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In case you missed it in today's Star...
Seems like an eminently reasonable remark for a team leader to make publicly, hey?


Ricky: "This team can [be] special ..." | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
grjas - Saturday, March 31 2012 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#253574) #
Yup. Me too

dan gordon - Saturday, March 31 2012 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#253575) #
If you want an interesting comment about a young Blue Jay player, have a look at today's Rotoworld article about young starters.  Says H.Alvarez could be one of the top 10 starters in baseball in 2013.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#253577) #

Ricky Romero starts Game One, Cleveland's opener, a Day Game, Thursday.   Brandon Morrow starts Game Two in Cleveland, Saturday, another Day Game.     Henderson Alvarez starts Toronto's Home Opener verses Boston, April 9th.    I would start Romero, April 10th verses Boston, on a normal 4 days rest.

Brett Cecil, with the velocity loss and Kyle Drabek, with possible control issues are the remainder of the Starting Rotation.   Who starts Game Three in Cleveland, another Day Game?   Who starts April 11th, Game Three verses Boston?   Who get replaced by Dustin McGowan soon?  

With days off: 6th, 12th and 16th, there isn't much need for a 5th Starter.   However starting the 17th, Toronto plays 20 straight games before their next day off.   Starting April 17th, the right Five Starters need to be ready then.

TamRa - Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 03:54 AM EDT (#253579) #
JF has been giving the media types (Wilner/Davidi/Chisolm/etc) the impression that they team will not try to keep a full five man right through, but will adjust to minimize the instance of any pitcher having more than five days rest.

Looking at the first four weeks, given that he mentioned McGowan being out up to a month...and setting it up so that you minimize the instance of anyone getting a sixth day's rest:

at Clev - Romero

at Clev - Morrow
at Clev - Cecil (he's in line for this)
Boston - Avarez
Boston - Drabek (see below)
Boston - Romero

Balt - Morrow
Balt - Cecil
Balt - Alvarez

TBR - Romero
TBR - Morrow
TBR - Cecil
at KC - Alvarez
at KC - Drabek/McGowan
at KC - Romero
at KC - Morrow
at Balt - Cecil
at Balt - Alvarez
at Balt - Drabek/McGowan
Sea - Romero
Sea - Morrow
Sea - Cecil
Tex - Alvarez
Tex - Drabek/McGowan
Tex - Romero

1. Cecil is lined up for the third start and barring a shocking revelation, he will make that start and have a chance to prove he belongs there.

2. If Farrell's assertion that the team wants to minimize anyone exceeding five days rest is to be believed, then Drabek MUST start the second game v. Boston. If Romero were to start the second game instead, then he either will have six days rest before his next start, or he will pitch on four days against Baltimore which would force Alvarez to go on SEVEN days (or be skipped and not pitch again until the first game at KC). Neither of these is optimal and the solution - Drabek pitching on 4/10 - is overwhelmingly obvious.

3. the earliest possible date for McGowan is 4/21. if he made that start, Drabek would only have had one chance to make his case. If management things, as of 4/11, that McGowan will be back (and if he is, he should have gotten at least one re-hab start by then), Drabek will probably be fared out and another reliever momentarily recalled. if they don't think he will be back, the reports suggest they will still option Drabek temporarily to give him one start in the minors (probably at NH) in order to stay on cycle and then bring him back for the 4/21 and ever how many are needed after that.
In the latter case, if you went through enough rotations, you might see a full contest between Drabek and Cecil as to who loses their spot when McGowan is recovered. In the former case, Drabek is doomed to go down and wait for Cecil to pitch himself out of the rotation (or someone get hurt) as I do not believe they will pick Drabek over Cecil based on one start.
(albeit, you can't completely rule out the idea that if McGowan hadn't been injured, Cecil might have not made the cut)

In short, I think the above postulated projected starters is pretty solid, health assumed.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#253585) #
The Jays are getting closer, I'll give them that much. If Drabek rocks in 2012, they'll be knocking on the door. If Rasmus, Lind and Thames rock, they'll be kicking it down.
robertdudek - Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#253599) #
Nothing I've seen from Drabek so far has convinced me he has command of his pitches. As such I do not think he is ready to be a quality major league starter.
Mike Green - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#253604) #
I don't know.  He doesn't look to me to be ready to be the ace that everyone hoped he would be, but he does look quite a bit better this year than last.  His stuff is good enough that if he can throw strikes, he can get away with quite a few mistakes in the zone. 

