Results tagged ‘ Jason Smith ’

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!

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.

WINTER MEETINGS RECAP

With the Baseball Winter Meetings from Orlando, FL concluded it’s time to analyze moves made and not made by the parent Toronto Blue Jays General Manager JP Riccardi.  By striking out on Ted Lilly and Gil Meche the Jays saved between 30-40 million on payroll over the next four years.  Lilly ended up receiving 10-million per year and Meche 11-million.  The often injury prone Lilly was not worth the gamble over four years, while Meche was inconsistent in Seattle over the past three years.  With Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett as solid number one and two starters, the Jays need only to add a number three or four guy to their rotation.  Gustavio Chacin who has won 24 games the past two seasons could be a number three.  That leaves Josh Towers, Shawn Marcum or Dustin McGowan to battle for the fifth spot that with off-days makes between 24-26 starts a year….Lost in all the non-pitching moves was the players Toronto picked up this off-season.  Frank Thomas as a full-time Designated Hiitter was huge.  Matt Stairs who hit 14 home runs and drove in 51 runs last season will replace Frank Cattalanatto and provide more power off the bench.  By deciding on Greg Zaun over Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas, the Jays pitching staff, who liked Zaun better will be more comfortable on the mound and the addition of Royce Clayton gives the Jays and up-grade on offense up the middle….NAME DROPPING at the Dolphin Hotel:  seen talking in the lobby were Chiefs Executive Vice President Tex Simone with former Chiefs manager and Atlanta Braves skipper Bobby Cox and his infield teamate on the 1970 Championship team Matt Galante now working with Houston.  Phillies GM Pat Gillick looks forward to visiting Syracuse this season to see his AAA-club that has moved to Ottawa from Scranton.  Brewers Assistant GM Gord Ash reports that his son Aaron, a frequent visitor to Syracuse when Gord was the boss in Toronto, has made the travel team of his area hockey club in Milwaukee.  Longtime Blue Jays trainer and Director of Florida Operations Ken Carson will step down this year after 30-years of service to the Blue Jays.  Ken will remain on as a consultant for the Florida based operation in Dunedin.  Longtime Los Angeles Angeles Scout Moose Stubing has left that team to work for the Washington Nationals.  Moose has been a frequent visitor to Syracuse over the years.  RULE 5 HELP:  The Blue Jays selected infielder Jason Smith from the Cubs in the rule 5 major league draft.  Smith, 28, will be placed on the 40-man roster of Toronto.  If he fails to make the club out of spring training, Smith can be sent to Syracuse or offered back to the Cubs for half the waiver price of $25,000.   At 28 years old Smith would likely clear and give the Chiefs additional infield potection.  At the present time, infielders include Chip Cannon and Kevin Barker at first base, Russ Adams and Ryan Roberts at second base, Sergio Santos and possibly Jason Smith at shortstop and John Hattig and Rob Cosby at third.  It’s more than likely that only six of the eight players begin the year in Syracuse.  The Jays also signed another big-time minor league free agent that will be added to the roster soon.  Look for an announcement on our website next week.

THURSDAY IN ORLANDO

It’s been a busy day already in Orlando today.  The Rule 5 Draft took place this morning and the Blue Jays took SS Jason Smith in the Major League portion of the draft.  Below is a copy of the Blue Jays press release on Smith.

          SMITH, 28, spent the 2006 season in the Colorado organization playing for both the Colorado Rockies and Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. He was signed this past off-season (Nov 12) by the Chicago Cubs as a minor league free agent. The 6’3″, 200 lb., left handed hitting infielder batted .263 (26-99) with five home runs and 13 RBI in 49 games for the Rockies, while also posting a .291 average (41-141) with nine doubles, five triples, four home runs, and 23 RBI in 41 games at the AAA level in Colorado Springs. The native of Meridian, Mississippi has appeared in 166 Major League games covering the past six seasons (Cubs 2001, Tampa Bay 2002-03, Detroit 2004-05, Colorado 2006), and has played at all four infield positions over that span. 

The Blue Jays did not lose any players in the Rule 5 and did not make any selections in the Minor League phase of the draft.

Also in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 former SkyChiefs catcher Josh Phelps was selected by the New York Yankees.  Phelps who spent all of the 2006 season with the Governor’s Cup Champion Toledo Mud Hens had already signed a Minor League Deal with the Baltimore Orioles for 2007 but now will be added to the Yankees 40-man roster. 

One would think that the Yankees, who did not resign Craig Wilson, are bringing in Phelps to compete with Andy Phillips for playing time at first-base and DH.  With Damon, Abreu, Giambi, Matsui and Cano all hitting from the left side, Phelps could provide the power from the right side the Bronx Bombers are looking for.

After losing out on Ted Lilly yesterday it appears the Blue Jays have also lost out on the Gil Meche sweepstakes.  ESPN’s Steve Phillips is reporting that Meche will be signing a 5-year deal with the Royals pending a physical.

The Blue Jays are now expected to target Jeff Suppan and Mark Redman for their starting rotation.  If the team is unable to sign one of those guys the team would look to Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen, Francisco Rosario, Dustin McGowan and Josh Towers as possible 4th and 5th starters.  Rosario and McGowan are both out of options while Marcum and Janssen have options remaining and could return to Syracuse with out having to be designated for assignment.  The Blue Jays however may look to get another option year for McGowan (similar to a redshirt) because he missed a year due to an arm injury.  The Jays did the very same thing last year with Rosario.

New SkyChiefs president Ron Gersbacher and team mascot Scooch appeared on Bridge Street this morning with Rick Geary and Julie Abbott.  Gersbacher donated two 2007 season tickets for Bridge Street’s efforts in raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.  Also while on the show it was announced that the SkyChiefs are holding a special gathering next Monday, December 11th for a major announcement.

The team has been teasing media members this week with clues to what the press conference is about and while on the air handed out today’s clue a conductor’s hat.

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