Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Janssen's error costs Jays

Casey Janssen had his first rough patch since he was summoned last week to the Jays bullpen from Las Vegas, picking up the loss in the series opener against Boston. After shutting down the Sox in the 7th inning, Jassen ran into trouble in the 8th, issuing a walk to David Ortiz and a single to Nick Green. Then, Janssen fielded a Alex Gonzalez sacrifice bunt, and in a hastened attempt to get him out at first, he threw the ball away, allowing a run to score. The 27 year old winded up being charged with 3 runs, 1 of them earned, resulting in his 4th loss of the campaign.

The organization has decided to make Janssen a fixture in the bullpen following the injury plagued last two seasons, and it's a role that he's best suited in. Janssen was lights out as the setup man for Toronto in 2007, picking up 24 holds and fashioning a 2.35 ERA.

Having Janssen back and healthy is a positive sign for a Jays club that lacks consistent members in the back end of the bullpen, and he figures to be a key part of the 'pen in the upcoming season.

Jays fail to sign 3 of their top 4 draft picks

The Toronto Blue Jays have been preaching "financial flexibility" in the wake of the departure of Alex Rios and Scott Rolen. However, it sure doesn't seem that they've done anything with the cash saved, as they failed to sign three of their top four draft picks from the recent draft, including a pair of Canadians.

After inking Chad Jenkins, their first round selection, it was presumed the dominoes would fall, allowing Canadian pitchers James Paxton (compensation pick) and Jake Eliopoulos (second round) to ink on the dotted line. However, they, in addition to third round pick Jake Barrett did get their name on a contract before the Monday deadline. Also interesting to note, of the nine Canadian born players selected by Toronto in the draft, only one (Tony Fernandez's son, a 34th round pick) signed with the Jays.

The big question in all of this, why didn't Toronto bring these prospects into the fold? Ricciardi has been preaching the ability to sign players with salary slashed, but this goes against that line of thinking. For a team rebuilding in the toughest division in baseball, a surplus of young talent is essential. The Jays don't lose their draft selections because they'll receive compensatory picks next year, but they lose what could have been the services of three high end picks in their system this season.

The inability to sign three big drafts picks marks another black hole for an organization that hasn't made the playoffs since 1993.