Jays Journal contributors will be authoring Toronto Blue Jays report cards based on how each player performed in 2020. In this edition, we take a look at Anthony Bass
If it wasn’t for the Seattle Mariners, who designated him for assignment after the end of 2019, Anthony Bass may have never been apart of the Toronto Blue Jays. It was fortunate that the instincts of the Jays front office that claimed him off waivers once he was made available were more than correct.
Despite bouncing around to multiple teams throughout his career, which even included a detour overseas to Japan, Bass seemed to find his footing in Toronto as he was a key relief arm in a surprisingly solid Jays bullpen.
Pitching on a one year, $1.5 million deal, Bass appeared in 26 games recording four holds, posting a 3.51 ERA with an opponent average of .189 in 25.2 innings pitched. When Ken Giles went down with an injury, for a bit, Bass filled the closer’s role recording seven saves in nine opportunities.
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This season, Bass relied on four pitches. A sinker (54%), slider (39%), split finger (6.8%) and fastball (0.3%). He threw just one fastball this season at 92 MPH, which was against a right-handed batter.
He primarily used his curveball against lefties, as with 26 of those pitches thrown, 24 of those were against a left-handed batter.
As sinker and slider are his primary pitches, he should definitely rely on those going forward as they were effective options to get batters out in 2020. With his sinker, opponents hit just .208, with an even better .188 batting average off his slider.
While the Jays were kinda playing on the road all season as they were unable to host games at the Rogers Centre, Bass fared much better pitching when the Jays were the visiting team than the home team.
Home games saw him post a 6.30 ERA with a .263 opponent average, while away games had him finish with a 1.72 ERA with batters batting .135 off him. He pitched more on the road (16) than at Sahlen Field (10). When a runner got on first, he struggled a bit (.429 opponent average), but tended to settle down afterwards.
Bass was an effective pitcher for the Blue Jays and someone that Charlie Montoyo was able to rely on, especially in close situations. He was someone that was handed the ball late into the game, and while he will be a free agent once the World Series ends, the Jays will likely try and bring him back.