Game 123: Tampa Bay at Toronto

Romero.jpgAfter Ricky Romero’s outing against the Red Sox on Tuesday, when the rookie left after allowing six runs in just 3.2 innings, Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg decided to switch things up for the pitcher.

“Right after my last start against Boston,” Romero recalled, “as soon as I went into the dugout, he was like, ‘We have nothing to work on. You’re not going to throw a bullpen this week.'”

So, Romero listened and skipped his usual between-start mound workout. Instead, he did one light flat-ground before taking the mound again on Sunday. Romero then limited the Angels to two runs over six innings en route to his 11th win of the season.

Romero said the lighter work load helped. The young lefty noted that he felt much stronger as the game went on against Los Angeles.

“I did,” he said. “I was talking to some of the guys about it. In the sixth inning, I was throwing kind of hard, as opposed to last week I think I ran out of gas pretty quick. My velocity was down a little bit, so people were wondering what was going on. I wanted to come back and kind of show them that I’m good.”

Going forward, Romero said he may or may not be throwing bullpens between outings — it’ll depend on how he feels. This week, an off-day on Thursday will help and he is scheduled to make his next start on Saturday — not Friday. That will give him an extra day to rest his arm, which has logged 145.2 innnings between Triple-A and MLB this year.

After they pitch on Sept. 4-5, respectively, the Jays plan on shutting rookie lefties Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski down for the season due to innings limitations — roughly 150 for Cecil and 160 for Zep. Romero does not face a similar problem. His career-high in innings is 164.1 in ’08 and he’ll likely fall around 190 this season.

That is if Romero averages roughly six innings per start down the stretch. Having 30-40 more innings than the previous season is what the Blue Jays try to shoot for with their young arms (see: Cecil and Rzep). Romero said he feels great right now health-wise and plans on pitching through the end of the year.

“I already told them that I’m fresh,” Romero said. “I’m ready to go through the whole year. I just look at it as, if i’m going to be one of the guys here, I feel like I need to go the whole year and kind of get on that consistent year-to-year thing. My arm is fresh. It feels good. I haven’t had any arm problems all year and I bounce back pretty quick.”

OTHER ITEMS: The Blue Jays activated LHP Scott Downs from the 15-day disabled list prior to Monday’s game against the Rays and placed Edwin Encarnacion (left hamstring/knee) on the 15-day DL. Downs moves into the bullpen, but might not be used as the closer right away. RHP Jason Frasor has held that role since Downs has been out. … Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said that ace Roy Halladay will make his next start on Sunday in Boston, giving the right-hander an extra day of rest.

Today’s lineups:


Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (67-56)
Third place AL East, 10.5 GB

1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Pat Burrell, DH
7. Gregg Zaun, C
8. Gabe Gross, RF
9. B.J. Upton, CF

Starter: RHP Jeff Niemann (11-5, 3.71)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (57-65)
Fourth place AL East, 20.0 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, LF
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Vernon Wells, CF
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Rod Barajas, C
8. Travis Snider, RF
9. Jose Bautista, 3B

Starter: RHP Roy Halladay (13-6, 2.78)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

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22 Comments

The very best way the hitters can help Ricky is beat up on Jeff Niemann, who is also a rookie and in a virtual tie with Romero on all stats.
So let’s put 7 runs up on Niemann in the first inning, and help Romero get closer to the rookie of the year award. lol

Not the greatest start from Halladay, time for the offense to pick him up.

Well, I did ask for 7 in the first inning, BUT 6 in the first 3 works and raises Niemann’s era to 3.96 versus Romero’s 3.91. We could sure use another couple in the next inning and finish him off.

Guys I am scared
Whats going on with DOC
he doesn’t look like himself for quite a few many games
has he lost his edge?, he was always too good to be true, i think he has lost that passion for playing for toronto, that attitude and focus
I just hope he is able to regain it
and i hope he gets traded soon, its better for everyone and I want to see him win a championship.

Harry

I completely agree with you about Doc.
Ever since the trade deadline came and went he doesn’t seem very focused. With all that talk about being traded to a contender like Philly, It must be hard to finish your season off here, especially after seeing Rolen and Rios go.
I know Doc is a complete pro, but i’m not sure that even he can keep focused now.
By the way, Cliff Lee this year with Cleveland:
7-9 3.14 era 107k in 165innings.
In his short time with Philly:
4-0 0.82 era 34k in 33innings.
His numbers in Cleveland aren’t that bad, but he’s been on fire in Philly. Amazing what a change of scenery can do for a veteran pitcher, i’m sure Doc wishes that he had that chance.

Harry
Although, I think it’s way too early to be concerned about Doc, it could be he’s lost some focus or it could be, he’s just simply going through a tough patch, which he seems to do each year.

Whatever it is, it seems to be catching, Josh Beckett just had two games back to back where he gave up 15 runs. Burnett gave up 9 runs in his last outing and 7 in a game earlier in the month. Sabathia had his two game hemorrhage earlier in the month and gave up 10 runs.

