Lately, perhaps understandably, there has been much gnashing of teeth around here about the Jays’ bullpen, the way John Farrell uses it, and what appears to be an endlessly revolving door of shitballers, the latest of which being Drew Carpenter, who last night was promoted to the big club from Las Vegas after David Pauley was D’d FA.

Sure, the situation back there is dire, and not helped at all by the injuries to the club’s starters. But there’s a thing that we kinda need to remember before we go snapping our superior recti with gale force eye-rolls as we hear the names of the latest cannon fodder to be added to the roster. This shouldn’t necessarily make some of the recent performances any easier to take, but I’d at least like to add some perspective by noting that no club is going to have a whole lot of success going as deep into the well as the Jays have this year.

To illustrate how it’s happened that Jesse Chavez, Scott Richmond and Andrew Carpenter currently have MLB jobs, let’s take a look at a half-assed starter-reliever-hybrid pseudo pitching depth chart, as we might have envisioned it at the start of the season. Of course, some of the guys on it have come out of other organizations and weren’t here at the time, but that’s not really the point. The point is to see the sheer volume of arms that have been called upon here…

1. Ricky Romero
2. Brandon Morrow (Injured)
3. Brett Cecil
4. Henderson Alvarez
5. Dustin McGowan (Injured)
6. Kyle Drabek (Injured)
7. Sergio Santos (Injured)
8. Francisco Cordero
9. Jason Frasor
10. Casey Janssen
11. Darren Oliver
12. Carlos Villanueva
13. Jesse Litsch (Injured)
14. Luis Perez
15. Joel Carreno
16. Drew Hutchison (Injured)
17. Aaron Laffey
18. Evan Crawford
19. Chad Beck
20. Ryota Igarashi
21. Jesse Chavez
22. Robert Coello
23. David Pauley
24. Scott Richmond
25. Andrew Carpenter

True, the Jays have got something resembling full-on dick all from the guys at the bottom of that list, but what could you possibly expect when the club is going that far deep into their non-prospect system searching for arms that can get Major League hitters out? Sadly, I suspect they figured Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire would have provided them some innings if need be, as well, but they’ve been struggling to even get Double-A hitters out. So, you could theoretically add two more names to that list, and Jamie Moyer, Sean O’Sullivan and, shit, maybe even Marcus Stroman– maybe–¬†could see their names added to it once play resumes after the All-Star break.

Again, it’s not meant to be comforting. Rather, it’s simply to note that it’s pretty hard to kill the club for not having enough foresight to make sure they had MLB-capable pitchers so deep into their system. I mean, it’s not like Vegas has infinite roster spots, or that there aren’t guys who need the jobs in New Hampshire for development. They’re using pitchers from so far down the ranks now that… yeah, they’re going to be pretty bad. So for fuck sakes stop scoffing at it already.


Image via Cooper Neill/Getty.

Comments (53)

  1. Amen. You are definitely right though that it doesn’t make some of those innings any easier to watch.

  2. Cecil was injured for a lil while too

  3. Hate to say it, but….bravo.

  4. How’s my dick taste, Carpenter?

  5. I liked Carreno in the bullpen last year. Why are Carpenter and Chavez around when Carreno, Beck and Crawford could be there? It’s not like Beck has done so poorly. And everyone was gushing about Crawford earlier. I can sort of see about Carreno, but they have been dicking him around a bit this year, despite his good showing last year.
    This is an actual question, by the way. Does anyone know what is going on?

    • they think he can stick as a starter. but not at the ml level yet. so he’s not really getting dicked around he’s being developed. i could see him getting the call later in the year when he starts to near his innings limit for some bullpen work. he certainly was filthy out of the pen for the brief time he was in there last year.

  6. It’s almost as if this couldn’t have been predicted when the Jays entered the season with one pitcher who had ever thrown 200 innings at the MLB level. The state of the Jays pitching staff is a direct result of AAs inability to acquire some starters this offseason.

    • Seriously, this must get so tiresome for you.

      • Seriously, the tiring thing is people pretending this is coming out of left field. Brandon Morrow gets hurt every year. Henderson Alvarez was on an innings limit. Brett Cecil is a scrub. Dustin McGowan could never have been relied upon for anything. Kyle Drabek was horrendous last year.

