Blue Jays Morning Brew: Anytime now, Alex!


The Toronto Blue Jays are winning just enough to stay involved in the AL East, but losing just enough to fuel the cries of fans frustrated with the lacklustre pitching staff. Rumor season is kicking into full gear around the Blue Jays, both of the “real” and “fluff” variety, but one thing is universally agreed upon: Toronto needs to make a move.

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In today’s Morning Brew, we look to all corners of the internet for news and opinions on your Toronto Blue Jays. From a crowded trade market to the bullpen shuffle and R.A. Dickey‘s steep decline, there’s something for everyone.

Blue Jays need to buy! Buy! Buy!  –  It’s always reassuring to see a voice from outside of the Jays’ world agreeing with the consensus among fans, as it verifies we’re not as crazy as some seem to think. Mike Bates of MLB Daily Dish offers his opinion on this club, who he admittedly finds difficult to understand (do you blame him?). His closing offers optimism while still making sense, which is a lovely pairing:

“The Blue Jays have some work to do, but perhaps the strongest base, in terms of current talent on the team, and future talent with which to make deals, to win the AL East. Now they just have to use it.”

Trade market logjam  –  Jon Heyman of CBS takes a look at the teams surrounding Toronto, most notably the Astros, Yankees, Royals, Dodgers and Pirates, who are crowding the market for starting pitchers.

This isn’t a groundbreaking take by any means, but it’s pivotal to keep in mind as we grow anxious for movement. The expanded Wild Card system has left the overwhelming majority of American League teams within striking distance of the playoffs, meaning that many organizations will not surrender into sell mode until much later this month.

Also on Jays Journal: WATCH The Jays Nest Podcast, trade talk galore!

Russell Martin‘s Workload  –  Kyle Matte of Capital Jays offers up another great piece of analysis when he looks at the usage of Russell Martin. Jays fans tend to groan when they see a lineup without Martin, but as Kyle highlights, the catcher is on pace for his heaviest workload in several years.

“Martin is currently fourth in baseball in plate appearances as a catcher with 273, with the only three ahead of him being 26 year old Derek Norris (295 PA), 25 year old Salvador Perez (278 PA), and 32 year old iron-man Yadier Molina (291 PA). Just a reminder: fans are demanding that 32 year old Russell Martin, who is only in the first year of a five year deal that will pay him gargantuan salaries in 2016 through 2019, needs to play more” Kyle writes. And it’s bang on.

As Jays fans, we’ve become so excited to finally have something nice behind the plate that perhaps we’ve begun to lose sight of future seasons. Toronto didn’t sign Martin to wear him out in two seasons, and if anything, they may look to lessen his workload to protect their massive investment.

Dickey’s disastrous decline  –  Looking for the one image that will make you lean back in your chair, wincing and covering your eyes? MjwW of Blue Bird Banter has got it for you, giving us a graph that charts Dickey’s BB+HBP% and K% since 2010. While it’s ugly, it’s the best visualization of Dickey’s regression that you’ll find.

Jul 4, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a frustrating combination of the league adjusting to his knuckleball, poor control, passed balls and over-adjustments for the aging righty. As much as he’d like you to believe that he’s almost there, I haven’t seen anything to suggest that yet.

Future of Mark Buehrle  –  The loveable lefty seems like he’d be able to play well into his 60s at this point, but the 36-year old has remained quiet as he dances around retirement questions. Sportnet’s Shi Davidi asked Buehrle about 2016, and whether the trip to Chicago felt like his last ride at his old stomping grounds.

“I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen after this year. It’s not like I’m soaking it in the last game of each series. We just left Detroit and if it is over and that’s the last time I’m going there I didn’t treat it like it was different than any other game.”

Right now, Buehrle is the top pitcher in this rotation and the only consistent source of deep starts. Even with the tidal wave of high-ceiling young arms in the pipeline, an inning-eater like Buehrle would still have plenty of value. He’s always done things his own way, however, and he’ll enter the coming offseason as a mystery.

Next: Jays could regain Aaron Sanchez later this month

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