I’m sitting here on my couch listening to the Jays take on the Phillies split squad and just counting down the days until the Blue Jays open up the 2011 season against the Twins this coming Friday in Toronto. Jays are up 6-5 in the eighth as I type. Jon Rauch getting some work with the game on the line.
There were some surprising and not so surprising developments that have taken place since I last posted five days ago.
From the not so surprising category, Brett Lawrie was sent down to minor league camp earlier this week and will open the season in Las Vegas. Octavio Dotel and Frank Francisco both won’t be ready for opening day but Dotel should be close to being ready but there is no timetable on Francisco yet. The good news is that Dr. James Andrews found no structural damage in Francisco’s shoulder.
From the surprising category, out of nowhere and after having a lights out spring, Brandon Morrow was placed on the DL with tightness in his right forearm. The Jays maintain that this is just a precautionary move and that Morrow should only miss one start but anything in the forearm/elbow area is cause for concern. However, I refuse to panic just yet and hope to see Morrow healthy and throwing soon.
With Morrow’s injury, the starting rotation is now set. Ricky Romero is in the #1 slot, followed by Drabek, Cecil, Reyes and Litsch. The rotation was apparently set by sticking with the spring training schedule but what pops out at me is Drabek being in the #2 slot. This would have been Morrow’s slot so when Morrow comes back does this mean Drabek is headed for AAA? One start for each pitcher is surely not going to trump what management saw over the course of the spring. Well we’ll just wait and see.
Brett Cecil appears to be having some issues with the velocity on his fastball. Apparently this is not uncommon for Cecil so we’re being told not to be concerned. However, count me as one who is concerned!
In other injury news, Scott Richmond has been sent down as he continues to battle back from shoulder surgery. He will be used as a starter in Vegas. Jesse Carlson still is experiencing discomfort in his elbow and still hasn’t resumed throwing. Corey Patterson got beaned by Josh Bard in Friday’s game against the Sox but appears to be fine.
I’m hoping the injury bug is not going to linger around the 2011 Blue Jays. The pitching staff has been dinged but the lineup appears to be healthy with the exception of Scott Posednik. Aaron Hill is playing regularly and seems to be recovered from is right quad injury. I’m very nervous about not having Morrow, Dotel, and Francisco ready for opening day. The Jays have a brutal April schedule so the probability of them getting into a big hole early is getting higher everyday.
In the next few days, I’ll write about where I think the Blue Jays will finish this year and what kind of season I expect some of the Jays will have. Stay tuned….