Results tagged ‘ Matt Stairs ’

IRON PIGS DEFEAT CHIEFS 7-2

The Syracuse Chiefs lost for only the second time this week 7-2 as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs used two 3-run innings to post the victory.

The Chiefs line-up today consisted of: Joe Inglett 2B, Wayne Lydon CF, Adam Lind LF, Sergio Santos 3B, Russ Adams DH, Robinzon Diaz DH, Chip Cannon 1B, Curtis Thigpen C, Pedro Lopez SS, Matt Stairs RF.

Sergio Santos went 2 for 2 with a double and his third home run in as many days to lead the Chiefs 10-hit attack.  Curtis Thigpen also had two hits.

On the mound Brandon League pitched a scoreless 1st inning with 2-K’s before returning to the the major league club who left for Philadelphia later in the day.  Lefty Davis Romero gave up 3-runs in 3-innings of work, while Mike MacDonald followed him giving up with 3-earned runs as well in 3-innings on 5-hits.  Sean Stidfole pitched the final two frames giving up 1-run on 3-hits.

In the AA-game Armando Benitez stretched it out a bit by pitching 2-innings for the first time giving up 3-runs on 4-hits.  It was the first time Benitez pitched more than 1-inning in a game this spring after signing with the Blue Jays as a free agent on March 11th.

The Chiefs now 7-6-1 will take on the Scranton Yankees in Tampa on Friday and Saturday in Dunedin before returning to Syracuse on Sunday.

ROSTER DECISIONS SOON TO BE MADE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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