Jays Bats Go Silent....Except Bautista's!

I know the big story in yesterday’s game was that Kyle Drabek threw against his old team and that he did very well. He completed 2 innings of work against a very potent lineup while allowing just one hit and one walk. Like Ricky Romero, he was able to keep the ball down in the zone and induced 5 ground-outs as a result. He isn’t far from being MLB ready, that’s for certain, and I’m sure Doc was looking on from the Phillies bench in a curious way to see what it was that the Jays liked so much about this kid. Well, now he knows, and I had to wonder if he liked what he saw in terms of the talent Kyle has. Jason Frasor and Scott Downs kept their trade values high with a shutout inning a piece, and it seems that I was right in assuming the Twins would come knocking for Frasor and could in fact drive his price up.

The Twins are not simply looking for a RHP reliever, they want someone with closing experience, as do the Cubs if you ask me. There are rumors that at least 2 other teams and the Jays were scouting Glen Perkins when he pitched Tuesday (1 shutout inning even with 1 hit and 2 walks allowed), but if you ask me, I say that’s hogwash. How can they know who’s being scouted? Perkins wasn’t even in the game until the 7th inning. No, if you ask me, there are 2 players that were being scouted and both would fit in very well with the Jays – CF/LF Ben Revere and 3B Danny Valencia, or if we want to go a little farther off the map, RF Delmon Young. Perkins wouldn’t even be on the top 10 pitching candidates for the Jays and I’m certain they would rather get a position player at their weakest positions (SS/3B/OF) than a pitcher with lousy stats over the last 3 seasons. Add to that the fact that Perkins had shoulder problems last year, and that’s one problem no team needs to trade for.

I consider Ben Revere the biggest possibility of the 3 above, now that I’ve had time to look through their prospects and their team strengths, because the Twins are really loaded at the OF position. They have Aaron Hicks (rated in top 20 prospects in MLB by BA) who has a ton of speed and power potential and will be making the jump to HiA in 2010, Angel Morales (rated 8th best Twins prospect by BA in 2010) who will be making the jump with Hicks and also has speed and power, and Max Kepler who is a very promising German prospect. Add to that the fact that they already have Dernard Span as the incumbent in CF and Delmon Young (LF), Jason Kubel (LF but mostly DH) and Michael Cuddyer (RF) flanking him, and you get the feeling that the Twins are pretty set in the OF and also at the lead off position which Span has taken over. Having said that, do I think the Twins want to move Revere? No, I don’t. He’s a very good hitter, albeit with minimal power potential, but one that figures to steal a ton of bases and be an on-base machine when he makes it to MLB. Would they consider it in return for Jason Frasor? They better, because there isn’t much else that’s attractive on the market, unless they want the injury prone Octavio Dotel from Pittsburgh. After spending 90+ million on their budget, and while opening a new park, the Twins will want to do all they can to win. It should be interesting to see what Alex is able to work out here, or if he can work something out. I like his chances a lot more now that the Twins and Cubs are involved.

Back to the game against the Phils, Jose Bautitsta was impressive once again. Not only did he hammer out another HR, this time against Cole Hamels, but he also impressed me by hitting a double against a RHP (Volgelsong).  For those who don’t know about Jose’s problems versus RHP consider this, he hit a meager .202 against them in 2009 and only had 13 extra base hits against them in 213 ABs. If Bautista continues to hit RHP this spring and brings that into the season, he could very well have a better chance at keeping the lead off role. The rest of the Jays bats were kept quiet by the Phils pitching. Adam Lind managed a double, Jeremy Reed and Randy Ruiz managed singles, while Travis Snider raised his average to .188 with a single of his own. Lance Broadway took the loss by giving up 2 ER in 2IP.

Other Jays notes:

  • RP Danny Farquhar, C Matt Liuzza, OF Adam Loewen, C Brian Jeroloman, and C Travis d’Arnaud were all reassigned to the Jays minor league camp;
  • RP Robert Ray and SP Luis Perez were optioned to AAA Las Vegas;
  • OF Moises Sierra and 2B John Tolisano were assigned to the Jays and got some playing time on Tuesday;
  • Nothing new on the Adeiny Hechavarria front, other than the fact that I picked him up in my fantasy league – just in case!; and
  • I made a mistake about my previous Aaron Hill contract extension. I had used the information given by Cot’s Baseball Contracts within their 2010-2014 payroll obligations instead of looking up the last contract he made. It was an honest mistake and one I’ll learn from! I wasn’t around when he signed the contract, and I had not heard that his options took him that far. Needless to say that I will definitely look deeper into things in the future! His club options run as follows: $8 million in 2012, $8 million in 2013, and $10 million in 2014. At those prices, I’m pretty certain we can rest assured that Hill will be a Jay for a long time to come. Thanks to the reader for pointing this out, and please let me know if I make a mistake in the future – we’re all here to learn as much as we can, after all.

Tags: Aaron Hill Daniel Farquhar Jason Frasor Kyle Drabek Ricky Romero Scott Downs Travis D'Arnaud

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