2007 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 2007 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's 31st season of Major League Baseball. The Blue Jays tried to improve on their 87-win 2006 season, hoping to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
|2007 Toronto Blue Jays|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Rogers; Paul Godfrey (CEO)|
|General manager(s)||J. P. Ricciardi|
|Local television||Rogers Sportsnet|
(Jamie Campbell, Pat Tabler, Rance Mulliniks, Darrin Fletcher, Sam Cosentino (field reporter)) (116 games) TSN
(Rod Black, Pat Tabler) (20 games)
(Jim Hughson, Rance Mulliniks, Jesse Barfield) (8 games)
|Local radio||590 AM|
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In the offseason, the Jays signed All Star outfielder Vernon Wells to one of the richest contracts in MLB history, giving him a seven-year contract worth $126 million. Toronto also extended the contract of first baseman Lyle Overbay, and signed veteran designated hitter Frank Thomas. To offset the loss of starter Ted Lilly to the Chicago Cubs, Toronto signed Japanese pitcher Tomo Ohka and former Atlanta starter John Thomson to one-year contracts and inked former New York Mets hurler Víctor Zambrano to a minor-league deal. All three men, however, were eventually designated for assignment and released. The Jays also picked up infielder Jason Smith from the Rule 5 draft, but he too was released from his contract.
During the month of January, Toronto signed starting pitchers John Thomson and then Tomo Ohka to incentive-based one-year contracts in an effort to strengthen their 4th and 5th rotational slots. On January 30 Toronto also signed starting pitcher Víctor Zambrano to a minor league contract, and invited him to Spring training. All three were eventually released. When Brandon League, who was being considered for the main setup role, arrived to Spring training with a strained lat muscle, Zambrano took the empty spot in the bullpen. Thomson injured himself in spring training, so the Blue Jays named Ohka and Towers as their fourth and fifth starters. After four mediocre starts, Josh Towers was sent to the bullpen and replaced by Dustin McGowan. Towers returned to the rotation later in the year replacing released pitcher Tomo Ohka. When Gustavo Chacín was injured, he was replaced in the rotation by Shaun Marcum, who had a breakout year.
The season was blighted by persistent injuries, with 12 Blue Jays landing on the DL. The most serious injury was that of B. J. Ryan, who was out for the entire season having had Tommy John Surgery. However, due to the emergence of young pitchers like Dustin McGowan, Casey Janssen and Jeremy Accardo, the Jays finished 4 games above .500.
One of the most memorable games this season for the Jays was on Tuesday, June 5, 2007 when they rallied from being down 11–6 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to win 12–11 on an RBI walk-off base on balls by Aaron Hill, a victory that moved them to within 1 game under .500
Another memorable moment of this season was Dustin McGowan's complete game one-hitter on Sunday, June 24 against the Colorado Rockies at the Rogers Centre. McGowan carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning when outfielder Jeff Baker hit a single with no out to break it up. This was the first Jays' one-hitter since September 27, 1998, in which Roy Halladay threw against the Detroit Tigers. The Jays won 5–0 and moved themselves up to .500 for the first time since May 1 of the season. The game was also notable for Frank Thomas hitting the 499th home run of his career. The day after McGowan's gem, the Jays defeated the Minnesota Twins 8–5 to climb over the .500 mark for the first time since April and get their first four-game winning streak of the season.
On June 28, Frank Thomas became the 21st Major Leaguer to hit 500 career home runs. The pitcher who surrendered the homer was Minnesota Twins' starter Carlos Silva. Despite jumping out to an early lead the Jays couldn't hold on and ended up losing 8–5. In addition, Thomas was ejected from the game in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Mark Wegner for arguing balls and strikes.
On July 6, Reed Johnson returned to the lineup after spending three months on the DL. Johnson had been suffering back problems early in the season and received surgery, which forced him onto the 60-Day DL. This situation left Adam Lind the odd-man out in the lineup and he was optioned down to Triple-A. In his first game back Johnson went 1–3 at the plate, and made a game-saving catch in the ninth which prevented two runs (only one run scored on a sac-fly) from scoring and a runner on second (possibly third) and a one-run lead with only one out. The Jays won the game 8–6 against the Cleveland Indians.
