Like most clubs, the Toronto Blue Jays have relied heavily on their bullpen throughout the first half of the 2022 season and while that’s resulted in several one-run victories, it’s also led to a very taxing workload, particularly as of late.
When your starting rotation pitches deep into games, more often than not, your bullpen will be well-rested when called upon to record the last few outs. That was the case for the Blue Jays early on, especially when starters Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah took the mound. And Yusei Kikuchi for a brief time, too.
Lately, however, Toronto’s starting rotation has largely struggled to cover many innings as José Berríos and others have failed to provide length. Currently, their starters are tied for the 11th-fewest innings pitched (125.1) among all 30 teams in June, according to FanGraphs. Not to mention, they also rank 17th in ERA (4.45) and OPP AVG (.259). That’s less than ideal.
Add in the season-ending injury to Hyun Jin Ryu, forcing Ross Stripling out of his multi-inning role and back into the rotation before he could be fully stretched out, and this results in an unsustainable workload for the bullpen. And the cracks are starting to show.
This month, the Blue Jays’ bullpen has been one of the most overworked units in the majors, as they’ve faced the fourth-most batters (427) and have logged the fifth-most innings pitched (98.1). As you can imagine, covering all these innings hasn’t been a recipe for success. In total, they’ve posted the second-worst OPP AVG (.274), the fifth-highest ERA (4.94) and the ninth-lowest left-on-base percentage (68.7 per cent).
Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation