So, with last night’s D’ing FA of Chien-Ming Wang (who, his agent tells Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, will accept an assignment to Buffalo, FYI), the Jays are potentially looking at lucky number thirteen when it comes to members of their 2013 starting rotation when Sunday rolls around. Today we’ve already taken a look at how the first twelve starters have fared (hint: not fucking well), and I suppose that would make it fitting if we also took a look at the guys who may be tabbed to make their first start of the season for the Jays (i.e. I won’t include guys who have already made starts this year, not that Ricky Romero ought to get consideration here anyway).

And… shit, I might as well rank them by my personal preference, too!

Here are the candidates…

Marcus Stroman

Yeah, so I’m probably jumping the gun on this one– I can’t exactly argue that, with other viable candidates around, there’s really a need to bring up Stroman and expose him to the big leagues as a starter just yet, but it sure would be fun, wouldn’t it? Or, at least, the anticipation would be fun. The start itself could devolve into a Sean Nolin-like disasterpiece, but I think Stroman stands a better chance– and shit, he’s got at least twelve more innings of experience above A-ball than Nolin did, so that’s got to count for something, right?

Also: he’s kind of been nailing it lately, with 50 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, with only twelve walks and 39 hits. Since his lone blow-up start of the season on May 29th, he’s pitched to a 1.93 ERA and just a .544 OPS against. Granted, this is all for Double-A New Hampshire, but since the day he was drafted people were saying that his is an arm that could pitch in the Majors already. That talk was, of course, about him reaching the big leagues as a reliever, but… I don’t know… getting a look at what he could do having to turn a lineup over multiple times– or what he’s going to need to work on if he is unable– can’t be the worst thing in the world, can it?

And, forgive me for besmirching the fine records of the scrubs below him on my list, but I think he probably has the best shot to actually maintain some kind of level of success, too. Though… his 38.5% ground ball rate is maybe a little bit scary. So, it’s probably crazy. But let’s not forget that Hutchison and Henderson Alvarez hit the ground running, more or less, in a way that Nolin certainly did not. I mean… I dunno… why the hell not?

Juan Perez

The newfound success of Juan Perez, at age 34, would be kinda damn perplexing if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re only talking about 17.2 innings, and a guy who has walked batters at half the clip as a Blue Jay as he did earlier in the season as a Buffalo Bison. In fact, his current BB/9 of 2.5 is lower than any stint at any level in any season in his entire career– all nineteen of his various stops. So… do we really think he’s going to maintain anything close to the level of success we’re seeing at the moment? Um… how about if I point out that in his twelve big league innings over the previous two years, with Milwaukee and Philadelphia, he allowed six earned runs and walked thirteen?

But I don’t fucking know. Some guys take a long time to develop their command, and sometimes new sets of eyes from a new organization can help unlock something in a guy. Plus, the strikeouts have always been there– he K’d 18 over those twelve innings in the previous two seasons– and this year he really has been fantastic. He’s also been able to go multiple innings on several occasions, hitting a season-high of 41 pitches after taking over for Chien-Ming Wang on Tuesday night. That means he’ll be easily rested up to go for as long as possible on Sunday. He’d still need to rely on the bullpen to get him through the outing, but he’s earned a shot, and maybe this is the right time to take the first step towards getting him stretched out and really seeing just how much lightning in a bottle they’ve caught here.

Thad Weber

I don’t know why my impression was that Thad Weber wasn’t particularly good during his limited action for the Jays this year, but the numbers don’t bear it out. Part of it is probably due to the residual anger I feel over his giving up the game-winning run in the tenth inning of a May 28th contest against the Braves, when– I believe– it turned out Casey Janssen was unavailable to pitch. In four innings he allowed four hits, one walk, and one earned run on the Brian McCann home run seen in the picture above. Not particularly great, but not awful.

Weber was optioned back to Buffalo following the loss to Atlanta, came back and pitched an inning against Texas on June 9th, and he’s kinda been on a nice little roll at Buffalo. Since stepping into the starting rotation for the Bisons on June 15th, he’s thrown 27.1 innings over four starts, getting through the seventh inning in all but one, and he’s allowed just four earned runs on 17 hits and six walks, with 22 strikeouts and an OPS-against of .425. Yes, it’s Buffalo, but he’s clearly been the best starter down there of late, and the fact that he has options remaining doesn’t hurt his case either. I can’t say I’d be terribly hopeful of what he can do, but… this is a team that has run out Ramon Ortiz and Aaron Laffey already this year. Could Weber really be worse?

