Well, since there is little around the league I really want to go into, and since the subject of the random underachivingness of the Jays has been done to death, I figure why not take another Barnstorm through the minors and see what's shakin'?
Adam Lind, besides being boyishly charming as evidence by the photo at right, absolutely owns AAA pitching. In his last 10 games he's not only hitting over .400 but over half his hits are doubles contributing greatly to his spiffy 1.058 OPS in that span. And it's no fluke, as Jays and Chiefs fans know - his OPS on the whole year is .935 and he was over 1.000 for the whole month of April. The boy can rake.
JP implied on TWWJP on Tuesday that Wilkerson's superior defense was now a factor in Lind's exile (oddly defense was not cited when Stewart was patrolling LF) and he also mentioned that with the Jays current offensive issues it wasn't the best time to break in a young player.
Now, I'm a long way from the JP hater crowd but I have to wonder if JP honestly thinks there is a real possibility Lind will fail as an offensive force in the AL? He keeps saying Lind will be the guy NEXT year and as much as I'd like to believe him, I just can't see how the Kid could not outperform our current and future LF situation. More and more I'm beginning to think JP is planning on building his trade offers (for Bay?) around Lind and for some reason thinks it's better to let him build up insane numbers in AAA than to come to the majors and maybe start slow like he did before. Nothing else I can think of makes sense.
David Purcey continues to be a monster in AAA and again the question arises: what are the odds such success doesn't translate to the major league level? I'd say pretty slim. Yes, some of you worry about his control but still, worst case scenario, he's Al Lieter 2.0 and that has value. Opposing batters are hitting .220 of Purcey, he has a 1.11 WHIP and a 2.41 ERA in almost 75 IP. Also of note - he controls left handers better than right handers. In my opinion, a package of Lind and Purcey is fair compensation for Jason Bay right now....though if it takes a throw in I'm down with that too. Why would I trade Purcey? Because we have the depth. I don't WANT to see him go but we're not going to make an acquisition without it. Ideally I'd sell high on Listch but I just don't think there is a team out there who's going to see him as a premium acquisition.
I've pointed this out before but let me say it again - Davis Romero (who is coming back from the same procedure Casey Janssen had) has thrown one truely awful outing this year and it has perhaps hidden him from some fans' notice and praise. On May 8 he got seven outs and gave up seven earned runs. Take away that one outing and D-Ro is sporting a 2.56 ERA - expect to see him in the Jays pen or even as a candidate for the #5 next spring.
As quickly as the stretching of Brandon League appeared on the horizon, so it faded away. It was gone even before League got rocked for 5 runs on June 4 and all his appearances in the last 10 have been 2 innings or less. JP continues to insist League is a big part of the future and i hope so because few have as much talent but, like Adam Lind, somehow I get a vibe that if trade partners ask about League he may be in the deal. Oh, without that June 4 appearance, his AAA ERA is 2.87 (4.05 overall....be careful about looking at ERA alone especially for a reliever).
A recuperating Greg Zaun went 2/4 with a HR while DHing in his first rehab game but was rained out in what should have been his second game yesterday. I've no idea ifthat delays his return to Toronto by a day.
New Hampshire 2B Scott Campbell nudged his BA to .358 with another 2/4 last night but the really impressive thing is that in his last 10 games he's walked nine times! His OBP in June is an astonishing .565 and for the whole season it's .445 as part of a .945 OPS. On WWJP this wekk JP answered a caller asking about Campbell's potential promotion (the caller wondered if Campbell might have been called on to replace Hill which is a big "no" for a lot of technical reasons about option years and the like bur JP didn't go there) by mentioning off hand that Campbell's defense still needed work, particularly in turning the double play. But honestly, if the kid doesn't end up with solid 2B defense he's looking like a good Frank Catalanotto type hitter as a LF or utility bat. Not to say I'm giving up on his defense but we do have a solid second baseman.
One other point on Campbell, he's apparently being sheilded against lefties which, in a very small sample, seem to give him trouble.
Travis Snider has now improved his AA average to .272 and is excelling now, there, in all aspects of hitting (unless you are worried about high strike out totals) Since May 1 Snider's line looks like this:
148 AB, 45 H, 8 doubles, 9 homers, 37 RBI, 19 BB, 47 K . . . that's .304 - .383 - .541 - .924
I remember when he was 3 for his first 29 and quick-to-judge critics among the fans were openly complaining he had promoted too quickly. Oh, and he played in the OF last night too. Not sure when that started but it's good to see.
Brett Cecil went 6 innings for the first time this season this week and lowered his ERA to 3.41 and AA hitters are hitting .218 of Cecil in nine starts. My guess is that shortly after the break this man ends up in Syracuse - he's "the man" for next year if Purcey gets included in a trade.
JP Arencibia, who JP says is on the cust of going to AA (probably after the High A All Star game that he will certainly play in) had a terribly bad night at the plate - for him - going only 1/4 droppin his OPS for june to a paltry 1.034, let the wailing ensue.
Can someone please figure out what's wrong with Justin Jackson before he wrecks all his confidence? Since coming back from his injury (and I still can't find a report on what the injury was) Jackson is hitting .181 in 138 at bats. in May he kept his OBP ub respectably but now that too is failing him. I was very excited over his April and hoped to see him spend the second half in Dunedin, but, alas, someone is gonna have to give this kid some help. or at least tell us it's a lingering effect of the injury.
There are some other names that need mentioning but this damn thing is too long already, so another day for those.