It says something about the current state of the Jays rotation that Ricky Romero seems to be the only viable option for the fifth spot in the rotation when the team heads north.
Romero hasn't exactly been the picture of perfection over the Spring slate of fake games, posting a 5.73 ERA in four games, striking out 14 and walking 11. And yet, with the tenderness of Casey Janssen's repaired shoulder and Matt Clement's inability to throw strikes, the Jays are left with precious few other options. One other option might have been to bring lefty Brian Burres north, given his K/BB rate (13/2), although Burres didn't take the hill to start in any of those appearances.
With the Jays rotation likely to include three lefties (Romero, Purcey and Mills), it raises the question as to how many southpaws are too many in the pitching staff. In addition to the starters, the Jays will likely also have Brian Tallet, Jesse Carlson, Scott Downs and B.J. Ryan in the bullpen, meaning more than half of the staff will be of the right-brained variety. If nothing else, it should mean lots of hijinks in the bullpen.
Bart Given Stirs the Pot
After having given the Jays' former AGM guff for his orthography on his newly-launched Inside the Majors blog, let us take a moment to credit him for some thought provoking content posted over the past few days.
In one post, Given raises the prospect (pardon the pun) of keeping Travis Snider in AAA until at least mid-May to keep his service time under 171 days, thus preserving one extra year of arbitration rights on The Great Big Giant Pasty White HopeTM. Given argues, quite reasonably, that Snider will be of more use to the team in 2015 than he would be in 2009.
We'd argue, however, that if Snider proves to be everything that he promises, then the team should sign him to an extended deal like the one that the Rays gave to Evan Longoria that buys out a few of those possible free agent years after 2015. It's a bit of a gamble, especially given that Snider is a few years younger and his body type seems like one that is more likely to break down over time. But it's a gamble we'd be willing to take, if only because we're way too anxious to see him producing in Toronto and staying away from the Vegas buffets.
Given also offers some fascinating insight into a managerial move made by Jim Fregosi, when he sent his preferred dirt dog Dave Hollins to the plate in the place of super-instense DH Brad Fullmer. It turns out that Fullmer pulled some sort of disappearing act in the clubhouse, necessitating the bizarre in-game maneuver.
Fregosi...Fullmer...Dave Hollins! God almighty, that seems like a lifetime ago. We're crossing our fingers and hoping for a Mickey Morandini story on the Given blog before the year is out.