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The Globe and Mail

Jays GM staying calm as bad news piles up

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning of their MLB Inter League baseball game in Toronto, June 13, 2012.


His team has lost six of its last seven games, fallen under .500, and experienced the loss of two of starters over the past week.

The news might prompt many a general manager to seek out the shortest pier.

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, however, is trying his best to take all the adversity in stride.

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"You can't overreact, it happens, it's part of the game," a surprisingly upbeat Anthopoulos said on Friday. "It's not fun, you don't want it to happen to you.

"But at the same time we still have games to play, we're still going to try to take a run at this thing."

This thing would be a playoff spot in the American League East where the Blue Jays began the day tied in last place with the Boston Red Sox, 6.5-games off the pace.

Toronto will begin a three-game interleague set Friday night at Rogers Centre against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The latest bad news to strike the team concerned pitcher Kyle Drabek, who could be facing a second Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery.

Drabek, 24, felt a popping sensation in his right elbow during his last outing on Wednesday and MRIs ordered by the team have shown that there is a tear to his ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow joint.

Normally that is an automatic for surgery.

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But what is puzzling for the Blue Jays is that Drabek has not experienced any symptoms of extreme pain and his elbow has not lost any of its strength which normally occurs when there is a tear present.

Just to be sure, Anthopoulos said Drabek will see noted arm specialist Dr. James Andrews next week for a second opinion.

"There's no question he could be heading down that path," Anthopoulos said about the likelihood of Drabek facing another elbow surgery that would sideline him for about a year.

This news comes on the heels of the Blue Jays losing starter Brandon Morrow, who was having an all-star caliber season when he went down with a strained left oblique muscle.

The Blue Jays aren't anticipating Morrow will be ready to return to the lineup until after the all-star game.

"No one's going to feel sorry for you," Anthopoulos said. "We've seen injuries across the game. They finally hit us in the middle of June. But hopefully there's some guys that come up and do a good job for us."

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To fill one of the pitching vacancies, the Blue Jays have recalled former 15-game winner Brett Cecil from Triple-A Las Vegas. He is slated to start Sunday against Philadelphia.

Jesse Chavez, Joel Carreno and Robert Coello are all candidates to also get the call-up to join the rotation. Aaron Laffey, who is already with the big league team, is also in the mix according to manager John Farrell.

Anthopoulos was asked if he was in any way apprehensive about the current status of his rotation.

"There's no question you lose two of your starters it's not a good thing," he said. "But at that point there's opportunities for some of these other guys.

"Maybe a guy like Brett can come up and do a good job for us. And whoever ends up getting that start next week can do a good job for us as well."

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