Lugnuts search for Lansing’s best power hitters

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts will crown the top power hitter in the capital city on Friday, July 30th, as they host Hometown Power Night presented by the Lansing Board of Water & Light.
Hometown Power Night affords local sluggers a chance to show off their strength in a Home Run Derby competition at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The contest consists of three rounds, with check-in beginning at 1:30 p.m. and the first round scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.
The top 10 sluggers will advance to the second round, where the three best home run hitters will have the chance to slug it out in the finals in front of the crowd before the Lugnuts' game that night.
"We look forward to Hometown Power Night every year," said  Lugnuts General Manager Pat Day. "We thank the Lansing Board of Water & Light as we celebrate and cheer on the finest local power hitters."
The Home Run Derby is open to anyone who wishes to compete.
Interested participants must RSVP to Lugnuts Sponsorship Representative Jill Niemi by July 27th at jniemi@lansinglugnuts.com or at (517) 485-4500, ext. 234.


Lansing Lugnuts Roster Transaction

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts, in conjunction with the Toronto Blue Jays, announced Tuesday that All-Star catcher A.J. Jimenez has been placed on the 7-day Disabled List (oblique) retroactive to June 27th with catcher Yan Gomes transferred to Lansing from the Dunedin Blue Jays (A-Advanced, Florida State League).

The Lugnuts roster comprises 25 active players and three players on the DL.  


DEACTIVATEC A.J. Jimenez, placed on the 7-day Disabled List retroactive to 6/27
ADD:  C Yan Gomes, transferred from Dunedin (A-Advanced, Florida State League)


Press Release: Cano, Longoria Headline All-Star Voting By Baseball Bloggers Alliance

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was the leading vote-getter in All-Star Game ballots cast by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, outpacing Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.  Cano received a whopping 45 votes, with only Longoria and Texas's Josh Hamilton also reaching the 35-vote level in the American League.  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies led the National League with 36 votes.

Cano was the clear choice at second base by the BBA, with only the one vote received by each of Seattle's Chone Figgins, Texas's Ian Kinsler, and Boston's Dustin Pedroia keeping Cano from an unanimous decision.  Longoria's 39 votes outpaced Boston's Adrian Beltre (with six), with Michael Young of the Texas Rangers a distant third with two votes.

The rest of the American League infield, if selected by the BBA, would feature Minnesota's Justin Morneau, who just edged out Detroit's Miguel Cabrera by two votes for the first base nod, and New York Yankees' captain Derek Jeter at shortstop, as he more comfortably finished ahead of Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Alex Gonzalez of the Toronto Blue Jays.

While the Rangers were close with many of their infielders, it is in the outfield that they finally break through, as Hamilton led all outfielders with his 35 votes.  He would be joined in the outfield by Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, who used a late surge to surpass Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox for the final slot.  Texas also would be honored with the designated hitter, as Vladimir Guerrero easily outpolled the Red Sox's David Ortiz for that position.

The battery for the American League was Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and David Price of the Rays. Mauer won handily over Boston's Victor Martinez, while Price got the nod to start over the Mariners' Cliff Lee.

Races in the National League were a little more competitive.

The closest race was in the middle of the diamond.  As of right before the deadline, Philadelphia's Chase Utley and Atlanta's Martin Prado were tied with 16 votes apiece.  The late votes pushed Utley over the top 19-16.

Other close races included third base, which saw New York's David Wright take out Washington's Ryan Zimmerman by four votes and Cincinnati's Scott Rolen by six, and the last outfield slot.  Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Andre Ethier were overwhelming picks, receiving 30 votes each, but Chicago's Marlon Byrd slipped past Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen by two votes in the last surge of voting to take the final position.

Rounding out the National League selections were Colorado catcher Miguel Olivo, St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols and Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez.  Jimenez was the overwhelming choice to take the ball for the senior circuit, receiving over 30 more votes than his closest competitor.

All members of the BBA were eligible to make their selections.  Bloggers were allowed to vote for either the American League, the National League, or both leagues if they so desired.  Ballots were published on the individual blogs as a show of transparency.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 and numbers 184 blogs covering all major league teams and various other aspects of baseball among its members, as well as blogs and sites that have affiliated as Friends of the BBA.  The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio each Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk.

The list of participating blogs:

American League (48)


Weekly Round Up: June 21 - 27

Consider this your required reading for the week.  It's more like required viewing and a bit of reading but what you gonna do?

