Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker take your calls during the last Baseball Central of the season, and discuss how the MLB playoff picture is looking, who the Blue Jays should add in the off-season, what the payroll will look like next year without any new additions, why it won't be easy to add top-end pitchers, whether they'll bring in a first baseman, whether the team will have any difficulty in bringing marquee free agents to Toronto, and World Series favourites amongst other things.
Jeff Blair & Kevin Barker discuss Milwaukee heading to the playoffs, how hardworking the Brewers are, and Jose Ramirez's return; on Rowdy's Tellez's big night for the Blue Jays, Jacob Waguespack's outing, and the shift; on the possibility of Joe Maddon joining the Angels, and the managerial openings around the league; Indians radio voice Jim Rosenhaus on Ramirez's successful return to the lineup, the biggest challenge for the team vs. the Nationals, how important Terry Francona is to the team's success, whether Shane Bieber will make a start this weekend, and the Twins' clinching the AL Central title; on the importance of the Jays fielding their best team Saturday, and the Wild Card races around the league.
Jeff Blair and Chris Leroux discuss what it's like to be in a bullpen at this point of a season, how they would assess Vlad Jr.'s season, the state of the Blue Jays' rotation, when they may contend, the organization's subpar scouting and acquiring of quality pitchers; St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold on how it all came together for the Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt's season, and what Mike Shildt brings to the table.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss Anthony Alford's walk-off homer, his lack of playing time, Cleveland activating Jose Ramzirez, what the Blue Jays have in Jordan Romano, and why they should consider keeping Ken Giles around; the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales on what went wrong with the Cubs, the team's lack of pitching depth and prospects, who's to blame, and whether Kris Bryant has to be a Cub forever; on who the NL Manager of the Year should be, and the misunderstanding of Vlad Jr's weightlifting comments.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss the firing of Andy Green, Ned Yost's retirement, the Wild Card and pennant races, how the Yankees look as the playoffs approach, Bill McKinney hitting 10 homers, which Blue Jays player has the best two-strike approach, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s comments on never having lifted weights before, and why there's no issue with having him start the next season as the team's first baseman; Luis Rivera, Blue Jays third base coach, on Vlad Jr.'s growth at third base, how Bo Bichette at shortstop has benefited Vlad Jr, the shift, and Cavan Biggio's improvement defensively.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss the Blue Jays' series win over the Orioles, Bo Bichette's injury, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s approach and what he'll need to change, how Anthony Kay has looked with the Jays, and the Twitter feud between Aubrey Huff and Seth McClung; on the state of the Yankees' rotation; FanGraphs' Craig Edwards on the NL Central division race; Bundesliga picks!
Jeff Blair & Kevin Barker discuss Randal Grichuk's play as of late, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s slide & injury, Clay Buchholz's outing & future with the team, Reese McGuire's night & whether he'll eat into Danny Jansen's playing time; on managers who could be on the hot seat as the regular season comes to an end.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker give their thoughts on the Blue Jays' series opener vs. the Orioles, including Cavan Biggio's big night, how important his bat is to the team's success, and what the batting order should look next season; MLB Network's Dan O'Dowd on what the Jays should be looking to do in the off-season, the importance of having a winning culture, the possibility of the team trading Ken Giles, the loss of Dellin Betances in New York, the Rockies' season, and the Wild Card races; on O'Dowd's comments, the team's transition from competing to winning, where the team is in the rebuilding process, the importance of adding pitching depth and players who can hit.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker take a look at the NL Central pennant race, and discuss the Athletics' impressive season and their solid defence, Marcus Semien's incredible play, whether Mike Moustakas is a player the Blue Jays should go after, and the team's off-season shopping list; Vince Controneo, voice of the A's, on the team's season, their infield's stellar defence, Matt Olson's improvement, their bullpen, and who starts for the A's in a Wild Card game.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss the Blue Jays' series finale vs. the Yankees, Randal Grichuk's season, the pitching "confusion", Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s hands & what his main defensive issue is, and whether the Yankees can win the World Series without a consistent lineup; Charlie Culberson getting hit in the face with a pitch, and Dave Martinez's reaction; T.J. Burton, Blue Jays Program Manager of Amateur Baseball, on the Blue Jays Baseball Academy's Tournament 12, and why this tournament is such a great experience for young players.
