Jays Bounce Back, Lind to DL.

After a Bullpen collapse in Minnesota Thursday night, the Blue Jays pen got a chance to redeem themselves and for the most part redeemed themselves, although Sergio Santos made it interesting by loading the bases before getting Micheal Brantley to ground out to Edwin Encarnacion to seal the deal on a 3-2 win.

The game for the most part was a pitchers duel between Drew Hutchison and Justin Masterson as both pitched very well early on. The Jays broke thru in the fourth inning when Colby Rasmus doubled and then later scored on Brett Lawrie’s infield single to make it a 1-0 game.

It stayed that way till the bottom of the sixth when Hutchison ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth when Jason Kipnis led off with a single and then Carlos Santana whacked a two run shot to right to give the Indians a 2-1 lead. Hutchison got Brantley to ground out and then gave up an Astrubal Cabrera triple spelling the end of his night. Steve Delabar came on to get them out of the inning.

The Blue Jays scored twice in the seventh one on a Munenori Kawasaki RBI single and the second one on a Edwin Encarnacion RBI single to give the Jays a 3-2 lead that the pen made stick.

After the game the Jays’ announced that they were optioning Munenori Kawasaki back to Buffalo to make room for Jose Reyes who is back from his DL stint.

The Blue Jays also put Adam Lind on the 15-Day DL with his back tightness and called up Juan Francisco from Buffalo, to make room on the 40 man roster for Francisco the Jays’ transferred Maicer Izturis to the 60-Day DL.

The Blue Jays send Mark Buehrle to the mound Saturday to face Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, first pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm.

Is Juan Francisco Being Called Up? Lind to the DL?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So it looks like the Blue Jays may have made their decision with Adam Lind’s ailing back as Gregor Chisholm tweeted out earlier this evening.

Lind last played on Tuesday night and left in the seventh inning with tightness in his Back.

Francisco has hit 349/429/581 with a OPS of 1.010 as well as two home runs in 11 games so far in Buffalo this season.

Franciso has played six games at third base and has played five games as the Designated Hitter.

One Horrific Inning.

Eight walks.

Eight freaking walks in one inning.

Eight walks in an inning by three different pitchers.

Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos and J.A Happ combined to allow six runs on ONE HIT, while walking EIGHT batters in the eighth inning last night.

The Blue Jays disastrous eighth inning didn’t set the Major League record for walks, the record is 11 walks in an inning. It did set a Blue Jays record for walks in an inning.

I sit here almost 12 hours after the fact and it’s still hard to put into words just what happened in the eighth inning. I guess the Monday morning quarterback in me could second guess some of the moves manager John Gibbons made last night.

Brett Cecil came in to finish the seventh inning recording one out with two pitches, why not let Cecil start the eighth. It also makes me wonder, if Neil Wagner gets thru the seventh clean if the eighth would have been Cecil’s.

I suppose though that Gibby thought what most Jays’ fans were thinking going into the eighth inning with the track record that the bullpen has had in the last year, Delabar for the eighth and Santos for the ninth. So I have a hard time pinning the meltdown on Gibby, although maybe he had a quick hook with Delabar, asking Santos to come in for a five out save did seem risky at the time and turned out to be a disaster.

Just how bad was Santos last night?

Santos became the first pitcher in Major League history to throw three wild pitches without recording an out. out of Santos 16 pitches he threw last night, only four were strikes.

The last Blue Jays reliever to throw three wild pitches in a game was Jim Acker way back in 1986 in a game against the Yankees.

The Good news from last night, it was just one game. The bad news, it’s a game that’s gonna sting for a bit.

Time For Happ To Quit Being A Diva.

Chris Young/Canadian Press

Chris Young/Canadian Press

J.A Happ was activated from the DL on Sunday and joined the Blue Jays in Minnesota on Tuesday. Upon his return he wasted no time in letting people know that he thinks he should be in the Blue Jays rotation.

Wait, there’s more.

In other words, just like last Spring when Happ whined about not being in the rotation before Ricky Romero fell off the face of the earth.

Happ had his chance to make the rotation out of Spring Training but was awful when he was given a chance, maybe if he had actually pitched half decent he would be in the rotation, but I digress.

Happ should have come in saying, “I’m happy to be back here, looking forward to helping the team win and do my part in what ever role they need me to fill for this team” Am I wrong in thinking that’s what most guys would say?
I know he’s unhappy and would rather be in the bullpen but there are times that sucking it up and doing what is best for the team is a much better option than publicly sulking about your role with the team and risking becoming a clubhouse cancer.

