Wells update plus BoSox @ Jays pregame

Vernon Wells was in a pleasant mood today and why not? He had six at-bats as a designated hitter in a Minor League game today and felt good. Wells said he was excited to get back out there and he thinks he’ll play in his first game by this weekend.

Wells also said he doesn’t see why he wouldn’t be able to play center field for Toronto come Opening Day, adding that if it were the regular season right now he would’ve been back on the field a week or so ago. So, don’t purchase your Jason Lane jerseys just yet.

Chatted a bit with catcher Michael Barret, too. He had a significant wrap on his right elbow, but it was just normal icing maintenance. Said he’s been picking Gene Tenace’s brain and working with Doug Davis and his arm feels great right now. He’s had a couple nice throws to nab would-be stealers this spring.

Matt Clement threw in an intrasquad Minor League game today, working five clean innings. He said he feels great and he really wants to convince the Jays to put him in the rotation. If there’s no job with Toronto, he’s undecided if he’ll accept a Minor League assignment. He doesn’t want to pitch in the Minors if he can help it.

Brian Wolfe played catch today lightly for the first time since hurting his right shoulder. Threw from 60 feet and felt OK — some mild soreness, but more from what the trainers have been doing, not from the injury, according to Wolfe.

The B game for Wednesday has been cancelled, but Minor League games are beginning so that’s not a huge deal. Scott Downs was down to pitch in the B game, and he said he’s not sure where he’ll be working now, but he will definitely still be pitching Wednesday.

Moves today: Brian Jeroloman and J.P. Arencibia were returned to Minor League camp. Bill Murphy, Davis Romero and Robert Ray optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

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

Today’s lineup:

RED SOX
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jed Lowrie, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Chris Carter, 1B
Josh Bard, DH
Jeff Bailey, LF
Angel Chavez, 3B
Nick Green, 2B
Dusty Brown, C

Justin Masterson, P

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, LF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Jose Bautista, 3B
Jason Lane, CF
Travis Snider, RF
Raul Chavez, C
John McDonald, SS

Roy Halladay, P

~JB

27 Comments

Not like Halladay to give up three long balls even in ST.

Hey Jordan,

Great coverage this spring! Thanks for all the hard work!

I’m just wondering what happened to the Jays Inbox feaure. I haven’t seen it for some time now. Are you planning to bring it back?

Well, there’s good news today and bad news. Good news is Snider hit another no doubter. Bad news is both Jeroloman and Arencibia are sent down meaning Chavez probably breaks as the back up catcher.
Garry-Halliday always seems to struggle against Boston, although Boston’s lineup today was close to a minor league team.(only 3 MLB starters)

Halladay will still be working on his pitches so he will be ready for opening day. I know he will be mad at himself anyways. Its to bad about the young catchers but they will get playing time in the minors and it wont be to long before they will be in the big leagues.

gjays
you said the catchers will likely be Barajas and Chavez. Is Chavez ahead of Barret for the back up spot?

I think Barret will be the backup.

No worries with Doc.Just one of those days.Sure is good to see Snider rolling along.I read how Clement is doing so well.I think the Jays should give him a shot going north if he keeps pitching the way he has thus far.Cito is looking for a long man and I think Jansen would fit that perfectly.I like both Mills and Cecil,however some time at AAA will only make them better.Mills could probably start north but I don’t want him to experience confidence issues if it dosen’t work now.Ride Clement for now and if it don’t work or he gets hurt,bring Mills or Richmond up first.Sending Clement down will probably mean he’ll leave which will decrease the depth early.

92bluejays93/Garry
I’m saying Chavez because he brings more bat, has performed better this spelling and heard a radio interview which sort of suggested he was ahead of Barret. I might be wrong, Garry might be right.
I am disappointed they sent Arencibia down-I think it’s a mistake unless they are thinking of trading Barajas at the deadline and making Arencibia number one at that time. Arencibia’s the best stick we’ve ever seen behind the dish with the Jays-by a long shot.

I think Chavez is ahead of Barrett. Chavez is know as an excellent defensive catcher. With Arencibia and Jeroloman being sent back, and Barajas still in the WBC, Barrett and Chavez will get more AB’s now, and this decision I’m sure will go down the wire.

As for rotation, I’m gonna take a guess and say that they’ll bring Mills up North. Janssen will round it out too. Not bad to have Richmond in AAA as insurance, and hopefully Clement has/will do enough to get a big league job somewhere.