Brett Cecil

Much of the case I made for Juan Perez to get the start could be made for Brett Cecil as well. If he was ever going to be a consideration, he’s certainly earned a shot– and, while not as much as Perez, and not as much lately, has shown that he can go multiple innings. Thing is, while we all know that Cecil used to be a starter,that was with a different repertoire, and pitching deep into games forced him to conserve his energy and pitch with less velocity, which proved to be a hindrance.

On the other hand, his velocity is higher than it was back when he flamed out as a starter last season, and could maybe withstand the dip. Plus, this season he has shown an ability to get right-handed hitters out that was never there before, and if this season is really about pushing luck and going all in, maybe risking fucking with Cecil just when it looks like he’s got it figured out as a reliever fits that philosophy. Shit, maybe he should be higher up my list. He truly has been exceptional this season, and unlike Juan Perez– given his age and his pedigree and his prior success– you get the sense that maybe this is a little bit more real. Maybe run with it?

Todd Redmond

Pro: Already on the roster, for some reason, after Wang’s D’ing FA, even though the club had zero players on the bench last night thanks to minor ailments befalling Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia. (Lind, for what it’s worth, says he’ll play tonight, according to a John Lott tweet.)

Con: Is Todd Redmond.

Comments (83)

  1. Is it impossible for a starter to go on 3 days rest anymore?

    • no, but for a GM or Manager to do it, he would need balls, cause if anything happened…..oh fuck i wouldn’t want to be that guy

    • There’s a statistician, Bill James, who thinks pitch limit counts (to ~low 100s) are much more responsible for the decline in injuries from the 70s than the switch from a 5-man to 4-man starting rotation, which took place around the same time.

      Eg with lower pitch counts in place, a 5-man starting rotation isn’t going to produce any increase in results or decrease in injury due to alleviation of fatigue; it just so happens both things were implemented around the same time and teams don’t know which one is responsible for the decline in injuries since that time. But if you crunch the numbers, it looks like it was the pitch counts, and not the extra man in the rotation.

  2. as much as i have no room to talk on spelling and grammer and shit…

    “there’s really a need to bring up Stroman”

    seems to be missing the not.

  3. What does it say about Ricky Romero that he can’t even make it into a post sprinkled with Thad Weber, Juan Perez, and Todd Redmond?

    I think any of the candidates are justifiable, but I’ll say this – I don’t get the concept of being scared to “ruin” Brett Cecil by having him make a start. For me the reason you don’t do it is because he isn’t remotely stretched out and it would be a Johnny Wholestaff day, and ideally you want your starter to be able to throw at least 55-60 pitches, the range Juan Perez has been stretched into now. I don’t believe for a second that a couple of mediocre performances by Cecil in the rotation would hinder his future ability to be a solid reliever.

    • Well, I was only going with guys who haven’t started for the team yet this year, but I don’t think Romero is a consideration. He damn well shouldn’t be.

      (Edit: I changed the post to make that clearer– read: clear– FYI).

      • Hear Hear to no Romero. Him and his side kick Cebia can piss right off to “I did it my way” land.

    • I do get the concept of ruining Brett Cecil. His confidence was completely shot as a starter last year and even a short stint as a reliever. There was a ton of talk that he’d be out of the majors if he didn’t reinvent his game. Remember he was a long shot to make this team out of spring training and look at him now. I thought he’d fall into oblivion and now the guy has turned into a shut down setup man/2 inning reliever kind of guy. It would be stupid by the Jays to take him out of his now ‘comfort zone’ and pluck him in as a spot starter.

      • Ahhh, how much of that stuff is pure myth, though?

        • Could be smokes and mirrors but I’m siding with why mess with a good thing when it comes to Cecil.

          • You mess with a good thing because you have plenty of bullpen options (including 4-5 guys down on the farm) and this season is going to slip away quickly if the team continues getting performances every 5 days like the last 2 we’ve seen from Wang.

