Hate it or love it.
The Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation will need to hold up well until just after the All-Star break when Hyun-jin Ryu returns. They’ll need to fill the void left by Alec Manoa amidst an overall shaky starting rotation. Any further faltering from the existing starters would be disastrous. Ace Kevin Gausman and transfer Chris Bassett are relatively stable. That leaves Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi in desperate need of a spark.
In that regard, Berrios’ recent form has been encouraging for Toronto. On 9 September (ET), Berrios improved to 6-4 on the season with six innings of four-hit ball (one home run), two strikeouts, two walks and two runs against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.메이저사이트
Berrios signed a seven-year, $131 million extension in the 2021-2022 offseason. It was a move Toronto had in mind when it acquired him in a trade during the 2021 season. However, Berrios disappointed in 2022, going 12-7 with a 5.23 ERA in 32 games, ranking dead last among American League pitchers in innings pitched.
His start this season was also shaky. In five games in April, he went 2-3 with a 4.71 ERA. Unlike last year, when home runs were an issue, he allowed just one home run in 28⅔ innings. His batting average wasn’t bad at 0.239, but he gave up a lot of big hits. His pitch design needs to be overhauled.
In May, he started to show signs of rebounding. He went 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six games. In June, he went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two games, including this one. If you take April out of the equation, he went 4-1 with a 2.96 ERA in eight starts in May. He has now lowered his season ERA to 3.61. Six wins and four losses in 13 games. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s definitely an upward trend since May.
Berrios mixed a 93-94 mph sinker with a slurve on the day. In the first inning, he threw it to Jose Altuve and Jordan Alvarez to induce grounders to the middle infield. In the second, a slurve to leadoff hitter Alex Bregman was driven up the middle for a solo shot to left. After giving up back-to-back singles to Jose Abreu and Chaz McCormick, he got Jake Myers to ground out to third base on a changeup, allowing a run to score but avoiding a big inning.
Berrios struck out Bregman with a 95-mph sinker to shortstop with runners on first and second in the third. He retired the next three batters in order in the fourth and again in the fifth after giving up a leadoff single. Took the mound in the sixth with three runs on the board and retired the side again. His changeup and slurve have been a big part of his success.
According to BaseballSabermetrics, last year and this year, Berrios uses his slurve the most. His BABIP has dropped from 0.207 last year to 0.181 this year. The second most common pitch, the four-seam, has seen its BABIP drop from 0.349 last year to 0.321 this year, but it’s still high. The four-seam was rarely seen today. His sinker is down from 0.317 last year to 0.240 this year.
Just by looking at these basic metrics, we can see that Berrios has slowly improved this year. Berrios should anchor Toronto’s starting rotation until Ryu returns. “Berrios’ resurgence has been quiet, overshadowed by Kevin Gausman’s absolute dominance, but it’s been one of Toronto’s most important developments this season,” MLB.com wrote.