in the near future. Beyond that, however, Topkin posits that the Rays should make those moves as a means of paving way for well-regarded prospects like Willy Adames, Christian Arroyo and Jake Bauers, rather than just swapping out their veteran assets for stopgaps and replacement-level fillers. With the Rays already 9.5 games out of first place in the division, Baseball Prospectus pegs Tampa Bay’s postseason odds at just seven percent, while Fangraphs’ projections give the Rays a minuscule 0.2 percent chance of even securing a Wild Card



Vlad Guerrero Jr. off to scorching start in Double-A

16 Apr 2018 18:56:29 -0400

Vladimir Guerrero Jr may not remain in Double-A for much longer with the way he’s going.Guerrero Jr., the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, is 13-for-36 this season and batting .361 with four doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs in nine games. For his efforts, he was recently named the Eastern League Player of the Week.Vlad Jr began his minor league career in 2016 as a 17-year-old in rookie ball. He was in Single-A last year and got promoted to high-A ball after a strong start. The Toronto Blue Jays began him with their Double-A team this year and will probably promote him to Triple-A before too long. It’s not out of the question for him to make a jump to the majors by the end of the year.The 19-year-old third baseman has batted .307 with an .885 OPS during his minor league career despite being young for every level. He earned headlines recently with his walk-off home run in Montreal during an exhibition game.



2018-19 MLB free agent power rankings

16 Apr 2018 15:22:18 -0400

All of our top 50 free agents from the 2017-18 offseason have signed, concluding a free agent freeze the likes of which we’ve never seen in MLBTR’s 12-year history.  With Masahiro Tanaka choosing not to opt out and the Indians picking up their option on Michael Brantley, here are the grisly numbers on the 48 free agents from our list. Predicted total dollars: $1,650,000,000.  Actual total dollars: $1,275,000,000.  These 48 free agents received 77.3% of what was predicted for them. 37.5% of players received fewer years than expected, 54.2% received exactly as many years as expected, and 8.3% received more years than expected.  Mike Moustakas, Lance Lynn, Greg Holland, Logan Morrison, and Addison Reed received at least two fewer years than expected. 64.6% of players received fewer total dollars than expected, 6.3% received exactly as many dollars as expected, and 29.2% received more dollars than expected.  Tyler Chatwood, Carlos Santana, Eric Hosmer, and Lorenzo Cain exceeded their projections by $10MM or more.



Toronto Blue Jays rumors: does Josh Donaldson’s injury severely impact his trade stock?

15 Apr 2018 18:45:46 -0400

The Toronto Blue Jays are likely not heading to the playoffs in the 2018 MLB season. The team just is not as good as some of its AL East competitors such as the Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees. Come the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, the team will likely be looking to trade away Donaldson because he is in the final year of his contract and they probably do not want to re-sign him, as they seem to be entering a rebuilding mode. Trading a player of Donaldson’s caliber will likely net them some pretty good prospects. Donaldson started the season at third base, but clearly looked hampered by a bad shoulder. He labored to get the ball across the diamond, and the injury seemed to also bother him a little at the plate. The Blue Jays finally made the decision to place him on the disabled list, which seems like it was for the best. Now the team needs to wonder if this injury has negatively impacted his trade stock. Contending teams do not want to trade top prospects for a player that is not going to help th



Indians streamed game of Fortnite on scoreboard during rain delay

14 Apr 2018 20:06:06 -0400

Even professional sports teams are now getting in on the Fortnite craze.The Cleveland Indians found their home game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday delayed by rain, so they chose a great way to spend the time … by streaming the popular video game on their scoreboard at Progressive Field. The team wouldn’t say who was actually playing but did hint it was in-house. As for the baseball game, it was ultimately postponed and given a makeup date of May 3. But at least the stormy weather presented an opportunity for the MLB to catch up to the NBA with regard to the streaming video game fad.