Scott MacArthur & Kevin Barker host: The guys recap Thursday's Blue Jays loss to the Red Sox, and preview the weekend set with the Yankees; We take a quick look at the future outlook of all 30 MLB teams; At The Letters' Ben Nicholson-Smith joins the show in-studio; Barker's Bundesliga Picks!
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss the Red Sox's demeanour in the dugout last night, the state of the Blue Jays' infield defensively, Rowdy Tellez, Cavan Biggio's swing; Boston's assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett on the mood in the clubhouse, Rafael Devers' growth, and the best hitter on the team; on launch angle, and how home runs are getting boring; data science consultant Rob Arthur on the significant impact tanking plays in MLB's declining attendanc
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker take your calls on the Blue Jays' September thus far, and discuss (among other things): the Dave Dombrowski firing, how the Jays' outfield is looking heading into next season, whether fans can put up with another season like this one, the state of the team's pitching and what they would need to give up to get a great arm in return, and veteran bats the team may add in the off-season.
Jeff & Kevin discuss Yordan Alvarez's monster home run on Monday night, potential fallout from the Red Sox' front office shuffle, and preview tonight's Blue Jays-Red Sox series opener; Blue Jays SP Anthony Kay discusses his MLB debut Saturday, and his time with the Blue Jays organization thus far since being traded for Marcus Stroman in late July.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss the Red Sox's firing of Dave Dombrowski, and the curious timing of the move; on the Blue Jays' offence and why they may need to bring in a more offensive player, and how the team is looking as the season comes to an end; WEEI's Rob Bradford on the Red Sox firing Dombrowski, who may replace him, and how this will impact Mookie Betts' extension talks.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker touch on the Blue Jays' 6-4 loss to the Rays, Bo Bichette's 13 pitch at bat, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s triple, the importance of the team having good defence with a less than stellar pitching staff, Trent Thornton's outing, whether they're fans of Vlad Jr. sliding, and the interesting pennant races; MLB Network's Jon Morosi on why there is no reason for the Blue Jays to not be involved in talks to acquire a solid veteran arm in the off-season, the team's decision to use an opener before Anthony Kay and T.J. Zeuch made their debuts, whether the Jays could look like the A's and Rays in 2020, what Vlad Jr. will need to do to ensure he's healthy and producing long-term, and the Nationals' playoff push.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker recap Michael Lorenzen's big night with the Reds, and discuss Angels' prospect Miguelangel Sierra lost homer after not crossing home plate; on Blue Jays vs. Rays, Trent Thornton's record against Tampa, and Anthony Kay possibly debuting Saturday (after an opener); Blue Jays' pitcher T.J. Zeuch on following opener Wilmer Font, what he's learned about himself, how it felt to make his MLB debut, issues that come with being a very tall pitcher, his mindset when waiting to get the call-up, and his pitching repertoire.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker are joined by Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro who discusses when the rebuild will be over, their pitching prospect depth, Teoscar Hernandez's growth, the possibility of long-term extensions for pre-arbitration players, the use of openers, and the job done by the coaching staff; on team's they're disappointed in, the importance of home-field advantage in the post-season, and takeaways from Shapiro's comments.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss Josh Donaldson's comeback season, where the Blue Jays' are at right now, how the young core is looking as the season winds down; Blue Jays major league coach John Schneider on Rowdy Tellez's mindset at the plate, what pitchers need to do to impress when called up the majors in the age of the home run, Bo Bichette's impressive defence, and whether Danny Jansen can be an impact bat; on T. J. Zeuch pitching behind an opener in his major league debut.
Roger Lajoie hosting: Josh Goldberg joins him in-studio and they recap Justin Verlander's no-hitter in the Blue Jays vs. Astros series finale, whether teams are too cautious with pitchers now, and why hitters are swinging for home runs.
