Blue Jays Podcast (VIDEO): Dwight Smith Jr Joins Us!
With Spring Training underway, there is no shortage of Blue Jays related topics to discuss. This week’s episode of Jays Nest starts off with a discussion about the first few days of getting back into baseball. As well, we are joined for a chat with Blue Jays prospect Dwight Smith Jr. As with all of our episodes, you can download them at Shout Engine as well as iTunes.
First on the docket was the injury to Michael Saunders. We discussed the depth concern that this injury highlighted for the Blue Jays. With a very solid outfield at the major league level, fans can feel somewhat secure. But, when one of Jose Bautista, Dalton Pompey or Saunders goes down, the security is called into question by a very shallow pool of available talent. Obviously, Kevin Pillar is next on the list, but then who? Ezequiel Carrera and Chris Dickerson were added to the fold. As was Dayan Viciedo. And, yet, we still breathe a sigh of relief that Saunders elected for a procedure with a shorter recovery time.
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That was a topic of discussion for us too. Should he have gone with a more traditional treatment and stay out until July? It may be better for his knee in the long run. But, instead, he decided the risk was worth it to come back sooner, contribute and worry about his knee later in life. It’s all a moot point anyway since Saunders made the decision and was back on his own feet in no time. This just shows the determination that he brings to this team. We wondered if it is him playing with a chip on his shoulder to prove something to his old club (the Mariners) or playing for his future contract. Regardless, it is refreshing to see such drive.
Another topic we discussed was the role of Dioner Navarro on this club. We debated moving him to another club for relief help. But, we concluded that there really just is not enough leverage on the Blue Jays’ part to pull of a deal that would give Navarro the starting role he wants behind the dish. And, with him as DH and a back up to Ruseell Martin, the Blue Jays are better off. So, even if there is a deal to be made, he has more value ON the roster than off it.
This led us to a discussion about the many guys fighting it out for a 1B job in 2015. Among the names are Justin Smoak, Daric Barton and apparently Dayan Viciedo. We went through all of the options and came up with the conclusion that they all have something to offer the club. Perhaps having this many options can be good. Or, perhaps it is just hoping that ONE of them sticks. If and when he does, the AAA Buffalo Bisons are going to have a logjam on the right side of the infield.
As we continued, we were joined by #16 on our 2015 Blue Jays Top Prospect List, Dwight Smith Jr. Dwight appeared flawlessly and was very personable right from the get go. He discussed his off season work with the transition to playing second base. He thought it was more about giving him versatility moving forward. He agreed with our assessment that he’d likely start 2015 in AA New Hampshire, but has his eyes clearly set on making the big league club at some point this season.
He told us about his time with Stubby Clapp. He speaks well of the Canadian coach. Speaking of coaching, Dwight seems to think that there is a consistent message from the organization when it comes to its prospects. Despite having their 4th big league hitting coach in 4 years, he feels that there are not any mixed messages for players coming up. They are told to focus on putting together good at bats and coming out of the box hard.
Dwight had many good things to say about his friend, Dalton Pompey. He also touched on his experience being a second generation baseball player. He even revealed a talent that he likes to play around with.
Check it out!
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