Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jeremy Accardo update

Jeremy Accardo came over from the San Francisco Giants in the deal that shipped Shea Hillenbrand out of town in 2006. After filling in as the closer admirably for an injured B.J. Ryan in '07, where he saved 30 games, the deal hasn't looked as lopsided as it initially did.

After going down in May with forearm soreness, Accardo missed the remainder of the 2008 campaign . He didn't break it into the bullpen to start this season, instead being groomed as the closer in AAA Las Vegas.

Accardo has responded well to the demotion of sorts. In 8 innings, spanning 6 appearances, the former Giant has closed the door in 3 games, and has a respectable ERA of 2.25. Had the injury to Ryan occurred later in the season, Accardo might have received the call to Toronto. For now, the Jays are content to keep him with Las Vegas to see if he can find his form as a stopper on his road back from his own injury.

This season, the 27 year old Accardo has been passed over in promotions north of the border by the likes of Bill Murphy, Bryan Bullington and Brian Burres.

Casey Janssen's first rehab start

Rookie Casey Janssen busted onto the major league scene in 2006, starting 17 games for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2007, he was a dominant force at the back end of the Jays bullpen, posting 24 holds. Optimistic about a job in the starting rotation in 2008, he tore his labrum in spring training and missed the entire season. Destined to break it with the big club this season, he suffered yet another setback, yanking himself in his final tuneup in spring training with soreness in his shoulder and has been shelved since.

On Monday, Janssen had his first rehab start with class-A Dunedin. The early results are encouraging. There are conflicting reports of his stat line, some saying he pitched 3 innings, others 4. However, he did not allow a single run, while whiffing 3 batters.

Janssen will make at least a couple more minor league starts before he's given a clean bill of health, but if all goes well, he might be back in Toronto's rotation rotation sometime in May.

Richmond earns 3rd win of season

Scott Richmond has 3 wins already this season. The Canadian has not lost a start. And his ERA is a full one run better then ace Roy Halladay. Have you woken up yet?

Just one month into the 2009 season, and it's hard to find anyone who predicted Scott Richmond would be even a decent major league pitcher, let alone a guy who would post the 12th best ERA in the American League (2.70) to this point. In Tuesday night's 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals, Richmond had his longest outing of his career, putting together 7 solid innings to go along with 5 strikeouts.

Richmond certainly has been aided by a potent Blue Jays attack, averaging 9.5 runs of support in his four starts. Some of those games, however, the game was close and then Toronto busted out with an offensive onslaught.

A hurler will always have an upper hand facing hitters the first and even second time around. The challenge for Richmond as the season progresses is to keep up his brilliant start when ball clubs have the book on his tendencies. If he can continue to pitch well in August & September, then the Jays might have found themselves a gem.

Or he could be the next Josh Towers.