Blue Jays Morning Brew: Struggles and Such
Good Morning. Welcome to today’s Blue Jays Morning Brew. We’ve got a lot of different topics for you today. There’s been talk of everything from a possible position change to humility from a youngster to struggles to the upcoming draft. Let’s get to it.
In an effort to suggest some fixes for the Blue Jays, Richard Griffin of The Star blogs that the team has to move short stop Jose Reyes to the outfield as soon as Devon Travis returns, “feelings be damned”. There is roughly two weeks (or so) until Travis returns and Griffin argues that the Blue Jays should use that time to teach Reyes the outfield. His argument is that it worked for Hanley Ramirez and the Red Sox and it can’t be any worse than the combination of Chris Colabello and Danny Valencia that have been…well…not good. This may not be a bad idea. Especially since the Blue Jays (as Griffin points out) are not doing so well in close games. In fact, they are 3-12 in one run games. Defense could be the deciding factor in these games.
Toronto Blue Jays
This would be an interesting move, if the club were to consider it. It would signal a shift in philosophy. It would mean that the Blue Jays are willing to do whatever it takes to field the bets team and are putting winning above all (and everyone) else. The only question remains is whether Reyes could make the transition. But, there’s only one way to find out…
At Sportsnet.ca, Ben Nicholson-Smith shows us the humble side of Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman was believed to be one of the better, if not the best, pitcher in last year’s draft. In fact, if you were to ask him, he might even say he was the best. It’s kind of refreshing to see such confidence and determination from a young Jays pitcher. But, his Tommy John surgery dropped him right into the Blue Jays’ lap. Now healthy, he’s starting to collect his share of starts and is impressing. But, he’s not letting go to his head. Said Hoffman, “I’m the same as any other guy in the (organization) and until I prove that I can dominate at this level I won’t move up. I’m looking forward to proving myself here and if I keep doing it here, then hopefully I get a shot at moving up a little bit.” Many may have been wondering just how much time he’ll spend in Dunedin. Would he be fast tracked? By the sounds of it, Hoffman is not too concerned about it. Or, he knows just what to say.
In sticking with Sportsnet, Mike Wilner reminds us that the Blue Jays’ terrible month of May has really been their own doing. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be helpful to think that the other teams haven’t exactly won as much as the Blue Jays have lost these games. But, Wilner does bring up a good point. That is that the AL East is weak. (Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun agrees). Obviously. They entered play Monday 6 games under .500 and just 3.5 games out of first place. In theory, they could take over 1st place before even breaking even on the season. Anyway, back to Wilner’s point. Right now, the Blue Jays are playing like the rest of the division is weak. They have to right the ship. Not, join the rest of the sinking messes.
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Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun also looks at whether Kevin Pillar‘s recent struggles have to do with the fact that he is pressing, or trying too hard. It would appear that his hitting coach, Brook Jacoby agrees. “I think it’s obvious that he’s pressing. He’s got a lot of things going on in his mind”. Hmmm. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that he’s proven himself so well in the minor leagues and is now struggling. Could he be trying to live up to that? We have heard many times that Pillar is one of the hardest workers. Could he be working too hard to turn things around? Baseball is funny. In order to come out of a slump, you have to work through it. But, you can’t work too hard. Our own Eric Elliott looked at Pillar’s struggles and wonders if he is fading.
At the June 8th MLB Draft, the Blue Jays will be represented by Vernon Wells. MLB.com will have live coverage of the draft throughout the process. The Blue Jays do not pick their first player until the Compensatory Round at number 29. The choice of Wells is an interesting one. Perhaps he’ll be able to sweet talk some draft picks into thinking they too could earn an obscene contract.
And, finally, this will come as no surprise, but Josh Donaldson has been named the AL Player of the Week: