May 2009

Game 53: Boston at Toronto pregame

Chatted some with Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi this morning and covered a few different topics. One being the July 31 trade deadline. While that’s still two months down the road, Ricciardi did say that he’d “owe it to the players” to pursue help at the deadline if the club was still performing this well.

What would Ricciardi go after? He said he feels pitching hasn’t been an issue up to this point, so he’d be more inclined to go after “another thumper” for the middle of the lineup. Obviously, it would depend on who is available and how much ownership would be willing to expand the payroll to bring somebody in.

Also asked him about recent commens from Andy MacPhail, the Orioles president of baseball operations. MacPhail was quoted as saying something to the effect of Baltimore wanting to avoid having what happened with Travis Snider with O’s catching prospect Matt Wieters (Snider made the club on Opening Day, but was recently demoted due to struggles).

In hindsight, Ricciardi said there are no regrets about bringing Snider north with the Jays.

“No, we took the best team we wanted to in April and Travis had a great Spring Training and deserved to be on the team. This is part of his development. There’s no predictor that every guy is going to come here and stay here.”

So, how long will Snider be at Triple-A?

“It’s all about development. It’s all about him adjusting to some of the things he wasn’t doing up here and getting regular at-bats. We weren’t giving him regular at-bats. He wasn’t playing against lefties — it was more of a platoon situation. He’s a young kid. He shouldn’t be in that spot. He should play and that’s what we want him to do.”

More on both topics later on bluejays.com.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (28-22)

1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2. J.D. Drew, RF
3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
4. Jason Bay, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
9. Nick Green, SS

Starter: LHP Jon Lester (3-5)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (29-23)

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. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jose Bautista, LF

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (2-1)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

Game 52: Boston at Toronto pregame

Casey Janssen rolled his eyes and laughed a little on Friday night. The reason? Someone brought up the fact that when he struck out Boston’s Kevin Youkilis in the seventh inning, that was Janssen’s first strikeout since returning to the Jays — only took 12.1 innings.

“Geez. I didn’t think I was ever
 going to get one,” Janssen said with a smile. “My game is pitch to contact. It was nice to get those at the end, but I still have to pitch my game.”

For those of you who were following my in-game updates on Twitter, I mentioned that Janssen has been taking pitching to contact to new heights since coming back to the rotation. In his two outings, Janssen has thrown 186 pitches, including 117 for strikes. Among all those tosses, he’s only created seven missed swings.

Along the way, Janssen has allowed 19 hits over 13 innings with two strikeouts and two walks.

I stopped over by Janssen’s locker this morning to chat with him some about his style. He’s never been a strikeout pitcher — I first covered the righty when he was with Class A Lansing in 2005, when I was still at Michigan State. Pitching to contact is his game, but he admits he needs to improve on his missed swings.

“I’d definitely like to get better,” Janssen said. “But, my game is more about missing barrels than missing bats.”

Why the low amount of missed swings? Well, for one, Janssen doesn’t boast a go-to “out pitch.” It varies based on the type of hitter, and how he reached the point in the at-bat when a strikeout is an option.

“A lot of my game depends how I get there,” Janssen said. “If I do something away, my out pitch might be an in pitch for that hitter, and vice versa. If I’m working in, maybe I can spin something down and away.”

Janssen has five pitches: four-seam fastball, cutter, changeup, curveball and slider. When he was in the bullpen (he served as the setup man in ’07 and had 39 Ks in 72.2 IP), Janssen didn’t use his change or curve as much. Now, he has a larger arsenal to work with and he’s still working on regaining the type of command he’d like to have.

Janssen said that his cutter might be more of an out pitch against left-handed hitters, while he uses it more to create weak contact against righties. With a right-hander in the batter’s box, Janssen might turn to the slider to get a strikeout, whereas it is used more for weak contact against lefties. He’s also throwing more changeups to both lefties and righties.

Over his first two starts, Janssen said the main issue has he’s been “hitting too much white”. He hasn’t commanded his pitches like he wants to, and he’s fallen behind in counts as a result. When that happens, he can’t expand the strike zone, meaning hitters will inevitably make more contact.

