Blue Jays Morning Brew: The Price is Pitching

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The Toronto Blue Jays are building steam in the AL East and Wild Card races after taking three of four from the Kansas City Royals. We’ll leave the fireworks of Sunday afternoon’s game in the rearview mirror, which you can read about here, and turn our eye to the critical four-game set beginning today against the Minnesota Twins. 

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David Price makes his debut in blue and white just hours from now, something that will still take me several innings to make sense of. Left fielder Ben Revere and reliever Mark Lowe are still searching for their groove as Blue Jays, but it’s sure to come. Keep an eye on Danny Valencia‘s situation, too, as general manager Alex Anthopoulos will soon look to capitalize on trade waivers and preferably come away with an upgrade from Munenori Kawasaki as infield depth.

Toronto is playing with an exciting confidence and swagger that is bringing the fans out in droves. It’s time for the Blue Jays to prove they’re for real, but before the series kicks off with a holiday matinee, we get you caught up on the Blue Jays news and stories you may have missed from the past weekend.

Buehrle’s beautiful July  –  Steve McEwen of Blue Jays Plus brings us this recap of Mark Buehrle‘s dominant July. The veteran lefty went 3-1 over five starts in the month with a 1.82 ERA, bringing his season number down to 3.29. Most impressive of all was that Buehrle allowed just one home run and one walk!

I love the heat maps that Steve included in this article, and I recommend that you pay special attention to the difference between how he attacks left and right-handed batters. Buehrle stays mainly down and away from lefties, but shows more inside aggression against right-handed bats. Those inside pitches are the cutting fastballs that you see splitting bats despite their pedestrian velocity, and they’re what makes Buehrle so unique.

Trade deadline WAR additions  –  Our own Eric Elliot wrote this great piece for the Canadian Baseball Network following Toronto’s trade deadline additions. The incoming names obviously bring with them an increased shot at a playoff appearance, something we’ve seen the early stages of over the past few days, but Eric also breaks down the expected WAR boost Toronto will get.

“According to Fangraphs’ ZiPS projection system, Price will add another 1.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) over the remainder of the season. Between Revere and Lowe, another 0.7 WAR can be tacked on. That’s about 2 1/2 wins when it’s all said and done. Add in yet another addition in Tulowitzki and you’re looking at almost three theoretical wins added over the course of a week by projection systems.”

Revere the lucky dog?  –  Ben Revere hasn’t wowed us on the field quite yet, but at first glance, he seems like a fun guy off of it. Revere tells Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun that he’s seen other “lucky dogs” move from from a bottom-dweller to a World Series team ahead of the trade deadline, and he hopes to be next.

“We have a great team here, we’re definitely in the hunt and hopefully we make that magic run. Every time I see the videos, when Joe Carter hit the walk-off home run, it kind of gives you goosebumps a little bit just to not have that revived in the playoff atmosphere because I’ve never experienced it. Hopefully I can this year, hopefully I can bring a championship home to Toronto.”

“With this lineup and everything, it’s going to be a great time. I’m here in front of these big boys and bash mashers, whatever you want to call them. My job is to get on base and they’ll score me.” I think we can all agree that “bash mashers” needs to be used more frequently.

Next: Interview: Rockies' perspective on the Tulowitzki trade

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