Blue Jays pitchers falling like flies

From Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star:

“It’s been a busy day in the Blue Jays trainer’s room. And a devastating day to the pitching staff.

The club today placed staff ace Roy Halladay, closer Scott Downs and starter Casey Janssen all on the disabled list.

The club took a well advised cautious approach with their ace, shutting him down for 15 days retroactive to June 13, a day after he came out of his scheduled start (vs. Florida) with a mild groin muscle strain.

Halladay, the winningest pitcher in the major leagues and roundly considered the best in the game, is due back June 28 when the world champion Philadelphia Phillies are at the Rogers Center for an interleague game.

It will be interesting, however, to see if the team grants Halladay that start, given manager Cito Gaston’s realized fears with Downs.

The Jays closer suffered a sprained left toe Monday in Philadelphia while running out a ground ball. Downs apparently suffered the injury on his first step out of the batters’ box.

Lefty Brad Mills was summoned from class AAA Las Vegas and will make his major league debut tomorrow in Philadelphia.

This marks the fifth time this season the Jays have had a rookie make his major league debut due to an injury at the big league level.

Mills will also become the 11th starter the team has used so far this season”

Good news and bad here. Well, most of it bad, but at least Cito made the right decision by sitting Halladay. Doc is a competitor, and it’s easy to imagine him getting back on the mound too soon. This makes that decision much easier, and it’s worth it for Gaston to be cautious with his ace. It’s simply not worth bringing Halladay back early, just to get one extra start.

The other good news, as with Downs, is that neither injury is the throwing arm, or either arm, for that matter. It means both pitchers should be back to normal once they return, as opposed to a guy going through shoulder or elbow surgery.

There is a little more concern when it comes to Janssen. This is a pitcher who missed all of last season with a throwing-related injury, and now he’s back on the DL. Personally, I love what Janssen brings to the table (A lot more than say, Jesse Litsch), so this really sucks. There isn’t too much news on the extent of the injury, so we’ll have to wait and see.

The one other positive (if any of these are really positives) is that Jays fans will get to see ANOTHER prospect in Brad Mills. This truly is a transition year for the Jays, and fans will be happy next year, when there will be little left to experiment with. Yes, it would be nice to make the playoffs this year, but finding out what the kids can do is still more important. And it’s for the wrong reasons, but at least we’re getting to see pretty much all of them.

Unfortunately, it’s a huge damper on this season’s hopes. Halladay (obviously) and Downs are the team’s most important pitchers, and while the bullpen is solid, this really hurts. BJ Ryan will need to step up, although I predict Jason Frasor will see the bulk of the save opportunities. Or at least he should. It’s possible Gaston will use this as a test for Ryan, to see if he can handle 9th inning duties. I’m pretty sure the answer is no…Again, we’ll have to wait and see.

Jays fans are going to have to count on the offense – At least for the next couple weeks.


Zwolinski is here.

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