I would obviously prefer if he were the long man in the pen rather than (perhaps) a 5th starter or swingman, but it all might work out fine.  With a top three of Romero, Morrow and Alvarez, the pressure is off him quite a bit.  This is good.  The alternative right now is Aaron Laffey, and that does not seem preferable. 
ColiverPhD - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#253607) #

We all hope that Drabek shows the maturity to handle all situations...his stuff his above average, of course, but he has to harness it.

I watched his good start against the Yankees, but he has to be consistent and under control...I still think he will only have aropund 18 starts.

Chuck - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#253612) #

The alternative right now is Aaron Laffey, and that does not seem preferable. 

Aaron Laffey is Dana Eveland. Why is he even getting the time of day? 

92-93 - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#253637) #
I'd answer your question, Chuck, but I don't want to be lectured about how the season's goal is "finding out what they have" in guys, as opposed to actually trying to compete. It's ridiculous that Laffey is even being considered for a job.
John Northey - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#253646) #
Aaron Laffey is one of the depth guys for AAA or the back end of the pen. Lifetime 97 ERA+ in the majors over 373 2/3 IP suggests he can pitch but his 3.6 BB/9 and 4.5 K/9 suggests he has no margin for error.

I suspect Laffey just had a hot streak in the spring and that forced the Jays to take a closer look to see if it was a streak or a real change. Then he got hit hard and they went 'just a streak'. He's good to have in AAA but I doubt he was ever seriously thought of by the front office as more than the 10th or so best option for the rotation (the media, on the other hand, can be fooled easily).
  • The top 3 options were always Romero, Morrow, Alvarez.
  • The next level was Cecil, McGowan, Litsch (some ML success)
  • The 'if hot' group included Drabek and Carreno (prospects who reached before)
  • The 'if super hot and ready for ML' included Hutchison, Jenkins, McGuire (not on roster yet, but big parts of future)
  • The stopgaps include Villanueva and Perez (relievers who can start if needed)
  • The 'emergency, emergency, emergency' group was Laffey, Richmond, and whatever other AAA guys they had around.
Litsch and McGowan getting hurt opened a window. Drabek, Hutchison, and Laffey all showed enough to lead their respective groups. I figure Laffey's shot was if Drabek flopped and Hutchison was felt to need seasoning (as he does) and the Jays figured they could give Laffey just one or two starts before McGowan was back. Even then I figure they might have preferred using Perez or Villanueva for 1 or 2 starts and putting Laffey in the far corner of the bullpen.
Moe - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#253658) #
I fail to see how having Laffey potentially get a few spot statys means the Jays are not trying to contend this year. I agree it makes it less likely that they do but many good teams have even lesser pitchers at spots 7 or 8. You hopefully don't need them, but it's not like you have a potential CY winner this deep in anyone's rotation. Complaining about Laffey strikes me as complaining for the sake of complaining. If Cecil is toast (see Fangraphs piece) and McGowan and Litsch are on the DL, the Jays have to dig a bit deeper and it seems Hutchison et al are not ready yet. So what shall they do?

Unrelated: rumor has it that Votto is signing an extension with the Reds. I'm sure this will be constructed as some sort of failure on the parts of the Jays as well.

bpoz - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#253664) #
If the 5th starter (McGowan) returns by mid April he should miss 2 starts, mid May 6 starts.
Other problems in the rotation, like injuries would increase the number of available starts needed by mid May. After mid May the rotation should be healthy unless something happens to prevent that.
I don't know how likely it is that we would be missing a starter for 6-10 starts in a row from the start of the season.

So somehow if we do need a fill in 5th SP for 6-10 games, I think we should use our best guy. I think this best guy is different for different Bauxites. My choice is D Hutchison. I know all or most of the reasons for why not Hutch, eg only 5 games over AA. But he is still my guy.
Most importantly these games will count in the standings so whomever the 5th guy is, IMO his contribution could be huge.
greenfrog - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#253665) #
I think the Jays' competitiveness is more at risk from a half-season of mediocrity from Cecil than it is from Laffey getting a few mediocre starts. The Jays seem to have sufficient depth at #5 (McGowan, Drabek, Laffey, Carlos V, Perez) but the rotation starts to get pretty patchy if Cecil tanks.

