Results tagged ‘ Aaron Hill ’

Hill, Carpenter pick up awards

Congratulations to former Chiefs Aaron Hill and Chris Carpenter, who were honored today as the American League and National League Comeback Players of the Year.  

Hill, who missed significant time last year due to a concussion, received 14 of 30 first place votes from MLB.com beat writers.  The second baseman slugged 36 home runs and drove in 103 runs while batting .286 for the Toronto Blue Jays this season.
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Carpenter pitched in a total of five games in 2007 and 2008 before returning to the mound this year and posting a 17-4 record with a 2.24 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He was a runaway winner of the NL award with 27 first place votes.
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Former Chiefs pitcher Halladay to start for AL

Our congratulations go out to former Chiefs pitcher Roy Halladay who was chosen to start tonight’s MLB All-Star Game on the mound for the American League.

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Halladay, who appeared in a Syracuse uniform for parts of the 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2001 seasons, is 10-3 with a 2.85 ERA for Toronto this year.  This year marks the right-hander’s sixth All-Star selection and his first starting assignment.
The last Syracuse pitcher to start the mid-summer classic was Chris Carpenter who took the mound in 2005 for the National League.  Esteban Loaiza made one rehabilitation start for the Chiefs in 2002 then started the 2003 game for the AL as a member of the White Sox.
Three other former Chiefs pitchers from the Blue Jays era have also started the All-Star Game: David Wells (1998 & 2000 games), Jimmy Key (1994), and Dave Steib (1983 & 1984).
Former Chiefs infielder Aaron Hill (Halladay’s teammate in Toronto) also made the American league squad while former Chiefs Orlando Hudson (now with the Los Angeles Dodgers) and Jayson Werth (now with Philadelphia) are on the National League roster.  Our congratulations go out to those players as well.
Enjoy the game!

ROSTER DECISIONS SOON TO BE MADE

The Toronto Blue Jays are down to their final week of baseball in Dunedin, Florida before making the trip North to begin the season against the New York Yankees on March 31st and roster spots are due to be made.

Position players (catchers, infielders and outfielders) seem to be set with Gregg Zaun and Rod Barajas at catcher with non-roster invitee Sal Fasano likely to be released rather than sent to AAA-Syracuse.

Lyle Overbay, Aaron Hill, David Eckstein, Scott Rolen will start in the infield with Marcus Scutaro and John MacDonald providing back-up at every position. Frank Thomas is the Designated Hitter.

That leaves four outfield spots with Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Matt Stairs all set. The Blue jays must make a decision on Reed Johnson or Shannon Stewart for the final spot. Many teams have inquired about the Jays surplus and a trade could help alleviate the situation.

Non-roster infielder Hector Luna and outfielder Matt Watson could be sent to AAA-Syracuse by the end of the week.

The pitching staff includes a rotation of Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan and Shawn Marcum. Righty Jesse Litsch is slated to be the number 5-guy in the rotation and the Blue Jays have done nothing to suggest he won’t, unless a late season trade occurs.

The Bullpen has Jeremy Accardo as the closer until B.J. Ryan returns, while Brandon League, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs appear set. That leaves three spots remaining for 10-remaining pitchers in camp.

The Jays will likely keep one additional lefty to Scott Downs and holdover Brian Tallet would seem to be the guy. But the Jays also brought to camp John Parrish, Mike Gosling and Jesse Carlson who have all pitched well. In addition, they picked up another lefty Billy Murphy last week from Arizona.
If Tallet makes the club look for the remainder to be sent to Syracuse.

That leaves two spots for righthanders with rule five selection Randy Wells and Brian Wolfe leading the pack. They are being challenged by free agent spring training pick-up Armando Benitez, Shawn Camp and Kane Davis.

Either way there are still 19 pitchers in camp with only 12 roster spots available. This week games will decide who wins jobs in April. Stay tuned.

ALUMNI REPORT: ALL-STARS

Two former Syracuse players were selected to play in this year’s All-Star game in San Francisco. Outfielder Alex Rios was selected to his second All-Star game while 2B Orlando Hudson was selected to his first All-Star game.

Entering play today Rios is hitting .288 with 17 HR, 46 RBI and 8 SB.  12 of Rios long balls have come from the leadoff spot this season where he has filled in admirably for the injured Reed Johnson.  Only the Indians Grady Sizemore has more home runs, 13, than Rios from the leadoff spot this season.

Rios was selected to play in last year’s game but was unable to play due to a staph infection in his foot.

The O-Dog will be playing in his first All-Star game.  Entering play today Hudson is hitting .299 with 7 HR and 46 RBI.  While Hudson has always been noted for his defensive abilities, including two Gold Gloves, this year has been a breakout-year for Orlando at the plate.

Pitcher Roy Halladay, who missed two weeks of the season, is still in the running to make the AL squad as part of MLB.com’s final vote.

Other former Syracuse players who are not playing but should have received strong consideration include Oakland pitcher Chad Gaudin, who ranks 4th in the AL in ERA, and Toronto 2B Aaron Hill, who leads all AL 2B with 46 RBI.

THOMSON GIVES UP SIX RUNS IN CHIEFS DEFEAT

The Toronto Blue Jays had two pitchers battling for a starting rotation spot pitching on Monday against the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguers. Righthander Tomo Ohka was solid as he shut down the Yankees over five innings allowing only 1-run in a 9-1 victory. Fellow righty John Thomson was not as sharp as he gave up 6-runs, in 5-innings of work against the Phillies AAA-Ottawa team that defeated the Syracuse Chiefs 7-2.

The Chiefs lineup today included: Ryan Klosterman 2B, Sal Fasano C, Adam Lind LF, John Hattig 3B, Chip Cannon DH, David Smith RF, Dustin Majewski CF, Erik Kratz 1B, Manny Mayorson SS.

