Concentrate on the black dot. Move your head closer and then farther away.
Your Toronto Blue Jays have three guys who are pretty much locks for the starting rotation in 2010. Those same three guys will undoubtedly be the first three guys in the rotation.
Ricky Romero is a young lefty who gets a lot of ground ball outs. He is entering his second season after a successful rookie campaign.
Shaun Marcum is a soft throwing righthander that keeps the ball down and pitches to contact. He is a pitcher not a thrower and relies on his defense to make plays for him. He is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Brandon Morrow is a flamethrowing righty that brings the heat all day. He doesn't need to hit his spots all the time to get people out. He has never thrown more than 70 innings in one season.
So how do you set them up in the starting rotation to maximize the effectiveness of the different pitching styles?
I think we should go Marcum, Romero, Morrow. Here's why.....
Marcum can locate all of his pitches and throws under 90mph. He will slow down the bats and make the hitters feel comfortable in the batters box. They will get great swings, just not square it up. Because of this, a high number of balls will be put in play. The fielders will be able to stay in the game on defense which should help them produce when it's our turn to hit. We are going to need them to preform beyond there abilities because we will be facing the other teams ace.
Romero then gets the ball and turns around any switch hitters. Also, the right handed hitters will get the start against him after watching Marcum the day before. He has less pressure on him and should feel like he doesn't have to win games on his own. He can use his splitter, keep the ball down and the innings short. This should help keep our fielders in the game, much the same way Marcum does.
Morrow then takes the ball and turns around all the switch hitters again. The left handed hitters will be re-inserted into the line up, having sat against Romero and last faced Marcum. Their timing should be off the first time through the batting order which should allow us to get an early lead in the game. Morrow will not be able to go deep into games this season and should have an innings cap. After two times through the order he can hand the ball over to the bullpen, hopefully in line for a win.
And if I had to guess, the next two pitchers will be lefties. Brain Tallet and Dana Eveland should do just fine for now. Regardless of what our field manager says, I am not convinced Marc Rzepczynski will be on the opening day roster. He has option years left and because of that, I believe he starts the year in AAA.
"I like the way he pitched for us last year," Gaston said about Rzep. "As I've said, his record surely didn't show how well he pitched for us last year, but he did a good job. And, he did a great job today. Like I've said, when we leave, we leave with him."
Once Dustin McGowan is ready to go you let him be your fifth starter and send Wolverine to the pen. You can skip him whenever there is an off day. This should keep him fresh and will help keep his innings down. Plus his mid nineties fastball will be a perfect lead in to Marcum and his soft stuff.
Not having a true ace will be tough this year but if we set up our rotation wisely, we may be able to get away with it.
To start the year:
Once McGowan returns:
What do you guys think?
I wrote all this out, checked King Jordan's blog for a quote and found this: click here