Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Downs solid upon return from DL

It has only been a small sampling of Scott Downs' work since his return from the disabled list, but the early indications are that the Jays closer has returned to his fine form the team has been accustomed to the past three seasons. In his two outings, Downs, who has worked the 8th inning on both occasions, has allowed no earned runs with two hits, a walk and a strike out.

The club has indicated they will gradually ease him back into his role as the Jays stopper instead of inserting him in the 9th inning role immediately. The 33 year old has been looking to shake off a rough stretch that saw his ERA balloon from 1.84 to 3.41 in a matter of six games last month. In those contests, Downs, still battling the effects of a toe injury suffered while running out of the batters box, allowed 7 earned runs in 5 frames, blowing two saves and picked up the loss three times.

With his stellar relief out of the bullpen the past couple of seasons, it's no wonder the team's relievers struggled in his absence this year. When healthy, Downs can be dominant, frustrating hitters with his good fastball and sharp breaking ball. Presuming he doesn't suffer another set back in his health, he'll have many more opportunities to close out games for the Blue Jays this season.