We’ll no longer be Getting Rowdy around these parts.
Ken Rosenthal reported on Tuesday that Rowdy Tellez has been dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Trevor Richards.
It really looked like Rowdy had figured things out at the plate in 2020. He slashed an impressive .283/.346/.540 line, clubbed eight dingers, and had a solid 11-to-20 walk-to-strikeout rate. The key for Rowdy was cutting down on swinging at pitches outside of the zone.
That said, this was only a 35-game sample size, so it was far from certain if Rowdy was just on a heater, much like the one he had when he debuted in 2018, or if it was actually him figuring it out.
In 50 games with the Blue Jays this season, Rowdy posted a paltry .209/.272/.338 slash line with nine walks and a whopping 33 strikeouts. Without any positional versatility and a cold bat, he ultimately lost his spot on the 26-man roster and wound up in Triple-A.
Coming back to Toronto will be another much-needed relief pitcher. Trevor Richards started his career with the Marlins, was sent to Tampa Bay in the Nick Anderson deal in 2019, and was sent to Milwaukee a couple of months ago in the Willy Adames trade.
All told, he’s tossed 31 2/3 innings in 2021 with a 3.69 ERA and 11.7 strikeouts and 3.4 walks per nine. He throws a fastball, change-up, and curve, with the heater being his most common pitch. One interesting thing about Richards is that he has a significant amount of vertical movement on his four-seamer. He ranks 32nd in baseball in that regard, just ahead of Jacob Barnes, another guy the team recently added.
Ultimately, at a glance, this is a move that makes sense for the Blue Jays. We all wanted things to work out with Rowdy because a big, lefty bat would be a nice addition to this lineup, but a 1B/DH-only who doesn’t hit consistently isn’t of much value. The team badly needs relief help, and they’ve found another solid arm here without dipping into the prospect pool.