Scott Downs is an excellent pitcher who had a great 2008 season. Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston is concerned that B.J. Ryan may not be ready to close. He would install Downs as the temporary closer until Ryan is ready.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston expressed concern about closer B.J. Ryan after he pitched a shaky eighth inning in Toronto’s 3-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday. Ryan gave up one run and two hits, including Angel Berroa’s RBI double to left-center. The left-hander, who skipped the World Baseball Classic to work on his mechanics, has a 9.00 ERA this spring. Gaston said he might consider making Scott Downs the closer and putting Ryan “somewhere else for a while and go from there.” He said he wants to see how Ryan does in his final two spring appearances. “I haven’t checked the velocity yet,” Gaston said, “but it looked like it might have been down today. So there are still some concerns about him.”
All Ryan owners should seek out Scott Downs as saves insurance. Even if he doesn't become even the temporary closer, Downs is a quality middle reliever worthy of a roster spot in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues.