Blue Jays Morning Brew: Love, like baseball, is in the air


Blue Jays spring training inches closer on this Valentine’s Day edition of the Morning Brew, where we talk bullpen, Stroman, Pillar, and much more

International ties  –  Alexis Brudnicki at the Canadian Baseball Network highlights the strong Blue Jays link to the upcoming World Baseball Classic qualifier in Australia.

Between the host Aussies, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Philippines, each coaching staff features one member who was originally signed by the Blue Jays.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Stacking up the bullpen  –  Over at Jays From the Couch, Shaun Doyle takes an in-depth look at how the Blue Jays still-evolving bullpen stacks up against the rest of the league, especially their American League East rivals. The presence of Drew Storen will help the Blue Jays to further maximize the impact of Brett Cecil, Roberto Osuna, and potentially Aaron Sanchez, so the group could re-emerge as a top-level ‘pen once again this summer.

Speaking of Storen  –  Eric Elliot of Blue Bird Banter dives in to the Storen acquisiton here, laying out how it will positively impact the other high-leverage arms around him in the bullpen. “Finding a way to make sure everyone on the roster can be used without overlap or demotion of useful assets has certainly been one of the benefits the Shapiro administration has drawn on thus far,” Elliot writes.

Coach Jose  –  Ian Hunter at Blue Jay Hunter fills you in on Jose Bautista’s appearance as an assistant coach in the NBA All Star Celebrity Game. Team Canada’s head coach, Drake, along with receiving a key to the city, partnered with Bautista to lead the good guys to a 74-64 victory.

Truck Day  –  Thursday was Truck Day in Toronto, where the Blue Jays clubhouse staff loads up vehicles with all the equipment you could imagine, and then some, for the club’s spring training in Dunedin. John Lott of Vice Sports had a great story on it here pointing out the oddities of the load, including Toronto’s leftover baseballs that still featured Bud Selig’s name and the bats of some past players.

Next: Blue Jays and their weak farm non-crisis

Stroman on stage  –  Do you like Marcus Stroman? Do you like hip hop music? If you’re here, my assumption is that you’ve answered ‘yes’ to at least the first question, so check out Stroman’s appearance on stage this past Wednesday with his former Duke teammate, rapper Mike Stud. Stroman is featured on Stud’s new song titled “These Days”.

Pillar in Progress  –  A thing of beauty here from Joshua Howsam and Chris Sherwin over at Blue Jays Plus, where they break down Kevin Pillar‘s recent swing changes while working with hitting coach Bobby Tewksbary. This is the same man who works with Josh Donaldson and Chris Colabello, and you’ll definitely leave this article more optimistic about Pillar’s 2016 potential at the plate.