Over 162 game season you gotta figure this thing rings over a thousand times. If you are sitting in the 100 level outfields you can hear it. Under normal circumstances, it means that something bad is about to happen or is happening in the game and the coaching staff is trying to stop it by changing pitchers. The way major league rosters are currently structured, they allow for 7 relief roles. This post will examine the options available for your Toronto Blue Jays if the season started tomorrow.
54 Jason Frasor RHP: Basically a lock for a spot most likely the set up or closer role.
37 Scott Downs LHP: See above.
56 Brian Tallet LHP: Wolverine is the "swinger". He has value as a long man and spot starter.
57 Shawn Camp RHP: Tough on right handed hitters.
39 Jesse Carlson LHP: Deceptive delivery. Frequent, short outings. Cito abuses Jesse.
I figure these 5 guys, if healthy, break camp and go north. Cito used all these players in specific roles last year and is comfortable with them. That leaves two jobs up for grabs. Both would be true middle relievers, fifth, sixth or seventh inning type guys. We already have three lefties, which is a luxury, so I anticipate both men will be right handed. The candidates:
33 Josh Roenicke RHP: Power arm. Top prospect. Needs to update his official website.
49 Jeremy Accardo RHP: Certainly pitched well enough to earn a spot. Seems to have fallen out of favour with the field manager. His agent used the media to talk to the brain trust.
11 Zechry Zinicola RHP: Rule 5 draft pick. He would have to remain on the 25 man roster ALL season or be offered back to Colarado before going to the minors. Based solely on his numbers, he's probably going back.
58 Dirk Hayhurst RHP: Cito seems to have a soft spot for this guy. Last spring, he agreed to be demoted off the 40 man and sign a minor league deal. If he pitches well, will get a long look at camp.
44 Casey Janssen RHP: Mentioned more as a courtesy.
That list does not even take into account any starters that don't make the rotation (Richmond, please God) or other young farmhands that might emerge during the spring. I think that a guy who shows he can be effective more than one inning will have the inside track on one of the roles. I also think that we need a cleaner. Someone who can come in and get a strikeout in tough situations.
Here is what Boy Wonder is saying:
"It's really too early to tell. We've got a lot of good bullpen candidates," Anthopoulos said. "I think a lot of that will sort itself out in the spring. Really, with all these guys, the more players we add with options, the more of a true competition we can make it and, hopefully, break with the best team."
Translation: We got two spots open. Grip it and rip it.
I think the "break with the best team" is bullshit. The way I see it is it will all come down to who is out of options and the Rule 5 guy.
Hope ZZ pitches better than he dresses.....