On September 16, Aaron Hill broke the Blue Jays club record for most doubles by a second baseman in one season, set by Roberto Alomar in 1991 with 41 doubles that season. Hill recorded his 42nd double of the season against the Baltimore Orioles.
On September 17, Frank Thomas hit three home runs in a game for only the second time in his career, both times against the Boston Red Sox.
|Boston Red Sox||96||66||0.593||—||51–30||45–36|
|New York Yankees||94||68||0.580||2||52–29||42–39|
|Toronto Blue Jays||83||79||0.512||13||49–32||34–47|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||66||96||0.407||30||37–44||29–52|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
2007 American League Records
Sources:              
2007 Draft picksEdit
The 2007 MLB Draft was held on June 7–8. The Blue Jays had two first round picks, along with five compensation picks.
|1||16*||Kevin Ahrens||3B||Memorial High School (TX)||2007–06–15|
|1||21||J. P. Arencibia||C||Tennessee||2007–06–15|
|C-A||45*||Justin Jackson||SS||Roberson High School (NC)||2007–07–07|
|2||85||John Tolisano||2B||Estero High School (FL)||2007–06–15|
|2||88*||Eric Eiland||OF||Lamar High School (TX)||2007–06–15|
|6||205||Mike McDade||1B||Silverado High School (NV)||2007–06–12|
|9||295||Marcus Walden||RHP||Fresno City College||2007–06–12|
|10||325||Joel Collins||C||South Alabama||2007–06–15|
- * The Blue Jays received the 16th pick from the Texas Rangers as compensation for signing of free agent Frank Catalanotto
- * The Blue Jays received the 38th pick as compensation for loss of free agent Justin Speier
- * The Blue Jays received the 45th pick as compensation for loss of free agent Frank Catalanotto
- * The Blue Jays received the 56th pick as compensation for loss of free agent Ted Lilly
- * The Blue Jays received the 88th pick from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as compensation for signing of free agent Justin Speier
|2007 Toronto Blue Jays|
|2007 game log|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; R = Runs; SB = Stolen Bases
As of September 30, 2007
Note: GS = Games started; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; BB = Walks allowed; SO = Strikeouts; QS = Quality starts
|A. J. Burnett||19||121.2||7||7||3.70||42||119|
|Tomo Ohka ^||10||56.0||2||5||5.79||22||21|
- * – Statistics as a starter
- ^ – with Toronto
As of August 29, 2007
Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Loses; SV = Saves; H = Holds; ERA = Earned run average; BB = Walks allowed; SO = Strikeouts
|Jordan De Jong||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||9.00||2||4|
|B. J. Ryan||5||4.1||0||2||3||0||12.46||4||3|
- ** – Statistics as a relief pitcher
As of June 10, 2007
This is a partial list. For the full draft, see here.
|1||16 (for Frank Catalanotto)||Kevin Ahrens (SS)||United States||Memorial High School|
|1||21||J. P. Arencibia (C)||United States||Tennessee|
|C-A||38 (for Justin Speier)||Brett Cecil (LHP)||United States||Maryland-College Park|
|C-A||45 (for Frank Catalanotto)||Justin Jackson (SS)||United States||T.C. Roberson High School|
|C-A||56 (for Ted Lilly)||Trystan Magnuson (RHP)||Canada||Louisville|
|2||85||John Tolisano (2B)||United States||Estero High School|
|2||88 (for Justin Speier)||Eric Eiland (CF)||United States||Lamar High School|
|3||115||Alan Farina (RHP)||United States||Clemson|
|4||145||Brad Mills (LHP)||United States||Arizona|
|5||175||Marc Rzepczynski (LHP)||United States||UC-Riverside|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Auburn
- Game Logs:
- Jays sign Wells to ,6 million, seven-year extension espn.com – accessed January 25, 2007
- Overbay latest player to cash in with Jays, from espn.com January 14, 2007
- "Feature: 2007 Free Agent Draft Pick Compensation". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
- 2007 Toronto Blue Jays team page at Baseball Reference
- 2007 Toronto Blue Jays team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
2006 Toronto Blue Jays season
| 2007 Toronto Blue Jays Season
2008 Toronto Blue Jays season