Recap: Yankees at Blue Jays 7/6

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Article Written by Travis Aylward (@travaylward)


Coming into this series, it was all about Saturday's pitching matchup; Happ vs. Severino. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at the series opener.

Game 1 of this three game  series featured Sam Gaviglio vs. Sonny Gray. As mentioned in the series preview, Sonny Gray has been struggling as of late, and that trend continued against Toronto. Gray pitched just 2 innings Friday night - his shortest outing of the season - giving up 6 hits and 5 earned runs. The Blue Jays did most of their damage against Gray in the bottom the 2nd inning. It started with a double by Randal Grichuk. Aledmys Diaz followed and instead of trying to do too much, he had a fine piece of hitting -- intentionally grounding out to Neil Walker to move Grichuk up to third. Devon Travis then singled to drive in Grichuk. Travis is later brought home by a Granderson single. Yangervis Solarte then gets on base with a single of his own. Solarte and Granderson are both brought home after Smoak homers on an 0-1 count.

Gaviglio on the other hand was cruising. He was getting 1st pitch strikes, his fastball was good, and he was mixing in his breaking ball which was also good. All was well, and then the fourth inning rolled around. Romine, Gardener, and Judge all singled to load the bases. Gaviglio then walked Hicks to bring in Romine from third. That was the end of Sammy G’s night after just 4.1 innings. John Gibbons then called in Joe Biagini to get out of the inning. Biagini got out of the jam by striking out Stanton and getting Gregorius to line out. Joe Biagini ended up pitching 1.2 innings where he gave up 0 hits, 0 runs, and didn’t walk a batter.

Following Sonny Gray’s departure from the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone called on David Hale from the pen. Hale was outstanding. There aren’t many relievers left that can give you multiple innings, nevermind 5 innings. Hale pitched 5.2 innings giving up only 5 hits. After Biagini came in and did his job, Loup, Oh, Axford, and Clippard managed to finish the final 3 innings.

Kevin Pillar went 1/3 on the night, while adding to his highlight reel in the top of the 2nd.

J.A. Happ takes the mound tonight against Luis Severino in the very anticipated battle of the aces. The outing starts at 4:07 PM EST and can be caught on Sportsnet.


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 67

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)


EPISODE 67

"REMEMBER JOSH DONALDSON?"

TORONTO Blue Jays talk

Weekly Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • With the lack of success that the Blue Jays are experiencing, it's hard to find things to look forward to. However, with the trade deadline looming, Jays fans are anticipating what will be coming their way to prepare the team for 2019 and beyond. Will big names be moved? Are the Jays strictly punting for the remainder of 2018? 
  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by Ryan DiFrancesco of Jays Droppings and Blue Jays Nation, and Brendan Panikkar of Baseball Prospectus Toronto. The trio theorize as to what may transpire over the trade deadline and who may be on the move. Also, the topic of Aaron Sanchez's finger is discussed at great length. What's the deal with it and is it something that we should be worried about moving forward? Lastly, we talk about the return of Jose Bautista and our feelings seeing him in right field at the dome one last time.

All this and more on the latest episode of the South of the 6ix Podcast!

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanDifrancesco & @JDroppings
Visit Ryan's Work: HERE & HERE

Follow Brendan Panikkar on Twitter & Instagram: @Panikkar37
Visit Brendan's Work: HERE

Music:
Scott Holmes - "Mountains All Around Us"


Blue Jays Welcome the Yankees to Town for a 3 Game Set

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Article Written by Travis Aylward (@travaylward)


One New York team leaves, another comes to town. Fresh off of splitting the mini two-game series with Jose Bautista and the Mets, the Bronx Bombers are coming to Toronto.

Game One: Sonny Gray vs. Sam Gaviglio

The New York Yankees acquired Sonny Gray at last year's trade deadline in hopes of bolstering their starting rotation. Gray currently has a 5.44 ERA and is averaging 7 IP per game. Not what they expected when they traded for him last season. Sam Gaviglio has been surprisingly good this season, owning a 3.97 ERA with a 1.196 WHIP.

Game Two: Luis Severino vs. JA Happ

Game two of this series features a battle of the aces. Luis Severino goes up against JA Happ. JA Happ has been the only Blue Jays starter this season to stay healthy. Marco Estrada was diagnosed with a mild glute strain just days after pitching 0.1 innings against the Mets, Marcus Stroman has been dealing with right shoulder fatigue for the majority of the season, Jaime Garcia has left shoulder inflammation, and Aaron Sanchez’s finger problems haven’t gone away. Not only has Happ stayed healthy, he’s also been really good -- probably good enough to earn himself an All-Star nod this year. Happ got roughed up in his last outing, allowing 10 hits and 7 earned runs while walking 1 in 5.2 innings pitched against the Tigers on Canada Day. Severino has also been really good. Severino has a 1.98 ERA to his name, while averaging 10 strikeouts per 9 innings. He is also a likely All-Star.

