Before the Blue Jays welcome the New York Yankees for a three-game set we round up the latest news and analysis, including the newest episode of the Jays Nest Podcast
The Toronto Blue Jays turn to Aaron Sanchez for his second start of the season tonight against the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka. Get your full series preview here with game-by-game pitching match-ups.
Jays Nest Podcast Ep. 69 – Shaun Doyle of Jays From the Couch and I dropped another episode of the Jays Nest Podcast this morning, covering a wide range of topics stretching back to the opening series of the season. We talk starting rotation, the bullpen, John Gibbons‘ “dress” comments, and take a boatload of listener questions. Send in your questions for the podcast anytime on Twitter to myself at @KeeganMatheson or Shaun at @JaysFromCouch.
Roberto Osuna‘s new weapon – A fantastic read here from John Lott for VICE Sports where he looks at the changeup of Roberto Osuna, which played a starring role in his most recent outing against the Boston Red Sox.
Osuna was mostly a fastball-slider pitcher last year, but has really honed in this devastating changeup with hints of a cutter. The velocity variance from 95-97 MPH with his heater to 83-84 MPH with his changeup seems to be downright unfair.
“It’s crazy,” Russell Martin told Lott after the game. “He’s getting better, man. You can see the progression, and it’s a fast progression.”
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Alomar in Buffalo – Blue Jays Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar will be at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo on Thursday to throw out the first pitch at the Bisons’ home opener. Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News has the full story here.
Blair talks dirt – Interesting angle here from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet on the new all-dirt infield that the Blue Jays have added to the Rogers Centre.
“You know this new Rogers Centre dirt infield/basepaths? It looks dandy and all that, but I’m not at all certain it’s going to be as much of a boon to this team defensively as that slower artificial surface – the one with the cut-outs around the bases – was in 2015.”
Don’t believe the hype? – Over at BP Toronto, Matt Gwin looks at the hot first start from Aaron Sanchez and examines whether some level of confirmation bias is at play. He takes a deep look at Sanchez’s “stuff” and the increase in his horizontal/vertical movement. Matt also draws a comparison to another high-upside young arm who landed in the bullpen this season.
The Bat Flip is contagious – Some fun tongue-in-cheek writing here from Ted Berg at FTW MLB of USA Today. Jose Bautista‘s bat flip in the 2015 playoffs has started an epidemic, and the game of baseball itself has been put at risk.