In this, the Spring of Diminished Expectations, we Blue Jays fans may have been getting a bit too revved up about the possibilities presented by the dynamic southpaw duo of Brett Cecil and Brad Mills.
Could they step into the decimated rotation and help salvage what seems to be a bit of a lost 2009 season? Would they turn a seeming weakness into a strength? Would they blow away not only the opposition, but also all of the naysayers and prophets of doom?
The news this weekend tossed a needed bucket of icy-cold water onto some of these rather lofty expectations. Cecil was given his ticket to the minor league camp (in the dubious company of a certain Mr. Maroth), while Mills gave up four hits and five walks to the Reds in Sunday's 5-4 extra-inning win. (Curtis Thigpen! Still the catcher of the future?!)
It's not to say that they won't be with the big club sooner rather than later. It's just that we should maybe temper our expectations of what they'll be able to offer at this early point of their development.
Hell, at 23, Jimmy Key spent his first season coming out of the bullpen and posting a 4.65 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. If either of those two young lefties were able to replicate the performances that Key put in over his subsequent eight years with the Blue Jays, we'd be thrilled. But, as Axl Rose said so many years ago, all we need is just a little patience.
Other notable notey notebook notes
Item number 1! Nadir Mohamed will be the next CEO of Rogers. It's hard to guess what this will mean for the RCI side of the equation, including the Blue Jays. Mohamed comes from the wireless side of things, so he may be willing to defer to CEOs of Rogers Media (Tony Viner) and the Blue Jays (Paul Beeston or his *cough snort cough* replacement)...but ultimately, we're left a bit uneasy by this. Wireless has always been a huge money maker for Rogers (system access fee my ass), and the media side of things scraped by, even before the advertising market went into the toilet. What will Mohamed think of the "red ink" in the other divisions when he is ultimately responsible for them?
Item number 2! We've avoided reading too many J.P. quotes this spring, if only because we don't put a ton of stock into them at this point. However, we were a bit disappointed to see the GM mention that Matt Clement is likely on the "outside looking in right now". It's not that Clement has blown anyone away as of yet, but we had started to get a bit optimistic that maybe he could rehabilitate his game and contribute in the short term.
In spite of the fact that we'd previously stated our belief that Clement wouldn't throw a pitch for the Jays, we find ourselves somehow rooting for him. Maybe it's the fact that he shaved that stupid facial hair off, thus making him more human to us.
Final item! We came to a stark realization this Sunday, about halfway through our second fantasy draft of the day: We kinda suck at fantasy baseball. Nobody should think of themselves as a roto authority when they take Kaz Matsui that early in a draft.