The Blue Jays have a Great Catching Problem

The Jays have a catching problem.

Unlike a few issues that have arisen this season, this catching problem isn’t bad in the slightest. On one hand, we have Jansen hitting like a prime Barry Bonds. On the other hand, Kirk has arguably become one of the best two-way catchers in the game.
This isn’t a problem, as the Jays could split time evenly between the two backstops. However, on the third hand, we have Gabriel Moreno, who is tearing up Triple A.
Usually, MLB teams only carry two catchers, meaning one player is left out unless there are positional changes or trades. In this article, we’ll look at the former, while also looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three catchers.
Danny Jansen:
Is Danny Jansen just on an insane heater, or has he finally figured out the bat? I genuinely have no idea. I’d like to think his .303/.361/.879 (that’s slugging, not OPS) slash line can hold up, but he has shown to be streaky in the past.
However, Jansen’s home run total of SIX in 36 plate appearances is absolutely crazy. He has hit  a homer 15.6% of the time, which yeah. In fact, his six homers rank second on the team. Again, he’s only had 36 plate appearances.
Other than consistency, Jansen’s only weakness (if you could even call it that) is his defense behind the plate.
The sample size is too tiny to judge, but last season, Jansen only had a Catcher …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays call up Cavan Biggio, send Vinny Capra to Triple-A

Cavan Biggio is back.

The Blue Jays announced ahead of Thursday’s game in Los Angeles with the Angels that Biggio has been called up and Vinny Capra has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

INF Cavan Biggio recalled from Triple-A and will be active tonight
INF Vinny Capra optioned to Triple-A
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 26, 2022

I noted in the pre-series notes post that Biggio was with the team but it was assumed that he was one of the members of the Taxi Squad. Instead, he’s back with the big league club for the first time since April.
Biggio did pretty well in the minors. He went 8-for-29, and while he didn’t hit a home run during that 10-game stint with the Bisons, his 10 walks to six strikeouts was very encouraging. Last year, Biggio spent a few weeks with the Bisons and put up a .614 OPS. This time around, his OPS was .841.
The Blue Jays could really use the Biggio we saw from 2019 and 2020 right now. The team is incredibly right-handed and their two left-handed hitters, Bradley Zimmer and Raimel Tapia, are high strikeout batters. Over 2021 and 2022, Biggio has slashed a .209/.313/.330 line, a significant contrast from the .240/.368/.430 line he slashed in his first two seasons in the big leagues.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays News Dump: Gabriel Moreno moves up MLB’s Top 100 list, Charlie Montoyo defends bullpen decisions, and more!

The Blue Jays won four of six games on their homestand but it never really felt as though they won either series.

They won the first two games against both the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds and then came up short when they had a chance to sweep. The issue with not taking care of business against these teams is the schedule is again getting difficult and those “easy” wins were supposed to pad some possible impending losses.
The team is currently in St. Louis for a two-game set with the Cardinals, they’ll then play four with the Angels in Anaheim, and then they’ll host the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. These are all teams that either occupy a playoff spot or are in the mix for one.
In the first game of the series on Monday, the Blue Jays edged out a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning thanks to back-to-back bases loaded walks from George Springer and Santiago Espinal. Immediately after that, Jose Berrios allowed a home run to make the score 3-2 and he then allowed a pair of singles. Adam Cimber came into the game and allowed a game-tying single but escaped the jam thanks to a double play.
The Blue Jays didn’t score in the top ha …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Fortnight on the Farm, Vol. 3

The emerging story of the Blue Jays farm system, with all due respect to the hitters at the top of the prospect rankings, is a cadre of very successful, even in some cases surprisingly so, young pitchers. One could list a dozen SP drawing attention to themselves, and several more pitching in relief – and that’s not counting those who are injured or not assigned to a team yet (CJ Van Eck and Irv Carter for example). But I’ll try to name-check some hitters who are on a roll as well.

