Game #34: Red Sox at Blue Jays

Getting interactive again: It never fails in the life of a journalist. You go to bed one night, expecting it to be a normal day the next time you head to the park, and then you’re bombarded with news. Today, we learned Toronto closer B.J. Ryan will be out for the year. I’ll be writing something on it before tonight’s game, but I still plan on fielding some questions from Blue Jays Nation throughout the contest. Again, these can be about the game in progress or general inquiries about the club. So join me in the comment field after the first pitch. Talk to you soon…


Boston (22-10) at Toronto (13-20)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

Julio Lugo, SS
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Coco Crisp, CF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Alex Cora, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Tim Wakefield

Alex Rios, RF
Adam Lind, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Sal Fasano, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay

NOTES: Ryan is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Best-case scenario, he’s ready by Spring Training 2008. … RHP Victor Zambrano was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right forearm. … Toronto recalled RHP Jamie Vermilyea and added him to the bullpen. … RHP Shaun Marcum will start Sunday against the Devil Rays. … Thomas was moved into the No. 5 spot for the second time this season. He has made 28 starts as the cleanup hitter. … With Ryan out for the year, Toronto will "play the hot hand" for the closer role, according to GM J.P. Ricciardi. RHP Jeremy Accardo was the first pitcher named as a potential candidate by both Ricciardi and manager John Gibbons, but neither wanted to commit to one player for that job.


Were you surprised that the Jays decided to put Marcum into the rotation instead of Casey?

Casey so far has looked like the more consistant of the 2 so why aren’t that jays going with the hotter hand in this case?

Why is Marcum getting the start instead of Casey ‘Tek’ Janssen? Is it because Janssen has been more effective out of the pen and may be needed to setup or close, while Marcum has been less effective from the pen but is known to be reasonably effective as a starter from his stint last year?
Also, anyone who goes to a Jays game with a poster with Casey Janssen’s head on the animated Tek Jansen’s body will be my hero, especially if it gets shown on TV.

ENIGMA: The answer to your question was hinted at by the next post by TORGEN. Basically, with Ryan out and Frasor struggling some in the bullpen right now, the Jays feel the bullpen benefits more from having Janssen remain in the group. But, yes, a lot of us assumed Janssen would be the guy named as the replacement, so in that sense, I was surprised.

Have you noticed how the Blue Jays always have bad seasons whenever the year ends with a 7?

’77, ’87, ’97, ’07

I’m not saying it’s an omen, but it’s an ugly coincedence.

why were the media and the fans only alerted to the BJ Ryan surgery after it occured ?

As a baseball fan not a reporter who do you think should be fired the pitchen coach the hitting coach the manager the G.M. my choice the G.M. Bad move by Troy

What ever the Jays are doing with runners in scoring position at the plate has got to change! Isn’t this Mickeys job?

So Marcum to the rotation… Who takes his spot in the pen? How has Taubenheim looked this year? I also thought they would put Jansen in the rotation, but Gibby is right the pen needs someone who is throwing well. My feelings are they should fill the rotation with true starters… Doc, Burnett, Jansen, Marcum and Taubenheim/ohka to round it off. Chacin goes to the pen once healthy (apparently he isn’t durable enough to be a starter)

oops forgot about Mcgowan… He takes the 5th spot. Ohka to the pen. Let’s face it… They will not be a playoff team so let’s get the “future” starters some starts

MJBROHMAN: Good question. We asked Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi if there was any updates on Ryan on Tuesday, when he met with Dr. Kremchek in Cincinnati, and we were told “No.” Now, maybe that meant at that time there was no update, but we weren’t given a hint that surgery was on the horizon. What can you do?

THEGARRYGUY: It’s hard to lay blame on any one person when there’s so many players injured right now. All the players will tell you that they’re to blame for the woes. Ricciardi said today, “We’re in last place and I’m responsible.” And as far as ridding of any coaches, Toronto manager John Gibbons said yesterday, “I’m the one responsible for the team — not them.” And as far as my persepctive as a baseball fan and not as a reporter, well, I’m a reporter.

RYANM: I believe McGowan is in the rotation to stay. Once Chacin returns, Marcum may return to the bullpen. Or, perhaps Ohka goes on the bubble if he continues to be inconsistent. For now, the Jays called up righty Jamie Vermilyea to fill a spot in the ‘pen.

