Blue Jays Morning Brew: Clubhouse Issues?


Welcome to today’s Morning Brew. We’ve got a nice load of Blue Jays goodness to pass along.

Apparently, having Dalton Pompey, Russell Martin and Michael Saunders on the roster is not enough Canadian content.  At least not for fellow Canadian, Erik Bedard. Paul Taylor of Tip of the Tower shares his insights into Bedard’s interest in playing for the Blue Jays. Apparently, he’d like to end his career playing on his native soil. As Taylor points out, this is not a completely horrible idea if the club can secure him at a reasonable price. A minor league deal to add some depth is never a bad move. (UPDATE: That didn’t last long as Bedard has just signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers.)

Next: Blue Jays Update from Australian Baseball League

Obviously, this would not be a high impact move, not like say…signing James Shields… That would surely get folks excited. As it is, though, slugger Jose Bautista and starter R.A. Dickey are optimistic about the moves that have been made thus far. As Shi Davidi shares with us, Bautista thinks that if everyone they brought in does what they’ve been doing in the past, the club will see dividends in the standings. Dickey agrees and added that the team needed a shake up.

Speaking of the need for a shake up, John Lott brings us an interesting perspective at the National Post. Dickey further discussed the need for change in the clubhouse rather gingerly: “I think having guys in the clubhouse all pulling the same rope is really, really integral. I think it all starts with communication and being able to deliver that in a way that is encouraging and positive. So we’ll see what happens.” He paused, then added: “But I think you saw where the front office sat on the issue by the way they made the moves in the offseason.” This is very interesting given that Dickey himself was accused of being one of those bad apples by radio’s Jerry Howarth. 

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  • Recently, Steve Tolleson joined Brent Cardy on and discussed the clubhouse issue. Tolleson points to the revolving door that was created by injuries as part of the problem that led to frustration in the clubhouse. Injuries were a big reason for guys being upset and frustrated with their own performance and the team’s results. But, he is also quick to point out that through all of that, the team never lost sight of their goal and reason for playing, etc.

    As we know, though, winning has a habit of eliminating clubhouse talk. If the Blue Jays are going to win, they will need to depend on Dickey. Actually, they’ll need him to be better than he has been the last two seasons. They’d love the 2012 R.A. Dickey. And, after discussing the state of the world, he tells Richard Griffin of The Star that he is looking forward to a good season in 2015. He points out that he improved last season over his first in Toronto and thinks that he is trending upward: the opposite of what regular pitchers would demonstrate. 

    More from Toronto Blue Jays News

    Chris Georges at Grading on the Curve thinks that the Blue Jays could compete for a World Series Championship in 2015. He looks at the offense and the pitching staff and makes the argument that this club has a potential “top 5” offense and a staff that is reliable with budding stars that could push them over the top. Of course, he mentions several times that a move like signing James Shields would put them over the top.

    Over at Swingin’ A’s, Jason Burke makes the argument that Brett Lawrie is a better defender than Josh Donaldson. He uses the percentage of plays made and the type made. For example, Lawrie made 37..5% of the “unlikely” plays while Donaldson made just 34%. It is an interesting look at the two third basemen, for sure. But, there are other numbers that may disagree. In 2014, Donaldson was worth 20 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and had a UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) of 15.5. Lawrie put up 0 DRS and a UZR of 4.1. Now, in fairness to Lawrie, he missed MANY games. I feel like this is splitting hairs as either could be a Gold Glove candidate.