May 2017

Injury Update: J.A. Happ Scheduled to Start on Tuesday against Reds

Just when you thought the Blue Jays couldn’t get any better after last nights 17-2 win, they did!

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ will be activated tomorrow and make his first start of the month tomorrow.

You can read all about his initial injury here.

Corresponding to activating J.A. Happ, the Blue Jays will be sending RHP Dominic Leone to AAA Buffalo. Leone has been mediocre in 21 games with the Blue Jays (pitching in relief). In yesterday’s 17-2 win (!!!!!), Leone pitched two scoreless innings.

Fransisco Liriano is scheduled to comeback near the end of this week, more updates will come as info is released.

The Blue Jays seem to be getting stronger and healthier with each coming day. Let’s hope that trend continues to go up as we look for a postseason spot!

Alyssa Cohen

Baseball with Alyssa: Rangers @ Blue Jays – May 27, 2017

Every year on May 27, I celebrate my birthday. Since 2016, I have gone to a baseball game with my parents to mark the occasion and celebrate my birthday with the Toronto Blue Jays!

This years’ birthday game was much different than last years.

It all started with the tweet above. My mom was in contact with someone from the Toronto Blue Jays ticketing and events division, and decided to talk to the man she was on the phone with about my twitter and blog, and potentially doing something special for my birthday. He ended up giving her the contact to Blue Jays Manager of Digital Marketing, April Whitzman. April and my Mother corresponded via email, and arranged for myself to arrive at the Rogers Centre at 9:45am to shadow April with all of her pre-game work. Needless to say, I was incredibly excited for this opportunity… it was just an added bonus that this was happening on my birthday!

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Myself on the field before batting practice, taking a selfie with my press pass!

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Standing in front of the view of the Rogers Centre field from the press box.

Once I had met April and gotten my press pass, we headed upstairs to the media/press box. It is located directly in the center of the Rogers Centre, and sits all of the media and journalists that cover the Toronto Blue Jays. The box was huge, and must sit over 50 people. Above the rows of chairs and up the stairs, there is a food/drink bar with a lot of tables for all media to talk about the game, as well as eat a delicious meal prepared by Blue Jays chefs. Everyone was so friendly inside. Directly beside the rows of chairs, there are the broadcasts booths. One with Joe Siddal and Jerry Howarth, the other with Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler. It was so cool to be able to see there view and their vantage point of every game they call. To the left of the broadcast booths, there is a massive room that houses all of the video and different angles from each camera. The people inside are the ones that help make the Blue Jays game broadcasted on TV so smoothly!

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Myself, April, and a Blue Jays photographer headed to the field as the grounds crew were hard at work preparing the field for batting practice and the game ahead! It felt so magical stepping onto the field, knowing that every player steps on this same surface for every single Blue Jays home game.

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As we headed the the dugout, I noticed all of the batting helmets for each player on the bench. If you flip the picture upside down, you will see numbers of some of our favourite players, including Russel Martin; Devon Travis; and Josh Donaldson!

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Of course, I had to sit on the dugout benches! The first two pictures were taken by April, the third and fourth were taken by the photographer.

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We went back to the press box, which is where April and the man she works with showed me everything that goes into running every Toronto Blue Jays social media account! For every game, it is there job to post the lineup on social media. They use a photoshop and a pre-made template to enter the names, and select a player to showcase beside it. I chose José Bautista for the May 27 game (and I made the right choice!).

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Once the Blue Jays went onto the field for batting practice, we went back onto the field to capture pre-game content for the Jays social media accounts. It was unbelievable to be standing so close to our favourite players and coaches, something I had only ever dreamed of doing! Batting practice was optional for both teams, so only a handful of batters took BP (none of the Rangers batters did).

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While on the field, I captured Jays manager John Gibbons being interviews by reporters and Sportsnet media.

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Several Blue Jays players were on the field, taking batting practice or being interviewed by players. There were also a lot of fans on the field taking pictures and getting autographs from the players.

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On the field, I the chance to meet Barry Davis. He was so friendly and kind, and we chatted for a few minutes about his podcast!

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At the end of batting practice, I took a few photos and said hi to many of you that were there that normally correspond with me on twitter! It was so nice to meet so many of you at the game!

