Results tagged ‘ Royce Clayton ’

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.

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.

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.

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