Jake English of Birds Eye View stops by to preview the Baltimore Orioles are part of the 2017 AL East preview series. He discusses the continual lack of strength/depth in the rotation, Chris Tillman’s injury, the slugging offense, and some fancy roster maneuvering by Dan Duquette. Greg and Josh also discuss the recent returns to “action” for Josh Donaldson and Devon Travis, Kendrys Morales’ continued spring success, Canada’s abysmal showing in the World Baseball classic, Jose Bautista and Marcus Stroman’s STRONG showings, and some approach changes for Kevin Pillar and Justin Smoak. They also give Do-Overs to the Blue Jays social media team and Peter Gammons.
Matt Kory of Baseball Prospectus stops by to discuss the Red Sox as part of the AL East preview series. He discusses the issues related to David Price’s health, compares the Jays rotation to the one in Boston, and looks at which hitters are likely to get better, and which ones are likely to regress. Greg and Josh also discuss the lingering injury to Devon Travis, the rumors surrounding Brett Lawrie, the spring debuts of Steve Pearce and Troy Tulowitzki, Angel Pagan rumours, and Josh’s observations from Florida. They also answer listener questions, and give out a Do-Over and a Gold Star.
In the first AL East preview episode of the year, BP Bronx’s Stacey Gotsulias stops by to preview the New York Yankees with discussion about the suspect pitching, the upside and unrealistic expecations of the young hitters, and the villainous Randy Levine. Greg and Josh also go over the news from the first week of Spring Training games, including Joe Biagini’s 2017 role, the health of Josh Donaldson, Kendrys Morales’ power, the impressive Rowdy Tellez, and notes on performances of Mat Latos and Marcus Stroman. Finally, they answer listener questions and give out a Do-Over.
Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger stops by to discuss reaction to his 2016 trade to the Blue Jays, battling for a job in spring training, transitioning from the rotation to the bullpen, and pitch selection. Greg, Josh, and a returning Chris also discuss the latest spring news, including Josh Donaldson’s injury, Kevin Pillar’s planned change in approach, Devon Travis’ potential with the bat, Russell Martin at the WBC, and Jose Bautista contract talk. Finally they answer a bunch of listener questions, give two Do-Overs, and make a special announcement.
Greg Hamilton, coach and director of national teams for Baseball Canada, stops by to discuss Canada’s World Baseball Classic team. He details the selection process for the roster, the need for a blend of youth and experience, and how the team reacted to the absence of so many top players. Greg and Josh also break down the last couple weeks of Blue Jays news with a look at the Joe Smith and Mat Latos signings, Aaron Sanchez’ being let loose, and the loss of the latest “Catcher of the Future.” Finally, they answer listener questions and give a Do-Over to their good buddy, Rob Manfred.
Greg and Josh discuss the recent signing of left-handed reliever, J.P. Howell, with a look at what role he will fill in the Blue Jays pen and how he compares to other reported options. They also discuss other rumoured free agent targets, Blue Jays prospects and their placements on top prospect lists, and Roy Halladay’s election to the Candian Baseball Hall of Fame. Finally, the guys answer a bunch of listener questions and give a Do-Over to Hal Steinbrenner.
Greg and Josh discuss Jose Bautista’s return to Toronto with a look at what he means to the Jays and their fans, his polarizing nature, and how he may be used going forward, as well as a break down of the unusual minutiae in his one year contract. They also discuss the Andrew McCutchen trade rumours, the somewhat unusual Blue Jays arbitration cases, and the Hall of Fame results. Finally, they answer a bunch of listener questions and give out both a Do-Over and a Gold Star.
In Part 2 of the Hall of Fame episode, Greg and Josh are joined first by Sam Mellinger of the KC Star to discuss the pressure of being a first time voter and the differences between filling out a theoretical one and one that will actually count towards the final tally. They also speak to Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer and the Effecitvely Wild podcast about the reasons behind the surge in voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, whether the final ballot effect is the reason for Tim Raines’ push, and challenges created by the current Hall of Fame voting system.
In Part 1 of the two-part Hall of Fame episode of Artificial Turf Wars, Greg and Josh speak to Jay Jaffe about his JAWS metric, how many writers use the stat in determining their own ballots, players he feels are under-served by Hall of Fame voting, and the best players on this year’s ballot. They also discuss Jay’s upcoming book, The Cooperstown Casebook. Greg and Josh also briefly discuss Jays news concerning Edwin’s departure to Cleveland, Jose Bautista rumours, and Aaron Sanchez’ new representation before answering listener questions.
Part 2 will be released on Thursday morning.
Greg and Josh discuss the latest news surrounding Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, the extremely slow offseason, and the apparently Blue Jays strategies to fill their remaining roster holes. They also give out a Do Over, take a trip down memory lane to visit a man temporarily called Ralph, and answer a bunch of listener questions.