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I then headed all the way up to my seats to sit with my Mom and Dad! We sat all the way up in the 500 section, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

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As all of you (should) know, our Blue Jays won the game 3-1, but it was quite an odd one! From multiple hit by pitches, a first pitch of the game homer, an Odor trip and fall, and (most importantly) a three run home-run by none other than “Texas Rangers Owner” José Bautista(!), it made this game much more interesting to watch live!

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This game and my birthday were a huge success. If it wasn’t thanks to each and every one of you who read these blog posts and/or my tweets, this would never have happened! Thanks to my Mom, April Whitzman and the Toronto Blue Jays organization for making this happen! Thanks to all of you for your lovely birthday messages and words of encouragement, I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Alyssa Cohen

Injury Update: Donaldson and Tulowitzki to Rejoin the Blue Jays on Friday

Toronto Blue Jays all-stars Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki will be rejoining the team  on Friday to start off their longest home-stand so far this season.

Donaldson and Tulowitzki have been on the D.L. for over a month combined, but the Jays have been doing better without them, than when they started the season with them. Overall, the bench players have been doing a tremendous job trying to fill the void of having two of the biggest Jays super sluggers on the roster. John Gibbons seems to agree with me as well, “These other guys have filled in and done a good job, but every team’s built a certain way,” Gibbons said. “You have your core guys. If you’re going to do anything, you’re going to need those guys. I think everybody will be glad to see them.”

Donaldson has not been 100% healthy since the middle of the 2016 season, while Tulowitzki has not been healthy since the beginning of the season.

Hopefully, we will have J.A. Happ and Fransisco Liriano back on the team within the next  few days.

Coincidently, Donaldson and Tulowitzki will be coming back right in time to play the Texas Rangers… this series should be really interesting!

Alyssa Cohen

Blue Jays Top Prospect Anthony Alford is Coming to the Show!

The Toronto Blue Jays have called up Anthony Alford (!!!!) from AA to make his Blue Jays debut tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. He will be starting in left field, batting eighth.

Alford was ranked 34th on Baseball America’s most recent prospect list, along with other Jays prospect stars including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.

Other MLB organizations would not normally bring a prospect from AA to MLB, but we can argue that Alford is much different than other prospects. He has a .325/.411/.455 batting line with three home runs and nine stolen bases in 33 games. Alford is arguably one of the best prospects the Blue Jays have ever had in the history of their organization. He is such an impressive player and people around MLB will be talking about him today.

The Blue Jays also promoted Dwight Smith Jr., due to the Kevin Pillar 2 day suspension. Smith Jr. was decent yesterday, and debuted in Atlanta with his family and friends watching him.

The Jays have made quite the statement these past two days by bringing up two big name prospects. It shows the direction the Toronto Blue Jays want to be heading to in the future. They are not going to sign big name superstars, but rather develop and make their own. Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins said during this past offseason that they want to make the team faster and younger, and while it didn’t seem like they were doing that in the offseason, they seem to be on the track they want to be on. With all of the injuries that have struck the Jays team, this can give a chance for prospects to make their debuts and see exactly what the big leagues are all about. The front office seems to know what they are doing, and we have to trust them with the future of the Blue Jays organization. Trust me, they know what they are doing.

I for one am very excited to see Anthony Alford’s MLB debut, and hope he will become a face of the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the future!

Alyssa Cohen

Injury Update: Steve Pearce

On May 14, Blue Jays LF Steve Pearce left the game in the second inning with a right calf strain. After hitting a double into the right-centre gap, Pearce immediately stood up to signal that something was wrong and walked right into the clubhouse.

The Jays have already been hit by the “DL bug” and were one of the first teams to do so.

Later in the game, Carerra had a very minor encounter with the home-plate umpire, but did not get ejected. The Jays could not have afforded for him to get ejected, as there were no other bench players that could fill in. If that had happened, they could have dropped the DH and put Smoak in the outfield, and Morales at first base.

The next day after the game, Pearce had an MRI (#LetsMRIs) which showed a right calf strain, landing him a spot on the never-ending DL.

The Blue Jays first brought up P Leonel Campos, but optioned him back down to AAA so they could bring up utility player Darrell Ceciliani.

Pearce joins Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, J.A. Happ, Fransisco Liriano, Russell Martin, Dalton Pompey, Bo Schultz, and Glenn Sparkman on the DL.