So much for Josh Johnson feeling a lot better, eh? According to an official release from the Jays, Ricky Romero is heading back to join the club, and will take Johnson’s start on Friday. 2013, you guys!
In last night’s Game Threat I pointed to a tweet from Barry Davis of Sportsnet, who spoke to Josh Johnson, and told us that the pitcher had informed him his arm was “much better” and that he expected “to be ready to go Friday night.”
Well, like I say, so much for that, as not only has Johnson been placed on the DL, but– curiously (and hopefully incorrectly)– the release from the club says that it isn’t backdated to his last start, which Mike Wilner points out was on April 21st, but to April 29th. There’s no reason for the club not to backdate it to the 21st, so I can’t see how that’s right. If it is, he won’t be eligible to pitch again until the visit from the San Francisco Giants mid-month.
Of course, not backdating it does give the club a little extra time to figure out how the rotation is going to work out, now that– sooner than the ever planned– they have six guys for five spots, and the nominal lowest guy on the totem pole, J.A. Happ, pitching as good as anybody.
Or, y’know, it’s happening because, according to a tweet from @BlakeMurphyODC, the Jays “could only backdate to 29th if they wanted to recall Lincoln, who was optioned down on the 28th.”
And apparently they really do want Lincoln, who has been recalled from Buffalo and will be in the bullpen tonight, with a reciprocal move to be made tomorrow– likely the sending down of Justin Germano.
The entire move certainly raises some questions: How badly hurt is Johnson? How ready is Romero? Why do the Jays seem to keep misdiagnosing their players?
On the latter point, I will submit to you that it’s because they’re not fucking clairvoyant, but… OK, I’ll concede, it’s getting a little odd. And the Johnson/Lincoln issue seems to me can only mean two things: either the injury is worse than we were being told (though I’m hearing that it really is minor), or they’re locking in extra time off to a pitcher with a somewhat spotty health history in a massive contract year, which I’m thinking can’t possibly sit well with Johnson or his agent. I mean, do they really want Brad Lincoln on the roster that badly over the other options?
But I guess if they need time to sort the rotation out, maybe it makes sense– and hoo boy, they do need that, with the most obvious current candidate to lose his rotation spot being the guy who is owed $39-million in salary for 2014 and 2015.
No, really: fun, huh?
As for Romero’s readiness, John Lott of the National Post wrote about his impressive first start… in High-A ball, last week:
Romero gave up six hits, walked none and struck out four. Fourteen of his outs came via the ground ball.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos said Romero’s mechanics were consistent and effective. The GM was most impressed with those ground-ball outs.
“His ball moves so much, when you have that type of action and life, you’re going to run some deep counts at times,” Anthopoulos said Sunday in New York. “When you see him getting ground balls, that’s what allowed him to go so deep into games in the past and rack up 220 innings. If he does walk a guy, he can get two outs with that ground ball. That’s probably the most encouraging sign, getting all those ground balls.”
Good thing the Jays will have such a great defence behind him, eh?
Good lord. Hey, but at least it’s against the Mariners, right? I don’t know. The mess on the Jays hands probably just got a little bit messier, because, y’know, why would anything ever actually go right for this club? Then again, for there to be an actual mess, I suppose that Romero will have to look something like his old self, which is light years from a foregone conclusion, a month after his demotion to effing High-A and a year after the disasterfuck of 2012. Not that Johnson has set the bar terribly high in his starts so far– so I’m not really sure why people are freaking out about the difference between the two– but… yeah. This happened.