Triple-A Buffalo
This is the one level where the pitching highlights are limited. Casey Lawrence is pitching well but he’s also well into his 30s and not a prospect. Adrian Hernandez continues to roll along dominating out of the bullpen. In 10 AAA appearances, accumulating 10 IP, he’s allowed no ER, on 1 hit and 3 walks while striking out 16. Thomas Hatch threw six no-hit innings this weekend which was his best work of the year.
The most interesting SP at this level lately just arrived: 23-year-old Maximo Castillo. I’ll own the reality that I’ve been a low-key Castillo booster for most of his career. But I more or less gave up that dream last season. He was regularly inconsistent and ended the year with a 4.85 ERA and …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 77: Blue Jays beat Mariners despite quiet bats, digging into the Juan Soto stuff, and more!

The Blue Jays have finally won their first series of the month of May!

Despite taking two of three from the scuffling Seattle Mariners, this series felt a little limp because the bats went completely silent on Wednesday when the Blue Jays had a chance to sweep.
We talked about the good stuff from the Seattle series, such as Yusei Kikuchi clowning his old team and Jose Berrios weaving through seven scoreless frames, and also the bad stuff, such as the worrying injury to Tim Mayza and the fact the bats are still in January.
We also talked about the speculation from Buster Olney that Juan Soto could be moved and whether that makes any sense at all. Finally, we looked ahead to a series against the Cincinnati Reds, an awful team that features a handful of Blue Jays castoffs who are doing very well.
You can listen to the episode here…


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Blue Jays option Cavan Biggio to Triple-A Bisons

The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned Cavan Biggio to the Triple-A Bisons.

Things have been far from great for the 27-year-old in the last two years. Drafted by the Jays in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, Biggio broke into the bigs in 2019 where he had a decent season before breaking out in 2020.
He slashed .250/.432/.807 with eight home runs, 41 walks and 41 runs scored. On top of that, he had some appearances on the top 10 boards in the AL: 8th in bWAR (2.1), 4th in runs scored, 16th in doubles (16), and 2nd in walks, among others.
Last year, however, some problems arose. He dealt with three separate injuries limiting him to 79 games, in which he slashed .224/.322/.356 with seven homers and 27 RBI.
And this year, he ended up on the COVID list and has appeared in just 13 games slashing .043/.214/.043
In April, colleague Brennan Delaney suggested a stint in Buffalo could go a long way for Biggio:
The power he’s shown as well as his defensive versatility makes me believe that the Jays don’t want to outright trade him. However, at this point he is a free out and his defense is average at best.
The best course of action for the Jays would be to send him to Triple A Buffalo where he can find his game again. This would also allow the Blue Jays to call up Samad Taylor or Otto Lopez to fill in Biggio’s role as the super utility. It’ …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Jays activate Danny Jansen, Hyun Jin Ryu, re-assign two

The Jays are getting healthy!

The team activated both C Danny Jansen and LHP Hyun Jin Ryu from the 10-day IL making them both active for this evening’s game. Jansen will catch today while batting eighth in the order, while Ryu will take the mound.
RHP Trent Thornton and C Tyler Heineman were both optioned to Triple-A.
Jansen played in the first three games of the year before suffering a left oblique strain, but in those games he hit .571 with two homers and two RBI.
Ryu, meanwhile, returns to the lineup after missing the last month with inflammation in his left forearm.
Worth noting on top of it all that George Springer is believed to have a mild ankle sprain and he hasn’t been placed on the IL. He crashed into the center-field wall last night in the Trop, and you could see his left ankle roll as he tried to regain his footing jumping for a ball.
It’s clearly a positive sign the club hasn’t moved him to the IL.
Toronto’s batting order has gotten all kinds of wonky with Springer out of the lineup.
Matt Chapman will lead off in the one position for the first time in his career, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits second, Teoscar Hernandez hits third and Bo Bichette takes cleanup duty.
Game two against the T …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

The Ups and Downs of Jordan Romano’s Season

Jordan Romano broke out as the Blue Jays closer last season, with a 2.14 ERA and saving 23 games.

