Tag: Ezequiel Carrera

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 2: Danny Valencia #23 of the Toronto Blue Jays circles the bases after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on July 2, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Blue Jays designate Danny Valencia for assignment


In a surprising move, the Blue Jays announced this morning that they have designated infielder-outfielder Danny Valencia for assignment. Ezequiel Carrera was also designated for assignment while infielder Munenori Kawasaki was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and right-hander Ryan Tepera was sent down.

Valencia has been very productive in a part-time role this season, batting .296/.331/.506 with seven home runs and 29 RBI over 58 games while mostly playing against left-handed pitching. However, he became the odd-man out after the Blue Jays picked up outfielder Ben Revere from the Phillies before yesterday’s trade deadline.

Valencia has experience in the infield and outfielder and owns an .864 OPS against southpaws in his career, so he should draw plenty of interest around the league.

Video: Mariners turn an unconventional 3-6-2 triple play

Taijuan Walker

The Mariners turned the 11th triple play in franchise history on Sunday against the Blue Jays in a most unconventional way. Starter Taijuan Walker began the inning by issuing a walk to Ezequiel Carrera and allowing a single to Kevin Pillar, putting runners on the corners with nobody out.

On a 1-2 count, Ryan Goins hit a grounder to first baseman Mark Trumbo, who stepped on the first base bag and tossed the ball to shortstop Brad Miller. Miller chased Pillar back towards first, then ran in as Carrera hung about halfway between third base and home. Miller lobbed to catcher Mike Zunino, who ran Carrera back to third base just as Pillar arrived at the bag. Zunino tagged both runners. Carrera was first to the bag, so technically he was safe… until he happened to stumble off of the bag for who-knows-what reason. So Zunino tagged him out, too, for the triple play.

It’s ugly and it’s embarrassing, but oh so much fun to watch.

Carrera atoned for his base running mistake by robbing Zunino of a home run in the bottom of the sixth, then smacking a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to pad the Blue Jays’ lead to 5-3.

Anibal Sanchez loses his bid for a no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning

Anibal Sanchez

Update #2 (9:53 PM EST): For those who are still keeping tabs on this game, the top of the eighth inning just finished. The Jays have scored six runs, reducing their deficit to 8-6 against the Tigers. Following Carrera’s single to break up the no-hitter, the Jays singled twice more to knock in one run. Then, with Alex Wilson pitching in relief of Sanchez, Josh Donaldson singled to bring in two more runs. Wilson issued a walk and induced a pop-up before allowing a three-run double to Dioner Navarro. Bruce Rondon came in to relieve Wilson and uncorked a wild pitch before walking Justin Smoak to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Rondon was able to get Kevin Pillar to pop up to end the inning.

Despite finishing four outs away from a no-hitter, Sanchez didn’t even qualify for a quality start. His final line: 7.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.


Update (9:28 PM EST): Sanchez lost his no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning when Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera flared a single to left center.


We have another no-hit bid in progress. Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez has held the Blue Jays hitless through seven innings in Friday night’s game at Comerica Park. It’s a doubly impressive feat considering the Blue Jays own the best offense in baseball by far, averaging 5.44 runs per game entering Friday’s action.

The only blemishes on Sanchez’s line are a pair of walks. The first was drawn by Edwin Encarnacion to lead off the second inning and the second came with one out in the seventh inning. Sanchez has struck out four. The Tigers have backed Sanchez with seven runs, five of which came in the fourth inning.

Stay tuned as Sanchez attempts to complete the no-no. It would be the second of his career, as he also accomplished the feat on September 6, 2006 as a member of the Marlins against the Diamondbacks.

Despite it seeming like a pitcher flirts with a no-hitter once every couple of days, only two pitchers have actually closed the deal on a no-hitter this year: Chris Heston for the Giants and Max Scherzer for the Nationals.

Michael Saunders will rest for 4-6 weeks due to knee injury

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders returned to the disabled list this week due to renewed discomfort in his surgically-repaired left knee and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Saunders, who was acquired from the Mariners over the winter, injured his knee in a freak accident in late February when he stepped on a sprinkler head at Toronto’s spring training facility. Surgery was originally expected to leave him on the shelf until around the All-Star break, but the timetable was moved up after he had 60 percent of his meniscus removed. The 28-year-old made his season debut on April 25, but batted just .194 (6-for-31) with a .499 OPS over nine games before landing on the DL this week.

