Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Downs heading to DL; Cito fuming

Scott Downs injured his left foot running out of the batters box last night against the Phillies. Downs, unaccustomed to taking hacks at the plate, broke toward first after making contact, appearing to roll his foot. He took himself out of the contest, and afterwords X-rays came back negative. An MRI today revealed Downs has a sprained left toe, so he will be yet another Jays pitcher part of the walking wounded.

Manager Cito Gaston was not a fan of interleague play in National League ball parks before the game, and he was even more livid afterwards. The normally stoic Gaston spoke with conviction, lamenting that his pitchers are not used to swinging the bat, making them much more susceptible to injury when batting. The loss is crippling to a Jays pitching staff that has been ravaged by injuries to Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Jesse Litsch, Casey Janssen, Ricky Romero and most recently Roy Halladay.

With Downs going on the shelf the Jays could entertain slotting reliable Jason Frasor into the 9th inning to close out games. In 2004, he shut down 17 games for Toronto. There is also former stopper B.J. Ryan that could at some point slide back in the role (he hasn't given up a run in 7 straight appearances), or call up Jeremy Accardo to tab him as the team's closer. Accardo has 9 saves and a 3.38 ERA for AAA Las Vegas this season and previously, saved 30 games for the Jays in 2007.


Jay McMahon said...

I keep hearing from people (and Blue Jay announcers) that Cito should have told Downs not to swing the bat and take the strikeout. Wow, what great retrospect! Cito didn't do anything wrong here; Downs caught a bad break, as did the Jays. It's too bad that BJ Ryan was terrible tonight, and truly showed that he's scared to fire one down the middle, as he could have had a chance to get his job back. Jason Frasor has earned this shot, and I truly believe that Scott Downs, needs to be put in the rotation. It wasn't that long ago that the Jays weren't sure where to put him.

Michael Harrison said...

I agree with your assessment with Ryan. Even though it wasn't a save situation, had he thrown strikes he might have made Cito consider putting him in there for tight ball games. At least for now, no change...

Downs is such a good pitcher that having him in the rotation would be great. I think though with there being such unreliable arms at the moment in the pen, they'll need him back asap saving games.

I'm very intrigued with the possibility of Jeremy Accardo being the closer. I can't believe he hasn't been called up yet, but I suppose they wanted to keep him down in Las Vegas to get primed as a closer in the event this happened.