Spring Threat: Jays @ Tigers


The Jays have finally admitted that Brandon Morrow will be the club’s fifth starter coming out of spring training. Not that the number actually means anything, but that’s sure to make waves — especially now that, according to a tweet from John Lott, John Gibbons has acknowledged that “part of the reason” Morrow is being pushed back is to give him more time to be ready for the season.

I’ve said a couple times before that we probably need to give the guy a bit of leeway, considering that he was on the DL by the end of last May, and only threw two innings in a real game following that, while on a rehab stint in Dunedin, but it’s not untrue that the reports on Morrow so far this spring are that he hasn’t been sharp, and the health concerns will always linger over him, and that doesn’t exactly make this feel good, either. Plus, this isn’t last year’s interminably long spring training. Time is running out for players to get their shit together, with the Jays scheduled to be in Montreal in just ten days.

Lott wrote a piece in the National Post that touched on what an important day today is for Morrow — who starts against the Yankees’ triple-A club in a minor league split squad game in Tampa — and for Ricky Romero, who gets the ball against a Tigers lineup full of big leaguers in Lakeland. ”A good start for Morrow would help to bolster fans’ confidence that he is truly healthy and reasonably effective after patchy spring results on the mound and the woolly reasons offered Sunday for his new designation as the Number 5 starter,” he explained.

“I hadn’t pitched for so long, it’s almost hard to remember how to pitch aggressively, not just thinking about my mechanics out there, and arm angle, but competing,” [Morrow told him] Sunday. “My bullpens and everything have been great. I think it’s just a little more aggressiveness that I need to take out there. I think that’ll help with fastball command because then you’re really trying to stick it to ‘em.”

So… watch for his arm to go flying off into swampy ol’ Tampa Bay sometime around the third inning, he said hoping to fuck that’s not remotely close to what happens, and that things actually start to go smoothly for a starter who so much of the Jays’ hopes hinge on. Let’s not forget, though, that Morrow started slow, and had injury issues in camp in both 2010 and 2011, and ended up being more or less fine. Right? Right???

As for Romero and the supposed glimmer of hope he provides, I’m pulling for him, but I think I’ve already explained where I stand.


Morrow is already though his first inning against the Yankees triple-A team, and Ben Wagner of the Buffalo Bisons’ broadcast crew is tweeting about it. He says that Morrow got out of the inning having induced a double play after giving up a soft single. That works.

According to Newsday, it’s lining up that Morrow will face Masahiro Tanaka in the Jays’ home opener on April 4th.

Another gem from Lott at the National Post, as he talks to Casey Janssen, who was finally back on the mound today after dealing with a sore shoulder — one that’s bothered him at least since the surgery he had at the start of last off-season, though you wouldn’t have known it from how outstandingly he pitched in 2013.

TV: None.

And now the lineups… will just be ignored for today. Gone twittering.

Comments (142)

  1. Another hit for Melky. He’s gonna rake this year.

  2. Small sample size,
    but jose has 30 at bats and has got on base 17 times

  3. Jays’ feed audio quality is horrible.

  4. reports are that Morrow is facing the Buerhle and the AAA Jays in an inter-squad minor league game.

    • At this rate, for the fans to feel good about Morrow, they are going to have to have him throw 4 innings against a local co-ed softball team

  5. Wow, Wilner sure sounds like he’s trying to do a sell job on Romero to the listening audience. What’s up with that?

    • It’s gross. I’m switching to Tigers feed.

    • Cause he’s back baby!!!! Get on the Romero train while there’s still spots left. We’re riding his left arm all the way to the playoffs.

    • I don’t despise Wilner like so many here seem to, but he’s definitely overly positive about pretty much everyone on the Jays, particularly when it comes to players who are “good guys.” It doesn’t really surprise me all that much.

  6. So Morrow doesn’t look ready. Redmond/Rogers likely to be #4. Rotation has major issues . Nothing surprising for a team with terrible holes in 2013 and no upgrades this off season.
    How about the 4th OF? Is Sierra really playing CF?
    Why not trade Lind to Pirates for Tabata who can play all OF, is 25 yrs old, signed until 2020 with club options and put up .282/.342/.429 in 2013? Tabata would offer better insurance in OF and has better bat than Gose and Pillar. Give Sierra a shot at 1B or sign Morales.

