Game 98: Tampa Bay at Toronto pregame

Thumbnail image for wells.jpgLet’s take a break from all this Roy Halladay stuff for a minute, ok? No? Fine. A report indicates that the Phils rejected an offer from the Jays that would’ve swapped Halladay for Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ and Dominic Brown.

Moving on…

Let’s turn to the fans’ favorite punching bag this season: center fielder Vernon Wells. More to the point, have you seen his home-road splits this season? Take a look:


.168/.238/.295, 4 HR, 17 RBI


.332/.364/.505, 6 HR, 22 RBI

As I’ve written numerous times this season, no one is more frustrated with Wells’ showing this year than Wells himself. He finally put together a nice little 10-game run before the All-Star break, but then came down with a bad flu bug and missed three games. Since then, he has gone 2-for-16 at the plate, entering Saturday’s game.

Manager Cito Gaston was asked if there was any way to explain the drastic difference in Wells’ numbers at home versus on the road. If you were at Rogers Centre on Friday night, you might have heard the loud boos directed Wells’ way all evening. Gaston said that could have a little something to do with it.

“I can hear the fans starting to boo him,” Gaston aid. “Whether you believe it or not, you hear that. You hear that. When they boo you on the road, you just try to kick their butts even more. But when it’s your own fans, it certainly gets to you a little bit more. But that hasn’t always happened — this has just happened lately. So, I’m not sure.”

Gaston also talked some about right-hander Casey Janssen, who was activated from the DL on Thursday and optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas rather than being called up to rejoin the Jays. The manager said Janssen isn’t quite ready to come back, but when he does, the pitcher will likely be a reliever again.

Asked if Janssen was being viewed long-term as a reliever again, Gaston said he wasn’t completely sure.

“I have different thoughts about guys in bullpens and guys that start that have bad arms,” said Gaston, referring to Janssen’s recent shoulder woes. “To me, I’ve always thought that maybe the bullpen was the worst thing for you, but everybody seems to think — and maybe he’s proved that, too — that he’s better off in the bullpen. I don’t know.

“You start, you rest for a couple of days, and then you throw again, and then you pitch again. But in the bullpen, you can be up and down, two or three days. I haven’t quite figured that one out yet, but maybe he’s different. I haven’t had him in the bullpen, so we’ll see what happens.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (53-44)
Third place AL East, 6.5 GB

1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, SS
5. Pat Burrell, DH
6. Carlos Pena, 1B
7. Gabe Kapler, RF
8. Willy Aybar, 2B
9. Dioner Navarro, C

Starter: LHP David Price (3-4, 4.86)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (47-40)
Fourth place AL East, 12.5 GB

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

Starter: LHP Brian Tallet (5-6, 4.95)

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



  1. gsjays

    Cito took a gamble on sending Tallet back out there for the 7th inning and lost the gamble along with the game. Although Tallet’s pitch count was only in the high 80’s, he has also thrown almost double the innings, he’s ever thrown in a year already. We risk injury with him every time out and he should have been pulled after 6.

    TB got to Tallet, got momentum and Downs blew his third save in a row which is something I don’t think he’s ever done in his Blue Jays career (hope nothing is wrong with him).
    We’ve now lost a number of games in this home stand with errors, miscues, missed signals, missed opportunities and just over all really sloppy play. It’s painful watching the lack of hitting fundamentals on moving runners from second to 3rd. It appears, the Halladay circus might be affecting the team more than it is Halladay.

    On the good side, Hill, for a brief moment was tied for the AL league in home runs, and Scott Richmond went 5.1 innings in Vegas last night, threw about 80 pitches, gave up 2 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walked and struck out 5, so I think he’s about ready to return.

  2. inception

    Regarding any potential Halladay trade to the Phillies, why not sweeten the pot by adding League to the mix. Make it a four for two or five for two deal? The bottom line is obtaining the players that you covet.

