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Sportsnet is reporting that Jesse Litsch is going to the DL with his strained right forearm. Lefty reliever Bill Murphy will be coming up from Las Vegas to take his spot on the active roster.

Litsch to the DL | 41 comments | Create New Account
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christaylor - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#198335) #
I am with Wilner on this one... we'll see Cecil (hey, I'm a sorta poet and dunno it) for Litsch's next start (Hey! I could have even used pitsches there -- oops, spelling.)
John Northey - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#198336) #
So the new Jay's stats...<br>In the Jays AAA system last year, 142 IP, 84 BB 152 SO 14 HR 5.32 ERA.&nbsp; 5.09 lifetime in AAA over 444 IP<br>In the majors, 2007 for Arizona, 6 1/3 IP 9 hits 7 walks (2 intentional) 2 strikeouts 4 runs, all earned.<br>5' 11" 215 lbs at BR 195 at MiLB<br><br>This year is 28 years old and thrown 2 innings&nbsp; giving up 2 hits with 3 strikeouts and no walks in one appearance.<br><br>A bit wild, lots of K's, should be interesting and might become a solid reliever.
Jevant - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#198337) #
Yikes.  Let's hope this isn't serious (although it's something of a relief - in a weird and twisted sense - to know that it might be something other than regression that is impacting Jesse).

On the bright side, it will be nice to see what another young arm can do (if Cecil is actually called up).  The bats have looked fine so far, and let's hope Ricky can put together a nice encore performance tonight.

Magpie - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#198338) #
Griffin today:

The Twins through the years have been one of the more fundamentally sound teams in all of baseball. They rarely lose any game on a mental mistake, whether on the bases or in the field, and they used those skills to grab the early lead.

Does anyone else remember a leadoff homer in that inning and four of the next five guys getting base hits? Does anyone else remember thinking "that would have been a whole lot worse if they hadn't given away a baserunner on a stolen base attempt?"
John Northey - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#198339) #
Magpie, Magpie, Magpie.  You are expecting logic and/or reason from a writer on a deadline by the name of Griffin.  C'mon, you know better than that :)

Fundamentals make the Twins winners eh?  Guess that 3-5 record must've come against teams even better at fundamentals than they are.  FYI: 2 sac bunts so far for the Twins, along with 5 SB and 1 CS.  The Jays have 3 sac bunts along with 4 stolen bases and 0 caught stealing.  Yup, the Twins are far more 'fundamentally sound'.  Small sample size warnings apply.

Magpie - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#198340) #
You're probably right. That paragraph was boiler-plate, written before the game. To be inserted into the story if the Twins took an early lead.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#198341) #
I wouldn't characterize a CS as a mental mistake.  Litsch has an exceptional record holding runners, and Barajas has a pretty good  (but sometimes erratic) arm.  Cuddyer has picked his spots well the last 3 years, going 16-1 in the SB/CS department.  A thoughtful manager would want Cuddyer to have the option to go, if for no other reason to keep the element of surprise.

I wasn't watching last night- I am assuming that it was a straight steal, rather than a failed hit and run. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#198344) #

I know pitching injuries occur with every team, but has any pitching coach had more pitchers go down with serious arm injuries than Brad Arnsberg? Is this just

bad luck?

sweat - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#198345) #
I believe it was a stike-him-out, throw-him-out. Hyphen. 
HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#198346) #
Keith Law brought up Arnsberg track record with injuries on the DJF podcast last week. He said he didn't know of anything Arnsberg was doing wrong, just that from Florida to Toronto there have been a ton of injuries. Could just be a coincidence. I wonder if it could do with the fact that so many Jays pitchers throw pitches other than fastballs more than 50% of the time, which is tougher on an arm (isn't it? I could be wrong.)
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#198347) #
Change-ups are, I understand, easier on the arm.  In the case of Marcum, Litsch and Janssen, I would be curious about their cutter mechanics.  McGowan had long-standing problems before Arnsberg arrived.

It is true that pitchers under Arnsberg have sustained more injuries than is typical.  They have also been, in general, quite effective. 

R Billie - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#198348) #

I think it all comes down to the amount of relative effort the pitcher has to use to throw each pitch.  The higher that effort is, the greater the risk of injury.

