March 2017

Playing Pepper – Toronto Blue Jays 2017

This season, I was asked to participate in the annual “Playing Pepper” series that takes place on the C70 At The Bat blog. You can find the Toronto Blue Jays edition here. There are many other fantastic Blue Jays bloggers that participated in this years’ edition as well. I hope you enjoy it!

Click this link to read it:

Alyssa Cohen

The Case For Ryan Goins

Toronto Blue Jays IF Ryan Goins is out of options. If Goins were to be left off of the 2017 25-man roster, the Jays would have to put him on waivers, making him available by any major league baseball team to claim. Since Goins is a major league level player, it is more likely than not that he would be claimed by an organization, leaving the Jays with one less utility player.

If you don’t know what the term “options” translates to, here is a great definition from MLB. “A player can go up and down several times in one season, but it would only count as one option for the year. In other words, a player can ride the proverbial shuttle up and down numerous times over the course of one season and it will still only count as one option. If a player hits the magic number and the third option is up, that’s when the term ‘out of options’ comes up. Once the three options are used up, the Major League team cannot send the player down without trying to put him through waivers. That, in turn, exposes the player to the other 29 teams, who are all given an opportunity to claim him.”

This is the kind of situation that led to baseball executives wanting a 26th spot on the roster. Instead, they bargained for a 10-day DL. But for someone like Goins who is out of options, the 10-day DL doesn’t benefit him. It is more of a disadvantage.

The biggest debate going on right now is whether Darwin Barney is better than Goins, and vice versa. While Goins has been with the Blue Jays for several years (and can be considered a Toronto Blue Jays veteran), Barney is arguably better than (or at least equal to) Goins. In my opinion, Goins and SS Troy Tulowitzki are a great pair together in the infield, while Barney and Tulo are “OK”. Goins also has a great presence in the clubhouse, while Barney’s clubhouse presence is somewhat unknown in the media.

Losing a great utility player like Ryan Goins will definitely hurt the Blue Jays in the long run, so what can they do to keep him? Not much. Unless the Blue Jays have a significant injury to one of the 25-man roster position players (forcing them to go onto the 60-day DL) , the Jays will have to put him on waivers.

If the Blue Jays feel that Ryan Goins is the weakest player and unable to make the 25-man roster, the right thing would be for the Blue Jays to trade him, and give him the opportunity to potentially play everyday.

Now you ask, “Do I (Alyssa) think that Ryan Goins will be on the Blue Jays 25-man roster for the start of the 2017 season?” Well, you will have to wait until Friday to find out!

Alyssa Cohen

REPORT: Gibbons Signs a 2-Year Contract Extension

(Hi friends! Quick snippet of some info for this weeks posts that you should know. I have a science test, math test, business test and art project due during this week. Therefore, these next few posts will have been scheduled/pre-written. This is also the reason that I will not be very active on twitter this week. To get to the point, any small Jays news will not be written about this week, and some of last weeks news will be posted this week instead. Unless the Jays trade _____, then I will make a post about it. Anyways, lets get to the post. Have a fantastic week!)

As reported by multiple sources, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons agreed to a two year contract extension, with a club option for the 2020 season.

Gibbons has received many mixed feelings throughout the past several seasons. Starting from his unexpected come back, his feet on the table, and his laid back personality (which is certainly not a bad thing). The thing about good ol’ “Gibby” is that he likes to give the players a chance to lead, which can lead to many different outcomes. With this team, the Jays have great leaders including Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin. Therefore, Gibby does not have to do much. But with the 2013 team, the “leading players” were not very existent.

Unlike former Jays GM Alex Anthopolous, Gibbons hit it off with Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins from the very beginning, which blossomed into a great relationship. Anthopolous and Shapiro reportedly disagreed on some things, which resulted in him leaving the Blue Jays. It is wonderful to see a front office have so much trust in their manager.

So, what do you think about the Blue Jays bringing back John Gibbons? Tweet me your opinions @aalyssacohen!

Alyssa Cohen

The Blue Jays Secret Weapon: Francisco Liriano

LHP Fransisco Liriano is the best fifth starter in all of Major League Baseball.

In 29 starts (with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays), Liriano posted a 4.69 ERA, although he only had a 2.92 ERA with the Jays (August – October 2016).

Liriano has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball, and has continued to prove that in Toronto. He has been the best pitcher the Jays have used in Spring Training, striking out 10 batters in 4 innings pitched in his latest spring training start on Monday.

John Gibbons has previously shared that any one of the five starting pitchers in the rotation would be a good fit to pitch on opening day, and that could not be more true. With the ace of the staff (Aaron Sanchez), ace of the post season (Marco Estrada), ace of 2015 (Marcus Stroman), 20+ game winner (J.A. Happ) and the secret weapon (Francisco Liriano), it is impossible for Gibbons and the pitching staff to make a bad choice about the order of the rotation.

If one of the five starters needs to skip a start, Liriano is someone you can always count on to keep the Jays in the game. Along with being very consistent, he is also extremely reliable.

In 2016, he relied primarily on his Sinker using a Two-seam Fastball grip (93mph) and Slider (86mph), also mixing in a Change (86mph) and Fourseam Fastball (94mph). He also rarely threw a Curve (80mph).

2017 is going to be a very interesting year for the Toronto Blue Jays, but I think it’ll be a good one for Francisco Liriano.

Alyssa Cohen

Injury Update: Dalton Pompey

In last weeks WBC Canada game, Blue Jays player Dalton Pompey slid head first into second base, resulting in some dizziness and worry.

Journalists have been telling us all week that he would be fine and ready for the upcoming season, but last night news broke and revealed otherwise.

Sadly, Dalton Pompey has yet another concussion and will be out indefinitely.

Last season in June, Dalton Pompey caught a pop-fly during the bottom of the ninth and smashed his head into the wall. Bisons medical staff came rushing onto the field, but he was left to finish off the game after nothing serious was suspected. A few days later, we found out that Pompey had gotten a concussion from the hit, and would be out until further notice.


While the concussion from the WBC game came from a head-first stolen base, and not a wall smash, it is still very serious. Ross Atkins announced yesterday that he has a concussion and is going to be shut down.

MLB does not have any strict concussion protocol or rules, leaving it up to the team’s discretion as to when a player with a concussion will come back. Normally, they will be put on the disabled list, but since rules have changed and there is only a 10-day DL, I am not sure how this will work. Since it is only Spring Training, Pompey has a few weeks to recover until opening day.

If this were to have happened during the regular season, losing Dalton Pompey could have been crucial. While the Jays have quality outfielders within the organization – most at the major league level – none are as speedy as Pompey, and speed is something that the current 25-man roster lacks. If anything were to happen with any of the Jays outfield options (players), Pompey could come up and help the team immensely.

Hopefully by the time the regular season begins, Pompey will be all clear under concussion protocol, or very close to coming back to baseball. We wish him all the best!

Alyssa Cohen