Tag Archives: Toronto Blue Jays

Braden Halladay, eldest son of Roy, chosen by Blue Jays in 2019 MLB Draft

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Halladay surrounded by sons Braden (L) and Ryan (R) in 2014

The late Roy Halladay is justifiably beloved by the Philadelphia Phillies fan base. The big right-hander, who died tragically at the young age of just 40 while piloting his private plane in November 2017, was chosen as one of the 2018 Phillies Wall of Fame honorees after going 55-29 over parts of four seasons with the club.

‘Doc’ registered a 3.25 ERA and 1.119 WHIP mark across 103 starts with the Phillies, allowing 649 hits over 702.2 innings with a 633/137 K:BB. He also tossed a Perfect Game in a Phillies uniform, as well as one of only two postseason no-hitters in Major League Baseball history. Halladay was the 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner, finished as the runner-up for the honors the following year, and was an NL All-Star in each of those two seasons.
But as beloved as Halladay is in Philadelphia, he is at least as popular north of the border in the city of Toronto. There, Halladay pitched for parts of a dozen seasons in the uniform of the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 148-76 in Toronto and was a six-time American League All-Star. He captured the 2003 AL Cy Young Award while with Toronto, and finished among the top five in voting four more times.
Now, Halladay and his family will enjoy another tie to the Blue Jays organization, at least temporarily. Braden Halladay, the 18-year-old eldest son of Roy and his wife, Brandy, was selected today by Toronto with their 32nd round pick as the 957th overall player chosen in the MLB Amateur Draft.

If that draft round seems familiar, it should. That was the uniform number worn by Braden’s dad while a member of the Blue Jays. Doc was unable to keep the number when he was dealt to the Phillies, as it had been retired in honor of Phillies Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. Halladay instead wore uniform number 34 in Philadelphia.

Braden, a right-handed pitcher like his father, was born and raised to age 9 in Canada but moved with the family down to Tarpon Springs after the trade to the Phillies.
I find myself at the first day of school, when they ask your name and your grade and a fun fact about you, my fun fact is always I was born in Canada,” Braden said per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm last March. “I feel like I couldn’t have had a better place to grow up. I feel I would not be anywhere near where I was. I still go back once or twice a year, and even though I’m not living there, I still feel it’s a part of who I am.
He was chosen out of Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, Florida. All during his career, Braden wore a patch with the Canadian flag on his glove, and proudly considers himself as having dual citizenship.
Braden was invited to Baseball Canada’s U18 spring training camp on March 6, 2018, and pitched a scoreless inning in the Canadian Junior team’s exhibition game against the Blue Jays on March 17, 2018.
On hand that day to watch? None other than Doc’s old Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, who had promised during his speech at Doc’s memorial service the previous November at Spectrum Field in Clearwater to see Braden play. “I’m so glad I came over,” Manuel said per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia after the outing. “He did good. I’m glad he got ‘em out.
Thank you @BlueJays for drafting me in the 32nd round today! It’s a great honor! It’s with mutual understanding that I’ll still be honoring my commitment to Penn State! I look forward to college and bettering myself as a player and person, thank you to all who have supported me! pic.twitter.com/tUcKWZESPl
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The Blue Jays know that they will not be able to sign Braden, who is committed to attend Penn State University. If Halladay produces at the collegiate level with the Nittany Lions he could find himself taken again when he is eligible for the 2022 MLB Draft.

Ankle injury to Bryce Harper appears minor; x-rays come back negative

Harper was drilled in ankle during Friday’s game
Fans all across Phillies Nation are breathing a massive sigh of relief this morning. Per numerous reports, all x-rays on Bryce Harper’s right ankle have come back negative.
The 26-year-old superstar is officially being listed as day-to-day. However, Harper will miss Saturday’s game in Clearwater against the Houston Astros. His scheduled participation in Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees also has to be considered questionable at this point.
Harper was injured when he was drilled by a 96 mph fastball from Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton with two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning at Spectrum Field in Clearwater.
Harper would ideally like to get between 40-50 plate appearances during Grapefruit League action in order to be fully ready to open the regular season. However, that is going to now become nearly impossible.
To date, Harper has accumulated just nine plate appearances over parts of four games. Still looking for his first hit in a Phillies uniform, he is 0-5 with three walks and the hit-by-pitch, two runs scored, and a stolen base to this point.
Originally scheduled to play in all three games this weekend, there is now the very real chance that Friday will be the only one in which he participates.
The Phillies are scheduled to cross the state of Florida for a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday against the Cardinals and Astros. That was a trip that Harper was not likely to make prior to this incident. He is still unlikely to travel with the team for those games.
Bottom line, we may not see Harper play again until Wednesday afternoon back in Clearwater against the Detroit Tigers. If that proves true it would mean he will see no more than six more games. Even if he is able to play in all of those and averages three plate appearances in each, he would end spring training with roughly 30 plate appearances in game action.

