Category: Lineups

Blue Jays Look For Revenge Against Orioles

A great pitchers duel for half the game last night turned into a home run derby in the later innings before the Orioles got off their schnide last night to top the Blue Jays and create a 4-way tie for first in the AL East with a 4-3 record.  It was a tale of two Morrows who at time looked dominant and at other times couldn’t get the ball down allowing Baltimore to take him deep on 2 occasions.  Morrow left with the lead, however an 8th inning string of bad luck turned into a blown save for Darren Oliver and a no decision for the Jays #2 starter. The Orioles jumped out in front 4 times last night, and 3 of those times the Jays answered back to either tie it up or take the lead immediately in the bottom half of the same inning.  They couldn’t recover from the 8th inning lead loss however, and ultimately fell 7-5.  To their credit, the Jays bats finally started to make an appearance as they were able to produce 4 home runs to double their season output to that point.  Kelly Johnson, Colby Rasmus, Edwin Encarnacion, and Yunel Escobar all went deep to provide 4 of Toronto’s 5 runs.

The truth is nobody wins every game in the season, and realistically winning 2 out of 3 would be enough to get into the playoffs.  That would give you a record of 108-54 if you could take 2 of 3 from every series you play throughout the season.  Unfortunately that would be just as unlikely as going 162-0. If the Blue Jays are to be successful in 2012, they need to sweep series’ from teams like Baltimore to make up for potential series losses to stronger teams like Detroit later in the year.  A season record of .500 in the East won’t be enough for the playoffs I’m afraid.

Today the Orioles send Jason Hammel to the mound for his second appearance of the season.  He is coming off an 8-inning no-hit bid against the Twins last sunday where he ultimately gave up 1 run on 2 hits.  The Blue Jays will counter with Henderson Alvarez who was in line to win his season debut against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto’s home opener before a 9th inning blown save by closer Sergio Santos left him with a no-decision.  Alvarez went 6 innings allowing 4 hits, one of which was a home run to Dustin Pedroia.

Baltimore Orioles (4-3)

  1. Reimold, N – LF (.308)
  2. Hardy, J – SS (.167)
  3. Markakis, N – RF (.292)
  4. Jones, A – CF (.357)
  5. Weiters, M – C (.333)
  6. Betemit, W – 3B (.200)
  7. Reynolds, M – DH (.143)
  8. Davis, C – 1B (.211)
  9. Andino, R – 2B (.308)

RHP Jason Hammel (1-0  1.13 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (4-3)

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.200)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.286)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.192)
  4. Lind, A – 1B (.217)
  5. Encarnacion, E – DH (.267)
  6. Thames, E – LF (.227)
  7. Lawrie, B – 3B (.241)
  8. Rasmus, C – CF (.125)
  9. Arencibia, J – C (.083)

RHP Henderson Alvarez (0-0  1.50 ERA)

Orioles Come In To Town On A Slide

After starting the season 3-0 against the lackluster Minnesota Twins, the presumed “real” Baltimore Orioles  showed up for their intra-division series against New York falling 0-3 to the Yankees which included blowing a 4-1 lead on Tuesday to lose 5-4 in extra innings.  Most pre-season talking heads have Baltimore finishing in last place again this season, and a 3-game losing streak is what the Jays like to see from their opponent coming into town.

The Blue Jays themselves are riding a mini 2 game streak themselves though in the positive direction.  If not for a haphazard 9th inning on Monday, though, it could be a larger 5 game streak.  Even though the bats aren’t firing on all cylinders just yet, Jose Bautista is only 4 for 23 with 1 home run sporting an average of .174 over the first 6 games, the Blue Jays are getting the timely hits from un-expected sources.  Rajai Davis was lights out in the matinee Wednesday, and Edwin Encarnacion tore the cover off the ball Wednesday night.  As long as the arms continue to fire well, as Ricky Romero did in the finale against Boston, it only takes a couple runs to win the game.

Baltimore will send Tommy Hunter to the mound who went 7 innings allowing only 2 unearned runs against Minnesota on Saturday.  He allowed 6 hits with 3 strikeouts and a walk over that span.  Toronto counters with Brandon Morrow, also making his 2nd appearance of the season.  Morrow started the 12-inning second game of the season against Cleveland where he also gave up 2 unearned runs, only allowing 1 hit over 7 innings.  In 12 career starts against Baltimore, Morrow is 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA.

