Results tagged ‘ Erik Kratz ’
After the Blue Jays 4-0 win on Tuesday night the Blue Jays announced that recent waiver claim outfielder Cole Gillespie is headed to the DL with a strained oblique. Gillespie suffered the injury in pre-game warm-ups on Tuesday. Gillespie had told reporters prior to the game on Tuesday that he was hopeful of not landing on the DL.
To take Gillespie’s spot on the Roster the Blue Jays have recalled catcher Erik Kratz, Kratz has appeared in 30 games this season for the Blue Jays hitting 222/254/382 with 3 home runs and 10 runs batted in. The best guess is that Kratz could be used as a platoon partner at DH for Adam Lind and maybe become J.A Happ’s personal catcher again.
Gillespie has only appeared in one game for the Blue Jays since being claimed off waivers from Seattle on Saturday.
The Blue Jays climbed back to the 500 mark with their fourth straight win. The Jays stay a game and a half back of the Orioles for first, and are currently tied for third in the AL East with Boston. the Jays look to continue their winning ways tomorrow night when they send R.A Dickey to the mound against the Phillies’ A.J Burnett.
The Good: Mark Buehrle, there’s not much more to say about the start he had tonight other than he was brilliant, Buehrle out dueled Cliff Lee tonight pitching seven shutout innings while keeping the Phillies’ hitters off-balance all night. Buehrle became the first pitcher to reach six wins on the young season as well. The Blue Jays offence came alive in the bottom of the seventh as the Blue Jays sent twelve batters to the plate and scoring nine runs in the inning. Edwin Encarnacion became the first Blue Jay in franchise history to hit a triple and a home run in the same inning. The Blue Jays also hit three home runs in an inning for the 33rd time in Franchise history in the seventh as Erik Kratz, Juan Francisco and Encarnacion all went deep. Jose Bautista hit a RBI single in that seventh inning as well to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 34. Sergio Santos who was making his first appearance since he blew the game in Pittsburgh Friday night, threw a scoreless inning that only took him 10 pitches to get through, eight of them were strikes.
The Bad: Melky Cabrera went 0 for 4 but reached base on a dropped third strike call. Jose Reyes was the only other Blue Jay held hitless although he did open the scoring for the Jays with a sac fly and he also walked in the seventh inning.
The Ugly: Watching Dioner Navarro try to run, Navarro hit a ball tonight that would normally be a double, but with his quad injury he was held to a long single. John Gibbons said after the game tonight that they won’t put him on the DL when Adam Lind comes back, but at some point you would think that the Blue Jays would rather get Navarro healed up properly and not risk Navarro making things worse. The attendance tonight, only 16,000 plus showed for the game. With the Leafs not in the playoffs and the Raptors season done now, you would think that with no other competition that a few more people would show up. Especially with the team being a game and a half out of first place.
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.
Well, that didn’t go the way it was supposed too. Jose Reyes’ hamstring tightened up on him again in the top of the first inning and was replaced by Ryan Goins. R.A Dickey was awful as well, walking a franchise record six walks in an Opening Day. Erik Kratz tried to get the Jays back into the game with a pinch hit two run homer to make it 6-2 in the top of the eighth, but in the bottom of the eighth the Rays blew it open again taking advantage of some awful defence. All in all just a game the Jays would rather forget.
The Good: Erik Kratz who’s pinch hit two run home run off of David Price were the only offence the Jays could muster, If Kratz is able to hit while he is with the team, it’ll give them a tough decision between him and Josh Thole as the backup catcher, personally I love Kratz offensive upside compared to Thole, and I’m sure I’m not the only Blue Jays fan that thinks that. Brett Lawrie’s at bat against David Price in the fourth inning, even though it ended in a strike out it was a 10 pitch at bat that showed to me that Lawrie is starting to mature at the plate, and it also helped bring up Price’s pitch count.
The Bad: The Jose Reyes hamstring injury, he admitted after the game that he wasn’t 100 percent for the two games in Montreal and played through the injury. In hindsight the Jays should have held out Reyes of the Montreal games so he would be ready for the opener and be at 100 percent. As for now the news is that Reyes will undergo yet another MRI tomorrow. There are reports floating around that a trip to the DL is likely, which is not what any Jays fans want to hear, even if it is the first game of the season.
The Ugly: R.A Dickey, who looked awful in allowing 6 runs in 5 innings of work, he allowed 5 hits but walked 6. It was a game where clearly Dickey didn’t have it as he allowed at least a run in every inning but the fourth. Jeremy Jeffress wasn’t any better as he laboured through a 36 pitch eighth inning in which he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked a batter and hit two batters. He also committed an error on a ball that he should have let Brett Lawrie play, that turned into a little league home run. I guess on the bright side, using Jeffries saved John Gibbons from having to burn another pitcher in a game they clearly weren’t going to win.