I think Clement’s velocity has to go up in order to get a job somewhere. I just don’t see a 86-88 mph fastball getting MLB hitters out after they’ve seen him once or twice. I hope he finds a job somewhere, but he should consider spending a year in the minors, work hard and get back to what he used to be, if he can.
Janssen is both a proven quality starter and late inning guy when he’s healthy, the question in my mind is are we pressing him in how fast we’re stretching him out. If Ryan doesn’t get his velocity back up, Janssen might be more valuable in the pen, sharing late innings with League and Ryan.
The thing about Richmond is, he is a known quantity here. He will never be a superstar, but he didn’t do a bad job for a 5th starter and I think Cito likes him. It also doesn’t hurt him to be Canadian.
I think Mills was in until his last game where he walked 5 guys which is very much out of character for him. If he reverts back to normal, he would be tough to send back down, because he’s a leftie and has better stuff than either Richmond or Janssen.
Don’t be surprised if Rickie Romero re-enters this mix. I heard an interview with Arnsberg who stated he’s fixed Rickies delivery problem which caused the high number of walks. If that’s the case, and he proves it his next two to three outings, he could be one chosen. His stuff is better than any of them, if his control problem is fixed.

–It would be great if Romero could re-enter the mix for the rotation. It is terrible for an organization when a very high draft pick is a flop. As a small/medium market team we need to make the most of our first round picks.

–I still think I would take Barret over Chavez.

— Sending Arenciaba, and Jeroloman down was the right move they should be September call ups similar to Snider in 08 this season.

How’s Chavez at throwing out runners and handling a young staff?One thing this team has lacked is a catcher who could slow the running game.I know the pitchers share in that but it would be good to see a strong arm behind the plate especially in those late inning close games.

No need to rush Arencibia. His walk numbers last year were pathetic. He just struck out way to much. Now being a power hitter thats probably not going to change a whole lot, but he still needs to work on it. Considering he has never made it to AAA yet and his poor walk rate to me says he needs some more seasoning. There is no point to rush prospects this year being a “rebuilding” year. Good move sending Cecil down as well. Just ask the Yankees how rushing young pitching before they are ready turns out.
Barajas has a strong arm behind the plate. He threw out 34.4% of basestealers last year. Pretty good numbers.

“I think Clement’s velocity has to go up in order to get a job somewhere. I just don’t see a 86-88 mph fastball getting MLB hitters out after they’ve seen him once or twice.”
There are alot of pitchers who work in the high eighties and are good pitchers. Shaun Marcum is one. Its all about location and good offspeed pitches. A Major league hitter can time an 88MPH fastball just as well as a 93MPH fastball its what you do to mess up that timing which is key.

Denoit
Well on Arencibia, I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree. I’d rather have him here sooner than later because if we’re going to try to compete next year, I’d rather see him learn the pitchers and get aclimatized this year and be ready for next year. Why play old guys who won’t help us win in the future?
As a power hitter, I do not want or expect Arencibia to walk, I never wanted Thomas or Glaus to walk either. I want the guys at the top of the lineup to walk, and the power hitters drive in runs, hit hr’s. and generally cause damage.
Arencibia has proven he does that by being the first guy in the entire organization last year to achieve 100 rbi’s and hit 27 hr’s in 127 games. Arencibia, Lind and Snider were the top two hitters with risp we had last year.
Don’t get all that caught up in AAA, the real talent is at AA not AAA. AAA has more guys on the way down, like Adams than it does prospects coming up.

Yes, the one who threw at 86-88mph still fresh in my mind is Josh Towers. The ones who are effective with slower speeds are ones with good movement, speed changes and control like Marcum. If Clements, at 86-88mph was effective he’d been in MLB last year. I don’t think he has the movement, speed changes or control Marcum has, I’d liken him more to Towers instead.

the basis of your arguments are rediculous. I hope people dont read your posts and actually believe that crap.

denoit.
That remark towards GSJAYS was not called for. Also what does REDICULOUS stand for????.

Denoit
I’m not sure why you have your tiny little knickers in a knot-I already said we disagree-so what is your problem.
Everyone here has different opinions-that’s what a blog is for (since none of us are pros), to express and share opinions.
Or do you just want everyone to come on and bow to the great Denoit as the King of baseball. Pathetic.

So play nice, it’s St. Patricks day.

Now i’m not taking a side here, but what I think Denoit means is that the way gsjays presents their opinion, you make it sound like fact, like you are a pro. As you said you are not, which is refreshing to hear.

However, there is nothing wrong with a 88 MPH fastball, Greg Maddux got guys out by barely touching 80 some days, am i saying Matt Clement is comprable to Greg Maddux? No, but i agree with Denoit that its more important to mix speed and location then to throw 100 mph(ask Billy Koch).

