Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Son of a bitch

As Johnny pointed out, 5th starter candidate Casey Janssen is done for the year with a torn labrum. Fan 590 broke the news (but the link is to Rotoworld), and this really, mother fucking sucks.

The Fan 590 in Toronto reports that Casey Janssen will miss the season with a torn labrum. The Toronto Star has since confirmed the news.
Janssen will undergo surgery after cutting a Tuesday warmup short due to pain in his right shoulder. Jesse Litsch will likely break camp as the team's fifth starter, and suddenly that Armando Benitez signing makes a little more sense. Janssen was a workhorse for the Jays last season, appearing in 70 games and finishing 2-3 with a stellar 2.35 ERA. Mar. 12 - 10:26 am et

As far as injuries go, this is really bad news. I'm not an expert on torn labrums, so I may be overstating things, but this could be an issue that lasts beyond the year. Torn labrums are difficult to recover from, and it's possible Janssen may never pitch the same again. Damn shame, cause I had a ton of faith in him.

In his absence, as Roto points out, Litsch will most likely take the 5th spot. Perennial victory candidate Chacin is likely headed to AAA as Johnny pointed out, so the once sufficient depth the Jays had at starting pitching is quickly being depleted. Potential options on the 40 man roster include: Banks, Chacin, Purcey, Davis Romero (although I doubt he can start..), and Randy Wells.

From the list above, it seems that the best option is going to be praying to whatever Gods you believe in that Doc, AJ, Dusty, Marcum & Litsch stay healthy all year. Randy Wells does look like a better pickup, assuming he has any chance of starting in an emergency. Romero won't be called up to start, Banks is Towers in the making, and we all know what not to expect from Chacin. Purcey is the wild card - if he can put together a solid season and move past his control issues, we've got a legitimate option.

At this point I guess the next best option is to hope Parrish's spring showing is not a fluke, and that Arnsberg and crew have fixed his delivery. By that of course, I mean the walks better fucking be down as he stretches out in AAA if he wants to be the first guy called up.

I'm coming around to Johnny's idea of signin Lohse. He's league average, and he'll eat up some innings. Beyond that, it keeps Litsch's service time down and gives him a chance to work at AAA. We're going to need depth as the season goes on, and getting all the help we can get would be awesome. Especially if Johnson gets traded, we might just find ourselves with an extra 3 million to throw at someone. While I would gladly put on the uniform and pitch for the league minimum, I wouldn't be opposed to JP signing Lohse.

The only caution I want to put on this, is that Lohse has been league average in the NL, in Cinci and in Philly. What worries me is he did slightly better in Cinci than Philly, a part I must assume is due to facing inferior lineups. The Braves, Mets & Marlins had the 3rd, 4th and 6th best offensive lineups in the NL, respectively. So part of his drop off was probably due to facing these lineups more often. Although it was a fairly small sample size in Philly.

His last good year in the AL was 2005, so it'd be a risky signing. But if we're going to be cautious, and try to keep Litsch's service time down & let him get just a little more experience, it'd be worth it.

While Janssen wasn't going to play a huge role in the 5th starters spot, this does have a pretty big ripple effect as far as the rest of the season is concerned. That being said, I completely disagree with Roto on the Benitez signing making any sense. As far as I'm concerned, the pen wouldn't have included Janssen, and it will include: Ryan, Accardo, League, Downs, Frasor, Tallet & Wolfe. Benitez is just minor league depth, and the move doesn't get any better or worse because Janssen is injured.

If I remember correctly, a fifth starter isn't needed until April 12th or so. This does give the team a decent amount of time to find a fifth guy. And while this next comment isn't intended as a slight to Gibbons, I think that heading into the season we have to be very cautious about the pitch counts faced by the starters. We still have a phenomenal bullpen, one that anybody with a clue will vouch for as one of the best in the AL, if not the majors. Let's take advantage of that depth and make sure the remaining starters can stay healthy, and productive for the rest of the season.


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