Results tagged ‘ Blaine Neal ’

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (7/16 – 7/22)

BATTER OF THE WEEK: OF Adam Lind is picking up where he left off when he was promoted to Toronto in April. Lind went 7-for-21 (.333) this week with two doubles and triple. Also tack on three runs batted in for the University of South Alabama product. Lind fell a home run short of the cycle with a 4-for-4 night on the 19th against Rochester.

Honorable Mention: SS Ray Olmedo had a higher batting average over the last week than Lind (.375) going 6-for-16 with a double, five runs scored and two runs batted in. Meanwhile OF Wayne Lydon set a season-high with two stolen bases yesterday. Lydon put together an 8-for-25 (.320) week with a pair of doubles and four runs scored.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK:
Pretty much a no-brainer after the week RHP Josh Banks had. Banks made two starts going 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA. In 14.0 innings Banks gave up ten hits and two runs with one walk against five strikeouts. Banks lost on the 17th against Rochester but pitched 8.0 innings giving up three hits and one run. The lone run came against the first batter of the game who homered. Banks settled down to retire the final 10 batters he faced. He picked up where he left off tossing 6.0 innings against Buffalo Sunday yielding one run while scattering seven hits.

HONORABLE MENTION: RHP Blaine Neal picked up two saves and a win over the past seven days. Neal threw 3.2 innings in relief not giving up a run. He earned a win on the 18th and a save on each the 16th and 22nd.

FINAL ROSTER DECISIONS MADE

The Toronto Blue Jays made their final few decisions and the result caused a ripple effect on their minor league system.  The Blue Jays decided to send down to the Chiefs pitchers Geremi Gonzalez and Brian Tallet, catcher Sal Fasano and designate pitcher Francisco Rosario for assignment.

The Chiefs roster currently looks like this with still a few decisions to be made:
STARTING ROTATION:  Four kids and a veteran.  Dustin McGowan, Josh Banks, Ty Taubenheim and Ismael Ramirez made 60 AAA-starts in 2006.  They all should be improved in their second season.  Gonzalez a veteran will anchor the staff with Jamie Vermilyea and Jason Scobie also available for long relief or spot staring.

BULLPEN:  Tallet is the lone lefty and will be used in situational roles, while newcomer Blaine Neal assumes the closer role.  Set-up men include former Red Wing Beau Kemp, who helped Rochester to the I.L. Governors Cup Finals, Matt Roney who recorded an ERA under 3.00 with Sacramento last season, Ryan Houston who pitched exceptional from April-June last year before a terrible month of July balooned his ERA and newcomer Brain Wolfe, who was acquired in the Corey Koskie trade last season and bounced around from A-Dunedin and AA-New Hampshire in 2006.  Wolfe could be the sleeper in this group.

CATCHING:  Veteran Sal Fasano backs up big league catching prospect Curtis Thigpen.  A major improvement over last seasons defensively challenged duo of Mike Mahoney and Jason Phillips.

INFIELDERS:    Kevin Barker returns for his third season at 1B, Russ Adams returns to Syracuse this time to play second base, Slick fielding Ray Olmedo takes over at shortstop while John Hattig returns for his third season at 3B.  Ryan Roberts will man the utility role and is very good at all three positions 2B, SS and 3B.   The Chiefs should be very much improved up the middle with Olmedo and Adams, both have played in the major leagues, while Barker is very good around the bag at first.  Hattig’s range is average at best, but should make up for it with his bat (.277 with 30 doubles last season).  Roberts had a great spring and will see plenty of action.

OUTFIELDERS:  Three spots with five quality players.  Jeff Duncan will see most of the action in center field and can play defence.  His speed on the turf at home should make him a .300 hitter.  Super prospect Adam Lind will play left field while veterans Mike Vento (AAA All-Star at Columbus two years ago) and Chiefs Fan Favorite Chad Mottola share time in rightfield.  2005 MVP John-Ford Griffin is healthy and will get most of the DH at bats.

The Chiefs still need to drop one pitcher and will add Francisco Rosario and Brandon League at some point in early April with more changes yet to be made.

DUNEDIN NOTEBOOK

The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in Dunedin, 10-6, on a beautiful 70 degree night at Knology Park.  Righthander Josh Towers took the loss, allowing 5-runs in 4 2/3 innings.  Towers, who is battling for the 5th spot in the Jays rotation, actually pitched better than his line would indicate.  With John Thomson now out of the mix with tightness in his shoulder, Towers could claim that spot behind Halladay, Burnett, Chacin and Ohka.

