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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: José Berríos

Rawlings Gold Glove Award Dinner Photo by Corey Sipkin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

José Berríos came to us in trade for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson at the 2012 deadline. He turns 30 in May.

If you are curious, Martin played 59 games in Triple-A in 2023, hitting .263/.387/.405. Richardson pitched 113.2 innings at Triple-A with a 4.91 ERA (and 4.2 innings for the Twins). Both are still young (25 and 23) and could still end up with an MLB career.

Down the stretch in 2021, José was very good. Then, in 2022, he wasn’t good, leading the league in earned runs.

Last year, he was good again, posting a 3.65 ERA in 32 games and a 2.3 bWAR (3.0 fWAR). His 189.2 inning was 9th in the AL (Kevin Gausman was 10th). Richardson pitched 113.2 innings at Triple-A with a 4.91 ERA (and 4.2 innings for the Twins).

The Jays signed him to a 7-year, $131 million contract after the 2021 season (there is an opt out after 2026 and $5 million incentives in 2027 and 2028).

After falling from 26.1% in 2021 to 19.8% in 2022, his strikeout rate bounced up to 23.5%, which explains a large part of his bounce-back season.

José threw much the same stuff the two seasons: sinker (that has averaged 93.8 mph in each of the last three seasons), slider, four-seam fastball and change.

There is a fine line between success and failure for a pitcher in the majors. Berrios’ first two starts were not good, but his ERA came down nearly every start after that for the rest of the season. If you take those first two starts out of the equation, he had a 3.25 ERA.

José won the Gold Glove this year, his first Gold Glove. I’m unsure how anyone decides which pitcher should win, but Berrios is very good at fielding his position. I feel pretty confident he was the best fielding pitcher on the Jays this year, but I couldn’t rank him against guys on other teams.

To show how things work for starting pitchers, in 2022, Berrios wasn’t good, but the offense was very good for him, and the team had a 23-9 record in his starts. In 2023 he was good, and the team had a 17-15 record in his starts.

Berrios is signed through the 2028 season, when he’ll be 34. It will be interesting to see how he ages if he can still be effective if he loses a bit off his pitches.

PECOTA expects him to make 29 starts, pitch 172 innings, and a 4.20 ERA.

Steamer has him making 30 starts, throw 179 innings with a 4.13 ERA.

ZiPS 30 starts, 4.12 ERA in 170.1 innings.

Poll

If the over/under on Berrios’ innings is 175 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Over
    (195 votes)
  • 26%
    Under
    (70 votes)
265 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on José’s ERA is 4.10 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Over
    (25 votes)
  • 90%
    Under
    (238 votes)
263 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which Jays starter will put up the highest bWAR this season?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Bassitt
    (31 votes)
  • 2%
    Berrios
    (7 votes)
  • 77%
    Gausman
    (212 votes)
  • 1%
    Kikuchi
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Manoah
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    Yariel Rodríguez
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Someone else?
    (3 votes)
272 votes total Vote Now

Poll

When it is over we’ll look back at José Berríos seven-year contract as a

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Good idea
    (259 votes)
  • 5%
    Bad idea
    (16 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now