Game 103: Toronto at Oakland

What a day. You’ll have to forgive me for getting this blog post up a bit later than usual, but it’s been a little hectic around these parts, what with Roy Halladay not being traded and Scott Rolen being traded to Cincy prior to today’s deadline.

In short, the Blue Jays weren’t blown away by any offers for their ace, so he’s staying put. GM J.P. Ricciardi said he’d still be open to listening to offers over the winter, but hoped the proposals would be better than they were this month. Unlikely, since Halladay’s value was at its highest now, when he could’ve been had for a season and a half.

As for Rolen, it came as a bit of a shock that he was traded with only a few minutes left before the 4 p.m. ET deadline. On the surface, the trade didn’t really make sense for the Reds. Then, we find out Rolen requested to be traded closer to home for what Ricciardi called “personal reasons”. I was told it was something related to his family.

It actually worked out well for the Jays, because Rolen’s value was as high as it’s been in years. After four seasons of dealing with left shoulder issues, Rolen was putting together a fantastic campaign and playing Gold Glove defense once again. As a result, the Jays got two pitchers (reliever Josh Roenicke and Minor Leaguer Zach Stewart), along with third baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Roenicke will join the Jays’ bullpen on Saturday, with reliever Jeremy Accardo being optioned to AAA Vegas. Stewart will tote his 1.67 ERA ERA (across these Minors levels this year) to Vegas as well. Ricciardi said they ultimately see Stewart as a starter, but some Toronto scouts think he could reach the bigs faster as a late-inning reliever.

I will say this, I will miss watching Rolen play. He never ceased to amaze on defense and I loved his old-school, head down, full sprint around the bags after hitting a homer. Rolen has his quirks, but he was easy to talk to and was great to the print media. I’m sure Halladay will miss having him behind him scooping up grounders as well.

Today’s lineups:


Thumbnail image for athletics.gifOAKLAND ATHLETICS (43-58)
Fourth place AL West, 17.5 GB

1. Adam Kennedy, 3B
2. Rajai Davis, CF
3. Kurt Suzuki, C
4. Jack Cust, DH
5. Ryan Sweeney, RF
6. Tommy Everidge, 1B
7. Eric Patterson, LF
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

Starter: LHP Dallas Braden (7-9, 3.74)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (49-53)
Fourth place AL East, 13.0 GB

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

Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (6-5, 3.69)

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

~JB

13 Comments

Roenicke has only pitched 13.1 innings this year, so he will be able to help a bullpen that has thrown a lot of innings this year.
Encarnacion has just returned July 3 from a wrist injury, and it may take some time to get his stroke back. It’s a good year (and a good team) to get some swings in without any pressure. From his numbers, it looks as if he is just growing into his power stroke, but I will take a career .262 hitter with 26 homers any time.

Well, if anyone still thought Snider’s tweaking of his back was still a problem, he’s answered that question in the month of July, capped off by a game last night in which he it 4 doubles, went 4 for 6 and drove in 5 rbi’s.
He hit 7 home runs, 5 doubles and knocked in 23 in July and has gotten hotter in the last 10 games which he’s hit .390 and 4 of the last 5 games have been multiple hit games.

He also answered the question of whether he can hit left handers. His split numbers for the year are:

Against left handers: .393/.469/.714
Against right handers: .247/.356/.494

The numbers against right handers are a bit low and are as a result of the slow start he got in Vegas before he went on the DL.

So why aren’t we bringing him up? I thought we needed a left hand power bat.

yerouttaheah
Encarnacion is hitting .276/.375/.526 in July with 5 doubles and 4 home runs for the month of July, so I think the stroke is back.
Roenicke also pitched 28 innings in AAA Louisville to go along with the 13.1 innings in Cinnci.

Not sure how long TSni has been raking (2 weeks?)… but I would let him rake for a full 2.5-4 weeks before I brought him up… especially coming off injury. Get his confidence really high then bring him up and hope he can translate that for the rest of the season so he comes in next year without any doubt.
EE’s defence is a big question mark. There has been some talk about him moving to LF with the Reds. I believe he can also play first base which is interesting for the Jays. This might be the type of guy that Cito can do magic with because he has got power.
I am wondering why this team is always picking up young pitching. I would think we are more in need of young hitters. I think a deal is eventually going to happen with pitching going for hitting. The ‘pen could look a whole lot different next year.

Snider has been raking for a month already. If he’s left down there until September, it’s simply because The Jays want to hold off when his first arbitration year is, not because he’s not ready.

I am hoping Butterfield can seriously improve EE’s defense, he has with others, so here’s hoping. I just hope EE”s issues are footwork, not motivation. Reading some of the Cinnci blogs, a number of the fans call EE lazy, I just hope that isn’t true, because if it is we might have another Rios type of player-and frankly one is enough. If we can improve his defense, he will be a great addition, if we can’t, he will need to be traded.
You are right in that we could really use more hitter prospects, particularly on the left hand side of the infield, although it was good to add some right handed pitchers-most of our prospects are lefties.
This is particularly true as a result of the disappointing careers to date of Ahren and Jackson, our supposed 3rd base and short stop of the future. Both guys have struggled hitting over the mendoza line and they’re now in their 3rd year of pro ball. Ahrens, particulary is looking like a washout.
We have no 3rd base type high quality prospects in the system with the possible exception of Fuenmayor in A- and he’s still a long ways away and is still marginal. We also do not have a high quality ss prospect in the system.