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick @ The Star:

Thanks to the humanity shown by the Jays, McDonald was home for the final 11 days of his father’s life, alternately laughing and crying but always celebrating a life well lived. McDonald recalled for the fans one of the highlight conversations from that final week.
“One year I struck out only once in high school,” he said. “We had a game where no umpires showed. They knew my dad was an ump so they pulled him out of the crowd. On a two-strike pitch, he punched me out on a curveball. We were talking in the hospital with a bunch of his umpire friends. I said, ‘Dad, was that really a strike?’ He said, ‘Son, it was a strike then and it’s a strike now.’”

This is a touchy subject for me.  I lost my Dad when I was younger and debated on whether or not to add this wonderful story.  In the end, this may end up being the story of the year and I am happy John had an opportunity to spend some time with his father before he passed away.  To hit a homerun in his first at bat back in the line up after his death, considering he had 13 in 1911 plate appearances over his 12 season in the Major Leagues, well that is something very special.      

Courtesy of MLB.com:

Hours prior to the Blue Jays' contest against the Cardinals on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, an earthquake reading 5.5 on the Richter Scale sent shock waves throughout the city of Toronto, spanning as far as Boston, Chicago, and New York. While an earthquake in Toronto is practically unheard of -- the last one of this magnitude coming nearly 20 years ago -- this is the second time this month the Blue Jays have experienced a series of tremors.

Earthquake in Ontario?  Last year we had a bunch of tornadoes touch down and now this?  Yikes. 

Courtesy of Buck Martinez @ Sportsnet.ca:

BOB OWSNETT ASKS: I've always wondered what's involved in a pitcher's SIMULATED game? Does it take place under the stands with a strike zone target OR out on the diamond with a catcher? Are certain situations set up? Do they pitch a full game or just a few innings? Do they actually face batters, OR is it like throwing in the bullpen? Please enlighten me on this subject.
BUCK: Good question Bob. We always talk about a pitcher throwing a "simulated" game without much explanation. Generally this involves a pitcher coming back from injury. As he builds up his arm strength and stamina getting closer to major league action, the team will set up one of these sim sessions. The idea is to simulate the action of pitching an inning. He will face some of his own hitters, the catcher will call pitches and the pitching coach will serve as the umpire. The inning will consist of a regular sequence of pitches to a batter that has an at-bat. If he gets a base hit he doesn't run the bases but the pitcher will work out of the stretch. When three outs are recorded, the inning is over, the pitcher takes his normal break between innings and resumes the process. This simulated game is the last practice a pitcher has before he makes a "rehab assignment" in the minors as a final tune up before activation onto the major league roster. Of course I would always prefer they simulate no-hitters!

Buck does his weekly Q & A.  Usually pretty basic stuff but this was somewhat enlightening. 

Courtesy of MLBTR:

The Padres have acquired Kyle Phillips from the Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named later, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter). The move represents a homecoming for Phillips, who was born in San Diego.
The 26-year-old broke into the major leagues for the first time last year, compiling five hits in 18 late-season plate appearances for Toronto. Over the course of nine minor league seasons with three different organizations, Phillips has a slash line of .265/.333/.381. Though he came through the minors as a catcher, he has spent most of his time this year at third base, hitting .258/.310/.333 in 71 plate appearances for the Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star points out (via Twitter) that Phillips was stuck behind a slew of players on the Jays' catcher and corner infield depth charts.

Phillips was not going to see anytime behind the plate because of the following guys:
Things look good with respect to depth at the catching position here in Toronto.  Should we shop John Buck and see what we can get in return? 

Courtesy of Bob Elliott @ Toronto Sun: 

Paul Beeston’s November presidential visit to Halladay in Oldsmar, Fla. in was the date when there was no turning back.
“I didn’t tell Paul I didn’t want to come back,” Halladay said. “I said I didn’t want to sign long-term, keep my options open. I wanted a chance to win ...”
Halladay catches himself and adds: “basically I guess by me saying that, I was saying the same thing.”

A lot of interesting stuff came out about the Roy Halladay trade this week.  I'm glad this ordeal is over with and wish him well on the rest of his season.    

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick @ The Star:

“When (former GM) J.P. (Ricciardi) was still with them, he had come to us and said what about this extension, blah, blah, blah,” Brandy explained. “They offered us a lot of money. Like we said, it’s not about the money, it’s about putting ourselves in the position to attain the goals we set for ourselves. We said at this time we can’t sign that extension because we don’t know where the team’s going.”
The Jays sent an entourage to Tampa to meet with the Halladays at their home in December of ’08 prior to the winter meetings. The option for the best pitcher in baseball at the time was to sign an extension or else the Jays would explore trade opportunities.
“At that point we had been asked for a list of teams,” she said. “At spring training we said, ‘Look, if you’re going to (trade), do it now. Don’t do it during the year because it’s a media frenzy for the team, it’s a media frenzy for us. Either get it done or let us do our job. When they didn’t, we thought we would be here all year. We never went and said we want a trade. They came to us every time.”
This interview with Roy's wife Brandy was particularly insightful.   