        • Yeah, I think that we all knew going into this season what we had. Alvarez had no out-pitch. Cecil wasn’t too hot. McGowan has the injury history. Drabek couldn’t find the strike-zone.

          The only way we were going to compete is if everything broke right for the Jays. Looks like the exact opposite has happened.

        • Fucking hallelujah! Stotten stop drinking the fucking cool aid and L-I-S-T-E-N.
          By his own admission AA acknowledges that you need at least 11 guys to make it through a major league season with respect to starters. Find me 11 guys? You have Romero & Morrow
          - Drabek was a ticking time bomb. At the time of the injury we were starting to see the walk rate climb as he struggled to find the zone. Plus 1 TJ surgery in, we should bot have been relying on him for an guarenteed 200 innings.
          - Alvarez should not have been counted on for more than 160-170 innings. Less for Hutchison (150)
          - Cecil is filler a 6th man or better yet a LOOGY on a good team
          - McGowan (I love the story) but fuck he hasn’t pitched in the majors in over 3 fucking years…. If we are counting on a guy whose shoulder is held together with dental floss, then AA is not as smart as we all thought.
          - Jenkins future long man out of the pen
          - McGuire see Jenkins without the Sinker.
          - then you get to guys who were passed over by Houston when they were available in the waiver draft.

          What we needed to do was go after Darvish with a real bid and sign someone who had pitched 200 innings in a season. That way we would have truly had competition ( as boy wonder likes to say) and had insurance when the inevitable of Drabek blowing up ( in this case it was his arm and not his walk rate/ WHIP) and we had to shut down Alvarez and Hutchinson. Plus we may have even been able to have sent Alvarez down to work on his slider. We keep talking about how Snider was rushed, yet what are they doing to Alvarez?
          I find it hard to believe that any GM who has been given free reign to go get who he wants (within reason), would not. Thus yes only possible outcome is the cheap fucks at Rogers have set a hard cap to work within and that cap is reliant on the clubs revenues. Well unlike the cable / wireless monopoly where Rogers can do what they want (hello monthly $6.95 system access fee which they will try to tell you is legislated) we have options. We can choose not to go to games, buy uniforms or watch. All of which will start to happen as this clubs continues to get rocked due to shitty starting pitching. But what would be more impactfull is to start canceling you cable and wireless and switch to Bell or some small firm. Once again Fuck you Nadir. Fuck you Rogers

          • lol relax dude.

            However you know why people won’t stop going to games, buying jersey and watching on TV?

            It is because AA has put a great product on the field. (Lawrie, Rasmus, Bautista, Edwin, Yunel, are all extremely talented and fun to watch.

            You make me laugh

            PS do you know what the Jays bid on Darvish? No you don’t so shut up.

            • I know they didn’t fucking bid enough
              People like you who can’t fucking think for themselves make me laugh

      • Entering into the year with the young and inexperienced rotation they did showed a serious lack of foresight. It was undoubtedly a mistake, one that I doubt he’ll make again.

    • Hindsight is 20/20 though. Would you really have wanted to pay the asking price for players such as Gio and Latos? What about Pineda? Willing to part with Lawrie?

      Gio has been a surprise this year, but lets not forget about that high walk rate and concerns that the Coliseum was hiding his true talent. AA I’m certain was worried he may get lit up at the SkyDome. Latos had been terrible until just recently. Pineda suffered a major shoulder injury and who knows when (if) he’ll return. And when he does, if he’ll return to form, or if we’re just looking at another McGowan situation.

      Free agency is a possibility, as it is in the next offseason. It may be hard to convince players to come to the SkyDome — so AA will have to be prepared to overpay. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. If the rotation isn’t shored up in the offseason, we will not compete in 2013. Period. AA is going to have to figure something out.

      • Not just Gio and Latos. AA was reportedly sniffing around trash like Joe “butterball” Blanton. Would we really want to give up prospects for Joe Blanton? Personally, I will take the parade of shitballers that costs nothing to a season of Joe Blanton paid for by one of our prospects.

