Wilner on the Blue Jays: "Expect a season of development, chance to get a look at guys for the long-term"

February 14, 2019 - 6:27 pm

Pitchers and catchers have begun reporting for all 30 Major League Baseball clubs, so what better time to get the inside scoop about the season ahead of us?  Mike Wilner, play-by-play broadcaster for the Blue Jays on Sportsnet 590 the Fan in Toronto, joined Mike Schopp on WGR Sports Radio 550 for a talk about what's to come for the Jays and Buffalo Bisons in 2019, as well as a widened look at the state of the league and the controversial offseason of free agency.


Here is some of the best from Wilner's time with Mike Schopp on WGR:


Wilner on "The Opener":

"Strategically, it's not a bad idea at all. Especially to spell the back end of your rotation. It caught on last year, and it might even more this year.  The Tampa Bay Rays had to get past some major injuries to their rotation, and were unsure about the durability of guys like Ryan Yarbrough and Yonny Chirinos, so they employed this idea."


Wilner on Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.:

"It seems to me that the Blue Jays are trying really hard to say [his delayed call-up] is not about service time, even though we all know it is. I wonder if they'll leave him in Buffalo for about a month after. Early May debut, maybe?"


Wilner on the Blue Jays' 2019 outlook:

"It's going to be a tough year. Expect a season of development, and a chance to get a look at guys to see what the team can do long-term. They are honestly one of about 20 teams in the league that don't expect to contend this year."


Wilner on a weak American League:

"The overall lack of serious contenders this year is embarrassing. There are three teams in the American League that don't suck."


Wilner on "tanking" in Major League Baseball:

"Baseball has no lottery at all. There has to be ways to de-incentivize tanking. I blame the [Chicago] Cubs and [Houston] Astros. There might be 13 fanbases that think their team will rebuild and win the World Series in three years."


Wilner on the analytics craze:

"The bad part about baseball being taken over by the 'geeks' is everybody seems to think bottoming out is the way to do it. They're forgetting this is an entertainment business and you need butts in the seats."


Wilner on the late Roy Halladay:

"His Hall of Fame induction was more than deserved. He was the best pitcher in the game for a decade. In that decade after the Jays brought him back after rebuilding his delivery, the Jays were a 100-win team when he took the mound. Every other game? Closer to a 75-win team. It was a pleasure to watch him carve up hitters year after year. You guys had a front row seat being so close to Toronto, too."

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