The Jays have the day off and will kick off a new series tomorrow. As we await the new series, here are the most prominent Jays news that I thought needed some attention:
Minors (Rookie to LoA)
Thon has been assigned to the GCL, for all of those who wondered where he’d wind up and whether he’d be healthy enough to play this season. He has kicked off his pro career with a 4 game hit streak, but has yet to hit an extra base hit. He’s obviously a very prominent member of the Jays system that we will be keeping a close eye on.
Another new member of the GCL Jays, Nessy has made his presence felt early with 2 dingers in 3 games. He represents yet another hot hitting catcher in the Jays system, although he may be the least likely to stick at the position with his 6’2″ 230 lbs frame. This 18 year old has 30+ HRs written all over him, so keep tabs on him in those deep minors fantasy leagues.
Not only does Jorge have the coolest name of all 2011 Jays draftees, but the 28th rd pick of the ’11 draft for the Jays also began his career with a bang, hitting a HR in his first game. He is 5 for 13 (.385) to kick things off and has added a SB. At 5’8″ 175 lbs, he will have to work hard to move up the ranks with the Jays.
His assignment to the GCL to kick off his career…..AT A VERY EARLY 17 YEAR OLD AND 5 MONTHS…tells you something about just how faith the Jays have in Cardona. How did he start his career? He allowed 1 hit in 3 innings, walked none, and struck out 4. Very impressive. He could be the Jays version of Felix Hernandez if he develops as is expected.
He started his season with a 5 inning, 3 hits, 1 BB and 7 K performance to earn the win in the GCL. He allowed 1 ER. The LHP should move quickly if he keeps this up.
Finally for the GCL, my “favorite to cheer for” pitcher had a decent start to 2011 by throwing 5 innings of 5 hit, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 4 Ks ball. At 18 years old, I’m still holding out hope that he’ll touch 6’0″ soon, but he’s still listed at 5’11″ 178 lbs. He’s yet another key Jays pitching prospect to keep an eye on.
The 20 year old 6’6″ 220 lbs first baseman deserves some attention after hitting 3 extra base hits in his first 3 games with the Bluefield Jays. He has a double, triple, and HR already under his belt, but has yet to walk and struck out 5 times in 10 ABs.
The tall Texan showed us why he should wind up in Lansing in no time by striking 8 batters in 4 innings of work while walking 1 and only allowing 4 hits. It’s a great start, and he lines up with the rest of the great starts from Jays pitching prospects.
The only disappointing kickoff of the short season pitchers, he allowed 7 hits and 4 ER in 3.1 IP. He did manage to strike out 5 and only walked 1 however, so it could be early jitters that will go away soon enough.
Although he had been assigned to Dunedin for a short stay, Hawkins has since been sent down to Bluefield, where he has played 2 games and has his first hit of the season.
Possibly the most talented hitter of the 2010 class for the Jays, at the time of the draft, Kellen has earned his first hit of the 2011 season, a double, while playing with the Bluefield squad.
Drafted in the 24th round of this year’s draft, Rollins kicked off his pro career on the right foot. He threw 5 innings for Bluefield, allowed only 2 hits, 1 ER and no walks, and struck out 4 in the process. Way to make an immediate statement David!
Playing for Vancouver, the highest Jays drafted position player to sign so far after being drafted in the 18th round, Berti is also the hottest to this point. He has 6 hits in 13 ABS (.462), 2 BB, giving him a .562 OBP through 4 games, 2 SB, and only 1 K. The 21 year old second baseman from Bowling Green State is certainly enjoying his debut.
The athletically gifted Opitz has 7 hits after 25 ABs and has only struck out twice for Vancouver. He’s playing SS opposite Berti for Vancouver, giving them a very nice DP combination and great bats up-the-middle.
Remember this name, because chances are that it is one of the most under rated names in the Jays system right now, along with Santiago Nessy. Justin kicked off the 2011 season with a tremendous performance, allowing only 1 hit in 5 innings of work, walking 1 and striking out 5 without allowing a run. He’ll only be 20 in November, and he is the top LHP draft pick of the 2010 class for the Jays (2nd rounder).
The OF made a great impression on the Lansing squad when he replaced the injured OF on that squad. So far in Vancouver, Jones has added to that by managing 10 hits in 26 AB, including 3 doubles and a triple. He has also added 2 SB and a very nice .448 OBP.
