Joel Carreno Gets the Call

This is what the kids call an “emergency start.” Joel Carreno, he of middling success in the minor leagues but some experience at the big league level, gets the call for the Jays today in Milwaukee against the fightin’ Brew Crew. Carreno was scheduled to pitch for Double-A New Hampshire today but gets to face Ryan Braun instead. That’s some prize!

While I know the reasons against it, I wonder how much thought (if any) was given to calling on Ricky Romero to go on short rest today? With the off day tomorrow, everyone else could move up a day without too much trauma, one assumes (Cecil would pitch Friday on regular rest in this scenario.)

Trauma is the key word and the likely reason why they wouldn’t ask their nominal ace to go on three days rest. Imagine Ricky sustained an injury pitching after three days for the first time in his career? The fainting couches of the GTA would get quite the workout.

Pitchers simply don’t pitch that well on short rest as a rule but the Jays are quite clearly running out of options. The bullpen is getting quite the workout of late, predictably pitching more innings than any staff in baseball over the last two weeks. The results are better than expected but, as last night shows, no staff is perfect. Carreno went six innings in his only other big league start (during the opening series of the season) and he will be asked to perform at a similar level today (duh).

Luis Perez has only pitched once in the past four days, throwing 37 pitches over 3 innings of one-hit ball. Expect to see Perez and likely Aaron Laffey, who didn’t pitch yesterday and appeared just once over the same timeframe. A few decent innings from Carreno with Perez closing it out? Off day in Miami and boom, everyone is sorted. Sounds like a plan, no?

Comments (56)

  1. I was fully on board with starting Ricky today. Best shot at giving the bullpen some rest, and it’s not as if Ricky has been overworked. I hope Carreno proves me wrong. Holding breath starts……..NOW.

  2. When Carreno gets sent back down, Gomes back up, or Snider finally? Not sure if Gomes has to wait 10 days again before he can be called up.

  3. Any word on who went down to make room for Carreno?

    With guys like Coello, Crawford, Beck, Laffey, Chavez on what seems like daily flights in and out of Vegas I lose track of who is actually available.

    Luckily (?) the Jays do have Laffey as “insurance” should Carreno get into some trouble tonight.. but this may mean a lot of ABs for pitchers if there are worn out shoulders in the BP.

  4. This is exactly why Jeremy Guthrie should be acquired if the price is only McDade or a similar C prospect. Guthrie stands a better chance of not being shelled than Chavez, Carreno or Laffey. Better to run out AAAA guys like Guthrie that have proven capable of eating innings than AAA cannon fodder like Chavez, Carreno and Laffey. AA’s gotta be scouring the dredges of the league to figure out which AAAA starters are available for C prospects or the domino effect is that you’re going to destroy the bullpen or constantly be juggling bullpen arms to cycle fresh bullpen arms between Vegas and Toronto.

    • Give ‘em Cooper and / or Thames, before we offer McDade. He has some potential as a good glove, decent bat that may still improve further down the road.

      • Our 1B of the future is already here…his name is Jose Bautista. As unproven as they are, Cooper and Thames are arguably proven as at least adequate bench players at the major league level. McDade is not proven above AA and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in his minor league career. None of these players are likely to be long-term pieces for the Jays, but Cooper and Thames almost undoubtedly have greater value to other teams than McDade.

        • Guthrie has been so bad for the Rockies this year that they decided to go with a 4 man staff rather than have him in the rotation. It’s a safe bet that Carreno can at least match and likely exceed the production Guthrie would give the Jays.

          • It’s a safe bet that someone with 1 career ML start and an ERA over 5.00 in 11 starts between AA and AAA this season is a safer bet than someone who is having an admittedly poor season but has consistently been a 2-3 WAR pitcher over the past 5 years in the AL East? Ok.

            Take a read:

          • Read that Fangraphs article again. Even they say that bad luck can’t explain away all of Guthrie’s troubles and there might be problems with his pitching repertoire. Guy is also 33, it’s entirely possible he’s in decline and isn’t that 2.5 WAR pitcher anymore.

          • The point of the article isn’t that he’s a 2.5 WAR pitcher. The point is that he’s likely not as bad as he has been so far this season.

            I don’t disagree that Guthrie is likely in decline. I disagree with the idea that Carreno is a “safe bet” to match and exceed Guthrie at the major league level. I didn’t say that he’s a 2.5 WAR pitcher in the majors anymore, but rather that a pitcher who has been a 2.5 WAR pitcher in the AL East for the past five seasons is more likely to be a better pitcher than someone who has pitched poorly in the minors and has little to no major league track record.

  5. Gomes for snider Switch for the Miami series coming up?

    • With the way Rajai has been swinging the bat lately, I’d rather wait for him to cool off before brining up Snider. Since Thames went down, Rajai has been very good. I don’t know if anyone could expect or even hope for Snider to provide similar production at the plate.

      • Exactly, and especially given the fact that Snider’s next call up might be for good, I’d like to see him get 100% in AAA and start posting those pre injury numbers again so he can come to the bigs with confidence. Calling him up now doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. There’s no rush

  6. I wonder if the Jays have given any thought to teaming up their pitcher for starts. They have so many arms sitting in the bullpen that it wouldn’t be too difficult to have a tandem of let’s say Perez and Carreno go 7 combined innings (3-4 each) one start and then have Villanueva and Laffey or Chavez do the same.
    Going only 3-4 inning they get to face the lineup only twice at most and they can throw harder knowing they only need to throw 50-60 pitches.
    They are carrying 13 pitchers a lot of the time anyways, so have two pairs of “starters” would still leave them with Romero, Alvarez and Cecil plus 6 relievers.

