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With all the focus on the draft and the status of Brett Lawrie's third metacarpal the big boys continue their winning ways in Kansas City.  It wasn't a pretty victory, the bullpen tried to give it back, but an ugly win is still a win.

Today it's a day game at 3pm Toronto time.  Ricky Romero takes on Luke Hochever, the Jays have to be favourites in that match-up.

Here are some random notes:

It's hard to find a reliable arm in the bullpen.  I know the Jays have a statistically decent bullpen but they are not doing it with confidence.  Luis Perez is the most reliable guy right now.  Marc Rzepczynski followed up Monday's shaky outing with another one, albeit less on the shaky scale.  Octavio Dotel came on for his speciality, a right handed hitter, and promptly gave up a three run bomb.  Finally Casey Janssen recorded a shaky save, when the last out came off Melky Cabrera's bat I thought it would bloop over Mike McCoy's head.

In case you didn't hear Jon Rauch had a slightly sore lat and was unavailable last night.  If there is a save situation today will it be Fireman Frank, or "I'll throw this pitch when I am ready", Jason Frasor?

The Jays got picked twice last night trying to steal off a left hander.  They need to re-assess that part of their running guidelines.

In case you didn't hear Jesse Litsch threw yesterday and could see game action in the next week.  He won't be back in the majors until July.

AA was on the Fan on a few days ago and I finally listened to it this morning.  In regard to the draft he said he told the scouting department to focus on players he couldn't easily trade for.  That would explain why so many pitchers were taken in the first half of the draft.  First basemen and left fielders are easier to trade for.

AA also said that the trade market is dormant during the draft.  After the draft, i.e. today, GM's start assessing their clubs and trade talks start to develop.  AA said he had a couple of things he was working on but that they had gone cool.   The July deadline will increase the pressure on GM's.

I was surprised to see in the paper this morning that the Jays draft finished with almost as many college players as high schoolers.  The first half of the draft the Jays selected high schoolers, the second half college players to fill out rosters.  Some of those college players will hit really well against younger competition in Vancover and Bluefield.  That won't make them a prospect.

Draft signings should start today and accelerate over the next week.  The Vancouver Canadians season starts Friday next week, the team needs to be in place by the middle fo next week.  The Bluefield and GCL teams start the week after.  The Jays do have the equivalent of two teams in extended spring training and most of those players will head to Vancouver or Bluefield.  The Jays have to sign another teams worth of players from this years draft to fill out their third team.  Look for a lot of shuffling over the first few weeks of the season.

The Dunedin and Lansing teams have about a week or so left in the first half of their season.  Lansing have a shot at a playoff spot.  They lead their division but they are just 1.5 games ahead of the third place team.  The top two make the playoffs.  Dunedin are ten games back but they do have a winning record.

Chad Jenkins reportedly has been promoted to New Hampshire.  Rey Gonzalez no longer shows on the future pitchers game notes for NH, so he is either hurting or being promoted to Las Vegas.


So, what else is going on?

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85bluejay - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#236431) #

It wouldn't surprise me if Jesse Litsch spend significant time in the minors on his return - i also wonder about his conditioning because he's become injury prone.

I listened to the AA interview & it was encouraging regarding the comments about the lessons learnt from last years' draft & the desire for improvement and its reflective in this draft which was even better IMO 

uglyone - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#236432) #
So do we have the best 1-2 punch in baseball right now? locked up on bargain contracts no less?

TOR J.Bautista (30): 191ab, 20hr, 41rbi, .351/.502/.723/1.225, .512woba
TOR A.Lind (27): 145ab, 11hr, 37rbi, .317/.358/.579/.944, .399woba

STL L.Berkman (35): 173ab, 14hr, 43rbi, .329/.447/.624/1.071, .444woba
STL M.Holliday (31): 155ab, 6hr, 31rbi, .342/.433/.542/.975, .423woba

MIL P.Fielder (27): 226ab, 17hr, 54rbi, .296/.398/.597/.996, .423woba
MIL R.Braun (27): 228ab, 13hr, 45rbi, .311/.402/.566/.967, .426woba

BOS D.Ortiz (35): 220ab, 15hr, 34rbi, .323/.390/.609/.999, .431woba
BOS A.Gonzalez (29): 251ab, 12hr, 53rbi, .335/.385/.566/.951, .408woba

