MacArthur: Ballpark chatter on Lawrie, Delabar and Rogers

Scott MacArthur
7/11/2013 2:11:20 AM
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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Toronto Blue Jays evened the three-game set with a 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday evening.

Below are some comments on matters of interest.


A second start at second base for Lawrie, Wednesday, as he works his way back to the Blue Jays from a sprained ankle suffered on May 28.

Triple-A Buffalo beat Syracuse 4-3. Lawrie went 0-4 with two strikeouts.

"If we didn't think he didn't have a chance of being an outstanding second baseman he wouldn't be over there, we wouldn't be considering that," said manager John Gibbons. "He came up as a second baseman in Milwaukee's (system.) He's a plus defender, you could put him at shortstop and I'm sure he could do a good job. The way we're kind of looking at it, if it does develop, you combine him and Reyes up the middle where most of the action is. You've got two great defenders, with a ton of range, you know they take away hits and that's a big part of this game."

Don't expect Lawrie to return before the All-Star Break.

If Lawrie is moved to second base, it's likely Maicer Izturis and Mark DeRosa would platoon at third base. Edwin Encarnacion is also an option for the occasional start at third.


It wasn't how Steve Delabar expected to notch his first major league save but both he and his team will gladly take it.

Delabar entered Wednesday night's game with two out in the ninth inning. Casey Janssen had retired the first two hitters he faced but ran into trouble, allowing two singles and a walk before an error was made behind him.

Suddenly, Toronto's 5-2 lead had been trimmed to 5-4 and the Indians had the tying and winning runs in scoring position.

Delabar got Cleveland's Michael Bradley to fly out to centre field on his first pitch, ending the game and preserving the victory.

"I think you guys pay more attention to it," said Delabar. "I got the ball. I can say that was my first one. There's not a huge significance to it except for that it's the first one."

The Indians announced a crowd of 14,134. The loudest fans were cheering for the Blue Jays.

"We thought we had more fans here (Wednesday) than they did," said Delabar. "Cleveland, Detroit, I heard Milwaukee's a good one, Seattle, all the places close to Canada we get a huge following and it's awesome. I remember last year in Seattle I almost thought it was embarrassing because the opposing team had more fans than we did. Then I (got traded to Toronto) the next day and I'm like, 'this is awesome.' To have a huge fan base like that is awesome."


Esmil Rogers pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits. He didn't get a decision and is winless in four starts since he beat the Rockies on June 18.

Still, Rogers has had subpar performances in only two of eight starts since he joined the rotation.

After taking the loss on June 24 in Tampa Bay, Rogers pitched six scoreless innings in a 6-2 win at Boston on June 30.

Rogers' most recent appearance prior to Wednesday was last Thursday's 11-1 loss to Detroit. He was tagged for seven earned runs in five innings.

His ability to bounce back, to avoid dwelling on a tough outing, is an important trait.

"I try to learn every start I throw," said Rogers. "I learned from my last start against Detroit. I see the video, what's going on, what happened and what I do different. I think I learn a little bit more each start. Using my breaking pitch for a strike and when you got a breaking pitch for a strike you can throw any pitch in any count. Like today, I can throw a slider 3-0, 3-2 for Swisher and I have an opportunity to get people out."

The Blue Jays have beaten both of Rogers' former teams, Colorado and Cleveland, in the games he's started against them.

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