The hope is that rest will do Saunders some good, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos admitted that he might not be 100 percent until the offseason. Bad news for someone who looked like a quality pickup for Toronto.

Dalton Pompey was demoted to Triple-A after a slow start and Jose Bautista has been limited to designated hitter duties due to a shoulder injury, so the Blue Jays are currently relying on a combination of Kevin Pillar, Chris Colabello, Ezequiel Carrera, and Danny Valencia in their outfield.

Brad Ausmus doesn’t want to make the tough calls

Brad Ausmus

When the Tigers acquired reliever Joakim Soria from the Rangers on July 23, giving up two of their top 10 prospects to do so, it seemed obvious he should take over as Detroit’s closer. After all, he had a 2.70 ERA at the time and was 17-for-19 saving games for Texas. Nathan had a 5.89 ERA and had blown five saves in 25 chances.

Instead, manager Brad Ausmus stuck with Nathan. It worked out fine. Soria stumbled out of the gate for the Tigers and then suffered a strained oblique that cost him a month. Nathan’s ERA was much improved the rest of the way, though his WHIP actually went up a bit (Nathan had a 5.61 ERA and a 35/14 K/BB ratio in 33 2/3 innings in the first half and a 3.70 ERA and a 19/15 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings in the second half).

After Soria returned, Ausmus never wavered, not even to install Soria as the eighth-inning guy over Joba Chamberlain. While most focused on Nathan’s struggles, Chamberlain had gone from posting a 2.63 ERA in the first half to a 4.97 ERA afterwards. He had a 40/12 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings prior to the All-Star break and a 19/12 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings afterwards. At least in the second half, the eighth inning had proven more problematic for the Tigers than the ninth.

Related: Tigers give up four in eighth, lose 7-6 to Orioles in ALDS Game 2

Yet Ausmus refused to try anything different. Maybe Soria hadn’t quite returned to form following the oblique injury, but Al Alburquerque remained criminally underused. Alburquerque had a 2.51 ERA this season, lowering his career mark to 2.82. He allowed two runs over 18 2/3 innings in August and September. He held right-handers to a .190/.281/.237 line and was still plenty respectable against lefties (.245/.311/.369). Yet his last three appearances this year came in games the Tigers lost a combined 28-9. He hasn’t pitched in the ALDS.

It’s not just the eighth inning, either. On two occasions against the Orioles, Aumsus has seemed to defer to his players against his better judgment. In Game 1, he started Davis in spite of a groin injury that had him looking more like a 40-year-old catcher than a fleet-footed center fielder. There’s no way Davis should have played (Davis started again today, then exited in the fourth because of his injury). In the sixth inning today, he sent Justin Verlander back out to the mound, only to pull him after a leadoff single (that should have been caught by Davis’s replacement, Ezequiel Carrera). If Verlander was one mistake away from coming out, why send him out to make that mistake?

Brad Ausmus’s flaw has nothing to do with intelligence. He just seems overly resistant to change. He doesn’t like tweaking his lineups: Rajai Davis has bigger platoon issues than any right-handed hitter in the game; he’s a quality leadoff man against lefties, but he really shouldn’t be starting against righties at all. Ausmus hits him ninth on a full-time basis regardless. Ian Kinsler had a .270 OBP in the second half, yet remained the everyday leadoff man. Ausmus decided it made more sense to win or lose with Chamberlain in the eighth than it did to try anything different. And now the Tigers’ season appears nearly over because of it.

Last year, Tigers manager Jim Leyland installed career infielder Jhonny Peralta, returning from his 50-game PED suspension, as his left fielder with three games left to go in the regular season. When Austin Jackson, a leadoff man all season long, struggled in the postseason, Leyland suddenly dropped him in the order in the ALCS and started hitting Torii Hunter first and Miguel Cabrera second.

Ausmus, still a rookie manager, lacks that boldness at this stage of his career. Down 2-0 to the Orioles, He’ll probably go in a different direction given a lead in the eighth inning of Game 3 on Sunday, but only because he’s really been left with no other choice (Anibal Sanchez almost surely will be that eighth-inning guy unless David Price can get through the inning himself). I still imagine Ausmus will turn into a strong manager in time, but 2014 has been a learning experience for him. It’s too bad for the Tigers that they didn’t get a year with Leyland at the helm and Ausmus as a bench coach before making the transition.