I mean haven’t we heard enough about the whole lack of chemistry and leadership bullshit in the last few years? The Jays have gotten off to a good start and by all reports this team seems more like a team than they did last year, things are good in the clubhouse and now Happ is here whining about his role? Now would be a good time for someone like Mark Buerhle or Jose Bautista to quietly pull Happ aside and tell him to suck it up and quit with the public whining. The fans have heard enough of it and I’m sure the players probably have too.

You know, Happ could always learn from bullpen mates Brett Cecil and Casey Janssen, both failed as starters and both accepted their roles in the bullpen and both have become key members of the Blue Jays bullpen.

At this point though, it’s time for Happ to quit being a diva and quit whining and if he really wants to get back into the rotation then let his pitching do the talking, because all his pitching has proven so far this year is that he really doesn’t deserve to be with the Blue Jays, and really should be in Buffalo.

The Monday Night Notebook

kawasaki

The Blue Jays announced tonight that Maicer Izturis will miss the next four to six months with a complete tear of his LCL and will have to undergo surgery to repair it. For the time being the Jays called up Munenori Kawasaki from Buffalo to take his place on the roster. It’s disappointing news considering how well of a start Izturis has gotten off to and this now really tests the Blue Jays depth at second. It should be interesting to see who gets sent back down to Buffalo once Jose Reyes comes back, honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan Goins is the man who gets sent down, his defence has been great but like everyone before the season feared, his offence just isn’t cutting it and with Jonathan Diaz being just as good of a defender and he has done more offensively than Goins to justify staying up with the team until Alex Anthopoulos can find more of a long-term solution for second base.

Also yesterday in a bit of a head scratching move, the Jays sent down Erik Kratz to make room for J.A Happ, who comes of the DL. As it stands the Jays now have an eight man pen with three long relievers. Not quite sure where the need is for three long men and with Esmil Rogers really scuffling it makes one wonder how long before the Jays make a move with him. Although with Rogers it seems like John Gibbons is only using him for two innings at most per outing, which would make me believe that if injuries to the rotation come into play that Happ and Todd Redmond would get a chance before Rogers does. I would imagine that when Casey Janssen comes off the DL sometime within the next week that it’ll force AA’s hand to make a decision on moving one of the three long men in the pen, chances are AA probably tries to sneak Redmond thru waivers to Buffalo, even though Rogers is more deserving of a demotion the Redmond. Redmond has pitched well out of the bullpen, he is a good option to get through a lineup once, it’s when he reaches the second time through the lineup that trouble hits.

Maybe just maybe, the offence has awoken from their early season slumber after lashing out a season high 17 hits in their 11-3 win over Baltimore Sunday. It was nice to see Brett Lawrie have a good day at the plate and collect his second home run of the season, it’s also nice to see Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion get their bats going, with the Jays starting a series in Minnesota on Tuesday it should be interesting to see if the Jays can keep the offence going against the worst pitching in the American League.

 

 

Astros 6 Blue Jays 4; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

dickey

The Blue Jays had their two game winning streak come to an end with a 6-4 loss to Houston. The loss also drops their record to 5-5 which puts the Jays in a three-way tie for first with Tampa and the Yankees. The Blue Jays are in Baltimore to start a nine game road trip, the Jays will send Dustin McGowan to the mound in hopes that he has a much better start than he did in the home opener.

The Good: Colby Rasmus hit his first home run of the season and went 3 for 4 while scoring twice, Melky Cabrera continued his hitting streak to 10 games with a 2 for 5 night. Adam Lind hit a two run double in the bottom of the ninth in his only at bat of the game. Once again the Jays showed that they won’t go away easily, After entering the bottom of the ninth down 6-1 the Jays plated three runs and had the tying run at the plate at the end of the game.

The Bad: R.A Dickey didn’t have a real bad night but once again he gave up a big home run at the worst possible time. With the game still 2-1 in the top of the seventh Dickey allowed a three run home run to Jonathan Vilar which at the time seemed to put the game out of reach at 5-1. Dickey has a tendency in the late innings to give up home runs at a time when it turns a close game into a not so close game. Brett Lawrie went 0 for 4 tonight so maybe thinking that getting that home run last night might help him get out of the slump wasn’t such a good idea.

The Ugly: The Blue Jays attendance was announced at 15, 778, the three games against Houston still add up to the number  that took in the opener.

