Tag:John Farrell
Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:10 pm

Jays' Lawrie close to be called up... again

Brett LawrieBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Once again, Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie is knocking on the door of the big leagues.

Lawrie was on the verge of being called up in May when he was hit in the hand by a fastball, suffering a non-displaced fracture in his left hand. But he's back and in 16 games with Triple-A Las Vegas since coming off the disabled list, Lawrie is hitting .344/.417/.625 with three home runs.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters Lawrie was still in the team's immediate plans.

"We haven't changed from our goal of getting him at-bats and games played at the big-league level prior to September," Farrell told reporters, including Ken Fidlin of QMI Agency.

When he's called up, the team will have to make a decision not at third base, but in right field. Jose Bautista will move from third base to right field. The team could send down either outfielders Travis Snider or Eric Thames, or release designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

Thames is hitting .285/.326/.485, while Snider is hitting .236/.282/.368. Both are young, though. Thames is 24 and Snider is just 23. That could mean the odd man out is  Encarnacion. Encarnacion, 28, is hitting .270/.314/.444, but has seen his homers decrease to just nine this season in 325 plate appearances. Last season he had 21 homers in 367 plate appearances.

"The most important thing is that we're getting to a point with our roster that performance -- what you do between the lines -- directly impacts that decision," Farrell said. 

Lawrie was acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Brewers that sent Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee and sent Lawrie, a native of British Columbia, to Toronto.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 6:15 pm

Jays ready to work with Rasmus' father

By Matt Snyder

Outfielder Colby Rasmus was traded earlier this week to the Blue Jays, and one of the main reasons the Cardinals decided to part with the talented 24 year old was reportedly their strained relationship with Rasmus' father, Tony. In fact, word was that Rasmus would neglect to listen to manager Tony La Russa or hitting coach Mark McGwire and instead would only accept coaching from his father.

Having traded for Rasmus, the Blue Jays are looking to build a relationship with the elder Rasmus.

“At some point, it’s appropriate for us to have a conversation with Colby’s dad,” Jays’ manager John Farrell said (National Post). Farrell noted that Tony Rasmus has been coaching Colby since he was eight years old and the two use certain terminology. The Blue Jays want to keep things consistent for Colby.

“You’re not looking to build up walls … This is part of managing people,” Farrell said (National Post).

Rasmus is hitting .246 with 11 home runs, 40 RBI and a .753 OPS this season. Last season he hit 23 home runs and had an .859 OPS. The former first round draft pick has the potential to be a star, but the falling out in St. Louis became a distraction and that can't happen again.

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:23 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 11:46 am

Umpire's missed call costs Blue Jays

Edwin Encarnacion

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Another day in baseball, another bad call that could have been reversed with the simplest form of instant replay review.

But once again since the play in question wasn't a boundary play, instead a play at the plate, the Blue Jays were dealt a loss instead of getting a chance to play for a win at Fenway Park.

After Jose Bautista's two-run homer off of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon moved the Jays to within a run, Edwin Encarnacion singled. After J.P. Arencibia's two-out walk, John McDonald singled to left. Red Sox left fielder Darnell McDonald charged the ball and made a good throw to the plate that beat Encarnacion there. Catcher Jason Varitek blocked the plate with his left leg, tying up Encarnacion's lead leg. However, Encarnacion swiped the plate with his other leg, his right, before Varitek could put the tag on him.

Home plate umpire Brian Knight called Encarnacion out, ending the game. Watch the play here.

"We should still be playing right now," Toronto manager John Farrell told reporters (via the Boston Herald). That play is right in front of Brian Knight. It was clear that Edwin did a good job of sliding around the plant leg of 'Tek, but his swipe tag missed him by no less than a foot. So right now we should be out on that field playing."

Farrell said he couldn't see the play live, but when he saw the replay, he knew Encarnacion was safe.

"After the replay, absolutely, because from our vantage point Edwin is right in line with the play at the plate," Farrell said. "But the wide margin which he missed the tag, a little surprised that the call went that way."

It's understandable why Knight called Encarnacion out, but that doesn't make it right. Once again, I'll go into my broken record mode, but the goal of umpires and Major League Baseball should be to get every call right. We have the technology, we should use it. Let the players decide the games, not the umpires.

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 6:00 pm

Rauch explodes in ejection during ninth


By Evan Brunell

Jon Rauch just had a meltdown for the ages after being ejected by umpire Alfonso Marquez, tossing aside manager John Farrell much like one sweeps that annoying bug out of your face.

Rauch and Farrell were upset with Marquez's strike zone, especially against lefty slugger Ryan Howard in the ninth inning on two particular pitches. Howard walked to push Chase Utley, who had reached base on a fielder's choice, to second. Utley then scored on a Shane Victorino RBI single, with Corey Patterson's valiant throw pulling J.P. Arencibia off home plate to the first-base side. A diving Arencibia missed the tag on Utley, and Marquez correctly signaled that Utley was safe, pushing the Phillies' lead to 5-3 in a seesaw game that saw Roy Halladay eventually pitch a complete game. Rauch was not pleased with the call and immediately turned to Marquez, pointed with his glove and said something.

