Jays not trying to force Halladay deal
Toronto (44-46) vs. Boston (54-34), 7:07 p.m. ET
BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays assistant general manager Alex Anthopoulos is reminded of a famous quote when thinking of his team's second-half strategy this season.
"It's a John Maynard Keynes quote," Anthopoulos said. "'When the facts change, I change my mind.'"
It's the mentality the organization has been striving to maintain, particularly as trade talks regarding several players, including top pitcher Roy Halladay, continue to swarm.
But despite several reports that the club is actively trying to trade their ace, Anthopoulos said Sunday the team is simply looking at all of the options, and that the likelihood of seeing his players, particularly Halladay, in a different uniform isn't a sure thing.
"Considering he's the best player on this team," Anthopoulos said. "But everyone assumes that something is going to happen with Roy. We haven't said that at all. It's really the point that [general manager] J.P. [Ricciardi] made. If someone calls and asks about Roy Halladay, we'll listen to what they have to say. It doesn't mean we want to trade him, or we're looking to trade him. We can't emphasize that enough."
What they can emphasize, however, is Halladay's talent on the field. Halladay, who played in his sixth All-Star game Tuesday, is 10-3 this season with a 2.85 ERA. His 10 wins are tied for third-best in the Major Leagues.
But while it's been Halladay that's garnered the most attention on the Blue Jays' pitching staff this season, rookie left-hander Ricky Romero has also been inching closer to the spotlight.
Romero is an impressive 7-3 in 12 starts this season with a 2.96 ERA. Those numbers have vaulted him into consideration as the American League Rookie of the Year, an accomplishment Romero said can be attributed to hard work.
"I'm pretty happy about it," Romero said. "I feel like I've still got a job to do. I'm going to get ready for the second half. As far as taking time off [during the break], I don't know how much time I'll take of, but I'll still be doing some lifting, some running, some throwing, and just getting ready for the second half."
Toronto's hitting has been another bright spot so far this season. Second baseman Aaron Hill is having a career year, hitting .295 with 20 home runs and a team-leading 60 RBIs. Teammate Adam Lind, another breakout performer for the Blue Jays, is right behind him in both categories, blasting 19 home runs and knocking in 59 RBIs.
Despite the success of Toronto players both on the mound and at the plate so far this season, the team sits in fourth place in arguably the toughest division in baseball. After coming out of the gate with a 26-14 record, the Blue Jays cooled off, and they will head into the All-Star break hovering around the .500 mark.
But it's the trade rumors that continue to loom over the clubhouse and headline reports heading into the break. Though the team has dismissed any strong rumors for trades, players like Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Scott Rolen have been mentioned in possible swaps.
Anthopoulos said Sunday, however, that the team plans to keep Rolen through his contract, which ends after next season. And as for Rios, though there haven't been any serious discussions, the right fielder said that part of the game is simply out of his hands.
"It's something you can't control," Rios said. "You can only control what you are able to do on the field. Some trades happen, and there's nothing you can do to avoid them. I think the approach was have to take is to keep going hard and play the same way we're playing, just try to win games."Pitching matchup
TOR: LHP Ricky Romero (7-3, 3.00 ERA)
An early favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, Romero has been Toronto's best starter of late, going 5-1 with a tidy 2.38 ERA over his past eight starts. Over that stretch, the left-hander has limited opponents to a .221 average while compiling 48 strikeouts against 20 walks over 56 2/3 innings. On Saturday in Baltimore, Romero came away with a no-decision against the Orioles, allowing three runs on seven hits over eight frames. BOS: RHP Clay Buchholz (2-9, 6.75 ERA in 2008)
Buchholz will make his 2009 debut after dominating at the Minor League level this season. The 24-year-old right-hander went 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, but a logjam among Red Sox starting pitchers prevented the touted prospect from cracking the Boston rotation. Buchholz is 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against Toronto. Tidbits
The Blue Jays have hit at least one double in 20 consecutive games. The Major League record for consecutive games with at least one double is 75, set by the Cleveland Indians from May 30 to Aug. 19, 1996. ... Toronto went just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position Sunday. ... Hill, who entered Sunday's game second in the AL with 114 hits, went 0-for-4 on Sunday. Tickets
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Saturday: Blue Jays (Brian Tallet, 5-6, 4.95) vs. Red Sox (Brad Penny, 6-1, 4.71), 1:07 p.m. ET
Sunday: Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 10-3, 2.85) vs. Red Sox (Jon Lester, 8-6, 3.87), 1:07 p.m. ET
Brian Eller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.