Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tattered Jays bullpen receives shakeup

A taxed Blue Jays bullpen that has been totally annihilated the past four games has been given a face lift, as the organization has demoted two struggling hurlers and purchased the contract of a pair from AAA Las Vegas. Hard throwing Josh Roenicke and lefty Rommie Lewis (who?) are in, with the little used Merkin Valdez joins Jeremy Accardo as the relievers that are out.

Accardo has really fallen on hard times, allowing all six inherited runners to score this year, putting up a ghastly 8.10 ERA, which, though awful, is actually worse than the number suggests. Valdez, was brought to the team in the off-season from San Fran, but mostly only made the cut because he was out of options and the Jays didn't want to expose him to waivers. He wasn't effective in the two contests he entered, so Toronto now has 10 days to release him, trade him or try to pass him through waivers to AAA.

As for the call-ups, the 26 year old Roenicke is back with Toronto after playing down the stretch in '09 following the trade from Cincinnati in the Scott Rolen deal. He hasn't allowed a run with the Las Vegas 51's this year in 8 2/3 innings. The 27 year old Lewis, who impressed Cito Gaston in spring training, receives the promotion and will make his long awaited debut in a major league uniform after being drafted way back in 2001. He's been solid in the minors, posting a 2.35 ERA in 7 outings following a dazzling 1.50 ERA over 6 innings in the spring.

What does this mean for the Jays bullpen? It allows the team to bring in fresh arms after cycling through countless pitchers the past four games, however these two shouldn't be leaned upon too heavily going forward. Roenicke has the most upside, and if he can consistently find the strike zone could find himself a bigger part of the relief corps. Lewis will need to impress early in order to stay with the team for any length of time.

1 comment:

jim mora jr. said...

is he jeremy roenicke's brother?