Feb 16, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro (30) holds the bat during spring training at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Morning Brew: Spring Training Pitching Schedule, Off-Season Thoughts and more

The Toronto Blue Jays have released the rest of their early spring training pitching schedule and Bluebird Banter fills us in with tweets from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet and Mike Wilner of The Fan 590. Wednesday J.A. Happ, Todd Redmond and Kyle Drabek take the hill while R.A. Dickey, Esmil Rogers and Dustin McGowan go Thursday. Friday features Mark Buehrle and Brandon Morrow (hopefully) with Drew Hutchison, Ricky Romero and Marcus Stroman slotted for Saturday. Casey Janssen is expected to pitch Sunday.

I promise this will be the last time on this site you will read about the comments made by Scott Boras over the weekend but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t link to Andrew Stoeten’s excellent piece at DJF. It’s easy to discredit Boras as a self-serving prick, which he probably is, but it shouldn’t take away from the accuracy of his harsh words for the Jays.

Ian Hunter at The Blue Jay Hunter reacts to the Jays’ passive off-season. Ian drops some great lines throughout the piece but this one I thought really hit the nail on the head.

It’s almost as if we’ve gone back in time three or four years and expectations have reverted back to simply finishing with a .500 record. After they failed to live up to expectations last year, it’s like the Blue Jays are perfectly content remaining the little brother of the AL East.

Ricky Romero smiled. He’s also been focusing on making his delivery faster while keeping it under control shares Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun. Romero has been a bit wild during his bullpen sessions but apparently looked better during his first live batting practice, which he proclaimed “successful”. I’m hardly holding on to hope that he will ever pitch effectively (or at all) for the Blue Jays again but at this point, it’s hard not to root for Romero.

Blue Jays’ relief pitcher breaks down his delivery in pictures with Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. It’s fascinating stuff and I wouldn’t complain one bit if more of this type of content kept flowing out of the SN offices.

John Lott of the National Post writes about the new experimental rules implemented by MLB regarding home plate collisions. New Blue Jays’ catcher Dioner Navarro sounds concerned he’ll be able to learn the “right” way to play the position and worries he’ll have to play the position “like a shortstop”. Remember, this is the man who (allegedly) made a full Portillo’s order to his third base coach before scoring on a double from first base.

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  • raffa

    I’m surprised and let down by lack of activity… but the positive side is that “its almost like the Jays recognize that last years moves are likely to fall short of success… and therefore are not giving up any prospects (even second round picks)… they are giving their border line assets a chance to increase value. It’s almost like they are in a rebuild”

  • https://twitter.com/mikeinboston mike in boston

    Count as firmly in the camp that says you can both be a self-serving dick and be correct in the criticisms you make. Dismissing Boras’ comments because of their source is lazy thinking.

    I’ll give $5 to a charity of choice for the first media member to get AA to state an expectation or win projection for this season. All of the comments and moves suggest they are hoping to get back to .500 but that making the playoffs is not a realistic goal. I wish they would just come out and say it.

  • Justin Jay

    On the plus side, Navarro actually looks slender. That’s got to be a plus.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      It’s a big plus.

  • Brian Atkins

    Last year this IDENTICAL team was picked to win the World Series and because he passed on 3 mediocre(they reach mediocre when they are on a hot streak) and grossly overpaid free agent pitchers,they are now basement dwellers.The 1 pitcher that he should have got was Fister but maybe the Tigers were not trading to an American League team.The pitchers they have both recovering and developing are far better option than any of the free agents.The Cub pitcher may still be an option as long as they back of Stroman and Sanchez.That would appease the doomsayers but if our elite kids are gone it would be an idiotic trade.

    The gloom and doom about a still very good team is completely media and social media generated but not based on the reality that this is a team with as much potential as any in the East.The East would not be cake walk even they wanted to add a mediocre free agent pitcher.
    Second base options will develop at training camps and beyond so if Goins bombs there will be more talent available.
    The starting nine offers an elite batting order(1 through 8) and the pitching will show its potential early.
    In season trading does exist though I think some have forgotten that.

    • https://twitter.com/mikeinboston mike in boston

      Last year this IDENTICAL team was picked to win the World Series and because he passed on 3 mediocre(they reach mediocre when they are on a hot streak) and grossly overpaid free agent pitchers,they are now basement dwellers.

      They are basement dwellers because this roster won 74 games in 2013. That supersedes the pre-season prognostication from a year ago.

      The same roster (with a weaker bench and a guy who has never been an every day catcher) that won 74 games is being trotted out there in 2014. Some Jays fans (and Rogers employees) seem to think we can just scrub 2013 from the record since there were injuries and bad luck. I agree they are likely going to be better than 74 wins. But given that injuries and luck are a facet of every season ever played, how much better do you expect this roster to be in 2014?

  • Brian Atkins

    Reyes,Lawrie,Bautista,Cabrera(who should have been out longer)and Morrow were out for extended periods.Plus J.Johnson had a completely uncharacteristic off the chart horrible season.If another contender lost this many key performers to extended injuries they would drop out of contention as well.Please do not tell me these guys are not elite because they have the track record to prove it.
    Dickey played through a performance diminishing injury as well.
    If this team can avoid multiple injuries for long periods they will challenge.
    If pitching or 2nd base(a very short need list)falters their will be in season trade options.
    But be negative if it makes you feel better and then if the Jays falter you can tell me I told you so and be on top of the world.