September 2009

Game 156: Seattle at Toronto

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for mariners.gifSEATTLE MARINERS (80-75)
Third place AL West, 10.5 GB

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
3. Jose Lopez, 1B
4. Mike Sweeney, DH
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Bill Hall, LF
7. Kenji Johjima, C
8. Matt Tuiasosopo, 2B
9. Josh Wilson, SS

Starter: LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (4-3, 3.70)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (71-84)
Fourth place AL East, 28.0

1. Jose Bautista, RF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Randy Ruiz, DH
6. Kevin Millar, 1B
7. Rod Barajas, C
8. Travis Snider, LF
9. John McDonald, SS

Starter: LHP Brian Tallet (7-9, 5.39)

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

~JB

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Game 155: Seattle at Toronto

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for mariners.gifSEATTLE MARINERS (80-74)
Third place AL West, 10.5 GB

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
3. Jose Lopez, 1B
4. Mike Sweeney, DH
5. Bill Hall, LF
6. Jack Hannahan, 3B
7. Matt Tuiasosopo, 2B
8. Adam Moore, C
9. Josh Wilson, SS

Starter: RHP Ian Snell (5-2, 4.53)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (70-84)
Fourth place AL East, 28.0

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

Starter: LHP David Purcey (1-2, 5.31)

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

~JB

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Game 154: Seattle at Toronto

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for mariners.gifSEATTLE MARINERS (80-73)
Third place AL West, 10.5 GB

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
3. Jose Lopez, 2B
4. Ken Griffey Jr., DH
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Kenji Johjima, C
7. Mike Carp, 1B
8. Josh Wilson, SS
9. Michael Saunders, LF

Starter: RHP Doug Fister (2-3, 4.37)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (69-84)
Fourth place AL East, 28.0

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

Starter: RHP Doc Halladay (15-10, 3.01)

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

~JB

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Game 153: Seattle at Toronto

dustin-mcgowan.jpgChatted with Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi for a while pregame and covered a number of topics. Among them was the situation concerning injured right-hander Dustin McGowan.

For a while now, McGowan’s name has been excluded from the list of arms rattled off when talking about the rotation next year. His comeback from shoulder surgery last year has been slow and he blew out his left knee earlier this year.

Ricciardi said on Thursday that McGowan is throwing again and noted that his recent progress has been promising. That being said, it’s still far too soon to set any kind of expectations for the pitcher for the spring.

“He looks really good. The ball is really coming out of his hand well,” Ricciardi said. “He feels really good. There’s another kid that you’re just rooting for him, because he’s had so much bad luck.”

Ricciardi said McGowan is currently up to 110-115 feet in his throwing program and could be on a mound some time next week.

If McGowan can defy what have seemed to be slim odds for a while now, and return to the Blue Jays’ pitching staff, it could provide a big boost to the club. Ricciardi didn’t rule out bringing him back as a reliever, though. It will certainly be one fo the storylines to look forward to during Spring Training.

Other items from the discussion: Ricciardi believes Jason Frasor and Scott Downs could split the closer duties next season; Catching prospects J.P. Arencibia (kidney surgery earlier this month) and Brian Jeroloman (upcoming hip surgery) are out of the Arizona Fall League; Ricciardi believes Kyle Phillips could be in the mix as a backup catcher next year; Robert Ray, Brad Mills and Reidier Gonzalez will pitch in the AFL.

Oh, as for Ricky Romero?

“You know what?” Ricciardi said. “You need a wheelbarrow to take his balls to the mound. That’s how big they are.”

Today’s lineups:


Thumbnail image for mariners.gifSEATTLE MARINERS (79-73)
Third place AL West, 11.0 GB

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
3. Jose Lopez, 1B
4. Mike Sweeney, DH
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Bill Hall, LF
7. Matt Tuiasosopo, 2B
8. Josh Wilson, SS
9. Rob Johnson, C

Starter: RHP Felix Hernandez (16-5, 2.45)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (69-83)
Fourth place AL East, 27.5

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

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (12-9, 4.28)

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

~JB

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Game 152: Baltimore at Toronto

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for Orioles.gifBALTIMORE ORIOLES (60-91)
Fifth place AL East, 35.5 GB

1. Felix Pie CF
2. Cesar Izturis, SS
3. Matt Wieters, DH
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Luke Scott, LF
6. Justin Turner, 3B
7. Michael Aubrey, 1B
8. Chad Moeller, C
9. Robert Andino, 2B

Starter: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-15, 5.05)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (68-83)
Fourth place AL East, 27.5

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

Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (6-10, 5.31)

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

~JB

Game 151: Baltimore at Toronto

Thumbnail image for cito.jpgThe Blue Jays may very well make some changes after this forgettable season, but rest assured, manager Cito Gaston isn’t losing any sleep over his future.

“If they want to make a change, they want to make a change,” Gaston said on Tuesday. “If not, you just look forward to next year and try to finish this year on a positive note. We did have every starter on this team down. We’ve had players out.

“It has been a really tough year. I’ve never had that many injuries on any team that I’ve ever managed.”

Now, there is nothing to suggest that Gaston won’t be back in the manager’s seat come 2010. In all likelihood, he will still be at the helm for the final year under his current contract. It’s just, well, you never know, and Gaston knows that as well as anyone.

Remember, Gaston was let go by Toronto in September of 1997, and it took him 11 years to return to his role as manager with the Jays. Gaston said, as he looks back on ’97 and tries to compare it to this year, while losing is something he hates, he finds it a little easier to accept now.

“Back then, when you had that many veterans, you should have a better playing team,” Gaston said. “We have some young kids here playing, pitching especially. It’s just something building toward the future, whether I’m here or not. This team will always be a part of my hard no matter if I’m here or not, so I’d like to see them get better and I’d like to see them move forward and play well.

“It’s never easy to lose. I really can’t stand losing, but I understand it. I probably understand it a little bit more, a little bit better now.”

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for Orioles.gifBALTIMORE ORIOLES (60-90)
Fifth place AL East, 34.5 GB

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Felix Pie, CF
3. Matt Wieters, C
4. Luke Scott, LF
5. Melvin Mora, 3B
6. Ty Wigginton, DH
7. Lou Montanez, RF
8. Michael Aubrey, 1B
9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Starter: LHP Mark Hendrickson (5-5, 4.47)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (67-83)
Fourth place AL East, 27.5

1. Jose Bautista, RF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Rod Barajas, C
6. Kevin Millar, 1B
7. Randy Ruiz, DH
8. Travis Snider, LF
9. John McDonald, SS

Starter: LHP Brian Tallet (7-9, 5.31)

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

~JB

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Game 150: Baltimore at Toronto

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for Orioles.gifBALTIMORE ORIOLES (60-89)
Fifth place AL East, 34.5 GB

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Cesar Izturis, SS
3. Matt Wieters, C
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Melvin Mora, 3B
6. Luke Scott, LF
7. Ty Wigginton, DH
8. Felix Pie, CF
9. Michael Aubrey, 1B

Starter: RHP Chris Tillman (2-3, 4.50)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (66-83)
Fourth place AL East, 28.5

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

Starter: LHP David Purcey (0-2, 6.32)

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

~JB

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Game 149: Toronto at Tampa Bay

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (66-82)
Fourth place AL East, 28.5 GB

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

Starter: RHP Roy Halladay (15-9, 3.03)

Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (76-73)
Third place AL East, 19.0 GB

1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, RF
5. Pat Burrell, DH
6. Willy Aybar, 1B
7. Gregg Zaun, C
8. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
9. B.J. Upton, CF

Starter: LHP David Price (8-7, 4.60)

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

~JB

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Game 148: Toronto at Tampa Bay

ruiz2.jpgWhere has Randy Ruiz gone?

For each of the past six games, Ruiz has been absent from the Blue Jays’ lineup, leaving some to wonder if anything is wrong with the Bronx Bomber. Don’t worry, there is nothing ailing Mr. Ruiz.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said the reason for Ruiz’s sudden disappearance from the starting lineup is simple.

Adam Lind was hit on the foot by a pitch on Sept. 11 and, after taking a day off, returned as a designated hitter to ease his way back into the mix.

Lind had been playing the outfield for the most part when Ruiz was called up. but has been back as the DH for the past six games. This being the case, Ruiz has been relegated to the bench until Gaston feels comfortable sending Lind back to the outfield, which could be soon. Tonight? It’s Johnny Mac in left.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (66-81)
Fourth place AL East, 27.5 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, DH
4. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Jose Bautista, CF
7. Travis Snider, RF
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. John McDonald, LF 

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (12-8, 4.22)

Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (75-73)
Third place AL East, 19.0 GB

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

Starter: RHP Matt Garza (7-10, 3.84)

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

~JB

Game 147: Toronto at Tampa Bay

snider.jpgTravis Snider has noted that he is still making some adjustments in the batter’s box. Mechanical adjustments. Mental adjustments. The rookie is still going through a learning process.

On Friday at Tropicana Field, manager Cito Gaston shared some more specifics as to what exactly Snider is working on. Swing-wise, Snider is working on a better weight transfer. Approach-wise, the rook has shown more of a willingness to discuss situations with his coaches during games.

“He’s still working,” Gaston said. “There’s still a lot of work to do with him. [Hitting coach Gene Tenace has] got him not so spread out. We’re trying to get him a little bit more upright and trying to get him to start his weight on the back side, as opposed to starting on the front side and shifting back.”

“It’s still an ongoing project with him to get him started on time. He talks to us more on the bench now than he did before he [was sent to Triple-A in May]. He talks about situations more, which he was having a little trouble with that last time. But, now he will talk to you about it. He’s trying to learn how to handle that.”

Gaston said he is hoping Snider can learn how to take in-game suggestions and apply them to his following plate appearances, rather than feel overloaded with information when he walks to the plate. Gaston pointed to Adam Lind, who has shown an ability to take tips from his coaches during a game and make the proper adjustments quickly.

Since being recalled from the Minors last month, the 21-year-old Snider has struggled for the most part. Over his last three games, he does have five hits, two homers and a .385 average, but in the 27 games prior to that, Snider hit .195. On the current road trip, Snider has struck out 11 times in 22 at-bats.

UPDATES: Scott Downs (right hamstring) and Brian Tallet (right foot) are day-to-day after suffering injuries on Wednesday night in New York. Gaston wasn’t ready to say Downs might be done for the year, and maybe that has something to do with the fact that Toronto has no lefties in the bullpen right now (Jesse Carlson’s suspension lasts through Saturday). Gaston said Tallet is still sore, but he’s trying to get healthy in time for a start on Tuesday. If he can’t go, the Jays would like do the ol’ bullpen-by-committee start. Remember, Marc Rzepczynski and Brett Cecil have been shut down and they were not be used. … Dustin McGowan (right shoulder/left knee) stopped by the Blue Jays’ clubhouse at the Trop on Friday and was all smiles as he walked through and said hello to his teammates. McGowan’s status for next season is essentially unknown.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (66-80)
Fourth place AL East, 27.5 GB

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

Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (6-9, 5.03)

Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (74-73)
Third place AL East, 20.0 GB

1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, DH
5. Willy Aybar, 1B
6. Gregg Zaun, C
7. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
8. Gabe Gross, RF
9. B.J. Upton, CF

Starter: RHP James Shields (9-11, 4.03)

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

~JB

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