BlueJays.com wrote:BALTIMORE -- Barring any further injuries, the Blue Jays will make their final roster moves of the season on Tuesday.
The Jays will add three callups Tuesday, swelling their roster to 29 active players. Righty hurler Shaun Marcum and outfielder John-Ford Griffin will get their first cups of coffee in the big leagues, and backup catcher Ken Huckaby will be back for the season's final month. Huckaby was designated for assignment just 10 days ago, when Toronto called up Guillermo Quiroz to replace him.
"Poor Huck," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "What was he gone? Ten days? And [Quiroz] doesn't have a hit yet."
Huckaby's return is, in essence, a reward for his patience, but Marcum and Griffin are being noticed for their level of play. Griffin developed into an All-Star at Triple-A Syracuse this season, and Marcum successfully navigated his way through two Minor League levels. Griffin was already on the 40-man roster, but Marcum has to be added before the move is finalized.
"He'll be in the bullpen," said Gibbons, speaking about Marcum. "We like him. I don't know anything about him, but we like him."
Here's the skinny: Marcum was a third-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, and he's risen steadily through the Blue Jays farm system. The right-hander was a shortstop and relief pitcher in college, but he's been used exclusively as a starter since 2004.
Marcum is a control specialist who's been compared to Josh Towers, and his numbers this year explain why. He went 7-1 with a 2.53 ERA at Double-A New Hampshire before finishing up with a 6-4 record and a 4.95 mark with Syracuse. In all, he pitched 157 innings and allowed 156 hits, striking out 130 batters and walking just 28.
Griffin spent the entire season with Syracuse and posted his best year as a professional. The outfielder and designated hitter batted .252 with 30 homers and 101 RBIs, but struck out 139 times in 134 games. In an organization obsessed with plate discipline, Griffin will need to work on his eye.
"We'll get him some at-bats, somehow. He had a good year," said Gibbons, who mentioned that Griffin will likely spend most of his time at DH. "I think that's pretty much what he's been doing all year."
In some ways, the production is overdue. Griffin left Florida State University with the highest career batting average (.427) in the school's storied history. He has just one option year remaining, which means Toronto will spend most of Spring Training and the 2006 season evaluating his future.