        • Ya man. I mean, how many pitchers flame out because they lose their confidence? Fucking myth if you ask me…

        • Esmil Rogers says hi. And really as long as Cecil is down to try, I don’t see why anyone would oppose the idea strongly. He was billed to be as good if not a better prospect than Romero at one time.

      • I don’t get why it would be stupid, because you can always put him back into that role if starting doesn’t work out! As we know, he’s been great in relief, and I don’t think a bad start would magically make that go away if he had to re-transition to that role.

  4. How sad is it that Ricky Romero can’t crack the top 5? And I don’t disagree.

    I agree Stroman would be the best choice, but I suspect it may be Weber, since he’s already on the 40. They put Nolin on the 40 before they had to, and now he’s stuck there.

  5. I would rank my preference as:
    1) Stroman- Good, polished prosect
    2) Cecil- Been great in the bullpen but risky messing with a good thing. Also, would velo drop with more innings.
    3) Perez- Charlie wholestaff game. He not bad but his delivery has a large part in his success, I think.

    The rest are shitballers that might even be a downgrade on wang.

    • I agree with leaving Cecil right where he is…don’t fuck with a good thing.

      • Can always send him back to relief after a few starts when one of Morrow/Happ/Drabek/Hutchinson gets healthy.

  6. no, I am often injured Dustin Mcgowan. worst case he gets injured we remove someone from the bullpen and add someone to the 25 and 40 man…

    • The days of believing McGowan can throw 100 pitches every five days are over.

      • maybe I should have said, best case scenario?

        and also no comment to the people above about sunday’s starter being lucky # 13 that ricky would not equal 13 he has already started twice….

      • If I were AA I’d strongly consider McGowan for Sunday’s start. At this point, what do you have to lose? A low leverage reliever who can only be used for 30 pitches max every few days?

  7. At least you didn’t use a swimsuit competition to evaluate these guys. I’d have never read this blog again.

  8. isn’t Happ close to coming back…..haven’t seen any rehab starts….but would it be too crazy to bring him back?

  9. After JJ only throws 2 2/3 today with 45 pitches, they will just start him on sunday.

  10. More upside on Cecil: you could bring up a bat/defensive replacement for a hurting bench instead of an arm, which prevents you from being in a situation in which Munenori Kawasaki is legitimately the best choice for a DH.

  11. got a fiver on jenkins re returning thus know number 13.

  12. why not nolin? he’s on the 40 man, his option has been burned and he’s been just as solid in AA as stroman — in fact, their numbers are almost identical. yeah, he was roughed up in his lone start, but it wasn’t as bad as the line looked. he had a few hits squeak through on the ground and, for christ sake, it was one start, 1.1 innings pitched! this team will run out chad jenkins, wang, aaron freaking laffey! even convert rogers into a starter (which seemed like a terrible idea at the time) but won’t give a 23 y.o lefty with nice stuff and numbers a second go around? i’m not one to put much stock in ‘feelings’ either, but… it was his major league debut and to think he was a little nervous is kinda reasonable, no? id love to see him given another start. for some additional context, henderson alvarez had a FIP one ER higher and a much lower K rate than Nolin at the time he was called up.

    give nolin another start and save the 40-man spot and option.

  13. I don’t know how many starts we are looking at needing to fill, but why has nobody ever used a combination of 3 or 4 effective relievers in a strategic order based on situation/matchups. Some combination of Cecil, Perez, Dustin, Loup, Wagner, Oliver could each go 1 or 2 innings, depending upon pitch counts, matchups and situation. Dickey goes Saturday, and off day Monday, so nobody will be abused. Thoughts? Do we really need a “starter”?

    • It sounds like such a good idea that I could swear I remember us doing literally exactly this (twice!) while in the process of stretching out Esmil Rogers.

      You should be a baseballerman for a living!

      • His point stands that maybe giving Cecil the first 3 or so innings would be a good compromise.

  14. Some of our most impressive games were when the bullpen took over in this fashion a la last night and they kept the game tight. Sadly, we have had to see this happen quite a lot this year…but will it work if we skip the 2 1/3 inning 6ER start?

  15. Thad Weber is my bet. He’s pitched well as a starter for the Bisons, and If I’m not mistaken, he’s already on the 40-man, which would avoid the issue of having to make additional roster moves as well as trying to avoid the 40-man log jam that’s on the horizon (with the guys due to come off the 60-day DL), right?

