Jays @ Rays pregame: McGowan update

Here at lovely Charlotte Sports Park, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite spring sites. They really cleaned this place up nicely. As for the surrounding town? Not much going on. At least the area around Dunedin has plenty of things to keep you busy.

Chatted with Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg here today and got a few items out of him. One being that Dustin McGowan — making his way back from right shoulder surgery — visited with Dr. Timothy Kremchek on Sunday after complaining of tightness in his arm.

Kremcheck called the soreness “normal”, but the Jays are backing off McGowan’s throwing program some. “I wouldn’t even call it a setback,” Arnsberg said. “We’re just slowing him down.” And why not? The Jays don’t have a date established for McGowan’s return and there is no rush on there end to get him back into the rotation.

OTHER ITEMS: Arnsberg isn’t sure when RHP Scott Richmond is due back in camp since Team Canada has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic. So it’s still TBA in terms of when Richmond will pitch next. … Arnsberg has been giving a lot of innings to his relievers over at Minor League camp. On Monday, B.J. Ryan threw a six-pitch inning. LHP Mike Maroth also logged three innings and struggled some, according to Arnsberg. … LHP Scott Downs, coming back from a sore left elbow suffered earlier this spring, is down to pitch in a plive BP session at Minors camp on Friday. After that, the Jays will determine whether he needs to throw another BP session or if he can be worked into his first game of the spring. … LHP Ken Takahashi (sore calf) is still a couple days away from working off a mound again. … LHP Ricky Romero and RHP Jesse Litsch are scheduled to pitch four innings, against each other, in a Minors game on Friday. RHP Matt Bush will pitch, too. … Arnsberg said RHP Casey Janssen’s velocity is back to where it used to be. Impressed with him so far this spring. … Arnsberg said RHP Matt Clement’s velocity has improved throughout camp and he touched 88 mph in his last outing.

Also, big props to the Blue Jays’ PR staff for rolling out the 2009 media guides today. Nice cover with manager Cito Gaston and lovely improvements throughout the book. I’ve given them a hard time in the past (all in good-natured fun), so today I applaud their effort. Good work guys.

Don’t forget, you can follow my in-game updates at www.twitter.com/mlbastian

Today’s lineup:

Joe Inglett, 2B
Russ Adams, LF
Travis Snider, RF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Brian Dopirak, 1B
Buck Coats, CF
J.P. Arencibia, DH
Curtis Thigpen, C
Angel Sanchez, SS

Matt Clement, P

Fernando Perez, CF
Reid Brignac, SS
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Pat Burrell, DH
Dioner Navarro, C
Gabe Gross, RF
Justin Ruggiano, LF
Ray Olmedo, 2B

Matt Garza, P
David Price, P



  1. dt005

    Snider in the 3 hole, i like it. Probably be the 4 hole guy here before long. It would be nice to break up the right handed string of Hill, Rios Wells with Snider right in the middle.

  2. gsjays

    Nice introduction to the 3rd hole by Snider, hits a double, drives in two and then ultimately scores on a wild pitch. 3-0 for the good guys after the first half inning.

  3. djaysm

    I can’t wait to watch Snider play a full season in the majors (barring any unfortunate setbacks). He just keeps on impressing with every game.
    With Wells as injury prone as he has been, i’m sure we’ll see Snider higher in the line up sooner than later.
    Go Jays!

  4. welikeroywelikeroy

    I’m seeing Snider pretty high on all the fantast drafts boards. Its good considering he hasn’t done anything in the majors yet.

  5. inception

    regarding signing Halliday, do you remember when Jays fans could not live without Vernon Wells? We had to sign him, at any cost, and we did. A few years from now when he is either the DH or coming off the bench, for a mere 25 million US per season, we will understand why holding onto players, long term, is a mistake for a small market team. I just wish that someone could explain to me why other small market teams have no problem trading pitchers with better records than Halliday to secure their future. This is the time to be thinking long term, not short term. Halliday must go if this team has any chance of being competitive in the future. Again, if everybody else in baseball can make a move like this, we can too, and we must.

