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Where is Chad Girodo?

A question most Blue Jays fans have not probably asked

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

If there was a singular critical blow in yesterday's loss to the Red Sox, it was the 6th inning home run by David Ortiz that turned a 8-7 deficit into a 10-8 lead the Red Sox would not relinquish. What was perhaps most remarkable is who was on the mound, as beyond the fact that Joaquin Benoit has been the 7th inning guy, he's also a right handed pitcher.

This season, David Ortiz was a 177 wRC+ against right-handed hitters, compared to a 115 wRC+ against lefties. He hasn't been incompetent against lefties, but he hasn't destroyed them as he has righties. Career, it's a 160/110 split, so it's not like 2016 is an aberration. Given this, with a one run lead and the tying and go ahead runners on base, ideally one would have a lefty to face Ortiz.

The two most obvious options had already been used. Brett Cecil retired him to end the 4th inning. Aaron Loup came in to face Jackie Bradley Jr. in the 5th with the tying run at 3rd, and then retired him leading off the 6th inning after the failed steal of home. Neither of those decisions were imprudent, but it meant that the only lefty option left in the bullpen was the very recently promoted Matt Dermody, with only about three months experience above high-A. He struck out Ortiz in the 8th, but I could understand if John Gibbons was reticent about using him in such a critical situation given that inexperience.

But there was another potential option. Since the end of the minor league season last Monday and their last September call-ups, the Jays have been carrying 34 on the active roster of the 40 players on their major league roster. The exceptions are Brady Dragmire and Harold Ramirez, neither of whom as played above AA; Chris Colabello, who is ineligible for the playoffs; the recently acquired Mike Bolsinger; and two players who have seen time in Toronto, Andy Burns and one Chad Girodo.

Girodo in particular could have been quite useful for the situation yesterday. Despite how he was used earlier in the season, he's a prototypical lefty specialist with his sidearm angle, and he's been absolute hell on lefties in the minors. He obviously doesn't have a ton of experience either, but does have a full season in AAA, so a fair bit more than Dermody. All in all, he'd have been a pretty compelling option to bring in get one batter in Ortiz.

So why wasn't he recalled? The reasons for leaving the first three on the above list on that list are obvious, and Mike Bolsinger was bad for the Dodgers and continued to be home run prone in Buffalo. Burns is buried on the infield depth chart behind Barney and Goins in reverse capacities, and Pompey is the primary pinch runner, so it's hard to see where he'd really figure in.

The same could perhaps be said of Girodo, especially with Cecil now being used mostly just in left-on-left situations. He's slot in behind Cecil and Loup, but probably ahead of Dermody. But with an expanded roster in the thick of a playoff race with a lot of games against division rivals with lefty hitting power threats, playing matchups is a critical strategy. Having as many options out of the pen is useful, especially when they fit the profile of such a specialist.

There's really no good reason not to have recalled Girodo. He's already on the 40 man, there's no service time issues, so it's just a month of salary at the major league minimum, plus per diems and a little bit of extra travel expenses. All in, maybe $100,000, which is obviously a drop in the bucket especially given all that has been spent trying to upgrade the bullpen.

It would be a massive overstatement to say that not recalling Girodo cost the Jays a win yesterday. But it certainly would have helped to have another option.