Game 12: Oakland at Toronto pregame

It was a strange Friday afternoon here at the home. The batting cage was pulled onto the field, but there were no players in sight. Given the late flight out of Minnesota last night, manager Cito Gaston gave his team the day off from batting practice.

“You know what time we got home?” Gaston said with a chuckle. “I got to bed at six o’clock myself. Ah, BP is overrated anyway. It is.”

The only bit of “news” that came out of our meeting with Gaston today was him indicating that having Brian Tallet in the rotation could kind of a “long-term” move, possibly around a month. That’s at least how long Jesse Litsch is expected to be out with his elbow/forearm injury.

Litsch might be back in mid-May or closer to June, and Casey Janssen is expected to be ready somewhere in there as well. There’s a chance Tallet will hold down the fort until one of them returns. It also affords the Jays more time to hand starts to prospects Brett Cecil and Brad Mills, pitchers who will likely be up at some point.

Hey, remember when the Blue Jays acquired Marco Scutaro from the A’s two winters ago, dealing a pair of Minor League pitchers for the super utility man? Funny thing, Scutaro has three homers already this year. Oakland has three homers AS A TEAM. That’s turned out to be a nice little trade for Toronto.

Also, I’m getting a couple days off this weekend, so the blog will likely be quiet, barring news.

Today’s lineups:


athletics.gifOAKLAND ATHLETICS (4-5)

1. Ryan Sweeney, CF
2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Giambi, 1B
4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Nomar Garciaparra, DH
6. Jack Cust, RF
7. Kurt Suzuki, C
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
9. Bobby Crosby, 3B

Starter: LHP Josh Outman (0-0

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (8-3)

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. Kevin Millar, 1B
8. Michael Barrett, C
9. Jose Bautista, LF

Starter: LHP David Purcey (0-1)

~JB

35 Comments

Purcey looks bad tonight.

That’s because he was bad tonight! I am amazed at home many teams have (e.g., twins for one) have filled holes by moving AA pitchers with no AAA experience directly to the majors, and have had success! To be honest, I am in a state of shock that Tallet is actually starting today! Is the cupboard that bare this early in the season? If this is the type of short-gap measure we have to resort to this early, the Jays are in big trouble. The hitting looks great, but it will cool. I believe we need someone from AA or AAA to step in and pitch like Romero has. I know that is a lot to ask, but other organizations seem to be able to find these 3 through 5 starters from within their organizations.

In one article I read Cito claimed he didn’t get to bed until 6.00Am Friday morning from the Minnesota trip. So it could be Purcey was a bit jet lagged or we simply saw a bad performance from a young pitcher.

Purcey reminds me of McGowan when he broke in, the first inning killed him as well, then after that he was generally ok.

Burt,
The cupboard is pretty bare in AAA, except for Mill’s Cecil and Janssen. In AA, our starters got off to a great start but 2-3 of those kids were in Lansing ( A-) last year. I think we’re about 6 weeks away form having some real options.

Bad call at first,I beleieve hill was safe, if it’s a tie the call goes to the runner??????.

A great win for the Jays. Tallet had a great start, backed up with 6 2/3 innings of 1 hit, no runs by the pen. Overbay had a great day even without the walk off hr going 2 for 4 with 2 walks, 2 rbi’s.

Chien-Ming Wang is definitely off to a great start. In his 3rd start today he went 1.1 innings and gave up 8 runs.
This totals 23 runs given up in 5 innings over 3 starts to raise his era to a very respectable 34.5.

Unfortunately, for the Yanks, Wang was followed by reliever Anthony Claggert who went 1.2 innings and gave up another 8 runs.

It didn’t get a lot better from there and as I post this, it’s the bottom of the 9th with the Yanks coming to bat trailing Cleveland 22 to 4.

Must be the new stadium, since the Yanks have given up 37 runs in the first 3 games in their brand new ritzy digs.

GO YANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good thing burt@rogers is not running the team. Thank goodness we have a versatile lefty like Brian Tallet who effectively fills different roles when asked upon. Do you people really think that there are better pitchers in AA ball than Brian Tallet? Do you think he is on the major league roster for fun? Do you really think teams can dip into AA and bring up studs? Are you really that stupid? Sounds like something Jordan would say!
Just go back about 10 days or so and read on this Blog what I said about CHOW MEIN Wong. I told you guys he was done. Took everybody a couple of years to realize that his sinker was a ball………. Now they lay of that pitch he comes up in the zone and they crush him. I guess back to double A with all those other great pitchers to figure out another pitch. He may or may not regroup.
PLEASE PLEASE no more possible lineups with John Macdonald. He WILL be shortly out of Baseball so plase stop with the nonsense.
Maybe we could trade him to K.C. over to bench coach Gibbons for a few bat weights or something.

rshobie
Why are you so angry, did your mommy forget to feed you your pablum today?

rshobie:

Just out of interest…who do you think should replace Johnny Mac on the Jays roster?