Josh Donaldson hits DL with shoulder inflammation

13 Apr 2018 15:30:02 -0400

Josh Donaldson hasn’t been right all season long. And while he’s been playing through it, the Blue Jays are placing him on the 10-day DL.“We’ve placed 3B Josh Donaldson on the 10-day DL (right shoulder inflammation).”This makes more sense as to why manager John Gibbons didn’t use him as a pinch-hitter Wednesday.“If I had wanted to use him I would have used him. … I chose not to. Manager’s prerogative.”Meanwhile, Donaldson’s shoulder has been bothering him all season long. But he doesn’t seem to know the exact cause.“I don’t want to say the weather had something to do with it, but it’s one of those things where you get me going and now if I’m getting ready for a game, I might as well have played it, you know what I mean? It’s not like I can just get off the bench and go out there.”But here’s where his shoulder is at now: it’s exactly the same.“It’s the same. There hasn’t been any regression but it hasn’t drastically improved where I feel 100 per cent about it.”The 2015 MVP is now in his fourth season with the



Blue Jays place Josh Donaldson on 10-day DL

13 Apr 2018 15:05:20 -0400

The Blue Jays have placed star third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation, per a club announcement. With the open active roster spot, the Jays will promote outfielder Teoscar Hernandez.More to come … The Blue Jays have placed third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation, per a club announcement. With the open active roster spot, the Jays will promote outfielder Teoscar Hernandez.Donaldson, 32, has hit just fine in the early going but has notably struggled with his throwing. The organization had to this point resisted a DL placement but will now see whether some rest will allow the club’s best player to get back to full strength.There’s no indication of a new injury or any kind of “structural instability,” Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. Instead, it seems that Donaldson just hasn’t responded as hoped over the early portion of the season.It’s hard to know how long Donaldson might be out. The Jays intend to put him on a throwing pr



Report: Marlins sign Dustin McGowan to minor league deal

13 Apr 2018 09:26:15 -0400

The Marlins have finalized their minor league deal with right-hander Dustin McGowan, per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo and MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported last week that the Fish were in talks with the ACES client on a new minor league deal after he was released by the Rays in Spring Training. Presumably, McGowan will head to Triple-A for the time being.McGowan, 36, spent the 2016-17 seasons with the Marlins. In that time, he totaled 144 2/3 innings of 3.86 ERA ball with 7.9 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 with a 53 percent ground-ball rate. A starter early in his career with the Blue Jays, McGowan has worked almost entirely out of the bullpen since 2013 — often tossing more than one inning per appearance — and logged a 4.08 ERA in 275 2/3 frames in that time.Miami entered the season with Brad Ziegler as its closer and a pair of quality setup pieces behind him in the form of Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider. Jarlin Garcia’s move into the rotation, though, has only further muddled the



Chris Davis shatters bat over knee after failed bunt attempt

09 Apr 2018 21:56:56 -0400

Orioles slugger Chris Davis has gotten off to a poor start at the plate this season, and his struggles continued on Monday.Davis has just three hits in 30 plate attempts during his 2018 campaign so far, and Monday’s game against the Blue Jays didn’t get any better. He went 0-for-4 at he plate, but his at-bat in the eighth inning was arguably his worst.The Orioles first baseman led off the inning, with his team trailing 2-1, and he was looking to get on base. Davis attempted to bunt his way on base, but his poor attempt went right back to pitcher Ryan Tepera for an easy out. He responded by shattering his bat over his knee in frustration. It’s hard not to feel bad for the bat after watching that display of frustration.



Rougned Odor continues beef with Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman

08 Apr 2018 00:44:53 -0400

Rougned Odor continued his history of bad blood with the Toronto Blue Jays.In the first pitch of his first at-bat against Jays starter Marcus Stroman on Saturday, Odor decided to mock the pitcher with a bizarre leg kick. He capped that off with a crotch grab. Stroman often hesitates and mixes his delivery to the plate, so that seemed to be Odor’s way of responding. One could even argue that Stroman may have been trying to hit Odor with the pitch too.It’s pretty clear that the two do not like each other. Stroman posted this tweet about his Texas Rangers counterpart two years ago: That tweet came after the infamous incident between the teams where Odor punched Jose Bautista. Even all that bad blood surprisingly didn’t stop the Jays from trying to trade for Odor last year though.When asked after the game, both players denied there was anything to their actions.