Whatever he said earned an immediate ejection, and that's when Rauch exploded. Farrell, who was already on the way out of the dugout to argue the call, got in front of Rauch, but Rauch flicked Farrell to his left and went after Marquez. Farrell valiantly tried to hold onto Rauch and drag him away but succeeded in only depriving the 6-foot-10 reliever of his uniform. Arencibia served as a buffer and Rauch eventually stalked off to the dugout.

RauchThat left Farrell a little unnerved, and he walked back to the dugout before turning around and heading to the mound to talk to reliever Shawn Camp, who had just jogged in from the bullpen without warming up. On his way back to the dugout, Farrell had more words for Marquez who lost patience and sent Farrell to join Rauch in the showers.

Farrell then ran to home plate and drew lines with both of his hands just to the right of home plate, in the batter's box of where a left-handed hitter would stand, apparently contesting the calls against Howard before departing. It appeared as if Rauch and Farrell had a case, as the strike zone display on television showed Rauch was being squeezed on pitches that Halladay was getting called strikes.

Camp mopped the inning up without incident, then Halladay shut down his former team in the ninth to register a three-run complete game victory, walking one and striking out eight. It was Halladay's homecoming, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation during pregame warmups and prior to the start of the bottom of the first as he walked to the mound.

Check out the video at MLB.com.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:19 am

Jays prospect close to being promoted

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brett LawrieDon't be surprised if Blue Jays top prospect Brett Lawrie is in Toronto soon.

With June 1 coming soon and perhaps the ability to dodge giving Lawrie Super Two status (if it still exists when he's eligible), Toronto manager John Farrell said he's not sure what else Lawrie has to prove at Triple-A.

Lawrie, acquired for Shaun Marcum in the offseason, is hitting .354/.413/.677 overall at Las Vegas, with 15 home runsa nd 49 RBI. Oh, he's also stolen 11 bases. 

Lawrie has made 12 errors at his new position, third base, but seven of those errors came in his first 12 games, while he's had just five in his last 39. Of those five errors, one was a fielding error and four were throwing errors, which Farrell said weren't his fault.

"Two of those throwing errors were made throwing into a 30-mph wind," Farrell told QMI Agency. "He really doesn't have anything left to prove. We've asked him to address some things and he's gone out and done them. He just keeps getting better."

The Jays asked him to work on his pitch selection -- in 101 plate appearances in April, he walked four times and struck out 23 times. In 144 plate appearances in May, he's walked 14 times and struck out 17 times -- while hitting .349/.418/.750 with 11 homers.

With the way Lawrie is hitting, there's little reason not to call him up -- especially with Toronto third basemen entering Monday hitting .173/.226/.269 this season.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:23 pm

Is Lawrie on his way to Toronto?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brett LawrieThe wait for the Great Canadian Hope may not be long. Blue Jays manager John Farrell hinted the team could soon bring up Brett Lawrie to handle the Jays' third base position.

Before Friday's game against the Astros, Farrell was asked whom he considered his everyday third baseman and he mentioned three -- Jayson Nix, John McDonald and Edwin Encarnacion -- before adding "And when Brett Lawrie comes up, there's another one," according to MLB.com.

The Blue Jays acquired Lawrie in the offseason in a trade that sent pitcher Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee and he was quickly the team's top positional prospect.

A native of British Columbia, Lawrie is hitting .337 with a 1.002 OPS and a team-high nine home runs and 32 RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas.

"If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's going to certainly force our hand. I'm not afraid to say that," Blue Jays manager Alex Anthopoulos said.

Lawrie, 21, moved from second base to third base this season and has nine errors for the 51s. However, Lawrie's never been known for his glove, it's his bat that has made him a prized prospect. Last season, as the second-youngest regular in the league, he led the Southern League in hits (158), runs (90), triples (16) and total bases (250).

Anthopoulos said the team has been impressed with his improved plate discipline.

The danger of calling Lawrie up right now is the fear of Super Two status, but some teams have ignored that so far with the possibility of the Super Two going away in the next collective bargaining agreement.

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 1:02 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 1:06 am

Ump: 'We may have erred'

Joe Maddon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's not exactly Jim Joyce costing Armando Galarraga a perfect game, but don't tell that to Rays manager Joe Maddon.

Umpire Joe West said he "may have erred" in reversing a call in the Jays' 3-2 victory over the Rays on Wednesday.

West's explanation is a little confusing, so I'll start with describing the action first.

With one out in the seventh inning and the Jays leading 3-1, the Rays had runners on first and second and Sam Fuld at bat. Fuld hit a grounder to third, where Edwin Encarnacion fielded the ball, stepped on the bag and threw to first, where Adam Lind was pulled off the bag by Encarnacion's wide throw and tried to tag Fuld. West called Fuld safe.