This game could go one of two ways for Toronto; either extremely good, or extremely bad. If Happ goes out there and does his thing -- pitches 8 innings while striking out 8 and not walking a batter -- it raises his trade value directly in front of the team rumoured to be the front-runner to land him. But, if he goes out there and gives up 5 runs in 4 innings and walks a couple batters, that lowers his trade value profusely. Blue Jays fans and front office are both hoping Happ goes out there on Saturday and does his thing and pitches a gem; for more reasons than one.

Game Three: Domingo German vs. Ryan Borucki

Ryan Borucki will be making his 3rd career start Sunday when he faces the Yankees. Despite pitching very well in each of his first 2 career starts in the Major Leagues, Borucki holds an 0-1 record to his name. In his most recent appearance, he pitched 7 innings against Detroit where he gave up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, and had 0 walks. Borucki looks to be a promising young pitcher. His counterpart on Sunday, Domingo German, has struggled as of late. German has a 5.37 ERA on the season and was pulled early in his last start. In his last start, he pitched only 4.1 innings while giving up 6 hits, 3 earned runs, and walking 3 batters.

This series means almost nothing for the Blue Jays standings wise, but it means a lot for their future. Whether JA Happ has a good or poor start Saturday against New York will not only help the Yankees decide if they want him, but also influence how bad they want him and what they are willing to give up in return.


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Your 2019 Toronto Blue Jays

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Article Written by Craig Borden (@Craigers1221)


With the 2018 Blue Jays struggling to get to the .500 mark, many are already looking forward to the not so distant future. This is the future that could be centralized around a potent offense that has been building in the ranks of the Blue Jays Minor League System. We have been seeing small flashes of this coming future over the past few weeks. Players like Teoscar Hernandez have shown what the possibilities are on the horizon and there is plenty of talent coming.

The Toronto Blue Jays currently have one of the best Minor League Systems in baseball. They are consistently ranked within the top ten on any of the lists that truly matter. Currently, Baseball America has them ranked at number 9. This is where the team currently stands and there was just a ton of excellent talent drafted, and the trade deadline could prove very fruitful for the Jays this season. They have talented players like J.A. Happ that could net a nice return of MLB ready talent in a trade.

All of this brings up questions and the most concerning might be - who will be on this team in 2019? I took a serious look through the current Blue Jays roster and their MLB ready talent to compile what the 25 man roster could look like. The results that I found are rather encouraging and actually excited me for next season. Once I scribbled this all down in an airport while I was waiting for a flight, I am confident that this front office has already built a winner for 2019!

First things first - there are plenty of players that can be free agents this coming offseason. For the sake of argument, I have assumed that Happ, Estrada, Donaldson, and company were not returning. By the end of this article, you will see that bringing those players back will create even more depth on an already crowded roster. I personally would like to see Happ back the most out of that group, but let us dive into my findings from when I pieced this 2019 Blue Jays 25-man roster together.

Let us first discuss what was thought to be a strength heading into the 2018 season - the starting rotation. This has been nothing but a disappointment for the Jays this season, outside of Happ. The injury bug is to blame for most of the struggles, but still, this was a flawed rotation that was relying too heavily on health. Looking forward, this rotation could look very different outside of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. This pair will anchor next seasons rotation, but if no other additions occur in the offseason, there is a strong group ready to step in. We just saw the first of these possible pitchers with Ryan Borucki making his debut recently. He was solid against the reigning World Series Champs and picked up a quality start. The pair that would fill out the rotation at the moment would be Sean Reid-Foley and Chris Rowley.

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Stats from baseball-reference.com

In the above picture, I have put together this season's numbers for all five of these pitchers. The numbers do not lie that the trio of Minor League arms appears to be ready for new challenges. Borucki, Reid-Foley, and Rowley all have sub 3.50 ERA’s and WHIPs better than Sanchez and Stroman at the moment. The three of them combine for 18 wins and have been eating innings. This just screams "give them a chance!" at the MLB level and sooner rather than later. Reid-Foley might be the last one of this group promoted because he started the season in Double-A with the Fisher Cats, but he has clearly figured out something this season. He looks like a complete pitcher at the moment and has really put his critics to rest after a rough 2017.

