By: Jay Blue and @JaysGirlEmily
Blue Jays From Away
Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
The offseason deal that brought reliever Drew Storen to Toronto was hailed as another possible “Adam Lind for Marco Estrada” bonanza. While the Jays were getting a pitcher, in Storen, with a better track record than Estrada, he was coming off a down year, particularly since losing his closer’s role in Washington.
Giving up Ben Revere, who probably wasn’t in the Jays’ plans much anyway, with the anticipated return of Michael Saunders, the Blue Jays were happy to take on the $8.375 million salary to get Storen, a proven closer who would challenge Roberto Osuna for the closer’s role at the start of the season.
Storen was okay but not particularly impressive in spring training with seven innings of work but only two strikeouts and two walks, giving up three runs. Storen was put into the set-up role but didn’t get off to a particularly inspiring start, posting a 10.13 ERA in April and gave up runs in three of his first six outings and allowed three home runs in just eight innings of work in the month.
Storen seemed to rebound in May, giving up runs in just two of his 11 outings but a four-run outing at the end of June must have caused him to lose a lot of manager John Gibbons‘s confidence. He pitched in the 14th and 15th innings of the 19-inning loss against the Indians on Canada Day, and then pitched the eighth in a 17-1 blowout but would only make three more appearances over the next three weeks before being traded to the Seattle Mariners for Joaquin Benoit.
Storen finished his Blue Jays tenure with a 6.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP despite a decent 20.5% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate. He went on to pitch much better for the Mariners, striking out 22.2% and walking 4.2% with a 3.44 ERA and minuscule 0.87 WHIP.
Storen signed a one-year free agent deal worth $3 million with the Cincinnati Reds.
When Drew Storen was traded for Ben Revere during the offseason, it seemed like a good trade. The Jays were filling a need (the bullpen) by trading from an area of excess (the outfield). Unfortunately, Storen didn’t quite work out. He pitched to an ERA of 6.21 in 38 games, a 1-3 record and a blown save.
In April, he threw 8 innings across ten games and allowed nine runs. His second outing with the Jays was a two-hit-two-run affair in a third of an inning against Boston. He had another two-run outing on the 18th, and a three-run third of an inning against the White Sox. He allowed three home runs in the month, fourteen hits, one walk and had seven strikeouts. His monthly ERA was 10.13 and his WHIP was 1.88.
In eleven outings in May, Storen threw 9.1 innings and allowed four runs, for an ERA of 3.86. He got two saves, but took his second loss when he allowed two runs on one hit to forfeit a one-run lead against the Dodgers. He finished May with eleven hits and three walks allowed, and twelve strikeouts. His WHIP for May was 1.50.
In June, he made 12 appearances and pitched to a 5.56 ERA, with seven runs allowed over 11.1 innings. He earned his first win on June 10th against Baltimore, but blew a save with four earned runs on June 27th. He allowed 12 hits, walked four and struck out 10. He also hit four batters. In July, he had four scoreless outings, and one in which he allowed three runs. His final outing was against Seattle, the team which he would be traded to after being DFA.
In 33.1 innings in Toronto, he had a 1.59 WHIP, allowed six home runs, walked ten and struck out 32. His K/BB ratio was 3.20 and he allowed two of three inherited runners to score. After he went to the Mariners in exchange for Joaquin Benoit, he had a 3.44 ERA in 19 games.
Regular Season Grades