Toronto Blue Jays Opening Week News and Notes
Blue Jays news and notes from Opening Week 2019, including some rumblings on the usage of the team’s pen and the status of a reported pitching target.
Blue Jays starters to have pitch limit in April
According to Scott Mitchell of TSN, who spoke with Blue Jays skipper Charlie Montoyo, Blue Jays starters will have 80-100 pitch count limits early in the season, perhaps even throughout all of the first month of the season. The team’s Opening Day starter, Marcus Stroman, threw 94 pitches.
Tellez to get “plenty of time” at DH
Youngster Rowdy Tellez will be getting “plenty of playing time as DH”, reports John Lott of The Athletic. Tellez, 24, went 0-for-2 with a walk in Thursday’s home opener after being named a late addition to the team’s 25-man roster.
Blue Jays to receive $1 million in bonus pool room
The Blue Jays will be receiving $1 million in international bonus pool room from the Athletics in the Kendrys Morales trade, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Davidi notes that with the money acquired from the Orioles in the Dwight Smith Jr. trade, the team now has $1.5 million to use, which must be spent before July 1.
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Dan Straily “has MLB offers”
Free agent RHP Dan Straily, who was reportedly of interest to the Blue Jays this past week, reportedly has “MLB offers and rotation spots assured with 3 AL teams”, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Straily, 30, pitched to an ERA of 4.12 in 122.1 innings with the Marlins in 2018, striking out 99 and walking 52 in 23 starts.
Home opener attendance lowest since 2000
Thursday’s home opener, which drew 45,048 fans, is the lowest since 2000 when the team drew 40,898, tweets Mitchell. Since 2000, the largest home opener crowds have been in 2005 (50,560), 2006 (50,449), and 2003 (50,119). Notably, the team hasn’t hit the 50,000 fan mark since 2008.
Montoyo, Blue Jays still figuring out setup situation
According to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Blue Jays and manager Charlie Montoyo are “still figuring out who might set up for Ken Giles”, with the skipper mentioning Joe Biagini as one of the possible candidates. Other internal candidates include Bud Norris, John Axford, and Daniel Hudson.
Jansen to catch Stroman “most of the time”
Mitchell also adds that Danny Jansen will likely catch Stroman “most of the time”, considering Stroman “feels comfortable with the young catcher”. Jansen, of course, will be backed up by Luke Maile, who slashed .248/.333/.366 in 2018 with 27 RBI in 67 games last season.