Gregor Chisholm lays the following tweet on us:

Not exactly surprising news, but actually… potentially great news.

No, not because of any sort of newfound ill will towards McGowan and his contract, or his guaranteed rotation spot when healthy, but because it potentially extends the battle for the Jays’ last spot between Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek.

I don’t think Drabek looked quite as good yesterday against the Yankees as some of the reports on him suggested– getting bailed out of one inning on a great throw to the plate from Colby Rasmus, and having Andruw Jones hit him hard, but foul, in the fourth, after a hard A-Rod double and a walk to Ibanez– but he looked plenty OK. And while I’m well aware that velocity isn’t everything, and that I’m basing this view on scant looks and whatever information has come out of camp, I’d bet on Drabek having better success right now in the big leagues than Brett Cecil.

I don’t know that the Jays will be willing to make the switch by the time McGowan gets back, but anything Drabek can do to show that he’s progressing beyond last year’s disasterfuck is probably a good thing, in terms of letting the club feel confident in pulling the plug on Cecil once he starts repeatedly getting his ass handed to him.

Speaking of, Cecil pitches today, but it’s in a minor league game, in order to hide him from the OriLOLes [note: really?], who he’s scheduled to face early in the season. Ryan Tepera, who is apparently a real thing, gets the start for the Jays Major Leaguers, with eight of the club’s nine Opening Day hitters in the lineup against Baltimore’s Dana Eveland.

Comments (40)

  1. The Oriole’s Dana Eveland. – LOL.

  2. I don’t think they’re hiding Cecil from the Orioles, they just think the minor league game will provide him better competition.

  3. It’s scary to think that Laffey could be this year’s Eveland. Just send him to AAA already.

    • I’m a little worried we are dismissing Laffey too easily and that the temporary spot may actually go to him instead of Drabek. This is what happened last year with Jo Jo when Morrow wasn’t ready and that lasted almost 3 months. It also happened with Dana Eveland the year before when Cecil wasn’t ready and that lasted 2 months. So, yeah, there’s definitely a precedent for a Laffey type to make the rotation when someone is temporarily on the DL, and end up sticking longer than first thought.

      • Or Scott Richmond cracking the rotation in 2009 after McGowan and Marcum went down (which, to be fair to the big awkward Canuck, didn’t turn out that bad. FREE SCOTT RICHMOND!)

  4. Drabek was really good yesterday. He touched 96 mph fast ball couple of times and he was going after the yankees hitters. In One particular example Andruw Jones turned on his fast ball and hit a monster foul ball, the next pitch he challenged him with another fast ball down and away. The commentators were impressed that he didn’t back down. Last year he didn’t have balls to do this kinda things.

    • That exact pitch impressed me also. Before he would have lost his shit and become timid for the rest of the at-bat. That pitch was perfect.. shame the ump missed it.

  5. Romero

    All throw or can throw in the mid 90′s. In my mind Cecil is the weak link in that rotation. If we are seriously trying to win this year then they will need to go with this rotation sooner or later.

    • Obviously the back of this proposed rotation has big time blow up potential…but, yeah, I’m with you. 5 guys with top of the rotation potential…sign me up.

      • Big time back end blow up potential can work. See: 2011 Yankees.

        • your getting goofier by the day. Repeating posts, questioning AA about the McG contract and now saying the potential of the back end of this rotation can work. Dream on

        • Yeah, blow up potential does not bother me. It’s low to medium ceiling players to which I am allergic.

  6. Last night was a difficult to judge start for Drabek.
    - Rasmus gunned out a runner at home-plate to stop what was turning into a terrible inning…
    - He also threw a ton of strikes that were called balls..
    - The Yankees helped him out by swinging at pitches that were way out of the zone…

    That being said the stuff was pretty nasty… His fastball moves and his curve ball is absolute filth…. You can see why Drabek was the big trade chip for the best pitcher in baseball once upon a time…

    Also on Cecil… I’ve seen 3 of his starts this spring… His fastball is sitting 85… And hes not even commanding it… The stats lie… I was at one start where he gave up a couple of homeruns that were just foul… Yet miraculously got out of the outing with no charged runs…

    I dont get why some media keep defending him… Its not like this is just a bad spring.. This is a bad spring after a bad year…

    Remember, Farrell pulled Cecil in the 4th inning during his last two starts in September… One of them was before the wheels fell off the bus…They clearly don’t trust him..

    I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t break camp..
    The only thing that would shock me, is hes still in the rotation May 1st…

    • Well maybe Cecil manages to have a passable April…and then AA can trade him and get “something” from a desperate NL GM and insert McGowan into the rotation in May…

      • An 85 mph fastball wont help even if you’re coming in from the BP. BUT!! He IS a lefty and someone, somewhere will see value there.

