He Gone: Thomas released

TORONTO — Not much time to blog here, but let’s just say I called it last night. Frank Thomas was granted his unconditional release this morning by the Blue Jays. No subsequent move for now — Adam Lind is the long-term option, but he’s fighting a stiff neck at the moment.

Thomas met with GM J.P. Ricciardi this morning and they came to a mutual agreement on releasing the veteran designated hitter, according to Ricciardi. Thomas was long gone, so no way to get his side of the story. You’ll see Matt Stairs and Rod Barajas DHing more now and Lind can split time in left with Shannon Stewart when he comes up at some point.

Scott Rolen was scheduled to make a rehab appearance with Class A Dunedin today as well. He’s down to play three games down there and then Ricciardi said the team will reevaluate his status. Looks like Rolen could be back here some time next week. That’s a best-case scenario, of course.

More later…

Today’s lineups:

DETROIT (6-12) at TORONTO (9-9)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

TIGERS
Clete Thomas, CF
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Carlos Guillen, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Jacques Jones, LF
Edgar Renteria, SS
Ryan Raburn, 2B
Brandon Inge, 3B

PITCHING: LHP Nate Robetson

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Aaron Hills, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Rod Barajas, DH
Marco Scutaro, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Gregg Zaun, C
John McDonald, 3B

PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett

17 Comments

I wonder if Tampa will take a chance on Thomas. They were rumoured to be interested in Barry earlier, so now that Thomas is available i’m willing to bet they show some interest.

Good news on Rolen, we need him back as soon as possible. I guess the sore neck explains why Lind hasn’t played for 3 days in AAA-hope he’s better soon.

It’s not a surprise Frank didn’t stay around to make any comments to the press. He is a class act and wanted to leave quietly. Good luck to Thomas.

We need Burnett to start taking it up a notch. Today is the 3rd start out of 4 that hasn’t been a quality start-meaning less than 3 runs over 6 innings. It is the 3rd start in a row that our bullpen has to take over in the 5th or 6th inning. In fairness, this is a very difficult Detroit lineup, but we do pay Burnett 12 million this year, and I for one am starting to lose patience with him.

I hope this is just the “nail thing” and he turns it around quickly, because we need a quality outing from Burnett each time or 3 of 4 times in order to contend.

I believe Lind will be just what we need this year… A quality LH bat with pop. His defence is ok but its his bat we need this year. Really the only thing that was holding him back last year was his pitch selection, he chased a lot of high fastballs that got him out. I wonder if his patience has improved?

Frank would have probably turned it around but we can’t afford to be 10 games out when “his timing is set”. He is too old and they couldn’t allow him to get his ab’s necessary for his 09 option to kick in. Imagine how bad his start would be next year being one year older and one year slower… It would have been ugly!

Oh, and I would sign Barry is a heart beat!!! 10mil should do it for the best hitter of all time.

The good news is we won, Eckstein hit a hr, the bullpen did a great job and Robinson Diaz is called up for tommorrow’s game. The bad news is 6 walks in 5 innings for Burnett.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Rolen comes back and Lind is healthy. In the meantime Diaz should help a lot:

Diaz against LH: .563 BA
Diaz against RH: .227 BA
Zaun against LH: .111 BA
Zaun against RH: .293 BA
Barajas against LH: .200 BA
Barajas against RH: .267 BA

If we platoon Diaz with either Zaun or Barajas, and Lind (when healthy) with Stewart, we just might get this offence going. With both Lind and Rolen healthy, this marks the start of the end for either Barajas or Zaun. My preference would be to keep Zaun, I think his knowledge of the pitching staff is better and I think he’d be a better teacher for Diaz.

rmatty-I’d personally pass on Bonds, he’s been known to be a cancer in the clubhouse.

Smart move,
If Lind can find his stroke, thats a .300 hitter with 20+ homeruns. To me thats not all that much of a downgrade over what Thomas could bring. Not to mention the speed factor. I think Lind will do just fine, he has something to prove from last year. With Rolen coming back their lineup could be pretty dangerous.

Eckstein
Hill
Rios
Wells
Stairs
Rolen
Overbay
Barajas
Lind

The only problem i potentiall see is the top is right handed and the bottom left handed, especially if zaun starts.

tothdenny, I agree that Lind could become like another Rios type player with 20+ homeruns and a 300 hitter. But I don’t think it will be for a while longer. He will probably have to spend a full season in the majors before he reaches that portential (just like Rios had to do before he started hitting well). That is probably why J.P signed Stairs and Stewart this year, because he knows what they can do (and this being the year that we compete) he didnt want to take the risk on Lind just yet. (but then again, J.P’s moves usually turn out for the worst)

Lind hit 11 Hr’s for us last year in only 290 at bats when he wasn’t hitting all that well, so 20 isn’t a reach at all if we play him.

I remember an interview with him sometime this year, when he claimed he’d met with his old batting coach and “fixed” his swing. If his results in AAA are any indication, I think he’s done just that.