 

 

 

Blue Jays 7 Astros 3; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Rick Madonik / Toronto Star

Rick Madonik / Toronto Star

 

The Blue Jays won their second straight game in a row defeating Houston 7-3. The Jays record on the season is 5-4 and the Blue Jays are in sole possession of first place in the American League East. The Blue Jays go for the sweep Tomorrow night as they send R.A Dickey to the mound.

The Good: Brandon Morrow, outside of a hiccup in the sixth inning, was dominant early striking out the side in the first and didn’t allow a base runner till the fourth. Morrow went six innings allowing three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine. If Morrow can pitch more like he did tonight it’ll be a good sign for the Blue Jays for the long term this year. Brett Lawrie hit a two run homer in the seventh and maybe it’ll be the catalyst for Lawrie finally breaking out of his slump. Melky Cabrera got two more hits tonight to run his hitting streak to nine games, Cabrera even stole a base on a failed hit and run. Dioner Navarro hit his fourth double as a part of a 2 for 4 night, Navarro also stole a base on a hit and run, the stolen base was his first since 2009 when he played in Tampa. Maicer Izturis stepped up yet again and may have found a home in the two hole till Jose Reyes comes back. Neil Wagner who made his first appearance of the season after being called up from Buffalo earlier in the day pitched two perfect innings while striking out three while his velocity was around 97-98 most of his outing.

The Bad: Ryan Goins even though he drew a walk during the game went o for 3 with a strikeout and now sits at 1 for 19 on the season. Goins was also picked off of first base in the sixth, although replays showed that he made it back to the base before getting tagged, John Gibbons did not request a review on the play. The announced attendance tonight wasn’t much better than last night as they drew 13,569, I guess everybody was at the Air Canada Centre watching the Raptors beat up on Philadelphia tonight.

The Ugly: Not game related, but Ricky Romero’s start in Buffalo was one that he would rather forget, although I would think most of his outings the last two years he would rather forget. Romero pitched four innings allowing three runs on four hits, walking three, he also hit a batter and threw two wild pitches out of the 81 pitches only 38 were strikes.

Blue Jays 5 Astros 2; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

DAVE ABEL/Toronto Sun

DAVE ABEL/Toronto Sun

 

The Blue Jays opened their three game set with the Houston Astros with a 5-2 win. The Blue Jays record now stands at 4-4 for the year. They sit tied for second and are a half game back of Tampa for first.

The Good: Pitching and defence wins games and the Jays got that tonight. Mark Buehrle wasn’t at his best but still allowed a run in 5 1/3 innings, and then the bullpen took over allowing a run over the final 3 2/3 innings tonight. The defence got the pitchers out of a few jams tonight Maicer Izturis had a great diving grab at a ball in the first inning to start an inning ending double play. Melky Cabrera hit a two run homer in the seventh to give the Blue Jays some breathing room, it was the fourth straight game that Cabrera has homered, Jose Cruz Jr holds the Blue Jays record with home runs in six straight games. Dioner Navarro had a pair of RBI doubles and is helping Jays fans forget about J.P Arencibia. Jose Bautista homered and walked twice while Edwin Encarnacion had a single and three walks.

The Bad: The Blue Jays only got 5 hits tonight as the offence continues to scuffle early on. The 3-4-5 hitters in the Jays line-up were 4 for 7 while the rest of the line-up was 1 for 20. Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus were each 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts. Adam Lind was also 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts getting a rare start against a lefty. Bautista getting picked off of second base in the sixth inning, it could have turned out bad as Navarro doubled and Bautista would have scored had he not got picked off.

The Ugly: Home Plate umpire Mike Estabrook called a horrible and inconsistent strike zone all night, maybe the caller into Jays Talk on Sunday had a point about the Jays getting jabbed on Strike calls early on this season. I would like to think that the calls even out over the course of a season. The new collision rules at home plate really need to go, for the second time on the home stand there was a review of a play at home plate where the main point of the argument is whether the catcher blocked the plate and didn’t leave a lane open for the runner, the call on the play stood, but the biggest thing that keeps coming up when talking about the rule is that there is too much of a grey area of when the catcher can and can’t block the plate. The Attendance tonight was announced at 13,123 but some reports on twitter that it seemed like there was even less at the Dome, I know it was a mid-week game against the Astros but still 13 thousand? Was everyone at home watching the Leafs death march continue?

 

 

Deferral Gate

aa-beeston

I’ve finally decided to wade into the story that broke last Friday where a handful of Blue Jay players had offered to defer some of their salary in order for the Blue Jays to sign Ervin Sanatana.

