Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy September Call-Ups Eve

By
‘Twas the night before September call-Ups, when all through the clubhouse,
The players were stirring, and flames of speculation ready to douse.
Their bags were all packed by the door with great care,
In hopes that Santopoulos soon would be there.

Ah yes, it’s that time of year we all look forward to … September call-ups. On the eve of the roster expansions, we await to hear which prospects will get the call to join the Blue Jays in Baltimore and embark on their major league career.

As a byproduct of where the Blue Jays are developmentally, we’ve been fortunate to watch most of the club’s highly touted prospects. Eric Thames, Henderson Alvarez, Brett Lawrie, Joel Carreno and Brian Jeroloman already occupy spots on the roster.

Jeroloman still has to receive a lick of playing time, and September could very well provide that window of opportunity for him. The Blue Jays do need a backup catcher for 2012, and a tandem of Arencibia/Jeroloman appears very enticing.

Arguably the two most anticipated September call-ups for the Blue Jays will be Dustin McGowan and Adam Loewen. While Loewen is not currently on the 40-man roster, there is a spot free for him to be added … which means he can join the big league club.

The countdown clock has been ticking on Adam Loewen now for quite some time, and with minor league free agency looming, the Blue Jays will need to decide what to do with him sooner rather than later.

Loewen has played his season in Las Vegas predominantly in right field, but also has experience at first base and centre field. Depending on how severe Colby Rasmus’ injury is, perhaps Adam gets playing time in centre field … but more than likely, it would be in left field.

It’s a very tricky situation for the Blue Jays because they essentially have to decide within the next four weeks if they want Adam Loewen to continue to be part of the organization. After three seasons rebuilding him as a position player, I can’t imagine the Blue Jays would let Loewen walk away that easily.

And then we have Dustin McGowan; it’s been a long and winding road back to the major leagues for the former mainstay in the Blue Jays rotation, and hopefully he’ll get another opportunity to reclaim that title.

I know the Blue Jays have said on multiple occasions they are trying to stretch Dustin McGowan out into a starting pitcher, but like most, I think he’s much better served in the bullpen.

Not that I claim to be a doctor or anything, but wouldn’t the strain from tossing 5-6 innings every five days be much more than throwing one inning on back-to-back days? Again, I know next to nothing on conditioning, but wouldn't 5-6 innings over the course of one week be better for a pitcher than lumped into one outing?

Aside from Loewen and McGowan, maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of Adeiny Hechavarria, David Cooper, Moises Sierra, or even Alan Farina or P.J. Walters? The bullpen could definitely use the backup.

6 comments:

  1. With the obvious caveat that I'm also not a doctor...

    I think they determined that a planned routine for McGowan's arm was better than the uncertainty of bullpen work. We've seen it with different guys over the years, and it really does vary from person to person. Sometimes the arm is better suited to more shorter outings (like the bullpen) and sometimes for a more planned, structured routine like starting. It might be more strain, but it's one day out of five, as opposed to two or three. And what of the times he gets warmed up to come in and never sees game action? That's also taxing on an arm.

    All that said, I hope we do see McGowan, however it needs to be. Good on the Jays for doing right by him.

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  2. Dave C, just my speculation - obviously the team doctors and trainers have a much better idea what will work best for Dusty. Glad to see the organization has stuck by him all these years, and hopefully we get to see him toss a couple of times in September!

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  3. Alan Farina had TJ surgery, out 8-10 months.
    Starting puts less strain because of the schedule the Jays a starter has. Imagine McGowan having to warm up on the fly, not knowing when he's pitching, etc. Better off in the rotation, IMO.

    Another arm I think we'll see this September is Chad Jenkins. He has the innings to come up here and still pitch.

    I also think you'll see Henn ahead of Walters. Need to see who will comprise the bullpen next season.

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  4. GC, thanks for the update sir - I had no idea. Chad Jenkins would be cool to see, he's had a great season in AA thus far.

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  5. It's Sept 2nd and I still haven't seen one word on callups. What's going on?

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  6. Anon, the word is AA doesn't want to call up anybody until their respective season in the minors is over. I think the 51's wrap up this weekend, and the Fisher Cats are headed to the playoffs. We'll likely see some guys come up from Vegas next week.

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