Looking back at Adam Cimber’s time with the Blue Jays

Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
On Friday, the Blue Jays cut ties with a pitcher who used to be a key part of their bullpen. 
You may remember Adam Cimber for his abysmal 2023 season, in which he posted a 7.40 ERA and a 7.46 FIP in 20.2 innings pitched, along with an incredibly low 12.6 K% and a 7.4 BB%. But that’s not how Cimber should be remembered in his Blue Jays tenure.
Let’s go back in time and look at Cimber’s three seasons with the Blue Jays.

Cimber’s 2021:

Even with the loss of Jordan Hicks, the Blue Jays’ bullpen is still good. However, it wasn’t always the case. In 2021, the ‘pen was blowing leads left and right.
If you pick any random boxscore between the start of the 2021 season and mid-June when they made trades to acquire Cimber and Trevor Richards, you’ll see names like Anthony Castro, Carl Edwards Jr., and Tyler Chatwood blowing leads game after game. 
It didn’t take too long into the season for the Jays to realize they needed pitching help. They traded for Cimber on June 29, sending veteran utility player Joe Panik and prospect Andrew McInvale for Cimber and left-handed batting outfielder Corey Dickerson.
Cimber was a fantastic addition to the bullpen, posting a 1.69 ERA and a 2.82 FIP in 37.1 innings pitched. Interestingly, Cimber had a 20.5 K% in his first half-season with the Jays, which would’ve been the highest of his career for a full season. Moreover, he had an incredibly low 3.4 BB% and only gave up two home runs for the season.
The Blue Jays unfortunately wound up missing the playoffs but Cimber played a huge role in the team’s second-half surge. 

Cimber’s 2022:

In his first full season with the Jays, Cimber had a 2.80 ERA and a 3.47 FIP in 70.2 innings pitched. To go along with this, he had a 19.8 K% (second-highest in his career) and a 4.4 BB%, which was also the second-lowest in his career.
Although his numbers took a hit from the previous season, Cimber was useful in all situations. If you needed a pitcher to go multiple innings, well, Cimber was your guy, as his 70.2 innings pitched was the most for any reliever on the Jays.
What if you needed a high-leverage guy? Well, Cimber also had you covered as he pitched 15 innings in his leverage, and 42.1 innings in medium and high leverage. Okay, but what about a late inning guy? Well, Cimber had 19 holds on the season.
Wherever the Blue Jays needed him, he was up to the task and succeeded.

Cimber’s 2023:

Sadly, this is the year that many Blue Jays fans will most likely remember Cimber.
In 20.2 innings pitched, Cimber had a 7.40 ERA and a 7.46 FIP, along with a 12.6 K% and a 7.4 BB%. Cimber was never a strikeout artist by any means, but his 12.6 K% was the second lowest of his career, while his BB% was the second highest of his career.
The season didn’t start all that badly for Cimber, as he didn’t allow a single run through his first four games and even picked up his first and only save of the season in an early season game. After that, though, it all went downhill as he’d give up four earned runs over his next six innings pitched.
On April 24, Cimber was moved to the Injured List with a rhomboid strain and missed a month of action. When he returned on May 23, he actually pitched well over his next six games, posting a 3 ERA and 6.76 FIP in six innings pitched, but he did walk more batters than he struck out. 
In Cimber’s final three appearances as a Blue Jay, he gave up 10 earned runs in just 4.2 innings pitched for a 19.29 ERA and an 8.40 FIP.
After a June 18 appearance, Cimber was added to the 15-day Injured List with right shoulder impingement, before the Jays eventually moved him to the 60-day IL, before a brief rehab stint at the very end of the season with the Buffalo Bisons.

What to make of Cimber’s Blue Jay tenure:

Because it’s so recent, most will think of Cimber as the soft-throwing submarine man who got hit way too hard to be a big leaguer. However, if you remove the 20.2 innings pitched in an injury-filled 2023, the Blue Jays got a soft-throwing submarine man who limited hard contact and kept the ball on the ground.
Cimber may or may not bounce back and pitch in the major leagues again, but the trade and his performance in 2021 helped the Jays make a run for a playoff spot that seemed improbable at the start of the 2021 season. In 2022, Cimber was the man they’d turn to in any situation, using him the most of any relievers in the bullpen.
The 2023 season was a tough one for Cimber, but let’s remember the 2021 and 2022 seasons, shall we?

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


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