Although he has slid some over his last 10 games with a .237 avg over that span, Knecht has begun to snap out of his slump of late, hitting 2 HRs over his last 3 games. He is now hitting .322 on the year with 8 HRs to his credit.
Jake, meanwhile, has been red hot of late, hitting .409 with 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 HRs over his last 10 games.
Just about everyone who follows the Jays minors knows that Drew has already earned his promotion. It’s just a matter of the Jays making room for him in HiA Dunedin at this point. He hasn’t allowed an ER in 4 games (24 IP), only allowed 11 hits and 3 walks over that span while striking out a ridiculous 35 batters. That’s 35 Ks to 3 BBs. Time to promote this man….you think? The only reason I can really see for keeping him in Lansing is to get him throwing 7-8 innings a start vice his max of 6, but he can still work on that in Dunedin, can’t he?
LF Eric Thames – Promoted to Toronto from Las Vegas.
UT Mike McCoy – A.K.A. “Yo-Yo” – demoted to Las Vegas from Toronto.
RP Dustin Antolin – Promoted from Lansing to Dunedin. The 21 yr old began the season on the DL.
RHP Aaron Sanchez – Assigned to the Bluefield Blue Jays.
2B Andy Fermin – Assigned to the Bluefield Blue Jays.
1B Yudelmis Hernandez – Assigned to Bluefield from Vancouver.
RHP Jesse Litsch – Assigned to New Hampshire for his rehab.
OF Danny Perales – Assigned to Las Vegas from New Hampshire.
Although there are some that are beginning to wonder whether or not the Marlins could trade Hanley Ramirez, I seriously doubt the Marlins would sell him when his value is at its lowest ever. However, I will say that the fact that he’s a buy low candidate does make him a perfect Alex Anthopoulos target. As he did by acquiring Yunel Escobar at the right time, Alex could provide a really nice package to nab what is really the most talented SS in all of MLB. Whether or not he’s worth the risk, based on makeup issues, is another question altogether. I don’t see it happening, but wouldn’t be surprised if it did!
There are a couple of really interesting notes on Reyes. First, he has stated – through his agent – that he won’t sign a deal during the season. Second, the Yankees said that they won’t be involved on obtaining him at all. Wait, it wasn’t a Yankee statement, it was a Brian Cashman statement, which means that they will be in on him as they were with Soriano…so we can scratch the second point! All this tells us is that as often happens when players near free agency, they will price themselves to the range of the select few and make themselves completely unattractive to a team like the Jays. I’m fairly certain that Alex Anthopoulos will pass on his massive demands this off-season. I could easily be wrong, but I’d be very surprised.
Ok, so the Jays began the “sparking the offensive force” process by calling up Eric Thames. Good first step, but is that going to be it? Don’t stop there guys. Bring Adam Loewen up in place of Rajai Davis, and David Cooper in place of Edwin Encarnacion. Make a statement for once for crying out loud! We won’t accept lackluster play! Oh, and hire someone to teach Rajai how to hit. His swing is twice as long as it should be. Maybe Tony Gwynn can give him some private lessons on how to make more consistent contact…
The news of him being out until August is just horrible. No, the Jays couldn’t have predicted that he’d get injured in AAA, but to me, he shouldn’t have been there testing Karma.
Apparently, robbing other teams of HRs isn’t good enough to keep you in RF despite the stellar play of Mike McCoy at 3B. I don’t understand this move at all, I hate this move altogether, and I won’t be surprised one little bit if Jose gets injured diving for a ball to his left. Sure, the Jays can use Eric Thames in the lineup now instead of McCoy by making room for him on the field, but in reality, it should be Rivera leaving the squad to go to AAA, not McCoy. One adds value to the team, the other……
Thankfully for us Jays fans, we can begin to monitor the “lights at the end of the tunnel” as the prospects brought in by Alex Anthopoulos begin to make their impacts felt within the depths of the franchise. Because aside from that, the Jays are not having much luck at getting a smooth run of any sort going and it seems like they’re constantly trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The rotation deserves much better support from the Jays hitters than they’ve received in 2011. Not many people would have predicted the continued slumping of Aaron Hill and the complete breakdown of Edwin Encarnacion, but Juan Rivera? I still don’t get why he’s still a Toronto Blue Jays OF. He may be a great person and I wish him all of the best, but he’s like a black hole in the lineup that keeps breaking up any chance at a rally or comeback.
That’s my rant for today. Hopefully it brought you a little of everything!
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