Blue Jays: Good, Bad & the Ugly- Roberto Osuna
Jays Journal takes it’s look at the year that was for the Toronto Blue Jays roster, with today’s edition featuring closer, Roberto Osuna.
While the majority of the Blue Jays roster struggled through the first half of the 2017 season, Roberto Osuna flourished, especially once he got over an early season hiccup in April. After that, he was nearly untouchable, and pitched his way to an All-Star selection in July as arguably the best closer in the American League in the first half.
Of course, things didn’t go that well for him in the second half, and it was very much a tale of two seasons for the 22 year old flame thrower. In a lot of ways, his inconsistent performance was indicative of the entire roster, and he was far from the biggest problem with the club, even if he lead the American League in blown saves.
So without further adieu, let’s have a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the 2017 season for Roberto Osuna.
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As we’ve already discussed, the first half went exceptionally well for the young Mexican pitcher. Before the All-Star break he posted a 2.06 ERA with 22 saves in 37 appearances. He was absolutely dominant, and had a SO/W rate of 15.67, which is ridiculous. At one point, he had a streak of 22 consecutive save conversions as well, and was as lock down as they come.
Overall he posted a 3.38 ERA with a career with 39 saves, and a 1.5 WAR on the season. Not bad at all
We’ll save the really rough stuff for the last portion and talk about two things for Osuna. First of all, he struggled to open the season, posting a 5.63 ERA in April through his first eight appearances, and allowing a .313 opponents batting average. For as good as his first half numbers were, things started out on a pretty rough note for the talented pitcher.
The other “bad” thing shouldn’t be labeled as bad, as much as it was unfortunate. In the middle of the season, the youngster wasn’t available for one night out of the bullpen, and manager John Gibbons went to bat for his young closer. Unfortunately (and fortunately), it was put out to the public that Osuna was “not feeling like himself”, and dealing with some anxiety.
The situation was unfortunate in that it dragged any personal struggles he may have been dealing with into the public eye, when a day or two off from his duties may have been all he needed at the time. On the plus side, it brought an open dialogue to an important issue among Blue Jays’ fans, so at least there was a silver lining to potentially damaging situation. It all worked out fine in the end, anyway.
And finally, getting to the hideous portion of the All-Star’s season, which was the majority of the second half. After an absolutely lights out June with a 0.97 ERA, Osuna posted a 4.50 ERA in July in 12 appearances, and a 4.85 ERA in August over 13 outings. Overall for the second half, Osuna posted an ugly 4.97 mark in 29 games, and wasn’t the same dominant pitcher the Blue Jays had enjoyed earlier in the campaign.
He also lead the league in one unfortunate category, blown saves. While setting a Blue Jays’ record in the category, Osuna blew a save in 10 different opportunities. As I said earlier in the article, he wasn’t the main reason for the Blue Jays’ struggles by any means, but that’s a lot of wins to miss out on with a late lead.
Next: Likely need to keep Goins around in 2018
So there you have it, the Good, Bad, and Ugly of Roberto Osuna’s season. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but at just 22 years old and loaded with talent, we’re sure the best is yet to come for the Blue Jays’ talented closer.