All X rays on Bryce Harper are negative. He will not play today as precaution. He is day to day.

439 people are talking about this

Per Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler stated “I don’t have concerns about him not being ready for Opening Day.

If we can assume that Harper is indeed okay and will be able to play by the middle of next week, and that he would then see mostly regular game action over the final week of Grapefruit League play, then he should indeed be in the Phillies lineup for Opening Day on March 28th at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves. How “ready” he will be is debatable.

Baseball Hall of Fame ready to welcome Roy Halladay

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Halladay appears to be cruising towards baseball immortality

At some point just after 6:00PM EST on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 the world will learn the names of any individuals elected for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The MLB Network will broadcast the announcement “live” with a simulcast at MLB.com also available.
Based on the latest tracking of the publicly announced Baseball Writers Association of America votes, three players appear to be shoo-ins for election.
One of those, former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, has been named on 100% of the public ballots to this point.
Since no one – not Babe RuthHank AaronWillie MaysTy Cobb – has ever been elected unanimously the odds against that holding up are great. But Rivera will be elected, that much is sure.
Also faring well on the public ballots is the greatest Designated Hitter in baseball history, Edgar Martinez. After falling just a bit short of the required 75% of the voters a year ago, it appears as if Martinez will get in now in this, his final year on the writers’ ballot.
The third man who appears to be easing into the Hall of Fame is someone near and dear to fans in Phillies Nation. That would be former Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays ace starting pitcher Roy Halladay.
‘Doc’ currently has been named on more than 92% (199) of the 210 ballots made public to Ryan Thibodaux’s (Twitter: @NotMrTibbs) “Tracker Team”, which has become perhaps the most respected compiler of such information.
Halladay was tragically killed in a crash while piloting his private plane over the Gulf of Mexico on November 7, 2017. Just months earlier he had been asked about the possibility of this honor. Matt Breen of Philly.com tweeted out the response of the big right-hander earlier today:
Halladay came to the Phillies in a December 2009 trade from Toronto in exchange for Kyle DrabekTravis d’Arnaud and Michael Taylor. He would pitch for the Phillies for parts of four seasons, tossing both a Perfect Game and a playoff no-hitter during his NL Cy Young Award-winning 2010 campaign.
Overall in his 16-year career in Major League Baseball with the Phillies and Blue Jays, Halladay compiled a 203-105 record with a 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, and 3.39 FIP. He pitched 2,749.1 innings over 416 games, 390 of those as a starter, and struck out 2,117 opposing batters.
Halladay also registered 67 complete games and 20 shutouts during an era where such feats were growing rare. In addition to his NL Cy Young, he also won the AL Cy Young Award with the Jays in 2003, had a season in both leagues where he finished as the runner-up for the award, and was an eight-time MLB All-Star.
Just last summer the Phillies honored Halladay by enshrining him in the franchise Wall of Fame. He thus became the first post-2008 World Series championship individual so honored. The Blue Jays retired his uniform #32 in a ceremony prior to their home opener last March.

There will be more coverage of the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement at Phillies Nation on Tuesday evening, with special emphasis on coverage of Halladay’s election results.

Blue Jays play spoiler in walkoff win over Orioles

Richard Urena mobbed after walkoff pushes Jays past O’s
The season has long been over for the Toronto Blue Jays, as far as their own contending status. But for a second straight night the Jays played the role of spoiler perfectly.
On Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, the host Blue Jays rallied against Baltimore closer Zach Britton. Toronto scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to walkoff the Orioles by a 3-2 score.
It marked the second straight night that Toronto registered a one-run victory over Baltimore. the loss also extended Baltimore’s recent untimely swoon to six consecutive defeats. As a result, the O’s are now 4.5 games out in the race for the final American League Wildcard playoff berth.
Just as importantly, there are five teams now sitting between Baltimore and Minnesota. The Twins currently hold possession of that final postseason slot.
Tim Beckham‘s 21st home run of the season, a solo shot, had put Baltimore in front by 2-1 in the top of the 8th inning. That blast somewhat spoiled an impressive outing by Jays’ starting pitcher Joe Biagini. The righty allowed just two runs on six hits across eight innings.
Biagini had been matched by O’s starter Dylan Bundy, who lasted just six frames, but struck out eight and surrendered just one run on five hits.

