Jumping to Conclusions – April Edition
By Craig Borden
The Blue Jays relief corp is of to a horrendous start. They have let a handful of games slip through their fingers in the early going to the season. The team’s bullpen currently ranks 19th for ERA and 27th in opposing batting average. All this is happening while the Jays have the 2nd-fewest innings logged by their bullpen. They currently reside 29th on the list of bullpen innings with 64.2 innings pitched.
It is great that the starters are logging that many innings to minimize how much the pen has to work each game, but this just amplifies the issues that have been surrounding the pen. To put the innings pitched number in perspective, the current leader is the Arizona Diamondbacks and they have thrown 108.2 innings thus far.
These numbers bring up some questions and possible answers. Question one is how can they be performing like this when this was supposed to be a strength to the team? One theory is that they are stuck in neutral because they have not gotten enough live game work in. Only Gavin Floyd and Roberto Osuna have eclipsed 10 innings of work so far and they have both been performing well to this point.
The expected setup pairing of Brett Cecil and Drew Storen has only combined for 18.2 innings. Yes this could be because they simply have not performed well in those innings but its is clear that they need to pitch their way out of the issues.
Storen has been getting slapped around by American League hitters to the tune of a .359 opposing batting average. Cecil has also been hit around also and owns a .326 opposing batting average.
If the Jays are going to win more games the bullpen needs to iron out some of these wrinkles and get back to basics. They are allowing too many hits and runs late in the game for the Jays struggling offence to overcome against other solid bullpens.
Next: Help is on the way!