Saturday, March 27, 2010

Send Rzepczynski to minors so Eveland can start

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm a big fan of Casey Janssen and feel he deserves to be on the club. He's up against Dana Eveland, amongst others, for a spot in the bullpen. Eveland shouldn't even be considered for the 'pen; Toronto should make him a part of the rotation and send Marc Rzepczynski down to AAA because he has looked brutal during spring training.

Even though Rzepczynski had a very solid rookie campaign, he is still extremely young and unproven despite his 3.67 ERA in 11 starts last season. However, in the spring this year, he has struggled with his command, allowing 9 earned runs in 16 innings, giving up 17 hits for a 5.06 ERA. The 24 year old has pretty good potential, but why not allow him to find his game in the minors and allow the veteran Eveland to start out the campaign as part of the rotation?

The 26 year old Eveland started 29 games in 2008, with a decent ERA of 4.34. He is being considered for the Blue Jays bullpen, where he'd fit in well as a long reliever. However, with the influx of pitchers vying for a job in the pen, including incumbents Jeremy Accardo, Josh Roenicke and Casey Janssen, why not move Eveland to the rotation, freeing up another spot for one of the young relievers? After all, he has a 1.69 ERA over the course of 16 innings, including one start.

I hope Casey Janssen makes the team!

I'm pulling hard for Casey Janssen to make the Blue Jays bullpen this year. Big time. It's been a couple of frustrating seasons for Janssen, but he can be a very important piece in a late inning role. Even though he missed all of the '08 season and had a pedestrian 5.85 ERA in 21 apperances last year, including 5 starts, the guy can flat out pitch.

In '07, he was one of the better up and coming late innings guys in baseball, racking up 24 holds with a dazzling 2.35 ERA. When healthy, that's the type of pitcher he can be. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been the problem. What's working against him is Cito Gaston wasn't the manager when he had his best year but he's doing his best to impress the bench boss this spring. The 28 year old has strung together five innings of shutout ball with five K's while allowing just one hit and one walk.

Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs as locks to make the 'pen, with Jesse Carlson and Shawn Camp presumably also on the squad. That leaves Janssen to duke it out with Dana Eveland, Jeremy Accardo, Josh Roenicke and David Purcey for two spots. Let's hope Janssen is part of that mix. He might prove to be a reliable stalwart in the 8th inning role in 2011 with Frasor and Downs presumably flying the coop after the season.