Baseball North News

A “programming note” of sorts, this weekend a new series will debut on Baseball North, “Remember Them” will feature a different Blue Jay from the past every week starting with 1982-1984 backup catcher Geno Petralli.  Watch for the debut this weekend at baseballnorth.weebly.com

LINEUPS

Baltimore Orioles (3-3)

  1. Reimold, N – LF (.238)
  2. Hardy, J – SS (.200)
  3. Markakis, N – RF (.238)
  4. Jones, A – CF (.292)
  5. Wieters, M – C (.364)
  6. Betemit, W – 3B (.188)
  7. Reynolds, M – DH (.176)
  8. Davis, C – 1B (.267)
  9. Andino, R – 2B (.318)

RHP Tommy Hunter (1-0  0.00ERA  7IP)

Toronto Blue Jays (4-2)

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.200)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.292)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.174)
  4. Lind, A – 1B (.250)
  5. Encarnacion, E – DH (.269)
  6. Thames, E – LF (.211)
  7. Lawrie, B – 3B (.240)
  8. Rasmus, C – CF (.095)
  9. Arencibia, J – C (.091)

RHP  Brandon Morrow (0-0  0.00ERA  7IP)

Red Sox Limp In To Toronto For The Jays Home Opener

Just over 24 hours after blowing a lead in Detroit, the 0-3 Red Sox limp into Toronto licking their wounds from the thrashing they took at the hands of the Tigers to open the 2012 season.  Today, the Blue Jays are coming off a loss in Cleveland but still riding high after a great spring and 2 amazing victories over the Indians to start the season.  The Red Sox are a hurting team, and their fan base is a bit restless seeing as they blew a 9-game lead in September of 2011 and are having trouble getting batters out so far here in 2012.  Alfredo Acevas and Mark Melancon both blew leads in Sunday’s 13-12 loss, and Josh Beckett gave up 5 home runs in one game to an admittedly immensely powerful Tigers lineup.  Beckett, for the record, hadn’t given up 5 home runs total until mid-June in 2011.

The Blue Jays immediately sent Sunday’s starter Joel Carreno down to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game yesterday, and called up Aaron Laffey who will go into the bullpen as the Jays don’t need a 5th starter again for a while. Carreno pitched well, with just 2 mistakes to Carlos Santana being the difference between the loss and sweeping the Tribe.  Unfortunately it is not Carreno’s time just yet and he will be back undoubtedly before the end of the season.  Rajai Davis, who has appeared in all 3 games this season, will make his first start of the year in LF giving Marcus Thames at least the beginning of the day off.  JP Arencibia returns to the backstop after getting Sunday off.  Henderson Alvarez will take the mound for the 36th home opener.  He’s coming off a 2011 where he joined the team in August and made his Major League debut on August 10.  Throughout the half season, Alvarez went 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA.  There were times that he looked untouchable, and other times that you could see his rookie stripes.  Since his promotion last August he’s been working on his cutter, and all accounts state that the pitch is better now than its ever been.  He says he just wants to get out of innings quickly, which is the key for him to go the 7-innings that the Jays want out of their starters.  Henderson Alvarez may not have ever felt any pressure like the pressure he will be under tonight as a sold out Rogers Centre welcomes the Jays home.

Quick Hits

  • Travis Snider jammed his hand sliding into first base with Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night.  He hasn’t played since but is expected to rejoin the lineup tonight.
  • Felix Doubront, the Red Sox starting pitcher, had 3 appearances against the Blue Jays in 2011.  He allowed 1 run on 3 hits in 3 innings of work.

Lineups

Red Sox

  1. Ellsbury, J – CF (.154)
  2. Pedroia, D – 2B (.231)
  3. Gonzalez, Ad – 1B (.385)
  4. Youkilis, K – 3B (.000)
  5. Ortiz, D – DH (.417)
  6. Ross, C – LF (.111)
  7. Sweeney, R – RF (.455)
  8. Saltalamacchia, J – C (.143)
  9. Aviles, M – SS (,273)

LHP – Felix Doubront (2011 – 0-0  6.10 ERA)

Blue Jays

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.105)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.357)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.333)
  4. Encarnacion, E – DH (.250)
  5. Lind, A – 1B (.250)
  6. Lawrie, B – 3B (.214)
  7. Davis, R – LF (.200)
  8. Arencibia, J – C (.083)
  9. Rasmus, C – CF (.067)

RHP – Henderson Alvarez (2011 – 1-3  3.53 ERA)

Blue Jays Go For Sweep In Cleveland

Only two games into the season and already the Blue Jays have fatigue on their mind.  Just about 3-1/2 games worth of innings have been played in two extra inning games to start the season.  Thanks to Blue Bird Banter I learned that only 7 other teams have won back to back extra inning games to start a season.  Of those 7, teams are 3-4 in their next game.  Interestingly enough, there have only been 4 teams who have played in 3 consecutive extra inning games to start a season, and no team has ever won all three.  So while just about everyone on the planet wants these two teams to just get it done in 9 innings today, there is some history to be made if they do go into extras again.  As for the Indians, I can’t imagine how crushing it is to lose two extra inning games to start your campaign.  Broadcasters always tell you how hard it is to bounce back from an extra inning loss mid-season and play well the next day, how do you bounce back from two in a row when you’re not even sure you’ll ever win a game?  That being said however, the Blue Jays need to be aware that these Indians are quite an even match for them and will do whatever it takes to prevent the brooms from coming out this afternoon.