    • Melky has plenty of experience in CF, and if he can actually move around like he did prior to 2013, I have no problem with him spelling Rasmus here and there.

    • Better yet, why not trade the rights to Mark DeRosa this season to the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen?

  7. I would love for Ricky to make a believer out of me…they sure could use the old Ricky in their lineup.

  8. Whoa. Wilner calling out Stoets on Twitter :)
    I suggest taping their wrists together and having a parking garage knife fight, Michael Jackson Beat It video style.

  9. i think reminding people that you’re pulling for him is what’s bound to calm everyone and look at your piece with clear eyes.

  10. Welp there she goes

  11. Wilners cred is zero. Didn’t he blog that “Morrow could win the Cy”.

    • Wilner’s correct on this one.
      Stoeten’s over reacting.

      • All the validation I needed right there. Thanks.

        • Wilner wasn’t saying that Romero was a shoo-in for the rotation or that he had turned the corner into respectibilty.
          You’re the one who turned into something else.
          Get a grip on reality.
          Romero sucks,has sucked for a long time,after being alright at the beginning of his career.
          After a couple of decent innings,nothing wrong with saying something positive and pulling for the guy to show some signs of progress.
          2 years ago you were cheering for Romero,now you want to take him behind the barn and have him put down for his own good.
          C;mon Stoeten.Turn that frown, upside down.

          • It’s transparent, drum beating, cheerleading propaganda. It’s more insulting than anything. To all parties.

            • Methinks you are reading way too much into a couple comments made about a former allstar trying to find a way back to the bigs.
              It’s a goddamn conspiracy,I tell ya.
              Damn commies trying to get us to believe Ricky’s gonna make the rotation and save the season.
              They ain’t gonna brainwash me.
              Why would Wilner say what he did?How dare he say something positive and play with our emotions?
              Darn propaganda. I get fooled everytime.
              Are you for real?

              • A couple comments?
                Me thinks you don’t listen to the radio much

                • Exactly, Chone.

                  RADAR talking out his ass about shit he obviously doesn’t understand? Who would have possibly thought?

                  • I see Wilner’s point and agree with him but I’m the one who doesn’t understand?
                    Sorry Stoeten. Not everybody agrees with your slant on things.
                    Grow up and accept it.
                    Or are you gonna hold your breath until everybody agrees with you?

                    • You very obviously didn’t hear the broadcast, RADAR, yet here you are, climbing back up on your high horse, pontificating like you have a fucking clue. Surprise, sur-fucking-prise. RADAR wanders into shit he doesn’t know about to say things that are both in opposition to me and dumb as fuck? Shocking, shocking stuff.

                    • I didn’t listen to the broadcast.
                      I was reacting to the twitter conversation.
                      Don’t know what Wilner said on the air.( The audio stunk)
                      If he said Romero’s close to making the team then you’re right.
                      If he said he’s last couple of outings were better than before and he thought that was okay, then you are misinterpreting his words and jumping to conclusions.
                      I don’t have a horse but I am opinionated.( remind you of anybody?)

                      Does this mean I’m off the VIP list?
                      I had visions of being in the lounge, with all the celebrities,drankin all the expensive craft beers,eatin escargot,gettin some free swag,having some pics taken with you and the Coors Light Girls,you know sorta livin the life.
                      That’s okay. I got no problem with Black Label,peanuts and shootin the shit with real people about baseball.

      • Yeah, giving all the facts is over reacting…..


        We’d all love it if Ricky was an ace again, but let’s look at the facts and why that seems like a long shot.

        Wilner has said in the past that he likes to look at the positive and focus on that, and there is a fanbase that loves that and eats that up, and I think it’s safe to say that why we all love Wilner at times, he doesn’t give you ALL the facts because he wants fans to enjoy baseball and not get grumpy about it.

  12. Fuck. Hit a batter, gave up a tater, then a walk…..

  13. hey if you cant get a guy out at the plate, pick him off.

  14. Wilner very noticeably changed his tone when he got disciplined a few years back for questioning Cito’s moves.

    A blind optimist ever since his little vacation.

