Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Heyman, in one of the most pointless tweets you’ll ever see (which is a hell of an accomplishment!), tells us that the Jays have been trying to deal for Ervin Santana (who I just wrote about), but that the Twins like him and may keep him.
Hey, cool. Thanks, Jon.
But OK, so maybe that’s not where the Jays find themselves a starting pitcher. Maybe they look to Philadelphia and surprisingly not-all-that-crappy Jeremy Hellickson. Jon Morosi tweets that the former Rays pitcher is still being discussed by Toronto brass, which… sure. OK.
Hellickson is in a different situation, contractually, than Santana, as he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year. But he is similar to Santana in that he’s maybe better than you suspect. He has better strikeout and walk rates than Santana — albeit pitching in the National League — and has been just as valuable by fWAR, with an ERA of 3.70 and an xFIP that looks better than his FIP because he’s been a little bit homer prone.
I dunno. He’s a pitcher! And that’s what they need! And he’s also got all that wholly overrated AL East experience from his time in Tampa Bay.
Am I selling him a little short with that description? Maybe.
Hellickson has had a better-than-usual year when it comes to suppressing hard contact, which may be a reflection of some changes in his pitch usage this season, as he’s dialed back the number of fastballs he throws, and to a lesser extent his curveball usage, adding a cutter to his mix and doubling the use of his sinker (per Brooks).