  3. gsjays


    Personally, I don’t know why we want Happ in the first place. He’s a soft throwing left hander who doesn’t measure up to either Romero, Cecil or Rzep. Most of our pitching prospects are left handers-we’re loaded with them, so why press for another one who isn’t as good as the ones we already have. I’d prefer we got Drabek, Taylor and Brown with Donald thrown in. Drabek is a power right hander who can bring it at mid to higher 90’s who could very quickly become our ace. Both Taylor and Brown are A hitting prospects-albeit them outfielders.

    I think I like the deal with LA if we get what we asked for which apparently is pitchers Joe Saunders and Sean O?Sullivan and infielders Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood. To me the two guys that make this deal are Wood and Aybar-a 3rd baseman and shortstop.

    I wouldn’t trade League, I would package Downs, Tallet and or Fraser though. I still think League is our closer in the future.

  4. gsjays

    Glad to see the Jays turned down The Phillies offer of Happ Michael Taylor, pitcher Carlos Carrasco and shortstop Jason Donald.

    Lets get Drabek and Brown instead of Happ. The key guys, (IMO) are Drabek, Taylor and Donald.

  5. inception

    I agree with you gsjays. However, I doubt the Jays are really after Happ. His name is mentioned in every trade combination/permutation, but there must be someone else the Jays’ really want whose name is not being mentioned. Hopefully, something can get done. As for League, his ability to strike out the side is definitely appealing, but I think that we might be able to fashion Purcey into a closing role. We already have 3 other good left handers. Moving League now may provide us with the opportunity to pick up a tier 1 prospect who can hit. Anyway, I just hope that they move Halladay and soon. I am so tired of reading about all this stuff in the media with no results. The whole thing reminds me of Burke, Kaberle and Kessel — a lot of talk, followed by a lot of spin doctoring as to why we need to keep the player once they failed to trade him!!!!

  6. inception

    Here is another thought. Remember, JP knows that he is either going to be fired or let go after his contract expires. The trade for Halladay has as much to do with JP’s future as it does the Jays. If he robs some poor fool, blind, he will look like a star (at least in his own eyes) and may find a job as a scout with some other organization. If the perception is that he got less than fair value for Halladay, it will reinforce the perception that he is a dummy and his time in baseball will be over. I would prefer to have Beeston handling the negotiations directly.

  7. gsjays

    I think the biggest risk is JP screws up the deal from incompetence, gets a marginal offer like what he’s got from the Phillies, nothing is done and we go into an era of 5th or 4th place finishes with limited chance of improving until Wells contract is up.

  8. gsjays

    Not sure about Purcey. I really thought he would straighten out his mechanical and control issues in AAA this year, but so far it doesn’t appear like he has.
    One game he’s great, then the next one he explodes. In the last 3 games he’s given up 9,4,2 earned runs and walked 6,3,2 in 5-6.2 innings.
    I cannot imagine Purcey as a closer. On the days he struggles with control his worst inning seems to always be the first. Even on days he’s great, he still seems to struggle in the first.

  9. gsjays

    One guy who potentially might become The Jays closer is Daniel Farquhar who is the closer with New Hampshire. In his last 9 games (9.2 innings), he’s saved 7, halted two, given up 2 hits, walked 4, struck out 13 and given up 0 earned runs. He’s from the 2008 draft class and has been a pro just a little over a year, so he’s rising fast-as he should be.

    He has, without question, the best record or any reliever the Jays have in the upper minors, so I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t either promoted to Vegas soon or called up in September and if he keeps up doing what he’s doing I’d expect he’s a Jay next spring. Here’s a scout report on him.

    Remember the name Daniel Farquhar, a side-winding reliever.

    “I saw him last week at class-A Dunedin. He’ll be at double-A in 10 days and in the majors by September,” said another scout last weekend in Atlanta. “Most guys down there don’t throw hard. He was 89-95 m.p.h. with a plus-slider. Hitters didn’t have a chance — right or left-handed.”