I think the dog days of August wears everyone down, but it is also a warning sign, which I harp on all the time when Doc or some other pitcher gets over used. These guys all wear down and pitch count is damn important. It wasn’t the brightest thing in the world to leave Doc in there last night for 113 pitches, when the fact is he could use some rest. The game was lost, why overuse your most valuable asset.

Time to move Ruiz to the 4th hole, he has certainly showed he can handle major league pitching. This guy can just plain hit, what a break for the Jays- a low cost power dh, who hits both sides and under control for the next few years. The way Ruiz is hitting right handers (.350/.409/.630), he’s like another left handed power bat.
I’d like to see us try the lineup below when we face a right hander and when we face a left hander swap Snider for Overbay

Scutaro
Hill
Lind
Ruiz
Overbay
Snider
Wells
Barajas
EE or Baustista

Harry,

I agree with you about Doc. I have never read or heard him complain about having “tired” arm syndrome or just being tired in general . I think this is a case of him being mentally tired and his frustration with this team is starting to take its toll . He hasn’t been himself since being thrown into the 3 ring trade circus. As I said earlier , Jay management took a quiet, hard working pitcher and tossed him to the sharks with no intention of trading him . I think the constant questions from the media, along with people being in his face 24/7 has effected him and he seems to have lost his focus. I believe some things went on during the trade talks that upset Doc but he is loyal and too much of gentleman to shed light on those things . I for one , hope Doc can be traded in the off season and he goes to a team that will give him the chance to play Oct ball .

Indigo
Doc talked about the “dead arm issue” a number of times, that’s on the record. I also doubt if it’s coincidence that most of the top pitchers in the AL including Burnett (2 games-16 runs), Beckett( 2 games-15 runs), Sabathia ( 2 games-10 runs), Buehrle( 4 games-22 runs),Greinke( 2 games-10 runs, etc., all struggled in a similar fashion over the last month. It happens every year to all of them, albeit it sometimes at different times.

However, it could also be he’s simply disillusioned as you mentioned. No question, the circus caused by JP made the Jays look like amateurs and caused Doc some discomfort, I have posted that multiple times. I hope that’s not the cause for his current performance though, because if that’s the case it seriously impacts his trade value and Doc’s ability to get a large contract as a free agent.

The Jays made a huge mistake by not trading him at this past trade deadline, because we will never get what we could have gotten and we lower Doc’s chances of getting a ring.

I have read pretty much every article on Doc and have yet to see one where he mentions having the “dead” arm issue so I would be more than happy if you could send me a link for one of them ….thank you .

If Doc gets traded ( I hope he does for his sake) then he has control of where he goes ( his no trade clause) . It may lower his value of return to the Jays but not his choice of destination . He could still go to a good contending team next year and still win a ring . Jays management weren’t ready to trade him and I agree they should have.

Here’s an interview with Sabathia on the same issue, I’ll find one on Halladay.

C.C. Sabathia threw 241 innings for the Cleveland Indians in 2007, going 19-7 to win the American League Cy Young Award. But by October he was a different pitcher. In three starts against the Yankees and the Red Sox, he was 1-2 with an 8.80 earned run average, with 13 walks and 14 strikeouts. That winter, Sabathia said, he made an adjustment he came to regret.

?I threw a lot of innings and I kind of pushed my throwing back, and I kind of suffered for it,? Sabathia said of 2007. ?I got a dead arm later in the spring and I went into the season with a little bit of a dead arm.?

It showed. In his first four starts of last season, Sabathia was 0-3 with a 13.50 earned run average. He recovered to fashion another sterling season for the Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers, working 253 innings and making his final four starts (including one in the playoffs) on short rest.

Here’s another

Zambrano recently told the Cubs’ official website that he’s going through a “dead arm” phase.

“I’ve been doing all my things and my work and have been working out,” Zambrano said. ” Everybody goes through these, and I just have to wait for my arm strength and my arm power to come back, so I can do a good job for my team.”

Zambrano’s arm isn’t too dead to hit home runs and take curtain calls.

Zambrano still is a must-start pitcher because you never know when he’ll snap out of it. Arizona’s Brandon Webb went through a similar “dead arm” period earlier this year. It lasted about five starts, and Webb has been his usual self ever since.

I’ve been talking about the American League Cy Young race ad nauseam recently (I promise this will be the last post on the subject for some time), but Roy Halladay’s performance last night against the Tampa Bay Rays begs discussion.

He lasted just six innings, surrendering eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits and a walk; he struck out eight. Halladay has been my Cy Young pick for some time, but today I had to think about it a little more. His ERA ballooned to 3.03, .59 behind the leader, Zack Greinke. His WHIP is still a respectable 1.14 over 184 innings with a 6.63 SO/BB. Here is an interesting statistic, however: opposing batters are hitting .263 against the Toronto ace. That, to me, seems pretty high for Halladay.

His career BAA is .255–not bad, not great for the supposed best pitcher in baseball. But his 2009 BAA is up from recent years; last season it was .237. Halladay gives up hits. But he walks no one. Even last night, he gave up twelve hits, but just one walk, over six innings.

