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Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Tim Mayza became an elite left-handed reliever in 2023

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Photo credit:(Mary Altaffer/AP)
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
Tim is him.
This is the 40-man Roster Review, in which we’re going to take a look back at each player on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, and how they performed in 2023, as well as their outlook for 2024.
In 2023, Mayza established himself as not only one of the elite left-handed relievers in the game, but also an elite reliever in general. In 53.1 innings pitched, he had a 1.52 ERA and a 2.60 FIP, along with a 24.7 K% and a 7 BB%. Moreover, he only gave up two home runs all season.
Looking at that in comparison to the rest of the league’s relievers with 40 or more innings pitched, Mayza’s ERA is the fifth best in the league, only behind Chris Martin, Brusdar Graterol, Josh Hader, and Félix Bautista. In terms of ERA , there was only one left-handed pitcher better than him, and that pitcher is going to likely get a record deal for a reliever.
In terms of FIP, his 2.60 ERA  drops to tenth, with Bautista, Tanner Scott, Matt Brash, José Alvarado, Martin, Aroldis Chapman, David Bednar, Jeff Hoffman, and Will Vest having lower FIPs than Mayza. 
FIP uses just three stats, strikeouts, walks (and hit by pitches), and home runs. Mayza’s 8.94 K/9 is far below everyone except for Martin in this regard, as they’re the only two with a K/9 below 10.69. Nice.
Mayza also kept the ball in the park, as he was tied for the fourth fewest home runs allowed by relievers with more than 40 innings pitched. Only Nick Ramirez, Ian Hamilton, and Lucas Erceg had fewer home runs allowed, and the latter pitched in Oakland. 
The only pitcher with a better ERA that allowed two or less home runs was once again Martin, with Shawn Armstrong being the only other pitcher with an ERA below 2 with two or fewer home runs.
There’s other stats that make Mayza elite as well. The last one we’ll look at in this article is inherited runners scored. Mayza allowed 13 runners he inherited to score, which sounds like a lot, sure. However, Mayza came into the game with 53 base runners on, an incredible amount. 
Only 24.5% of runners managed to score, which was the eighth highest in the league (with Danny Coulombe’s 49 inherited runners even being in the same vicinity.) Interestingly, Yimi García only allowed 20% of inherited runners to score, the third lowest percentage in the league.
The only knock against Mayza is that he wasn’t as dominant against right-handed batters. They slashed .258/.340/.404 with an 11 BB% against Mayza, which compared to left-handed batters slashing .245/.270/.291 with a 3.5 BB%, is a drop off. Still, he only allowed seven earned runs in 23 innings pitched against right-handed batters, which is still just a 2.74 ERA.
Fangraphs’ Steamer projections aren’t too kind to Mayza in 2024, as it believes he’ll post a 3.44 ERA and a 3.68 FIP in 60 innings pitched, along with a 23.3 K% and a 7.8 BB%. However, that would be Mayza’s highest ERA since 2019, and I just don’t believe he’ll regress that hard.

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

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