  10. gsjays

    For his sake, Ricciardi better be bluffing
    by Michael Rosenberg as posted on

    J.P. Ricciardi, the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, is known mostly for talking too much. Actually, that’s not fair. He is also known for saying the wrong things. And for saying them at inappropriate times. There are better things to be known for ? like, just for example, winning ? but we take what we can get in this world.

    We can only hope that Ricciardi is taking one of his own (in)famous quotes to heart this week. After lying about a player’s injury, Ricciardi explained, “They’re not lies if we know the truth.”

    Please, J.P., tell me you’re lying. Tell me you really ARE going to trade ace Roy Halladay, despite what you told’s Ken Rosenthal Sunday. Tell me you have thought this through, and you know the best move is to deal Halladay now, while he is as valuable as he’ll ever be, and while it can help the Blue Jays the most.

    I can only hope, for his sake, that Ricciardi is bluffing. I hope he is smoking out offers with the full intention of taking the best one. In fact, by this point, I hope he already has an offer that he is willing to take, and is simply trying to get an even better one.

    And I really hope he has asked this question: What happens if the trade deadline passes and Roy Halladay is still a Blue Jay?

    If that happens, then Ricciardi will have announced to the world that he might trade Halladay, then turned down several very nice offers in the hope that the stars align for Toronto in 2010. He will have surrendered his chips.
    Balance of article here:,-Ricciardi-better-be-bluffing

  11. peemiccee

    Ultimatley, if Purcey cannot throw strikes he will be nothing more than a good AAA pitcher; especially with all the pitchers that have passed by him this year. I wouldn’t mind him being at least tried in the bullpen because other than a couple years starting has been a failure. At this point the Jay have nothing to lose.

  12. yerouttaheah

    Purcey has absolutely electric stuff, and I believe there is a no-hitter in that arm somewhere. From watching him pitch, I believe the problem is mental, rather than mechanical, and he seems to lose concentration at some point and loses it. Maybe they should give him Halladay’s book “The Mental Aspect of Pitching”, and turn him over to Mel Queen for a while.
    “Will the real Kelvim Escobar please stand up?” When Escobar pitched for us, I got pretty good at predicting how he would do by the way he wore his hat. If it was square and down over his eyes, he was in for a good outing. High and back on his forehead a bit, and I could turn off the TV and spare myself the pain.

  13. yerouttaheah

    Another thing that happens to power pitchers like Purcey is that throughout their high school and minor league careers, they never have to face more than 2 or 3 good hitters in a lineup, and get used to just blowing the fasttball past them when they get in trouble. In the majors, you face a whole lot of guys that will turn on a fastball, so there is a big adjustment. They try to compensate by overthrowing, and as a consequence, lose their control. Lets hope Purcey can make the adjustment, because it would be really fun to see him and Romero fighting it out for #1 spot for a few years.

  14. gsjays

    Arnsberg did identify Purcey’s mechanical problem when Purcey was here. He also identified how Purcey could fix it, so either Arnsberg was wrong (which I doubt) or Purcey is having difficulty making the adjustment and it might be he never can do it-who knows at this point.
    I doubt if it has anything to do with adjusting from college to pro ball since Purcey has been a pro for 5 years.

    It could also be that weather has something to do with Purcey’s erratic performance as well. There were a couple of games he really blew up in, and the game time temperature was about 107. I’m not sure Vegas is where our AAA affiliate should be. I think the next two or three starts will tell the tale with Purcey and it could be sink or swim.

  15. gsjays

    Looks like Snider might be warming up in AAA. In his last two games Travis has gone 5 for 9 with 2 home runs and 4 rbi.’s.

  16. inception

    Here is an idea. Trade Purcey. A huge, young, left-handed starter. There is not a pitching coach in either league who does not think that he can fix Purcey and get him on the right track. Package him with DOC, then ask for the farm. Make it a 5 or 6 for 2 deal. Let’s get this thing done, already.