The Toronto bullpen might be the weakest part of this team next season and much of it revolves around the Roberto Osuna story. If he stays a Blue Jay, he is one of the most dominant young closers in baseball. If not, there will be big shoes to fill in the back end of ball games. Right now that job appears to be Ryan Tepera’s. He has been having a crazy good season but has had issues slamming the door in the role of the closer. He might be better suited for a setup role. This season's bullpen is also filled up with a lot of one-year deals, with John Axford and Tyler Clippard. I would be surprised if either of these two is re-signed, with the front office focusing on the future but a veteran presence will be needed.

The 2019 bullpen has guaranteed players that could fill out a decent pen. One might guess that Sam Gaviglio, Tim Mayza, Danny Barnes, Matt Dermody, and Sanwang Oh could fill up the cupboards pretty nicely. To me, it lacks the punch without Osuna in that group or another live arm like his. There is also a ton of uncertainty in that group that is not welcomed after what has been a rough 2018 season. Below is the collected stats of this group and a spot that will need to be improved to support a young pitching staff.

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Now the part you probably have all been waiting for - the offense! How is this team going to score enough runs to support a young pitching staff and an average bullpen? They are going to score plenty of runs with a lineup that does not have a weakness. A solid 1-9 attack that will push opposing pitchers to the brink with nowhere to hide. The lineup will be anchored by returning starters Justin Smoak, Devon Travis, Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, Randal Grichuk, and Yangervis Solarte.

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You may have noticed that I did not include Russell Martin in that group. Currently, I am thinking that we are going to have the highest paid backup catcher/utility player in recent history. I just do not see any advantages to giving Martin a ton of at-bats next season with how his 2018 has been going. The flip side of that coin is that Danny Jansen has become a force in the Minor Leagues and has clearly outgrown Triple-A. Jansen currently holds a .299 batting average with 30 runs scored and 39 RBIs. Martin is batting .168 with 19 runs scored and 16 RBI in just 20 less at bats. The writing appears to be on the wall for this one as the changing of the guard is coming behind the plate.

The right side of the infield seems secure to Smoak and Travis for the near future. On the other side of the keystone there could be some major changes. It appears that Aledmys Diaz, Troy Tulowitzki, and Lourdes Gurriel will be manning short in some fashion. At 3rd base, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. appears to be having the red carpet rolled out for him as he has been one of the most exciting talents to ever come through the Jays system. It will be interesting to see the rotation of those players with Solarte between the positions and DH.

In the outfield, the Blue Jays will continue their current setup with Hernandez, Pillar, and Grichuk. This is a crazy athletic group that could put on a show defensively along with the lumber. Grichuk has show he can match Pillar defensively, but has shown some insane power. He just recently hit the Astros brand new World Series Champs sign in Houston which was a mere 479 feet from home plate. Pillar has been having another solid season in the field but has been one of the Jays most consistent hitters this season as well. Hernandez has been growing into a great hitter throughout the season and has been showing plenty of power to all fields.

This outfield could get even more athletic when you toss in Anthony Alford as the final player on this 25 man roster. Alford is one of the players with the most tools in the Jays' system. He has not put it all together and can look raw at times. If he does put it together, though, he will be something special and we saw a preview of that last season with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. If he pushes for an everyday spot, he could take Teoscar’s spot in left just because of his plus defense. This would make Teoscar the team's DH and occasional outfielder which could suit him well.

Projected Opening Day 2019 25-Man Roster

Starters

Marcus Stroman

Aaron Sanchez

Ryan Borucki

Sean Reid-Foley

Chris Rowley

Bullpen

Ryan Tepera

Roberto Osuna

Sam Gaviglio

Tim Mayza

Danny Barnes

Seunghwan Oh

Matt Dermody

Starters

C - Danny Jansen

1B - Justin Smoak

2B - Devon Travis

SS - Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

3B - Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

LF - Teoscar Hernandez

CF - Kevin Pillar

RF - Randal Grichuk

DH - Yangervis Solarte

Bench

Anthony Alford

Aledmys Diaz

Troy Tulowitzki

Russell Martin

This roster as it currently sits would not scare me with what I have seen from these youngsters first hand in my travels. The Jays have a very talented system and could be putting an all new product on the field next season. Vlad is the future and we all know it, but there are still plenty of other talents that just missed out on this list. Bo Bichette will not be far behind, but will more then likely start the season in Buffalo because of the depth up the middle mentioned above. Others will form great depth and provide some fun wild cards to push their teammates. A younger team is coming and that is a very welcome sign for a team that is currently one of the oldest teams in baseball. It is time to start fresh with some new faces and this team could be ready to win in 2019 if everything clicks like it has for these champions in the Minor League system.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Josh Donaldson Suffers Setback

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Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)


Tuesday, it was announced that Josh Donaldson suffered a setback while rehabbing from his calf injury. It’s now expected that Donaldson will be reevaluated in 3 weeks, which means that it will be at least another month before we see him back with the Blue Jays.

