Saturday, April 25, 2009

Burres & Bullington called up to the big club

With starter Ricky Romero and closer B.J. Ryan shelved with injures, the Blue Jays made two corresponding roster moves Friday before the series opener against the White Sox.

Starter Brian Burres and reliever Bryan Bullington have been recalled from AAA Las Vegas to fill the two spots left by the latest pitchers to hit the disabled list.

Burres won't have much time to get acclimated with the team, as he'll get the nod against the White Sox Saturday. He hasn't looked particularly great with the farm club, posting an 0-2 record with a 6.97 ERA in 3 outings, two of which were starts.

Burres briefly displayed spurts of effectiveness with the Orioles the past 3 years, so he could provide a decent couple of starts for Toronto.

Bullington, the 1st overall selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2002 draft, has an impressive 1.86 ERA, and 10 strikeouts in 4 relief appearances over 9.2 innings with Las Vegas. Bullington pitched in the 14-0 blowout against Chicago, surrendering a pair of hits, striking out two in a scoreless ninth.

Though Bullington is no longer considered a prospect at age 28, he has to be considered intriguing, because he clearly has talent. Having been the first overall pick, he impressed scouts coming out of Ball State college, though he hasn't been able to be consistent at the major league level. If he can harness his talent and finally realize his potential, the Jays might have found a diamond in the rough.

Blue Jays bash White Sox 14-0

The Blue Jays improved to a Major League Baseball best 13-5 after destroying the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field 14-0. Toronto set new season highs in runs (14) and hits (21) Seven Blue Birds finished with multi-hit games, with Vernon Wells falling a triple short of the cyle, Adam Lind securing a career high 3 doubles, Rod Barajas driving in a pair to go along with 3 hits, and rookie Travis Snider had 3 base raps and an RBI.

Toronto now leads the American League in batting average, runs scored, hits, RBI, and is 2nd in home runs, behind the Texas Rangers.

The hitting is becoming contagious, and the offense is getting better now that the much maligned (by me) Alex Rios on a 6 game hitting streak and Vernon Wells waking up from a slow start to the season. Both Rios and Wells homered in the series finale against the Rangers, and they accounted for 4 hits and 3 RBI in this one.

Just keep riding the wave.

Tallet outstanding in 2nd start of season

What is going on with the Blue Jays starting pitching? Whenever a pitcher goes down to injury, another hurler steps in to pitch effectively. After a 14-0 pounding of the White Sox, lefty Brian Tallet is stating his claim to hold on to a starting job for the foreseeable future.

Tallet had a strong performance against the White Sox, event though he admittedly didn't have his best stuff. He worked 5.2 shutout innings, striking out 5. The most impressive part was his ability to get out of a jam in the 3rd frame. With a 4 run lead, Tallet worked himself into a bases loaded jam with just 1 out. Instead of allowing Chicago to jump right back in it the lanky southpaw vwhiffed Jim Thome and induced an inning ending ground out from Jermaine Dye. In two starts since being inserted in the starting rotation, the former 2nd round pick of the Cleveland Indians has surrendered just 1 earned run in 11 innings.

With the victory, Tallet secured his first W as a starter since 2002. If Tallet has a couple more starts like this, he might force Toronto's hand in keeping him a part of the rotation for good portion of the campaign.