Erik Swanson - Regression
Erik Swanson was an excellent addition to the Blue Jays this past season. He was one of the most reliable options out of the bullpen, after his offseason trade from the Mariners.
Swanson proved his reliability with a single-season career-high 69 games out of the bullpen, tied for second-most among all Blue Jays pitchers. He also had a personal best 75 strikeouts and the second-highest strikeout rate of his five years in the league.
In general the 30-year-old was just lights out, holding opponents scoreless in 59 of his 69 appearances. He produced a 2.97 ERA, 3.51 FIP and 1.095 WHIP.
However, if you wanted to be critical -- and this is being really picky given his excellent season as a whole -- Swanson had a career-worst 8.0 percent walk rate. In addition, there was a dip in productivity compared to his final season in Seattle.
Consider that during the 2022 campaign, the right produced a 1.68 ERA, 1.84 FIP and 0.913 WHIP in 57 games. Along with a 34.0 percent strike rate and 4.9 percent walk rate, these were all career-bests.
Now, to continue with this theme, Swanson is projected by FanGraphs to regress further next year. They have him in line for a 3.89 ERA, 4.06 FIP and and 1.21 WHIP.
Similarly, the 2014 eighth round draft pick's strike and walk rates are also expected to continue trending in the wrong direction, to 25.8 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. However, this does not mean all hope is lost.
Consider that the Blue Jays relied too much at times on Swanson this past season, albeit in part due to injuries and other circumstances; he should be more rested next year. Overall, until further evidence presents itself before our very eyes, he'll be viewed as one of the Blue Jay's best options out of the bullpen.