My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Three words I never thought I’d associate with A.J. Burnett: Cy Young candidate. The inconsistent ex-Blue Jays hurler is 14-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 20 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season.
Congratulations to the great Fergie Jenkins, who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame tonight. The Chatham, Ont., native, who won 284 big league games, served as a pitching coach for Rangers’ Triple-A Oklahoma 89ers and owned a ranch in the state for several years after his professional baseball career.
In the fifth inning of yesterday’s game, Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis hit a lazy pop-up that Oakland A’s shortstop Adam Rosales, backing up into the outfield, lost in the sun. Instead of hustling out of the batter’s box, Davis ended up with a single. This adds to his team lead in brain cramps. Davis also tops the Jays in stolen bases and missed cut-off men. Don’t get me wrong, the speedy Davis can be a useful and exciting player, but these are mental mistakes that he shouldn’t be making seven seasons into his big league career.
I’m not sure how I’d approach Colby Rasmus about this, but the more I watch Anthony Gose patrol centre field, the more I feel that he needs to be the Blue Jays centre fielder in 2013. Yes, Gose needs to work on his hitting, but his defence is already Gold Glove worthy. The problem then becomes convincing Rasmus, who has been excellent at the plate and in the field this season, to move to left field.
If it seems like the Blue Jays have used a lot of pitchers this season, they have. When the recently promoted Chad Jenkins takes to the mound this week, he’ll represent the 31st different pitcher to toe the rubber for the club in 2012. In their 1993 World Series-winning campaign, the Jays used 16 different pitchers – and that includes September call-ups.
One former Blue Jay who’s quietly putting together a solid season is reliever Josh Roenicke. The hard-throwing right-hander in 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 44 games with the Colorado Rockies.
There were reports prior to the trade deadline that the New York Mets and Miami Marlins were discussing a blockbuster deal that would’ve sent struggling Trail, B.C., native Jason Bay to the Marlins for closer Heath Bell and catcher John Buck. You can read more about it here: http://is.gd/VSCrTn
Sympathies go out to the family of Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame volunteer legend Georgina Smith, who passed away on July 30 at the age of 100. When I worked at the museum, I’d call Georgina the celebrity tour guide and I wasn’t exaggerating. People would return to the museum from all over North America and ask about Georgina, who continued to give tours until she was 96 years young. She was a spunky, vibrant, passionate baseball fan and it was a blessing to know her. She will be missed.