Blue Jays Morning Brew: It’s now or never, or next year
Good morning, Blue Jays fans, and welcome back to another edition of the Morning Brew. The trade deadline is just over a week away, and by this point, you know what the hot rumors are. With GM Alex Anthopoulos just as likely to go miles off the board, let’s enjoy the Blue Jays action ahead as they try to squeeze back into the AL East playoff race. First up, we take a look at the best of Blue Jays news and stories from around the web.
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Max Pentecost update – The great Charlie Caskey of The Vancouver Sun offers up some insight on the Vancouver Canadians in his piece from Tuesday, and shines light on 2014 first round pick Max Pentecost. The catcher had reportedly been throwing from 90 feet, but Caskey recently learned that Pentecost experienced a setback when he stretched out to 120 feet.
After two shoulder surgeries to start off his career, it’s reasonable to be worried about Pentecost. Especially, as Caskey points out, when you look at the names selected behind him in the 2014 draft. The setback likely hurts his trade value, as well, or removes him from most trade conversations entirely.
The evolution of Josh Donaldson – Shi Davidi of Sportnet had a great look at Josh Donaldson’s growth into the player we now know, uncovering the sometimes high-strung, analytical mind behind the Bringer of Rain. Most interesting to me was Donaldson’s drive to hit like Gary Sheffield, and a strong belief in emulating other great hitters that he shares with his hitting coach, Bobby Tewksbary.
“I’m a huge believer in emulation, that a right way to swing has been shown to us throughout the history of the game,” says Tewksbary. “If you’re trying to emulate a good hitter, an all-time great hitter, there are good things there. You try to feel what they’re doing. Every hitter is an individual, and they need to find the style that fits their swing, their personality, their rhythm and their timing.”
Some love for Bullpen Sanchez – Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun is a fan of the Blue Jays’ decision to move the young pitcher into the bullpen, and makes a good point in saying that Sanchez needs to again prove that he can perform in the clutch. After 2014, this is something that many of us have simply assumed he can repeat at will.
Also on Jays Journal: Checking in on Miguel Castro!
Another discussion topic worth unpacking from Rutsey’s piece is who the Jays will eventually send down once Sanchez is ready. Roberto Osuna is a lock along with Bo Schultz, while Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil seem unlikely to move. This leave Liam Hendriks as the long man, putting the spotlight on Ryan Tepera and Steve Delabar. I’d personally hang on to Delabar, but there’s a fine argument for either.
Hutchison finding success with changeup – Drew Hutchison‘s last start encouraged me primarily due to the increased success of his changeup. Again from Mike Rutsey, we get some great insight from Hutchison on a pitch that he seems very confident in.
“When I was in the minor leagues it was my best pitch other than my fastball,” Hutchison said. “But to get to where I want to be and do the things I know I’m capable of I need to be able to throw my changeup the way I have lately.”
He mentions that he put a great emphasis on his slider with Blue Jays bullpen coach Dane Johnson when he was coming up through the system. Perhaps the changeup lost some love during that progression, but it appears to have found its way back to the forefront. If anything can help Hutch over the hump on the road, its this.
Next: Could David Price be Blue Jays trade target?