Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos opted not to make another move prior to the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline on Sunday afternoon. The club was linked to Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez and Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta but ultimately decided to stand pat.
That doesn’t mean the team is done trading for the year. The Blue Jays still have until the end of August to reach deals and it’s likely that Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Edwin Encarnacion will remain available as Anthopoulos looks to continue to improve his organization from top to bottom. The difference with the next deadline is that each player must clear waivers before they can be traded to another team. That complicates matters and Anthopoulos’ asking price will still be high but the door hasn’t been completely closed on any deals.
Toronto made its big splash earlier in the week when it acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, Mark Teahan and P.J. Walters in a three-team trade with St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox. The addition of Rasmus provides the Blue Jays with another core piece and all of a sudden the off-season wish list is likely limited to additions to the pitching staff and deciding what to do at second base.
That blockbuster deal also took away most of the pressure from the current 25 men on the Toronto roster because they knew it was unlikely another major move was on the horizon.
“We’re where we are today,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said following Sunday’s victory over Texas. “Whether or not we make changes going forward, any player that comes from outside the organization is going to have to go through waivers but Alex is obviously very in tune with that.
“We’re getting three new players (Rasmus, Miller and Teahan) comfortable here. That’s probably the first and foremost focus and not worried about people coming from outside. The biggest thing is the deadline has past and we’re about going to Tampa and getting ready for that series.”
Catcher J.P. Arencibia is also someone that said the deadline didn’t have much of an impact once the Rasmus trade went through and those players started to settle in.
“It didn’t matter for us,” Arencibia said of the deadline. “At least for me I know that it’s something that I’ve really learned early in the game, you can only control what you can control. So that’s definitely something that I can’t control so why ever bother to have it as a thought in your mind.”
On increased competition for playing time…
“We’re closing in on a point where your performance is going to weigh heavily, which I think is a good thing. I think competition brings out the best in players and yes we’re at the point of performance is weighed into the equation of spots in the lineup and playing time.
“You have young players come to the Major Leagues, you have to provide opportunity to not only transition but to get to the point of being established. But when you bring in multiple guys that have similar skills and similar abilities ultimately performance wins out.”
On his 11-strikeout performance…
“I had a rough one last time out and like I said I wasn’t going to change anything. I’ve been throwing the ball well. I was locating the fastball down and away to lefties and to the righties real well. That was kind of my get ahead pitch all day and then my slider was there for me.
On the soldout crowd…
“It’s awesome when they fill this place up. The crowd really gets into it and I think the guys on the field it adds that level of energy that you can’t really seem to get sometimes. This place is so big, that when it’s 15,000 or even 20,000 it still feels empty because it’s such a large building. With that extra energy it’s fun to play.”
On improved performance of rotation…
I think we’ve been throwing the ball well for awhile now. I think everybody in the rotation has found their stride, it’s great to have Cecil back and throwing the ball like he can. Villanueva has been great and Mills was awesome yesterday. Everybody is throwing good, it’s kind of one of those things where you pass the baton and you want to keep going.
On trade deadline…
It didn’t really concern me too much. It was kind of just looking to see what the other teams do and I thought we made a good trade for our team. We’re excited to have Colby.
On whether pre-game ceremony caused a distraction…
“Not really, up until it went over time. I think we were supposed to start at 1:34 and we ended up starting at 1:42, 1:43. You just kind of think, in your head, of when an hour or so is, and then you usually start getting stretched and then go from there. The over time affects you a little bit, you don’t want to wait too long.”
The Blue Jays have reportedly made a late push to acquire Wandy Rodriguez. Multiple online reports are suggesting general manager Alex Anthopoulos is in hot pursuit of the Astros left hander but it wasn’t immediately clear whether a deal was close to being completed.
Rodriguez is owed a total of $23 million in 2012-13. He also has a club option worth $13 million in 2014 that becomes a player option if he is traded. Toronto has the financial flexibility to take on that kind of salary but it’s not known whether they would be willing to commit that to a 32-year-old pitcher who has gone 7-7 with a 3.47 ERA in the National League Central this season.
