Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
Danny Barnes started off 2016 in a familiar place: New Hampshire. After a full season in Double-A in 2015, Barnes started off there again (he had reached the level for the first time back in 2012 before injuries slowed his career trajectory down), but was incredibly dominant over 35 2/3 innings. In New Hampshire, Barnes had a 1.01 ERA and 0.59 WHIP, striking out 40 batters and walking just four. He was promoted to Buffalo on June 22 and never returned to Double-A, making 12 appearances for the Bisons and allowing just one run in 17 2/3 innings on only five hits and one walk while striking out 21.
Barnes was called up to the Blue Jays at the beginning of August and made his major league debut in Houston, throwing a scoreless inning. He added two more scoreless innings in his next outing but was touched up for two runs in one inning in a third appearance, his Toronto debut on August 9.
Another stint in Buffalo saw Barnes toss another eight innings, giving up just one(!) hit while striking out 16! These gaudy numbers got him called up to Toronto for the rest of the season where he put up some decent numbers, allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks in 9 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts. Overall, getting his feet wet in the major leagues, Barnes had a 3.95 ERA in 13 2/3 innings with a 1.39 WHIP, striking out 24.1% of batters while walking 8.6%.
Overall, it was a very solid major league debut for a guy who had never really been seen as a major league piece before. While his fastball velocity (averaging at 91.7 mph) wasn’t as high as I’ve seen it before, it has a lot of movement and is more than enough to keep major league hitters off balance. If Barnes gains the trust of the Blue Jays’ management, he could easily be a bullpen arm next year. It all depends on how many free agents the Jays go out and get and who returns from this year’s stable of arms.
Barnes is still on the 40-man roster and has used one of his three option years. With under one year of major league service, he’s under team control for quite a while.
Barnes was a nice little surprise when he came up. His first appearance was with a one-run lead in Houston, and he allowed just one hit with no runs in that inning. He didn’t allow any runs or walks until his third appearance, when he gave up two each. He struck out five over his first four innings, then was sent back down to Buffalo after his two-run outing and recalled when rosters expanded in September. In his longest outing of the year, September 4th in Tampa, he entered with a 3-1 deficit, threw 2.1 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. The Jays would come back to win that game 5-3. He was used primarily in blowout situations and briefly struggled early in September, including runs allowed in three consecutive outings, but ended up with a 3.95 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP and a non-existent win-loss record.
In 13.2 innings pitched across 12 total appearances he walked just 5, struck out 14, and has yet to give up a home run. He was put on the postseason roster to replace the concussed Francisco Liriano, but never made it into a game. I’m interested in seeing what he can do next year.
Regular Season Grades
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