The End of Jo-Jo in Toronto, and Other Jays Player Moves

Since I didn’t get to watch yesterday’s game, I thought I would comment on the moves the Jays have made of late and how they affect the team as a whole.

The End of Jo-Jo Reyes in Toronto

I believe that most Jays fans predicted long ago that Reyes was not going to last very long in the A.L. East, and we were right. He continued to get hit hard, to be inconsistent overall, and this despite adding a decent cutter to his repertoire. I’m not sure where he’ll land next, but there’s a chance that he’ll find a long-relief spot somewhere in MLB and make himself much more useful in that role than he was as a starter for the Jays. He will likely head to the National League if he can, and my favourite landing spots for him include Pittsburgh, New York (Mets), and Washington, all of which need depth from the left side in their pens.

The Jays now face a decision of “who’s going to replace him” in the rotation. The contenders are Jesse Litsch, Zach Stewart, and Brad Mills. Stewart has had 2 outstanding starts for his last 2 and may have the edge as a result, particularly when you consider that the Jays may want to know once and for all whether he will remain in the rotation. Brad Mills, meanwhile, has allowed 7 ER twice in his last 3 starts, so he doesn’t seem to have a real shot. Litsch, meanwhile, has had 1 great start, and 1 OK start for his last 2. The fact that Litsch was able to win 4 of 8 games in MLB before going down to injury may give him the edge right now, but either him or Stewart seem to have the best shots at the spot.

One more interesting thing about the Reyes assignment is that Kyle Drabek was never mentioned as a possibility in replacing him in the rotation. The Jays seem committed to seeing him become dominant once again, and that’s exactly how it should be.

Overall, the Jays have begun cleaning house, starting with Juan Rivera and Jayson Nix, and now with Jo-Jo Reyes and Scott Richmond. The 40-man roster is seeing lots of changes, and in my opinion it’s all for the betterment of the team as a whole. Regardless of who the Jays decide to take over in the rotation, they’ll have a much better shot at winning than they would have had with Reyes in the rotation, something I’ve been harping on all season long.

Scott Richmond Off the 40-Man

Is it possible that Scott Richmond was taken off the 40-man roster simply to open up a spot for the now healthy Brett Lawrie? That’s food for thought, as the Jays now have the room to add him, or decide to go with an arm to replace Jo-Jo Reyes, such as Henderson Alvarez. Either way, the decision to open up a spot on the 40-Man roster is an interesting one that deserves some attention.

Wil Ledezma’s Promotion Vice Luis Perez

Some people have wondered why Perez wasn’t called back up instead of Ledezma when Reyes was designated for assignment. The Jays had just optioned Perez back to the minors 4 days earlier, and they already knew that the pitcher called upon would be returning to AAA once their #5 starter was decided on, so it made sense to give Ledezma a look.

Here is a List of Other Jays Moves Throughout the Minors:

  • RHP Kramer Champlin Assigned to the GCL
  • OF Eli Boike Assigned to Bluefield from Lansing
  • CF Markus Brisker was activated from the DL in Lansing
  • RHP Nicholas Purdy Assigned to the GCL from Vancouver
Trade Moves, or Non-Moves
The Jays have been reported to be the most active on the trade market talks, pointing to Alex Anthopoulos earning every single penny he is being paid as the Jays GM. I, for one, expect nothing less from him as he has proven to be one of the – if not the – hardest working GMs in the game today. Whether or not he is able to strike a deal is unknown right now, but at least Jays fans will know he lifted every rock looking for a deal that makes sense for the Jays and their future. Sometimes, the best move is a non-move, so we’ll see how it plays out.
At this point, it seems that the Jays are dangling relievers all over MLB, trying to get fair value for their future Type B free agent relievers, most of whom have options as well. The Diamondbacks seem the most likely to bite, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Tyler Skaggs was the return that Alex Anthopoulos is trying to pry from their minors system. They’ve also looked into Padres relievers, but that may be a strategic move aimed at pushing the Diamondbacks towards a deal. Jason Frasor is the reported target of theirs at this point, and he is definitely the steadiest of the back end guys from the right side at this point. I’m looking forwad to seeing how things play out and do believe that the Jays will be happy to garner more draft picks for 2012 if they can’t get what they’re looking for on the trade market.

- MG

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Tags: Jo Jo Reyes Luis Perez Scott Richmond

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