Archive for July 2014

Episode 39: Those Young Arms

July 31, 2014

Just before the Blue Jays acquired Danny Valencia, Nick Hansen shared his thoughts about the non-waiver trade deadline, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Dioner Navarro.

Episode 39 Direct MP3 Download

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By the way, did I mention this was BEFORE the Jays picked up Valencia? 😉

Re. The Danny Valencia Trade

July 29, 2014

1. Erik Kratz was a serviceable back up. He was also a bridge between the present (Navarro, Thole) and future (A.J. Jimenez, Max Pentecost). I’ll never forget the 2-run bomb he hit on opening day (March 31). It was the only highlight for the Jays that afternoon.

2. Liam Hendriks started three games and looked good in two of them. He was also putting up great numbers in Buffalo. There’s potential, which means it’s 50/50 as to whether he will actually meet that potential. Therefore, he’s worth the sacrifice.

3. As noted by Bob Elliot, Danny Valencia has great numbers against left-handed pitchers. That’s something the Blue Jays desperately need. Elliot also says Valencia will platoon with Juan Francisco at third base. Although’s he’s spent the majority of his professional career at third, Baseball-Reference.com shows that Valencia has seen time at second and first.

Overall, it’s definitely not a blockbuster. Valencia’s sole purpose is to provide an additional right-handed bat. Depending where Brett Lawrie plays upon his return from the DL, Valencia could continue his platoon with Francisco at third; or, platoon at second with either Munenori Kawasaki or Ryan Goins. I prefer the latter option.

Eric aka @TheHek

JPA’s First Game

July 22, 2014

Got behind the wheel to clear my mind.
Turned on the radio, so Jerry and Alan could paint the picture.
Buck broke his hand, so you got the call.
What a debut it was.

Eric aka @TheHek

Episode 38: Intermission

July 17, 2014

Going into the second half of the regular season, the Blue Jays are 49-47 and currently sit second in the AL East.

Ian Hunter – aka The Blue Jay Hunter – looks back at an up-and-down first half and shares his thoughts on the major concerns surrounding the Jays.

Episode 38 Direct MP3 Download

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Mid-Season Awards

July 14, 2014

American League
Best Hitter – Mike Trout, LAA
Best Pitcher – Felix Hernandez, Seattle
Best Manager – Bob Melvin, Oakland

National League
Best Hitter – Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado
Best Pitcher – Adam Wainwright, St. Louis
Best Manager – Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee

Blue Jays
Best Hitter – Edwin Encarnacion
Best Starter – Mark Buehrle
Best Reliever – Casey Janssen

Retro Blue Jays – Mark Hendrickson Goes Deep

July 10, 2014

Posted by MLB’s YouTube page

Despite being a two-sport athlete, you won’t find Mark Hendrickson enshrined in Cooperstown or Springfield. However, the tall left-hander does hold one notable honour: The first (and only) Toronto Blue Jay pitcher to hit a home run in a regular season game.

The moment occurred on June 21, 2003 at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. According to Baseball-Reference.com, 11, 483 fans witnessed it.

Hendrickson was starting for the Jays that evening, while the Montreal Expos countered with Sun-Woo Kim. Already staked to a 1-0 lead, Hendrickson led off the 5th inning against Kim. On a 2-1 pitch (noted by Baseball-Reference.com), he sent a fly ball that cleared the wall in right field. As seen in the clip, Hendrickson showed no emotion as he rounded the bases. The Jays’ dugout, in comparison, was ecstatic.

Hendrickson looked good on the mound as well. He threw six innings, 92 pitches; gave up 1 earned run, six hits, two walks and stuck out two batters (Baseball-Reference.com). He left the game with the Jays leading, 5-1.

Unfortunately, the Expos would score seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, en route to an 8-5 victory.

Hendrickson last pitched in the majors in 2011. Along with the Jays, he also played for Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Florida and Baltimore. He’s currently throwing for the Atlantic League’s York Revolution.

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Sidebar: The clip was taken from the Sportsnet broadcast. The play-by-play crew was Rob Faulds and the late John Cerutti.

So, I have a crazy idea…

July 8, 2014

Going forward:

C – Navarro
1B – EE (when he comes off the DL)
2B – Lawrie (ditto)
SS – Reyes
3B – Joey Bats
LF – Melky
CF – Colby
RF – Alfonso Soriano

DH/Back-up Catcher/Bench – Lind, Thole, Francisco, Tolleson, Kratz

Wait! Before you start throwing spoiled fruit and veggies at me, let me explain.

1. Bautista has played third in the past. Not ideal, but until AA acquires a quality second or third baseman, this is a suitable option. If the hamstring is an issue, have Bats DH and Francisco play 3B.

2. Facing a right hander, both Lind and Francisco are suitable at DH and could also be used as left-hitting pinch hitters late in a game.

3. Facing a left hander, Kratz could DH or be that right-hitting pinch hitter late. Plus, he’s a better option as the back-up catcher than Thole.

4. As long as RAD is on the roster, so is Thole (for now). Just accept it and move on.

5. Tolleson can play infield and outfield. That gives him the edge over Kawasaki.

6. Yes, Soriano’s number aren’t great. However, as noted by Baseball-Reference.com, he’s managed to keep his OPS at .700 or better since 2001. To me, that makes him a better option than Cole Gillespie and Nolan Reimold. Of course, if Reimold turns into his 2009 form, this is all a moot point.

NOW…If the Blue Jays do pick up a quality second or third baseman, then Bautista goes back to right field, Lawrie goes where he’s needed, Soriano can DH and/or PH and Kratz gets sent down.

Not perfect, but it could help.

Eric aka @TheHek


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