CIN J.Votto (27): 224ab, 8hr, 38rbi, .335/.464/.522/.987, .427woba
CIN J.Bruce (24): 234ab, 17hr, 47rbi, .299/.365/.568/.934, .401woba

DET M.Cabrera (28): 214ab, 13hr, 45rbi, .322/.442/.584/1.026, .429woba
DET J.Peralta (29): 192ab, 8hr, 32rbi, .313/.372/.516/.888, .380woba
BlueJayWay - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#236433) #
Ricky Romero takes on Luke Hochever, the Jays have to be favourites in that match-up.

Yeah I guess...although Hochevar is much better at home (4.45 ERA vs 6.97 on the road) in his career, and much better against righties (257/316/412) than lefties (297/364/489).  If Hochevar would match up well, it's at home against a right handed heavy lineup.  Though the Jays are good hitting team this year.
China fan - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#236435) #

The promotion of Chad Jenkins to New Hampshire is very interesting -- especially since we know that pitchers like Drabek and Litsch have been promoted straight from AA to the majors.  Of course we shouldn't get too impatient to see any of the current AA crop of pitchers in the majors in the near future -- they all have work to do -- but it means that they are potentially just one step away from the majors. 

New Hampshire now has Alvarez, Carreno, Jenkins and Stewart in the rotation.  All are good prospects (Alvarez more so, but he's very young).  It will be intriguing to compare them head-to-head for the rest of this season.  By the end of this year, one or two of them might emerge as sure-fire major-leaguers for 2012 or 2013.  The direct comparison between those four pitchers will be fascinating to watch. 

JC - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#236436) #

According to, DeWayne Wise has been released from Las Vegas.

Perales to play CF? Mastroianni back up to AAA?

Gerry - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#236437) #

Bob Geren has been fired as the A's manager and Bob Melvin will take over.  The A's had been in a slide over the last two weeks.  The slide started around the time that Brian Fuentes questioned Geren's use of him as a closer.  It will be interesting to see if things turn arround for the A's with Geren gone.

Sticking with the A's, former Blue Jay Graham Godfrey has been called up and will make his debut soon.

Gerry - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#236439) #
I heard today from a Blue Jay insider that there are several moves coming.  It is mid-season and the short season teams are forming.  Chad Jenkins promotion and Wise's departure are the first of these many moves.
China fan - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#236444) #
Encarnacion is at DH in today's lineup.  It's the only place to put him -- his splits by position have become increasingly spectacular.  As a 1B, his OPS is .552.   As a 3B, his OPS is .505.  And as a DH, his OPS is .934.   And this is without saying anything about his defensive woes.  Except in the case of dire emergency, he shouldn't be playing anything except DH for the rest of this season.  If he succeeds in maintaining an OPS above .900 as a DH, it might even save his job when Lawrie is promoted.
Maldoff - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#236445) #
How do the short-season leagues stack up? For instance, it used ot be that Auburn was more advanced than GCL (or Pulaski before that). I assume Vancouver is the highest level team, but how does Bluefield rank vs the GCL?
Marc Hulet - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#236447) #

The are, in order of advancement:
Vancouver (Short-Season A-ball... similar to New York Penn League that Auburn was in),
Bluefield (Advanced Rookie),
GCL (Rookie)

85bluejay - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#236449) #

Marc Hulet,

I was wondering how do the college pitchers selected in the 12-20 range compare to Deck Mcguire - Last year I was hoping the Jays might fail to sign Deck & they would have had the 12th selection this year I think 

Marc Hulet - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#236451) #
I would probably take Matt Barnes or Taylor Jungmann over McGuire.
sam - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#236458) #
Marc Hulet,

Thank you always for your insight and contribution to the site. Wondering if you're heard the Jays "in" on any July 2 IFAs?

Everything that I've read says that this year, much like the draft, is quite strong?

Thomas - Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#236459) #
The slide started around the time that Brian Fuentes questioned Geren's use of him as a closer

:That criticism was ridiculous, even if Geren could have communicated to Fuentes better. The comments may also have been indicative of general frustrations with Geren. Of course, Geren might not be a good manager (or might not be a good manager for this team at this point in time), but Fuentes's comments were silly.

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