Remember Jon Rauch? I kinda miss that guy.
As scary as the preceding sentence is, it's quickly becoming a reality.
It's entirely premature to say that the revamped Blue Jays bullpen is as ineffective a unit as that of 2011, but I can't say I'm not tempted.
Today, for the fourth time in just eight contests, the bullpen was unable to maintain the lead it inherited. And although I wish I could assign blame merely to one solitary rogue, this propensity for coughing up the lead seems to have plagued an alarming number of this team's late-inning hurlers.
First, closer Sergio Santos infamously blew his first two save opportunities as a Blue Jay, forfeiting the lead in the ninth against Cleveland on April 7, and then again two nights later against the Red Sox.
Next, geriatric southpaw Darren Oliver was unable to hold a run-one lead in the eighth inning against Baltimore last night; consequently, the Jays fell 7-5.
And finally, Casey Janssen -- who had surrendered three runs over his previous two outings -- effectively squandered a solid start from Henderson Alvarez, surrendering a game-tying, solo homerun to Wilson Betemit in the eighth inning of today's contest. The following inning, Francisco Cordero yielded a two-run moonshot to Nolan Reimold that proved to be the game's decisive blow.
Much was made of the relief renaissance that Alex Anthopoulos engineered this offseason, but what if, behind all the smoke and mirrors and rhetoric, this group of relievers is just an ineffective as last year's?
And to salt the wound, there' s a delicious irony in the fact that Frank Francisco has converted all three of his save opportunities with the Mets this year. Isn't that depressing?
The fact remains, the new pieces in the bullpen represent Anthopoulos's biggest offseason investment. So when are we going to see a return?