Toronto Blue Jays: Ryan Borucki’s Recent Rough Patch
By Joshua Giles
Ryan Borucki has struggled as of late in the month of August. Is this just a cold spell, or the league adjusting to him, and a sign of things to come for the young lefty?
Ryan Borucki‘s last game against the Yankees has obviously been his worst thus far. Allowing six earned-runs (four of them coming off a grand-slam) over 0.2 innings is pretty bad to say the least. Unlike the two other losses Borucki has taken this year, he earned this one.
This was a tough pill to swallow for Jays fans. Especially knowing that the pitcher facing him was J.A. Happ. Happ had a pretty solid showing, as always, but that isn’t what we’re here to talk about.
Starting off in August, Borucki had a stellar performance against Seattle, his best outing to date, but then it went downhill pretty quickly. His ERA went from 2.30 after pitching against the Mariners, to 4.27, where it sits now. That’s almost two full points, and a rapid decline for only three starts. Obviously the one that did him in was the disastrous outing against the Yankees. That alone drove his ERA up by a full run. Regardless, Borucki is obviously in his first slump as a big leaguer.
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So what’s the problem?
Well looking at Fangraphs, there’s one obvious stat that sticks out. His K% is much lower. The lower it goes, the higher is ERA gets. More than anything, this more than likely means that batters are catching on to his stuff.
His pitches aren’t anything too special, as he utilizes a three pitch repertoire with a standard fastball, slider, changeup combo. While very reliable, he doesn’t come out with anything eye-popping. His fastball tops out at 95 mph and he doesn’t have any more movement than the average pitcher.
How to fix it
Borucki is going to have to adapt to the league as it does to him. This will more than likely be a wake up call for the rookie and a good test going forward. He’s proven that he’s good enough to hang in the show, but he needs to continue to improve and prepare for the highest level of competition. If not, these brutal A.L. East lineups will chew him up and spit him out as other teams get a bigger book on him.
I think Borucki is talented and has plenty of promise but what he needs is to show that he can adapt as quickly as batters can adapt to him. If he does this, he should end up as a middle of the rotation guy for years to come.