The Jays are willing to try anyone out for a role in the bullpen. Bob Elliot shows what he can do. Funny thing is, he throws harder than Cecil. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
We have an 8 man bullpen, something I dislike, I think, when you have that many relievers, someone will get overlooked, won't get regular work, and then when he does get into a game, the rust shows. Of course part of the reason we have an 8 man pen is that we've had the injuries in the rotation and the guys filling in aren't likely to get us deep into games.
I With 8 in the pen, I can barely remember who all is there (I'm sure Farrell has the same problem). Nor can I figure out what their roles might be. The trouble with figuring out roles is mostly caused by all the injuries. With Villanueva and Laffey moved from the pen to the rotation, and Perez and Santos out with injuries, Farrell has to piece back together his bullpen.
Our Trusted Three:
Casey Janssen: Casey has been amazing, 13 saves in a row without a blown save, since taking over the closer job. The nice part is that Farrell has been willing to use him for more than three outs. Since the start of May he has only allowed 3 runs. Batters are hitting .203/.243/.323 this year and just .175/.175/.225 over the last month, he hasn't given up a walk since May. I could live without Farrell using him for 1 inning saves with us up by 3, but then he doesn't have many guys in the pen he trusts.
Darren Oliver: Darren has become the 8th inning guy, and he's been great, 1.30 ERA over 34.2 innings. Batters are hitting just .193/.262/.277. I really like lefty relievers who have reverse splits. LHB hit .217/.277/.350, while right handers hit .169/.246/.203 against him. Pretty tough to decide if you want to pinch hit with him on the mound. He hasn't allowed more than 2 earned runs in any month this season. I really liked the 2 inning, 21 pitch save yesterday.
Jason Frasor: Jason's been the 7th inning guy for a little while now. He seems to be the one of these three that Farrell will bring in mid-inning, with runners on base. Likely because he can get strikeouts, 44 in 35.2 innings so far. He has allowed 4 home runs, but is keeping batters to a .238/.327/.423 line. He hasn't gone more than an inning since mid-April, and that didn't go well.
Francisco Cordero: I have no idea what his role is. At the moment, I'm pretty sure Farrell has no idea either. In the last couple of days we had a game with a huge lead, and Cordero didn't come in, and we had a game that was pretty close but our closer wasn't available, and he didn't get into it. Farrell had Oliver go two innings rather than let Cordero pitch. He hasn't pitched since July 5th. In his last two appearances, he's allowed 6 runs while getting just 3 outs. His season ERA is 6.00, and really that looks better than he has actually pitched, he has allowed a .350/.414/.555 slash line. Even in June, when his ERA looked good, 1.59, he allowed a .286/.375/.405 line. His last up 3 down inning came at the end of May.
Andrew Carpenter: He's pitched twice for us, a total of 2.0 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 k, and a home run. I think the plan is that he would be the long man. He made 12 starts in Vegas and had a good ERA there, 3.38. I think Farrell would like to use him to soak up some innings if/when one of our starters is blown out of a game. His last time out followed Jesse Chavez's awful appearance, so it looked good by comparison. He got a couple of quick outs, then walked two, to bring the tying run to the plate and Casey Janssen into a game that he really shouldn't have had to be used.
Aaron Loup: Aaron has only been in 1 game, since being called up, and pitched 2 perfected innings. He's got the second lefty job, with Luis Perez on the DL. Loup was doing well in New Hampshire, 2.78 ERA, with almost a strikeout an inning and only 2.8 walk/9 innings. I'd like to see him get some work.
Sam Dyson: Sam has only pitched once since being called up, back on July 5th. He walked a batter and got a strikeout to end an inning. He really should have been allowed to start the next inning but Farrell brought Cordero in to turn what had been a close game into a blow out. I worry about guys that sit in the pen for long lengths of time without getting work. It has been 11 days since Dyson pitched, the All-Star break was in there, but still, if you aren't going to use a pitcher for 11 days, why do we need 8 in the bullpen.
Chad Beck: Beck is back because Farrell was worried that Jesse Chavez would end up with whiplash from watching his pitches zoom past him in the other direction. Chad pitched in 3 games for us back in June, 2 good appearances, and one where he allowed 3 runs in 3.2 innings. That was the game that Brandon Morrow left with the injury in the first inning. Chad was sent back to Vegas right after, since he would have needed a couple of days of rest after that. With the spat of starters going down with injuries, we needed someone that could give is a few innings. I guess the ideal for Beck and Dyson is to come into game where we are behind but are close enough that we could make a comeback, if we could put up a couple of zero in the defensive halves of innings.