      • As I’ve stated many times, this is not hindsight. Many of us were saying it all winter. So yes, I would have liked to see them pay the asking price for Gio Gonzalez & Mat Latos. When I see people arguing on Twitter that Syndergaard & Sanchez would be a gross overpayment for Matt Garza I’m quite certain the obsession with prospects has gone WAY too far.

        • The Jays were never going to legitimately compete this year, nor should they have expected too. Sorry, but their time is still 2-3 years away. So why sell the farm for a Latos/Gio, when it is quite possible that you have 3 or 4 of them coming up in the next few years?

          They got unlucky with a bunch of injuries and some unexpected extreme shittiness, but shit happens. Would we be saying this if Romero and Alvarez were pitching like they did last year, and 1 of Drabek/Hutchison/Morrow didn’t get hurt? Probably not

          • yep, I certainly would because Alvarez is still going to have to be shut down this year, and Hutchison would have had to be as well.

        • When did Garza become an elite pitcher? Last I looked he was a number 3 starter at best, on top of that he only has one year of control in the 10Mill range… So yeah I will hold onto Syndergaard and Sanchez thank you.

      • You’re right the market for starting pitchers in the off season was ridiculous and I wouldn’t have paid it either. But the jays should have gone a lot harder after Darvish. They’d be looking pretty good right now with 3-4 more wins and Morrow coming back in 3 weeks or so.

  7. Even Nestor Molina has been shut down by the chisox

  8. Still not sure why this lack of pitching depth means that the Jays have to use Francisco Cordero in tie games in the 8th inning against the top of the order of the hottest team in baseball instead of the four very good relievers they have in 2012 (Janssen, Oliver, Frasor, and Perez).

    Or why David Pauley is ever being used in a tie game against any opponent (particularly against the Red Sox in Fenway after pulling two good relievers in Frasor and Perez for no real reason at all).

    • Bullpen (mis)management has been absolutely brutal this year. Some of these guys need to be saved for blow-outs only.

    • Yes. Santos is the only one of the top 6 RPs in Stoeten’s chart who is out. The rest are all still there. Farrell was right to move Cordero out of the closer role and move Janssen in. That he doesn’t reslot the other 4 guys behind Janssen appropriately is extremely frustrating.

      Thanks for doing up the chart Stoeten. I’ve been wondering what this would like since you and others have started talking about 20th guy on the depth chart. But I am of the opinion that Farrell’s decisions about deployment is actually the bigger story.

    • Beauty is that as of this morning, Farrell won’t be able to miss use Pauley shitty stuff any more.

    • +1

      Farrell needs to learn how to use his bull pen.

  9. Drabek and Hutch should have been the guys in AAA you call up for depth not the original rotation guys.

    I’m not quite sure why people hate the non flashy traditional inning eater in the Saunders/Wandy/Jackson or even Guthrie mould.

    I know they have bad XFIPs and not enough strikeouts to make you guys salivate but those guys have value – eating major league innings with a 4 – 5 ERA. It won’t be great, but it will do.

    The mistake was not swallowing hard and accepting that level of output but likely 200 just below league average innings – it’s not hindsight it was clear that the rotation was an accident waiting to happen.

    Cordero and Frasor were not a good allocation of resources. An average (or even below avg) inning eater was. Even Guthrie’s stats outside the launch pad aren’t so bad when you compare them with what we have right now…

    • Guthrie doesn’t come free. We have no idea what Colorado was asking in return. Are you willing to trade for Guthrie at any cost?

    • Because you have to take into account the possibility that most of the starters could have stayed healthy also. If we didn’t have the injuries, would you have wanted to pay $7 Million for a washed up innings eater to clog up the rotation and take innings away from Drabek, Alvarez and Hutch (or potentially McGowan)? You want an opportunity to see what these guys can offer you in the long term

      • It all depends on whether or not the Jays wanted to compete this year. I see your argument if AA intended this to be another “growing” year. However, Drabek showed NO improvement at AAA last year. Why would he be in line for a rotation spot? McGowan is injured so often, we were really going to rely on that? We already knew what we had in Alvarez — someone who had no out-pitch and terrible strike-out numbers. Everyone knew he shouldn’t have broken camp with the team, and instead, he should have been headed back to AA to work on that out-pitch. Hutch was clearly rushed.

