Conerns about Ryan, Jays @ Braves

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston indicated today that the club has some concerns about closer B.J. Ryan, whose pitch velocity is lower than it has been in the past. Ryan is hitting 84-86 mph regularly, compared to being between 86-90 last year.

“We’re just kind of searching for answers right now,” pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said. “We’re trying a little bit of everything. I’ve watched film on him and pulled up three years ago and pulled up last year and it’s just a little bit of an oddity right now to me.”

Arnsberg said he and Ryan have been working on some mechanical adjustments to hopefully help create more pitch speed. One issue is that Arnsberg said Ryan’s cutter and four-seam fastball are registering at about the same velocity right now.

When asked if the Jays might consider using other pitchers in the ninth-inning role should this issue persist, Gaston didn’t say no. Ryan is the closer, but Gaston said he felt, knowing Ryan, that the pitcher would probably come to him and be honest about his ability to contribute if this continues to be a problem.

Check later for more on this…

Other items: The Jays haven’t heard from Matt Clement yet about whether he will accept an assignment to Triple-A. Toronto will likely know by Friday or Saturday. … Casey Janssen had a cortisone shot after injuring his right shoulder last Thursday and played catch for the first time since the injury on Tuesday. … Something to keep in mind about the bullpen race: Of the four right-handers vying for three open spots, Jason Frasor and Jeremy Accardo both have a player option remaining. They can be sent down without needing to be passed through waivers first, and neither have enough service time to refuse a Minor League assignment.

PARCHED: A little disappointed in the Wide World of Sports complex here. Now, the free media lunch was much appreciated and quite delicious, but this might be the only park where you can’t get a bottle of water! Not all of us drink pop, you know. Good thing I brought one from home. Otherwise, this could’ve been a bad day.

Today’s lineup:

Joe Inglett, RF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
Kevin Millar, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Jose Bautista, 3B
Raul Chavez, C
John McDonald, SS
Brad Mills, P

Kelly Johnson, 2B
Yunel Escobar, SS
Chipper Jones, 3B
Brian McCann, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Greg Norton, 1B
Brandon Jones, LF
Jordan Schafer, CF
Derek Lowe, P



  1. jordanbastianmlb

    HA. I can’t drink beer while I’m working. Besides, I had plenty of Coronas on the beach yesterday. Need a break from the brewskies…

  2. gsjays

    Sounds like Enigma was right about Ryan-man, is that a problem and unusual since most guys pick up velocity after Tommy John. He could be done, which is kissing 20 mill. goodby.
    No way can they keep him on the MLB roster at that velocity, if it doesn’t improve, they should waiver him to AAA and hope someone claims him.
    I doubt if anyone picks him up so he can work at getting his velocity back in Vegas. He can’t get work at the MLB level unless we want him to get wacked every time out.

    Actually, I thought Bosox and Indigo had taken off together since neither of them had posted for a while.

  3. gsjays

    I noticed that scare you away thing in the last thread. I don’t want to scare you or anyone else away and I’m sorry if my posting style gives you that feeling.
    If that’s what you really think, maybe it’s time for me to leave the blog.

  4. lndigo

    Gosh no, I am joking . I have a rather twisted sense of humour and unfortunately with the written word you don’t get the inflection of a voice . I apologize if you felt I was even remotely serious .

  5. gsjays

    Indigo-GOTCHA, lol. What’s not to like about twisted.

    Not, a particulary good outing from Mills, certainly put Romero, MIlls and Richmond in a dead heat.


    So it’s true that Ryan’s velocity is down. That isn’t terrible news bullpen wise because they have a few guys who can step into the ninth inning role. The problem is, as G.S. mentioned, his big salary. On a team that just had its payroll cut that’s a steep investement for a guy who looks like can’t perform to what he should anymore. He was shaky last year with a high 80’s fastball, I can’t imagine he’ll be better with mid 80’s stuff.


    I read Jordan’s article on Ryan and one thing that has me a little relieved is that he’s allegedly throwing harder in the ‘pen. Don’t know how that works but if that’s the case, it may be just mechanics.


    I don’t think Mills had that bad an outing, not his best day 10 hits but he still kept us in the game, it could have been worse.
    Kate i can’t belive you fell for

  9. gsjays

    The thing about Mills is he’s had two opportunities to close the deal and hasn’t performed well. Romero-under huge pressure in his last start performed better. So it’s over the Richmond, let’s see how he does. I feel for Cito, cause he’s running out of time to make the decisions.

    Enigma-Ya guys hit better in batting practise too-there’s no umpires in the bullpen. I as well hope its mechanics, we shall see. I seem to remember Ryan at 90-92 before he went down, so he has a long way to go-unless I’m wrong.

  10. inception

    Does it really matter what young pitchers we decide to go north with? I imagine that most of them still have multiple options, and can be brought up and sent down as needed based on their individual performances. I have a feeling that this year’s version of the Jays is going to hit enough to stay around .500 no matter how mediocre the pitching is.

  11. okgojays

    Well put Burt, i agree completely, its really out of discussion, no one is running away with a job, nice to see Purcey do so well so at least we dont have to question him. I think Vernon is a pure number 4 hitter and he will show that this year, ideally Rios would be awesome at leadoff but that will only happen if Snider mashes well enough to move to 4 and bump Wells back to the 3 hole.

  12. gsjays

    From multiple other blogs, it sounds like that 85-86 mph for Ryan is his one in every 5-6 pitches and low 80’s is more the norm, and it’s been like that from day one of spring training.

    So all the crap we were told initially of a control problem which caused his poor performance was another JP lie. Why is that a surprise, there’s tickets to be sold, bumbs to put in seats and all like that. Pathetic way to treat the fan base, but consistent with JP.

    So why bring him north? Why would we consider bringing Ryan instead of a healthy Frasor or one of the other guys on the bubble, who will give us innings we’ll need with a young pitching staff?
    Ryan’s era of 10.8 in spring training will look good compared to what it will be if we put him in games against the Yanks or Boston. They’ll light him up like the Times Square Christmas tree.
    Waive Ryan to AAA, let him work it out down there if it’s possible and pray someone picks him up from-although no one will. And get ready to kiss 20 million US goodby.



    Not all of us even “say” pop! So, how’s Barrett looking for the back up catcher role? If he can regain his skills pre-injury, he could be a great second catcher.


    I like the way Cito said Ryan will tell us if he feels he can’t compete on this level like he did for the WBC. It sort of puts the weight on Ryans shoulders not Citos to make a decision on whether he can close or not.
    I like many others said to trade him last Winter, But it’s to late now.Today we will see what he is like.

  15. gsjays

    I suspect Barrett will win the job as well.
    In a Toronto Star article today, it sounds like management are thinking of leaving Ryan in Dunedin to open the season and bring Frasor and Accardo north. The spin positions Ryan in a similar position as League was last year. I suspect that means putting Ryan on the dl.
    I guess this is a better political move for JP. Of course, it’s possible Ryan’s contract is insured,in which case the dl is the desired option.
    Of course, Ryan might magically get his velocity back, but somehow I just don’t think that’s going happen. I hope I’m wrong.

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