Adams ready for second shot with Jays
Toronto (38-33) vs. Cincinnati (34-34), 7:07 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON -- Russ Adams was ready for a fresh start. At the end of Spring Training, when it was clear that there was simply no room for him on the Blue Jays' roster, Adams spoke about how being traded might offer him a better route to the big leagues.
Toronto wasn't able to find a taker and Adams headed to Triple-A Las Vegas for another season in the Minor Leagues. On Sunday, Adam was finally back in a Blue Jays uniform -- his first time with the Major League club since 2007 -- and ready to take on a role as a utility man for Toronto. He's been waiting a long time for that type of opportunity.
The way Adams views things now, he remained in the Jays' system for a reason, and he's looking forward to getting back to Toronto to open a nine-game homestand, beginning Tuesday against the Reds.
"This is a breath of fresh air a little bit," Adams said. "The game is frustrating. You want to be in the big leagues and you start thinking about what it's going to take to get there and how you might be able to get back. You start going through all kinds of thoughts.
"In the end, there's not much you can do but stick it out, keep playing and hope something good happens, and here I am. I've got an opportunity to help the ballclub in any way I can, and I'm prepared for it."
Adams, who was the first player drafted (14th overall in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft) by Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, hit .319 with a .363 on-base percentage, one home run and nine RBIs in 24 games for Las Vegas. The left-handed hitter posted a .333 average with runners in scoring position and hit .526 in 19 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.
At the beginning of the season, the 28-year-old Adams was playing mostly in the outfield -- that was until a fastball broke his left hand and sent him to the disabled list for six weeks. After returning earlier this month, Adams played some second base and then moved back to shortstop -- his position as a regular with the Jays in 2005 -- when outfielder Travis Snider was sent back to Triple-A and the club added veteran outfielder David Dellucci.
"I've been kind of playing all over the place," Adams said. "So I'm just ready for whatever. I don't necessarily know exactly what to expect, but I'm sure I'll get that from [manager Cito Gaston] and just be prepared whenever my name's called and do what I'm asked."
Gaston said that Adams would likely see at-bats against right-handed pitchers and added that he might serve as a designated hitter and play in left field. Gaston was quick to note that Adams played well enough to make the Opening Day roster after batting .333 with a .429 on-base percentage in 18 games during the spring. Toronto had already decided to bring Snider north with the club, though.
"That kid played good enough in Spring Training to make the team," Gaston said. "But it's almost like Snider was going to make the team and he was going to be the odd-man out. But he certainly had a great spring for us."
Adams is hoping to do more of the same with the Blue Jays now.
"It's just one of those things where it's a crazy game," Adams said. "You get the call and all of a sudden things change. I'm still comfortable here with all the guys. It's another opportunity and hopefully it's something I can take advantage of and do my part."
TOR: LHP Brian Tallet (4-4, 4.68 ERA)
With 13 turns out of Toronto's rotation this season, Tallet has made more than twice the number of career starts (six) he had going into 2009. The former reliever has posted a 4-4 record, a 4.54 ERA and a .230 opponents' batting average since being shifted out of the Blue Jays' bullpen at the end of April. On Friday, Tallet allowed one run on five hits in five innings of a no-decision on the road against the Nationals. The left-hander might've worked longer, but playing under National League rules led Gaston to turn to a pinch-hitter in a close contest.
Owings pitched six innings and allowed two runs on Wednesday against the Braves in his first win since May 12. He started off shaky when he allowed two runs through the first three innings, but he settled down and followed with three scoreless innings. Owings also helped his cause with a three-run homer that gave the Reds a 4-2 lead that they wouldn't relinquish. In his career, Owings has never faced the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay (strained right groin) is tentatively scheduled to throw in a bullpen session on Tuesday. Halladay is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. ... Right-hander Jeremy Accardo exited Sunday's game after facing just one batter in the eighth inning due to cramping in his right calf. Gaston said Accardo was dehydrated and he's considered day-to-day. ... Third baseman Scott Rolen singled in the first inning on Sunday afternoon to extend his season-best hitting streak to 11 games. Entering Sunday, Rolen ranked third in the American League with a .393 average in June. ... Right fielder Alex Rios singled with the bases loaded in the first inning on Sunday, snapping an 0-for-16 slump with the bags full. ... Toronto returns home to Rogers Centre, where the team has posted a 21-13 record. This season, the Jays are 1-7 with the dome open, 19-6 with it closed and 1-0 when the roof has been open and closed during the same game.
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Wednesday: Blue Jays (Scott Richmond, 5-4, 3.79) vs. Reds (Bronson Arroyo, 8-5, 5.16), 7:07 p.m. ET
Thursday: Blue Jays (Brett Cecil, 2-1, 4.26) vs. Reds (Johnny Cueto, 6-4, 2.55), 7:07 p.m. ET
Friday: Blue Jays (TBD) vs. Phillies (J.A. Happ, 4-0, 3.47), 7:07 p.m. ET
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.