What is known is that the Jays had offered 14 million to Santana for this season, I have yet to hear if that 14 million was part of the passing the hat amongst some of the Blue Jays players or if it was money straight from ownership. Either way though it does bring out some concern about the future of the team when it comes to future free agents and future payroll parameters.

First off this has sort of become a PR nightmare, the fan base was already none to happy about the lack of activity this offseason, and now to hear that it might have come down to passing the hat around the clubhouse for money to improve the team. Also the fact that the union signed off on this would leave me to believe that there were more than just informal discussions by management. Hold on a second here, didn’t Paul Beeston say that last year wasn’t a one-off, but year one of a three-year window? If that’s the case then management should have had the resources to improve the team instead of waiting for the market to come to them.

One also must wonder if the change at the top of the Rogers hierarchy with Nadir Mohamed stepped down as Rogers CEO and Guy Laurence was brought on board. I have a feeling that despite the payroll going up to the 140 million range, most of that for player raises through pre arbitration and some players salaries going up, that AA and Beeston were mostly handcuffed with what they could do when it came to payroll. There was a lot of stuff written about the possibilities of the Jays budget being lowered coming and with some of the other Rogers properties going through re-structuring it doesn’t surprise me if this is the case with the Blue Jays situation.

Also could the Rogers deal with the NHL for TV rights have tightened the purse strings, at the time of the deal I didn’t think so but the more I think about it and the more that I hear the hype surrounding it I wonder.

But back to the whole deferral topic. The worrying part for me is when it comes down to signing free agents to come to Toronto, are they going to want to come knowing that management had to pass the hat around to come up with the money because ownership wouldn’t fill the void? makes for a scary thought.

Beeston has said that they’ve never heard Rogers tell them no when it comes to asking for money, and told Bob McCown on Prime Time Sports Friday night that if fans want to criticize anyone that it’s him you look at and not AA. In the end it really does seem to me that Beeston is the one pulling the strings with the money and may have a bigger say when it comes to team transactions than anyone in the organization is leading on here. After all shouldn’t the President of the ball club let the general manager do his job without interference, not that I’m saying that’s the case it just seems like it to me/

Having said all that one has to wonder how much patience the fan base has with Beeston and AA, fans can only be expected to put up with the losing and lack of improving the team before eventually they stop spending money on the team. You would almost have to believe that if the Jays don’t win this season AA will be gone. But will that change anything in the end?

I guess we’ll all find out the answer to that in a few months.

 

Yankees 6 Blue Jays 4; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

 

The Blue Jays had a chance to win their first series of the season today against the Yankees, The Jays fell short, losing 6-4 to see their record fall to 3-4 on the season and sit in third place in the American League East a game back of Tampa Bay.

 

The Good: Melky Cabrera keeps swinging a hot bat as he hit yet another leadoff home run today. Todd Redmond pitched 3 2/3 innings and did his job keeping the game at 6-1 until the offence could kick into gear in the sixth. The Jays battled back in the game when it could just have been as easy to mail it in after falling behind 6-1 early, they fought back to make it 6-4 and had the winning run at the plate in the ninth, it was nice to see them make a game of it today. Drew Hutchison’s post game comments where he pretty much put the loss on him and said that the walks that hurt him early in the game are unacceptable, I liked that he was accountable and didn’t look for an excuse.

The Bad: Hutchison was lousy today, he showed some signs of pitching well in the second and third innings, but didn’t have his command in the first as he walked two batters and hit a batter and allowed a Kelly Johnson double in the first to fall behind 3-0 in the first. For the day Hutchison went 3 1/3 innings allowing six runs on six hits, walking three and striking out six. The offence from the first inning until two outs in the sixth was almost non-existent, only Maicer Izturis reached base in that span. And as a whole for the most part the offence has been scuffling although there are signs that some guys are slowly coming out of it.

The Ugly: Instant Replay, it was brought up the other night, but again it needs to be looked at and fixed. There was a review in the top of the sixth when Ichiro Suzuki stole second base, the call on the field was upheld, but it took just over two minutes to do the review. The actual delay from pitch to pitch was just shy of seven minutes. When replay was introduced wasn’t one of things being said was that it wouldn’t prolong games out? Seems to me that it has, and that they need to fix how it is done. I think Mike Wilner has the best idea of how to do it that I’ve heard so far, Wilner says that baseball needs to add a fifth umpire to the crew and he can sit in a video room and buzz the crew chief when a call needs to be over turned. Maybe eventually it will come to that, as the current system isn’t doing much to win fans over.

 

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