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Toronto Blue Jays: Simulated 2020 season breakdown

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BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 20: Baseballs sit in a basket before the start of the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 20: Baseballs sit in a basket before the start of the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Baseball-Reference simulated a 162 game 2020 season and here is how it all shook out for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Typically, a major league baseball season consists of 162 games. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season only lasted 60 games with a bunch of rule changes and an expanded postseason format.

Back when the season was on pause, I ran a simulated Jays season using Statis Pro with their original 2020 schedule. While I only did the Jays, Baseball Reference used Out of the Park to simulate every team’s 162 game schedule.

So, how did the Jays do? Let’s take a look.

Standings

The Jays finished 4th in the AL East and were 32 games behind the New York Yankees for first in the AL East. They finished 68-94 for a winning percentage of .420 which was identical with the Miami Marlins. This would have given them another top 10 pick in the 2021 draft.

Hitting Stats

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Bo Bichette led the team in batting average by hitting .280. Along with that, he got on base at a clip of .342 with 25 HR, 188 hits, 49 doubles, 90 RBI and 27 SB.

While Vladimir Guerrero Jr.didn’t live up to the hype in his rookie year, he had much better in this simulated season slashing .279/.360/.500 with 34 HR, 171 hits and 97 RBI.

Neither Bichette nor Vladdy was the best player on the team in the simulation. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.was arguably the teams’ most valuable player as he slashed .266/.317/.520 with 39 HR, 108 RBI and 39 doubles.

Vladdy and Gurriel Jr weren’t the only ones to hit the 30 HR mark as Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez doing so too with the former hitting 37 and the latter going yard 31 times. Despite Grichuk going deep 37 times, he did end up walking back to the dugout quite a bit as he went down on strikes on 202 occasions.

The Blue Jays had four different players bat below the Mendoza line (below .200). Those guys were Derek Fisher (.196), Danny Jansen (.193) Travis Shaw (.185) and Anthony Alford (.143).

Pitching stats

The Jays newly signed ace, Hyun-Jin Ryu, went 15-10 with a 5.06 E.R.A. over 34 starts. He gave up 200 hits while striking out 155 in 183.1 innings.

The simulated season seemed to have Nate Pearson on the Opening Day roster as he made a total of 34 starts posting a 3.85 E.R.A. with 204 strikeouts over 144 hits given up in 170.2 innings. He was named Rookie of the Month for April.

In regards to the bullpen, Ken Giles got 19 saves in a Blue Jays uniform albeit with a 6.47 E.R.A., Rafael Dolis appeared in 70 games posting an E.R.A. of 6.37 while Anthony Bass finished the season with an E.R.A. of 5.75.

Jordan Romano appeared in 57 games (4.88 E.R.A.) striking out 141 in 94 innings, Wilmer Font pitched in 54 games posting a 6.27 E.R.A. and Justin Miller, who the Jays traded to the Cincinnati Reds for international bonus pool money, saw the mound 36 times.

To put it out here for jokes, position players Reese McGuire, Derek Fisher, Brandon Drury and Anthony Alford all pitched at least once.

Transactions

Yes, this simulation even included real transactions including trades, free agent signings, releases among other moves.

In the simulated season, on April 4th, the Blue Jays ended up releasing A.J. Cole. He did not pitch a single game for the team.

On April 19th, they signed relief pitchers Justin Shafer and Xavier Cedeno to minor league contracts. Both have prior experience pitching in the major leagues.

On April 27th, the Blue Jays made a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers where they sent Ty Tice to Chavez Ravine for Scott Alexander. Alexander ended up being a valuable bullpen piece as he pitched in 50 games posting a 4.80 E.R.A. with 13 holds and five saves.

A day later, they signed Jorge De La Rosa and Chasen Shreve to minor league deals. Both have prior experience pitching in the major leagues.

On May 4th, they signed Boone Logan to a minor league contract. This name might seem familiar as the Blue Jays were interested in him in 2016 when he was a member of the Colorado Rockies. A day later, they signed 5’9 relief pitcher Ryan Dull who’s also pitched in the major leagues.

On the 29th, they signed Eddie Butler to a minor league contract and gave him a signing bonus of $60,000. A week later, they gave an identical deal to Jesse Biddle. He pitched for three different teams in 2019. They also gave the exact same deal to former top prospect Tyler Jay.

On June 28th, they signed Matt Bush to a minor league deal and gave him a $65,000 signing bonus. Bush is the one that was pitching when the infamous Jose Bautista/Rougned Odor brawl broke out. He was the first overall pick in 2004 as a shortstop but landed in lots of legal trouble. Bush is able to throw a fastball in the upper 90s.

On July 7th, Anthony Alford was designated for assignment. He slashed .143/.234/.190 in the simulated season.

A week later, the Blue Jays made a big trade. They traded Giles to the Milwaukee Brewers for four  prospects which consisted of CF Carlos Rodriguez (19), pitcher Drew Rasmussen (24), RF Anderson Melendez (20) and SS Jose Devers (17).

Rasmussen pitched in eight games out of the bullpen in the simulated season posting a 2.53 E.R.A. in 10.2 innings.

Two weeks later, they traded Sam Gaviglio and pitcher Sean Wymer (23) to the Marlins for C Nick Fortes (23) and C Julian Leon (24). Prior to the trade, Gavilgio was pitching to a 6.14 E.R.A.

On August 9th, they claimed relief pitcher Tony Watson off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

Wilmer Font was released on September 2nd.

Around the league

Next. Blue Jays pending UFA’s: Re-sign or pass. dark

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