Results tagged ‘ Geremi Gonzalez ’

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.

DUNCAN SENT TO MINORS

The Blue Jays have sent OF Jeff Duncan to minor league camp.  Duncan had a great spring hitting .353 with two triples and 5 RBI in 34 at-bats.  The Jays have 31 players left in camp include non-roster players, C Sal Fasano, OF Matt Stairs and Pitchers Josh Towers, Geremi Gonzalez and Victor Zambrano.

Slam! Sports is reporting that Casey Janssen will make the Jays opening day roster and pitch out of the bullpen to start the season.

Jason Phillips, known for his glasses, had laser eye surgery this off-season and had shed the glasses.  Phillips went back to the glasses this week after finding out his left eye was still bothering him.  He is hitting .132 (5-38) this spring.

LEAGUE BACK WITH CHIEFS, MAYBE…

Righthanded pitcher Brandon League who never really was able to pitch this spring has been optioned to Syracuse.  The hard throwing reliever has had trouble with his velocity and will likely spend time in Dunedin before making an appearance in Syracuse with the Chiefs.

The Blue Jays meanwhile need to make a few decisions this week now that League will not be part of their plans to start the season.

The rotation is nearly set with Roy Halladay, AJ Burnett, Gustavo Chacin and Tomo Ohka set.  The fifth spot should go to Josh Towers who has pitched well enough to earn another chance.

BJ Ryan, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet, Jason Frasor also should be assured spots.  That leaves John Thomson, Victor Zambrano, Geremi Gonzalez, Jeremy Accardo, Casey Janssen and Francisco Rosario all fighting for three spots.  Zambrano and Janssen look like they are the front runners.  While Rosario is out of options, and Thomson won’t begin throwing again until Friday.  Gonzalez and Accardo look like they are ticketed to the Chiefs.

The Blue Jays could also help their bullpen by pulling off a late spring training trade or claiming someone off waivers this week.

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.

WINTERBALL

We wanted to give our readers a quick update on some potential Chiefs playing winter ball right now.

Rob Cosby has appeared in 19 games for Caguas in Puerto Rico and is hitting .284 with five doubles, two triples, one HR and 9 RBI.

Lee Gronkiewicz is pitching for Obregon in Mexico and is 3-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 5 saves with 3BB and 25K in 18 appearances.

David Purcey pitched in one game for Mayaguaz in Puerto Rico giving up one run in three innings.

Beau Kemp is pitching for Aragua in Venezuela and has appeared in 21 games going 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA, 12BB and 17K.

Geremi Gonzalez is pitching for Magallenes in Venezuela and is 1-1 with a 0.38 ERA, 10 saves and 7BB and 17K in 19 appearances.

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.

BASEBALL AMERICA TOP 10 LIST

Baseball America has announced their list of Top 10 Blue Jays Prospects for next season.  Adam Lind, who SkyChiefs fans got a got look at in the month of August, has been named the Blue Jays #1 Prospect.  Other SkyChiefs on the list include catcher Curtis Thigpen #5, pitcher Francisco Rosario #6 and David Purcey #9.

Speaking of Thigpen fans can catch up with Curtis in a live chat on mlb.com, tomorrow, Thursday November 16th at 11:00AM. 

Entering play today Thigpen is hitting .284 with two home runs and 19 RBI for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.  The Desert Dogs are leading the Eastern Division with a record of 19-10.  Other Blue Jays prospects on the team include Chip Cannon who is hitting .366 with a league leading 11 HR and 29 RBI, Ryan Klosterman (.308 in just 8 games), Dustin McGowan (1-3, 5.59 in 5 starts), Kyle Yates (2-0, 1.13 in 6 games, 4 starts), Jordan DeJong (3-0, 3.00 in 12 games) and Tracy Thorpe (0-0, 4.76 in 11 games).

Geremi Gonzalez who the Blue Jays signed to a Minor League contract this week has pitched in 8 games for the Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League and is 0-0 with 4 saves and has not allowed a run in 8.1 innings.

Another free agent the Blue Jays signed this week, Beau Kemp is pitching for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League and is 3-1 with 4.19 ERA in 14 games.  Kemp, a right-handed reliever pitched in 7 games for Rochester against the SkyChiefs this season and was 0-0, with a 0.84 ERA over 10.2 innings, walking one and striking out four.  Nice to have Beau on our side now.

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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