I thought I’d provide an update on some of our hurting hurlers.
Josh Johnson – had an MRI to look at the sore triceps that forced him to miss a start during the Yankee series. No structure damage. Just some minor inflammation. Hopefully he won’t need any time on the DL and will make his next scheduled start. With the off day today, the Blue Jays can bump a couple guys up on regular rest and give Johnson a couple extra days if needed.
Sergio Santos – He is playing catch at 90 feet and will start throwing bullpen sessions very soon. You’ll remember he is on the DL for a triceps strain and is eligible to come off this week (but he won’t). Look for him to throw a couple bullpen sessions, get into a couple minor league games, and probably throw back-to-back games before the Jays bring him back. The Jays are saying at least a week, so let’s think he’ll be back in two weeks.
R.A. Dickey – He has experience neck and back pain for three straight outings and was scheduled to have an MRI today. Dickey doesn’t expect to miss any time on the DL but hopes the MRI will pinpoint a problem area so he can receive more effective treatment between starts to help deal with the pain. For his part, Dickey has been fairly effective in his last three outings and has managing to pitch through the tightness. Let’s hope he doesn’t require a stint on the DL.
If Johnson or Dickey should miss time……
Do the Jays pick up the pace in Ricky Romero’s comeback? They shouldn’t, but they probably will. Romero pitched a single-A game, his first minor league outing of the year after several bullpen sessions where he worked on new mechanics, and did very well. While we have to understand it was a game vs. single-A kids, Romero only allowed 1 run on 6 hits over 7 innings. He struck out 4 batters but more importantly walked ZERO. Equally as important, 15 of his outs were via the ground ball, so he must have been locating the ball extremely well. 7 innings = 21 outs. 15 via ground ball, 4 K’s….that means only 2 ball got into the air.
I think the Jays want to keep Romero in the minors for a bit and it wouldn’t surprise me if he works his way through the system (double-A, triple-A, etc). Yet, if Johnson or Dickey require a DL stint, the Jays will be tempted to rush Ricky back. I think they need to let the plan run its course (and hopefully everyone stays healthy and we don’t even have to think about it).
If everyone is healthy, when does Romero come back? Well, I doubt the Jays get through the entire year with the same 5 starters. It just doesn’t happen in the majors. But as long as all are healthy, look for the Jays to take things slow with Romero and build his confidence. I know it’s only 1 outing, but zero walks and 15 grounders is very encouraging.