JAYS RALLY OFF ORIOLES CLOSER

The Jays game-winning rally began when Britton walked Kevin Pillar leading off the bottom of the ninth. Teoscar Hernandez then singled, with Pillar rolling around to third base as the tying run.
Jays skipper John Gibbons sent Darwin Barney up to pinch-hit for Ryan Goins, but Barney grounded into a force out, keeping Pillar stranded.
Catcher Luke Maile came through, however. He drilled a first-pitch shot off O’s third baseman Manny Machado, and Pillar scored the tying run as the ball rolled into left field with Barney moving up to second base.
Richard Urena followed, and on a 1-1 offering from Britton he lined a clean single to center field. Pillar raced home with the winning run, and Toronto had their walkoff spoiler.

BOTH SKIPPERS CHIME IN

“They’re pitching well and we’re not swinging the bats well,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter per Eduardo A. Encina for The Baltimore Sun. “You don’t reach this level, either team, without having a lot of competitive spirit in you. I think both teams showed it. Two well-pitched games and we weren’t able to finish it off.”
Gibbons was quoted on his team’s big win by MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm:
“A lot of good things tonight. Urena getting the big walk-off hit. He’s been playing great. Tim Mayza getting his first. Teoscar nice piece of hitting in the ninth inning shooting the ball to right field and Maile, Lukey, with the big hit. You don’t get many balls by Machado, that’s for sure.”
The two division rivals will wrap up this series, and their 2017 season series with one another, with one final game in Toronto on Wednesday night.
The Orioles have won 11 of the 18 games this year between the two teams. But it is the Blue Jays who are gaining a measure of late-season satisfaction as they turn Baltimore’s postseason dream into a nightmare.

MLB Wildcard: losing teams still have legitimate shot

It’s the weekend after the 2017 MLB All-Star Game break. Teams are finally back in action after a four-day layoff for the start of the traditional “second half” of play.
A look at the Major League Baseball standings through games of Friday night, July 14 reveals that 17 teams are either in a playoff position, or are within a handful of games of a postseason berth.
In fact, there are currently at least a half-dozen teams with losing records who must be considered to still have a legitimate shot.
In the National League, at least for now, the list includes just one team. That would be the defending world champion Chicago Cubs.
The Cubbies have struggled along with a serious case of World Series hangover this year. After building and blowing an 8-0 lead on the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, they managed to pull out a narrow 9-8 victory.
That win left the North Siders with a record of 44-45 on the season. The Cubs sit 5.5 games in back of the surprising Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central Division race. However, they are just four back in the loss column.
In the NL Wildcard race, the Cubs are a more distant 6.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies, who currently control the second wildcard berth. However, the Rockies are in a bit of a free-fall, having lost 14 of their last 19 games.

The Cubs just obtained lefty starting pitcher Jose Quintana from the cross-town Chicago White Sox of the American League. They are also rumored to be aggressively shopping for another starting pitcher to bolster their rotation. Perhaps someone like Oakland A’s right-hander Sonny Gray.
The Cubs are still within hailing distance of both the division and wildcard spots. With their talent and assets, it would be a major surprise if they don’t soon go on a winning run.
Over in the American League, the Orioles are one of a handful of teams within four games of the AL Wildcard race.
The O’s and their AL East rivals the Toronto Blue Jays are each 42-47 and sit those four games back. The wildcard spots are currently controlled by two more teams from that AL East division. The Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees.
The other three American League teams in the race with losing records are all from the AL West Division. The Seattle Mariners (44-47) and Los Angeles Angels (45-48) are each just three games behind the Yankees for that second wildcard berth. The Texas Rangers (44-45) sit just two games out.
Also involved in the AL Wildcard race are a pair of teams from the AL Central Division. The Minnesota Twins remain a game over .500 and just one game back. The Kansas City Royals are at the .500 mark with a 44-44 record, and are just 1.5 games out.
All of this makes the approaching MLB trade deadline even more interesting. A number of teams are going to have difficult decisions to make regarding their ability to contend this season. Add the right piece or two, and you could play into October.
When you have a losing record in the middle of July, it’s not a good sign. But only perhaps four teams have separated themselves in the overall MLB standings at this point. Now is the time for 2017 pretenders to transform themselves into legitimate contenders.