April 2017


Due to rain all day in St. Louis, the Toronto Blue Jays will be making up tomorrow’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals in a good, old fashion double header.

I am not a fan of double headers, as I’d rather watch each game, than miss half of one, but it should be fun for the players none the less.

The games will be part of a day/night split.

The first game will be at 1:45p.m., while the second game will be at 7:15pm. I assume Martin will be catching in one game, and Saltalamacchia will be catching in the next one, I am unaware of the order officially. I believe Mat Latos will be starting the afternoon game, and Casey Lawerence will be starting the evening one. Let’s hope our offence comes to play!

Alyssa Cohen

This Week in the Jays Nest #3: From Worse to OK

“This Week in the Jays Nest” is a Toronto Blue Jays weekly recap that will be posted once a week on the Alyssa Cohen MLB Blog. It will feature the highlights of the past weeks Toronto Blue Jays baseball games, injury updates, roster updates and a question of the week.

The Jays hitting came back, and they won not one, not two, but THREE games this week! It’s only a matter of time until the hitting comes back in full force and the quest for the top spot in the division begins!

Roster Updates:

  • Angels aquire catcher Juan Graterol for PTBN or cash, designate OF Ryan LaMarre for assignment.
  • P Casey Lawerence and P Matt Latos added to the 25-man roster. Made starts against the Angels on Friday and Saturday.
  • Jays trade INF Ty Kelly to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash.

Injury Updates:

  • Troy Tulowitzki added to the 10-day disabled list (DL), due to a sore hamstring.

Games Played this Week:

April 18, 2017 – Jays (7) vs. Red Sox (8)

Smoak, Martin, and Carrera all homered in the Jays 11th loss of the season. Marcus Stroman allowed 6 runs in 4 2/3 innings, giving 10+ hits.


Marco Estrada reacting to a foul ball hitting a fan.

April 19, 2017 – Jays (3) vs. Red Sox (0)

The Jays looked great in this game, and although the score doesn’t really show it, they were hitting. This looked like a 2016 Jays game, stellar pitching and just enough offence for the team to win. Liriano looked great, throwing six complete shutout innings. Biagini, Grilli and Osuna were good, giving Osuna his first win of the season!

April 20, 2017 – Jays (1) vs. Red Sox (4)

After Morales hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Jays fell apart in extra innings due to Grilli loading up the bases and giving up a bases clearing hit.


Kendrys Morales hugging Roberto Osuna after hitting a game tying home run.

April 21, 2017 – Jays (8) vs. Angels (7)

This game lasted over four hours, and finished at 3:40am EST! Darwin Barney was SO close to a grand slam, and that’s when I called it a night… only to wakeup to a Jays win! Joey Bats hit his first home run of the season, and while the bottom of the 13th (!!) innings was scary, the Jays managed to walk away with a win!


José Bautista after the final out of the game.

April 22, 2017 – Jays (4) vs. Angels (5)

The Jays sure made this one interesting, but they couldn’t come away with a win.

April 23, 2017 – Jays (6) vs. Angels (1)

Had the Jays lost the game, it would have been fault of the home plate umpire and his stupid illegal pitch call. It seemed like innings one through seven were one game, and innings eight and nine were another. The Jays had 3 hits and 0 runs through innings 1-7, and 6 runs (including 3 homers) in innings 8-9. Marcus Stroman pitched his second complete game of the season (and it’s only April!!) and the Blue Jays came away with a win!


Devon Travis after hitting his first home run of the season.

Gifs of the Week: Brought to you by ateDARYL



Question of the Week:

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I think that there has been a difference because most of the players that have been having slower starts seem to look more comfortable in their at bats. Whether they may be taking an extra pitch or being more pitch selective, players like Russel Martin and José Bautista look like they have been slowing down their approach, making their at-bats better. Behind closed doors, there have probably been many pep-talks lead by veteran players or coaches. I am sure those help a lot too!

Although the Jays may not have had an amazing week on paper, this week felt different than the past two. The hitting seems to be coming back, even when having two veteran players on the DL (Tulo and Donaldson).

Let’s hope that next week will be even better!

Alyssa Cohen

Kevin Pillar: The New and Improved Blue Jays Superman!

Kevin Pillar has been the Toronto Blue Jays lead-off hitter for the past six games. He now has a seventh game hitting streak, and looks better than he has ever been before at the plate. Along with Justin Smoak and Darwin Barney, he has been one of the best hitters on the 2017 Blue Jays team. But from striking out in almost every at bat last year, how did he come to where he is today?

The 2015/2016 Jays sluggers have had freezing bats in the past thirteen regular season games. Bautista, Martin, Pearce and Travis have a combined batting average of .125, while Pillar, Smoak and Barney are averaging .328 combined. Who would have guessed that?

In thirteen games, Pillar has a .345 batting average, one of the highest among blue jays starters. He has adjusted his stance and mind at the plate, helping him get to his high average. In Spring Training, Pillar was one of the hottest hitters, while Bautista, Travis, and Donaldson were all absent (due to the World Baseball Classic and injuries). He has taken all of the things he practiced in spring training, and has successfully applied them into his major league at bats.

Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler and Dan Shulman (Toronto Blue Jays play-by-play announcers/colour commentators), have praised Pillar of his new offensive approach. Pillar has started to resist the urge to hit un-hittable pitches, while hitting the ones that he should be able to touch. And while Kevin Pillar has still struck out a few times this season, he has not been striking out at the same rate he was throughout last season. He has been able to force the pitcher to throw deep into the count, while waiting for the certain pitches that he know he can hit. Remember, the Jays are not paying him to hit home runs, they are paying him to get on base for the other hitters who can hopefully bring him back around home (although, that has been the Jays main trouble early in the season).

Kevin Pillar has stated before that he wants to be known as an all-around player, not just known for superman like catches. If he can continue to play the way he has been for the past 13 games, fans will definitely start to think of him as the Superman who is saving the team (and Canada)!

Alyssa Cohen

This Week in the Jays Nest #2: From Bad to Worse

“This Week in the Jays Nest” is a Toronto Blue Jays weekly recap that will be posted once a week on the Alyssa Cohen MLB Blog. It will feature the highlights of the past weeks Toronto Blue Jays baseball games, injury updates, roster updates and a question of the week.

Last week, the Toronto Blue Jays were 1-5, now they are 2-10. But… it’s still early!

Roster Updates:

  • After being on the disabled list (DL) for 10-days, Roberto Osuna was activated onto the 25-man roster. The Blue Jays optioned Casey Lawerence back to AAA to make room for Osuna on the roster.
  • Blue Jays claim 3B Ty Kelly off of waivers from the Mets.
  • C Juan Graterol designated for assignment.
  • Chris Coghlan added to 25-man roster, replacing Josh Donaldson.
  • LHP Matt Darmody recalled onto 25-man roster, replacing Aaron Sanchez.

Injury Updates:

Games Played this Week:

April 11, 2017 – Jays (3) vs. Brewers (4)

The Blue Jays home opener was an interesting one. J.A. Happ didn’t look as sharp as usual, giving up a few home runs. The Jays have now lost nine straight home openers.

April 12, 2017 – Jays (0) vs. Brewers (2)

Marcus Stroman had an amazing game, giving up 2 ER in a complete nine innings. But, the Blue Jays offence was dead-silent and couldn’t seem to come up with one run, let alone a big hit!

April 13, 2017 – Jays (1) vs. Orioles (2)

Liriano struck out 10 in a good rebound game, since his previous start. While Donaldson had a good game, he exited the game in the sixth with an injury.

April 14, 2017 – Jays (4) vs. Orioles (6)

Justin Smoak had his first home run and an RBI single, but Aaron Sanchez gave up 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings.

April 15, 2017 – Jays (2) vs. Orioles (1)

The second win of the season comes thanks to Kendrys Morales (AGAIN!). The Jays took a 1-0 lead in the eighth, but closer Roberto Osuna came in and gave up the tying run. K-Mo hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth and the Jays won! Fun fact: While Osuna blew the save, he still got the win. Baseball, eh?

April 16, 2017 – Jays (4) vs. Orioles (11)

J.A. Happ was throwing a great game until he was taken out suddenly in the fifth. Matt Dermody came in to relief a few innings later… here was his stat line: 0.1IP, 4H, 5ER, BB, 3HR. And the Jays finished the week 1-5… again.

Question of the Week:

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While I’m not against the hashtag, I think there are other better options. A fun things that the Jays could have done, was have fans submit hashtag suggestion. They could have chosen the best one, and the winner would get a free pair of 2017 seasons tickets! I think we should hang on to the new one, as it is the official hashtag. But, most of the time I just use #BlueJays.

While we are only 10 games in, this season is definitley progessing weakly. Just remember, the 1995 Reds started the season 1-8 and won the division by nine games! Yes, I’m saying there’s a chance!!

Alyssa Cohen

Injury Update: J.A. Happ

In the bottom of the fifth inning on April 16, 2017, SP J.A. Happ exited the game suddenly after throwing a pitch and jumping off of the mound. J.A. Happ was having a great outing, allowing just four hits and no runs with three strikeouts over 4.1 innings pitched.

According to sources, J.A. Happ left the game due to left elbow soreness, but not has been officially confirmed. J.A. Happ says the pain came in his elbow “out of nowhere,” after the last pitch of the fourth inning (two-seam fastball). He didn’t hear a pop. J.A. Happ will be getting an MRI tomorrow, and once information has been released this post will be updated.

The Toronto Blue Jays have now (potentially) lost two starters in under 24 hours. So, what now?

In the post game press conference, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told media that it would be unlikely that we will see Biagini would have a stretched out into a starting roll, and more likely to bring up a AAA starter for depth. The Blue Jays have Mat Latos to lean on, which would be a the likeliest option. He has starting pitching experience, although he was not great for the Blue Jays in spring training. The Blue Jays did get Latos for “worst case scenarios”, and it seems like those are happening right now.

UPDATE: J.A. Happ was added onto the 10-day DL with elbow inflammation. INF Ty Kelly recalled from AAA Buffalo.

Alyssa Cohen

To view all injury updates in one spot, click here.