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Morrow to be shut down after one more start as per Cito. 150 is the limit and he is only 6 2/3 innings shy.

It seems the Jays are determined not to see Morrow go kaboom in a year they won't make the playoffs. Makes perfect sense to me and 150 seems reasonable. 69 2/3 is his ML peak (last year) when he hit 124 2/3 between the majors and minors. Even mixing in college he's never gone any higher.

As much as I hate to see it, I have to agree this is the right choice. So who comes up? Shawn Hill with 50 IP 1.1 BB/9 6.3 K/9 1.80 ERA or Scott Richmond with 31 IP 1.7 BB/9 7.8 K/9 1.74 ERA make the most sense to me. There is also Brad Mills 101 IP 3.6 BB/9 7.9 K/9 4.72 ERA plus 15 2/3 IP in the majors with a 5.28 ERA and 5.3 BB/9 7.6 K/9.

I'd go with Shawn Hill first, then Scott Richmond, then Mills as Mills has had a shot already and is a bit too wild still.
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ramone - Sunday, August 29 2010 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#221663) #

Hill is currently on the DL for Vegas so doubtful it would be him, but I'd like to throw out one other name, Robert Ray.  He hasn't been great since coming off the DL but his last start was promising.

electric carrot - Sunday, August 29 2010 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#221666) #
Good to hear.  Let's be safe. 

I was looking at stats the other day to see who was our best starter this year.  It's remarkably close.  The top three all have OPS againsts that are within a few points of .690.  Morrow's was a bit higher -- like .710 but he's been coming on lately.  Based on that and this year's info I think it's basically a 4 way tie. I think we should trade for Halladay and go all in next year. 

(interestingly Gregg's OPS against was .691.)



TamRa - Sunday, August 29 2010 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#221670) #
I had assumed it would be Mills but oddly, he has neither started a game, nor been placed on the DL, since Aug. 17.

Richmond will almost certainly stay with NH through the playoffs which would make it impossible for him to pitch in Toronto before September 21

Drabek similarly.

Hill is on the DL and no one that i can find has reported why.

Maybe that means Ray, but don't put it past Cito to give Tallet a start.

TamRa - Sunday, August 29 2010 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#221671) #
by the way, someone is gonna have to pick up Cecil's last 2 starts too.

dan gordon - Sunday, August 29 2010 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#221672) #

When you see what happened to Strasburg, and knowing the plague of injuries to young Blue Jay pitchers over the last few years, it's not surprising they're adopting this kind of approach with Morrow. 

What I don't understand is why there are so many more serious arm injuries now, particularly the torn ulnar collateral ligament, which is the one that requires TJ surgery.   When I grew up watching baseball in the 60's and 70's, teams had 4 man rotations, and pitchers routinely threw 8 or 9 innings in a game, often topping 275 IP in a season.  You'd hear the occasional elbow injury that ended a career, as this was before TJ surgery, but it was not nearly as common as it is now.  

Look at, for example, Jim Kaat, who had 9 seasons of more than 240 innings, including 304 innings in 1975 at the age of 36.  In 1958, in the Pioneer League, at the age of 19, he threw 223 innings.  He was on the DL once in his career, for  2.5 months, in 1972, and continued to pitch in the bigs until he was 44.  Gaylord Perry , from 1966 to 1978 (13 seasons), AVERAGED 295 innings a season.  From '67 to 75, his IP totals were 293, 291, 325, 329, 280, 343, 344, 322 and 306.  He was still  pitching regularly in the bigs in 1983 at the age of 44.  He NEVER went on the DL his entire career.  Fergie Jenkins pitched 289 innings at the age of 23, and would pitch at least 270 innings a season for 9 years in a row starting that year.  He stayed in the bigs until he was 39, and NEVER was on the DL.  I don't know if it's the types of pitches being thrown, or changes in conditioning, or throwing routines on off days, or what, but something is different.  I know back in the late 19th century and early 20th century, pitchers were coached to save their best stuff for when they really needed it, and didn't throw with full velocity for much of the game, but that wasn't still true in the 60's and 70's.  It really puzzles me.

Magpie - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#221673) #
Well, nobody knows anything. I remember the same thing - but I bet if we went back and actually went through every team's rosters for, say 1973, we wouldn't find each team had four starters throwing 235+ IP. (In fact, I'm quite sure of it.) More often, we'd find most teams had just one of those guys, maybe two if they were lucky. Those teams didn't make the post-season. The teams we remember from that era - Weaver's Orioles, Finley's A's - were the teams that did indeed have four powerhouse starters.

