The Locals Panic As JP Shakes Up The Jays

A 3-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox is apparently enough to make Blue Jays fans (and their management) panic, if only a little. The same people who were jumping on the early season bandwagon appear ready to jump right off. In reality, the losses weren’t entirely unexpected. Roy Halladay didn’t pitch in the series, and Toronto started two rookies.

Heading into the series, GM JP Ricciardi said he wouldn’t demote his young pitchers without good reason, but he’s already made some moves.

From TSN:

“The Toronto Blue Jays recalled right-hander Casey Janssen and infielder Joe Inglett on Friday, while left-hander Ricky Romero will be recalled in time to make his scheduled start on Tuesday in Baltimore.

Also, outfielder Travis Snider and pitchers Brett Cecil and Bobby Ray have been optioned to Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League.

Janssen made five minor league starts between Dunedin and New Hampshire this season, posting a 0.76 ERA, with five walks and 17 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. He last pitched in the majors in 2007, spending 2008 rehabbing a torn labrum. In 89 career games (17 starts), he has recorded an 8-13 record with a 3.89 ERA. The Huntington Beach, California resident will start at Atlanta tomorrow.

Romero is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA after three starts this season, his first in the major leagues, prior to suffering an oblique strain. The left-hander has since made three minor league starts, going 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA at three levels. Ricky was the Blue Jays first round selection, sixth overall in the 2005 first year player draft.”

A couple points to make here.

First, the Jays should try to avoid turning this season into a pitching carousel. It can’t be great for any pitcher’s confidence level, and the team will eventually need a stable rotation, if they’d like to seriously contend. With that said, Romero was pitching great before his injury. Likewise, Janssen, although far from a veteran, has more experience than either Ray or Cecil, and should provide the staff with a much needed lift. These are good moves, and hopefully one, or both, will stick with the big club.

Also, Snider’s recent troubles are far from unexpected. Delusional fans may have expected a 35-home run season after his great start, but most rookies go through these ups and downs. Pitchers were throwing Snider plenty of fastballs early in the season, and he was absolutely destroying them. But these are major league pitchers, and believe it or not, they’re pretty good.

From Richard Griffin’s blog:

“Snider had just one extra base hit (a double) in his last 21 games and was being beaten regularly by soft stuff outside and down, causing him to also be late on the fastball. When he struck out in the middle game of the Sox series against Brad Penny, he looked whipped, head down, strolling back to the dugout. In the ninth, when (Cito) Gaston pinch-hit for him against a lefthander, it became just a matter of time.”

Look, Snider has been great throughout his minor league development, and he had a nice start in the majors. He’ll be back. Don’t panic.

Finally, yes, the rest of the hitting has cooled off considerably. What did you expect? Believe it or not, Aaron Hill will not hit 50 home runs this year, and Marco Scutaro probably won’t lead the American League in walks. The Jays will score runs, but maybe not at a league leading pace. Again, despite the panic surrounding this team, the Blue Jays are in first place on May 22nd. Who saw that coming?

TSN is here.

Grifin is here.


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