Toronto Blue Jays’ Steamer vs. Reality: Pitchers
Sep 27, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez pitches against Baltimore Orioles in the seventh inning against Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
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The Janitor! Steamer projected Redmond to start eight ball games for the Blue Jays, but it’s likely for the best that he didn’t need to. Redmond outperformed his projections in 2014, and although he rarely saw action in high leverage situations, his ability to throw several innings from the bullpen was extremely valuable to the Blue Jays and helped to keep other arms fresh. Redmond may someday become unnecessary with Chad Jenkins in the fold, but he’s the type of player that I’m just fine having around the bottom of a roster.
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After a big 2013, many expected Delabar to regress in some way, but never this much. With 19 walks and 21 strikeouts, Delabar never gave himself a chance on the mound. To succeed, he needs to get ahead in the count early and attack with his split-finger. Given that this pitch rarely finishes in the zone, he struggled to pitch from behind in 2014. Looking to next season, he’s a prime candidate to bounce back and take a surprise role in the Blue Jays’ bullpen.
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I almost feel that I should apologize for showing you all this projection, but this is what could have been for the hard-throwing righty. Santos’ season went off the rails fast though, which created a hole in the Blue Jays’ bullpen that they struggled to fill throughout the year. He’s the LA Dodgers’ problem now.
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Sanchez also wasn’t given a significant Steamer projection prior to 2014, but his performance in limited action certainly inspired a great deal of excitement in Toronto. His 2015 projections aren’t pretty, though, and some fear he will struggle to find the zone and get batters out the second and third time through lineups. The abilities are there to be a stud at the top of a rotation, however, and that journey begins this Spring.
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Jenkins was projected to start eight games as well, but he seems to be a bullpen man for good. That’s not a bad thing. The big righty outperformed his projections by a mile, which were fairly harsh entering last season. In 2015, Jenkins is a candidate to get the ball in the 7th inning a little more often, instead of his usual long-man role.
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Steamer set the bar pretty low for Morrow in 2014, but he still fell clear below it. Now a member of the San Diego Padres, Morrow will be remembered for flashes of brilliance and what could have been.
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The new man in town, Estrada came over in the Adam Lind deal and will likely pitch from the bullpen, but don’t be surprised to see him take the mound for a few starts through the season. His 2014 Steamer projected him to make 25 appearances, all starts, but Estrada ended up making 18 starts in 39 games. His HR numbers should make you cringe, a lot, but if they can come down a bit the Blue Jays could have something.