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Blue Jays: Why Jose Berrios should be sharp on Friday

Jul 31, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jose Berrios had his start pushed back from Wednesday to Friday, and history says the Blue Jays should be better off for it.

It’s been an up and down season for the right-hander, and unfortunately he had another shaky performance during his last outing against the Twins when he allowed five earned runs over 3.2 innings pitched, including giving up two more home runs, which has been a bit of a problem for him this year.

While I’m not ready to bet on tomorrow night’s start against the Cleveland Guardians, I will say that Berrios should have some history on his side as far as his own performance. What I mean by that is that the 28 year old has pitched much better with extra rest over the course of his career, and he’ll be working on six days rest when he takes the mound on Friday.

Granted, the extra rest hasn’t necessarily worked that way for Berrios in 2022, but we’re talking about a small sample size, a pretty inconsistent performance overall, and one that doesn’t align with his career norms either. The belief and even assumption is that he’ll eventually figure things out and find more consistency, and hopefully Friday can be a positive step in that direction.

With the luxury of six days of rest, here’s how Berrios stacks up for his career stats using some pretty traditional stats:

Total-              68-51, 4.18 ERA, 1.237 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9

6 days rest-  14-6, 3.65 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9

As you can see, Berrios seems to find a bit more success when he has some extra rest, or at least that’s been the case throughout his seven-year MLB career.

As for his next opponent, it might sound like a bit of a shame that he didn’t get to start against the Orioles. However, Baltimore has somehow found a way to be one of the hotter teams in the American League over the last month and a half, and they did some damage about the Blue Jays’ pitching staff by scoring 13 runs over the first two games of their series before Wednesday’s game was rained out and postponed until September.

Berrios won’t get much of a break against the Guardians either, who are 7-3 over their last 10 and up to 59-52 at the top of the AL Central standings. In my mind they’re still a team that is more in the earlier stages of their current rebuild, but there’s no denying their impressive performance this year, or that you could say the same about the Orioles to an even greater extent. For what it’s worth, Berrios has a career record of 5-4 with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.131 WHIP over 16 career starts against Cleveland, although I’ve never been much of a believer in the relevancy of that stat, especially with a team that’s had as much turnover as the Guardians.

To me the biggest key will be the added rest, and the opportunity to pitch at home rather than on the road. Berrios holds a 3.23 ERA and a 1.141 WHIP at home, compared to a 7.50 ERA and a 1.593 WHIP away from the Rogers Centre in 2022.

Next. The next prospect in line for a MLB shot. dark

Add it all up and the ingredients should be there for a solid performance from Berrios on Friday night. After a season full of highs and lows for the talented right-hander, I’ll take all the positive signs I can find.

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