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HBT Daily: Are the Blue Jays for real?

May 28, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

  1. thetoolsofignorance - May 28, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    As I said in another comment, the pitching is about the same as last season. Defence can sure make mediocre pitching look good

  2. proudlycanadian - May 28, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    The answer is YES. They are much healthier this season than last year. Last season they had several players coming in from other teams. Many of them were tied up in the WBC. Then came the injuries. Last year, the Jays did not have the opportunity to gel as a team. Very few changes were made in the off season. Some good players were added to the Triple A roster. The hitters have bought into the new hitting coach’s approach. They have become a team rather than a collection of talented players.

    • sfp311 - May 28, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Your last statement couldn’t be more true. Kevin Seitzer has truly changed the dynamic of their offence. If teams are going to set-up such extreme shifts, why wouldn’t you tell EE or Bautista to go the other way? It seems so obvious yet this is the first time they’ve all gotten everyone to buy-in to it.

      • mazblast - May 28, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        I remember Willie McCovey saying over 40 years ago–“Ain’t no shift work when I hit it over the right field wall.”

    • nbjays - May 28, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      It seems you never see a shot of the Jays’ dugout these days without one player or another deep in conversation with Seitzer. He certainly has the buy-in of the whole team and it shows. Plate discipline is much better, every batter is going up to the plate with a plan, and yes, hitting against the shift is working.

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 28, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        “Seitzer”? Is that the hitting coach? The Royals had a Seitzer as a hitting coach when Melky was with them. It was also around that time when Melky really came on and members of the Royals managed to actually appear able to hit homeruns. If its the same Sietzer that might explain the plate discipline that I saw last evening

      • sfp311 - May 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        Yes that’s the Seitzer you’re thinking of. He was the hitting coach of the Royals while John Gibbons (current Jays manager) was the bench coach. It’s a bit of a head scratcher why he wasn’t hired for last year, as last year’s hitting coach Chad Mottola had no real relationship with Gibbons.

      • proudlycanadian - May 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM

        A walk off win tonight. To quote Fred Flintstone “Yabba dabba doo!” The Rays are feeling Blue.

  3. canadiansportsfan77 - May 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Hopefully when Rasmus returns he buys into the opposite field approach of Seitzer as well

    • yarguy - May 28, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Hopefully when Rasmus returns he will be used to make a trade. Hasn’t anyone noticed that the Jays play better when he isn’t in the lineup? Don’t the Cubs need a center fielder?

  4. paint771 - May 28, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    “[After 2009], 5 years of horrible, horrible baseball followed.”

    They won 85 games the next year. They’ve hovered around an average of low-80s in terms of wins basically for 20 years straight. Sometimes they dip into the 70s, sometimes they’ll break 85, but part of the frustration for Toronto fans is they’ve basically NEVER been guilty of “horrible, horrible” baseball since like 1995. Just consistently lukewarm that gets them buried in the AL East year after year.

    That’s nitpicking some as it wasn’t central to your point, but I think a lot of people that don’t pay attention to the Blue Jays just lazily assume they must have really sucked to not make the playoffs since 1993.

  5. silversun60 - May 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    The departure of Arencibia and arrival of Navarro cannot be overstated…. Apart from seeming to be on the same page with the pitchers, the fact that the catcher isn’t striking out all of the time (or hitting home runs with nobody on, down by 7) is a huge plus.

    • Mark - May 29, 2014 at 6:50 AM

      It’s not even that Navarro is good, because this season he’s been pretty awful, it’s just that JPA was so bad that anybody replacing him is an upgrade. But I guess that’s why they call JPA below replacement level…

  6. djdvd - May 28, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    In that division you don’t need to be for real – but the jays are leaps and bounds better than the rest of the dumpster fires that occupy the AL East

  7. mazblast - May 28, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    They’re for real so far–but you’ll never get the American MSM to look any farther west than the Hudson River when it comes to “favorites”.

  8. garybrian - May 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Depends if the pitching holds up. Plenty of hitting up and down the lineup. Good defence. But starting pitching………………….

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