I haven’t done one of these posts in a few days, mainly because I’ve been busy actually watching baseball (and writing about what I’ve seen). It’s been pretty much a workation down in Florida as I’m up for 8am interviews (which will be heard soon at the Canadian Baseball Network) and at the diamond all day. At least the sun is shining and baseball is being played. Tomorrow’s weather report calls for a thunderstorm so I might get a day off (after the interviews at 8am).
Now we’re getting down to the real pitching competitions. While Nolin and Jenkins weren’t really expected to make a run at a 25-man roster spot, Drabek was certainly getting a look. He obviously didn’t make the most of his opportunities, giving up eight runs in the eight innings he’s thrown in spring training. The most concerning stat from the spring, however, are the four strikeouts and six walks. Drabek showed some improved control in the minor leagues last year after coming back from Tommy John surgery but didn’t really seem in command so far this spring. He’ll look to get back in control in Buffalo and will be an integral part of the rotation down there.
Nolin, 24, was really roughed up in spring training but wasn’t really in the mix for a starting spot coming out of camp. The big lefty gave up seven runs (including two home runs) in five and a third innings but walked five and struck out four. That said, Nolin is still in learning mode and will likely need at least another few months in the minors to get back in the swing of things and polish his game to be able to compete more effectively at the major league level.
Finally, Chad Jenkins gets optioned mainly because of numbers. Jenkins has been pretty solid in major league camp with a 4.05 ERA but he’s only given up five hits in six and two-thirds innings and hasn’t walked a man. He’s also struck out five batters. I saw him pitch the ninth inning on Wednesday against the Rays and, other than a home run that he gave up, he looked very good. He’s never been anything but effective in his two stints in the majors and, if he continues to pitch the way he has, could be one of the Jays’ first call ups from the minors.
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