Friday, March 27, 2009

BJ Ryan will be understanding when he loses the closer role

BJ Ryan has been terrible this spring: six appearances, five innings, six runs, six walks, five strikeouts. But these stats don't matter because it is only spring training, right? Well, maybe not in Ryan's case. His velocity is down around 84 MPH and isn't improving and his manager is starting to freak out and float the idea that Ryan gives up the closer role to the media. Here is what his manager said: "I think (Ryan is) the type of guy, if he feels like he can't help us, he'll just say maybe use someone else," Gaston said Thursday. "He might not say it, but he understands."

He might not say it but he understands? Classic. Anyway, here are a few potential BJ Ryan replacements to keep an eye on until Ryan uses non-verbal communication methods to show that he is ready to graciously step aside:

Jeremy Accardo (pictured) - You might remember him as the guy who saved 30 games for Toronto in 2007. Let me throw some of his 2007 numbers at you: 67 innings, 7.62 K/9, 3.21 BB/9, 2.38 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP. Accardo spent most of 2008 dealing with arm troubles and hanging out with Dr. James Andrews. Bill James projects a 1.23 WHIP for 2009. In other news, Toronto manager Cito Gaston tried Accardo out as a starter this spring, but that plan was abandoned when Accardo got lit up for seven runs in two innings. In 9.1 innings this spring, he's given up nine runs, but of course seven of them came in that one outing early in the spring. He has two walks, four strikeouts, and one save this spring. 3/31 UPDATE: Accardo was just sent to the minors.

Jesse Carlson - Carlson's 2008 stats were very similar to Accardo's 2007 stats: 60 innings, 8.25 K/9, 3.15 BB/9, 2.62 K/BB, and a 1.03 WHIP. He also had two saves. Bill James projects Carlson's 2009 WHIP to rise (to 1.27), once Carlson's BABIP normalizes (it was .235 last year, and James projects .312 this year).

Scott Downs - Last year, in 70.2 innings, Downs had 7.26 K/9, 3.44 BB/9, 2.11 K/BB, 1.15 WHIP, 5 saves. Bill James projects a 1.30 WHIP.

These three guys might be clones: all have a decent K/9 (over 7), a slightly elevated BB/9 (over 3.0), and a mediocre K/BB. Of these three guys, my gut says Accardo is the best pitcher, but that could just be me remembering his glory days of 2007. He's coming off injury, and the performance of post-injury RPs is difficult to predict. The latest news seems to suggest that Downs would take over as closer in the event that BJ isn't up to snuff.

  • Jays GM JP Ricciardi is not concerned about BJ Ryan. But remember, this is the same JP Ricciardi that lied through his teeth about BJ two years ago.

  • 3/31 Update: Scott Downs might open the season as the Jays' closer.

    LEWIS said...

    But can they give BJs like BJ? that's the question.


    JB Austin said...

    I wonder if a man's relationship to BJs changes if his name is BJ. Probably not. But it might.