Courtesy of Bob Elliott @ Toronto Sun: 

Isn’t it nicer, now that the Blue Jays clubhouse is so loose?
That real serious guy, who never smiled or laughed, has left.
In the spring, Shaun Marcum said with Roy Halladay gone the Jays clubhouse would be looser, the Jays would “have fun,” and Marcum would “talk to young guys.”
It was a shot at the departed Halladay’s intensity. People within the Jays organization have said the clubhouse was more relaxed once Halladay left with his all-too-serious attitude.

This story got a few of my fellow Jays bloggers pretty pissed.  What do you guys think?  


Bats Right, Throws Left

A couple weeks back, myself and Golden Arm were talking about the idea of the player who bats right handed but throws left handed. We figured it can't be that magical and must be common place right? Not so much. With the St. Louis Cardinals in town last week, they have a player Ryan Ludwick who does just that, so I decided to scan The Blue Jays major and minor league rosters to find just how rare it is. For the sake of argument, I will include position players and pitchers. Here's the tally:

Las Vegas 51's: 0 position players, 2 pitchers: Brad Mills and Sean Henn

New Hampshire Fisher Cats: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

Dunedin Blue Jays: 0 position players, 1 pitcher: Evan Crawford

Lansing Lugnuts: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

Auburn Doubledays: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

GCL Blue Jays: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

DSL Blue Jays: 0 position players, 1 pitcher: Ronald Manchego.

The Jays have a whopping 4 players in our system who bat right handed and throw left handed and each of them are pitchers.

So how does history treat these misfits? Since 1871 there have been 57 players who have made the majors playing this way. Here are a couple of names who have excelled at the Major League Level:

Cody Ross - OF - Florida Marlins: 2003-Present
Ryan Ludwik - OF - St. Louis Cardinals: 2002-Present
Mark Carreon - OF - NY Mets, Detroit Tigers, San Fran Giants, Cleveland Indians: 1987-1996
Hick Carpenter - 3B - St. Louis Browns: 1879-1892
Jonny Cooney - CF, P, 1B - Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees: 1921-1944
Rube Bressler - LF, 1B, P - Philadelphia A's, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Robins: 1914-1932
Cleon Jones - OF - New York Mets, Chicago White Sox: 1963-1976
Hal Chase - 1B - Chicago White Sox: 1905-1919 (Chase was kicked out of baseball for gambling)
Jimmy Ryan - OF - Chicago White Stockings, Washington Senators: 1885-1903
Ricky Henderson - OF - Oakland A's, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays: 1979-2003

Other notables include Jason Lane and Doug Ault, so that means that out of the 57 players all time, 3 have worn the Blue Jays on their chest.


Big Game Tonight

Ladies and gentlemen, if you do not plan to be watching the game tonight I think it is fair to say you are not welcome here at 1BlueJaysWay anymore.  Doc will be facing his former teammates and I thought you may be interested in his career numbers vs our boys.

Roy Halladay (phi) - throws Right at tor - 7:05 PM ET - 
Jose Molina 14 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 .071 .133 .143 .276
Alex Gonzalez 10 3 0 0 0 3 1 1 .300 .333 .300 .633
Nick Green 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 .111 .111 .111 .222
John Buck 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Dewayne Wise 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Lyle Overbay 3 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667
I was asked to do a guest post by contributor Jay Ballz over at his site Phoul Ballz.com and gladly accepted.  Take a look when you have a chance, my current thoughts about life minus the Doctor are all there for all to see.

Chad Jenkins Begins His Rise Up The Ladder

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts, in conjunction with the Toronto Blue Jays, announced that pitchers Chad Jenkins and Evan Crawford have been promoted to the Dunedin Blue Jays (A-Advanced, Florida State League).  In a corresponding move, pitchers Scott Gracey and Egan Smith have been transferred to Lugnuts from the Auburn Doubledays (Short-A, New York-Penn League).

Jenkins, 22, was selected 20th overall in the 2009 Amateur Draft and was voted to the Midwest League Eastern Division All-Star team.  In 13 starts with Lansing, the right-hander posted a 5-4 record with a 3.63 ERA in 79.1 innings.  He walked only 13 batters while striking out 64.

