Blog Entry

Arencibia keeping Jays steady behind plate

Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 4:24 pm

Though the Blue Jays' youth movement hit a bump when Kyle Drabek pitched himself back to the minor leagues this week, it's not all bus rides and Motel 6's for the kids. Blue Jays' rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia continues building the foundation for a promising major-league career.

Arencibia's 34 RBI and .464 slugging percentage led all American League rookies, and his 10 home runs were second to the Angels' Mark Trumbo, as the Jays open a weekend series in Cincinnati.

But it's not just his offensive production that has impressed the Jays.

"From spring training to now, he's advanced by large steps," Toronto manager John Farrell says. "He's handling the pitching staff, his game-calling, his blocking balls in the dirt."

At 25, Arencibia, Toronto's first-round pick in the 2007 draft, has advanced to the point where he's caught more innings than expected. With veteran Jose Molina behind him, the Jays figured to break in Arencibia a little more slowly. But he's played in 52 of the Jays' 69 games, a workload that's been the combination of acumen and want-to.

"He loves to play," Farrell says. "I had to fight him early in spring training to come out of the lineup on certain days with the plan we had. He knew about the [schedule], but he wanted to play."

Not all has been smooth. Arencibia recently has been playing with a sore thumb, and that, too, will be a learning process. Professionally, he's never played in more than 116 games (2009, at Triple-A Las Vegas) in a season. The aches and pains and grind of a big-league schedule can take its toll, and the Jays may need to get Arencibia more days off later this summer.

But overall, the kid has looked like a keeper since he said hello last Aug. 7 by becoming the first player in the modern era to knock out four hits, including two homers, in his major-league debut.

"He's maturing as a player," Farrell says. "His conversations between innings with pitchers are right on the mark. They really are.

"He's handling both sides of it."


Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: June 17, 2011 4:11 pm

Arencibia keeping Jays steady behind plate

Oh if only we could get Aaron Hill back to his form of a few years ago when he belted like 36 HR's. I'm begining to think that was an aberration. If we could get that kind of production from the 3 positions that generally dont offer much elite offensive production across the league. SS, C and 2B. Escobar has been great leading off and producing in general from the SS position, batting around 290 with 8 HR's and 25 or so RBI's in the leadoff spot. and as mentioned Arencibia has the Jays among the best in the majors in terms of the offensive production from their catchers. If we could get that elite production again from Hill to go with these 2 and of course Lind and Bautista ( 2 of the best hitters in the A.L. right now) with the steady contributions from Patterson and Davis (particularly on the basepaths for him). Bring Lawrie up to play 3B as soon as he can return. Ohhhh I can see it now. we'd certainly be able to put up some big scores and hand in those games while our young SP'ers mature. If only Doc could have held on another few seasons (j/k) we could really have made some noise this year.

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