  17. gsjays

    TORONTO — The company that owns the Toronto Blue Jays says it needs to control costs.

    Rogers Communications remains committed to the Blue Jays, CEO Nadir Mohamed said Tuesday on a conference call discussing the company’s quarterly earnings. The team has put ace Roy Halladay on the trading block.

    Rogers bought the Blue Jays in 2000. The company also owns the team’s stadium and its flagship radio and television stations, the FAN 590 and Rogers Sportsnet.

    “We believe that the financial performance of the Blue Jays can improve,” said Tony Viner, president of Rogers Media, the corporate arm responsible for the team, stadium and broadcasting. “In fact, it’s the one division of the media company this year, year over year performance is better than it was. We think that we can bring costs reasonably under control and more in line with revenues.

  18. peemiccee

    I think trading Purcey would be a good move. Not that I don’t like the guy but the team seems to have quite a few better pitching options at this point; a lot of them younger than Purcey.
    I could see Purcey less being traded with Halladay and more being traded with a position player like Rolen.

  19. gsjays

    So Boston have offered Buckholtz and 2 unannounced AAA players. Let’s include their choice of Barajas and Scutaro, get Lowrie, Buckholtz and our choice of 2 minor leaguers.

  20. yerouttaheah

    “I doubt if it has anything to do with adjusting from college to pro ball since Purcey has been a pro for 5 years.”
    gsjays, there is a BIG difference between minor league ball and Major league ball. Even in AAA, you will only face 2-3 really good hitters in a lineup, and you can mostly get a fastball past most of them if you can’t think of anything else to do. Most MAJOR league teams have 6-7 hitters that can turn on a fastball. This puts a LOT more pressure on the pitcher, they have to throw more breaking balls for strikes, work their fastball to both sides of the plate, mix up the pitches, and so on.
    Purcey has great stuff, and he threw some really good games with the Jays, so the mechanics are there. The mechanical problem is that he is trying to overthrow the ball, and loses command. This is the mental part. He has to learn to take a bit off, thereby getting better control and more movement. That’s what Arnsberg told AJ Burnett and it worked just fine, and that is likely what he told Purcey. It took AJ 2 years to buy into it, and it may take Purcey that long or longer.

  21. gsjays

    What you’re forgetting is Purcey is failing in AAA. That isn’t the mechanical problem Arnsberg described, it’s his delivery mechanics-they’ve always been poor.

  22. yerouttaheah

    I liked your Toronto article, gsjays:
    I have only one word for how to put the team back on a paying basis: WIN!!! In 1992-93, there were 50,000 fans out to every game, instead of the 20,000 die hards that show up now.

  23. gsjays

    Actually, I don’t think it helped. Other’s are taking Tony Viner’s remarks in a context of the Jays needing to lower payroll-a pretty dumb thing to say during trading season.

  24. inception

    Boston is denying the proposed deal up-and-down. The outfielder apparently signed a no-trade contract, which he would have to wave. That said, the Yanks will pick up Washburn or Arroyo. This puts some pressure on the Sox to keep pace. In turn, any improvement in pitching on the Sox, Yanks, or even Dodgers (e.g., Lee) puts pressure on the Indians to do something. It looks like the Rays will be a non issue, if they don’t turn things around in a hurry. Interestingly, perhaps the most pressure will be on the Angels. I think that they have a team that could emerge from the American league. However, if the Yanks and Sox strengthen themselves — and they will — things could be hard for the Angels. All of this could help the Jays move Halladay. However, as I stated before, no general manager wants to appear to be over-paying, so why not expand the Halladay deal to include some sort of young pitching. We need to make this move now while we still have some leverege (sp mistake). The best thing that cold happen is for Lee, Arroyo, Washburn, or someone else to be moved to a contender. Once the first domino falls, others will follow.


    Any reason why Johnny Mac is not Starting tonight. He has great numbers against Washburn not to mention 2 homers.

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