Blue Jays: Biggest surprises of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 17: Justin Smoak
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 17: Justin Smoak /
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Blue Jays
BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 03: Roberto Osuna /

Roberto Osuna’s second half

As most of the roster struggled, there was a time in the calendar when Roberto Osuna was making a case for being one of the best closers in baseball. After a rocky start, he went on a streak of 22 consecutive saves without a hitch, and was rewarded with being named to the AL All-Star team.

Then came the second half.

Osuna has been a completely different pitcher in the second half, and it’s not even close. I think we can safely say he would have been removed from the closer’s role a long time ago, if not for his dominance in his first two and a half seasons in the big leagues.

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After coming to the All-Star break with 22 saves and a 2.06 ERA, he’s added only 13 more in the second half and watched his ERA steadily rise. He’s currently sporting a 3.95 ERA, and his 6.00 post-break mark has been tough to watch.

Relief pitching can be a bit of a crapshoot, but I don’t think anyone expected this type of nose dive for the Mexican born star. I have faith that he’ll find his groove and be an effective asset for the Blue Jays again, but he’s looked pretty lost recently, and leads all of baseball in blown saves.

In fact, he’s got an outside shot at the MLB record for blown saves in a single season. The record is shared by five different pitchers at 14, and Osuna has 10 at this point. It’s unlikely he’ll get the opportunity to blow four more games without being removed from the role for awhile and just 20 games left on the schedule, but he’s dangerously close.

As I said, I believe he’ll return to his rightful place as a feared closer, but he’s been anything but since the calendar flipped to August. Considering the way he mowed through the competition in the first half and the run he was on, I most certainly didn’t see that coming.

Next: Players affected by mother nature's wrath

What did I miss? There are plenty of other things I could have included, but you don’t wanna hear me go on forever. Let us know in the comments section below.