Game #65: Jays at Giants pregame

Toronto (30-34) at San Francisco (30-34)
at 3:35 p.m. ET at AT&T Park

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Howie Clark, 1B
Alex Rios, CF
Matt Stairs, RF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
Royce Clayton, SS
Jason Phillips, C
Dustin McGowan, P

GIANTS
Dave Roberts, CF
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Randy Winn, LF
Ryan Klesko, 1B
Ray Durham, 2B
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Kevin Frandsen, SS
Guillermo Rodriguez, C
Tim Lincecum, P

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Jays designated veteran catcher Sal Fasano for assignment and purchased the contract of RHP Lee Gronkiewicz from Double-A New Hampshire. … RHP A.J. Burnett (strained right shoulder) underwent an MRI exam before Wednesday’s game, but the results weren’t immediately available. Toronto manager John Gibbons said Burnett will likely skip his next start, and Josh Towers would take his place against the Nationals on Sunday. … Since last homering on May 20, Vernon Wells has hit .188 with no home runs and nine RBIs over 21 games. He was given the day off on Wednesday.

22 Comments

What luck – we lose the first two of the series by a run each, and today we’re up by 7 in the fourth inning.

I’ve just read all the fans’ stupid comments over the last week and the only guy who had anything good to say was the guy who called Gibbons an idiot!!! What a complete joke this man is. He must have some good dirt on Riccardi to have a job in professional baseball. Imagine a guy who knows nothing about managing a baseball team who can’t really even speak english making 600,000 dollars a year. The guy should be bolting bumpers on cars in some plant for 20 bucks an hour. Biggest joke in all of sports.

To rbastasich@rdgroupint.ca. You unloaded on Gibbons but not on Riccardi.Are they not 2 peas in a pod.As long as they are with the Blue Jays we will never see the playoffs.I for one agree with your comments although a little harsh

Gibby has good points and bad points. We have to remember Gibby just makes out the lineup-he doesn’t swing the bat-Frank and Vernon do. To me Frank has lost bat speeed which is the reason he isn’t hitting. I think he’s likely brought Vernon down as Vernon has tried to hard to make up for Thomas’s lack of performance.

Where I have a problem with Gibby is how he handles the pitchers. Burnett is a special starter-one of the best in baseball-but when you bring it at 97 or 98 there is a lot of wear and tear-so you have to handle him carefully-he is fragile. That does not mean leaving him in here to throw 125 pitches, when in his previous two to three starts he’d been over 110.

We have the 2nd best bullpen in the American league and arguably the best when League gets back. Use them-don’t leave the starters out there the way he has. It’s a long season-take them out sometimes when their pitch count gets to 75 or 80-give them a bit of a breather once in a while. We now have 4 very good, extremely capable starters-that is a precious commodity-take care of it.

Over usage is when the injuries occur-and this one to AJ has been caused by Gibby’s handling. Cross your fingers it isn’t serious and hope Gibby’s learnt his lesson.

Gibbons is not to blame. Its the team that isn’t playing well. Well their offense mainly. There bullpen everyone has to admit has been better then expected. Their offense is what’s killing them. The starting pitching has been phenominal as of late. I’d sure hate to have to play the Jays when they get their offense going.
Now for a side note, with front office. Why would you even sign Clayton. You have Johnny Mac. Sure he isn’t an offensive threat but his defense is outstanding, especially at short. Clayton is no slouch either but it makes no sense to pay a guy, when you already have the same type of guy there. There other big signing Thomas. What were they thinking giving this guy 9 million/year, and a multi year contract at that. Seems the Jays paid Thomas for what he was worth about 10 years ago. He is a good bat and no doubt will get better this season, but 9 million? Ridiculous.