  15. Ricky sounds terrible

  16. Whelp. He’s taking off his shoes now…..

  17. Is the 2014 season over yet? I’m looking forward to new ways the Jays can “miss” all the big name free agents again next off-season and how the front office will spin it. This team is so much fun to follow!

  18. give up a triple to the #9 guy, walks the leadoff man with 4 pitches.

  19. AAANNNDDD… he’s back.

  20. bye ricky.

  21. I felt good for him while it lasted. Poor guy.

  22. Tigers giving away outs here. Maybe they feel bad for Ricky

  23. Remember in little league when the pitcher couldn’t hit the strike zone so the only way an inning would ever end was bad baserunning?

  24. I bet navarro is hoping Ricky doesn’t crack the squad,
    that guy looks like he doesn’t enjoy chasing baseballs.

  25. wow, Ricky’s back! lol This team’s fucked

  26. Ewwww! Ricky’s stinky. Too bad, but good to know before the Jays wasted a spot on the 40 man roster.

  27. 58 pitches, 34 balls. 4 straight walks to end it

  28. Melkman!

  29. Hopefully this ends talk of RR joining the rotation. Let him try to quietly build his game & confidence in the minors.

  30. Did they just say “How many teams have a great fifth starter? None of them.”? I can think of a few.

  31. In anyone is interested. Here’s what morrow had to say after his start today: http://t.co/HCYKSMQP9A

  32. At least Happ can stop looking over his shoulder. LOL
    Thanks for the memories Ricky

  33. Over/under on Tiger walks today?

  34. Here’s what I wanna know…why haven’t we contacted Jeff Karstens or Barry Zito? Cheap depth….no?

    • I didn’t realize they hadn’t even contacted them.

    • Happ, Redmond, Rogers, Nolin… i dont think Karstens or Zito would factor at all. Those two guys haven’t been particularly good in much better pitching environments… just more out of options guys that we’d have to cut loose at the end of spring training anyways.


  36. Good piece by Jonah Keri on the A’s model.


  37. This game has me glimmering with optimism.

  38. so that’s it for Romero and Stroman huh? It was a long shot to begin with, but neither had been particularly good so far and these latest setbacks are probably the nails in their respective coffins.

    It comes down to Redmond, Happ, Rogers for the 5th spot.

    • Rogers is the long man, Happ is in as #5 starter, Redmond gets the release and starts in AAA – not sure he’d get scooped…him and Jeffress are the odd men out. Bison rotation = Redmond, Romero, Nolin, Drabek and Stroman…Sanchez to New Hampshire
      *strictly opinion

      • will happ be ready though?

        might work out to be dickey, hutch, buerhle, rogers & morrow.

        happ starts the year on the DL and bumps someone out of the rotation if its warranted.

        That would allow them to put Redmond in the pen as the long man to avoid the risk of losing him, for now.

      • Yeah I’d say that’s how it’ll shake out.

      • At this point it looks like…

        1. R. Dickey
        2. D. Hutchison
        3. M. Buehrle
        4. B. Morrow
        5. J.Happ

        C. Janssen
        S. Santos
        S. Delabar
        B. Cecil
        D. McGowan
        A. Loup
        T. Redmond

        Bench – Katz, Izturis, Sierra

        Jeffress exposed to waivers (lower risk than Redmond)

        • That’s one god awful bench

          • hopefully its temporary.

            going with an 8 man bullpen longer than a few days is stupid.

          • At first glance it looks weak, but the more I think of it, the more I’m okay with it.

            1. A four man bench would be preferred, but this three man bench allows one of Redmond and Rogers to stay with the club.

            Depth starters like these guys are valuable, it prevents the team from going a rung down to the Ramon Ortiz types (god bless that man) when times are tuff, and it is a cushion for the young AAA pitchers to earn a call up, instead of getting one out of need. ✔✔

            2. If used properly (and Gibby is the manager after all) Sierra could really increase the overall production from DH against LHP. ✔

            3. Katz, from what AA said when acquiring him, could be a decent offensive and defensive upgrade from Thole. ✔

            4. Izturis is now back in the role that he succeeded in during his career, utility player. He’s not a starter like they tried last year. Hopefully this return to normal for him will be accompanied by a return to his historic production at the plate. ✔

        • I’m now thinking with how poorly Goins has looked at the plate this spring, he’s going to start the season in the minors with Izturis and Kawasaki splitting the 2B job.