How important are April wins?  You hear it all the time, “it’s only April…” or “there’s still 160 games to go.”  Yeah that’s true, but if you could call up the 2011 Boston Red Sox they would tell you what just ONE MORE WIN would have meant to them during their lousy 2-10 start last April considering they missed the playoffs by one game last year.  Speaking of playoffs, wouldn’t this apparently evenly matched Toronto Blue Jays / Cleveland Indians series make for great playoff baseball?  How about that new 1-game sudden death round?  Could you imagine that classic going 16 innings?

October is still 6 months away however, and we have to focus on today.  The series finale at Progressive Field will see two pitchers who are at completely opposite ends of the Major League career spectrum.  On the Indians side of things is Derek Lowe, about to make his 16th season debut and first appearance with Cleveland.  It will mark his return to the American League for the first time since he won the world series with Boston in 2004.

On the other side of the diamond is the Blue Jays’ Joel Carreno who earned a spot in the big club’s starting rotation despite having logged only 15.2 innings of previous Major League experience. Carreno appeared in 11 games with Toronto last season, accounting for all of his Major League experience, however exclusively out of the bullpen.  He is making his debut as a starter today, where he says he has been working on his changeup and trying to prevent his pitches from flying into the strike zone where hitters could take advantage of the honey pitch.  Carreno has also said about this opportunity to start, that he must do a good job today.  He doesn’t want to make management think they need to send him down to the minors.

The depth on the Blue Jays roster has been on display early this year, a big improvement over last year.  In the marathon first game, we saw positional shuffling that send Jose Bautista from RF to 1B and back to RF again, Rajai Davis come in as a pinch runner then stay in the game at RF before ultimately moving to LF, and even veteran Omar Vizquel entering the game as the left fielder (though he was more of an infield rover) before ultimately ending the game at 1B.  This depth allows John Farrell to make late game moves that he just couldn’t do last year.

Line-ups

Cleveland Indians (0-2)

  1. Brantley, M – CF (.091)
  2. Cabrera, A – SS (.273)
  3. Choo, S – RF (.111)
  4. Santana, C – C (.125)
  5. Hafner, T – DH (.222)
  6. Duncan, S – LF (.167)
  7. Kotchman, C – 1B (.000)
  8. Kipnis, J – 2B (.111)
  9. Hannahan, J – 3B (.200)

RHP – Derek Lowe (2011 – 9-17  5.05 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (2-0)

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.143)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.300)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.375)
  4. Lind, A – 1B (.125)
  5. Encarnacion, E – DH (.250)
  6. Lawrie, B – 3B (.273)
  7. Thames, E – LF (.000)
  8. Rasmus, C – CF (.091)
  9. Mathis, J – C (.000)

RHP – Joel Carreno (2011 – 1-0  11Games  15.2IP  1.15 ERA)

Blue Jays at Indians – Series Continues After Day Off

After the longest opening day in Major League Baseball history, the Indians and Blue Jays will continue opening weekend today at 1:05pm when Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for the Indians against Brandon Morrow and the rest of the Jays.  Ubaldo Jimenez is currently appealing a suspension after throwing a pitch at former teammate Troy Tulowitzki during spring training.  Jimenez is frequently clocked over 100mph and is regarded as the hardest throwing pitcher in the majors, averaging an MLB best 96.1 mph in 2009 and 2010.  His tailing 2-seamer and forkball have earned him a 54.4% ground ball percentage.  He has thrown the only no-hitter in Colorado Rockies franchise history.

Brandon Morrow was 11-11 in 2011, making 30 starts for the first time in his career.  He started last season on the disabled list but is healthy and ready to go to start 2012.  Despite his .500 record last year, Morrow was decent on the road going 6-3 with a 3.07 ERA.  He was 0-1 in two starts against the tribe last season and sports a career 5.28 ERA against the team from Cleveland.

The two teams pick up after an a much needed day off, resting from their 16-inning opening day marathon.  The Blue Jays are trying to ride their spring time momentum that was perpetuated by co-heros Edwin Encarnacion and JP Arencibia on Thursday afternoon.  Every member of the Blue Jays bullpen was used, and both starting catchers caught the entire game.

