As you’ve probably heard, somewhere beyond all the trade innuendo of these many past, insufferable off-day hours, the Oakland A’s are a streaking, surprising club, having just swept the New York Yankees, and looking to add pieces– like Yunel Escobar, we’re supposed to believe– for some kind of a charge at the one-game Wild Card play-in.
Well, to think like that, they’d have to be looking past Brett Cecil, who the Jays send to the hill tonight at Rogers Centre in a somewhat meaningful game for both him and the club. JA Happ is sitting in the bullpen, waiting for Cecil, Laffey, or Villanueva to crack, and the way the other two have looked of late the safest money would seem to be on Cecil, even though he hasn’t been particularly awful either.
Cecil took the loss in his outing against the Yankees last week, but only gave up three earned on six hits through six innings, with five strikeouts and only two walks. That’s a completely fine stopgap outing for a team trying to hold on until they can make a deal for some front-line pitching help, or at least until August 11th, when Brandon Morrow is eligible to come off of the 60-day DL (according to Wilner’s best recollection, via Twitter).
I speak of Morrow’s return with optimism for a reason: John Lott of the National Post tweets that John Farrell told reporters today that the Jays’ ace is throwing live batting practice today, and if all goes well, he’ll be making a rehab start for Dunedin on Sunday.
Both via the invaluable MLBTR, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that the Jays are among the teams who have had interest in Zack Greinke (Okaaaaaaay), while Peter Gammons tweets that the Marlins told teams they would only trade one of Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson, so it would take a “blowaway” offer to land JJ.
If he does move, Jack Moore of FanGraphs wonders if Johnson will be able to solve his problems pitching out of the stretch, which have been a major issue this season.
Gold from Gregor, as BlueJays.com’s Chisholm tweets that Sergio Santos had surgery today, and that John Farrell says that the rotation is constantly being evaluated, which, like I say, could be trouble for tonight’s starter Brett Cecil. Chris Toman adds that Farrell says he’d be comfortable moving Cecil to the bullpen– where a lot of us were thinking over the winter he might be best suited for anyway– and notes that of the eight starts he’s made this season, this is the first time Cecil’s been paired with JP Arencibia and not Jeff Mathis.
Speaking of rotation changes, Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail writes about the Jays’ rotation tumult, noting that the club has been clear that any of their struggling pitchers could be replaced by the newly-acquired JA Happ, or anybody else who may come along. They then quickly realized that they forgot to mention that Ricky Romero, who has struggled as much as anyone, has a shit-tonne more rope than, say, Aaron Laffey.
In the National Post, John Lott writes that Jason Frasor will be out for a month, but that Jose Bautista continues to progress nicely, and may be hitting off a tee by the end of the week.
Speaking of Bautista, our old friend Dustin Parkes tweets that he heard Eric Byrnes on KNBR radio in San Francisco, saying that he thinks the Giants are going after the Jays’ slugger. Um… right. Good luck with that.
Jays Prospects talks to Marcus Stroman, the first-rounder who is finally getting comfortable with the Vancouver Canadians, and still may find himself in the Majors this season.
Lastly, for your between-innings viewing pleasure, here’s today’s edition of Getting Blanked…
Toronto Blue Jays
B. Lawrie 3B
C. Rasmus CF
E. Encarnacion 1B
A. Lind DH
J. Arencibia C
K. Johnson 2B
Y. Escobar SS
T. Snider LF
R. Davis RF
B. Cecil LHP
C. Crisp CF
J. Gomes DH
J. Reddick RF
Y. Cespedes LF
C. Carter 1B
B. Inge 3B
D. Norris C
B. Hicks SS
J. Weeks 2B
T. Blackely LHP
Image via Mike Stobe/Getty.