Game 84: Toronto at New York pregame

hillpowder.jpgOne look at the American League home run leaders, and it’d seem to make sense that MLB might ask Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill if he’d be interested in taking part in the Home Run Derby.

Hill ranks third in the league with 20 bombs, which are the most for any second baseman in the game right now. On top of that, his total already is a team record in a season for a second sacker.

“Yeah, but those are in games,” Hill said with a laugh on Monday morning. “Have you seen me in batting practice? Maybe if they do something about the fences I’d consider it.”

So, don’t count on Hill swinging for the fences in Busch Stadium. Besides, I doubt he’d want to risk ruining the good swing he’s got going for him right now. “It’s bad luck, isn’t it?” said Hill, when asked about the Derby. It sure didn’t do much for Alex Rios, who took part in the event in 2007 in San Francisco.

Prior to Monday’s game, Hill came out into the dugout to do a TV interview and a kid — maybe nine or 10 years old — wearing a red Yankees cap, was leaning over the railing with a baseball and a pen, asking “Mr. Hill” for an autograph. When Hill obliged, the kid said “congrats” since the second baseman just made his first All-Star team. Savvy kids here in New York.

Blue Jays closer Scott Downs is scheduled to throw off a mound in a bullpen session on Tuesday. Downs is still fighting a sprained toe on his left foot, an injury that’s kept him on the DL for nearly three weeks. With only six games remaining before All-Star break, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said there’s a chance Downs might not return until the second half. That’s still “up ion the air” though.

Chatted some with B.J. Ryan today. Check a bit later for more.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (42-41)
Fourth place AL East, 8.0 GB

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

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (6-3, 2.85)

Thumbnail image for Yankees.jpgNEW YORK YANKEES (48-33)
Second place AL East, 1.0 GB

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, 1B
3. Mark Teixeira, DH
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Jorge Posada, C
6. Robinson Cano, 2B
7. Melky Cabrera, LF
8. Eric Hinske, RF
9. Brett Gardner, CF

Starter: LHP Any Pettitte (8-3, 4.25)

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


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The HR derby didn’t do much for Bobby Abreu, either. I just hope nobody gets hurt in this dog and pony show. I quite often take a break from baseball for 4 days and get back to it when real baseball resumes. At least we are done with the interleague foolishness now and get back to games that matter in the second half.

Wouldn’t it be something if Halladay is traded for a boat load of prospects and then returns in FA after 2010 for under market value. That would be the biggest show of loyalty in the history of sports! It’s not going to happen but wouldn’t it be cool.

Halladay almost has to be traded, do his looming FA in 2010 and he has stated numerous times he wants to win. The Jays are not going anywhere with Wells and Rios as their core offensive players and need young new positional talent that is ready in 1 to 2 years when the Jays homegrown pitching is ready. Doc at 32yo would be wasted during those couple years.

Aaron Hill isn’t a home run hitter and would thereby ruin the home run derby. The derby is for home run hitters. Even if the actual home run hitters don’t have as many bombs as Hill, they should still be in.

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