Friday, May 1, 2009

Jays promote prospect Brett Cecil; two others

With question marks arising regarding their pitching staff, the Toronto Blue Jays have dipped into the farm to call up two prospects that will be installed into the rotation, and a familiar face will be inserted into the bullpen.

Brett Cecil gets the call up and it's expected he'll make his major league debut Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians. As noted by Toronto Blue Jays Way a couple weeks ago, Cecil hasn't exactly lit the world on fire in AAA Las Vegas, though he showed tepid improvement in his final tuneup. In 4 starts, the 2007 1st round draft selection went 0-3 with a poor 8.31 ERA. His last outing, however, was his best, as Cecil went 6 innings, allowing just 3 runs to go along with 5 strikeouts.

Also heading north is 25 year old Texan Robert Ray. He was a 7th round pick in 2005, and initially impressed in class-A ball. Injuries hampered the big righty the following two years, so it's been hard to gauge whether Ray could be a quality major league pitcher. In his one start in AAA this year, Ray did not allow a run in 4.1 innings.

Packing his bags for Canada is righty Brian Wolfe. He's back after bouncing between the Jays and AAA for the past couple of seasons. In his two previous stints with the Blue Birds, Wolfe was effective, posting a 2.81 ERA and a record of 3-3.

Jays demote Purcey, 2 other pitchers

Following their first series loss against Kansas City, the Toronto Blue Jays have made three roster moves, all involving their depleted pitching staff.

The most notable demotion is that of David Purcey. In 5 starts, the lefty struggled with his command, losing twice and posting a very poor 7.01 ERA. He struck out 26 batters in 25.2 innings, but was a walking machine, issuing 18 free passes. Purcey will be sent down in hopes that he works out the kinks he had in April. The tall southpaw must show considerable improvement in AAA Las Vegas or he risks getting passed in the organizational depth chart by several young pitchers.

Toronto also announced the demotion of starter Brian Burres (0-2 with a bloated 14.21 ERA) and reliever Bryan Bullington (7 hits, 6 walks, 2 earned runs in 6 innings)

Jays lose first series of season to KC

It was bound to happen some time. The Jays lost 8-6 to the Kansas City Royals in a matinee affair to lose their first series of the season. All three losses revealed that the patchwork rotation might be coming apart at the seams.

On Thursday, lefty Brian Burres stunk up the joint, allowing 6 runs, 4 of which were earned, in 2 plus innings. Reliever Bryan Bullington didn't fare much better, surrendering a pair of runs in his 3 innings of work.

The Jays had their chances to earn a split in the 4 game set at Kauffman Stadium. With a little more luck, they could have won the final game despite Burres and Bullington's struggles. Toronto bounced into a club record (for a 9 inning ball game) 6 double play balls! The astounding mark tied the Blue Birds for an American League record.

With the month of April being one of great statistics and series win streaks and a very respectable record of 15-9, funny it should end on the Jays first two game losing streak, and a franchise history record for futility.