Tag:Blue Jays
Posted on: June 25, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:01 pm

Strange series on tap

Roy Halladay Ever since his trade to Philadelphia last winter, Blue Jays fans have dreamed of seeing Roy Halladay again, facing the Jays as the visiting pitcher.

Fans in Toronto will get to see that Friday night -- on television.

The weekend series originally slated for Rogers Centre was moved to Philadelphia because of security concerns with the G20 Summit taking place in Toronto. That deprived the Blue Jays of a chance to honor Halladay, who played 15 years in Toronto and was the team's most popular player.

Halladay, who pitches Friday night, doesn't seem too broken up about it. He's never been the sentimental type. He's the completely focused, ultra-competitive, all-business type. As such, he thinks the change of venue might be a good thing.

"In certain respects, it's going to be a little easier being [in Philadelphia]," Halladay, who already faced the Jays in spring training, told MLB.com. "The media stuff and being in the city hopefully is a little easier here. From that respect, I think hopefully it's probably beneficial."

The Blue Jays will be the home team this weekend and bat last at Citizens Bank Park. That's unusual, but not unheard of, in baseball history. What is unprecedented is that it's an interleague game, which means the designated hitter will be used in a National League park.

Some have suggested, as a way to spice up the somewhat stale practice of interleague play, having teams play by the rules of the visiting team rather than the home team. That would give fans in NL cities a chance to see games played with the DH and AL fans a chance to see their pitchers hit.

Phillies fans will get to test drive that concept this weekend.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 2:50 pm

Are Blue Jays buyers or sellers?

Shaun Marcum Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweeted that the Blue Jays may be a source of pitching-rich depth as the trade deadline approaches.

Heyman specifically names Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and Shaun Marcum (pictured) as pitchers that can be traded, although Ricky Romero is in the "untouchable" camp.

Toronto is likely grappling with the decision on whether to buy or sell.

The Blue Jays are currently fourth in the highly-competitive AL East with an impressive 38-33 record that places them six games behind the Yankees for first place. With the Rays and Red Sox nipping at the Yankees and all three teams boasting baseball's best records, it's hard to imagine Toronto has a realistic shot at the playoffs.

However, this season certainly has to be considered a success so far. It's not often one trades the best pitcher in the game (Roy Halladay) and improves. In addition, public relations has to be taken into account: with the team's success, how would it look if Toronto started selling off parts?

Frasor, 32, currently has a 5.40 ERA in 28 1/3 innings, but ERA has to be taken with a grain of salt with relievers as their innings total is so low. He is striking out 9.8 batters per nine innings, which is a career-high although he is also giving up 5.1 walks per nine, which would be the second-worst mark of his career. He's still one of the game's better middle relievers who has experience closing.

Given his poor performance to date, Toronto could probably justify dealing him, especially if they replace Frasor with Josh Roenicke, dominating Triple-A and having been acquired in last season's Scott Rolen trade.

Downs is older than Frasor at age 34, but is having a better season and continuing a four-year streak of being one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. The lefty has a 3.34 ERA in 29 2/3 innings and would most likely bring back a better piece than Frasor. Journeyman left-hander Sean Henn  has a sub-2 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas, so there is a ready-made replacement for Downs, but it's possible Henn has mastered Triple-A but not the majors. Additionally, even with strong replacements available in the minor leagues, to trade the team's two best relievers doesn't exactly send a positive signal to the fanbase.

The last pitcher named a possibility to be traded, Marcum, has made 15 starts on the year for an impressive 3.24 ERA. He was one of the league's burgeoning young pitchers before going under the knife and missing all of 2009. He hasn't missed a beat in his return and while the Jays are flush with plenty of starting pitching, it would be especially tough to justify to the fan base the dealing of Marcum. It's simply not likely to happen, especially when the team can slot Marcum in the rotation for at least two more years.

The Blue Jays are caught in no-man's land between having a season that dictates not rebuilding, but being in a division and with a team that isn't likely to have long-term success. The club has quite a tough road to navigate between now and the trading deadline.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 22, 2010 7:42 pm

Jays to make Hoffpauir full-time third sacker

The Blue Jays will play Jarrett Hoffpauir full-time at third base, announced manager Cito Gaston, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com tweets .

The Jays are in need of a third sacker after designating Edwin Encarnacion for assignment.

Hoffpauir was claimed off waivers from the Cardinals in the offseason and was cranking at Triple-A Las Vegas to the line of .328/.378/.532 with nine home runs in 260 at-bats. He certainly has the bat, as the 27-year-old also hit well for the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in 2009. He can play second or third but is not an asset defensively.

Hoffpauir 's reign as the starting third baseman may be short-lived as outfielder Travis Snider is rehabbing from injury and is on the verge of returning. That would likely push Jose Bautista out of the outfield alignment and back to third.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 21, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2010 6:00 pm

Blue Jays designate Encarnacion for assignment

Edwin Encarnacion The Toronto Blue Jays designated third baseman Edwin Encarnacion for assignment, a day after he was optioned to Triple-A.

The optioning was a surprise, so the designation comes as a shock. The move opens up Encarnacion to waivers, and they may lose him to another team. The 27-year-old was hitting a scant .200 on the year but he had nine home runs in 120 at-bats to his name, good for a .467 slugging percentage. His batting average has tumbled from a career-high .289 set with Cincinnati in 2007.

The move will open up a 40-man roster spot for Toronto.