Steve

I don’t think we can expect any help from Cecil or Janssen anytime soon. Janssen has not yet thrown and Cecil has not been effective.
Cecil has had two starts to date. In the first one he went 4 innings and gave up two runs, in the second, he went only 2.2 innings and gave up 6 runs to raise his era to 10.80.
I would think the Jays would like to see Cecil have at least three to four high quality starts before considering moving him back here, so at best we’re looking at the end of May or mid June.
Janssen will need at least 6 weeks of work before being considered, so its at least June for him.

Where did you hear that Janssen hasn’t thrown yet? I thought he was down in Dunedin rehabbing and building up arm strength? I thought I remembered reading somewhere that they were going to have him do that over there as opposed to doing it with a minor league team, and that once he was ready to go, he’d have one or two starts with a minor league team before heading up with the Jays. If you’re right, that’s pretty disappointing.

Although with Tallet’s career ERA of 3.54 (in 221 IP), he might not be such a bad option after all. We shall see.

Although I wouldn’t call it a career for Wang just yet, all of a sudden, the Yanks rotation doesn’t look as fearsome as it before, particularly when Burnett or Sabathia goes on the DL later in the season. Boo-hoo

Actually, Rshobie, I am very pleased that Mr. Tallet is on the team. He is an excellent MIDDLE reliever. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more MIDDLE relievers with Tallet’s upside. However, Mr. Tallet is not a starting pitcher. He can, in a pinch, fill in and provide us with 65-75 pitches (hopefully enough to get through 4 innings). However, this leaves 5 innings worth of work for a bullpen that is already short one pitcher (that would be Mr. Tallet, of course). There are a number of teams in the recent past who have been able to promote from AA to the major league level when one or perhaps two starts were required. In fact, some of these pitchers have done so well, they have stuck around. The fact that I am trying to make is that we really need at least one of our young prospects to be able to step to the plate and pitch 5 (hopefully) decent innings at the Major-League level every now and then, given the fragility of the current starting staff. We cannot afford to over extend our bullpen too early in the season, given that we cannot rely on the starters giving us a solid 5-6 innings each start. Nothing would be worse than to be in the thick of things in September and have the bullpen start to fail due to over use filling in for injured starting pitchers. I hope that you can understand what I am trying to say to you, rshobie.

Burt,
They have the double A to major league guys already on the roster in Litsch and Romero, what more can you expect ? I don’t think Snider served a significant amount of time in triple A either, so my point is they do have have those guys.
Also, G.S. already explained the situations with Cecil and Janssen but those are 2 more guys that could possibly make the team in a month.

Rene,
What I should have said is Janssen hasn’t thrown in a game yet. He will need a lot more than one or two stats. He never was stretched out in spring training, so I’d expect he needs 5-6 outings.

What an excellent outing from Romero, he’s now 3 for 3 in quality outings and lowered his era to 1.71. He gets better and better as his confidence grows.

Enigma – Litsch made the jump last year and is currently unavailable. Romero made the jump from AAA and is doing a great job thus far. However, if you read my post carefully, I was stating that we need a AA or AAA starter to be able to give us 1 or perhaps 2 starts at most. I am not talking about bringing up guys to bump Litsch or Richmond at this point in the season. I am talking about bringing up one pitcher, for perhaps one game, to give us one decent start, so that we do not have to over extend our bullpen. This is a regular occurrence among other major-league teams, and it is something that the Jays will likely need to be able to do to remain successful, given the fragility of their starting five. I hope that this is clear!

Nice too see the US media is finally starting to realize our guys are playing well. Check this out.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/

I agree with you gsjays. You usually see rookie pitchers fade towards the end of the year, because of the longer schedule in the majors. If we reach the playoffs, the season is a LOT longer, so we will need help as the season goes on.
And didn’t Tallet do well for a MIDDLE reliever? He should be up to 85-90 pitches next outing, so hopefully, he can go 7 innings in MIDDLE relief! LOL If nobody else goes down until Mills and Cecil build up some innings in AAA, it doesn’t look too bad. It is going to be interesting to see what our rotation looks like at the break.

Check this out:
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090420&content_id=4350296&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
Talk about getting ignored! I guess the world stops at the 49th parallel.

gnorman
Funny about that link you posted. Yesterday, when they posted it, Toronto was covered in the article and quite positively. I guess we got edited out overnight. lol

Gnorman,
You are a funny (insert gender). Let me ask you a question: Is Tallet’s salary in line with middle relievers or starting pitchers? That’s right. He is paid a salary commensurate with a middle reliever. I guess that means he is a middle reliever. Or, perhaps JP is a genius: Sign a staring pitcher and pay him the same ammount as a middle reliever! Boy, that JP is clever!

