Rolen continues to amaze

TORONTO – One play that kind of got lost among the pile of twists and turns in Wednesday night’s 5-4 extra-inning victory over the Twins was an absolute gem of a grab by Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen.

In a 4-4 deadlock, with two outs in the top of the 10th inning and a runner on third base for Minnesota, Alexi Casilla smoked a pitch down the third-base line. Rolen glided to his right and made a swift back-handed stab at the ball as he dropped to his knees.

Rolen recovered quickly, rising to one knee — just high enough to provide enough leverage to fire the baseball across the diamond to first baseman Lyle Overbay. If Casilla was safe, a run scores and the Twins grab a 5-4 lead. But Rolen — as he’s done so often this year — made a rocket of a throw that retired the runner in time.

“Like I’ve said, Rolen is the best third baseman I’ve ever been around,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “Rolen continues to amaze me with the plays that he makes, and the accurate throws that he makes after he catches the ball from his knees.”

Shortstop John McDonald was hustling over to back Rolen up on the play, so he didn’t have the greatest view of the catch — not that Johnny Mac needed to see it. Once he figured Rolen had it in his glove, the shortstop knew it was inning over.

“As soon as [the umpire] called it fair I knew Scotty was going to make the play,” McDonald said. “He’s the best third baseman in the game, so you kind of start jogging off the field once he gets the ball in his glove.”

Today’s lineups:

MINNESOTA (77-62) at TORONTO (72-66)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

TWINS
Denard Span, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Mike Redmond, C
Matt Tolbert, 3B
Nick Punto, SS

PITCHING: RHP Kevin Slowey (11-8, 3.70)

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
Rod Barajas, C
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, LF

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch (9-8, 4.01)

JUST FOR FUN: Since Gaston took over as Toronto’s manager on June 20, the club has been one of the best in the American League. Here are the the AL East standings since Gaston’s arrival:

TAMPA BAY: 41-24 (–)
TORONTO: 37-27 (3.5)
BOSTON: 36-28 (4.5)
NEW YORK: 35-31 (6.5)
BALTIMORE: 25-42 (17)

Overall, the Jays have the fourth-best mark in the league since Gaston came on board, trailing only the Angels (43-24), Rays (43-29) and Twins (40-26). Soooo, if the season started on June 20 and ended on Wednesday, the Jays would be hanging a Wild Card championship banner in the Rogers Centre rafters. Ah, well…

44 Comments

Rolen is the best third baseman in the league.I just hope his shoulder is okay next season so his bat comes around.When he started the season he was great,now he will have another off season to heal ,I wish him all the luck in the world and thats a lot.

Gsumner where are you????.

It looks like that stint in the minors did Litsch a world of good.When he threw 58 pitches in 3 INN I thought it was going to be a short night for him.Instead he goes the distance,Good for him.

Good for Litsch indeed and how about Snider’s night ? What i’ve liked about him most is that he looks comfortable even with 2 strikes. Great stuff. Let’s not forget Adam Lind either still above .300. I guess this team does have some young talent after all…

Enigma.
Every Jays fan out there knew about Lind and Snider now where are the rest of them.A dig is a dig Let’s put THIS JP THING TO REST.

This will be my last comment for the night because i’m heading to bed but I find it funny how a couple of people on this blog can rip apart J.P. and at one point Gibbons all night but as soon as someone like Plus or me give Riccardi some credit (you know talk about some positives about this team for a change.) it’s like it’s forbidden or maybe we’re just “J.P. lovers.” I’ll try and avoid this type of stuff again but I far one wasn’t exactly enlightened when most of the time on this blog I kept reading about how crap the team is and how they’ll never get passed 4th again. Not to mention the nickname “Abner” to Gibbons, completely unnecessary.

As for the rest of them: Litsch just threw a complete game shutout. Marcum at one point had a great ERA this season (still does) Janssen is injured. Hill is injured. Arencibia will be playing for a spot on the 25 man next year. Purcey is at the majors. Wolfe, Accardo, McGowan are all young and will contribute to the team next year.

