Scattershot notes from all over:
Item: Travis Snider is BAAAAACK! Juan Rivera is no more, saints be praised. After todays impressive spanking of Cliff lee (who saw THAT coming?) the jays kicked Rivera to the curb (i.e. DFA'ed) and recalled Snider from Las Vegas. Huzzah says I. According to John Farrell, Snider will play RF in Boston, then swithc most likely to LF but he wouldn't rule out playing Snider in CF (the Jays had been toying with the idea and had him play a few games there in Vegas). Personally, given that the legend of Eric Thames (screw Sam Fuld) is in full bloom in Toronto, my heart says give Snider every chance to succeed in CF so that the two young guys are not costing each other at bats and turns in the field.
Item: Juan Rivera is gone! (yeah, I wanted to say that twice, what of it?). Alex Anthopoulos was quoted as saying he hoped to get something for Rivera and some talks had already happened. I won't put anything past NinjaGM but on paper, the Blue Jays would surely have to assume the vast majority of his remaining $2.62 million on his contract in order to get anyone worth taking even marginal notice of. Corey Patterson is now on the clock.
Item: Now that it's July, we can speculate about who else might be on their way out of town. There's the aforementioned Patterson, who's departure would clear the way for Adam Loewen; There's Edwin Encarnacion who's heating up and therefore might be a chip you hold until the last day to see how many heads he can turn, but if he departed it would allow the Jays to take a longer look at David Cooper.
There's Jo-Jo Reyes who, while having done serviceable work, is blocking Jesse Litsch and behind him are Drabek and eventually Stewart. They can afford to deal him and a team with an injury (such as the Indians) might see the value in paying something of value to plug a lefty with some talent into a hole in their rotation. finally, there are five guys in the bullpen who would theoretically draw interest and be available (I know I know, everyone is available, but you know what I mean). Needs? Prospects, as always - albeit a ready or almost ready guy with promise at 2B would likely be attractive given the dearth of good options out there at that position in the upcoming FA market.
Item: Jayson Nix is gone. You knew that of course, I just wanted to say so. He might actually clear waivers and head to Vegas though, so who knows if we've seen the last of him.
Item: Eric Thames is a bad bad man. Other than walking he's doing it all right now. it probably won't hold at this level, of course, but it sure is fun to watch. Don't cast those ROY ballots just yet!!
Item: Remember the name Drew Hutchinson. He's working on a streak of some 39 straight innings, spread over two levels, without giving up an earned run. From the time he gave up his last ER, he's posted the following line:
39.1IP, 22H, 4BB, 47K - five of those hits were doubles. That's six starts and change.
Item: Jose Bautista got more All Star votes than anybody. Ever. Sadly, as of now he's the only Blue Jays going and, as it turned out, only RickyRo has a real reason to file a complaint about getting snubbed. However, AL manager Ron Washington padded the team with Rangers to the exclusion of other deserving players. Seems to me Tiger fans have the most to complain about.
Item: Jesse Litsch, who's been very good in his rehab so far, get's the call in Vegas tonight, but AA has told him that there's no guarantee there's a job for him when he's healthy. Again, this smells like a situation where, if everyone stays healthy, someone is getting traded.
Item: Justin Jackson got promoted to AA this week as we are seeing more and more movement among the Jays prospects.
Item: Dustin McGowan pitched in his first real game in - three years? - yesterday. He threw 35 pitches and didn't do that well but you could hardly expect much after all that time. The Jays were pleased with his stuff. Farrell said they will gradually increase his load - 2 innings (35 pitches was, basically, 2 innings worth if everything goes well) then 3 twice then 4 twice and etc, although obviously it's actually pitches, not innings they are counting. Probably something like 18-20 pitches constituting an "inning" so you'd be looking at 35-40, then 55-60 twice, then 75-80 twice. That would be six starts, all he can fit into the 30 days of a standard rehab assignment. As much as I'd love to see him climb back into the Jays rotation in August, the word is that the team, if they don't think he's ready, have a maneuver available to "reset the clock" on the 30 days. Still, if there are no setbacks you should see him in a Blue Jays uniform in September at least.
Item: lastly, you know of course about the cursed unbalanced schedule (which rumors are promising might be about to go by the boards) - but do you know about the sneaky unbalanced schedule? Consider this: Here's the W/L percentage of the NL teams that the Jays and the teams ahead of them in the division standings played-
Here are the 2011 inter-league records for those four teams:
Now, it's certainly possible that who they played wouldn't have made any difference in those results. but it still gets on my nerves.