Todd Redmond: Blue Jays Year in Review
Todd Redmond entered 2014 slated to be the long-relief man out of the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen, and enjoyed a season that was effective, albeit unspectacular. However, that may be exactly what the Blue Jays need from the rubber-armed righty. Redmond gave manager John Gibbons 75.0 reliable innings out of the ‘pen, often eating up large chunks of innings in games that had already gotten out of hand.
As Blue Jays fans learned from Toronto’s marathon-length extra innings affairs in 2014, a taxed bullpen can really hurt a ball club. Todd Redmond is a commodity that Gibbons loves to lean on, because he can get the Blue Jays out of games in situations that would often require burning two or three relievers.
Redmond was able to drop his ERA over a full point in 2014, largely due to his dominant start to the season. He allowed far fewer home runs on the season, as well, while appearing in 42 games.
Going forward, Redmond will surely be used strictly as a long-relief man. There are now far too many young arms that the Blue Jays would choose to use over Redmond if a spot-start were needed. That being said, Redmond’s ability to start games cannot be underplayed. In the rare situation that a pitcher falls ill prior to a game, or is injured in warmups, Redmond can step in and give the Blue Jays 5 innings, saving them from using up their entire ‘pen. Similarly, if a young starter struggles to get out of the first or second inning, Redmond can weather the storm for the Jays.
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Despite his ERA dropping over a full point, Redmond did see his strikeout numbers dip, and his BB/9 begin to creep up. This caused his WHIP to increase by 0.125.
Redmond’s ability to mop up games early in the summer is beneficial, absolutely, but is Todd Redmond an arm that the Toronto Blue Jays want to lean on in a playoff push, or even a playoff series? In an “all-in” situation where every run counts, Todd Redmond could be dead weight in the bullpen. If he does go unused in those types of games, the Blue Jays could be better suited to use his roster spot on a bat off the bench, or a power arm that can get them out of a crucial jam.
Todd Redmond is Pre-Arbitration Eligible, and will be back with the Toronto Blue Jays in some capacity next season. I expect Redmond to start 2015 in the same role he held this past season, but his job security might not be set in stone.
By all accounts, Alex Anthoupolos was disappointed with the bullpen’s performance as a collective unit in 2014. I would not be surprised if this led to several new arms being brought in, both through Free Agency and trades. This could leave Redmond on the outside looking in, as more talented arms take his place.
Even if that plays out, however, Redmond is baseball player who is more valuable than his physical skills suggest, and he should provide the Blue Jays with reliable relief appearances throughout some, or all, of 2015.