The case for Charlie

It’s July 30th and the Blue Jays have finally returned home to face the Kansas City Royals. Before the start of the game the Jays held a pre-game ceremony to let the fans welcome the Jays back. The following day I posted what would become my most interacted tweet (minus Utah’s plane hitting birds, but never mind that).

Yes, he’s made some questionable tactical decisions.
But if you dare insult this man as a person or his passion for the game, you aren’t a real fan.#BlueJays #WeAreBlueJays pic.twitter.com/CjjRRTp0E1
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 31, 2021

Charlie Montoyo is a stoic manager. Very rarely do you ever see him upset in a game. In fact, he’s only been ejected four times a game you don’t see him really get upset. In fact in his 387 games that he has managed, he’s been ejected only four times.
Yet on July 30th, Montoyo cried. Society has shaped men, telling us that it’s “unmanly” to cry, yet on July 30th, Montoyo cried. They were tears of happiness because he knew Canada’s team was back.
So why keep this man as the manager? He’s …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is peaking at the perfect time of the season

Since making his Major League debut in 2018, generating consistent offensive results has been one of the biggest areas of concern for outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., however, that certainly hasn’t been the case for him recently.
While the 27-year-old displayed flashes of his potential throughout the first half of this season, maintaining his offensive production over an extended period remained a key issue, which largely prevented the bottom third of the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup from making a significant impact. As a result, the offence struggled to turn over the batting order at times, limiting the number of scoring opportunities for the top half of the lineup.
Though this offence experienced its worst slump of the season during the middle of August, they’ve done an excellent job at recovering since then, and while accomplishing this feat has been a group effort, Gurriel Jr. has been one of the main forces behind this team’s recent hot streak.
Sure, almost every player on the 28-man roster has served a critical role in helping the Blue Jays win 15 of their last 17 games, but from an offensive standpoint, no one has enjoyed a stronger resurgence than the 6’4″ left fielder. Despite still …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Randal Grichuk, Consistently Inconsistent

I may be lambasted for saying this, but I believe Randal Grichuk has value. We’ll cut to the chase, he’s the definition of streaky. Between April 1st and May 31st, we all thought he changed. In 208 plate appearances, Grichuk had a slash line of .289/.322/.819 with 9 homers and a wRC+ of 119. He also walked 4.3% of the time while striking out 18.8% of the time. However, the most surprising statistic is the fact he had 39 RBIs.

Now, RBIs isn’t a very good statistic for determining whether or not a batter is good because it is totally dependent on whether or not the batters ahead of you get on (unless you hit 100 solo homers in a season), but it fooled me and many other Jays fans into thinking his approach had changed.

I know we’ve been lied to in the past and if I’m wrong, I should rightly be roasted.
But Grichuk is a different hitter this season.#BlueJays #WeAreBlueJays
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) May 6, 2021

How about his next three months? Well it didn’t go as well. Between June 1st and August 31st, 272 plate appearances and had a slash line of .201/.246/.579 with 12 home runs, a wRC+ of 65 and 37 RBIs. …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Ryan Borucki is back with the Blue Jays

The Blue Jays’ game of pitcher musical chairs continued on Monday, as the team sent Trent Thornton to Triple-A in order to open up room to recall Ryan Borucki.

ROSTER MOVES:
LHP Ryan Borucki recalled from Triple-A
RHP Trent Thornton optioned to Triple-A pic.twitter.com/wVdKhASOP8
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 13, 2021

Thornton, who was once in the mix as one of Charlie Montoyo’s high-leverage arms, has been relegated to mop-up duty. He was sent down at the end of August after some ugly outings and got called up for Sunday’s series finale in Baltimore and was immediately after allowing two earned runs over two innings of work against the Orioles.
Borucki has been in Triple-A since early August. He missed most of May, all of June, and half of July due to a forearm strain and was activated shortly after the All-Star break. In seven appearances over roughly a month after that injury, Borucki tossed six innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits and four walks. He also surrendered three home runs.
His stint in Triple-A has been up and down, as he’s tossed five outings, three of which were scoreless and two of …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Baseball America has Gabriel Moreno ranked as the No. 8 prospect in baseball

Baseball America dropped an updated Top 100 prospects list today and it has the Gabriel Moreno Hype Train rolling again.

Despite the fact the young catcher has been out of action due to injury since late June, BA has him ranked as the No. 8 prospect in all of baseball…

BA updated their Top 100 Prospect list today, Jays on the list: 8 Moreno, 57 Pearson, 62 Orevlis, 74 Groshans
— Clint (@_ClintB_) September 13, 2021

This is one hell of a rise for Moreno, who wasn’t ranked in the Top 100 in BA’s first list of 2021 back in January.
In 2019, Moreno played at Low-A Lansing and slashed a very good .280/.337/.485 line over the course of 82 games. As with everyone else, he didn’t play in the minors in 2020 due to COVID-19, but he did have a strong showing in winter ball in Venezuela, producing a 1.111 OPS over 18 games.
This year was really when Moreno broke out as a prospect. In 32 games with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Moreno slashed an absurd .373/.441/.651 line with eight homers and 10 doubles. As I said, his season has been cut short due to injury, but in two games in complex ball in a rehab assignment, Moreno has gone 3-for-4 with a double, which …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 45: A record-setting weekend in Baltimore!

