Game 19: Toronto at Chicago pregame

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston continued with his platoon-like situation in left and at first for Saturday’s game here in Chicago. I say “platoon-like” because Gaston insists that it’s not a platoon, that Travis Snider and Lyle Overbay will see time against left-handed pitchers this season.

Saturday’s lineup, as has mainly been the case this year, had right-handed hitters Jose Bautista and Kevin Millar in left and at first, respectively, against Sox lefty Mark Buehrle. Chatted with Snider about some things today, among them not facing lefties regularly up to this point this season.

Snider said all the right things, saying that he understands the situation and doesn’t think it’s a bad thing right now.

“The way Jose’s been playing, the way the team’s been playing, it’d be selfish for me to get caught up thinking like that,” Snider said. “Getting that opportunity to play more often, I think has been great for him with what he’s been doing. For me, as long as I can sit there and watch a guy like that, I’ve got no problem tipping my cap.

“Of course I’d like to be an everyday player, but I understand that there are better things for this ballclub and, for me, it’s about winning.”

Being a rookie, Snider said he also knows his time will come

“I’m 21 and in the big leagues,” he said. “You try not to  get too greedy about things. When you get your opportunities, try to make the most of them. Like I’ve said from Day 1, this organization has done what’s been best for me and my career. At this point, it’s not about me and my career.

“I feel like we’re doing well as a team and guys are producing every day in that lineup and it’s a fun thing to watch.”

Snider agreed with Gaston’s recent assessment that the young hitter could stand to be more aggressive at the plate. Snider said that — now that pitchers are putting together a book on him — he’s noticed they are throwing more and more offspeed pitches his way. He is the type of hitter who likes to be aggressive early in the count and pitchers have picked up on that.

As for facing lefties, Snider said he felt comfortable against southpaws in the spring because he was seeing them on a regular basis. Now that he is only seeing lefties here and there, well, “it’s one of those things where there’s no excuses at the end of the day,” he said.

ARMS WATCH: Jesse Litsch is going to Birmingham, Ala., to have Dr. James Andrews look at his ailing right forearm/elbow on Monday. Litsch felt tightness while throwing yesterday, felt good this morning and felt something again on last five tosses today. Jays say trip to Andrews is precautionary. Ricky Romero (right oblique strain) set to throw on flat ground Monday.

WEATHER WATCH: The tarp is on the field here and there is a chance of rain, but it looks like we’re positioned on the edge of the storm that’s heading through Chicago. Sooo, it seems like we should be able to get this one in. Keep checking my twitter page (you can find me under @MLBastian) for updates.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (13-5)

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. Jose Bautista, LF
9. Raul Chavez, C

Starter: LHP Brian Burres (0-0)

Thumbnail image for WhiteSox.gifCHICAGO WHITE SOX (8-8)

1. Brent Lillibridge, 2B
2. Josh Fields, 3B
3. Carlos Quentin, LF
4. Jermain Dye, DH
5. Paul Konerko, 1B
6. Corky Miller, C
7. Brian Anderson, RF
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Jerry Owens, CF

Starter: LHP Mark Buehrle (2-0)

~JB

11 Comments

I’m surprised that Ramirez didn’t get a day off after his showing in the field last night.

Well, I hope we see an improvement from last night – a truly shocking performance! (Tongue firmly in cheek…) Looking forward to tonight, though I do hope the rain holds off, it’s bad enough getting to bed after 3am from watching the ballgame, without rain delays adding to the sleep deprivation too. I’d have liked to see Castro called up instead of Burres with the numbers he’s posting in NH – he finally gave up a run today, still a sub-one ERA and huge SO tally. Still, it’ll be good to see if Burres can perform like in his last start for Vegas, rather than his first two…
http://sjg-hr.mlblogs.com/

Let’s not fool ourselvs, we can’t win with Burres tonight, but we can’t winn them all anyway, so let’s gat this one out of the way and get on with winning again.

The Yanks must winn today so we can keep the Yanks and Boston at bay.

