Bullpen: Locked and Loaded
Aug 26, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Esmil Rogers (32) delivers in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIREIf you never watched hockey or soccer, or are a casual fan of either sport, it’s easy to look at those sports and think if a team had a goalie that gave up as little goals as humanly possible it would be a lot easier for the team to win regardless of their other flaws.
If you’re a fan of baseball whether casual or hardcore you’ve definitely thought to yourself that if a team had a bullpen that gives up as little runs as humanly possible it would be a lot easier for the team to win regardless of their other flaws. There is some truth to that. Most playoff teams have very good deep bullpens.
The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to establish themselves as a playoff team in 2013 but good relievers have started to get expensive. Joaquin Benoit, Scott Downs, Brandon League are just a few relievers with contracts in the 20 million dollar range. With bullpens being so important to a team success but also not something worth spending a lot of money on, Alex Anthopoulos started trading for good relievers at the 2012 trade deadline.
The Blue Jays traded for Brad Lincoln and Steve Delabar at the trade deadline and one of their first trades of the offseason was for Esmil Rogers. In addition to those 3 relievers the Blue Jays also have Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Aaron Loup and Darren Oliver or Brett Cecil. In this group they have a combination of hard throwers that can strike people out and pitchers that are very good at getting out either lefties or righties. They also all have experience pitching in the 6th, 7th, 8th innings so the Blue Jays don’t have to be picky about when a certain pitcher pitches.
Whether the Blue Jays succeed in getting a reliable starting rotation this offseason or not having this loaded bullpen will make winning a whole lot easier.