Don’t look now, but the Toronto Blue Jays sit exactly a half game behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East. Things are looking up for the Blue Jays, as the offense is clicking on all cylinders, the pitching has been…well, serviceable, and the team is starting to catch a few breaks.
All of those items showed in Toronto’s 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. The clutch hitting was provided by the bats of Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion, J.A. Happ was sufficient for five innings of work, and Brett Lawrie turned an absolutely brilliant double-play that helped the Blue Jays out of a tough situation.
With that said, it is a good morning in Blue Jays land. Let’s take a look around see what else is cooking from Blue Jays writers.
Gregor Chisholm has updates on Colby Rasmus and Sergio Santos in his latest Blue Jays Notebook. On the Rasmus front, a Tuesday MRI confirmed Colby has a strained hamstring, and no structural damage. That likely means his stint on the 15-day DL won’y be any longer and he’ll be able to return in early June as originally planned. Meanwhile, Sergio Santos (forearm strain) is expected to resume throwing on Friday, but a return date is not yet known.
Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet gives us the lowdown on Liam Hendriks, who is likely to draw the start on Saturday. Our own Zak Knox took a look at Hendriks last week, outlining what the right-hander can bring the Blue Jays this season, which portrays as something along the same lines as Todd Redmond and Chad Jenkins. Still, he has the hot hand, so maybe we’ll see some of that magic.
Speaking of Blue Jays pitchers, Nick Ashbourne has an excellent piece over at Bluebird Banter this morning, noting that the Blue Jays pitchers are struggling in the clutch, particularly in high leverage situations. A lot of that goes back to the bullpen struggles in April, which should improve with the return of Casey Janssen and a larger sample size.
Moving back to Sportsnet, Shi Davidi notes that the Blue Jays are in a prime position to make a move in the American League East. The key will be the pitching, as the offense seems to be coming together nicely. Believe it or not, the Blue Jays are deeper right now than almost every team in the AL East, putting them in a prime position to take advantage of what has turned into a weak division.
Finally, we take another look at former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, who The Star notes was sent down to Triple-A by the Texas Rangers. Arencibia, who is hitting just .133 with 1 home run and 15 strike-outs in 60 plate appearances, is taking the demotion in stride, noting “I think that fortunately for me I got to see Edwin Encarnacion when he got designated and everyone passed on him and he got cleared and came down to Triple-A when I was in Triple-A in 2010, and I saw him go down there, work hard and get back.”