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT FROM FRIDAY:

rod_on_plate.jpg

Catcher Rod Barajas, after scoring from first base in the fifth

Said Barajas: “I didn’t slide, I fell. That was my legs giving out on me. I had nothing left. If I had to run 10 more feet, the paramedics would’ve been out there giving me mouth to mouth. I hit the wall. Fortunately, it was enough to get me over the plate.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (28-21)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
4. Jason Bay, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Rocco Baldelli, RF
9. Nick Green, SS

Starter: RHP Brad Penny (5-1)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (28-23)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Jose Bautista, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. Joe Inglett, LF

Starter: RHP Brian Tallet (2-3)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

Game 51: Boston at Toronto pregame

Anyone expecting sweeping changes to the Blue Jays’ roster or lineup card today are going to be disappointed. The bullpen — the one that has allowed 21 runs over its last 10 innings of work — remains the same. The lineup was still the go-to nine for manager Cito Gaston.

Gaston did admit this afternoon that he needs to give left-hander Jesse Carlson more of a break. Carlson, who leads American League relievers with 26 appearances and paces Jays relievers with 26 innings, has given up 10 runs over his last 9 1/3 innings.

This weekend, right-hander Scott Richmond is available out of the bullpen as well. Why skip Richmond’s turn over, say, Brian Tallet (a converted reliever), Casey Janssen (coming back from a shoulder injury) or Ricky Romero (a young rookie)? Gaston said, in his opinion, Richmond is the “fifth starter.” So, it’ll be 12 days between starts for Richmond (4-2, 3.63).

There was a minor transaction for the Blue Birds today. The club voided the option on right-hander Robert Ray and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Other than that, Toronto opted not to push the panic button and blow up a bullpen that, well, has blown up on them lately.

As far as lefty Scott Downs, who suffered a mild hamstring strain on Wednesday, Gaston said the pitcher is available to pitch. That’s good news for the Jays, who could ill-afford to be without their closer — what with the struggles of former closer B.J. Ryan and Carlson and all.

Here’s to avoiding loss No. 10. Jays haven’t lost that many in a row since ’94.

Today’s lineups:


Thumbnail image for RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (28-20)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. George Kottaras, C
9. Julio Lugo, SS

Starter: RHP Tim Wakefield (6-2)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-23)

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

Starter: RHP Casey Janssen (0-1)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

Just, wow.

Before heading out to dinner last night to celebrate our wedding anniversary, Mrs. Bastian and I had the Blue Jays game on to see how the good doctor was faring in Baltimore. It was 8-3 in the seventh inning, so we turned off the tube and headed out the door.

Later in the evening, my wife — knowing all too well how things have been going of late for your Birds – jokingly asked, “Shouldn’t you check to see if they won?”

We both laughed.

Caught the score online later and we were both stunned.

But, Jays fans, as bad as it has been — and, boy, it has been BAD — keep one thing in mind:

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

BOSTON         27-20    –
NEW YORK     27-20    –
TORONTO     27-23   1.5
TAMPA BAY    23-26     5
BALTIMORE    21-26    6

With 112 games remaining, it could be a whole heckuva lot worse.

~JB

Game 47: Toronto at Atlanta pregame

A major weak spot in the Blue Jays’ lineup all season has been the heart of their order — Alex Rios and Vernon Wells in the third and fourth spots. Manager Cito Gaston has kept them in those spots all year and even as their struggles persist deep into this month, he has no plans to alter the lineup.

“To me, you leave them where they are,” Gaston said. “Moving them around is not going to help anything. Moving them around is only going to maybe break their confidence. It’s a long season — guys are going to be up and down at certain times. Right now, they’re on the downside.”

One thing you can say about Gaston is he’s consistent. He’s been saying the same thing all season and he’s been staying true to his philosophy.

On this road trip, during which the Jays are now 0-5, Rios and Wells have combined to go 10-for-43 at the plate. Over the last two games in Atlanta, the pair has combined to go 0-for-16. Wells has no homers or RBIs since May 6, Rios has no homers since May 17 and no RBIs since the 18th.

In fact, take a look at how eerily similar Rios’ and Wells’ numbers have been this year.

On this trip:

Wells 5-for-21
Rios 5-for-22

Overall:

Wells: .257 (49-191)/.313/.403, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 77 TB, 11 2B, 16 BB, 46 games
Rios: .260 (50-192)/.316/.411, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 79 TB, 10 2B, 14 BB, 46 games

While there is no doubt Wells and Rios are scuffling, Gaston said he doesn’t see who else could step into those spots int he lineup. Toronto doesn’t have a legitimate cleanup hitter, Gaston likes Adam Lind in the five hole, and the manager would hate to move Wells’ and Rios’ speed down in the order.

