Thursday, 14 August 2008

Down and out for the count

I'm sure most of you saw last night, Scott Downs sprained his ankle - the Jays have no idea how long he'll be out for. My guess, is that he's probably done for the year if it's a bad sprain. Even if it's just a small sprain, it might not be a bad idea to just shut him down for the year since we're pretty much out of it.

As I pointed out a couple of days ago, Downs was only one of the best relievers in all of baseball. So this is a pretty big loss for a team, even one with as much depth as the Jays. Parrish is likely going to be the guy called back up, although it would be interesting if Brian Wolfe or Davis Romero was recalled.

My big question though, is why was Downs coming into the game with a 4 run lead? It's not a "save situation" (which I think is stupid to use your best relievers, anyways, but thats for another time), so you don't need to use your closer. Ryan apparently couldn't pitch, so with a 4 run lead Cito opts to go to his best reliever.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but due up that inning was Placido Polanco (Right handed hitter), Magglio Ordonez (right handed batter) and Miguel Cabrera (right handed batter). I get that Downs is capable of getting out right handed hitters, but Downs shouldn't have been in the game to begin with. You know why?


I'm sorry, but there's absolutely no reason to use Downs with a 4 run lead heading into the 9th with 3 right handed batters up when you have Shawn Camp (hadn't been used since the 10th) and Brandon League available in the bullpen. You can give Downs a day off, and save him for a situation he's actually needed in. Hell, use Carlson if you want. But don't waste Downs with a 4 run lead. If you can't trust another reliever to get 3 out without giving up 4 runs, then the bullpen is in a lot more trouble than we thought.

While I'm not directly blaming Cito for the Downs injury, he shouldn't have been out there last night for that situation.



Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Downs was out there because he only threw 20 pitches in the first two games against Detroit. That's not much. It's not like he was overworked and absolutely needed the day off.

He was out there because, like you said, he's one of the best relievers in baseball, and our best man out of the pen. And because that Tigers team, regardless of their record, can rake.

I don't think Cito can be faulted on the move. Downs is always up there in appearances b/c he doesn't throw a lot of pitches. It was an unfortunate injury, probably due to the fact the grass was wet from the rain.

I don't know, I didn't have a problem with him being out there. He's the man, after all.

And until these 15 games with the Sox/Yanks/Rays are complete, we're not out of anything.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with Twitchy. It was dumb when Downs came in and that's what matters, regardless of the injury. And unlike you, I will say that Cito IS directly to blame. Putting your players in unnecessarily just opens them up for unnecessary injury risks.

Anonymous said...

What a joke - stop playing manager - you don't think everyone's micromanaging would be criticized as much as Cito's? Downs had thrown 20 pitches the last two nights (typically what BJ throws in ONE night); you can't blame a freak injury like this on Cito, unless, of course, we blame Aaron hill's injury on JP for signing Eckstein. Sigh.

The Southpaw said...

Guys, with a 4 run lead you don't bring in your best reliever. It's as simple as that. That's a garbage time situation right there. Ignore the Downs injury for a second - you can't reasonably argue to use your best pen arm in the 9th with a 4 run lead. It's just not smart managing. Especially when you've guys like Camp sitting around in the pen for situations like that.

You can't tell me that the team with the best bullpen in the game can't afford to bring out one of the lesser relievers with a 4 run lead in the 9th.