Accardo happy to be back in Majors
Reliever called up for third stint with Jays this year
TORONTO -- Jeremy Accardo is familiar enough with the Toronto-Las Vegas shuffle to know it's not a new casino card trick. He's been there and back far too many times this season and he admits it has become frustrating.
But for the rest of the year, he is back in Toronto after the season for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s ended on Monday in Portland. The right-handed reliever arrived before Tuesday's 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins with two other September callups, left-handed starter David Purcey and catcher-infielder Kyle Phillips.
"As a player, all you can do and all you can care about is how you do and how you perform," Accardo said. "And I've pitched really well. I've felt good the whole year. I put up the numbers and it's frustrating that I wasn't here the whole year, but I don't know the reasons for it."
One of the reasons given by manager Cito Gaston is that Accardo still has options so when a move needed to be made, he was the one who could be moved most easily.
"I thought he pitched fine when he was here," said Gaston, who said he only remembers him having one difficult outing.
"That happens a lot," Accardo said. "A lot of guys have options. I've seen friends of mine have that deal where they're the ones who are [demoted] because they have options left. That's fine. I'm going to run out eventually."
He's not sure when that day will come though.
"I have no idea," he said. "I think I've only burnt two [of three]. That's all right. I'm eligible for arbitration. If I'm in Triple-A next year, I'm in Triple-A. If I'm with another team, I'm with another team. All that's out of my hands. All I can worry about is pitching."
Still, he admits it makes life a little more stressful when he wondered why he was at Triple-A and not in the Majors.
This is Accardo's third stint with Toronto this season. In 19 games with Toronto, he has no record with a 2.50 ERA and one save. At Las Vegas, he was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 13 saves.
"There have been moments when I've thought about it too much and it adds more stress," he said. "It adds more stress on my fiancée [he will marry Carly on Nov. 14 in Arizona], it adds more stress for everybody. All you can do is pitch. As Cito said, you're not just pitching for us, you're pitching for 29 other teams."
That's the thing. If he is not needed in Toronto, there are always teams that need pitching.
However he feels about the demotions, Accardo said he has good feelings about his experience with Las Vegas.
"The team is amazing," he said. "We had a great team, great coaching staff. I had a lot of fun there, learned a lot. [Pitching coach] Dave LaRoche was down there, and he pitched in the big leagues for a long time. Not a lot of the stuff I had to learn was pitching-wise, but there's little things we can tweak and we did. The mental part of the game is what I learned the most of this year.
"You know what, it's a business and you can't really think about it too much. All you can do is pitch or you're going to drive yourself nuts."
Accardo was acquired by the Blue Jays for Shea Hillenbrand and reliever Vinnie Chulk in a trade with the San Francisco Giants on July 22, 2006. An injury to B.J. Ryan pressed him into the closer's role in 2007 and he appeared in 64 games, was 4-4 with a 2.14 ERA and had 30 saves.
The next season, he was limited to 16 Major League games because of a forearm injury and was 0-3 with a 6.57 ERA and four saves. He tried to rehabilitate the arm in the Minors and appeared in 13 games at three levels before being shut down on Aug. 20.
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.