Yesterday’s game in Lakeland, Florida between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays proves, without a doubt, in this writer’s opinion, that Todd Redmond is not the Jays’ answer for a fourth or fifth starter. Redmond’s four outings show he is good enough for organizational depth. Yes, it is only spring training, but if you are a swingman like Redmond, then results matter.
Redmond pitches well in most of his games, but he gives up too many home runs, like a grandfather who gives out too much candy. In nine innings of work during this spring training, Rogers gave up 11 hits, four home runs and seven earned runs. That is too many taters. He leads the team in offering them up. Yes, it’s spring training, but a 7 ERA at any time is over the top. That is especially true when you are to go head to head for the majority of your games in the AL East.
Redmond finished last season with a 4-3 record and a ERA of 4.32. He beat the Yankees twice. The Jays bested the Yankees only five times in 2013. Redmond pitched 77 innings, had 14 starts, four of which were quality outings. He struck out 76, walked 23 and had a WHIP of 1.31. He kept the opposition batting average to .239.
So what has changed? For the man, nothing much, it is the same Todd Redmond. What is different is that the word is out around the league on the kind of stuff Redmond has. He is ever-exposed. Opposition scouts and coaches have made their notes. They know that Redmond throws fastballs, sliders and change-ups (the latter come in around 82 mph). Redmond’s heater is average, low 90s, and runs in more than it rises. He is a fly ball pitcher, with ground balls coming in around 30 percent. He relies on his fastball (64%) and slider (30%) and throws his change-up about 6 percent of the time.
The charts are out and the opposition batters have him sussed. Last year, Redmond had a 1.52 HR/9 rate. The opposition knows Redmond consistently attacks the strike zone but gets dinged when he elevates his pitches. That is reason he averaged only 5 innings a game last year.
Redmond would do as a starter in the National League East or Central, but not in the AL East. Average or even a little sub-par does not make the grade in this Division.
On a personal note, I hope Mr. Redmond proves me wrong. I really do.