The difference between a 1st place and last place team is no more apparent then the first 2 1/2″ innings. What did the jays do with the bases loaded (no clutch hitting)? What did Youkilis do with 2 outs (got a hit).

Click (the sound of me changing channels). Wish there was something positive to talk about but it’s going from bad to worse.

Is Zambrano’s “injury” legit or a way to defect some blame? Not sure why i’m asking you since J.P would probably just lie to you anyways.

RYANM: Well, all I can say is what JP relayed to us today, which is that Zambrano has a sore forearm. As JP said the other day: “Either you believe me or you dont.” So that’s up to you. Putting him on the DL is definitely one way to avoid having to pass him through waivers in order to send him to the Minors. But he’s going to Dunedin, Fla., to begin rehabbing and to continue to build up his arm strength. I’m sure it will be some time before he’s back in Toronto.

Zambrano wasn’t a major league pitcher in his condition anyways. Jays management mishandled him from the start.

In two to three weeks, if Jays don’t improve, it’s time to call it a season.

ROYHALLADAY32: How can you be online when you’re on the mound? Crazy. As far as Zambrano, maybe the Jays would’ve been better off keeping him in the Minors to build up more strength before calling him up. This is true. Then again, how can you NOT bring the guy north with the team after the spring he had? What kind of message does that send to the team when it’s supposed to be a competition. He earned a spot on the club — whether you agree with him being up with the Jays this early or not.

Do you think the Doc is tipping his pitches also why not give Towers another chance

Alan and Jerry were just hinting that Roy is not throwing as hard as usual. From you vantage point do you think there is a problem with Halladay or is it that the whole team’s confidence is shot? Oop another base hit to Drew… Can anyone stop this slide????

EARLTIFS: I actually just leand to the reporter next to me and said, “Halladay hasn’t topped 91 all night. I wonder if something’s up.” I’m sure it’ll get brought up postgame. That would be an unreal blow to this team right now if he were hurt.

Alan is speculating that Halladay may have tired arm. I hope that is all that is wrong. This team cannot afford another blow like that especially with the news of Ryan today. Do you know if the Jays have had any players only meetings during the streak? Great play by Jamie to get Lugo at 3rd!

Do you think the flu-like symptoms Vernon was suffering from have spread the rest of the team? Considering everyone pretty much started slumping at the same time, it would make some sense, but I can see that the team making a big deal of it would seem like whining.

JORDAN: I’m not on the mound. That’s Josh Towers in disguise. *zing*

I understand why they brought Zambrano up with them. That I’m okay with. But to bury him in the bullpen for a whole month, then ask him to be the fifth start after losing any stamina built? 15-day DL is no surprise.

JORDAN: I’m listening on Fan590 instead of TV because I wanted to multitask so I didn’t waste any time following this game. Allan Ashby and Jerry had mentioned Halladay’s velocity has been down. Jerry has said it might be injury, Allan mentioned the possibility of a “tired arm”.

If you can ask Roy in post-game, is it just a “tired arm” or is there something wrong? And if there is something wrong, can you ask him to keep it quiet for a few days? Fans need more time to recover from the Ryan news.

EARLTIFS: The Jays held a players-only meeting on Tuesday — the same day the front office called the entire coaching staff, in uniform before the game, up to the third floor at the Rogers Centre for a meeting of their own.

ROYHALLADAY: I agree, putting Zambrano in the bullpen wasn’t the wisest move. Putting him in the rotation, where they see him long term, might’ve been a better way to reward him. Then again, they had the same issue with Towers — the need to reward him for the strides he made this spring. I think no matter what decision they made, we’d be questioning it right now.

Us writers need more time to recover from the thousands of words we’ve typed about injuries this season. I think I feel something “barking” in my fingers.

I think Towers hasn’t pitch so bad to be pulled so soon. Yes, he was on short leash but he has been as good (bad) as Chacin and Ohka. Towers not being awarded the rotation spot until two days before Opening Day meant they were looking for the first opportunity to pull him.

If they viewed Zambrano as a starter, they should made it known he was a special case to keep him down south to build stamina.

