Game 98: Tampa Bay at Toronto pregame
Let’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.
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:
IN 47 GAMES IN TORONTO
.168/.238/.295, 4 HR, 17 RBI
IN 47 GAMES ON THE ROAD
.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.”
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)
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)
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