The cutter caused Roy some forearm problems in the past when he threw it a bit too much.  And it Litsch's case it seems they were making an effort to get more velocity out of him in spring training.  Overthrowing probably led to him being higher in the zone and more erratic with his control these first two starts (hence getting hit) and probably led to his elbow/forearm strain.  I could sort of tell most of yesterday's game that something was just not right and his control was terrible relative to what it usually is.

I wonder if this was something new Litsch just started doing this spring or if it was carried over from his demotion last year when they wanted him to mix in the 4 seamer to give him a hard pitch to work with.  In my opinion, it's pretty dangerous to take a pitcher who is used to throwing a certain speed and suddenly ask him to throw with closer to max effort instead of say 80 to 90% effort.  You could see on the pitch to Young last night he really threw that with everything he had and immediately suffered the effects of it.

Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#198359) #
The Jamie Campbell interview with Jason Frasor on the pregame show this evening centered around the new change-up in the reliever's  arsenal.  Frasor's mention of former reliever Doug Bochtler's ability to forge a serviceable major league career off just one pitch got me thinking about the so called "palmball". I remember a Tiger pitcher by the name of Joe Boever during the mid 90's throwing this pitch, as well as former Twins reliever Tony Fiore.  It is my understanding that the palmball is basically just another word for change-up, and yet I have not heard that particular description mentioned in baseball circles in some time.
TamRa - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#198360) #
Bastian reports Tallet will start Saturday.

though I don't necessarily object to Tallet starting, I still don't get the use of Murphy. True, Janssen and Accardo are not ready yet (the latter simply hasn't gotten the innings in) and true Davis Romero is on the DL and ok, the Jays don't think Cecil (or Mills) is quite ready yet, but still there are questions:

Why do the Jays hate Brian Wolfe?
What of Dirk Hayhurst and his bang-up spring?
Why sign Bullington if not for spot start situations just like this one?
Hell, even TJ Beam has major league experience.
The only thing i can say for Murphy is that he probably can't be as bad as Brian Burres was last year, but still, I'm more than a little surprised to see him get the call. The only thing I can figure is that there might be some possibility that the waiver wire will come into play when the temp gets sent back down and Murphy is expendable but otherwise, I'm puzzled (barring the possibility that, ya know, they know something I don't and when does THAT ever happen?)

slitheringslider - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#198361) #
Not that I am complaining about the start, but off a 2-HR game, shouldn't Cito keep Snider in the line up to see what he got against lefties? Glen Perkins is not exactly Randy Johnson, and the only way to learn is through repetition. This is reminiscient of the way Shawn Green was being used in the early part of his career.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#198363) #
Thanks for that one, Richard Griffin. Ricky needed it.

scottt - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#198364) #
With Snider, it's all part of sticking to the plan and not putting pressure on the kid.

Bautista can hit lefties and Snider will see some out of the bullpen.

I'm more curious to see at which point Cito dares to pinch hit him. (Let's say for Barajas)

At some point, I expect the outfielders to take a night off here and there and Snider won't need it.

Take out Lind and Snider, put MacDonald at short and Rolen on the DL and the offense would drop down to last year's level.

Magpie - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#198365) #
This is reminiscent of the way Shawn Green was being used in the early part of his career.

Oh please. No more of the Shawn Green nonsense. I can do this stuff in my sleep by now, if anyone really needs to hear it again.
PeteMoss - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#198366) #
Have to give some props to Romero tonight.. sure its the Twins who don't exactly have a potent offense and he only had 2 K's (although whiffing Morneau to finish his night was nice) but the bullpen needed a rest and a rookie goes out there and gives them 8 innings allowing only 2 runs.  Of course the game will probably go 17 innings rendering his long outing useless in terms of bullpen rest... but still, a nice job by the rook. 
Jdog - Tuesday, April 14 2009 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#198367) #
Scott Downs is nasty. And I like it
Geoff - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#198368) #
Interesting note about Thursday's upcoming matchup between the Doctor and Liriano (what's his nickname?) -- Francisco Liriano has never started against the Jays in his career. He has appeared once in relief, pitching two innings waaay back on April 5, 2006.

Granted, Cisco only has 36 career starts under his belt, and Roy made 36 starts in the year he won the Cy Young, but this matchup should be special.
Geoff - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#198371) #
In other news, I can't believe I just read that David Wells will be an analyst for TBS.

Seriously. His first appearance will be May 3 for the Red Sox-Rays game. On May 17, he’ll call the Twins-Yankees game on the anniversary of his perfect game for New York in a meeting of the same teams.

