Jesse Litsch: Ready To Implode
After watching countless Sportsnet Jays telecasts I had noticed myself starting to get brainwashed by the announcers repeating the same refrain: “There isn’t a team in MLB that wouldn’t love to have the Jays rotation 1-5”. Oh really? I somehow remember cursing my TV at the ineptness of Josh Towers and have somehow glazed over his replacement, Jesse Litsch. Well I decided to look into him a little further.
Jesse Litsch had a breakout year with the Blue Jays organization in just his first full season in pro baseball, and at the young age of twenty-one. The right-hander began the year with Dunedin and showed his maturity and poise on the mound. He pitched with perfect command and struck out nearly a batter an inning before moving up to Double-A New Hampshire to finish the 2006 season.
Litsch started well in New Hampshire in 2007 but improved as the season progressed. The 22-year-old right-hander posted a 5-1 record in six starts for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and was leading the Eastern League with an 0.96 earned-run average when promoted to Toronto.
Jesse Litsch is 4-4 on the season, but his 3.64 ERA is interesting. In fact, over the past month, his ERA has been only 2.73, which makes him even more promising. However he is striking out fewer than four batters per game (as opposed to his minor league numbers of 6.75K/9IP), which means he is not missing very many bats and is relying on John McDonald and the rest of the Toronto defense to bail him out. With a rate of 3.3 walks allowed per game, he is the owner of a horrible 1.1 K/BB.
It is just a matter of time before the baseball gods level the playing field so to speak and Jesse Litsch becomes the next Josh Towers.