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Blue Jays Q&A: We chat with Bluebird Banter about Charlie Montoyo and more!

Like, is Marcus Stroman good this year?

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians
Marcus Stroman
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of the Rays three game series in Toronto, we asked Bluebird Banter site manager Tom Dakers our burning questions about the Blue Jays.

Enjoy!

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What are your early impressions of our old friend Charlie Montoyo?

He seems like a great guy. Everyone that knows him seems to like him. He seems to have the whole baseball world cheering for him.

I haven’t seen enough of him as a manager to have a real opinion. He’s had a couple of misadventures with the bullpen, but I’m sure he’ll learn. Occasionally he seems to be afraid to let the long relievers pitch more than an inning and then ends up burning everyone in a game.

And he’s had some interesting batting orders, but then, with no one hitting, there really isn’t a good batting order.

But those are minor things. The players like him. He seems to be an interesting mix of traditional ideas and more modern ones. We’ve seen more bunts than we have in years. There was a successful hit and run and a successful steal of home. I think we are going to enjoy getting to know him.

Is Marcus Stroman good this year?

Yeah, he is.

Last year was a mess, he came out of spring training with sore arm and tried to fight through it and it went badly, and his season went downhill from there. With hindsight he really should have started the season on the on the (then) DL. He tried to fight through it and ended up on the DL in May. Late in the season he missed more time with a blister problem.

This year he is healthy and throwing like he did in 2017. Unfortunately, the team isn’t scoring for him. They have scored 2 runs total in his 3 starts. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll be one of the 5 or 10 best starters in the league. The ‘stay healthy’ part is the worry.

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Charlie Montoyo and Alex Cora became the first Puerto Rican managers to play a series against one another in MLB history
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

What’s the deal with Clay Buchholz? He’s not exactly popular in these parts...

Sunscreen Boy? My theory is they are testing how far they can push things before I stop being a fan. They sign Buchholz, and I’m still a fan. They sign Bud Norris (I mean who better to play for a manager from Puerto Rico than Norris), cause that we really need is the fun police. But I’m still a fan. Thankfully he didn’t make the team.

I’m thinking the next move is to talk Curt Schilling out of retirement.

Looks like Clay will be protecting himself against sunburn on the mound Saturday. It should be interesting; he gave up 4 home runs in his start Triple A start last Sunday.

The best hitter on the team has been Freddy Galvis... was that expected?

No, I didn’t expect it. Nor did I expect him to be leading the team in home runs. He’s been a very pleasant surprise. Our only pleasant surprise on the offensive side of the ball. I’m not expecting him to continue to hit like this, but I hope it continues at least until the rest of the offense figures out which end of the bat to hold.

Toronto Blue Jays v Cleveland Indians
Rowdy Tellez #44 celebrates with Freddy Galvis #16 of the Toronto Blue Jays
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Is Rowdy Tellez legit or is this a 35 game mirage?

It’s is a good question. He has had a rough couple of years. His mom lost her year long fight with cancer last year. He dropped down our prospects list, but with all that he had to deal with, we should have discounted his stats from the last two seasons.

I think he’ll be one of those guys that hits in the .250 area with good power and decent strike zone judgement. He’s not exactly athletic at first base, but he is a big target to throw at and he seems to catch what he gets to. At some point this season they will look to trade Justin Smoak and first base will be his.

I’m cheering for him, he’s had a rough time of it, he deserves some success.

Thursday, he hit a home run that was initially estimated at 505 feet, which would have been the longest home run ever at Fenway.

The estimate didn’t match the eye test and, considering Ted Williams has the record for the longest homer there, there will be a re-estimate.

How would you best summarize the first two weeks of the season thus far?

Ever read Dante’s Inferno?

It has been interesting (one would expect that one of the lower circles of hell would be interesting). Our pitching has been far better than expected. But then the bats? Most games we haven’t had our first hit until the four or fifth inning. They’ve stuck out 28.0% of the time. The offense has been frustrating, and it hasn’t helped to hear about Vlad Jr. crushing the ball in Buffalo. It would make my life as a fan so much better if they would call him up in the next week. His stand in at third base, Brandon Drury, had a really nice spring, but the season started, and pitchers started throwing him pitches that bend, he’s looked totally lost at the plate.

Maybe the better way to summarize the first two weeks would be to paraphrase Rogers Hornsby and say we’ve been staring out the window and waiting for Vlad.