He was a rock at the back-end of the pen and helped stabilize what was a shaky bullpen. This season the bullpen is much improved and with Romano entrenched as the closer it looked like it could be a strength of the club. However, that hasn’t been the case so far. Blue Jays relievers have a 4.22 ERA, the sixth lowest in the Majors.
Everything starts with Romano who has had his ups and downs this season.
The Up – The Season to Date
Romano has had an incredible start to the season. He is currently tied for the league lead with 12 saves. He had 1.59 ERA in April on his way to winning AL reliever of the month. He’s had some rough outings here to start May, but a 3.29 ERA, supported by a 3.01 xFIP and a 2.87 SIERA is very good. He’s walking just 8.8% of hitters which is tied for the lowest rate of his career. Hitters are hitting .231 off of Romano, which has been inflated by a .294 batting average on balls in play. Surely that will come down closer to his career average of .268 as the season progresses right?
The Down – …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Pre-Series Notes: Hyun Jin Ryu is apparently set to return as the Blue Jays head to The Trop

Times are difficult for the Blue Jays right now.

They’ve now dropped four games in a row and seven of their last nine after getting swept in a two-game series in New York. Things don’t get any easier as the Blue Jays now head down to Tampa Bay to face the Rays in the House of Horrors.
Last season, the Blue Jays went 8-11 against the Rays, but, surprisingly, they were a modest 4-5 at The Trop. Also, the Rays aren’t exactly rolling along at their best right now, as they dropped a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels in which lost one game 11-3 and they got no-hit in another.

What a moment!
A no-hitter for Reid Detmers!
(MLB x @budweiserusa)
— MLB (@MLB) May 11, 2022

The head-to-head…
Kevin Gausman vs Drew Rasmussen
Kevin Gausman will open up the series for the Blue Jays. As we all know, Gausman has been excellent this season, as he’s allowed just nine earned runs over the course of 38 innings. He also hasn’t gone up against the Rays since all the way back in 2018, and, given the roster turnover the Rays have, nobody on the current team other than Kevin Kiermaier and Ji-Man Choi was around then.
Going for the Rays will be Drew Rasmussen, who has a 2.89 ERA over the course of six starts. Rasmussen actually had a difficult start to his season, going four, five, and three innings in his first three outings, but has settled in since, as he’s allowed two earned runs in his last three starts. The Blue Jays saw Rasmussen three times last season and he combined to allow two earned runs over 12 innings.
Hyun Jin Ryu vs Ryan Yarborough 
Charlie Montoyo said on Tuesday that Hyun Jin Ryu is on track to make his return to the team on Saturday afte …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Bad Times in The Bronx: A walk-off Aaron Judge dinger, terrible umpiring, and more!

Remember when the Blue Jays had an unsustainably good record in one-run games. Well, it seems that’s all coming crashing down at once.

Toronto blew two different leads at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. The first came moments after Yusei Kikuchi’s no-hitter was broken up in the sixth inning and the second came in the bottom of the ninth inning by way of an Aaron Judge moonshot.
A winnable game results in a loss and the Blue Jays have now lost three games in a row and sit at 17-14 for the season.
Things worth mentioning…
Before getting into The Bad Stuff, we should talk about some positives, with the big one being Yusei Kikuchi putting together his second very good start in a row, both against the Yankees nonetheless. After holding New York to one earned run over six innings last week, Kikuchi again got the better of the Yanks, as he allowed two earned runs on two hits and three walks while striking out seven over five-and-one-third innings. He only made it through 14 2/3 innings in his first four outings so seeing Kikuchi plow his way through an opposing lineup multiple times is certainly encouraging.

The best Kikuchi is on display tonight. Command, rhythm, mix – confidence. Exactly what the #BlueJays have been waiting to see.
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) May 11, 2022

Yusei Kikuchi, Nasty 88mph Slider…Bend t …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation