Blue Jays should let Ryan Tepera close in September

TORONTO, ON - JULY 6: Ryan Tepera
TORONTO, ON - JULY 6: Ryan Tepera /

The Blue Jays have very few things to look forward to as of late. Despite being out of the post season picture, the Blue Jays are nearing the influx of young talent. September call ups allow teams to experiment with their rosters in new ways. While already on the roster, the Blue Jays should look at using reliever Ryan Tepera in the 9th during the upcoming month.

To be clear from the start of this. I am an avid fan of Roberto Osuna. He has incredible skill and talent, and Jays fans should count themselves lucky that they have such a skilled player helming the roll. The down year for Toronto has afforded the Blue Jays time to experiment with a number of positional moves.

With contention far from reach, the Blue Jays can look to see what some of their other relievers offer at the premier relief position. This will not only give the Jays an idea who can hold down the role should Osuna be unavailable but it helps figure out the bullpen picture for next year.

Ryan Tepera is not a name anyone would have expected to see in closing conversation at the start of the year. His career ERA of 4.28 is quite high for a closer, but that is a far cry from what he has managed to produce on the 2017 season.

On the season he has an ERA of 3.26 looks much more indicative of a high inning reliever. To that point, Tepera has stepped up in every possible way this year. He has served not only as the long man in the rotation but as a competent late inning option. As the season has gone one, he has proven more and more that he is worthy of a shot at the ninth.

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But why should Tepera be given a shot? For one, Osuna has not been as dominant this year. Despite his first All-Star appearance, his ERA is 3.4 on the season. Much higher than his 2.68 from just a season ago. He has already matched his career high for earned runs, with plenty of games left in the season.

Osuna has struggled with bouts of inconsistencies all year. He was off his game during the World Baseball Classic. After coasting through most of the summer, he once again hit another wall in early August. Mechanics have clearly been off for the young hurler at several points this season.

Giving the ball to Tepera will afford the pitching coaches more time to refine Osuna’s skills and figure out how to take his game to the next level.

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Several positions in the outfield and infield will see young stars auditioning for the future. The Blue Jays should also shake things up with the bullpen. Not only should they add some of tomorrow’s stars to the mix, but experiment with existing relievers in different roles.

The Blue Jays have a solid core of relievers to use in 2018 including Osuna, Tepera, Aaron Loup, and Danny Barnes. Playing around with their rolls in September will help the Blue Jays spend wiser in the off season when they look at augmenting the staff. Of all the staff, Tepera has definitely earned a shot.