Blue Jays drop the opener in Arlington

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.”

1 Comment

Gregor, is Jose Molina able to play more often, if called upon? To me it seems ridiculous that a guy consistently hitting over .300 all year is sitting on the bench. Of course, he’s had limited playing time, so that average would likely come down if he played more. But I don’t particularly think J.P has done such a great job either defensively or at the plate.

What do you think of JP getting a few weeks (or more) in Las Vegas, the same way that Snider did. Maybe even just to play DH down there and work exclusively on his hitting. I think he has the tools and raw ability to become one of the best offensive catchers in the American League, but the grind of the game (thumb injury, being tired) and the constant attention to the Jays’ young pitching staff is preventing him from excelling offensively.

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