That was certainly a trip.

Things looked really ugly on Friday when the lowly Baltimore Trash Birds ended the Blue Jays’ eight-game winning streak despite Robbie Ray being on the mound, but, after that, things got very, very good. The Blue Jays pulled off back-to-back last-second comeback wins in their doubleheader on Saturday, with George Springer and Bo Bichette hitting clutch homers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. And then, finally, on Sunday, the bats popped off for 22 runs, coming very close to setting a franchise record.
We talked about this whole wild weekend, ranging from the few ugly starts that Toronto’s pitchers had, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde spazzing out at Robbie Ray, the speculation about sign stealing, all the way to the wild records that Toronto set this weekend. Finally, we took a look ahead at the upcoming series against Tampa Bay and we looked at what Boston and New York have on tap.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Two comeback wins in Baltimore move the Blue Jays into a tie for a playoff spot

Saturday looked like a complete disaster until, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.

Hyun Jin Ryu and Ross Stripling both got smacked around in the first game but a four-run rally, led by a clutch two-run homer from George Springer, gave the Blue Jays an 11-10 come-from-behind win. In the second game, Keegan Akin no-hit the Blue Jays through six innings and then Toronto teed off for 11 runs in the seventh to win 11-1.
Like last Friday against Oakland, the first game on Saturday was yet another in which the Blue Jays’ win probability was on life support. In the bottom of the sixth, Ramon Ortiz advanced to second on a wild pitch and Baltimore had a 98.3 percent win probability.

Teoscar Hernandez led the top of the seventh off with a double, Corey Dickerson Walker, Lourdes Gurriel hit a very long single, Jake Lamb hit a sac fly, and that line started dropping. Danny Jansen then flew out, leaving George Springer as Toronto’s last hope. And, as Springer has done so many times in his career, he came through clutch…

The @BlueJays trailed by 3 in the last inning…
George Springer changed that! pic.twitter.com/fD8UdV92jU
— …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 44: The brooms come out in The Bronx!

Eight in a row! Let’s go streaking!

That sweep over the Oakland A’s last weekend was great, but, oh boy, what the Blue Jays just did in New York was even better.
The Blue Jays rolled into The Bronx and just plowed through the Yankees, sweeping a four-game set without trailing once in any of the games. It was the first time Toronto had executed a four-game sweep in New York since 2003 and it was the first time the Yankees didn’t lead once in a four-game series since 1908.
Amazing stuff!
We talked about ALL of the good stuff from that series, going from Marcus Semien’s dingers to Vladdy’s bomb off of Aroldis Chapman to Alejandro Kirk’s big game to Hyun Jin Ryu’s masterclass to Jose Berrios’ best start as a Blue Jay. We also took an in-depth look at the schedules remaining for Toronto, New York, and Boston and what to expect the rest of the way.
Finally, I welcomed our good friend from New York, Neil Keefe, on to the show to talk about the Yankee fan perspective of what’s going on. He had a lot of good things to say …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Looking at Toronto, Boston, and New York’s schedule the rest of the way

The Blue Jays have pulled themselves right into the thick of the wild-card chase.

A couple of weeks ago, the Detroit Tigers hit an inside-the-park home run and it looked like the season was pretty much over. Fast forward to today and the Blue Jays are on an eight-game winning streak that featured sweeps over the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees, two teams they were chasing.
Toronto currently owns a 77-62 record. They’re a half-game back of the Yankees for the second wild-card and they’re one-and-a-half back of Boston, who occupies the top wild-card. Oakland and Seattle are both one-and-a-half back of Toronto.

Logic generally tends to indicate that 90 wins are enough to get a team into the playoffs. That, of course, is far from a guarantee given how much better the American League East is this year compared to your standard division. But, if we set the goal for 90 wins, Toronto would have to go 13-10 over their final 23 games to reach that point.
Toronto’s schedule…
Four in Baltimore.
Three against Tampa Bay at home.
Three against Minnesota at home.
Three in Tampa Bay.
Four in Minnesota.
Three against the Yankees at home.
Three …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays just swept a four-game series in The Bronx

They might never lose again.

We’ve waited all year for this and it’s finally happening. The Blue Jays are playing up to their potential and they look unstoppable.
Last weekend, they pulled off a season-saving sweep of the Oakland A’s at home, ultimately making up the three games needed to catch them in the standings. After that? They did even better, rolling into New York and pulling off a four-game sweep over the Yankees.
This is reminiscent of that time in August of 2015 when the Blue Jays rolled into New York and pulled off a huge three-game sweep. We all remember what happened after that!
But this one was even bigger because it was a four-game set. The Blue Jays haven’t pulled off such a sweep in New York since 2003. Another cool note, the Yankees didn’t hold a lead once in this series, and it’s the first time they’ve been swept in a four-game series without leading since FUCKING 1908!!!
Here we are now…

The Yankees have lost six games in a row and the Blue Jays have won eight games in a row. We’re now only a half-game back of New York …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation