Chris Bassitt has been everything the Blue Jays needed this season
Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
This past offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays front office was looking for another starting pitcher to add to the rotation with the free agency departure of Ross Stripling, Hyun Jin Ryu coming off of Tommy John surgery, and question marks surrounding both José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi.
They needed somebody who could pretty much guarantee them a large volume of quality innings and they found exactly that.
On December 16th, general manager Ross Atkins and co. got their man, adding veteran right-hander Chris Bassitt on a three-year deal worth $63 million and costing the Blue Jays their second-round pick after Bassitt denied the New York Mets qualifying offer earlier in the winter. It was a high price to pay for the 34-year-old’s services but one the Jays front office felt was needed given the rotation outlook and the lack of depth behind the core five starters in Triple-A.
So far, the move has been a win for the Blue Jays.
The first half of the season was up and down for the Ohio product, as Bassitt struggled to find consistency on the mound. His first outing was one to forget, as he allowed four home runs and nine earned while lasting just 3 1/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals but he bounced back quickly, allowing just six runs through his next four starts while striking out 21 to the tune of a 2.19 ERA during that time span.
The Chris Bassitt signing has been a huge win for the Blue Jays
As the Midsummer Classic rolled around, Bassitt was sporting a 4.19 ERA with opponents owning a .733 OPS on the right-hander to the tune of a 4.79 FIP. He had allowed four or more earned runs through five of his 19 starts but also pitched a complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves back on May 12th, which included a scoreless streak that lasted through four games and 28 2/3 innings. It was a rollercoaster start for the veteran, one that he acknowledged and highlighted to the media on numerous occasions.
Since the All-Star game, Bassitt has pitched to an improved 3.19 ERA (prior to his last outing against the Yankees) while adding 72 strikeouts and dropping opponents’ OPS to .687, pitching to much better results after the break. With over eight pitches in his arsenal, Bassitt doesn’t have plus velocity but keeps hitters off balance with the mix of pitches he is able to throw and keep control of the strike zone, evident by his 2.7 BB/9 on the season.
The Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff has been outstanding this season and Chris Bassitt has been one of the reasons why, with the versatile starter being able to pitch deep into games (going 7+ innings 10 times this season) and eclipsing the 200+ inning mark earlier this evening, becoming the third pitcher in the MLB to do so this season. He also helped the Blue Jays secure a much-needed win earlier this evening against the New York Yankees, one that helps right the ship for the Jays in their quest for October baseball. After his last start against the Yankees earlier today, Bassitt ends the regular season with a 3.60 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 186 strikeouts through 200 innings pitched, a career-high for the right-hander.
Bassitt and the Blue Jays quest for the post-season
As the Jays are looking to lock down a Wild Card spot this weekend and are on track to do so given the current projections, Bassitt could potentially factor into either Game #2 or Game #3 (if needed), depending on whether manager John Schneider wants to use him or Berríos for the pivotal matchup following the first game that will likely go to Gausman. Prior to joining the Jays, Bassitt had one start in the AL Wild Card dating back to 2020 with the Oakland A’s, going seven innings and allowing just one earned run while striking out five in the win.
Overall, the signing of Chris Bassitt has been beneficial for this Blue Jays rotation and one that has helped the club be in the playoff position they currently find themselves in.
Recent articles from Tyson Shushkewich