May 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Esmil Rogers (32) pitches in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Blue Jays Player Review: Esmil Rogers


NAME: Esmil Rogers
Position: Utility Pitcher

2013 Stat Line

W L W-L% ERA G GS GF IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
5 9 .357 4.77 44 20 5 137.2 152 76 73 21 44 96 6 7 1.424 9.9 1.4 2.9 6.3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/2/2013.

2013 EXPECTATIONS
For Esmil Rogers, there wasn’t much of an expectation of anything in 2013.  When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired SS/2B Mike Aviles from the Boston Red Sox for Coach John Farrell and RP David Carpenter, it was assumed Aviles would be around for a while.  In less than a month, Aviles was shipped to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Rogers.  Rogers was an intriguing player.  He showed an electric FB (96-98 MPH) with an above average SLD (86-88 MPH).  He had some success as a reliever for the Indians, but that was the only success he really had at this level.  The Blue Jays needed somebody to bridge the gap to Janssen in the 7th and didn’t know who that would be, so they figured “The hell with it!  We’re just going to get as many relievers as possible and hope we strike gold.”

2013 RESULTS
Rogers was not that gold.  He did, however, find ways to stick around with the big league club, albeit, none of it was consistent.  Occasionally looking brilliant as a reliever, he would battle spurts of location issues (nevermind the BBs, the 21 HRs in 137.2 IPs is pretty bad).  When Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow went down, the Jays badly needed an arm.  So naturally, the idea would be to bring somebody up from the minors.  Instead, Toronto inexplicably and unjustifably stretched out Rogers by having him throw more innings near the end of May.  The initial response was positive.  By June, he was starting.  He was so good, it got my attention and I wrote THIS article, gushing about the improvement.  His pitching was so good, it spurred this article at Fangraphs.com coincidentally the same day!  Pretty impressive when two writers pick up on the same improvements (Blake Murphy is a very good writer.  I actually consider it a compliment that we wrote similar articles.)  Then the control and location issues came back and Rogers struggled through July and August (0-4 7.47 ERA in 9 starts).  Just when the Jays were about to say “Screw it!” and demote him, Johnson gets shut down for the year.  Re-enter Rogers, who only went 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in 5 starts, with most of the damage coming in the final 2 starts (0-2, 6.2 IP, 10.80 ERA, 2.74 WHIP, .393 BAA)

2014 OUTLOOK
To say what the future holds for Rogers is tough to tell.  The bullpen seems pretty solid without him being in that mix.  So it seems the only way he makes the club next season is by challenging Kyle Drabek, Ricky Romero, Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Sean Nolin, and J.A. Happ for a spot in the rotation, not to mention the offseason additions Toronto decides to bring in to shore up the rotation.  Rogers is also due for arbitration in 2014. At just over $500K with no guarantees on results, he may not be sticking around in Toronto.  To show how maddeningly frustrating Rogers is, in his 5 wins (4 as a starter), he’s got an ERA under 1 (0.94), with a WHIP at 0.66.  While he didn’t have a high K/9 (4.7) his K/BB was 3.75, which is almost 4:1.  In his 9 losses (7 as a starter), Roger’s ERA is an astronomical 12.06, WHIP 2.46, and K/BB of 1.  His track record as a pitcher doesn’t help either, since over 6 seasons, 2013 was his best season to date.  His FIP at 4.73 is not much different than his 4.77 ERA and his most damning stat is his WAR at 0.4, which says he’s a replaceable major league player.  If you’re looking for prediction on performance for 2014, I can’t accurately give you one.  Much like his season, the only thing to expect for Rogers this offseason is the unexpected.

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Tags: Esmil Rogers Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    Those splits for wins and loses is ridiculous!

    • Justin Jay

      That’s what I’m saying! He’s so extreme to watch as a pitcher. Young Bronson Arroyo was a lot like that. You could tell almost instantly whether or not he had his stuff from the 1st hitter. Rogers is the same way, just different assortment of pitches.

      Doug, he’s going to have to be more consistent. He’s got a lot of challengers this spring. Hutchison and Romero will 2 of the toughest. Though I have nothing to go by other than gut feeling, I think Romero figures it out this offseason. That means Rogers has to do the same

      • Andrew van Laar

        Ooooooo that is a gutsy prediction! If Romero stinks it up this spring, I have decided to write him off. I can’t let him play with my heart they way he does…

        • Justin Jay

          After he stopped dickin around with his mechanics, he went back to throwing the ball. He was actually quite effective, he would just have 1 inexplicably bad inning. That’s what I think he fixes during this winter break. I think he talks with Halladay and comes out figuring he’s got nothing to lose. At this point, he really doesn’t

  • Doug Hall

    There has got to be a place on the Jays for Esmil.