Covering the Bases: Game 11

Overbay.jpgFIRST: I don’t mean to continually point out the slump of Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay, but…

… well, it’s hard not to do right now.

Overbay has been mired in an ugly stretch at the plate and Friday’s 7-5 loss was no exception. For Overbay, things reached a nasty peak in the eighth inning.

Two outs. One on. Toronto trailing by two runs. Overbay works into a 3-2 count. Then… a weak swing for a strikeout. He looked completely fooled.

I have to give Overbay credit, though. I hung around to talk with him after the game and Overbay did not offer up any sort of excuse for his recent performance.

“Nothing’s going right. “I feel good in the cage. I feel good in [batting practice]. Then I get in the game and I’m swinging at bad pitches. I’m not seeing them. I’m taking the ones I’m supposed to be hitting. I’m just not getting the job done.

“I’m just not getting the job done,” he repeated. “That’s all there is. And that’s 100 percent my fault.”

As things currently stand, Overbay is in an 0-for-15 skid in the batter’s box and he is 3-for-42 on the season. Six strikeouts in his last nine at-bats. With a lefty (Joe Saunders) on the hill tomorrow, it might be deemed an opportune time for Overbay to take a seat and “clear his head,” as some managers like to phrase it.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston does not buy into that.

“People say that,” Gaston said. “But I don’t find that does anybody any good. I’ve never believed in that. Some guys use that as an excuse to take a guy out of the lineup, but I don’t believe in that. I just think that you’ve got to keep battling.

“You go in a slump quick, you come out of one quick.”

SECOND: Also from the No Excuses Dept., Travis Snider was not about to make one for the line drive that sailed over his head in the eighth inning. Snider, playing right for the first time this season, took a few quick steps in, costing him a chance to catch the hard liner off the bat of Maicer Izturis.

Two runs scored. Jays lost by two runs. Live and learn.

“I misread it,” Snider said. “I broke in and the ball went over my head and I wasn’t able to make up for the couple steps that I took in and unfortunately it ends up being the one that cost us the game. It’s not something that shouldn’t have been caught.

“I just have to work harder.”

THIRD: One could also point to a turn of events in the seventh inning as a big contributor to the Jays’ latest loss. Adam Lind and Vernon Wells each singled, putting runners on first and second base with no outs. At this turn in the game, the Blue Jays were trailing the Angels, 4-1. It looked like a rally was in the making.

Then, a ball skipped away from Halos catcher Jeff Mathis and Lind broke for third base. Unfortunately for the Jays, the ball didn’t get far enough away from the catcher. Mathis retrieved it, fired to third and easily threw out Lind. Not sure I can fault Lind for making a break for it, though. It was a tough call.

As it turned out, though, Overbay flew out and John Buck grounded out to end the inning.

HOME: The Blue Jays struck out nine times on Friday night, giving them a Major League-leading 99 strikeouts on offense through 11 games. Asked about that early trend prior to the contest, Gaston said that is simply a product of the type of offense that Toronto has assembled this season — a power-based lineup.

“This is a team that probably has seven guys or so that can really hit home runs,” said Gaston, hammering home the message he’s given since early spring. “These are the kind of results you’re going to have. I’d rather see a guy take a good swing than take a half swing and pop it up or a check-swing strikeout.”

Fair enough…

Also, I will be away from the ballpark on Saturday and Sunday, so you’re just going to have to survive without Blue Jays blogging or tweeting until Monday. Somehow, I think the world will keep turning. Catch you from the ‘yard on Monday…



Overbay got a hit!!!

Overbay got a hit!!!!

There is some really good news tonight….Henderson Alvarez made another outstanding start today in Dunedin, going 7 innings like his first start, gave up 5 hits,0 bb’s,3k’s and 8go-4fo, 1 earned run. His year totals of 2 games are now 14 innings, 7 hits, 2 bb’s, 6k’s, 1 earned run so his era is .64 and his whip is an unbelievable .64 as well…He sure looks like he’s coming fast. I’d expect a few more starts like this and we could see him bumped up to AA.

Also from Dunedin, this Travis D’Arnaud guy just doesn’t cool off, he’s on an outstanding gaudy roll. After another 2 for 5 night, his year numbers over 9 games is .425/.442/.775, with 3 doubles, 3 hr.’s and 10 rbi’s.
He’s hitting .500/.500/.667 with risp…He’s also made no errors in 9 games. He virtually leads or is in the top 2-3 of every hitting category in the fsl.

In New Hampshire, both Daniel Farquhar and tiny Tim Collins are off to good start. Farquhar hasn’t given up a hit yet in 3 outings and Collins has given up 1. Collins has struck out an amazing 9 guys in 4.2 innings.
Also from New Hampshire, it looks like Brad Emaus is starting differently than he did last year and is hitting .375/.500/.583 with 1 hr, 2 doubles and 8 rbi’s over 7 games mostly playing 3rd base…He’s also made no errors, so if he keeps this up, we might actually have a 3rd base prospect. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before he’s bumped to AAA. With that obp, he might end up being a good 2nd hole hitter.

