Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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The Blue Jays' season isn't over yet, and that's either a blessing or a terrible, summer-spanning curse. A week ago in this space, it was pointed out that only three teams had made the postseason after starting the year 1-7: the Jays were 1-8 at that point, and facing the Orioles in a four-game series and then the Red Sox in a three-game set. Toronto only eeked out two victories against their division rivals since then, and are now 3-12, 71⁄2 games back of the East-leading Orioles, and already five games behind fourth-place Tampa Bay. Only one team, the Rangers, is as far back of the first-place team in their division as the Jays are behind the Rays.
Grant Brisbee wrote about how difficult it has been, historically, to come back from 2-10 or worse, and even put together a table so you can see all the destruction for yourself. The Jays aren't officially doomed or anything just yet, as they could rattle off a 10-game win streak and be right back over .500, or they could win 22 games in a single month and erase much of this damage, but the issue is that it's April 21 and there is no more slack left in their entire 2017. The Blue Jays need to play .600 ball over their remaining 147 games just to get to 91 wins: last year's AL East winner had 93, and the 2016 Jays had 89.
This iteration of the team doesn't have Edwin Encarnacion, and it began its season 3-12. So, you can see that, while it's possible they turn things around and get right back in the middle of the race, the chances are slim. The Jays are assuredly not the worst team in the league or even in the AL, but they might have to play like they're the best team there if they are to have any real chance of winning the East, or even of securing one of the two Wild Card spots. Again, it's not impossible, but after failing to take down either the O's or the Red Sox in the last week, life just got a whole lot harder for the Jays.
- A couple of prominent Cubs (Chris Bosio and John Lackey) are implying Eric Thames is on PEDs just because he's a surprise who hit their pitching this week. Grant Brisbee explains what's wrong with this, and why the Cubs of all people should be more sensitive to that sort of accusation.
- Speaking of Eric Thames, he hit his league-leading eighth homer of the season on Thursday, in case you were wondering why he was nicknamed "God" in South Korea, where he went deep 124 times in three years.
- The top prospect in Cuba, Luis Roberts, is one step closer to being a major MLB prospect: he can sign next month, and plenty of teams are already looking.
- Within this Tom Verducci article is news that Francisco Lindor turned down a $100 million offer from the Indians before the season began.
- The Tigers moved Jose Iglesias to the disabled list after taking a knee to his jaw against the Rays.
- Christian Arroyo probably isn't how the Giants are going to fix their left field issue.
- Kate Morrison wrote up the results of the TIDES Report on MLB, and it's clear that gender diversity is a problem.
- Andrew McCutchen is getting his second last chance in center field now that Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games.
- Jack Moore wrote about Safe at Home, a theater production that pulls together sports and politics and likely makes anyone who has ever said "stick to sports!" unironically very mad.