In early April, the Blue Jays will play exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal for the third straight year, as Ainsley Doty of SportsNet writes. The Jays and Red Sox will play there April 1 and 2, just before the start of the regular season. The exhibitions will likely warm the hearts of fans longing for baseball to return to Montreal on a more permanent basis. “It is clearly a strong message that major teams from Major League Baseball want to come to Montreal,” says Montreal mayor Denis Coderre. “Of course, we keep the flame on. Montreal is a serious contender to get back the Expos one day.” Here are more quick notes from around the game.
- There are plenty of teams with at least a mathematical chance of winning (or “winning”) the first pick in the 2016 draft, but right now the Phillies hold a two-game “lead” over the Braves, as Vince Lara-Cinosomo of Baseball America notes. Both teams already have solid farm systems thanks in part to their recent rebuilding efforts. The next top Phillies draft signing will join a system topped by J.P. Crawford and recent trade acquisitions Jake Thompson, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro. The Braves’ system is topped by Curacaoan infielder Ozhaino Albies, along with top 2015 pick Kolby Allard and a host of players acquired in recent trades.
- After righty Peter Moylan had his second Tommy John surgery last year, the Braves signed him to a two-year minor-league deal with the idea that he would spend at least part of this season coaching pitchers at the Braves’ Appalachian League affiliate in Danville. Instead, he never went to Danville and pitched in the big leagues instead, as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Moylan made his season minor-league debut with Triple-A Gwinnett in late May, got promoted to the big leagues in August and has now been in the Majors for more than a month. Now the 36-year-old is looking forward to continuing his progress in 2016. “I got a cup of coffee with L.A. in 2013, but I wasn’t ever really comfortable with how I was throwing,” says Moylan. “Coming back here, it’s sort of given me a chance to look at video of what I was doing back in the day, and go back to that. Now hopefully I can continue that, maintain that and then roll through next year.”