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The Season That Was: Jo-Jo Reyes

Jo-Jo Reyes came to us as a throw-in in the Yunel Escobar trade. He had been a 2nd round pick, for the Braves, back in the 2003 draft but he hadn't shown much in the majors. There was a little bit of hope that the Jays could help him find his potential. 

Jo-Jo (was a man who thought he was a loner) got a long look in spring training because he was out of options and there was some thought that, if he was put on waivers, someone would pick him up. He didn't look bad in spring games. I saw him pitch against the Yankees and he pretty good. He made the rotation, mostly because he was out of options.

It didn't go well. With the Jays, in 20 starts, he went 5-8, with a 5.40 ERA. In 110 innings he allowed 140 hits, 35 walks and struck out 64. If you are only getting 5 strikeouts per 9 innings you have to be doing a lot of other things right to be of any value. He was finally pick on waivers at the start of August and the Orioles (who will take any former Jay pitcher) picked him up on August 2nd. He didn't do any better with them: 2-3, 6.16 in 9 games, 5 starts.

Fangraphs has him at a 0.7 WAR for the season, worth $3.1 million.

Reyes BABIP was .324. When you are striking guys out you are going to have to have a better average on balls in play to be of any value. His FIP was 4.90 and xFIP was 4.58, a little better than his ERA. He didn't give up a lot of home runs, which helps those numbers. 

He gave up line drives 22.3% of the time. Ground balls 40.6%. Fly balls 37.1%. He did get a lot of pop ups, 12.7%. 

He had a slightly harder time with RHB (.307/.365/.508) than LHB (.294/.356/.442). But not enough of a split that I'd like him as a LOOGY.

Jo-Jo was a little better on the road (4-6, 4.63) than at home (3-5, 6.50). At Rogers he was 2-3, 5.93.

Jo-Jo by month:

April: 0-2, 5.48 in 5 starts. Batters hit .337/.411/.500.

May: 1-2, 3.35 in 6 starts. Batters hit .274/.327/.411.

June: 2-3, 6.11 in 5 starts. Batters hit .289/.339/.500.

July: 2-1, 8.02 in 4 starts. Batters hit .343/.387/.525.

August: 2-3, 6.66 in 6 games, 5 starts. Batters hit .303/.387/.586.

September: 0-0. 4.26 in 3 relief appearances. Batters hit .250/.308/.333.

August and September were with the Orioles. 

His longest win streak was 2 games. Longest losing streak was 4 games. His best game score was a 73, May 20 against the Astros. He went 7 innings, allowed 5 hits, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. His lowest game score? Well, he had a 15 on August 3rd, as an Oriole. His opponent? The Jays. We had 8 hits, 7 earned, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts and 2 homers against him in 2.2 innings. As a Jay? He had a 17 July 22 against the Rangers. 4.1 innings, 8 hits, 8 earned, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 homer.

Jo-Jo could only be effective if he was hitting the very bottom of the strike zone (and if the umpire was giving him the calls at the bottom of the zone). If he couldn't keep the ball low there he got hit hard. There really wasn't any room for error. I guess it was worth seeing if Jo-Jo could do the job for us, but I'm hoping that, in the future, we won't be hoping guys like this can do the job. I would have rather watch Kyle Drabek try to figure things out than hope that someone like Jo-Jo could suddenly become a pitcher. With the number of good young arms we have, we shouldn't be needing players like Jo-Jo in the near future. We'll remember him more for going 29 starts between wins than anything else.