With Joey Votto having now bankrupted Cincinnati for generations to come, the folks at CBS Sports are going to require a new dimension by which to acknowledge the Jays’ existence. Danny Knobler gave it a go yesterday, calling the club’s decision to promote Joel Carreno in place of Brett Cecil “stunning and understandable, if that combination is possible.”
What appears stunning to him, however, is kinda odd…
Imagine if the Red Sox were starting a guy who had zero starts above AA. The Blue Jays are doing just that. cbsprt.co/HcfVj6
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) April 3, 2012
Right. Like Kyle Drabek and Henderson Alvarez did last year… because the Jays triple-A affiliate is in the shitty Pacific Coast League, and the Red Sox at least have Pawtucket.
No matter. It’s doom and gloom for the Jays, who “end spring training with a patchwork rotation that calls into question their chances of survival in baseball’s toughest division.”
Maybe I’ve just cooled on Cecil and Dustin McGowan, and am overly optimistic from what I saw of Kyle Drabek this spring, but… is it really such a step down from what was originally planned to Drabek and Carreno? Is it a step down at all, frankly?
Having followed the Jays through camp, I don’t think it is.
Besides, as Knobler himself acknowledges on Twitter, Carreno is only to be a temporary fill-in, ostensibly until Dustin McGowan gets back.
Of course, the “end of April, at a minimum” timeline on McGowan’s return– as John Farrell gave over the weekend, according to John Lott of the National Post– is probably overly optimistic, seeing as it relies on him being healthy enough to start throwing again on schedule by the end of the week, then building his arm back up, setback-free, over the course of the month. Still, it’s not going to be long before some of the guys at New Hampshire start knocking on the door anyway. The Jays weren’t afraid to call up Henderson Alvarez after just 14 starts and 88 innings in double-A last year, and the best arms who’ll start the season there– Drew Hutchison and Deck McGuire– already have three Eastern League starts under their belts.
It was always going to be a patchwork rotation here, so it’s hard to be too concerned about it now.