The AL East clash between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays has been postponed due to rain and the fact that the forecast says more to come. The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 7:05pm.
This delay will put a hold on the 84th and final opening day at Yankee Stadium, the House That Ruth Built. Pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Toronto ace Roy Halladay were set to pitch today, and are also expected to pitch the rescheduled game.
Yankee officials expected a complete sell-out for game 1 of the season, which was scheduled for a 1:05pm start. Around 2:25pm the official decision was made after both teams had heard the upcoming forecast from weather authorities which was to expect more rain.
*Fans with tickets to the game scheduled today may use their tickets for the Tuesday rescheduled game or they can exchange their tickets for other games depending on availability.
Third basemen Scott Rolen recently fractured the middle finger on his right hand while doing fielding drills at a Blue Jay Practice. The latest news is that Rolen had a pin inserted into that middle finger by a hand specialist and is expecting to have the pin removed April 7th. Doctors have said that after the pin is removed it will be an uncertain amount of time before Rolen returns to the Toronto Lineup. They have stated that there is a good chance he will be out until late April early May. Basically there has been a 4-6 week window placed on his comeback. Rolen is currently walking around with a soft cast on his injured hand.
This is a big blow to the Blue Jay lineup and could really hurt the team this season if this becomes a reoccurring injury, which fingers often become. Keep your eyes open for updates on the Third Basemen as I bring them to you.
It looks like the Blue Jays are getting closer to locking up Alex Rios with a long-term deal. The Toronto Star reported today that the deal will be close to a 6 year, $65 million deal with a 7th year option bumping the deal to $80 million. The deal isn’t official yet but Rios himself said “It’s just numbers, and some other stuff.” Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi said “We’re getting closer. I’ll put it that way.”
The prospective deal would keep the 27-year-old Rios in a Blue Jay jersey until he was 35. Sounds good to me especially since his numbers have continued to improve his entire career. Last season he hit .297 with 24 homers, 85 RBI, 17 stolen bases, 43 doubles, and is a two-time all-star.
I’m looking forward to seeing Rios in a Toronto jersey for a long time and to see his numbers continue to improve.
It looks as though 3rd basemen Scott Rolen has fractured his middle finger on his right hand. Team doctors are unsure about the amount of time Rolen is going to miss but say there is a good chance he won’t play on opening day. They said he broke it while participating in fielding drills at Toronto’s spring training complex on Sunday.
Utility man Marco Scutaro will fill in for the time being. Hopefully Rolen doesn’t miss too much time but fingers are often injuries that can last for months.
Last season Rolen hit .265 with 8 homers and 58 RBI.
The Blue Jays freed up some space this week by releasing OF Reed Johnson from the team. Johnson lost his job to Shannon Stewart, the free agent outfielder the Jays picked up this off season.
Last Season Johnson batted .236 with 2 homers and 14 RBI.
With Toronto set-up man Casey Janssen being shelved for the rest of the season the Jays needed to fill a spot and did just that by picking up left-handed pitcher Bill Murphy, previously with the Arizona Diamondbacks. To make room for Murphy they put Janssen on the 60-day DL and plan to keep him there for the remainder of the season.
Murphy has seem limited time in his short MLB career appearing in only 10 games, working 6.1 innings with a 5.68 ERA last season and so far this spring training he’s posted a 1-0 record with a 4.26 ERA in 6 appearances.
Plan on the 26-year-old to see limited action again this season until Manager John Gibbons thinks he is ready for some actual in-game experience.
Blue Jay closer B.J. Ryan says he is feeling some soreness in his arm after his last pitching outing vs the Pirates on Monday, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
He is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery which he had done last May after an elbow injury. Team Doctors say it is probably nothing to worry about and it is just typical arm soreness.
Ryan hopes to be ready for opening day and doesn’t expect any set backs as of right now. He also said that he should be ready for his next scheduled appearance on Thursday vs the Yankees.
Lets hope this is nothing more then “typical arm soreness” and that he is just working the rust off. We’re going to need him to be successful this season.
The Jays put together back-to-back wins this weekend with a win over the Pirates on Saturday and another on Sunday vs. the Twins bringing their spring training record to 7-11 and putting them in 17th place in the Grapefruit league.
The Saturday game had Toronto matching up against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. Jays Ace Roy Halladay gave a great performance going 5 innings, giving up 4 hits, no runs, and striking out 4, bringing his ERA down to 2.57. Toronto relievers also had a good outing combining for 4 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, and 3 K’s.
Batters had their success as well putting together 10 hits, 1 of which was a homer from non-roster invitee 1st basemen Chip Cannon in the 8th off righty Brian Rogers. Matt Stairs also had a pretty good game going 1-for-2 with 2 RBI, and Vernon Wells played well too going 1-for-3 with 1 run scored. Toronto also had 6 different hitters hit a double keeping runners constantly on base. Two-baggers came from Rios, Overbay, Rolen, Stairs, Johnson, and Kratz. This was a solid outing for both pitchers and hitters, and a solid win, final score 4-1.
Sundays game had Toronto away facing the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Florida. This game had a little bit more offense involved but the same result, a win. Starter Dustin McGowan took the mound for the Jays and had an ‘okay’ showing going 5 innings deep giving up 7 hits, 3 runs, and he struck out 4. The relievers were the ones that really looked good going a combined 4 innings giving up 1 hit, no runs, walked 2, and struck out 3. This performance by the bullpen makes two games, back-to-back, where they really played well. Something manager John Gibbons should be really excited about because it seems to be perfect timing with the season less the 2 weeks away.
Hitters shined in this one also getting 8 runs on 14 hits. The hits include 4 doubles and a triple from infielder John Tolisano. Catcher Brian Jeroloman, a non-roster invitee, had a superb game going 3-for-4 including a double, with 2 RBI, a run scored, and he walked once. Shortstop John McDonald hit perfectly in the game going 3-for-3 with 1 RBI and a run scored. This was another solid showing for the Jays, both offensively and defensively, Final score 8-3. Its good to see them get things together as we near opening day.
The Blue Jays continued to struggle through spring training with another loss today at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-4. This loss is the 4th in the last 5 games making their overall spring training record 5-11. This also leaves Toronto in last place in the Grapefruit League tied with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
In todays game it seemed to be the hitting that was the problem because Toronto could only put together 3 hits, 1 of which was a 2 run shot from right-fielder Alex Rios in the 3rd. The Blue Jays actually had the lead the entire game despite their 3 hits, but gave it up when Tampa put together a 5 run 8th inning led by Evan Longoria’s 2 run shot off Jeremy Accardo.
Closer B.J. Ryan was given the start and had a fairly productive inning of work giving up no hits and striking out 2. It was righty Jesse Litsch who seemed to have a hard time against Ray hitters going 4.2 innings giving up 7 hits, 3 runs (all of which were earned) and he walked 2. The problem is that he wasn’t the only one who had problems facing Tampa hitters. Brian Tallet came in to do some relief work in the 8th and was punished only making it .2 innings. In that small amount of time he allowed 3 hits, 4 runs (all of which were earned), a blown save, and he received the loss.
Hopefully Toronto will get things together for opening day which is less then 2 weeks away. Good thing none of these games count and that they don’t really matter. Plus, there are still 12 more games left in spring ball for the Jay’s to get their act together… I expect that they will.
Casey Janssen has torn his labrum, which is cartilage near the shoulder blade, and is going to be out for the rest of this season according to MLB.com. Janssen, who looked to be the Jays primary set-up man once again this season, will undergo surgery either Tuesday or Wednesday in a California based hospital. Last season he posted a 2.35 ERA in 70 games and will really be missed this season.
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