Blue Jays: A War of Veterans for the Final Two Bullpen Spots

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 27: John Axford
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 27: John Axford /
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CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 07: Craig Breslow
CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 07: Craig Breslow /

Craig Breslow

Craig Breslow’s advantage over the other veteran relievers is that he is left-handed. Currently, the 2018 Blue Jays project to have only one left-handed reliever on the team—Aaron Loup. However, neither his spring numbers nor his 2017 numbers should inspire confidence in Craig Breslow.

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In 35.1 IP for Minnesota and Cleveland last year, Breslow posted a below average 5.09 ERA with a weak 5.9 SO9. As well, he was worth an uninspiring -0.1 WAR. The most concerning part of his game is that he gets hit, a lot. Last year, Breslow managed a 10.4 H9, not exactly something the team wants from a clean-up man.

During spring training, Breslow has only heightened these concerns. Over 2.2 IP Breslow has allowed 3 earned runs and posted a 2.625 WHIP with 4 strikeouts. Although these numbers were against the strongest competition of all of the pitchers at 8.5 OppQual, it doesn’t make a strong case for Breslow in the major league bullpen.

Projections are kinder to Breslow than the spring has been. Currently, he is projected at 44.0 IP with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.477 WHIP. However, these projections still see Breslow posting a weak 9.8 H9.

Unless Breslow turns it around and shuts down the rest of the spring training, don’t expect the veteran lefty to make the trip to Toronto in late March.

Next: Blue Jays Keys to Success #3: Close the Deal