It may be a little bold to proclaim Kyle Drabek the second coming of Roy Halladay, so I’ll have to settle for calling him the next Doug Drabek. The 22-year-old, who the Jays picked up in December in the Doc trade, makes his Major League debut tonight in Baltimore, and you likely won’t see it because you don’t have Sportsnet One. Hey, not that I’m rubbing it in — even if I wasn’t working, I’d be in the same boat.
With the Double-A playoffs wrapped up, Drabek got the call from New Hampshire on the weekend, bringing a 14-9 mark and a 2.94 ERA to The Show to face the big league equivalent of an Eastern League team, the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, the Jays lost 11-3 to them yesterday and in extras the previous night, but I’m not buying into the hype of a little Cinderella run that’s pulled them to within a mere 31 games of the division lead.
Drabek’s call comes at the right time — he’s progressed nicely over three-and-half seasons in the minors, culminating in a fine 2010 in which he tossed a no-hitter and pulled Eastern League Pitcher of the Year honours. In 27 starts, he threw 162 innings and gave up just 126 hits, leaving a planned three starts with Toronto before he reaches his approximate inning limit for the year. He’ll make his Rogers Centre debut Aug. 22 against the Mariners and then face the Yankees at home six days later.
In Baltimore, Drabek’s mound opposition is Brad Bergeson, who comes in at 6-10 with a 5.29 ERA, but like the rest of his team, has stepped it up when it no longer matters — in eight starts since July 31, he’s 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA.