Marlins 7, Jays 3

The worst thing that could actually happen to the Jays did so last night. Not only did they lose the game 7-3 because the bullpen couldn't keep it together, but they lost yet another pitcher to injury in Roy Halladay - the best SP in all of MLB and the biggest trade deadline trading chip the Jays had if they fell out of the race. I hope for Cito and the rest of the team that whoever has to take some of his starts performs, Roy returns and slides back into form, and that the Jays continue their attack on the AL East lead. However, if this doesn't happen and Roy is out for an extended period, what does it mean for the Jays chances to re-sign Roy long term? I'm not really sure. You do have to feel for Roy regardless of whether you are a Jays fan or not, because his domination was definitely pointing to a battle for the Cy Young between him and Zach Greinke.

The Jays will most likely wait to see what results are on tests and to see if Roy's groin issues are going to be there for the long term. Candidates to "replace" Roy in the rotation:

1- David Purcey: hasn't performed all that well in his rehab at AAA, but has the most seasoning and endurance. After 8 starts, his ERA stands at 4.60 with 32 Ks and 27 BBs in 47 IP.

2- Bret Cecil: since his return to AAA from his last MLB start with the Jays, Bret has thrown 23.2 innings, allowed 10 ER, walked 10, and struck out 16. He's done enough to give Vegas chances to win, but I hope the Jays allow him to get more seasoning and relieve some of the pressure he faced early on in the season.

3- Marc Rzepczynski: the Jays haven't been shy when it comes to giving youngsters chances to prove themselves, and I believe that Mark could get his soon. He is in AA and has a 2.59 ERA in his last 10 games including his last 2 very dominant starts where he threw 13 innings with no earned runs allowed, 6 walks and 13 strike outs. Why not test him out and see what he has against MLB hitting. If it works out, great, the Jays depth got better and deeper. If it doesn't, well Marc will know what to expect and can work some things out in AA or AAA.

Other possibilities include: AAA's Brad Mills who had his best 2009 start in his last start, Fabio Castro who has moved from New Hampshire all the way to Vegas already and is still holding his own with a 2.60 ERA after 9 AAA starts, AA's Reider Gonzalez - a 23 yr old Cuban who has been one of AA's most consistent pitchers this season, or dare I say Brian Burres who like his name indicates chills the very blood of those who like to win.

My guess is that it will be either Purcey (if long term) or Rzepczynski (if short term). If they bring up Cecil again and he fails to dominate, it could have adverse effects that last a while lot longer than the Jays would like. Either way it is very depressing to see Doc go down and I hope he ends up right back in the saddle for his next start - fingers crossed.

The Jays may decide to send Jesse Carlson down to AAA to work out his mechanics. He was completely ineffective again and is hurting the depth of the pen. Brandon League had a horrific night, and those who defended the loss he gave up when Cito left him in for 2 innings can now see why he needs to be kept in check instead of naming him one of the best guys in the pen. Downs and Frasor are the only real consistent guys in our pen, after that it gets really scary right now - not exactly what we need to complete in the AL East. Not sure who'll come up to replace Carlson, but I'd like to see Daniel Farquhar or Leon Boyd get a shot.

Last note from last night, Rios was put in the #6 spot in the lineup with Rolen moving up to #5, which ended up with Alex going 2-4 on the night. Can the Jays trade Vernon Wells? They should before his astronomical contract kicks in. Wells went 0-4 and he lowers his average to .246 while he sits in the #3 hole vacated by Rios. It's clear that Aaron Hill belongs in that #3 hole and that Wells needs to look at himself in the mirror and decide whether or not he's going to help the Jays win this season.

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