07/26/08 2:32 AM ET
Purcey to start with a little more security
Toronto (52-51) vs. Seattle (38-64), Saturday, 1:07 p.m. ET
By David Singh / MLB.com
Purcey toed the rubber twice this season for the Jays -- in what were his first two big league appearances -- however both occasions were spot starts. During each those outings, the 26-year-old took to the mound knowing that regardless of his performance, he would be sent down to the Minor Leagues following the game.
The results of those two starts were not pretty, as the southpaw allowed a total of nine runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. As well, he walked a whopping 11 batters while striking out just three.
This time around though, because of circumstances surrounding Toronto's rotation, the Jays will give Purcey -- the team's No. 1 selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft -- the chance to prove himself at the Major League level, over an extended period of time.
He has certainly done so in the Minors, where over 19 starts at Triple-A this season, Purcey went 8-6 with a 2.69 ERA, striking out 121 and walking 34 over 117 innings.
The Jays' starting staff has been in an unstable state lately, with Jesse Litsch being sent down to Syracuse on Thursday and Dustin McGowan sidelined with a right shoulder injury since July 9.
"Purcey is a guy that we wanted to take a good look at," said Jays manager Cito Gaston. "Hopefully try to make feel at home here and not worry about if he has a couple of bad games, then he's going to be out."
Purcey admitted that he feels much more comfortable knowing he will now be given more than just one start at a time.
"Definitely, it's nice being able to settle in a little bit and get comfortable," Purcey said. "Just work your way through as opposed to just having it be like pitch one game and out, then pitch one game and out.
"As much fun as it is getting up to the big leagues, it's wonderful, but at the same time, it's also nice settling in and getting a few chances in a couple starts."
Gaston believes that having the sense of job security, at least temporarily, should benefit Purcey.
"I think it makes a lot of difference if you get some time to breathe," said the manager. "It's not a desperate thing then. If [he doesn't] pitch good this time around, [there's] always next time.
"The way I'm looking at it right now, he's going to have a few starts," Gaston continued. "See what he can do if he's under different circumstances, as far as knowing that he might be here for a little while."Pitching matchup
TOR: LHP David Purcey (0-1, 11.05 ERA)
Purcey will be making only his third career start. SEA: RHP R.A. Dickey (2-5, 3.93 ERA)
In six career appearances against the Jays, Dickey is 2-2 with a 3.75 ERA. Tidbits
Although Aaron Hill was back with the Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday, Gaston indicated that there were no positive changes to the recovering second baseman's health. Hill, who has been sidelined with post-concussion syndrome since a collision with shortstop David Eckstein on May 29, is still only able to take part in light activities. He had previously been at Toronto's complex in Dunedin, Fla. ... In his first rehab start with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays on Friday, recovering outfielder Shannon Stewart went 2-for-2 with one walk, one RBI and one run scored. He has been sidelined since June 8 with a high right ankle sprain. ... Adam Lind is batting .588 (10-for-17) over his last four games, with one home run, three doubles and three RBIs. Tickets
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Sunday: Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum, 5-4, 3.05) vs. Mariners (Jarrod Washburn, 4-9, 4.75), 1:07 p.m. ET
Monday: Blue Jays (A.J. Burnett, 11-9, 4.73) vs. Rays (James Shields, 9-6, 3.66), 7:07 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 12-7, 2.82) vs. Rays (Matt Garza, 8-6, 3.83), 7:07 p.m. ET
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.