Anybody that gets down on Riccardi and Gibbons obviously doesn’t remember all the years that Gord Ash was treading water here. Our farm system is full of talent, and all that basically started when Riccardi came on board. McGowan, Marcum, Hill, Rios et al were all drafted by Riccardi, and there is more coming down the line. If anybody thinks we should be winning more games, how would you like to be a Yankee fan, with their payroll, and their record? You just have to put it all into perspective.
I have 2 questions: When will the injuries stop? When will Thomas and Wells start hitting? That’s what’s hurting the team, not management.

you forgot to mention that wells and halladay were drafted by riccardi too?? sorry but mcgowan and rios were not drafted by riccardi

OK, call me a liar, but that’s nit picking. It’s still safe to say that the team and the farm system are in far better shape than they have been for a long time, and promise to be that way for the future. One of the reasons that we have won as many games as we have is the greater depth we have this year. It’s injuries to key personnel that is keeping us from winning more games, not poor management.
If you could tell Riccardi how to prevent injuries, then you could take over Gibbon’s spot with my blessing.

gnorman

I agree with you on Riccardi, I think he’s done a great job in building the minor system. I also think he’s done a good job on the trade market with the trade of that a…… Hillebrand and Chulk to San Fran for Acccardo being the biggest steal of the year. I particulary like the first two draft choices this year. When they’re combined with Snider from last year, we will have some home grown pop.

I also agree that injuries have severely hampered our chances this year. I think the injury to Johnson will likey be the most damaging when 2007 is over and we all look back.

However, Riccardi doesn’t manage the team-Gibby does. For the most part I like Gibby-don’t get me wrong. I just think the way he handled Burnett recently and other pitchers in general is ridiculous and leads to injury.

That has to change.

Its not nit picking, its knowing what your talking about.
I dont mind riccardi but our farm system is not in that great of shape. Its ok, and Riccardi has done an ok job drafting so far. There are some positives and negatives, using Aaron Hill and Russ Adams Respectively as examples. I don’t understand how can you like the draft choice before they have even played one game of professional ball or before they have even signed!? Wait and see how they preform with wood bats and better competition before you make judement. The scouts can say all they want about them but untill they actually prove it, it means nothing.

Yes, Gibbons manages the team. But seriously, when you have so many **** injuries and people not performing, you have to do what you THINK might work. I bet not a single one of us, could do a better job right now. Gibbons has to try different things to try and put some spark into his offense. SO, for that reason, you are going to see more things happen. I doubt Burnett was FORCED to play so many innings, so wouldn’t that make it his choice as well??? And like all the analysts say, Reed Johnson is the “Spark Plug” of the Jays lineup. he is the missing link right now, but they got to get Wells and Thomas to do what they did last year.

How we all wine about Gibbons and Riccardi one day and pat them on the back the next day when we win one.If we go on another loosing streak all of the above will call for there heads.As far as the draft goes Riccardi is only a small part of it.I stick to my guns they both have to go or we will never be in the playoffs.As for New York a team i hate all we will see from now on is their dust.Also we may finish last.As for Wells every player has a bad year.As for Thomas i think he is trying to hard to bad because this man can hit.I still say at least we still have the Blue Jays

Sorry i meant whine not wine

tothdenny

“Its not nit picking, its knowing what your talking about”

**Well, in case you haven’t noticed Travis Snider is batting .342 and was just chosen as the first team All Star in the Midwest league. Last year he won MVP in the Appalacian league-leading the league in home runs, rbi’s and second in BA.

In terms of wooden and aluminum bats, both the top two draft choices played with both this year and were scouted numerous times. Maybe you missed this release from the Jays:

TORONTO — The Blue Jays have no question that Kevin Ahrens can handle a wood bat. The prep star needed just one swing to convince Toronto of that last fall, when he belted a mammoth home run during a showcase event at Blair Field, the home of the Long Beach State baseball team in California.

“It’s cavernous,” said Blue Jays director of scouting Jon Lalonde, describing the dimensions at the 69-year-old ballpark. “He hit an absolute missile out of there, which college kids barely do with aluminum bats. This kid did it with wood in game competition.”

The financial investment taken to sign top draft choices demands souting them multiple times to ensure the investment.

Of course even after all that-it’s still a gamble-but in these two-I like our chances, just like Snider.

So I guess you are right-it’s knowing what your talking about”. Lol

You can get news, stats etc. on all the minor league teams and players at:

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/info/affiliations.jsp

Check out our guys, then you’ll truly understand the quality of job Riccardi has done building it back up.

serialthiller

I agree totally on the injuries and it’s confirmation of the depth of this team built through the minor league system that has kept us close, which in my view is proof of the quality job done by Riccardi. It is also a compliment to Gibby that he has managed to keep us this close.