My bet is the Blue Jays would be very hesitant to commit that kind of money to Rodriguez if they also had to part with top prospects in the deal. It’s highly unlikely Rodriguez would walk away from from the $13 million he’s be set to earn at age 35 in 2014, which means he still owed more than $36 million on his contract.
It’s possible a deal gets done but with Anthopoulos calling GMs all over the league I wouldn’t read too much into this unless more details leak out in the next half an hour or so.
Update 3:45 ET — Astros are reportedly done dealing so it doesn’t look like Rodriguez is going anywhere. Blue Jays appear to be content with their current roster but still 15 minutes to go before deadline. Don’t anticipate anything happening but you never know.
What a night it must be in Colorado right now. Just prior to the game it was reported the Indians and Rockies had reached a deal that would send right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland for a package of prospects.
That created a circus-like atmosphere at the ballpark. Jimenez went out to the bullpen to get ready for his start and eventually did take the mound at the start of the game. As he threw, there already was action in the bullpen just in case the higher-ups called down to field level to say the trade was official and Jimenez would have to be pulled.
For now, it looks like the deal isn’t quite official yet but if the reports are accurate that could change any minute. Toronto had been rumoured to be interested in the right-hander — and it’s very likely Alex Anthopoulos made at least a couple of calls to monitor the situation — but it’s unclear just how serious the talks got. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the organization especially considering Jimenez has lost three MPH off his fastball this year for reasons that aren’t quite known.
All is quiet on the Blue Jays’ front right now but that too could change in a moment’s notice. The main trading chips at this point would appear to be Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Edwin Encarnacion. Francisco and Rauch are Type-B free agents that could net a Draft pick at the end of the year so there’s no certainty they will be on their way out of town.
Encarnacion would have been virtually impossible to deal approximately a month ago but he has been on a well-documented hot streak and if there’s a team out there looking for an extra right-handed bat, that can also play the corner infield positions, something might get done. I wouldn’t necessarily bet on it but there is still plenty of time between now and Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Trading Encarnacion would clear up a bit of a logjam for the Blue Jays. Brett Lawrie is nearing a Major League return which will push Jose Bautista back into right field. That leaves Eric Thames out in the cold for a starting job but if Encarnacion gets moved Thames would slide nicely into the DH spot.
Well, that wasn’t a very fun couple of days. Lots of moves going on with the Blue Jays over the past 48 hours and I was stuck at home with a bad case of strep throat. It was nice to be able to get back to the ballpark, though, now that I’m no longer contagious and see some of newest Blue Jays in person.
Still trying to get caught up with some of the things that I missed but make sure to check out the main site for all of the coverage. There’s today’s notebook with items on Brad Mills, Jesse Litsch and Roberto Alomar. There will obviously be a full recap following tonight’s game against the Rangers and Arden Zwelling had you covered with all of the news on the roster moves of the previous two days.
In the meantime… here are some extra items that didn’t make it into today’s notebook. There are some comments from John Farrell on Deck McGuire’s first start in Double-A and also his response to a question about Colby Rasmus’ defense. You’ll also find plenty of leftovers on Mills and Litsch.
Don’t forget… you can find me on Twitter @gregorMLB
On Deck McGuire’s debut in Double-A….
“I thought he threw the ball good despite some early nervousness. He settled down. The one thing about Deck is that he was a pretty advanced pitcher coming out of the Draft. His curveball is the one pitch that has continued to develop more so than he showed in college, where he was a good two-seamer, good cutter type of guy.
“But the fact that the curveball has continued — it was a pitch in college that was in the low 70s, now all of a sudden it’s a pitch where it’s in the upper 70s. It has added about six mph to it. When you consider a breaking ball with that improvement, that becomes more of a legitimate Major League weapon when you’re in that 78-80 mph range.
“This is a guy that — major college program — (is) a little bit more of a finished product coming out of the Draft than compared to a high school arm. An intelligent kid. You’d like to think his path through the Minor Leagues would be relatively shorter than maybe a traditional path.”