I also think pitchers today are trying to throw just as hard, if not harder, as pitchers did thirty or forty years ago - but today they're all trying to do it with these abbreviated little windups. All pitchers (at least the ones who were developed in North America over the last 30 years) have been carefully coached out of doing it any other way.
Super Bluto - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#221675) #
What I wonder is if Morrow is only allowed 150 IP this year and the rule is adding no more than 30 IP per year, then next year he peaks at 180. If he gets 33 starts, that's 5.45 IP per start. So barring a series of disastrous starts, that means more skipped starts and a possible early shut down.
brent - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#221676) #

It's nice to see the team finally make a move that is more in tune with a rebuilding season. I understand with a deep draft next year flooding the market with FA's. Sitting Snider, not letting Lind take over first earlier. I just can't wait until next year where there  won't (hopefully) be these throwaway lineups everytime there is a getaway day. Fans paying money for games at the dome deserve better from Cito. Look, I'm not going to barbecue the sacred cow if he wants to do that on a road trip, but he's doing it to Toronto's fans at home. That's garbage. I guess I'll have to see what the damage was from Cito at the end of the year on these getaway day games.

brent - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 02:33 AM EDT (#221677) #
The Jays also broke 21,000 for their per game avg. attendance (including Philly games though). Their only 2000 off of last year's total avg now.
Magpie - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 03:42 AM EDT (#221678) #
throwaway lineups everytime there is a getaway day.

Overbay was sick, Escobar's back was bothering him. Are you upset because you wanted McCoy in the starting lineup? Did you want to see DeWayne Wise? Perhaps Shaun Marcum in the outfield?
mathesond - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#221687) #
So barring a series of disastrous starts, that means more skipped starts and a possible early shut down.

I believe that 30IP rule only applies to pitchers 25 and under. As Morrow will be 26 next year, I can see them letting him pitch a full season (barring injury, of course)
brent - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#221689) #
I didn't see anything that had said that Escobar had back trouble. It just usually fits Cito's pattern.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#221690) #
One thing that changed in the last 30 years was the widespread use of the cutter.  I don't really know if that has anything to do with the apparent increased incidence of injury.  I certainly would suspect that it played a role in cases like Marcum.

There were always pitchers whose careers were ended by arm injury; they are the ones we usually forget.
China fan - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#221693) #
....I didn't see anything that had said that Escobar had back trouble....

Excerpt from Jays website on
Shortstop Yunel Escobar has a stiff back and did not start on Sunday, though Gaston said he was planning to give him the day off, anyway.

As for "throwaway lineups" -- do you expect the Jays regulars to start 162 games a year?  Obviously they need the occasional day off.  If it's a necessary move to protect the regulars from exhaustion, injury and burn-out, it's a little silly to call it a "throwaway lineup." 

As for the members of the "throwaway lineup":  Wise currently has a higher OPS than Overbay, Hill, Lind, Lewis, Escobar and Encarnacion.  McDonald currently has a higher OPS than Hill, Lind and Escobar, and nearly the same as Snider.  Of course the sample size is small, but that's inevitable for back-up players.  The point is that the Jays aren't losing much when the back-ups are playing.  Although that's actually more of a commentary on the poor performance of some of the Jays regulars this season.
John Northey - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#221694) #
An interesting question is this - does it make sense to give as many regulars a rest on the same day, thus minimizing the ability to win that one day, or is it better to spread it out and cost the team some offense/defense on a series of games?

It has been shown to be good to let players get a day off once or twice a month (forget the study, but the results were fairly strong). So assuming you give that rest which way makes more sense?
China fan - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#221697) #
As for the question of who to replace Morrow:  I'd vote for Drabek to be promoted now, although I know it probably won't be done.  Jesse Litsch was promoted to the majors at the age of 22 years and 2 months, and he jumped directly from AA to the majors.  Drabek is now 22 years and 9 months.  He has a better AA record than Litsch, a better minor-league record than Litsch, a better pedigree and a higher draft ranking.  If Litsch could do it, I'm sure Drabek could do it.  The team needs a 5th starter in 2011, and Drabek has the highest ceiling of any of the 5th-starter options.  Give him some major-league experience now, before he hits his innings limit, and it could help him to be ready for a full-time role at some point in 2011, if not at the outset of the season.  I can't believe that the Eastern League playoffs are more crucial than the needs of the parent team. 
Spookie Wookie - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#221700) #
The flip side to calling up Drabek now is that his clock starts running. For a player with Drabek's potential they might want to hold off until June of next season or so.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#221701) #
For fun, I looked up Doug Drabek's minor league record.  His age 22 season in double A does look a fair bit like his son's, although Drabek pere had better control.  The Yankees sent him to triple A for 8 starts at age 23; he posted an ERA of 7.29 with more walks than strikeouts but was called up regardless at the end of May.  My own view is that the triple A time did nothing for Drabek senior and it won't for Drabek junior, but others may differ.

