Amidst changes, Jays rebound against O's
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill makes the double play against Matt Wieters and the Orioles at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., July 27, 2011. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - On a day that the Toronto Blue Jays rebounded against the Baltimore Orioles with a 3-0 win Wednesday at the Rogers Centre, they waved goodbye to the player with the longest tenure on the team, Jason Frasor.
A week ago, Frasor eclipsed Duane Ward by making his 453rd appearance as a Blue Jay to set a club record, and he departs having made 455. It's a record that may not be broken for a long time to come, if ever.
ďItís strange, but itís going to be all rightĒ Frasor said of the trade to the White Sox and his hometown of Chicago. ďI canít believe itís Chicago, of all teams, of all cities. Iíve never been in a pennant race, so thatís pretty exciting. Itís going to be all right but itís hard to leave here.Ē
In Wednesday's game, Toronto's Jose Bautista, who was hit in the head in the third inning of Tuesdayís game and forced to leave, was back at third base and contributed with an RBI single.
The long ball was supplied by Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, who hit his 16th homer in the fourth.
On the mound, Ricky Romero rebounded from two losses in his last two decisions by blanking the Orioles and allowing four hits over 8 1/3 innings.
The news of the day, though, wasnít the game but the two trades made by Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos and their ramifications.
When prospect Brett Lawrie arrives from Las Vegas, the Jays will more or less be set offensively and as far as position players go.
The only question is who will play left field as they will have Eric Thames, Travis Snider and Rajai Davis as candidates.
ďIíve thought about it a lot and I donít know,Ē Anthopoulos said. ďI figure it will work itself out and itís a good problem to have.
ďI donít expect us to do anything else trade-wise. But things can change. That will be a good problem to have, itís a great problem for us to have.Ē
The coming off-season will be one where the emphasis will be on rebuilding the Jays' bullpen.
ďItís an area that we need to continue to improve upon,Ē Anthopoulos said. ďIt will have to be a focus for us in the off-season. We took a little out of the bullpen (with the trades) and it hasnít necessarily been a strength. We took away good relievers and thatís going to hurt us in the short term. Itís part of the price that we needed to pay (to make the deals).
ďI feel we have a better chance to correct it in the off-season.Ē