Blue Jays Morning Brew: Don’t hassle our Hoff


The Blue Jays return to action tonight with a three game set at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Did anyone else feel like the All Star break lasted weeks? Now 4.5 games back of the Yankees after a rough week, the Blue Jays must close the gap quickly to encourage movement from Alex Anthopoulos.

Over the next two weeks, Jays Journal will have everything you need from the rumor mill. If it’s whispered, we’ll have it. To kick off the trade deadline buildup that will surely leave us all level-headed and agreeable, let’s take a look around the web at some Blue Jays buzz.

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Aaron Sanchez the deadline catalyst  –  Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star explores Aaron Sanchez as the key to Toronto’s deadline moves. Not necessarily as a player going the other way, but as a moveable piece that allows Alex Anthopoulos to target both starters and relievers, knowing that Sanchez will fill the leftover role at a potentially high level.

Sanchez is currently being stretched out in AAA Buffalo for the final stage of his rehab stint, and should be ready to be recalled to the Major League roster by the end of the month.

Hoffman tinkering with mechanics  –  Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs recently took a look at Blue Jays top prospect Jeff Hoffman and some changes that have been made to his approach. McDaniel notes that Hoffman has become less aggressive in his mechanics.

In Hoffman’s most recent start, he highlights how “upright, stiff and generally tall-and-fall his delivery is, rather than attacking the plate”. While this is worrying at first glance, perhaps it shouldn’t be. Hoffman’s long-term health is of the utmost concern, and there is value in working on his changeup. Still, as McDaniels says, it’s difficult to agree with corralling a sky-high potential in an attempt to produce a safer, and lesser, version of Jeff Hoffman. Let the boy chuck.

Two Jays crack Law’s mid-season top-50  –  Keith Law released his mid-season top-50 prospect list recently, and Tom Dakers of Blue Bird Banter gives us a peek behind the curtain on the two Blue Jays who made the grade.

Daniel Norris (#15)  –  “Norris’ control abandoned him in the majors to start the season, but since the start of June, he has been throwing more strikes and walking fewer guys while in Triple-A, including a current streak of five straight outings with two walks or fewer. I’ve said before that I don’t think he’ll ever have above-average command, but with his raw stuff, he shouldn’t need to have it to be a top-of-a-rotation starter.”

Anthony Alford (#39)  –  “Alford is 20, but he’s in his first season playing baseball full time after wasting parts of the past three seasons playing college football at Ole Miss (which was part of the reason the Blue Jays got him in the third round in the 2012 draft even though he had first-round ability). He’s quickly making up for lost time, showing excellent plate discipline to go with his combination of plus speed, defensive range and arm strength. He has a strong leadoff-hitter profile once he comes into the above-average power I project for him.”

Dalton Pompey promoted to AAA  –  Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that Dalton Pompey would be returning to AAA Buffalo after a wildly successful stint in AA New Hampshire. In 30 games at the AA level, Pompey put up a fantastic slash line of .346/.399/.531.

This one is interesting because while Pompey could still be an extremely valuable trade chip, the Blue Jays could also use him down the stretch at the MLB level. If Pompey can get his offensive game in order with the Jays, he would be an immediate defensive upgrade in left field. Unless Chris Colabello regresses at the plate, however, Pompey’s initial role may only be as a reserve and pinch runner.

Next: Zaun says Blue Jays unlikely to make a deal

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