The Jays are having a hard time scoring runs and yesterday was no different against ex-Jay Chris Carpenter. Chris shut the Jays bats down and only allowed 3 hits and 4 walks over 8 innings. Since there isn’t much to cheer about in this game – other than Ricky Romero’s continued dominance and ace like stuff – I thought we should look at the entire organization and see what’s good, bad and ugly!
In reality, this should be named “The Great” category because there are a bunch of things to be really excited about in the minors for the Jays.
- Marc Rzepczynski threw 7.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 3 hits, 1 walk while striking out 9 in AAA. It’s fair to say that he’s back on track and should be the next arm in the rotation is and when the Jays need one!
- Brett Wallace is also getting back on track, perhaps due to Jarrett Hoffpauir’s promotion that serves as motivation to crank it up. He has hit .372 over his last 10 games with a .404 OBP and 2 HRs in his last 5 games.
- Mike McCoy is taking his demotion in stride, hitting 2 HRs over his first 3 games in AAA and sporting a .467 OBP over his first 12 ABs there.
- Adam Loewen hit his 9th HR of the season in AA and also drove in 6 runs yesterday. Although his great performances have been sporadic, it’s obvious that he does have the potential to be a very useful bench player.
- Ronald Uviedo got his 4th start in AA for the Jays since being traded from the Bucs and threw 6 innings to earn his 2 win in 4 starts. He allowed 3 ERs on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. The important part of this start was that it continued a stretching out of his arm over his last 4 starts (3,5,5,6) in terms of innings pitched. It’s great to see him doing well in the process, and he should only get better as he gets comfortable in that role again.
- Joel Carreno had a very needed dominant start in HiA Dunedin as he threw 6 innings of shutout ball. He walked only 1 while striking out 7 in his start and lowered his season ERA to 4.38 over 15 starts. He’ll need to do much better to be promoted to AA, but it’s a good start to turn the corner with.
- Deivy Estrada and Milciades Santana made their GCL debuts. Estrada struggled a little bit, giving up 7 hits, 4 walks, and 2 ER over 3.1 innings of work, but he did litmit the damage which could have been much worse. Santana, on the other hand, struck out 3 over his 1.2 innings of work, allowing only 1 hit. The difference is 4 years – the age difference between Estrada (17) and Santana (21). Both were my favorite Jays prospects from the DSL squad of 2009 and both are guys we should keep an eye on going forward.
- Kevin Gregg should really have gone inside on Matt Holliday, who had proven to be able to hit the pitches down and away during the last 2 games, 1 for a HR the opposite way. I don’t know if it was his call or not, but the pitch was fine, so we can’t fault Gregg on that game losing play. What we can blame Gregg for is in allowing runners on way too often as a closer. It’s rarely smooth and it compounds a feeling in Toronto that no lead or game is ever safe so long as the pen comes in the game. If it were not for all of the pen losses this season, the jays may be tied for the AL East lead! It’s no wonder that when asked about what he sees the Jays trading for this season if they’re in contention, Cito Gaston points directly to the pen. Who can blame him? I know that if I were a starter on that team, I’d be as frustrated as could be.
- Moises Sierra, who made it all of the way up to AA last season, is struggling in his 2010 start in the GCL. That kind of backtracking is not what Jays fans wanted to see from Moises this season. He has 2 hits in his first 11 ABs there, although I don’t think it would take long for him to be promoted if he starts doing well.
- Jeremy Reed, who started the season well and earned a bench role with the Jays for a period of time as a result, is hitting .147 over his last 10 games with no HRs and only 1 double over that span. His season’s average now sits at .254 and he has only 2 HRs to go with it. I could see either Adam Loewen or Darin Mastroianni getting the call to AAA very soon if this keeps up.
I don’t like to harp on the negatives so I’ll keep it short and sweet:
- Adeiny Hechavarria is facing the possibility of a demotion to LoA Lansing or even the GCL if he keeps this up. He has 2 hits over his last 37 ABs, has a .079 OBP, and .054 SLG. He still has yet to hit 1 HR this season in 144 ABs at a level that was supposed to be easy for him and only has 6 stolen bases. I know it’s still early and he’s very raw, but he needs to gain confidence regardless of how it happens. With Tyler Pastronicky able to play SS in HiA and doing well there, perhaps a swap of 2B Ryan Schimpf from LoA Lansing and Adeiny is in order.
With all of this said, the Jays have much more to cheer for than to complain about. They really should try to get all fo the signings done this month if possible in order to get all fo the picks in play and gaining experience, but it most likely won’t happen with Deck McGuire. Maybe the fact that the #4 pick is signed will get the ball rolling and get other 1st rounders to agree to terms more quickly.