Now one more thing and let me be the first to say it, Ido not like JP, but he must get credit for putting this team together, But i will give Cito and Co.the credit for the great job they have done so far this year. Now i know we may not make it , but we at least have a chance with these guys.

—GO JAYS GO— —GO JAYS GO— —GO JAYS GO—

CHECK MY SPELLING.
Sorry about that.

One thing you have to remember about Riccardi, garryguy:
When he came on board, this franchise was bleeding money, and was one of two teams under consideration for elimination. He and Paul Godfrey have put this team on a sound financial footing, rebuilt the farm system, vastly improved the scouting staff, and put together a series of teams that, on any given day, can beat any other team. The fact that this year’s team can carry on despite the injuries proves what I am saying.
In retrospect, he probably kept John Gibbons for a year too long, Thomas and Eckstein didn’t turn out so well, and he should have kept Reed Johnson over Shannon Stewart. It’s easy to pick out mistakes in the rear view mirror, but the fact that we have baseball in Toronto at all is a credit to the present management.

The way the schedule is set, they don’t get another day off until May 11, so they can’t skip the #5 starter for another 3 cycles. The good news is, that they get lots of days off in September, so if they are in a tight race, they can go with a 4 man rotation.
From what I saw last night, Burres was working behind in the count most of the night, and you can’t have much success that way if you don’t have a power arm. He has a decent curve and change, but he needs to locate his fastball and get ahead in the count for these pitches to be effective. If he gets behind 2-0, my mother in law would know that a fastball is coming!

gnorman
JP had nothing to do with putting this club on a solid financial footing-the credit for that goes to Mr. Ted Rogers, who purchased the team without adding any debt to the club and then later purchased the Rogers center, again without any club debt.
In addition, the Blue Jays were not under consideration for elimination-whatever you are trying to mean with that statement.
You’re also wrong about the scouting, Riccardi fired most of the scouts and relied on the baseball central system until Paul Beeston came on board. No misunderstanding, it was Beeston who pressed for hiring more scouts this year-not Riccardi.
This was probably Riccardi’s biggest mistake since it virtually eliminated the Blue Jays chance of finding or scouting young high school kids-unless they had been scouted by central scouting. Riccardi has subsequently admitted this mistake.
The fact is, he did rebuilt the minor league system-to a an extent, the problem is it’s been rebuilt with a number of nice players, with few capable of performing in the MLB.

Hey, no misunderstanding, I like how this team is playing, BUT I give credit to Cito for that not JP. Maybe if JP had let Gibbons run the team, instead of controlling the lineups and everything else, Gibbons might have been successful. But JP being the control freak he is, couldn’t handle delegating anything to Gibbons and ran him into the ground.
Cito doesn’t take his lip, and JP has no control on him. The players know it’s Cito’s show, which is probably why this team is starting to play.

Cito’s Magic ( from JB’s post)

Entering Saturday, the Jays had posted a 64-42 (.604) record since Gaston took over as manager on June 20 last season. That is the best mark in baseball over that time period.

The problem with Burres is he doesn’t have major league stuff, he knows it, the hitters know it and Burres knows the hitters know it.
So he lives on the outer 1/3 of the plate which might work first time through the lineup but rarely again. His performance last night is what’s to be expected each time he starts and in fact last night might be one of his better starts.

Unless, we want to throw each 5th game in the tank, I doubt he gets a second start. With Litsch visiting the famous Dr. Tommy John, it now looks like we could be without him, McGowan and probably Marcum for the year. I just hope we’re not pressing Janssen to come back early.

If the Jays want to leave both Cecil and Mills in AAA, it might be time to consider bring up Fabio Castro from AA and try him out for a couple of starts.

I might be out of the loop
but how about Matt Clement?

Or we could stretch out another guy from the bullpen, and turn burres into a long reliever? (i doubt we have anyone for that)

if push comes to shove, i say we bring up mills and see what he can do

Harry Clement hung up his hat.
Why not go after Pedro for one year, He could be that last cog in the wheel.
This team can make it this year, they have all the right players on board now so let’s open up the purse strings and get some pitchen

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