Crawford, 23, cycled between the Lansing bullpen and the starting rotation, going 3-2 with a 4.01 earned run average in 16 appearances (seven starts).

Gracey and Smith each began their 2010 campaigns with the Lugnuts before they were transferred to Auburn on June 15th.  In a pair of starts for the Doubledays, Smith allowed no earned runs over 11 innings while striking out 11.  Gracey added five scoreless one-hit innings in a pair of relief appearances.

The Lugnuts roster comprises 25 active players and two players on the DL. 


DELETE:  RHP Chad Jenkins, transferred to Dunedin (A-Advanced, Florida State League)
DELETE:  LHP Evan Crawford, transferred to Dunedin (A-Advanced, Florida State League)
ADD:  RHP Scott Gracey, transferred from Auburn (Short-A, New York-Penn League)
ADD:  LHP Egan Smith, transferred from Auburn (Short-A, New York-Penn League)


Get Your Protest On!


They moved the Jays series to Philly?

I demand everyone get down to Toronto for this clusterfuck and break something immediately. 

Here is a handy link for all you freedom fighters: No mere barricade

And EVERYONE needs to follow this on twitter.  Pure jokes.


Game 61 Recap: Live And In Effect

Hoff makes his debut @ 3 bag and goes 1 for 3

The Human Rain Delay, Jimmy Triggz, LastRow500's and me, The Man With The Golden Arm decided to brave the police state that is Toronto and head down to see King Albert live and in the flesh.  I left my house in Guelph at 2pm for a 7:07 start, expecting the worst.  You know what, it was a piece of cake.  Got the car parked, picked up the tickets from the box office and even got a seat at St. Louis Bar and Grill before 5pm.

Now I mentioned that King Albert was "a" reason why we braved the cops and fences to catch the game.  But in fact the real reason was because our boy Jesse was taking in the game and we wanted to meet this American friend of ours.  He did not disappoint, taking a half inning out of his busy schedule to sit and chat with us about baseball and life in general.

Jesse also got some time on the air, discussing all things prospect on Jays Talk.  He did forget to plug the blog but what are you gonna do?  Guess we could forgive him this one time.....

The game itself was pretty ugly.  King Albert went 0 for 4.  We lost 9 - 4 and it was #TweetingTuesday which I gotta tell you, is a fucking terrible promotion.  I got an idea: why don't the cheap bastards @ Rogers bring back twoonie Tuesdays instead?

J-Bau went deep twice to raise his Major League leading total to 20.  Hope he is coming out of that slump a little bit, considering we DFA'd E5 so that he play some 3 bag when Snider gets well.  I don't disagree with that move at all but I have E5 for 3 bucks in my big money AL only fantasy league and would have appreciated a phone call or something beforehand from the brain trust so that I could have traded his ass.  I don't know if he clears waivers or not but The Cito had this to say about the move:

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston made it quite clear on Tuesday that 3B Edwin Encarnacion was not designated for assignment on Monday because of a lack of effort or hustle. "I never felt that way about Edwin," Gaston told MLB.com. "What you guys probably heard on the radio, I mean, we don't tell you guys who's knees are hurting them or who's legs are hurting, because then the opposition knows about it. Edwin, he's been beat up a little bit, sore in his legs and stuff, because he didn't have spring training. When guys don't run the ball out, sometimes it's got nothing to do with their effort. It's got something to do with we tell them to pull up. [The move had] nothing to do with that. If a guy's not running or playing up to what I think he should be doing, if he's healthy, then I will say something to him. So it's got nothing to do with that."

As for the game tonight, we got Ricky Romero (6-3 3.08 ERA) on the bump against former Jay Chris Carpenter (8-1 2.83 ERA).  Great pitching match up and one I will be happy to take in from the safety and comfort of my couch.

Pretty Shitty All Star Post

We can't believe this game decides home field advantage in the World Series.  Like it blows our mind that our sport does this.

Anyways, here are some picks that we would like to see in the game.  Keeping in mind that:

A) we think the game itself is a joke
B) we think the voting process is a bigger joke
C) this is a Blue Jays blog
D) we like our fellow Canadians
E) we absolutely HATE the Yankees and Red Sox

1st Base: Justin Morneau

He is the leading vote getter currently.  Probably because Target Field is selling out every night and not the fact he is in the mix for a potential triple crown.  But so is Miguel Cabrera.  In this case, we pull out the Canadian connection card and our vote goes to the boy from New Westminster, B.C.  Did anybody else notice his .447 OBP? 

We will say this: Mark Teixeira and his .225 average have no business being second in votes ahead of Miggy.  That's just insane.....