    • The only problem is what happened last night – what if the guy you were hoping to get 3-4 innings from goes only 2? And then the next guy gets roughed up – and all of a sudden you’re having to give long innings to guys who can’t handle it.

      Perez and Villaneuva are there to clean up after starters fail.. if they themselves are the starters that fail you’re in big trouble.

      If AA can find a guy at a reasonable price like Guthrie he has to do it. Its not a great option long-term, but this injury problem isn’t going away after 1 turn of the rotation. We’re going to need at least one more guy for a few months at minimum. The bullpen is already taxed and having Charlie V and Perez pitching huge innings is going to spread the bullpen guys very thin.

  7. Pitching depth is a bitch

  8. The most impressive thing about that Fangraphs link is that even though we’re way infront in terms of innings recently (55 IP), the bullpen ERA is near the top at just 2.29.

    Is that sustainable? Probably not. But considering the shit our bullpen takes all the time, its pretty damn impressive.

  9. i’ll try again:
    Can’t the jays just sign that ump from last night? He was throwing seeds back to the pitcher. I even saw him allow maldanado the privlage of throwing back to his own pitcher once or twice.

  10. They’ve already used Carreno in a spot start like this once, so why not do it again?

    Seems its going to be a barnburner at Miller Park no matter who you start.

  11. Dingers!!

  12. “The fainting couches of the GTA…”


  13. did the Jays sign Alford?

  14. Doing it this way is preferable, let Ricky get his normal rest and you get him for both the Miami and Boston series, two far better teams; despite what the last 2 nights might look like.

  15. Joel Carreno, wtf?

    i know I can only get out lefties, and am sporting a 5.90 ERA, but com’n. Where’s JP Ricciardi when I need him?

  16. Make Carlos Villeneuva a starter for the rest of the year. He’s proven himself.

  17. Can someone explain how Carreno this season giving up 1 run every 2 innings is absolutely garbage, like above imply? it is not great, but hey I would rather 3 runs allowed in 6 innings pitched, than 4 in 2 1/3 like chavez. Remember people Carreno is only 25.

    Those looking at his stats in the minors this season remember the jays are stretching him out as starter this year as opposed to a reliever in the minors. If Carreno can get them through 5-6 innings with the day off it will help.

    I think you will see a few reliever/ starters then next few weeks, ie Chavez, Perez, Charlie V, Carreno, Laffey. guys whose job it will be to go 3-4 innings.

    • 3 ER in 6 IP would be more than adequate…but what makes you think he’d be giving up 3 ER in 6 IP every time out? He has an ERA over 6.00 in Vegas and at 4.71 in 7 starts in AA.

      And having 2 starting pitchers going 3-4 innings every time through the rotation is an absolute disaster. Even bad teams don’t do that. They have inning eaters, who are by no means good, but don’t stretch their bullpen that thin. Relying on the bullpen to pitch 5-6 innings twice every five days is absolutely asinine.

      • repeat that he had a 6 era in Vegas. Vegas inflates hiters, stats, which in effect worsens pitcher stats.

        In vegas his
        K/9 BB/9 HR/9
        7.52 1.77 0.89

        are not terrible, I believe he would much better in the bigs than in Vegas.

        • Jesse Chavez in 12 starts in Vegas this year:

          3.84 ERA
          8.32 K/9
          1.92 BB/9
          1.02 HR/9

          He should be an all-star in the bigs based on that premise.

          • just to point out that higher k/9 is good but BB and HR not so much, just trying to say there is a bit more to pitching than what ERA tells you.

          • Um…you completely missed the point. The point wasn’t to point out Chavez’s higher K/9, and marginally higher BB/9 and HR/9 rates. The point was that for the rate stats you cited, these two are virtually identical aside from Chavez having a strikeout rate nearly 1 strikeout higher than Carreno. And as we all saw last night, Chavez is nothing special in the majors.

            You’re the one who initially brought runs allowed per inning into the equation in your very first post with this nonsense about Carreno throwing 6 innings with 3 runs allowed.

            Anyways the proof is in the pudding, I think Carreno has proven my point so far.

      • 3 earned runs in 6 innings = 4.50 ERA
        i’m just sayin…

  18. Remember people we are only 15 games removed from the 4 day all star break.

  19. When does snide come up?

  20. Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
    Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;

  21. I have no idea why the Jays kept up Coello (and Chavez) for today’s game and decided to shorten the bench by canning Gomes, who is less redundant than McCoy.

  22. hey grouchy, where art thou? still think cletus sucks at hitting? you should be stoned for that blasphemy. your credibility is stifled from here to eternity unless you repent. and i havent seen a cletus apology yet.

  23. I wonder if Gomes was sent down because he’s been dealt for a marginal SP???

  24. I think the buried lede here with all of it is the absolute failure of the two 1st round picks spent on Jenkins and McGuire. If either of these players had even advanced a little instead of stalling and regressing, we’d have more younger pitchers to throw into the fray instead of relievers (Carreno, Chavez) or 4-A arms (Laffey, Coello). We might even have had time to let Alvarez or Hutch develop more in the minors if our two 1st round college “safe” picks had actually, you know, lived up to their supposedly high floor.

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