At this point, the rotation is what it is. The trades for Garza, Floyd, and similar SPs likely won't go down until July. Even then, I don't see the Jays going all-in on those types of players. In the current environment (ie, under the new CBA), the cost in prospects will simply be too high - and AA should have more internal options by that point.
China fan - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#253666) #
The Jays have just announced that Drabek will throw 5 innings (following Alvarez) in tomorrow's spring finale. Earlier, Laffey had been scheduled to get 2 innings tomorrow, but now it will be all Drabek after the 4 innings from Alvarez. That seems a pretty clear indication that Drabek, not Laffey, will get the 5th spot in the rotation to begin the season.
greenfrog - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#253667) #
Tigers currently eating Cecil's lunch to the tune of 2 9 9 7 1 0 (2 HR).
China fan - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#253675) #
There's a slight air of desperation in the Jays rotation at the moment, with two spots still up for grabs. It's not just the number 5 slot -- even the number 3 slot (for the 3rd game of the season) is undecided. (Alvarez is apparently the number 4 guy in the rotation.) Farrell is still hesitating on Cecil, and today's game is probably a good indication of why. Farrell says the 3rd spot in the rotation could go to Cecil, Drabek, Laffey -- or even one of the New Hampshire guys (Hutchison, McGuire, Carreno, Jenkins). That's an amazing level of flux and uncertainty for a rotation on the eve of the season -- and it's a good indication that the Jays are unhappy with Cecil.

If we assume that Drabek is ahead of Laffey, it's possible that Cecil could become the number 5 guy in the rotation. But they could even decide to option him to the minors and promote one of the New Hampshire four.
Mike Green - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#253677) #
Omar Vizquel just hit a long home run, if Gameday can be believed. 
92-93 - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#253683) #
I'd much rather watch Luis Perez or Carlos Villanueva fill in the rotation than Aaron Laffey. Reports on Perez have been very positive.
John Northey - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#253688) #
If one of the NH 4 is ready, then bring him on up. A general rule with pitchers is that you only get so many pitches before they blow up so you might as well get them in the majors.
Gerry - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#253693) #

On one hand any pitcher can have a bad start but Cecil is likely now the #5 pitcher, assuming Drabek pitches well tomorrow.  I think plan B for the Jays is as follows:

Use Villanueva to spot start on April 11th.

The fifth starter is next required on April 21.  By that date the minor league pitchers will have made 2 or 3 starts.  Pick the best guy for April 21 based on those starts.

jester00 - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#253699) #
I wonder if the Jays would give any consideration to using Perez as a starter again and putting Evan Crawford in the pen.  I'd prefer that to Cecil at this point.
China fan - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#253703) #
After today's game, Farrell admitted there is "concern" about Cecil. In the careful language of managers, that's quite a strong statement. He could be in the minors again soon.
TamRa - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#253704) #
at this point I think the likely trajectory for Cecil is similar to Litsch - the window has closed on him. Assuming Drabek is even acceptable - which I epxct him to be - then when McGowan gets right, Cecil will be demoted and while he may start in the minors, if he has a future for the Jays it will be in relief (where he might actually be effective along the same path as Scott Downs trod)

Then if McGowan (or someone else) goes down later for any significant time, Hutchison will almost certainly be brought on. Not inconceivable it would be Jenkins (or McGuire) either.

Not sure whether they will ever see fit to add Laffey to the 40 when they have other alternatives.
MatO - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#253710) #
On a positive note: the Lansing 2011/Dunedin 2012/Toronto 2015 outfield played a big part in a near comeback against the Tigers today.
bpoz - Monday, April 02 2012 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#253718) #
IMO if Cecil consistently gets hammered he will lose his spot in the rotation.
i remember Pat Hentgen getting hammered in a game and Cito kept him in there.

China fan - Tuesday, April 03 2012 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#253764) #
".....He could be in the minors again soon....."

Didn't think my prediction would unfold quite so fast, but it did.
Ricky: "This team can [be] special ..." | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.