The Toronto Blue Jays are contenders. They are currently four games above .500, two games from first place, as well as their positive run differential of 81 is first within the American League by nearly 30 runs. The FanGraphs playoff odds provide the Jays a roughly one-in-two chance to entitled to the playoffs. The Jays offense continues to be the important thing, scoring close to five-and-a-half runs per game. Nowhere Jays are 60 runs excellent on offense, first in major-league baseball, as well as their 115 wRC+ for non-pitchers is second to simply the Dodgers and those two teams have a 25-run gap on Salomon Speedcross 3 Mujer the bases. Their Base Runs record is four games much better than their actual record, indicating they easily could have better results than their current record indicates. The problem for that Blue Jays has been the pitching staff, both in the rotation as well as in the bullpen. The simple response is to trade for out of doors help, but deploying internal solutions in various roles can be helpful as well.
Before moving to the pitching, a final note around the offense. The offense has carried they so far, but it is unlikely to carry on to become as great over the course of all of those other season. The graph below shows every teams actual runs per game so far this season in contrast to their Base Runs, which should be a much better representation of methods a teams offense has performed.
The Twins happen to be benefited probably the most, however the Blue Jays aren't far behind. Whether or not the Blue Jays had scored at their Base Runs level, those five runs per game would still lead MLB. The projections agree the Blue Jays should still have a terrific offense moving forward, averaging 4.6 runs per game, despite the Red Sox to find the best in baseball. Whichever angle we glance from, the Blue Jays have and will continue to have an excellent offense. Exactly the same doesn't hold true for that pitching staff.
Losing Marcus Stroman before the season would be a major blow for that Blue Jays. It moved Drew Hutchison to Opening Day starter Salomon Speedcross 3 Hombre and compelled both Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris in to the rotation to begin the season. The pitching has struggled all year, using their 4.25 ERA and 4.19 FIP close to the bottom from the league. While we might expect the Blue Jays offense to regre s a bit moving forward, the actual statistics don't support an opposite turnaround for that pitching staff. Using the same method previously mentioned, here's every teams runs allowed minus Base Runs allowed so far.
The Blue Jays may have been likely to allow fewer runs, but it's not a significant amount. Like the offense, the projections align using the current performance, as Toronto is anticipated to permit 4.5 runs per game, a small increase from the performance to date this season. At first glance the main problem seems to be the rotation: its 4.47 ERA and 4.52 FIP are extremely poor and the starters 2.9 WAR is ahead of just the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies. The bullpens 3.67 ERA and 3.63 FIP are generally in the center of those, however the Blue Jays have yet to find a reliable presence at the back end of games. Nowhere Jays have tied the As for many blown saves with 12, and their -3.78 win probability added (WPA) is better than the aforementioned As.
On the Fangraphs player pages and leaderboards, Shutdowns and Meltdowns might help provide more context for reliever performance than saves or blown saves. These statistics derive from WPA, having a performance of at least +.06 considered a shutdown and a performance of -.06 or worse considered a meltdown. These statistics are performance-based and never predictive, but do show how effective a bullpen continues to be. Nowhere Jays have 40 shutdowns, slightly much better than only the As ( Salomon Speedcross 3 Hombre again) and the Cleveland Indians. They also have 39 meltdowns, worse compared to As and than only Diamondbacks, Cubs, Rangers, and Braves. The below graph shows shutdowns minus meltdowns for each team. Just the As have a lower differential than the Blue Jays.
Identifying the problem is only half the battle; solutions tend to be more difficult. Bullpens are notoriously volatile as well as in such a small sample of innings, drastic changes are po sible, although not much was expected of this bullpen at the outset of the year therefore the current performance can't be a big surprise. I wrote concerning the Blue Jays very same pitching problems two weeks in to the season with the following closing thoughts:
The team could flip the roles of Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada to potentially help both the bullpen and the rotation, but when Daniel Norris dead arm doesn't recover soon, the Blue Jays have few options to keep the back end of the rotation productive.
Marco Estrada did go into the rotation and it has pitched well and benefited from plays such as this:
Estrada did not enter the rotation due to a alternation in strategy. Daniel Norris had trouble recovering from dead arm and it was sent to the minors. Sanchez didn't have an opportunity to visit the bullpen and, despite an ERA of three.55, hes produced a 5.19 FIP with 37 walks to simply 42 strikeouts. It's questionable whether he'll be a real help to the rotation after coming back from the disabled list. The Blue Jays are currently operating without a fifth starter after sending fill-in Scott Copeland to the minors. Drew Hutchison was originally considered to receive Saturdays start due to an off-day yesterday, but after he struggled on Monday, the selection may come down to Felix Doubront and Todd Redmond(Edit: or maybe prospect Matt Boyd).
A trade may be the easy answer, and Jeff Sullivan has previously floated a monster Aroldis ChapmanJohnny Cueto blockbuster that would immediately fill the Blue Jays needs. Removing Brett Cecil in the closer role and inserting 20-year-old Roberto Osuna could help a few of the Blue Jays problems. Daniel Norris has been inconsistent in the minors, but he or she is a start away from returning to the big leagues.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopolous has stated that the rotation is much more of the priority compared to bullpen and they still view Sanchez as a starter this year and long-term. Sanchez may help the rotation once he is removed those with disability list, however that still leaves problems in the bullpen. For this season, what was true two months ago is still true today: Aaron Sanchez may help stabilize the bullpen, but without Daniel Norris at the back of the rotation nowhere Jays have limited options. When the team isn't pleased with Norris progre s, the only real reasonable option to bolster the pitching staff may be outside the organization.
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