    • I also thought Drabek was pretty good last night. I’m not looking for the perfect outing. He gave up a few hits to some pretty good hitters. I thought his sinker looked mean and his fastball was definitely on. I also thought he got jobbed on a few strike calls that could have helped. I’m certainly not going to take points away for having a good defensive play save a run. He wasn’t perfect and he doesn’t need to be. He just has to be better than Jo Jo Reyes and we’ll be miles ahead of lest year.

      Given that by the time he was pulled he was having a better night than CC Sabathia – I’ll take that.

  7. As of today the rotation lines up for the first 5 games as 1.Romero 2.Morrow 3.Cecil 4.Alvarez 5.Drabek or Laffey. Also, it is worth keeping in mind that whoever ends up in the 5th position will face Boston and Tampa Bay in their first 2 games, whereas Cecil will face Cleveland and Baltimore in his first 2 – so factor that into your expectations of their first 2 games before McGowan comes back.

  8. Is it just me, or is Kyle Drabek a dead ringer for Zach Knighton from Happy Endings?

  9. The Jays have this foolish obsession of hiding their SPs from AL East teams in spring training. Its really dumb and no other team does it. Did the Yankees hide Sabathia from the Jays? No, its just foolishness on the part of Farrell and AA. Just because a few regulars from other lineups see them doesnt mean theyre going to get shelled during the season.when they play them. Just something I noticed that was ridiculous.

    • That’s what Rangers did with Darvish against Angels couple of days ago.

    • Most teams do this for teams they will be playing in the first few series of the year. The Yankees didn’t need to hide CC from the Jays because they don’t play the Jays until the middle of May. If the Yankees were playing against the Rays last night, they most likely would have had CC pitch elsewhere.

      • Yeah but then why wasnt Morrow pitching for the Jays then if that was the case? It was his day to pitch. The jays are just paranoid about this. Not a big deal. Just think its foolish

    • I don’t think hiding the starters is foolish. It takes a batter a few at bats to get a feel for a pitcher, so perhaps it will give a slight edge in the first game vs a team. We need all the slight advantages we can get this year to have a chance at a playoff spot.

  10. Also, another thing. No fucking way Laffey should start over Drabek. AA should be demoted if that happens. I hope we dont see Laffey at all. The Jays have an infatuation with scrub left handers.

  11. There would need to be another injury before Laffey would make the big club.

  12. Lost of things to like about Draybek last night. He did not get upset when he got squezed on a few calls or when he made a great pitch to Tex; but Tex, being a great hitter, slashed it to left for a double. Draybek showed no emotion; just set about going after the next guy. He also showed no emotion when Eddie threw wide to second on what should have been a routine double play ball. Instead they get only the foce as 2nd as Escobar fields the wide throw. If Eddie makes that play, Drabek is out of the inning a lot earlier and maybe even goes six.

  13. The McGowan extension got panned on these pages. However, in addition to the goodwill it bought, it may also buy the Jays the ability to slip McGowan through waivers and get him some time in the minors should he need it. Another team might be willing to risk the 600K for this season; but might think twice about taking on the new numbers. Another case of AA being well prepared and thinking ahead?

    • That is not a bad point. But a big market club could take a flier on McGowan, especially a team like Boston, who are currently trying to recycle a bunch of has-beens for rotation depth.

  14. A thought– The Jays have 3 offdays in the first 10 days of the season, so if they wanted to give regular rest, they could go as follows with the rotation (“D/C” denotes the use of Drabek or Cecil, depending on who they pick as the #4):

    Romero, [Offday], Morrow, Alvarez, (Cecil/Drabek), Romero, Morrow, [Offday], Alvarez, (Drabek/Cecil).

    This keeps everybody on their regular rest thanks to the offdays, so the Jays don’t even need a 5th starter until the 15th if my math is right, and that’s a game vs. Baltimore anyway. If they DL Mcgowan retroactive to the 26th, he could start Sunday the 15th vs. Baltimore with a rehab start on the 9th or 10th in the minors, which would also allow them to carry an extra bullpen pitcher or bench bat.

    • This would also allow Romero, Morrow and Alvarez to start each of the three TB games in that series, before going back to D/C and Mcgowan for the KC series.

  15. Am I the only one thinking that Drabek might need more time in the minors? During spring training we’ve heard about the drills he’s using, IN GAME, to repeat his delivery. If that’s still the case it doesn’t sound like something that should be occurring during actual games. Should I be comfortable that’s now passed? Seems pretty quick.

  16. The reason for the McGowan contract extention, at this time, and not latter in the season is……season ticket sales. McGowan gets a lot of ink right now, so the deal is sure to get at least front page sports news. Dustin is THE fan favorite right now, so come on down before all the tickets are gone. The man who won’t quite, on a team that can”t miss!!!

  17. [...] of camp, I’d bet on Drabek having better success right now in the big leagues than Brett Cecil. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

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