Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: March 24, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

With their young players developing and the addition of a few veteran free agents the Toronto Blue Jays have been a trendy pick this off season. Well yesterday the Blue Jays chances for the 2021 season took a big hit as two of the veteran free agents they signed where injured.

First the Blue Jays announced that George Springer suffered a Grade 2 oblique. Toronto signed Springer to a 6 year $150 million dollar deal this off season and now it’s unclear if he’ll be available for opening day. While it seems that the team thinks Springer will be ready at the start of the season we’ve all seen these type of injuries linger; so will have to wait and see how his recovery goes. On the plus side the if Springer is healthy enough the Blue Jays could plug him in as their DH until he’s fully recovered and ready to play in their outfield.

Right now the bigger issue for the Blue Jays is; who’s going to close games? Toronto took a chance and signed former San Diego Padres closer Kirby Yates to a 1 year $5.5 million dollar deal this off season. Last season Yates only pitched 4 1/3rd innings for San Diego before he was sidelined with arm trouble and now it looks like he’s having trouble with his arm again. It’s been reported that Yates suffered a flexor strain on Monday and it appears as though he’s headed for Tommy John surgery.

Now the Blue Jays had handed Yates the closer role and didn’t even bring another pitcher in with any type of closing experience.

So who will the Blue Jays turn to at the end of games? Well it seems as though they’ll be going with a closer by committee set up and it appears as though there are four pitchers that may try and close games for Toronto.

Jordan Romano has 32 games of major league experience, but did have some success out of the Toronto bullpen last season picking up 2 saves and posting an ERA of 1.23. Rafael Dolis also had some success out of the Toronto bullpen last season. Dolis appeared in 24 games picking up 5 saves and posting an ERA of 1.55. David Phelps is another option at the end of games. Phelps is entering his 9th major league season, but only has 6 career saves; so he’s been used as a set up guy and has never closed on a consistent basis. Tyler Chatwood seems to be the other option to close games for the Blue Jays. Chatwood is entering his 10th season and has appeared in 197 games, but 143 of those appearances was as a starter. Chatwood does have 3 career saves and spent quite a bit of time the last two season coming out of the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs.

Now if Romano and Dolis can continue with the success they might be able to split the closer workload and give the Blue Jays what they need, but if they struggle Toronto might have to look elsewhere and there are a few options still available.

Toronto’s former closer Roberto Osuna could be an option. Now Osuna only pitched in 4 games covering 4 1/3rd innings last season because of arm trouble. It was recommended that Osuna undergo Tommy John surgery, but he chose to rehab his arm instead. On March 12th Osuna held a showcase for teams to take a look at him, but I don’t know if the Blue Jays where one of the teams that attended.

David Robertson could be another option for Toronto. Robertson missed all of last season and only pitched in 7 games in the 2019 season. He had Tommy John surgery, but with almost two full years off should be ready to go. Now Robertson will be 36 years old next month, but he does have three seasons of 34 or more saves on his resume.

A. J. Ramos is still a free agent. Ramos appeared in just three games for the Colorado Rockies last season as he’s another pitcher coming back from Tommy John surgery which cost him the entire 2019 season. Ramos has had a 40 save season, but the issue with him is he’s always been that closer you’re concerned with as he seems to get himself in trouble in a lot of his saves.

Shane Greene is the final pitcher still on the free agent market that has closing experience. Last season Greene pitched out of the Atlanta Braves bullpen as a set up man. He appeared in 28 games for Atlanta and posted an ERA of 2.60. Now before being acquired by Atlanta Greene was closing for the Detroit Tigers and had a career high 32 saves in 2018.

What do you think Toronto will do with their closer role? Will they stand pat and hope that the guys they already have on their roster can fill the void that Yates injury created? Or will they bring in one of these four veterans that have closing experience and see if they can help the back end of their bullpen? Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Remember the Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live you can stop by TuneIn.com and listen to the podcast any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. A closer role by committee for Toronto but I still don’t seem them being a contender in the AL east.

    Like

  2. This is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationā€¦ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    Like

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