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) pic.twitter.com/UZ9ohyejRd
— 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

Amid scoring woes, Blue Jays must improve their plate discipline

As an offence, the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t lived up to their expectations as one of the top slugging line-ups in the sport through the first 30 games of the 2022 season. While there’s still plenty of time to alter that narrative, it stands to wonder if the offence needs to make some adjustments.
Granted, scoring runs isn’t just a concern in this market, it’s been evident across the majors, too. There’s no doubt that’s played a factor up to this point, however, this issue likely runs deeper than just a league-wide development.
For the Blue Jays, staying healthy has been somewhat of a problem thus far as they’ve been forced to overcome injuries to Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen. And that’s just on the position player side. There have also been a handful of pitchers – including starter Hyun Jin Ryu – who’ve spent time on the injury list this season.
Still, with Hernandez back from injury and Jansen expected to follow suit in the coming weeks as well, the offence should receive a major boost moving forward. Having said that, there’s one key area where this team needs to improve the most: hitting with runners in scoring position.
Though it may still be early, Toronto has been one of th …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 74: Looking at the 2022 Blue Jays after one month

It’s been one month and the Blue Jays own a 17-13 record. Though that seems a little limp because of how they’ve been playing lately, when you consider the strength of schedule they’ve had, it’s fine.

In this episode of BJN Radio, we did three up, three down for the first month of play. Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah have both been aces thus far, the bullpen has helped the team steal a handful of games, and Santiago Espinal looks like a legit player. On the flip side, the bats have been much worse than expected as multiple players are ice cold at the same time and Jose Berrios has some worrying underlying numbers early on.
We then looked ahead at a very important stretch the Blue Jays have coming up, as they head to New York for two against the Yankees and then they go down to The Trop for three with the Rays.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The bats remain quiet as the Blue Jays drop yet another series

The Blue Jays will have a day off on Monday for the first time in three weeks. That’s a good thing because this is a team that looks like it could use an off day.

After getting completely shut down by the Yankees earlier this week, the Blue Jays rolled into Cleveland to play the Guardians in what was viewed as a soft spot at the end of a very difficult schedule.
Cleveland unfortunately didn’t lay down the welcome mat. Instead, they took three of four in an incredibly frustrating series that featured multiple opportunities left on the table.
Jose Berrios struggled on Friday and the bats mounted a comeback but it came up short as the team went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The bats exploded for eight runs in the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader, which was obviously more than enough for Kevin Gausman, but they went away again in the nightcap as the Blue Jays managed just four hits. Sunday seemed like a win as Alek Manoah was going up against some call-up making a spot start, but, after a loud first inning, the bats went limp. The bullpen would come undone late in the game and Cleveland stole a very winnable game.
The offence, or, well lack thereof, i …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 73: Yusei Kikuchi’s best start as a Blue Jay salvages a difficult series against the Yankees

For the first time all season, the Blue Jays have lost a series.

The Yankees rolled into town on a nine-game heater and proved, well, why they’re on a nine-game heater. New York took the first two games of the series with ridiculously effective pitching and some clutch hitting and then the Blue Jays edged out a win in the finale to save themselves from the sweep.
Me and BK talked about why the bats are struggling, whether or not adding Teoscar Hernandez will be the shot of life the bats need, and what Yusei Kikuchi did differently in the best start of his season. We also talked about the possibility of Josh Bell becoming a Blue Jay and looked ahead to the four-game series coming up in Cleveland.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation