Blue Jays Morning Brew: Arencibia admissions, Little Papi and a rising phoenix
Toronto Blue Jays News
Sep 19, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) argues a strike with umpire Brian Knight (91) during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays beat the Yankees 6 to 2. Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Is this baseball season still happening? Based on the news I found today about the Toronto Blue Jays it looks like we might be in full-fledged 2014 mode already.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet shares R.A. Dickey‘s tweet to the fans. For those who don’t like to click links, Dickey tweeted “I just wanted to say publicly how great the support has been from the Jays nation despite an agonizing season. You guys deserve better.” He then adds “Thank you and be hopeful about 2014. We will rise. #likeaphoenix.” Hopefully Dickey’s knuckleball will be equally as sharp as his mythology references next season.
Also at Sportsnet, Mike Wilner responds that the Blue Jays don’t owe the fans an apology. I know Mike takes some heat for his occasional unbridled support of the team on BlueJaysTalk but I agree with him on this one. The Blue Jays don’t owe the fans anything. It didn’t work out, much I’m sure to the players’ and management’s chagrin. But just because the Jays decided to spend money it didn’t guarantee them a winner. Was this team maybe not quite as good as we had thought? Perhaps. But you can’t fault the Jays for trying to win at a time when two of their traditional rivals, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, looked to be saddled with inflated payrolls and aging players.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos (finally) admitted to the media yesterday (h/t Gregor Chisholm, BlueJays.com) that the Blue Jays “need to upgrade the production” at catcher next year. AA has been shy to say anything about J.P. Arencibia up until now but publicly but told reporters “I think the numbers speak for themselves” (h/t The Star). Anthopoulos showed his confidence in Arencibia when he traded away the Jays former top prospect catcher Travis d’Arnaud along with Noah Syndergaard in exchange for Dickey last November. AA doesn’t say whether or not the Blue Jays will go outside of the organization but if they do it won’t be easy as quality big-league catchers don’t exactly grow on trees.
More on Arencibia in another piece by Ben Nicholson-Smith, this time with quotes from manager John Gibbons who says that JPA needs to make adjustments or “it’s going to be a battle for him.” In case you were wondering, Arencibia’s triple-slash is currently .194/.229/.365.
Gregor Chisholm also reports at BlueJays.com that Kyle Drabek has been diagnosed with a bone bruise after he was forced to leave last night’s game after taking a line drive off his ankle. Speaking of last night’s game, the Blue Jays lost (or won if you are a supporter of Tank Nation) 9-5 to the Baltimore Orioles. Minor Leaguer recaps at Bluebird Banter and says Adam Lind may have tweaked his back. If you can’t already tell, I didn’t watch so I’ll have to take ML’s word for it. I can almost smell that top ten draft pick.
Mike Rutsey writes at the Toronto Sun based on more quotes from AA that Lind likely has job security for next season. The Jays GM says that anyone who had a good year has a “strong likelihood” of having their option picked up. Then when asked he says that Lind had a good year. Hopefully that keeps Adam happy but my guess is that he’s probably still waiting on that face-to-face.
Munenori Kawasaki had 4 hits last night and the National Post’s John Lott tells us his recent string of DH appearances has led to Kawasaki calling himself Little Papi. Also known in the hip-hop community as Lil’ Papi. He also wants to pitch, catch and play first base. Muni is now hitting a fearsome .237 this year. Look out American League East!
Gideon Turk at Blue Jays Plus takes a look at nine players that could be coming off Toronto’s 40-man roster this offseason.