  6. gsjays

    One of the best examples of a small market team trading an ace pitcher is Minnesota who traded Santana, one of the very best in baseball.
    When Santana was traded the bet was Minnesota would go done the drain for a few years. Well, the proof is in the pudding. Minnesota contended in 2008, when no one thought they would. They will seriously contend this year and could win the AL central.
    Halliday is a great pitcher-no question, but his value will decline every day we keep him from here on out, and that’s if he performs like he did last year. The longer we keep him, the less attractive he becomes, because there’s a time fuse (his contract) that runs out at the end of 2010.
    Of course, is he suffers a major injury, the value drops significantly the moment the injury is announced.
    On the other hand, for this team to contend in 2010, we need a short stop with high OBP and base stealing ability as a lead off hitter, a 1st and 3rd baseman who can deliver 25 to 35 hr’s and drive in 100 or close to it, one of whom hits from the 4th hole.
    We’re fine in all other positions. With Litsch, McGowan, Marcum, Cecil, Janssen, Romero, Richmond, Purcey and Mills we will be starting pitching deep in 2010 and that’s assuming none of the kids in A ball break lose and become the next Cecil or Mills this year and odds are a couple of them will do just that.
    The time to trade Halliday for maximum return is now.

  7. rene_morais_@hotmail.com

    OK. Can you tell me how Carlos Gomez .250 avg. 7 HR last year, Phil Humber career ERA over 5.00, Kevin Mulvey 3.77 ERA in AAA last year or Deolis Guerra ERA of 5.47 in AAA last year, helped the Twins be a contender in 2008. Prediction: These guys don’t pan out as major leaguers, and Twins get basically nothing for this deal. If you look at the other trades involving Halladay-type pitchers, you’ll see that teams aren’t getting much back, to be honest.

    By the way, if you want the Jays to contend in 2010, you better hope that Litsch is not the staff ace. Rather than trade Halladay, extend him if you can. Not only does he automatically start the Jays off 10-12 games over 500, he’s a great mentor for all the young pitchers coming up in this “youth” movement.

    And why even talk about this right now. The season hasn’t even started. At least wait till mid-summer. Maybe the Jays are due for a few balls bouncing their way this year. Go Jays!

  8. gsjays

    What you have pointed out, quite rightly, is the value for Halliday drops significantly if we wait until next year to trade him, which is exactly why we should trade him now and it doesn’t necessarily have to be for AA or AAA prospects.
    Maybe we trade him for the real parts we need or at least a chunk of them, as long as they’re young with upside, like Jose Reyes as an example.
    Two things about that 10-12 games over .500. First, we’ve only done that four times since 1994, so there is no automatic. Second, 10-12 games over .500 does not get you in the playoffs in this division, it gets you 3rd or 4th place which is where we’ve been for the last 15 years.
    If this team continues down that path, we will lose baseball in Toronto-mark my words. Attendance dropped last year and interest in this team is waning rapidly. Fans have realized JP is full of bs-not believeable and the team doesn’t cut it.
    CBC dropped the telecasts because they couldn’t sell enough ads to justify the expense of producing and carrying the games-what does that tell you?
    This annual achievement of mediocrity is done is what it tells me.

  9. lndigo

    Truth be told , I don’t want JP doing any trades . Neither he or the Jay’s scouting have done what I would call a stellar job . The Twins organization is far superior at trading , scouting and drafting than the Jays . From everything I have read and been told , Gomez is likely to be the only one, that will amount to anything from the Santana trade. I agree with rene, I vote we keep Halladay this year as he is more valuable to us not only as a pitcher but as a mentor to the young pitchers we have . Next year if Doc wants to pitch for a team other than the Jays then I hope he gets his wish . We all better pray that the Jays organization has done its homework and it doesn’t fall to the same type of trades JP has garnered thus far.
    I don’t believe waiting another year will drop Halladay’s value significantly unless he has an injury and even then I don’t think it will drop just ,look at Burnett .

    Yes, we are in the toughest division in baseball, thats exactly why we should let these young pitchers learn from Doc, who better to teach them .