    Stroman’s been on a roll but he should get some more starts in AA or get promoted on up to AAA.

  16. honestly I’d like to see Stroman. I think he gets called up at some point this year anyway so no worrying about that. Also, he’s killing it.

    But then again, how many times has this shit of calling dudes up so fast actually worked out?

    Also, Thad Weber could be ok, and it’s the fucking twins, so maybe him or Redmond could do good enough.

    I guess what I”m saying is that I just dont know but I think it would be the most fun to see what Stroman has.

  17. I’m gonna guess it’s either Redmond or Webber. The fact that they’re already on the 40 man and have options work for them.

    Plus it’s the Twins. And they won’t need another 5th starter again until July 23.

    Doesn’t make sense to add Stroman to the 40 man, when they’re going to have to clear some spots soon.

  18. I’m not sure if the shit-show that was the Nolin experiment has soured the Jays on bringing up young guys from AA ball…..otherwise, I’d be saying why not bring Stroman up and see what he’s got.

  19. Given that the Jays have already decided to give Redmond a spot start, and given that Jenkins has now joined the dozen or so injured Blue Jay pitchers, the one name you may have forgotten is Brad Lincoln. Definitely a spot start type of guy, but he could go three if necessary, and as I recall, he wanted that chance going into the year.

    I suppose they could do worse given that it will be a month before the Jays have a chance of getting Happ or Morrow back, and given also that Romero is not an option and Drabek and Hutchison are months away from starting.

    So, unless Anthopoulos somehow manages to swing a trade for Matt Garza (which would cost the Jays very, very dearly), I think we’re going to see a hodge-podge patchwork of sorts for the next month. And the results are probably going to be pretty ugly.

    • Good point – except that Lincoln has become the closer at not sure how “stretched out” he would be

    • They have not decided to give Redmond the start. They’re saying he might if he doesn’t get used, but very clearly they’ve not committed to him on Sunday.

      And yes, Lincoln is a reliever now.

  20. hold on.. we are playing the twins on sunday….are they playing that good?

    • They are a major league baseball team. Barely. How does whether they’re playing any good remotely matter, though?

  21. Olney just tweeted about Crain’s injury and that Kevin Gregg is now a standout in the supposedly available group of reliever’s? Gregg and standout should never be used in the same sentence. Would it be be stupid for the Jays to ship out Cecil or Janssen for a 3/4 starter or am I out to lunch thinking they’ll net that kind of return? It’s likely a short term gain but could turn into long term pain so maybe it isn’t in the Jays best interest to do something along those lines.

    • Holy shit yes they should.

      Janssen is great but I’m sorry. The bullpen is quite stacked with more arms coming back. If they can get value in a starter or a top prospect close to the contributung they should take it.

      It’s too early to give up on this year but certainly not too early to think about 2014 & 15

      • Plus you can get good bullpen arms on short term $4 million deals almost every year.

        Maybe not Janssen good but good enough for the bullpen to not notice that mych

  22. Give it to Cecil.

    Seriously do we think he can’t transition to an effective reliever if he blows up as a starter? Didn’t he already prove this to be false?

    Cecil as an effective starter is 5 times more valuable than as a reliever. Can’t think of a better time to try this out.

    Plus he’s got weighted balls. They pretty much make pitchers invincible don’t they?

    • Hes already proven hes not an effective starter. He had plenty of opps.

      His velocity increase is mostly because he doesnt have to worry about going 6+ innings. He would revert to shitty Cecil pretty quickly. His repertoie is not that of a starter. He does t have three pitches he can throw for strikes. Thats why hes a reliever.

      • So what do we do then?

        Santos will be back soon. Perez too. No options for either of them. Who do you send down?

        Loup? Wagner? Because they have options?
        Perez or Mcgowan and lose them?

        Nope. You DFA your shitball starter and you bump a bullpen arm into the rotation.

        Not sure why we would lose a good asset while keeping Wang/Jenkins and other assorted shitballers pitching every 5 days for us.

        Seriously I don’t get why we’re not trying this.

      • Also McGowan, Delabar and Cecil have all had nice velocity increases with their new traIning program. Jays believe in it do much they actually hired the guy to work exclusively with them.

        Being in the bullpen helps the velocity, but maybe there is more to it than that.

