My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– He has persevered through nine minor league seasons with five different major league organizations, but Canada’s own version of Crash Davis, Chris Robinson, was called up by the San Diego Padres on Thursday. The gritty, 29-year-old catcher, who starred for Canada at this year’s World Baseball Classic and hails from my hometown of Dorchester, Ont., will serve as the Padres’ backup catcher while Nick Hundley is away on paternity leave. He has yet to see action in the Padres’ two games since his recall.
– Prior to the all-star break Brett Cecil was one of the best left-handed relievers in the big leagues, posting a miniscule 1.94 ERA in 41 games, even earning himself a trip to the Midsummer Classic. But since the all-star break, Cecil has struggled and his ERA is a gaudy 7.45. So just who is the real Cecil? Jays fans are obviously hoping it’s the pre-all-star break Cecil, but given the lefty’s track record coming into this season, they’re fearing it’s the latter.
– Congratulations to Canadian baseball writer Len Corben, who will be inducted into the Vancouver Canadians Broadcast and Journalism Hall of Fame in a ceremony tonight. If you’re looking for a fabulous lesson on Vancouver baseball history, check out this interview with Len and author George Bowering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRU1pq7mNgE
– Yes, Brett Lawrie has been on fire at the plate this August (..421 batting average), but I’d like to see Jays’ minor league base-running instructor Tim Raines tied to Lawrie’s hip next spring. Lawrie is an outstanding fielder and his hitting is improving, but he badly needs an education on base-running and who better to give it to him than Raines?
– With 17-1/3 shutout innings in his first two big league starts, North Battleford, Sask., native Andrew Albers has had the best start to a major league career by any Canadian pitcher. He will put his scoreless innings streak on the line tonight when he takes the mound against the Chicago White Sox. In case you didn’t know, the 27-year-old southpaw has been writing blog entries for the Canadian Baseball Network this season. You can check out his most recent entry here: http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/articles/mlb-debut-drew-you-just-pitched-in-the-majors/
– Trevor Gretzky, son of Wayne, is batting .256 in 27 games with the Chicago Cubs’ Low-A, Northwest League affiliate Boise Hawks. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound youngster was drafted as a first baseman, but has since been converted into an outfielder. The Great One’s son was selected by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. He hit .304 in 35 games in Rookie Ball last season.
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