Blow Jay

At this point, it’s hard not to make a case for removing B.J. Ryan from the closing role – at least temporarily.

The left-hander had another dismal performance last night, blowing a three-run lead against the Texas Rangers. He was mightily booed – as mightily as 13,000 fans can boo – at Rogers Centre after his outing, leaving manager Cito Gaston and Co. to ponder  just what is wrong with their $12 million per year closer.

“That’s not going to get it (done) for us,” Gaston told a scrum of reporters following last night’s game – an 8-7 win thanks to veteran Kevin Millar and his walk-off hit in the 11th. “So it’s just one of those things we’ll sit and talk about, I’ll talk to B.J. myself and see what he feels about what’s going on out there. But his control is off.”

When asked specifically whether it was time for B.J. to take a backseat and allow someone else – likely fellow lefty Scott Downs – to handle the closing duties, Gaston wasn’t committing to anything.

“I would say it’s too early” is what Gaston told MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian last night.

The question then becomes: how long does he wait?

Regardless of all the negative pre-season projections, the Toronto Blue Jays are a first-place club right now, sitting with an American League-best 11-5 record through their first 16 contests. But Ryan has been one of the lone dark spots in the early season – the left-hander has blown two saves in his last four outings, and has three total on the season. Overall, he owns an embarrassing 11.12 ERA in just 5 2/3 innings, and has walked more batters (5) than he has struck out (4).

Downs, meanwhile, has been his usual solid self – save for last night, in which he allowed a rare run in the eighth. Prior to that, the lefty had worked seven scoreless innings in relief, strikeout out 13 while walking none. Downs was phenomenal as a setup man last year, posting a 1.78 ERA in 66 appearances out of the bullpen.

How many more shaky outings before this switch is made?

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4 Responses to “Blow Jay”

  1. Jay B Says:

    ryan, wells, and rios (3 of their 5 highest paid players) have been their worst players so far, and they’re 11-5…that pains me to say, as a big wells fan, but his rbi total speaks for itself when you consider the opportunities scutaro and hill have given him to pad that stat…he’s a notorious slow starter, so i don’t think it’s a huge deal, but it’s encouraging that they can look this good without any real contributions from the 3 and 4 hitters (aside from rios’s 4 hits last night)…

    scott downs is the best kept secret in baseball…for all the heat JP takes, he deserves some serious credit for pulling guys like downs, camp, carlsson, and tallet off the scrap heap, to assemble the best bullpen in the majors…

    the most crippling thing about this bj ryan thing though, is that it takes time away from him to assert himself as a viable closer option, to the rest of the league…if he can’t make himself attractive by the deadline, we’re saddled with that 12M contract for another yr…there’s the flipside to the job JP has done, i suppose…

  2. red Says:

    i knew youd come around on JP

  3. red Says:

    although, i guess his success only really began when he stopped adhering so strictly to the moneyball management plan. so, maybe you were right about him all along.

  4. erinalbert Says:

    I don’t have anything thoughtful to say. I just wanted to point out what an excellent title this post has. Amazing.

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