Blue Jays Morning Brew: Bringer of MVPs?


The Toronto Blue Jays are rolling! Make it nine straight victories for the good guys after their series-opener against the Oakland Athletics. The fans have also been rolling into the Rogers Centre, with nearly 40,000 in attendance on a Tuesday to see someone other than the Yankees or Red Sox. To kickstart your Wednesday, here’s the latest Blue Jays morning brew. Enjoy!

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Can Donaldson catch Trout?  –  Dave Cameron of FanGraphs previews the AL MVP race here, listing Josh Donaldson and David Price as the “challenger” and “dark horse” candidates to unseat Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout. He makes an interesting point when he suggests that a Blue Jays surge could see Donaldson lose some votes to his teammate if Price continues to roll like he has over his first two starts. When stacked up against Trout I still feel Donaldson has ground to gain, but he’s begun doing so.

“In 22 second-half games, Donaldson has hit .313/.420/.771, good for a 220 wRC+ and +2.0 WAR. Relative to that scorching pace, Trout’s 169 wRC+/+1.1 WAR performance — which would still project out to about an +8 WAR season over a full year — is downright slacking.”

Change of style  –  Blue Bird Banter’s Minor Leaguer takes a great look at a great look: the Blue Jays new white panel hat that will make an appearance on Sunday as they throw back to 1985. An interesting tidbit regarding the Jays’ move away from the white panel hats in the 90s: “Interestingly, the Blue Jays decided to stop their white panel caps right in the middle of the 1993 season after the team had a five-game losing streak.” It looks like I have a new Blue Jays purchase in my future…

Keeping tabs on the exes  –  With Brett Lawrie and Danny Valencia making their return to Toronto this week, Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet gives us a great update on thirteen of the Blue Jays most memorable recent ex-players. From smaller departures like J.A. Happ to victims of the massive trade deadline such as Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd, it’s all there. So stop in and say hello to the exes! Just… don’t be awkward…

No “throwing” allowed  –  A fascinating piece here from Joshua Howsam of Blue Jays Plus that explores recent comments made by analyst John Kruk. He noted on a broadcast that the presence of Troy Tulowitzki in the leadoff spot forces opposing starters to “pitch” immediately, instead of simply “throwing” their way through the first inning (which means grooving a first-pitch fastball to start the game out right).

Howsam breaks down a variety of starters that have faced the Blue Jays recently, and while their pitch usage doesn’t necessarily reflect Kruk’s suggestion of fewer fastballs, they’ve clearly been forced to pitch out of the ordinary. That’s a good thing if you’re the Blue Jays, and their early-game offense proves it.

Next: Interview Time! Checking in on AA New Hampshire.

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