“Who do you put up there?” Gaston said. “You’re taking two guys that have some speed and can steal some bases and moving them down in the lineup — that doesn’t make a lot of sense. We’re going to have ups and downs. We just have to ride it out and hope they come out of it today or tomorrow or some time soon.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-19)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, LF
6. Jose Bautista, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. Scott Richmond, P

Braves.jpgATLANTA BRAVES (22-20)

1 Kelly Johnson, 2B
2. Casey Kotchman, 1B
3. Garret Anderson, LF
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Martin Prado, 3B
6. Jeff Francoeur, RF
7. Diory Hernandez, SS
8. Jordan Schafer, CF
9. Jair Jurrjens, P

NOTE: I will not be making the trip to Baltimore. Catch you from the next homestand.

~JB

Game 46: Toronto at Atlanta pregame

Following Friday night’s 1-0 loss to the Braves — a game in which Vernon Wells went 0-for-4 with a quartet of groundouts — manager Cito Gaston noticed the center fielder poring over footage of his plate appearances.

“I admired Wells last night,” Gaston said. “He was sitting there after the game and he looked at some tapes and stuff. He got on the bus and I said, ‘Did you see anything?’ He said he saw something and I saw just what he said and I was going to tell him that. Hopefully, he’s going to get it today.”

What did they both see?

“He’s just a little late — just a little late getting started,” Gaston said. “It’s not like he’s not working and trying to get better.”

Overall, Wells is hitting .262 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 45 games. Over his last 14 games, Wells is hitting just .228 with no homers, no RBIs and only two extra-base hits (doubles). He has gone hitless in seven of his last 11 games and doesn’t have a home run or an RBI since May 6. In May, Wells is batting .239.

This coming from Toronto’s cleanup hitter.

Gaston knows he could switch things up, especially with the offense in a team-wide slump right now. He admitted that options included moving Adam Lind to the third or fourth spot, and maybe even shifting Alex Rios lower in the lineup. Gaston has no plans to alter the lineup he’s used all season, though.

“To move these guys around and out of their spots, that shows panic right there,” Gaston said. “When you start moving people around, then everyone’s going to panic.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-18)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, LF
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Casey Janssen, P

Braves.jpgATLANTA BRAVES (21-20)

1 Kelly Johnson, 2B
2. Casey Kotchman, 1B
3. Garrett Anderson, LF
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Martin Prado, 3B
6. Jeff Francoeur, RF
7. Diory Hernandez, SS
8. Jordan Schafer, CF
9. Derek Lowe, P

~JB

Game 45: Toronto at Atlanta pregame

We have movement — lots of it. You already heard about Travis Snider being optioned to Triple-A last night. Well, this afternoon, the Blue Jays announced that Robert Ray and Brett Cecil would be on the flight with him. Up from the Minors are utility man Joe Inglett and pitcher Casey Janssen and Ricky Romero.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said the decision to call up Janssen and Romero now had more to do with them being ready to rejoin the club, rather than it being a reflection on anything Cecil and Ray did wrong. Cecil and Ray each had a rough outing after some strong ones, but the club feels they need more Minor League innings.

As for Inglett, he’ll see time in the outfield and he can pitch in around the infield as a backup. He probably won’t play much in this series, but the situation could change when the Jays return to the American League format. Gaston said Inglett and Lind could see time in left against righties, and Jose Bautista against lefties.

One thing Snider said took getting used to was not playing every day. The rookie said he has to learn how to carry his routine over after being out of the lineup for a few days. Asked on Friday if the way Snider was used might have played into the slump, Gaston had this remark:

“If you sit for a week at a time, I could see that,” Gaston said. “I hear these guys talking about, ‘Well, I haven’t played in two days.’ I don’t buy that one. They can take that and shove it. That’s crap.”

I also spent some time chatting with Dustin McGowan today about his seemingly neverending rehab from his right shoulder surgery. He said he is going to be throwing from 120 feet tomorrow for the first time and he expects to be back on a mound some time next month. Asked if he felt he would be back before the end of the year, despite everything that’s been said and written, McGowan said: “I think so. Well, I guess I should say I HOPE so.” After all, ultimately, it won’t be McGowan’s decision.

