Archive for the ‘ This Week in the Jays Nest ’ Category

This Week in the Jays Nest #5: Bullpen Strong

“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 Blue Jays completed their one week road trip with a .500 record. Ever since the 2-11 start, the Jays have been 9-9! If only they could win 9 games in a row…

Roster Updates:

  • RHP Danny Barnes called up to replace Aaron Sanchez on roster.
  • Blue Jays release C Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
  • Blue Jays claim RHP Neil Ramirez off waivers from SFGiants.
  • Mat Latos DFA’d.
  • Blue Jays claim RHP Cesar Valdez from #A’s and optioned him to AAA Buffalo.
  • Neil Ramirez has been activated per club.
  • Blue Jays acquire C Pat Cantwell from Texas for PTBNL or cash. He will report to New Hampshire (AA).

Injury Updates:

  • Aaron Sanchez placed back on 10-day DL (split nail).
  • J.A. Happ threw on flat ground, not close to return (May 3).
  • Donaldson and Tulowitzki took ground balls (May 3).
  • Marcus Stroman pulled from May 3 start due to “tightness in his arm”.
  • Aaron Sanchez threw 33 pitches in a bullpen side session off the mound. Curve balls part of arsenal. No sign of blood. Positive day. (May 7)

Games Played This Week:

May 1, 2017 – Jays (7) @ Yankees (1)

José Bautista finally hit his second home run of the season, along with Chris Coghlan (1) and Ryan Goins (1)! Marco Estrada also pitched seven excellent innings, resulting in our Blue Jays winning the series opener!

May 2, 2017 – Jays (5) @ Yankees (11)

Mat Latos had a rough start, giving up 10 hits and four homers in four innings. The offence was pretty quiet, and it seemed like the Jays were out of it since the beginning of the game.

May 3, 2017 – Jays (6) @ Yankees (8)

The Jays scored four runs in the first inning, but sadly Marcus Stroman was not as sharp as normal, allowing the Yankees to score three runs in the bottom of the first. The Jays never seemed out of the game, until the seventh inning when they gave up three runs.

May 5, 2017 – Jays (8) @ Rays (4)

If you would have told me that the Jays would have won this game, I would never have believed you! It seemed that this game had been made up of two games, one game during innings one through six, and another game during innings seven through nine. Thanks to a strong bullpen performance and two Kendrys Morales homers, the Jays came away with a win!

May 6, 2017 – Jays (1) @ Rays (6)

The Jays bats seemed to have been swinging… at least in the first inning. Marco Estrada gave up 5 runs to the Rays for the second time this season, as the Blue Jays lost 6-1.

May 7, 2017 – Jays (2) @ Rays (1)

The Blue Jays won the their second series of the season, curiosity of the Tampa Bay Rays (again!). Joe Biagini made his first MLB start and pitched a gem of a game, giving up 5 hits and one un-earned run! Thanks to Darwin Barney’s first home run of the year, the Jays won the game 2-1!

Gifs of the Week: Brought to you by ateDARYL

Blog Posts Published this Week:

Who is the Toronto Blue Jays Fifth Starter?

Blue Jays Release C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Joe Biagini to Start on Sunday against Tampa Bay Rays

This upcoming week marks the return of our beloved Edwin Encarnacion, lets show him the love he deserves (as long as he doesn’t bring along the parrot!).

Alyssa Cohen

This Week in the Jays Nest #4: Stirring Up a Comeback?

“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.

This week felt a bit different from the past few. I feel like every week keeps getting better, and this week followed that pattern! Thanks to my cousin, I went to my first Jays game of the season on Sunday (and I got the Stroman replica jersey!). I saw Bautista’s 1000th hit as a Blue Jay, the first time this season the Jays have won a series, and the first time they’ve won back-to-back games this season!

Roster/Game Day Updates:

  • Chris Coghlan makes his first start at 3B as a Blue Jay (April 24).
  • LHP J.P. Howell activated from the disabled list and RHP Leonel Campos has been optioned to AAA Buffalo.
  • Russel Martin starts at 3B (April 25).
  • April 26 Jays game postponed due to weather issues, game made up in double header on April 27 (1:45pm, 7:15pm).
  • Jose Bautista’s first appearance at 3B since April 14,’s also his 387th career appearance at 3B (April 27).
  • Blue Jays option Casey Lawrence to triple-A Buffalo; recall Matt Dermody.
  • Jarrod Saltalmacchia designated for assignment (DFA’d).
  • LHP Matt Darmody optioned to AAA-Buffalo (April 29).