I doubt, if Boston or New York lost their closer, 8th inning guy, two to three starters, lead off hitter and first baseman, they’d be as close as we are.

However, Gibby manages the team not Burnett, Halliday or any other player and it’s Gibbies responsibility to protect these guys from injury-not the players. Their responsibility is to follow Gibby’s orders and perform as well as they can with that direction.

I stand by my origional comments-to leave Burnett out there for 125 pitches was stupidity-and that was Gibby’s decision-not Burnett, Riccardi or anyone elses..

gsumner You have an ally. If the players dictate the game why in the **** do we need a manager. I guess we were short in the bullpen couldn’t one of the FOUR catchers pitch?????

thegaryguy

Hey how about Thomas or Wells-at least we wouldn’t see 4 pop ups and or 4 ground outs per game.

One thing for sure if we didn’t complain or heap praise on the manager or GM what would we talk about. Hey i know how about Rios what a player and Hill a real gem. Can you imagine Hill at short O.Dog at second just a dream now.Wells is not hitting nor is Thomas nor is Lind three big bats gone quiet

Too bad this kid wasn’t a bit further down the road; if he was he’d likely have been a good replacement for Overbea.

First baseman Josh Kreuzer was named Dunedin’s player of the month and also the Toronto “Organizational Player of The Month”. Kreuzer was crushing the ball during May, hitting .347 with eight home runs and 17 RBI. He also had 10 doubles and had a .458 on-base percentage.

thegarry

Well the release on the Jays web site today says something about Hill: “Hill, who ranks first in the Majors with 225 assists and second with 342 total chances.” Hill is ahead of the Odog in fielding percentage, assists, total chances, hr’s, rbi’s and only trails him in batting average where Hill is .276 and the Odog is .295. That trade ended up being a good trade for both teams-but with Hill’s rapid improvement-it’s like we got Glaus for nothing.

Although I never thought we’d see someone replace the Odog; Hill is already better and has more upside. All that being said, I doubt if Hill will ever play shortstop again, or at least no permently. He’s an All Star at 2nd right now-they’ll never move him back to short.

Rios, is about to become a superstar. Leads all outfielders with 15 Hr’s projecting to 35 to 40 this year. He’s also developed into a good clutch hitter this year. What more can you say-he does it all.

Lind-like every other rookie is going through an adjustment. When he first came up, pitchers pitched him on the lower inner half and he pounded everything. The pitchers adjusted and started pitching him high and outside and found his weakness-as they always will.

Lind appears to be adjusting and when he does he will be a batting force similar to Rios.He still needs some work on defense, mostly in getting good starts on balls and running the right pattern to catch them-although he has yet to commit an error in a Blue Jays uniform.

All Star Voting

Hey if you guys all feel the same way I do about seeing Rios and Hill in the All Star game-this is what you do to help them win.

The rules state you can vote 25 times on each of the 30 MLB sites with each email address. That means with each email address you can vote 750 times.

You can open up multiple email addresss at hotmail. gmail, yahoo and countless others and vote 750 times per email address.

So if we all want them to win-we need 100 fans, opening 100 email address and voting 25 times on each MLB website. That equates to 7,500,000 votes per player.

Stupid rules, I agree but believe me the NY and Boston fans have already figured it out-so should we.

I still don’t think it’s fair to blame management for all the team’s woes, and for not getting to the playoffs. We have to remember that we are a middle market team with a middle market budget. We can’t simply buy a playoff berth like New York and Boston can. The good news is that a lot of middle market teams have won the World Series lately, and the lineup we have will get us there if all the stars line up correctly. As for Gibbons, I like the idea that he DOESN’T over-manage, and lets the players go out there and play their own game, the way it was meant to be played. Plus– Ozzie Guillen didn’t pick him for his bench coach in the all star game for nothing–when he could have had his choice of any other AL manager.
As for Burnett, I hope he only misses one start, but now at least Gibby has some ammunition when he suggests that AJ may have done enough for one game. He will likely be on a pitch count for a while.

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