It was a tough landing in Atlanta for the Blue Jays, with Aaron Sanchez taking the 3-2 loss on a walk off single. Thankfully for the Blue Jays, New York also took a close loss to the Tampa Bay Rays to keep the AL East exactly as it was. David Price takes the hill tonight in a pitcher’s duel against Shelby Miller, and to kickstart your day, enjoy a tall glass of the Morning Brew.
Price lined up – The talk over the past 24 hours in Blue Jays land has mostly focused on in the starting rotation, one the Blue Jays hope to align properly for game one of the playoffs. With Drew Hutchison now pitching out of the bullpen, the added clarity and projected schedules point to David Price already lining up perfectly.
R.A. Dickey is the likely choice to be worked in behind Price, but the makeup of the rotation behind that will depend on the performances of Marco Estrada, Mark Buehrle and Marcus Stroman. Toronto’s flexibility and late-season standings will play a role in those slots, as well.
Front office personnel in demand – A surprise tweet dropped in the middle of Toronto’s game last night, with Buster Olney reporting that two members of the Jays front office are drawing interest for GM positions. This is to be expected with the success Toronto has enjoyed, but the Jays would surely prefer to keep both. Especially LaCava, who has been a centrepiece in the 2014-2015 roster changes. Stay tuned to this one.
Coming for the Kings – Ian Hunter of Blue Jay Hunter suggests the Blue Jays stop looking down at the New York Yankees, and start looking up at the Kansas City Royals. That’s a fine idea, too, with the Royals just 2.0 games ahead of Toronto entering play on Tuesday night.
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Catching the Royals would secure home field advantage for the Jays throughout the playoffs, perhaps adding another game to the Rogers Centre turnstiles. Ian highlights KC’s starting rotation as a cause for concern entering the playoffs, as they’ve recorded a 4.60 ERA over the past 57 games since the All-Star break. The Yankees don’t appear to be going anywhere, pesky as they are, so it will add to the late-September fun to put a new team in Toronto’s crosshairs.
The calm, cool young guns – Steven Lebron of Vice Sports looks inside the success of Toronto’s young pitching in high-leverage roles, something we’ve begun to take for granted as the season has worn on. Two youngsters, Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez, have driven the Blue Jays to the lowest bullpen ERA since the All-Star break. Now there’s a sentence I didn’t expect to write in April.
With the physical talents these two already possess, their success in the bullpen relies heavily on their mental games. “If you couldn’t do it today, and you’re still thinking about it tomorrow, you won’t do too much in this league,” Osuna said. Having a 20-year old closing ball games in the MLB Playoffs is almost unheard of, but Osuna is far from ordinary.