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Today's game concluded the first half of the season, and the Jays 41-40 record has them halfway to an 82-80 season. That's quite a bit better than last year, and a little bit better than my 79-83 forecast.

Still, it's always disappointing when you can't hold a 4-0 lead. Even if it is in Fenway.

Game 81: Jays 4, Red Sox 6 | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Waveburner - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#121327) #
I don't think it's a good idea to be jerking Pete Walker from rotation to pen. Not only because of injury concerns, but there are very few pitchers who can move back and forth seemlessly during a season. It takes a different type of pitching mentality from starting or the pen, and I think it's one of the reasons Escobar could never find consistency.

On another note, I had no idea SS could hit 94 on the gun. That's some serious heat. I like that Gibbons has mostly stopped using him against righties.

Blowing a 4-0 lead is tough. Chacin doesn't seem to pitch well lately with a lead. When was his last W? Not that I think it's a very important stat. He's been pretty consistent but I think he needs to improve his change. He doesn't change speeds enough so after a couple at-bats most hitters seem to get the timing down. A more consistent change and he could be a #2 starter instead of #3/4/5. I think he'll win a lot of games for the Jays if they hold on to him.
Fawaz - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#121328) #
I think that was done because Walker's turn in the rotation had been skipped due to the off day. I didn't think he was the best option out of the pen in a high leverage situation with the entire pen available to work, particularly as the game was into the 6th and no longer called for a classic long relief appearance, but it was justifiable given Walker's record in relief and need to get some work in.

Send Gross down. He's clearly not loved here. It's a shame, really. Since his recall, he's hit the ball hard and shown good strike zone judgement. I can't help but feel that one of the team's hottest hitters has been glued to the bench.
westcoast dude - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#121329) #
Amen on Gabe. Where was Adams on the box? Not, after 9 RBIs in the last two games. Why not rotate the whole bench like in Friday's blowout, just to get something going?
John Northey - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#121330) #
I thought it was odd to see Walker out there with men on base. He's been used as a starter lately and odds are he'd be best at the start of an inning. However, I guess Gibbons figured Walker has been effective this year and wanted to see how he'd do in runner on situations to help judge if he could be used in the latter innings as well. Not the best time to find out, but not the worst either (middle of a game, probably won't do worse than blow a lead and keep the Jays in it).

As to Gross, he is getting into games (6 of last 8 games) but not getting AB's (just 8 over those last 8 games, 4 over the last 7). It seems Gibbons is not a fan of Gross, and Gross is headed towards the fate that met Rob Ducey, Ron Sheppard, and many others back during the 'outfield of the 80's' era - young hitter who might have talent but is used just to pinch run/defense/pinch hit and not to start. Gross is seeing his career potential being shifted from everyday player to 4th/5th outfielder. The problem is who do you take AB's from to give him? I'd probably bench Hinske a bit more often so Gross could DH (Hillenbrand at 1B, Hill at 3B) or play in LF (Cat DHing).

Gibbons has a tough job this year. Between LF/1B/3B/DH he has to mix in 6 players - Hillenbrand, Hill, Cat, Johnson, Hinske, and Gross. Gross/Johnson could take some playing time from Rios and Wells but I don't see that happening much as the Jays want to see Rios play and Wells is Wells.

Checking numbers (by OPS order via ESPN)
Hill 357/423/493 (#1 on team for OPS)
Hillenbrand 305/365/449 (#2 on team for OPS)
Wells 262/311/463
Johnson 263/338/433
Rios 283/323/430
Cat 288/356/394
Hinske 241/327/390 (only Hudson is lower for OPS with 100 AB+)
Gross 192/250/269 over 26 AB's

Without the contract I suspect Hinske would be demoted or benched already. Actually, rather than play Gross I'd be tempted to look at Kevin Barker in AAA - 387/453/739 over 111 AB's. He didn't do as well in AA - 254/350/422 over 185 AB's but, dang, one wonders if he couldn't out hit Hinske at least. He is a left handed 1B who never showed this much before at AAA, but has hit well in AA before. A bit old (turns 30 this month) but might be having his career year. I'd say take advantage of it and see what happens. Worst case is he'd be a good pinch hitter and you'd be able to leave Gross in AAA to get his AB's.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#121339) #
I am quite sure that Gross is at this point a better overall player than Catalanotto. It is a shame that his career has been stalled, due to seniority/contract issues. Catalanotto, Hillenbrand and Hinske ought to be sharing the DH/1B positions.

One of the things I enjoy most about following a club is watching young players develop. Nothing saps the interest more than having deserving young players wither due to lack of opportunity.
Ron - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#121353) #
I'm sure one could argue Gross already had his chance, and that was last season where he performed poorly (although it wasn't even close to half a season).

Gross has been a slow starter at every level and I'm sure that doesn't impress JP. What I'm disapponinted in is that JP said at the beginning of the season that if Gross was up at the big league level he would play everyday and not rot on the bench. As well all know he's nowhere near playing everyday\ (with AB's).

If Gross wants to be a major leaguer, it's not with the Jays.

Game 81: Jays 4, Red Sox 6 | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.