On Colby Rasmus’ defense…
“The one thing I think we’ll come to understand is that he is a very graceful athlete. At times, when you see that smoothness it can be interpreted as he doesn’t get good reads, he doesn’t get good jumps or he’s not explosive. We’re not going to rush to judgement in any way after nine innings and looking forward — more than anything — getting settled and getting accustomed to coming into this ballpark and starting to face the people in this league that he’s going to face more regularly.”
How Litsch will be used…
“We know against right-handers he has been extremely successful — and that’s not to say he is purely a matchup reliever — but when you have the ability to use him in certain spots to take advantage of that performance that’s where we see it initially taking place.
“He also gives us the ability to go multiple innings. (I) want to also include this isn’t closing the door on his capability of starting down the line.”
Litsch cutting down on pitches…
“Jesse has thrown 3-4 pitches when he’s been a starter. Two-seam, four-seam, which is a fastball. A cutter, he has used a curveball on occasion and a straight changeup. So, again, the need for those multiple pitches, the third and fourth one, is when you go through the order that third and fourth time.”
Brad Mills (9-7, 3.99 ERA in Triple-A)
On pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League…
“Numbers can be misleading. The PCL is a tough place to pitch. I learned that my first year and I feel like you can throw well, and people who aren’t at the games and don’t watch them, look at the numbers and deem you to be struggling. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been in a dark struggle or anything.”
Biggest difference between this season and previous years…
“I’d say the biggest thing that’s different now is my health. Not that I was ever really, really injured or anything but just feeling fresh, my arm’s feeling great, my legs are feeling good, that’s the biggest thing any pitcher or position player will tell you. If you feel healthy, if you feel comfortable and you can really trust your abilities out there to work and get outs.”
Any change in mechanics or pitches thrown…
“I’ve kind of added another pitch – a cut fastball here and there. I’ve really committed to that. I tried it in the past and usually scrapped it after a month or so. But this year I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to commit to it good or bad’ and it has worked out. Some games it has been really good, some games it hasn’t, but like I said I’m committed to throwing it and using it. I feel like it helps my other stuff as well.”
On lack of job security…
“Every player will tell you I just want to be in the rotation, and give me a fair shot or a longer leash, or whatever, but I’ve kind of realized in three years that I’ve been up and down and that’s kind of the way it is. It’s a business.
“You want to win and if I go and don’t throw well they might make a chance because there are other guys, whether down in the Minors, or here, that are looking to take your job too. That’s the way it is and really that’s good because even during the game you just take it pitch by pitch.
“I’m going to take it start by start, pitch by pitch, inning by inning, all that stuff and try to keep it as simple as possible.”
Jesse Litsch (1-2, 8.16 ERA in Triple-A)
On moving to the bullpen…
“I don’t know, it’s something new. It could be great it could be something that is just normal. Like I said, I’m open minded to try it and hopefully good comes out of it.”
On finally being healthy…
“It has been a tough three years now. But it’s just a matter of you have to get through it. You have to stay positive and keep your mind right and go, just stay mentally focused and physically strong.”
On stint in Las Vegas…
“I threw the ball well. The ball came out well. I was healthy that’s the main thing. Numbers are one thing but how you do down there, how you feel, is another thing. I felt great, ball was coming out great, ball was moving that’s the main thing for me.”
Different mentality coming out of the bullpen…
“I don’t know yet. It’s something new. I’m going to be down there for the first time today and try to go with the flow and see what happens.”
Cutting down on pitches…
“I’m not sure yet. I’ve got six that work well, that’s the thing. It’s something that I’ve always used and I’m able to use all of them. We just got Trever Miller and I know he has a lot of pitches too, he’s a lefty specialist. He’s someone I’ll definitely talk to about that and get a sense of what to throw and what to get rid of.”
Prefer being a starter…
“Yeah, that’s what I’ve always done but like I said I’m open minded. It’s a matter of doing what they want me to do. I just want to pitch, that’s the main thing. Get out there on the mound and compete, that’s the main thing, that’s what we live for, that’s what the love of game is right there.”
