Blue Jays Midday Brew: Jimenez, Santana, Tanaka, Morrow
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow (23) pitches in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Good afternoon Blue Jays fans, my apologies to our ravenous prospect readers for the delay in getting to #19 on our Top 30 list. I promise to stop slacking and have it done for you tomorrow. In the meantime I haven’t mailed it in with a link dump in a while so here are some recent stories about the Toronto Blue Jays to hold you over.
Chris Sherwin at Blue Jays Plus does an excellent job of telling fans/writers to back off the ledge when it comes to our worries about the Jays’ 2014 season. The Blue Jays are much better than the 74 wins they posted in 2013 and if the rumour is true that they are front-runners to land either Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana (or if they are in fact “heavy” on Masahiro Tanaka as Gideon Turk at Blue Jays Plus suggests in another piece) it would further close the gap with a few extra wins out of their rotation.
One stat I found troubling was the number of home runs R.A. Dickey has given up in the seventh inning – he allowed 7 in only 66 plate appearances, according to Sherwin. I’m not sure if it’s just sheer bad luck or if his knuckleball starts to flatten out late but it’s something to keep an eye on in 2014. If another capable innings-eater is added, manager John Gibbons might be tempted to give Dickey the hook a bit earlier to avoid another season wrought by late game lead changes.
Ian Hunter at the Blue Jays Hunter takes a look at the ultimate wild card Brandon Morrow. It’s questionable what the Jays are expecting from Morrow in 2014 but Ian concludes the following:
"I hate to say it, but the Blue Jays almost need to think worst-case scenario with Brandon Morrow and plan accordingly. Not that the Blue Jays should anticipate Morrow will get hurt this season, but they shouldn’t be surprised if he does."
I would assume that the Blue Jays have the same expectations. If Morrow is healthy and effective, he could be the player that gets the Jays over the top. However if the plan is to avoid another carousel of fourth and fifth starters next season another reliable starter is needed.
Nick Ashbourne at Bluebird Banter takes on the Jimenez vs. Santana comparison in the battle of not-Tanakas. Santana is the more reliable, if slightly less impressive of the two, and the Blue Jays may be looking that way but I’m with Nick in that my personal preference is the higher potential upside of Ubaldo, mechanics be damned.