Notes: Thigpen wants long stay
Catcher wants to spend a long time on Blue Jays roster
TORONTO -- Curtis Thigpen wants to make the Blue Jays think long and hard before they consider sending him back to the Minor Leagues. When Toronto called with a promotion earlier this month, he understood it might just be temporary. Even so, Thigpen is trying not to view things that way.
"In this situation, it's almost like it is a day-to-day thing," Thigpen said on Saturday. "I don't know how long I'll be here. But I came into it thinking, 'I don't want to go back and I'm going to do everything I can not to.' If it happens, it happens, but I'm taking the mentality that I'm staying here."
Thigpen may have already stayed longer than anticipated. The Jays called the catcher up from Triple-A Syracuse on June 4 to help out at first base -- a position Thigpen played occasionally at the Univeristy of Texas -- after Lyle Overbay landed on the disabled list with a broken hand.
When Gregg Zaun was activated from the DL last week, though, Toronto found itself with four catchers, which was an unusual situation that wouldn't last long. Instead of sending Thigpen back to Triple-A Syracuse, the Blue Jays chose to outright veteran catcher Sal Fasano on Wednesday.
"No one wanted to see Sal go," Thigpen said. "You can almost say that I thought it might've be me, but I wasn't worried about it. If I spent my days here worrying about it, then it probably would've be me."
If the move showed anything, it was that Thigpen has at least convinced Toronto to keep him in the mix a bit longer. True, it's a small sample size, but the 24-year-old catcher has hit .462 (6-for-13) so far with the Jays. Thigpen has recorded a hit in each of his first five games, which is the most by a Toronto rookie since second baseman Aaron Hill began his career with a five-game hitting streak.
Hitting is something Thigpen has always been able to do, and it's a key reason why the Jays invested a second-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft on the athletic catcher. In Toronto's farm system, Thigpen has combined to hit .281 since turning pro. Part of him isn't surprised that he's carried that success over to the Majors.
"The biggest thing for me is, and I don't know if I can say this surprises me, but how relaxed and calm I've been," Thigpen said. "I haven't had as much nervous energy or anxiety that some guys might have. I feel like I've kind of prepared myself for that through college and pro ball."
Two in a row: On Friday, Zaun made his first start behind the plate since being activated from the DL. Prior to that game, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons indicated that Zaun, who broke his right thumb in late April, would sit on Saturday, considering it was a day game after a night game. Zaun remained in the lineup, though, and batted fifth against Washington.
Deadline coming: The Blue Jays have until Monday to make a move involving right-hander Tomo Ohka, who was designated for assignment on June 8. Toronto has 10 days to either trade, release, or reassign the starter. If no clubs are willing to pick up Ohka's contract, it's most likely that the Jays will release the Japanese pitcher.
Every vote counts: Saturday marked the final day for fans to cast their votes in person at Rogers Centre for this year's All-Star teams. Jays fans can still turn in as many as 25 All-Star ballots each online at MLB.com. In last week's online voting update, no Toronto players ranked in the top five at catcher, first base, second base, shortstop or third base, or in the top 15 for outfielders.
Did you know? When reliever Lee Gronkiewicz makes an appearance for the Blue Jays, he will be the sixth Toronto player to make his big-league debut this year. The Jays' club record for Major League debuts in a single season was 12 in 1995.
Quotable: "With how much I want to be here, and how much I prepared myself to be here, and maybe how many times I've just lived the moments of playing in the big leagues in my head over and over, that when the time actually came it was almost like it wasn't that new to me." -- Thigpen on his thoughts of playing in the Majors.
Coming up: Toronto right-hander Josh Towers (2-4, 5.31 ERA) is slated to take the hill in the finale of a three-game Interleague set against Washington at 1:07 p.m. ET on Sunday at Rogers Centre. The Nationals will counter with left-hander Micah Bowie (3-2, 3.89 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.