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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Jason Grilli

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Our first pre-season game is Saturday. Can’t wait. It isn’t on TV, but will be on the radio. I can’t wait to have some real fake baseball again.

Until then, let’s continue running down the 40-man.

The Blue Jays picked up Jason Grilli, in trade, from the Braves. We sent Sean Radcliffe the other way. Radcliffe, a RHP, turns 22 in April, he pitched in Vancouver last year, where he had a 3.60 ERA, in 22 games, 40 innings, 16 walks and 30 strikeouts.

Grilli, as a Brave, had a 5.29 ERA, in 17 innings, with 13 walks and 23 strikeouts. A small sample, but too many walks (6.9/9), with a lot of strikeouts (12.2/9).

For the Jays he had a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings, with 19 walks, 58 strikeouts, cutting down on the walks a fair bit, but still getting the strikeouts. I wonder how much credit Pete Walker deserves for getting him throwing more strikes? He gave up more home runs than you would like, 8, but 4 of those came in 3 appearances in September. He had two really bad outings in September which accounted for 8 of his 17 earned runs as a Jay.

He was great in the playoffs, allowing just 1 hit in 3.2.

Jason turned 40 this winter and celebrated by getting the $3 million contract that the Jays seemed to be giving all their relievers (How to create a happy workplace? Pay everyone the same.).

As much as I’m not a fan of the setting of roles for relievers, our bullpen got better after Jason took over than 8th inning role.

If it were up to me, I’d like the Jays to use Osuna as a 2 inning reliever. I do understand that having roles makes life easier for the manager. And, I understand that, as soon as Osuna had a bad outing going two innings, the idea would be over. So I’d expect Grilli to be the 8th inning guy again.

I guess the question for Grilli is: He’s 40 now....can he be as good this year as last? And, how long can he continue?

He seemed to be energized by joining the Jays and getting into a pennant race. He still throws 93-94. He should be good for another 50 or so innings for another year or two.

He looks like he’s a good teammate and looks like he enjoys the role of elder statesmen and adviser to the younger pitchers. And he definitely showed fire and intensity. He is fun to watch. I hope he continues to be good, so he can choose when it is time to retire.