Blue Jays bullpen responsible for slump, shake-up in order

Oct 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (left) relieves relief pitcher Jason Grilli (right) against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning in game three of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (left) relieves relief pitcher Jason Grilli (right) against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning in game three of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are a dismal 6-17 and although every single player on the 25-man roster is responsible for the uninspiring start, the collective bullpen should shoulder the brunt of the blame.

The Blue Jays skipper and his staff are searching for viable options to bring out of the bullpen without imploding late in the game as John Gibbons has already utilized 12 relievers in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

Thus far the bullpen is officially responsible for 6 losses on the scoresheet as Jason Grilli (3), Casey Lawrence (1), J.P. Howell (1) and Ryan Tepera (1) all have been saddled with at least one loss. However, that only paints a partial picture when dissecting the pen.

The pen has blown 7 save opportunities already this season as Roberto Osuna (3), Joe Biagini (2), J.P. Howell (1) and Dominic Leone (1) have all faltered with the lead.

The earned run averages and runs allowed are inflated and ugly in the bullpen starting with that of Roberto Osuna. The closer has stumbled out of the gate to the tune of a 7.50 ERA issuing 5 earned runs in 6 innings on the bump. The most surprising stat of them all is that Osuna has only converted 1 save in 4 opportunities.

The aging Jason Grilli sports a 7.27 ERA allowing 7 earned runs in 8.2 innings of work. Grilli has also been touched up for 3 home runs in his limited innings of work.

Ryan Tepera is also in the 7+ ERA club with Grilli and Osuna shouldering a 7.84 ERA giving up 9 runs in 10.1 innings of work.

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The offseason signing of free agent reliever J.P. Howell has not worked in the Jays favor as the veteran spent time on the disabled list for a sore shoulder. In 4 appearances Howell has worked just 1.1 innings giving up 3 runs for a 20.25 ERA.

Dominic Leone looked like he may become a trusted commodity early on however Leone has struggled of late and now sports a 5.06 ERA issuing 6 runs in 10.2 innings pitched.

If you are a glass full kind of guy then keep the faith that relievers Joe Smith (2.53 ERA), Joe Biagini (2.40 ERA) and Aaron Loup, yes Loup (1.35 ERA) will all continue their impressive month of April.

The Jays demoted Casey Lawrence yesterday in favor of Matt Dermody who was with the big club earlier on. Don’t hold your breath for Dermody to be the bullpen savior as in his only appearance of the year, he surrendered 5 runs on 3 round trippers.

If the Blue Jays brain trust elects to rectify the bullpen from the Bisons there are a few relievers having impressive months as John Stilson has a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 IP, Murphy Smith has a 0.00 ERA in 8.1 IP, and Chad Girodo has a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 IP including 3 saves.

Perhaps next year General Manager Ross Atkins shore up the bullpen with below market value signings and reclamation projects.

Next: Blue Jays recap: Stroman’s strong outing wasted again

If the Blue Jays are going to right the ship they will need the entire bullpen compliment all pulling in the same direction and the likes of Osuna and Grilli to rekindle their 2016 form.

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