Talking About Depth
During Tuesday night’s Blue Jays vs. Rays game former 1st round pick Chad Jenkins came in to the game in the bottom of the 6th inning. Jenkins’ inclusion in Tuesday night’s baseball matinée made him the 31st pitcher that the Blue Jays have used this year (including Jeff Mathis). Not only that, but as Sportsnet’s Barry Davis informed us on Twitter Jenkins is the 50th player that the Blue Jays have used this year.
Some might say that little factoid represents the depth that the Blue Jays have, but it’s actually closer to the lack thereof. Of the 20 position players who have played for the Jays this year 9 (45%) of them have less than 100 plate appearances.
On the pitching side it gets even crazier. Of the 31 pitchers who have pitcher for the Jays this year 14 (45%) of them have less than 10 innings pitched. Some of those 14 pitchers haven’t pitched 10 innings due to injury, others because they are new to the team, but there is also a lot of what you would call scrap heap arms on that not so prestigious list.
It’s easy in hindsight to point out the obvious depth flaw that the Blue Jays had as a team going in to the season.
The bullpen had a few of what you would call top arms, but after the top four there wasn’t much in the rest of the pen or down in the minors for insurance.
The starting rotation had two arms at the top and a few young guys, but there wasn’t that non-injury prone innings eater that many Blue Jays fans crave.
The lineup seemed to have a fair amount of certainty, but on the shortened bench there wasn’t anyone who stood out, no player that would look decent on a playoff team in a starting role.
Of course this is hindsight and as in the rest of life, in baseball it is always easier to look back than to look forward. At the time the Blue Jays seemed fine, but we were all too blinded by the potential of this team to realize the probability of downfall.
I could go into the depth topic more, but Andrew Stoeten did a fantastic job of that already over at DJF. Instead I took the liberty of pulling the names of all 50 players the Blue Jays have used this year and plugging them into a Sporcle quiz for a fun little trivia game. You can try it out for yourself here, here, and here or play the version that is embedded into this post.
If you get them all you can have an imaginary cookie and the assurance that you won’t have to get Tommy John Surgery this year, a rare assurance in Toronto these days.
Click to read more to play the version embedded in this post.