This will fan the flames of the Clay Buchholz (and others) for Roy Halladay rumors: Toronto will have at least two scouts in attendance at McCoy Stadium on Sunday as Buchholz takes the mound for Pawtucket.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Sal Butera, a special assistant to Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi, was also in contact with a member of the PawSox staff today. I’ve known Sal for years since he was a catcher for Syracuse in the late ’80’s when I was one of the broadcasters there.
Does it mean a Halladay to Boston deal is in the works? Probably not, but Toronto is clearly doing its homework just in case.
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I was pleasantly surprised to see relief pitcher TJ Large when I walked into the PawSox clubhouse this morning. He was promoted from Double-A Portland to replace Randor Bierd who’s been placed on the temporarily inactive list for personal reasons.
Large was with the PawSox for a couple of weeks at the end of the 2006 season and appeared in 3 games. He’s been pitching brilliantly for Portland this year, going 3-0 with 8 saves and a 1.08 ERA. He was picked to pitch in the Eastern League All-Star game, but will no longer attend due to his promotion to Triple-A.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the remarkable story behind Marcus McBeth’s wicked changeup (it resulted from a badly broken finger). You can read that entry here.
Large tells a similar story about his best pitch – a cutter. In 2004 he had surgery to remove a cyst from his wrist and tendons that attach three of his fingers were moved as part of the surgery. That procedure made his middle finger more prominent than his index finger and when he started throwing again, the middle finger put pressure on the side of the ball and gave him a nasty cutter.
Whatever works right?
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Manager Ron Johnson will be on a plane on Sunday night as he heads home to Tennessee for a well-deserved 3-day break. He hasn’t been home since reporting for spring training in January.
I’m sure his wife and kids are thrilled. I’m not so sure about his beloved horse “Peanut.” He could be “Peanut Butter” after carrying RJ on his back for the next few days.
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I hope you’ll join us for the radio call as the PawSox play their final game before the All-Star break on Sunday afternoon at 1:05. Our pre-game coverage starts at 12:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.