The Chiefs scored single runs in the 4th on a RBI single by Chip Cannon and one-run in the 6th on a RBI single by Adam Lind. The Chiefs banged out 8-hits off of five Scranton pitchers. Sal Fasano and Adam Lind each had two hits, while Erik Kratz had a two-out double in the ninth.

After Thompson departed in the fifth, Dustin McGowan pitched three innings giving up 1-run (solo home run) in the sixth and righthander Beau Kempwho pitched for Rochester last season tossed one scoreless inning, striking out one.

The Chiefs are off to Tampa to face Scranton on Tuesday with Ty Taubenheim expected to pitch for the Chiefs.

Don’t forget to listen to “Inside Pitch” on 1260 AM ESPN Radio on Tuesday live from Dunedin, Florida as Chiefs radio announcer Bob McElligott moves over to the Blue Jays minor league complex and talks with Chiefs skipper Doug Davis and Director of Player Development **** Scott. Today Bob took in the Jays vs Yankees game at Knology Park and talked with Jays catcher Greg Zaun, Second Baseman Aaron Hill and pitcher Josh Towers and Brandon League.

WEEKEND UPDATE

Minor League camp is underway and it’s time to turn our attention to more significant matters – like reporting baseball.   We have made our point and we are not going to waste your time by beating a dead horse on this space.   Again only here on “Inside the Chiefs” will you receive first hand knowledge of what’s going on in spring training with the major league club, Toronto and the Syracuse Chiefs.

Non-roster catcher Erik Kratz was the first player to be sent to minor league camp as the Jays minor league affiliates reported this weekend.

Jays righty Josh Towers pitched two innings today vs the Pirates and allowed only 1 hit, a solo home run to Pirates first baseman Brad Eldred in two innings of work.  Towers also struck out two batters and looked good in his first outing.  Also pitching today in a B-game were righthanders Dustin McGowan and Casey Janssen.  In the lineup today are: Royce Clayton -ss, Greg Zaun -c, Lyle Overbay – 1B, Vernon Wells -cf, Troy Glaus – 3b, Matt Stairs – rf, Aaron Hill – 2b, Adam Lind – lf, Jason Phillips -c.

Over the weekend John Thomson also pitched well – two shutout innings and Shaun Marcum  pitched 2 innings, 1 run, 3 strikeouts. Francisco Rosario, who was slowed by back pain earlier this spring, pitched one shutout inning.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has said that Russ Adams would begin the season in Syracuse and play second base.  The Blue Jays hope that Adams can return to his 2004-2005 form when he played for the Chiefs and Blue Jays and batted over .280 playing shortstop.

Former Chiefs pitchers Dave Stieb and Pat Hentgen are in camp helping with the younger pitchers and throwing batting practice.

In yesterday’s win Curtis Thigpen (2), John-Ford Griffin and John Hattig combined for 4-RBI in their 7-4 win over the Rays.  On Saturday, Rob Cosby went 1 for 3 with Curtis Thigpen providing another RBI and, on Friday, Kevin Barker had a two-run home run and Ryan Roberts went 2 for 2.

Don’t forget that “Inside Pitch” will broadcast live from Dunedin, Florida beginning on March 19th when the voice of the Chiefs Bob McElligott and Chiefs General Manager John Simone provide player interviews beginning at 7PM all week long.

THE GAMES BEGIN

The Blue Jays opened the spring schedule this afternoon with a 4-1 win versus the Boston Red Sox. 

Many of the players expected to be in Syracuse when the regular season opens performed well for the Jays.  Adam Lind started in left-field and went 1-2 with a triple before being replaced by John-Ford Griffin who went 1-1 with a double.  John Hattig was 1-2 with an RBI, Kevin Barker was 1-3. Non-roster invitee Jeff Duncan replaced Vernon Wells in center-field in the third inning and was 1-1 with a walk and a run scored.

On the mound Ty Taubenheim pitched a perfect 8th and Ryan Houston pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.

The most interesting part if the box score is accurate is that Ryan Roberts, primarily a second-baseman, played shortstop in relief of Royce Clayton while Rey Olmedo, a natural shortstop, relieved Aaron Hill at second base.

The Jays travel tomorrow to take on the Boston Red Sox in Ft. Myers at 12:30 PM.  Gustavo Chacin is scheduled to start for Toronto.

FASANO, OLMEDO JOIN JAYS

The Toronto Blue Jays picked up two additional players that could have an impact on the Syracuse Chiefs 2007 season.  Veteran catcher Sal Fasano who has spent parts of the past ten seasons in the major leagues with the Royals, A’s, Rockies, Angels, Orioles and last season with the Phillies and Yankees signed a minor league deal with an invite to spring training that begins in three weeks.

Fasano, 35, will provide insurance for the Blue Jays who have Greg Zaun and Jason Phillips slotted at the catching position at the present time with prospect Curtis Thigpen on the way up and expected to start the season with the Chiefs. 

The signing of Fasano allows the Blue Jays to allow Thigpen to continue to develop if the need for a third catcher or injury occurs.

The Jays also claimed infielder Ray Olmedo off waivers from the Reds and assigned him to their major league roster.  The 25 year old native of Venezuela batted .282 for Louisville last season and recorded a .960 FPCT in 90-games at shortstop.  Olmedo has appeared in 171-games with the Reds during the past 4-years (2003-2006).

The Blue Jays now have middle infielders Royce Clayton and Aaron Hill expected to start and John McDonald, Jason Smith, Russ Adams, Ray Olmedo, Sergio Santos and Ryan Roberts also in camp.

During the past week the Blue Jays outrighted 3B/OF Rob Cosby back to the Chiefs and will likely do the same to Roberts who was taken off the major League roster to make room for Olmedo.

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