It has been a hot and cold first season as a starting pitcher for Esmil Rogers but after this his best outing of the season Rogers has clearly thrown his hat in the ring for a spot in the rotation in 2014. Rogers held the Arizona Diamondbacks to just one single over 6⅓ innings Monday afternoon and the Blue Jays kiddie corps in addition to one big swing from Edwin Encarnacion provided just enough offence for a 4-1 victory. The Jays managed only three second-inning hits off Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy going into the ninth inning but Encarnacion put the game out of reach with his 35th homer of the season a two-run shot that scored Ryan Goins ahead of him. Rogers began the season as part of the Jays bullpen but was summoned into the rotation in late May when Brandon Morrow went on the disabled list. Through his first four starts the Jays were 4-0 but they had won just three of his last 11 starts before Monday’s gem. “It was a great outing” Gibbons said. “We’ve seen some good ones and some where he left the ball up a little bit but this was a heck of an effort. “Who knows what happens this winter. He’s been very good for us as a starter and we’ve seen him good as a reliever. He should definitely get considered (for the rotation).” Through six innings Rogers pitched as if he was double-parked wasting absolutely no time throwing strikes pitching to contact and relying on his defence. It was as tidy a bit of efficient pitching as we have seen from a Jays hurler all season. Third baseman Martin Prado’s one-out single in the second inning a clean line-drive into left field was the only base hit he allowed and Prado was erased when the next man Gerardo Parra bounced a grounder to second baseman Goins who started a 4-6-3 double-play. “I’ve been working on my sinker trying to get my confidence back in that pitch and that was the key today” Rogers said. “I got so I was pounding the strike zone with the four-seam and coming back with the sinker and I got a lot of ground balls.” The concept of getting ahead in the count was never far from his thoughts. “Pete (Walker the pitching coach) was grinding it into me to get those first pitch strikes and then I could do what ever I wanted to after that.” Rogers isn’t letting himself get ahead of himself thinking about what his job might look like on next year’s team.
Esmil Rogers pitches gem as Jays down Diamondbacks
Toronto Sun | Sep 3