Game 30: Toronto at Los Angeles pregame


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Walking into the main gates here at Angel Stadium, it’s impossible to miss the memorial that fans have created for late pitcher Nick Adenhart, who died after a tragic car accident earlier this season. The picture I snapped with my phone doesn’t do it justice. Many of the hats that circle the memorial have notes written by fans — really touching.

As was the case when I blogged about Adenhart the day we learned that he passed, it’s hard to find anything else worthwhile to write about on here. Not much going on with the Jays today. Bryan Bullington and Brian Burres were outrighted to Triple-A, clearing two spots on the 40-man roster. Catcher Michael Barrett played catch from 40 feet for a few minutes, but is still a long way off from returning from the disabled list.

I did chat with rookie Robert Ray for a bit today, since he is making his second big league start tomorrow. He is happy the first one is out of the way, because the ol’ nerves definitely got to him for his Major League debut. I also asked him what his reaction was to GM J.P. Ricciardi bluntly saying Ray and Brett Cecil weren’t ready for the big leagues.

“Honestly, I just want to take care of my job,” Ray said. “I just want to go out and give us a chance to win and focus more on that. You know, maybe he’s right. Maybe we weren’t quite ready, or it wasn’t the perfect time to bring us up. The fact is we’re here now and we have to do what we can to help the team.”

With that, here are…

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (19-10)

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: RHP Roy Halladay (5-1)


Angels.gifLOS ANGELES ANGELS (12-13)

1. Chone Figgins, 3B
2. Maicer Izturis, DH
3. Bobby Abreu, LF
4. Torii Hunter, CF
5. Kendry Morales, 1B
6. Mike Napoli, C
7. Gary Matthews Jr., RF
8. Howie Kendrick, 2B
9. Erick Aybar, SS

Starter: RHP Anthony Ortega (0-1)

~JB

16 Comments

Angels have had a rough start with a lot of injuries, along with the tragic death of pitcher Nick Adenhart. Some tempers seem to be close to the surface usually Justin Speier’s. Last night’s game was a blowout , not my favourite type of game . I prefer closer games with both teams in the race and of course the Jays winning in the end . Maybe this display of hitting was for Garry , lets hope they saved some runs for tonight . Have a great day all and take care …..Kate

I was impressed with Ray’s comment when questioned about JP’s, perhaps, inappropriate remark. The kid seems to have a lot of sense. Let’s hope that he has a good outing tonight, and we can keep this thing going.

I agree burt , Ray’s response was very positive and mature. I hope JP’s detrimental remarks don’t come back to bite the Jays .

Congrats to Richmond on his win for April’s AL Rookie of the month

Of course, JP’s remarks were correct, and both Ray and Cecil could use more time in the minors before they were moved up. What you guys have to realize is that, with his “innappropriate” comments, he removed a LOT of pressure from those two young pitchers, and perhaps gave them some motivation to prove him wrong.
Rather than coming in with high expectations and falling flat on their faces, they both had good outings and can take a lot of positives back to AAA with them. It worked pretty well, eh?

Good point but you can also look at the other side . If these kids lack the confidence ( thank goodness they don’t seem to ) and its verbalized they are not ready, but we are going to throw them into the mix anyways, it potentially sets them up for failure . Ian Kennedy and to some extent Phil Hughes, both of the Yankees are good examples. Hughes is in his 3rd season ( some due to injury ) trying to pitch for the Yanks . Kennedy is back in AAA . Look at Zack Grienke , great stuff but he couldn’t handle it and left baseball . He didn’t know if he would come back. As we all know he did and his stuff is electric . What a loss for baseball if he hadn’t returned. Jays own Jesse Litch came from AA to help out , was sent down last year for a brief stint in AAA but has never really looked back. They may have had an advantage of not being from a big market team where every player is scrutinized. Sometimes it’s not so much what Riccardi says but how he says it .

Indigo
I agree with you on JP, his mouth has consistently been his worst enemy, and there is no way he said what he said to take pressure off these kids-JP isn’t bright enough to do that and if he was he’d have said something different. The reason he made the comment was to protect his own back, not the kids. If Beeston is going to keep him, he should permanently bar him from talking to the media, muzzle him and lock him in a room.

That being said, Cecil clearly doesn’t lack either confidence or the ability to pitch in the majors. Although he won’t be perfect each time out, his ability to change speeds, and his control assures him of a good career as a front of the rotation starter. (barring injury). It’s going to be very difficult to send him back down if he keeps pitching like he did in his first outing, and I expect he will.
Ray is a different matter. Although he was successful in his debut, I don’t think he has the stuff to compete here long term. All we can hope from him is another good one or two starts until teams start checking the film and that will be the end. Let’s hope LA’s depleted lineup gives him a pass today.
However, Janssen is only 2 weeks away and Romero 3. Castro looks like he’s very close and if Purcey continues his improvement, we have ready alternatives soon.

Within 3-4 weeks, the Jays will have Janssen, Romero and Litsch all back with Purcey and Castro knocking on the door. With Halladay, Richmond and probably Cecil being locks, the Jays will have 8 high quality starters, and more on the way from New Hampshire. So if any one these guys become shaky, there’s lots of depth for replacements.

I seem to remember when Spier was here, the maximum we used him was one inning each 2-3 days. Anytime we tried to use him more than that he got wacked; that was consistent over the 3 years he was here.

I sense the frustration he flashed last night was because they put him out there for two innings and his era jumped from 5.08 something to 8.18 as a result.
Although, that certainly isn’t justification for throwing at our guys, it might explain why he momentarily lost it last night. Cuddles to the Jays for not retaliating which I’ve always thought of as child like behavior. The best way or retaliating is what they did which was putting more runs on the board.