Ryan Roberts launched a 400 foot double off the center field wall and was robbed of a base hit in the 9th.  Rob Cosby, Justin Singleton and Jeff Duncan all saw action in tonight’s game.

Righty Jeremy Accardo was touched for a two-run shot by Chase Utley, while Blaine Neal also gave up 2 runs in the ninth on 4 hits.  Brian Wolfe pitched another scoreless inning and remains in the mix as a non-roster invitee.  Wolfe was acquired from Milwaukee last season in the Corey Koskie trade.  Last season he began the year in Dunedin and finished up with New Hampshire.

Chiefs season ticket holder Peter White and his lovely wife attended tonight’s game in Dunedin – his second contest of the day.  Peter tells us that he will be at tomorrow’s game,Pirates vs Blue Jays, before his return to Syracuse for the Home Opener on April 14.

JAYS BEGIN TO DELETE ROSTER

The Toronto Blue Jays minor league camp opened last week and games for their four affiliates will begin on Wednesday vs the Philadelphia Phillies organization.  At the major league level, the parent club has begun sending down players including seven pitchers.  Lefty Jo Matumoto joins righthanders Beau Kemp, Josh Banks, Ismael Ramirez, and yesterday Ryan Houston, Jean Machi and Tracy Thorpe found their way back to the Englebert Complex.

Only shortstop Sergio Santos and catcher Erik Kratz have been assigned from the group of non-pitchers.

First glance at the Jays pitching staff only Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Gustavo Chacin, B.J. Ryan, Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and Brian Tallet seem to be locks.  That leaves probably five spots available and righthanders Jeremy Accardo and Brandon League if healthy will take up two of those.  The other three spots, two are starting pitchers and one long reliever. 

The candidates, Tomo Ohka, John Thomson, Josh Towers and Shaun Marcum are leading contenders with Victor Zambrano, Pete Walker and Geremi Gonzalez also in the mix.  Francisco Rosario is out of options and can’t return to Syracuse.

Pitchers most likely left out and headed back to Syracuse include Dustin McGowan, Davis Romero, who was injured early in camp, Matt Roney, Ty Taubenheim, Lee Gronkiewicz, Blaine Neal, and Brian Wolfe.

JAYS ADD ROONEY LOAD UP ON PITCHING

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to load up on pitching by adding righthander  Matt Rooney to their 40-man roster.  Rooney, 26, signed as a free agent after spending most of the 2006 season at Sacremento (PCL) when he recorded a 2.95 ERA in 47-relief appearances. He also appeared in 3-games with Oakland.   Rooney pitched in the IL with Toledo in 2004 and 2005.  Rooney joins a group of off-season free agent pitching help that includes Germi Gonzalez, Beau Kemp, Blaine Neal, Jason Scobie and Jean Machi.

That list will join Blue Jays prospects (starters) Josh Banks, Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan, Ty Taubenheim, Ismael Ramirez, David Purcey, Michael MacDonald, Kyle Yates, Ricky Romero and veteran Josh Towers and relievers Ryan Houston, Davis Romero, Francisco Rosario, Jamie Vermilyea, Lee Gronkiewicz, Jordan DeJong, Tracey Thorpe and possibly late season acquision Jermey Accardo.

That’s alot of pitching to choose from with a whole off-season to go.

For more information on Free Agent signings make sure to listen to “INSIDE PITCH” this Saturday, November 18th at 9:00 AM on ESPN Radio 1260 AM when Chiefs GM John Simone and Bob McElligott talk to Chad Mottola and Kevin Barker who will both return to Syracuse in 2007 and take your calls on anything baseball.

BARKER AND MOTTOLA BACK

Jordan Bastian the beat reporter for BlueJays.com reported late yesterday that the Blue Jays have signed seven Minor League free agents to contracts including outfielder Chad Mottola and first-baseman Kevin Barker and extended invitations to Spring Training to all seven.  Other players signed include pitchers Geremi Gonzalez, Blaine Neal, Brian Wolfe and Beau Kemp and outfielder Jeff Duncan.  Look for an official release from the SkyChiefs on Monday. 

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