2012 Blue Jays: Carlos Villaneuva, Darren Oliver, assorted pitchers

23 02 2013

Carlos Villaneuva has signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs, which means he might be in a bit of trouble: he gave up 23 home runs in only 125 1/3 innings of work, and Wrigley Field can be a bit home run friendly at times. If the wind’s blowing out, the kids at Waveland and Sheffield (outside the ballpark) will have plenty of opportunities to chase after souvenirs.

Do you want to know something interesting about Darren Oliver? His five best years in order from best to worst, according to earned-run average, have been 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. He’s now 42, and he’s still getting better. Of course, as a left-handed spot reliever, he doesn’t actually work all that much, but he’s doing perfectly well when he’s in there. His career path should give hope to any lefthander struggling to make it – he was a mostly awful pitcher until he reached the age of 35. Luis Perez, another lefthander, who pitched reasonably well until he hurt his arm, should hang in there.

My guess, sadly, is that Dustin McGowan will never pitch again (he’s already reporting shoulder trouble this spring). Which is too bad. At one time, he looked like he was going to be a great pitcher. Not everyone can handle the strain imposed upon the human arm by the unnatural act of throwing a baseball very hard.

Did you know that the Jays used 34 pitchers in 2012? That’s roughly three whole pitching staffs. This list included:

  • two Canadians (Shawn Hill and Scott Richmond);
  • two Carpenters (Andrew and David);
  • one catcher (Jeff Mathis, who pitched two innings and gave up two runs);
  • one closer (Sergio Santos, who pitched five innings and then was shut down);
  • and six pitchers who pitched three innings or less (Richmond, Hill, David Carpenter, Ryota Igarashi, Bobby Korecky, and Sam Dyson).

My guess is that the Jays will use fewer pitchers in 2013. I hope.

I’ve gone almost all the way through this year’s previews without mentioning Francisco Cordero. My mother taught me that if I couldn’t say something nice about someone, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

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