  23. What about Dave Bush? He pitched 6 innings (4 hits, 1 run, 9 Ks) for Buffalo on Tuesday so Sunday would be his regular turn. He has an ERA of 3.16 over the last 10 games – and if you take out one bad relief appearance it drops to just over 2.00. And he does have a Major League pedigree, albeit a little while ago.

  24. I’m just joking, but why isn’t Oliver on the list.

    Also, I think Stroman’s not on the 40-man?

  25. Also, McGowan did deserve a paragraph, even if only to dismiss the possibility as you did in the comments. But don’t you think there’s something to them trying to use him only once every 5 days, mimicking the starter’s schedule?

  26. What happened to Jenkins? Someone said he’s hurt…the last I heard, AA was saying they went and got Weng because they wanted to have one more option other than Jenkins…making it sound to me like he was still an option

    • He’s currently suffering from both right arm shittiness and failed prospect-itis

  27. re: Stroman. Not saying we should or shouldnt bring him up, but wasnt he pretty polished out of the draft?

    Wasnt one of the positives abiut him was that he could be big league ready quickly? I think word was he could possibky have ended up as a bullpen Sept callup the season he was drafted.

  28. FUCCCCCCCCKKKKK NO on Brett Cecil, he is a reliever now, please for the love of god keep him in the pen. Like, I am stressing this more than you understand. lol

    Perez, no, leave him in the pen, he’s having success there for the moment, I dont think his pitching would hold up as a starter as well.

    AA could probably sniff around for some type of a deal. Not like an insane deal, but just sniff around for maybe a veteran guy having a lot of success at AAA somewhere that’s trying to get back to big league duties. Wang was that type of guy but he wasted what could have been his last big league chance, maybe there’s another arm out there that would do more with it and wouldnt cost much.

    Internally… well let’s say there’s no one knocking on the door with a furious intention at AAA but what about maybe giving Justin Germano a shot? Thad Weber seems to be making a case for himself so Im on board with that opinion if that becomes the choice.

    The Jays need a long term solution eventually because in my personal opinion, Morrow needs to be in the pen. It’s becoming crystal clear that his body is not holding up to the rigors of being a starter so I think it’s time the jays re-condition him into a reliever. Not that long ago he was regularly hitting tripe digits out of the Seattle pen, I say the Jays make that his spot.

    • Scott Feldman would have been a nice, cheap option.

      Its not like the O’s packahe woukdve hurt too much to beat.

      • Actually, I thought the O’s overpaid for him. Strop has a huge arm and Arrieta hasnt reached what I feel could be his ceiling. I hope those guys go onto big things in the Cubs organization. But yes, someone like Feldman would have been decent.

  29. Don’t worry guys. I’ll save the day.

  30. Awesome RT that just showed up in Stoetens feed.

    From here on out, I wil affectionatelyl refer to John Gibbons as Toilet Monkeys.


    6IP, 3H, 7K, 1BB, 1ER

    Why the fuck not? I know he wants to be a starter again. Give him a fuckin’ shot.

    • Actually I dont think he wa ts to be a starter again. Last I heard he explicitly stated that.

      Plus he was terrible, over many chances. He doesnt have three pitches he can throw for strikes, which is a basic requiremnt for a starter. He cant start.

      • OK,

        You are right.

        “Not only do I like being in the ’pen, but I feel like they like having me in the ’pen,” he said. “The more often I pitch I feel like the better I am.”
        Given Cecil’s success thus far, it’s much tougher to disagree.
        He says he had begun to over-think as a starter, trying to outsmart hitters while losing focus of the more important matter of simply throwing strikes.
        Coming out of the ’pen he has a simpler plan: “Just basically attack hitters.”

        • Attacking the hitter is such a cliche. Isn’t that basically code for throwing strikes?

          Why the hell can’t he attack hitters as a starter.

          Hell Cliff Lee was a failed starter too.

    • Should I remind you of the fucking dents in the left field seats left by Cecil’s starting incompetence? He was drafted as a reliever and should stay there.

      Right now I bet every right handed hitter in the AL would rock a collective simultaneous fist pump if Cecil was put back into the Jays rotation.

  32. Jesse Litsch. And Scott Richmond

  33. Put me in coach. I’m not afraid to throw up and in!!!!!!

  34. Carmelo Anthony
    New York Knicks

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