Something strange happened between the final days of spring training and last night’s game in Kansas City.
At the end of March, Vancouver’s Scott Richmond was fighting for fifth spot in the starting rotation and seemingly won it solely because neither Brad Mills or Brett Cecil were quite ready to head to The Show.
With last night’s performance (7 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 5 Ks) Richmond seems to have removed any doubt that he belongs. In fact, he’s performed so well this season that at one point during the game, Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby were joking about giving Captain Canada the Doc treatment and keeping him on four days’ rest even if an off day gets in the way.
They may have been joking, but I think it’s a good plan.
With Ricky Romero and Jesse Litsch on the DL, David Purcey seemingly unable to hit the side of a barn and Brian Burres being, well, Brian Burres, maximizing the number of starts from the two best pitchers doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me at all.
The other guy filling out the rotation right now is, of course, Brian Tallet. He’s been pretty impressive as a starter so far this season, and if he can keep it up, I’d keep him in there even when Litsch and Romero get back.
Obviously the first starter to go when people get healthy is Burres. Pre-season logic would dictate that the next move would be to send Tallet back to the bullpen but, assuming nothing drastic happens between now and the arms getting healthy, I’d keep Tallet in the rotation and send Purcey down to Las Vegas.
I’d aslo put Richmond ahead of Litsch, giving the Jays a solid-looking rotation of Doc/Romero/Richmond/Litsch/Tallet. If you had told me last year that would be the rotation, I’d call you an imbecile and/or a liar. Right now, that looks like playoffs to me.
Getting my hopes up