Blue Jays weekend notes: Mark Shapiro, John Gibbons, Joe Biagini
Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro gave manager John Gibbons a vote of confidence on Friday
Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro joined Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on The Fan 590 Friday morning to discuss the team’s difficult start. Atop the list was the job status of manager John Gibbons, who received Shapiro’s support.
This vote of confidence is to be expected in a public forum, of course, but it’s difficult to place the poor individual performances of proven veterans on their manager.
Regarding Shapiro’s review, Gibbons told Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling prior to Friday night’s game “Well you know what, that’s good to hear. But I’ve said this a million times — people always want to talk about your job security but you really don’t worry about that. You learn over time that in these jobs a lot of the time you’re in the crosshairs. If you can’t handle that, you’re really in the wrong business. Those kind of things are always good to hear. But they don’t guarantee you anything. All I know, as long as my mother gives me a vote of confidence, I’m alright”.
Joe Biagini earning later innings
After picking up his first career MLB save in the series opener over Minnesota, Gibbons admitted what’s slowly become evident: Biagini has pitched his way into higher-leverage innings.
This is a startling rise for the Rule 5 Draft pick who hadn’t pitched above double-A ball. As I’d said recently when discussing the possibility of stretching Biagini out into a starter’s role in 2017, though, the Blue Jays are still working with a very small sample size.
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Regardless, you can’t argue the early results. The big right-hander has pitched 15 and a third innings, allowing just a single earned run (0.59 ERA) and striking out 11.
With Brett Cecil on the disabled list with a torn lat muscle and Drew Storen destined for some lower-leverage innings while he gets his season back on track, Biagini and Gavin Floyd could quickly find themselves thrust into eighth-inning action.