Toronto Blue Jays: 2015 Bullpen Part 2- Where Are They Now?

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Ryan Tepera #52 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox hit a three run home run during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on September 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Ryan Tepera #52 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox hit a three run home run during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on September 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

In the first two articles of this series, I looked at the starting rotation and the first half of the bullpen of the 2015 Playoff teams and where they are now.  In this article, we will look at what happened to the second half of the bullpen and where they are now.

For a look at the first two articles click the following links:

Marco Stroman
Due to an oversight, Marcus Stroman was missed in the starting rotation as he only made four starts during the season but came up big in the playoffs.  In 2015, Stroman was coming off an outstanding rookie season that saw him post an 11-6 record with a 3.65 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  The Blue Jays had high hopes for Stroman for 2015, however, during Spring Training he sustained a torn ACL in his left knee and was expected to be out the full season.

Stroman told media and fans he would be back for playoffs and he worked his butt off to get back.  Stroman would make four starts in September going 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA, which led him into the playoffs where he made three more starts going 1-0 and threw 19.1 IP over those games.

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Stroman would become a mainstay in the Blue Jays starting rotation over the next four seasons, but management and the player never seemed to be on the same page.  With about a year and a half left of control on Stroman before he could free agent, the Blue Jays traded him a few days prior to the trade deadline last season to the New York Mets for prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson.

Stroman finished out the year starting 11 games and going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA with the National League New York team.  In January, the Mets and Stroman settled on a contract before going to arbitration on one-year at $12 Million  which will walk him into free agency at the end of the season.  So far this Spring, Stroman has made two appearances for 3.2 IP with mediocre numbers.

Ryan Tepera
The 2015 season was Ryan Tepera’s rookie season and he was impressive coming out of the bullpen 32 times for a 3.27 ERA and posting a WHIP of 0.88.  Tepera was only used in one game for mop innings in Game 4 of the ACLS that the Blue Jays would lose 14-2.  Tepera threw 1.2 IP, allowing five hits and two walks that led to four earn runs.  The game was already out of control when he came into the game.

Tepera had become a mainstay in the Blue Jays bullpen since that season and saw one appearance in the 2016 ALDS series when he finished off a masterpiece of a start by Marco Estrada in Game 1. In 2019, Tepera suffered some injuries which led to a downfall in his performance.  The Blue Jays released him in early November and he was signed by the Chicago Cubs just before Christmas and is now battling for a spot in their bullpen.  Tepera has made two appearances this Spring allowing two hits, two runs and striking out two over two innings.

LaTroy Hawkins
When the Blue Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki many forget that they also acquired a solid veteran reliever in LaTroy Hawkins.  Hawkins looked incredible in his start with Toronto as he allowed just one earned run over his first 12 appearances for 0.79 ERA, however, it’s how he finished the season and into the playoffs that were hurtful.

In September, Hawkins appeared six times and allowed four earned runs for a 7.20 ERA. In the playoffs, Hawkins made three appearances for 1.2 IP and allowed seven hits and seven runs.  This was an unfortunate end to a very impressive career as a long-serving reliever as the then 42-year old retired at the end of that season.

Hawkins took the next year off before taking a job with the Minnesota Twins as a Special Assistant in Baseball Operations.  Hawkins contributes to the pitching philosophy in the selection and development of players.  Hawkins is also an analyst for their televised broadcasts.

Mark Lowe
At the 2015 trade deadline, the Blue Jays had already acquired David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, and LaTroy Hawkins so they were looking for more bullpen depth and found someone in Seattle.  The Jays traded away prospects Jake Brentz and Nick Wells, as well as Rob Rasmussen for Mark Lowe.  Lowe was a veteran reliever with a good track record and was currently coming to Toronto with a 1.00 ERA over 34 appearances.  Over 19 appearances with the Blue Jays Lowe posted a 3.79 ERA and tiny 0.84 WHIP.  Lowe was used often out of the bullpen in the playoffs as he made six appearances in 11 playoff games.

Lowe’s strong 2015 appearance led him to sign a two year $11 million contract with the Detroit Tigers however his career fell off the map.  After one year in Detroit, Lowe posted a 7.11 ERA and was released the next Spring Training with still $5.5 million owed to him.  Over the next 12 months Lowe bounced from Detroit to the White Sox to Seattle and finally the Dodgers however never made another major league appearance.

Lowe was last seen signing in 2019 with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and the soon to be 37-year old is currently a free agent.

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Who was your favorite reliever that season?