Some Minor Tidbits
Prior to Friday’s game against Boston, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi spoke about a number of issues with reporters. He discussed how he’d like to bring Ted Lilly back, how the Jays need a larger payroll to realistically have a shot at winning the division, he said he takes full responsibility for his team’s shortcomings, and he talked about Toronto’s Minor Leagues.
Since I went into detail about the monetary issues in today’s notebook and wrote about the Lilly situation yesterday, I’ll take some time out here today to mention some of the things Ricciardi noted about his farm system:
–Ricciardi said that he believed left-hander Ricky Romero, Toronto’s first pick in last year’s draft, is close to being Major-League ready. Romero has only gone 2-7 with a 5.08 in 12 starts at Double-A, but Ricciardi said the pitcher’s last handful of starts have gone well. Romero began this season with an arm injury.
"I think Romero is close. He has thrown really well in his last six or seven starts in Double-A," Ricciardi said. "We don’t have a lot of pitching help as far as a No. 3 starter or something like that. Romero could eventually be that."
–For you David Purcey fans out there, Ricciardi said he’ll have to start next season at Double-A again. After going 2-7 with a 5.40 ERA at Triple-A this year, Purcey — Toronto’s top pick in the ’04 draft — has gone 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA at Double-A. Earlier this season, Ricciardi said he felt Purcey was about a year away from being ready. It looks like it’s going to take a bit longer.
"Purcey is doing OK, but he’s going to have to start at Double-A again next year," Ricciardi said. "He’s got a good arm, but his control has been off this year. With guys like that, they’re up and down. I think he’s going to be fine — we’re just going to have to show a lot more patience."
–Right-hander Casey Janssen, who went 6-10 with 17 starts for Toronto earlier this season, might have been called up this month, but it looks like a nagging back injury will keep him out of another big-league stint. He’s had the "pulled muscle" — as Ricciardi described it — in his back for about the last month, month and a half. Ricciardi also admitted that keeping Janssen at Triple-A all year might have been better than rushing him to the Majors. Unfortunately, circumstances dictated otherwise.
"We rushed Janssen, but we knew we rushed him," Ricciardi said. "He probably should’ve been at Triple-A the whole year and he probably would’ve bene better off that way. Same with [Ty] Taubenheim. He only pitched in A-ball the year before. We didn’t plan on those guys being in the big leagues, but we didn’t plan on two of our starters being hurt and we didn’t plan on [Josh ] Towers not pitching well."
–As far as outfielder Adam Lind, who made his Major League debut on Saturday in Boston, Ricciardi said that he was probably more in the plans for 2008, but the left-handed hitter’s ability with the bat might force Toronto’s hand. Lind hit .400 at Triple-A after winning the Eastern League’s MVP Award for his work at Double-A.
"I don’t know about next year," said Ricciardi, referring to the plans for Lind. "I think ideally, we’d probably pencil maybe half of ’07 and going forward from there. He can really hit, so he may push our buttons a little bit more."
–Lind joins first baseman Kevin Barker and pitcher Dustin McGowan as the only September callups so far. Ricciardi said that he’d bring up five players, which means Josh Towers and Francisco Rosario are probably the remaining two. In order to add Towers, Toronto will have to make room on the 40-man roster.
–Troy Glaus sat out of Saturday’s game because he still wasn’t feel well after leaving Friday’s game with a sinus infection. Toronto manager John Gibbons said he believed Glaus would be able to play on Sunday.
Here was Saturday’s Blue Jays lineup: LF Catalanotto, 2B Hill, CF Wells, 1B Overbay, RF Rios, C Zaun, DH Lind, 3B Hattig, SS McDonald
That’s all for now. I’m sure there will be more tomorrow. Keep the comments coming. The numbers have been slipping in that regard. Pick it up Jays fans.