Real quick post to let everyone know I’m currently on the DL with a really bad case of the flu. The timing couldn’t have been much worse considering yesterday’s blockbuster trade… but it is what it is. Can’t go to the ballpark with a really high fever and risk passing that onto the other journalists or players in the clubhouse.
I hope to be back at it by the weekend. In the meantime, associate reporter Arden Zwelling has you covered off with all the news on the main site. The newest Blue Jays are expected to talk before today’s game so there should be plenty of news coming out of the Blue Jays clubhouse. I’ll be eagerly awaiting it — just like all of you.
The Blue Jays continue to weigh their options prior to Sunday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. The club has a series a veteran relievers that could fetch a decent return as the club attempts to stock its already rich Minor League system.
Veteran relievers Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch have been mentioned in various online reports in recent days while right-hander Shawn Camp could also be available.
“I think guys that might be in the conversation have been in those conversations before,” Toronto manager John Farrell said on Tuesday. “There’s no real strong sentiment or rumor one way or the other.
“I think our guys have done a good job of just preparing to go out and compete today. But they’ve also been in the game long enough come Sunday there’s the potential for movements to take place somewhere.”
The five veterans are currently ranked as Type-B free agents which means they could net Toronto a compensation pick in next year’s First-Year Player Draft if they remain with the club through the end of the year but then depart via the open market.
That provides general manager Alex Anthopoulos with some leverage when negotiating with other teams because he won’t be forced into making a deal.
So far the rumours have been generated south of the border. Jason Frasor reportedly has generated interest from the Braves, Pirates and Diamondbacks while Jon Rauch (Braves) and Octavio Dotel (Pirates) have also been discussed. The Blue Jays remain quiet on their public stance regarding trades and it’s expected to remain that way up until Sunday’s deadline.
“The fact there hasn’t been any reports that something is imminent, there’s really no internal distraction at this point,” Farrell said.
I seem to have the worst luck with airports these days. I can’t remember the last road trip I took without having at least one flight that was delayed for — bare minimum — a couple of hours. I’ve lost track of how many flights I’ve had delayed but I must be on a streak of 10-plus at this point. It has become a bit of a running joke among the other journalists because I seem to always get stuck on the plane that’s destined for a mechanical failure or some unexplained delay.
Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi got swept up in my bad luck when we traveled together to Boston earlier this month. This trip I’m flying solo though and just finished a movie but I still have some time to kill. So why not empty out the leftovers from last night’s ballgame.
Here are some quotes that didn’t make it onto the main site. Enjoy!
On finding another gear in the ninth inning…
“Down in Triple-A I was doing the same thing. In the ninth inning I was getting up to 92-94 mph. It’s just the adrenaline pumping and wanting to get it done so bad.
“The most tiring last two hitters I’ve ever faced. Mostly (Nelson) Cruz obviously, he fouled off about 10 pitches, 10 fastballs, I told J.P. I can’t get one 94 by him? Not just one or even put it in play or do something?”
On Rangers offense…
“I thought they hit a couple of balls that were going to be home runs but thankfully they hung up in the hot air and guys were able to make some great plays on them. This was a team win. You’ve got guys like Jose Bautista going from third into shallow right field and making diving plays.”
On Cecil’s night…
T”he biggest thing was keeping the ball down. Getting ahead, he threw strikes, when he got behind he was able to throw an offspeed for a strike. He kept them off balance. It was one of those things, where he has got good stuff, he has a number of pitches he can throw at any time, if he can throw them like that he can be pretty tough.”
On Cecil’s first nine-inning complete game…
“I think if you were to ask any starting pitcher their feeling of accomplishment is to complete a game. And yet, to do it in this ballpark against a team like this. This might not be the one you pick on a calendar to say this is where it’s going to be done. But I think the biggest thing is to attribute the work that he has done with having to go back to Las Vegas, regroup, get some arm strength and it showed tonight. He has thrown some very good ballgames since he came back and tonight was by far the most consistent.”
