So, if you remember a while back, back when the Blue Jays promoted youngsters Brett Cecil and Robert Ray to the rotation, general manager J.P. Ricciardi went on about how they probably weren’t ready for the big league stage, and how they were being thrown into the fire strictly out of necessity.
Well, Ricciardi and the Jays reserve the right to change their collective minds.
Now, Ricciardi wasn’t wrong in his assessment — Cecil and Ray were indeed called up before anticipated due to injuries. On Friday, sitting in the home dugout, once again asked about the progress of recovering starters Ricky Romero, Casey Janssen and Jesse Litsch, Ricciardi altered his tune slightly.
“Right now, we don’t have a spot for them,” said Ricciardi, referring to Romero, Janssen and Litsch. “That could change real quick.”
As for Cecil, Ray, Scott Richmond and converted reliever Brian Tallet, Ricciardi said: “They haven’t done anything to lose their spots.”
So, Janssen will apparently continue to pitch at Double-A, Romero has been activated from the 15-day DL and assigned to Triple-A (said Ricciardi), and Litsch is on pace to maybe rejoin the Jays by “the middle of June,” according to the GM. As for those currently in the rotation, Ricciardi said he’d want to see a few bad outings in a row to pull the plug on any of them.
“We’re making this up as we go,” said Ricciardi, half joking.
With the team in first place, and the rotation holding its own, there is a method to the madness in a way. Why mess with something that is working for the time being? Then again, there’s the old argument that players don’t lose their jobs just because they landed on the DL, especially players who were performing great (Romero) or have a history of success (Janssen, Litsch).
“We’re breaking tradition,” Ricciardi said with a laugh.
Hey, and remember, this could all change tomorrow.
OTHER ITEMS: LHP B.J. Ryan was back in the clubhouse and he said all the right things about losing his job as the closer. “I walked in there to Cito and said, ‘Cito, I’ll be down there, I’ll pitch whenever you want me to pitch.'” … Jays manager Cito Gaston isn’t a fan of the squeeze bunt. “I don’t know if I’ve ever squeezed,” he said. The question came up because of a situation in the seventh against the Yankes last night. With runners on the corners and one out, game tied 2-2, John McDonald struck out. Under John Gibbons, a squeeze play might have been put into effect. “I wanted Mac to go up there and I wanted him to drive in that run — it didn’t happen. I know that most of the time he’d be looking back, but last night it was, ‘Go do it.’ It didn’t happen, but the inning before he got a big hit for us.” Cito didn’t rule out trying the play before the season was over: “Maybe I will one of these days — I might fool everybody.”
1. Jayson Nix, 3B
2. Chris Getz, 2B
3. Carlos Quentin, LF
4. Jermaine Dye, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Paul Konerko, 1B
7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Scott Podsednik, CF
Starter: LHP John Danks (2-2)
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Kevin Millar, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jose Bautista, LF
Starter: LHP Brett Cecil (1-0)