Blue Jays 2015 Year in Review: Bo Schultz


At age 29, perennial underdog Bo Schultz competed in his first substantial season of major league action with the Blue Jays. He made a brief appearance with the Diamondbacks in 2014 which only amounted to 8 innings (that didn’t go very well).

Bo took the road less travelled to end up in the bigs. He had aspirations of becoming a sports writer—figuring that professional sports was a pipe dream. His arm got noticed and he began pitching, something he had never done, at age 20. Eight years of struggle later, including going undrafted, getting released and playing in Independent ball, the aspiring baseball journalist became an MLB baseball player.

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The Blue Jays claimed Schultz during the offseason in a little noticed move. He impressed in spring training and early on with with the AAA Buffalo Bisons. Schultz got his chance when Scott Copeland was sent down. Bo played his first game with the Jays on June 2nd and was on the active roster the rest of the season.

The Good:

I’ll admit that I thought Bo Schultz had no place on the 40 man before the season began. Schultz proved me wrong by throwing 43 innings for the Blue Jays in 2015. He posted a 3.56 ERA, a 1.070 WHIP and 0.2 bWAR. He kept opponents to a .205 batting average. Schultz was a godsend in the bullpen at the time when he came up. He and Roberto Osuna seemed to be the only dependable relief pieces for a good stretch. Before the All-Star break, Schultz had a 2.01 ERA, 0.940 WHIP and a 3.40 K/BB.

Schultz fared better against lefties (2.45 ERA, 4.50 FIP) than righties (4.38 ERA, 5.12 FIP) and was effective at keeping the ball on the ground (1.44 GB/FB).

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The Bad:

The ERA estimators were not kind to Schultz. He had a 4.86 FIP, 4.21 xFIP and 3.95 SIERA. His home run rate was somewhat high at 1.47 HR/9 and he did allow his fair share of walks at 2.93 BB/9. With a strong defence behind him and perhaps some luck, these deficiencies didn’t show through much in his ERA. Fangraphs had him at -0.3 WAR.

Schultz really had two very different seasons: one great one before the All-Star break and one below replacement level one after it. His numbers before the break are above. After the break, the ERA soured to 5.23, a 1.210 WHIP and a 1.56 K/BB. Schultz fell out of favour in Sept/Oct, throwing only 3 innings. Luckily, Schultz’ collapse wasn’t very noticeable or harmful as the Jays’ bullpen had seen reinforcements arrive.

The Future:

Don’t expect Bo Schultz to be an integral part of Toronto’s pen next year but, at the same time, don’t count him out either. He’s beaten the odds too many times in his baseball career to be overlooked easily. FIP is skeptical that Schultz can maintain a solid ERA next year however Steamer predicts a decrease in his HR/9 in 2016. This will be key for him. If he can keep the ball in the yard, he’s shown to be very effective at preventing base runners.

Next: Prospect Wrap-Up: Mitch Nay

Schultz keeps improving and surprising every year. He’ll be looking to reach a new level again next year in his odd baseball journey. Worst case scenario: Bo has an option year remaining and serves as cheap, serviceable depth. But if, next spring, he looks like the 2015 pre All-Star break Schultz, the Jays might be forced to find him a spot on the 2016 opening day roster.