As the season comes to an end, it is time to hand out the report cards for Blue Jays players and take a look at how they did this season.
Sam Gaviglio: B+
Why does he receive this grade?
Sam Gaviglio was the innings-eater for the Blue Jays this year, appearing in 51 games and leading all Jays relief pitchers in innings pitched at 95. With some games still left in the season, there is a chance that he still could pass the 100 innings mark as well.
With the Blue Jays utilizing the ‘opener’ strategy, it was usually Sam Gaviglio trotting in from the bullpen in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th inning to pick up the pieces and be tasked with pitching as many innings as he could. Factor in that he has been healthy all year, and you can see why he was called upon so much throughout the season.
A starter turned reliever this season, some may argue that this grade is a bit high given his stat line. It’s the fact that he could come in pitch a few solid innings over and over again that makes him worth his value. He would pitch 3 or more innings 12 times in 2019, while also striking out 88 batters during his 95 innings. He also only gave up 21 walks, which is a solid number over the number of appearances and innings he pitched for the Blue Jays.
If Blue Jays had a workhorse award, it would go to Gaviglio for the 2019 season.
What can he improve upon to receive a better grade?
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The overall stat line is a bit elevated, with an ERA at 4.55 and 48 earned runs on the 84 hits he surrendered.
While Gaviglio was able to limit the walks, he wasn’t able to keep the ball in the park, giving up 17 home runs and leading all relievers in this category. He did pitch the most innings out of all the bullpen staff, but 20% of the hits he gave up were home runs, which is not a flattering number.
If Sam Gaviglio wants to increase his report card, he will also need to find some consistency on the mound. There are numerous stretches where he would pitch 2-4 games giving up no runs, and then go 2-4 games giving up 2+ runs, hurting his ERA. He also had a horrible June stretch, appearing in 8 games and giving up a run in 7 of them.
Sam Gaviglio shot pass expectations this season, coming out of the bullpen and pitching deep into games that would have surely gone sour if he wasn’t able to eat up the innings he did. While his pitching line could be improved upon, this season he saw a different role in being the bullpen workhorse and considering he stayed healthy all year, he is a bright spot on a team that didn’t have a lot to cheer for pitching-wise.
The team may have possibly found the future long man out the bullpen for the foreseeable future, and his name is Sam Gaviglio.