Results tagged ‘ Jeff Duncan ’

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.

WAYNE LYDON IN CAMP

2006 Chiefs outfielder Wayne Lydon was in camp today after being released by the Washington Nationals last week.  Lydon played center field for the Chiefs all of last season leading the team in runs scored, triples and stolen bases.  After the season Lydon became a free agent and elected to sign with the Nationals despite an offer to return to the Blue Jays organization.  Pending a physical, Lydon will likely begin the 2007 season with AA-New Hampshire.  The Chiefs currently have a wealth of outfielders that include Adam Lind, Mike Vento, Chad Mottola, John-Ford Griffin, Justin Singleton and Jeff Duncan, who is still in major league camp with the Blue Jays.

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.

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.

THIS AND THAT

Just 21 more weeks until OPENING DAY 2007 at Alliance Bank Stadium……How about those Blue Jays signing FRANK THOMAS for thier designated hitter spot.  That all but assures that super prospect ADAM LIND will start the season in Syracuse for 2007.  A potential Chiefs lineup that includes Jeff Duncan CF, Adam Lind LF, Chad Mottola RF, John-Ford Griffin-DH, Kevin Barker-1B, Rob Cosby-3B, Curtis Thigpen-c, Russ Adams-2B, and Ryan Roberts/or Sergio Santos SS wouldn’t look so bad…..Former Chiefs in the news – catcher Ken Huckaby signed with the Dodgers and will likely spend the season in Las Vegas (PCL), Former Chiefs infielder Nelson Liriano was named hitting coach for the KC Royals single A team in Wilmington….Former Chiefs outfiedler Rick Leach was the Michigan quarterback for four seasons under Bo Schembechler, who passed away on Friday.  Rick was heard earlier today on ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick show talking about his former coach…Prediction time:  Uconn 31 Orange 27 and Michigan 16 Ohio State 14…..Dont forget to listen to “INSIDE PITCH” on Saturday November 18th on ESPN RADIO 1260 AM at 9:00 AM when Chiefs General Manager John Simone and Bob McElligott talk to Chiefs players Chad Mottola and Kevin Barker……It was reported today that Doug Davis, who managed New Hampshire (Eastern League) last season will be named the Chiefs next manager.  Mike Basso, who managed the team last season would become the organizations roving catching instructor.  Look for an announcement from the team on Monday…..Chiefs Annual Stockholders Meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 21st at Alliance Bank Stadium.  The ballclub will report its financial statement for the year ending 2006 and give an overview on the upcomming 2007 season….Have a great weekend.

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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