Here’s some random things about any 2014 Blue Jays pitchers that I have not mentioned in previous blog posts.
Every pitching staff needs somebody like Todd Redmond: a 11th or 12th man on the staff who can enter the game when the team has fallen behind and pitch two or three innings to save the rest of the bullpen. The downside is that if you turn on the radio and find out that this guy is pitching, your team is probably toast that day. Redmond did a better job in 2014 as the lost cause guy than he did in 2013 as a starter. He can probably do more of the same in 2015.
For the second year in a row, Chad Jenkins had a better ERA in the majors than he did in the minors. Maybe he just likes the big-league lifestyle better, and who can blame him? However, a pitcher with 4.54 and 4.70 ERAs in Buffalo is not likely to have long-term success in The Show.
It’s been an up and down ride for Steve Delabar: from a substitute teacher to major-league All-Star, and then back down to the minors when he stopped throwing strikes. There’s always the possibility that he will start throwing strikes again. Or he might have to go back to teaching. The future is not ours to see.
Esmil Rogers was cut loose after 20 innings in a Blue Jays uniform. He surrendered five home runs during that time, which is rather a lot. He was promptly claimed on waivers by the Yankees, who have since re-signed him. This says much about the state of the Yankees these days – they are latching on to castoffs from other teams.
Liam Hendriks, the pride of Perth, Australia, pitched well in Buffalo with almost superhuman control: 7 walks in 108 innings. Promoted to Toronto, he walked four in 13 innings and gave up three home runs. This persuaded the Jays to send him to Kansas City as part of the Danny Valencia trade. The Jays still liked him enough to reacquire him from the Royals after the season.
Rob Rasmussen is a young left-hander who was a bit wild in his short stay in Toronto, but otherwise didn’t embarrass himself. Left-handed pitchers get a lot of chances, and Rasmussen will likely reappear at some point.
Neil Wagner did well enough in 2013, but was beaten up in both the majors and minors in 2014. This earned him his release; Tampa Bay signed him just before the end of the season.
You’ve probably heard about Daniel Norris by now – he lived in a van on his way to spring training, had a truly awesome beard, and struck out 11.8 men per nine innings in three minor league stops last year before a brief September promotion. There’s a possibility that he might be in the Jays’ starting rotation, and there’s a possibility that he might soon become the ace of the Jays’ starting rotation – that is, if Marcus Stroman or Jeff Hoffman doesn’t become the ace first. The Jays have a lot of good starting pitching prospects.
In fact, the Jays have enough good starting pitching prospects that they could afford to let Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman go to Oakland in the Josh Donaldson trade. Both men are legitimate prospects, but were buried behind better prospects in the Jays’ system. Watch them both do well in an A’s uniform – the Jays’ luck is like that.
Brad Mills is a former Jays prospect who got beaten up at the major league level when pitching for Toronto in 2009, 2010, and 2011. After pitching in Japan in 2013, he returned to Toronto after being claimed off waivers from Oakland, and proceeded to get beaten up yet again: he gave up eight earned runs in two innings against the Red Sox on July 21, and five more earned runs in 2 1/3 innings on August 11. (He must have felt like Charlie Brown out there after his cap and his socks got knocked off by line drives.) Not surprisingly, the Jays let him go back to Oakland.
Jeremy Jeffress was unable to find himself in Toronto, but seems to have put it together in Milwaukee, at least for now: his ERA with the Brewers was 1.88. This happens sometimes.
2014 was Bobby Korecky‘s second go-round in a Jays uniform, after serving as Buffalo’s closer for most of the season. He didn’t do any better this time than he did two years ago. He’s 35 now, and you have to give him credit for not giving up on his dream.
Not all pitching prospects work out. Consider Kyle Drabek: after a good year at Class-AA New Hampshire in 2010, he has endured bouts of wildness and a second round of Tommy John surgery. He’s been reduced to a spot starting role in Buffalo this year. This doesn’t look like it’s going to have a happy ending, is it?