Tag: Jeremy Accardo

Health of Justin Duchscherer and Pitching Staff Key to Orioles Success

After nearly a decade and a half of losing seasons, will this finally be the year that the Baltimore Orioles rise from the depths of the AL East to finally top .500?

I will go out on a limb here, as I always do with my baseball predictions, and say that it is not all that far-fetched.

Is it likely that they win the AL East? Not in the slightest bit, but hey, never say never.

I can tell you one thing that is for sure though—if the Orioles play to their potential this season, they will add even more buzz to what is already arguably the toughest division in baseball.

For years now, the Orioles have had a relatively solid lineup, which behind a decent pitching squad, could have made a run for a few playoff spots.  

As all baseball fans know, that is exactly what the team has lacked—decent, reliable pitching.

The O’s approached the issue not with huge blockbuster deals, but rather simple improvements to what has been a lackluster pitching staff.

To me, the biggest question with this year’s pitching will be reliability.

For the most part, the O’s have a youthful pitching squad which combined with past injuries, can potentially be an equation for disaster.

One of their biggest pitching acquisitions this offseason was injury-prone Justin Duchscherer.

Now I have always been a fan of Duchscherer since he first stepped onto the mound in Oakland, but his last few years have been less than impressive as he has suffered injury after injury after injury.

He claims that he currently feels the best that he has in years, mentally and physically, but who is to say which Duchscherer will show up at Camden Yards—the two-time all-star or the injury-prone mess. 

Other than Duchscherer, Jake Arrieta is another starter whose health presents us with a rather large question mark, since he had a bone spur in his elbow last season and decided to let it heal naturally on its own rather than have surgery to have it removed.

Only time will tell whether or not he made the right decision in choosing that path of rehabilitation.

As for the remainder of the starting rotation, health is not as big of a concern as is the age of some of its players, such as second-year pitchers Brian Matusz and Brad Bergesen who both struggled a bit coming out of the gate in 2010.

Both of them did bounce back from their poor starts after the All-Star break, but similar to Duchscherer’s situation, who knows which version of these two will show up this season—the first half disappointments or second half surprises.

However, when we look at the bullpen, the issue of injuries pops right back up again, and in dramatic fashion.

With the exception of the newly acquired Kevin Gregg and Jeremy Accardo, every other relief pitcher in the pen dealt with some sort of injury last season.

Michael Gonzalez, Koji Uehara, Jim Johnson and Jason Berken all had some type of shoulder or elbow injury.

Gonzalez suffered a left shoulder sprain, Johnson was bothered by lingering right elbow problems for most of the season, Uehara had elbow and hamstring issues and Berken suffered a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.  

Uehara came back strong to end the season on a high note, but who is to say that he will not be plagued with the same issues this season?

Okay now onto a lighter, more positive note.

These negatives can just as easily turn out to be positives for the O’s.  

Uehara, despite his injuries, impressed many as he only let up 14 earned runs, five home runs and five walks in 44 innings.

Johnson also did fairly well last season when his elbow was not acting up and will only improve as he gets more years of experience under his belt.

The addition of Gregg will also bolster the bullpen.

Although a bit wild at times, Gregg is coming off a career season with 37 saves and will hopefully look to build off of this and use it as motivation in his battle with Uehara for the closer role.

And let’s not look past the potential that the O’s starting rotation has.

Guthrie was solid last season and if Duchscherer is as healthy as he says he is and gives the baseball world another great year like 2005, I think that they would be a great one-two punch.

Yes, Matusz and Bergesen are young, but if they continue pitching at the level they were on at the end of last season, I only see good things to come from the two of them.  

If this pitching staff can manage to avoid major injuries and regressions and help the O’s keep games within reach so the offense does not have to continually struggle, I think they have a pretty good chance of finally making it over .500 again.  

Let me just reiterate here that I am not saying the Orioles are going all the way this year, I am just saying that they are headed down the right path and that their fans would be crazy to not be excited for the first time in a long time.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Corruption and Deception: The Curious Case of Jeremy Accardo


On July 21, 2006, Jeremy Accardo was dealt from the San Fransisco Giants to the Toronto Blue Jays for third baseman Shea HIllenbrand.

This trade proved to be an absolute steal for the Blue Jays as Accardo was given the closer’s job in 2007 because of the injury to B.J. Ryan.  During his time as the full time closer for the Jays, Accardo saved 30 games in 35 opportunities and finished the season with a ridiculous 2.14 ERA.  

When the 2008 season rolled around Accardo was again considered for the closer’s role but struggled upon his return because of an injury he had been dealing with.  So, he spent the majority of his time that year in the minor leagues rehabilitating and getting his stuff back.

