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07/09/09 1:50 AM ET

Halladay hoping to impress AL skipper

Toronto (43-43) at Tampa Bay (46-39), 12:08 p.m. ET

ST. PETERSBURG -- Roy Halladay's start against the Rays on Wednesday already had some underlying drama before the trade winds began swirling earlier this week. Halladay will be pitching in front of Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon -- the skipper for the American League in the upcoming All-Star Game.

Maddon has yet to name his starter for the Midsummer Classic, and Halladay is a prime candidate. That aspect of the right-hander's next outing has suddenly been pushed to the side for the moment, though. On Tuesday, word quickly spread that Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi made it known that he'll entertain trade proposals for Halladay.

After learning about Ricciardi's comments, Halladay met with the media with the hope of addressing the issue and then getting right back to work. The last thing Halladay wants is for his situation to become a distraction for the Blue Jays.

"It's something I really don't want to get caught up in," Halladay said on Tuesday. "I understand what's going on, and if something comes up, I'll address it at that point. Really, other than this [conversation], hopefully it's not something that comes up a lot unless something came up and we had to make a decision at that point. I need to focus on my job here."

Halladay's current task is to figure out what went awry in his previous start.

On Saturday, Halladay endured a rough outing at Yankee Stadium, allowing five runs on nine hits in a no-decision. He surrendered three home runs for the first time since last September and issued three walks for the first time since last April. Halladay finished with three strikeouts in seven innings. In two starts since returning from a stint on the disabled list, Halladay has gone 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA.

That outing aside, Halladay has been fashioning another brilliant season. He's the type of pitcher any team would covet, and for the right package of talented players, some team might be able to pry the face of the Jays franchise away from Toronto.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston doesn't believe the issue will become a distraction for his ballclub.

"That's just part of the game," Gaston said. "It certainly makes news, but I don't think it's going to distract these guys here. ... I'd love to see Doc stay here myself, but it's certainly up to him, too. If they do go through with some sort of deal, the guys they bring in, I'll just do my job as a manager and hopefully we can get the best out of them.

"Doc's done a lot for this organization, and I hope that he sticks around. If not, it's just part of the game. Things like that happen."

Pitching matchup
TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (10-2, 2.79 ERA)
Halladay is 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 29 career outings against the Rays.

TB: LHP David Price (2-3, 5.21 ERA)
Price is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five career appearances at Tropicana Field.

Bird feed
Rookie outfielder Travis Snider, who was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas on May 22, is back playing for Vegas after a stint on the disabled list with a back injury. In five games since being activated, Snider has gone 2-for-14 with one homer and two RBIs. Overall, since being sent down, he's hit .222 in 13 games. The Jays don't have a specific number of games in mind before considering calling Snider back to the big leagues. "He's going to dictate when he comes up with his performance," Jays assistant general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "Really, right now, we want to get him a lot of at-bats against both right-handers and left-handers. We just want him to play, and he's going to dictate for us. If he gets hot and he starts to perform really well, and it's a sustained performance for him, then that's probably a good time for us to bring him back." ... Third baseman Scott Rolen extended his career-best hitting streak to 25 games with a double in the fourth inning against the Rays on Wednesday. The longest run in Blue Jays history belongs to Shawn Green, who collected at least one hit in 28 straight games in 1999. ... On Tuesday, Triple-A infielder Joe Inglett was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week after hitting .640 with five doubles, one homer and seven RBIs. ... On Tuesday night against the Rays, Jays rookie Marc Rzepczynski set a club record with seven strikeouts in his Major League debut. Rzepczynski, who gave up two hits over six innings, became the first pitcher to strike out at least seven with two hits or fewer allowed in a Major League debut since David Clyde accomplished the feat with the Rangers on June 27, 1973.

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On the Internet
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• FAN 590

Up next
• Friday: Blue Jays (Brett Cecil, 2-1, 6.23) at Orioles (Jason Berken, 1-5, 6.25), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Blue Jays (Ricky Romero, 7-3, 2.96) at Orioles (Rich Hill, 3-2, 7.43), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Blue Jays (Marc Rzepczynski, 0-0, 1.50) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 5-3, 3.59), 1:35 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.