Blue Jays: What role will Adam Cimber take in the bullpen?
The Blue Jays added a much-needed arm to the bullpen on Tuesday in Adam Cimber from the Marlins.
Cimber won’t join his new team until Wednesday, but I can’t imagine it’s going to take long before he pitches in a new uniform. Things have been going well lately for the Blue Jays overall, but even while winning eight of their last nine games the bullpen has continued to be an area of inconsistency. The hope is that Cimber will help settle things down, and maybe even add a high-leverage option for Charlie Montoyo to turn to late in the game.
The 30-year-old was one of the better performers for his former team in the Miami Marlins, having posted a 2.88 ERA and a 1.194 WHIP over 33 games spanning 34.1 innings. His sidearm approach will give the bullpen another look, and hopefully help to keep some of the powerful right-handed bats in the AL East at bay.
For baseball fans that aren’t very familiar with Cimber, I had the same two questions asked of me for most of the day on Tuesday. Most wanted to simply know if he was any good, and the results speak for themselves in 2021. With the exception of Jordan Romano, I believe he becomes the second best reliever in the ‘pen upon his arrival. Secondly, what role will he pitch in?
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If we look at how the Marlins used him, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blue Jays gave him a similar job, at least for the time being. Romano isn’t going anywhere as closer, but Cimber will give them another late-inning option. Out of his 30 appearances, the right-hander was used 10 times in the 6th inning, nine times in the 8th, and six appearances in the ninth inning, showing that his former skipper Don Mattingly trusted him as much as any of his other options.
Cimber also performed well in those situations, posting a 0.00 ERA over 5.0 innings in the 9th, 1.00 over 9.0 frames in the 6th, and a 2.35 over 7.2 innings in the 8th. It’s not necessarily that important to focus on what inning he’s pitching, but the point is that he’s used to being used later in the game.
What’s interesting is that he’s not much of a strikeout pitcher, having fanned just 21 hitters over his 34.1 innings. That said, he does a good job of throwing strikes and forcing weak contact from hitters. He’s only walked 11 batters (15 if you include 4 intentional passes), and has yet to surrender a home run this year. Last week we saw firsthand how tough it can be to hit a home run in the Marlins’ home park, but still, that’s an impressive stat.
My hope is the Blue Jays look for at least one other high-leverage reliever to add to the fold, and hopefully some depth for the middle innings as well. That said, with a few pitchers close to returning and the addition of Cimber, things are already looking a lot better than they did last week as the bullpen fell apart.