From Will Carroll in Baseball Prospectus:
The Jays have been succeeding so far almost in spite of their pitching, holding up through April with Roy Halladay and a seeming cast of thousands. The Jays' assorted injury issues in the rotation are already well documented, but few observers have noticed how variegated they are. They've had elbow, shoulder, back, and oblique issues. They've had injuries at literally every level. They've had problems with guys who they've drafted and developed, and guys that they picked up this winter. There's no one thing to blame, which leaves us looking at J.P. Ricciardi. Perhaps it's unfair, but at what point, absent other answers, does the buck stop with the GM? Organizational philosophy is about the only thing that these pitchers have in common, so unless you're willing to say this is a terrible run of luck that's lasted for three years, you have to look upstairs. The Jays should be getting Romero back from his oblique strain soon. He's scheduled to throw in Dunedin, followed shortly by Ryan, who continues to look for his lost velocity.
What does he think happens? JP sneaks into these guys' hotel rooms at night and cuts them open, wrecks a different piece of them and then sews them back up? Or maybe he somehow identifies pitchers that are likely to be injured and drafts or trades for them? It just makes no sense, if all the players had the same sort of injury, maybe then we could point a finger. Or if they all were over worked. Or if JP sat at the window of a room in the Skydome hotel with rifle and used the pitchers for target practice, then we could point the finger at JP.
Looking at the injuries in question. Ricky Romero's oblique injury, to me, is pretty much a fluke thing, I don't think anyone could have forecasted it. Jesse Litsch's forearm injury came early this season, I don't think you can point to overuse as the cause, I don't think Cito rode him too hard. Cassey Janssen's happened early in camp last spring, again I don't see that it was caused by over work.
Dustin McGowan's shoulder, on the other hand, I will lay at the feet of John Gibbons. His innings worked jumped a bunch from 2006 to 2007 and that's something that does seem to cause injuries in young pitchers. IN 2008 it caught up to him. Shawn Marcum's elbow problem I kind of blame on Cito, Marcum came off the DL last year and we were told his first start back he had a ceiling of 65 pitched, course Cito left him in for 85. Next two starts he was over his pitch count ceiling as well. Maybe that had nothing to do with his injury but I wish Cito would have been gentler with him at that point. But that is the one and only pitcher injury I'll rag on Cito for, he seems to have bought into the idea of being gentle on the young arms and I applaud him for that.
Maybe instead of blaming him for the injuries, maybe we could applaud for having so many major league ready type pitchers. The Jays have had five potential major league starters injuried this season. Can you imagine where the Yankees would be if CC was healthy but Joba, Pettitte, AJ, Wang and Phil Hughes were all hurt? Stop giggling. Oh ok, maybe giggle a little. But don't pray that happens, that would be wrong. I think. Clearly the Yankees wouldn't be in first place. How about the Red Sox if Beckett were healthy but Lester, DiceK, Wakefield, Penny and Masterson were all on the DL? I know, party at Hugo's house. They sure wouldn't be battling with us for first.
So let's give JP a little credit here or if we are going to blame him for all the injuries to the starting pitchers, at least give us some clue of how you think he is to blame.
Anyway, I am planning to do a post sometime in the near future about looking at what JP has done right and wrong putting together the team that is at the top of the AL East at the moment, as soon as I get a couple of hours strung together to get it written but I couldn't read Carroll's comment without questioning it.