Toronto Blue Jays news and notes from the weekend that was
New Segment – Before we hit the morning’s Blue Jays reading, a quick announcement. We’ll be starting a new weekly video segment at Jays Journal. It will be a “mailbag” style segment where I mostly take reader questions, but also hit the major topics of the week ahead and attempt to make sense of the contentious issues of the moment.
To submit your questions, tweet them in to @KeeganMatheson or @JaysJournal. If you like, add in your name (if not in your bio) and where you’re from. You can also post your questions in the comment section of this piece. The videos will be featured in articles here on Jays Journal.
Grading day – Marcus Stroman will be away from the team today to attend his graduation ceremony at Duke University, where he completed his degree in sociology while rehabbing from a torn ACL last summer. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi had the full story on it here, including a great quote from R.A. Dickey.
“That kind of stuff really fires me up, a guy like Marcus who’s dedicated himself not only to being an uber competitor, but also a guy who has really worked hard at being an educated human being,” he said.
“All Me, PED Free” – On Friday in Texas, Jose Bautista met with a group of young baseball players to discuss the dangers of using performance enhancing drugs in an event organized by the Taylor Hooton Foundation.
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“I think when they hear it coming from me — I’m still active, I’m still successful and I have taken a pledge to continue to play at this level without the use of prohibitive substances,” Bautista told Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. “I think the message will go a long way. They’ll go back to all their teams and their high schools and their leagues and they’ll relay those messages, and hopefully that way it reaches more kids.”
Toronto’s new setup man? – Kyle Matte of BP Toronto published a great piece on Gavin Floyd yesterday, looking at his quick ascent from rotation competition to a legitimate setup option given the struggles of Drew Storen. Floyd’s curveball has been excellent alongside his fourseam fastball, the two pitches he’s begun to lean on more heavily as a reliever.
Through 13 relief appearances covering 16.1 innings this season, the right-hander has struck out 18 batters and holds a 1.65 ERA.
“Sometimes you’re not doing anything wrong. Things just add up to make you 0-for-20, 0-for-30, 0-for-40. It’s not really a slump, it’s just the way the game is structured.”
Drought over? – Speaking of Tulowitzki, Shaun Doyle at Jays From the Couch dives in to the shortstop’s recent performance at the plate and argues that he could be on the verge of returning to his old form.
Prospect Talk – Francisco Rios quickly emerged as one of the Blue Jays’ hottest pitching prospects in early 2016, and Brian Crawford recently caught up with him to discuss his time in Lansing and what lies ahead with Dunedin.
“I need to work in my fastball every time with my first pitch,” Rios epxlained to Crawford. “I want to throw it down and then I can work in my changeup, curveball, and slider. I feel my curveball is my best pitch and my slider is a close second. My slider has really nice break to it and usually sits around 84-85 miles per hour. My changeup has played a big role for me in professional baseball as well. It changes the view of the ball coming towards the hitters and keeps them off-balance.”