Results tagged ‘ John Gibbons ’

WEEKEND UPDATE

Minor League camp is underway and it’s time to turn our attention to more significant matters – like reporting baseball.   We have made our point and we are not going to waste your time by beating a dead horse on this space.   Again only here on “Inside the Chiefs” will you receive first hand knowledge of what’s going on in spring training with the major league club, Toronto and the Syracuse Chiefs.

Non-roster catcher Erik Kratz was the first player to be sent to minor league camp as the Jays minor league affiliates reported this weekend.

Jays righty Josh Towers pitched two innings today vs the Pirates and allowed only 1 hit, a solo home run to Pirates first baseman Brad Eldred in two innings of work.  Towers also struck out two batters and looked good in his first outing.  Also pitching today in a B-game were righthanders Dustin McGowan and Casey Janssen.  In the lineup today are: Royce Clayton -ss, Greg Zaun -c, Lyle Overbay – 1B, Vernon Wells -cf, Troy Glaus – 3b, Matt Stairs – rf, Aaron Hill – 2b, Adam Lind – lf, Jason Phillips -c.

Over the weekend John Thomson also pitched well – two shutout innings and Shaun Marcum  pitched 2 innings, 1 run, 3 strikeouts. Francisco Rosario, who was slowed by back pain earlier this spring, pitched one shutout inning.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has said that Russ Adams would begin the season in Syracuse and play second base.  The Blue Jays hope that Adams can return to his 2004-2005 form when he played for the Chiefs and Blue Jays and batted over .280 playing shortstop.

Former Chiefs pitchers Dave Stieb and Pat Hentgen are in camp helping with the younger pitchers and throwing batting practice.

In yesterday’s win Curtis Thigpen (2), John-Ford Griffin and John Hattig combined for 4-RBI in their 7-4 win over the Rays.  On Saturday, Rob Cosby went 1 for 3 with Curtis Thigpen providing another RBI and, on Friday, Kevin Barker had a two-run home run and Ryan Roberts went 2 for 2.

Don’t forget that “Inside Pitch” will broadcast live from Dunedin, Florida beginning on March 19th when the voice of the Chiefs Bob McElligott and Chiefs General Manager John Simone provide player interviews beginning at 7PM all week long.

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!

SPRING FLINGS

The Blue Jays pitchers and catchers officially reported on Sunday.  In folloiwng the Toronto papers and BlueJays.com here are some of the early topics:

* Manager John Gibbons was given a one-year contract extension.

* Gibbons believes that should Shaun Marcum not win a spot in the rotation, he would make the Blue Jays as a reliever.  Other young pitchers vying for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan and Ty Taubenheim would all be sent to Syracuse to start.

* Another rotation candidate Josh Towers worked hard in the off-season with teammate Reed Johnson in Las Vegas and vows to take better care of his body this season.

* Victor Zambrano didn’t arrive in Dunedin until Monday due to visa problems.  He is ahead of schedule progressing from elbow surgery but isn’t expected to be ready to pitch in the Majors until May or June.

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