There were 2 big news items for the Jays today, as they faced Doc in a spring game and Marc Rzepczynski was diagnosed with a broken middle finger. How quickly things change. I can remember sitting here thinking the Jays had way too many arms competing for the 5 spots and that some guys were going to be grumpy when they were sent to the pen or to AAA. That’s not the case any longer, as some who were well behind at the start of the spring (Brett Cecil for example after he did very well in his last couple of starts) now have a prime opportunity to turn things around and prove that they belong. Here’s the news and how it can be viewed:
- With McGowan and Rzepczynski bowing out of the starting race, and Marcum and Romero being the only guarantees, it leaves the Jays with Eveland, Morrow, Tallet, and Cecil vying for 3 spots and 1 pen spot. All’s well that ends well I guess, as all four should now expect to remain with the club when the season starts – unless the Jays want to send down Cecil for some seasoning in order to keep 1 more reliever on board.
- Jason Frasor got the official nod to close with the Jays. The Jays win here no matter what. If he does well enough to land them a nice piece in a trade, so be it. If he does well and nobody wants to pay the price, he could become a Type A FA, in which case the newly beefed up Jays scouting department get to do what they do best – pick some great players higher up in the order. Either way, I expect Frasor to do well in the role.
- If or when Frasor is dealt, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Downs get the call next to prove that he can also handle the closing duties. If he does well (insert same scenario from Frasor above)…it’s a double whammy situation that the Jays can really benefit from.
- The Jays didn’t spare their old mate when they faced Doc today. Good for them, bad for Doc, but I’ll be putting out a piece soon questioning why Doc took a 3 year extension when all of the leverage was on his side in negotiations with the Phillies. More to come!
- Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that this year’s Las Vegas 51s will be well worth watching in comparison to the 2009 version who featured guys like Jason Lane and David Dellucci. This year’s crowd so far looks as follows: Catchers – JP Arencibia and Raul Chavez, 1B/DH – Brian Dopirak, 2B – Jarret Hoffpauir, SS – Manuel Mayorson (and Adeiny Hechevarria once signing is official – I’m guessing he’ll start here) 3B – Brett Wallace, LF – Chris Lubanski, CF - Jeremy Reed, RF – Chris Aguilla and Adam Calderone. The pitching so far includes Zach Stewart, Reidier Gonzalez, Brad Mills, Luis Perez, and Randy Boone, with relievers David Purcey, Josh Roenicke (likely), Robert Ray, Marty McLeary, Sean Henn, Jesse Carlson, and Jeremy Accardo (likely). That’s a very deep and much better depth chart than the Jays have had in a long time. When you consider that Kyle Drabek could be joining that group by June, there are a ton of reasons to go see some 51s games in Las Vegas this season.