Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays 2015 Year in Review: Ryan Tepera

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Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera, the 27 year old minor league veteran of 6 seasons, made his MLB debut in 2015. He received an opportunity when Chad Jenkins was sent down in early May, and Tepera saw his first action on May 10th. He was later demoted to make room for Toronto’s reliever acquisitions at the trade deadline but resurfaced with September call ups and was called upon in the playoffs. 

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For a guy who was on the bubble of the 40 man roster prior to the season and subsequently pitched in the playoffs, 2015 was a huge success. The Blue Jays put their faith in the 2009 19th round pick by protecting him from the Rule 5 draft and were rewarded.

The Good:

Tepera had a 3.26 ERA and 0.879 WHIP in 33 IP. He left 86.5% of his runners on base and saw his BB/9 drop significantly from his minor league average (MLB 2015: 1.64 BB/9, Minors career: 3.4 BB/9). He held opponents to a .193 average. His fastball hit 95 MPH on average but his cutter was his money pitch worth 2.2 runs above average.

Somewhat oddly, especially since Tepera had struggled against lefties in the minors, he had a 2.45 ERA against lefties and a .568 opponents’ OPS.

The fact that Tepera was able to arrive in the big leagues and hold his own was a leap forward for him.

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The Bad:

Tepera was extremely fortunate to end up with a pleasant looking 3.26 ERA. His 5.77 FIP and .169 BABIP in 2015 speak to the luck he enjoyed and the dangers lying ahead.

Tepera’s BB/9 dipped significantly but so did his K/9 (6 K/9). His HR/9 leapt up to 2.18 from a minor league average of 0.7 HR/9. In fact, almost every run Tepera allowed on the season was courtesy of the long ball. Like Aaron Loup, Tepera’s bane was HR/FB (21.6 for Tepera).

Ryan had a better first half than second. Before the break, he had a 2.60 ERA, 0.808 WHIP and 4.58 FIP. After the break, he had a 4.02 ERA, 0.957 WHIP and a 7.09 FIP.

Tepera’s brief appearance in the playoffs did not go well. He allowed 4 earned runs in 1.2 innings but unlike in the regular season, those runs weren’t from home runs.

WAR: 0.3 bWAR, -0.4 fWAR

Next: Troy Tulowitzki Year in Review

The Future:

Tepera is under team control for many years to come, has options left and figures to be on the bubble for a spot in the 2016 bullpen. With an uncertain reliever picture, the Blue Jays will be glad to have him as depth at least. Fans should expect his walks to go up, more strikeouts, more hits against and less home runs—the combination of which will make him a more valuable pitcher in 2016. The biggest key for Tepera is keeping the ball in the yard. 2.2 HR/9 will not do for a MLB reliever.

There is much for Tepera to improve on but he, the team and fans should be proud of the strides made this past year; He’ll have many opportunities to take more in 2016.

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