This news is significant for all of the wrong reasons if you’re a Blue Jays fan. First of all, it means that their best player remains out of the lineup, which is never good news, but it also brings Donaldson’s trade value down even further. With the Blue Jays not close to a playoff spot, they’re going to look to move some players with trade value. Going into this season, one would’ve thought that Donaldson would have significant trade value to other teams, but with this injury setback, it’s going to be very difficult for the Jays to move him. Even if they are able to deal him, they won’t get very much back in return.

The Jays could also move Donaldson at the August trade deadline, rather than the non-waiver trade deadline in July. A good example of that being done can be seen with Justin Verlander, who wasn’t moved Houston until late August last year.

This is definitely a weird situation for the Blue Jays to be in with Donaldson. Not only are they handicapped in not being able to move him, but they don’t know for a fact if he’s still a star player when healthy. He’s shown flashes this year, but he’s only hitting .234, and if the Jays can’t trade him, they’re going to need to ask themselves if it’s worth it to re-sign him. The cost for Donaldson has severely dropped due to this year’s injury-riddled season, so the Jays could get him back on a cheap deal if they wanted to. I could see a situation where Donaldson re-signs with the Blue Jays for on a 1-year deal (maybe a qualifying offer), and then tries to play well in 2019 to make him more money in the next year’s free agency.

Donaldson was always supposed to be the big name guy that the Jays traded this year if they were out of the playoff race. Yet, now that he’s suffered an injury setback, teams will likely look to make trades with the Jays for the services of J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, and maybe some relief pitchers (i.e. Ryan Tepera, Seung Hwan Oh). It’s not ideal at all, but the front office is still going to need to get value out of this year’s trade deadline, even if Donaldson can’t be moved.


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Blue Jays' Trade Deadline Preview

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Article Written by Travis Aylward (@travaylward)


With the Blue Jays currently sitting 10.5 games out of a wildcard spot in late June, they are most likely not postseason bound. With 10 players heading to free agency at the end of the season, the Blue Jays' front office is set to sell at this year’s trade deadline. Let’s take a look at who is most likely to get dealt before July 31st.

2019 Toronto Blue Jays Free Agents (Via spotrac.com)

Josh Donaldson- 3B

Marco Estrada- SP

J.A. Happ- SP

Steve Pearce- OF

Curtis Granderson- OF

Aaron Loup – RP

Tyler Clippard- RP

John Axford- RP

Craig Breslow- RP

Nick Tepesch- SP

One thing that I noticed as I was writing that list -  every single player (besides Nick Tepesch) is 30 years of age or older. Even Tepesch is 29. Being the oldest team in the American League, and having loads of young talent in their farm system, the Blue Jays are most likely looking to get younger this trade deadline.

J.A Happ     

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Going up against Verlander Monday night in Houston proved that Happ is one of the games best starting pitchers. Verlander has a 1.60 ERA, good enough for first in the AL, while Happ is sitting with a 3.56 ERA. Happ won the battle of the aces Monday night, picking up his 10th win in the process. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported last week that the Mariners and Yankees were both interested in Happ’s services. Happ is probably the best starting pitcher on the market, and the Blue Jays can expect to get a top 100 prospect back in return.

Ryan Tepera

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Although Tepera is not a free agent at the end of the season, he is reportedly generating trade interest, per Jon Morsi. Tepera has a 2.54 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and has recently taken over the closer role while Osuna serves his suspension. The Blue Jays can expect to get a good young player or two in return.

 

 

Josh Donaldson

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Josh Donaldson’s 2018 season is not going as planned. Currently on the DL, he has already been placed there twice, with the current time being extended due to a set-back. With the 2019 free agent class so stacked, Donaldson may be in for a rude awakening come the offseason if he doesn’t get on the field and start performing. It is unlikely Donaldson gets dealt by the deadline due to his poor season to this point. Not only is Donaldson having a poor season, but he is also 32 years of age. The Blue Jays and Donaldson were reportedly in contract talks this past offseason, but Donaldson bet on himself to have a strong walk year and earn himself some more money come the end of the season. That decision isn’t looking like a good one as of now.

