Blue Jays still looking for answers on the ground as big questions persist


TORONTO – Exactly a week after Monday, the Blue Jays will pack their bags, leave their temporary home at the Rogers Center Hotel, and head to Boston for a pair of exhibition games. At this point, it remains unclear whether they will be granted permission to return to Toronto.

Overall, the uncertainty around the club’s home in the regular season is great. But even if the Blue Jays are awaiting approval from the Canadian federal government, there are many questions to answer between the lines. In this regard, the Blue Jays got some clarity on Monday with some positive news from the position players and a setback for the rotation.

Early Monday afternoon, a flight from Florida brought reinforcements to the Blue Jays, including their projected outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Also on the flight, outfield Jonathan Jonathan, Josh Palacios and Forrest Wall, the pitcher Hector Perez and first round pick Austin Martin.

As Hyun-jin Ryu and Tanner Roark faced off in the afternoon intrasquad match, Martin watched from the No. 70 first base canoe appearing comfortable as the coaches and teammates s stopped to say hello.

Blue Jays action on SN

The first live baseball to be broadcast from the Rogers Center in 2020 will be broadcast this week as the Blue Jays prepare for the start of the season with intrasquad games on July 14 and 15, both at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet, SN NOW and Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

On the other side of the diamond, Gurriel Jr. offered occasional encouragement from the stands. When new baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stretched to complete a withdrawal, Gurriel’s exclamations could be heard hundreds of yards apart despite the simulated fan noise that the team now whistles in the stadium .

But even when these reinforcements arrived, the Blue Jays confirmed that Chase Anderson should not be ready for the start of the season. While manager Charile Montoyo initially described the right-hand oblique injury on a day-to-day basis, pitching coach Pete Walker revealed that Anderson would likely miss a week or two after feeling a “pinch” as he got ready to start a live baton training session.

Walker said Anderson was feeling good after playing wrestling on Monday, but the club will now turn to Nate Pearson, Ryan Borucki, Anthony Kay, Thomas Hatch and Shun Yamaguchi for a replacement. Of this group, Borucki and Kay are the only two with MLB experience, but it is Pearson whose long-term potential is considered the most promising. This promise is evident to Walker every time he looks at Pearson’s field.

“Nate has nothing to do to impress us,” said Walker. “He’s really great right now. He continues to refine his business. It has a motorized arm, as we all know. His secondary stuff comes really well. He has nothing else to do than what he is doing right now.

“Obviously, Nate is one of the best prospects in baseball, so he is someone we think about a lot and who we look forward to having at the major league level,” added Walker.

It remains to be seen if the Blue Jays open the season with Pearson, but the club would get an extra year of control over the club by waiting about a week. With this in mind, some industry observers do not wait for Pearson in the majors before August.

Whatever the Pearson calendar, the Blue Jays will have enough space in their enclosure to carry multi-handle relievers which will serve as insurance in the event that a starter makes an early exit. According to Walker, the Blue Jays even “plan and discuss” even the idea of ​​transporting piggyback lifters that follow designated starters.

“There are a lot of scenarios we could adopt,” said Walker. “Obviously, we want to have the best weapons possible, right? ”

If the tastes of Kay and Hatch do not break camp in the rotation, they could possibly contribute to this piggyback role. On paper, Julian Merryweather looks like another candidate to move from rotation to the bullpen – at least for now.

Beyond this mid-game group, Walker likes what he sees from the end-of-round relief candidates, including Jordan Romano, Rafael Dolis and Anthony Bass. Ideally, this group would give Montoyo and Walker more options as they try to bridge the gap between rotation and Ken Giles.

“We have some power,” said Walker. “Compared to past years, we have real power that comes out of this pen. Dolis looks exceptional. The fact that we were able to recover him, closer to Japan for a few years with more than 30 stops per year, he knows how to end a match. His behavior is impressive. Its power, its sink, and it also makes its appearance in the area with poor separation. He has weapons to throw in this league and to throw effectively late. ”

In recent years, the Blue Jays have had far greater problems than average relief. Now that they expect to participate again, these details become more important – especially in a shortened season with so little margin for error.


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