Thanks GSgays
I love the minor league updates that you make, its nice to see the jays prospects coming around. I will admit I was very skeptical of D’Arnaud, thinking that he was a useless piece of the Doc trade but he is proving me wrong and hopefully he continues to do so.
Itd be nice to see JP and D’arnaud duke it out for the Catcher spot.

Who else was mad that Gaston is once again taking atbats away from snider to give to Ruiz instead of taking them from Overbay/Bautista?

Hows Kyle Drabek and Brett Cecil doing in their starts (if they have made any) as well as some other hitting prospects.

I think Tim COllins could become a really good closer for the jays and if that does happen, then the jays would have an amazing bullpen.

Now we just need the bats to start heating up…we clearly see the difference in the lineup without Hill…we need him and his bat.

Vernon’s been a nice surprise so far. If he manages to continue then when Hill comes back the Jays should see a drastic rise in their hitting with Hill, Lind and Wells hitting back to back to back.

Now only if Snider Develops and thats a potent middle of the order able to match the yankees and the Red Sox.

Speaking of Snider, does anyone doubt him yet? I am starting too, it looks like he is making the same mistakes at the plate and yes he is young but its his 3rd time up in the majors now, I am sure its bothering him much more than I though. But is he going to be one of those players who hits amazing at any minor league level but is a bust in the MLB (perhaps because he was so good in the Minor Leagues that he can’t transition now)

goodluck-Don’t doubt Snider, he has huge potential. Remember, Lind took some time to adjust, Snider simply needs more at bats. His defense in left field has improved immensely and his approach at the plate has also improved. His defense would improve much faster if we stopped switching him from left to right and right to left-that clearly isn’t helpful to any young player. He should be the preference, not Lewis or someone else. Put him in left field and leave him there, every single day and don’t mess with him.

Snider is working hard on both defense and offense. On defense Buck mentioned he’s out there every day fielding fly balls from guys during batting practice which is likely why we’re seeing such improvement-he’s working his butt off. He’s also in much better physical condition and the work he did on improving his lateral movement over the winter is paying dividends-he’s much quicker.

As important, He’s listening to advice and is starting to figure it out. Snider simply needs another 200 or so more at bats. One day it will all click in and a monster will be borne capable of 35-50 hr’s and 100+ rbi’s per year in the heart of the lineup. But we can’t take at bats away from him or worry about whether he hits against a lefty or righty, we simply have to keep running him out there each day and let him play and keep learning.

Sending him down would only hurt him, he has nothing more to prove in AAA. My only concern on Snider is whether or not we keep running him out there each day, since, imo, he should be the number one player development priority on this team, not Overbay, Ruiz, Lewis or anyone else.

Has anybody heard any news on how Mcgowen and Litche are doing?

We had two outstanding pitching performances today, one by Ricky Romero-our new emerging ace and the other by Luis Perez in New Hampshire, who’s had a tremendous start to the season. Romero’s day is already well documented, so this post is about Perez.

Five days ago in his last start Luis had a no hitter going just about as long as Romero’s and ended up going 7 innings, with 1 hit and no runs given up.
Well, today was almost a duplicate in that he had a no no going into the 6th inning at which point he gave up the only hit he gave up all day in 7 innings. Unfortunately the hit was a home run, so he ended up going 7, 1 hit, 1 run, 4 walks and 3 k’s.
The most impressive stat today is his ground out to flyball out ratio which was 13 go’s and 0 fo’s which really is quite amazing.

Year to date, Luis has had 3 starts, went a total of 17 innings, given up 2 hits in total, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts and 1 earned run for a very impressive era of .53 and whip of .47. His BAA ( batting average against) is an almost unbelievable .039 (even worse than Overbays-lol).

Although, it is true, Luis is repeating AA, and is already 25 years old, its also true this level of performance is staggering and a whole lot different than last year when he gave up almost a hit an inning, walked a guy every 2nd inning and struck out 1 about every 1.33 innings…
Something has changed, either Luis has got a new pitch or he’s perfected one or more than one he already had-who knows. One thing for sure, whatever he’s doing is working, lets hope he keeps this up.

I think Brad Emaus is out for 6 weeks or so with a knee injury which is a real shame , as gsjays mentioned he has continued where he left of in spring and is swinging a hot bat .
I also don’t know why Snider is the one to sit rather than Overbay / Bautista .
Lets play Snider everyday and have a good look at guys who could be with the team for a few years .
Overbay and Bautista should be gone before next year so give the at bats to guys who could help the team in the future , lets see if guys like McCoy and Ruiz are worth holding onto.

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