So all of our rotation issues are officially solved. Right?
Err...maybe. We suppose that would be a nice thought, and were we the type who could write off Litsch's 8.18 ERA and 34 hits in 22 innings over a four game stretch through the Pacific Coast League, we could start to think about how nice it is to have a solid fourth/fifth starter back in the rotation. Unfortunately, we're not able to convince ourselves that young Jesse's AAA beatings were completely the result of thin, dry air in deserts at altitudes.
(Although it would be really nice if we could, because then we could explain away the brutal ERAs being posted by Brad Mills, Ray Gonzalez, Marc Rzepczynski and most everyone in Las Vegas other than Zack Jackson and Bobby Ray. And even their averages in the high-3.00's aren't exactly the stats of which championship dreams are made.)
It could be that the Jays have decided to give Litsch the same treatment that Brian Tallet received when coming back from his injury: The courtesy of a couple of starts, with a decision on his rotation spot to follow. But where Tallet's lopey/gangly/junky/lefty stuff might make him a useful LOOGY or swingman in the suddenly porous an pitiable bullpen, Litsch's sub-90's fastball and crafty cutter might mean that he's a man without a role or a future in these parts if he can't prove himself to be useful from the start of his new beginning with the team.
It's not to say that we're rooting for Jesse to fail, because nothing would make us happier than to see him come in and post a sub-3.70 ERA by pounding the strike zone and mixing his pitches well. We're just not confidant that, post-surgery, he's going to be willing to toss his cutter more than 40% of the time, as he did when he was successful.
Moreover, we're not sure that now is the right time to move him into the rotation when the aforementioned Bobby Ray is pitching better (UPDATE: Oops...Bobby Ray is hurt, and hasn't pitched since mid-May) and Litsch seems to need more time to get his stuff correct.