I can’t believe this is my first post of August. After undergoing a brain induced coma whilst watching the Jays get swept by Seattle, it was diagnosed with a mild case of Olympic fever. But as that winds down, it’s back to baseball and back to Your Vancouver Canadians. Obviously quite a bit has happened within the Jays organization since I posted last. I hope to catch up on some of the major themes at some point, but don’t think today will be the day.
The C’s have gotten off to a strong start in the 2nd half and currently lead the West division by 2 games. Looking at the 10 wins so far, the theme has definitely been starting pitching, with some excellent performances over the last couple of weeks. This, combined with fact my previous starting pitching piece is about a month old, gives me an obvious candidate for my first post of August.
So, without further ado…….
Well, before I get on to the starters, there has been a few moves of note I want to touch on. Marcus Stroman has come and gone. The Jays 1st rounder from earlier this year wasn’t lights out for Vancouver, but nor had he pitched in a while. I think his C’s career arc as far as performances go was right in line with what the Jays were expecting, and, as expected, he is now pitching for New Hampshire. He’s made two appearances for them so far, giving up a home run the other night for his only run allowed thus far. Ian Kadish also got a bump up to Lansing and aside from one bad outing has thrown pretty well for them so far. Good for him. This has left the C’s bullpen in a bit of flux which I hope to touch on with another post, but for now, we’ll focus on the starters.
As per my previous post linked above (written on Jul 6th), I looked at 5 starters, Javier Avendano, Eric Brown, Taylor Cole, Colton Turner, and Ben White.
Let’s look at those 5 first:
Ben White – It seems I only ever write about Ben. And being the lucky guy that I am, every time I go to the Nat, he seems to be pitching. Since my previous post he has been, well, Ben White. Distinctly ordinary, save for one great start which was part of the fantastic streak of starts the staff put together during the first week of August. I won’t say anything more as it will be all negative. Suffice it to say, my prediction of a month ago still stands. Ben will be out of a job at the end of this season. And possibly in the ‘pen before the end of it. Speaking of which:
Eric Brown – Last 3 appearances have been out of the ‘pen which I’m guessing coincides with Rob ‘The Boss’ Os’ promotion to Vancouver. I would have thought Eric will finish the season in the bullpen and how he does over the next month or so will dictate whether he is invited back for another year within the Jays org. I don’t hold out much hope. His K/BB ratio is not good enough and he is too prone to the long ball to be an effective reliever.
Javier Avendano - I wrote in my last piece that I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more solid starts earned Javier a promotion. Well, I got that wrong, as Javier has been good to very good over the last month, culminating in his dominating 6 IP 10K performance on Monday. I’d like to plead my case though, as I was assuming the Lansing big 3 might also get a promotion, meaning JA would move up and fill one of those slots. It’s looking more and more like Syndergaard, Nicolino, and Sanchez will finish out the season in Low-A, so Avendano will need to wait until next year before pitching in either the Midwest or FSL.
Taylor Cole – Taylor has probably made the greatest strides since the last piece, throwing 24 innings without giving up a run. He could still stand to strike out a few more, but that should come as his velocity increases (as we’ve written about previously, Taylor took two years out of baseball to complete a church mission). His BABIP has also skewed back towards the mean, but that’s splitting hairs. His WHIP is outstanding at 0.91 and his HR rate of 0% couldn’t be any better. He doesn’t allow people on base and doesn’t get hurt by the long ball. Sounds pretty good to me.
Colton Turner – Colton did a spell on the DL since my last post and has been working out of the pen since his return. I’m not sure if this is to limit his innings post injury, or an organizational decision. I’ll attempt to investigate.
After Taylor and Colton, there is a few other with only a hand-full of starts. This may be down to movement in the org. so we’ll take a brief look at the rest, with maybe a few extra words reserved for…..
Roberto Osuna – The Boss Os’s debut was of the spectacular variety, striking out 13 over 5 innings. As I mentioned in my previous post this performance went viral, causing a lot of ink to be spilled. However, even the most optimistic amongst us wouldn’t have thought this would be the norm. And sure enough, the next two appearances haven’t been quite so dominant. In his home debut vs Salem Keiser he was actually hit pretty hard, giving up 6 hits over 3 innings. Last night was better, but again, only lasted 3.2 innings. Whether this is due to a strict pitch count, I’m not sure. Regardless, his walks have been going up and K’s have been coming down. His FIP is lower than his ERA and BABIP is quite high which suggests he is a bit unlucky at the moment. Will still keep a close eye on his K:BB ratio which currently stands at 3.17. Good, but considering his stuff, could be better. Needless to say, I still predict a promotion for Roberto at some point. Considering his age, C’s fans may be lucky enough to see him for the rest of the season, but he won’t be enjoying Vancouver’s excellent Mexican fayre next year.
Other than Roberto, the other members of the staff that have 4 or less starts are either spot starters, Zach Breault and Kyle Anderson, or have been on the DL during the recent hot streaks, Bobby Brosnahan. All these guys are organizational filler and will either be released at the end of the year, or carry on their current roles of picking up innings here and there where needed
So that’s it, since I first looked at the C’s starting staff in early July, 2 members have looked pretty great whilst one has stood still and another has found himself in the ‘pen. A place he may not return from. Obviously the big news of the month was the promotion of Roberto ‘The Boss’ Osuna. I truly hope the next time I visit the Nat I’ll get to see him on the bump (judging by my calcs, that may be Sunday) rather than Ben White.