Scott MacArthur and Kevin Barker discuss Mike Minor's season thus far and his WAR, the Astros' rotation, their pursuit of home field advantage, how solid the organization is after their teardown and struggles; Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome on how Jeff Luhnow has built up the Astros' farm system, how badly Houston wants home field advantage, how A.J. Hinch will handle Michael Brantley's playing time, and whether the Astros can win the World Series with Alex Bregman at shortstop; Barker's Bundesliga Picks.
Scott MacArthur and Kevin Barker discuss whether next year the Bue Jays should be focused on competing next season and what additions they should make, whether they would be content with Trent Thornton & Jacob Waguespack at the back of the rotation on a contending Jays' team, the worst pitch in baseball, Waguespack's surprising starts, and the state of the Jays' infield heading into 2020; ESPN's Jeff Passan on players' salaries being impacted by openers and home runs, whether Cubs' core is good enough to win the World Series, whether the Jays' can attract a big-name pitcher next season, and where the team's rebuild is at.
Scott MacArthur and Kevin Barker discuss the good and bad of interleague series, where Josh Donaldson's ranks among the Blue Jays' greats, Donaldson's confidence and swagger, the personality of the Jays' young core; Blue Jays OF Derek Fisher on his time with the organization thus far, what he's learned so far from his teammates, who he knew when he first joined the team, his approach vs. lefties and why he struggles more against right-handed pitchers, and how he'd assess his play so far.
Scott McArthur and Kevin Barker tee-up Josh Donaldson's return to Toronto, and discuss where his game is at right now, and they reflect on his time with the Blue Jays and where he ranks among the Jays greats; on the Jays' youthful core and when they'll add vets, the future rotation, when Nate Pearson may be called up, when the team may be ready to contend, and Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins' expiring contracts heading into 2020; Braves catching coach Sal Fasano on the evolution of the catcher, robot umpires, Mike Soroka impressive season thus far, the talent that is Ronald Acuña Jr., and the use of openers.
Scott MacArthur and Kevin Barker discuss the Players' Weekend uniforms, Andrew Luck's retirement, players forced out of baseball early, how fun Bo Bichette is to watch, his timing and approach at the plate, and how; on Cavan Biggio's play thus far, his ability to take walks, and his hitting struggles; the guys discuss Nate Pearson and what the Blue Jays should do with him next year and they take your calls!
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss Jacob Waguespack's night, his future in the rotation and how it's shaping up for next season, Waguespack's command, the tear Vlad Jr. has been on, the importance of good defence, and Rowdy Tellez's play; Buffalo Bisons manager Bobby Meacham on the difference between playoff experience in the minor leagues and being a September call-up, Nate Pearson's time with Buffalo thus far, T.J. Zeuch's growth, Sean Reid-Foley being bounced around from the majors to triple-A, and what Anthony Kay brings to the table; Barker's Bundesliga Picks!
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss how the Blue Jays have looked as of late, the team's defence, and Rowdy Tellez's home run; on Ken Giles' latest outing, his health, and Cody Bellinger's swing; Blue Jays PXP voice Ben Wagner on looking ahead at what a solid defensive infield would look like for the team if they're contending, whether Derek Fisher can play every day in the outfield, Cavan Biggio's growth, Sean Reid-Foley being sent to triple-A and how the organization views him, and how the team may grade Tellez offensively.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker recap the Blue Jays' loss to the Dodgers, and weigh-in on Sean Reid-Foley's disappointing outing, and the amount of position players pitching; Dodgers TV analyst Ned Colletti on how good this version of the Dodgers is, Clayton Kershaw, Bo Bichette's play, Cody Bellinger's exceptional year, and Kenley Jansen's role in the post-season; on Clayton Kershaw's post-season numbers, and who needs to step up if the Dodgers are to win the World Series; the guys look back on the Jose Bautista trade that happened 11 years ago, Derek Fisher's inability to hit right-handed pitchers, the Braves and Marlins bad blood, Aaron Sanchez and Carlos Correa being placed on the IL, and Nate Pearson's triple-A debut.