Greetings from Seattle

CNNtee.jpgSEATTLE — I’m always on the lookout for signs of the apocalypse. Buying t-shirts on CNN.com with your favorite headlines comes to mind. Check out this beauty to the right.

Another sign that we might be nearing the end is the cheeseburger-in-a-plastic-bag meal offered to me on my Continental flight from Toronto to Seattle. Talk about yuck. Nooooo thank you. I sat out and opted to buy some fruit when I landed in the land of Starbucks. The dude sitting next to me wolfed down two of those suckers, stinking up my row in the process.

But I digress…I’m here and so are the Blue Jays and we’re all in one of the greatest cities in the U.S. of A. As far as road cities go (and I exclude Chicago because that’s where I be from), Seattle is in a dogfight with San Francisco for my second favorite stop. Boston is my favorite hands down. New York is New York, but for my tastes, it slides in at No. 4.

Speaking of New York (I’m just chalk full of tangents today — must be the jetlag), Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston would love for his club to reach the .500 mark by the time the All-Star game at Yankee Stadium rolls around. So, that means Toronto needs an 8-4 record over the next 12 to meet that goal.

With three here against last-place Seattle and another three against Baltimore, mixed between series against the first-place Angels and the resurgent Yankees, an 8-4 record might – might — be attainable. Honestly, I don’t think the Jays will do it, seeing as that’s the equivalent of winning each of the next four series. We’ll see.

I also think it’s a bit early to start heralding Cito and his boys as the team saviors. So far, the Jays have gone 5-4 under Gaston, flashing a much-improved offense against three National League opponents. I want to see if the offense we’ve been seeing more of lately holds up against teams like the Angels of the AL East.

Gaston downplayed the fact that his team has faced lesser opponents so far.

“All these teams have Major League Baseball players. To me, any given night you can be beat by anyone. Any given day you can be beaten. I know that [the American League is] supposed to be better than Cincinnati and better than the Braves, but I just think they’re all big-league teams. You’ve got to take them one by one and it can happen, teams go through bad times. After the All-Star break, it’s a new day too. I don’t see it [as facing lighter competition], I just see them as Major League players — all of them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be here. There are tougher teams [ahead], but we’ll just take it one day at a time.”

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (37-42) at SEATTLE (31-50)
at 10:10 p.m. ET at lovely Safeco Field

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Matt Stairs, DH
Scott Rolen, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Brad Wilkerson, LF

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay (8-6, 3.12)

MARINERS
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Jose Lopez, 2B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Reed, CF
Richie Sexson, 1B
Jeff Clement, DH
Kenji Johjima, C
Willie Bloomquist, SS

PITCHING: RHP R.A. Dickey (2-3, 4.79)

11 Comments

Does anyone know any details of these post-concussion sypmtopms that Hill has been suffering from since the injury?

Another gem by Doc. And a 6 pitch 9th, to polish off the shutout? Done in style. And if we need Downs or BJ tomorrow, they’re ready and raring to go. You’ve just got to love that horse going every 5th day, refreshing at least some of the ‘pen every time out.

Now we win the series tomorrow, go for the sweep Wednesday, and roll into Anaheim riding high and having enjoyed a great day off!

Here’s hoping…

I had to change my e-mail address to get back on this blog my computor fried had to get a new one lol not.

well I love the fact that Cito is back playoffs here we come

I have been reading some of your post but there are so few of them in the last month why is that like Harry Potter said where are you guys.

Gsumner.
Our friend called me a Donkey how nice I have been called worse lol.

I just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Canada Day ..take care all

One of the positions we have lots of high quality minor league talent is catcher. While Robinson Diaz suffered an injury in May in which he’s just starting a rehab on, J.P. Arencibia was burning it up in Dunedin and won a promotion to AA New Hampshire. His numbers for this year are sparkling at .313ba/.338obp, 25 doubles, 15 hr’s and 71 rbi’s in 69 games. He’s won the following awards, so far this year:
06/14/2008 FSL Mid-Season All-Star
06/02/2008 FSL Player of the Week
05/26/2008 FSL Player of the Week

Clearly Thigpen is going to get passed by Arenciba, actually Robinson Diaz might as well, because of the power numbers. As it happens the combination of Diaz and Arenciba works well since one hits lefties really well and the other does the same to righties. But If Arenciba keeps up these power numbers, he’d be my choice in a year. It will be interesting to see if he earns a September call up. One thing is for sure, Robinson Diaz now has serious competition.

Johnathon Jaspe, in Lansing ( A-) another fine catching prospect is hitting .368BA/.408obp. Too bad we don’t have this quality and depth in infield positions.

gsumner

What did you think of Parrish on Sat.

My last computor was 10 years old boy is this one fast.

garry
Good to see you back. Yes I’d expect you’d see the difference in speed. Parrish pitched well. He isn’t over powering, but has a lot of movement on his pitches. I have never understood why some teams (ours included) have such difficulty with soft throwing lefties, like Parrish It will be interesting to see how he does after he starts 3-4 times and teams have film on him. Then we’ll know whether he’s a keeper or not.

I totally agree with the abundance we have at the Catchers position which isn’t necessarily bad. But it also gives up a couple of good bargaining chips becuase quality Catchers are hard to come by and i would say we have 2-3 which have the ability to play in the majors.

Jordan must be asleep.

Good to have you back Garry.

Happy Canada everybody!

harry
It appears we have abundance in pitching in the low minors as well as being real deep in catching throughout and some “nice player type” outfielders with Snider being the best outfielder prospect.

Our newest first rounder Cooper is off to a good start and might be the real deal, so we might have one infielder with good upside. Adhrens, Jackson, Tolisano, etc in Lansing are not setting the world on fire. Fuenmeyer is still struggling in the Gulf cost-for the 2nd year. Overall, except Cooper, the rest of our infield prospects look real ordinary, which is disapointing. Lansing have tested using Johnathon Jaspe at 3rd base, whcih is what Auburn tried last year with Arencibia, so it might be that some of our higher ceiling infielders come from our catching depth.

We might have some interesting talent in the DSL Jays, but they’re a long way off.

Right now, I’d say Arencibia, Snider and Diaz are our best prospects with high ceilings, with Cooper looking good. If the Adhrens et. all don’t take it up a notch, they’re not going to have any impact. At this point they look like “nice players” with limited ceilings.

The prospect disapointment of the year award, at this point goes to Rickie Romero in AA, a first rounder. He has struggled at AA last year and this year, so far and I am starting to wonder whether he’s going to make it. Actually not many of Riccardi’s first rounders have done all that well.

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