2nd Base: Robinson Cano

Pains us to do it but he is clearly the pick.  Moving right along.....

3rd Base: Evan Longoria

You know what, we think Adrian Beltre probably deserves it more.  But he is a Red Sox and we say fuck em.

Shortstop: Alex Gonzalez

Some guy named Jeter has 2,692,418 votes and his numbers look like this:

.280 8 HR 39 RBI

Our pick has 556,965 votes and his numbers look like this:

.269 13 HR 38 RBI

For the record:
Yankees attendance to this point in the season 1,597,690
Blue Jays attendance to this point in the season 606,247

Catcher: Joe Mauer

Realistically you could give it to any of the following guys: Mauer, Martinez or Posada.  They are all having somewhat comparable seasons.  But since Mauer is the only one who does not play for our free spending fucking divisional rivals, he gets the nod.

DH: Vladimir Guerrero

Vladdy is having a hell of a season and looks to be the bounce back player of the year so far.  Playing in that ballpark in Texas must be helping his power numbers a bit, 15 HR 57 RBI, but how do you explain the 4 stolen bases?

Outfield: Josh Hamilton

What can you say about this guy?  His numbers for this year almost match his numbers for all of last year.....He looks healthy and deserves to be recognized.

2009: 89 Games 336 AB .268 AVG 10 HR 54 RBI
2010: 68 Games 274 AB ..339 AVG 17 HR 53 RBI 

Outfield: Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro is doing what Ichiro does.  Second in the league in hits, gold glove caliber defense in RF, stealing bases even though he is "getting on" in years. 

Outfield: Jose Bautista

Alright, this is a total homer pick.  We could have very easily picked some floater from the White Sox or free agent to be / future Yankee Carl Crawford with this final pick.  And they are both very deserving candidates.


Ever since The Blue Jay Hunter came up with this brilliant idea Ballots for Bautista and we decided to jump on board, well, there is no backing down now.  Bautista just hammered 2 more home runs last night and currently leads the Major Leagues with 20.  He hit a rough patch there for a few weeks and we know he is hitting .232 but.....

Let's put it this way: How the fuck is the Major League leader in home runs not going to be in the All Star game? 

Starting Pitcher: David Price

One final fuck you to Phil Hughes, Clay Buchholz, Andy Pettitte, John Lackey, Jon Lester and CC Sabathia.

Price is 10 - 3 with a 2.45 ERA.  But more importantly, he doesn't play for the Evil Empire or the Red Sucks.....yet.

A quick side note: We would be perfectly happy if NONE of our pitchers made the roster for this stupid game.  Marcum, Romero and Cecil have good enough numbers to be considered but we would much prefer they use the break to get some rest and come out flying in the second half.   


Exclusive Chad Jenkins Interview

As you can probably tell, we here at 1BlueJaysWay have a major man crush on our first round pick, 20th overall, from last year's draft. Our boy Jesse snagged this audio for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Best quote: "I still hear those noises, in bed sometimes, those pings"

Chad will be pitching in The Midwest League All-Star Game, on Tuesday at 7:05 @ Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Weekly Round Up: June 14 - 20

Consider this your required reading for the week.  Our boy Jay talks sibling rivalry.

Courtesy of GCOBB:

We know Roy Halladay has been amazing so far during his time with Phillies but there remains a question about his ability to dominate in big games since he pitched in very few during his time with the hapless Toronto Blue Jays.  We got a chance to see him in that situation yesterday against the New York Yankees.

Dickhead comment but there may be some truth to it.  How many times has an ace buckled under when it counted most?  Not saying Roy falls into that category but do we really know how he will preform in "the big game"?

Courtesy of Remembering '51:

Since the trade to Toronto though, Lewis numbers look a little funny. His slash line is .291/.333/.814, and his plate discipline numbers look even more peculiar.
His O-swing percentage this year is 30 percent, a career high, and the first time in his Major League career when it's been above the league average. His swing percentage is 49.4 percent, the highest percentage since his rookie year in 2006 when it was 50 percent.
But you know what? It hasn't hurt him. Yes, Lewis is drawing less walks (his BB percentage is only 5.8 percent, almost five points lower than last year), still striking out a lot (27.7 percent exactly) and his BB/K ratio (0.23) and OBP aren't as comforting as they were in his Giants days. Yet Lewis is producing. His wOBA is .351. His wRC+ is 110. He has already matched his doubles total from last year (21) in 113 less plate appearances. His ISO at .189 is a career high by 31 points.

Nice post on Fred from a fan who followed his career very closely.   

