The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran left-hander Marc Rzepczynski, manager Charlie Montoyo revealed when meeting with reporters Monday morning (Twitter link via Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling). Rzepczynski still needs to complete his physical, but once he does, the JBA Sports client will head to Major League camp as a non-roster invitee.
Rzepczynski, 34, didn’t pitch in the big leagues in 2019 — the first time since 2008 that he didn’t pitch at least 10 innings in a big league season. Instead, the southpaw spent the year with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, where he pitched to a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts against 28 walks in 44 innings of relief. Suffice it to say, the 2019 campaign wasn’t one of the southpaw’s best.
That said, Rzepczynski has a generally solid track record at the big league level. He’s compiled a 3.89 ERA and near-identical 3.88 FIP in 434 2/3 MLB frames — including a quality run from 2011-17 that saw him log a 3.61 earned run average (3.59 FIP) in 299 1/3 innings. It’s been two years since his last effective campaign at the MLB level, but there’s little harm in taking a speculative spring look to see a rebound appears possible.
Major League Baseball’s recent rule changes — the three-batter minimum for pitches, specifically — won’t do any favors for the man perhaps more commonly known as “Scrabble.” Rzepczynski has generally been used in a specialized left-on-left role throughout his career. Lefty hitters have mustered only a dismal .227/.296/.305 slash against him in 857 trips to the plate, but righties have had far less difficulty, as evidenced by a .280/.385/.437 output in 1035 plate appearances.
Awesome! Good luck Zep!
I always liked Marc Rzepczynski as a pitcher. But at 34? Anyone know what his heater is at in MPH?
Billy Beane disapproves of this comment.
I don’t have this year’s data, but as of last year he was at 92.8 MPH, according to Baseball Prospectus.
He doesn’t really throw a traditional 4 seamer…he throws a sinker which last averaged around 92
If ever you are wondering about velocity for a particular pitcher check out baseball savant. You can find out anything about a player
Scroll down for pitch selection and velo
Thank you for the info.
Is my phone acting up or is the TradeRumors’ home screen now in dark mode?
You’re being hacked by the Jeff Todd for President Committee.
The latest app update includes dark mode, so that might be why.
Sure. Why not. Minor League deal is fine. Liked him the first time around. Give the kids in Buffalo some wisdom.
Good to see the Eye Chart still in the league! Best of luck to him.
These are the guys that MLB is making suffer by putting in the 3 batter minimum. By the way, MLB had good rating back when “pace of play” wasn’t even thought of, and they just played the game, so why does Manfred all of the sudden think that pace of play is the issue?
All of a sudden*
That is all.
To attract younger fans.
OK, young fans watch basketball, because the NBA markets their players, and when the Clippers and Lakers play, it’s Lebron against Kawhi. MLB needs to market their players way better, that means that when the MLB Baseball Night in America is on primetime FOX, it shouldn’t say “Phillies vs. Angels”, it should say “Bryce Harper and the Phillies take on Mike Trout and the Angels”. The NFL knows what they’re doing when it comes to marketing, cause they’ll actually say “Dak Prescott and the Cowboys take on Drew Brees and the Saints”
Now it’s not just that. How about during games, like during the All star game, get the player mic’d up. Have the players talk to the commentators during the games. One sport that does that, (and does it well), is NASCAR. There are mics inside of each car, and during the race, the commentators in the booth can actually talk to the drivers. The effect of doing that, is that you get to know the players better. For example, say a kid is watching a Rockies game, and Charlie Blackmon is mic’d up in right field, now not only the kid knows that Blackmon is a good player, he also feels a personal connection to him, because maybe he thinks that Blackmon was funny, or cool. And now the kid has a favorite player, and in turn wants to watch more Rockies games.
Young fans don’t care about the length of a game, I mean, the average length of a football game is 3 hours and 12 minutes, and the average length of a baseball game is 3 hours and 42 seconds. And football is the most popular sport! Manfred doesn’t need to try to speed up the game, he needs to market the game!!!
MLB’s two major problems are teams that tank and three-outcome baseball. Hopefully, they’ll address the three outcome thing by changing the ball back to where it becomes advantageous to make contact. The games aren’t too long (as you point out); it’s that there’s no action watching a strike out, a walk, and even a home run.
As for tanking, I think you’ll see some major changes with the new CBA. The current system is terrible, and harmful to some markets; some teams are never going to spend to win, since winning doesn’t make any difference to their bottom line. So they make their money keeping costs (payroll) down. And that shortens competition.
These guys aren’t dumb; they see what’s going on; lower attendance, questionable TV/streaming ratings, declining rate of franchise value growth etc. They tried some things that didn’t work (the “super ball”); but they’ll react.
As for marketing, ya, the problem is (a) some of the stars would rather be at a football game (Trout) or bowling (Betts) than talking to reporters and (b) there’s a definite lack of appreciation for Hispanic stars; Lindor lights up a room by himself, but nobody invites him into the room.
