Got to do better than 1-for-3

BALTIMORE — Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons was in a joking mood before today’s game against the Orioles. Joe Inglett (5-for-11 since being called up from Triple-A) was held out of the starting lineup for the finale in Baltimore, so it was only natural for us scribes to ponder why Inglett was on the bench.

“He only has one hit last night — that’s unacceptable,” quipped Gibbons.

In reality, Mighty Joe was on the bench in order to get Marco Scutaro back in the mix. Gibbons said he didn’t want Scoot going too long between starts while Scott Rolen is out. Speaking of whom, Gibbons said that in a “best-case” scenario, Rolen could possibly be ready to return in two weeks, which would be later this month. I say that’s pretty optimistic.

Aaron Hill was back in the No. 2 hole in the lineup, where he figures to stay for a while. Hill’s enjoyed hitting second and Gibbons has really liked having Hill’s bat high in the order. You want your best hitters getting the most at-bats and Hill is certainly proving to be one of Toronto’s top offensive weapons. Batting second will give him more ABs.

Also, for those of you who might’ve heard a report on the FAN590 about GM J.P. Ricciardi joining the team unexpectedly on this road trip with intention of possibly firing Gibbons, well, there’s simply nothing to it. Ricciardi is back home in Boston and Gibby’s job is secure. The report was completely unsubstantiated.

TORONTO (7-6) at BALTIMORE (8-5)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Matt Stairs, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Gregg Zaun, C
Marco Scutaro, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum

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

PITCHING: RHP Steve Trachsel

16 Comments

It’s nice to see that the Jays are showing that they can win on the road and on top of that they are taking advantage of poor pitching. Good moves by gibby to give Aaron and Matt the rest of the game off (though I would’ve pulled Wells instead of Matt but no big deal.)

Jamie and Pat suggested that the reason Rios got the day off yesterday was due to the play he didn’t make on Monday when Burnett was pitching, makes sense to me.
Thanks for clearing the J.P./Gibbons situation Jordan.

again team looks great. offence was outstanding today just hitting 1 through 9, but then again it is only baltimore. i was impressed with eck at the top, getting on in the first, with that beautiful bunt, and just going 3-4 on the night. also wells looked good, rios, and hill with the shot to left. marcum was solid and overall just a great night. i really like hill in that 2 spot and hope the jays stick with him there. jordan – what are the jays saying right now as the worse case scenario for rolen ? i think 2 weeks could be hopeing for too much as well (but then again 2 weeks is great – i’d love him back in 2wks) – but honestly what should we expect ? a month ?

Well, I don’t think theres any doubt about who hits in the 2 hole after tonight. Hill has really matured. If he keeps this up, he’s a lock for all-star, if he gets the votes.

It was also nice to see Eckstein have a 3 for 4 night. Maybe he’s just been pressing. Overall a great game for the hitters, maybe we needed a break out game like that. Let’s hope it continues.

Bosox, we have more depth in starters than you think. Check out David Purcey, in AAA Syracuse. He’s the real deal, and is ready to make the jump. A big LH, low to mid 90’s fastball, devastating curve/slider and a changeup in work. He struggled with mechanics for a couple of years, but got straightened out last year. Also, in AA, we have another first rounder, who I predict will have a break out year this year-Rickie Romero, another quality LH. I expect he could move to AAA before the end of the year or be called up in an injury situation.

Also we drafted extremely well last year and although it’s still young in the season we have 19 pitchers in either A-, A+ or AA with era’s under 2.0. We are pitching rich down there and some of those guys are going to be rapid risers-Brett Cecil as an example in A+. So we probably have more depth in pitching than anyone, once you check it out.

Bosox

One of our young guys who could be a serious rapid riser this year is Kenny Rodriguez in Dunedin A+. All he’s done so far in his first 2 starts is go 12 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs ( both hr’s), 1 bb, 12 k’s and kept opposing hitters to a .100 BA. He’s from Cuba and we signed him last year. He pitched for the Cuban national team ( probably whipped the USA national team-lol) and defected while the team was in a tournament in Ecuador.

In his first pro start in Dunedin, he threw a complete game ( 6 innings) 1 hitter shutout, only going 1 hitter over the minimum. Apparently, we’re not too sure of his age ( 20-23), but he certainly looks special and I’d expect if his next 2 to 3 starts are of the same quality, we’ll start moving him up quickly.

Thanks for the minor league report, gsumner, and it’s nice to have you back. If anybody doubts the worth of JP, and what he has done since his arrival, we just have to look at our farm system. We should be able to field good teams for a long time.
It’s nice to have a giggler like last night, and I think I may have been the only one watching the bottom of the 9th that wasn’t being paid to do so. It’s good to see Zaun hit the ball hard again. I hope he gets turned around now.
It’s a long time to the all star break, but we could be sending Wells, Rios, and Hill, along with some pitching help if we’re not careful. It seems like a long time since we have sent multiple players.
Always nice.

Hill is a lock for all star games this year and many years to come… He reminds me of Jeff Kent but with way better defence and is not an A-hole. Rios’s power stroke will come and he will put up some serious numbers this year, as will Wells. What we are missing is Overbay hitting like he was in 06. Rolen will certainly help the offence with his return in the next 2-4 weeks, adding another power threat to the lineup.

