Blue Jays: Jays Journal Podcast- “There and back again”

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 21: Manager John Gibbons
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 21: Manager John Gibbons /

The latest edition of the Jays Journal Podcast has our own Ari Shapiro welcoming Sportnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, Chris Henderson from Jays Journal, and Richard Birfer of the Collegiate Baseball Scouting Network.

Jays Journal Podcast- Episode 77- “There and Back Again”

(0:00-4:02)          Opening Monologue

(4:05-23:31)       Ben Nicholson-Smith, National Baseball Editor at Sportsnet

(23:31-47:41)    Chris Henderson, Site Expert at Jays Journal

(47:15-65:01)     Richard Birfer, Regional Supervisor at the Collegiate Baseball Scouting Network

First, I spoke with Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) of Sportsnet (@sportsnet) about his thoughts regarding the lingering rumours surrounding Mark Shapiro and the New York Mets, how fans should reconcile an absolutely brutal year of baseball, and his candid takes on the most promising rookies for 2019.

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We also discussed selecting an MVP from the underachieving hot mess before him, if the organization is comfortable enough with their starters next year to find any semblance of real competition, which old guard veterans he feels won’t be around for the rebuild, the lasting influence of potential player-coach Russell Martin, and how fans should truly feel about the way the Josh Donaldson saga reached its conclusion.

Next, Chris Henderson (@baseball4brains) of Jays Journal (@jaysjournal) dropped in to offer his perspectives on the surprising play of the recent crop of Blue Jays rookies in September, thoughts on the young and unpredictable starting rotation for next year, his impression of Randal Grichuk replacing Kevin Pillar moving ahead, and why he thinks Kendrys Morales is worth keeping.

We also chatted about the brilliant future of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., an opinion on Devon Travis as likely the best reclamation project of all, dealing with the veiled threat of a lowered payroll in the future, if Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins can rebuild their credibility with fans, and his opinion of the value and influence of Ken Giles as the team’s closer.

Finally, Richard Birfer (@richardbirfs) from the Collegiate Scouting Baseball Network (CBScoutingNet) joined me to help digest and interpret the media hype surrounding a future based almost entirely on youth and prospect promise, how to contextualize the third best farm system in organized baseball, and his earnest evaluation of Ryan Borucki-Bo Bichette-Danny Jansen-Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

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We also discussed his thoughts on a future without Kevin Pillar, which outfield prospects could end up surprising the faithful, and why he feels that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. needs more time to develop.