Game 105: Toronto at Oakland



 

edwin.jpgIt was obvious that the Blue Jays were thrilled with the two pitchers they received in the trade that sent Scott Rolen to the Reds. It’s been hard to find anyone that disagrees that Toronto got two talented arms in Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

As for that other piece to the deal? Well, Edwin Encarnacion doesn’t come with glowing reviews. He has shown some power potential (26 homers in ’08), but his defense needs some work, something bench coach Brian Butterfield will tackle for the Jays.

The trade was more about the arms than about acquiring Encarnacion. That being said, there’s always the chance that a change of scenery could do the third baseman some good. When Encarnacion found out that he had been dealt to Toronto, he said it hardly came as a shock.

“I was not surprised,” Encarnacion said. “They’ve been talking about a trade and I’m ready. I know how this game is and I was ready. I was waiting for it and I figured they were going to make a trade. Now, I’m happy I’m here with my new team, Toronto, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

Encarnacion’s numbers this season leave something to be desired: .209 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 43 games. Consider, though, that he missed May and June with a chipped bone in his left wrist. In July, he hit .276 with four homers and 10 RBIs over 24 games.

Encarnacion, who spent the past five seasons with the Reds, said he feels like he’s back at 100 percent and he agreed that a new team might be just what he needed. He noted that he already knew Jose Bautista, Marco Scutaro and Alex Rios, as well as a few other Jays, so getting used to his new surroundings shouldn’t be too difficult.

“I’m going to miss those other guys,” he said. “But we’re going to have fun here.”

DOWNS TO DL: The Blue Jays placed closer Scott Downs on the 15-day DL with the same left big toe injury that shelved him for 19 games between June and July. As for when Downs will be back? “It won’t be any time soon,” said manager Cito Gaston. Jason Frasor steps back into the ninth-inning role and Jeremy Accardo is recalled from Vegas — not that he ever made it to Nevada after being optioned just two days ago.

SCOOT RESTING: Gaston kept shortstop Marco Scutaro on the bench on Sunday in order to allow the infielder to rest a sore right heel that’s been bothering him for a while. With an off-day on Monday, Gaston felt it was a good time to give Scutaro some time to recover. This might explain why Scutaro was pulled early in Friday’s game.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (50-54)
Fourth place AL East, 12.0 GB

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

Starter: LHP Rickey Romero (9-4, 3.59)

Thumbnail image for athletics.gifOAKLAND ATHLETICS (44-59)
Fourth place AL West, 18.5 GB

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

Starter: RHP Vin Mazzaro (2-7, 5.16)

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

~JB

31 Comments

Scott Rolen left Sunday’s game in the seventh inning after he was hit in the helmet with a pitch by Rockies right-hander Jason Marquis. Rolen walked off under his own power and appeared OK as he left the field.

Hope he’s ok.

Nice start by Romero who didn’t have his best stuff but toughed it out for 7 innings for the win.
Romero goes to 10-4 and lowers his era to 3.53, putting him in the group of top 3 elite left handers in the American League.
Romero: 10-4, era of 3.53
CC Sabathia:11-7, era of 3.95
Mark Buehrle: 11-5. era of 3.79
Ricky has 10-11 starts left in the season, if he keeps this up, he could end up the season as the left hander in the AL with the best win-loss record and era. Not to shabby considering the salary difference between the 3. ( Buehrle-14 Mill, CC-17 mill, Romero-400k).
Roenicke has one nasty slider to go with the heat. Nice addition to the pen.
That is the second time Downs has tried to come back too quickly from a small injury, this time it cost us 3 wins and puts him on the shelf for probably a month at least. . I hope he’s learned a lesson.
Hill now tied for 2nd place in the AL with 26 home runs. If the MVP was awarded today it’d probably be between Hill, Morneau and Tiexiera. Nice company.

Seems like the reaction to the Encarnacion part of the deal has been underwhelming. I think media and fans need to be careful not to turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy. A chance of scenery can turn around a player and we should give Encarnacion that fresh start. Otherwise, if he’s already got knocks against before he even gets a chance here to make an impression then that’s bound to work against his performance.

Like what I saw from Roenicke. Looked like he was throwing a knucklecurve to compliment that hard slider. The guy has good stuff.

Felt bad for the Mazzaro. That got ugly, reminded me of Cecil in Fenway early this year. I hope he bounces back like Cecil did.

Back luck for Rolen … and the Reds. That team has had no luck this season. They signed Ramon Hernandez and Wily Taveras, hoping to have a impact. Both have had terrible career-low years. Also, Votto was also out for a big chunk. Encarnacion was also struggling … oh well for him, our problem now.

And I thought the Jays were having bad luck. A little reassuring seeing those guys.
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Just for interest’s sake, Josh Roenicke’s younger brother Jason is toiling for the Jays minor league affiliate, Lansing. Drafted by the Jays in the 19th round of the 2008 amateur player draft, he has pitched 9.1 innings with an ERA of 2.89 and an opposing BA of .212. If Josh hangs around with the big club, in a few years we could have Roenicke, Roenicke in the bullpen. The year Josh was born, 1983, his father Gary was helping the Baltimore Orioles win a World Series.

Snider’s first at bat tonight resulted in a 3 run homer. Next up was Dopirak who also homered. Get these kids up here already…………………….

yerouttaheah,

When I jotted Roenicke’s name on MILB.com. I first thought “the Jays sent him to Lansing????” Then I looked closer, as I should have.

Having a baseball related family never hurt. Prince Fielder, Tony Gwynn Jr. (playing very well for the Pads now), countless others I can’t think of right now…

I should have mentioned that Gary Roenicke’s brother Ron also played in the Majors. If Jason gets a call to the majors sometime, you would have 2 brothers in the majors, the offspring of 2 brothers who also played. I wonder how often that’s happened?
I recall a family called Ripkin that did pretty well, and another one called Griffey. Tony Fernandez’s son was drafted by the Jays this year, but he will have to go some to overtake his dad.

I see David Purcey has crept into the winning column. He is now 5-4, with an ERA of 4.31 and a WHIP of 1.5. In 100.1 innings, he has struck out 83, walked 57, and allowed only 3 home runs. That’s pretty good, considering how the ball flies in the hot desert air.

Maybe we should just have a homer and rbi update for Dopirak and Snider each day, since it appears neither is slowing down. Last night Snider hit a monster to center field which is 433 feet to the wall. Dopirak drilled two line drive home runs to left field and ended up going 4 for 5 with 2 hr’s and 2 singles.

In the last 5 games, Dopirak has gone 11 for 23 with 1 grand slam, 4 other hr’s, and 12 rbi’s. Snider has gone 9 for 18 with 6 doubles, 6 walks, 2 hrs and 11 rbi’s.

Vegas have a radio station that broadcasts the games. In listening to the last few games, I have became more and more impressed with Dopirak, just like the radio announcers and color commentators of the games.
He is not just a hr hitter, he hits hard line drives to all fields. This kid will hit here just as well as he is in Vegas, none of his hits are cheap ones, they’re all drilled. He hits what the pitchers give him, to all fields, if they make a real mistake it’s gone. He could be the best hitter we have.
This team is crazy if they don’t trade Overbay, bring this kid up immediately and play him every day. Not only do we save 7 million per year, but Dopirak is a lot better hitter than Overbay. In fact, he could end up being the best hitter we have.

I was going to say that home runs are cheap in the high desert, but 433 to straightaway centre makes up for a lot of tough air. I hope we get to see Dopirak in September to see what he can do against major league pitching. It is very nice to dream about a Delgado like bat at first again BUT:
I would be cautious about replacing Overbay just yet because: a) we would likely have to pick up most of his salary anyway, so we might as well keep him. b) he is one of the best defensive first basemen in the league, and c) Dopirak has never played above AA until this year, and there is a huge jump between hitting AAA pitchers and hitting major league pitching on a consistent basis. If he plays well enough out of Spring Training to make the club next year, I would use him to replace Kevin Millar, and have a righty-lefty switch off with Overbay at first, Lind at DH, and Snider, with Lind playing left field.

Snider will play LF over Lind. Snider has a stronger throwing arm and is more athletic than most think.