I agree completely that JP has done some fantastic things with the arms in the minors, and with Snider going to be a star this team is locked and loaded!!!

Gsumner,

If you are depending on a kid riding bus in the minors, think again. He will not even sniff the big leagues this year.

Gsumner,
How do you feel about a TRUCE. I do agree this blog is better with your participation even if everyone does not agree with you all of the time. It doesn,t make sense to get all personal on this but rather having constructive debates seems like the way to go. I have been equally guilty as you and suggest we put a stop to it and have some fun. This could be the year we go all the way so the more the merrier! One comment I have about the changes to the site is I do not think it is as easy for the average fan to stumble across this BLOG site based on how you now access Jordans page. It was much easier how it was listed in the headlines before. Alot of people have been lost because of this just look how long it took Gsumner to find it. LOL, that was only a joke!
All in all a fine start to the season. Staters look great. Don’t worry A.J. will come around and be very consistent this year. Some nice surprises in the pen. I only hope that Ryan can bounce back from this thing and be resonably as effective as he was in 06.
The last piece of this puzzle folks is to sign Barry quick before the Yankees do. The perfect fit for Bonds would be to come to Canada and win a World Series.

rmatty

You’re right about Overbay. I was looking at the RISP stats this morning and noticed he is in the bottom 5 guys in all of baseball hitting with runners in scoring position. We definatly need him better than that. I think he just needs more at bats.

By the way, it’s not only our minor league pitchers that are getting off to a good start. Check out some of the hitters.

AAA
Robinson Diaz: .407
Adam Lind: .391
AA
Marcos Cabal: .571
Scott Campbell: .486
A+
Brian Doprick: .395
Cory Patton: .378
JP Arenciba: .300
A-
Raul Barron: .522
Manuel Rodriguez: .444
Johnathon Jaspe: .343
Kevin Aherns: .293

Of course most of these guys will drop off. However, it is really nice to see both Arenciba and Aherns off to better starts. They both struggled last yeatin the GCL.

Also, 2nd baseman, Scott Campbell is starting to look like the real deal. He played well for us last year at Auburn and was bumped all the way up to AA, this spring. Maybe ready for a jump to AAA before the end of the year.

bosox

If we do have an injury to a starter you will have the pleasure of watching David Purcey and your guys will not like what they see. Trust me on that. lol

Purcey could/will get called up but this kid Rodriguez who is in single A has ZERO chance of sniffing the big leagues.

His age, is really the big thing. The White Sox quick tracked Alexei Ramirez to the majors this season after defecting, but he is 26. A 20-23 year old defect, would not likely be move along that quickly. If the Jays are started the guy in Single A, it is likely that he will take at least 2 years to even think about cracking the squad. We definately have some good things coming from the AA and single A in the future and it is nice to see.
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

gsumner – i know your big on the minor league and its players ( i am somewhat to, and could probably talk about the prospect alot to ) but you have to remember the level they are playing at. alot of those numbers arnt as great as they seem. lind and diaz hitting well in AAA that im really happy to see. but cabel and doprick – really aren’t something id be too concerned about. i think the sleeper this year in the minors is cecil. after seeing him pitch when i was down in florida, and everything ive heard about him, he could really be on the fast track up to the majors. once he gets some innings under his belt in florida i wouldnt be supprized to see him in AA (maybe may/june) and if needed, he could make the jump like litsch. but realisticly i think for 09 is when he could really have an influcence. ive been impressed with aherns and his start (even though it has gone downhill) but i think its great hes started hot in lansing. same for Arenciba and snider. purcey – numbers look great and i can wait to see him up with the big club.
and also to back you up on the rodriguez kid – i could see him being an option if we have some injuries – and he keeps pitching the way he is now. again he is a defect so you never know. none the less.. the minor leauges are looking strong again

I wouldnt say Zero chance, I bet if you asked alot of people last year, Jesse Litsch wouldnt have had a chance either.
A few more good starts in A then its AA and from there who knows?
Personnaly I hope we dont see him this year because that would mean some serious injuries. But its a looong way till september.

I am still a little worried about Lyle Overbay, his 275 average isnt too bad but he only has 2 double for the year so far and he still hasn’t shown any power. He is also one of the top 10 in the AL with 14 strikeouts (Rios has 15 by the way). I know it’s early but I would like to see him start hitting a few just to ease my mind.

Bosox
I doubt if Rodriguez will be ready this year. What I meant by moving is moving up the minor league system. On the other hand if this kid keeps overwhelming batters in A+, he should be moved to AA within the next 3-4 starts-it would make no sense to keep him in Single A+. If he works out there, he could be in AAA by July-and then who knows. Cuban players are much more tested and mature than the college kids in NA, so it’s surprising what we’re seeing. BUT our 6th starter is David Purcey.

Canadianbaseballkid-I like Cecil as well, but he had some shoulder or elbow troubles in spring training, which is why he’s pitched so few innings; so they might take it slower with him. He definately is a good one and if he’s healthy, could be a potential for this year, under dire injury problems. I mentioned a number of the hitters to make everyone aware that the depth in position players looks like it might be stronger than it’s been for a while-that’s all. What I’m hoping is we don’t need any of these kids this year; but one never knows when or if we’ll get injuries.

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