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Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Chris Bassitt set a career-high in innings pitched in his first season with Toronto

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Photo credit:Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
1 month ago
The Blue Jays’ starting rotation was excellent last season.
A big reason for that was because of Chris Bassitt, who was great in his first season as a Blue Jay. On December 16, 2022, the 34-year-old signed with the Jays, and registered a 3.60 ERA and a 4.28 FIP in 200 innings pitched.
The 34-year-old was absolutely nails in the second half of the season, posting a 2.89 ERA and a 3.66 FIP in 90.1 innings pitched. This stretch of games included a 23.3 K% and a 6.4 BB%, better totals than his 21.9 K% and 7.7 BB% in the first half of the season.
Bassitt was one of only five pitchers in Major League Baseball with 200 innings or more pitched, with the other four being Logan Webb, Zac Gallen, Gerrit Cole, and Miles Mikolas. It was also the first time in his career that Bassitt had reached 200 innings in a single season, passing the 181 2/3 career-best he posted in his one season with the New York Mets in 2022. 
The thing is, this was actually Bassitt’s worst season since the 2019 season, where he had a 3.81 ERA and a 4.40 FIP in 144 innings pitched with the Oakland Athletics. His best season was in the pandemic-shortened year, where he had a 2.29 ERA and a  3.59 FIP in just 63 innings pitched. Bassitt’s best full-time season was in 2021, where he had a 3.15 ERA and a  3.34 FIP in 157.1 innings pitched in his final season with the A’s.
This is to say that even though he had a good season in 2023, Bassitt didn’t pitch to his best abilities. Still, his three-year, $63 million deal has proved worth it, as he munched innings for the Jays and helped them get into the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
Fangraphs’ Steamer projects that Bassitt will have his worst season yet, as they have him posting a 4.22 ERA and a 4.40 FIP in 196 innings pitched for a 2.4 fWAR. On top of that, Steamer has him posting a 20.8 K%, which would be his lowest total since 2018, and a 7.2 BB%.
It’s doubtful that Bassitt will have that bad of a season, but he’s soon to be 35 years old, so regression isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. Still, Bassitt’s reliance on pitch mix and location is something that ages well compared to high velocity.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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