Gaston added that right-hander Jesse Litsch threw off a mound for the first time today down at the Jays’ complex in Florida. The Jays have said that Litsch could be back some time next month, though the team is in no hurry to bring him back right now. They want to make sure he is indeed fully recovered from his right forearm/elbow issue.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No voodoo this time.” — Pitcher Brian Tallet to Inglett. Last year, it seemed like every time Inglett was sent down, someone got injured and he was called right back up. That led former manager John Gibbons to dub him Voodoo Joe. “That’s right, he’s back,” Inglett said with a grin.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-17)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, LF
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Roy Halladay, P


 
Braves.jpgATLANTA BRAVES (20-20)

1. Yunel Escobar, SS
2. Casey Kotchman, 1B
3. Garret Anderson, LF
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Kelly Johnson, 2B
6. Martin Prado, 3B
7. Jeff Francoeur, RF
8. Jordan Schafer, CF
9. Kenshin Kawakami, P

~JB

Game 44: Toronto at Boston pregame

Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay walked by me today in the clubhouse and as he headed into the training room, I jokingly asked, “Hey, Roy, how’s your swing coming?”

He smiled and replied: “I’m not even working on it.”

What? This from the all-time franchise leader in hits by a pitcher? OK, so he’s tied for first in the club record books with only three hits. He also is tied for first all-time among Jays pitchers in RBIs, or, I guess that’d be RBI, since he only has one. Overall? Doc has hit .081 (3-for-37) with two runs (!) and 16 strikeouts.

Why do I bring this up? Because Halladay will be putting on a helmet and stepping into the batter’s box tomorrow night, when the Jays open a three-game Interleague series with the Braves in Atlanta. It’s that time of year for awkward swings from men who should just not be standing at the plate.

Also due to pitch for the Jays in the series are Scott Richmond and Brian Tallet.

When was the last time Richmond had an at-bat?

“Oh, man. I don’t know. It’s been over 10 years,” Richmond said. “I hit some yesterday out on the field — did some slashing and some bunting. Hit one off the top of the wall actually — good for my confidence.”

Does Tallet remember the last time he hit in a game?

“Yeah. Pittsburgh — 2003,” he said, rolling his eyes.

Tallet went 0-for-2.

“I was praying those would be the last two I ever had,” he said. “Oh, well.”

Overall, Blue Jays pitchers have hit .100 (24-for-240) with one homer and five RBIs over the years. The lone blast came off the bat of Mark Hendrickson on June 21, 2003 in Montreal.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston has stressed approach and aggresiveness for his hitters. How about for the pitchers?

“Don’t get hurt,” Gaston said with a laugh.

Count Gaston among those who don’t like having American League pitchers hit in Interleague Play, too.

“I know Interleague is great — all that stuff is good,” he said. “But, it’s certainly a disadvantage to American League teams. I don’t care what they say, it’s a disadvantage. Doc can take a swing and you could lose him for I don’t know how long. Or, up there bunting, they don’t bunt. They could get hit on their fingers with a pitch. They don’t run bases. It’s just altogether not good for American League teams.”

That being the case, would Gaston tell his pitchers to just go stand up at the plate and stare at three strikes?

“We did that in Spring Training. Just don’t swing the bat. Just let it go by,” Gaston said.

Will he instruct the pitchers to do that in the regular season, though?

“We might. What’s  the chances of them hitting it anyway? Slim, right?”

Ummm, yeah. Last year, Jays hurlers went 0-for-16 at the plate. Four other AL clubs had no hits from their moundsmen.

Gaston said the pitchers could bunt in certain situations, but it won’t be a requirement.

“I’ll tell them to be careful. If they want to take three, take three and sit down.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-16)

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. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jose Bautista, LF

Starter: RHP Bobby Ray (1-1)

RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (24-16)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Julio Lugo, SS

Starter: LHP Jon Lester (2-4)

~JB

Game 43: Toronto at Boston pregame

There was an interesting item in this morning’s Boston Globe in relation to Toronto left-hander Brian Tallet. It explained why Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell sprinted from second base in the second inning, allowing him to score on a single from Jeff Bailey:

At the plate with two strikes, Bailey saw Lowell creeping off second as Brian Tallet stood on the mound. Watching video alone, Lowell had noticed that Tallet “no-looks” with runners who typically don’t steal bases on second – he comes to set and pitches without checking the runner. Lowell saw his moment, and he bolted.