Quick Hits

  • Despite going 3 for 4 with a home run in the opener, don’t count on Jose Bautista keeping up his .750 season average.  Bautista is 0 for 9 in his career against Jimenez.
  • Indians 3B Jack Hannahan is 1 for 7 in his career against Brandon Morrow.
  • The entire Blue Jays bullpen combined for 11 scoreless innings Thursday afternoon.
  • Prior to Thursday’s game, Brett Lawrie had never faced the Indians in his major league career.
  • In 11 games as an American League pitcher since July 31, 2011; Ubaldo Jimenez is 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA

Line-Ups

Cleveland Indians (0-1)

  1. Brantley, M – CF (.167)
  2. Cabrera, A – SS (.143)
  3. Choo, S – RF (.250)
  4. Santana, C – C (.000)
  5. Hafner, T – DH (.250)
  6. Duncan, S – LF (.500)
  7. Kotchman, C – 1B (.000)
  8. Kipnis, J -2B (.000)
  9. Hannahan, J – 3B (.333)

RHP – Ubaldo Jimenez (2011 – 10-13  4.68 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (1-0)

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.250)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.200)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.750)
  4. Lind, A – 1B (.333)
  5. Encarnacion, E – DH (.286)
  6. Lawrie, B – 3B (.000)
  7. Thames, E – LF (.000)
  8. Arencibia, J – C (.143)
  9. Rasmus, C – CF (.000)

RHP – Brandon Morrow (2011 – 11-11  4.72 ERA)

Baseball North Free Agency Tracker – Week 3

Players listed here fall within 4 criteria: Canadian, Blue Jay at the end of the 2011 season, Blue Jay at some point in the 2011 season, and acquired by the Blue Jays for the 2012 season. Players are listed alphabetically by last name. Canadian players coloured in RED.

Player Position Old Team New Team Trans. Date Notes
Shawn Camp RP Blue Jays
Jesse Carlson RP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Octavio Dotel RP Cardinals Club Option Declined
Edwin Encarnacion DH/INF Blue Jays Blue Jays Oct 31/11 Club Option Exercised
Frank Francisco RP Blue Jays
Jason Frasor RP White Sox White Sox Oct 31/11 Club Option Exercised
Rich Harden SP A’s
Aaron Hill 2B Diamondbacks Diamondbacks Nov 14/11 2 Years, $11M
Kelly Johnson 2B Blue Jays
Cole Kimball P Nationals Nationals Nov 18/11 Claimed by Blue Jays Nov 16, Nats reclaim him Nov 18
Wil Ledezma RP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Rommie Lewis SP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Adam Loewen OF Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Trystan Magnuson P A’s Blue Jays Nov 4/11 Traded For Cash
John McDonald INF Diamondbacks Diamondbacks Nov 2/11 2 Years, $3M
Jose Molina C Blue Jays
Jayson Nix INF Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Pete Orr 2B Phillies Minor League Free Agent
Corey Patterson OF Cardinals Club Option declined
John Rauch RP Blue Jays Club Option Declined
Matt Stairs OF Nationals Aug 1/11 Released, Retired Aug 3/11
Brian Tallet RP Blue Jays Aug 31/11 Released
P.J. Walters SP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Dewayne Wise OF Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Chris Woodward 2B Blue Jays

Baseball North Free Agency Tracker – Week 2

There have been no changes in the past week for the hot stove tracker.

Players listed here fall within 4 criteria: Canadian, Blue Jay at the end of the 2011 season, Blue Jay at some point in the 2011 season, and acquired by the Blue Jays for the 2012 season. Players are listed alphabetically by last name. Canadian players coloured in RED.

Player Position Old Team New Team Trans. Date Notes
Shawn Camp RP Blue Jays
Jesse Carlson RP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Octavio Dotel RP Cardinals Club Option Declined
Edwin Encarnacion DH/INF Blue Jays Blue Jays Oct 31/11 Club Option Exercised
Frank Francisco RP Blue Jays
Jason Frasor RP White Sox White Sox Oct 31/11 Club Option Exercised
Rich Harden SP A’s
Aaron Hill 2B Diamondbacks
Kelly Johnson 2B Blue Jays
Wil Ledezma RP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Rommie Lewis SP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Adam Loewen OF Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Trystan Magnuson P A’s Blue Jays Nov 4/11 Traded For Cash
John McDonald INF Diamondbacks Diamondbacks Nov 2/11 2 Years, $3M
Jose Molina C Blue Jays
Jayson Nix INF Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Pete Orr 2B Phillies Minor League Free Agent
Corey Patterson OF Cardinals Club Option declined
John Rauch RP Blue Jays Club Option Declined
Matt Stairs OF Nationals Aug 1/11 Released, Retired Aug 3/11
Brian Tallet RP Blue Jays Aug 31/11 Released
P.J. Walters SP Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Dewayne Wise OF Blue Jays Minor League Free Agent
Chris Woodward 2B Blue Jays