Toeing the rubber
TORONTO — Whodathunk that a stubbed toe would lead to one of the more unlikely callups of the season for the Blue Jays? Word is that lefty Brian Tallet jammed his right pinky toe while walking through his apartment late at night a few evenings ago.
He stubbed the poor toe so bad that he suffered a non-displaced spiral fracture — got that? Toronto manager Cito Gaston said he prefers to stick with the four lefties in the bullpen, so that meant John Parrish was pulled from the rotation and put in with the relievers.
Up for Wednesday’s start is Canada’s own Scott Richmond, who was all geared up for a trip to Beijing to pitch for Team Canada in the Olympics. Now, while the team gets introduced on Wednesday at Rogers Centre, Richmond will be introduced as Toronto’s starting pitcher. Not bad for a guy who was pitching for Edmonton in the independent leagues a year ago.
It’s a great story — I mean, this guy went from working in a shipyard in North Vancouver to pitching for the Jays — but is this really the best guy on the farm to fill in? On the year, the 28-year-old Richmond is 5-10 with a 4.29 ERA in 21 starts between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Syracuse.
At Syracuse, the 6-foot-5 righty went a tough-luck 0-2, but had a tidy 2.53 ERA in five starts, striking out 31 and issuing just six walks over 32 innings. Even Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said he’d never seen Richmond pitch. But, this is the “prospect” who is getting the call. Who know, maybe he’ll turn out to be a late bloomer.
As for pitching prospects Brett Cecil and Ricky Romero, they’ve been promoted to Triple-A Syracuse. That’s a quick climb for Cecil and, well, Romero should’ve been there already, seeing as he was the top pick by the Jays in 2005. In his last seven starts at Double-A, Romero was 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA.
In other news, Ricciardi once again declared that A.J. Burnett isn’t going to be traded — this time saying so definitely. He said he’s received a lot of calls on a lot of players, just “kicking the tires,” and he expects talks to heat up in the next few days as the deadline nears.
TAMPA BAY (61-43) at TORONTO (53-52)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
B.J. Upton, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Cliff Floyd, DH
Dinor Navarro, C
Eric Hinske, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS
PITCHING: RHP James Shields (9-6, 3.66)
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS
Alex Rios, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Matt Stairs, DH
Scott Rolen, 3B
Adam Lind, LF
Brad Wilkerson, RF
PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett (11-9, 4.73)