Blue Jays: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly- Danny Barnes
By Samuel Bruce
Jays Journal takes a look back at 2017, and the good, bad, and the ugly of each individual performance from the roster. We switch focus to the young bullpen arm Danny Barnes.
Danny Barnes was drafted as the 35th overall pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 draft. He made his debut last year by striking out two Houston Astros in a clean inning of relief. The young right-hander was a staple in the bullpen this past year.
With a killer amount of strikeout potential, Barnes should figure prominently in next year’s bullpen. Our own Brendan Panikkar outlined this last month in an excellent article.
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Barnes has a proven ability to get strikeouts. He he fanned 62 hitters through 66 innings of work, which is an astonishing thing from a young bullpen arm. His ability to get swings and misses saw him in higher and higher profile situations, to mixed results. Barnes broke his career MiLB and MLB Innings pitched, and could see anywhere from 80-100 innings next year if healthy. If he can replicate his successes this year and lower his somewhat inflated 3.55 ERA, he’ll be a lock for late inning relief in 2018.
The Bad and the Ugly.
Barnes’ one major flaw is the long ball. At many times this year it seemed that the only people hitting off of him were sending it over the wall. He let up 11 on the season, which greatly contributed to his 3-6 record. In the process Barnes let up 26 runs. It was really a tale of two halves for Barnes, as his major stumbles came in late July and August. This could be due to his elevated innings total and relative inexperience in the Majors. It could also be that batters simply got the better read off of him. If this is true, Barnes will need to rethink not only his routine, but his pitching repertoire to regain some of his effectiveness.
To no surprise Barnes will be in the conversation for late relief next year. If Ryan Tepera looks as good as he did this year, we could see Barnes either tandem work the 8th or be the primary stopper in the 7th. His roll looks better if the Jays invest in another late inning reliever this offseason, slotting Tepera and Barnes into the 6th and 7th along with the other bullpen success of Aaron Loup and Dominic Leone. This could help Joe Biagini transition into a full-time starter or just allow him to serve as the bullpen’s long man. I personally consider the latter a better use of him.
Next: Good, Bad, and Ugly - Ryan Goins
Danny Barnes is a young and controllable player with a ton of upside. If Barnes can take the next step in his sophmore season, then he’ll go a long way in bringing the 2017 bullpen success into the 2018 season.