On allowing Cecil to come back out to start the ninth…
“When he had a quick eighth inning that certainly set up his ability to go back out and have an opportunity to complete it, particularly with Hamilton leading off. But you can tell he was smelling it a little bit. His velocity actually started to creep up in the ninth he had a very competitive at-bat against Cruz and he kept reaching back and still commanding the fastball in the zone.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to the work he has done, what he has come through this year to get to this point tonight, against this club, in this ballpark it’s an outstanding performance.”
On what was working for Cecil…
“He had a very good changeup, which when he’s down with that downward plane it makes the deception on the changeup that much better. He did some work in between the last two starts with Bruce (Walton) out in the bullpen. He made a bit of a change to his delivery. More over the head with his hands which enables him to get a little more compact, enables his arm moving a little bit more to allow that downward plane. “
On Bautista playing third base…
“We continue to monitor how he comes out of each game he plays defensively. With the sprain of the ankle we have to build some endurance back into that, Monday’s off-day, right now he would play third again Tuesday and we would monitor it from that point going forward.”
On Luis Perez starting in Las Vegas…
“To get regular work, get regular bullpens in between his outings, get regular rest. We’re not converting him back to a starter with his potential return to Toronto in a starting role. To me, the overall approach you’re going to take there, you’re always going to start your best arms and continue to develop them. But he would come back and he has done an excellent job when he was here and really I think we found a very good left-handed reliever.
“(Perez) always had a very good sinking fastball, with power to it, but he has shown a very good breaking ball, good slider against left-handers and you look at the overall numbers against lefties, I don’t think he has walked a lefty and yet he has struck out 21 or 22 lefties he has faced here in Toronto. We have depth in that spot between he and Rzep.”
Carlos Villanueva was all but ignored following last night’s ninth inning collapse because — let’s face it — he wasn’t the story of the game. Everybody’s game recaps had to focus on another blown save by the bullpen and Corey Patterson’s adventure in right field which resulted in the winning run.
Villanueva allowed three runs on 10 hitss in 5 2/3 innings. He came within one out of recording his sixth quality start in his past seven outings and is now 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA during those seven games. I talked with him after the game but didn’t have room to use any quotes from our interview. So, instead of letting it go completely to waste here’s what Villanueva had to say about his recent outing:
On coming out of the game with two outs in the sixth and a man on first…
“For selfish reasons I’d never want to come out of a game. But it’s a matchup thing and (Octavio) Dotel did a great job, he proved why (John Farrell) brought him in. I battled out there tonight, gave up a lot of hits, upset that I got two outs, every run I gave up was with two outs. I worked hard for the second out but then I just couldn’t…
“But still, overall, with the type of weather, and not being used to pitching in this type of weather, at least I kept the team in the game. That’s all I can do and hope to do, it happens sometimes.”
On how much of a factor the heat was during the game…
“If you’re thinking about the heat at that point in the game then you’re thinking about the wrong thing. I don’t think any of our guys are thinking about it, I don’t think any of them are going to give the excuse of the heat. It just happens. It’s tough, it’s a tough loss for us today, we battled, we had that good sixth inning. One-run games definitely sting a little more but there’s nothing else we can do right now.
On the nice defense behind him… diving play by Encarnacion… Lind with nice picks at first, etc…
“Guys have been playing great defense behind me all year. It happens. I gave up a couple of bloops and then the hard hit balls get caught sometimes. It’s just the way it is. The guys here take great pride on working on their defense every day and it’s definitely not surprising, I’m surprised if they don’t make a play.”
On being able to avoid giving up a big inning…
“Especially after that last game in New York. I had that fourth inning where I just couldn’t stop the damage. Especially after I got two outs, I gave up the two-run double. Today, at least after I gave up the hit I was able to shut it down there. It doesn’t give them a lot of momentum and it keeps us closer to attack like we did when we came back.
If I gave up, two, three runs in those innings then the three-run attack we put on the sixth doesn’t really matter. It’s definitely disappointing that I gave up the runs but when it’s all said and done and I look back and said those were big outs after the runs scored just to stop it right there.”
