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SportsGregor Chisholm: Blue Jays are getting plenty of opportunities to take stock in a rebuilding season

10:00  19 july  2019
10:00  19 july  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Gregor Chisholm: Randal Grichuk lifts Jays past Yankees with his glove and his bat

Gregor Chisholm: Randal Grichuk lifts Jays past Yankees with his glove and his bat Randal Grichuk hasn't been enjoying the type of season the Blue Jays expected when they signed him to a five-year extension but, if history is any indication, he might be on the verge of turning things around. Grichuk saved a pair of runs with a diving grab in the fifth inning Saturday and in the following frame came through with a two-run bloop single to right. The 27-year-old finished 2-for-4 in his second multi-hit game of the month to help the Blue Jays to a 2-1 win over the Yankees. After a slow start to the season, Toronto should be expecting an uptick in production from Grichuk based on the first four years of his career. The native of Texas has a career OPS of .

The official website of the Toronto Blue Jays with the most up-to-date information on scores, schedule, stats, tickets, and team news. MLB Network continues its celebration of Black History Month by shedding light on the career of Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman.

The Blue Jays are coming off one of their worst months in franchise history, so For the Blue Jays , it’s a much-needed opportunity to replenish a farm system that will lose a lot of Gregor Chisholm is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @GregorChisholm or reach

Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays are getting plenty of opportunities to take stock in a rebuilding season© Michael Dwyer After bouncing around the infield, the Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. appears to have found a position as a strong-armed left fielder.

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

One of the biggest in-season benefits of a rebuild, maybe the only benefit, is allowing teams to take stock of their inventory. Deciding which pieces are long-term fits and which ones need to be cast aside.

Wins take a back seat to development and lengthy auditions are held throughout the course of a 162-game season. Organizations are more patient to ride out the lows of a player’s slump if there is the chance of a future breakout. Small sample sizes are rightfully tossed out in favour of big-picture analysis.

Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays take the Stro to Broadway

Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays take the Stro to Broadway NEW YORK—Marcus Stroman doesn’t feel like he needs to prove himself to anyone. 

Opinion | Gregor Chisholm : Blue Jays hope there’s trade value in Phelps’ reconstructed elbow. The Blue Jays , understandably, want to avoid similar issues with Bichette. They want to make sure his arm is ready to take over the full-time job at shortstop and not be in a position where he would have to

The Blue Jays went with the best overall package last year, instead of the best individual at any given spot. The Blue Jays then used the savings to sign Groshans’ high school teammate, right-hander Adam Gregor Chisholm is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter

It’s the type of luxury that is not always afforded to contending teams, who must be more reactionary and short-sighted to maximize wins each week. There’s less rope to work with because the standings are of the upmost importance. That hasn’t been the case in Toronto at any point this season and, while no one will ever argue that’s a good thing, there are some positives that can come out of it.

For this season not to be a total waste of time, the Jays need to take away some gains by identifying which players deserve to be considered part of the core and which holes need to be fixed for 2020 and beyond. In a year when almost nothing has gone right, Toronto needs to be able to say it has achieved at least that much.

First, the good news …

  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. looks like the real deal in left field. He showed flashes last season, but he really started to put things together after returning from Triple-A Buffalo on May 24. Since then, Gurriel is batting .317 (59-for-186) with 17 home runs and 32 RBIs. He entered the year without a real position and has since made a flawless transition to left where his arm strength has been a major plus.
  • Cavan Biggio has silenced a lot of critics with his solid play at second. Biggio might never win a gold glove but he has been reliable enough to be used there on a regular basis without hesitation. Toronto’s previous experiment of using Biggio in the outfield might no longer be necessary and he’s shaping up to be the regular double-play partner for Bo Bichette in 2020. Add in his elite plate discipline and above-average power and there’s a lot to like about his future in Toronto.

And the not so good …

Gregor Chisholm: The Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman’s camp have nothing to say to each other

Gregor Chisholm: The Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman’s camp have nothing to say to each other The question everybody seems to be asking these days is why aren’t the Blue Jays doing more to sign Marcus Stroman to a long-term contract? It’s a complicated answer. Stroman’s imminent departure has a been fait accompli since at least the start of spring training. Stroman met with the media for the first time in 2019 and announced he had been waiting for a long-term extension from the Blue Jays and had been “offered nothing.” The pointed comments brought back memories of Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, who made similar statements on their way out the door. They claimed they wanted to stay but did not believe the front office had much interest in keeping them around.

