Five games or less

There’s been a lot of talk about the Jays’ best players, and how they have turned the second-half edition of the Toronto club into an awesome baseball machine. But the Jays have had a total of 52 players appear for the club during the season, and some of these players are less memorable than others. A question: if the Jays manage to win the World Series, will all of these guys get rings?

Here’s the players who appeared in five games or fewer for the Jays this year (not counting Marcus Stroman).

Scott Copeland was the Orioles’ 21st round draft pick in 2010, so expectations weren’t high for him. (627 players were selected in that draft before he was, which must have been a humbling experience.) He started three times for the Jays in June. The first went well – seven innings, only one run. But then the magic dust wore off: in his next start, he lasted only four innings, and in his final start, he didn’t make it out of the second. He was sent down, possibly never to return. This happens sometimes.

Felix Doubront was a Red Sox castoff who pitched well in nine starts in Buffalo this year, which earned him a shot in the starting rotation in July. Like Copeland, he did well in his first start, and then got beaten up: he didn’t make it out of the fifth in his next three starts. The acquisition of David Price made him redundant. Oakland picked him up when the Jays let him go, and have given him eight starts. There, too, his first start went well, and then he got clobbered. Unfortunately, Oakland cannot trade for David Price. Life is not always fair.

Rob Rasmussen is a left-handed pitcher who was signed by the (then) Florida Marlins in 2010, and was then traded to Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Toronto. All this before he turned 25! He pitched once for the Jays this year, and was then traded yet again, this time to the Mariners in the deal that brought Mark Lowe to Toronto. With Seattle, he had a Not Very Good Day on August 8th: he gave up six hits and six runs without getting an out. (Why did the Mariners leave him out there that long?) His ERA went from 2.45 to 17.18. Yow.

Phil Coke pitched nearly 400 games in The Show, mostly with the Yankees and Tigers, before the Cubs let him go on May 26. He signed with the Jays and pitched twice for them before being let go again, and then signed with the A’s on a minor league deal before being let go a third time. He hasn’t been picked up yet again, so this year has turned out to be a colossal bummer for him, especially considering he was let go by two teams that are going to be playing post-season baseball. He has made over eight million dollars, though, so he hasn’t had that bad of a life.

Matt Boyd is one of the prospects that the Jays sent to Detroit for David Price. He has started ten times for the Tigers, and hasn’t done well. It’s either growing pains or he isn’t very good. Detroit, obviously, is hoping for the former.

Andrew Albers is from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, so he might very well have been happy to pitch for Canada’s only major league team. He did this once, on May 1st. He had a 2-11 record with a 5.70 ERA for Buffalo, so he might not be back.

Colt Hynes was signed in an even later round than Scott Copeland: he went in the 31st round, which is about when relatives of the scouting staff get drafted. When he made it to the majors with the Padres in 2013, he became the only player in his draft round to achieve that feat. He pitched five times in the first 12 games of the season before being let go, and was meh in Buffalo (to use the technical term). He’s still in the organization, so he still has hope.

When you’re a former first-round pick, you’re given every chance to succeed, and Chad Jenkins now has had four of them. This year’s chance was the least successful, as he was roughed up in two widely separated outings (May 5th and October 1st). His ERA in Buffalo keeps dropping, though – 7.48 to 4.70 to 2.98 – so he too still has hope.

You already know about Daniel Norris. He also went to Detroit in the David Price trade, and has started seven ballgames, some of which have been better than others. He has allowed as many home runs as walks (6 of each), and was rather cruelly left out to throw 54 pitches in one inning recently. Yow again.

So that’s it for the ultimate scrubs. In a later article or two, I’ll try to find interesting facts about the 43 guys who made more meaningful contributions.

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About davetill

I'm a writer and occasional web designer. I live in Toronto.
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