In a perfect world, at some point this year he will sit down with Cito for an interview.
Matthew E - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#198372) #

Liriano (what's his nickname?)

Maybe we could call him "Full Nelson".

Barry Bonnell - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#198373) #

In a perfect world, at some point this year he will sit down with Cito for an interview.

He might get the chance. The '89 team is coming back for a reunion on one of the Flashback Fridays and Wells is confirmed according to the Jays website.

Ryeguy - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#198374) #
I know this is dreaming in technicolour, but couldn't the Jays use a Pedro Martinez right now??
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#198376) #

The news that Jesse Litsch's MRI shows no structural damage limits his time on the DL.  It changes from 2 weeks to Tommy John to 6 weeks to Seaon ending .  This is not good news.  This is at least 2 weeks ahead of where Janssen, Cecil, Mills or others should be ready.  So we are stuck with Brian Tallet; aquired from Cleveland 17 Jan '06 for Bubbie Buzachero .  Cleveland gave up on Brian as a starter; he's gold as a reliever.  Why on earth are you messing with it.

The loss in a well pitched game is immense for this team.  Boston, New York and Tampa are struggling; and Toronto gives them a free game.  Toronto wins or loses a possible post-season birth in April, not September.  Sitting two of your hottest bats is a mistake;  never bringing them in is a back-breaker.  Cito now has 8 lives left.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#198377) #
What Cito has done with Snider is a modified platoon.  He starts Snider or Bautista in accordance with platoon advantages, but does not pinch-hit for either when the opposing manager changes pitchers.  The idea is for Snider to get most of his at-bats against righties, but to face some lefties and to keep him out of the pinch-hit role.  I agree with the idea as a developmental step. However,  I would have made an exception for last night's game against Perkins, bearing in mind Perkins' reverse platoon splits and Snider's game the previous night.  Bautista is going to get to face Liriano anyways. 

Cito's bullpen usage last night was a bit unusual.  With Mauer out, the Twin lineup lists to the right, so you might have expected a right-hander to get mixed in there after Romero.  I guess that it was a high leverage situation, and that Downs and Carlson are the pitchers he has the most confidence in right now.  The bullpen is also stretched a bit due to the Litsch injury and the struggles of Purcey and Richmond so that getting a longer relief outing and not running through pitchers was important.  Personally, I would have given the ball to League after Downs' 9th inning, and let him go 2 innings. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#198378) #
#376, please.  It's a long season.  A club will have some tough losses.  While I would have done some things differently from Cito, the suggestion that he is not managing well overall is just bizarre. 
westcoast dude - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#198383) #
Ricky Romero is the Real Deal. Looking at the AL leader board, he sits at  #11 with a sparkling 2.57 ERA after 2 starts.  It was a tough loss for the Team, but better to cut your losses rather than destroy the bullpen. Lose the battle, win the war. Tonight, Scott Richmond gets a chance to show us what he's got without getting jerked around or rain delayed.  Got a good feeling that the stars are aligning for this one.  Tallet is a stopgap, he's too useful in the pen.  Bring in Gonzo from Manchester!
China fan - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#198384) #

The season is only 9 games old, and much will change, but for me the emergence of Ricky Romero is the biggest story of the early days of the season.   To go a strong eight innings in just his second start is extremely encouraging.   Assuming that he keeps it going -- and his pedigree, his stuff, his maturity and composure would all suggest that he will -- it makes a huge difference in the Jays prospects for 2010.   Yes, there are question marks about all of the injured pitchers, but I think the 2010 rotation is now looking formidable.   Even if some of the injured pitchers fail to return to their past performance levels, and even if some of the young studs don't pan out, there is so much depth in the 2010 pitchers that a very strong 5-man rotation is nearly certain to emerge. 

Let's consider the 2010 rotation.  First is Halladay -- unlikely to be traded if the Jays future looks as strong as it does now.  Next, assume that ONE of Cecil and Mills is ready by next year -- a reasonable prediction.  Next, assume that ONE of Marcum, McGowan and Janssen can return to their glory days in 2010 -- again this is a conservative prediction.  Next, assume that ONE of Litsch and Purcey will be injury-free and pitching at a high level -- again I think this is reasonable.  Finally you have Romero, who I think should be even stronger by 2010.   So, even if a bunch of the pitchers are busts, even if some are still injured or still in the minors or slower to recover than expected, the Jays should still have one of the best rotations in the league next year.