I think it was the perfect storm.

– JP and Gibbons are feeling the heat to make the playoffs or their jobs are in jeopardy
– Thomas looked bad in Spring Training, he looked in the first month (except the Boston series)
– the vesting option was coming up and there’s no way Jays would want to see another year of this for $10 million
– Lind seems adequate as a replacement
– Jays have more depth and tons of guys who could benefit from DH (unlike last year when there was no sub for Glaus at 3B) like Stairs, Rolen, Barajas, Scoot

At least JP was willing to admit his mistake in signing Thomas to that type of deal. Many said it was too long and too much of a risk for a 40 year permanent DH at the time, especially the vesting option.

So, is Lind going to be called up when he is healthy? To me the Diaz move makes no sense unless it is just temporary, by putting Stairs as the regular DH the Jays lose their regular left fielder…..

Dias was called up to take over the catchrs role and he has a good bat Zaun is getting old and has a lot of aches and pains and so has Barajas and we have to stop the base thives.
When Lind comes up they will probley release Barajas that will leave Lind and Stewart for left field and stairs to DH.
What about Camp he sure looks good I hope he can keep it up.

Garry

Both Carlson and Camp have looked good, let’s hope they continue.

I wonder what’s happened to Indigo?

They probably will not release Barajas, they will just send Diaz down unless Diaz really really makes a case for himself to stay there. If thats the case then they might send Barajas down or release him.

When Rolen comes back we move Inglett back down to minors right?

A line-up of
Eck
Hill
Rios
Wells
Rolen
Stairs
Overbay
Diaz
Lind/Steward (looks really harmful to me)

1 problem…we need to evenly divide LH with RH (as someone mentioned before i think toth) however the 1st 4 are solid…I think Rolen can ease into the 5th spot but Stairs hasn’t impressed me that much this year…

Hopefully Diaz can outperform Zaun and continue his torrid hitting as does lind…if thats the case we should easily have a good hitting club with exceptional pitching…

So far Burnett is our weakspot in Pitching and Accardo in the Bullpen, thats actually a good sign since both have proven themselves before…

10 mill saved on Thomas for next year NEEDS TO GO FOR A QUALITY STARTER SINCE BURNETT IS LEAVING…. (any names that might be there, gsumner maybe you could help me out here)

NO NO NO we CANNOT SIGN BONDS…we still have to pay thomas 8 mill this year and BONDS IS JUST no help in the clubhouse…worse than thomas on the bench…

I sure hope CECIL does good too…maybe he can challenge Litsch for the 5th spot…

Snider most likely coming up next year too (him or lind will probably take over DH) making the Jays offense even more powerful (Rios, Wells, Lind, Snider and maybe Hill, and maybe Rolen, i think overbay has lost his touch) each of those player potential to hit over .300, hit 20+ HR, speed, 80+ Runs, 80+RBI…

They probably will not release Barajas, they will just send Diaz down unless Diaz really really makes a case for himself to stay there. If thats the case then they might send Barajas down or release him.

When Rolen comes back we move Inglett back down to minors right?

A line-up of
Eck
Hill
Rios
Wells
Rolen
Stairs
Overbay
Diaz
Lind/Steward (looks really harmful to me)

1 problem…we need to evenly divide LH with RH (as someone mentioned before i think toth) however the 1st 4 are solid…I think Rolen can ease into the 5th spot but Stairs hasn’t impressed me that much this year…

Hopefully Diaz can outperform Zaun and continue his torrid hitting as does lind…if thats the case we should easily have a good hitting club with exceptional pitching…

So far Burnett is our weakspot in Pitching and Accardo in the Bullpen, thats actually a good sign since both have proven themselves before…

10 mill saved on Thomas for next year NEEDS TO GO FOR A QUALITY STARTER SINCE BURNETT IS LEAVING…. (any names that might be there, gsumner maybe you could help me out here)

NO NO NO we CANNOT SIGN BONDS…we still have to pay thomas 8 mill this year and BONDS IS JUST no help in the clubhouse…worse than thomas on the bench…

I sure hope CECIL does good too…maybe he can challenge Litsch for the 5th spot…

Snider most likely coming up next year too (him or lind will probably take over DH) making the Jays offense even more powerful (Rios, Wells, Lind, Snider and maybe Hill, and maybe Rolen, i think overbay has lost his touch) each of those player potential to hit over .300, hit 20+ HR, speed, 80+ Runs, 80+RBI…

QUOTE: “We need Burnett to start taking it up a notch. ”
The encouraging thing about Burnett’s start, I thought was that the last couple of innings, he was dropping his curve ball in for strikes. Not perfect, but encouraging. He just ran out of bullets in the end. Thank goodness for a good bullpen. Now we just need to patch up some holes in our batting order, and we may be able to poke our heads over .500.
Always nice

Hey Jordan:

Frank Thomas must feel like Rodney Dangerfield, “no respec”, shabby way to treat a future Hall of Famer!

Big Papi and Gary Sheffield will be next on the chopping block!

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