Some news and notes from American League spring training camps:
- Trent Thornton is the favorite to claim the final spot in the Blue Jays’ season-opening rotation, reports Scott Mitchell of TSN. The 26-year-old actually led the Jays in innings (154.1) last season, but the results weren’t in line with what one would want from a staff ace. He posted a 4.84 ERA with slightly worse than average strikeout (22.0%) and walk (9.0%) rates. This offseason, the front office went to work on bolstering that pitching staff. They signed Hyun-Jin Ryu and Tanner Roark to multi-year deals, brought back Matt Shoemaker, and acquired Chase Anderson in a trade with Milwaukee. Another offseason addition, Shun Yamaguchi, figures to be Thornton’s biggest competition for the #5 rotation spot. Because of his experience in relief in NPB, however, Yamaguchi seems more likely to open the season in the bullpen, Mitchell reports.
- Seeing that new-look staff in action will be a bit more difficult for some Blue Jays’ fans. Beginning this season, live Jays’ games will be blacked out on MLB.tv throughout Canada, reports Andrew Stoeten of the Athletic. Instead, Canadian viewers will have to subscribe to Sportsnet NOW to stream games. A subscription to that platform also offers non-baseball programming but doesn’t come with the MLB.tv advantage of offering live access to every MLB game in real time. It’s surely frustrating news for a certain segment of the Canadian fan base.
- Twins’ reliever Fernando Romero won’t report to the team “for the foreseeable future,” manager Rocco Baldelli tells Jeff Wheeler of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. A visa issue resulted in Romero being denied entrance to the United States. He’ll now need to resubmit several documents to gain customs’ approval, Wheeler reports, a process that could take several weeks. It’s possible Romero misses all of spring training, he adds. A lengthy delay would be a blow to the 25-year-old’s hopes of earning a big league bullpen job out of camp. Long one of the organization’s top prospects, Romero struggled in 15 MLB relief appearances in 2019.
- Willie Calhoun has a firm hold on the Rangers’ left field job, notes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. More importantly, it seems Calhoun’s found a better peace of mind as he enters spring training than he’d carried into previous seasons, as Grant explores. After some tumult following his early-season demotion in 2019, the 25-year-old has forged stronger relationships with many in the organization. Grant’s profile is worth a full perusal for those interested in Calhoun’s growth as a person and player.
President Sanders is going to make sure no MLB player “gets turned around at customs” ever again!
Lol you said President Sanders
You can’t like baseball and be a communist
Haha Fidel says hello
Except for the fact that he’s not a communist, you might sound intelligent.
have to remember, to most trumpturds and republicans, socialist=communist (despite the fact almost all socialist nations are christian nations, while america isn’t one, despite the best efforts of the christofacists who are trying to make america a 3rd world nation. looking at you alabama and mississippi).
The prime example of someone making a poor attempt to sound intelligent. Ignorant, misguided and incorrect mfm. At least have the decency to use capital letters when appropriate before typing out imprudent dishonesty.
can’t like baseball and be a fascist, but yet so many people in here manage both
Take this political BS somewhere else, it has nothing to do with any of these articles.
I would disagree.
Couldn’t even play the Colonel on TV.
If by all the saints in Heaven comrade Sanders gets elected to the presidency there will be no sports period! If he enacted the “New Green Deal” it will throw the United States off its axis and not survive as a nation.
If they are blacked out in Canada, is it just going to be the Sportsnet broadcast blacked out or will I be able to watch the opposing teams broadcast? I need answers!
Whatever it is it sounds horrible for Canadians. Baseball “followership” is going to take a hit in Canada, I think.
Imagine making it more difficult to watch MLB games.
Rogers is really trying to max out revenue on baseball content …just when it seems like they should be targeting maximum exposure.
You “bait the hook” with a team like the Jays have now, not take it away BEFORE “re-attracting” fan interest.
The Jay’s have a ridiculous Canadian broadcasting package wrt blackouts. It is not fair.
Unfortunately for the Jays, the solution is to go off-cable/satellite into the internet streaming world. I learned that from a friend’s kid of all ways. The kids know. lol. The corporate greed is further pushing customers to find available and cheaper alternatives.
People living near the USA border in Canada have been doing it for decades with grey market satellite and other packages. That is old news.
Good god fellow Jays fans are we that broke? Spend the $100 a month on a cable package and move on with life. Not that big of a deal. Signed, MBLTV and Cable subscriber
Or 20 bucks a month on the SportsNet thing. Doesn’t seem a big deal to me haha
$100 per month is greater than zero.
As far as the Jays pitching rotation goes, they have a good one in Ryu and all the rest are filler, mostly 4’s and 5’s. It’s better than last year but the team isn’t getting into the playoffs with this bunch.
Thornton is a 4 or 5 as is Roark and Shoemaker. Anderson is going to get clobbered in the AL East and Guchi is a reliever. That leaves Borucki who can be a 2 if healthy.
Pearson is a stud, but I hope they don’t rush him. Next year the Jays will have to spend again big on the rotation.
If vlad takes a leap they could be better than the Red Sox
King, if the Jays put Vlad Jr at first where he belongs and he doesn’t have to worry about tripping over his feet, his production significantly increase.
