I agree, this was not the Toronto Blue Jays signing we have all been yearning and admittedly somewhat of a lunchbox letdown initially, however, Tyler Chatwood may actually provide some upside pitching out of the bullpen in 2021.
The Blue Jays inked Tyler Chatwood to a one-year/ $3 million dollar pact with the potential for an additional $2.5 million in incentives. The 31-year old earned $13 million last season in the final year of his contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Chatwood struggled last season making only five starts before shutting it down for the second half with a right forearm strain. He posted an inflated 5.30 earned run average in 18.2 innings of work, however, there was an uptick in strikeouts fanning 25 in limited action.
The right-hander employs a five pitch repertoire while still possessing a plus fastball in the mid-nineties. According to Baseball Savant both his fastball and curveball were ranked in the 96th percentile in terms of spin rate last season.
In 2019, Chatwood enjoyed success in 38 games that included five starts sporting a 3.76 earned run average with a pair saves in 76.2 innings. The opposition managed to barrel up just six balls out of the 208 batted balls (2.9%) off him that season which was good enough for the top two percent in the league.
As well in 2019, right-handed hitters managed to hit just .176 off him in 184 plate appearances. There are some positive peripherals that could play into the Blue Jays favour if the hurler is completely healthy for the upcoming campaign.
It is not all rainbows and unicorns, however, as Chatwood has a tendency to lose the strike zone from time to time. In 2018, he lead the National League with 95 walks to the tune of a staggering 8.2 BB per 9 IP rate. If those numbers rear its ugly head once again, it could get messy.
At the end of the day, he is a veteran bullpen arm who could impress with a change of scenery and hey, how can you not root for a guy who wears his socks up to his knees.