          • Who knows what Seitzer has him working on?

            Too early to comment on his ST production. He could be making decent strides in the cage, and the transition to game results always take a while to appear.

            What your suggesting isn’t unreasonable, I just think you gotta shelf it for a few weeks.

            • Of course, however I bet they have gone from thinking that Goins ‘Will Be’ the opening day 2B, to now thinking that if he doesn’t make adjustments over the next 10 days or so, he may have to start the season in the minors. Otherwise we could be looking at Arencibia type offensive production at 2B, without the power.

            • He’s 26 and this is the year he finally learns to hit. YAY!

              • The measure isn’t that Goins is going to suddenly become a great hitter due to some tutelage from the hitting coach, but rather, is his superb defence (with 80 games played on meth turf) along with a confidence that he can contribute occasionally offensively outweigh that of the average to perhaps below average defence with middling offence of Izturis and Kawasaki as a platoon.

                If you’re going to hijack a conversation please pay more attention to the details the conversation.

                • continued….

                  If Seitzer goes to Gibby and AA with 5 days left in Spring training throws his arms up and says “I can’t do anything with this guy” then what Peter says would likely be in play.

                  Outside of that, I think that stellar defence and a hope of at least making productive outs (because y’know a really great hitter is up next) will give Goins the job, at least to start the year.

    • Hold on a second, is that aaron sanchez’s music i hear?

  39. ok this has got to be the longest inning of all time here

  40. not overly shocking that a guy who has struggled for 2 years and has refused to make any major changes, continues to struggle. That’s why it was so hard to by in to the ‘Romero’s back hype’

    Cliff Lee sucked really bad at one point, he was demoted, took that as an opportunity to work on some things, changed his arm angle a bit and added a 2seam fastball that lead to his GB% being increased almost 10 %.

    I’m not saying RR can try that and become a Cliff Lee like god, but at the very least he should be working on something to get out lefties, arm angle, new pitch, moving on the rubber, whatever.

    He keeps trying to revert back to the pitcher he was.. problem is that pitcher couldn’t get out lefties, but conventional baseball bullshit kept lefties away from him, until Maddon caught on. He still has the arm, he’s still a lefty who can throw low to mid 90′s, there is still potential there, but he clearly needs to make some real changes.

    • I don’t know that you’re particularly wrong on any of those counts, but lack of control is what’s really killed him. He was always a guy who relied on guys chasing borderline pitches, so when those borderline pitches stopped being so borderline and hitters stopped swinging…double whammy.

    • Looking at his delivery this spring, it’s pretty obvious he’s made changes

      • based on?

        his arm slot looks pretty much the same, he’s lining up pretty much the same and I havent heard any talk of him adding to his repetoire

        • He’s got a funny short-arm action going on. No idea if it will make a difference, but he’s obviously trying things

        • Wilner has talked about a change — a new arm slot, or something. I wasn’t looking for the subtleties in his delivery when I reviewed the video for the other post, so a change may have been there, but it wasn’t something that really jumped out at me.

  41. Runs!

  42. Not a big Tim and Sid guy but I had to laugh when they read out Stroman’s line followed by the Price is Right diddy.

  43. Nice to see this pitching staff is good to go this season!

  44. Didn’t AA say he was looking forward to RR start after he dropped the ball on E.Santana?

  45. 11 walks, 3 strikeouts. Bang.

  46. I can handle the shitty pitching from Romero, stroman but where are the bats ?? They have done very little in the way of clutch hits.

  47. Random Tuesday Ramblings:

    Alka-Seitzer has his work cut out for him with whomever plays second.

    No one should have pushed the headstone off of Rickey Romeros grave. Some things are better left buried.

    Melky is the player he was 2 years ago.

    Bautista is crushing and seems to want to regain the “top bat” on the Jays title.

    Erick Kratz is a huge man.

    This Sanchez kid looks good.

    Gose still enjoys eating his fingers.

