Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reyes Getting Shafted?

Yesterday morning, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star ever so subtly intimated that despite the seemingly honest competition going on between Jesse Litsch, Kyle Drabek, and Jo-Jo Reyes for the final two spots in the Blue Jays' rotation, the contest, in reality, is as rigged as an Iranian election.

"Drabek is battling lefthander Jo-Jo Reyes and righthander Jesse Litsch for the last two spots in the starting rotation behind the trio of Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and Brett Cecil. It’s difficult to judge the contenders. Litsch faced a Tier 2 team of Twins on the weekend, Drabek pitched in a minor-league contest, while Reyes faces the starting lineup of the Yankees in Tampa on Wednesday night."

Griff raises a valid point. It seems as though Jays' management is putting the youngster Drabek and resurging Litsch in positions to succeed while Reyes is getting handed the more challenging assignments. Personally, I tip my hat to Anthoupoulos and Farrell. They're establishing plausible deniability in the most devious of ways.

In the event Reyes gets roughed up by the Yanks on Wednesday night and he's consequently consigned to 'pen or shipped to Las Vegas, it'll be only too easy for the Jays' brass to say they gave Reyes a legitimate opportunity to prove his worth as a starter and earn a spot in the rotation. They can put the onus entirely on his left arm, citing lousy performance as the reason for his potential demotion, when the truth is, the hurdles he had to jump were higher than his fellow rotation candidates.
Of course, I'm just making assumptions based on an observation that could be coincidence and could be cynicism, but it does make you think a little bit nonetheless.

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