Courtesy of CBS:

Saddled with another disabled-list stint in 2008, Rolen worked his way back in Florida with Hap Hudson, his longtime rehab guru who currently is the rehabilitation coordinator with the Blue Jays.
"You have strength and you have the ability," Hudson told Rolen. "Let's find a way."
So they began the heavy lifting. So to speak.
"You can't do it like you did in '98 [.290, 31 homers, 110 RBI for Philadelphia]," Hudson told him. "And you can't do it like you did in '04 [.314, 34 homers, 124 RBI for St. Louis].
"Not like that."
They hatched a plan that was a concession to the limited range of motion in his left shoulder, but not an outright surrender to the surgeon's scalpel and Father Time.
In his stance, Rolen moved his hands closer to his shoulders. And he moved them down.
Point was, this would take the stress off his shoulder. 

GBOAT and his transformation as a hitter due to injury.

Courtesy of CBS:

Arencibia powering up for Las Vegas: Blue Jays C prospect J.P. Arencibia is just begging for a recall with his recent performance at the plate for Triple-A Las Vegas. Arencibia homered for the sixth time in nine games on Thursday. He also extended his hitting streak to eight games and is hitting .439 (18 for 41) in his last 10 contests. He has nine RBI and seven multi-hit games in that span.
(Updated 06/18/2010).
Fantasy Analysis
Arencibia has raised his batting average to .284 to go along with 14 homers and 35 RBI in 55 games. He had a .558 slugging percentage and .890 OPS. The only negative is that Arencibia has 50 strikeouts and just 16 walks. If the tandem of John Buck and Jose Molina hadn't worked so well for Toronto this season, then Arencibia probably would have been recalled by now. But he continues to toil in the minors in the meantime. Arencibia is considered the Jays' second-best prospect, according to Baseball America, and it largely has to do with his power potential. Arencibia is worth holding onto in long-term Fantasy keeper leagues and AL-only formats for a potential callup in 2010.
(Updated 06/18/2010).
Courtesy of National Post:

McGowan’s latest MRI inconclusive

Dustin McGowan’s long comeback bid has taken another uncertain turn.
The Toronto Blue Jays right-hander, who has not pitched in a game since undergoing shoulder surgery in July 2008, felt a pop in his shoulder earlier this week in Florida. But an MRI showed “no new information,” the Jays announced Friday.
McGowan, 28, will visit specialist James Andrews in Alabama for further evaluation on Monday.
He has had a series of setbacks over the past year. In spring training, he seemed poised to start pitching in games again before shoulder pain shut him down.

Please don't give up on this guy everyone.  Remember some guy named Carp

Courtesy of The Blue Jay Hunter:

To begin his acceptance speech, Roberto Alomar thought back to the morning of December 5th, 1990 when he received the call that he'd been traded from the San Diego Padres to the Toronto Blue Jays.
He asked his father for advice and Alomar's father said he was going to play for one of the best managers in the game, Cito Gaston.
Along with his former coach, Roberto Alomar spoke very highly of his teammates from the Toronto Blue Jays and relayed an important message which rings true today:
"When I came to Toronto, I played with a great bunch of guys. And to win championships, you have to win together and you have to lose together."
Since Alomar's retirement, there was been talk of him returning to the Toronto Blue Jays in some sort of coaching capacity. As he looked to his right over to Paul Beeston sitting on a picnic table, Alomar said:
"Hopefully one day, the Blue Jays can give me a job!"
 Beeston boozing it up on said picnic table

I was lucky enough to link up with The Blue Jay Hunter and we sat together for this ceremony.  Gotta say Paul Quantrill's acceptance speech (which Ian has audio of) stole the show.

Courtesy of Orioles Insider: 

Markakis expresses frustration with team, offensive approach
On team needing better approach: “Sometimes, guys are going up there and it looks like they have no idea what they’re doing. I’m not saying that to bash guys. I want guys to be successful, I want this team to be successful, and I have to produce as well. I'm part of this. But it takes a lot more than one big bat. We definitely need that one guy who could hit you 40 home runs, but from top to bottom, you need guys getting on base. You need guys in there who have a plan, who have a clue and who know how to execute that plan and get on base. We don’t need every guy in this lineup trying to hit home runs. We’re paid to get on base and figure out how to score and drive in runs. You look at the Yankees. They have guys who can hit home runs but everybody in that lineup can get on base.”
On hitting coach Terry Crowley and player accountability: "You have to go up there with an approach. [Crowley] has 110 percent nothing to do with the way we are going about our business at the plate and on the field right now. You can have anybody come here and you still are going to have a couple of guys who are not going to change their approach and fix it. It’s worthless. You can point your fingers here and there, but it is what it is. You’re in the big leagues. You have to change your approach on your own. If you go up there clueless, you’re going to come back [to the dugout] clueless. It’s that simple."
On direction of the club: “At this point, yeah, where are we going? I know we have a lot of injured guys, we’re in the toughest division in baseball and we’re a last-place team. But at this point, it’s mind boggling. You don’t even know what to think, but you still have to be professional and go out and play every day.”