  48. With pitching looking this shitty…. at least get us a second baseman that can hit a little for the next 3 or 4 years. Fucks sakes. This is a sad joke. Catcher was barely upgraded. 2B is downgraded vs last year’s expectations. Rotation… same thing vs last year expectations. And the rest of the team is another year older. Fuck me. I’ll watch. I’ll hope. I’ll cheer. But I won’t exactly be beating down the doors to waste my money needlessly.

    • Right, because Romero, Walden and Jackson are gonna be pitching in big leagues this season…?

    • I think it might’ve been different if they had someone in the minors who was almost ready, but Goins seems to be it. The only question now is how long are they prepared to go with the experiment? The off season was the time to fix it. I’m not a Drew fan, but he would’ve been better than this.

      And really if they’re serious about internal options, why not Getz or Tolleson?

  49. Was it just me, or did the Detroit Lions just beat the Toronto Argonauts by 2 TDs and a safety?

    Stroman and Ricky got napalmed.

    5 walks by Ricky still shows me he needs Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

  50. Do the Cubs still want Stroman for Samardzjia?

    Quick. Get Theo on the line before he reads the box score.

    • From what I read it was never one for one. I think Hoyer wanted Stro and Sanchez to start with.

      Stroman had a bad outing but wherever he ends up I believe he’ll have a good career.

      Stroman for 1 year of Sammy? If that were a thing I’d consider it.
      But it would be even better if AA could talk Hoyer into negotiating an extension first.

      Not that any of this has been rumoured or would happen anyway.

      • I wonder if the word about the RAD trade got out and every manager’s out to fleece AA now?

        • I doubt it.
          It looks bad in hindsight but it was looked upon as the icing on a World Series title at the time. Did he overpay? Probably, though neither of those kids have proved a thing yet at the ML level.
          Would I like to unplug the playstation so the transaction didn’t save? Yeah probably.

          Do I look like a douche asking and answering my own questions? Probably.

          But fuckit, I still think the little bastard has something going on. With cut down day coming there could be a big move or two.

  51. A pity we couldn’ t just cut Romero without eating his contract and use the money to go out and get another pitcher.

    Safe to say he’s not going north with the team.

  52. Whenever Stroman gets called up he should just be in the bullpen for a bit. Learn. I miss the days when rookie pitchers usually started off in the bullpen to develop even more.

    • I think you will see that less and less. Even arbitration players are making astronomical amounts of money. I don’t think teams would want to “waste” a cheap year of a top pitching prospect in the bullpen. I agree with it happening more often than it does, that’s just my two cents.

  53. Stoeten, let’s all get drunk somewhere on Opening Day.

  54. Does anyone know how Morrow threw today ?

  55. So noticed that John Jay removed the massive ejaculatory
    hitch from his swing this spring. Anyone see if Mr.Redbull is still tossing off in the batters box or did they fix him?

    Alka-Seitzer, you out there?

    • Someone went off on Lawrie about his swing and approach a few posts ago. I have only seen him play twice online and I disagree, I think he has a much quieter load/swing/follow through. He’s still moving around in the box but it’s much less exaggerated.

      I think he has a huge year.

  56. I believe at this point, Buerhle will be Buerhle and Dickey will be somewhere between his Cy year and last year, which will be good. Morrow I’m unsure of, I want to believe that he can be the pitcher he was for half the season 2 years ago.

    If thats the case, with this offense, the team can still hang with baltimore, yankees and the sox, rays i think will pull away.

    it’s no fucking excuse to not have improved the team, but I still think (possible blind optimism) that things can go right this year and they can maybe add at the deadline.

  57. The plus side to Ricky going to Detroit and Morrow getting shielded is that Ricky has been exposed, whereas if the locations had been swapped Ricky is probably still being talked about as a starter candidate.

  58. Time to take Rickey out to the woodshed, a la Old Yeller.
    How many more years is he getting 7.5 million from the Jays?

  59. I’m kind of zen about the whole thing right now. If things go ok–good. If they don’t go ok–oh well. And if they don’t, that’s maybe a good thing as well since I strongly suspect it’ll be guillotine time and heads will roll. Then we will have a whole new bunch of guys in next year. Starting, I believe, with Tony La Cava as the GM.

    This year still has to be played, however and if it works out they’ll all keep their jobs although I’m not sure they should. I’m glad Ricky got hit around. That neatly knocks back the Happy News bunch in the front office.

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