It’s tough being in the best division in baseball. The Jays would probably be competitive in just about every other division but they find themselves 9 1/2 games back of first place in the AL East. They’re 13-18 against the East too so that doesn’t help. Having to play over a third of your games against three of the best teams in baseball will do that to you.
Earlier today they wrapped up a three game series against the Pirates with a loss in the rubber game. Brett Cecil took a beating and he fell to 1-3 on the season. He gave up six runs in 6 1/3 innings on eight hits and three walks. The Jays got 2 2/3 shutout innings from the pen but it was too little, too late.
Yunel Escobar had a big day at the plate. He went three for three with a walk, a home run and a solo home run. That was his ninth of the season. J.P. Arencibia also went yard with a solo shot, his eleventh of the year.
Next up is three game series against the Phillies. It’s bad enough we get the AL East teams, but we also have the Phillies on the schedule.
Hello and welcome to another installment of the Toronto Blue Jays preview. Hopefully I gave everyone enough to digest and contemplate every night last week before they go to sleep. Now let’s take a look at the pitching staff.
Ricky Romero. 2010 stats: 3.73 ERA, 14-9, 1.29 WHIP. Brief: Romero was rock solid last year in his sophomore season. The question for the 26-year-old is whether he can take his game to the next level. There’s no question he’s a starter in the Show but to be the Ace on a team that competes regularly with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays…we’ll that’s a different story altogether.
2. Brandon Morrow. 2010 stats: 4.49 ERA, 10-7, 1.38 WHIP. Brief: According to scouts, Morrow has “ace-like” stuff. He may have turned the corner last year in Toronto after being bounced between a starting and relieving role during his time in Seattle.
3. Brett Cecil. 2010 stats: 4.22 ERA, 15-7, 1.33 WHIP. Brief: Cecil didn’t have a job as the Jays broke camp last year (Sounds like me this year). However, having added a changeup to his fastball/sinker combination, Cecil solidified his spot in the Jays rotation by late April. Maybe I just need to develop a changeup to find a job.
4. Kyle Drabek. 2010 stats: 4.76 ERA, 0-3, 1.35 WHIP. Brief: Drabek is one of four pitchers in a competition for the final two spots of the rotation. He’s a groundball pitcher which could give him the leg up because as we all know chicks DO NOT DIG THE GROUNDBALL….which is a good thing for pitchers.
5. Jesse Litsch. 2010 stats: 5.79 ERA, 1-5, 1.46 WHIP. Brief: I read that hip surgery derailed Litsch’s recovery from Tommy Johns’ surgery last year. That sounded like a fun season.
Octavio Dotel. 2010 stats: 4.08 ERA, 22 saves, 1.31 WHIP. Brief: Prior to the acquisition of Frank Francisco, Dotel was thought to be the starter for the Jays. This could be for the best for Jays fans. The 12-year veteran has been known to have his struggles with left-handed hitters and has an affinity for surrendering the deep ball.
Closer: Frank Francisco. 2010 stats: 3.76 ERA, 15 holds, 1.27 WHIP. Brief: Francisco comes over from the Rangers and brings with him a nasty splitfinger as well as a 10 strikeout-per-nine inning average. Francisco should be the guy in Toronto but Dotel provides some insurance just in case.
ALRIGHT WE’LL BE BACK NEXT TIME.
Third basemen Scott Rolen recently fractured the middle finger on his right hand while doing fielding drills at a Blue Jay Practice. The latest news is that Rolen had a pin inserted into that middle finger by a hand specialist and is expecting to have the pin removed April 7th. Doctors have said that after the pin is removed it will be an uncertain amount of time before Rolen returns to the Toronto Lineup. They have stated that there is a good chance he will be out until late April early May. Basically there has been a 4-6 week window placed on his comeback. Rolen is currently walking around with a soft cast on his injured hand.
This is a big blow to the Blue Jay lineup and could really hurt the team this season if this becomes a reoccurring injury, which fingers often become. Keep your eyes open for updates on the Third Basemen as I bring them to you.
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