When it comes time to actually take the wrecking ball to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, someone might consider giving Travis Snider a call.
Snider, who a day earlier was asked to square around and bunt over runners in an 8-4 loss to the Clevelanders, crushed two mammoth blasts into the far reaches of the aging stadium, leading the Jays to an 8-6 victory over the Twins. So the moral of the story, once again, is that small ball sucks.
(Take that, Juan Pierre Fan Club!)
When Snider was asked to give himself up to help move Rod Barajas' big slow butt up 90 feet, we turned to the father-in-law and said that we hoped that this is the last time we had to see nonsense like that. And while we mind don't that Magical Baseball Sage Cito Gaston has decided to take a slow route with Snider and make him earn his Major League bona fides, we're pleased as punch that The Great Big Giant Pasty White HopeTM has already begun to make the case for a spot further up the lineup and a green light at the plate.
Where's Tomo Ohka these days?
As if the Jays didn't have enough worry over the state of their rotation, Jesse Litsch walked off the mound with "tightness" in his elbow. Given what happened with Shaun Marcum after his bout with elbow tightness last year, we're more than a little worried about what the Jays will have to do if Litsch is going to miss significant time.
It begs the question: Is there anything left out there on the scrap heap of starting pitchers? Because off the top of our head, we can't think of anyone who would do much better than just setting up a tee at home plate.
Also, doesn't this lend a bit of credence to Keith Law's notion that Brad Arnsberg, while being a wizard of a pitching coach, is also murder on young arms?
Around the Minors
The Las Vegas 51s' affiliation with the Blue Jays is off to an inauspicious start, with the Triple-A club going 0-4 out of the gate. If you've got trouble with your blood pressure, we don't suggest looking at the team's pitching stats to start the season, because there are some gaudy ERAs after the first series in the thin air of Colorado Springs. For the first time in Tao of Stieb history, allow us to use the following caveat: "The PCL is a hitters league."
On the plus side, 1B Randy Ruiz drove in eight in the first series, with 14 total bases and an OPS of 1.268, while Voodoo Joe Inglett is rocking a 1.000 OPS.
In New Hampshire, the Fisher Cats are off to a 3-2 start, with Springtime hero Brad Emaus driving in eight to start the season.
In Dunedin, the Advanced-A Jays are 1-3 to start. Diminutive reliever Tim Collins - a prospect discovered by J.P. Ricciardi's dad on the fields of Worcester, Mass., has stood out so far, striking out seven batters in four and a third innings while walking none and giving up a single hit.
Thanks to the Ack
While some in the comments figured that the Ack spent too much time in the comments of the Drunk Jays Fans, we tip our cap to our colleague for coming in and holding the fort in an extra long relief outing over the holidays. Great job Ack...now go and put some ice on those blogging fingers, because we'll need you back soon.