On throwing 100-plus pitches in another start…
“I felt good, the heat wasn’t something that bothered me at all. I felt good out there, I felt comfortable. Every time I go over 100 pitches I feel fine. I think the only game I’ve felt tired was the game I started in Baltimore. After that, I’ve been able to get into at least the sixth inning and going over 100 pitches. I’ve felt strong, I’ve been finishing strong later in the game, which is important to me. It’s a battle, we’re coming into August right now, it’s the dog days of summer, especially playing with the heat.”
Jo-Jo Reyes’ time in Toronto came to an end on Saturday afternoon when he was designated for assignment by the club. I can’t say the move came as a surprise — the writing appeared to be on the wall following last night’s subpar start against the Rangers.
Reyes started the year off poorly, had his results improve midway through the season but he was just plain awful in his past six outings. Reyes went 2-3 with an 8.60 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP over that span, which is simply not going to get it done.
Despite the numbers, I fully expect him to either be traded in the next 10 days or be claimed off waivers by another team. Left-handers who throw in the mid 90s don’t exactly go on trees so it’s likely another organization will want to take a chance on him — just like Toronto did when he was acquired as part of the deal which brought Yunel Escobar north of the border.
On the main site you can find full reaction to the Reyes DFA, Peter Gammons’ weighs in on Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick going into the Hall of Fame at the same time and later tonight there will be a full recap of Saturday’s game against the Rangers.
In the meantime, to tide you over, here are some leftovers from John Farrell’s pre-game media scrum:
On whether Reyes was considered for a bullpen role…
“We didn’t consider that given where our bullpen is today and the fact that we felt he was best suited to go through a lineup a couple of times rather then coming in with one dominant, wipeout, strikeout type of pitch where he would match up left on left. We felt like currently the bullpen is better suited than moving him to that spot.”
On whether the Blue Jays would look to fill the SP role outside the organization…
“I think there’s efforts on Alex’s part to test the market and see what’s out there. Certainly, for any kind of pitching the price is going to be high. I know Alex is engaged in conversations all across baseball, if there’s an abiltity to improve the roster in any way. But there isn’t anything imminent to suggest the start on Thursday or Saturday is going to come from that avenue.”
On who would be called up to take Reyes’ spot in the rotation…
“We haven’t made a decision on who that will be. (Jesse) Litsch, (Brad) Mills, (Zach) Stewart certainly those are three internal candidates.
On Jose Bautista starting at DH on Saturday…
“Things are fine. The one thing that we also have to approach with this is any time you get a guy who sprains his ankle there’s going to be an endurance factor that we’ve got to build up. So that was the thought even in outlining it yesterday that the third, DH, third approach would be taken.
“But he wasn’t taken out (on Friday) for reasons that he was getting sore or anything like that last night. The fact is he’s in the lineup every day and that’s a big bat in the middle of our lineup.”
On J.P. Arencibia breaking out of slump with two homers on Friday:
“Particularly the one against (Colby) Lewis — I thought he put up a very good at-bat. He battled, he fouled some pitches off and then he got a breaking ball that hung up in the zone a little bit and did what you’d like to see guys do with it. He hit it a long way.
“Even in his at-bats on Thursday, even though he didn’t have a whole lot to show for it I thought there was more aggressiveness to his swings, he wasn’t feeling for the ball and it carried into last night.”
On Arencibia’s comments about being more concered with his defense than offense…
“You like to hear that from your catcher because the first and foremost thing is getting the most out of the pitcher on the mound at a given time. He takes ownership in the final outcome of a game and the runs put up on the board, I think catchers take that personal and rightfully so. They’re part of that battery to attack an opposing lineup but at the same time, any time you can get that kind of contribution from the guy behind the plate it’s a plus.
On Brett Lawrie going 2-for-5 with a homer on Friday…
“There has been some hard contact. The home run to left-center field last night. He’s doing a good job defensively as well. I think more than anything as we look at situations where a guy misses either a 10, two week or prolonged stretch where they’re able to step right back in and maintain some of the approach that they’ve had prior to the long layoff those are all encouraging signs.
“It hasn’t changed or given us a projected date but it’s good to see him back on the field doing what he’s doing.”