As for a September cup of coffee, I don't have strong views.
bpoz - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#221709) #
There are 6 or seven starts each for a 5 man rotation left this year.
My views on the Morrow replacement are:-
Only Seattle and Baltimore look weak to me and Baltimore is playing much better with Showalter at the helm.
Last year our kid pitchers were over-matched by Bos,TB and NYY, this year they have dramatically improved. So I expect Zep to do the same, get beat up now and show improvement next year. So to me he becomes the 5th man next year.
So I see Drabeck starting 2011 in the minors.
I also see a big risk in Drabeck getting LIT-UP having to face all those contenders in Sept. The playoff experience will be good for him because I don't know when the Jays will be in the playoffs being in the AL East.
Mills has had 5 big league starts in total. 4 were against very good teams, the Phils twice and Boston and TB. The Baltimore start was Outstanding and getting beat-up by those other teams does not convince me that he is not as good as our top 4 starters. I KNOW that is a RIDICULOUS statement but:-
1) All our top 4 have been roughed up this year by strong playoff contending teams. In fairness they also have had some success against these strong teams.
2) Mills has had a very good year in AAA.
The organization has to find out how good he can be. Injuries and a trade could create a "you can never have enough pitching" scenario. To me he is currently more ready than Drabeck. After his Baltimore win Mills said "I know now that I can succeed in the majors". IMO he has to be given the opportunity to prove that self confidence.
Anders - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#221710) #
I believe that 30IP rule only applies to pitchers 25 and under. As Morrow will be 26 next year, I can see them letting him pitch a full season (barring injury, of course)

This isn't a "rule" in any conventional sense, it's just something Tom Verducci made up that sounds good but isn't particularly meaningful/predictive. Sure it's not a great thing for a guy to go from throwing 80 innings to 210, but as Magpie is fond of saying, no one really knows, and being one year older or younger or throwing 29 more innings instead of 31 more innings... who knows.
sweat - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#221712) #
Probably most of the pitchers that suffered this type of injury, did it in the minors, as there would have been the same kind of rotations down there.  These pitchers just exploded their arms before we knew who they were.
John Northey - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#221713) #
2011's rotation will be interesting. Spring will be a major battlefield with so many fighting for one rotation slot.

Rzep is probably in the lead right now, Litsch would be next in line if healthy, Mills might be next with Drabeck and Hill and Richmond all right there too. That makes it 6 guys fighting for one slot which any of them could be ready for. That also means we could have a great AAA rotation (hopefully playing somewhere other than Vegas). Options could become part of the mix, as will injuries to any of the big 4 or the guys fighting it out. Plus, of course, there are always surprises in the spring.

Mix in trades this winter (safe bet someone will be part of a trade) and who knows. Just imagine if we had signed Mr. 105 mph Chapman as well. Phew.
ayjackson - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#221715) #
I think that Drabek and Rzepczynski are co-favourites for the 5th spot next April.  Drabek looks pretty much the finished product now.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#221716) #
There is, of course, nothing wrong with having (at least) six pitchers ready for five spots in April.  If everyone is healthy, you could always slot one in the pen.
China fan - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#221717) #
Problem is -- Zep seemed to take a step backwards this year, and Litsch and Mills were (mostly) less than impressive in their limited major-league outings.  Richmond and Hill are still struggling with their recoveries from injury.  Not sure if the competition in spring 2011 will be as fierce as you're predicting, especially if the Jays deem that Drabek is not ready.  The job could fall to Zep by default next year -- especially if Litsch is still recovering from injury -- and Zep's ERA this year weren't much better than Tallet's ERA (even if his SO-BB ratio was better).
Magpie - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#221727) #
I agree, China Fan. You can never have enough pitching. Right now, only four spots look to be covered. And what are the odds all four will be healthy next year? Pitching is hazardous to your health..

If it's going to be anyone, I'd be betting on Marcum to break down. It pains me enormously to forecast this - I just love pitchers who can blow an 85 mph fastball by major league hitters, when guys who throw way, way harder can't.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#221728) #
Tallet's career ERA as a starter is over 5.  If you put him in there at this stage in his career, you'd have to expect an ERA of 5.5.  Zep is a better bet than that, notwithstanding his struggles of 2010.
Matthew E - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#221731) #
I have not yet given up on Dustin McGowan. It's a stretch to imagine that he'll ever be the great big-league starter we wanted him to be, but I am confident that we have not seen the last of him in the major leagues.
Mike Green - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#221734) #
Actually, I am quite optimistic about Marcum's arm health.  The increased significance of his change-up (vis a vis the cutter) and his stronger lower body are the reasons.  I do agree with the general point though.  One cannot reasonably expect Romero, Marcum, Cecil and Morrow to deliver 30 starts each in 2010. If they do, the organization might want to give Bruce Walton a raise...
China fan - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#221751) #
Despite my earlier critique of the misperception of "throwaway lineups", I have to admit that tonight's lineup could be one of the weakest that the Jays have offered in some time.  McCoy, Wise, McDonald, Hill, Lind....   The cleanup spot going to Buck....   It's mostly due to injury, of course, but it looks like a rough night for the Jays....   Let's see if they can surprise the pundits....
TamRa - Monday, August 30 2010 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#221755) #
re tonight's lineup:

NO plausable excuse for hitting Snider behind Wise and McDonald.


it was one thing when the excuse was he wanted to keep him in the same spot in the lineup but he's moved all over the place now so that doesn't wash.

In a sane lineup he'd be as high as sixth -



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