Blue Jays: Where does the team go from here in regards to the bullpen?
After another late-inning meltdown yesterday against the Washington Nationals, the Toronto Blue Jays finally put an end to a rough road trip.
Facing teams that the Jays could beat on paper, the club returns back to Canada with a 3-6 record after splitting their first series with the Los Angeles Angels before losing both against the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals. They currently sit 10.0 games back in the AL East and 4.0 games back in the AL Wild Card.
It was a rough week and a half for multiple areas of the team, with Alek Manoah getting rocked for six earned runs on Tuesday against the Nats, Jose Berrios struggling against the Angels last week putting up a six-spot on his own, and George Springer landing on the IL again with a knee sprain after an awkward landing while attempting to catch a ball at the center field wall.
While a few different starters struggled to find a rhythm on the road, it was the bullpen who stole the show when it came to giving away games in the later innings.
Some less than notable outings from the bullpen:
- Newcomer Brad Hand earned the loss last night as he came in the bottom of the seventh and would give up three earned runs (four in total) off two home runs, failing to close out the inning and getting only two outs. He also issued the free pass this past weekend to the Seattle Mariners that saw the opposing team win the game in extras via a walk-off base on balls.
- After five consecutive outings without allowing an earned run, Tayler Saucedo was touched up for three earned runs against the Nats on Tuesday in the eighth inning
- Right-hander Rafael Dolis made three appearances during this road trip and gave up at least an earned run in each outing, ending up with five in total with five walks
- Adam Cimber and his funky delivery have hit a snag as of late, with the righty pitcher allowing four earned runs over his last three outings. An odd sighting since he has been very dependable since joining the team in late June.
- Trent Thornton was recently called up from AAA and struggled on the road, giving up two earned runs through 3.0 innings of work.
After a rough road series, the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen appears to be at an all-time low with there only a few options available to improve before the season ends.
Looking at the bigger picture, not every pitcher in the Blue Jays bullpen struggled on this most recent road trip:
- Connor Overton made his major league debut against the Angels on August 12th and through two appearances and 3.1 innings he has yet to allow a hit or a walk with two strikeouts
- While he did give up two earned runs against the Mariners on Sunday, Trevor Richards appeared in four games this past week and a half and only gave up two hits, both of which came on that same appearance
- Kirby Snead pitched 3.2 innings of clean ball on the road, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out one while facing the Angels, Mariners, and Nationals
- Jordan Romano appeared in two games during the road trip and did not allow an earned run, striking out four batters but also issuing two walks and three hits in the same span
- Tim Mayza returned from the IL yesterday, which in itself is a positive considering how some of the other left-handed pitchers were throwing when he was away