Friday, June 26, 2009

Barajas injures hamstring in 2nd inning

The injuries continue to mount up for the Blue Jays. Starting catcher Rod Barajas strained his right hamstring running to 1st base in the 2nd inning. He was replaced on the base paths by Raul Chavez. Barajas was given a day off Saturday against the Nationals to rest the sore hammy, but has started in all 5 games since then.

The options to replace Barajas in the minor leagues might not be ready for the big stage. Michael Barrett has been on a rehab assignment since injuring his shoulder in April, playing three games in class AA New Hampshire and three in AAA Las Vegas. Another option is top prospect J.P. Arencibia, though he is hitting just .227 with a respectable 8 long balls and 37 RBI in 64 games for Las Vegas. Arencibia has hit for a weak .150 average in his last 10 ball games.

Let's hope the injury to Barajas is day to day, because Chavez is definitely not a starting caliber catcher, Barrett might not be totally healed, and Arencibia still needs seasoning in the minors.

Lind's defense is subpar

Adam Lind is phenomenal. It's well documented the man crush I have on him. His offensive numbers this year, primarily as a designated hitter have been fantastic. 15 home runs, 52 RBI with a .307 batting average. Defensively, however, Lind struggles. When Travis Snider was sent down to the minors, Lind has seen more action in left field. The Jays should revert back to their original plan to have Lind strictly hit. And never play defense.

Lind's looks really lost out in left field, even as his defense has slowly improved the past couple of seasons. Lind misplayed a couple of balls in the series finale against the Reds, and struggled to fire the ball back into the infield when he eventually did catch up to the ball.

Recently recalled Russ Adams started one game in left against Cincinnati in place of Lind. The Jays should allow Lind to sit and focus solely on hitting in favour of Adams. How ironic that Adams was exiled from Toronto for his shoddy defense, yet he should now be a defensive replacement for another struggling fielder.

Cecil roughed up in shortest outing of career

The Blue Jays scouting report for rookie Brett Cecil Thursday called for the 22 year old to get ahead in the count, and to keep his pitches down. He didn't accomplish either of these tasks, leading to his shortest outing of his big league career.

His pitching line was not pretty, allowing 5 runs, 9 hits, 3 walks in 3 innings. Cecil ran into trouble early when he consistently kept his pitches up in the strike zone. He fell behind early in the count, particularly because his sharp curveball was flat, and the Reds teed off on him.

In Cecil's five starts, he's had 3 outstanding outings, and 2 that he would like to forget. He's still very young, but there have been clear signs of exceptional talent. There will be more growing pains this season, but the most important thing is that he learns from the bad games. He's already shown great resiliency bouncing back from the 5 home run debacle against Boston. Cecil will recover again.

Hill ties Blue Jays record

Aaron Hill's home run in the 1st inning Thursday tied his own club record, and that of Roberto Alomar for most home runs by a Blue Jays 2nd basemen. Hill has had a superb year at the dish, belting 17 home runs in his first 73 games. It's now the second time Hill has tied Alomar, having hit 17 dingers back in 2007. And Hill still has half a year left to dismantle the record!

What is Hill's ceiling? Can be produce 30+ home runs a year? I can't imagine that being the case, but with the rate he is on, he'll get there comfortably. He hasn't shown signs of slowing down his torrid pace from the beginning of the season.

What a sensational comeback year for Hill. After all the concussion problems he had last season, which caused him to miss most the campaign, there were rumours he might not ever play again. Instead, here he is, providing wonderful defense and exceptional hitting. Just where would the Jays be without him?