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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Génesis Cabrera

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Génesis Cabrera came to the Jays in a July 23rd trade with the Cardinals. Going to the Cardinals was a 19-year-old minor league catcher. Hernandez was a 14th-round draft pick in 2022. He hit .216/.311/.387 in 58 games split between Dunedin, the Jays Florida Coast League team, the Cardinals Florida Coast League team and the Cardinals A league team.

We also lost Trent Thornton in the deal. He was DFAed to make room for Cabrera and traded to the Mariners for 28-year-old minor leaguer Mason McCoy (who played in six games and had one at-bat for the Jays). Thornton had a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings with the Mariners.

Génesis is a 27-year-old lefty who has pitched in the majors in five seasons. He has a 3.97 ERA in 203 games, with 218 strikeouts and 107 walks in 213 innings. I guess the best way to describe his pre-Blue Jays career would be inconsistent. He walked too many. His strikeout rate fell and rose by season. In his five seasons, he’s had strikeout rates of 19.2%, 33.3%, 26.0%, 16.5% and 24.3%.

With the Jays, he pitched in 29 games and had a 2.66 ERA with 6 walks and 20 strikeouts in 23.2 innings (a fair bit better than the 5.06 ERA he had in 32 innings with the Mariners). With the Jays, his walks came down (2.3 per 9 innings, 5.1 with the M’s), but his strikeouts also dropped (7.6/9 from 10.7).

With the Jays, he held batters to a .195/.260/.333 line and had 6 holds.

He gave us a second lefty in the pen, which was handy. Tim Mayza was great, but having someone else to go to was nice.

What changed when he joined the Jays? Génesis started throwing his slider. He threw the slider with the Cardinals just 1.0% of the time. With the Jays, 32.1% of his pitches were sliders (which mostly came at the expense of his curve, which he threw 29.6% with the Cards and 13.3% for us.

Beyond that, he threw a 96.0 mph 4-seam fastball (34.8% of the time), a 95.4 mph sinker (13.3%) and a change (4.1%). That’s a fair number of pitches for a one-inning reliever.

With the Jays, he only had one outing in which he allowed more than one earned run (he gave up three walks and two hits, including a home run.

Génesis has an option year left, so if things don’t go well or we need a rested arm, he could be sent to Buffalo. The Jays have a couple of years of control before he becomes a free agent.

Whenever I write about Cabrera, I want to start with ‘In the beginning,’ but I’m trying to resist the urge. My kids will tell you I rarely pass up an easy joke.

PECOTA predicts that Cabrera will pitch in 46 games with a 4.93 ERA.

ZiPS has 57 games and a 4.15 ERA.

Steamer 59 games and a 4.16 ERA.

Poll

If the over/under for Cabrera’s ERA is 4.15 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Over
    (24 votes)
  • 87%
    Under
    (174 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under for Cabrera’s games pitched is 55 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Over
    (83 votes)
  • 55%
    Under
    (105 votes)
188 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Génesis will get most of his work in the

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    6th inning
    (57 votes)
  • 66%
    7th inning
    (129 votes)
  • 3%
    8th inning
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    9th inning
    (1 vote)
194 votes total Vote Now