Sports: Little things matter even as Blue Jays face big-picture questions - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsLittle things matter even as Blue Jays face big-picture questions

21:55  19 may  2019
21:55  19 may  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Stroman, Blue Jays preach patience as Vlad Jr. struggles

Stroman, Blue Jays preach patience as Vlad Jr. struggles Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s first taste of the big leagues hasn't gone as smoothly as many expected. After going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in Monday's 8-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins, the Toronto Blue Jays' top prospect saw his batting line drop to .152/.243/.182 with no home runs and one RBI through his first nine major-league games. Guerrero's lone extra-base hit was a double in his debut. One person not pushing the panic button after such a short period of time is Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman. "He's here for a reason," Stroman said, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. "You have to have unbelievable confidence in yourself to get the job done.

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Little things matter even as Blue Jays face big-picture questions© Patrick Semansky/AP

CHICAGO — For this Blue Jays rebuild to succeed, they’ll need the big things to go right. That probably means Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette produce at an all-star level. It definitely means finding more pitching.

At times, those big-picture concerns overshadow the games themselves, and understandably so. This team’s on pace to lose 97 games.

But at field level, the details matter as much as ever. Players and coaches aren’t worried about building the next great Blue Jays team, they want to win games. So when someone hustles for a double, reads a ball in the dirt or misses a sign his teammates and coaches know it.

Buster Olney: Blue Jays ‘should flip’ Sanchez and Stroman soon

Buster Olney: Blue Jays ‘should flip’ Sanchez and Stroman soon ESPN’s MLB insider Buster Olney is among those who think the Blue Jays should trade Sanchez and Stroman sooner rather than later. The post Martin Jones proving critics wrong as Sharks continue playoff run appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.

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In that context Javy Guerra’s three-inning relief appearance Friday deserves a closer look. A blister on Aaron Sanchez’s pitching hand forced manager Charlie Montoyo to ask his bullpen for six innings of work — never an easy ask. Sam Gaviglio provided three, at which point Guerra entered. He pitched one inning, then two.

After the second inning of work the 33-year-old told Montoyo he was good for a third even though he knew an extended outing would make him unavailable for the rest of the weekend and therefore an easy candidate to cut. He pitched the ninth, saving the Blue Jays’ bullpen. His reward? The Blue Jays designated him for assignment hours later.

“I just want to say what a classy guy this guy is,” Montoyo said afterwards. “When we put him on the mound he had a feeling it could be him but he went back for the third inning and took it for the team.”

Edwin Jackson relishing 14-club journey as Blue Jays stint begins

Edwin Jackson relishing 14-club journey as Blue Jays stint begins On Wednesday, Edwin Jackson’s jersey collection will grow a little more, as the 35-year-old will play for his 14th big-league team when he debuts for the Blue Jays, breaking a tie with fellow journeyman Octavio Dotel. The post Mike Board: Roughnecks’ playoff run, key players and the NLL Cup Finals appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.

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Guerra has been quietly effective this year, posting a 3.86 ERA over 14 innings with 15 strikeouts compared to five walks. It’s possible another team will claim the right-hander, but if he remains in the Blue Jays organization he has earned himself a few supporters.

“I appreciate that. That’s a classy guy. That’s a professional right there,” Montoyo said. “Hopefully someone will pick you up, but if not we want you back here in the big-leagues. If he clears (waivers), good for us. If he doesn’t, good for him.”

A MATTER OF TIMING

Danny Jansen reached the major-leagues largely because he could hit, but he hasn’t lived up to his potential at the plate so far this year. Lately he’s been feeling better in the box, and on Friday he connected for his first homer of the season — a shot to straightaway centre at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“It’s just timing for me,” he said. “I just had to be on time. It took me a while to get to that point, but I’m making improvements.”

Cora: Blue Jays' Stroman 'competes a certain way and people don't like it'

Cora: Blue Jays' Stroman 'competes a certain way and people don't like it' Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora had some choice words for Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman following Tuesday's game between the two clubs. Cora wasn't thrilled after Stroman - known for his demonstrative nature on the mound - tossed an apparent quick pitch against Red Sox rookie second baseman Michael Chavis in the fourth inning. Marcus Stroman, Quick Pitch (after Chavis calls time, to try to mess with Stroman's rhythm). pic.twitter.com/mTipRxogSA— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 22, 2019 "I was telling (home plate umpire) Alan (Porter), if he's going to get on our guys, get on him," Cora said, according to Keegan Matheson of Baseball Toronto.

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Even as Jansen struggled offensively, he earned plenty of praise from Blue Jays personnel for his work behind the plate. He has been working closely with major-league coach John Schneider since spring training, resulting in better framing and throwing.

“That’s been a really positive thing,” director of baseball operations Mike Murov said. “It’s something we believed in, probably more than some external people did, so it’s been validating to see in that way, for the defence to really play at the major-league level.”

ONE UP, ONE DOWN

Bo Bichette’s left hand fracture is healing well, according to the Blue Jays. He has been cleared for light activities and will begin a hitting progression next week.

Devon Travis, meanwhile, has had a setback. The 28-year-old experienced knee soreness during his activity progression, leading to a follow-up with a surgeon. While there was no structural damage, Travis got a PRP injection to help limit inflammation.

Once symptoms subside, he’ll re-start baseball activities. In the meantime, the Blue Jays will rely on Eric Sogard and Brandon Drury at second base.

Report: Blue Jays to call up Cavan Biggio

Report: Blue Jays to call up Cavan Biggio The Toronto Blue Jays will call up highly touted prospect Cavan Biggio on Friday, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will make his return to the big-league squad as well, Davidi adds. In corresponding moves, outfielder Billy McKinney and infielder Richard Urena will reportedly be sent to the minors. Cavan, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, is hitting .306/.440/.507 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 41 games for Triple-A Buffalo. He also comes with defensive versatility, possessing the ability to play first, second, third, and the corner-outfield spots. MLB Pipeline ranked the 24-year-old as Toronto's No. 9 prospect.

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BETTER TO CHANGE AN OPINION THAN TO PERSIST IN A WRONG ONE

Socrates Brito hit .077/.163/.128 with 17 strikeouts in 39 at bats for the Blue Jays. To put it mildly, it was a rough debut.

But now that the other 29 teams have passed on Brito, the Blue Jays can keep him in the organization. He has hit at triple-A before and he can undeniably run and throw. Could there still be upside here?

“I’m personally very excited that he got through waivers to the Buffalo roster because, as with anyone at Buffalo who clears waivers, you hope that they’re back on the team soon,” Murov said. “Our hope is that he’ll impact us in the future at the major-league level.”

BASEBALL GENERATIONS

Ryan Feierabend’s just 33 years old, but he debuted in the major-leagues young enough to have played with the fathers of some current Blue Jays prospects.

“It’s kind of crazy,” he said. “Not only (Vladimir) Guerrero, but I played against Cavan Biggio’s dad and (Kacy) Clemens’ dad at one point or another. To have these guys here is great. They’re great ballplayers and hopefully it’s for a few more years.”

Watch: Blue Jays CF Jonathan Davis makes catch of the year candidate.
With his Tampa Bay Rays trailing 2-0 to the Toronto Blue Jays, Avisail Garcia appeared to have a game-tying hit. Toronto center fielder Jonathan Davis had other ideas. With two on and two out, Garcia smoked a ball deep into the left-center field gap. Davis got on his horse, tracked the ball down, and made a sterling leaping catch in front of the wall. Davis Saves It @3_JonathanDavis went ALL OUT for this catch! pic.twitter.com/PpT66nGQa5 —

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