Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oh, Cito...

After playing 23 innings in the past two days, you could say the Jays were counting on Ricky Romero to put in a long outing today (Sunday June 21). Cito used eight pitchers on Thursday, seven on Friday and had to use starter Scott Richmond in relief Saturday. Yet after Romero tossed seven innings on 118 pitches for Sunday, Cito used four relievers to close out the last two innings. In the eighth, he pulled Jeremy Accardo after one batter and six pitches; Brandon League got the next two outs on four pitches to end the frame. Rather than send League back out for the ninth, Cito chose to send in Jesse Carlson (who has now pitched four of the last six days) while holding a seven-run lead. Carlson wasn't able to get out of the inning and Jason Frasor had to come in to get the final out.

It's easy to scratch one's head at Cito's seemingly needless burning of his relievers; the team at least has an off-day tomorrow, but with so many injuries on the pitching staff, you'd think the team would be paying extra attention to taking good care of the arms. The sensible thing to do would have been to give the two innings to a single pitcher.

I can understand Cito may have been reluctant to use any one guy for several batters given that pretty much everyone had to pitch both Thursday and Friday. This would have been much more avoidable had Cito been more careful about his pitching management on those days. More than once, he missed obvious double-switch opportunities and had to pinch-hit for pitchers while they presumably still had another inning in the tank. There has been much said about Cito's opposition to pitchers batting in interleague; that doesn't excuse his ignorance of its strategical implications.

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