Dopirak currently is leading the PCL in BA at .375 and slugging at .625 for an awesome ops of 1.012. In addition, Dopirak hits both left and right handed pitchers well.
As a right handed hitter he’s currently hitting .433/.436/.683 against right handers and although his current stats against left handers are low because he’s faced few in AAA, his split stats over the last few years show how complete a hitter he is.
To platoon Overbay and Dopirak makes little sense since Overbay doesn’t hit right handers as well as Dopirak does and Overbay’s stats against lefties is dismal. In addition, Dopirak brings significantly more power production than Overbay.
Overbay is ranked 23rd by CBS, a rating system which includes offensive and defensive stats in their rating. Although, Overbay’s fine on defense, we give up too much on his offense production. If we have to pick up some salary as you suggest, it simply means other teams don’t rate him very high either or they’d be clamoring to get him at the salary he’s at. So why should we keep him, if we want to win.
What we should do is immediately release Millar and promote Dopirak, and give him time between now and the end of year to settle in, so Overbay becomes excess baggage and we can trade him over the winter.

To keep Millar here for the balance of the year and keep Dopirak in AAA is stupidity. Millar has been toast for a while and if we do want a chance to compete in 2010, we’d better get these kids up here now and send the non performers like Millar and others out to pasture..

Randy Ruiz is also having a nice year down in Vegas. You know the PCL is a hitters league when Ruiz jacks 24. Both Ruiz and Dopirak deserve to be up here instead of Millar. Millar is probably just too likable to release or send down. That is the only explaination I can come up with.

Good ones yerouttahere, that is awesome that we drafted Fernandez’s son! I forgot about that. Todd, Mel Jr. and Mel Stottlemyre also combined for some good arms, and coaches. Then there is the flip side … Kolby Clemens and Josh Barfield don’t look to have what it takes.

Ruiz has had a nice year, but I do understand why he’s not being called up. He’s now a 10 year minor league player who’s been through 11 organizations and 31 years old, probably either at the start of his declining years or close to it. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to promote him to build the future.
Funny thing about Ruiz, he’s put up some great numbers throughout his career and never really got a sniff at the MLB level, so it looks to me like a number of organizations didn’t see much future with him.

The book on Ruiz was always that he could hit over .300 with consistantcy, but not provide a lot of power (with the exception of this season hitting in the PCL). The other thing was that he was a terrible On Base guy, so he got treacheous label of ‘lacking plate discipline’ by most scouts. His on base is up to .396 this season, so maybe he seemed to turn a corner there.

I’m sure that we could get a lot more from him, than we are getting from Millar now. Ruiz finished the season last with Twins batting .274 in 62 at bats.

I’d much rather see Dopirak, as he may mean more for the Jays in the future, but I bet that Ruiz could come in and contribute as well. Both of them deserve to be on the team rather than Millar.

Wow, Dopirak hasn’t missed a beat in AAA. We better call him up before he becomes labelled a minor-league journeyman as well.

Ruiz was signed as an amateur free agent, so teams would put less worth in him than in their high draft picks that they paid high signing bonuses to. He played 22 games for Minnesota last year and hit .274 with a jack and 7 rbi, which isn’t too shabby, but they released him in December. Toronto is his 11th team since 1999. He must wonder what he has to do to get somebody’s attention, but he must really love baseball to stick it like he has.

I am not going to argue with you about Overbay gsjays, but trust me–Overbay will be here in 2010, or if they trade him they will be eating most of his salary. If they trade him and the other team picks up his salary, then he is worth MORE than the $7 mil they are paying him.

Well, for sure we all agree on one thing. Millar should be gone and someone called up to replace him. I look forward to the day when both Dopirak and Snider are here instead of Millar and Inglett.
IMO, Dopirak got labeled when he got injured and virtually wrote off 18 months. I guess he’s probably fortunate someone in Dunedin decided to give him one more chance when the Cubs left him go. He has, however made the most of the opportunity.

welikeroy
Actually, Ruiz is a career .305/.378/.532 hitter with 191 home runs, 306 doubles and 23 triples over the 11 seasons including this one, so power has never been a problem, neither has obp. To be frank, I’m not sure what the problem is because when one reviews his minor league stats, the guy looks great. Maybe it’s defense and range, I don’t know, but yeroutaheah is right, the guy must love the game to hang in there so long.

