Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Dana Eveland the Dark Horse
By Ian Hunter
Position players all but divvied out at the onset of Spring Training, but pitchers vying to win a spot in the starting rotation have to fight tooth and nail to prove themselves to the coaching staff.
Luckily for Dana Eveland, he just might have pitched himself onto the Opening Day roster.
A dark horse candidate from the onset of Spring Training, Eveland hasn't disappointed yet. Jordan Bastian tweeted Eveland's line from Spring Training thus far - he leads all Blue Jays starters with 21 innings pitched, accompanied by a sparkling 1.23 ERA. Not too shabby for a guy who wasn't even in the conversation when it came to candidates for the starting five.
At this point, it should be a no brainer to put Dana Eveland on the roster. For one, he is out of options and would have to clear waivers to be sent down to Las Vegas. If that were the case, it would make those innings pitched all for nothing if Eveland doesn't even make the rotation.
The Manager claims only two of the five spots in the starting rotation are accounted for, so that leaves Brian Tallet, Marc Rzepczynski, Brandon Morrow, and Dana Eveland left to fill out the remaining three spots. With the most experience, in my opinion Tallet and Eveland are the favourites to win the final two starting rotation slots.
For the most part, we know what Brian Tallet is capable of. Morrow, Cecil and Rzepczynski are part of the long term plans for the Blue Jays, so there's no real reason to rush them along any quicker than they need to be.
Dana Eveland on the other hand, is the wild card. There could be a lot of upside to him ... or he could get completely lit up the first two months of the season and I could be completely wrong. However, that's the kind of chance the Blue Jays are going to have to take on Eveland.
Sometimes you just have to roll the dice and hope you don't get snake eyes.