Clement’s done. For now.

matt-clement-toronto-blue-jays

It’s official now, any hope Jays’ fans had of riding the battered arms of a few reclamation projects is over.

Of course, Clement knew this was coming after he gave up 8 runs on 6 hits over 4-1/3 innings to the Tigers on the weekend. He said so himself after the game:

“Back when I was a for-sure pitcher in the rotation, this usually happened at this time of spring,” Clement said. “But this year I probably can’t afford to have it happen.”

That leaves three pitchers competing for two spots in the major league rotation: Brad Mills; Scott Richmond; and Ricky Romero. Of the three, it sounds as though Romero is the best long-term prospect of the bunch, so here’s hoping Mills and Richmond start the season in Toronto.

I like Richmond, but if I’m being honest to myself, he doesn’t have much of a future beyond being a fifth starter/long relief guy and token Canuck. It hurts to write that, and I hope he proves me wrong, but there it is.

Mills, because of the scarcity of pre-season games being broadcast, I haven’t actually seen pitch. But I’ve heard him compared (vaguely) to Jimmy Key, and I know that Cito loves him and those two things give me high hopes. But he’s a young kid, with just 1.5 years of pro baseball experience. It seems to me that a little time in AAA would only do him good.

So, Matt Clement, here’s hoping you decide to accept the minor league assignment. Here’s hoping you put up some good numbers with the 51s. Here’s hoping you’re ready for your chance when Richmond or Mills or Romero or David Purcey or, yes, Jesse Litsch, starting losing it and need a few starts in the minors to regain “it.”

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