Friday, June 27, 2008

Recent Transactions

In my attempt to ignore the majority of the awful Toledo series, as well as the bad loss to Lehigh Valley on Friday, I will just mention the couple transactions that have occurred within the past few days.

Pitcher John Parrish's contract has been purchased by Toronto, a move that most likely means we have seen the last of him. Parrish is out of options, which means if he gets sent back to Syracuse, he would be exposed to the others teams since he'd have to be put on waivers.

With Parrish's call up, Toronto has optioned pitcher Brian Wolfe to Syracuse.

Jo Matumoto has be returned to Syracuse from New Hampshire.

Also, pitcher Chris George was signed and sent to Syracuse. George spent some time in the majors in previous seasons. His most recent team was Colorado Springs from the PCL. He was 0-4 with a 5.13 ERA in his 27 appearances there earlier this year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Toledo Tops Chiefs 4-3

Monday night's game between Syracuse and Toledo turned out to be one that Syracuse should not have lost. The Chiefs gave up all four runs to the Mud Hens in the 6th inning, but there were many opportunities to keep most of those runs off the board. After a lead off single by Maxwell Leon, Mike Hessman hit a rather questionable double. The ball seemed to be foul, however home plate umpire Fran Burke called it fair, allowing runners to end up on second and third with no one out. After a sac fly scored the first run, while moving Hessman to third, the Chiefs missed out on another opportunity. First baseman Hector Luna misplayed a foul pop up, which could have resulted in the second out of the inning. Instead, Fernando Seguignol was given new life, which he used to single home the then tying run to make the score 2-2. Toledo's next batter flew out, which would have ended the inning if not for the foul drop.

Chiefs starter John Parrish was uncharacteristically wild most of the game. He only threw 58 strikes on his 93 pitches, which is an extremely low number, considering Burke's very wide, albeit inconsistent, strike zone. The reactive, rather than proactive, approach towards the pulling of Parrish could also be blamed for the extra two runs scoring in the 6th. I'm not sure if Syracuse is given a strict pitch count, or is allowed to play moreso for the wins, but anyone at the game could tell that Parrish was struggling right before the deciding runs were scored.

All this being said, I think Syracuse should have been able to put together more than three runs for the night. The Chiefs batters were able to get good hits, but they were unfortunately in less than stellar situations. A few times, there were two out hits. When the hits came with less than two outs (look at the 7th-9th innings) the Chiefs hit into two double plays, with a third being avoided in the 9th by a throwing error. It's a tough loss to swallow, as Syracuse seemed like the better team for 8 of the 9 innings.

You could tell it was going to be an interesting game with the first batter of the night. Toledo's Freddy Guzman laid a nice bunt up the third base side and beat the throw by a step. First base umpire Adam Dowdy called him out. In fact, Syracuse was on the good end of another questionable call by Dowdy later in the game. That, coupled with Burke's horrendous night behind the plate made things rather frustrating for both teams and their fans.

Jonah Bayliss looked good in relief, allowing no base runners in his 2 1/3 innings of work.

Syracuse was struck out twelve times. Russ Adams was the only batter for the Chiefs to not have a strikeout. Still, you got the sense that the home run by Luna in the second was going to be enough with the way Syracuse's defense has been.

Syracuse is now 2 1/2 games out of the wild card (held by S/WB) and 3 1/2 behind Pawtucket for the division lead. These are the games that the Chiefs need to win if they have a shot to play after Labor Day.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roster Moves Galore

The injury to Shawn Marcum, as well as the manager change in Toronto has caused a lot of moves the past two days. The most obvious was the call up of Adam Lind to Toronto. But things got interesting tonight.

As per the Blue Jays' website, outfielder Kevin Mench has been optioned to Syracuse, while reliever Brandon League has been recalled to the Jays. I'm a little surprised, as League has still been having control problems.

The other source of rumors is to which starting pitcher will be recalled by Toronto to replace Marcum. David Purcey was the safe candidate, but he has struggled when he's been called to Toronto. Purcey would be "safe" since he is on the 40-man roster. The others being discussed are Kane Davis and John Parrish, with Parrish being the most likely candidate. The problem with using either guy is that someone would have to be exposed to allow a spot open on the roster for them. I have not seen Bill Murphy being discussed, however he is also on the 40 man roster.

In other moves earlier in the week, Jonah Bayliss was picked up for a player to be named later and sent to Syracuse. He pitched for Indianapolis earlier in the year against Syracuse, and I can remember thinking that I'd love for him to be on the team, so I hope my wish was a smart one!

Also, relief pitcher Jo Matumoto was sent back to New Hampshire.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bye Bye Joe...Again

As often as Joe Inglett gets sent to Syracuse, he is recalled within a day just as much. Shannon Stewart was placed on the 15-day DL today and of course, Joe Inglett has been recalled by the Blue Jays. This comes one day after Inglett was sent to Syracuse. Inglett was actually still in Toronto when he got the call, even he must have sensed the injury prone Jays wouldn't last long without needing him.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Armando Benitez Designated

I forgot to mention in an earlier post that Vernon Wells had been activated from the DL, and Armando Benitez had been designated for assignment. I somehow overlooked Wells' activation, which would be another reason that Joe Inglett was optioned to Syracuse.

So to recap the moves:

-Wells, McDonald activated from DL and to Toronto
-Wolfe from Syracuse to Toronto
-Hill to the DL
-Inglett from Toronto to Syracuse
-Stidfole from New Hampshire to Syracuse
-Benitez designated for assignment, most likely not coming to Syracuse

Syracuse Adds Stidfole

Prior to Saturday's 3-0 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Toronto reassigned relief pitcher Sean Stidfole from Double-A New Hampshire to Syracuse.

Stidfole made 23 relief appearances with New Hampshire this year. He threw for 28 innings, earning a 4.50 ERA, while striking 23 and walking 17. Stidfole was 1-1 with 4 saves. In two and a third innings against Scranton on Saturday, he gave up only 1 hit and had 1 strikeout.

Wolfe Recalled, Inglett Returned

With the return of John McDonald to the Blue Jays lineup, Toronto has returned Joe Inglett to Syracuse. Toronto has also recalled Brian Wolfe, who will have a roster spot due to infielder Aaron Hill being on the 15 day DL.

The return of Inglett gives Syracuse twelve fielders, two catchers, and ten pitchers. This will create a logjam as most of the fielders have actually been playing well enough to not have to platoon with each other. I'd personally prefer another pitcher instead, as Syracuse's bullpen is pretty short at this moment.