Marco Estrada

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Marco Estrada signed a brand new 1 year / $13,000,000 contract at the end of last season. Most people thought the Blue Jays were going to have one of, if not the best rotations in all of baseball. Those people were brutally wrong. Stroman currently has a 6.80 ERA with a 0-5 record, Sanchez is on the DL with right index finger contusion, Jaime Garcia is also on the DL with left shoulder inflammation, and JA Happ and Marco Estrada have really been the only bright spots in Toronto’s rotation all year. Marco Estrada will bring playoff experience and leadership to whichever team takes a chance on him this trade deadline.


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Possible Trade Candidates For The Blue Jays

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Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)


With the Blue Jays currently sitting at 30-38 and out of the playoff race, the focus of many fans has turned to what the team will do at this year’s trade deadline. The Jays have many pending free agents for this upcoming off-season and it’s very plausible that we could see many of them moved to other teams.

Trade Candidate #1: Josh Donaldson

A year or two ago, Josh Donaldson would be a guy that many teams would covet in a trade. He won the MVP award in 2015, and was great in 2016 and 2017. However, this season has been filled with injuries for Donaldson, and when he has played, he hasn’t looked like himself. The reality is that teams won’t be giving up a lot in return for an aging injured third baseman who’s only under contract until the end of this season. That doesn’t mean the Jays won’t move him - they still could; but they won’t be getting a lot in return if the do.

Trade Candidate #2: J.A. Happ

In a very inconsistent starting rotation, J.A. Happ has been one of the only bright spots for the Jays this season. He’s been healthy throughout the year so far and has been very effective, with a 3.48 ERA and a record of 8-3. Happ is a guy that could be a big addition for a contending team. He isn’t an ace caliber pitcher that you would get, but he’s a solid No. 2 or 3 starter that could fit into most rotations. With the way he’s been pitching lately, Happ’s trade value is at its peak right now. If he continues to succeed over the next 2 months, he could be a big trade asset for the Blue Jays.

Trade Candidate #3: Marco Estrada

Estrada is another guy who has an expiring contract. He re-signed with the Jays on a 1-year deal last September, hoping that the team would be contending, but that isn’t looking too good right now. He doesn’t have great trade value right now, with an ERA of 5.09, but Estrada was an extremely good postseason pitcher for the Jays in 2015 and ‘16, and that could be attractive to some teams. The highest I could see him in a contending team’s rotation is at the No. 4 spot, where he could potentially make 1 start in every postseason series (In a Game 4).

Trade Candidate #4: Justin Smoak

Smoak’s contract is up after this season, but there is a club option for 2019, so the Jays could hang on to him. He had a great season last year, and even earned an All-Star spot, with 38 home runs, 90 RBIs, and a .270 batting average. However, he’s regressed so far this year, only hitting .229 with 9 homers and 33 RBIs. Smoak’s another guy who’s value has declined this year, but I could still see him being a player of interest for another team. He won’t be a middle of the order bat for a contender, but Smoak could potentially be a good pinch-hitter or defensive replacement.

Obviously, the Blue Jays wish they were contending right now, but the reality is that’s not happening. They have to look to improve the organization in other ways. One of the best ways to do that right now is by trading away pending free agents for prospects in return. Out of the four guys I listed in this article, the only one I think will get a lot in return for the Jays is J.A. Happ, so moving him should be a priority for the team right now. With some good prospects already in the system, adding to that will be a key for the Jays, and there’s a definitely an opportunity to do that here.


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 66 - PART 2

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)


EPISODE 66 - PART 2

"The Unfortunate Reality"

TORONTO Blue Jays talk

Weekly Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • Things were looking up for the Blue Jays after achieving a solid sweep against division rivals in the Baltimore Orioles. However, the Jays came crashing down to an unfortunate reality of their own after being swept by fellow division occupiers in the Tampa Bay Rays immediately after. It's hard to gauge this team, as they've been polarizing thus far. With the position of being sellers at the trade deadline seeming like an inevitability, it's time for us to accept the fact that the hopes for a 2nd Wild Card in 2018 just may not be at the table.
  • To discuss these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined once again by Connor Chambers of Toronto Sports Views for PART 2 of our exclusive Toronto sports talk! Connor and Adam tackle topics like Russell Martin's recent struggles, Randal Grichuk coming back to life, possible trade candidates and returns, and the Roberto Osuna controversy. We also predict the results for the upcoming series against the Nationals, Braves, and Angels!