Injury Updates:

  • Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki both still on the DL, unclear of their expected return.

Games Played This Week:

April 24, 2017 – Jays (1) @ Angels (2)

Jesse Chavez made his first start of the season, but Chavez was no match for the Jays, giving up one run in six innings. The Angels bullpen did there best to silent the Jays bats and we lost 2-1.

April 25, 2017 – Jays (6) @ Cardinals (5)

This will go down as one of the best Blue Jays games played this season. Estrada was great, giving up two runs in six innings. Thanks to an acrobatic play by utility man Chris Coghlan, the Jays were up 4-2 in the seventh inning. The bats finally came alive, but Osuna blew the save, and we went into extra innings. Miraculously, RHP Marcus Stroman hit the game tying double, and he eventually came into score to get the winning run. WOW! Plus, Mark Buehrle was also at the game! And the post game comments were almost (but not nearly) as good as the game itself! This may have been the craziest Jays game since the 2015 Jays vs. Rangers ALDS. Just check out the results from a poll I ran on twitter:

Everything about this game was odd, but that just made it even better!


DOUBLE HEADER: April 27, 2017 (Game One) – Jays (4) @ Cardinals (8)

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Jays lost this heartbreaking game 8-4, after Osuna blew yet another save. The Cardinals hit a walk-off grand slam to win this one in extra innings, taking a win away from Mat Latos (who pitched a gem of a game).

DOUBLE HEADER: April 27, 2017 (Game Two) – Jays (4) @ Cardinals (6)

While this game looked like a clear loss, the Jays made it interesting in the fifth inning scoring four runs, along with a Kendrys Morales home run. But, they couldn’t come back to grab the win.

April 28, 2017 – Jays (4) vs. Rays (7)

The Blue Jays finally came back home to the Rogers Centre, but the bats of the Tampa Bay Rays were no match for the Jays. Stroman pitched a great game, going 7 1/3 innings, striking out 10 batters, but Jason Grilli gave up 4 runs in the eighth inning, to give the Rays a 5-3 lead. Eventually, the Jays would get a run back in the ninth, but the Rays won 7-4.

April 29, 2017 – Jays (4) vs. Rays (1)

The Jays pitching looked like how it was playing last season! Fransisco Liriano earned his second win, pitching 5 innings of one run ball, and the bullpen threw four scoreless innings. Justin Smoak went 3-3 and Russel Martin had two hits including an RBI, in this Jays win!

April 30, 2017 – Jays (3) vs. Rays (1)

I attended my first Jays game of the season and saw the Jays first series win, first consecutive win and José Bautista’s 1000th hit as a Blue Jay! After Aaron Sanchez left the game after throwing just one inning, Ryan Teperra and the entire Jays bullpen pitched a great game and keeping the Jays in it for the entire game. Thanks to hits from José Bautista and Russ Martin, the Jays won their second game in a row!!

Question(s) of the Week:

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I have not been around since the beginning of the Blue Jays, but in most recent seasons I would say he is definitely near the top of the list. Ryan Teperra also comes to mind, but since his fantastic outing on Sunday, I think he may have secured a spot in the bullpen. Danny Barnes has been one of more reliable pitchers in the bullpen, but since there are only 25 spots on the roster, the Jays have had to push him back down and bring him back up. Now with the 10-day DL, we will probably start to see more of him.

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I think that Ryan Tempera definitely could be stretched out to become a starter. With the way the Jays are playing now, it could be possible for him to pitch 4-5 innings and give the rest of the game to the bullpen to finish off. Casey Lawerence may possibly be making his third start as a Jay, but I think Teperra might be a better option.

The Jays had there best week yet, with both their hitting and pitching coming back to help them win games! Hopefully the winning streak will be able to continue into this upcoming week!

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

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

This Week in the Jays Nest #1: It’s Too Early

“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.

