The beginning of May has come and gone and it looks like the Blue Jays are trying to salvage the season by bringing in more experienced players to take over from the rookies. Dalton Pompey and Daniel Norris have already been sent back to the minors and last night, Miguel Castro and Scott Copeland joined them in favour of two more experienced pitchers.
Castro has been hit fairly hard in his past few outings, allowing at least a run in five of his past seven appearances. Last night, it was two runs with two walks in just 1 1/3 innings that was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. While Castro has flashed a 97+ mph fastball, he has lost effectiveness. I’ll probably write another post about what’s going on with Castro another day but for now, it’s enough to know that mechanical consistency has not been his strong suit.
Also going down is Scott Copeland who was okay but not great over his two big league appearances. While he didn’t allow a run, he loaded the bases on a couple of walks and a base hit but managed to wriggle out of the jam thanks to a double play ground ball. Having worked two days in a row, Copeland probably isn’t available for the Blue Jays for today’s game against the Yankees and so is optioned to Buffalo in order to make room for someone who can serve as a long man if needed.
Benefiting from these moves are Chad Jenkins and Steve Delabar. For Jenkins, who has been starting in Buffalo, it’s a return to Toronto. Jenkins has made four starts with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP over 18 2/3 innings with just four walks and 10 strikeouts. The one interesting stat regarding Jenkins right now is that his ground-out to air-out ratio is only 1.04 in Buffalo, down from 1.57 in Toronto last year. Because of his low strikeout rate (12.7%), one would hope that he gets more outs via the ground ball.
Steve Delabar has been reported to have thrown as hard as 95 mph in Buffalo and it looks like the Blue Jays are ready to see if his 1.08 ERA and 6.5% walk rate are legitimate. Last year, Delabar’s issues stemmed from his lack of control, walking 14.6% of batters in Buffalo and a staggering 16.7% in Toronto. His strikeout rates are down to 22.6% after a couple of seasons in the 30% range but the lack of walks is a very encouraging sign. He’s also allowed only one earned run on four hits and two walks in nine innings of work.
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