As I said before, Indigo “It worked pretty well, eh?”. I think Hughes, Kennedy, and Greinke are prime examples of what I am talking about. Players that were brought up to The Show with huge expectations that they were unable to fulfill. I think a prime example is Russ Adams. He was expected to become the starting shortstop, leadoff hitter, and all-round hero all in one season. He’s now a lifetime minor leaguer.
Both Ray and Cecil knew from the git-go that they were only going to be here for a couple of starts. They probably got the “Just go out there and do what you’ve been doing” speech. JP was just making sure that the fans knew it, too. JP’s remarks would also make other teams think we are scraping the bottom of the barrel, but the Jay’s barrel may be just a bit wider than other team’s.

Talking about a wider barrel, the Angels are as beat up as the Jays are, with 4 starters plus Vladdy on the DL, and look where they are. Look at the Skankees, with their hugely overpriced starting rotation, and not enough left in their minor league system to piece together a decent bullpen.
I think we are doing pretty good, so far, and a lot of the credit has to go to JP.

Sorry to hear about Garry. Way too young!

Manny test’s positive for PED’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Huge news!!! Good by HOF Manny you MEAT HEAD. I like his story though saying the doctory said it should be ok. Should be ok!?!? With the kind of money Manny is now set to lose you would think he would get a second opinion or have the drug tested himself (i’m sure he can afford the lab bill). Manny is now the same as A-Rod. A cheater!!!

I went 3 for 4 yesterday with 2 hr’s and I am PED free… unless you count Pilsner! Ha.

A-rod is probably jumping for joy that atleast a little attention has been diverted by Manny. How many future HOF’s are going to have the door slammed on them for their PED useage??? We’ve seen Clemens, Bonds, Mcguire, Palmeiro, A-rod and now Manny get called out. These guys were all HOF’s according to their numbers but none of them will get in the hall now. Bonds should, just because his number were ridiculous before he decided he was too small but my opinion is biased since he was my favorite player growing up. The players who test positive nowadays are not only cheaters but really really really dumb for thinking they could get away with it. Back in the 90’s or early 00’s I can almost see why guys were taking these things cause it seems everyone was so why not try and keep up. Nowadays with the testing and the witch hunt you would think guys would rather retire then try and keep up their fake numbers with the risk of losing their enshrinement.

yeroutaheah
Personally, I think the credit for how this team is playing goes to Cito Gaston not JP Riccardi. There’s serious injuries and yet Cito’s managed to motivate virtually the same group we’ve had for the last couple of years to finally play to their potential.
So if you’re tossing credit around Cito deserves the majority of it, and it is nice to see the baseball press finally picking up how well this team is doing and finally giving Cito the credit.

I said at the start of this season, if the Jays win 85 or more games this year Cito should be manager of the year and if he isn’t an investigation is needed. I stand by that post today and now think 85 wins is probably the minimum number of wins this team achieves.

I’m not sure what to think here. JP has been long reviled for messing up the farm system, running people out of town, lying and I think I saw him steal apples from a grocery store once (jk). Now, damn…looks like talent he’s drafted /acquired has started to bloom.

gsjays nailed it though….you can have all the talent in the world, but without someone who can manage it effectively, and get the most out of it – it gets wasted. Cito appears to have been the missing link.

Also, I do realize the the established ‘stars’ of this team are Gord Ash draftees (save for Hill), however some credit must be given for developing/keeping them.

JP….I’m a little sorry for some of the bad thoughts I’ve had about you over the past 7 years or so…sort of. Keep it going.

I agree that the bulk of the credit has to go to Cito, but if the Jays keep winning into October, JP is bound to get some acknowledgement…just the way it happens. So, BTW, why was Cito not a manager somewhere all these years? Win back-to-back WS and over 10 year later come back and do what he is doing in Toronto. How does that happen? Glad we have him.

OK. Cito deserves a ton of credit for helping turn things around, but you can’t give him the bulk of the credit. He’s not a magician, he’s had losing seasons before. The thing is this team had one of the best offenses in 06, then one of the best defenses in 07/08. They just didn’t put it together at the same time as they are now. How is that JP’s fault? I agree he should’ve pulled the trigger earlier on Gibbons though.

Bottom line though is that he put this group together, with a smaller payroll than Sox/Yanks, and they look pretty darn good right now. And from what we’re seeing in the minors, the future looks OK too.

The season is early too though, but I’ve always liked the players JP put together. He doesn’t speak elequantly for sure, but when he says something it’s pretty entertaining, and that’s what counts isn’t it, entertainment? And heck Doc likes him, so a friend of Doc’s is a friend of mine.

I like the attitude of all the young Jays,they all seem to be on the right page when it comes to the ball team.I found that even when Jesse Litsch got his 1st major league start 2 years ago vs baltimore.This team always seems to have had all the right attitude about everything that concerns them.I am fortunate to live in the Niagara reagion and I used to attend every St.Catherines Blue Jay game I gould go to.I remember back in 1991 (I think) I went to a ball game and I had to go use the facilities which was right beside the home team dugout,there was this monster of a kid with catching gear on and my son along with about a dozen other kids where trying to get an atougraph on the picture the team had handed out and this guy whose english was a little rough was there signing anything you put in front of him and laughing and having a great tim.He too was only a kid his name -Carlos Delgado He stayed around as long as he could and his whole attitude made you like this guy.Every player on those teams where like that,they just had the right attitude.I saw a lot of young players come through that team 2 that stuck out where Delgado and Shannon Stewart.The Jays just seem to instill that in their players and from what I have seen and read Ray,Cecil Romero,Litsch,Snyder and all the rest of the Jays just want to play winning ball and hopefully it comes soon for them and all the Jays fans.

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