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Blue Jays Mailbag: Bullpen Depth, Gibbons’ Slow-Starting Teams, and Trade Chips

The Blue Jays season just keeps on going. Five more months of this! Oh joy!

But on the field they’ve actually started treading water enough that fans can seriously contemplate a red-hot run putting their Blue Jays back in contention at some point — meaning the club’s recent roster fluctuations aren’t mere rearrangements of the deck chairs on the Titanic quite yet. Even if they sometimes have felt that way. 

So let’s do it to it and take some questions about the bullpen! *COUGH*

And if you have a Blue Jays question you’d like me to tackle for next week, be sure to send it to stoeten@gmail.com. As always, I have not read any of Griff’s answers…

Hi Andrew,

With The Jays injuries to their pitchers and him doing great in Buffalo and a solid ST until the Horrific injury from the line drive, why hasn’t TJ House gotten a shot in the show yet?

Rian

Uh… I hope you’re not asking this about T.J. House as though you think seeing him take the ball for the Blue Jays would be a good thing. It wouldn’t. But I get why there might be a little confusion over this, because you’re not wrong that House has looked good so far. He’s struck out more batters in his brief spell in Buffalo so far than he has at any level for several years (25.2%, compared to 14.6% last year in 72.2 Triple-A innings in the Cleveland organization), and producing a ground ball rate over 50%, which has added up to a tidy 1.24 ERA on the season.

The thing is, it’s not necessarily just performance that has to be considered. Especially when we’re talking about Triple-A performance, which can be misleading at the best of times. (Remember when Randy Wolf sparkled for 23 starts for the Bisons in 2015, bristled about not getting a call-up, and eventually was went to the Tigers, for whom he made seven starts, posting a 6.23 ERA, and then called it a career?) Still, maybe House had as good a case to get the call as Mat Latos or Casey Lawrence did, but the Jays said at the time that pair was first called up that they were looking for right-handers to face the right-hand-heavy Angels lineup. And House, of course, is a lefty.

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