  10. lndigo

    In a very lopsided competition such as the WBC , you expect certain teams to dominate. This year there have been several surprises. Burt Blyleven is one of the Netherlands’ pitching coaches . I am always a little surprised when he never garners enough votes for the Hall of Fame . With the Netherlands incredible wins over the Dominican , it should thrust Blyleven into the voter’s eye and hopefully into the Hall of Fame . Congrats to the Netherlands

  11. gsjays

    I don’t want JP doing any trades either, which really means he’s the first one traded or dumped. Remember what Minnesota got was because it was the final year of Santana’s contract. If they had traded one year earlier they would have gotten significantly more.
    Other small market teams have traded their ace to contend a year or two later-Oakland as an example. I also tend to think Cleveland will do well from the Sabathia trade last year.
    What we got from Burnett is one of my points. True, Burnett’s value was good for Burnett, but not to the Jays. All we got is a first rounder and a sandwich pick with the first rounder so deep in the draft its like a sandwich pick-in other words not much.

    If that’s what we want to get from Halliday then let’s keep him. My point is if we deal him now, we can get significant value for him, the longer we wait the less it is. We also just might put Halliday into a position to acutally win.

  12. lndigo

    I am all for Halladay being on a winning team , I think he deserves the chance to pitch in October . I still think we keep him this year to help with the Jays young pitching staff . Next year you trade him , but only if he wants to be traded . He is worth far more than Burnett or Sabathia ( I think he will be injured ) so Jays would get 2 first round picks .

    Twins held onto Santana until mid season with the hope they would get more and also hoping Santana would have a change of heart . He wanted out of Minn. add to that the fact the Twins weren’t given the money to resign him . I also think he ( Santana) was destined for an injury and if you look at his last year with Minn , he rarely used his curveball ( i think that was the pitch ) . His mechanics told the story . I don’t believe Doc has that problem and I certainly don’t think his value will go down if we keep him for another year .

    As for Burnett , we got screwed no question about it but that was because Yanks bought 3 A ranked free agents, 2 of them ranking ahead of Burnett leaving us low man for draft picks . The same scenerio won’t happen with Doc especially if he isn’t a free agent. He was the number 1 ranked pitcher in the AL last year and I don’t see that changing a whole lot. I still say we keep him this year to help our young pitchers . He is inexpensive compared to any other pitcher that even comes close to his ability and he is invaluable as a teacher for these young kids . Good teams are made up of veterans and youth. Red Sox not only signed Smoltz as a pitcher but as a mentor for their young pitchers as the sox no longer have Schilling.

    This is all conjecture and a moot point as I don’t think the Jays have any intention of trading Doc , atleast this year . GS will will just have to agree to disagree here ( as a female you know I am right ….lol…)

  13. gsjays

    Just to clarify something. If we trade him, we get what we get in the trade, which doesn’t include draft picks. The only way we get draft picks is if he signs as a free agent with another team. Our reward for him, like Burnett, would be the first rounder from the team that signs him and a sandwich pick.
    If we are unfortunate in that the team who signs him already signed other “A” free agents or who’s first round pick is late in the draft, then we could very easily be in the same situation as we were with Burnett.

  14. lndigo

    hmmmmmm …Do I sense sarcasm ?…lol…. Just don’t ask me anything about hockey or football …yuk….Here is a little tid bit some of you may not know . Boyd , the Netherlands closer , is a Canadian . He was born in BC , is of Dutch descent and was playing in the Netherlands so they invited him to play in the WBC . I am out of here for awhile. Have a great afternoon all and take care

  15. lndigo

    I know no draft picks if we trade him . I was making the point that Burnett was a FA and lower ranking than Doc . I don’t know what would be worse, letting JP trade for prospects or letting him choose draft picks , either is scary . Its not the order of which a FA is signed but the ranking they receive that determines which team gets what pick . Burnett was lowered ranked than CC and Tex so Jay’s picks kept dropping . I think they need to fix that system , Yanks should have lost first round picks for next 3 years for signing 3 type A players. Doc is ranked very high so chances of a repeat situation I believe is pretty low .

  16. gsjays

    Sarcasm, no way. I like every other male realize it really is a women’s world. All we get is the chance to huff and puff a bit, all the time knowing it’s the women who pull all the strings. lol
    Thank you for that info on Boyd.

  17. gsjays

    Denoit-You’re kidding, right?
    But just in case you’re not, it’s haven’t not havnt, it is it’s not its and Halliday has been here for 11 years not 10. So next time in your haste to bash someone make sure you have it right before you do.
    Better yet, recognize this is a blog on baseball not spelling!!!

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