Mark Buehrle: Toronto Blue Jays 2014 Year in Review


Always known as Mr. Reliable. Mark Buehrle is maddeningly consistent. Almost consistent to a fault. The way he started his season as a very early Cy Young candidate was something that no one saw coming. The precipitous fall off the proverbial cliff for much of the second half of the season again was something that no one saw coming. It was like he had to falter just to keep his years of consistency in tact.

Then he masterstrokes the final game of his season tossing 8 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. He again finishes his season with 200+ innings 10+ wins for the 14th consecutive year. Mr Consistency. So what does consistency like that get you nowadays? Trade rumours and bound to be plenty of them.


Buehrle brings not just a veterans presence but stability to the rotation, one that lacks a clear number one ace. In 32 starts he gave up 5 or more runs just 4 times. He pitched at least 5 innings 29 times. That is some crazy consistency. Considering his fastball sits in the low 80s at the best of times it is remarkable to accomplish what he has.

I seem to always want to draw comparisons to Greg Maddux, one of the finest pitchers in the history of the game. Both are winners because both of them knew how to pitch. Not just throw but pitch. Buehrle, like Maddux, was able to hit his spots over the plate with razor thin perfection and always keeps the hitters guessing as to what is coming next. A low 80s fastball will look like a hundred if you are anticipating a 75mph changeup.

He didn’t factor in much in terms of statistics against the AL but that didn’t matter to the Blue Jays. He gave them exactly what he was expected to and that was all they needed. He has never hit the DL with arm trouble and gives his all every time out. That is something most teams would pay to have in their rotation.


He didn’t factor in much in terms of statistics against the AL. This is not necessarily a really bad thing but it is worth mentioning. That is the way of Buehrle. He has definitely started to show signs of his age.

As usual he gave up more hits than innings pitched. His WHIP was higher than his career average and his innings pitched was his lowest since 2007. At 35 years of age he may be finally hitting the proverbial wall. He may be an ulnar collateral ligament away from calling it a career.

He will come back and most likely earn his 200th career win but it truly is something he should have secured in 2014. In 2015 we will all expect him to rise above and give his 200 innings and double digit wins but how many more years can he and the rest of the Blue Jays count on to provide that?

His next pitch may end up being his last. The way he has managed too make it to this far on guile and ability and a true will to win is a testament to him as a person and a ballplayer. He is a throwback in the age of power pitchers. Let’s hope he does have one year left in the tank.

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Buehrle is going into his final year of his 4 yr/$58M deal he signed as a free agent with Florida. Beyond that it is difficult to read. With the arms coming up through the organization there may not be room for him in the rotation for 2016 and possibly 2015.

His name will assuredly be bandied about as trade bait for a contender looking for that reliable arm to fill out their rotation and that says nothing about his reputation as a good teammate and tireless worker. The Blue Jays could use his veteran presence in the rotation to allow Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris more time to develop in AAA.

If those kids are ready come June or July it is most likely Buehrle will pitch the remainder of his season for a contender. Will that contender be the Blue Jays? Here’s hoping but don’t count on it.