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Ready For Triple-A

TORONTO–Jason Arnold pitched so well in Double-A that he earned his way to Triple-A after just six starts for the New Haven Ravens.

He made his debut with Triple-A Syracuse 11 days after his 24th birthday and found things just a little more difficult. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits in five innings.

Arnold was on a roll with New Haven when the call came. He was 3-1, 1.53, and it was decided he was ready to be tested in Triple-A. At New Haven, he had 33 strikeouts in 35 innings and held opponents to a .153 average.

"He pitched well enough that we needed to get him out of Double-A and let him pitch in Triple-A and challenge him a little bit more," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said.

There were suggestions at spring training Arnold might progress quickly enough to join the major league starting rotation before the end of the season. But Ricciardi was cautious.

"We’re not pushing that," Ricciardi said. "We’d like to see him have success at Triple-A before we move him. We don’t want to just put him there; we want him to earn a spot. It’s not going to do us any good just to put him in the big leagues and he’s not ready. He needs to go to Triple-A and learn to take the next step, throw strikes, become more consistent, get guys to hit his pitch, the normal progression."

The team’s No. 5 prospect heading into the season, Arnold was picked up by the Blue Jays from the Athletics in a complicated four-team deal. It was the second time Arnold had been traded in six months.

The Yankees drafted Arnold from the University of Central Florida in the second round in 2001. He was traded to the A’s last July. Pitching for three different teams in 2002, Class A Tampa and Double-A Norwich and Midland, he was 13-4, 2.61 in 26 starts.

Jays Chatter

• Dave Gassner, New Haven’s most effective reliever who was also a spot starter in Double-A and Triple-A, took Arnold’s spot in New Haven’s rotation.

• Syracuse closer Brian Bowles was promoted to the majors, and lefthanded reliever Jason Kershner was sent outright to the SkyChiefs. Bowles, 26, was 0-1, 1.06 with eight saves in 17 Triple-A innings. Kershner, 26, began the season in Syracuse, where he was 2-0, 0.00 in 10 innings. He was 0-1, 10.80 in five innings with the Blue Jays.

• Previous organization report: Dave Gassner

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