Oct 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna reacts after defeating the Texas Rangers in game five of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Q6: Will the Jays be tempted to start Roberto Osuna?
Roberto Osuna was a surprise addition to the Blue Jays 25-man roster out of spring training, and even then, Miguel Castro was expected to outshine the young Mexican right-hander. Instead, Osuna proved to be potentially the highest-ceiling young arm in the Blue Jays organization.
Appearing in 68 regular season games, Osuna recorded a 2.58 ERA, striking out 9.7 batters per nine innings and saving 20 ball games once being moved into the closer’s role. At just 20 years of age, and not turning 21 until February, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the career trajectory here.
The temptation will be there to move Osuna into a starting role, and I can hear the worn-out line already: “Why wouldn’t you want 200 innings of this guy?” Innings aren’t the issue here, the issue is quality. Osuna came up as a starting pitcher, and I’d trust him to move into the role with great maturity, but is this another spot where Toronto needs to leave well enough alone?
The Jays have a closer with truly elite potential, a small salary and years of team control. The 2015 season taught us that the closer’s role truly isn’t for everybody, but Osuna consistently rose to the occasion. I’d love to see him remain in the role and even be used more freely by John Gibbons going forward.
Regardless of the decision, though, my one wish is that the Jays stick with it. Starter or closer. Don’t jerk Osuna around.
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