Blue Jays DFA Rafael Dolis, Fans Rejoice
The moment that Blue Jays fans have waited all season for has finally arrived. No, not clinching a playoff spot, though today’s move might very well help in that direction. Rafael Dolis has been designated for assignment. i.e. adios Rafael. Infielder Kevin Smith will be added to the roster in his place.
Dolis has been the poster boy (and deservedly so) for the Jays’ bullpen woes nearly all season. His misappropriated use as a “closer” in the earlier stages of the season was disastrous, helping blow many a lead that left the team hovering around .500 in the first half despite one of the best run differentials in the American League.
When manager Charlie Montoyo finally relieved Dolis of seeing any high-leverage situations and unofficially handed the closer’s role to Jordan Romano in mid-June, it triggered a tremendous run for the team that saw them post the best record in the league over a 7-week span.
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In the last week or two, Montoyo got a little adventurous, handing Dolis the ball in close (though trailing) situations, and it quickly blew up on him (and the team)… It blew up real good.
The last straw(s) were his last two outings, in which he surrendered 5 hits, 3 walks, and 4 earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning combined.
He finishes his infamous run with the Jays with an ERA of 5.63, and an equally unattractive WHIP of 1.75.
The thing is, it didn’t have to be this way. Dolis was only given this much rope in 2021 due to an extremely small sample size from the 2020 season, which featured 24 mostly decent innings. But the 14 walks in those 24 innings were a bit of a red flag, not to mention his routine of taking an excruciatingly long time between pitches, a potential signal of distress.
His previous major league exposure (dating all the way back to 2013) didn’t go all that well either, registering a 6.39 ERA with the Chicago Cubs in 2012, and only a handful of innings in 2013. Since then, he’s been toiling in the minors and in Japan.
What does Dolis’ release mean to Blue Jay fans? Let’s just say, the celebration is on.
Onward and upward now for the Blue Jays’ bullpen, finally relieved of the Rafael Dolis albatross.