I stand corrected on yesterday’s comments. If Lind and Snider keep building on what they have done thusfar,signing a Manny in the offseason wouldn’t be needed.Take the extra and extend Doc and go after Ben Sheets. Rolens work at rehabbing the shoulder seems to be bearing fruit.

enigma

So you liken yourself to the blog police now huh? No one pressures you to read anyone’s entries and no one pressures you to respond to them. So keep your not so subtle inuendos to yourself.

In all your raves about Riccardi you continually miss one fact. Since he’s been here, we’ve only risen above 3rd place once and currently sit in 4th place. That, as always is the bottom line. It’s about winning, not having a bunch of nice players who are over paid and under perform. Please do some research and let us know how many GM’s keep their jobs with similar performance.

And since you bring up Lind, I don’t remember you jumping on Lind’s bandwagon when I suggested he should have been brought up at the start of the year and played. That didn’t happen because JP signed Stewart, Mench and Wilkerson. IF Cito hadn’t have pressed for him to be brought up, he’d likely have spent the year in AAA.

I don’t remember you supporting MCGowan either. We kept changing him from starter to reliever to AAA to MLB so many times, we damn near lost him in all the confusion. THe only reason he was put into the starting role and played is we had no other alternatives.
I also don’t remember you suggesting Abner should be fired, when in fact he should have been canned a long time ago. Facts are facts-Cito has this team playing a lot better than Abner did.

We do have some potential good young talent, I post about them more than anyone else. The point is though it’s very thin at upper levels since JP drafted so poorly for so many years.
The other fact is we need to bring them up and play them. I’ll give you two perfect examples right now. Why is Thigpen up here instead of Arrenciba? Thigpen didn’t make it up here before, had a terrible year in AAA and has been passed in the depth chart-so why is he here?
Why bring up Richmond instead of Dobriak? If we are going to get better next year, these kids should be up here. We should be playing them like we are Snider and see what they got.

jpriccardisucks.LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.

It looks like J.Mac will play a bench role again next year,How can you leave Scuttaro and Mighty Joe’s bat on the bench.
terence.I have to agree with you,If Snider keeps this pace up we will have our Manny so let’s hope he does.
Enigma. Like I said were are the rest of them.Look at any other teams minor league system and you will see a hell of a difference,So please don’t tell me we have drafted well.Every one knows that drafting is a crap shoot,Iguess OUR GM must have been playing roullett instead,Let’s face it it’s time for a change before it is to late.

To jpriccardisucks:

I suspect that Arrenciba and Dobriak were not September callups because they are not on the 40 man roster. Although there is currently room on that roster, they may be leaving room for moves during the off-season, such as Janssen and Hill coming off the 60 day DL.

So far it doesn’t look like any of the September callups are going to get much playing time.

BTW I would like to see Richmond get another start.

Steve

Hey gsumner! Nice to have you back. I missed your nonsense. jpricciardisucks, haha, that is so clever.

Plus why don’t you change your handle to Plus-263 to match your brain cells lol.

LOL, brilliant.

I agree with Steve re: why Arrenciba and Dobriak weren’t called up with the expanded rosters. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but it’s pretty rare for teams to shuffle their 40 man rosters just for the sake of September call-ups (unless, of course, you’re a budding superstar like Snider). For example, that’s why a guy like Mench was brought up instead of Wayne Lydon, who would be a nice, late-inning pinch runner to have on the bench. Lydon isn’t on the 40 man roster, but Mench is.

But why JP brought up Mench instead of Buck Coats, on the other hand, is another story altogether….

Plus the clever part is he actually has you typing jpricciardisucks.LOL.