The Blue Jays are back in action tomorrow night as they play the second game of this four game opening series, as the Jays send Drew Hutchison to the mound to face the Rays Alex Cobb. First pitch goes at 7:10pm.
Sportsnet tweeted that the Blue Jays have placed closer Casey Janssen on the 15 day disabled list with a left abdominal/lower back strain.
It is backdated to March 29th making hom eligible to return April 13th. Erik Kratz was recalled to take Janssen’s spot on the roster.
In the meantime it is expected that Sergio Santos and Steve Delabar will handle most of the save situations for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays made their final cuts Wednesday morning.
The most intriguing of the roster battles at the start of camp was supposed to be for the last spot in the starting rotation. However, J.A Happ pitched himself out of the rotation and subsequently wound up being put on the DL this morning, so in reality there were two spots available.
Drew Hutchison pitched very well early in camp to earn his spot while the competition for the other spot in the rotation was-well-rather underwhelming. Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond pitched so poorly this spring that the Jays have turned to Dustin McGowan as the fifth starter and he hasn’t been completely stretched out yet. Really though, McGowan had the best stuff out of the guys that were in the mix and some think he has the best stuff out of all the guys in the rotation. The biggest worry with McGowan will always be his health, if he can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, he gives this rotation an upgrade over what it was.
Just like last season, the Blue Jays are going to start the year with an eight man bullpen, this isn’t really news as Alex Anthopoulos had said earlier this spring that because of players being out of options it was likely to happen.
The bench spots were also a given, with the exception of Josh Thole being named the back-up catcher despite Erik Kratz having an excellent spring at the plate where he hit over 400. I imagine R.A Dickey had some input since Thole was his personal catcher when he was with the Mets and caught most of Dickey’s starts last year. In the end it looks like it came down to who the Blue Jays felt more comfortable catching the knuckle ball.
Moises Sierra was named the teams fourth outfielder, again it wasn’t much of a surprise with him being out of options and he did have a good spring. It’s also completely possible that he becomes Adam Lind’s platoon partner this year too as he has shown he can hit left handed pitching.
Yesterday John Gibbons went on Jeff Blair’s radio show and gave some interesting information on who might just make the Blue Jays 25 man roster.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 13, 2014
Interesting, since most of us have been led to believe that Anthony Gose would make the team as the fourth outfielder and possibly the potential replacement for Colby Rasmus in center field. It could also very well be that Gose has options left and Sierra is out of options and they don’t want to lose Sierra for nothing. But to be fair Sierra has had a good camp and Gose is still struggling to show that he can hit consistently.
Gose has seen the writing on the wall this Spring he told The Toronto Sun’s Mike Rutsey that he doesn’t think he will make the team and that he’ll be in Buffalo at the start of the season. “I prepared myself to go to Buffalo and go play there. If it happens it happens” Gose tells Rutsey of his offseason thought process.
The other big news that shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that has paid attention to the Jays camp this Spring.
Gibbons also tells @GloBlair Hutchison at "top of the list" to make rotation, Romero opening up some eyes. "Something clicked" in camp
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 13, 2014
Drew Hutchison also deserves to be in the rotation. The way he has pitched this Spring has looked impressive and the others competing for the last few spots in the rotation haven’t looked very good.
Ricky Romero is an interesting case, yes he has looked good so far this spring, but for most of his outings he has faced hitters that will in all likely hood be playing in the minors. His biggest test will be on Tuesday when he starts against the Detroit Tigers, where he will most likely see most of their opening day line-up.
The other thing with Romero is his new-found positive attitude he has shown this spring, he’ll need that if he is to come back and succeed like he did earlier in his career. It’s not a certainty that Romero makes the team out of Spring, he still has a ways to go yet, but he has at least put himself back on the list of viable options if JA Happ has another setback with his back, or any other pitchers go down with injuries.
It also seems like Eric Kratz could make the team as the back-up catcher and catch RA Dickey this season. He has worked a ton with Dickey this off-season to prepare to catch Dickey and he has shown that he can hit better than Josh Thole can. Last year Thole couldn’t hit and the only thing that kept him on the team was that J.P Arencibia couldn’t catch a knuckle ball like Thole could. This year the Jays need production out of their back-up catcher since it looks like Dioner Navarro won’t play as many games as Arencibia did last year, so having a second catcher that can hit is a big bonus.
Image Courtesy of Getty Images
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos held a scrum with the media it’s documented by the Toronto Sun’s Ken Fidlin and talked about how Spring Training has gone so far and some of the players with an inside track on a roster spot when the Jays start the season on March 31st in Tampa.
