Sure, I could write up a typical Game Threat, and touch on series-related stuff, like the fact that today’s starter, Staff Ace Brett Cecil (TM) hasn’t been bad enough to lose his job, despite the presence of JA Happ, that the defence yesterday made some terrific plays, that the club still somehow keeps on winning with Spring Training lineups, or that I’d really wish I could remember what absurd person on Twitter scoffed so hard when the Jays were in a low ebb against either the Yankees or the A’s and I said they should give it three games, because the Jays’ entire damn season has been a swinging pendulum of mini win streaks and mini losing ones. Yup.
But no, let’s briefly talk about some other stuff…
Lots of folks still trying to figure out what to do about Ricky Romero, who is scheduled to pitch tomorrow in Seattle. Folks like Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, John Lott of the National Post, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, and– most of all, John Farrell, Alex Anthopoulos, and Ricky Romero himself.
Osuna the Better
Holy shit, 17-year-old Roberto Osuna, the Jays’ big signing on the 2011 international amateur free agent market, and one of the top two talents available then, showed why last night in his debut for the Vancouver Canadians. Giving up one hit and one walk in five shutout innings of work, Osuna– who, granted, was pitching against more advanced competition in the Mexican League at 16– struck out 13 of the 19 batters he faced.
I’m not entirely sure if his polish and advanced feel for pitching isn’t maybe something that’s going to really give him an edge against the kind of competition he’s being asked to face but not necessarily indicative that he’s going to be able to match these results as the quality of the hitters he faces improves, but… it sure made people take notice.
Ben Badler of Baseball America instantly recapped the game (adding in a video clip of Osuna), and Justin Nicolino and Marcus Stroman each tweeted about it, with Stroman calling Osuna– four years his junior– “one of the best pitchers I have ever seen.” There was considerable buzz about it on Twitter, with Kevin Goldstein promising to have him in Monday’s Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus, and saying that he’s not now the Jays best pitching prospect, but he’s “very exciting.”
The best praise, though, came from his pitching coach in an MiLB.com article about the performance…
“The way he looked tonight, the way he threw his fastballs, the way they took bad swings, it was like a grown man throwing against a Little League team from 45 feet,” said Vancouver pitching coach Jim Czajkowski. “They couldn’t touch him.”
It’s Quiet. Too Quiet?
Not a whole lot happening on the Jays front, trade rumour wise, which… maybe that’s a good thing? As I’ve gone to great lengths to point out, many of the moves made by Alex Anthopoulos haven’t come as completely out-of-nowhere as he’s often given credit for, but it’s also certainly true that most times he’s not executing deals that have been discussed frequently, for multiple days, as they reportedly develop and go back and forth.
Obviously, we don’t really know anything at this point, except that time’s a-ticking, and that it sure as fuck seems like somebody with the Marlins wants to handle any Josh Johnson deal, in part, through the media. Check MLBTR: there are lots of reports of the asking price being too high for some teams, being Teixeira-like, or the Marlins reportedly telling people that they’re not all that interested in dealing him– which totally doesn’t sound like noise from a club hoping other clubs will hear it and raise their offers, amiright?
Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that we were simply in the calm before the storm. I’m kinda hoping so…
Image via Mike Strobe/Getty.