Mench and Wilkerson [spelling may be wrong] can’t help this team anymore so why not cut them loose and bring up a pair of young players like a Coats or Lydon and see what they have.The Thigpen move dosn’t make any sense when you have Greg Zaun who is making over 3 mil. sitting on the bench,Maybe Cito just dosn’t like Zaun although I can’t see it,Can anyone figure this one out,

Garry:

Didn’t type jpricciardisucks – used cut & paste.

Many teams carry three catchers all season. To me it’s a no-brainer to call up a third catcher in September. And since Thigpen is the only other catcher on the 40 man.

BTW, I don’t think that Cito thinks about how much $$$ a player is making when he makes up the line-up. If he did Lind and Snider wouldn’t be playing, and Eckstein would have gotten many more starts.

Steve

It really isn’t odd to have three catchers up in September. If I remember correctly, last year in September the Jays had Fasano, Thigpen, and Zaun all up.

I think Zaun’s riding the bench because not only is his bat looking pretty feeble, but he’s looked pretty bad defensively, too. Zaun’s never had much of an arm, but he’s been pretty good in the past at blocking pitches and blocking a runner coming home from third. Maybe it’s just me, but this year he hasn’t looked good behind the plate. Barajas, plain and simple, has outperformed him in all facets of the game. Maybe Zaun’s time even as a back-up in the Majors has come to an end?

Not to mentin Zaun asked to be traded and there were, literally, no takers….

Then why not cut Zaun loose and bring up Arrenciba,how hard is it to put him on the 40 man roster.
Steve.I know the money doesn’t allways come into play when making the line up card all I said is it seems like a waste to sit Zaun.
Hemgold you may be right about Zaun not performing but at the first third of the season he was okay.This team is going nowhere this year so why not let him play a few games who can it hurt, Can you imagine how Zaun feels after all he gave this team all he had and then some.I myself was never a big fan of Zauns but I just think it’s a shame that he is going out this way.

Prediction – Jays go 15-8 to close out the season, to end up with 88 wins. The most in the last 10 years.

It is interesting to note the level of excitement and optimism in some of these posts regarding Snider. This should not be unexpected, since that is what real talent can do. The problem, as gsumner correctly points out, is that it is too little too late. This team is almost 10 games out of the wild-card race, and there is no reason to believe that they will not be in the same situation next year. Yes, the team can potentially play better. But surely this is more or less true of the other teams in the league. Yes, we have a few prospects in our system with some potential, but according to those in the know, other teams have more, highly-ranked talent on the way. I would rather see the Jays take a page from the leafs (can I really be saying this?) and fire JP. Then, bring in a new general manager who does not have the pressure of making short-term decisions. Allow him to try and move some of these big contracts making room for some of precious little talent we do have, while re-stocking the farm system with more tier 1 players, like Snider, through trades and judicious drafting. I would rather watch a .500 team with young kids with the potential of Snider, than watch a .500 team with a mixture of old and young talent. We need to get the young talent in place, then build around it. The Jays have numerous decent utility players, but precious few tier 1 players. With the Yankees likely to spend 1/4 billion dollars on free agents, and a host of excellent young talent in AAA, we are going to have a plan in place for the future, or we are going to on the outside looking in, as usual. I, like everyone here enjoys the little run we are on. But it will take a run like this over an entire season just to contend.

I don’t understand why people think this team needs to rebuild. I’d like to see a full year of Cito and Lind, a healthy Hill and Wells, and a capable DH before I put up the white flag. I don’t see why this team should rebuild when they have the best pitching in the League, and enough offensive potential which they have shown since Cito took over, whether it is his doing, or due to the fact that they had nowhere to go but up.

Blog police ? Correct me if i’m wrong sumner, but wasn’t it Garry the one who told me to put something to rest. That seems like just as much policing as what I typed out. How convenient that you ignored that. You 2 also have a history of telling people here that they aren’t welcome and that they shouldn’t rip others for their opinion when in most cases they’re just disagreeing with you. That’s policing.

