Blue Jays Podcast (VIDEO): AL East Preview Pt2: The Rays


This week’s episode of Jays’ Nest included lots of talk about Blue Jays Spring Training, including the emergence of the young pitchers and how the roster is shaping up. As well, we continued our look at the American League East with Joey Saunders of to discuss the Tampa Bay Rays’ offseason and outlook for 2015.

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Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

To kick things off this week, we looked at the late decision to start Roberto Osuna in Sunday’s game. It was a bit of a surprise to see Osuna get the nod, but a pleasant one as he fared quite well. He was followed in the game by Miguel Castro. Our panel discussed the emergence of these two young hurler and their outlook for this season. We all have been impressed by the downright filthy stuff of Castro. His killer fastball combined with his slider make him quite a treat to watch. While we drooled over them a little bit, we also talked about the idea of bringing them north to start the season. We thought that one of them definitely makes the Blue Jays better, while the other could use more time to grow.

This discussion led us to talk about all of the young arms the Blue Jays seem to have right now. We wondered if it might be a good idea to hold one or two of them in the minors for a couple extra weeks to save their service time and buy an extra year of team control (a la Chicago Cubs and Kris Bryant). While we can see why a team would go this route, ultimately, we thought that there is no urgency to do that for the Blue Jays. We leaned in favor of fielding the best team possible right out of the gate.

As such, we looked at the catching/ first base situation and how that could possibly play out. Like everyone, we wonder how Edwin Encarnacion will hold up if expected to carry the bulk of the time at first (with Russell Martin catching and Dioner Navarro DHing). We were debating between leaning toward Daric Barton or Justin Smoak when Ryan threw out his prediction for who will man the position. You’ll have to listen for that one. 

Of course, we would have been remiss if we hadn’t discussed the strong play of Devon Travis and his  rise to the starting 2B job when the season starts. We also covered Dalton Pompey, the depth of this lineup and more. The depth of the lineup may appear scary after the top of the order, but when you look at it, it really isn’t all that bad.

When Joey Saunders joined us, we quickly got into the Rays’ offseason. Right off the bat we asked about how the team will move on from losing manager Joe Maddon. It would appear new manager (and former Blue Jay) Kevin Cash) has already started the moving on phase. We managed to get a lot of information from Joey about who the Rays will look for to contribute in 2015. He talked about the importance of newly acquired Steven Souza Jr. He’ll be looked upon to pick up some of the missing offense of departed Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist. As well, we heard about how Rays fans may feel about their infield with newcomers Nick Franklin and Asdrubal Cabrera.

One name Joey Saunders says we should watch out for in 2015 is infielder, Tim Beckham. While the infield may seem a bit crowded, Beckham may be a guy who surprises folks this season. Another player who the Rays need to be successful is Drew Smyly. In fact, the whole rotation, which is a big question mark right now, is going to need to carry this team. As joey points out, the offense certainly won’t.

Check out the full discussion:


Jays’ Nest- Jays Journal- Podcast about Toronto Blue Jays – Jays’ Nest #11- AL East Preview Pt2- The Rays


As always, we welcome your comment and input below.

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