To say the Blue Jays didn’t get off to a very good start in Arlington would be putting it mildly. Jo-Jo Reyes had his struggles continue with another disappointing outing on the mound. The 26-year-old now has an 8.61 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP in his past six starts. What those struggles mean for his immediate future weren’t immediately clear following the game.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell side stepped a question about whether it was time for a change in the rotation. A more clear picture likely will emerge prior to tomorrow’s game. Generally speaking, big picture questions tend to be answered more in pre-game media scrums as opposed to after games. It’s likely Reyes will become a topic of conversation again tomorrow.
Even if Reyes had been effective on the mound on Friday night he would have been in tough to earn a victory. Rangers starter Colby Lewis was dominant and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning when J.P. Arencibia snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a solo homer to left.
On the main site, you’ll find a full recap of the game and also a notebook with items on Jose Bautista’s return to third base, Travis Snider in center field and Scott Richmond clearing waivers. You’ll also find plenty of coverage regarding this weekend’s induction of Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick into the Hall of Fame. Don’t forget, can follow me on twitter @gregorMLB
For those who haven’t done enough reading today, here are some leftover items from Farrell’s pre-game media scrum today. There’s some interesting comments on Lind’s play at first base and future innings limit for starting pitchers.
On Adam Lind exceeding expectations at first base…
“Any time players go unnoticed they’re usually doing a good job and he’s done a very good job defensively at first . Whether it has been taking a throw up the line with a simultaneous tag, which was the case (Thursday), diving to the line to make a catch of a sinking line drive, which he did two days ago against Ichiro.
“He has picked numerous balls out of the dirt in keys spots where you have second and third with two outs and there’s a short throw. He’s done a very good job there and probably has exceeed our expectations coming out of spring training defensively.”
On potential innings limit for starting pitchers later this year…
“With another 13-14 starts to go with each guy, we’ve got kind of an area that you point to. But how they come out of each start is going to be something that we’ll continue to monitor through the last two months, particularly guys that have switched roles.
“Carlos (Villanueva) is one guy that we have to pay close attention to because you go from a guy who is 62 innings a year ago between the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues. He’s at 90-plus right now, projects to get to 140-150, we’re going to have to monitor that a little bit closer as we go forward to.”
On Brandon Morrow’s inning limit…
“You would think naturally that after 140-plus innings last year he would get to 175. You’re starting to get into a middle of the rotation full season with that workload. At this point, there’s nothing to suggest he won’t be able to make that all the way through (the season).”
On Travis Snider at the plate…
“Since he has returned it has been a consistent approach. He’s covered pitches on both sides of the plate. More than anything he feels confident in himself and his ability to not only get good velocity and above average velocity, but he’s covered some pitches on the outer part of the plate by driving some balls the other way.”
On Snider’s biggest challenge in center field…
“The challenge will be just more territory to cover. But with the tendencies that we have of the opposition, our ability to help with that with positioning, initially. But we’ve seen when he’s in left field he has very good reads and routes and those are playing out as well in his time in center field. He’s able to take advantage of an above average throwing arm and accuracy with some plays he has made already. He’s made that adjustment pretty darn well.”
On center field being easier to get a read on the ball compared to left and right field…
“He can anticipate. He can begin to see the catcher set up, as long as there’s execution to the spot where we’re not pitching against the grain or mislocating. Then you have a number of factors already in play, with the anticipating if a ball is hit hard, to then be able to take advantage of his reads and routes from there.”
On Rajai Davis coming off the bench…
“He has done an exceptional job. When we have made that move he has taken over and had that impact as we have all seen. The ability to steal multiple bases in one inning, I think there has been seven times this year where he has stolen second and third in the same inning and has scored in every one of those instances. We have a little bit more of a luxury to use him in that role but he’ll find himself in this series playing a prominent role.”
On the Rangers…
“This is a very good team that is playing exceptionally well right now. It’s going to come down to pitching ahead in the count. I know that’s no relevation, that’s no new adage, but this is a team that when they get into fastball counts and they get fastballs they do a lot of damage. They also have such a speed element to their game that they can create havoc on the basepaths.”