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Season that was: Ryan Tepera

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A look at Tepera’s 2017 season.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into 2017, Ryan Tepera had spent two seasons making the drive back and forth between the Blue Jays and the Bisons, doing a good job when he was up, but quickly going back down. The life of a reliever with options. Over the two seasons he pitched in 52 games.

This year went very well:

                                                                               
Year   Age W L  ERA  G GF SV   IP  H ER HR BB IBB SO HBP WP ERA+  FIP  WHIP SO9
2017    29 7 1 3.59 73 12  2 77.2 57 31  7 31   4 81   8  5  128 3.75 1.133 9.4

Ryan had 17 holds and 2 blown saves (we won both games).

Baseball Reference has him at a 1.2 WAR. Fangraphs 1.0, giving him a value of $8.0 million to the Jays.

Ryan had a 3.75 FIP and a 4.41 xFIP.

Batters had a .260 BABIP against him.

With RISP batters hit .225/.370/.375.

Compared to 2016, his strikeouts were up (25.4%, from 21.2) and his walks were up slightly (9.7%, from 9.4).

Line drives were up (17.8%, from 15.1), ground balls down (41.6%, from 58.5) and fly balls up (40.6%, from 26.4). More of his fly balls left the park (8.8%, from 7.1).

Ryan was much better vs right-handed batters (.211/.272/.309) than left-handers (.194/.346/.369).

He was better on the road (2.84, batters hit .212/.299/.347) than at home (4.31, .234/.329/.400).

His first half numbers (3.77, .200/.304/.319) were much the same as his second half (3.34, .212/.299/.299).

Ryan by month:

  • April: 5.93, batters hit .224/.309/.347 in 13.2 innings.
  • May: 0.54, batters hit .132/.270/.151 in 16.2 innings.
  • June: 3.18, batters hit .179/.273/.282 in 11.1 innings.
  • July: 5.56, batters hit .222/.314/.467 in 11.1 innings.
  • August: 3.21, batters hit .235/.355/.314 in 14.0 innings.
  • September: 4.22, batters hit .244/.279/.463 in 10.2 innings.

Gibby used him a lot. He pitched in more games and faced more batters than any of our other relievers. He was 4th in the AL in games pitched and tied for 5th in innings. It’s hard not to use someone who’s pitching as well as Ryan was. Gibby did seem to be trying to give him a few days off, here and there, in the second half of the season.

Ryan started the season in kind of a middle relief role, and he moved up into the top setup man role quickly. Gibby seemed to go to him quickly if any pitcher ran into any problem in the late innings (well, other than Osuna). He inherited 34 runners, and stranded 26 of them, 23.5% of them scored (Danny Barnes allowed just 13.5% of inherited runners to score).

FanGraphs says he averaged 95.0 mph on his fastball (and threw it 58.6% of the time). When he was ‘on’ he seemed unhittable.

Ryan turned 30 last week, older than I thought he was. I feel bad for guys that make the majors as late as Tepera. By the time Ryan hits free agency, and can make big money, he’ll be 34-years old. At that age he’s not likely to get a long term contract. And Ryan’s got another season before he is eligible for arbitration.

I guess, no matter what, they aren’t paying him in cheese doodles, so I shouldn’t feel to bad for Ryan. Of course, it is good for the team to have a useful players making the league minimum. It kind of balances out the money paid to J.P. Howell.