Man, what a difference a year can make, even for a pitcher talented enough to have won the Cy Young award. An ERA over five, a brutal strand rate, a huge jump in home runs allowed, a sub .300 winning percentage… things are pretty fucking dire for a recently-great pitcher who, to this point in 2013, has performed more like a talentless hump, failing, like so many of his teammates, to help drag his preseason-favourite of a team over .500 or anywhere close to talk about them actually being in the race.
Yep, David Price really hasn’t lived up to expectations, has he?
Big League Stew looks back on the last time two reining Cy Young winners met– in July of 1999, when Roger Clemens faced Tom Glavine– and… mostly just provides an excuse for their excellent “Cy versus Cy” photoshoppery.
Pete Walker says, according to Shi Davidi, that the decision to bring up Ricky Romero at the time was a sound one, based on the reports at the time– though I’m sure fans who have no idea what those reports are, and are forcing themselves to forget how he looked at the outset against Seattle, will dispute that.
Davidi adds that “Romero will work closely with Bisons pitching coach Bob Stanley, who will co-ordinate with Dane Johnson, who oversaw [Ricky] in Dunedin.”
John Lott also points out that Walker says he saw a lot to like in Romero’s outing last night. Which… a lot? Maybe a little? Kind of? If you squinted? But a lot?
Barry Davis adds that, with two off days next week, the Jays appear set to go with a four-man rotation for now: Dickey, Ramon Ortiz, Mark Buehrle, and Brandon Morrow. Yep.
Mike Wilner points out that John Gibbons knew Romero was going to be sent down last night when he told reporters that he’d be making his next start. He wasn’t truthful about that because he hadn’t told Romero yet.
Josh Johnson played catch yesterday, tweets Brendan Kennedy, while Barry Davis adds that the hope is to have him pitch in extended spring for two or three innings around March 21st, and that he’ll need a couple rehab starts after that.
Davis also tells us that he spoke to J.A. Happ, who says that “his head is still a little tight but he thinks his knee will keep him out longer than his head.”
Gregor Chisholm adds that Happ is expected to be out four to six weeks, and that he’s going to avoid throwing for a week. He also says that Alex Anthopoulos believes that it’s likely to be closer to a four week absence than a three week one.
Kennedy tweets that the Jays admit they’ve kicked around the idea of a “piggyback” start featuring Brad Lincoln and Brett Cecil at some point.
Another Davis tweet says that Sergio Santos threw 19 pitches in extended spring today, and that he felt no soreness afterwards.
Lott adds that Dustin McGowan also has been “strong” in extended spring.
Gregor passes on some bad news from the prospect front, as Roberto Osuna has an elbow ligament tear and may need Tommy John surgery, though the club is going to wait and see how initial rehab goes.
More prospect stuff, as Davidi tells us that Marcus Stroman’s suspension will be over on May 19th, and that he’s likely to end up in New Hampshire, though he may get a start in Dunedin first.
“Stroman might make it to majors this year as starter or reliever, AA says,” according to a tweet from John Lott. He will continue to start while in the minors, and… at this rate it looks like that might be where they need him most.
Kennedy says that the club is “confident” that Brandon Morrow will be good to go on Sunday, after having his Friday start pushed back until then after feeling his back tighten up during a side session this week.
Lastly, for your between-inning listening pleasure, it’s today’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast.
Toronto Blue Jays
LF Rajai Davis (R)
DH Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
2B Mark DeRosa (R)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
SS Maicer Izturis (S)
R.A. Dickey RHP
Tampa Bay Rays
CF Desmond Jennings (R)
LF Kelly Johnson (L)
2B Ben Zobrist (S)
3B Evan Longoria (R)
1B James Loney (L)
RF Matt Joyce (L)
DH Luke Scott (L)
C Jose Molina (R)
SS Yunel Escobar (R)
David Price LHP