I never asked for Gibbons to be fired because I felt it wasn’t justified. It wasn’t his fault that Overbay, Rolen, Rios, Stairs and at the time Hill were underachieving. IT WAS THE PLAYERs. The guys I just mentioned were the same guys that performed well last year UNDER GIBBONS (with the exception of Overbay and Rolen for obvious reasons) It’s true that they’ve played much better under Cito and it could also be a coincedence. I remember you stating that the teams biggest problem was always Gibbons. He’s gone now so why is it that you say things like: this team will never finish above 4th for a long time.

One more season in triple A wouldn’t have killed Lind. If he’s as good as you believe he would’ve won a spot next year and it’s always better to bring a player up a year too late than a year too early. FACT J.P. still drafted him. The one thing I can criticize Gibbons for is that when he was up here under him he never had a chance to prove himself against lefties. Also if Stewart had been healthy he’d be capable of putting up similar numbers minus the power.

McGowan went back and forth so many times because he wasn’t ready..Halladay also went back to single A, it happens. Hence the signings of Thompson and Ohka. They turned out to be brutal it’s true but it gave Dustin time in triple A. When Ohka continued to suck more so than his previous years, that’s when Marcum got his shot (I think that’s how it went.) The reason I don’t ever ask for them to be called up is because in triple A I don’t ever see them play. I don’t know enough about the minor leagues to make a case for anybody to be called up so I don’t pretend to.

Those kids you speak of likely wont get a shot next year unless a bunch of injuries happen again (the main reason why the Jays didn’t finish in a better position last year) or as September callups. They don’t need to be rushed. I’ll give you Arrencibia because if they plan to use him as the primary catcher (according to what i’ve heard) next year then they should let him get his feet wet and thus cut Zaun as Garry suggested.

Why does it not space out….I used triple space!

Why not bring up J.P. Arencibia? Because he has sparkled at each level of the minors. Makes no sense right? Wrong. He’s in his first full season of professional ball. Let him build on the success he’s had by tearing up the AFL, and have him come into spring training strong competing for the backup role in 2009 behind Barajas (sorry Zaunie, you’re a gamer, but it’s getting near the end). Bring him up now, you run the risk of him having a rough patch competing against teams that may actually be in a pennant race and losing some of that swagger he must have right about now. From the business end, why put him on the 40-man and start his Major League service for essentially a run at third place. With Snider’s early success, I’m as excited as everyone else about Arencibia potentially pulling the same trick, but the season is done for the titles (for us) – no sense in gorking the future too.

I guess I was wrong when I said to put the JP isue to rest.after all he is the GM and some of us are not happy with the way he has run the ballclub and some of you are happy with the job he has done.BUT we have to stop calling each other MORONS just because we don’t like what others post.

Tonights game should be a good one, The Rays have always played the butts off of the Jays.Let’s hope we give them hell tonight.

Enigma I have begged for more people to post on this blog so I don’t understand why you say Different please explain.My little feelings are hurt.lol.

Enigma.I hit enter three times and it works for me.

It’s very simple on Arrencibia. Why wouldn’t you bring him up and have him hang out and learn from Zaun, Cito and Barajas, making the transition easier next year. The sooner he gets here the better-or is JP thinking of signing another 40 year old dead wood and pay them 3 million instead?

Arrencibia just hit more hr’s than any catching prospect in recent minor league history and you guys are worried we need to change the 40 man roster. I won’t bore anyone with the dead on the 40 man roster who should be moved off anyway, Thigpen being one of them, not withstanding a few guys coming off at the end of the season because they won’t be re-signed.

Sorry that excuse doesn’t buy any ciigars lads. And let’s face reality. The ONLY reason JP recalled Richmond was to calm down some of the flack he took from the Olympic screw up-nothing else. He played politics instead of trying to build the team for next year.

Enigma

You are one of few Toronto fans that didn’t think Abner should have been fired. If JP is fired this year and I hope he is, his tardniness of firing Abner will probably be one of the major nails in his coffin.