Sounds like there is some trouble brewing down in Baltimore.  They already fired their manager, so what do you do next?

Courtesy of CBS:

Lind adds 1B to repertoire: Blue Jays OF Adam Lind has been working on fielding from first base prior to games and is going to be available as a backup first baseman, according to MLB.com. "Lind's played first base before," manager Cito Gaston said. "He's taking ground balls over there just kind of as a backup thing. If something happens to [Lyle] Overbay, or we want to give Overbay a day off, we can run Lind over there."
(Updated 06/19/2010).
Fantasy Analysis
Lind would need a handful of appearances at first base to gain eligibility at the position. Still, his greatest value would remain as an outfielder in Fantasy and his .209 batting average is hard to start in any position at the moment. Lind has been one of the most disappointing players in baseball so far in 2010 and he's being benched in many mixed leagues as a result. He has plenty of time to turn things around, however, so don't give up on him just yet.
(Updated 06/19/2010).

Courtesy of National Post:

“It’s something that we’ve been talking about the last little while, just to get him going,” Anthopoulos said. “Certainly, he was disappointed in the decision that we made, but again, we told him this wasn’t permanent. He goes down there, plays well, starts to get his swing going a little bit, he should be able to find his way back here.” Anthopoulos stressed that the move does not represent punishment for Encarnacion’s erratic defence or perceived lack of hustle.
“He’s a great kid,” the GM said. “Edwin is first-class. He’s a good person. This one was tough. He’s classy. A lot of times you have things like this happen, players storm out of the office, don’t shale your hand. He shook our hands. He’s a very good human being. He cares.”

I was feeling bad about getting the round up posted a bit late today.  But then this story broke.  E5 to AAA.  Wonder how he responds..... 

Pure gold.


Hot Rods down Lugnuts in 10, 5-4

LANSING, Mich. Mark Thomas plated pinch-runner Diogenes Luis with a one-out RBI single in the tenth inning, lifting the Bowling Green Hot Rods (29-37) over the Lansing Lugnuts (36-30), 5-4, on Thursday night on Jackson Field.
The wild affair saw five different lead changes in addition to a balk, two wild pitches, two passed balls, and three hit batsmen.
Facing reliever Aaron Loup (3-1) with one out in the tenth, Ryan Wiegand sliced a triple past Lansing left fielder Eric Eiland. The Lugnuts summoned Casey Beck from the bullpen and brought the infield in, but Thomas came through with a clean line drive into center field for the lead.
The Lugnuts went down quietly in the bottom of the tenth against victor Alex Koronis (5-2), who completed his second scoreless inning in relief.
Lansing starter Chad Jenkins allowed nine hits and three runs in five innings in a no-decision, while Bowling Green starter Jason McEachern struck out seven batters in six innings but also tossed a pair of run-scoring wild pitches.
Hot Rods right fielder Brett Nommensen delivered an RBI single and a two-run double to aid the winning effort, with All-Star left fielder Chris Murrill chipping in with three hits and a pair of runs scored.
In the loss for Lansing, designated hitter Kevin Ahrens provided a two-run first inning double and Kenny Wilson and Ryan Goins each scored a pair of runs.
On Friday night at 7:00, the Lugnuts open a three-game series at Lake County. Lansing right-hander Ryan Tepera (6-2, 3.34) will head to the mound against Captains right-hander Brett Brach (0-3, 4.45).


Exclusive 1BlueJaysWay Interview with Tom Filer

Allow your mind to wander back in time. Back to a time when there were only 4 divisions in baseball and 97 wins was not good enough to make the playoffs.

Your Toronto Blue Jays were a team that featured names like: Whitt, Garcia, Fernandez, Upshaw, Mulliniks, Iorg, Stieb, Alexander, Key, Clancy, Acker, Henke and arguably the best young trio of outfielders in all of baseball: Bell, Moseby and Barfield.

In the dugout, the calm and steady hand of Bobby Cox called the shots and a young coach that went by the name Cito took care of the hitters. The front office staff included GM Pat Gillick and Paul Beeston, who at that time was the executive vice president.

