Blue Jays Morning Brew: Getting Ready for Spring Training
Welcome to the Blue Jays Morning Brew. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am DONE with winter. Every shovel full of snow makes me seethe that much more. It makes me crave Blue Jays Spring Training that much more. Let’s look at the latest from around the internet to distract us form looking outside at all the white stuff.
At CBC.ca an interesting poll has been put up asking Blue Jays fans what they feel is the club’s biggest area of concern as the season approaches. They list the rotation, center field, the bullpen and second base as the 4 areas that we should be concerned about. Fans probably should be concerned, but we should also remember that it is impossible for a team to field 25 All Stars. Yes, there are question marks, but when aren’t there?
Daniel Norris shaving his beard with an ax. Photo Credit: Katherine Williams- The Canadian Press
At the Vancouver Sun, we are reunited with the Daniel Norris and his van story line. And, it is a good one. He prefers the solitude of his van. He has developed the “woodsman” persona quite well. In this piece from VS, we read that he likes to drive his van, stop when he likes, cook on a grill and keep on trucking.
The Blue Jays would love if he can keep on trucking through 2015 and capitalize on his great 2014 success. You can read more about his living arrangements (and more rugged pictures) in a piece by Melissa Couto of the Canadian Press.
It is that 2014 success that has landed Norris in a high position on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects list for 2015. At #17, he outranks Aaron Sanchez (44) and Dalton Pompey (43) easily. In fact, Norris is ranked as the 3rd best LHP on that list. Given his lifestyle, it is difficult picturing Norris even concerning himself with such a list, though.
As we inch closer to Spring Training, we learn from the St Petersburg Tribune (h/t Brendan Kennedy) that the Blue Jays have been negotiating with the city of Dunedin to decide whether they will continue to use the somewhat outdated Florida Auto Exchange Stadium after their contract expires in 2017. The club will be looking for a more modern facility.
There have been some glimpses of guys getting ready for Spring Training already being floated out there just to tease us. Here’s a little bit of a taste of 2014 draft pick, Jeff Hoffman. After having Tommy John surgery, it is nice to see him tossing a ball and snapping that glove. Just listen to the sound!
Daniel Norris is also getting his work in:
Marcus Stroman says he’s chomping at the bit for 2015 to get started.
If that doesn’t get you pumped, I’m not sure what will. Well, I know what WON’T get you excited. The Blue Jays gave us a glimpse of the new turf going in at Rogers Centre:
Wow. There is nothing attractive about that. That natural grass can’t come soon enough.
Actually, what might be even more depressing is the list floated by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated that suggests young starters, Stroman and Daniel Norris may be in for some injury time next season. Verducci uses “principle of exercise physiology known as SAID: Specific Adaption to Imposed Demands” to compile a list of pitchers under 25 who have increased their workload by a significant amount.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
- Toronto Blue Jays: Has the Shift Killed Kevin Gausman’s 2022 Cy Young Hopes?
- Blue Jays: What Yusei Kikuchi’s latest stumble should mean
Stroman increased his innings by 43 (34.8%), while Norris upped his by 40 (44.5%). This dramatic increase could either mean the hurlers may be likely to get injured or that the Blue Jays should monitor their innings this coming year. In case you are wondering, of Verducci’s list of 10 players last year, 7 did indeed get hurt. Gulp.
Finally, I’ll leave you with an interesting examination from Richard Griffin at The Star. He discusses the value of the Canadian Dollar and how that has an impact on what the Blue Jays are able to do. In fact, even though several contracts have come off the books (Colby Rasmus, Melky Cabrera, etc) and the club appears to be spending less ($123M) than last year’s $137M. But, thanks to a declining loonie, one could actually say they are spending more. Sort of. Griffin suggests that the Blue Jays may not be able to do more than a one year deal with anyone (though he never says why), he wonders why they’ve been watching bullpen help pass them by.