On Saturday, June 23, the Blue Jays play the third game of an extended four-game series against the L.A. Angels. Marcus Stroman will make his long-awaited return from the disabled list to oppose the Angels young starter, Jaime Barria.
Jaime Barria has been in the Angles system since 2013 when he started playing for the Halos rookie-ball team. The right-hander made great leaps and bounds through the organizational depth chart in 2017. However, he did not do enough to make the team out of spring training.
The young starter has had a wild year of transactions this season. In fact, he may have been sent up and down more than Blue Jays Buffalo shuttle member, Tim Mayza. In total, the young righty has been called-up or sent down ten times this season.
His latest call-up, on June 12, was to replace the injured Shohei Ohtani. So far, in nine starts for the Angels, he has more than earned his stay in the bigs, posting a 3.57 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 1.169 WHIP, and 113 ERA+.
The young starter does not feature many pitches. The twenty-one-year-old cycles through a four-seam fastball, slider, change-up, and an occasional sinker. However, for the most part, the young pitcher alternates between his heater and slider.
The four-seam fastball maintains decent velocity, 92.29 mph, and has been used 40.83% of the time this season. The four-seamer has been quite ineffective this season, posting a .604 SLGA, .302 ISOA, and seven extra-base hits.
The slider has been used by Barria 33.33% of the time this season. While the slider is not that hard, posting an average velocity of just 82 mph, it has been very effective. The breaking ball has posted a great 37.88% whiff rate and a .145 BAA.
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The young righty has changed speeds on batters 20.8% of the time this season. The change has been very effective at missing bats this season, posting a whiff rate of 34.52%. However, the off-speed pitch has also allowed line drives at a poor rate of 32.26% of balls in play.
The young starter completes his repertoire with a sinking fastball, which is used 5.8% of the time. The sinker has allowed a terrible line drive rate, allowing line drives on 42.86% of balls in play. As a result, the sinker has allowed a terrible .857 SLGA.
While the right-handed hurler had been excellent before his last start, he was not effective against the lowly Arizona offence. The D-backs managed six hits, six earned runs, and two home runs in just four innings.
Barria, the owner of a small .269 BABIP, is due for regression soon. His FIP explains that his true skill this season has been equivalent to an ERA of 4.61—a much more understandable number for spot starts from the minors.
The Blue Jays will look to help Marcus Stroman with some offence. It will be interesting to see if the young right-hander’s problems have been fixed while on the disabled list. The Angels starter seems intimidating, but he is not as good of a pitcher as his numbers suggest.