Also, Triple A is Triple A because it is a higher level then Double A. Ask Brian Dopirak, look at his struggles when making the jump, its happened time and time again. Arencibia and Cecil need seasoning at triple A before they get a shot at the Bigs, because what it they fail? Then you send them back to triple A? Well what if theyre second guessing themselves and fail there too? Well then you’ve got a problem.

okjays
I’m not a pro, but I either research or check on things-like what levels Dopriak played at, before I post. Brian Dopriak never did play at AAA-you can check his minor league stats here: http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/D/Brian-Dopirak.shtml
And by the way I agree with Cecil going back down, I don’t agree with Arencibia.

GJAYS
I agree with you, your posts are well fact checked. Arenciaba will have his day he will be our starter next year and possibly by the all star break or backup. For now I think Barret is the best option to back uo Barajas.
DENOIT
– Rather than resorting to insults and spelling corrections to back up your opinion use facts. I think your opinions are as plausible as anyones but remember it is the difference of opinions that makes this blog fun.

my mistake, hes had trouble with the jump from single a to double a, even worse for him’ Hes a 25 year old who destroyed a 20 year old league, JP said so himself. I’m sorry i never checked his stats recently, I remembered incorrectly obviously.
I want to see Arencibia in Toronto as much as the next guy, however you know once you call a guy up it starts the clock on him in everyones heads and even in Arencibia’s himself. Let him excel at each level so that he knows he is ready to compete at the next. Thats my two cents, hey if he starts out hot for a couple months, call him up and play him as much as you like, i’m all for it.

So guys, lets chat about who makes it for the pen. My take is Ryan, League, Downs (if healthy), Carleson for sure.

Guys on the bubble: Frasor, Tallet, Accardo. Surprise performance-Hayhurst (7 innings, no era’s, no bb’s and 12k’s)-I’m just wondering if this guy is for real with that performance considering his past record.
Guys possible-Janssen or Richmond if they don’t make the rotation.
My thinking with Tallet is, if Mills comes north and we have 2 leftie starters with 2 more on the way, do we really want 4 lefties in the pen? Tallet might become expendable. Accardo’s performance so far has been poor, not sure what the deal is, whether he’s working on something or just still recovering.

Joba Chamberlain continues to be a work in progress. And the most room for improvement involves his fastball. Yesterday, in a 12-0 romp over the Phillies at Steinbrenner Field, Chamberlain’s velocity ranged between 89 and 93 mph. Though that is certainly enough juice to pitch in the big leagues, it’s not the 97-98 mph Chamberlain is known for. And don’t forget, it was just his fourth spring start. However, the Yankees are keeping close tabs on what the radar guns say about the 23-year-old right-hander who missed close to a month last year with shoulder tendinitis.

New York Post

Joba Chamberlain, AP

BULL PEN: Ryan, Downs, Carlson, League, Tallet, Fraisor,

STARTING ROTATION: Halladay, Litsch, Purcey, Mills, I think the fifth spot will be temporary (only a month to 6 weeks) until Cecil is ready. So Clement could be the best option.

Unless Clement has any major setbacks,it might be best if he goes north.Ride him out and if he’s successful he probably walk next season.Also next year there will be no room for him.Having said that,if he pitches well at the begining of the season the Jays may be able to package him in a trade and at least get something for him.Sending him to AAA won’t happen because he will want to catch on somewhere else.Still would like to see either Richmond or Janssen in the pen .Both could start but I think the Jays will need an experienced guy in the pen to go more than 1 inning.

Next year Starters:

Halladay
Marcum
McGowan
Litsch
Purcey
Mills
Cecil
Romero
Janessen
Richmond

Well no one except Doc is an ace there so we need Doc to be there.
OTher than Doc which 5 do you take?
do you go with the young talent in Cecil Mills Purcey and Romero

or do you go with proven startrs that gave us the best rotation last year in McGowan Marcum Litsch….and then 1 other starter who does best in Spring Training.

How do you go about this?
Its a good problem to have though..

I say we trade away some of the quality guys, just one or maybe two of them from
Litsch
Janessen
Richmond

or even Purcey/Mcgowan/Marcum

I think if thats the case then we can trade like McGowan and another minor leagues for a solid 1st baseman, which would save us money and allow us to sign halladay. or do you think David Cooper will be ready?
if thats the case then trade for a 3B, and if Emaus is ready then trade for ****.

Boy isn’t this a good problem to have?
I think keeping all this access pitching would be a bad idea,if they are no use to us then trade them for somone who is because each pitcher who I mentioned is a solid 3-5 guy.

but the trade we make will have to be a good one, and I dont trust JP with it.

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