So, what’s up with Roy Halladay? The control is obviously still there to a certain extent (note the limited walks). But he is giving up more hits than normally. So perhaps he is missing his location within the strikezone.
Perhaps he is tired; he has gone on the DL before with a dead arm. Perhaps he is emotionally defeated after GM J.P. Ricciardi’s very public, very stupid trade spectacle. It could be a combination of those things or it could simply be that he has been missing his spots more often recently without any specific reason.

Why is it that Cito cant find room for JMac now that they seem to be out of the running for anything? I do realize that Scutaro is haveing a GREAT year..not just a good one, but it seems that Cito just doesnt think that possibly the best defensive SS in baseball deserves to play more. He is the only utility guy with less than like 20-25 starts in baseball.

gs,

I know dead arm is a serious issue ( link below ) and can only be healed with plenty of rest or in some cases surgery . I was asking for an article on Doc because I can’t recall him ever being shut down with arm problems or shoulder problems . Last year Posada was shut down for dead arm and eventually had surgery . There is a difference between fatique and so called dead arm . Not trying to be contrary ( ok maybe I am , woman’s perogative……lol.. ) I am hoping Doc is not injured which will effect his value

http://www.eorthopod.com/public/patient_education/3520/what_is_the_dead_arm_syndrome_mi_heard_on_espn.html

I am sure all players go through fatique but even the article on Jays’ site posted after last night’s game, Doc claims he is tired but feels good . I honestly believe going through that whole trade debacle has effected him . As Harry said he seems to have lost focus . It has to be frustrating for Doc to go out there and pitch knowing at years end the team will be no further ahead and its been that way every year. That the management let Rios go for nothing and found Rolen a new home , after he asked to be traded to be closer to his family . Yet the Jays Ace pitcher , who has stated he wants to atleast try to pitch for a contender, can’t be given what he wants . Jays management was given what appeared to be some decent offers but they weren’t blown away , now they will get less if Doc is injured . I would love it if Doc stayed with the Jays but I think a change of scenery is what he needs . Management may have shot themselves in the foot by not trading him earlier

jjkones,

Gaston is an offence guy and JMac’s numbers in that area aren’t great but I am not sure how they are suppose to improve if you are never given the chance . Why send down Accardo when he is pitching well and keep Camp ? I realize Accardo still has options and Camp would have to clear waivers but you have weakened the BP . Look at Tallet , he gets bounced around between starter and reliever . He has pitched so many innings this year if anybody should have dead arm it should be him …..lol……it’s a wonder his arm is still attached to his body . Guess we would have to be a manager to understand some decisions .

Indigo
Of course, you’re being contrary, country girls always are. lol If you go back and review Doc’s records from past years, there’s always a few games where he doesn’t perform. The worst, I think was in May of 2007 when he gave up 16 in two games.
The good news though is Doc and Romero are both getting an extra day off, so hopefully that helps the case for Doc and gives Romero a breather as well. We will likely know about Doc then, because if it’s focus, expect another crap outing, if it’s fatigue, hopefully this extra day does it for him.

Don’t misunderstand something, one way or the other we now get less from Doc, the Jays blew it, end of story. JP compounded the problem by taking the whole scenario public and both the Doc and the Jays pay for this clown’s incompetence.

I think I posted a statement that said having JP negotiate this deal was like sending a kindergarden kid to negotiate a stock sale with Warren Buffet-I stand by that statement today. BUT, I must say I wasn’t impressed that Beeston didn’t muzzle JP or take control of all communications.

gs

Actually , Doc was shut down in 2004 for a few weeks with arm/shoulder fatique . I forgot about his ugly year after he won the Cy …..age is catching up with me …..huh…lol..

I think Beeston is as much to blame as JP for the trading circus . I have noticed JP has been uncharacteristically quiet lately

My hometown team , the Redsox ( they should change their name …..lol.. ) have made the finals again . …..GOOOO Redsox …..only time you will see me type that here

From Bastian’s blog:

Blue Jays farmhands playing in the AFL: J.P. Arencibia, David Cooper, Brad Emaus, Adam Loewen.

So where is Brian Dopirak in this, why isn’t he going to the AFL? Does JP actually think Cooper is still going to become a power hitting first baseman? Do cows fly? Even Blue Jay’s own scouting reports state his max power ceiling is 10-15 home runs per year.
Cooper is going to end up being another nice player we pissed a bunch of cash away on, like Tolisano, Ahrens and Jackson in Dunedin-all 3 dismal performers.
Between these 4 first round picks by JP, the Jays spent over $4 million US dollars in signing bonuses. If anyone wants to see how dismal they are just check out their stats in Dunedin.
Dopirak is ready to go. For the year of 125 games between AA and AAA, Dopirak is hitting .313/.360/.560 with 39 doubles, 26 home runs and 92 rbi’s.
Cooper, in AA all year is hitting .256/.337/.385 with 30 doubles, 8 home runs and 59 rbi’s in 113 games.

And Adam Lowen, what’s that about. That experiment isn’t working, so why invest more in him. He’s already 25 and failing in Dunedin, with poorer performance than 4 other outfielders there, never mind the crop of good looking young outfielders in Lansing hitting Dunedin next year. Another waste of time and money decision by JP.

Hey, you’re not getting older just wiser and better. lol

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