Now I’ve taken some heat for my old Justin Smoak bashing ways.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I was wrong. But as a Jays fan first, and a former Justin Smoak hater second, I’m glad I was wrong. So far this season, Justin Smoak has gone and hit his way into the All Star conversation. His emergence as a lethal bat has been especially important for a Jays team that has been riddled with injuries and overall terrible play, yet somehow find themselves 3 games back of a wild card spot.
This week the Jays have been getting slugged in a four game home-and-home series against the woeful Atlanta Braves. One storyline that was not lost on fans and media alike was RA Dickey’s return to Toronto. The now-42 year-old Dickey continues to float knuckleballs south of the border and his return has unearthed some feelings in Jays nation.
Coincidentally, the last time the Jays were this disappointing this early in the season, the 2013 Blue Jays team had just acquired RA Dickey off of an NL Cy Young winning season and made a blockbuster trade with the Marlins where they pretty much acquired Miami’s team for the Jays’ farm. Vegas had them as the odds on favourite to win the World Series that year and… they finished last in the AL East with a 74-88 record.
So in the spirit of depressing Blue Jays baseball, let’s take a look back at those two trades made in November of 2012! Read more
Last year’s installment of my Blue Jays season primer was done through a “Plus Minus Predictions” feature. While the concept gave me good talking points to express my thoughts on the core of the Blue Jays roster, the conservative Steamer Fangraphs projections that I used left me making some pretty lame “cold takes” with every prediction given the “barring injury” caveat. “Josh Donaldson is awesome.” Yikes you’ll need an ice bath after that hot take. Read more
Well this sucks.
My initial reaction to the news was one of doom and gloom. “Who are these clowns running the team?!” “Why doesn’t Edwin realize that no one will love him like Toronto?!” “NBA playoffs, MLB playoffs, MLB free agency. Can Cleveland not just leave me alone?!” “So much for the playoffs…”
In all seriousness I find it hard to blame either side in these negotiations. It essentially boils down to Edwin overestimating the market and assuming that the Jays would wait for his market to materialize. Read more
MVP: Josh Donaldson
No surprise here. Donaldson has been the team’s MVP since he first stepped on the Rogers Center’s tire-rubber turf at the beginning of last season. He was the American League MVP in 2015 and has not missed a single beat this season. Josh has been the second-most valuable batter in the MLB based on Fangraphs’ Wins Above Replacement with 5.4 (Mike Trout is first with 5.5). Coming off of a career high with 41 home runs last season, Donaldson is doing his best to prove that the power surge was no fluke. Right now he is tied for fourth in the MLB with 23 home runs entering the break. Josh isn’t starting in this year’s All Star Game, because as awesome as he has been so far, Manny Machado has been just as spectacular. Just like what Machado is to the Orioles, the Toronto Blue Jays would not be in a playoff spot going into the All Star break without Donaldson’s otherworldly contributions.
Runner-Up: Michael Saunders
Born: 11/11/1976 (39 years old) Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Drafted: 1st round (4th overall) in 1997 by San Fransisco Giants
High School: Baker HS (Baldwinsville, NY)
College: Seton Hall University Pirates (South Orange, NJ)
Teams: Florida Marlins (2000-2001), Chicago White Sox (2004), Detroit Tigers (2005-2008), Colorado Rockies (2008-2009), Texas Rangers (2009), Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-2014), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2014), Atlanta Braves (2015-2016) Toronto Blue Jays (2016)
Weight: 235 lbs
Twitter Handle: GrillCheese49
May 31, 2016 the Toronto Blue Jays acquire relief pitcher Jason Grilli and cash from the Atlanta Braves for Sean Ratcliffe.
Born: 8/28/1989 (26) Van Nuys, California, US
Drafted: 1st round (12th overall) in 2007 by Florida Marlins
Teams: Florida Marlins (2011), Houston Astros (2012-14)
Positions: Third Base (349 games), DH (5 games)
Weight: 220 lbs
Full Baseball Reference Bio
Full Fangraphs Profile
April 26, 2016, the Toronto Blue Jays call up third baseman Matt Dominguez from Triple A Buffalo. Pitcher Drew Hutchison was optioned to Buffalo to make room. Read more