Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: The Rebuild from 2018 to Now

Evan Gignac
Sep 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) hugs first baseman Justin Smoak (14) after hitting a double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) hugs first baseman Justin Smoak (14) after hitting a double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /
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Blue Jays
Aug 24, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Ken Giles (51) delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /

Bullpen

2018: Roberto Osuna, Joe Biagini, Tyler Clippard, Ryan Tepera, Seunghwan Oh

The bullpen is in a constant state of flux on all baseball teams, the rebuilding Blue Jays were no different. Two of these pitchers, Osuna and Oh, were traded at the deadline, while Biagini and Tepera would last another season. Both trades netted the Blue Jays some less than impactful prospects, while the Osuna deal was an ordeal in itself.

Osuna found himself in legal trouble mid-way into the season. They were able to trade him away, as it was obvious he displayed character issues that did not mesh with what the Blue Jays were trying to build. Despite the lacklustre prospects that were received, they also received star closer, Ken Giles.

2019: Ken Giles, Daniel Hudson, Gaviglio

Beyond Giles, this bullpen was uninspiring. Daniel Hudson was a serviceable reliever until he was shipped to the Washington Nationals at the deadline. He would go on to win the World Series and even closed out the final game. Everyone else was either average or anywhere below.

Giles, as mentioned, put together a phenomenal season. Over 53 innings. he posted 23 saves to go along with a 1.87 ERA and a 14.1 K/9. It’s truly one of the more underrated seasons from a Blue Jays reliever in team history, it’s just a shame he couldn’t stay healthy.

2020: Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, Jordan Romano

This was quite an interesting year. We saw journeyman Anthony Bass pickup seven saves, a stellar shortened season from Rafael Dolis, and a breakout season from Canadian Jordan Romano. These three would all go in different directions once the season was over

Bass would end up signing with the Miami Marlins the following offseason, Dolis’ performance would take a nose dive the following season, and Romano would go on to excel and take over as the teams closer.

Blue Jays
Aug 28, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Romano (68) checks first base against the Detroit Tigers during the tenth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

2021: Romano, Tim Mayza, Julian Merryweather

As previously mentioned, Romano became the closer. He turned into a dominant, strikeout-heavy pitcher who has a clutch gene. Tim Mayza would return from Tommy John surgery and pitched lights out for all but a small stretch during the season. Merryweather would show flashes of greatness, but fail to be consistent and healthy.

This bullpen overall was no doubt the letdown of the 2021 Blue Jays, at least for the first half of the season. There were additions made and strong performances were had, but overall this bullpen cost the Blue Jays a lot of games.

2022: Romano, Mayza, Trevor Richards

This Blue Jays bullpen now has both depth and experience. With a strong top three, a healthy Merryweather, a rebound from Ryan Borucki, newcomer Yimi Garcia, and possibly Nate Pearson, we could be looking at a very strong and improved bullpen for 2022. This is a position that has undergone a lot of changes since 2018, and the Jays will need the bullpen to produce if they want success in 2022.

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