Blue Jays strengthen scouting with Cash

Blue Jays strengthen scouting with Cash

Blue Jays strengthen scouting with Cash
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays are hopeful the addition of advance scout Kevin Cash will help improve the club's woeful record in Interleague Play.

Toronto is just 123-142 (.464) during Interleague Play in franchise history. The only clubs in the American League with worse records are Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Kansas City.

It's an area that the Blue Jays feel can be improved with the addition of another scout. Cash, a former catcher, will be tasked with taking a first-hand look at some of the National League clubs to better prepare Toronto for those matchups.

"Kevin is not only a guy who has had a career that has given him a lot of experiences at all levels, but he's a smart guy, he's confident in his abilities," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

"We felt the need to have someone out ahead of us to complement the information that is generated internally and with his experience, the position he played, reading hitters swings and understanding pitchers, felt like he was a very good candidate to fill the role."

The Blue Jays first approached Cash about the job prior to the 2011 season, but the native of Florida wanted to continue his playing career for one more year. The talks were revisited during the offseason and the two sides eventually agreed to terms on a contract.

Advance scouting is something the Blue Jays put a lot of stock into but Farrell estimated that only 50 percent of clubs invest money into that area.

"There are different approaches, obviously, and different preferences," said Farrell, whose team went 8-10 during Interleague Play last season.

"We'll get information on a hitter -- say over the last seven to 10 days -- well, you don't know if that production has been over the first couple of days of that period or is the most recent. So we'll have a better read on that with a very recent and real first-hand look."

Farrell's also optimistic that his club's more aggressive approach on the basepaths will lead to better results against National League teams. Toronto's second-year manager implemented a style of play last season that was supposed to rely more on speed and moving the runner over as opposed to always sitting back and waiting for the home run.

That type of approach is often used in the NL, and Farrell believes as his club continues to refine that approach it will lead to better matchups.

"We're better equipped to manufacture runs in those types of games," Farrell said. "How we work the bottom of the lineup might be similar to some National League style of play.

"I think our defense is more prepared and more aware of those situations that will present themselves. Whether it's defending the hit and run, the squeeze ... Still, it's going to come down to the basics regardless of what league you're playing in."