We were entering our ninth season in the Majors and only twice had we managed to finish with a record over .500. The city was embracing this game of baseball and was eager to build on a second place finish from the year before. On May 20, we gained sole possession of 1st place, a position we would not relinquish for the remainder of the season, finishing with a record of 99 – 62 and smashing attendance benchmarks along the way.

To this day, 99 still stands as the club’s best single season win total.

That magical season in which we won our first pennant will always be known as "The Drive of '85".

We here at 1BlueJaysWay were lucky enough to track down an unsung hero from that team. A man who’s name does not appear above. A man who pitched only 1 season in Toronto. A man who posted a 7-0 record with a 3.88 ERA during that famous Drive toward the postseason. A man who now molds and mentors young pitchers in the Pirates system, for Altoona in the Double A level Eastern League. A man named Tom Filer. 1BlueJaysWay's Jay Ballz had the opportunity to catch up with Tom this week, and that interview lies ahead.

So far in 2010, your Altoona Curve pitching staff has been solid and has led the team to a 42-23 record atop the Western division in the Eastern League. Talk a bit about the success of your pitching staff.

Well, so far the guys have been great. We're pretty strong 1-12 and our guys, for the most part, have been throwing strikes. And we've got some pretty good athletes out on the mound and it shows in their performances.

Are there certain guys on your staff that you have great confidence could reach great success at higher levels?

I think every time you have a staff, there are certain guys who kind of stand out more than others, but I like to think that all of them have an opportunity to move on. I like a couple of our left handers, especially Rudy Owens (28th round 2006 draft pick) and Justin Wilson (5th round 2008 draft pick). And 1 through 5, our rotation is pretty strong. We've got Daniel Moskos (1st round 2007 draft pick) closing out games. They're all doing a great job.

In 1985, you were a virtual rookie coming up to put forth a great effort and helped the Blue Jays advance to their first post season. What was that experience like and what was your excitement level like coming into that situation and contributing so much?

I wasn't really young at the time...I was 27 or 28 at the time. I had a cup of coffee (years before that) with the Cubs, but that year, I went to winter ball and did really well and came back stateside and went to spring training and almost made the team. I went to Triple-A that year and threw very well and I got an opportunity to come back up to the big leagues, I think, in June of that year. We had a very good ball club at the time...very young, very athletic. We had the likes of Willie Upshaw at first base, Tony Fernandez played short, George Bell was in left and Jesse Barfield- are some of the names that people might remember, but we were very good and athletic, so if I was able the throw the ball over the plate and keep it down, our guys made plays for me. I think it's very important to anybody's success is the defense that you have behind you.

What was it like experiencing history for Toronto, with that organization going to the post season for the very first time?

Well, that year, Toronto was drawing tremendous crowds all the time...both home and on the road. We were an exciting team to watch. The guys were really up for it. I had so much fun that year. Just remembering- each game that I pitched was so important and every game we played was so important. But nobody made anything of the game, they just went out and played the game. That's what made it exciting for me. And I just remember going to New York, and we had a two game lead, and we had to go to Boston right afterwards and I think we won 6 out of the 8 ball games we played.

Can I get your thoughts on Bobby Cox?

Ah, I love him. I tell you what, when I was there, Bobby was in his 3rd or 4th year of managing and he was like a father figure to you. He was very open, but very strong in his opinions and how he handled people. I remember those days fondly and I remember things he would say to me. He was always mentoring.

You grew up in Philadelphia...did you grow up as a Phillies phan?

Definitely. I don't think you can grow up in Philly without being a Phillies phan. I still am to this day. I always follow the Phillies. I worked for the Phillies for six years before I came over to the Pirates, and they were six very good years.

At what point did you know you would become a baseball coach?

I would think there was a time when I was getting down toward the end of my career and I had people asking me to go over and help with younger players and that's how it started. Helping guys out on my own team, talking about things, because I was the senior member on some of the teams I was on. I've been involved ever since then.

Are there coaches from your past that you knowingly sample their coaching repertoire?

I think it's a combination of everybody. I remember having (former Reds pitcher) Sammy Ellis as one of my early pitching coaches and he helped me out a lot with my mechanics and that's really stuck with me- that's one of my staples in my coaching. I played for Hoyt Wilhelm and he helped us with our mental approach and I still use some of his stories to this day.

Where do you think Toronto ranks among baseball cities?

Toronto, when I was there, it was a fever pitch. Back in the 80's through the early 90's, that place was sold out every night. I love that town. The eclectic sampling of people you come across, it was really neat and my wife enjoyed it very much while we were there and it was a great time.

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