It's a Blue Jays show that you surely will not want to miss!

Be sure to check out PART 1 of our conversation where we talk all things Toronto Raptors and the promotion of Nick Nurse as their new head coach!

Follow Connor on Twitter: @TO_SportsViews & @connorchambers

Visit Connor's work HERE

Music:
Scott Holmes - "Mountains All Around Us"


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


SOT6 Podcast - Episode 65

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)



EPISODE 65

"SQUARE PEGS, ROUND HOLES"

TORONTO Blue Jays talk

Weekly Toronto Blue Jays Show!

  • The month of May hasn't been the prettiest of all months for the Blue Jays, completed by a sweep from AL East foes, the Boston Red Sox. With numerous players on the DL, players also battling injuries, players playing numerous positions that they aren't used to, it's been a month that Jays fans may wish to forget. The only thing that Blue Jays fans have to hold on is their hopes to see the up-and-coming stars that have been making noise in the farm system.
  • Joining host Adam Corsair is writer and Minor League Guru for South of the 6ix, Jays Journal, as well as the host of the Jays Bird Watching Gamecast - Mr. Craig Borden - to discuss all things Blue Jays. Craig and Adam break down all the recent news surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as give an update on the top stars in the Jays' Minor League system!

It's a Blue Jays show that you won't want to miss!

Follow Craig Borden on Twitter @Craigers1221
Visit Craig's work HERE
Visit the Jays Bird Watching Gamecast @BirdWatchingGC

Music:
Scott Holmes - "Mountains All Around Us"


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Cavan Biggio is Putting Blue Jays Fans on Notice

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Article Written by Craig Borden (@Craigers1221)


The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio is enjoying his own success so far in 2018. Cavan Biggio has really come out of his shell and is currently mashing the Eastern Leagues pitchers. Something has clearly clicked for the 23-year-old infielder and he is putting everyone on notice.

Biggio is a part of a group within the Toronto Blue Jays' system that shows that family bloodlines run thick in baseball. He was selected in the 2016 draft by the Jays along with his current teammate Bo Bichette. Biggio joined the club after being selected in the 5th round and has been average throughout his tenure with the Jays thus far. His fellow teammates that are sons of baseball greats - Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette - have been basking in the spotlight over the past few seasons. This year has been a coming out party for Biggio’s lumber and he is showing that he should be in the same conversation as Bo and Vlad.
 


So far this season he has played in 45 games and has been showing off some excellent power. His smooth swing is reminiscent of his father's as he possesses the ability to flip the ball all over the field. While doing that, he could be a doubles machine and plenty of those line drives have been cruising over the fence. After hitting 11 home runs in 127 games with the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2017, Biggio has found a way to power up some and has 12 long balls already this season.

Biggio is currently on pace to decimate his numbers from the 2017 campaign and thus far has shown no signs of slowing down. He is now in Double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and has been showing an advanced approach at the plate in a new, albeit more difficult league. He has walked 32 times in 45 games while striking out 45 times and is currently showing a great triple slash of .311/.432/.662. All of this while driving in 40 runs and scoring 31 times.
 


We have talked about the power he has, but Biggio is not to be forgotten on the base paths. He has 7 stolen bases this season to show that he is the complete package as a player. He is very athletic and has played all over the infield. While the majority of his starts have been at second base, he has spent time at first and third as well. Prior to this season, he has also played some games in the outfield. I really think his talents are on display the best at second base, but it is nice to see him performing around the diamond when the team needs him too.

Biggio’s swing generates effortless power and is really fun to watch. He loads up quick and gets to the ball in a hurry. This allows him to wait on some pitches that other batters would have to start earlier on. His bat speed is the key to his power as he uses his wrists to flip his bat through the zone with authority. His lower half is very quiet during his swing but with a quick lean back and toe tap, he dives at the baseball. This combo of great hands and opening up his hips at the proper moment generates plenty of pop and so far this season an increase in his launch angle has led to 12 home runs thus far.
 


Prior to the season, Cavan Biggio was not even on many writers Top 30 Blue Jays Prospects lists. Now he is showing what he is made of and has probably edged his way onto many of the coming Mid-Season Prospects lists for the Toronto Blue Jays. He is off to an incredible start to the year in a more difficult league and is making it look easy thus far. I look forward to watching that smooth swing continue to evolve into a great line drive hitter for the Jays in the next few years.


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