Rolen stops by

BALTIMORE — Scott Rolen showed up inside the visitor’s clubhouse at Camden Yards today, receiveing plenty of hand shakes all around. Sitting over with a group of players taking part in a card game, though, Jays second baseman Aaron Hill welcomed Rolen with this quip:

“We don’t need you, bro. We just swept.”

Before showing up at the ball yard, Rolen met with Dr. Thomas Graham, who performed surgery on the third baseman’s right middle finger at the end of spring. Reports on Rolen’s finger are good and he’s already throwing (no ground balls, just catch) and hitting (with a protective rubber guard on his finger).

Rolen’s finger is still tender, though, considering it hasn’t healed completely from the surgery. So the timeline remains the same, even though he’s ahead of schedule activity wise. That means he could be back toward the end of this month or some time in early May. More on his visit with us scribes on mlb.com in a while.

Also of note is that reliever Armando Benitez tweaked a hamstring covering first base in a Minor League game, according to Jays manager John Gibbons. Benitez is currently with Triple-A Syracuse, but Gibbons wasn’t sure the extent of the pitcher’s injury.

Catcher Rod Barajas was out of the lineup, but feeling better after tweaking a groin on Sunday. Gibbons said there’d be no need to DL Barajas and that he was available off the bench. Hill moves into the No. 3 hole with Alex Rios getting a day off and Mighty Joe Inglett remains in the starting lineup at third base.

Today’s lineups:

THE BATTLE FOR FIRST PLACE

TORONTO (7-5) at BALTIMORE (7-5)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Matt Stairs, RF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Shannon Stewart, LF
Gregg Zaun, C
Joe Inglett, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Dustin McGowan

ORIOLES
Brian Roberts, 2B
Melvin Mora, 3B
Nick Markakis, RF
Kevin Millar, 1B
Aubrey Huff, DH
Luke Scott, LF
Ramon Hernandez, C
Adam Jones, CF
Luis Hernandez, SS

PITCHING: RHP Matt Albers

18 Comments

It’s about time Hill gets moved into the two hole where he belongs… I’ve been saying it for awhile now that his bat is a perfect #2 guy. He is a spray hitter who doesn’t strike out much and has some pop.

That title for the line-up reads well in my eyes, even if it is early, it’s nice to see. The more they win now (with a relatively healthy lineup), the more they can overcome injuries should they occur later in the season. Looking forward to McGowan on the mound tonight.

Rmatty, I can see Rolen hitting in the 2 spot as well but right now Hill is the best fit.

This blog doesn’t seem to be as lively as it was a few months ago, what happened to all the Bastianites ?

Enigma, I was thinking the same thing. Everybody seems to have disapeared…..

Mcgowen keeps on getting pounded tonight. He is lucky that all those hits are mainly just single and that no more than 3 runs have scored on him so far.

Enigma

I was going to ask the same thing, what has happened to all the posters here? Where’s that nasty roughrider, Garry? lol.

I see Eckstein’s off to a great start. Two errors in 11 games and a sky high batting average of .250.

I must also comment on the dumping of Johnson for Stewart, since this happened when I was away. Dumb move. With Eckstein Ssarting so well in the lead off role, it’d be damn nice to be able to put Reed in-to shake it up.

So did Bosox Brian show up, when we swept Boston in the series or was he ashamed to show his ugly face? lol

Gsumner, good to have you back. Maybe you can spark some debates here again.

Eckstein hasn’t been doing much at all, I must admit. I pushed for him in the summer but things aren’t looking good so far. Stewart isn’t exactly tearing it up either which is a concern because those 2 guys are the only ideal lead off guys they have. Marco Scutaro should be back in the line-up tomorrow, in my opinion because his OBP was decent enough at the bottom of the order. I know it’s second last on the team but .325 is nothing to sneeze at. It’s been, almost 3 complete turns through the rotation and so far Burnett and McGowan need to pick up the slack a little bit. The offense as a whole has been inconsistant, though it was nice to see Rios get his first home-run tonight.

It was great to hear Buck Martiniz doing the colour commentating for the game, I really enjoyed the work he did when he was doing it for the Jays and to hear him again is always nice.

Wow, that 8th inning run really proved to key for the O’s. Kinda makes you wonder why Rios wasn’t starting today, with that homer in the 9th. Hope Hill can hit better the 2 spot, than he did last year.
Funny, Buck Martinez referenced the last time the Jays swept the Rangers was 3 game set, of which he caught the back end.
Anyway, the new free blog feature on mlb.com has got me to finally create one. I’m having fun with it, talkin Jays and many baseball related issues. Here is the link. http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Looks like some of our prized guys are off to good starts in the minors.

AAA: Both Lind and Diaz are scorching it, with Lind at .366 Ba, .467 OBP and Diaz at .407 BA and OBP .407. Diaz is 3rd in the league in BA.

Diaz is a Vladimir Guerrero type of hitter, minus the power. His strike zone is as far as his bat reaches, so he gets few walks but hits the crap out of everything. I do not understand why JP signed Barajas after he stung us last year-particulary with a talent like Diaz ready to go. Time to dump Barajas and bring Diaz up. Lind seems to also be making a statement he belongs here.

My favorite minor league pitcher David Purcey is carrying right along like he did in the AFL and in 3 starts is 2-0, with an era of 1.89, whip of .95, 21k’s and only 6 bb’s in 19 innings. All 3 starts have been quality starts. The good news is, if we do have a starter go down, Purcey looks like he’s ready to go. Certainly more depth than last year.

Shawn Camp, in relief, looks like he likes the Jays more than Tampa Bay, has gone 7 innings, given up 3 hits, struck out 10 and no bb’s for an era of .000.