Double header in Vegas last night.

Game 1:
Snider: 1 for 4, 1 rbi
Dopirak: 2 for 4, 1 hr,1 rbi

Game 2:
Snider: 3 for 3, single, double, hr, 2 rbi’s
Dopirak: 1 for 3 with 1 rbi

Past 10 games:
Snider: .526BA, 8 doubles, 5 hr’s, 19 rbi’s
Dopirak:. .416BA, 6 hr’s, 14 rbi’s.

Interesting comment on Snider’s power from the color commentator on the broadcast. He stated two of Snider’s home runs in previous games were hit over the batter’s eye in dead center field. Center field is 433 feet and I have no idea how high the batters eye is. In any event, he went on to say that he’s never seen one ball hit that far in all the time he’s been broadcasting 51 games and Snider did it twice in back to back nights.

I thought the Jays might fly them into Toronto on the off-day. The fact that they are played a DH yesterday probably means they aren’t getting the call today. There is always Thursday though.

I agree whole-heartedly with the idea of bringing Dopriak up and replacing Overbay. If he is ever going to be given a chance, it should be now when he is hot. Remember Arencebia? He had similar numbers to Dopriaks and did we give him a sniff? No. We did not. The very next year he is struggling. I say let the kids who are having career years have their shot. However, there is a problem: Cito Gaston. As much as I like Cito, he is more interested in the feelings of his major-league players than he is about these kids or us fans. There are a few guys (maybe in the outfield) who should only be playing a handful of games throughout the remainder of the season due to their abysmal performance. They should be replaced with young kids who are hungry. However, it is not going to happen. Not only do we have to watch these under achievers, game in and game out, we are not given any hope for the future. Did anyone see Oakland’s lineup? Yes it was crap! But the kids were getting their feet wet. Not only that, when Oakland gets a top 5 pick next year, they will be able to re-tool with a star. What will we get? The best player available at 14th overall. You see, Oakland has a strategy for getting better. Trade talent before you loose it, acquire good young talent in return, play that talent and draft high. Then win a division title every now and then. The Jays have no strategy. They only have tactics. A trade here and a trade there. If this guy returns healthy..or if this guy has a career year. You never, never start with tactics. Why? Because you always miss something. You leave something out. You always start with a strategy and the Jays have no such strategy. Hence, we are doomed to watch more crap for years to come on the old tube! Oh well!

I’d just like to say that I agree with you on that one GS. The sooner the better as far as i’m concerned.

I agree with you on that one GS. The sooner, the better as far as i’m concerned.

Yes, I’d have loved to see both Snider and Dopirak go against Pettite tonight instead of Bautista and Millar, which is who we’ll probably start. Overbay hits .083 against Pettite, Millar is .273 career but 0 for 4 this year and Bautista is .200.

The thing is, these two kids whacked a pretty good LA Angels AAA pitching corp over the last 4 games. Neither of them had ever seen any of the pitchers they faced in the series and LA have some nice pitchers in AAA, a bunch of which have appeared at the MLB level. Sort of tells me, they’re more than ready.

I realize some will say leave them down so we add a year onto their arbitration qualification and in some ways that’s a reasonable strategy. However, my view is the sooner they get here, the sooner we compete again and these two kids, imo, will be critical to us winning.

Burt
A point of clarification on Dopirak. Since he recovered from his injury and was signed by the Blue Jay organization, his record has been consistently improving.

2008-Dunedin/New Hampshire: .304/.368/.550 with 29 hr’s, 31 doubles and 101 rbi’s in 128 games. He led the fsl in hr’s and rbi’s. Post season all-star first baseman.
2009-New Hampshire/Vegas: .322/.377/.590 with 25 hr’s, 32 doubles and 86 rbi’s in 106 games. He led the Eastern AA league in both hr’s and rbi’s while he was in AA and although he’s out of AA for the last 19 games his hr numbers still place him 2nd, his doubles are still 2nd and his slugging average is still 1st.
Dopirak is the real deal, he can just plain hit.