I know what you’re thinking (unless you are not one of the negative people in the Jays-osphere). “AHHHHHH! The Jays have started the season 1-5, one of their worst starts in franchise history. Trade Donaldson, Trade Morales, FIRE SHAPIRO AND ATKINS!!” But I am here to tell you that it is just too early to worry right now.

Roster Updates:

  • Unlike what I had previously written about (and anticipated), the Jays released Melvin Upton Jr. and decided to keep Ryan Goins on the 25-man roster. While Goins is a great defensive utility player, his lack of offence may come to hurt the Blue Jays. Upton definitely did not have a great offensive season once he was traded to the Jays, but he did hit 20 home runs. Will picking Goins over Upton hurt the Jays in the long run? We will have to wait to find out.
  • Mike Bolsinger (acquired from the Dodgers for Jesse Chavez during the 2016 trade deadline) was DFA’d (Designated For Assignment). He has since cleared waivers and is now pitching in AAA Buffalo (Bisons).
  • Gavin Floyd was released from the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Last spring training, he was fighting for the fifth spot in the starting rotation up against Aaron Sanchez. After starting the season in the bullpen, he became injured after tearing his right lat muscle. While he was only scheduled to miss 8-12 weeks, he ended up staying on the DL (disabled list) for the rest of the 2016 season. In January (2017), the Jays signed him to a minor league contract, but last week he was released.

Injury Updates:

  • After a rough appearance in the first week of the season, JP Howell was put on the 10-day DL due to a sore shoulder.
  • Roberto Osuna has been put on the 10-day DL, Jason Grilli will be the closer for the week.

Games Played This Week:

April 3, 2017 – Jays (2) @ Orioles (3)

After a disappointing spring training record, the Toronto Blue Jays looked to take on the Baltimore Orioles for the season opener. While the home opener does not start until April 11, there were a lot of Jays fans showing their support for our team! The Jays offence looked good at the beginning, but not so well nearing the end of the game. The Jays lost in extra innings, due to a walk off home run from Mark Trumbo, off of Jason Grilli.

April 5, 2017 – Jays (1) @ Orioles (3)

A quality start was performed in J.A. Happ’s first outing of the season, but the Blue Jays had major trouble with RISP. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but came away without any runs, just a loss. On the bright side, Superman (AKA Kevin Pillar) made a spectacular catch!

April 6, 2017 – Jays (5) @ Rays (2)

YAY, the Jays first win of the season! The newest Blue Jays slugger, Kendrys Morales, hit a no-doubt 444 ft. grand slam, which gave the Jays a 4-0 lead in the third. Stroman was exceptional during his first outing of the season, giving up just one run in the seventh inning.

April 7, 2017 – Jays (8) @ Rays (10)

After the Jays started the game with a 2-0 lead, all fans thought that Fransisco Liriano would be able to keep the score at that. Unfortunately, he gave up five runs in the bottom of the first and threw 35 pitches in one third of an inning. While the Jays kept threatening, the Rays were ultimately the better team.

April 8, 2017 – Jays (2) @ Rays (3)

The Jays were looking to take the lead in the series against the Rays, and with Aaron Sanchez on the mound, we were hopeful that they would. The game started off as a pitchers dual, and was practically one all the way until the final out. The Jays lost in extra innings for the second time this season, due to loading up the bases (via two intentional walks) for Brad Miller, who took ball four and won the game for the Rays.

April 9, 2017 – Jays (2) @ Rays (7)

The majority of the offence came from Donaldson’s first homer of the season, but sadly the Rays offence was much better. The Jays dropped their fifth loss in six games.

Question of the Week:

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Since the Toronto Blue Jays have been playoff contenders for the past two seasons, many new fans are gaining concern too easily and way too early. New fans only know the Blue Jays as a playoff team, and the Jays won’t be one every season. They are generally known as a slugging team, and when the offence is quiet, it is very out of character for the Jays. 162 games is a long season for any sport, especially baseball.

Well, wasn’t that an interesting week? The Toronto Blue Jays have started off the season 1-5, but there are still 156 games left to lead the American League East.

A good team loses 60-70 games every season, so the panic button should not be pushed yet.

Alyssa Cohen