Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's not get ahead of ourselves

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.

15 comments:

Lloyd the Barber said...

I too suck at fantasy baseball. Yet I am quite positive about my team's chances in our pool.

Joanna said...

but lloyd and i are drafting vampire attack cats.

and ouch, clement.

Mylegacy said...

Fantasy baseball sucks.

On Cecil and Mills - Mills is two years older at 24 - and as both are very good prospects that 2 years age difference is showing itself this spring.

Janssen - is SLOWLY turning the heads that matter as is Purcey.

Unfortunately - pitching rules in the marathon that is the regular season and the starting pitching in the AL East BIG FOUR is SO good - the Jays look merely OK - DESPITE the fact that our starting pitching is clearly VERY GOOD.

Yanks: CC/AJ/Wang/Joba/Pettitte/Hughes/Aceves

Sux: Beckett/DiceK/Hanson/Wakefield/Penny/Smoltz/Buchholz/Bowden

TB: Shields/Kazmir/Garza/Price/Sonnanstine/Talbot/Niemann

BY: Roy/Litsch/Purcey/Janssen/Mills/Cecil/Richmond/Clement/McGowan/Marcum

Unless Rolen, Lind, Hill and Snider - who ALL project to have EXCEPTIONAL years - REALLY break out - looks like we'll be on the outside looking in.

Is it April yet?

KofC said...

B.S...we may have to fight. Prediction: Cecil and Mills co-CY 2009 winners, Jays sweep WS.

Johnny G said...

The Yanks rotation does not scare me that much. While yes CC and AJ's strikeout numbers are up there as the bests in the game today it doesn't really reflect the bloated ERA's and WHIP's. They also throw a ton of pitches which means bullpens get used early. If I remember correctly the bullpen of the Yanks doesn't exactly blow anyone away (obvious exception being Rivera, how is that guy still going).

On top of all of that the entire RAYs team had mostly career years. Yes they still have a good team, but I don't expect them to repeat what they did last year.

Ian H. said...

I'm not sure what J.P. was thinking when he said Clement was on the outside looking in. Doesn't he pretty much have the #4 starting spot locked up?

Tao of Stieb said...

If we started to contemplate what JP meant when he said what he said, we're sure that we'd plunge into Plathian depths of despair.

Colin said...

I think only Doc, Litsch, and Purcey have spots locked up so far. The other 2 are a toss-up right now between Janssen, Richmond, Clement, and Mills. Every different reporter seems to have a different view on who has the edge right now.

The most interesting race to me is for the backup catcher. As far as I know it could still be any of Barrett, Chavez, Arencibia, or even Thigpen, and I can see any of those guys stealing the starting job by May if Barajas isn't careful.

bkblades said...

Perhaps, Brett Cecil will learn to fine tune and slightly shorten his pitching motion in Vegas practicing on the craps table.

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