@bobtillman, I agree with everything you said except for the hispanic thing. When MLB does do commercials, they show Acuna pimping homers, Lindor smiling at shortstop, and Juan Soto dropping his bat at first base. MLB doesn’t have a race issue at all, it is a very diverse sport, and they show it. For example: say the Padres are looking for a manager, and they are down to two great manager nominees, but only 1 speaks spanish and english. That will be the one they choose. It would be no issue having an interpreter for the other manager, but by actually speaking spanish, that manager will have a deeper connection with his players, and that’s something that MLB wants. So no, there is not a race issue.
Those sports are also more “spectacular”, in a way that you are allowed to express emotions on the field, like cheering a funk or a touchdown. In baseball the bat flip or staring at your homer or go crazy about it while running the bases means retaliation or cleared benches so most players don’t do it. Allow it and the game becomes much more exciting. Pitchers should be allowed to celebrate their SOs or saves as well.
No to putting a mic on players during a game. This is not some celebrity show or reality TV we’re talking about, it’s sport. If you want to watch reality TV go and find another program to watch. I’ve never agreed with putting microphones on people whilst they’re playing or driving, they are there to do their jobs, not talk to fandom, they can do that when they’re not playing. We’ve seen enough of the technological intrusion into sport.
I find in-game interviews intrusive and contrived but to each his own.
Also, NASCAR is most definitely not a sport.
I wasn’t a fan of baseball until baseball forced pitchers to face a minimum of 3 batters. Then I was alllllll in.
– Said nobody ever.
Attract younger fans. Please…..
I think one of the best ways of attracting younger aged fans is putting the game back on free tv, at least for a dozen games a year for every team. That’s how I became hooked on it.
I agree jimmer I remember back when baseball games were on cable tv. I haven’t got cable tv in years because the rates went crazy awhile back. I refuse to pay MLB.com to watch games I used to watch at no cost. Occasionally when I play Beat the Streak on MLB.com and put together a streak that gets a free one day mlbtv day I’ll take advantage of that. But it’s sad Mlb.com forces people to pay them to watch what was free for decades on television.
At least you can watch your team on MLB.com. Canadians now cannot as all BlueJay games are blacked out. The more expensive Sportsnet (owned by the same guys that own the BlueJays) is not the only option- on TV and online.
Yeah, I was outraged when I heard that the other day. Just like I was outraged when I heard the A’s were dropping their radio broadcasts altogether, so now they are the first team in a very long time not to have a radio broadcast.
Last time I subscribed MLB.tv had blackouts. I don’t see the point of subscribing if I can’t watch “local” teams. Local teams for me mean 7, 12 and 14 hour’s drives away. What a joke. So I follow on gamecast.
Wow, that is crazy. No Oakland A’s radio broadcasts??? Baseball is the BEST sport to listen to on the radio by far. I can’t believe they made this decision, especially with the team they have this year. If their young pitchers take a step forward, they can threaten Houston for the division title. Did they give a reason why they are cancelling? How the heck are they going to build a new stadium and develop the surrounding property when they don’t have enough money to put their team on the radio? Such a shame…
First I heard this, as well. I listened to nearly all the A’s games on radio the past couple of years. Exciting bunch of players. Disappointing.
There are plenty of free games on MLB TV each day, other than that you can watch the condensed game free as well after it has finished.
Manfred needs to go ASAP!
Yes, he does as does Tony Clark.
As a fan, I despise the constant break in play to bring in a pitcher after just one batter….or no batters if the other team brings gp a different batter and another pitching swap happens. It’s irritating, and more commercials are even more annoying. Im a fan of the 3 batter minimum. You can argue it adds more strategy too, forecasting who the opposing manager may pinch hit against the new guy and not have available for later and vice versa.
Teams should be able to use their bench and bullpen how they see fit. In fact I’d rather see the matchup v matchup and watch the success and failure from game to game. It actually makes for more drama.
If you want to see less pitching changes take the arm guards off the hitters and lose the DH. Starters will go longer, games will be shorter. It will solve the problem in no time.
Marc Rzepczynski “I’d like to buy a vowel”
Pat Sajak “I thought you’d never ask”
Nearly a decade later and he’s back! I remember when he was involved in that big trade with the Cardinals and I thought Colby Rasmus was going to be a great piece for the Jays for years to come lol
Who could forget cornrow Colby
Colby had a few okay years. Definitely not the stud the hype said he was going to be. All the tools but couldn’t fully put it together.
Derek Fisher is kinda like Colby except worse. All the elite tools but can’t put it together. Fisher can run, has a plus arm, plus power, amazing bat speed, but can’t connect.
New rule – if you get two called strikes without swinging, you’re out. Games will go a lot quicker.
Hmmmm not wrong …but also a swing-and-a-miss!
Scrabble! Welcome back.
When playing a game of Scrabble, spelling Rzepczynski results in an automatic win.
No way I’d sign Rzepczynski. Who wants to deal with spelling that last name.
Eduardo Escobar tried last year in a Dbacks vid. Hilarious!
If it makes you feel any better I thought Zep was a huge piece for the Cards in return. Who else was in that deal?
MLB NAME OF THE DAY WINNER: Marc Rzepczynski
Back to his first team.