This week’s episode of the Jays’ Nest Podcast featured some great Blue Jays discussion. We talked about the impact the Troy Tulowitzki injury will have on the team as they approach the playoffs. We look at the ripple effect of Marcus Stroman‘s successful debut. We also look at how the starting rotation stacks up beyond this season. It was great conversation that led to how the team has been built and tough decisions that will need to be made.
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Trending on Jays Journal: The Case for Dalton Pompey on the Playoff Roster
We started off this week’s looking back at the huge series against the New York Yankees. It wa a great set of baseball games that the club won 3 of 4 games. Saturday was a great marathon day of baseball as the double header went down with some rain, some home runs and very few fans in the stands. We talked about how weird it is that New York saw such low attendance. The rain played a big part of that, but the Blue Jays faithful held on strong and made it loud anyway. It was nice to see. Imagine the atmosphere when the playoffs come to Toronto and rain won’t keep people away.
Toronto Blue Jays
You had to know that we had to talk about the freak injury to Tulo. We discussed just how much pain he would have to play with when he returns. You won’t be able to keep him out of the playoffs, regardless of pain. We just wonder how significantly his swing will be impacted and we wonder about his ability to make his patented defensive plays. in the mean time, guys like Cliff Pennington and Ryan Goins will be asked to fill the void. And, that is not really the end of the world.
Alex Anthopoulos has done a good job of adding the pieces that every club needs to make a playoff run. Guys like Pennington were brought in as finishing touches on a very talented roster. Pennington will be a very solid defensive player who will hold that end of the fort down. He won’t help much with the bat, but he’s a guy who is an example of the emphasis on run prevention that AA has operated under lately. The final moves at tweaking this roster were all meant to address this aspect of his team’s game. So, Pennington et al might not be 1000 WAR players, but they will hold the fort in the final days of the season. Playoffs will be a different story.
From there, we looked at the return of Marcus Stroman. It wasn’t a great start, but it was more than acceptable in his 2015 debut. Our discussion concentrated on a discussion about the impact his return has on the rotation. Does it push Drew Hutchison to the bullpen? What is Mark Buehrle‘s future? This led us to looking at the playoff roster, which was a difficult conversation because it means tough decisions that one might have to be stone hearted to make. With how much loyalty does a club operate when it is making its first playoff appearance in 22 years? How much loyalty should the Blue Jays show the starters that got them there?
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This conversation led to a look at the 2016 rotation and how that looks to be shaping up. In particular we discussed whether Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna should stay in the bullpen or be added to the rotation. One oft hem has a chance to be elite in hsi position. Osuna has impressed as the closer. Do you leave him there because he’s been so successful? Or, do you start him with the chance to be good? Great as is, or good in another role? with Aaron Sanchez, this decision was much easier for us. It is a debate that will likely come up quite a few times over the winter months.
Of course, that all depends on what the club does in the free agency period. Of course, we all think that David Price should be the priority. But, what about Marco Estrada? He’s earned some consideration, but should the Blue Jays make a point to bring him back? his value has never been higher and may never be again. If you’re running the club, what do you do? Do you pay a high price for his 2015 season knowing he was over performing? Or, do you think he’s turned the corner and this is a sign of things to come and consider him a steal in a market that is going to have big names with big price tags? Listen for what we would do.
We wrapped up our episode with our weekly awards that recognized the best Blue Jays hitter and pitcher of the past 7 days. In doing these awards, we also discovered that one player batted 1.000! Without cheating, you’ll never guess who that is.