As you all might have noticed, the once weekly mailbag that would appear on bluejays.com is no more. We at MLB.com used to run mailbags every week during the winter and every other week during the regular season on the club sites, but we’re now headed in a new direction content-wise.
That being said, I know there are many fans — not just of the Jaybirds — who loved the weekly Q&A and are probably upset that it’s gone. With that in mind, I plan on trying to do a weekly E-mailbag right here on my blog. For now, let’s tentatively pencil it in for Fridays, since I’m doing one tonight, but I’ll probably move it to Saturday or Sunday once the season opens.
So, without further ado, I’ll kick it off with just one question that was brought to my attention this week:
Just a question regarding your recent starting rotation posts. Why is it such a given that David Purcey will be one of the Jays’ starters going into next year? He finished 3-6 with a 5.54 ERA, not exactly dazzling numbers. I know there aren’t a lot of options, but if Casey Janssen is anywhere near 2007 form, he’s way ahead of Purcey. Matt Clement was a consistent 3.50-4.50 ERA guy before his injuries. I just don’t think Purcey has done anything yet to be promised a Major League job.
Thanks for the articles though, much enjoyed.
Thanks, Aaron. One thing to keep in mind is that Purcey’s stats are skewed some by his first few outings. After being inserted into the rotation on a full-time basis, the big lefty went 2-5 with a 4.88 ERA over nine outings. Sure, those still aren’t dynamic totals, but Purcey certainly showed flashes of his promise. Also, take into consideration that he only received 1.4 runs of support in his five losses during that stretch.
Purcey isn’t necessarily guaranteed a job in the rotation. All I wrote in the four-part series that ran this week was that he is one of three presumed locks on the staff, along with Roy Halladay and Jesse Litsch. And the only reason I included him in that group was because manager Cito Gaston and general manager J.P. Ricciardi have been saying since the Winter Meetings that it’s his job to lose this spring.
Obviously, if — for argument’s sake — Janssen, Clement and Scott Richmond have fantastic showings during the spring and Purcey labors, his stock could fall. As for Janssen’s 2007 form, he was a reliever that season — not a starter. He’s also returning from a shoulder injury, as is Clement, and those can be tricky ailments to rebound from. There’s no guarantee that Janssen and Clement will be back at 100 percent. But, from what the team is saying, they’re ready to compete for jobs.
So, basically, it’s only a “given” that David Purcey will be one of the Jays’ starters because that’s what Toronto is saying at this point. Consider that we were only saying Halladay and Litsch were locks when the offseason started. It’s also possible that someone like left-handed prospect Brett Cecil steps up in a big way this spring and forces the Jays’ hand.
I hope that answers your question.
As for the rest of you readers, feel free to shoot inquiries my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. A link to my e-mail is also included at the bottom of each story I write on the team’s web site. And, hey, this doesn’t have to be limited to just roster questions. We can just as easily discuss movies, music or my marathon training, or anything else I deem relevant for that matter, if the Jays don’t have much going on.