Results tagged ‘ Jeremy Accardo ’
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.
This week’s edition of the alumni report focuses on Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox who played for the 1970 Chiefs and then managed in Syracuse from 1973-76.
Cox tied a Major League record on Saturday after being ejected for the 131st time in his career. Cox tied Hall of Fame Manger John McGraw who had 14 of his 131 ejections as a player while Cox was never ejected as a Major League Player.
Interestingly enough Cox was ejected by Chad Fairchild who is normally an umpire in the Internationally League but is one of the select few umpires who are promoted to the Majors when regular umpires are on vacation.
In other alumni news if you happen to watch the Yankees series versus the Giants this weekend you probably saw infielder Luis Figueroa and pitcher Vinnie Chulk who both played in Syracuse last year.
Figueroa signed with the Giants as a Minor League free agent this off-season and was promoted to the big club on June 18th after hitting .310 for Triple-A Fresno. For the Giants he has appeared in 6 games and is 1-5 at the plate.
Chulk was traded to the Giants last year along with Shea Hillenbrand in exchange for current Jays closer Jeremy Accardo. Vinnie registered the victory in the extra innings game on Saturday and is now 3-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 33 appearances this season.
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.
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 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.
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.