It's surprising the Jays opted to move on from Encarnacion, who is still owed roughly $2.7 million through the remainder of the year and is arbitration  eligible following the season. However, Ed-E may remain with the club as GM Alex Anthopoulous believes he will clear waivers.

"With respect to the performance and the salary of the player, I would say it's unlikely [Encarnacion gets claimed on waivers]," Anthopoulous told MLB.com's Jordan Bastain.

Teams that may decide to take a flier on Encarnacion include the Angels, who are suddenly thin in the infield and on the hunt for offense, and the Twins, who have been seeking a third baseman all year. The negative about Encarnacion, however, is that he is a liability at third base. He's made seven errors on the year for a .941 fielding percentage. His UZR/150 is -2.6, 17th out of 31 third baseman with at least 200 innings at the position on the year.

Encarnacion's absence will open up more time at third for Jose Bautista, who also spends time in right field. John McDonald, who hit an emotional home run on Sunday, will also benefit.

Encarnacion was acquired from the Reds last July along with relievers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart for Scott Rolen.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 21, 2010 5:49 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2010 8:07 pm

Jays' McGowan might be out until 2012

Dustin McGowan On July 8, 2008, Blue Jays starter Dustin McGowan left a game after feeling pain in his shoulder. Little did he know, he wouldn't return to a major-league mound for at least three years, if ever.

McGowan had season-ending surgery to repair the labrum in his shoulder, expecting to return in 2009. But in May of that year, he suffered a knee injury and had another operation. The Jays expected him back in 2010, but he has continued to have trouble with the shoulder. In March, he was shut down with the dreaded "dead arm" diagnosis.

Monday, McGowan saw famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who recommended arthroscopic surgery to clean up and evaluate the shoulder. Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter ) that McGowan could be out until 2012.

McGowan, 28, was a first-round draft pick in 2000 and seemed to have a bright future. He was slow to develop, but in 2007 he won 12 games, and he was off to a solid start in 2008 before the arm injury.

The road back just got a lot longer. McGowan's contract is up at the end of the season, and the question becomes whether the Blue Jays stick with him or write him off.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 20, 2010 4:48 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2010 5:46 pm

Emotional day for McDonald

Veteran infielder John McDonald returned to the Blue Jays on Saturday after two weeks away from the team on bereavement leave. McDonald's father, Jack, died of cancer last week.

On Sunday, Father's Day, Cito Gaston inserted McDonald, who has just 45 at-bats this season, into the game against San Francisco in the ninth inning. McDonald, who had 13 career home runs in 12 major league seasons, came to bat and hit a two-run homer off Jeremy Affeldt. It wasn't enough for the Jays, who lost 9-6, but what a moment.

After the game, McDonald was scheduled to help out with the Jays' Father's Day contest. A team promotion gave 25 fans the chance to bring their fathers to the game and join McDonald for a barbecue.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 19, 2010 5:55 pm

Alomar inducted to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Famer.

It's the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, but he belongs there just as much as he belongs in Cooperstown. On Saturday, Alomar was inducted into the Hall of Fame in St. Mary's, Ontario.

"I am blessed to have been able to play in Canada, and though some of you won't believe me, this is one of the happiest days of my life," Alomar said in his speech, wrote Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press .

Alomar was eight votes short of joining Andre Dawson in Cooperstown next moth. Dawson was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Also inducted on Saturday were former reliever Paul Quantrill, late Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith and statistician Allan Roth.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 11, 2010 1:12 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Are interleague 'rivalries' still relevant?

Interleague play opens up again Friday and yet again I'm underwhelmed by the Reds-Royals, Mets-Orioles and Pirates-Tigers.

But it's not just those mashups of also-rans that have begun to bore -- anyone excited for Cubs-White Sox? A's-Giants? Dodgers-Angels? Aren't those the reasons we're still stuck with a bastardized schedule? OK, it's Mets-Yankees and nothing else.

Every time this argument comes up, we're pointed toward interleague attendance numbers, without noting that most of those dates are summer nights on the weekend -- nights when teams would draw regardless of the visiting Royals or Pirates.

So what's on tap this weekend for our interleague overlords?

White Sox at Cubs: Nurse that hangover from the Blackhawks parade at Wrigley. What does it say that the NHL in June will overshadow one of the prime interleague matchups? Everything, really.

Astros at Yankees: Loser has to claim Roger Clemens?

• Mets at Orioles: When the Wilpons and Peter Angelos get together, there are no winners. Really.

• Pirates at Tigers: Well, there will be two nice looking uniforms on display.

Nationals at Indians: Yes, they're going to play twice before Steven Strasburg pitches. But one relevant game out of three ain't bad.

• Royals at Reds: The first-place Reds 24th in home attendance. There's only one way to solve that -- a visit by the Royals.

Phillies at Red Sox: OK, I'll admit, this should be a good series. Boston plays in front of sold-out crowds every night, so it's not like this is going to help the gate.

Braves at Twins: Two of the best debuts of 2010 (non-Strasnurg division), Target Field and Jason Heyward meet.

Rangers at Brewers: Does any argument about interleague play hold up when it involves the Brewers?

Blue Jays at Rockies: I got nothing... Blue Jays. Rockies. That's enough.

Mariners at Padres:
Two great ballparks, two awesome cities, one good team.

Angels at Dodgers: If you live in Southern California and want to see the Angels, you've got 81 chances.

• A's at Giants: See above, substitute "Southern" for "Northern."

Oh, the excitement.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

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