Troy Tulowitzki undergoes surgery on both heels

02 Apr 2018 16:32:42 -0400

Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was slated to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from both of his heels, Toronto GM Ross Atkins told reporters including Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (Twitterlinks). The procedure occurred on Monday, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm adds on Twitter.Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweets that Tulowitzki’s surgeries were performed, and the Blue Jays were informed that all went well.Tulowitzki could be back in eight weeks if all goes swimmingly, meaning we almost certainly won’t see him in a MLB uniform until June. It’s much more concerning in the broader context of the 33-year-old’s recent injury history.Hamstring and ankle injuries limited the five-time All-Star to just 66 contests in 2017. That’s just the latest in a long line of problems for Tulowitzki. Since the start of the 2012 season, he has averaged just 98 contests annually.The other area of concern is just what the Jays can expect out of Tulo even when he is at full strength — or, as close to it as he’ll get at this point.



Tulowitzki will have surgery on both feet

30 Mar 2018 17:30:09 -0400

Once again, the Toronto Blue Jays are set to be without Troy Tulowitzki for a while. But at least they know what’s wrong. The All-Star shortstop will have surgery on both feet due to his bone spurs. Amazingly, however, he could return by late May. But why didn’t he have surgery earlier, you ask? There’s a very simple reason as to why.“We felt as though we were making some progress and then the other foot started bothering him.”That’s because the bone spurs weren’t present until the spring. Meanwhile, third baseman Josh Donaldson is dealing with a ‘dead arm‘ that will limit him to a DH role for now. As for Tulowitzki, it’s just another frustrating chapter in a difficult post-Rockies career.Over parts of three seasons in Toronto, the numbers look like this: .250/.313/.414 and 36 home runs. And more injuries sure don’t help.



Josh Donaldson to DH while dealing with 'dead' arm

30 Mar 2018 14:30:02 -0400

As the Toronto Blue Jays get their season underway, Josh Donaldson is not 100 percent, but that’s not going to stop manager John Gibbons from playing him. However, instead of slotting in at his usual position of third base, Donaldson will DH, because right now, according to his manager, he’s dealing with a "dead" arm.“What we’re probably going to do, we’ll have to DH him (Donaldson) until he’s ready to go, but structurally, they think everything is fine. Hopefully Josh gets back on track quickly.”And here’s what the bringer of rain has to say about his shoulder:“Some days (the shoulder) would feel really good and the next day, maybe I’m overworking it sometimes. So it’s a thing I’m trying to be cautious with – knowing when to push it and when not to.”But Gibbons maintains that Donaldson just has a dead arm. He insists he’s not hurt.“His arm just feels dead, not injured. He’s been checked out, everything is good in there. The last couple weeks of spring training, he started to experience that, and he never rea



Josh Donaldson dealing with a ‘dead’ arm

29 Mar 2018 22:18:00 -0400

Josh Donaldson is not himself in the field to start the season, and now we know why.Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the Jays lost their opener 6-1 to the New York Yankees Thursday that Donaldson is dealing with a “dead” arm. Dead arms are not unusual for players to experience, especially early in season. Coming off an offseason where you’re not in the habit of throwing daily, the sudden extreme use of your arm can cause issues. Having a dead arm means you are unable to get your usual feeling and velocity. That’s apparently what Donaldson is going through.If it keeps up, he could end up seeing some time at DH until his arm gets back to normal. The 32-year-old went 0-for-3 with a walk against the Yankees. He’s averaged 37 home runs per season since joining the Jays.