The Jays’ 40-man roster right now runs 47 names deep, thanks to seven guys (Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, Drew Hutchison, Dustin McGowan, Luis Perez, Sergio Santos, and Jose Reyes) being on the 60-day DL. Today, according to a team release, Brett Lawrie was added to the 15-day DL, joining Rajai Davis, Josh Johnson, and Darren Oliver.
You could add Ricky Romero’s banishment for the minors for left-arm and right-brain shittiness to the list as well.
Then, of course, we have Brandon Morrow and Casey Janssen. The former left Tuesday’s loss to Atlanta after just two innings, due to soreness in his forearm. Morrow’s four-seamer has averaged 94 on the radar gun this season, but yesterday his maximum velocity was just a shade over 93, with the average way down at 90.4 mph.
The latter pitcher, Casey Janssen, unexpectedly wasn’t seen as the Jays went into the ninth an tenth innings of a tie game yesterday against Atlanta. John Lott explains the situation in an excellent-as-usual piece for the National Post:
Janssen, who normally would work the top of the ninth in a tie game at home, was held out of the game because of “general soreness” in his shoulder, as he put it. He has pitched only twice in the last 17 days, but warmed up often without being used during close games in the last week.
Given that his shoulder is not fully recovered from off-season surgery, a series of unfulfilled warmup sessions “does take its toll,” Janssen said.
“It’s real,” he said. “You’re getting ready to get in a major-league game. You’re firing — at least the last few — as hard as you would in a game.”
So much for the whole thing about B.J. Ryan saying he could only remember warming up and not being used once during his time with ol’ Gibbers as manager, eh? But I guess when things have gone as haywire as they have for the Jays so far this year, you do what you’ve got to do. Until, y’know, for precautionary reasons you can’t.
Thing is, it’s still not as bad as last year, simply because of the depth that the club has accumulated, and the fact that the injuries have, so far, been less catastrophic. Plus, with Jose Bautista’s slow April a thing of the past– he’s posted a .470 wOBA in May, and now ranks sixth in all of baseball in that category– it still feels like any game is there to be had. But it’s bad. Especially for a team that’s already pissed away so much of this season’s margin for error.
The schedule isn’t terribly unkind to them for the moment, at least. Today they kick of the back end of the four-game home-and-home with Atlanta, then travel to San Diego, San Francisco, return for a set with the Rangers, then visit the White Sox, Texas, and return again for the Rockies before heading into a string of ten games against AL East opponents.
The pitchers will have to hit some, Esmil Rogers starts tonight, and the bench is going to be short, temporarily, but at least they can’t be buried by the teams ahead of them in the standings– only themselves.
In addition to Lawrie’s placement on the DL, the Jays optioned Thad Weber back to Buffalo and designated Ramon Ortiz for assignment last night, calling up Todd Redmond, Neil Wagner and Juan Perez from the Bisons. Wagner, who has been excellent for Buffalo– Perez too, though slightly less so– seems the most likely to still be here when the dust settles.
Hopefully that’s damn soon. There are good signs, at least: Casey Janssen says, according to a tweet from Barry Davis, that his shoulder feels “much better today” and that he could pitch today if called upon, while Josh Johnson is getting set to make one more rehab start for the Bisons, which will happen tomorrow, and– assuming the plan doesn’t change– should be back with the Jays to start the first game of next week’s set in San Fransisco, according to a tweet from Mark Zwolinski. Also, Scott MacArthur tweets about a conversation with Morrow, who says he’s not going to throw a side session this week, but will start on Sunday whether he’s 100% or not.
So… is that something resembling a light at the end of the tunnel? Let’s hope so.