I did not realize TSni had been hitting that well for that long… I can’t always string the boxscores together over time.

I haven’t totally given up on KA or J2 yet. They are still pretty young; I think they are both like 20-21. The reports I’ve read on J2 say that he isn’t and wasn’t expected to rocket through the system. His defence is supposed to be good (although the numbers don’t show it) and he has potential as a hitter; not for power though. The problem comes for a guy like Jackson who has Pastonicky behind him and there probably isn’t enough playing time for both of them on the same team.

The stuff I’ve read on Fuenmayor says he won’t play third much longer; he’ll be moved to first. If I remember correctly range is an issue.

Actually, thinking more about it I think they will have to move some pitchers in the offseason. Looking at the starters from AA up there just won’t be enough spots next year:
Halladay
McGowan (assume he comes back)
Marcum
Litsch
Richmond
Cecil
Romero
Zepper
Purcey
Castro
Mills
Perez
Boone
Gonzalez
Rodriguez
Stewart (assume he is used as a starter)
That is 16 pitchers for 15 starter spots. Something will have to give especially when you consider guys who may be promoted from A+ next year. Some of these guys will have to be shipped out or made into relievers; where a similar problem exists but not as bad.

That depth is why it makes one wonder why JP was pressing California for Saunders along with shortstop Erick Aybar, infielder Brandon Wood and top pitching prospect Trevor Reckling. Saunders-another left hander isn’t as good, imo, as either Romero or Cecil. The guys we really needed form La were Aybar and Wood-so why press them for a starter who’s poorer than what we have.
Same thing with Phillie, why push for Happ, another lefty not as good as the two we already have.
What we need is a short stop (Aybar will be a good one) and more depth at the 1st/3rd base positions. Makes me think JP really didn’t want to trade Halladay, all he wanted was his name in print for a few days.

The problem I see with both KA and JJ is they’re now in their 3rd year as pros and haven’t shown anything yet. No power, no hitting for average, no hitting with risp, and no defense, like nothing. They might still develop into nice players, but neither of them is going to be special, more like Russ Adams types, nothing more.

Next year is the big year for both of them though. They haven’t shown much this year so probably won’t get the big promotion to AA to begin next season. A lot of successful players have to repeat a level though. Not many successful players repeat a second time though especially anything but AAA. So next year they really have to put up some numbers.
I wonder if Toronto couldn’t find a trading partner in a team like KC (not saying there aren’t others). KC have young talented corner infielders in the ML but also have an almost ready ML prospects at first in Kilahuea plus Hosmer and the top ML third prospect at in Moustakas. We only really have pitching to trade but I would rather go through a trade route in the offseason than through free agency. Obviously we would have to trade quality to get quality but each team seems to have depth.

Jason Roenicke
Lansing Lugnuts

Selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round (579th overall) of the 2008 amateur entry Draft. … Son of former Major Leaguer Gary Roenicke, nephew of former Major Leaguer Ron Roenicke and younger brother of pitcher Josh Roenicke.

Looks like we got a brother act with Josh at the MLB level and Jason-a relive pitcher in Lansing. How about that.

peemicee
The problem with both of them is they haven’t shown anything in going on 3 years. No hitting for average, no power, crappy defense. It’s not just this year, its every year they’ve played which is why I’m concerned about them.
If they were going to be impact players at the MLB level, we’d have seen something by now. The other problem is they’re going to start holding up guys behind them, because no way they’re promoted to AA.

I believe we have a solution at first with Dopirak, it’s 3rd and short stop where the real problem is. It’s really too bad the deal with LA didn’t go through, Woods and Aybar along with Hill and Dopirak would have made a nice infield for years.

i agree, I think Woods and Aybar would have been a great deal.

I agree, I didn’t get the Happ and Saunders thing. We have younger lefties who are just as good right now and only getting better.
Just don’t throw KA and J2 under the bus just yet they are still young is all I’m saying. J2 is going to start blocking some guys as I said before. The 3 SSs under him (Pastornicky, Goins, and Pierre) are all doing pretty good right now.
If Dopirak is going to be the solution though we need to know if he can fill it now. Personally, he could atleast do what Millar is doing; although it would be nice if he batted from the other side.
I’m not sure if we need **** as much as a 3B (I don’t think EE is any solution) at this point. We atleast have Scutaro right now and we are looking to resign him. I would give him a 2 year contract. It would atleast buy time to see if any SS prospect could be close to ML ready in that time or if a trade/FA is needed. For 3B I wouldn’t mind going after a young guy with some upside that is ML ready but maybe blocked.

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