Jays Watch: Drabek stumbles

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:14 PM ET

ATLANTA - Demoted to work on his control, RHP Kyle Drabek struggled Sunday in his first start for triple-A Las Vegas. Drabek walked a career-high seven in four innings as he allowed five runs — four earned — on eight hits, while striking out three.

Drabek threw 106 pitches, only 55 for strikes.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell wants Drabek to work on controlling his fastball and cut down on the amount of cutters.

Drabek issued 68 walks in 162 innings in 27 starts with double-A New Hampshire in 2010, and he walked 50 in 158 innings in 2009.

“(Red Sox manager) Terry Francona did the same thing with Jon Lester earlier this month,” an American League advance scout said.

“It’s so hard to find a kid with a power arm who can throw a good four-seam fastball. You throw a cutter, you lose the mindset of throwing the ball by the hitter. You’re pitching to get ground balls.

“Kids wind up this stupid little toy and half the time it comes in flat. I don’t like the pitch.”

Ouch

Travis Snider, plunked on the brim of his helmet Friday by Reno’s Thomas Layne, has a concussion and did not accompany Vegas on the trip to Reno.

Snider will undergo the same testing Major League Baseball uses before being deemed healthy enough to return to the lineup.

Fiddler on the Roof

Matt Tosca, son of Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca, gave a violin concert at Carnegie Hall in New York at age 17 in 2008. Now, at the ripe old age of 21, he wants to be a conductor. One problem. “The youngest prodigy is 35, everyone else is in their 60s,” said Tosca, the former Jays manager.

Life without Bobby

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said new manager Fredi Gonzalez has done an excellent job taking over for legendary Bobby Cox. “I think he was the only one we could have hired, he was groomed by Bobby so long (three seasons).”


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