Geez I’m getting tired of your comments. Usually I just skip them but the odd time, I miss the name and read the garbage you post. Let me be clear, I’m not attacking you, just what you have to say.
Bleacherguy, what do you think about this years Jays’ rotation? How many wins this year for this team?
I say 74.
I think Shoemaker will surprise you if he stays healthy. That’s a big IF, but he could win 13-15 games. Thornton will progress. Ryu will be
Ryu. Anderson will get hammered (he was going to be non-tendered by the Brewers before the trade), Roark could surprise…he’ll be an inning eater.
They can all throw innings but #4 in the rotation innings except Ryu. I agree Anderson gets hammered as does Guchi. Guchi will be a reliever before too long.
Wow thankfully I decided to not renew my mlb.tv package. Man Rogers needs to stop being so money hungry already gouging people on cell phones and cable
The blackout stuff is exactly why I don’t but mlb.tv. There has to be a better answer than to not let fans watch their home teams. Let the commercials air? I don’t know, but blacking out regional games is the worst possible solution.
I would buy mlb.tv to NOT have to purchase a cable package…. and they wonder why they are “having a a viewership problem” it’s not pace of play… it’s the stupid blackouts.
Thanks god for less than legit streams because that money grab is ridiculous by Rogers…
Wow JD, we agree on something.
When you say “less than legit”, you really mean 100% illegal. It’s equivalent to buying stolen merchandise off a truck.
And what Roger’s charges for their services with limited competition to normalize the prices should be akin to extortion.
Where can I find this truck? I’ll give them all my money before paying rogers another cent…
I believe reddit has directions to where you can find the truck you’re looking for
Oh well. If this is the worst thing I do in life I can still find a way to sleep at night.
@mcappy. The legal market reinforces the black market when prices are inflated. You can pound the letter of the law all you want but people buying shoes from the back of a vehicle isn’t created in a vacuum.
The Rangers will be a much improved team this season I think. A solid if not spectacular rotation, and the addition of Frazier, etc. Nick Solak will be interesting to see as well, and Calhoun has matured it seems.
The only way the Rangers will be much improved is if they finally swallow the mistake that is Odor’s contract and stop playing him.
I always find it mind boggling when a player has Visa issues. you would think the player/agent make sure these details are ironed out before the day they need to leave?
I agree! It’s not like the dates for spring training we’re just released 2 weeks ago.
It’s your career——-be prepared.
“Visa issues” have been used as a dodge for decades by MLB teams. There’s likely something going on that the Twins don’t care to discuss. Not necessarily that it’s a nefarious thing; could be just a privacy issue that frankly is nobody’s business.
Basically Rogers is making us Jays fans watch their channel and take in their advertising when sometimes I’d rather watch the visiting team’s feed to find out what they are saying about the Jays. And sometimes I would rather listen to Gary Thorne from Baltimore or hear what Jerry Remy has to say.
Can’t listen to the radio broadcast. The overselling and screaming on calls by a 4th place team in nothing games is quite over-the-top and annoying.
As for the Jays rotation it makes sense Thornton is the leading candidate for the 5th spot but I’d have him 4th ahead of Shoemaker. Borucki being hurt takes him out of the equation. Mid-April, Pearson should be up. I’d rather see him compete for a spot and I don’t subscribe to coddling young pitchers. Inning limits and babying young arms hasn’t worked nor has it been the solution to a very long career. He either handles the workload or he doesn’t. That’s up to him.
My personal favourites are listening to the Bosox play by play and commentators, The Yankees have a great broadcasting team as well. Can’t beat Michael Kay, David Cone, Ken Singleton or Paul Oneil.
When Buck and Dan are doing the Jays games it is very good. Pat Tabler is horrendous, I shut it off when he is on.
That is because Buck Martinez is one of the best color guys in baseball and Shulman’s one of the best play-by-play men in the business. The problem is the silent rule that they can’t be negative when it is warranted. The mental mistakes, and there were many last season, were glossed over by the Sportsnet broadcast on both TV and radio.
That isn’t good. Pointing out the mental mistakes made by professionals is a teachable moment for young, aspiring ballplayers across Canada. I don’t want to be forced to support the coverage in this manner.
What is the league average strikeout and walk rate? You started using these stats but don’t give what the standard is haha
League average strikeout and walk rates in 2019 were 23.0% and 8.5%, respectively. I prefer K% and BB% to K/9 and BB/9 because I find they’re more telling of the pitcher’s actual performance, particularly in smaller samples.
If you’re interested, you can find all the league averages for hitting and pitching stats here: https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2019&month=0&season1=2019&ind=0&team=0,ss&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2019-01-01&enddate=2019-12-31
If anybody in Canada has an MLB.TV subscription and wants to watch Jays games through that service—All you’ll need is a VPN to get around this. I’m sure they’ll be blacked out via geolocation and that’s a very simple workaround.
Good idea but more to pay for.
Sure. If you don’t already have a VPN. If you do not—I’d recommend making the investment for one anyway. There’s also free VPN services out there that you could temporarily enable if the sole purpose of you having one was to watch Jays games.
I think we’re going to see a big season out of Willie Calhoun.
Twins fans, do we really wanna see Romero again? He’s had multiple chances…he needs more fine tuning.
He can take his damn time but yes, we want to see him again.
Build the wall! Crime will fall! Thats what the native American Indians should have done.