Burt,
you’re right about the rotation. If it does suffer more injuries they’ll need those guys.
As for the article, what seems to be ignored is that the Marlins have played the Nationals 6 times (and they’re 1 and 9) and KC is only 7 and 5 which isn’t anything special.

It does suck that the Jays are ignored though but that’s generally what happens in the states when it comes to Canadian content. Sportsnet yesterday mentioned that the Jays have the second best record in baseball since Gaston has taken over. I think they’re 60 and 40 since he’s come in, which is damn good.

Fabio Castro is starting to serious impress me. In his 3rd start in New Hampshire AA tonight, Castro went 5 shut out innings before a rain delay, so it’s unlikely he goes back out. But he struck out 10 and only gave up 1 walk and 1 hit.

In total, Fabio has now gone 17.2 innings with 3 starts and one (1 inning) relief appearance. In the 17.2 innings he’s given up a total of 11 hits, 2 walks, struck out 17 and has yet to give up an earned run-not one. Think about that, not a single earned run over 3 games and he appears to be getting better not worse.!!!!!!!!

Fabio is a 24 yr. old, 5′ 7″ 180 lb. lefty. A tip of the cap to JP, since we got Fabio in the trade to Philadelphia for Matt Stairs. In checking old Philly draft reports, Fabio boasts a mid 90′s fastball with good movement, a change up and a major league curve ball. What’s wrong, do we have something against righties? lol

That should read a low to mid 90′s.

Go Jays Go
check out my blog at:http://bluejaysinflight.blogspot.com/

gsjays:
So, what is the catch with Fabio (his height, durability)? Why were we able to get him for such a cheap price? He sounds like the type of guy you might be able to bring in when you need a single start (e.g., Tallet’s last start).

burt
I really don’t know. He had sometime in the majors in 2006 and 2007 as a reliever, performed well for Texas and Philly in 2006, not so well in 2007, but his major league era is 3.30.

Maybe Jordan can get us more of a low down on him. One way or the other if this kid keeps performing like this, I expect we might see him sooner than later.

Castro is only 24, so he still has a shot at making it. His numbers weren’t that great last year, but maybe he was able to make some adjustments under a new pitching coach, who knows? He’s certainly off to a nice start.

Any way you look at it, it’s a steal for JP because there was really no room for Stairs this year. I’m guessing he was able to pick him up due to his so-so numbers, and because the Phils needed someone like Stairs off the bench. Turned out to be a steal for the Phillies too, as he helped them win a World Series.

It was hard to imagine anything stopping Fabio Castro on Monday night. But then Mother Nature did.

The New Hampshire left-hander struck out 10 and only surrendered a hit and a walk over five innings before a scoreless matchup with host Connecticut was suspended due to rain. At one point, he struck out eight Defenders in a row.

Castro cruised through the first inning before allowing Brett Pill’s single to start the second. He struck out the side in the second and the third before fanning the first two batters of the fourth for good measure. He walked Andy D’Alessio in the fifth.

By Josh Jackson-special to MLB

Burt:
Tallet is still eligible for arbitration, so at this stage, he would probably get paid about the same no matter where he played. If he wins 12-13 games for them, he would certainly see a raise next year (a la Josh Towers). Oh! No!

On Fabio:
I hope he can stick with the Jays a bit and get a chance. I think sometimes teams value their own draftees more, and use players like Castro as trading cards. These guys need a good run like he’s having this year to show up on the radar.
He really deserves a promotion to AAA, but then New Hampshire is a lot closer than Area 51 in case they need someone in a hurry.

Let’s hope Texas play here like they have in their other road trips.

I expect if Fabio has one or two more outings like the first 3, we might see him if we need help up here. He has some major league experience so it wouldn’t be that difficult of an adjustment and both Cecil and Janssen still appear 4-6 weeks away.

Inside Pitch at Yahoo Sports

Lefty B.J. Ryan has taken on a new role, besides being the Blue Jays? closer. He?s also their main cheerleader.

Ryan, who has two consecutive saves and is 2-for-3 in save situations this year, is excited about the Jays? 10-4 start and the contributions of the young players on the team.

?Right now, you get those guys and you?ve got Doc (Roy Halladay) at the top of your rotation,? Ryan said. ?It?s great for these young guys. He leads by example. You just watch him and spend a little time with him and just talk to him a little bit, you can learn so much, and that?s what these young guys are doing right now.?

The Jays have been producing offensively the opening two weeks?22 home runs and 87 runs scored?and they have also been a surprise in the pitching department. They rank third in the league with a 3.75 ERA.

?We may be surprising y?all,? Ryan said. ?But when you get a bunch of guys believing in the same thing, good things happen.?

On Fabio:
He said he was on a pitch count of about 75, and going on to 85-90 next outing, so 2 more weeks should see him stretched out completely. It looks as if we can get through this next month or 2, we should be knee deep in big league arms again. Does everybody realize that next Spring, if everybody stays healthy, that there will be at least 11 guys that have an even shot at making the rotation? Scary!

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