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Thursday May 26, 2011 12:50 am

Jo-Jo Reyes ties record with 28th-straight winless start




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, News

Jo-Jo ReyesJo-Jo Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays took another one on the chin Wednesday afternoon, losing to the New York Yankees. For Reyes, it was his 28thd straight start without getting a win, which ties the mark for most consecutive winless starts set by Cliff Curtis of the Boston Braves in 1910-11 and Matt Keough of the Oakalnd Athletics in 1978-79. Reyes himself, who started with the Atlanta Braves in 2007 and was acquired by the Blue Jays this past offseason after a few years of injuries, hasn’t won a game since June 13, 2008.

There’s little chance that the Blue Jays will cut ties with him before his next start. It’s not that they don’t have enough pitching in their organization – quite the opposite in fact – but Reyes has done reasonably well recently. In his four starts prior to Wednesday’s embarrassment, Reyes had pitched to a 2.81 ERA in 25.2 innings, with a 1.21 WHIP and 18 strikeouts. In fact, his May 20th outing against the Astros may have been the best of his career, yet that was the second time in those four games that his bullpen blew a lead established for him.

However, the only probable reason why Reyes is even in the rotation is because he’s out of options. He pitched well in Spring Training, but was awful in April, giving up a total of 22 runs in his first five starts. It’s because the Blue Jays didn’t want to lose him on waivers that they kept putting him out there for every fifth start. But while he’s done okay in May, he’s not okay often enough to justify retaining him and blocking some of the exceptional alternatives in the system – or Mark Rzepczynski in the bullpen.

So Reyes will take the mound in front of the home crowd at Rogers Centre next week against the Indians. It will be interesting to see the fan reaction if he doesn’t get the “W” and more importantly, what the team does with him after the game should that happen. On the plus side, if Reyes does break the record in his next start, it will probably guarantee a few well-paying autograph engagements later on in his life.

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