This has got to be a serious concern, only 1 of our top 8 draft picks from this year has been signed and playing. Traditionally, all these kids are signed by the end of June or worst case mid July and playing at either Auburn SS or the Gulf Coast Jays, so they can get their feet wet and evaluated for which team they’re placed on the next season.
With minor league seasons only 30 days from being finished, these kids might all lose a year. Maybe JP should stop talking to the press about Halladay and get his real job done.

Stephen C Jenkins RHP
James A Paxton LHP
Jake T Eliopoulos LHP
Jake D Barrett RHP
Jacob S Marisnick CF
Ryan M Goins SS playing at GC Jays
Ryan M Schimpf 2B
Kristopher C Hobson RF

Maybe this is the reason none of these kids have been signed.

MLB asks teams to cut bonuses paid to draft picks
By LIZ MULLEN, Staff writerPublished June 22, 2009

Major League Baseball is recommending to clubs a 10 percent reduction in the signing bonuses paid to players who were selected in the first four rounds of this month?s amateur draft and even steeper reductions for players selected in the fifth round or later, multiple sources said.

One source said MLB?s recommendation for the slots for the upper rounds represents a decrease of more than 15 percent over last year?s slot numbers.

Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president in charge of labor relations, would not comment, except to say, ?Since we started the [slotting] program in 2002, the vast majority [of players drafted] signed at or below slot.?

MLB Players Association officials did not immediately return calls for comment. Agents said clubs were citing the downturn in the economy as the reason for the decrease in the slot recommendations.

?For the first round, they are saying the slot is 10 percent down, and that is consistent with the offers I have received,? said one prominent agent. ?The teams definitely use the commissioner?s office as an excuse. They say, ?We love the player. We love the slot, but the commissioner?s office won?t let us [sign above slot].??

Another agent said he had dealings with at least one club that was playing ?hardball? by making a first offer significantly below slot, but others were showing a willingness to go above slot.

?I think there will be some clubs that will not honor the slots,? this agent said. ?They want their guys signed and they want to treat them fairly.? Agents asked for anonymity for fear their comments could potentially hurt their relationships with clubs.

MLB for years has made recommendations about how much drafted players should be paid and maintained that the league is not prohibited from reducing the amount of the recommendation. MLB reduced the recommendation in 2007 by about 10 percent but increased it last year by about 10 percent.

Schimpf is signed. Has been playing at GCL.
I read somewhere that the Commishioner’s Office has actually rejected a couple of contracts because the amount was too much above slot. Lower round players though; I think it was like the 10th round. Not sure how credible it was though.
Some of what I’ve read is that a lot of agents what until comparable picks/players sign to set the value before they even really start negotiating in good faith with the teams; especially for players that have other options available next year.
Apparently, The PA isn’t too happy with some of the amounts being signed because they are making more than established MLB players. Think about it, it is possible Strasburg will make more than a guy like Cliff Lee this year without throwing a pitch in the majors.

It’s about time the Toronto press start pounding JP for his creation of the Halladay trade circus as Griffin does in this article today. http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/article/675715

Personally, I’m not all that surprised about JP’s performance which was the absolute worst, most unprofessional attempt in memory of trading a player in any professional sport-not to mention the best player there is in the field as Halladay is.
I personally felt sorry for Halladay having to deal with this circus at the all-star game. It’s a real privilege to start at the all-star game and Roy didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy it, thanks to JP.
And JP continues to babble to the press as noted here http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/tom_verducci/08/04/bluejays.halladay/index.html?eref=T1

I’m not surprised at JP’s approach, he’s always been a incompetent blabber mouth and has caused this franchise a lot of embarrassment whether it be on Dunn, Halladay or admitting he lies.
A number of posters on this blog including myself expressed serious concern about JP being the guy trading Halladay. I guess we were right to have that concern.

My question, though, is where the hell has Beeston been during this circus presentation of the franchise’s most valuable asset. Why hasn’t Beeston taken JP to the woodshed and whipped him into shape, put a gag in his mouth or fired him?
I do realize the intent to hire a new president and let him clear house and bring in his own guys, but frankly, JP represents The Toronto BLue Jays and right now, he’s making us into the laughing stock of baseball.

Enough is enough already, Beeston grow a pair and fire this *******.

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