After the Blue Jays lengthy closer auditions in Spring Training, it seems not much was accomplished as Jason Frasor blew the save in the bottom of the ninth to give up a hard-played game by the Blue Jays.
Adam Lind and Vernon Wells both had huge games, each homered and singled twice, Lind also walked once, reaching base four times.
Shaun Marcum had a great game too, bringing a no-hitter into the seventh but ultimately surrendering three runs on a Nelson Cruz home run.
Before the game, the team announced they had reached a contract extension with slugger Adam Lind. At $18 million over 4 seasons, it’s a great deal for the club and a welcome reward for Lind. $4.5 million a year for a guy who’ll bat .300 with 30 homers? I’ll take on that deal any day. It gets better! The Jays get three club options after that at $7, $7.5 and $8 million, which give Lind is only 26, will be used if he keeps up his production. Good decision Alex!
With today being Sunday March 7th, the Blue Jays have played four games on their Grapefruit League schedule. They lost their debut against the Tigers 7-6 in a dramatic late finish, but won their next three games rather handily. Here are some of my observations so far:
1. J.P. Arencibia, the prospect everyone revered, then forgot about when the Jays acquired Travis D’Arnaud, seems close to arriving at the Major League level.
Arencibia has been Toronto’s top catching prospect soon after he was drafted in the first round of the 2005 Amateur Entry Draft. He has smacked two homers so far in only four at bats. A slugging percentage of 2.000! Sure, it’s a small sample size and he’s still a long shot from making the team out of Spring Training this year, but still, you have to see it as a bright sign for one of the best young players in the Blue Jays organization.
2. The pitching staff is looking great, notably Brandon Morrow, Shaun Marcum and Mark Rzepczynski.
Morrow and Marcum have pitching two-inning no-hit stints, while Rzepczynski registered two innings with only a single hit, great first performances by some of our developing pitchers. Future top-of-the-rotation stud Kyle Drabek pitched a subpar outing, but it was mainly characterized as encouraging by Drabek himself and Jays management.
3. The Blue Jays 1-2-3 hitters (Jose Bautista, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind) are playing great.
Bautista has six hits in only eight at-bats, scoring four runs and stealing one base in the process. These are great statistics for any lead-off hitter and look for him to lock up the job if he continues to play like such.
Aaron Hill has stayed off the extra-base-hit scoresheet so far, but that’s mainly because of his plate discipline: 5 walks in only 8 plate appearances and hitting singles in two other of the plate appearances while stealing a base. He hasn’t been exciting, but he’s doing a good job so far.
Adam Lind has homered once, singled once and driven in four runs along the way. Sure, his average is .286, not up to par with the other starters, but it’s not because of strikeouts, striking out only once.