Toronto picked Drew Hutchison to make his first opening-day start, and the right-hander is slated to face the Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka on April 6 in New York. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 31st, 2015
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Danny Valencia, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak homered in the first two innings off Brett Olberholtzer, and Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 7-4 Monday night. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 31st, 2015
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Facing his former team, Jeff Samardzija gave up two-run homers to Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan and solo shots to Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo as the White Sox lost 6-3 to the crosstown-rival Chicago Cubs on Friday. ”I think we’ll see a little feast or famine out of the Cubbies this year, huh?” said Samardzija, who was the opening-day starter for the Cubs the past two seasons. ”They don’t get cheated.” ”It was fun to pitch against them,” Samardzija added. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 30th, 2015
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Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six solid innings, leading a split-squad of Baltimore Orioles to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Jimenez, who is competing for a spot in Baltimore’s rotation, allowed one run and five hits. ”The only thing I have in my mind is getting myself ready for the season like I have done the last 10 years.” Jimenez signed a $50 million, four-year contract with Baltimore last February, and then struggled. He also was left off Baltimore’s roster for the AL championship series. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 30th, 2015
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BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Gregory Polanco homered for the second straight day and Neil Walker hit a two-run double Saturday, as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat a Toronto Blue Jays split squad 8-3. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 29th, 2015
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When it comes to baseball's top prospects, pay close attention to the Windy City, Southern California and a trio of potential Cuban stars. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 29th, 2015
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An unlucky and untimely setback on the baseball field is about to help Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman get one step ahead in the game of life. After suffering a torn left ACL during a pitchers’ fielding drill on March 10 and subsequently being ruled out for the season, Stroman has decided to return to Duke University this summer with the intention of completing his degree.    I will be heading back to @DukeU this summer to finish my degree. Also, be able to rehab with some of the best doctors in the world! #HDMH — Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) March 27, 2015 Beyond excited for this time in my life. Being a college graduate was also priority. Little hiatus from baseball while I prepare for 2016! — Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) March 27, 2015 Don’t think for a second that being in school will interfere with my baseball dreams. The motivation is at an all-time high. On a mission! — Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) March 27, 2015 Good for you, Marcus Stroman. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] Considering the circumstances, it would have been easy for Stroman to mope around and feel sorry for himself in between rehab sessions. Instead, he’s turning a negative into a positive.  As he noted, now he can continue his education, and he won’t have to sacrifice any part of his rehab because he’ll be working with the highly-regarded medical staff at Duke. It’s a win-win scenario that should better his future prospects both on and off the field.  At 23, Stroman still has plenty to accomplish in both areas, but his baseball future is especially bright. In 2012, he became the first player from Duke to be selected in the first round of baseball’s first year player draft when Toronto selected him No. 22 overall. He’s since moved up the depth chart quickly, appearing in 26 games as a rookie in 2014. He posted an impressive 3.65 ERA over 130 2/3 innings. Based on his performance, Stroman was expected to be a big part of Toronto’s rotation this season. Internally, the Blue Jays were counting on a breakout season that would push him to the top of their rotation, and many scouts agreed Stroman was poised to do just that. Now, those expectations will be pushed back a year, and now they’ll be underlined by concerns over the knee.  [ Baseball is back! Check out Yahoo For Spring Training for great spring training pics. ] The injury itself is a reminder of just how quickly and easily a career can be thrown off track. Stroman’s response is a reminder that life after baseball should always be foremost on players minds, and hopefully his decision will serve as inspiration to those who might not have those plans in place.  BLS H/N: Cut 4 Get last-minute Fantasy Baseball advice on the latest edition of the Grandstanding podcast , then sign up for a Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball league . It’s not too late to play! – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 28th, 2015
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The New York Yankees entered spring training with more questions than answers regarding the outlook of their roster. Fortunately, the answers they’re receiving so far have been mostly encouraging, and that continued on Friday with Joe Griardi’s announcement that right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will get the opening-day pitching assignmen t. According to Girardi, Tanaka, who’s pitching through a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, will be slightly limited when he takes the ball against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. But he’s in a better position than long-time ace CC Sabathia, who’s coming back from July surgery on his right knee.  “When we came into spring training, our main focus was to make sure they were both healthy,” Girardi said of Sabathia and Tanaka, who are both coming back from major injuries. “We took it slow because of things they dealt with the year before. “If CC wouldn’t have had the (knee) problem and pitched all 30 starts, it probably would have been a non-issue who was going to go No. 1, but it didn’t happen that way and we had to make sure people were ready. I know it’s a big deal, and it might be somewhat of a deal to them, but when CC looks back, he’s going to worry about Octobers.” [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] Sabathia started the last six season openers for New York and had nine straight overall dating back to his time in Cleveland, so this is certainly a notable development. It’s also a remarkable achievement for Tanaka for a couple reasons.  First and foremost, there was no guarantee he’d be healthy enough to pitch following last July’s diagnosis. So far though, Tanaka has looked every bit as strong as he did early last season, posting a dominant 1.74 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio in 10 Grapefruit League innings. Beyond Tanaka’s health, which is obviously the foremost concern for fans, it’s easy to forget that only 13 months ago he was entirely new to the United States and had limited experience pitching against major league talent. He was forced to make a quick transition, and he did so smoothly, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA and 141/21 K/BB ratio in 136 innings. Those numbers made the decision a no-brainer once Tanaka proved healthy, and indicate New York’s investment will be worthwhile as long as the elbow holds.  “Absolutely it’ll be a great honor for me to pitch on opening day,” Tanaka said through an interpreter on Friday. “I think that being able to pitch on that very first day of the season, I think it says a lot about what the organization is expecting out of a pitcher. So in that sense I believe it would probably mean a lot to a lot of starting pitchers that are starting on opening day.” [Check out The Stew's 2015 MLB division previews: NL East | AL East | NL Central ] Girardi also confirmed that Michael Pineda will start game two against Toronto and Sabathia is lined up for game three, which takes place on April 9. Nathan Eovaldi, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins, will make his Yankees debut against the Boston Red Sox on April 10. The Yankees won’t need a fifth starter until the second week of the season.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 28th, 2015
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The upcoming season for the Toronto Blue Jays seems destined to be defined by the one young pitcher who’ll miss it and the two even younger guys who’ll try to replace him. Toronto’s plans for ending baseball’s longest active playoff drought took a serious hit when Marcus Stroman suffered a season-ending knee injury in spring training. I’ve worked harder than I ever had this offseason.” The injury changed Toronto’s thinking about 22-year-old right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who might have been closing games rather than starting them if Stroman was still healthy, and 21-year-old lefty Daniel Norris, the van-dwelling surfer dude. The two pitchers now look likely to get their shot in Toronto’s rotation, slotting in behind 200-inning workhorses R.A Dickey and Mark Buehrle, and 24-year-old right-hander Drew Hutchison. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 27th, 2015
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”I mean I grew up watching Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs and now guys are talking about 30′s good.” Home runs have hit their lowest rate in more than two decades. The days of bulked-up sluggers like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa topping 60 home runs in a season like they did six times from 1998-2001 are going, going, and gone. ”I remember when guys hit 50 and 60 a year,” said Houston first baseman Chris Carter, who tied for second in the majors last season with 37 homers. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on March 27th, 2015
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