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss T.J. Zeuch's no-hitter with the Buffalo Bisons, how minor leaguers view the post-season, the Blue Jays' rotation right now & which pitchers are legitimate big leaguers, Chris Sale being out for the rest of the season, the Red Sox's season, and injury news around the majors; Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker on T. J. Zeuch's development, using openers, Trent Thornton's delivery, the role for Sean Reid-Foley, and Ken Giles' velocity.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker give their thoughts on Nate Pearson's promotion to Triple-A Buffalo, how close the pitcher is to joining the the big club, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s knee injury and whether it's time for a position change; on the Blue Jays' west-coast roadtrip, their series vs. the Dodgers, L.A.'s rotation, and Barker's MLB debut that happened 20 years ago; Gil Kim, Blue Jays Director of Player Development, on Pearson's promotion, his slider, factors that impact a player's promotion, how defensive shifts have impacted player development, and the team's pitching prospects.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker expand on yesterday's Sean Reid-Foley's thoughts, Josh Donaldson's homer off of Marcus Stroman, Ronald Acuna Jr.'s play, how Donaldson has fared in Atlanta, the Cubs' season and Joe Maddon's future with the team, and the state of the Dodgers; the guys take a look at standings, and discuss the Mets' strong play, the Yankees' dominance over the Orioles; Orioles PXP voice Gary Thorne on his Gleyber Torres home run calls, the social media reaction to his calls, Chris Davis' struggles and how much he cares, the managing job Brandon Hyde has done thus far, and the hope for the team' future; Barker's Bundesliga Picks!
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker weigh-in on Sean Reid-Foley's latest outing, Bo Bichette's streak, Dante Bichette's comments on Prime Time Sports, Bichette's maturity; ESPN's Jeff Passan on Albert Pujols setting the record for career hits by a foreign-born player, his time with the Angels, Manny Ramirez's legacy, what's next for the Blue Jays, Jake Arrieta's health status, the pressure on Gabe Kapler and his future with the Phillies, 'Manager of the Year' candidates, and why he's not a fan of the award.
Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker recap the Blue Jays' win over the Rangers, how good Vlad Jr.'s arm is, Rowdy Tellez's potential & where he fits in with a stacked infield; Chris Leroux on Ken Giles, the team impact of using an opener, and Bo Bichette's defence.
Jeff & Kevin discuss the Blue Jays' calling up of Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr, the speed of the organization's rebuild, and the team's series against the Padres where they'll face young Canadian prospects Josh Naylor and Cal Quantrill; Bisons manager Bobby Meacham on Gurriel Jr.'s growth, if Cavan Biggio can hit leadoff, his role on defence, and positional flexibility.
Jeff & Kevin discuss the Blue Jays' marathon 13-inning loss to the Red Sox, and what to expect from Clayton Richard in today's series finale; We listen to legendary Orioles voice Gary Thorne's calls of Gleyber Torres' two home runs against the Orioles last night (his 9th and 10th against the Orioles this season); Blue Jays voice Mike Wilner discusses the latest with the Jays.
Jeff & Kevin discuss a big night for Rowdy Tellez as the Blue Jays top the Red Sox; Sportsnet's Shi Davidi on Ross Atkins' handling of "Victoriagate", and when we could potentially see Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s return to the Blue Jays.
Jeff & Kevin discuss the Blue Jays' tough Victoria Day loss to the Red Sox, and the blowback surrounding the team's resting Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in front of the holiday crowd; Sportsnet/ESPN's Dan Shulman joins the show to discuss the Jays' recent play, and the New York Mets' recent struggles.
Jeff & Kevin discuss their disappointment in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. getting a scheduled day off for the Victoria Day matinee; The Jays get a weekend split with the White Sox; Blue Jays radio voice Ben Wagner discusses the team's weekend, and looks ahead to this week's series with the Red Sox.
Jeff & Kevin discuss the Blue Jays sending Teoscar Hernandez to Triple-A, and Thursday's loss to the White Sox; Blue Jays coach John Schneider on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s adjustment to the Majors thus far; The season finale of Barker's Bundesliga Picks, with a special guest (and die-hard Bundesliga Picks fan) picking alongside Kevin!
Jeff & Kevin discuss the Blue Jays' loss to the Giants, and Teoscar Hernandez's struggles; ESPN's Jeff Passan discusses the AL East race between the Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox, and what's ailing the Washington Nationals.