        We already knew what we had in players like Adam Lind. Thames was nothing more than a 4th OFer and we still brought him out there.

      • Clog up the youth? What fucking youth? We have Aaron Laffey, Cecil and had Chavez in the fucking rotation jackass. If you couldn’t see the injuries coming you were more foolish than our 3 year GM and his cheap ass owners

        • Are you dumb?

          The youth being Alvarez, Drabek, Hutchinson, McGuire and Jenkins.

          At the beginning of the year Jenkins and Macguire were thought to have been major league ready.

          I know what you are going to say “AA is stupid to rely on these shitty pitchers” well guess what the consensus (Minor league ball,, baseball america all thought McGuire was MLB ready this year and that he could be a solid #3 starting 200IP guy.

          So please don’t pretend that you know mare then everyone else.

          • The same youth that would/will be shut down due to innings limits anyways? How are people so blind to this? People are sop damn dumb on here sometimes.

          • Please find me one analyst who said that Jenkins and McGuire were major league ready dumbass?

            They weren’t and their high walk numbers even last year were on the radar for most analysts as alarming?

  10. So awesome that this post has a picture of Igarashi

  11. I get what you’re saying here but most teams can just call up one of their AAA starters and muddle through. We don’t even seem to have any AAA starters! The only guy I can think of who came up from Vegas was Jesse freaking Chavez. Isn’t that a lack of depth? I honestly don’t know enough about other teams’ farm systems, but I’m pretty sure its unusual to just have the AAA staff be a barren wasteland of terrible.

    • In previous years we would have called up Brad Mills and Scott Richmond from Vegas…oh wait, we called up Scott Richmond from Vegas. And Aaron Laffey is doing his best Brad “soft-tosser” Mills impression.

  12. I don’t think any of the guys listed 3 – 6 have done enough to preclude bringing in a dependable inning eater guy.

    You say ‘taking innings away’ I see make Drabek prove himself given recent performance. A competition with a Guthrie type guy would surely have made sense.

    Saunders was avaialable for cash – as was Jackson. And I don’t know Guthrie’s cost but the inexperience and injuty profile of the rotation candidates allowed for no margin for error. That seems to have backfired and I’m not sure why we had to spend so much on the frickin bullpen….

  13. And those guys can stil prove themselves in the Minors… it’s kind of what it’s for.

  14. I assume that 2 would have worked for Saunders. And it doesn’t have to be him – it has to be someone though – otherwise you’re punting another year and wasting a great offensive (and defensive) team

    I just think it’s a shame to have:

    - extra WC
    - 3rd best offense in the league (with only EE really exceding expectations)
    - $16m spent on the bullpen
    - a rotations that was Romero, Morrow (sick note) and fingers crossed with the Rookies and the rest

    It’s going to cost an AWFUL lot more now to get even average guys now given – everyone is in the wc race and we are obsiously on our knees pitching wise

    Wandy was avaialable too for salary relief and likely tier 2 guys. I know he’s not perfect but there needed to be a guy. I just don’t think it’s good enough to say ‘no-one could forsee the injuries’ it’s performance and risk too

    • Joe Saunders wanted 3 years to go to an east coast team. See the link i posted.

      Do we know what the Astro’s want for Wandy?

  15. And yet, they’re still a 41-40 ball club today, 2.5 games out. To me, this means they’re better than a lot of people thought. If Morrow, Santos and Hutchison are healthy right now, where are we – 45, 46 wins potentially? This is why AA is still talking about buying, probably. He knows a team with this many injuries and not a ton of Triple-A depth should be 35-45, especially in the AL East.

  16. Hindsight is always 20-20, keep that in mind. And any deal that would have included Brett Lawrie? I’m glad that wasn’t done.

    BUT, if you have the chance to trade prospects for a mid-rotation starter – like Garza, even if it takes your “top” prospects, it has to be seriously considered.

    It’s not like our top prospects are Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper.

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