Blue Jays reportedly interested in Craig Breslow, who’s using analytics to rejuvenate his career

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays are one of a handful of teams interested in 37-year-old left-handed reliever Craig Breslow. 

I know, I know. This doesn’t seem very interesting considering Breslow hasn’t had a good season in the Majors since 2013, and last season with the Marlins, he only managed to toss 14 forgettable innings. But this news comes just a few days after Breslow, a Yale graduate who’s known as ‘The Smartest Man in Baseball’, impressed scouts at a throwing session featuring a new arm slot delivery and two-seam fastball with movement. 

According to an article from the Boston Herald, Breslow is taking an analytical approach to rejuvenating his career. 

“To say, ‘I’m going to try to make Andrew Miller’s breaking ball,’ would probably have been a fool’s errand, given that he’s 6-foot-8 with longer levers, longer fingers, etc.,” the shorter Breslow said. “But to say, ‘This type of breaking ball, from this slot with this action, is an effective one, let’s see how close we can get to that,’ is a much more plausible undertaking.”

“In the beginning, I remember taking rides with my wife (Kelly) to go visit family and me driving her, being on a laptop and literally kind of being like … ‘OK, who’s got the best sinker?’ ” Breslow said. “Let’s look at Zach Britton: (he’s) left-handed, dominant sinker, induced a ton of groundballs. Let’s take a look at what kind of action he gets. How did his PITCHf/x numbers compare to mine?

“OK they’re obviously a lot better for a lot of reasons. Let’s kind of decide if we can get X percentage closer to that, then we’ll call that a success. … We need some way at the end of all this (to say) did we achieve the goal or not?”

So that’s pretty interesting! Breslow, like I said before, hasn’t been very good the past few seasons. But this could possibly be an indication that he’s on the verge of figuring something out that could help him rejuvenate his career? Or maybe I’m just reaching really far because I’m nervous about the Jays going into the 2017 season with Aaron Loup as their only lefty option with an ounce of big league experience? 

It’s probably the latter! But still, the only other options (who aren’t very, very bad) on the open market right now are Boone Logan and Jerry Bleavins, who are both seeking deals in the neighborhood of two years and $12 million. That’s obviously a lot of money to pay for a reliever, and Breslow could represent a nice buy-low-and-hope-for-the-best rebound kind of option for the team.