Coming off miserable 2021, Michael Conforto could be a perfect match for Blue Jays

After winning the George Springer sweepstakes last off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays may find themselves in a similar position this winter where they possess a chance to dramatically improve their outfield through free agency.
But will the front office ultimately take that option whenever this current lockout ends? Only time will tell.
As currently constructed, Toronto’s outfield at the major league level is set to feature Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk next season. While that’s a suitable group to open the year with, however, there’s no question this organization could benefit from making an upgrade.
Looking to the free-agent market, outfielder Michael Conforto is someone who should immediately jump off the page, especially given his seven seasons of major league experience. Along with serving as a veteran presence, the 28-year-old would also check several boxes off on the Blue Jays’ wish list, starting with his left-handedness.
It’s no secret this organization needs a reliable left-handed hitter, and even though Conforto is nearing his age-30 season, inching closer to that threshold likely wouldn’t prevent him from balancing out this team’s offence in …

Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

George Springer has a Grade 1 sprain on his left knee

We have an update on George Springer, who was placed on the 10-day Injured List yesterday. Apparently, he’s dealing with a Grade 1 sprain on his left knee…

#Bluejays have given us an update on George Springer: He has a Grade 1 sprain of the left knee.
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness) August 18, 2021

According to Google, a Grade 1 sprain is a “stretching or slight tearing of the ligament with mild tenderness, swelling and stiffness,” and is the least bad of all of the grades of sprains. The healing time is also listed at around two-to-four weeks. So that’s encouraging!
When word leaked that the Blue Jays were calling up Kevin Smith, a prospect from Triple-A who isn’t on the 40-man roster, the immediate pessimistic thought was that Springer might be headed to the 60-day Injured List with a season-ending injury. I’m obviously not a doctor and this info is all from a simple Google search, but it seems that we should see Springer again before the season is over.
For the sake of comparison, Bo Bichette had the same grade of strain last season when he was injured and he was out between August 12 and September 16.

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah got suspended for five games and Nate Pearson is going on the IL with a groin injury

Today was supposed to be a good day because of the return of George Springer, but, since the Blue Jays can’t have nice things, there’s also some bad news to report.

Alek Manoah has received a five-game suspension for hitting Mikael Franco of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Manoah hit Franco in the fourth inning and was subsequently kicked out of the game, which seemed like a bit much at the time. A suspension on top of that is insane.
There was no beef going on in the game, the Blue Jays and Orioles were playing each other for the first time this season over the weekend, and Manoah is a rookie with a noticeable history of loose command, made evident by the fact he hit multiple batters during his time in Triple-A this year.
It was very clearly not intentional and it really feels as though the league is trying to spook him out of being intense and aggressive on the mound, which really sucks.
Anyways, Manoah will miss a start, so the Blue Jays will have to find somebody else to go in his place.
Nate Pearson, perhaps? Nope! Pearson has been placed on the seven-day …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

George Springer is starting his Triple-A rehab assignment, Steven Matz tested positive for COVID-19

George Springer is almost ready to return, but the Blue Jays are taking it slowly this time around.

After missing the first month of the season due to injury, Springer returned to the Blue Jays in late April, but appeared in only four games as the designated hitter before going back on the shelf.
This time, Springer will take part in a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Thunder-Bisons as the team wants him to be ready to play centre field when he returns. Springer’s first game will be Tuesday night and the plan is for him to play five innings in centre field and build from there. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong.
In other injury-ish news, Steven Matz has tested positive for COVID-19, though he’s apparently symptom-free. As per MLB’s COVID guidelines, Matz will need to isolate from the team for 10 days and then he’ll have to undergo tests and be deemed fit to return before he can re-join the Blue Jays.
Matz started for the Blue Jays on Saturday so he’ll miss at least one start while isolating, possibly more. His next start would be Thursday against the Yankees, so the Blue Jays will …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Hyun Jin Ryu goes on the 10-day Injured List, Rowdy Tellez gets optioned to the Alternate Training Site

George Springer is finally back.

After a whole bunch of “we’re aiming for this day! followed by “he isn’t quite there yet!” the team has officially activated Springer from the 10-day Injured List. He’s batting first in Wednesday’s lineup and is the designated hitter, a spot that Charlie Montoyo says he’ll be at quite a bit in the early going as he eases back into things.
And then there’s this… Hyun Jin Ryu has been placed on the 10-day Injured List due to the right glute strain he suffered playing against the Rays on Sunday. Travis Bergen comes up from the Alternate Site in his place.
This is obviously a huge buzzkill.
The word around Ryu initially was that his injury wasn’t serious and the team didn’t expect him to miss a start. Now he’s going on the IL and the earliest he can be activated is the finale of next week’s series against Oakland on May 6. Given the way the team has downplayed injuries to Springer, Robbie Ray, and Nate Pearson, I’m a little skeptical that Ryu will be good to go that quickly.

The Blue Jays didn’t …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Mark Shapiro: “The bulk of our heavy lifting is done” but there’s room for the Blue Jays “to be creative”

George Springer was officially introduced as a Toronto Blue Jay on Wednesday via video call.

To give a short summary…
Springer said that he was excited to join the Blue Jays’ exciting core and that he respected how the front office really believed in their young players. He also noted that the uncertainty around playing in Toronto in 2021 wasn’t at all a factor in his decision to sign, which is funny because multiple national writers were adamant this would hold the team back.
The most interesting part of the call came when Mark Shapiro spoke about what the front office’s plans are for the rest of the off-season…

Mark Shapiro: “the bulk of our heavy lifting is done” for free agents this off-season. Adds, there are “opportunities for Ross and baseball operations to be creative.”
The Blue Jays are targeting another starting pitcher or two, so that likely means if they come, it’s via trade
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) January 27, 2021

Shapiro says that the bulk of the heavy lifting is finished for the winter but there’s still room for the front office to be creative. That would mean that the team isn’t going to be in the …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays are also in on Michael Brantley

The Blue Jays have signed George Springer (fuck yes they have) and it looks like they aren’t done there.

According to Jon Heyman, Springer has been talking his former teammate Michael Brantley into joining him with the Blue Jays. I won’t believe it until Brendon Kuhn reports on it, of course.

George Springer has been selling the Jays and Michael Brantley on working out a deal so his friend and Astros teammate can join him (possibly) north of the border. @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned the tandem talk
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 20, 2021

But, yeah, this is something that we saw Ken Rosenthal mention recently, as I talked about earlier on Tuesday…
Free agents George Springer and Michael Brantley are close friends. They are represented by the same agency, Excel Sports Management. Imagine if the Blue Jays signed both in the kind of package deal more common in the NBA than Major League Baseball. Springer and Brantley would not only elevate the Jays’ offense but also provide leadership for the team’s young position players, transforming the franchise.
Brantley is a guy that Mark Shapiro and Co. are familiar with given he was part of the return in the deal that …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation