Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Is Osuna’s Velocity Dip a Concern: Optimist, Pessimist, Realist

Feb 14, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna throws a ball during spring training workouts at Florida Auto Exchange stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna throws a ball during spring training workouts at Florida Auto Exchange stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 17, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna (54) smiles at Cecil P. Englebert Recreation Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna (54) smiles at Cecil P. Englebert Recreation Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Optimist – Brendan Panikkar

Roberto Osuna has had a very interesting spring. He started in Blue Jays camp and left early to join Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic. In his appearance against Team Italy, Osuna allowed 5 runs (4 earned) and it immediately raised some red flags.

The biggest red flag is the dip in velocity. Osuna is sitting around 93-94 MPH, compared to his average fastball velocity of 95.7 mph in 2016. However, I think Osuna will be just fine. He is only just starting to ramp it up and we will get to see Osuna once more this weekend in Montreal.

In the past two seasons, Osuna has pitched 69.2 and 74.0 innings. Combine that with the post-season and he’s right around 80.0 innings in each of the past two seasons. While there may be some fatigue, I fully expect Osuna to be the dominant 1.3 and 1.8 fWAR closer we’ve seen the past 2 seasons.

I even believe he has another step to take which could lead to his first all-star appearance. Unless we see something truly notable the first few weeks like his velocity staying around 93-94 MPH, there is nothing to worry about with the young closer.

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