Okay, I know you don’t have to be a baseball savant to recognize that Rafael Dolis has been the poster boy for the Blue Jays’ beleaguered bullpen this season. But let’s get real with this: Isn’t it time to, at the very least, relegate Dolis to the most meaningless of mop-up roles? Can we all agree that he should never be anywhere close to the mound in high-leverage situations?
The eye test says that Dolis is just not comfortable out there. The excruciatingly long delays between each pitch tell you this guy is struggling with each and every delivery.
But just to be sure that our eyes aren’t deceiving us, let’s have a look at the numbers.
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Dolis’ season started well enough for the Blue Jays, with an April that saw him snag two saves in two opportunities, with an ERA of 3.18, and an opponent’s batting average of .083. But since then, it’s been a dumpster fire. Let’s look at it month-by-month:
ERA WHIP AVG
April 3.18 0.88 .083
May 7.94 1.94 .250
June 6.75 3.00 .368
July 81.00 9.00 .750
So, do we see a pattern forming here? Things are not looking up. And here’s the rub: As pointed out by Jays MLB.com reporter Keegan Matheson, all of this goodwill and confidence he seems to have built up with the coaching staff is based on a very small sample size last season.
At what point do 24 very good innings get expunged by 21.1 very, very bad innings?
Yes, it’s obvious that manager Charlie Montoyo has very few late-inning options he can rely on. Injuries (Julian Merryweather, David Phelps, Ryan Borucki, Tyler Chatwood) and ineffectiveness (Chatwood again, plus nearly everyone else) have made high-leverage decisions very difficult.
However, at this point, I think we can all agree that if they still want Dolis to “work things out”, it should ideally be done in the most “low-leverage” of situations possible.
Finishing on a positive note, perhaps the bullpen newbie, Adam Cimber, who has acquitted himself quite well thus far, can continue to help fill the late-innings void in front of closer Jordan Romano.
And we can also hope that GM Ross Atkins is still burning up the phone lines, and can soon provide the Toronto pitching staff with even more relief.