Combine that with Rolen's comeback and the continued improvement from Snider and Lind, along with Wells and Rios and Hill being still at their peak, and you've got a 2010 squad that could be championship calibre.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#198387) #
Between "the sky is falling" and "Ricky Romero is going to be great", I feel like a baseball Liberal.  Yuck. 

Anyways, the sky is not falling.  Ricky Romero has had a good start, particularly with his ability to go deep into games, but there is no reason to believe that he is going to end up the season with an ERA under 4.5, let alone under 3.  If he can throw 180 innings with an ERA of 4.5 while striking out 5-6 per 9 IP, that will be a very good first season indeed.

Jevant - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#198388) #
Debbie Downer after a 6-3 start?  Yipes.

If you offered me 6-3 through 9 games, I'd be thrilled.  And part of the reason they are 6-3 is BECAUSE of Cito, not in spite of him.

John Northey - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#198389) #
Early days are fun days for dreams aren't they?  Romero getting this solid outing was great to see, but the 2 K's scare me a bit as low K generally means it is a matter of time before he is getting pounded around.  Still, the grounders are excellent so I'll keep hopeful.  Romero is now up to 14 IP, 15 H 1 HR 2 BB 7 SO - excellent.

The staff now has a 102 ERA+ to go with the offense at 124 OPS+.  I worry a bit seeing Carlson & Downs both have appeared in 5 out of 9 games, but odds are Cito will give them a break here and there plus they are averaging less than an inning per game.  Btw, any bets on when Lind gets an inning or two in the field rather than DH?
Ryan Day - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#198391) #
Low Ks are bad, but Romero's also only walked 2 in 14 innings, so that's good. And control's been his issue in the minors, so this is definitely encouraging.
jmoney - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#198394) #
I'd like to see Romero miss a few more bats but that was a nice start. Too bad the Jays bats were rather quiet in this one.
Moe - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#198399) #
The Jays have an day off on Monday, so they can reshuffle the rotation. Assuming Roy goes on normal rest on Tuesday, they can use Richmond on Wed and Purcey on Thursday or the other way around. Either way, they won't need Tellet until Chicago. By then it's save to call Cecil up and not have to worry about starting the arbiration clock too early -- remember the Rays and Longoria last year.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#198404) #

While the lack of Ks last night could be worrisome, what's more impressive is when those 2 Ks came.

i.e. when he needed them the most.

bases loaded, no outs - STRIKEOUT.

last batter of his outing (which he knows), over 100 pitches and tiring - STRIKEOUT. on morneau no less.

If this suggests what I want it to suggest - which I guarantee has to be true - then Ricky's already taken a page out of Roy's book, isn't worrying about strikeouts and would rather get quick groundouts (rare for a young pitcher with K-quality stuff), but still has the stuff to K guys when he needs to.


Magpie - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#198409) #
Romero got 12 swinging strikes in his 8 innings last night. (Halladay had 14 in 7 innings on Saturday.)

None of them came in the first three innings, as he breezed past the first nine hitters. Nine of them came in the middle three innings (one in the 4th, 3 in the 5th, 5 in the 6th) - and every one of them came when there were runners on base. There were no baserunners and no swinging strikes in the seventh. His final three came in the Morneau AB that concluded his evening.

It sure looks like pitching to me.
scottt - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#198411) #
Cito does not like to pinch hit. He likes to pinch run MacDonald, but I think it's just a way to use him without letting him bat. He also likes to call bunts. As long as it works.

Well, Richmond is pitching well enough to earn a win today.

I was shaking my head when they walk Snider to load the bases for Scoot. Not with 2 outs. Not to face the guy they call Lil' Papi.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 16 2009 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#198418) #
Watching Hill's long fly ball fall into the seats just beyond Span's span, I could not help but think of those homers he lost to Joey Gathright's vertical leap a couple of years ago.  Hit Tracker found that the Jays were especially unlucky with regard to fly balls on the margins of going out of the park that year; maybe this year, their luck in that regard will be positive.
westcoast dude - Thursday, April 16 2009 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#198429) #
For today only, Scott Richmond is on the AL ERA leader board. With 10.1 innings in 10 team games, his 3.48 tucks him in at #23 just behind J. Beckett, BOS at 3.46. Here's hoping Cito starts him  behind Doc next week; he'll need another 6.2 innings to stay on the board for three days at that point.
Litsch to the DL | 41 comments | Create New Account
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