The Jays have made it official, Marc Rzepczynski is being shut down for the rest of the season. I'm glad the Jays are doing this. Scrabble was drafted in 2007, in the 5th round, out of the University of California, Riverside. He pitched 45 innings in short season Auburn that year. He did well going 5-0, with a 2.76 ERA. The best part about his pitching there was his 9.7 SO/ 9 innings while just walking 3.4. He also only gave up 2 homers.
Last year he moved up to Lansing, playing A ball. He went 121 innings. He had a great year there going 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA. He struck out 9.2 per 9 innings and walked just 3.1. He also only gave up 2 homers.
The wisdom at the moment suggests only to raise young pitchers inning counts up by only 30 innings a year, figuring more than that is too much of a ramp up, too hard on the arm. I'm never sure absolute rules are a good thing but in this case, we've had enough young arms that had to cut into, I'd rather us not add to the list.
He's now up to 149 innings this season. He threw 88 in the minors between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas. In the minors he averaged 10.6 strikeout per 9 with 4.1 walks and he just gave up 1 homer. Up with Toronto he finishes 2-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 61 innings. He struck out 8.8 per 9, his walk rate was a little higher at 4.4, but his first exposure to major league ball has gone quite well.
Rzepczynski is a sinkerball pitcher, and his pitches move. Minor League pitching instructor Mel Queen says that Rzepczynski is a throwback, a lefty who would have trouble throwing a ball straight if he tried.
I like that. Hugo wrote:
How does he do it? Well, he's not getting those K's by blowing batters away, though Zep does feature a low-90s fastball with heavy downward action. That pitch is critical to Zep's ability to get hitters out - he induces a ton of groundballs, which, coupled with his ability to strike batters out, is a formidable skillset for a young lefthanded pitcher (or any pitcher for that matter). He compliments his sinker with a very nice changeup, also with excellent downward action, a pitch that is key to his success against right-handed hitters, as well as a very nice slider and a low-80s curve that's more of a show pitch.
I think we have a keeper. He has a good chance at being in the rotation at the start of next season, but if he doesn't make the team out of spring training, I'm sure we'll see him at some point. For a long time we've been told that the young Jay pitchers were 'pitch to contact' guys. But Scrabble doesn't fit that description. I'll admit I like guys that miss bats. Marc does that. After the doom and gloom around here lately it is nice that we have players to look forward to seeing next year and for years to come.