R.A. Dickey: Is currently leading the American League in losses with 10, but some of that is bad luck: in all but one of his starts in which he finished with a game score lower than 50, he was handed the loss. He also picked up a loss in three games in which he pitched reasonably well: on April 13, he gave up two runs in six innings and got the loss, and did the same thing on June 2. In his last start before the All-Star break, he gave up only four hits and two runs in seven innings, but got the loss anyway. He also has never had a game in which he pitched poorly or even so-so and got a cheap win: the game scores for his wins were 70, 69, and 66. But he’s not had even one dominant outing this season, and it doesn’t help that Noah Syndergaard is starting to make a splash in New York.
Drew Hutchison: What a strange season he is having. He has eight wins, and none of them have been cheap wins, except for his June 22 start, in which he gave up nine hits and three runs in five innings but got the win anyway. He’s among the league leaders in wins, but he has an ERA of 5.33, as he has been clobbered five times. He’s gotten the loss in only one of those five bad outings, so his record is 8-2, not 8-6.
Mark Buehrle: His ERA on May 1 was 6.75, and it’s been uphill from there – he hasn’t a genuinely bad start in two months, and now has a record of 10-4. Considering he usually winds up with a record of 13-10, does this mean that he is going to struggle in the summer?
Marco Estrada: Apart from his two good starts in June, he’s been just sort of okay most of the time – he pitches well enough to keep his team in the game, which is good enough when you have the Jays’ offense to work with. His major improvement is that he isn’t giving up home runs as often as he has before – he’s allowed 10 in 87.1 innings, whereas last year it was 29 in 150.2. His career high in wins is seven, and he already has six this year.
Aaron Sanchez: His stuff is so good that he is able to be a reasonably effective starting pitcher despite his lack of command. And he was starting to get it together before his injury: he had pitched 6 or more innings in each of his last four starts, and didn’t walk anyone in his last outing on June 5th. The Jays miss him; the only good thing about his injury is that it keeps his inning total down. He’s still only 23, so it’s probably best that he not be worked too hard.
Brett Cecil: You’d think that a left-handed pitcher would have more trouble against right-handed hitters than lefties, but Cecil has an extreme reverse platoon split this year. Right-handed hitters are batting .203 against him, and lefties are batting a rather healthy .355. He hasn’t shown such an extreme split in the past: last year, lefties hit only .247, and he had better control against them. After his multiple meltdowns in mid-June, John Gibbons seemingly has lost confidence in him, or might possibly just be putting him into lower-pressure situations to give him a chance to experience some success. It might be working – his last seven outings have been scoreless. However, he just might be one of those pitchers who isn’t a good fit for the closer’s job: Jason Frasor and Mike Timlin were two other perfectly decent pitchers whose stuff wasn’t best suited for the ninth inning.
Roberto Osuna: Seems to have inherited the closer’s job more or less by default, since Gibbons no longer trusts anyone else to handle it. It’s hard to believe that he is only 20 years old and pitched last year in class-A Dunedin. Young pitchers, traditionally, are more prone to injury than older pitchers, so the Jays will have to be careful with him. Has allowed only two home runs in 40 innings of work.
Liam Hendricks: He gradually moved up the bullpen depth chart because he doesn’t walk people: 6 walks in 39 innings. Pitching three innings on July 2nd might have done him in – he remained idle for five days after that, was bombed on July 8th, and hasn’t pitched since.
Aaron Loup: Has clearly made a deliberate decision to stop walking people (or was told not to): last year, he surrendered 30 walks in 68 2/3 innings, but this year has 5 walks in 37 innings. His ERA is way up, so I’m not sure whether this was a good decision. Like Cecil, he is actually pitching better against right-handed hitters than left-handers this year. Leads the AL in appearances with 42.
Steve Delabar: Still has poorer control than most of his bullpen mates. Was pitching well for a while after returning to Toronto, but has been clobbered in three of his last four outings. If the Jays acquire another pitcher, Delabar is likely going back to Buffalo.
Bo Schultz: Has gotten a lot of work in the last six weeks: he has 14 appearances, half of which were for two innings or more. He’s been okay for the most part, but hitters might not be used to him yet.
Ryan Tepera: I don’t know anything about him, other than that he throws strikes: he has two walks in 17 1/3 innings. I was surprised to read that he has appeared in 16 games. He has yet to appear in any game in which the Jays have a narrow lead in the late innings – all his appearances have been in games in which the Jays were either behind or way ahead – so if he’s been pitching, I haven’t been paying attention.
Everybody Else: 12 other pitchers have appeared in a Blue Jays uniform this season, including Phil Coke, Andrew Albers, and Colt Hynes. None of them are likely to return, except possibly Daniel Norris (when he’s ready) and Todd Redmond (because he always returns eventually). The Jays need another good pitcher, but I’m not sure whether the Jays will (or should) give up prospects to acquire one.