After his ineffective outing on Saturday, apparently Brett Cecil felt a twinge in his arm and has been put on the DL by the Blue Jays. Getting the call up to the big league team is first-time major leaguer Dustin Antolin. People on Twitter have been wondering just who Antolin is and, at Blue Jays from Away, we have those answers.
In short, 26-year-old Antolin is a 6-foot-2 righty who is weighing in at 230 pounds. While he has the physical size, Antolin has never dominated in the minor leagues, getting drafted in the 11th round in 2008 out of high school in Hawaii. His first sub-3.00 ERA came in 2010 when he posted a 2.93 ERA and 1.084 WHIP (his career best) for the Lansing Lugnuts. He spent 2011 to 2013 in A-ball, spending half of the 2013 season in New Hampshire, where he had a pretty bad run in Double-A, getting lit up for 42 runs in just 32 1/3 innings.
In 2014, however, Antolin turned things around, producing a much more palatable 3.38 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 42 2/3 innings, striking out 52 and walking 15. Antolin struggled through injuries, missing all of April in 2014 but had an excellent 2015 with New Hampshire throwing 55 2/3 innings with a 3.07 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, striking out 55 and walking 18. Promoted to Buffalo for 2016, Antolin was off to a very good start, with three saves and a 2.70 ERA and 1.45 WHIP through 20 innings, walking 11 (quite high for him) and striking out 25.
I haven’t seen Antolin this year in Buffalo but I did see him in New Hampshire last year and he was throwing in the high 80s with a lot of arm-side run on his fastball while throwing a cutter in the 84-86 mph range that was very effective. My guess is that we’ll see Antolin throwing a little harder this year (topping out in the 91-92 mph range) and he’ll look to stay down in the strike zone with his four-seam fastball and cutter/slider (unless he’s added a new pitch to his repertoire).
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