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The Blue Jays needed this one. Ted Lilly against Wandy Rodriguez is by far the best match-up the Jays will get this weekend. Could Ted out-pitch the rookie?

What, you need me to answer that?

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Mike B - Friday, June 10 2005 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#119378) #
I wanna make sure I'm getting this straight: the Jays release Ligtenberg and Koch in spring training because they're not good enough to make the team. Great decision, I think even though it cost over $3M. However, now Lilly has struggled all year and has become uncoachable yet he still keeps his turn in the rotation while a pitcher who the Jays need in future years (i.e. Gaudin) gets his turn skipped. This happens presumably because Lilly makes too much to have a turn skipped or pitch in the bullpen. My question is, if Ligtenberg and Koch aren't too expensive to cut then why is Lilly too expensive to bump from the the rotation?

Ricciardi/Gibbons need to get on the same page - the Jays ain't winning anything this year, so let's skip Lilly in the rotation if he struggles and let's see what the Gaudins and even the Rosarios can do (I know Rosario has struggled of late but so did Rios last year before his call-up and he ended up putting in a pretty decent 2004). The point is let's see what the boys the Jays are counting on in the future can do.

Now, I also realize that the Jays lost this game due more than just to problematic pitching. The offense has let the team down many times this year; however, the offensive options in the minors just don't exist to the extent that the pitching options do. The Jays need to build for 2006 and 2007. They will address the offensive problems in free agency with their increased budget. They should not be wasting their time on pitchers whose best case scenario have them being a 3rd starter (i.e. Lilly). They need to keep trying out pitchers from the minors in 2005 to see who might succeed in 2006 onwards. Bring up Rosario, Marcum, Bush, Jackson and Banks. Some will fail but others will succeed - Chacin's minor league numbers wouldn't have suggested he'd be such a solid major leaguer yet he's doing very well. There's an unknown concerning how minors leaguers will react to the majors that can only be addressed by giving kids an opportunity. The Jays need this information in 2005 in order to prepare for 2006+. Trotting a struggling Lilly out there every 5th game is getting them nowhere - doesn't benefit the present or the future, so why do it?
VBF - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 12:49 AM EDT (#119381) #
In terms of Lilly, technically, we're still in this 'race'. That said, we've all seen what Ted Lilly can do. An entire season is never a fluke, so Gibby just can't give up on him. He still has alot of hope in Lilly. He was too good last year to be having a year like this one.

And he only gave up 4 runs. Three homers, albeit, but nevertheless. It was possible for the Jays to score 5 runs tonight, and if they had, there'd be a little less pressure off of Ted and Gibbon's decisions.

I personally don't think Gaudin is ready. Bush has been pitching better in AAA, maybe we'll see him back in the near future?

I don't know about giving kids too much of an oportunity. If they can consistently get good, learning, playing time, maybe, but to bring League up like we did at the beginning raises alot of questions. There's a bit of a balance too. If we played all our rookies, we'd sort of lose that connection with the less than devouted fans. We are a winning ballclub as of right now, so keep everything going the way it has. There's always September.
Lefty - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#119382) #
Out of the two comments above, I agree with VBF on this one. Lilly has always been a streaky pitcher. He started slow last season too and then became the toast of the town, well ok maybe just the Blue Jay communittee.

I heard all the cries to bring Gaudin up and frankly I didn't buy into it. Gaudin is still a full step away from being major league ready. He got called up because management was pissed off with Bush, now they're pissed with Lilly. Both these guys have to be key members of the rotation.

I didn't see the game tonight because my son and I went to the Whitecaps game. But looking at the box score it looks to me like Lilly turned in a near so-called quality start and the team didn't give him much to work with.

Finaly as VBF points out this team is still in it at least technically and they shouldn't start making roster decisions like the Devil Rays. Nobody's going to buy into that.

We have to relax a bit. The Jays still have a better than average major league rotation.
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