Game 10: Toronto at Minnesota pregame

My inbox was flooded after last night’s game with notes from Blue Jays fans begging to know why on earth manager Cito Gaston didn’t use Travis Snider as a pinch hitter on Tuesday night. The game was tied in the 10th, a righty was on the mound, and Gaston kept Jose Bautista in the game.

Gaston explained the decision today. Basically, Bautista is going to see action at third base this season on days Scott Rolen is off, so he’s going to have to face right-handed pitching. That played a role in the move. Also, Gaston isn’t one to potentially mess with the confidence/trust factor.

“It’s kind of one of those touchy things,” Gaston said. “You take a veteran out for a rookie to hit for him? I’ve always believed I might lose a game here or there, but I’m going to win one down the road by not doing things like that.”

Now, later in the season, Gaston might not make a similar decision. Being only nine games in, though, he doesn’t want to make a move that might have one of his players questioning the skipper’s faith in him. Things were certainly magnified last night in light of the fact that Snider hit two bombs the game before.

Would I have subbed Snider for Bautista in that situation? Sure. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t see where Gaston is coming from. A similar scenario came up earlier in the season with first baseman Lyle Overbay — a point where Kevin Millar could have pinch hit against a lefty. Overbay is the first baseman and Gaston reiterated that by keeping him in the game.

There’s more to managing than just making moves on the field. Gaston has to keep in mind the varying personalities within the clubhouse, and how certain players might react to being pulled from the game. Sometimes, remembering that aspect during certain situations might help explain some of Gaston’s decisions.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (6-3)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Michael Barrett, C
9. Travis Snider, LF

Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (0-0)

Twins.jpgMINNESOTA TWINS (4-5)

1. Denard Span, LF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jason Kubel, DH
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Joe Crede, 3B
7. Mike Redmond, C
8. Nick Punto, SS
9. Carlos Gomez, CF

Starter: RHP Scott Baker (0-0)

~JB

13 Comments

Jordan,
Do you know why tomorrow’s game is not an afternoon game ? Is there something going on at the Metrodome in the afternoon ? Seems kind of unfair the Jay’s play an evening game that should end around 11pm , then board a plane to head back to TO. that will probably arrive around 3am then play another game at 7 pm . Oakland played this afternoon so they will be well rested. Don’t get me wrong I like the fact we can watch tomorrow’s game , I am just surprised by the timing .

Richmond actually looks pretty good so far tonight. Hopefully he can keep it up, give a rest to the bullpen and gain some confidence for his next start.

Looking ahead, I see that starting tomorrow the Jays face 3 Lefties in 4 days. I wonder if Cito starts Snider and Overbay in some of those games, or if he sticks to what he’s doing.

I didn’t forget the pistachios tonight. They seem to be working.

That’s why Cito’s doin what he’s doin, I guess, JB. I would have been tempted too, but that’s why I’n doin what I’m doin.
Wasn’t it Joe Torre that said you have 2 months to find out what you’ve got, 2 months to get them organized, and 2 months to make a playoff run? So far, we are still in the first 2 months.
I mean, it was just because I forgot the pistachios last night anyway.

Great game by the Jays overall but particularly Hill and Richmond.

I really like what I saw from Snider last night. He struck out early on the high fastball, and later in the game he let those same pitches go on by and drew a walk. He also doubled and scored in the meantime. If he keeps doing that, he will have to move up in the lineup just to get some protection.

So where is everybody that was saying Richmond belongs in the minors??? Not a peep!

I would have loved to see Snider pinch hit, but hey if Cito has a plan ill jump on board. I think the results speak for themselves so far.
I was one of the people who didnt think Richmond standed a chance (maybe 3 or 4 starts tops). But that was impressive, it’s only one start, but its a confidence booster. If the rotation gets on a little roll, this team could easily reel off another 7 wins in the next 10 games if not better. Halladay will be Halladay, but if Purcey Richmond and Romero give consistant solid 6-7 innings with 3-4 runs or less things could get scary good. The true test will come against some of the better teams (AL East).

gnorman
I assume your comment was referring to my posts on Richmond.
In a nutshell what I said was “if he didn’t do something to get left hand hitters out, he wouldn’t be in the major leagues.” I said this because left handers were hitting over .400 against him and all 3 hr’s hit off him were left handers.

Watching him pitch last night, I noticed his pitches to left handers were elevated in the first inning and he got nailed with 3 hits and two runs scored-although the second one shouldn’t have scored if Barrett got in front of the pitch instead of trying to grab it.
HOWEVER, in later innings, his pitch elevation was the same as it was for right handers-down in the zone and he was much more effective. In addition, his change-up was much more effective last night than in previous outings.
Of course, one start does not a career make, but if he keeps it down to lefties like he does to righties and keeps improving on the change up he very well might work out. Lets hope he does.

Scott Richmond is a mediocre at best AAA pitcher!! He deserves at hats of for his performance last evening but don’t expect alot of this out of him. His ERA over 30 plus starts in the majors starts with a 6. If anything Brad Arnsberg deserves most of the credit for turning alot of average pitchers into usefull commodities. I would sign this guy to a forever contract…………. Turning average guys like Janssen, Marcum, Litsch etc. in decent plus players is a phenominal achievment never mind what he has done with the bullpen the last few years.
Most of you laughed last year when I insulted Gibbons and campaigned to bring back Cito ( for the last 2 years by the by).
A baseball team is no different than any business or corporation………. it is only as strong as management. They now have the right management in place and hopefully J.P. will keep his job as well. Always liked the guy other than the hiring and slow firing of Gibbons. I believe he has grown as a GM and now realizes that he does not have to CONTROL the field manager which was why Gibbons was here.
How’s the Rolen for Glaus trade look now everybody? When I came out here a little over a year ago and did cartwheels over this trade people here questioned it. Scott Rolen is simply and has been for 10 years one of the best players in baseball and J.P. should get a raise for fleecing the Cardinals on that one.

rshobie
You need to check your numbers on Richmond. He’s had 7 starts (not 30) in the majors (5 last year and 2 this year) and his career era is a respectable 3.86, not 6 something.

It’s too early to tell whether he’ll make it or not. That in all likelihood will depend on how he does against left hand batters since righties are only hitting .143 off of him.
However, as I mentioned in my post above, if he keeps doing what he did last night he will be fine. He’ll not likely be a Cy Young candidate, but he might end up being either a good 5th starter of a rightie specialist in the pen-much like Wolfe used to be.
Frankly,everyone here liked the Rolen/Galus trade; I can’t remember anyone against it, although considering the kind of year Glaus had last year versus Rolen, some might have thought differently.
As good as Rolen looks right now, he has a lot of catching up to what Glaus put up last year-you might want to check that out.

As far as Richmond goes I was saying if he were to start 30+ times this season his ERA would be six something. The guy has NO chance to be a regular or even spot starter. The man I’m sure is a nice guy but not a professional ( major League) pitcher. Comparing Troy Glaus’ career to Scott Rolen is nothing more than laughable. Defensively Rolen may be the best ever at the position and offensively Rolen is a hell of alot better too. Rolens’ lifetime batting average about 30 points higher……slugging ( the most important offensive stat) and OBP higher as well.

Who’s comparing careers on Glaus and Rolen? You talked about the trade and how valuable it was for the Jays. In that case you look at what each guy did last year for their new teams, not what they did for their career.

Last year Glaus:
33 doubles, 27 hr’s, 99 rbi’s

Last year Rolen
30 doubles, 11 hr’s, 50 rbi’s.

As I said, Rolen has some catching up to do in order to make it a “even trade” from the Jays perspective.

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