Blue Jays Morning Brew: Atkins, middle infield, Votto talk
The Toronto Blue Jays enter play on Thursday at 71-55, tied with the Boston Red Sox atop the American League East
J.A. Happ takes the mound tonight in a winnable series finale at the Rogers Centre against the Angels. Until then, here are some stories and news bits that you might have missed over the past couple of days…
Ross Atkins on MLB High Heat
In a recent appearance on High Heat, general manager Ross Atkins spoke on a wide range of topics including the Cleveland series, the Blue Jays’ shaky bullpen, Jose Bautista‘s return, and how Aaron Sanchez will be handled down the playoff stretch.
“Our bullpen has been great since the acquisition of [Jason] Grilli. It really has solidified roles for people,” Atkins said. “I could not have more confidence in Roberto Osuna getting the ball with a lead.”
Hitting Lessons with Donaldson
From ESPN, this 2015 SportScience video of Jose Donaldson’s swing is a great visual breakdown of what makes the reigning American League MVP so successful. It also includes a recent tweet from Donaldson on hitting that reads:
The middle infield
Here’s a fun thought: Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis are under team control through 2020 together. For The Star, Brendan Kennedy looked at their dynamic where the veteran serves as a mentor to his younger counterpart.
“He’s so willing to learn, which is nice,” Tulowitzki told Kennedy. “Some guys you have to kind of force it, but Devon’s that kid that’s going to come and ask those questions and take what he learns and apply it to his game. It’s nice to work with someone like that.”
Jays Nest Podcast, Episode 87
If you missed it on Tuesday, catch up here on the latest episode of The Jays Nest Podcast. Shaun Doyle of Jays From the Couch and I discuss the Edwin Encarnacion lawsuit, Jose Bautista’s return, and yes, even the Joey Votto talk.
The Jays’ Nest Podcast- Talking Toronto Blue Jays – Jays Nest #87- Encarnacion, Bautista & Votto (?)
Speaking of Joey Votto…
It’s the conversation that won’t go away, and over at ESPN Courtney Schellin rounds up the latest reports on the matter. Most interesting of all is Buster Olney’s report that there are still “threads of past conversations in place”. This could be as simple as prospects still being in the Blue Jays system that once interested Cincinnati, though.
Next: Blue Jays continue big changes in player development
With Melvin Upton Jr. closing in on another season of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases — he is just one home runs shy — Brendan Kennedy caught up with the new Jay for his thoughts on the feat.
“You know what, stealing bases has always been a part of my game,” Upton said. “Home runs are hit or miss, man — it just all depends — but to have the opportunity to do it again, man, it’s pretty cool. Not many guys are able to do that nowadays.”