Leaving Lind at AAA, signing Stewart, Mench and Wikerson was a collosal mistake-and the results prove it. Why is it, you want to keep signing these old has beens and keep the young kids with so much potential in the minors? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Fact is the sooner they’re here the sooner they settle in and grow into their position. Not calling up Arrencibia is a dumb move. By the way these kids are also a lot less costly and give us budget room to sign better free agents.

You are dead wrong on McGowan. We messed him up by changing his slot from a starter to a short reliever, to a closer, to a long reliever and then back to a starter. We’re fortunate we had so many injuries and was forced to do what I said should have happened right at the start. Run him out there, give him 10-15 starts and let him settle in. If we want young pitchers, we need to play them through thick and thin, UNTIL they settle in.

Right now, I stand by my prediction of finishing 4th next year. NY will lose about $80 million in payroll this year and you can bet they will spend it signing every single good pitcher available with Sabathia being the first one signed. I see TB getting stronger next year and Boston will re-tool as need be to contend. I also see Baltimore making a significant improvement next year and do not see us having the horses to compete now or making the changes we should be making now to improve ourselves next year. You think differently and that’s your opinion. Lets compare notes on that this time next year.

One last point. I don’t lie nor like liars and you lied about me or Garry telling people they aren’t wanted here. That is pure b.u.l.l.s.h.i.t. There’s been a lot of times only Garry and I were the only ones posting here and we both encouraged others to post. I do not attack anyone, unless I’m attacked first and even then, I have tended to give everyone a few mistakes. So, you’ve now had yours. Post another lie with me involved and expect to get it back. Along with a different posting name comes a different level of patience and mine is thinner than it used to be.

Arencibia is in AA right now. I have no problem with having him go the AFL, then start the season in AAA next year. He probably gets called up midseason, if all goes well, which I expect it would. Apparently, he’s got to work on his command of the strike zone. Let him get a little bit better, and then call him up TO STAY.

Just my opinion though. I’m not too worried, because he’s young. He’ll get up to the majors soon, and Barajas starting 80% of the games next year, at least to start, is fine with me.

Dopirak on the other, I wish they had called up. They have nothing to lose with him and he’s not reporting to the AFL to my knowledge. It’d be an excuse to put him on the 40-man roster, as he’s a free agent next year, unless he gets on the 40-man. I would have liked to see him get 20-25 at bats in September.

Sumner,

Relax. You take this blog thing too seriously. It’s supposed to be just for fun. We’re not making any decisions that affect the Blue Jays, or anything anywhere for that matter. No need to get emotional. A good argument is fun. And it’s OK to lose one once in a while. Happens to me all the time.

Hey dipshi-t (yeah you gsumner), were you calling for Gibbons to be fired after that 20-10 May? Why don’t you go cheer for the Leafs.

gsumner/gibby1/jpricciardisucks:

You’ve got to take it easy.

And that’s all I’ve got to say.

plus
heydipshi-t. I called for firing abner last year jerk.

Oh thats right, he’s JPs boy, so you have to not like him. Why are you even a Jays fan? If you think the team is destined for 4th next year, why are you still around here? Go watch the CFL with the 6 other fans they have.

hey if you like to continue finishing 3rd or 4th go stay with the Maple Leafs like the rest of the lossers.

Ok, fine, but you’ll still be a moron who can’t spell loser.

and you will simply be a moron

but I can spell

true, but it is too bad you forget your comma’s, like the one you should have put after but. Now, grow up sonny boy.

If we’re going to nitpick, you forgot one after the and two posts ago. You need to learn your apostrophes too. I need to grow up? Your name is extremely mature, but if being right all the time means I suck, then you definitely don’t suck.

careful son, your immaturity is starting to show in your posts. lol

JP, if he is still the guy, needs to add a closer to his off-season shopping list or groom League for that spot. Ryan is consistently erratic and an accident looking for a place to happen and one of the only real areas of concern in an otherwise very solid pitching corps.

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