When asked about Drew Hutchison AA says that he is surprised by the velocity that Hutch has shown this Spring, “We saw that velocity at the end of his time in 2012 before he got hurt. When I went to the Arizona Fall League, it was so encouraging to see him pitch that way. He really started to come into his own in 2012 before he got hurt so I’m not surprised. I think I said it before, he’s a guy I expected to really impress. He’s off to a great start, he’s definitely opened some eyes, he’s a strong candidate to make the rotation but he’s got to make it. But I love what I see.” says Anthopoulos. AA compared Hutch’s situation to that of Shaun Marcum the year he came back from TJ surgery and threw 195 innings. AA also added that Hutch and Marcus Stroman will not have inning limits placed on them.
Speaking of Stroman, AA says this of him, “The results matter, but at times you’re looking at stuff. (His one outing) was promising overall because he looked good. He got out of some jams. We say sometimes somebody pitched better than his line. It’s a limited, limited look but I expect Marcus to continue to impress throughout spring. I think he’ll just continue to get better.
“It’s not like the decision gets made tomorrow, but every outing for him is important. He has a chance. I can’t give you percentages but there’s a reason he’s getting stretched out. There’s a reason we’re giving him the innings.
“I haven’t seen anybody blow bubbles on the mound while throwing a pitch. I don’t think that’s being arrogant or cocky. I just think he’s very calm and composed. He does a lot of things to help himself, by holding runners, by working on his change-up. There is a reason he was a consensus first-round talent. He’s always had success … Team USA, success at a Division 1 school, success in the minors. Success everywhere he’s been, as much as people doubt him because of his size. What comes out of his arm is great. We’ve talked about the Sonny Gray comparisons. I think they’re fair. I think Marcus is ready to be up here. Do we have a spot? Is he performing better than some of the other options? Those are some of the things we have to look at and make a decision”.
So it sounds like there is a possibility that Hutch and Stroman both make the club out of Spring training if they keep impressing and J.A Happ’s back keeps flaring up, which is why he has supposedly struggled according to both AA and John Gibbons. like I’ve said all along the Jays should take the best team north with them regardless of starting the clock on Stroman’s service time.
It also looks like Erik Kratz night have the inside track on the back-up catchers job because of the power in his bat according to AA, “Still early. We’re giving Kratz the reps simply because we know Josh can do it. Josh has almost 800 innings with R.A. (Dickey) back there. Biggest thing we want to see from him is to swing the bat the way he did with the Mets earlier in his career. With Erik, we think he has upside with the bat. He has power. It’s about how he can handle R.A. The only way you find out is to continue to see him in games. We already know Josh has done a great job with (Dickey).”
With Thursday’s rain out of the Jays exhibition game against the Pirates, the Jays reworked their rotation pushing Mark Buehrle’s start till Friday when they face Tampa Bay, Marcus Stroman and Ricky Romero are both scheduled to pitch as well on Friday. Hutchison is the scheduled starter for Saturday when the Jays face the Twins and R.A Dickey gets the ball on Sunday against the Astros. J.A Happ gets bumped from his Sunday start. The Jays did not announce when Happ will pitch again, with Monday being an off day for the Blue Jays before two split squad games on Tuesday, one against the Tigers and one against the Canadian Junior National team.
And finally a sad note to end off this Thursday night, Dr. Frank Jobe who was the doctor who performed the first ever surgery that is now called Tommy John surgery in 1974, has passed away, he was 88.
Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos made an appearance on Mike Richards in the Morning on TSN 1050 and wouldn’t you know it the main topic of conversation was pitching.
Anthopolous says they are interested in adding a pitcher and still continue to have dialogue but that they won’t go out and grossly overpay to get their pitching.
Anthopoulos also mentioned that unlike last year they enter this year with depth in the starting pitching category with 10 or 11 starters, Anthopolous also believes that Marcus Stroman is big league ready.
AA also raved about the potential of new catcher Dionner Navarro and the potential of having a good tandem with either Erick Kratz or Josh Thole who will battle it out for the backup role to Navarro.
Hearing that Stroman is ready should really liven up the competition this Spring. Which is one thing that many observers have said was missing last spring when the rotation spots were locked up. The other thing that the Jays won’t have to contend with is the throng of media that was a part of the hype machine that was around the team all last spring. As well there is no World Baseball Classic which hurt the Jays last year as many of the new guys were at the WBC and the team didn’t get a chance to really gel and get to know one another as early as they should have.
RIP Jim Fregosi
News broke this morning that former Blue Jays manager Jim Fregosi had passed away in a Miami hospital after being taken off of life support Thursday night. Fregosi has suffered a series of stroke while on a MLB Alumni Cruise last week. Fregosi was a baseball lifer and was respected by all in the game. Fregosi managed the Jays in 1999, getting the job in the middle of Spring Training after then Manager Tim Johnson was fired. Fregosi also managed the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies team that lost to the Jays in the World Series that year.
Pitchers and Catchers Report
Pitchers and Catchers report on Sunday for the Blue Jays although many players are already in Dunedin. The first exhibition game for the Blue Jays goes Wednesday February 26th when they travel to Clearwater to take on the Philadelphia Phillies.