Then, the 2009 season came and Accardo was told that he would soon be back in the majors by then general manager J.P. Ricciardi.  Things did not go as planned and Accardo became frustrated with the Jays organization and rightfully so.  He went on to have a pretty great year with the Jays’ minor league club in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) which is a hitter friendly league.

And then came the 2010 off season, where Accardo was promised by current general manager Alex Anthopolous that he would get his time soon.  Soon did not come as the regular season finished without even a brief appearance in the major leagues.  A casual fan may have wondered if he was injured or if he had had a really bad year, but no, in fact, it was quite the opposite.  Like I said, the PCL is a very hitter friendly league and Accardo actually managed to win PCL reliever of the year award which is quite impressive.  So, that raises the question: Why isn’t Jeremy Accardo with the big club?

In my mind there are two possible answers to this question.

—The first answer—

As we are simply fans, we have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and there may be something we don’t know about.  It is extremely unlikely that Accardo has anything wrong with him physically because he has been pitching very well for a while and has won a few awards.  The only thing I can think of is maybe there is something wrong mentally with Jeremy Accardo.  But that may be even more unlikely because Alex Anthopolous wouldn’t want somebody who is mentally unstable in the farm system with the young players.  Attitude problems are something that general managers try to keep away from the up and comers.  So, it seems like any of the usual signs are not there.  Strange.

—The second answer—

This answer seems to be the popular one among Blue Jays critics and fans who pay any attention whatsoever to Accardo.  That Jeremy is being mistreated and punished for something he has done.  Now, the next question one asks is what did he do?  Well, here is what he may have done.  Accardo was engaged to a girl with whom he broke off the wedding at the last possible second.  The girl you may ask? Jays owners Rogers Communications’ vice chairman Phil Lind’s daughter.  Hmm…not suspicious at all.  Now, I hope this isn’t the case but, it seems as though the Jays are using their power to punish Jeremy Accardo in a way that is unfair.

I pray actually that the Jays aren’t abusing Accardo in that sense because it is cruel.  He is doing fantastically in the minors and has deserved another shot in the bigs for a long time now.  He has every right to be frustrated and is still young.  It seems unfair that if the Jays aren’t going to use him that they don’t want to trade or release him.  It is a pity…

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Toronto Blue Jays News: Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Jeremy Accardo

There was a lot of news surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays in the final weekend of August.

They were playing the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, and despite having one of his best strikeout totals, Marc Rzepczynski struggled to keep the ball in the zone and suffered as a result.

Three of the five baserunners he walked later came in to score, a costly result when he only allowed five hits. 

Rzepczynski looked better at times than he has in his other starts with the Jays, as his breaking ball pitches were causing some wild swings by the Tigers. But his inability to hold the runners ended up costing him, and the Jays weren’t able to recover.

In the midst of the game it was announced that the team has decided to shut down Brandon Morrow for the season after his final start on Friday. He is nearing the 150 innings that they set as his max this year to prevent overworking his arm. 

Since this a large increase on the number of innings he pitched last year with the Seattle Mariners, they want to avoid the chance of an injury from arm exhaustion.  It happens a lot in the Major Leagues now where a pitcher is on a strict innings limit from year to year, as many statistics show that significant inning increases are likely to cause serious injury and thus often require surgery. 

Many of the Blue Jays’ starters are likely being watched for the number of innings they reach, as Shaun Marcum is coming off an injury and Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil have not yet accumulated a lot of experience.

Kyle Drabek was announced as the Double-A Eastern League pitcher of the year at Rogers Centre on Sunday as well and received his first standing ovation long before he has pitched a game there.

Drabek racked up some pretty impressive stats this year, going 14-9 with a 2.98 ERA heading into this past Saturday’s start. He led the league in wins and was second both in innings pitched (154) and batting average against (.216). His 123 strikeouts were good enough for third in the league before he recorded nine more in seven scoreless innings on that Saturday game.

Still only 22, there is a chance that Drabek could be called up for some spot starts in September, especially with Morrow out of the lineup. Though having spent the year in Double-A, there are some who feel that Drabek could be ready to make the jump to the Jays next year, but for now fans might be happy to see him make a spot start or two.

Finally, Jeremy Accardo spoke to a reporter in Las Vegas about being upset with his role in the organization this year. Having pitched most of the last two years with the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, Accardo feels that he has been lied to by the GMs and not given a fair shake.

Having been shuttled back and forth by former Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, Accardo felt that after a talk with the new boss, Alex Anthopoulos, his role with the team would be different this year. Having saved 30 games for the Jays in 2007, Accardo likely felt that he deserved a spot in the bullpen and some more playing time.

Whether he is traded now or brought up when the rosters expand in September, there seems to be a rift that will not be easily mended.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress