Game #39: Orioles at Blue Jays pregame

If Troy Glaus can shrug off a bone spur in his heel and return to belt a game-changing home run, then I guess I can work through a little back pain. After being immobilized for most of yesterday, I’m feeling a lot better. Thanks to those of you who sent me get well messages. My back’s still really tight and I may have a trip to the chiropractor in the near future, but it’s not so bad that I can’t head back to "the office." Here’s today’s pregame blog:

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Baltimore (18-21) at Toronto (16-22)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineup:

ORIOLES
Brian Roberts, 2B
Nick Markakis, RF
Miguel Tejada, SS
Ramon Hernandez, C
Aubrey Huff, 1B
Melvin Mora, 3B
Jay Gibbons, DH
Jay Payton, LF
Corey Patterson, CF

PITCHING: RHP Daniel Cabrera

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

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch — Major League debut

NOTES: Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said Tuesday that INF Jason Smith was not designated for assignment — he was placed on waivers. Teams have until 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday to claim Smith. If he isn’t claimed, the Jays will need to offer him back to the Cubs for $25,000 (Smith was selected from the Cubs in December’s Rule 5 Draft). If the Cubs decline, then Smith is Toronto’s to keep and place into its Minor Leagues.

18 Comments

Isn’t that a stupid move?

Why not just send Ryan Roberts back down to AAA?

Maybe they realize that smith’s spring training was an abberation.
I’m not concerned really, nothing against Smith but players like him are a dime a dozen….only thing is he’s a left handed option which the jays lack.

Hey Jordan, welcome “back”! Get us another win today!

Todd

Yeah, I agree on the dime a dozen part. Just being left handed and probobly the fastest bench player they’ve got , I think he’s a better option than Roberts.

yeah i agree with lee. considering roberts doesn’t even have a hit this year for heaven’s sakes! i mean seriously what are we thinking. this is ridiculous smith was doing just fine. i would have just designated roberts for assignment and been on my way.

Doesn’t Roberts have exactly one major league hit total, that one being a homer late last year?

Oh, and let me add that Litsch is looking pretty nice through six.

yeah litsch seems to be a big league ballplayer. 8.2 ip, 4 h, 1 er is a pretty impressive line for a rookie making his debut; especially for one who has never pitched in triple-a.

roberts did hit an insignificant homer in a tv game against the yankees last year, but still, i would rather have smith on my bench anyday.

…and he continued to look good right up until that walk with 2 outs in the 9th. Considering the pitch count (and that AA pitchers probably don’t throw as many pitches per start, so 99 was already a stretch), it’s hard to blame Gibbons for going to Accardo for a 1 out save. Now the question is, considering how good Litsch looked this game with his 21-odd ground ball outs, do the Jays find another spot for him to start?

Regarding Smith, I think the idea is that in the NL, where there’s more pinch hitting and double switches, you want your top two people at each position with the big league club. With AL teams, since you pinch hit more rarely, your bench infielder is only going to get into the game in case of mid-game injury to a starter, and thus you want your 1st and 3rd best players at each position with the club, while your second-best player gets regular at-bats in the minors to stay sharp. Smith’s performance isn’t good enough for him to get claimed, but it’s good enough that they want him getting frequent plate appearances so he can improve. Thus, they send him to the minors so that if someone goes on the DL, they have a player to bring up who has seen live pitching every day and is in better shape to fill in.

Despite of this impressive start, it may not necessarily mean that he is going to keep such a pace in the major league level. While obviously the guy has good stuff, other teams also don’t have much scouting on him so they don’t know what to expect.

I must say I was very surprised to see him pitch so well and perhaps the fact that he has good stuff, confidence and seems well composed completely negates what I just said above :) (I hope this is the case, the only guy to give a performance like Litsch is out with the annual freak injury out of ****)

Terrific perfomance by Litsch!

I hate to bring negatives in but Wells and Thomas need to pick it up soon.

I don’t doubt that wells will but i am beginning to wonder about Frank. Hope he proves me wrong though.

On a final note does anyone know/heard about Mike Marshall? I’m just wondering why this guy doesn’t have a pitching coach job in the majors.

Wells has been doing OK so far… his BA is also a bit deflated by the fact that he was sick with the flu and was dragging on him on the field…

I doubt there is need to be worried… if he doesn’t finish in the neighbourhood of 30HR, 100 RBI and .290 I will be very surprised.

Thomas usually is off to a slow start… his numbers are probably not lower than what they were last season at this point in the season. Plus he will have an opportunity to rest a little next week with the jays playing the phillies.

i agree i dont think we should christen litsch as the savior just quite yet; casey jannssen last year also turned in 2 or 3 stellar performances much like this one but once scouting became available he suddenly became hittable.

Jesse’s style sure makes him hittable (pitching for contact), so he will give up his share of hits, but will also give the guys behind him the chance to make DP’s behind him…

If he can keep the ball low he will avoid hanging balls in there for home runs he will probably fare up pretty well…

Again, one start is not much to go by, though I hope it’s a sign of things to come :)

I already saw some com,pare his style to Wang, but with less velocity and sink on the fastball, but better change and breaking balls…

All rather surprising, since untill a couple of weeks a go no one heard much about him… A long with McGowan I can name about 4 or 5 other starters that I would have expected to be called up from the minors before Litsch, just until this week

I think Janssen became hittable when he developed a sore back that he didn’t tell the club about. That’s why they didn’t bring him back up in September.

Anyone claim Jason Smith ?

Smith was solid at 3rd base but when you cant hit and you drown your average below .200 then changes will be made…sometimes it looks like he is out of his element when hes at the plate. I think its a great time to see what Roberts can do, just like Lind last year. The rest of the line up needs to get cracking especially Thomas…slow off the start is normal but were getting to the end of the start era if not passed it. Wells is not producing like he normally does and Glaus and Rios seem to be pulling this team right now combined with good recent pitching. There close I can feel it. Better be anyways.

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