Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna gave Toronto fans a scare on Tuesday when he exited the team’s Wild Card game with the trainer, but the 21-year-old told reporters today that he expects to be ready to go for the ALDS on Friday (Twitter link via Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi). Osuna explained that he felt a “stretch” in his shoulder at the time, but doctors informed that there’s no major issue and that he simply needs a couple days of rest. Osuna followed up a dominant rookie campaign with a remarkably similar sophomore effort, posting a 2.68 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9 to go along with 36 saves in 74 innings of work.
More from the AL East…
- Junichi Tazawa’s time with the Red Sox may be coming to an end, writes Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Once one of the team’s most trusted setup men, Tazawa’s struggles in 2016 have probably left him on the outside looking in when it comes to Boston’s playoff roster, and, as a free agent at season’s end, that would mean he’s pitched his last game in a BoSox uniform (barring a new contract in the offseason, of course). As Drellich points out, Tazawa pitched well against lefties this season, but if the team wants another weapon against left-handed bats, Fernando Abad would be the go-to option. As it stands, Drellich writes that Craig Kimbrel, Brad Ziegler, Koji Uehara, Robbie Ross, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Drew Pomeranz are the likeliest members of the Red Sox to comprise the postseason relief corps. The 30-year-old Tazawa logged a 4.17 ERA with 9.8 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings this season but struggled for much of the summer after a strong start.
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski tells Alex Speier of the Boston Globe that when he drafted Rick Porcello as the Tigers’ GM, he expected that Porcello would eventually blossom into a top-of-the-rotation arm. However, while Porcello has reached that status in 2016, Dombrowski explained that the manner in which his right-hander has done so is different than his initial vision. “When we drafted him we thought of him as this flamethrowing top-of-the-rotation type guy,” said Dombrowski. “What he’s done is he’s adjusted to the game.” Dombrowski went on to laud Porcello’s command, stating that he never dreamed it could develop to the point that it has. Porcello himself talked about the difficulties he felt after getting off to a poor start to his Boston tenure, likening last season’s prolonged slump to the one that earned him a demotion back to the minors in his second big league season. He added that he’s not making any assumption that his 2016 success is here to stay: “I don’t want to get complacent and be like, ‘I’ve done this now. I’ve arrived. Now I can stop.’ As appreciative as I am of that recognition, I can’t allow myself to think like that.”
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn’t expect to receive an extension from the team before his contract expires at the end of the 2017 season, writes MLB.com’s Barry Bloom. “I assume things will play out the way they’ve played out for a long time here, where we will go through next year and collective ownership will decide what we want to do as we move forward,” said Cashman, who expects that the same process will be applicable to manager Joe Girardi. “Unless ownership tells me otherwise, there’s that built-in assumption that we play our contracts out and then they’ll decide.”
Actually not a bad bullpen now if they can retain one (or both) of Ziegler/Koji, then they have Hembree for next season also who won’t have to be the fall guy who has MiLB options and always gets demoted for that reason.
Hembree is a really underrated, very versatile reliever
I don’t think they’ll retain Zieg, unfortunately. He can go somewhere else and be a closer instead of being used as a one out guy like Farrell has been using him lately. I really wish they would get him to come back though, as he’s been great. Abad can go. I cringe every time they bring him in.
I agree about Abad. I can’t think of a situation where I’d like to see him pitch!
Up by 20, top of the 9th, 2 outs?
Hard to believe he gets put on the 25 man roster over either Scott or Hembree if a pitcher is selected and not another fielder. Abad has been of no use. Definite non tender candidate after the season.
Did they drop Tommy Layne too soon? (he did fairly well for the Yankees. Girardi removing him in the 9th inning in a 3 run game with 1 out and 0 on against Boston basically ended the season. Well I could go back an inning before and say removing Tanaka after 92 pitches in 7 innings).
Bingo! So worried about the lefty/righty matchup, even after he struck out the lead-off righty (Hill). A few days later he’s bailing out Betances with Layne…
Yep. I’m well aware 1 AB is the smallest sample size, but he even struck out Mike Trout too when the Yankees played the Angels
Just decided to look at his splits on FG and something confuses me
It says he threw 8.0 IP against Lefties Away. He allowed 7 runs. However, it shows he allowed just 5 hits, 3 BB (basically a 1.00 WHIP), 0 HR allowed, and a slash line of .179/.281/.214
Layne’s splits are/were so bad vs RH hitters. Layne was and still is super effective vs lefties, he was with Sandiego to and they allowed him to leave. Last season Boston optioned him, but this year he was out of options and they just couldn’t do it anymore, same with Robbie Ross and he was going well. this year? it was heath hembree’s turn when he was one of the effective guys.
They were forced to keep guys like Bucholz and Taz on the roster, tho they were both collecting dust.. No options,or CBA rules against not able to option.
They think already had then and do have next lefty on lefty guy in Robby Scott also in Robby Scott, plus this one can get RH hitters out, or has a MiLB track record of it.
People forget Porcello is only 27 yrs old and has gotten better with age. if he can stay healthy, he should be around for several years to come. Interestingly, last year he started throwing more 4-seamers up in the zone in the first half of the season, then went on the DL for 15 days due to shoulder soreness, Juan Nieves was fired as pitching coach, Porcello went to the minors for 2 rehab starts and then came back better than before. I’m not blaming Nieves but I don’t believe it was a coincidence either. Pitching coaches can directly affect pitchers.
The only problem with calling Porcello an ace is that it’s a leap, given his history. Yes, he started young, and yes he has talent, but this is still a pitcher who has thrown close to 1500 innings in his career to an ERA+ of 101. That’s not ace. Maybe he has established a new level for himself that he can sustain. But I think he’s more likely to end up a 2 or a 3–that’s not bad at all, just not absolute top tier.
Yeah, I don’t disagree. Some guys are freaks of nature and others are just good athletes. I think he is the latter..
Porcello might be the hardest guy to figure out what he really is. Hes obviously not as bad as he was last year, and this year hes had pretty good peripherals to go along with his record. As bad of a stat that win-loss records are for pitchers, you cant just fluke your way to 20 wins. I think if he struck more guys out, he’d be more of a clear cut ace, and would bring his peripherals up even more. Most people are still hesitant to call him the ace, but theres nothing wrong with being a good number 2. JA Happ and to a lesser extent Kyle Hendricks are in this same boat
Dookie Howser, MD
I don’t know if its juts because of the groundball rate, or the Red Sox uniform, but I think Porcello is kind of in the mold of a Derek Lowe in his prime. Not necessarily a shutdown guy who is going to put the weight of the world on his back, but somebody who puts a team even with a mediocre offense in a position to win nearly every game and can make up for mistakes by keeping the ball down. That puts him below ace level, but a solid #2 or top tier #3.
Sure didn’t look like an Ace tonight against Terry’s bunch…