Enigma

I’ve only seen two games so far, but in each of them Eckstein didn’t get to balls that McDonald would have. That and his two errors and poor hitting makes me wonder why we’re not playing Johnny Mac; he’s only had 5 at bats so far. I hope I won’t be able to say I told you guys os on Eckstein-I really hope he turns it around and plays a solider defense.

Inglett seems to have done a great job filling in for Scutaro; I wouldn’t change them until Inglett slows down-he’s batting .455.

Hill looks like he is enjoying hitting at the top of the lineup and the way hes going-BA of .320 and OBP ofover .400, maybe we should try him as lead off from tiem to time-particulary when Rolen comes back.

Hill, Rios, Wells, Rolen and then Stairs ( RH pitcher) or Thomas ( LHP) might be an interesting lienuep.

They have to give Eckstein a chance to get his bat going. I’d say give it about a month if he still is putting up the same numbers then J Mac is our guy. Stewart can lead off.
As for dumpin Barajas, to me he has looked better than Zaun in the games he as been able to play. I can really see Barajas taking the starting job away from Zaun later in the season.

I like Barajas so far. He called a beautiful game for Burnett against New York, he’s hitting well, and runners are respecting his arm (only 2 sb this year).
There are a few other holes in the order besides Eckstein so far, but his average is climbing, and he’s getting on base. He came from the NL, so he will get better as he gets to know the pitchers. I think he would make less errors if he was a bit taller. Maybe we should chip in for a pair of Air Nikes for him so he can get those balls that fly over his head.LOL. The positive side – I love the way he runs everything out, and you know he’s giving everything he’s got all the time. You can’t put a stat to that.

Tothdenny

Well, I only saw one game Barajas caught, and it looked like he wasn’t on the same page as the pitcher ( Halliday). I don’t know how the other guys have worked with him since I didn’t see the games.

I think Zaun would be a better teacher for Diaz, since he knows the pitchers better. But as I said, I just think we should get Diaz up here whether we keep Zaun or Barajas.

I do hope Eckstein gets going. So far, he hasn’t looked good on defense or offence. But, one way or the other, I think we need to get Johnny Mac in more often; he’s only had 5 at bats.

Check out 2nd baseman Scott Campbell at AA New Hampshire.

This 23 year old was signed in 2006 from New Zealand. Last year started in Auburn and won a promotion to Lansing ( A-). We must like him, since this year he started in AA-New Hampshire and skipped Dunedin ( A+).

This year, he’s played in 9 games with 37 at bats, but is hitting a staggering .486 with 2 homers.

Gsumner,

I am right here, why would I be ashamed? The team I root for is the defending champs, LOL.

2 cities I wish the Red Sox would never visit, Seattle and Toronto. A house of horrors for the Red Sox over the last few seasons. This just in, they are the prettiest cities in the A.L., hands down, no doubt.

Of course Boston got swept in Toronto last September and all they did was win the World Series about 5 weeks later.

I think Toronto has the best rotation in the divison. If they ever had an injury in there rotation, they would be in trouble. They don’t have the depth.

Of course with Toronto, it comes down to the bats. Will they hit? That is the biggest question and of course will they stay healthy? They always have there fair amount of injuries for some reason. Toronto could finish with 90 or more wins or they could finish with a similar record of last year. A funny team as you know gsumner. Well good luck anyway. It is a long season as you know. Filled with highs and lows. Remember Boston’s longest winning streak last year was 7 games. The last 7 games they played in October and they became as you know the champions of the baseball world.

Bosoxbrian

But just remember, that was last year, this is not…

Like what im hearing, from you guys, about Campbell and Diaz. I thought Diaz was still going to be a year away, I guess solid production can change that. Early this season, Barajas has prove to be better at throwing out running and a better hitter than Zaun. Zaun cannot even hold onto the bat. I don’t know? Maybe carry 3 catchers for a bit?

There is that Rios homerun that I have been waiting for!

I hope our games arn’t following any pattern, Sweep/Get swept/Sweep/lose first game (and hopefully dont get swept.

ok i know its early, but its really not time to start ripping on eckstein and barajas. eckstein has provided some gritt at the top of the order, and ive seen him just hacking out at bats and working to see as many pitches as he can. hes had a few mishaps, but come on hes not as good as johnny mac and we knew that comming into the season. but none he less, he provides more clutch hitting, and hes shown that this season alrighty, just grinding out the at bats. and for barajas, hes holding his own. maybe even playing better then zaun at this point. lets talk about diaz in late may or june, and just give him some time to continue to keep hitting in syracuse.

the one minor leaguer that has impressed me the most, and given me even more confidence in our rotation is purcey. in three starts hes alrighty 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA. but what impresses me the most is that hes given up only 12 hits and 6 walks in 19 innings to go along with 21 strickouts. i think purcey has shown that he is an option if we have an injury, and if he keeps going, who knows. remember he is a lefty starter, and thats something we could seriosuly use.

anyways lets hope for continued pitching the way weve been seeing it, and hopfully the offence shows up on a constant basis, because we all know it can be great, we just need some consistancy. Go Jays!

Johnny Mac really needs to get some more playing time.
Why sign him to a 2 year contract so he can ride the bench? There is no better defense ss in the league. Eckstein can hit a little better,but cannot get to as many balls. Let Jmac play alittle more its not like eckstein is hitting that great right now. As for Barajas he is doing a great job when he is playing, but Zaun knows the pitchures better. Well see what happens. Inglett is on a tear, so keep him in the lineup. What happens when Rolen gets back? Inglett so far has proven he can play at the big league level. Scutaro is in a hitting slump. Jmac can also play third. Its alittle frustrating letting him do nothing.

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