Toronto's Don Wakamatsu, who was the acting manager after John Farrell was ejected earlier in the game, came out to protest and West quickly called Fuld out, ending the inning.

According to a pool reporter (via the National Post), West said second-base umpire Angel Hernandez told him he clearly saw that Lind made the tag. Hernandez also told West that Fuld had reached the base first, but West ignored that part.

"All I asked Angel was did [Lind] tag him, and Angel told me, 'I thought you had [Fuld] safe for being not he bag,'" West said. "I didn't heed that warning.

"I made the judgment based on what I had at first base. So it appears that we may have erred, but we did everything [by] protocol, right by the book. I don't know what else we could have done."

Joe Maddon came out and was promptly tossed from the game.

"If there's any particular play that screams for instant replay, it's that one," Maddon told reporters after the game. "I just don't understand how you can make that call from that distance. I don't believe you can see it properly. That was my argument."

Replays showed Fuld was likely safe -- and West was initially right that Fuld was safe and Hernandez was right that Lind did get a piece of Fuld -- even if it was after Fuld hit the bag.

In the end, Maddon's right -- replay would solve these problems and the game could have been different. A couple of years ago the umpires made a concerted effort to put their egos aside and confer more often on close calls. It was a step in the right direction, but it's about time to not just take steps in the right direction, but to reach the destination of fairness. In the end, the most important thing is getting the calls right, and it doesn't matter how that's achieved.

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Posted on: April 15, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 12:08 pm

Pepper: Feeding Harpermania

By Evan Brunell

HARPERMANIA: Eye on Baseball's C. Trent Rosecrans took in a game between the Hagerstown Suns and Lexington Legends on Thursday. This is relevant because Bryce Harper was in the game. Rosecran's video below shows Harper taking batting practice as well as some great shots of him hitting during the game, in which he went 1 for 3 with a double.

BASEBALL TODAY: How big of a blow is the Joe Mauer loss to the Twins? What is the latest with replay and Major League Baseball? Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the latest in baseball:

I AM 42: Friday is Jackie Robinson Day, where everyone will wear No. 42 to celebrate the breaking of the color barrier so notably demonstrated by Jackie Robinson. MLB.com has a website honoring Robinson, with MLB players discussing the importance of Robinson to the game. (Iam42.com)

HELLO, OLD FRIEND: John Farrell returns to Boston Friday as his Blue Jays come to town for a four-game series. Farrell made a major impact on the Red Sox during his time as pitching coach and there are nothing but good things said by his former compatriots. Now in Toronto, Farrell has to adjust to managing despite having zero experience in that role. (Boston Globe)

THE REPLACEMENT: Farrell's replacement is Curt Young, who spent years shaping the Athletics staff. While Boston's own staff is off to a poor start, you won't hear skipper Terry Francona disparaging Young. Nope; Francona believes Young is a great fit, while Young himself is still trying to figure out how to get the most out of his pitchers. He's already fixed a few mechanical tweaks with Clay Buchholz and convinced Daisuke Matsuzaka to start a different regimen. (Boston Herald)

RUN, DODGER, RUN: Davey Lopes' impact as baserunning coach for the Dodgers is already remarkable as they are tied with the Padres for most steals in the NL and could double their total from last season. The success rate is also way up. While part of that is thanks to signing the speedy Tony Gwynn, Jr., Lopes has made a big impact on the team as a whole. (Los Angeles Times)

PAGING OSCAR GAMBLE: Coco Crisp broke out a new look Thursday, doing away with his braids and going with an Oscar Gamble-esque look. And really, there's no better team to break out the hairdo with than the Athletics, with their history of follicial accomplishments. (San Francisco Chronicle)

DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: Having two left-handers in the bullpen is something of a luxury for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and he's enjoying the heck out of it, especially since Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi can fill several roles. (Los Angeles Times)

LONG-LASTING RELIEF: Guillermo Mota has been one of the hardest-worked relievers in the game since 1999, and he's still kicking as he's made the Giants the last two years off a minor-league deal. (San Francisco Chronicle)

HOLD ME BACK: Evan Longoria is so pleased with his rehab from a strained left oblique that he's relying on the trainers to keep him on a tight schedule instead of accelerating the process. The Rays plan to take it conservatively with Longoria so he is fully healed and can provide his bat all season. (Tampa Tribune)

UTLEY UPDATE: There's still no timetable for second baseman Chase Utley's return, but the Phillies hope he can get onto a field in May. He did some running Wednesday, but it's still anyone's guess how long Utley will be out with patellar tendinitis. Additionally, Ryan Howard deemed himself healthy after experiencing soreness when plunked on the right wrist Wednesday night by Washington's John Lannan. (Philadelphia News)

WATCH OUT! Yep, the third video in Pepper, this one showcases one of the grounds crew falling under a tarp being rolled out at the Royals game. Despite trying to warn his co-workers, he literally had the metal canister rolled over him:

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com