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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Chris Bassitt

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Chris Bassitt was a free agent signing before last season. The Jays are paying him $63 million for three seasons. He was well worth the $21 million last year (if you believe any baseball player is worth $21 million). Actually, he only got $19 million last year (that’s a weird definition of the “only” Tom), he gets $22 million the next two.

He’s had nine seasons in the MLB, a 62-42 (43 of those wins came in the last three seasons) record, and a 3.49 ERA.

He isn’t a strikeout pitcher (though a 22.5% isn’t bad). He’s a pitcher (42.3% ground ball rate last year, 48.4% in 2022).

I didn’t expect 200 innings from him, but he was right on 200 innings (second in the AL). The last Jay to throw 200 innings? Marcus Stroman in 2017.

Chris throws a bunch of different pitches, with a few different variations on each, but he leans heavily on his sinker, throwing it almost 40% of the time last year. But there is also a cutter, slider, curve, four-seam fastball and splitter. He throws just about everything except for a knuckleball.

We had a pretty good defense, last year, so he was a good match. It would help him out if we found a couple of good defensive players for second and third base.

His first start with the Jays did not go well. He was calling his pitchers, and he got hit hard and often. First impressions are hard to get over; everyone thought he shouldn’t be calling his own pitches, but he continued to, not all the time, but a fair bit of the time. I think he had more trouble with the pitch clock than some pitchers.

Chris is a thinker. Occasionally, he’s an over-thinker, but that happens to most of us occasionally. I play tennis and constantly say, ‘Don’t think it hurts the team’ (from Bull Durham) because if I just hit the ball, I’m pretty good. I don't do well if I think about where to hit it.

Bassitt had a few blowout starts, but he also had 21 quality starts, tops on the Jays, third-best in the AL. Kevin Gausman had 20. When he was good, he was very good; when he wasn’t...

PECOTA figures him to make 29 starts and throw 177.2 innings, with a 3.96 ERA and a 13-9 record. That’s a pretty good season, especially if you consider him the third starter. Streamer has him at 32 starts, 194 innings, a 4.22 ERA and 12-11 record.

He turns 35 in February, so at some point, he’ll slow down. But he did t throw a lot of innings in his 20s, and guys who don’t throw a lot in their 20s often age well. And it isn’t like he gets by on a 99 mph fastball.

Poll

If the over/under on Bassitt’s innings is 178 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Over
    (192 votes)
  • 26%
    Under
    (68 votes)
260 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Bassitt’s ERA is 3.90 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Over
    (79 votes)
  • 68%
    Under
    (175 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will Bassitt lead the team in innings pitch again this year?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Yes
    (121 votes)
  • 53%
    No
    (140 votes)
261 votes total Vote Now