The Blue Jays are back at tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays following a day of rest on Thursday. A well deserved one at that, following their taking two of three from the New York Yankees earlier in the week to cushion their lead in the American League East. As their magic number for playoff baseball grows smaller, kickstart your day with another edition of the Blue Jays Morning Brew!
Record Watch – Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com gives us some team and individual records to watch as the Blue Jays enter their final 10 games. As a team, the Jays need to average 6.2 runs per game to set a new club record for runs scored in a season (currently 894).
Josh Donaldson is chasing numbers, himself, as the MVP candidate could become just the third player in Blue Jays history to record 40 doubles and 40 home runs in a season. His 8.4 WAR is also the highest posted by a third baseman since Alex Rodriguez‘s 9.6 in 2007. One that may have been…ahem…aided.
Ricciardi on the Jays – The Blue Jays don’t have a great history with men named J.P., but as Mike Johnston writes, the former general manager recently expressed how happy he is with the Blue Jays situation. Let’s not forget, he was at the helm when the Blue Jays added Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Alex Anthopoulos.
“Most importantly I’m happy for the fans. They waited a long time to have success. There’s a lot of things that have to go right, as we know, and it’s falling in place so I’m happy for them.” What surprised me most was Ricciardi’s comments on John Gibbons.
“Gibby’s a good manager. They’re really lucky to have him,” Ricciardi said. “I still say to this day he’s one of the best guys at handling a bullpen I’ve ever been around…and that’s the key in the American League is just being able to handle your pen. Very seldom does he make a move and you say, ‘Why did you do that? What were you thinking?’ And if you do ask him that he’s got a pretty good reason why he’s done it.” Don’t all go agreeing at once, people!
Osuna adjusting – Interesting tidbit here from John Lott of the National Post on some adjustments made by Roberto Osuna following two tough outings recently. Pitching coach Pete Walker suggested that Osuna work in more sliders and changeups to compliment his great fastball. Despite the double surrendered on Wednesday, it was a step forward.
“I didn’t do well the last two outings,” he told Lott. “That’s why I wanted to pitch (Wednesday) with the score like that. I wanted to throw all of my pitches and see how I feel. Now I feel great. I still have to work a little bit more on my changeup. The slider is there. I have to locate the fastball a little bit better.”