The Blue Jays went into Monday’s draft in desperate need of some promising college arms and they came away Alek was certainly in a small group of guys we hoped we would have an opportunity to select. Gregor Chisholm is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter

Opinion | Gregor Chisholm : Blue Jays should take their time with their next top prospect, Bo Bichette. We all get it. Sanchez had some of the worst luck possible when finger issues derailed each of his Gregor Chisholm is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter

  • One of the negatives is Rowdy Tellez, who was recently demoted after hitting .227 with a .280 on-base percentage. Tellez’s .715 OPS isn’t going to cut it at first base in the big leagues, but it’s also not far off what he produced in Buffalo each of the last two seasons, so it’s worth questioning whether the bat is ever going to play at this level. People who were ready to anoint Tellez as the future first baseman early in the year might want to rethink that stance now. Add first base to the shopping list this winter.
  • Another disappointment has been Brandon Drury, who went from someone who was supposed to be a valuable utility player to someone who basically became roster filler. Drury is batting just .220 with a .644 OPS this season and, with two years of arbitration remaining on his contract, there’s a chance he turns into a non-tender candidate this winter. Not exactly the return Toronto expected for J.A. Happ.
  • Even Trent Thornton has started veering into the negative after people were far too quick to reserve his future spot in the rotation. Thornton had a decent enough start to the year but has been trending down for awhile and his ERA sits at 5.25. The fact his job isn’t remotely in question right now has less to do with his performance and much more to do with the lack of alternatives.

Other questions remain unanswered …

Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays’ loss to Red Sox marks record 10th in a row for Sanchez

Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays’ loss to Red Sox marks record 10th in a row for Sanchez Three years ago, Aaron Sanchez was racking up the kind of accolades that were typically associated with Roy Halladay. He’s still setting records in 2019, they just happen to be the ones nobody wants. Sanchez became the first Blue Jays pitcher to lose 10 consecutive starts after a 5-4 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday night. The dubious mark broke a tie with Juan Berenguer (1981) and Jeff Byrd (1977) who each lost nine straight. Sanchez also became the first major-league pitcher to lose 10 straight starts since Kevin Slowey from 2011-13. The 27-year-old Sanchez dropped to 0-13 with a 7.99 ERA over his last 15 starts.

By Gregor Chisholm . TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have remained adamant for months that the disappointment from 2017 will not result in a full-blown rebuild . The core isn't getting any younger and the Blue Jays must find a way to inject some speed and athleticism into the mix.

ARLINGTON -- The bad blood that has been building for months between the Blue Jays and Rangers spilled over into an ugly benches-clearing fracas in Texas' There were eight ejections in a game that saw the dugouts emptied twice in the eighth inning. The ill feelings date back to Game 5 of last year's

  • Danny Jansen looked like a fish out of water when stepping into the box during the first half, but he has been better of late and his defence continues to show regular improvement. He still has all the makings of a cornerstone behind the plate but it’s going to take a bit of time to know for sure.
  • Similar things could be said of Teoscar Hernandez, who arguably was the Blue Jays’ most valuable player for long stretches of last season and got off to a horrific start in 2019. At 26, Hernandez’s days as a rookie are long over and he will only have so much time to prove himself. A three-homer series against Boston is a start but he’ll need to start producing more consistently if he wants a starting job next year.
  • Even Vladimir Guerrero Jr. likely falls into the unanswered question category because, despite the hype, his numbers have been underwhelming. Everyone expects Guerrero to start producing soon, and his future remains as bright as anyone, but the club still doesn’t know if the glove will play at third and they technically don’t know he’ll hit at this level until he starts doing it. Even so, it’s going to happen.

There are more questions still yet to come. How much time will Bo Bichette’s bat need to adjust to the majors and will his glove stick at shortstop? Outside of Ryan Borucki, who will emerge as a long-term piece of this rotation? Who is going to start in centre field?

Some of these queries might be answered before the end of the year and more will carry into next season. This rebuild isn’t going to end overnight. Toronto is starting to get answers but there are still plenty of questions remaining. After all, that’s what this rebuild is all about.

Gregor Chisholm is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @GregorChisholm or reach him via email: [email protected]

Reaction to & analysis of the Marcus Stroman trade.
It was widely assumed that the Blue Jays were going to trade Marcus Stroman before the deadline, and many rumors suggested that he could eventually wind up in New York. Exactly where in the Big Apple Stroman landed, however, ended up being the surprise, as it was the Mets (they of the 50-55 record and the six-game deficit in the NL wild-card standings) who landed the right-hander, rather than the AL-leading Yankees. The Mets acquired Stroman from the Jays for Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson, two of the Amazin's top pitching prospects. Today’s stunner of a deal has already led to quite a bit of reaction and speculation about what moves could come next.

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