Tallet said he heard what was written in the Globe and the pitcher’s response was this:

“That’s not completely accurate,” Tallet said. “If I make the pitch, it doesn’t matter. If I make the pitch and get a fly ball or a grounder, then he has to retreat. But, if that was the case, it’s easy to fix — just look again.”

The Sox got two runs in that inning and that wound up being enough with how well Tim Wakefield’s knuckler was working. When Aaron Hill walked by us today, one Toronto scribe cracked: “I can’t believe you can’t hit that guy.”

“I know, right?” Hill said, rolling his eyes. “I was talking to some of my friends about that. He’s one of those guys that I wish my friends could step up to the plate and face — like Mariano Rivera and his cutter. I wish they could step up there so they could see how that thing is tip-toeing to the plate.”

And, as Hill said this, yes, he tip-toed away from us.

A nice moment from this afternoon: After breaking a bat, Travis Snider headed back to the dugout to retrieve a new strip of lumber. As fans yelled, “Snider!” and “Hey, Future!”, he spotted a young fan in the first row. Snider tossed his bat to the kid, who couldn’t stop smiling. Later, when Snider returned, the young boy yelled “Thank you!” and Snider went back over and autographed the bat. The boy’s father tried to hold the bat for a second, but the kid wasn’t about to let it go.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-15)

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. Rod Barajas, C
9. Travis Snider, LF

Starter: LHP Brett Cecil (2-0)

RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (23-16)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Rocco Baldelli, RF
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Julio Lugo, SS

Starter: RHP Brad Penny (3-1)

~JB

Game 42: Toronto at Boston pregame

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston doesn’t buy into the philosophy used by Red Sox manager Terry Francona over the weekend. Boston slugger David Ortiz is in the midst of a terrible slump, one of the worst droughts of his career. Francona opted to sit Ortiz over the past three games in Seattle, providing more of a mental break than a benching.

Asked if he had ever sat a struggling player for a series, Gaston replied quickly: “Never. Nope. No, I haven’t.”

Gaston went on to say: “Thats’ what some guys believe in. I don’t really buy into that one. I don’t know where it helps them. I havent quite figured out how it helps them. I don’t buy into it. Then again, maybe it will. I don’t know. Personally, I don’t buy into that one.”

This isn’t to say Cito was bashing Tito. Entering Tuesday, Ortiz was hitting .208 with no homers and 15 RBIs. On the recent road trip, he went 1-for-14. Big Papi had gone 144 at-bats without a homer — the second-longest slump of that kind in his career.

Cito’s philosophy is this:

“You let him play his way out. Either you bench him or you play somebody else for a while. You know? You either let him go one way or the other. I don’t think you put him on the bench for just say a day or two. But, that’s his team over there. You’re talking about what I believe and what he believes.

“I have enough trouble running my team,” he added with a laugh.

Which brings us to Blue Jays rookie Travis Snider.

Snider was out of the lineup on Tuesday with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, but will be back in on Wednesday against Boston’s Brad Penny.

If Snider continues to struggle, there’s a realistic chance he could be sent back to Triple-A during Interleague Play, when the Jays don’t have a DH in NL parks and Adam Lind in left field. Just so happens Toronto heads to Atlanta this weekend.

“That could possibly be,” general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. “Originally we didn’t think so, but it might be a time to do it, get a little more flexibility.”

Asked if Snider might benefit from playing every day in the Minors, Cito had this to say:

“You always think that. Who knows what’s right? Whatever happens, we’ll try to do the right thing with him. This kid’s going to play up here. There’s not too many guys on this team who haven’t been sent up and down, so it could happen and it might not happen.

“I’ll put him out there tomorrow against Penny and who knows, he might hit a couple home runs. That certainly would change everybody’s mind – for a while anyway.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (27-14)

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

Starter: LHP Brian Tallet (2-1)



RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (22-16)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Jason Bay, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Julio Lugo, SS
8. Jeff Bailey, 1B
9. George Kottaras

Starter: RHP Tim Wakefield (4-2)

~JB

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