Jordan, the next article you write might be putting yourself on the DL with “carpal tunnel syndrome”.

Unfortunately, there’s no DL for us scribes.

We’re in the bottom of the eighth inning here at the Dome. Any final Q’s before I head to the clubhouse? I’ll be back up postgame to field any late-night inquiries, too.

Is it safe to say that if Halladay has to “rest” for an extended period (i.e. 2 starts), should they call-up the youngsters, trade the surplus and call it a season? Any thoughts?

JJB19: Hard to call it a season when there’s 128 games to go. Let’s find out if Halladay needs any rest first before we start thinking about Toronto jumping ship on the entire year.

Should there be any blame placed on the conditioning coach, like the Yankees lamely did, for all these injuries?

ROY: That’s a reach as far as a scapegoat goes. The guys on the field aren’t producing right now. I think they’re willing to shoulder the blame.

It’s in the books: Boston 8, Toronto 0. It marks the Jays’ ninth loss in a row, which is three short of the longest slide in club history (12 straight losses in 1981).

I’m off to the clubhouse. I’ll be back up to the pressbox to answer any more Q’s you fans might have after the game.

so Vermilleya(sp) is 0-1 with a 7.63ERA and gets promoted to the pen. Banks is 4-0 with a 3.57ERA two complete games and doesn’t get a call. Why not keep the pen the way it is and let Banks have a crack at a start? Is it because he is 24 and they don’t want to rush him? I think this is a great time… zero pressure since they can’t win right now anyways

Vermilyea’s looking good pretty far at the major league level, going 3 innings in each of his appearances and giving up no runs.

On April 22, Vermilyea turned in three scoreless with the Jays down by six runs. Tonight, he turned in three scorless with the Jays down eight runs. True, that’s still six shutout frames, but let’s give him some more time before passing too much judgement. As far as Banks, Toronto believes he needs more time to develop and they already have some younger pitchers (Marcum, Janssen, McGowan) at the Major League level to contend for starts.

Also, a note to the masses: Roy Halladay and Toronto manager John Gibbons each denied that Halladay’s health was in any way to blame for his last two outings. Halladay simply cited poor control and some faulty mechanics.

Even if the Red Sox weren’t trying their hardest at that point, it’s still nice to have someone in the bullpen who can mop up for a few innings when the starter gets lit up early. Many of the other pitchers we’ve sent out for that purpose lately got mopped up themselves.

Looks like there’s no more questions tonight. That being the case, I’m going to call it an evening. Thanks for a successful QA tonight. Hopefully I can do it again some time in the future. I’ll give prior notice before doing another one of these. Have a good night.


Do you think there was a faulty sense of “hope” going in to this year? I can not recall a spring that started with so much hype only to unravel in such a hurry. I admit I was one who was pumping up the Jays lineup, saying they match up with any major league lineup. Now that I have had some time to look at it, I see a team that got a lot worse from last year… We lost our #3 starter our setup man (men if you include League) a starting catcher in Bengie a backup corner man/DH in Hillenbrand (I know he wanted out i’m just talking about the team on paper from last year), a bench guy/utility in Hinske and one heck of a clutch guy/utility/DH/Clubhouse guy in the Cat. And what did we pickup? an aging DH and 3 injury plagued pitchers that haven’t amounted to anything so far.

I know this is just my frustration coming out being a huge Jays fan… but I feel mislead.

RYANM: You have almost exactly repeated my sentiments in my blog under “BJ Ryan out for the year”. I didn’t have any sense of hope for the year however.

I believe JP and Gibbons have lost the respect of the league managers and players over the ridiculous situations towards the end of last year (ie. Hillenbrand and Lilly) and during the off season catcher signing debacle. I would be curious to know if the players still support Gibbons. It seems that a whole lot of the team is underproducing, check that, the entire team in underproducing (except Jeremy Accardo and John MacDonald).

It is a miracle we kept Vernon Wells – but it meant JP had to grossly overspend to keep him and sign our other “major” off-season acquistion (currently hitting .238 with 4 homers – hey, he might hit 20 this year if he keeps pace!)

As I life long Jays fan, I have suffered for thirteen long years – the current management has taken this team as far as it can (ie nowhere and heading down). Time for new management.

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