Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blue Jays Mid-Season Grades:Part 2

Time for the second part of my Mid-season grades for the Toronto Blue Jays! The next 5 highest grades will be graded on this post, with the first 5 being graded on yesterday’s post, which can be viewed here if you have not already seen them.
Casey Janssen: B
Since taking over as closer, Janssen
 has been lights out.
Many of you are probably wondering about now why Janssen was not included in yesterday’s post, as you all probably think he deserves better than a B. I was leaning towards giving him a B+ based on his basic stats, ERA,WHIP, and his K/BB rate, but after looking at his FIP and other stats, a B is what I decided on. He has been great as a closer, not that pitching in the ninth is any different than any other inning, but when he enters the game not in a save situation, he hasn’t been too good. Casey has also changed how he has pitched this year. He is throwing his fastball 50% of the time, which is his highest percentage to date in his career, so he needs to be careful, because if he loses command of that fastball, he will fail instantly. To improve this grade Casey is going to need to be as lights out as he is when he closes when he does not. It looks like Sergio Santos will be out for the season, so Janssen is going to be the teams closer for the late season pennant race, and needs to stay healthy and retain his fastball command.
Brandon Morrow: B
Morrow was having a career year
before he got injured.
Oh don’t injuries sting? Morrow was having the best season of his career when he injured his oblique muscle a few weeks ago. He had shutouts, and ERA of 3.02, and a FIP of 3.89. His numbers are quite bloated because he had 2 horrendous starts in May, but other than those two starts, his ERA would be in the low 2’s. As you all likely know, Morrow changes his pitching styles a little bit this year, as he is throwing his fastball a little slower(.9 MPH slower average), and using his changeup more often. It has clearly worked as Brandon has been amazing. His grade would have been an A if it wasn’t for those two starts, and I hope he comes back soon!
Luis Perez:B
Perez is having a career year for the Blue Jays this year, as his stats are better this year than they ever were, even in the minors. He has an ERA of 3.18, a FIP of 3.57, and a WHIP 1.26. He was the most consistent reliever for the Jays up until the middle of May, but has not pitched as well since. He has still been one of the best relievers for the team, and has become a fan favorite as well. Luis is only making $485,700 this season, so the Jays have unquestionably got their money’s worth with him. In order for this grade to improve he is going to need to get back to what he was doing earlier in the season, but even if he continues to pitch like he is currently, he is still a solid long reliever for any team.
Carlos Villanueva: B-
Villanueva has been forced into the same situation as last season, when he was a solid reliever, and had to start for a while due to injuries. Carlos V ran out of gas near the ends of last season because of the starts, and will likely be the first pitcher out of the rotation when a suitable replacement is found for one of the three injured pitchers. Villanueva has a 3.53 ERA this year in 22 relief appearances and 1 start (his 2nd start is tonight against the Royals), and a FIP of 4.45, so his numbers have definitely been helped by the Jays top 10 defense. Carlos gets some extra points for being that guy on the team who is a solid pitcher whatever position he is in, so that helps his value. In order for this grade to rise Carlos is going to have to continue pitching the way he is but in the rotation, and hopefully he doesn’t run out of gas when he is put back in the pen.
Jason Frasor: B-
Frasor is up to his usual stuff once again, putting up ridiculously similar numbers to his career ones, and being counted on to do so. He has remained a constant in the Blue Jays pen for so many years now, always producing an ERA between 2.50 and 4.00. This year his ERA is 3.82, his FIP is 3.85, and his WHIP is 1.40. His BABIP is above his career rate by .30, so expect that number to fall, while his other numbers decrease as well. The grade of a B- will likely improve to a B+ or so by the end of the year due to his bad luck so far this season when it comes to ground balls getting by fielders.

What do you guys think of the 2nd installment of this series? Would you have graded them differently? Leave a comment below with your opinion!

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