This falls into the deep thoughts category, but:
- The Royals are only a half game behind the Tigers despite having a 12-game losing streak this year;
- The Pirates are a game up on the Cardinals despite having he worst offense in the National League;
- The Orioles are three ahead of the Red Sox and a half game up on the Yankees despite being the Orioles;
- The Nationals, Marlins and Mets are ahead of the Braves and Phillies despite the preseason prognostications of everyone; and
- The Dodgers are ahead of everyone in baseball despite not having their only legit All-Star for an extended period due to injuries.
Only the AL West is going as roughly expected, and that’s only because the Angels finally woke up in May after the best player in baseball spent a month being the worst player in baseball.
Someone please keep this post handy for next February and March when idiots like me pretend like we know what the hell is going to happen in the upcoming season.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.