In a piece that any Blue Jays fan will want to read, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi chatted with right-hander Anthony Bass about what it was like to be on the other side of Toronto’s stunning ALDS comeback against the Rangers in 2015. Bass wasn’t on Texas’ ALDS roster, Davidi notes, but he was on hand as a member of the taxi squad and experienced the stunning defeat first-hand. Bass chronicles the manner in which tensions began to boil from Game 1 of the series all the way through the baffling (but within the rules) play that allowed Rougned Odor to score on a throw back to the pitcher and the three errors that set up Jose Bautista’s iconic bat flip a half inning later. Bass called Bautista’s bomb “a dagger” and likened the Rangers’ clubhouse in the wake of that defeat to a morgue. Joining the Jays on a waiver claim nearly a half decade later didn’t conjure up any bad memories for Bass, who explained that he was simply “excited about how much the organization was happy to have me.” It’s an excellent first-hand look back at one of the most epic games in recent memory and a welcome diversion from our current baseball-free landscape.
Some more notes on the Jays…
- Although the Blue Jays shut down left-hander Ryan Borucki in Spring Training due to tightness in his left elbow, but manager Charlie Montoyo revealed today that Borucki is feeling “great” and hasn’t had any setbacks in working his way back from that hiccup (Twitter link via Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith). The 26-year-old Borucki should be a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chase Anderson, Tanner Roark and Matt Shoemaker in a dramatically overhauled Jays rotation. Borucki broke into the Majors with 97 2/3 innings of 3.87 ERA/3.80 FIP ball in 2018, but elbow troubles limited him to just 6 2/3 innings last year.
- Of course, many Blue Jays fans are more curious about exactly when uber-prospect Nate Pearson will arrive in the Majors. General manager Ross Atkins touched on that subject a bit when stepping in as the host for Gregor Chisholm’s reader mailbag at the Toronto Star this week. Asked how the delayed season will impact Pearson, who was expected to be on an innings limit in 2020, Atkins explained that rather than stick to a rudimentary and “rigid” innings limit, the organization is more focused on “monitoring fatigue, workload, and effort” with all of their pitchers but perhaps particularly with Borucki and Shoemaker (who is returning from a torn ACL that cost him most of the 2019 season). Asked whether with hypothetical advance knowledge that the season would be up in the air, the Jays still would have still signed Ryu to a four-year pact, Atkins indicated that the signing was as much about 2021 and beyond as 2020 and doubted the Jays’ offseason plans would’ve radically altered. Other topics include the upcoming draft, Atkins’ own day-to-day routine during the shutdown and the ways in which his own approach to player development has evolved over the years.