Game 41: Chicago at Toronto pregame

It hurts a little when Marco Scutaro swings. It hurts when he throws. It hurts when he bends down to glove a ground ball. That’ll happen when you take a baseball off the sternum while sliding into third base. Ouch.

Despite all the soreness, Scutaro gave a thumbs up to the Jays’ staff after running through pregame drills on Monday morning. There is no doubt he’s sore, but not so much so that he can’t still man short and serve as the leadoff hitter for today’s finale against the ChiSox.

Scutaro was drilled in the chest by a throw from Chicago catcher Corky Miller during the fifth inning of Sunday’s 8-2 win. Scutaro stole third and the ball struck him right as he met up with the bag. Scutaro rolled around in pain, called timeout and eventually left the game. He underwent X-rays at a local hospital, but they came back negative.

That was great news for the Jays. They can ill-afford to lose their sparkplug. Scutaro has been arguably the best leadoff man in the game up to this point and his defense has been nothing short of spectacular. Not bad for a guy who entered this season labeled as a career utility man.

You could make a case that Marco Scutaro has been Toronto’s MVP through the season’s first six weeks (then again, that Aaron Hill fellow hasn’t done too bad for himself either).

While chatting with manager Cito Gaston this morning, the conversation turned to rookie left fielder Travis Snider for a bit.

After looking like he was coming out of his slump — .389 (7-for-18) average over five games from May 5-12 — young Travis has one hit in his last eight trips to the plate, with six of his seven outs being strikeouts (three on Sunday). Snider has just one RBI in his last 10 games and no homers since hitting those two mammoth shots on April 13 in Minny. Overall, Snider is now hitting .240 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

“We might have picked up something last night,” said Gaston, referring to watching Snider’s swing. “We’re going to work with him today when he gets in [the batting cage]. … I’ve already talked to him about it a little bit. Geno and I have talked to him a little bit, so we’ll see how it goes with him.”

“It’s just a mechanical thing that we see that might help him.”

Gaston was then asked if it was fair for some people to jump to the conclusion that a young hitter like Snider might benefit from working his woes out at Triple-A.

“It can happen, if you’re not having success,” Gaston said. “He’s struggling and I’m pretty sure it’s bothering him. But, hey, this kid, whether he’s here the whole year — which I hope he is, because if he is, that means he’s going to be doing some damage — or if he’s not, he’s going to play here. He’s going to be a big part of this club.”

Gaston had said recently that he has decreased the amount of in-game chats he’s had with Snider. Today, Gaston said he will discuss approach with Snider, but he tends to avoid talking about swing mechanics with the rookie during a game.

“Some guys can handle that and some guys can’t,” Gaston said. “He comes to me a little bit — we talk a little bit. It’s about situations, it’s not about mechanics. I don’t believe in talking about mechanics during a game anyway. Although, there are some guys you can talk mechanics to and they’ll make an adjustment.”

BARRETT WATCH: Courtesy of the FAN590′s Mike Wilner, catcher Michael Barrett said that the Blue Jays discovered that he suffered two broken ribs on his right side when he fell on the weighted bat sleeve in April. Barrett said it will be another two weeks before he is allowed to resume any kind of activities.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for WhiteSox.gifCHICAGO WHITE SOX (15-21)

1. Scott Podsednik, CF
2. Jayson Nix, LF
3. Jermaine Dye, RF
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Paul Konerko, 1B
6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
8. Chris Getz, 2B
9. Josh Fields, 3B

Starter: LHP Clayton Richard (0-0)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (26-14)

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. Kevin Millar, 1B
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. Jose Bautista, DH

Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (4-2)

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