Good Morning Blue Jays fans. With the weather continually getting cooler outside, with fall giving away to winter in short order, a good strong cup of the morning brew is a good way to warm up. So pour yourself a cup of Joe, pop the laptop open, and sit down to catch-up on the latest Toronto Blue Jays links.
Over at Blue Jays From Away, Jay Blue takes a moment to break down which Blue Jays minor leaguers received nominations in this year’s MiLBY awards. The MiLBY’s are presented by MiLB.com and recognize the best plays and players of the minor league season. While the Blue Jays didn’t place any candidates into the Best Pitcher or Hitter categories, they received a few nods in Best Play categories.
In another best of retrospective dealing with Blue Jays minor league affiliates, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats named their 2013 game of the year, well games I guess. In the end, the team couldn’t choose just one, settling on three such games. Which three? Well, the three 13 strike-out games tossed by Fisher Cat starters this season, once by Sean Nolin and the other two by Marcus Stroman. Now, that pesky part about translating those K’s to the Major Leagues.
It must be the prospect time of year, as everyone is talking about minor league baseball. Over at Minor League Ball, Chris Slade discusses Vancouver first baseman L.B. Dantzler and whether or not he is more than just a “senior sign”. You may remember about a month ago where we discussed how Dantzler appears to be a steal for the Blue Jays and I still firmly believe it today. Yes, he was older for the league and his 23% K rate were high, but he has the makings of a quality sleeper at a position that isn’t terribly deep in the organization.
Okay, enough with the minor leaguers, let’s discuss some big league talent. At Sportsnet.ca, Ben Nicholson-Smith breaks down the current core of Blue Jays and how long the current roster is intact. It is encouraging that we have a good solid group under contract for a few years to come, but that encouragement can turn to outright depression quickly if they don’t turn things around in 2014.
One such player that is already causing depression, and plenty of conversation, is J.P. Arencibia, who Ian Hunter at The Blue Jay Hunter thinks struggled due to his being comfortable in his role without the threat of competition. That may well be plausible, with the threat of Travis d’Arnaud no longer looming in the distance, but in reality, Arencibia has just shown no ability to grow into the player we thought he’d be at this stage. Instead, he’s let others adjust to him, which is a bad place to be.
And finally, over at Bluebird Banter, Tom Dakers takes us down memory lane and reminds us of a Blue Jays catcher that often gets overlooked, Ernie Whitt. Whitt truly was an underrated receiver who earned his way into the line-up, unlike some unnamed person (actually named above).