According to my rough calculations, there are three more scheduled Organizational Filler (In)’s before the short season teams open up. Making my job approximately 75% harder. So, I should enjoy these three weeks and really focus on what is going on in the upper levels of the Blue Jays organization. Unfortunately, given my new role as a stay at home Dad to two kids, my brain is absolutely fried. Which is a shame, as there’s a lot of stuff going on in Blue Jays land.
If you don’t follow @bluejaysmoves on Twitter, you should. I don’t know where they get their information (especially the minor league stuff) but it is generally spot on, and it comes out early. Allowing you to keep up with relevant transactions. Wednesday saw six moves, five on the pitching side, with three chuckers called up to the big squad from Buffalo and two shuffling the other way. This is in addition to reliever Esmil Rogers getting his first start of the season against Atlanta. Unless I am mistaken, Esmil will be the eleventh starting pitcher used by the Jays this season. One away from the twelve used during the nightmare that was 2012. After all the off-season trades to shore up the rotation, saying the Jays will use more starters this year than they did last is unbelievable. Either very bad luck, or bad management. Something that we may need to touch on later.
Speaking of bad management. I haven’t had anyone definitively tell me either way, and I’ve seen arguments that the Jays did not burn one of Sean Nolin‘s options by calling him to start against Balitmore last Friday. From what I can gather though, and I base my research on Marc Hulet’s article and this older piece over at Baseball Prospectus, if the Jays don’t call him back up within twenty days (which I’m guessing won’t happen) then they have expended one of his options. Sure doesn’t seem worth it.
Nolin made his scheduled start for New Hampshire Tuesday night against the Portland Sea Dogs, and as per my post game piece, he was OK, giving up two earned on four hits over five innings pitched. He did walk three, which is the most he has in his, very abbreviated, minor league season. Just hope it is not a product of rough major league debut. Will definitely keep an eye on his next few starts to see if a trend develops.
In Florida, I failed to note Michael Crouse had returned from his DL stint. Tuesday was a tough one for the Coquitlam product, as he went 0 for 4 with three strike outs (is that simply a Sombrero or Golden Sombrero?). He hasn’t been playing every day since his came back, but in the four games he did get into this week, he was rather streaky. In two of them he racked up five K’s while going hit-less in eight at bats. In the other two he had multi-hit games, with five knocks, including two doubles.
Post injury, Crouse has mainly patrolled center field, which, looking at his career numbers hasn’t always been his first choice position. Without making any unfounded assumptions, it’s possible the Jays have decided Michael doesn’t have the power to stay in right field. Either way, at twenty two, and with a poor 2011 under his belt, Crouse is probably more Organizational Filler than prospect, but in the small sample size of 2012 he is putting up his highest OBP since his 2010 mark of .402 in twenty-eight games with the Gulf Coast Jays.
It’d be nice to see the 6’4″ 215 pounder continue to put together good at bats. Outside of Anthony Gose, the Jays don’t really have any top tier outfield prospects in the upper minor leagues. If Kevin Pillar eventually gets promoted from New Hampshire then Crouse may be putting himself in the frame to replace him.
Back to Wednesday’s flurry of moves. Called up to to the ‘pen were Neil Wagner, Juan Perez, and Todd Redmond. I’ve never heard of any of those guys, but a quick look at their stats, and, at the AAA level at least, all three miss bats. Perez sports the lowest K/9 ratio at 10.7.
I have to admit, I’m perplexed by what Joel Carreno has done not to earn a call up. I mentioned him in week two of Org Filler and he’s carried on the good work all season. In the past seven days he’s made two appearances, faced ten hitters, giving up a solitary single while striking out two. The only difference in these numbers from his season stats so far is that two K’s is on the low side. So far this season he has whiffed 14.5 per nine innings. Add in the 0.732 WHIP and 5.50 K/BB ratio and you get a feeling how well the right-hander has thrown this season.
As I was getting myself all worked up about the passing over of Carreno, I ran across the above tweet. So, he did get promoted, just not to the team I was expecting. Will be interesting to see if this is only a temporary measure until the three names above are eventually optioned back to Buffalo.
Finally, some fantastic news in Lansing as it seems Daniel Norris, the highly rated left-handed prospect, has turned a corner. After struggling to start the season, culminating in a six earned run over one and a third inning performance on the eighth of May, Norris has been lights out over his last four starts. I took a closer look at his early struggles, including some of the causes, over at yourvancs.com. Whatever was causing the issues before, definitely seem to be fixed, as the 2011 second rounder has whiffed twenty-eight over his last four starts. In those games, he’s only given up two earned runs and one extra base hit. He does still have a tendency to allow baserunners, with a 1.37 WHIP over that span, with walks still being an issue. Still, considering where we were after his first four starts of the season, progress has definitely been made.
Lastly, for real this time, in a bonus piece of good news, see the tweet below. There’s a very good chance Roberto Osuna will need tommy john surgery at some point, but for now, let’s just enjoy the fact he is pitching again. Have a good week.