So, according to Cito Gaston, while Jeremy Accardo is in the mix for a starting rotation job, Casey Janssen really isn't. Good to know. Anyway, although GM J.P. Ricciardi has been saying how Janssen is the leading candidate for the 4th starter job and is really only under consideration as a starter, Cito has a different idea. Janssen won't see any game action for at least another week so I wouldn't expect this to clear up anytime soon. I have to say, with Janssen coming off such a serious injury, I wondered at the time that JP was making those comments, which came early and often this offseason, whether it was a bit of a smokescreen for not signing any free agent starting pitchers.
If Casey's arm won't allow him to start at this point, I can understand that, but strategically it makes little sense to use him in the bullpen. The Jays have two holes in their starting rotation and Janssen has good experience as a major-league pitcher and 5 pitches to work with. The bullpen is so crowded that Cito can't promise Brandon League, who had a 2.18 ERA last season and got 4.71 ground balls for every fly ball, a job, so using Janssen there will just mean that more quality arms are pitching low-leverage innings. I know that the Jays played a lot of close games last season, but there's no guarantee that happens again this year, especially considering the rotation situation. If Janssen makes the team as a reliever, League will be battling Jason Frasor for a job.
Travis Snider has a stomach virus, causing him to miss yesterday's game - not sure if he'll be back today.
Fangraphs has an interesting little piece on David Purcey, chronicling his development.
Anyway, today's game is at 1:05 at Dunedin. Ricky Romero will start for the Jays. More, perhaps at gametime. We're snowed in here so it's nice to imagine baseball.
[Note by hugo, 03/02/09 12:27 PM EST ] Here's the Starting lineup:
Joe Inglett, RF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
Kevin Millar, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Brad Emaus, 3B
Brian Dopriak, DH
John McDonald, SS
Raul Chavez, C
So, the fact that Raul Chavez has to bat behind Johnny Mac makes me really, really hope that he isn't the one to get the backup catcher job. Seeing more of Barrett soon would be good, as Thigpen isn't looking so hot and Jeroloman seems destined for AA - it's likely between Barrett and Chavez. There's Kyle Phillips - I can't really get past the fact that he's related to Jason Phillips and evaluate him an option, though. Looks like Snider is still out sick, and Rince's guy Jason Lane gets the start in center field. The game will be on gameday audio, and I'll be listening as we're snowed in and I'm not working today.