Results tagged ‘ Alex Rios ’

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.

MORE PLAYERS SENT TO CHIEFS

In just two weeks the major league baseball season begins and clubs are now beginning to set their rosters.  After three weeks of playing minor league prospects and invitees to their camps, big league teams need to get serious and start playing their starters at least 7-innings.

Yesterday the Blue Jays sent the Chiefs four more players who will begin the season in Syracuse.  One of them, Adam Lind will be welcomed BIG TIME.  Lind has captured MVP honors in two different leagues on his way up and will likely continue his early career success in Syracuse this season.  Hopefully, he’s here for more than just a month.  Two of the Blue Jays other top prospects Alex Rios and Aaron Hill never saw June.

Also sent to the Chiefs was Russ Adams who will play everyday at Second base and corner infielders John Hattig and Rob Cosby.  Hattig who can play 3rd base and 1st base batted .277 for the Chiefs last season – his first in AAA with 32 doubles.  The line driver hitter with gap power needs ro improve on his power numbers (only 4 HR’s last season) to make the next jump.

Cosby not only played 3rd base and 1st base but also right and left field for the Chiefs last season and after hitting 18 home runs in his rookie season at AAA. 

Also sent to the Chiefs was righthanded pitcher Ty Taubenheim who came over from the Brewers last season and was impressive early as a starter and earned a promotion to Toronto in June.

Taubenheim now joins Josh Banks, Ismael Ramirez, Dustin McGowan and youngsters Michael MacDonald, Kyle Yates, David Purcey and Ricky Romero in a crowded fight for five or six spots in the Chiefs rotation.

Still with Toronto are righties Casey Janssen, Shaun Marcum and Josh Towers who are all battling Tomo Ohka and John Thomson for the final two spots in the Jays rotation.

Sounds like no matter what happens the Chiefs will be stacked with starting pitching.

Don’t forget that on Monday 5-6 PM The Voice of the Chiefs Bob McElligott will be broadcasting live from Dunedin, FL on 1260 AM ESPN Radio.

All week look for up-to-the minunte reports from Spring Training.

SPRING TRAINING GAMES BEGIN

Is there anything better at this time of the year than watching a Major League spring training game from Florida or Arizona?  Tigers vs Mets today on SportsNet New York officially ended winter for me.

And with Spring games beginning onThursday, including the Jays vs Red Sox, we will try to provide some insight on Blue Jays player moves this spring.  From the Blue Jays camp, it looks like Brandon League might be all right after all as he threw on the side for a second time without any pain.  The Jays are also happy with Victor Zambrano’s pace and aren’t counting him out from making the roster, possibly as a reliever, this spring.  36 year-old Japanese lefty Jo Matumoto will be given an opportunity to pitch in Major League games this spring and who knows what he can do.

Jays skipper John Gibbons also indicated that rule 5 pick-up Jason Smith will play everywhere this spring as he tries to make the team as a utility player or the 25th man.  Although Adam Lind is expected to begin the season in Syracuse, Gibbons isn’t ruling out him not making the team.  Could the Jays still be interested in trading Reed Johnson or Alex Rios for help in the pitching department (starting pitcher or set-up man)?

Thanks go out to Assistant Professor of Marketing Scott Lathrop from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management for inviting Chiefs General Manager John Simone to participate in the “Marketing Speaker Series” on Wednesday night.  John talked about Sports Marketing and Management, building interest in the community, developing alliances, the creation and launching of promotions, and the new branding of the Chiefs for the 2007 season.

The Chiefs hope to continue the association during the spring and summer sessions with Professor Lathrop and the university’s marketing program.  The Marketing Speaker Series has been such a success this winter that even Post Standard reporter Matt Michael attended Wednesday night’s talk.  Hopefully he enjoyed the presentation!

BIG HURT IN SYRACUSE?

With the signing of free agent Frank Thomas by the Blue Jays on Friday the Jays took care of their designated hitter needs and unless they trade one of their three outfielders Reed Johnson, Vernon Wells or Alex Rios super prospect Adam Lind will likely begin the season in Syracuse.  That’s a good thing and something we thought people in Syracuse would be excited about.  Not true.  A good number of fans have told us this weekend that due to the fact that Frank Thomas has been injured so much from 2003-2005, that they look forward to seeing the future hall of famer in Syracuse during the next two years on an injury rehab assignment.  Go figure.

BIG SALE ON SATURDAY

The SkyChiefs like many minor league teams this month will be holding a merchandise and memoribilia sale at Alliance Bank Stadium on Saturday, October 21st beginning at 9:00 AM.  (A special sneak peak will be held for season tickets holders on Friday, October 20th from 10AM – 2PM).

Items for sale on the concourse include Caps, Jerseys, Jackets, Batting practice tops, player worn and new pants, helmets, bats, balls, socks, belts, cleats and much more.  Items are priced as low as $1.  Player worn jerseys autographed by Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, and Gustavo Chacin among others and pants worn by Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells will also be available for serious collectors.

Concession Stands will be open with Hot Dogs, Drinks, Apple cider and apples for the kids.  The Chiefs will also have face painters and weather permitting batting practice on the field.  All kids will receive candy compliments of Peanut Chews.

The Chiefs souvenir store will have big discounts on all merchandise left over from the 2006 season.  We need to clean out our storage rooms.  So don’t miss out on this once a decade sale – Saturday, October 21st beginning at 9:00 AM.

Final Score tonight, Mets 9, Cards 8… It’s Mets and Tigers in the World Series.

Look for Friday’s This and That Blog with a major announcement.

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